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Alyssa worries over the team’s recent spate of injuries

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Cruising to their 12th win of the season, the Ateneo Lady Eagles look as dominating as ever. With their recent win over UST, team captain Alyssa Valdez shared her thoughts on the win, the team’s injury woes, and what Mich Morente brings to the team.

Alyssa was dismayed that the team coughed up 24 errors during the game, but for her, what’s more alarming for the team is the fact that they are suffering injuries during the crucial moments of the tournament. With a depleted lineup, Alyssa said it will be difficult for the team, especially during practice. Not only that, the team has just 2 games to go before the start of the playoffs, and she hopes that the team is able to take care of their health.

“Yes, in 3 sets, oh my god. Well, Hindi lang errors, naka dalawa pa kaming sprain today, diba? Hindi namin alam kung ano yung nangyayari. But then, we’re really thankful that we survived this game. Very well played eh, yung UST sobrang ganda ng game. Yung depensa nila, nag adjust sa rotation nila. Siguro pinapakita lang sa amin na madami pa kaming kelangan i-improve, and marami kaming kelangan i-adjust kasi madaming nai-injure. So kelangan namin talaga maging healthy physically, emotionally, lahat na. Ngayon na 2 games bago matapos yung 2nd round. So we really have to be healthy and take care of ourselves.”

“Ubos na nga kami sa gitna eh. Last man standing si Kiwi eh. Sabi nga namin, ‘Kiwi ingat ah.’ Grabe magiging adjustment namin, magiging adjustment ni coach sa team, lalo na sa training. Wala na kaming kalaro, iilan nalang kami. Malaki magiging adjustment namin hindi lang sa spiking, sa blocking din namin.”

The team’s match against UST was the first time this year that the team fielded last year’s finals starting six. Alyssa was happy for graduating player, Aerieal Patnongon, but said that whoever coach starts, the team will still do their best to win.

“We’re really happy for ate Aerieal, siyempre it’s her last year to play sa UAAP din. Kung sino naman ipasok eh we’re really happy and we’re really inspired to play. Kasi we’re enjoying the game, and pag nasa loob ng court, we’re there to play what we love. Magkakasama pa kami, we laugh each time we get a point, or kahit hindi kami makapoint. Very happy, very light.”

With just 2 games before the playoffs begin, Alyssa still stresses that the team take it one game at a time, and despite notching a sure twice-to-beat advantage during the playoffs, the team still works just as hard, if not harder, than before, citing consistency as one of the main areas that the team has to improve on.

“For coach Tai it’s even harder sa training. Sabi nga nila pag andun ka sa top, everyone is eyeing for you. We have to train harder. Para ma maintain namin and maging consistent kami, diba kasi kulang kami sa consistency. We have to work on that pa, there’s a lot to improve pa.”

“Parang ang bilis, it’s really fast for us. Next game talaga tinatarget namin. One game at a time talaga. After the second round, tsaka na yung next stage, diba? At least alam namin kung saan magfofocus.”

Michelle Morente, one of the main contributors to Ateneo’s run to the championship last year, hasn’t had a lot of playing time this season. Recently, though, she has been inserted back into the starting 6, and she was one of the key cogs to Ateneo’s victory over UST. Alyssa had nothing but praises to say about her teammate.

“Every time sinasabi ni coach tai, si Mich talaga pag may laro siya it’s easier for the team to get the win. Siyempre dapat lahat kami mag contribute, pero pag si Mich talaga iba yung happiness niya, iba yung nadadala niyang smile sa team eh. Sige nagcocontribute siya sa points, iba pa yung nacocontribute niya sa amin physically, emotionally, and mentally. It’s so light to play with Mich talaga.”

Alyssa’s parting words to the media was to complement the game that UST played. She said that the Tigresses played like a team, and helped each other, but at the end of the day, only one team can come out the winner. She said that Ateneo was lucky that they won over UST.

“Nagtulong-tulong talaga sila. They had the teamwork. Pero siyempre at the end of the day isa lang talaga mananalo. We’re lucky, the team is lucky to get the W today.”

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2018 FIBA 3X3 World Cup

Chooks-to-Go President hopes to break PH Arena record come 3×3 World Cup

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Last October 27, 2017, Game Seven of the PBA Governors’ Cup Finals that pitted heated rivals Barangay Ginebra San Miguel and Meralco Bolts saw 54,083 people troop to the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan. The attendance broke all records for both the venue and the PBA.

Come June this year, the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas and Chooks-to-Go are hoping that the upcoming 2018 FIBA 3×3 World Cup will surpass that record.

“We look at 3×3 as our best hope, really, to get a medal in the Olympics. Kami naman sa Chooks, we are behind SBP realizing that dream. Kanina pinag-uusapan na, if we’re going to break the record in attendance,” said Bounty Agro Ventures Inc. president Ronald Mascariñas Thursday afternoon during a press conference held at BGC High Street in Taguig.

“I think the question there is not if we’re going to break, but how many more times. Because FIBA should see how passionate the Filipinos are about basketball. That’s a given,” one of the patrons of Gilas Pilipinas added.

Besides the event itself, the local government of Bulacan has pledged to make the week of the tournament filled with activities to celebrate the Philippines’ 120th year of Independence.

For their part, Chooks-to-Go vowed to help out the SBP in organizing the event and in building the team.

“We are throwing our support not to improve on our finish, but we want to help SBP organize, to win the championship — not just to improve our ranking,” Mascariñas shared.

And the experience he and his company gained after backing the Pilipinas 3×3 team during last year’s tournament will only help.

“In past tournaments, we’ve lost some games na maninipis lang talaga,” he recalled about the team that was composed of Kobe Paras, Kiefer Ravena, Jeron Teng, and JR Quinahan that competed in Nantes, France.

“This time around, with five months to go, we need to organize and put in the best team to win the championship.”

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Football

Ilocos United takes leave from PFL

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Another one bites the dust

After months of speculation, Ilocos United formally announced its absence from the Philippines Football League for the 2018 season.
A statement signed by Ilocos Chief Executive Officer Tony Lazaro and posted on the club’s Facebook page broke the big news.

“Unfortunately, after months of negotiation, efforts to attract a new naming sponsor for the Team were unsuccessful,” the statement opened. “Consequently, it has become financially prohibitive to continue participation in the PFL.

“Primarily, the lack of broadcasting exposure in 2017 created an apprehension in the corporate community, cascading into a series of afflictions that has ultimately led to our withdrawal from the competition.”

Ilocos finished last during the inaugural season, tallying 1 win, 6 draws, and 21 losses with a -49 goal differential.

Still, Ilocos gave its thanks to those who supported the club during the inaugural PFL season.

“We are cautiously optimistic of a potential return to the PFL for the 2019 season, whereby secured broadcasting exposure will hopefully lead to higher confidence from potential sponsorship partners.”

While its PFL operations will fold for the time being, Ilocos will continue the grassroots programs it started within the area. ¨In the meantime, the foundation of football development we helped to build in Ilocos will continue, including grassroots initiatives at local schools, women’s futsal, Special Olympics, and, of course, the IUFC Academy.¨

The latest development will be another big blow for the young league. Meralco Manila pulled out of the competition beforehand and now Ilocos´ absence leaves only six teams in the competition.

Now more than ever, something needs to be done by the PFL or even the Philippine Football Federation to ensure the feasibility of the clubs and the league itself for years to come.

Football is a hard sport to build in the Philippines despite its resurgence since 2010. There aren’t a lot of corporate boosters for the sport which is in dire need of a financial push to sustain its growth.

Ilocos´ leave and Meralco´s folding now forces local football´s stakeholders to take a step back and examine the next moves to build the sport.

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Basketball

CJ Perez, Jaycee Marcelino in unison: D-League is a whole other level

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After falling just two games short to cop Lyceum’s first-ever NCAA crown, the Pirates went to the PBA D-League to gain experience. However, in their first foray in the second league, the Lyceans realized that it was a whole different animal.

Going up against the veteran-laden Marinerong Pilipino Skippers, the Zark’s Burgers-backed squad had a slow start as they adjusted to the tougher calls of the league. The Jawbreakers were down by as much as 17 points early in the third frame, 37-54.

“Yung physicality hindi naman ako masyadong nagulat pero sa mental toughness, yung pagod ka na, tapos may babanggga pa sa ‘yo, ang iniisip ko kailangan mas maging tough,” admitted reigning NCAA Most Valuable Player CJ Perez.

“Nangangapa kami nung una lahat kasi first game namin ito, pati dito sa court na ‘to first game din namin,” added Jaycee Marcelino.

It however served as a wake-up call. Adjusting on the fly, Perez and Marcelino rallied the Jawbreakers back — even having multiple attempts to take over the contest late in the game. However, they fell short, 92-94.

“Binalik lang namin yung laro namin dati, pass the ball, hindi yung puro dribble, i-run lang namin yung plays,” shared Marcelino as he and Perez combined to score 16 points in the final frame.

The 21-year-old Marcelino finished with a game-high 20 points on an efficient 7-of-9 shooting to go along with four rebounds, three assists, two steals, and a block while the 24-year-old Perez added 19 points, five assists, two steals, and a block.

With their first game in the bag, the two and the rest of the Jawbreakers now have this experience under their belts. And they plan to put in the work to prove that they belong.

“Sa NC naman kasi puro ka-level namin kalaro namin, dito puro beterano ang naglalaro,” said Marcelino. “Hindi talaga namin masabi na yung ginawa namin sa NC magagawa din namin dito.

“Mageextra work pa kami para masustain namin kung ano kami sa Lyceum.”

“It’s a good experience. Ibang iba pala talaga yung laro ng D-League sa NCAA,” expressed Perez, who is a consensus top three pick for the upcoming PBA Rookie Draft.

“Sobrang grateful kami na nakalaro na rin kami sa D-League.”

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Basketball

Renzo Subido to bring Marinerong Pilipino experience to UST

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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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