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Buzzer-beating three from Belo lifts FEU past La Salle; dethrones defending champs



The Tamaraws are headed for the finals. With the game tied up in the dying seconds of the ball game, Mike Tolomia would find the open Mark Belo, who would go on to sink one of the biggest shots of his career from beyond the arc, sending the Far Eastern University Tamaraws to the finals and dethroning last year’s champions the De La Salle University Green Archers, 67-64, Wednesday at the Araneta Coliseum.

The game would open to both teams firing up offensively. A seven-point explosion from La Salle’s Jeron Teng would give the Taft-based squad the 11-6 edge halfway through the quarter, but the cagers from Morayta would answer back with a 9-2 rally of their own to overtake the Archers, 14-13. After hitting a 16-all deadlock moments later, the Tamaraws would go on another rally, going 8-1 to close out the quarter with the 24-17 lead.

It was the Archers turn to heat up come the second quarter. Big baskets from Prince Rivero and Julian Sargent would lead the Archers to take a 30-26 lead in the first two and a half minutes of the quarter. The two squads would continue firing back at each for the next minutes, leading to a 36-all deadlock late in the quarter. The cagers from taft however would soon go cold, and a three-pointer from Mark Belo and a last second bucket from Raymar Jose would give FEU the 37-32 lead heading into halftime.

The third quarter would see both teams finally slow down after trading salvos in the first half. Taking advantage of a lull in the Tamaraws’ offensive, the Archers would manage to come within striking distance once more, 47-46 with three and a half left on the clock after a Prince Rivero three-point play. The Archers however would be unable to find their touch in the final minutes of the quarter, and the Tamaraws would hold on to the lead, 51-47.

With both squads going all-out offensively, the game would remain close, with FEU unable to pull away from the resurgent La Salle. Baskets from Arnold Van Opstal at halfway point would give La Salle a taste of the lead, at 56-55.

After another exchange of baskets, the game would remain deadlocked at 61-all entering the final two minutes. A breakaway three from Mark Belo would give FEU the lead, 64-61, with 1:05 left on the clock.

The Archers would manage to come up big in the next forty seconds, with a split free-throw opportunity from Jason Perkins and a lay-in from Norbert Torres from the Jeron Teng forcing another deadlock, 64-64, with 24.4 left on the clock.

The ball would find the eagle-eyed Mike Tolomia in what would be the final play of the ball game. Unable to get into position for the mid-range jumper, Tolomia would spot partner-in-crime Mark Belo unchecked at the wing. With less than ten seconds in the ball game, Tolomia would shock the mammoth crowd by passing to the open Belo, who would then go on to sink the last second trifecta just before the shot clock expired.

Belo led the Tamaraws in scoring with 23 points and 8 rebounds. Mike Tolomia had 14 points.

Jeron Teng led the dethroned champions with 13 points. Jason Perkins and Arnold Van Opstal had 12 and 11 respectively.

“The play was designed for Tolomia. He made the biggest decision by passing to Belo,” revealed FEU head coach Nash Racela at the post-game conference. “Belo hit the biggest shot of the ball game but another guy made the pass.”

“What’s really exciting is nag-build up yung crowd.”

The Tamaraws are now headed to the finals with the National University Bulldogs, who won in the first knockout match of the day against the Ateneo Blue Eagles. The Tamaraws’ last finals appearance was in 2011, against Ateneo.

The first game of the best-of-three series between the Bulldogs and Tamaraws will be held on October 4, 3:30 pm at the Mall of Asia Arena. This is the first time since 1992 that a final series will feature neither Ateneo or La Salle.

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Impervious Lady Chiefs stay perfect after sweep of Lady Pirates



The Arellano University Lady Chiefs extended their winning streak to 17 dating back to last season, after clobbering the Lyceum of the Philippines Lady Pirates, 25-16, 25-17, 25-11, at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

The defending champions were unrelenting with four Lady Chiefs scoring in double-digits with rookie Necole Ebuen powering in 11 points. Third-year open hitter Regine Arocha and Arellano’s middle blockers Mary Anne Esguerra and Andrea Marzan each provided 10 markers.

Conversely, no Lady Pirate managed to score in double-figures.

“Maganda naman talaga ang nilalaro ng mga bata. Lahat kasi kami determinado na makakuha ulet ng championship. Alam nila (Lady Chiefs) na kailangan pataas nang pataas ang ginagalaw namin,” said Arellano head coach Obet Javier.

The Lady Chiefs also limited their errors to a season-best 16 while the Lady Pirates surrendered 24 miscues.

The Lady Chiefs look for their sixth win of the season when they face the red-hot University of Perpetual Help System DALTA (4-1) on Tuesday at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

Christine Miralles and Monica Sevilla each supplied the struggling Lyceum with eight point apiece.

The Lady Pirates (1-4) take on the undefeated San Beda College (4-0) on Wednesday also at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

The Scores

AU (3) – Ebuen 11, Arocha 10, Esguerra 10, Marzan 10, Prado 3, Ramirez 3, Liu 2, Balanoba 1, Donato 1, Verutiao 0, Buemia (L), Flores (L)

LPU (0) – Miralles 8, Sevilla 8, Juanilla 7, Patio 4, Genova 1, Romanban 0, Bongabong 0, Marcella (L)

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Late whistle costs San Beda against Sousse to fall to 0-2



23 for 2023 cadet Robert Bolick is averaging 27.5 points per game in the tournament

After struggling to close out the UAE National Team in their opener last Friday, the San Beda College Red Lions figured in a late judgment call that did not fall into their favor, Saturday at the Shabab Al Ahli Club in Dubai. Due to this, the defending NCAA Champions lost to Tuniasian club team Sousse, 78-79.

With the loss, the Red Lions fell to a 0-2 hole in the 29th Dubai Basketball Championship. But the record does not reflect how the Filipinos played.

Robert Bolick, who scored 28 points against the UAE National Team, led the charge for San Beda in their second outing had 27 points. Fellow 23 for 2023 cadet Javee Mocon added 11 points and seven rebounds.

Sousse, the second-best club team in Tunisia and boasts four national team players and an American import, led by as much as 10 points, 70-60 in the final frame.

Fired-up by the Filipinos who stormed the venue, the Red Lions answered right back with an 18-8 run capped by a booming Bolick triple with six ticks left to gain a 78-76 lead.

However, a foul was called on a Red Lion on a three-point attempt by a Sousse player. He calmly sank all three free throws with 1.5 seconds remaining to seal the win.

Donald Tankoua had eight points and 13 rebounds as he was saddled with foul trouble all throughout the game.

The Tunisian club team was paced by Radzhouane Slimane with 18 points while Ibrahim Nadarri and Joshua Cassady had 13 markers each.

San Beda will have a day break before taking on Moroccan club team Al Sale on Monday, January 22.

The Scores:

San Beda 78 – Bolick 27, Mocon 11, Tankoua 8, Noah 8, Toba 6, Soberano 6, Prebitero 4, Tongco 4, Bahio 2, Carino 2, Oftana 0, Adamos 0.

Sousse 79 – Slimane 18, Naddari 13, Cassady 13, Mouhli 11, Knioua 9, Toumi 8, Monastiri 4, Gaddour 3.

Quarterscores: 23-17, 36-39, 57-62, 78-79.

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Perpetual overpowers JRU to keep pace of Final Four



Strutting their decisive height and power advantage, the University of Perpetual Help System DALTA Lady Altas slammed the Jose Rizal University Lady Bombers, 25-21, 22-25, 25-14, 25-21, at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

The Lady Altas were still heavy-handed with their errors, surrendering 35 miscues, including 12 in the second set, the only frame they lost.

The Las Piñas-based program, however, kept a scorching offensive pace, bombarding the Lady Bombers with six blocks and 12 aces. JRU had just five points combined crom those categories.

“Mataas pa talaga ‘yung tendency ng mga bata mamigay ng mga puntos. Sabi ko nga hindi kami mananalo kung tutulungan pa namin ‘yung kalaban maka-score,” rued Perpetual head coach Michael Cariño.

“Pero, unti-unte namang gumaganda ‘yung galaw ng mga bata. Lahat naman ng pagkukulang nila, tinatrabaho namin para maayos sa ensayo,” the champion mentor added.

Perpetual’s six-foot-three middle blocker Lourdes Clemente towered over the Lady Bombers with a season-high 19 points which included 14 attacks, two blocks, and three aces. Winger Cindy Imbo added 15 points.

The Lady Altas (4-1) take on the undefeated defending champs Arellano University (5-0) on Tuesday at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

Rookie Dolly Versoza paced the Lady Bombers with a game-high 21 points while captain Shola Alvarez managed 15.

The Lady Bombers (2-3) face the College of Saint Benilde (3-1) on Wednesday also at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

The Scores

UPHSD (3) – Clemente 19, Imbo 15, Sangalang 8, Llorente 7, Tripoli 7, Gual 6, Versoza 2, Umandal 1, Estanislao 0, Medalla (L)

JRU (1) – Versoza 21, Alvarez 15, Ebuenga 5, Montojo 2, Rivera 2, Sibangan 1, Bodiongan 0, Macaraya (L)

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Marc Pingris wants Rafi Reavis to break Robert Jaworski’s record



Marc Pingris was all praises for veteran Rafi Reavis Saturday night, as the 40-year-old center made his presence felt in the Magnolia Hotshots’ 97-91 victory — their third straight win — over Phoenix Fuel Masters at the Cuneta Astrodome.

The six-foot-nine Reavis finished with 11 points, 11 rebounds, and three blocks — a performance perfectly punctuated by a follow-up of a Paul Lee miss with 12.5 seconds left to play that knocked out the Fuel Masters for good.

“Papasalamat ako kay Rafi na talagang kababalik lang niya pero binigay niya talaga lahat,” said Pingris after the bout, as Saturday night was just Reavis’ second outing in the 2018 Philippine Cup after recovering from a hip injury.

“Nag-usap nga kami kanina e, hindi pa siya 100 percent. So bukas, ang sabi niya babalik daw siya sa gym dahil gusto niya ibalik yung lakas ng legs dahil wala pa daw,” added the 36-year-old, who also suffered a hip injury last season.

Reavis has been playing in the league for 16 years. Seeing the work he has put in, Pingris, who finished the game with 17 rebounds, four assists, four points and two blocks, believes that the 10-time PBA champion can play for 10 more years — at least.

“You know naman Rafi eh, katulad ko rin yan eh – rebound and depensa. At tsaka sobrang vocal siya sa team eh,” beamed Pingris, who himself is a 14-year veteran. “Walang siyang inaano, talagang sinasabihan niya kung sino yung mga nagmi-mistake, kung paano kami mag-adjust, so nakikinig naman lahat sa kanya.

“Talagang nandun yung respeto namin kay Rafi.”

And if Reavis stays healthy for the next decade, Pingris wants Reavis to exceed Jaworki’s 958 games played — third most all time.

“Nasa kanya yun, basta kaya mo ba eh. As a player, kung masipag ka naman at may disiplina sa sarili mo, kaya niya yun.”

Still, Reavis has a lot of catching up to do.

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