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Best start in franchise history! GlobalPort survives Purefoods to grab solo lead

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The GlobalPort Batang Pier clinched its third victory in as many games as they outlasted the Star Hotshots, 91-89 in a closely-contested affair held at the Mall of Asia Arena on Tuesday afternoon.

The Star Hotshots, who sported their new red and yellow themed jerseys got off a quick 6-0 start to the ball game while GlobalPort missed their first three shots. The layups and driving game of Star capped by an Alex Mallari penetration doubled the output of the Batang Pier at 12-6. Carrying their hot streak from their last outing, the three-point shooting came to aid GlobalPort as they pushed an 8-2 response including triples coming from Semerad and Krayem. The rally triggered the offense game by the Batang Pier as they ended the opening quarter up by seven.

In the second, PJ Simon and Justin Melton came off the bench productively as their baskets gave the Hotshots the lead back at 30-27. GlobalPort’s poor transition game led to easy counters on the other end that went in favor of the Hotshots. They led almost the entire quarter as the reinsertion by Marquis Blakely came in timely for his team. Baskets at the dying seconds by Terrence Romeo and a tip in by Doug Kramer sliced the deficit down to five heading into the break.

The offensive exchange continued in the fast-paced third period, with the starters trading baskets in the opening minutes of the second half. A steal by Blakely led to a tomahawk jam that gave them a 55-48 lead. Lead didn’t last long for Star, with Stanley Pringle and Omer Krayem chipping baskets to help GlobalPort keep up with the Hotshots’ pace.

Ronjay Buenafe knocked down a wide open corner triple to swing the lead back to their favor. However, the Hotshots countered quickly with Peter June Simon scoring six of the game’s next eight points to give them a 78-72 advantage. GlobalPort struggled handling the ball with Star’s pressure defense that led to turnovers while the Hotshots capitalized on such.

Omar Krayem carried the comeback late for the Batang Pier as he scored consecutive baskets including two straight treys to make it an 86-82 game once again in their favor. The Hotshots won’t go down easily as James Yap and Mark Barroca made two straight layups for their squad to even things up again.

After a series of stops by both teams, Doug Kramer muffs his two under goal stabs but Romeo was in the right place to score on an uncontested lay in to give them a two-point lead. GlobalPort would then make a stop but Romeo failed to convert twice on his shots that gave the Star Hotshots a crack to even the game anew with half a minute to go. However, the Hotshots committed a pivotal turnover late while Stanley Pringle converts on the other end to make it a two-possession game. Despite Blakely making a putback on their side, the Hotshots failed to get the possession back en route to an escape victory by GlobalPort.

Star got more points from the paint, 44-26 and scored more on the transition, 19-11. However, GlobalPort committed less turnovers, 15-22 while sizzled from perimeter as they drained 13 more triples. Batang Pier improves to 3-0 while Star has now a 1-1 slate.

The Batang Pier will next face the San Miguel Beermen while Star will lock horns next against the Meralco Bolts. Both games will be played on Sunday, May 17 at the Cuneta Astrodome.

The Scores:

GlobalPort (91) – Krayem 20, Romeo 17, Pringle 15, Thomas 12, Buenafe 8, Kramer 7, Miranda 3, Semerad 3, Isip 2, Mamaril 2

Star (89) – Blakely 19, Yap 12, Mallari 11, Simon 10, Barroca 9, Melton 8, Pingris 6, Pennisi 5, Devance 5, Maliksi 4, Reavis 0

Quarters: 23-16, 43-38, 68-65, 91-89

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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 Ryan Moss 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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