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Arellano survives CSB, takes semis bonus; Perpetual blanks EAC

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With the Final Four cast already in place, only the rankings are still to be determined. In the penultimate day of eliminations, defending champions Arellano University Lady Chiefs clinched the other twice-to-beat advantage in the Final Four after outlasting the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde Lady Blazers in five sets, the while University of Perpetual Help System DALTA carved a straight-set victory over the also-rans Emilio Aguinaldo College Lady Generals, Friday at FilOil Flying V Centre, San Juan City.

In the first women’s match, the Lady Altas snared their sixth win of the season in dominating fashion against the Lady Generals, 25-20 25-20 25-23. The Las Piñas-based squad tallied a whopping 46 attacks against the measly 17 of EAC. The Lady Generals, however, surprisingly out-hustled the taller opponents at the net. EAC rejected 10 hits from the Altas over the 4 blocks they suffered in the whole match.

Despite the huge disparity in the spikes department, the Lady Generals were in the thick of the fight throughout the contest as they forced Perpetual to 38 errors. Middle hitter Lourdes Clemente paced the Lady Altas with 16 attacks, while former Team Captain Jamela Suyat coughed up 15 markers. No EAC player scored in double figures as Yna Pagdanganan led the squad with 8 points.

The Score:

UPHSD (3) – Clemente 16, Suyat 15, Imbo 8, Bravo 6, Diocareza 6, Verzosa 2, Medalla 0, Gayo 0, Condada (L)
EAC (0) – Pagdanganan 8, Danao 5, Tongco 5, Chan 4, Reyes 3, Santos 1, Tasis 0, Medina (L), Castillo (L)

In the other half of the day’s women’s twinbill, reigning champions Arellano survived the vastly more experienced Lady Blazers in marathon match, 25-20 22-25 28-30 25-18 19-17, to secure one of the twice-to-beat bonuses in the semifinals. Both teams exchanged runs, with timely hits from their marquee players in each of the set, but it was the team who got to the 20th point first that won the respective frames. This same scenario happened even in that hard-fought third set, where the Lady Chiefs squandered three set points and conceded the set to CSB.

The defending champions led early in the deciding fifth set, only for the Lady Blazers to get to within one, 6-7, courtesy of an open hit from Arianne Daguil. Three straight errors from the Taft-based ladies, however, gave the lead and the momentum back to Arellano, 10-7. From there, back-and-forth action ensued and the Lady Chiefs got to the match point first at 14-12. After a wild exchange of hits, errors, and match points, Danna Henson finally finished the match with a service ace.

CSB outscored Arellano, 60-54 on attacks and 12-1 on blocks, but they committed a huge 48 infractions. Janine Navarro top-billed the Blazers with 25 attacks and a total of 28 markers. Arellano’s heroine, Henson, registered 20 markers, 5 of them from the service area. Fellow outside hitter Jovielyn Prado led the tribe with 23 points, 18 coming from attacks and 5 service aces.

The Score:

AU (3) – Prado 23, Henson 20, Salamagos 10, Rosario 7, Macabalitao 7, Ramirez 2, Sante 1, Tan 0, Arocha 0, Galang (L)
CSB (2) – Navarro 27, Panaga 21, Daguil 13, Cheng 6, Santillan 6, Austero 5, Musa 2, Borrero 0, Dolorito 0, Torres (L)

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Grew to appreciate various sports from tennis to judo. True-maroon kiddo since the new millennium. Fanboy. Singer. Occasional sports writer.

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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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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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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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KIA signs Carlo Lastimosa

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After being released by the NLEX Road Warriors during the off-season, gunner Carlo Lastimosa has found a new home.

KIA Picanto team governor Bobby Rosales confirmed to Tiebreaker Times Thursday evening that they have tapped Carlo Lastimosa for the rest of the PBA Philippine Cup campaign.

“Yes,” Rosales confirmed in a text message.

Lastimosa, a two-time All-Star, averaged 8.8 points, 1.4 rebounds, and 1.7 assists in his one-year stay with the Road Warriors. Coach Yeng Guiao cited that NLEX already had too many guards that resulted to Lastimosa’s release.

The product of College of Saint Benilde was drafted as the 20th overall pick in the 2013 Rookie Draft by Barako Bull. A year later, he was traded to the Blackwater Elite for Brian Heruala.

The 27-year-old is set to make his debut on Saturday when the Picanto take on the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters.

The Kia Picanto are in the midst of a 16-game losing streak.

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