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Alolino, Bulldogs outgun Tolomia, Tamaraws; send National U to playoffs



Gunslingers Mike Tolomia and Gelo Alolino went toe-to-toe, with Alolino’s Bulldogs’ UAAP Season 78 campaign on the line.

In a game that changed leads eight times and had ten deadlocks, it was a clutch Alolino jumper with 33.5 seconds remaining that ended another classic NU-FEU encounter, early Saturday evening, with National University coming out on top 70-68 at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

With the Bulldogs holding on to a solitary lead entering the second half, Javillonar was able to find a wide open Alolino with a three-pointer that was quickly answered by Tolomia. The Bulldogs were then able to extend their lead to five – the biggest of the game – after a fastbreak layup by Reden Celda. After an Inigo layup, coach Nash Racela called for a break and brought in senior Russel Escoto. Escoto was able to power his way to the inside for wide-open jumpers that eventually tied the game at 45-all. Alolino converted a layup but Neypes was called for a technical foul, with Belo missing the subsequent free throw. Five straight points by Cebuano hotshot Monbert Arong were answered by free throws from sophomore Rev Diputado, while a putback layup by Jay Alejandro gave NU a 51-50 lead to enter the final frame.

With both teams playing high-level defense, points were hard to find. After an initial 5-0 spurt via a Tamsi three-pointer and a Belo layup, the Bulldogs were able to find their shot from range with Javillonar and Celda converting on rainbows to tie the game at 57-all. After a back-and-forth exchange, Tolomia, who just knocked down a three that gave FEU a 65-63 lead with 3:44 remaining, was able to knockdown a stepback triple to the roar of the Tamaraw faithful. In the ensuing play however, the Tamaraws were called for a 24 second shot clock violation. Free throws by Alolino tied the game once more. A great pick-and-pop play by Inigo led to Tolomia’s third three of the quarter and a three point lead, 68-65, with 2:14 remaining. After a miss by Alolino from downtown, Celda grabbed the rebound and found a wide-open Pao Javellona for a corner three for a 68-all deadlock. Misses by Pogoy and Belo gave NU a chance to take the lead. Alolino weaved his way through the FEU defense and knocked down a pull-up jumper with 33.5 seconds remaining. After a Nash Racela timeout, Aroga empathically blocked Tolomia’s shot to the baseline. Belo then missed a jumper, followed by an Eric Altamirano timeout. An inbound by Javellona was intercepted by Pogoy with 4.2 remaining, and it gave FEU a shot to at least tie the ball game. However, Tolomia’s floater was bounced off the rim to give NU the win, 70-68.

“We knew how important this game is,” coach Eric Altamirano opened up after the game. “I would just like to give credit to the boys for their unwavering trust with each other and the system.”

Alolino, who posted a statline of 20 points on 9/14 shooting, two triples, four rebounds, and three assists, said that he is doing this for the team. “’Para sa team’ yun lang nasa isip ko. Kasi sila Alfred and Jeoff, they created for me kaya ko naipasok yun.”

Altamirano added that Alolino has the knack for making the big shots. “Even if our system is a team ball offense, when the ball is with Gelo, his teammates will make sure that he becomes open.”

“We’re always ready. Kahit saan kami pupulutin, ready kami,” a relieved Altamirano closed out the post game scrum.

Besides Alolino, Alfred Aroga notched another huge double-double with 16 points and 12 boards. Jeoff Javillonar also had a great outing in scoring nine points, 3/3 from downtown, and was able to keep Smart Elite ambassador Mac Belo quiet, limiting the usually-potent scorer to just eight points on 3/13 shooting.

Mike Tolomia led the way for the Tamaraws with 23 points on 9/14 shooting. He was 5/8 from downtown and was able to dish out three dimes. Monbert Arong added ten points.

As a team, the Bulldogs’ defense limited their opponents to just 36.99% from the field. Despite being outrebounded, 45-39, National U were able to take advantage of FEU’s nine turnovers to score ten points.

The NU Bulldogs (7-7) will have to wait for Far Eastern University’s (10-3) tilt against the La Salle Green Archers (6-7) on Wednesday, November 18 at 4:00pm. The game will be played at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The Scores:
NU (70) – Alolino 20, Aroga 16, Celda 9, Javillonar 9, Javelona 6, Diputado 4, Alejandro 2, Neypes 2, Salim 2, Abatayo 0, Morido 0.
FEU (68) – Tolomia 23, Arong 10, Escoto Ru 9, Belo 8, Pogoy 8, Tamsi 5, Esocoto Ri 2, Inigo 2, Orizu 1, Ebona 0, Holmqvist 0, Trinidad 0.
Quarterscores: 14-17, 32-31, 51-50, 70-68.

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After getting first D-League experience, Zark’s-Lyceum ready to get loose



After a hesitant performance in their PBA D-League debut last Thursday that resulted in a loss to the Marinerong Pilipino Skippers, the Zark’s Burger-Lyceum Jawbreakers seemingly caught up with the league’s style of play on Tuesday.

Zark’s-Lyceum displayed their true form and stamped their class all over the Batangas-EAC Generals with a 37-point destruction, 112-75 — so far the biggest winning margin the franchise has ever had in its D-League history.

“Medyo adjusted na kami on everything — the calls and the teams we’re playing against with,” said Zark’s-Lyceum head coach Topex Robinson after the match at Pasig Sports Center. “But the things we want to mind are those things we control.

“We just have to keep on doing what we are doing. It’s more on replenishing na lang on our old ways.”

Robinson’s claim was strongly backed up by the numbers that the Jawbreakers produced.

CJ Perez had 21 points and 10 rebounds. MJ Ayaay produced 15 points and 10 boards, and Mike Nzeusseu delivered 14 markers and 11 boards.

Even the bench made their presence felt in the victory. With guard Jaycee Marcelino spearheading the supporting cast’s charge with 12 markers, the bench contributed a remarkable 56 points to their total output.

Photo by PBA Images

“Ano lang, cinontrol lang namin yung pace kasi yun naman talaga yung laro namin, yung mabilisan,” said the 24-year-old do-it-all forward, who also collected three steals.

“Kailangan talaga mabilisan para ma-execute namin yung mga ginagawa namin.”

This week will be a rough one for the Pirates, as they will play right away this Thursday against the AMA Online Education. And for Perez, he strongly believes that they will be able to carry over their momentum.

“Oo. Nandun pa. Energy talaga yung puhunan namin para makalaro ng maayos.”

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Bonbon Batiller shows what he can bring to Letran in D-League debut



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Tuesday proved to be a double debut for Bonbon Batiller. Aside from beginning his first foray in the PBA D-League, it also marked his debut for the Letran Knights, who are carrying the Wang’s Basketball Couriers franchise.

And the 5-foot-11 guard showed what he can bring to the table. Batiller collected 15 points, five rebounds, and three assists to help the Knights raise the curtains of their campaign with a 93-75 rout of the Batangas-EAC Generals.

“Nagworkout yung pinagpraktisan namin,” said Batiller. “Nagbunga rin yung tinuro samin ni Coach Jeff (Napa) lalo sa depensa. Tsaka siguro sa rebounds — laking lamang namin sa rebound. Nagsipag mga bigs namin.”

But what has him even more satisfied is the warm reception and trust he’s had from the Knights, even if he has spent barely a year with them after transferring from University of the East last 2017.

“Masaya po kasi tinanggap nila ako sa Letran ng buong-buo,” said Batiller, who normed 10.5 points, 3.7 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 1.6 steals with UE in two years. “Tsaka yung tiwala nila na makakatulong ako sa team nandoon.

“Kaya masaya ako sa pinakita nila sa akin.”

That is why the General Santos native is hard-pressed to prove himself to Letran, saying that he’s all about giving back to the school that gave him another opportunity to resume his young, up-and-coming basketball career.

“Kailangan kong may mapatunayan na deserving ako sa binigay na second chance sa akin ni Letran,” said Batiller, who decided to switch schools partly due to academic reasons.

“Malaki ang utang ko sa Letran.”

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Bienvenido Maranon scores brace as Ceres-Negros eliminates Brisbane Roar



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Philippine club football just achieved its biggest continental result yet

The inaugural Philippines Football League champions Ceres-Negros Football Club eliminated three-time Australian champions Brisbane Roar in the 2018 AFC Champions League’s second preliminary round with a 3-2 stunner, away at the QSAC Stadium in Brisbane.

With the win, the 2017 AFC Cup ASEAN Zonal Champions are set to face Chinese Super League club Tianjin Quanjian next January 30, 2018 at the Haihe Educational Football Stadium in Tianjin, China, to book a seat in the group stages.

Brisbane were the favorites for this tie and it showed, as Ceres started the contest on the back foot. Italian striker Massimo Maccarone handed the home side the lead in the 35th minute when he turned in Brett Holman’s pass.

Maccarone’s goal could have lowered the Busmen’s moral, but Risto Vidakovic’s men took it as a motivation rather than a downer. In fact, Ceres replied in the best way possible when Bienvenido Maranon scored his first goal of the match two minutes from halftime, thanks to a scramble in the Brisbane box.

By all accounts, Ceres had already made Philippine football proud at halftime. By this stage last year, Brisbane had accrued a 4-0 halftime cushion against Global Cebu en route to a 6-0 rout.

Today, though, Brisbane faced tougher resistance at Ceres’ hands. That resistance turned into a full-fledged revolt in the 65th minute when Maranon directed the ball past a helpless Jamie Young to give the Busmen their first taste of the lead.

Maranon’s goal well and truly turned the tide in Ceres’ favor. Brisbane were stunned. The home side are the defending A-League champions, but are currently eighth in the table this season and would soon face elimination from Asia’s premier club competition.

Already up 2-1, the Busmen finally achieved some breathing room in the 75th minute when Omid Nazari scored from close range to give Ceres a two-goal cushion over Brisbane.

Nazari’s goal not only sealed the win for Ceres, it also propelled Philippine football into the big leagues. Not even a late goal from French midfielder Éric Bauthéac could prevent the Busmen’s victory.

After five minutes of stoppage time, Ceres emerged 3-2 winners against Brisbane Roar. Come what may against Tianjin seven days from now, the Busmen have already achieved Philippine football’s biggest result since their own achievement in last season’s AFC Cup.

Who knows? Maybe Ceres can pull off another upset?

Ceres-Negros XI: Doblas (GK), Super, Mike Ott, Ingreso, Maranon, Porteria, Schrock, De Murga (C), Munoz, Nazari, Christaens.

Brisbane Roar XI: Ingham, Bowles, Papadopoulos, Maccarone, Holman, Khalfallah, Oxborrow, McKay (C), Hingert, Young (GK), Franjic.

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CJ Perez, Zark’s-Lyceum vent ire on Batangas-EAC with 37-point romp



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CJ Perez and the Zark’s Burger-Lyceum Jawbreakers finally lived up to their hype, as they clobbered the Batangas-EAC Generals to score a 37-point beatdown, 112-75 for their first win, Tuesday at the Pasig Sports Center.

It was an all-out attack from the Jawbreakers, as they beat the Generals to the bite and took control of the game early, with Mike Nzeusseu and Jaycee Marcelino guiding their side to the 48-33 lead at halftime which they would never surrender.

Perez paced Zark’s Burger-Lyceum with 21 points and 10 rebounds, while MJ Ayaay tallied a double-double with his 15 markers, 10 boards, and three assists.

Cameroonian student-athlete Nzeusseu also delivered 14 points, 11 rebounds, and two assists. Marcelino had eight first half points and wound up with 12 off the bench, as the reserves chipped in 56 huge points in the tussle.

Coach Topex Robinson lauded the Jawbreakers for quickly adjusting to the style of the PBA D-League just days after falling to the Marinerong Pilipino, 92-94, back in opening day.

“Medyo adjusted na kami on everything — the calls and the teams were playing against with. But the things we want to mind are those things we control. We just have to keep on doing what we are doing. It’s more on replenishing na lang on our old ways,” he said.

Earvin Mendoza and Cedric de Joya both had 16 points for the Generals in the losing effort.

Zark’s-Lyceum look to continue to roll when they face the AMA Online Education Titans on Thursday, January 25. EAC-Batangas, on the other hand, take on the Gamboa-St. Clare Coffee Lovers on Monday, January 29.

The Scores:

Zark’s-Lyceum 112 — Perez 21, Ayaay 15, Nzeusseu 14, Jc. Marcelino 12, Serrano 10, Baltazar 8, Santos 8, Jv. Marcelino 6, Tansingco 6, Marata 4, Liwag 4, Ibañez 2, Cinco 2, Pretta 0.

Batangas-EAC 75 — E. Mendoza 16, De Joya 16, Tampoc 12, Laude 9, Pate 8, Maguliano 6, Altamirano 5, Diego 3, Garcia 0, Dela Peña 0, Martin 0, J. Mendoza 0, Neri 0.

Quarterscores: 19-14, 48-33, 84-47, 112-75.

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