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Calisaan, San Sebastian upset Letran in thriller



In their first round encounter, the San Sebastian College-Recoletos and the Colegio de San Juan de Letran Knights figured in a close game. The result was a come-from-behind win by the Knights.

Their second round was another nailbiting encounter. However, the result was different as Michael Calisaan led the Recto-based squad in an upset win over the league-leading Letran Knights, 89-87, Tuesday afternoon at the FilOil Flying V Arena.

The first half was close all throughout. After a first quarter that saw the league-leaders gain a seven-point edge, the Stags fought back to cut the lead to just two points, 41-39, before halftime.

The starting five of the Stags, led by the twin towers of Bradwyn Guinto and Michael Calisaan, scored 31 of the team’s 39 first half points. The Knight, however, shot excellent from the field, in shooting at 53%. The Murallo-based squad were paced by pro-bound Kevin Racal’s six points and five rebounds and three-point king Mark Cruz’s seven points.

The Knights and the Stags were tied in the rebounding department with 27 rebounds. San Sebastian was able to keep close due to their free throws as they attempted 22 and converted on 15.

The two squads exchanged leads at the middle of the third quarter. Calisaan paced his team in scoring 17 points in the quarter, including 11 of his team’s last 13 points. With the Stags leading 60-55 with 2:01 remaining, Cruz connected on back-to-back three pointers to tie the game at 61. Free throws by the pint-sized point guard with 34.5 seconds remaining cut the Letran deficit to just one, 63-62, to enter the final quarter.

Letran was able to breakaway with 7:30 remaining. Rey Nambatac led a 15-3 rally in scoring eight points to give the Knights a 77-66 lead. After a timeout by coach Rodney Santos, the Stags went small with Calisaan playing the center spot. Moreover, their defense switched to a box-one that contained Mark Cruz. The Stags then went on a blistering 17-3 run to retake the lead at 83-80 with 1:28 to go. The two teams then went on another gear in exchanging the lead. Kevin Racal was able to gain the lead for the Knights’after a putback with 17 seconds to go. Ryan Costelo then hoisted a high-arching layup with 9.4 ticks remaining to gain an 88-87 lead. Letran head coach Aldin Ayo had no other recourse but to call his last timeout. However, Mark Cruz fumbled the ball that resulted to a turnover. Calisaan was then fouled but converted on just his first free throw, the latter resulting to a lane violation. A desperation heave from near halfcourt by Nambatac missed as the Stags were finally able to stave the Knights away 89-87.

“Minotivate ko sila in saying: we had it last game,” a jubilant Rodney Santos said after the game. “Di lang talaga maiwasan yung lapses [during that game].”

“Bilib ako sa kanila, they never give up,” he proudly declared. Even in going down by double-digits with seven minutes to go, the team continued to play hard defense, a move emphasized by Santos during the one-week break.

San Sebastian was led by Calisaan’s 27 huge points on 10/15 shooting and ten rebounds. Fellow big man and Smart Elite ambassador Bradwyn Guinto added 15 points and 15 rebounds. The backcourt of Ortouste and Costelo also combined for 32 points.

On the other hand, the Knights were led by the 30 big markers of Mark Cruz. Cruz converted on four shots from downtown and was able to steal the ball five times. Smart Elite ambassador Rey Nambatac struggled all game long in scoring just 12 points on 5/15 shooting.

As a team, the Stags shot an outstanding 50% from the field compared to just 39% by the Knights. San Sebastian was also able to convert on six more free throws.

The SSC-R Golden Stags (3-7) will next face the LPU Pirates on Friday, August 28 at 2:00pm while the Letran Knights (8-2) look to bounce back against the EAC Generals (2-8) on the same day at 4:00pm.

The Scores:
SSC-R (89) – Calisaan 27, Ortuoste 19, Guinto 15, Costelo 13, Fabian 7, Bulanadi 7, Sibal 1, Bragais 0, Santos 0, Pretta 0, Vera 0, Capobres 0.
CSJL (87) – Cruz 30, Nambatac 12, Racal 12, Sollano 9, Quinto 8, Luib 5, Balanza 4, Balagasay 4, Apreku 2, Calvo 1.
Quarterscores: 15-22, 39-41, 63-62, 89-87.

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Yeng Guiao denies using racial slur against Chris Ross



During the post-game of the San Miguel Beermen’s victory over the NLEX Road Warriors, reigning Coach of the Year Leo Austria said that NLEX head coach Yeng Guiao called Chris Ross the “N” word that caused the commotion.

According to Chris, tinawagan siya ng nigger or ganiyan,” said Austria. “I don’t know but that’s what he explained to me because I confronted Chris Ross because he’s one of the most important players in my team.

“But that’s the thing he doesn’t want to hear so nagflare up yung bata so I cannot blame him.”

Guiao though denied that he blurted out racial slurs against San Miguel’s Chris Ross.

“Hindi. Hindi ko tinawag na N-word. Ewan ko kung may nakarinig. Pero hindi,” clarified the fiery tactician moments after their 98-109 defeat, their third straight after starting the 2018 Philippine Cup with two straight wins.

That tussle, according to Guiao, was just filled with trash talking against each other, as he felt the need to retaliate. In fact, Guiao was even caught by the TV camera saying “son of a bitch” towards the Filipino-American point guard.

“Daldal siya ng daldal eh. Eh sa akin naman kapag ganon, siguro respeto nalang. Lumayo ka nalang tutal mananalo naman na kayo,” he said. “I didn’t understand what he was saying, what he was talking about.

“Nakipagtrash-talking din ako sa kanya.”

Furthermore, the 58-year-old was also caught by the cameras flipping the bird — in one quick motion — also against Ross.

“Oo. Kasama na rin yun.

“Pero ano naman eh, it’s part of, siguro, psychological warfare. Malakas din siya mang-asar. Hindi lang naman sa amin. Everytime naman na mga ganoong skirmishes, he also knows what he’s capable of,” the seven-time champion coach furthered.

But more than this scuffle, it really has become a stressful time for Guiao and the Road Warriors. They have now went down to 2-3 in the team standings, and the mentor sees the great need to end this slump immediately.

“We have to arrest it very soon. Ang susunod na laro namin ay versus Rain or Shine sa Friday. So we need to go back to 50 percent win-loss level para at least may chance ka na maka-playoffs. That’s going to be a crucial game for us,” he stressed.

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Kiefer Ravena shocked with Von Pessumal’s shove: ‘I did not expect that at all’



Kiefer Ravena and Von Pessumal have been teammates ever since they were in high school, winning three UAAP juniors crowns together. They won two championships together in the seniors level and even played together in Gilas. They were inseparable.

Friday evening however, they were playing for separate camps.

Ravena admitted that he never expected a shove to come from Pessumal during the NLEX Road Warriors’ clash with San Miguel Beermen.

In an off-ball situation, Pessumal charged at Ravena, sending the rookie down to the floor with 9:50 remaining in the final frame. He was then whistled for an unsportsmanlike foul, and Ravena sank one from the line.

“I did not expect that at all,” admitted Ravena after the match in which they lost, 98-109 — their third straight defeat after a 2-0 start. “But hopefully Von doesn’t take it personal.

“I’m just doing my job. They won the game.”

Ravena insisted that there wasn’t any physicality between him and Pessumal prior to that, but he thinks that his former Gilas teammate may have gotten irked by his staredown after blocking him on a fastbreak play early in the fourth.

“When that fastbreak happened — the same exact possession na I challenged him, I looked at him, and after that yun na yung nangyari,” said the 23-year-old guard. “But I never instigated something to provoke Von to do that.

“Probably nung tinignan ko siya.”

Moreover, the second overall pick of the 2017 PBA Rookie Draft felt that that incident “started all the commotions during the end game (laughs). Yun yung pinaka-una eh. And with that, the team got fired up and it worked for them.”

He may be right, for the game saw more skirmishes after that: from teammate Michael Miranda kicking Chris Ross to the groin, and with his head coach Yeng Guiao figuring in a heated verbal war also against Ross.

But then, Ravena made it clear that it was never a plan of his to put down somebody, especially someone like Pessumal who he sees as a brother for life.

“You know, Von and I, we go way back. Things like this hopefully don’t become too personal.

“I have no intention na ipapahiya yung tao or sasaktan mo yung tao. Wala namang ganun. Laro-laro lang,” said NLEX’s leading scorer.

It was somehow a night to remember for Ravena, but for all the wrong reasons. After Friday’s loss that sent their card to 2-3, the veteran internationalist now sees the need for him and the Road Warriors to push the panic button.

“‘Di na pwedeng sabihin palaging kailangan namin matuto eh. Pangatlong sunod na,” the second-generation cager expressed.

“Kailangan siguro naming umaksyon.”

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Downcast Chris Ross chooses to stay mum after heated altercation with Yeng Guiao



Through wins or losses, Chris Ross has always accommodated the members of the press asking for interviews and fans requesting for photo ops every after game. But Friday evening, the nine-year pro was despondent.

Visibly agitated with the events that had transpired during the San Miguel Beermen’s tilt against the NLEX Road Warriors, Ross, with his hoodie covering his head, left the Cuneta Astrodome without saying a word.

The reigning Defensive Player of the Year had figured in physical play after physical play and verbal exchange after verbal exchange with the frustrated Road Warriors.

Ross and Alex Mallari were both slapped with technicals after a confrontation with 9:06 left. This was just the start of many things to come for the Filipino-American defensive specialist

After knocking down a triple and receiving a taunt from Ross, Michael Miranda was assessed a disqualifying foul for an apparent kick to the groin against Ross with 4:35 left.

The tip of the iceberg came with 1:46 left to play and the game all but settled.

Yeng Guiao and Ross figured in a heated word war that resulted in Ross’ second technical foul for the game. Referees and players from both sides had to separate the two to prevent things from escalating.

San Miguel coach Leo Austria alleged that the fiery NLEX mentor said the “N” word, while some said Guiao called Ross a “bitch”.

Ross finished the game with four points, eight rebounds, and four steals in 37 minutes of action.

For sure, penalties and suspensions will come out of this game.

And it was better for Ross to stay silent.

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Jason Brickman flirts with triple-double as Mono holds off Singapore



After playing his worst game of the season last Sunday against Tanduay Alab Pilipinas, Jason Brickman bounced back, steering the Mono Vampire to a 91-88 road victory over the Singapore Slingers, Friday evening at the OCBC Arena.

The 26-year-old, who finished with just seven points and three assists in their 71-104 loss to Alab, tallied 10 points, 11 rebounds, and nine assists. The league-leader in assists did not take a break, playing all 40 minutes.

But it was not a walk in the park for the Thailand-based squad.

Mono led by as much as 22 points, 60-48, with 7:46 left, 16 points entering the final frame. A furious fourth quarter rally by Singapore sliced the lead, turning the game into a single-possession contest with a minute left. The steady hands of Samuel Deguara and Mike Singletary from the stripe fended off Singapore.

Brickman’s compatriot Paul Zamar chipped in 13 markers for Mono.

Since torching Alab last January 3, Filipino-Canadian AJ Mandani has been on a slump, going just 3-for-11 from the field for nine points.

Mono’s World Imports Samuel Deguara and Mike Singletary both finished with 26 points with the former hauling down 18 rebounds. For Singapore, Xavier Alexander paced the Slingers with 29 points, nine rebounds, and eight assists.

With the win, the Vampire kept solo third with a 7-4 slate. On the other hand, the Slingers dropped its second straight game since winning against Alab, falling to 5-6.

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