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Bulldogs return to .500 in wire-to-wire win over Maroons

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After falling to 0-3, the National University Bulldogs have found their bearing while the Maroons, who had a 2-0 start, are falling.

The defending champions National University Bulldogs gave the University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons its third straight loss with a huge fourth quarter that powered them to a 68-52 win at the SM Mall of Asia Arena early Saturday afternoon.

It was a slow affair for both teams as a poor shooting display combined their scores for only three points in nearly four minutes into the game. UP held a minimal 3-2 lead after a triple by Jarell Lim but was quickly erased by the Bulldogs. Tough defensive pressure limited scoring by the Maroons as they were silenced for five minutes offensively in the middle of the quarter. After the horrendous shooting in the first minutes, the two teams slowly find their stride as the Bulldogs built an 8-point lead just before Jett Manuel chopped it with a triple before the first quarter buzzer.

Scoring slowed down in the second quarter with the number of fouls committed by both teams. The number of free throw trips increased wherein NU had six more points at the end of first half. Diego Dario made back to back layups to trim the lead down to one at 24-23 with 4:35 left in the second. As UP played zone defense, NU made them pay anchored by a sizzling ending to the first half by Gelo Alolino as the point guard made four triples in his team’s last 14 points to create a 38-27 separation at the break.

A good exchange of scoring favored NU to hold onto their lead as Med Salim scored his team’s first seven points of the second half. No team had clear advantage in terms of momentum as every basket was answered by the other. Jett Manuel scored seven straight for UP but the bench players responded for the Bulldogs. NU was scoreless in the last 3 minutes of the period but the Maroons could only score two markers as the Bulldogs entered the final canto up by eight.

Alolino, Aroga and Neypes combined for eight unanswered points for the Bulldogs as they ballooned their distance against UP. Aroga was a force down low as he altered the UP slashers while also corralling the boards. Dario made the first field goal of Maroons in the last period by the 5:25 mark but his team had an overall struggle offensive-wise against the tough Bulldog defense. UP scored only nine points in the payoff period as NU maintained its double-digit gap for the entire 10-minute stretch en route to the win.

“We knew going in that this will be a defensive battle as shown in the first quarter,” winning head coach Eric Altamirano said after the game. “Fortunately, we were consistent with our defense all throughout that game and we were able to lockdown on their shooters.”

He added that “we know that we are not good on offense but Gelo [Alolino] gave us confidence, especially in the third quarter.” Even with the win though, Altamirano is still not satisfied with the team’s performance. “Three straight but we still have a long way to go. We need to manage our time well before we face FEU.”

Smart Elite ambassador Gelo Alolino led all scorers with 16 points. Alolino was just 5/14 from the field but was able to connect on 50% of his triples, 4/8. Alfred Aroga played huge as well in notching a monster double-double with 12 points and 22 boards, a season high.

For the Diliman cagers, Smart Elite ambassador Jett Manuel notched 16 points as well. Manuel shot a poor 5/14 from the field. Paul Desiderio was the only other Maroon to score in double-figures with 10 markers but also had a horrendous shooting day in shooting just 38%.

The NU Bulldogs (3-3) will have a ten-day break before facing the FEU Tamaraws on Wednesday, October 7 at 4:00pm in a rematch of last season’s finals while the UP Fighting Maroons (2-4) look to regain their winning form as they face the Adamson Soaring Falcons on Sunday, October 4 at 12:00nn. The former will be played at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum while the latter is set at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.

The Scores:
NU (68) – Alolino 16, Aroga 12, Salim 9, Tansingco 9, Neypes 7, Javelona 6, Diputado 4, Alejandro 2, Celda 2, Abatayo 1, Javillonar 0, Yu 0.
UP (52) – Manuel 16, Desiderio 10, Dario 8, Lim 5, Asilum 4, Gallarza 2, Jaboneta 2, Longa 2, Moralde 2, Amar 1, Harris 0, Juruena 0, Kone 0, Prado 0, Vito 0.
Quarterscores: 19-12, 38-27, 51-43, 68-52.

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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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