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CEU shoots the lights out in huge win over DLSU



The Centro Escolar University (CEU) Scorpions, led by JK Casino’s five three pointers in the fourth quarter, withstood a slow start and eventually take a 93-78 win over the De La Salle University (DLSU) Green Archers early Saturday evening at the FilOil Flying V Arena in San Juan City.

CEU big man Samboy de Leon was quickly called for two fouls in the first minute of the game. After a foul on a steal attempt on Jeron Teng, De Leon was assessed a technical foul after continuous complaining. This sparked a huge 10-0 rally highlighted by three straight three pointers by Jason Perkins. Aaron Jureta placed on the board and scored CEU’s eight of their first 10 points. However, Thomas Torres and Prince Rivero quelled any Scorpion rally to give DLSU a 23-16 lead. Moreover, Samboy de Leon was penalized with his third foul with 38.5 seconds remaining.

Abu Tratter extended the DLSU lead to start the second stanza 28-18. The gutsy Scorpions squad then went toe-to-toe with the offensive firepower of the Green Archers to close the gap. Even a third foul penalized on CEU senior Joseph Celso did not stop the momentum of CEU as JM Vargas connected with back-to-back triples. CEU then closed the quarter with a 6-0 run, majority of which coming from foreign student-athlete Rodrigue Embondo.

After halftime, a reinvigorated CEU squad came out of the locker room and locked down the potent DLSU offense. In addition, the CEU Scorpions, known to be a three-point shooting team, displayed amazing ball movement to look for open three-point shots. After being down 44-38, the Scorpions went on a game-altering 20-7 run. Three pointers by Samboy de Leon and Mon Abundo and big shots by Jeruta gave CEU a 56-51 lead. Torres tried to stop the rally, but de Leon extended the CEU lead to 65-57 to end the third canto of the game.

The combination of Abondo and Casino then opened the floodgates that blew the game wide open. CEU’s floor general Abondo was able to locate backcourt mate CK Casino for open looks from downtown in three straight possessions to give the NAASCU champions a 74-59 lead. Perkins, who was in foul trouble the entire game, tried to rally the Green Archers back in scoring five straight points but a backbreaking three pointer by Casino, his fifth of the quarter, destroyed all hopes of a comeback with an 82-69 lead with 3:26 remaining. The game ended with the Scorpions beating the Green Archers for the first time in school history 91-76.

Coach Edgar Macaraya said this win is a dedication to everyone understanding the concept of a “CEU family.” “Everybody stepped up. It showed that the team does not revolve around Samboy. [Joseph] Celso, JM [Vargas] all took turns in defending Jeron,” the NAASCU champion coach said about the team’s defense.

But the man of the hour was JK Casino. When asked about the hot shooting performance of his prized guard, Macaraya said that Casino was not having a good showing in the tournament, “thank god that JK finally had a good shooting [game]. And thankfully it came against La Salle.”

After shooting just 36% in the first half, CEU shot 52.5% in the second half. Moreover, great ball movement by the Scorpions assisted on 13 of the 21 second half shots of the team. Three point shooting, though, was the story of the game as CEU connected on 12 three pointers in the game.

The CEU Scorpions were led by Jureta’s 19 points and Casino’s 17 points, including five three pointers. Ebondo had a double-double scoring 15 points and grabbing 17 rebounds. Mon Abundo also dished out 10 assists.

For the Green side, Jason Perkins led the team with 19 points but fouled out in the fourth quarter. Prince Rivero and Jeron Teng led the team in rebounds with eight each.

The CEU Scorpions will next play on Saturday, June 8 in a rematch of last year’s third place game against the SWU Cobras at 1:30pm. DLSU, on the other hand, will look to bounce back against UST at 5:00pm on the same day.

The Scores:

CEU (93) – Jeruta 19, Casino 17, Ebondo 15, De Leon R. 13, Batino 8, Abundo 7, Vargas 6, Celso 4, Anunciacion 2, Pakatipunan 2, Opiso 0, De Leon K 0

DLSU (78) – Perkins 19, Rivero 12, Tratter 11, Torres 8, Teng 8, Gob 6, Caracut 5, Go 4, Van Opstal 3, Navarro 2

CEU (B, 6-1)16366593
DLSU (B, 5-2)23375778


1 Comment
  • rolando villanueva

    Archers lost in coaching. Coach Sauler cannot come up with situational defense and offense plays which is noticeable in the 3rd and 4th quarter. Sauler also was outcoached in inside plays, offense and defense, including rebounds.
    Archers have the luxury of having the best players in the league, but maximizing the potential of these players depends on the type of plays the coach wants them to execute and this will also apply in their training to make them ready for this plays.
    I think Coach Sauler is still until to date, learning the ropes of coaching specially creating or innovating critical situational plays. The management has to assess the performance of this coach since it was also this criteria where he made a blunder in Archers loss to FEU in the semi-finals last UAAP season. This loss to CEU by a big margin and our win over UP by slim margin is an eye opener.


Calvin Abueva rejuvenated with return of physical play: ‘Masarap maglaro’



Photo by PBA Images

For Calvin Abueva, it feels great to play in the PBA nowadays.

The Beast, who has always been known as one of the league’s most physical players since entering in 2012, was all praises for the way the officiating has changed this 43rd season — by just letting all the players play.

“Mas gumanda yung tawagan ngayon, naging physical nga. Naging exciting para sa mga tao, mas marami na nanonood ngayon eh,” said Abueva moments after their 97-83 victory over the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel, Sunday night.

As has been said many times, physicality had become something controlled over the last two years. Abueva knows it too well, having been a casualty, as he has paid a bevy of penalties during that time.

And now that it is a thing of the past, the 6-foot-2 bruiser feels much better, knowing that he can display his brand of basketball once more.

“Masarap maglaro, talagang pisikalan,” said the 29-year-old forward from Angeles, Pampanga. “Siyempre makikita naman natin kung sinasadya o hindi, basta katawan lang.

“Pisikal. Yun yung magandang laro di ba?”

Aside from the comeback of physicality, what makes Abueva beam even more is the way the Aces have been playing in the 2018 Philippine Cup. After a 0-2 start in the tourney, they have now booked their third straight win.

“Nung 2017 parang nilubog na namin yung losing streak namin doon. Ito 2018 na at panibagong destination na naman yung ina-ano namin,” said Abueva, who had nine points, nine rebounds, and five assists against Ginebra.

“Sustain muna namin ‘to… Sana magtuloy-tuloy ‘tong winning streak namin.”

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Alaska takes advantage of Greg Slaughter’s absence



For the streaking Alaska Aces, their stunning 97-83 victory over the favored Barangay Ginebra San Miguel on Sunday night was partly made possible by the absence of one key player: seven-foot behemoth Greg Slaughter.

The 28-year-old center, who was averaging 20.67 points and 10.3 rebounds prior to Sunday, did not play against the Aces due to a hamstring injury. How he incurred the injury has yet to be determined.

“There’s a small person named Greg Slaughter who didn’t play; I think he has an impact on the game,” quipped coach Alex Compton after the match.

“[They missed] a guy who I think is gonna win an MVP soon in Greg Slaughter.

“Sometimes dito sa liga natin, you have to take advantage when opportunities come your way. You don’t want anybody to get hurt [though],” added Compton.

With Slaughter out of the way, the Aces’ big men feasted.

Vic Manuel top-billed with 18 points and five rebounds, and elder statesman Sonny Thoss turned back the clock with a 17-point, four-rebound outing.

“Malaking bonus na rin sa amin, kasi wala nga si Greg kaya nakuha namin yung panalo,” said Manuel.

“Yeah it definitely helped,” added the six-foot-seven Thoss, who shot 6-of-12 from the floor and made four of his freebies.

“He’s a big guy, he’s a big presence inside so it took one big guy off our shoulder.”

Slaughter was approached and asked by scribes regarding his injury, but he was not in the mood to comment. No one can blame him, though, since the Barangay have slipped to their second straight defeat after a 2-0 start.

“I’m always there in practice, going over our gameplans. But it’s better if you ask our PT,” he said.

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Alaska completes turnaround at Greg Slaughter-less Ginebra’s expense



Photo by PBA Images

A strong second half surge was all the Alaska Aces needed to turn back the heavily-favored Barangay Ginebra San Miguel, 97-83, and book their third straight victory, Sunday night at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City.

The Aces, who have yet to lose this 2018, have now improved to 3-2. Meanwhile, the Barangay absorbed their second straight loss and have dropped to 2-2.

“I was telling the guys na parang ang dami nating iniisip, hindi natin ginagawa yung ginagawa natin noong nakaraang dalawang linggo. Sabi ko relax lang tayo,” said coach Alex Compton, sharing what he told his wards that sparked the win.

Vic Manuel led the Milkmen with 18 points and five rebounds. Sonny Thoss turned back the clock as he made 17 markers on 6-of-12 shooting, while Chris Banchero supplied 14 points, six assists, and five rebounds.

The Aces were trailing by eight, 36-44 at the half, but it became a different ball game come the third chapter as they outscored the Gin Kings, 37 to 19, to erect a favorable 73-63 cushion heading into the game’s final 12 minutes.

From there, Alaska kept their foot on the gas to sustain their lead, which grew to as much as 18, 85-67, after their 6-0 spree — punctuated by Banchero’s lay-up plus a foul — with 6:14 remaining in the final frame.

Ginebra still tried to make one last push as they inched within 10, 75-85, but baskets by Thoss and Kevin Racal propelled Alaska to an 89-75 lead with 3:42 left to play — more than enough to knock out their counterparts.

“I was glad to come away with the win,” added Compton. “Sometimes, we have to take advantage of opportunities coming your way. You don’t want anybody to get hurt but when two number one picks on the other team aren’t playing… There.”

Jvee Casio had 13 markers for Alaska, while Calvin Abueva nearly had a double-double of nine points and nine boards along with five assists in 20 minutes.

Aljon Mariano had 15 points, nine rebounds, and three dimes for Ginebra, who — despite having Sol Mercado back in the fold after ankle issues — missed the services of Joe Devance and Greg Slaughter due to injuries.

Japeth Aguilar, Scottie Thompson, and Kevin Ferrer each scored 12 for the Barangay, with Thompson adding five assists. The trio combined for 15 of Ginebra’s 43 rebounds.

Alaska will aim to extend their streak versus the Blackwater Elite on Saturday, January 27 at 4:30 PM, while Ginebra will look to end their slump against the Phoenix Fuel Masters on Friday, January 26 at 7:00 PM. Both games are at SMART Araneta Coliseum.

The Scores:

Alaska 97 — Manuel 18, Thoss 17, Banchero 14, Casio 13, Abueva 9, Teng 9, Cruz 5, Enciso 3, Potts 3, Exciminiano 2, Magat 2, Racal 2, J. Pascual 0.

Ginebra 83 — Mariano 15, J. Aguilar 12, Ferrer 12, Thompson 12, Caguioa 8, Cruz 8, R. Aguilar 5, Tenorio 5, Mercado 2, Taha 2, Wilson 2, Jamito 0.

Quarterscores: 26-23, 36-44, 73-63, 97-83.

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Frustrated Jared Dillinger admits ‘he’s getting sick’ of Meralco’s bad PH Cup runs



It’s no secret that the Meralco Bolts have struggled in the Philippine Cup for the last three years. During the last two seasons, the eight-year-old franchise’s win-loss tally is four wins and 18 losses.

And in the 2018 edition, the narrative has been the same, with little to no hope of it turning the other way around.

The Bolts bowed to the TNT Katropa, 99-81, Sunday night — their third straight defeat after winning over Blackwater Elite in their opener last December. If things continue as they are, it looks like another poor all-Filipino tilt run is looming.

“We’re 1-3 and there’s nothing to be happy about,” said Jared Dillinger, who had 14 points and five caroms in the match at Ynares Center in Antipolo. “It’s a long season though… We [shouldn’t] panic but it’s not fun right now.

“The Philippine Cup has been our Achilles heel and every damn Philippine Cup we get our ass kicked. I’m getting sick of it.”

In this game, Meralco missed the services of top forwards Ranidel De Ocampo and Cliff Hodge due to injuries. But for Dillinger, those issues shouldn’t be excuses.

“When you get two guys like Ranidel and Cliff out, as a team, that’s the opportunity for the guys below them to step up,” asserted Dillinger, who has been with the franchise since 2013.

“It doesn’t have to mean scoring, getting the assists or rebound, it’s just making the right play, being smart.”

Asked what went wrong in this particular loss versus their sister team, where they shot just 39.2 percent from the floor and had committed 17 turnovers, the 10-year veteran lamented the poor effort that the Bolts put up.

“TNT didn’t do anything much, given that they played well. But they didn’t have any secret schemes against us. They just passed the ball around, and they got open shots,” added the 10-year pro, as TNT made 23 assists and shot 18 triples.

“Our effort wasn’t there. We got to put up the intensity cause it sucks right now.”

Meralco have a chance to end their slump against the Kia Picanto this Wednesday. Dillinger sees it as a do-or-die affair, warning that it will be a grind-out affair knowing that the Picanto is coming off a skid-ending win over Rain or Shine.

Do-or-die ’cause that’s gonna be a playoff game. Thank God they beat Rain or Shine ’cause you don’t want to be that one team that gives the win to a 0-16 [team]. You don’t want to play teams like that,” stressed the all-around forward.

“Nothing to take away from Kia though. It’s gonna be tough.”

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