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Barroca’s 26 helps Star snap funk in win over Mahindra



With the threat of sinking to the bottom of the standings due to their slump, the Star Hotshots broke a four-game losing streak and, more importantly, improved their chances of finishing in a better position at the end of the elimination phase, as they defeated the Mahindra Enforcers, 104-96, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Sunday.

Ball movement was the key to Star’s early blitz, as the team had five assists in the opening chapter and built an early 14-4 lead, seven minutes into the game. On the other hand, the Enforcers scuffed all five attempts from downtown in the first quarter.

For the opening part of the next quarter, the Hotshots maintained their double-digit advantage, with Mahindra unable to convert from Star’s miscues. However, the Enforcers managed to pile up points via the combination of Aldrech Ramos, Karl Dehesa, and Mark Yee, to keep them afloat in the period. Despite the Hotshots’ starters having a balanced attack, Mahindra kept pace to trail by only four at the break.

Both teams scored 27 points each in a back-and-forth third quarter, preventing either of them from building a lead. By the 8-minute mark, Mahindra had a momentary edge, but an 8-0 counter by Star put the advantage in their favor. Six missed free throws by the Enforcers during the third quarter stifled their comeback, as Star maintained their cushion heading into the fourth.

Karl Dehesa hit form in the final frame, as the guard knocked in all of his four triples in the pivotal period. The big baskets helped the Enforcers grabbed a 94-91 lead with 2:49 left in the match. However, the game just about went the way of Star down the stretch, as a couple of stops by the Hotshots led to two transition plays by Alex Mallari. Dehesa attempted two more from downtown, but was unable to connect in the dying moments. Meanwhile, Star milked the clock in the final seconds, while James Yap drained a buzzer-beating three to put the final nail in the coffin.

Despite being out-rebounded, 43-48, the Hotshots scored 20 from second chances. In addition, they ended up having more assists, 22-14. Barroca finished with 26 points, 12 of which came from three-point territory, together with five rebounds and three steals. Alex Mallari added 20 markers of his own on 8-of-13 shooting from the field. For the losing Mahindra squad, Ramos and Dehasa combined for 50 points while Pascual added 11.

Star (3-6) will face the Barako Bull Energy Cola a week from now, while Mahindra (2-7) will square up against the GlobalPort Batang Pier on Dec. 12. Both games will be played at the Big Dome.

The Scores:
Star (104) – Barroca 26, Mallari 20, Yap 15, Simon 11, Pascual 10 J.10, Taha 6, Pingris 5, Sangalang 4, Melton 3, Torres 2, Cruz 2.
Mahindra (96) – Ramos 26, Dehesa 24, Pascual 11, Guinto 8, Canaleta 8, Revilla 5, Digregorio 4, Hubalde 2, Webb 0, Alvarez 0, Pinto 0.
Quarterscores: 24-18, 46-42, 73-69, 104-94.



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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Michael Calisaan tows Che’lu-San Sebastian past Perpetual



Photo by PBA Images

Michael Calisaan poured 20 points as he captained newcomer Che’Lu-San Sebastian Revellers to a decisive 83-70 win over the University of Perpetual Help System DALTA Altas to start their voyage, Monday evening at the Pasig City Sports Center.

Doing it all for the Revellers, the veteran forward provided the stability for his side as he shot 8-of-15 from the field while also hauling down nine rebounds, two assists, and two steals in the conference-opening win.

But it wasn’t all Calisaan as Che’Lu got contributions from all over its roster.

Samboy de Leon chimed in 16 markers and nine boards. RK Ilagan went 2-of-5 from threes to collect 13 points, eight dimes, and three rebounds, while big men Alfred Batino and Jeepy Faundo combined for 20 in the victory.

Despite the triumph, coach Stevenson Tiu gave all the praise to his players, noting the team’s lack of time preparing for the tourney.

“Nanalo kami dahil sa talent ng players. Medyo mali ko rin kasi nahirapan pa ako mag-adjust sa players. Hopefully, we play much better in the coming games,” he said.

The Revellers used a 16-4 run to finally break away from the Altas, taking a 77-60 lead with 4:03 to play as they punished their foes for their turnovers, turning Perpetual’s 30 miscues to 28 points in their favor.

Prince Eze anchored the Altas with 15 points, 11 rebounds, and seven blocks in their first game under new head coach Frankie Lim.

Che’lu-San Sebastian look to make it two in a row when they take on the Wangs-Letran Couriers on Monday, January 29 at 5:00pm. Perpetual, on the other hand, hope they can notch their first win when they take on Mila’s Lechon Mighty Roasters.

The Scores:

Che’lu-SSCR 83 — Calisaan 20, De Leon 16, Ilagan 13, Batino 10, Faundo 10, Bulanadi 6, Costelo 6, Calma 2, David 0, Lao 0, Santos 0, Valdez 0.

UPHSD 70 — Eze 15, Coronel 13, Villanueva 13, Jimenez 9, Charcos 7, Peralta 7, Gallardo 5, Pido 1, Antonio 0, Aurin 0, Tamayo 0, Tongco 0.

Quarterscores: 17-22, 34-38, 59-53, 83-70.

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