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Blazers rip USJR to earn first win in Premier Cup



The College of St. Benilde (CSB) Blazers finally barged into the win column after thrashing the University of San Jose-Recoletos (USJR) Jaguars in a high-scoring affair, 93-81, this Wednesday afternoon in the 2015 FilOil-Flying V Hanes Premier Cup, at the FilOil-Flying V Arena in San Juan.

CSB opened the first quarter with an 8-0 run, highlighted by back-to-back triples from Fons Saavedra. Their run continued midway into the frame, leading 12-4 with six minutes on the clock. The Jaguars, however, made a 7-0 run of their own to close within one, 12-11, with 5:10 remaining. Exchanges of baskets took place between the two squads, but the Blazers, leading 16-14 with a minute left in the quarter, scored six straight points, capped by a Jonathan Grey three-pointer at the buzzer, to close the quarter in their favor, 22-14.

Through their presses in the defensive end, the Blazers were able to post double-digit leads in the second quarter, leading USJR 30-18 with less than eight minutes to go, but USJR surged back from the deficit and took the lead, 34-32, after a James Regalado trey with 4:12 remaining. CSB, now trailing for the first time, went with their pressuring defensive scheme once more, and eventually posted a seven-point margin, 45-38, with 37.3 ticks on the clock. A pair of sank charities by Saavedra ended the first half with CSB still on top, 47-38.

From a nine-point advantage, CSB showed no signs of slowing down after the break, creating a huge 55-40 lead over the Jaguars with exactly eight minutes left. However, the Jaguars could not be sent away, as their attacks inside the paint were enough to send themselves closer to CSB, 66-59, after an and-one layup from forward, Kevin Villafranca. Unfortunately, it was the closest USJR could get, as Blazers’ guard Travis Jonson sank a three-pointer to catapult CSB back on top by ten, 69-59, with over a minute ticking. A split free throw from RJ Dinolan ended the third canto with USJR trailing, 69-60.

USJR could no longer find answers to CSB’s fast-paced offense and stifling defense, as they lagged behind the Blazers 82-65 with 6:26 left in the game, their biggest deficit. CSB, on the other hand, shut down USJR’s attempts of catalyzing a comeback, sending the game out of reach for the latter, 93-77, with 1:15 remaining. The Jaguars scored back-to-back layups from Miguel Gastador and Iron Suano, but time was no longer on their side when the buzzer sounded with the win in CSB’s hands, 93-81.

“We were not expecting it,” said CSB Head Coach Gabby Velasco, when asked about his thoughts about the high-scoring game. “Dahil sa presses namin that led to easy shots and layups kaya naging high-scoring,” he added.

Jonathan Grey, who is still playing under limited minutes due to a pulled hamstring, led the Blazers with 14 points in 14 minutes. Jonson had 11, while Ralph Deles added 10. Saavedra almost had a double-double with nine markers and nine boards. Villafranca led USJR with 17 points in a losing effort.

CSB will face National University Bulldogs on May 13, Wednesday, at 5 PM. USJR, meanwhile, will also have the Bulldogs as their opponents this Friday, May 8, at 3:15 PM.

The scores:

CSB (93) – Grey 14, Jonson 11, Deles 10, Saavedra 9, Flores 9, Domingo 8, Ongtengco 7, San Juan 7, De Sequerra 4, Young 3, Domingo 3, Norberte 3, Suarez 3, Nayve 2.

USJ-R (81) – Villafranca 17, Galvez 15, Suano 15, Nzuzi 11, Villarias 7, Regalado 6, Dinolan 4, Labares 2, Navarra 2, Gastador 2.

CSB (A, 1-2)22476993
USJ-R (A, 1-4)14386081

Oftentimes on the sidelines. Forever a student of the game. Morayta-bred.

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PBA slaps fines on Yeng Guiao, Chris Ross



Yeng Guiao and Chris Ross opt to move on

The much-talked about tilt that pitted the San Miguel Beermen and the NLEX Road Warriors last January 18 featured numerous confrontations and exchanges. But none was more heated than what happened between fiery head coach Yeng Guiao and emotional defensive cog Chris Ross.

With 1:46 remaining in that game, Guiao and Ross figured in a verbal altercation that resulted to the latter being slapped with his second technical foul of the contest.

San Miguel head coach Leo Austria alledged that Guiao threw a racial slur at Ross that triggered the Filipino-American.

The league though could not find any hard evidence that this occurred.

“Upon review of the incident, consulting possible witnesses to the event and discussing the matter with both parties, the alleged racist remark attributed to Coach Guiao could not be established,” the league said in a statement. “Coach Guiao has denied such allegation while Chris Ross has opted to move forward and said that he would not want to discuss the matter further. However, Coach Guiao and Chris Ross will be subject to appropriate fines for their respective misconduct.

“As a result, the Office of the Commissioner finds no sufficient basis to discuss the matter of an alleged racist remark uttered by Coach Guiao. It may be recalled that in a previous incident, a heavy penalty was imposed for a racist remark that was clearly proven.

“Rest assured that any act that is racially derogatory and pejorative in nature will be dealt with sternly by the league,” the statement ended.

As a result, Guiao is fined PHP 11,000 for obscene gesture, use of profane language and engaging in a verbal altercation while Ross is fined the amount of PHP 2,600 for incurring two technical fouls, both for verbal altercation.

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MPBL aims to give local talent biggest exposure




After months of planning, the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League will finally raise its curtains on Thursday, January 25 at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum. Unlike the other leagues in the country, the MPBL wants to give Filipino aspirants from local communities a chance to shine on national TV.

“I would like to say, this is the noble project of our founder and chairman, Senator Manny Pacquiao, Talagang dream niya ito, matulungan ‘yung mga grassroots,” said MPBL head of marketing Arnold Vegafria during the league’s press conference. “And from the grassroots, to the collegiate players and also professionals na gusto niyang tulungan, mabigyan ng chances, makalaro at ma-expose ang skills nila para matulungan ang mga basketbolista not only sa Metro Manila but this is gonna be all over the Philippines.

“Simula muna sa Metro Manila and key cities in Luzon. Soon it will go to Visayas and Mindanao.”

The first conference for the league is the Anta Raja Cup. 10 teams from Luzon will compose the league, namely Bataan, Batangas, Bulacan, Caloocan, Imus, Muntinlupa, Navotas, Paranaque, Quezon City, and Valenzuela.

Though it may be ambitious, the league wants to continue the dream started by the Metropolitan Basketball Association which is to create a league that has a home and away format.

“For the longest time, after ng MBA, I think it’s 20 years ago na ‘yun, I think it’s due na rin for our basketball fans around the country, ‘yung mga sa provinces, ‘cause ‘yung advantage nito is ‘yung games mismo, dadalhin mo sa kanila. Unlike before sa mga liga natin, naka-stay lang sila sa isang venue,” said league commissioner Kenneth Duremdes.

“Maraming factors ngayon, traffic and time-consuming. Pero itong liga natin, tayo ang magdadala mismo sa mga tao, sa mga basketball fans. Sa tagal-tagal ng walang organized, or high-level na basketball tournament, ito na ‘yung time na makikita ng mga basketball fans natin na up close and personal ang mga ini-idolo nila, lalo na ang mga hometown hero nila,” the PBA legend furthered.

Armed with this vision, the league plans to be the country’s premier amateur league, helping build the dreams of the Filipino youth.

“It’s an amateur league. Kaya nga natin siya tinatawag na liga para sa lahat ng Pilipino, kasi lahat dito as long as Filipino ka, kasali ka,” shared Duremdes.

“Kagaya ng sinasabi ni Sen. Manny, matutulungan natin ang mga players ng grumaduate sa college na walang mapaglaruan, mga ex-pro na hindi masyado nabigyan ng exposure sa PBA, may exposure sila dito. Tapos yung mga grassroots player natin, malay mo springboard nila ang MPBL and who knows they will represent the country in the national team.

“Ito ang nakikita ni Sen Manny, mga players na out of school or the big leagues, ma-expose sila sa MPBL at mapansin sila ng national team or pro team,” he furthered.

The league’s first game will feature Caloocan taking on Paranaque at the Big Dome. Tickets are priced at P300, P200, P150, P100 while the Gen Ad will be open for all.

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Lady Blazers evade upset-hungry Lady Generals



The College of Saint Benilde Lady Blazers avoided a major upset, slipping past the winless Emilio Aguinaldo College Lady Generals, 25-17, 18-25, 21-25, 25-18, 15-7, at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

After winning the opening set, the Lady Blazers collapsed in the following frames, surrendering errors and fumbling passes. The Lady Generals took full advantage and grabbed all the momentum, rued Saint Benilde head coach Arnold Laniog.

“Nabigyan nga namin ‘yung kalaban ng confidence, kaya tuloy-tuloy na sila kanina. Mataas pa rin ‘yung tendency ng team ko mag-relax,” Laniog said. “Kung tutuusin, may advantage talaga ‘yung team namin. Nahihirapan lang talaga kami makabangon kapag nauunahan kami. Mabuti na lang kanina nakabawi kami noong huling dalawang sets.”

The Lady Generals took their turn making errant plays, allowing the Lady Blazers to grab a 15-7 lead in the fourth set and force a decider. Anchored by the imposing presence of their middle blockers Ranya Musa and Rachel Austero, the Lady Blazers raced to a 10-2 in the final set and sealed the win.

Austero finished with 17 points while Musa added 15. The pair also combined for seven of CSB’s 13 blocksm Austero also provided five aces.

The Lady Blazers (3-2) take on fellow Final Four aspirant Jose Rizal University (2-3) on Wednesday at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

The Lady Generals had no player score in double-digits as they pulled 48 points from Benilde’s errors. Yvette Tongco and Arina Reyes, nonetheless, provided nine points apiece.

The Lady Generals (0-5) get their best chance at their first of the season when they face also-ran Mapua University (0-4) also on Wednesday.

The Scores

CSB (3) – Austero 17, Musa 15, Cui 8, Ventura 8, Abriam 5, Daguil 5, Enginco 5, Cardiente 1, Pablo 1, Dolorito 0, Lim (L), Torres (L)

EAC (2) – Reyes 9, Tongco 9, Binondo 8, Lumbo 8, Tasis 4, Pablo 3, Magbanua 2, Chan 0, Yongco 0, Medina (L)

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Blazers rally from 0-2 deficit, fend off Generals for fourth win



Defending NCAA men’s volleyball champions College of Saint Benilde Blazers completed a huge comeback from an 0-2 hole and upended the gritty Emilio Aguinaldo College Generals, 19-25, 20-25, 25-7, 25-14, 15-11, Monday morning at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

The Generals stormed through the first two sets, leaning on better transition and their service game. Joshua Mina and Chris Ilano poured in most of their combined 27 points in these frames.

Nonetheless, when the Blazers realized that they needed to turn up its aggressiveness, it was cruise control from there.

“Nung first two sets, nag-relaxed kami, ‘di kami aggressive sa atake, sa blocking,” Benilde senior middle blocker Jethro Orian lamented. “Eh yung kalaban, masipag sila.”

EAC imploded in the next two sets, coughing up most of its 41 miscues during the frame. The reigning champions capitalized on the situation with heightened aggression.

Halfway into the eliminations, Orian shared that the Blazers needed to continue their hard work.

“Kailangan pa naming mas maging aggressive. Mas tumrabaho sa dapat naming again,” he said.

Captain Isaah Arda registered a 19-point outing, 17 coming off attacks. Orian’s fellow center attacker Francis Basilan finished with 12 markers.

The Blazers (4-1) will battle the Jose Rizal University (0-5) on Wednesday.

Mina starred for the Generals with 16 points.

The Generals (2-3) will lock horns with Mapua University (2-2) on Thursday, in a tussle for survival.

The Scores:

CSB 3 – Arda 19, Basilan 12, Orian 9, Bacani 9, Bautista 9, Magsino 4, Rojas 1, Saldavia 0, Dy L.

EAC 2 – Mina 16, Ilano 11, Rasing 11, Castellano 8, Lim 6, Garcia 2, Guinto 1, Panoy 0, Lumbar 0, Magadan L, Bagdoc L.

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