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Ateneo ends season on a high with narrow win over UST



Cecille Dayrit punctuated her UAAP career with a decisive goal that boosted her team’s chances of finishing third as Ateneo edged UST, 1-0, earlier at the Moro Lorenzo Football Field.

The teams began the game more defensively, seemingly doing their best not to fall behind early. Free kick attempts by both UST’s Jena Abuan and Ateneo’s Aina Martin caused moments of concern but keepers Mariane Caparros of Ateneo and UST’s Rara Luna were able to prevent a vital second touch by recovering the ball immediately. At the 17th minute, Kimberlee Jimenez sent the ball towards the path of Maan Cadayona but Luna was alert enough to get to the ball first. Meanwhile, Pearl Aguilar had the same scenario as Cadayona’s two minutes after when she was beaten by Caparros off Abuan’s delivery.

It remained a tightly-contested affair but midway through the half it became a game of runs. Ateneo had their moments instantly after UST’s chance. A quickly-taken corner by Martin was tapped to Camille Rodriguez who then crossed the ball to captain Dayrit, but her shot went off target. Twenty-three minutes into the game, Martin found space to shoot; her effort was blocked by Luna. Soon after, the girls in gold turned the game’s momentum around.

Hazel Lustan had two chances, one foiled by Caparros while the other was stopped. Sheen Ramores headed her attempt wide while Caparros also snuffed out Aguilar’s in the box. On the other side, Patricia Punsalan was in the center of two chances. The first one was her going clean through but Aira Ilan caught pace to rob Punsalan of the ball. Luna then cut Rodriguez’s ball towards Punsalan.

Afterwards, Caparros caught Lustan’s well-struck shot on goal. Abuan misfired a free kick attempt before Ateneo went on to launch their last attack of the half just three minutes before the break. Mia Catedrilla’s cross to Rodriguez led to Luna almost committing an error only for the goalkeeper to promptly take the ball. The last chance to change the score in the half came to UST’s Abuan but her long range shot lacked accuracy, prompting the teams to enter the interval still goalless.

The home team played with more aggression in the second half, but it was the visitors who initially created an opportunity care of Aguilar whose shot was deflected. Soon, the Ateneans were denied twice of going ahead when the shots of Martin and Dayrit were kept out by UST defense. In the resulting corner of Dayrit’s blocked shot, the skipper tapped in to get her team in front just 10 minutes into the second half. Rodriguez almost found Nona Amoncio with a cross moments later but was instead cleared out for a eventually unsuccessful corner.

Opportunity grew sparse heading into the final whistle with both teams having at least two good chances each. Ateneo’s chances of doubling their lead were from Rodriguez who was denied by Luna on her try at the 66th minute. Thirteen minutes after, her cross almost trickled inside Luna’s goal. For UST, Ramores, Princess Aguilar, and Abuan all missed the target, ending the game 1-0 in favor of Ateneo.

“There was really apprehension for the players to score and move,” claimed Ateneo coach Bob Manlulo who thought the girls started jittery. Eventually, his players were able to shake it off. “In the first half. They cannot control the ball properly and the attacking system was not in place. Unlike in the second half they were more relaxed and there was composure in attacking,” he gleefully continued.

Speaking after the loss, UST coach Judal Sorito was helplessly dismayed with the result. “Medyo nakakalungkot kasi supposed to be dapat aim namin manalo, pero parte ‘yun ng football, may talo talaga,” he commented.

Ateneo is almost assured of a third consecutive third place finish barring a DLSU win over UP by four or more goals. That game is ongoing as of press time. UST finished the season in last with only six points of the maximum 24.

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Kent Salado re-injures MCL, out for Go for Gold campaign



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Kent Salado suffers a setback

The worst fear of the Go for Gold Scratchers came true Monday evening as all-around combo guard Kent Salado re-injured the medial cruciate ligament in his right knee.

The injury was confirmed by Kent Salado and the officials of Go for Gold and he will miss the entire 2018 PBA D-League Aspirants Cup.

With under three minutes left in the third quarter of Go for Gold’s opening game against the Gamboa-St. Clare Coffee Lovers Monday afternoon, the 5-foot-9 guard went for a drive but could not get the proper lift. He tried to walk it off but limped towards the audience section of the Pasig Sports Center.

“Parang may narinig nga siya na may tumunog daw,” shared Scratchers head coach Charles Tiu after their 75-68 win.

“We’re very worried.

“I think our PT said baka MCL ‘yun, so that might be a month or two, so that’s a big problem for us,” the youthful mentor added.

Salado finished the game with nine points, five rebounds, four assists, and three steals. He was immediately rushed to the Makati Medical Center afterwards. At around nine in the evening, the MRI showed that he tore his ACL as was initially reported by Tiebreaker Times. A second opinion, however, contradicted the initial diagnosis, showing only an MCL tear.

Prior to this, the native of Cagayan de Oro suffered a partial tear on medial collateral damage on the same knee last October 10, 2017 during Arellano’s 85-79 win over the San Sebastian Golden Stags.

With this setback, Salado was also advised to not play in the summer leagues to fully recover in time for the NCAA Season 94 Seniors Basketball tournament.

“Okay lang para NCAA na ko makapaglaro,” he said.

“Mas importante naman yun.”

The 23-year-old averaged 19.1 points, 5.0 assists, 3.8 rebounds, and 1.3 steals last season. He is eligible to enter the 2018 PBA Rookie Draft.

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Calvin Abueva, Raymond Almazan cut from pool



SMART Gilas Pilipinas’ third session for the second leg of the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers ended early on Monday evening.

Prior to the end of the practice, head coach Chot Reyes talked to team veterans Jayson Castro, Gabe Norwood, and June Mar Fajardo. The outspoken mentor told the seniors of the team that he is cutting Calvin Abueva and Raymond Almazan from the pool.

“The reason why we’re dropping Abueva and Almazan for the second window is because they haven’t showed up,” lamented Reyes.

“It’s already our third practice at hindi pa sila nagpapakita. It’s simply a matter of disinterest.

“I guess they’re not interested so we have to move on we can’t wait for those guys,” he pointed out.

Both Abueva and Almazan were part of the teams that competed in the 2017 SEABA Championship, the 2017 FIBA Asia Cup, and the first window of the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers.

Only 10 players from the pool showed up for the team’s third session. And with the second leg exactly one month away, Gilas cannot let a slip up happen especially against Australia.

“Aside from those two we don’t know where Matt Wright is, while Allein [Maliksi] is attending a wedding in Australia. Other than that it’s really just an issue of Calvin and Raymond if they don’t want to be a part of the pool.” expressed Reyes.

“That’s the reason we’re dropping them for the second window.”

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2019 FIBA World Cup Qualifiers

23 for 2023 cadets fill up Gilas practice



With just 31 days until the second window of the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers, only 10 players from the pool attended the team’s third session, Monday evening at the Meralco Gym.

Suiting up in the session presided over by Coach Chot Reyes were June Mar Fajardo, Gabe Norwood, Troy Rosario, Jio Jalalon, Mac Belo, Kiefer Ravena, Kevin Alas, and Roger Pogoy. Carl Cruz and Jayson Castro were in attendance but were in street clothes.

Not present were Matthew Wright, Japeth Aguilar, and Allein Maliksi. Calvin Abueva and Raymond Almazan have yet to attend practice.

Joining the seniors team to prep them up for the World Cup Qualifiers were 10 players from the 23 for 2023 pool.

Ateneo Blue Eagle Matt Nieto attended his first Gilas practice. Joining him were teammates Isaac Go and Thirdy Ravena.

Completing the night’s cast were CJ Perez, Abu Tratter, Will Gozum, J-jay Alejandro, Arvin Tolentino, and Juan Gomez de Liano. Joshua Sinclair watched from the sidelines as he is still recovering from an ACL injury.

Gilas will take on Australia in Melbourne on February 22. The Philippine will then host Japan three days later at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

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San Beda fends off Letran for back-to-back wins



With seasoned setter John Carlo Desuyo steering the wheel to near perfection, the San Beda College romped to their second straight win.

The Red Spikers pulled double-digit outings from four players to upend archrival Colegio de San Juan de Letran Knights, 19-25, 25-13, 25-21, 25-22, and register their fourth win of the season, Monday early evening at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

It was the Knights, however, who started on the right foot, overhauling a 4-10 deficit to snag the first set. Better passing from liberos Aljune Centeno and Johnsen Timbreza resulted in kills from captain Bobby Gatdula.

Nonetheless, San Beda picked up the service game in the next three sets to ultimately finish off the blue-shirts.

Despite the win-loss record they currently sport, the Red Spiker playmaker admitted that t

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