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Chan, Cruz lead Rain or Shine, survive Ginebra scare



In a game that displayed the importance of depth, the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters pulled off a great 94-86 win at the expense of Barangay Ginebra Sunday evening at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Rain or Shine led the first quarter, 21-18, in a see-saw quarter between them and Ginebra. A Jireh Ibanes three gave Rain or Shine a good start at 12-11. Jeff Chan made another three once play resumed, but Greg Slaughter responded to cut the deficit to 15-14. Slaughter then scored to give Ginebra the lead at 15-16.

Baskets from Ibanes and Chan returned the initiative to Rain or Shine. Jervy Cruz pulled one back for Ginebra but a JR Quinahan jumper finished the quarter for Rain or Shine.

Early in the second, Gabe Norwood shot from beyond the arc to give Rain or Shine a 26-18 edge over Ginebra. Afterwards, Chris Tiu extended Rain or Shine’s control of the game with a trey of his own, 31-20. Undeterred, Slaughter, rookie Scottie Thompson, and Mark Caguioa trimmed Rain or Shine’s advantage to 29-35. Quinahan immediately restored Rain or Shine’s lead to ten points courtesy of a layup.

With everything to do, Dave Marcelo made a basket between Caguioa’s to keep Ginebra close to Rain or Shine. Ginebra ended the first half the happier team as Aguilar’s two free throws tied the game 39-39 at halftime.

Jericho Cruz’s floater gave Rain or Shine a 44-41 edge over Ginebra near the start of the third quarter but LA Tenorio rallied a trey to level the scores at 46-46. It turned downhill after that for Ginebra as Rain or Shine capitalized on a technical foul for coach Tim Cone. A trey from Jericho Cruz capped off a 10-0 run to gift Rain or Shine 56-46 lead.

Slaughter’s two freebies sliced Rain or Shine’s lead to single digits but a Maverick Ahanmisi drive extended Rain or Shine’s dominance to 61-50. Norwood wrote the last sentence of the third quarter with a jumper which gave Rain or Shine a 68-56 leverage over Ginebra.

Chan made another three to give Rain or Shine a 71-56 edge over Ginebra from the get-go of the fourth quarter. Ginebra veteran Jayjay Helterbrand later shaved Rain or Shine’s run to 63-75, but Chan immediately scored afterwards to quell the Gin Kings. Ginebra finally cut Rain or Shine’s lead to 73-82 courtesy of an Aguilar slam. Sol Mercado scored to narrowed Rain or Shine’s lead further to just seven points, but a three point play by Jewel Ponferada reinstated the Elasto Painters’ advantage to 87-75.

Pumped up by the Araneta crowd, four straight points from Mercado trimmed Rain or Shine’s lead once again to 82-89. Nevertheless, a three point play from Chan restored Rain or Shine’s ten point lead and they successfully fended off Ginebra.

Jericho Cruz was thankful to have Coach Yeng Guiao as his mentor, saying, “I’m just thankful to be coached by Coach Yeng.” He then added, “this was a tough game. Both teams fought hard and we are happy to gain this win.”

Chan, who led his team in scoring with 19 markers, said that he wanted to be aggressive in this game. “Mas gusto ko lang tumira this game kasi last game kaunti lang tinira ko,” he said. “Nakakita lang ako ng mga butas at buti na lang pumasok. Pero hindi ko rin naman pinilit mga tira ko.”

Chan scored 19 points, while Jericho Cruz followed him with 16 for Rain or Shine. For Ginebra, it was their twin towers who led them as Aguilar made 22 markers and Slaughter provided 19.

As a team, both team’s shot at a high-mark with the Elasto Painters shooting 50% while the Gin Kings shot 45%. However, the depth of Rain or Shine was emphasized in the game as their bench provided 46 points of their 94-point effort. The Ginebra bench had 27 points.

The result gave Rain or Shine their third straight win and a 6-1 record, level with the San Miguel Beermen and Alaska Aces. On the other hand, it was Ginebra’s first loss in five games as they had won the previous three before today.

Rain or Shine will play the Talk N’ Text Tropang Texters on December 6, 2015 (Sunday; 5:15PM) at the Smart Araneta Coliseum, while Ginebra shall face Blackwater Elite on December 5, 2015 (Saturday; 7:00PM) in Angeles City.

The Scores:
Rain or Shine (94) – Chan 19, Cruz 16, Ahanmisi 13, Belga 9, Norwood 8, Ponferada 7, Trollano 7, Ibanes 5, Quinahan 5, Tiu 3, Almazan 2, Matias 0, Nimes 0, Teng 0.

Ginebra (86) – Aguilar 22, Slaughter 19, Caguioa 11, Mercado 8, Thompson 7, Tenorio 6, Helterbrand 5, Cruz 4, Marcelo 4, Devance 0, Ellis 0, Mariano 0, Salva 0.

Quarterscores: 21-18, 39-39, 68-56, 94-86.


Lorenzo's a frustrated author who knows a thing or two about Football and Basketball. Went all green from Ortigas to Taft. Supports Liverpool FC, FC Bayern Munich and the Alaska Aces

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Mixed Martial Arts

Rene Catalan continues rampage with TKO win



Rene Catalan continues to turn critics into believers

Filipino fighter Rene Catalan made his sixth appearance inside the ONE Championship cage at ONE: Kings of Courage, held at the Jakarta Convention Center in Indonesia, Saturday evening. He faced 21-year-old Chinese athlete Peng Xue Wen in the opening main card bout, and leaned on his elite wushu skills to stop the young star at the 4:22 mark of the second round.

The victory improves Catalan’s record to 4-2 (1 NC), extends his winning streak to four, and gives him the first TKO stoppage of his martial arts career, as he bids to climb the strawweight ladder in search of the ONE Strawweight World Championship.

“The Challenger” came out in the southpaw stance to open the bout, throwing big hooks and a head kick that narrowly missed as he established the center of the cage from the start of the contest.

The Filipino landed a host of powerful strikes, including a perfectly-placed uppercut and a melee of punishing leg kicks, but Peng’s conditioning and composure kept him in the match as he looked to stand and trade with the man 18 years his elder.

Catalan picked up where he left off when the bout resumed in the second round, this time operating out of the orthodox stance, landing more leg kicks and continuing to deny Peng any space to work.

Despite his dominance on the feet, there was a brief moment of concern for the Filipino on the mat when he jumped into the Chinese wrestler’s guard mid-way through the second round, and immediately found himself in a triangle choke. But the Filipino kept his composure and managed to work himself free.

Once the fighters returned to their feet, Catalan poured on the pressure in search of a finish, and he got it with just 38 seconds remaining in the stanza.

“The Challenger” scored big with a liver shot, then unloaded a fierce flurry of punches that forced Peng onto his back foot. Another shot forced Peng to the mat, where a salvo of ground and pound from Catalan eventually forced the TKO stoppage as referee Olivier Coste stepped in to halt the contest.

Photo, story, and video from ONE Championship

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Gelo Alolino regrets Phoenix’s failure to close out Hotshots



Photo by PBA Images

Gelo Alolino had his best game for the Phoenix Fuel Masters on Saturday night at the Cuneta Astrodome with 19 points, eclipsing his previous career-high of 16 markers which he made last May 21, 2017 in a loss to the Mahindra Floodbuster.

But his achievement won’t be too memorable, as it went for naught following a 91-97 defeat at the hands of Paul Lee and the Magnolia Hotshots, who have now collected their third straight victory.

For the second overall pick in the regular 2016 Rookie Draft, it was all because of their failure to sustain momentum up until the game’s final buzzer.

“Sayang, nandun na. We felt na sa amin na nung dulo kaso lang ganun talaga,” rued the 24-year-old sophomore after the match, where he shot an excellent 7-of-10 from the floor.

“Breaks of the game napunta sa kabila.”

Phoenix were in contention all throughout the match. In fact, they were even ahead, 89-84, with just three minutes left to play. But the Hotshots’ comeback skills were unleashed, leading to the narrow win.

“Siyempre kami lahat nasayangan. Maganda naman yung team effort talaga namin,” admitted the 6-foot floor general of their end-game collapse, which wasted their efforts in assists (21) and on defense, where they forced Magnolia to 21 turnovers.

“Kami as players talagang gusto namin bumawi coming from a loss last game sa Rain or Shine.

The Fuel Masters have now lost their second straight outing and have dropped to 2-3. And for Alolino, all they have to do is learn as much as they can from this loss, especially now that they are about to face the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel next.

“Yun nga. Medyo masakit para sa’min ‘to,” admitted the National University product.

“All we have to do is magviview ulit kami ng tape para makita kung saan kami mas pwede mag-improve as a team and bawat isa — including me.”

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Glenn Khobuntin repays Ricky Dandan’s trust with end-game heroics



FILE Photo from PBA Images

Glenn Khobuntin can finally say that he had himself a moment in the pro ranks

The National University alumnus proved his worth for the Kia Picanto, scoring his team’s final six points to steer the often-ridiculed club to their first win after a historic 16-game skid, at the expense of the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters, 98-94.

“I knew he would. I knew he would,” lauded Kia head coach Ricky Dandan of the takeover by the six-foot-four forward.

“It was a blessing he didn’t play for the first two quarters because he [came in] fresh at gigil na gigil.”

Khobuntin finished with 11 markers on 5-of-7 shooting — the best game he’s had so far, not because of the numbers he posted but with the way he made them. But the three-year pro does not want to take the spotlight all onto himself.

“Hindi lang din naman ako e, kami ding lahat e,” the 26-year-old shared. “Siguro kumbaga nagka-opportunity lang, napunta sa akin yung bola kasi yun yung nasa scheme ng play so ayun.

“Thankful lang ako na-hit ko yung mga na-design na plays.”

However, the third-year pro admitted that he had been frightened during the game’s final stretch, as Rain or Shine managed to impose a serious threat by coming back from a seven-point deficit, 94-96, with just less than 22 ticks left to play.

“Kinakabahan ako kasi two minutes pa rin yun e tapos Rain or Shine yung kalaban namin,” the native of Cagayan de Oro said. “Nakita ko nakakabalik sila. Thankful lang naman ako na yung game napunta sa amin, at least natapos yung losing streak namin.”

But more than the end of their months-long slump, what Khobuntin is grateful for is the trust given to him by Dandan, who fielded him as a starter in the second half after sitting out the entirety of the first 24 minutes.

“Nag-decide siya na ako yung i-start niya so thankful ako kasi nagtiwala siya sa akin.”

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Justin Brownlee, Alab lock down Knights for fifth win



Paying a visit to Indonesia for the first time this season, Tanduay Alab Pilipinas needed time to figure the CLS Knights out before stifling the hosts in the final frame to take a 92-87 road win, Saturday evening at the GOR CLS Kertajaya in Indonesia.

This is Alab’s second straight win after losing to the Singapore Slingers last January 10.

With the win, the Philippine-based club team lifts its slate to 5-4 for solo fourth. CLS, on the other hand, dropped to 1-7 — just half a game ahead of the cellar-dwelling Formosa Dreamers.

Justin Brownlee displayed his all-around brilliance in the game, leading Alab with 36 points on 15-for-24 shooting to go along with eight rebounds, seven assists, and three steals.

But Alab’s bench could not sustain the effort of the starters, which meant the team was clinging to a two-point lead with 7:06 remaining.

Needing a spark, 40-year-old sniper Dondon Hontiveros provided for Alab, knocking down a triple that proved to be the starting point 14-2 Alab run. A jumper by Bobby Ray Parks, Jr. with 2:57 left capped the rally and gave Alab an 87-73 lead.

Hontiveros scored five of the eight Alab bench points. Fortunately for Alab, Renaldo Balkman and Bobby Ray Parks, Jr. were on point. The former tallying a double-double with 17 points and 13 rebounds, while Alab’s skipper had 14 points, four assists, two rebounds, two steals, and two blocks.

Coach Jimmy Alapag fielded his bench afterwards, but they let the quintet of Brian Williams, Mario Wuysang, Arif Hidayat, Decorey Jones, and Sandy Kurniawan slice the lead to as low as four points. Then free throws by Oping Sumalinog with eight ticks left put CLS away for good.

Williams paced CLS with 22 points and 14 rebounds while Kurniawan added 19 markers. Indonesian legend Wuysang had 17 points and six rebounds in the loss.

Alab ends its road trip on Sunday, January 28, when it takes on the Saigon Heat at the CIS Arena in Ho Chi Minh City.

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