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Another third quarter dooms National U as UE sweeps series



In their last assignment, the National University Bulldogs scored just six points in the third quarter in their loss against the Far Eastern University Tamaraws.

In their game early Saturday evening against the University of the East Red Warriors, the Bulldogs scored just eight points in the third canto en route to a 52-47 loss against UE at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.

The the early-goings of the game, the defending champions were able to impose their defense on the Warriors for an early 8-4 lead. However, foreign student-athlete Alfred Aroga was accidentally elbowed that resulted to a gash on his left eyebrow. After baskets by Varilla that cut the lead to just a solitary points. A free throw by Aroga and a jumper by Kyle Neypes gave NU a 12-8 lead to end the first quarter.

Aroga continued to make his presence felt in the game in the second quarter on both ends on the court. The Bulldogs pounded the paint with Aroga scoring four points while on defense, the Cameroonian anchored the defense in limiting the Red Warriors to jumpshots and forcing turnovers. The Bulldogs were able to gain the biggest lead of the game 24-14 with 4:19 left in the quarter. However, with NU breaking the game wide open, last season’s Finals MVP was called for his third foul with 2:29 remaining. With Aroga sitting on the bench, the troika of Javier, Bonbon Batiller, and Nick Abanto were free to drive into the lanes that cut the lead to seven, 28-21, to enter the second half.

In the third canto, the Bulldogs, just like in their last game, struggled to find their offense. Even shots from point blank range from Neypes and layups by Pao Javellona and Gelo Alolino could not convert for the Bulldogs. To compound the problem for National U, Aroga was penalized for his fourth foul with 8:09 remaining. With Aroga on the bench anew, Javier freely scored inside while a Varilla jumper tied the game at 34-all. An and-one conversion by Javier coming from a Varilla miss gave UE the lead to enter the final frame, 37-36.

Kyle Neypes tried to be the primary offensive option to start the fourth to keep pace with the surging Warriors. Javier though had the hot hand in scoring seven points in the final quarter including a hook shot over Aroga with 1:35 remaining that gave UE a 49-43 lead. Misses by Alolino and Aroga in the last few seconds while free throws by Javier and Charcos sealed the win for the Red Warriors, 52-47.

“We just stuck with the gameplan which was defense,” UE head coach Derrick Pumaren said after the game. “Actually we were not playing well but out defense was the key.” Furthermore, he admitted that it was an awful game for both squads.

Fortunately for UE, even in shooting just 31% from the field, Chris Javier saved the day for them as he took over the UE offense with 16 points on 7 of 11 shooting while also grabbing 9 boards. “Wala ng bukas para sa amin,” he admitted. “Laki pa ng hahabulin namin.”

For Pumaren though, he is still not pleased with the performance of his team. “We are not happy as a team. We have not taken advantage of our opponents mistakes. It’s still a negative.”

Besides Javier, Varilla was able to score 10 points and grab nine boards as well.

For the Bulldogs, Alfred Aroga was the only one to score in double-digits with 11 points on just 21 minutes of play. He was hampered by foul trouble all throughout but was able to grab nine boards nonetheless. Smart Elite ambassador Gelo Alolino continued to struggle in scoring just six points on a horrendous 3/12 shooting. Even in dishing out three assists, he committed five turnovers in the loss.

As a team, both teams shot horribly with the victors shooting 31.94% while the Bulldogs shot just 28% from the field. The Warriors were able to outrebound the Bulldogs 54-43 that proved to be the difference in this game.

The UE Red Warriors (3-5) will next face the DLSU Green Archers on Wednesday, October 14 at 2:00pm while the NU Bulldogs look to break their two-game funk against the UST Growling Tigers on Saturday, October 17 at 4:00pm

The Scores:
UE (52) – Javier 16, Varilla 10, Abanto 7, Charcos 4, De Leon 4, Palma 4, Batiller 3, Gagate 2, Varilla 2, Derige 0, Manalang 0, Penuela 0, Sta Ana 0, Yu 0.
NU (47) – Aroga 11, Neypes 9, Diputado 8, Alolino 6, Celda 4, Sali4, Alejandro 3, Tansingco 2, Abatayo 0, Javelona 0, Javillonar 0, Yu 0.
Quarterscores: 8-12, 21-28, 37-36, 52-47.

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Composed Ceres-Negros expels Shan United in shootout victory



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2017 AFC ASEAN Zone Champions Ceres-Negros banked on their poise and composure from the spot as they knocked out Myanmar’s Shan United via a 4-3 penalty shootout (1-1 after extra time) triumph, Tuesday evening at the Thuwunna Stadium in Yangon, Myanmar.

The Negrenses punched their ticket to Brisbane, Australia after emerging the better spotkick takers. Four Busmen were on target, while two of their Shan Warriors counterparts fluffed their lines.

The two domestic champions were inseparable after 120 minutes, with the hosts holding their own against the Philippine champions. Ceres-Negros looked the more dominant of the two teams. However, they couldn’t make the advantage count where it mattered, as they failed to breach the sturdy Shan United defense inside the first two regulation halves.

The visitors were visibly more comfortable in the first half, but with the scores staying level at the break, the less-fancied Myanmar champions eventually found their footing in the encounter. While there were several half-chances from either side to open the scoring, both defenses remained defiant en route to unwanted extra time.

“It was a tough game. We weren’t ready to play 120 minutes because we only had four training sessions before the game but everytime we wear this jersey, we represent Ceres, we represent Bacolod, we represent the Philippines, so we have to give our best,” Ceres’ defender Carli de Murga elaborated to the Inquirer after the match. The Asian Football season has yet to start, and with both teams not too busy with pre-season preparations, rust and fatigue in a demanding affair were evident.

Come extra time, Ceres-Negros took the initiative when Stephan Schröck’s deflected effort went past the helpless Thiha Si Thu just three minutes into the first half.

Nonetheless, the hosts refused to go down without a fight, and their resilience was rewarded later in the opening half. Substitute Patrick Asare found the back of the net to restore parity in Yangon.

Another 15 minutes of goalless action took place in the second half as both teams looked more cautious, perhaps with the collective aim of avoiding a costly error or two. Among all the chances, Schröck’s in the 114th minute may have proved to be the closest to changing the scores, as his attempt shaved the post.

Shan United took to the spot first, where Asare made his penalty attempt count. Nay Lin Tun also made his, but not before teammate Chizoba smashed his attempt over Toni Doblas’ goal.

While the hosts squandered a shot, the visitors remained calm in front of a hostile Myanmar crowd. De Murga, Schröck and Mike Ott nailed their turns, with Marañon also not missing a vital kick from 12 yards.

It set up William Biassi Nyakwe, the man credited with the own goal when he deflected Schröck’s opener, with the chance to prolong his team’s campaign in the AFC Champions League. Unfortunately for him, he couldn’t atone for his earlier mistake, as his attempt soared high and wide — much to the delight of the visiting team from Bacolod, the Philippines.

The reward for Ceres-Negros is a trip to Queensland, Australia, where they will seek to do one better than compatriots Global-Cebu. The 2016 Philippine champions also played against the Brisbane Roar, who dealt them a staggering 6-0 hammering this time last year. The match will be held at the Suncorp Stadium on January 23.

As for Shan United, a spot in the AFC Cup Group Stage awaits them and they may not have seen the last of Ceres-Negros just yet. If the Negrenses lose to either Brisbane Roar or Tianjin Quanjian, they will be reacquainted with the Burmese champions in Group F.

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Abu Tratter plans to work his way to 2023 by continuing to do ‘the dirty work’



Abu Tratter may have missed the jersey-giving ceremony that the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas held for the 23 for 2023 cadets last Monday but he made sure to help out when the current batch needed him the most.

After helping the Marinerong Pilipino Skippers win the Sinulog Cup in Cebu a week ago, the 6-foot-7 Filipino-American did not hesitate to heed Gilas’ call, as they were undermanned for their second session in preparation for the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers.

“I think it’s just an honor to put on this jersey, to be able to represent our country, to possibly represent our country in the future. It’s an honor,” shared the Laguna-native.

The 25-year old, who just celebrated his birthday last January 9, admitted that he was in awe of the talent inside the Meralco Gym. Like a fan, he wanted to take a few photo ops with the senior team’s Gabe Norwood and June Mar Fajardo.

“Actually, at first I was just shocked to see June Mar and Gabe, just to be able to be in the midst of them,” gushed the former DLSU Green Archer, who will suit-up for Marinerong Pilipino in the D-League. “I even asked them for a picture, and hopefully they’ll still give me one.

“It’s just humbling, definitely.”

However, the work has only began for Tratter. With five years to go until the 2023 FIBA World Cup, the two-time UAAP champion plans to continue to do what he does best — be the same scrapper that he is and hopefully catch the eye of Gilas’ brass.

“I think just doing the dirty work, of course. Giving whatever the team needs, rebound or any steals, any thing a dirty player would need to pick up on,” he said.

“That’s how it is, garbage into gold. Get anything, sweep up anything and try to put it back.”

Moreover, he will continue answering the call when Gilas needs him, as he himself is learning a lot from being surrounded by the country’s topflight cagers.

“Whenever I can. I want to be able to absorb all the information coming from here and hopefully apply it in the D-League and hopefully apply it on future practices, future games.”

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2018 FIBA 3X3 World Cup

Terrence Romeo invited to join Pilipinas 3×3 for World Cup



Stronger than ever

Scoring sensation Terrence Romeo has been invited by the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas to join the Philippine team in the upcoming FIBA 3X3 World Cup, according to Philippine Star columnist Quinito Henson.

Romeo, who is currently out due to a right knee injury, has been in rehabilitation and is expected to miss the entire Philippine Cup campaign of the Globalport Batang Pier and the second window of the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers.

“Baka sa second conference na ko makabalik kasi talagang gusto ko malakas ako pagbalik ko,” the 25-year-old shared during Chooks-to-Go Live last January 2.

SBP Executive Director Sonny Barrios personally met with the 6-foot guard, inviting him to be part of the Philippine team.

Romeo has plenty of 3×3 basketball experience under his belt.

Back in 2014, Romeo was part of the Manila West 3×3 team during the Manila Masters. He was adjudged as the tournament Most Valuable Player.

The 2018 3X3 World Cup will take place from June 8-12 at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan.

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Red Spikers extinguish Blazers for second win



Shaking off a forgettable outing against the Perpetual Help Altas last January 11, the San Beda College Red Spikers vented their ire on defending champions College of Saint Benilde Blazers in four sets, 25-15, 25-16, 23-25, 26-24, and claimed their second win of the season, Friday afternoon at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

“Sabi ng coaches kalimutan na yung talo,” shared captain Lorenze Santos of what transpired after that match.

So, in this game, the San Beda team poured on what they worked hard for to regain momentum. “Binuhos po namin lahat ng ginawa namin sa training [ngayon].”

After tight starts in all the first two sets, the Mendiola-based side pulled away to register the seemingly insurmountable 2-0 lead.

Nonetheless, summoning the heart of a champion and led by seniors Isaah Arda and Jethro Orian, the reigning champions pulled off gritty runs to snag the third set and making a tussle of the fourth.

Ultimately, Adrian Viray virtually ended the match with a vicious serve, which the Blazers failed to convert.

The prolific outside hitter finished with 17 points, 11 coming from attacks and five off blocks. Former skipper Mark Encino also registered 17 markers.

The Red Spikers (2-1) will face the Mapua University, also at 2-1, on Friday, January 19.

Orian was such a presence at the net, ending up with 20 points for the Taft-based squad.

The defending champions Blazers (2-1) will try to bounce back later that day against San Sebastian College (0-3).

The Scores:

SBC 3 – Viray 17, Enciso 17, Santos 11, Patenio 7, Amagan 7, Desuyo 3, Zabala 0, Genobaten 0, Manliclic 0, Casin L.

CSB 1 – Orian 20, Arda 18, Bacani 6, Basilan 4, Bautista 4, Magsino 2, Martinez 0, Garcia 0, San Miguel 0, Saldavia 0, Dy L.

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