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Battle-tested Tamaraws school upstart Maroons



Up by just four points midway through the final quarter, the veteran Far Eastern University quintet of Reymar Jose, Mac Belo, Roger Pogoy, Mike Tolomia, and Achie Inigo blasted the University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons with a game-breaking 12-0 run to eventually take the victory, 75-58, early Sunday evening at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.

The grinding pace of the Fighting Maroons went into full effect in the first quarter. The Diliman cagers were spearheaded by Jet Manuel’s attacks to gain an early 6-3 lead. However, the UP zone defense was disrupted by hard penetrations by transferee Monbert Arong. Slowly, the Tamaraws were able to gain the lead as Cheick Kone was called for an unsportsmanlike foul that led to a split by Prince Orizu and a 13-6 FEU led. The five minute scoring drought of the Maroons ended with a fast break lay up by Paul Desiderio at the 1:37 mark of the quarter. The quarter ended with FEU up 15-8.

A rainbow by Pio Longa opened the second quarter to cut the lead to just two. However, the Rensy Bajar-mentored squad could not take advantage of five consecutive turnovers by the yellow-and-green squad. Frustrated with his team’s turnovers, Orizu hammered down a huge two-handed jam over Agustini Amar for the hoop and the harm. Spitfire guard Diego Dario then powered the Fighting Maroons late in the quarter. The pint-sized guard went hard against the FEU defense resulting to jumpers and dishes. Later on, a putback by Mark Juruena and an and-one play by Jet Manuel gave UP the lead at 29-25. A desperation three-pointer though by Mike Tolomia ended the half with the Fighting Maroons up by just a solitary point, 29-28.

The Tamaraws gained a 40-34 lead over the upstarts midway through the third canto behind the stellar play of Inigo. The length of the UP zone disrupted the flow of their opponents offense soon after as the Tamaraws were only allowed to shoot long jumpers by the defense. The Maroons then blasted a 9-0 lighted by Paul Desiderio and capped by a pullup jumper by Dario. Coach Nash Racela then called a timeout that benched the team’s veterans. Roger Pogoy led a five of rookies and sophomores that blasted 11-0 rally. Pogoy recorded six points during the run that gave FEU a 51-45 lead to enter the final frame.

During the last quarter, the veteran five of Jose, Belo, Pogoy, Tolomia, and Inigo sparked a game-breaking 12-0 blast that gave FEU the lead 65-49 with 2:04 remaining. The familiarity off that lineup with each other resulted to excellent ball movement that freed a teammate up while the pressing defense resulted to forced turnovers. The rally was capped by a captivating alley-oop by Mac Belo to Jose for an and-one. All this happened as Jet Manuel was on the bench with UP moving to a pressing defense. Manuel and Dario returned to the game eventually but proved too late. In the closing minutes of the game, the inexperience of the Maroon showed as the team committed hard and technical fouls to end the game. The game ended with the score of 75-58 in favor of the Tamaraws.

“This was a hard earned win. Sabi namin this week will be as tough as last week since we are facing three teams that press,” FEU head coach Nash Racela said. “We are averaging 20 turnovers a game. Today was an improvement with 23 turnovers as we had 24 the last game,” he joked.

“Our second half defense was the key, madali for them nung first half. Nung second half umayos naman,” the coach remarked for the game. In addition, he praised the game of Reymar Jose as he said “Si Jose ang pinakamagaling na basurero.”

The Tamaraws had a balanced scoring outing with Tolomia and Jose leading the team with 11 markers each. Jose added 13 rebounds in this game. Smart Elite ambassador Mac Belo added five points, seven boards, and four dimes as well.

For the now 2-2 Maroons, Jet Manuel led the team with 16 points in just 19 minutes. He was 5/12 from the field and 5/6 from the charity stripe. Diego Dario added 10 points.

The FEU Tamaraws (3-1) will next face the UE Red Warriors (2-2) in the Battle of the East on Wednesday, September 23 at 2:00pm while the UP Fighting Maroons (2-2) will have the NU Bulldogs (1-3) in their next assignment on Saturday, September 26 at 2:00pm.

The Scores: 
FEU (75) – Jose 11, Tolomia 11, Inigo 10, Pogoy 10, Orizu 8, Arong 7, Belo 5, Ru. Escoto 5, Tamsi 5, Ri. Escoto 2, Comboy 1, Dennison 0, Trinidad 0.
UP (58) – Manuel 16, Dario 10, Desiderio 9, Lim 8, Harris 3, Juruena 3, Longa 3, Asilum 2, Kone 2, Moralde 2, Amar 0, Gallarza 0, Jaboneta 0, Prado 0, Vito 0, Webb 0.
Quarterscores: 13-8, 28-29, 51-45, 75-58.

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After getting first D-League experience, Zark’s-Lyceum ready to get loose



After a hesitant performance in their PBA D-League debut last Thursday that resulted in a loss to the Marinerong Pilipino Skippers, the Zark’s Burger-Lyceum Jawbreakers seemingly caught up with the league’s style of play on Tuesday.

Zark’s-Lyceum displayed their true form and stamped their class all over the Batangas-EAC Generals with a 37-point destruction, 112-75 — so far the biggest winning margin the franchise has ever had in its D-League history.

“Medyo adjusted na kami on everything — the calls and the teams we’re playing against with,” said Zark’s-Lyceum head coach Topex Robinson after the match at Pasig Sports Center. “But the things we want to mind are those things we control.

“We just have to keep on doing what we are doing. It’s more on replenishing na lang on our old ways.”

Robinson’s claim was strongly backed up by the numbers that the Jawbreakers produced.

CJ Perez had 21 points and 10 rebounds. MJ Ayaay produced 15 points and 10 boards, and Mike Nzeusseu delivered 14 markers and 11 boards.

Even the bench made their presence felt in the victory. With guard Jaycee Marcelino spearheading the supporting cast’s charge with 12 markers, the bench contributed a remarkable 56 points to their total output.

Photo by PBA Images

“Ano lang, cinontrol lang namin yung pace kasi yun naman talaga yung laro namin, yung mabilisan,” said the 24-year-old do-it-all forward, who also collected three steals.

“Kailangan talaga mabilisan para ma-execute namin yung mga ginagawa namin.”

This week will be a rough one for the Pirates, as they will play right away this Thursday against the AMA Online Education. And for Perez, he strongly believes that they will be able to carry over their momentum.

“Oo. Nandun pa. Energy talaga yung puhunan namin para makalaro ng maayos.”

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Bonbon Batiller shows what he can bring to Letran in D-League debut



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Tuesday proved to be a double debut for Bonbon Batiller. Aside from beginning his first foray in the PBA D-League, it also marked his debut for the Letran Knights, who is carrying the Wang’s Basketball Couriers franchise.

And the 5-foot-11 guard unleashed what he can bring to the table. Batiller collected 15 points, five rebounds, and three assists to help the Knights raise the curtains of their campaign with a 93-75 rout of Batangas-EAC Generals.

“Nagworkout yung pinagpraktisan namin,” said Batiller. “Nagbunga rin yung tinuro samin ni Coach Jeff (Napa) lalo sa depensa. Tsaka siguro sa rebounds — laking lamang namin sa rebound. Nagsipag mga bigs namin.”

But what makes him beam even more is the warm reception and trust he’s had from the Knights, even if he has spent barely a year with them after transferring from University of the East last 2017.

“Masaya po kasi tinanggap nila ako sa Letran ng buong-buo,” said Batiller, who normed 10.5 points, 3.7 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 1.6 steals with UE in two years. “Tsaka yung tiwala nila na makakatulong ako sa team nandoon.

“Kaya masaya ako sa pinakita nila sa akin.”

That is why the General Santos-native is hard-pressed to prove himself to Letran, saying that he’s all about giving back to the school that gave him another opportunity to resume his young, up-and-coming basketball career.

“Kailangan kong may mapatunayan na deserving ako sa binigay na second chance sa akin ni Letran,” said Batiller, who decided to switch schools partly due to academic reasons.

“Malaki ang utang ko sa Letran.”

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Bienvenido Maranon scores brace as Ceres-Negros eliminates Brisbane Roar



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Philippine club football just achieved its biggest continental result yet

The inaugural Philippines Football League champions Ceres-Negros Football Club eliminated three-time Australian champions Brisbane Roar in the 2018 AFC Champions League’s second preliminary round with a 3-2 stunner away at the QSAC Stadium in Brisbane.

With the win, the 2017 AFC Cup ASEAN Zonal Champions are set to face Chinese Super League club Tianjin Quanjian next January 30, 2018 at the Haihe Educational Football Stadium in Tianjin, China to book a seat in the group stages.

Brisbane were the favorites for this tie and it showed as Ceres started the contest at the backfoot. Italian striker Massimo Maccarone handed the home side the lead at the 35th minute when he turned in Brett Holman’s pass.

Maccarone’s goal could have lowered the Busmen’s moral, but Risto Vidakovic’s men took it as a motivation rather than a downer. In fact, Ceres replied in the best way possible when Bienvenido Maranon scored his first goal of the match two minutes from halftime thanks to a scramble in the Brisbane box.

By all accounts, Ceres already made Philippine football proud at halftime. By this stage last year, Brisbane accrued a 4-0 halftime cushion against Global Cebu en route to a 6-0 rout.

Today, though, Brisbane faced tougher resistance at the hands of Ceres. This resistance turned into a full-fledged revolt at the 65th minute when Maranon directed the ball past a helpless Jamie Young to give the Busmen their first taste of the lead.

Maranon’s goal well and truly turned the tide in Ceres’ favor. Brisbane were stunned. The home side are the defending A-League champions, but are currently eighth in the table this season and would soon face elimination from Asia’s premier club competition.

Already up 2-1, the Busmen finally achieved some breathing space at the 75th minute when Omid Nazari scored from close range to give Ceres a two-goal cushion from Brisbane.

Nazari’s goal not only sealed the win for Ceres as it also propelled Philippine football into the big leagues. Not even a late goal from French midfielder Éric Bauthéac can prevent the Busmen’s victory.

After five minutes of stoppage time, Ceres emerged 3-2 winners against Brisbane Roar. Come what may against Tianjin seven days from now, the Busmen have already achieved Philippine football’s biggest result ever since their own achievement in last season’s AFC Cup.

Who knows? Maybe Ceres can pull off another upset?

Ceres-Negros XI: Doblas (GK), Super, Mike Ott, Ingreso, Maranon, Porteria, Schrock, De Murga (C), Munoz, Nazari, Christaens.

Brisbane Roar XI: Ingham, Bowles, Papadopoulos, Maccarone, Holman, Khalfallah, Oxborrow, McKay (C), Hingert, Young (GK), Franjic.

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CJ Perez, Zark’s-Lyceum vent ire on Batangas-EAC with 37-point romp



Photo by PBA Images

CJ Perez and the Zark’s Burger-Lyceum Jawbreakers finally lived up to its hype as it clobbered the Batangas-EAC Generals to score a 37-point beatdown, 112-75 for its first win, Tuesday at the Pasig Sports Center.

It was an all-out attack from the Jawbreakers as they beat the Generals to the bite and took control of the game early with Mike Nzeusseu and Jaycee Marcelino guiding their side to the 48-33 lead at halftime which they will never surrender.

Perez paced Zark’s Burger-Lyceum with 21 points and 10 rebounds, while MJ Ayaay tallied a double-double with his 15 markers, 10 boards, and three assists.

Cameroonian student-athlete Nzeusseu also delivered 14 points, 11 rebounds, and two assists, while Marcelino had eight first half points and wound up with 12 off the bench as the reserves chipped in 56 huge points in the tussle.

Coach Topex Robinson lauded the Jawbreakers for quickly adjusting to the style of the PBA D-League just days after falling to Marinerong Pilipino, 92-94 back in opening day.

“Medyo adjusted na kami on everything — the calls and the teams were playing against with. But the things we want to mind are those things we control. We just have to keep on doing what we are doing. It’s more on replenishing na lang on our old ways,” he said.

Earvin Mendoza and Cedric de Joya both had 16 points for the Generals in the losing effort.

Zark’s-Lyceum looks to continue to roll when it faces the AMA Online Education Titans on Thursday, January 25. EAC-Batangas, on the other hand, takes on the Gamboa-St. Clare Coffee Lovers on Monday, January 29.

The Scores:

Zark’s-Lyceum 112 — Perez 21, Ayaay 15, Nzeusseu 14, Jc. Marcelino 12, Serrano 10, Baltazar 8, Santos 8, Jv. Marcelino 6, Tansingco 6, Marata 4, Liwag 4, Ibañez 2, Cinco 2, Pretta 0.

Batangas-EAC 75 — E. Mendoza 16, De Joya 16, Tampoc 12, Laude 9, Pate 8, Maguliano 6, Altamirano 5, Diego 3, Garcia 0, Dela Peña 0, Martin 0, J. Mendoza 0, Neri 0.

Quarterscores: 19-14, 48-33, 84-47, 112-75.

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