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Archers display championship form; overwhelm Bulldogs

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It was a close game all through out, but the game’s down-the-wire spirit dwindled as the game approached the final buzzer.

The defending champions De La Salle University (DLSU) Green Archers displayed their championship form after thrashing the National University (NU) Bulldogs, 68-56, in their second round match-up in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) Season 77 this evening at the Araneta Center in Cubao, Quezon City.

The Archers were up with a slim lead, 49-43, coming into the final frame, but their lead suddenly ballooned to 11 when Fil-Canadian forward Norbert Torres caught fire and scored six straight points, capped with a 16-footer on the right wing, to make it 55-44 with 7:43 in the game. A jumper by NU guard Gelo Alolino and a split off free throws by forward Troy Rosario trimmed their lead to eight, 55-47, with 6:25 left.

NU tried to get an offensive spark from Alolino and Rosario’s baskets, but De La Salle just could not be stopped as they quickly gunned for a 9-0 run behind Arnold Van Opstal, Almond Vosotros, and Jason Perkins to stretch their lead to seventeen, 64-47, with 3:39 on the clock. Another split by Rosario with less than three minutes left halted DLSU’s run and made it 64-48.

The Bulldogs created an 8-4 run within the last two minutes of the game, but the game was already out of reach, and it ended 68-56 in favor of the Taft-based squad.

The third quarter opened in a 31-all deadlock between the two teams, and the Bulldogs quickly broke the tie, 33-31, after Rosario sank a hook shot with 9:24 remaining. An exchange of baskets between the Bulldogs and the Green Archers took place, and the latter found themselves up by one, 38-37, prior to an NU timeout. The timeout was actually called by NU to help them take a breather and recharge, but De La Salle seemed to be the one replenished as they quickly struck with an 8-0 run behind Perkins and Julian Sargent to post a nine-point cushion with 3:06 left. The Bulldogs, however, were able to buy buckets prior to the quarter’s end and lagged behind by six, 49-43, as the third canto buzzer sounded.

The second quarter opened with the Green Archers ahead by three, 20-17, until Torres’ stab near the basket widened their lead to five, 22-17, with 9:24 left. The Bulldogs erased De La Salle’s five-point advantage as they unfurled an 11-0 run, capped by a floater from Alolino, to take NU in the driver’s seat, 28-22, with 3:35 on the clock.

The Green Archers also made a run of their own, pulling off a 9-1 run to regain the lead, 31-29, with 1:08 remaining. Rosario, again, halted DLSU’s run and sent the game into a 31-all affair after making a jumper with less than a minute left prior to halftime. Van Opstal’s hook shot could have given DLSU a two-point advantage before the first half ended, but his shot only rattled in the rim.

The opening quarter was a see-saw battle between the two, with NU posting a six-point lead, 13-7, with 4:16 on the clock. DLSU, however, took the lead, 16-15, after Vosotros sank his triple with less than two minutes left. Four straight points behind Teng and Torres catapulted the Green Archers to a 20-15 advantage with less than 25 ticks. NU forward Glenn Khobuntin trimmed their deficit to just a single possession after sinking a mid-range J with just four seconds remaining.

Vosotros led the Green Archer’s offense with 15 points, highlighted by 3 triples. Van Opstal had 14 points and grabbed six boards, while Torres had 13 markers on 6-7 shooting and grabbed 4 rebounds. Alolino paced the Bulldogs’ offense with 18 points on 7-17 shooting.

With the win, DLSU will now face the FEU Tamaraws in a playoff game for the second spot and a twice-to-beat advantage in the Final Four. The match date has yet to be announced.

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Oftentimes on the sidelines. Forever a student of the game. Morayta-bred.

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Downcast Chris Ross chooses to stay mum after heated altercation with Yeng Guiao

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Through wins or losses, Chris Ross has always accommodated the members of the press asking for interviews and fans requesting for photo ops every after game. But Friday evening, the nine-year pro was despondent.

Visibly agitated with the events that transpired during the San Miguel Beermen’s tilt against the NLEX Road Warriors, Ross, with his hoodie covering his head, left the Cuneta Astrodome without saying a word.

The reigning Defensive Player of the Year figured in physical play after physical play and verbal exchange after verbal exchange with the frustrated Road Warriors.

Ross and Alex Mallari were both slapped with technicals after figured in a confrontation with 9:06 left. This was just the start of many things to come for the Filipino-American defensive specialist

After knocking down a triple and receiving a taunt from Ross, Michael Miranda was assessed a disqualifying foul for an apparent kick to the groin he gave Ross with 4:35 left.

The tip of the iceberg game with 1:46 left to play and the game all but settled.

Yeng Guiao and Ross figured in a heated word war that resulted to Ross’ second technical foul for the game. Referees and players from both sides had to separate the two to prevent things from escalating.

San Miguel coach Leo Austria  alleged that the fiery NLEX mentor said the “N” word while some said Guiao called Ross a “bitch”.

Ross finished the game with four points, eight rebounds, and four steals in 37 minutes of action.

For sure, penalties and suspensions will come out of this game.

And it was better for Ross to stay silent.

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San Miguel hands NLEX third straight loss in highly-charged affair

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San Miguel Beermen maintained their position at the top as they bagged their fourth straight victory at the expense of NLEX Road Warriors in a highly-physical encounter, 109-98, Friday night at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay City.

The Beermen remain as the only unbeaten team in the 2018 Philippine Cup with a clean 4-0 card, while the Road Warriors lost their third straight outing and have dropped to 2-3.

“I know from the start that this will be an exciting game,” said San Miguel head coach Leo Austria. “With NLEX losing their last two games, we knew they will come out hard and it happened. They refused to lose because of their pride and experience.”

Arwind Santos led the Beermen with 26 points on five treys along with 13 rebounds, four assists, two steals, and two blocks. June Mar Fajardo backed him up with 25 markers on 10-of-16 shooting and 16 caroms.

It was a see-saw affair between San Miguel and NLEX, until the former unloaded an 8-0 run — ended by Marcio Lassiter’s bucket — as it widened their slim two-point lead to 10, 95-85, with 4:24 remaining in the payoff period.

The Road Warriors seemingly lost steam afterwards, and the Beermen took advantage as they expanded their lead to as much as 14, 103-89, after Santos’ three-pointer from the top of the key went in with just 2:21 left to play.

“I know na its not easy for us to beat NLEX. Before the game I know na last time we lost in this coliseum, we lost to NLEX,” said Austria, referring to their loss to the Road Warriors last 2015. “(Buti) Namarkahan na ng team namin.”

Marcio Lassiter and Alex Cabagnot scored 14 each for the Beermen, with the latter adding nine assists to his total. Von Pessumal, who was slapped with a flagrant foul for pushing Kiefer Ravena to the ground, chipped in 10 markers.

Even after receiving a groin kick from NLEX’s Michael Miranda and a tussle with Yeng Guiao after reportedly hearing a racist remark from the coach late in the game, Chris Ross still made eight boards, four points and four dimes for SMB.

Ravena led NLEX with 15 points on 4-of-10 shooting along with six assists. Alex Mallari, Raul Soyud, and JR Quiñahan all scored 12 points apiece, while Miranda finished with a double-double of 10 points and 11 rebounds.

San Miguel will look to go 5-0 against GlobalPort on January 24, Wednesday at 7:00 PM, while NLEX will aim to bounce back versus Rain or Shine on January 26, Friday, at 4:30 PM. Both games are at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.

The Scores:

San Miguel 109 — Santos 26, Fajardo 25, Cabagnot 14, Lassiter 14, Pessumal 10, Ganuelas-Rosser 6, De Ocampo 4, Ross 4, Heruela 2, Mamaril 2, Semerad 2.

NLEX 98 — Ravena 15, Mallari 12, Quiñahan 12, Soyud 12, Miranda 10, Tiongson 8, Fonacier 6, Uyloan 6, Al-Hussaini 5, Alas 5, Taulava 3, Baguio 2, Gotladera 2.

Quarterscores: 31-24, 49-58, 74-74, 109-98.

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Defense has been key for Globalport to even slate, beams Sean Anthony

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GlobalPort’s horrid start is now a thing of the past

Sean Anthony was all praises for the way the GlobalPort Batang Pier have been executing their defensive schemes, following he and his team’s 101-76 demolition of the Blackwater Elite for their second straight victory.

“[It was] Defense again. We held them under 80 points. Our offense just flowed and we stayed aggressive on defense,” said the 31-year-old forward.

“Coach [Pido Jarencio] wants us to keep teams under 80, so another great defensive win for us.”

“We again met our target of limiting our points to below 80 points,” beamed Jarencio.

After a 0-2 start into the 2018 Philippine Cup, and after allowing their opponents to score an average of 109.5 points per game, the Batang Pier have gone on a roll and have improved to 2-2. In this mini streak of theirs, with the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters and Blackwater as casualties, they have limited their opponents to just 73 points.

For the eight-year pro, it’s mostly because of the team’s growing chemistry, considering that they are running a new system under Jarencio, who took the coaching reins from Franz Pumaren in the off-season.

“A lot of it is the chemistry – we have a lot of new guys, so many young guys, a new coach, too, so our chemistry’s building,” said Anthony, who paced the Batang Pier with 22 points, seven rebounds, and five assists.

“It’s getting better every day.”

But GlobalPort has a tall order ahead of them on January 24, as they are set to face reigning three-time all-Filipino champs San Miguel Beermen. But Anthony believes that they have ample time to prepare for the giants.

“San Miguel is three-time defending champs, so they’re going to be the team to beat, and definitely a barometer,” said the Filipino-American, who is currently averaging 18.25 points, 9.5 rebounds, and 5.75 assists.

“We’ve got some time to get better, so we’ve got to keep working on our weaknesses and continue to get better every day.”

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After second straight loss, Poy Erram laments: ‘Nagkanya-kanya kami’

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For Blackwater Elite’s top big man Poy Erram, their 76-101 defeat into the hands of GlobalPort Batang Pier Friday night at the Cuneta Astrodome was a result of the players resorting to play as individuals rather than as a single unit.

Erram himself nearly finished with a triple double of eight points, seven rebounds, and seven blocks, but his efforts were put in vain as the Elite never had a chance to show their brand of basketball right from the opening tip to the final buzzer.

“‘Di namin sinunod si coach. Nagkanya-kanya kami. Simula pa lang, nakita naman talaga na nagkanya-kanya kami,” lamented the 28-year-old moments after the lopsided affair.

“Di namin ginawa yung sistema ni coach.”

And it also didn’t help that Erram failed to display his best form no thanks to an ankle sprain, which he incurred late in the opening frame.

“Nilalaro ko lang buong game. Actually masakit talaga, namamaga talaga siya,” added the 6-foot-7 big man.

“Kasi kung di ako maglalaro, walang ibang maglalaro (center spot), so pinilit ko na lang talaga.”

The Elite have now fallen to their second straight loss after their huge 94-77 triumph over Ginebra last week. And this skid is something they regret, for they feel like they failed to prove that their win against the Gin Kings was no fluke.

“May chance na kami eh, pinakawalan pa namin. Sobrang sayang,” said the four-year pro out of Ateneo de Manila. “Yung mga players sobrang down (tonight) kasi inexpect namin lalaban kami, tapos tinambakan kami ng sobra.”

Blackwater played their second game in three days after asking for a schedule revision to give way to their Hope for Lupus Run this Sunday. But Erram does not want to make the exhausting string of games as an excuse.

“Medyo naging factor din na in one week tatlong games kami. Tapos puro malalakas pa kalaban namin. Pero di yun excuse for us,” said Erram, who is averaging 13.8 points, 10.0 rebounds, and 3.6 blocks this conference.

“Dapat ready kami kahit sino kalaban namin.”

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