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Bea Daez and a UAAP career fulfilled

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Every athlete dreams of a triumphant swansong. A moment when they make the last minute shot which not only wins the game, but also the championship. Only a select few can say that they were able to experience such euphoria.

Unfortunately, the majority of us never experience that moment. Most are only fans of the team and players, while others are athletes who’ve never had the spotlight focused on them because of their lack of glory.

One such athlete was Bea Daez of the University of the Philippines Lady Maroons.

The Lady Maroons ended the current season at seventh place, with stalwart Bea Daez left to lament the fact that she had never played in the Final Four during her whole UAAP career.

Daez endured a disappointing end to her UAAP stay. The Lady Maroons had made a 7-0 run in the last two minutes and were down just 52-54. It was on Daez to complete the comeback. She attacked the Far Easter University defense, made a three, but it hit the front rim of the hoop and deflected.

The result handed UP their tenth loss of Season 78. At the end of the game she was in tears, but Daez’s fist was raised as she and her teammates, coaches, and schoolmates sang the UP Naming Mahal. It was her last game as a Lady Maroon, and she had scored 14 markers and made 13 points-per-game overall in Season 78.

Bea Daez missed last shot

“Kinapos lang talaga sa dulo. Parang feeling ko there were times during the game na nagrerelax kami, dapat hindi. We prepared well for them pero ayun minsan pag hindi kami nakakascore, nagdodown yung iba naming teammates,” Daez said after the game. She also rued the fact that FEU easily broke UP’s press numerous times in the game and cashed in on it via points in transition.

Ironically, Daez had been attracted to UP because they always did well in the post-season. “Hindi ko alam kung minalas lang talaga ako na pagkapasok ko sa UP dun kami medyo nagkakatalo-talo. Siguro ibang generation din yung narinig ko at that time. “

Since being appointed team captain this Season 78, Daez had wanted to foster team spirit in the UP Lady Maroons. Divisions were rife in the team and Daez had immediately wanted to fix that. No matter how much individual talent a team has, it won’t win titles if there isn’t any camaraderie. She shared, “We made it a point na magiging buo talaga kami kasi yung skills nandun na eh. Siguro may lack of experience pa din yung mga ibang players namin but then I know that we’re skilled. If we’re one as a team, we’d be able to have a lot of upsets which we were able to do”.

In her last team huddle as captain, Daez told her teammates that it wasn’t the games they won that she could bring with her as lessons, now that her UAAP career was over, but the experiences from Seasons 77 and 78. The Lady Maroons were winless in Season 77 while they clinched four this Season 78. Daez said, “It just proves to me and to everyone else that we can really do the impossible because everyone really said that winning for us was impossible but then if we stick together and you focus your minds on the goal, you’ll be able to do a lot of things that other people think you would never be able to do.”

Along with Daez, two more of the starting five of the Lady Maroons completed their eligibility for UP. Daez said the remaining Lady Maroons will have to step up now that she and others are done. She also hopes that UP will step up in the recruitment game come the next seasons.

One constant, though, is Daez’s belief in her teammates and her hope that a few others will return to the fold. “Hindi naman nawawala ang tiwala ko sa teammates ko. I know na they’ll prepare hard and work hard this off-season for next year tsaka may mga ibang players naman diyan na umalis na may playing years pa so malay mo bumalik sila. Kapag bumalik sila that’s another story, magiging sobrang lakas pa din.”

Perhaps the best thing Daez left her teammates in UP was the base from which post-season contention could be built. For the Lady Maroons, four wins this Season 78 provided the foundation upon which they should build next Season 79.

Bea Daez

If there is one thing Daez is proud of as captain in her final playing year, it is that the Lady Maroons have proved a lot of people wrong and started to win again.“Lahat ng mga articles about the pre-season review counted us out already na mag 0-14 kami so nonetheless kahit talo kami ngayon, sobrang proud pa rin ako na binalik namin yung winning tradition which is my first and foremost goal naman sa season na ito”.

Daez didn’t celebrate any championship, nor did she experience a miraculous run in her last year. Nevertheless, that didn’t dampen the fulfillment she felt when she exited the Blue Eagle Gym as a Lady Maroon for the last time. “Being realistic, hindi ko masasabi na ang goal namin is mag-champion agad. Proud pa rin talaga ako and at least kahit papano, I’m exiting the season and my career dito sa UAAP na may panalo naman.”

Not that Daez won’t return for the Lady Maroons. She is committed to helping the Lady Maroons despite having no obligations to do so. “I already talked to the coaches na babalik ako to help in the second sem since nag-aaral pa talaga ako. Babalik ako sa mga guards, sa mga dribbling, sa mga skills. Yun yung matutulong ko sa kanila.”

While it may be the championships which shall be spoken about, it is the experiences one had which shall be remembered more. Just as Daez showed, it isn’t how you started out that mattered, but what you leave for your teammates and school that count more. The fulfillment you experience on the journey is what you’ll take with you in the future.

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Lorenzo's a frustrated author who knows a thing or two about Football and Basketball. Went all green from Ortigas to Taft. Supports Liverpool FC, FC Bayern Munich and the Alaska Aces

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ABL

Christian Standhardinger goes perfect from stripe in Hong Kong’s rout of Formosa

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After going a horrid 5-for-17 from the stripe during their first loss of the season last January 9, Christian Standhardinger made sure to make good on his free throws to power the Hong Kong Eastern Basketball Club to a dominant 99-79 rout of the Formosa Dreamers, Thursday evening in Southorn Stadium.

The 6-foot-8 Filipino-German, who tallied 37 points and 19 rebounds in the overtime loss to Saigon, went a perfect 9-for-9 from the foul line. He finished with 25 points and 10 rebounds.

The contest itself was not close, as the defending champions were able to impose their will on the bottom-ranked squad, leading by as much as 23 points, 93-70, after two free throws by Standhardinger with 2:58 remaining.

If Standhardinger was having a good day with his free throws, the entire Formosa squad could not say the same, going 13-of-27 from the line.

Tyler Lamb had 25 markers as well for Hong Kong, while Marcus Elliott grabbed a triple-double with 19 points, 11 rebounds, and 11 assists.

Lenny Daniel paced Formosa with 25 points and 11 rebounds. World Import Ronnie Aguilar had 14 points and 16 rebounds but went just 5-for-14 from the field.

With the win, Hong Kong goes to 8-1, while the Dreamers fell to 1-8.

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2018 FIBA 3X3 World Cup

Chooks-to-Go President hopes 3×3 World Cup breaks Philippine Arena record

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Last October 27, 2017, Game Seven of the PBA Governors’ Cup Finals between heated rivals Barangay Ginebra San Miguel and Meralco Bolts saw 54,083 people troop to the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan. The attendance broke all records for both the venue and the PBA.

Come June this year, the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas and Chooks-to-Go are hoping that the upcoming 2018 FIBA 3×3 World Cup will surpass that record.

“We look at 3×3 as our best hope, really, to get a medal in the Olympics. Kami naman sa Chooks, we are behind SBP realizing that dream. Kanina pinag-uusapan na, if we’re going to break the record in attendance,” said Bounty Agro Ventures Inc. president Ronald Mascariñas on Thursday afternoon during a press conference held at BGC High Street in Taguig.

“I think the question there is not if we’re going to break, but how many more times. Because FIBA should see how passionate the Filipinos are about basketball. That’s a given,” one of the patrons of Gilas Pilipinas added.

Besides the event itself, the local government of Bulacan has pledged to make the week of the tournament filled with activities to celebrate the Philippines’ 120th year of Independence.

For their part, Chooks-to-Go vowed to help out the SBP in organizing the event and in building the team.

“We are throwing our support not to improve on our finish, but we want to help SBP organize, to win the championship — not just to improve our ranking,” Mascariñas shared.

And the experience he and his company gained after backing the Pilipinas 3×3 team during last year’s tournament will only help.

“In past tournaments, we’ve lost some games na maninipis lang talaga,” he recalled about the team composed of Kobe Paras, Kiefer Ravena, Jeron Teng, and JR Quinahan that competed in Nantes, France.

“This time around, with five months to go, we need to organize and put in the best t

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Football

Ilocos United takes leave from PFL

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Another one bites the dust

After months of speculation, Ilocos United has formally announced their 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 their 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 their PFL operations will fold for the time being, Ilocos will continue the grassroots programs they have 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 are limited 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 of copping 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 beast.

Going up against the veteran-laden Marinerong Pilipino Skippers, the Zark’s Burgers-backed squad suffered 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 served as a wake-up call. Adjusting on the fly, Perez and Marcelino rallied the Jawbreakers back — even fashioning 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. The 24-year-old Perez added 19 points, five assists, two steals, and a block.

With their first game in the bag, the duo — and the rest of the Jawbreakers — now have the 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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