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Bulldogs stop rampaging Mojica, Generals to claim Game One



Needing contributions from everyone on the team, the National University Bulldogs dodged the Emilio Aguinaldo College Generals’ late surge, escaping the defending NCAA champs in five sets 25-23, 26-28, 25-18, 26-28, 15-11 in Game One of their Spikers’ Turf Collegiate Conferece semifinals series at the FilOil Flying V Arena.

Reigining NCAA MVP Howard Mojica erupted for his second consecutive 30-point game, dishing out a game-high 35 points at the expense of NU’s long-limbed blockers. His teammate, opposite hitter Hariel Doguna contributed 17 markers but NU’s young cast weathered Bagyong Mojica with a balanced assault.

Third-year open hitter, Fauzi Imsail led NU with 23 points, most coming in NU’s won sets. Rookie, Madzlan Gampong followed with 15 points, Francis Saura added 13 points with four blocks, while sopuomores Bryan Bagunas and Kim Malabunga each pitched in 12 points.

NU was on their way to ending the match in the fourth set, leading 24-22. They then surrendered errors – on a serve from Kim Dayandante whice Kim Malabunga followed with an attack error – to drag the set into a deuce. A few points later, NU again had match point, 26-25, but then coughed up three consecutive errors – a service error from Bagunas, the a net touch and snuffed attack from Malabunga – to drag the match into a fifth set.

Although his team eventually took the deciding set convincingly, NU head coach Dante Alinsunurin could not help but bare his anxiety after the match. “Ang masasabi ko lang, bata pa talaga ang team ko,” exclaimed Alinsunurin.

“Ang sabi ko sa kanila kaya tayo nanalo sa mga laban natin before kasi lamang tayo sa skills. Pero sa experience, malayo pa ang kailangan natin habulin. Kailangan namin mas maging patient pa,” he added.

NU had come-off their first loss of the season, a straight-set drubbing at the handa of the team that defeated them in the Season 77 UAAP Finals, Ateneo Blue Eagles while EAC went into the match having won two consecutive matches to keep their season alive. Mojica’a 35-point explosion was his fourth 30+ point performance in the past five games.

“Inensayo talaga namin ‘yung blocking nitong nakaraan. Nahirapan lang talaga kami noong una kapain ‘yung mga palo niya [Mojica],” said coach Dante, whose team eventually stopped Mojica for three block kills in the fifth set alone. NU tallied 11 total block kills to EAC’s three.

NU setter and team captain Vince Mangulabnan kept his team’s offense humming but, as said by Coach Dante, Mangulabnan has been a bit too preoccupied with the extra duties of being the team’s most experienced player.

“Marami kasing nagagawa si Vince for the team. Hindi lang sa loob ng court saka sa training, leader pa rin siya sa labas ng court pati sa dorm. Kaya hindi maiiwasan na maraming nasa isip ng bata. Pero hopefully makapagconcentrate pa siya these coming games,” Alinsunurin said of the decorated tosser.

NU can claim their seat on the Finals should they win Game Two on Wednesday, September 9. In the other series, Ateneo currently leads NCBA 1-0 with Game Two also happening on Wednesday.

The Scores

NU (3) – Ismail 23, Gampong 15, Saura 13, Bagunas 12, Malabunga 12, Mangulabnan 2, Baysac 0, Dayandante 0, Natividad 0, Ogoc 0, Marcos (L)

EAC (2) – Mojica 35, Doguna 17, Encina 8, Melliza 6, Pagtalunan 1, Arias 0, Gerella 0, Gorospe 0, Mangaring (L)


Miguel Luis Flores fell face first into sports writing in high sch9l and has never gotten up. He reluctantly stumbled into the volleyball beat when he started with Tiebreaker Times three years ago. Now, he has waded through everything volleyball - from its icky politics to the post-modern art that is Jia Morado's setting.

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KIA signs Carlo Lastimosa



After being released by the NLEX Road Warriors during the off-season, gunner Carlo Lastimosa has found a new home.

KIA Picanto team governor Bobby Rosales confirmed to Tiebreaker Times Thursday evening that they have tapped Carlo Lastimosa for the rest of the PBA Philippine Cup campaign.

“Yes,” Rosales confirmed in a text message.

Lastimosa, a two-time All-Star, averaged 8.8 points, 1.4 rebounds, and 1.7 assists in his one-year stay with the Road Warriors. Coach Yeng Guiao cited that NLEX already had too many guards that resulted to Lastimosa’s release.

The product of College of Saint Benilde was drafted as the 20th overall pick in the 2013 Rookie Draft by Barako Bull. A year later, he was traded to the Blackwater Elite for Brian Heruala.

The 27-year-old is set to make his debut on Saturday when the Picanto take on the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters.

The Kia Picanto are in the midst of a 16-game losing streak.

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Marinerong Pilipino withstands furious Zark’s rally to open season on high note



The Marinerong Pilipino Skippers averted a collapse and held off the Zark’s Burger-Lyceum Jawbreakers to come away with the 94-92 thriller to open the 2018 PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.

Losing hold of a 17-point edge, 56-39 with 7:57 left in the third frame, the Skippers survived the furious rally from the Jawbreakers in the clutch as Mike Nzeusseu and CJ Perez missed their three-pointers in the final minute before Rian Ayonayon and Renzo Subido sealed off the win for their side at the charity stripe

Subido topscored for Marinerong Pilipino with 20 points, five assists, and three rebounds, while Ayonayon unleashed 15 markers, three boards, and two dimes in the early battle between the two contenders.

Gab Banal also registered a double-double of 14 points, 14 rebounds, six assists, and four steals against his 10 turnovers in the win, while Papot Paredes got 12 of his 14 markers in the first half to help the Skippers establish control at halftime.

Victorious as Marinerong Pilipino maybe in the marquee matchup, coach Koy Banal refused to brand his side as the undisputed team-to-beat, noting: “This win means nothing. We need to keep on working get better every day because everybody will now prepare for us.”

Banal also lauded top rookie picks Alvin Pasaol and Abu Tratter, who were both fielded in the second half and stepped up to help the Skippers’ cause.

“Those guys have been with us since January 2 lang, and pretty much, medyo nangangapa pa sila sa sistema. But good thing is that they were able to deliver especially when their number were called,” he said.

The Skippers used a huge 12-0 run to end the second quarter to grab a 47-35 halftime lead, which further ballooned to 17, 56-39 in the third quarter.

Jaycee Marcelino paced Zark’s Burger-Lyceum with 20 points, four rebounds, and three assists in the loss, while Perez had 19 markers and five assists.

Earlier, PBA officer-in-charge Willie Marcial and PBA vice chairman Dickie Bachmann of Alaska graced the opening ceremonies, which was made special thanks to league newcomer Mila’s Lechon.

Marinerong Pilipino looks to sustain the momentum it gained in this game when it faces the Akari-Adamson Falcons on Thursday, January 25 at 5:00pm. Zark’s Burgers, on the other hand, takes on the Batangas-EAC Generals on Tuesday, January 23 at 4:00pm.

The Scores:

Marinerong Pilipino 94 – Subido 20, Ayonayon 15, Paredes 14, Banal 14, Robles 10, Tolentino 4, Tratter 4, Pasaol 4, Terso 3, Lopez 2, Inigo 2, Babilonia 2, Toth 0.

Zark’s 92 – Marcelino JC 20, Perez 19, Nzeusseu 18, Ayaay 11, Ibanez 6, Marcelino JV 6, Cinco 5, Tansingco 3, Santos 2, Pretta 2, Marata 0, Liwag 0

Quarterscores: 17-19, 47-34, 69-58, 94-92

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Pirates notch first win at struggling Knights’ expense



After floundering in their first three games, the Lyceum of the Philippines University Pirates broke into the win column after trouncing the Colegio San Juan de Letran Knights, 20-25, 27-25, 25-20, 25-22, at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

The Pirates, after a sluggish start, got the best of their Intramuros neighbors by limiting their miscues in the latter three sets. According to head coach Emil Lontoc, Lyceum needed every bit of momentum they gained in their rousing win in the second set.

“Nabuhayan sila (Pirates) ng loob noong makalusot kami noong second set,” Lontoc said. “Mababa ‘yung nilaro namin nung simula tapos medyo struggle pa din noong sumunod na set. Pero nakabangon din. Crucial ‘yun kasi baka hindi na kami naka-angat kung natalo pa kami noong second set.”

The Pirates delivered three of their four aces in the final set to close the match. They also shored up their reception, finishing at 38 percent, after an atrocious start.

Jhonel Badua topped the Pirates with 19 points while Joeward Presnede added 14.

Lyceum (1-3) takes on the undefeated Arellano University (4-0) on Sunday at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

Paul John Alilio and Bobby Gatdula each provided Letran with 19 points. Christopher Cistina managed 11 markers.

Letran (0-4) aims for their first win against rivals San Beda College (3-1) on Monday.

The Scores

LPU (3) – Badua 19, Presnede 14, Lajara 9, Ilano 7, Samonte 5, Uy 5, Rubio (L)

CSJL (1) – Alilio 19, Gatdula 19, Cistina 11, Almoguerra 3, Ladeon 3, Dizon 2, Domingo 2, Brioso 0, Tumbali 0, Centeno (L), Timbreza (L)

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D-League to hold three-day showcase for players



Seeking to further display the greatness of the Filipino basketball players, the PBA is giving more chances to the cagers as the league is set to hold the first-ever PBA D-League Showdown later this conference.

Opening the eighth season with this ground-breaking news, PBA officer-in-charge Willie Marcial is hopeful that this will serve as another motivation for the players to perform at their best this 2018 PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup.

“Ginagawa naman natin ito para mas galingan ng mga players natin para rin maipakita nila yung tunay nilang talento,” he said Thursday during the opening ceremonies at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.

Marcial bared that the plan is to hold a two-day summit for the players suiting up in the ongoing conference to allow them to showcase their talents in front of coaches and scouts, not just from the PBA but also from countries in the Southeast Asian region.

“Lahat ng mga players ay maglalaro dito at mapapanood hindi lang ng mga PBA coaches,” he said.

“Iimbitahin din namin ang mga coaches ng ibang bansa tulad ng Malaysia, Thailand, at Vietnam na kumukuha ng imports sa atin.”

Marcial acknowledged that as much as players seek to make the jump to the pro league, securing spots in the PBA teams have been hard to crack over the past few years, forcing the players to look elsewhere for opportunities.

That has made playing in overseas leagues an option for these less fortunate ballers, keeping them earning while also hoping to impress scouts while keeping their PBA dreams alive.

Some of the players who suited up in the D-League and are currently playing outside of the country are Paul Zamar and Almond Vosotros in Thailand, AJ Mandani in Singapore, and Reil Cervantes in Indonesia.

With this project, Marcial is hopeful that this would keep the players in line while also delivering the best competition the D-League could dream of.

“Iwasan natin ang bisyo at galingan ninyo.”

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