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Cignal survives another five-setter, thwarts Philips’ Gold

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Opening their season in cardiac fashion, the Cignal HD Spikers outlasted the Philips’ Gold Lady Slammers 15-25, 25-15, 25-17, 19-25, 16-14 for their second consecutive win in the Philippine Superliga Gran Prix at the San Juan Arena.

Both teams traded convincing set wins leading up to the frantic deciding frame. The Lady Slammers started off coughing up errors, giving Cignal a 9-6 lead. Attacks from Philps Gold import, Alexis Olgard, and Cignal’s errors brought the Lady Slammers to within one, 11-12, before a pair of Cignal attacks capped by Rizza Mandapat gave the HD Spikers first crack at the match, 14-11. Cignal nearly threw their their advantage away with Fritz Gallenero and Ariel Usher dropping back-to-back errors that brought the match to a deuce, 14-all. But, Gallenero made up for her error in the following point, sending a rocket down the line which Team Captain, Micmic Laborte, followed with long-rally ending kill to seal the match for the HD Spikers.

Despite giving up 31 errors, the HD Spikers got a leg up through their 61-54 attacking advatage, which their setter, April Hingpit, greatly helped with 37 excellent sets, nearly matching the Lady Slammers’ Phil-Am setter’s 46 assists.

Cignal import, Ariel Usher continued her blistering start to the season, dropping 30 points off 27 attacks, two aces, and a block. The HD Spikers’ other import, Amanda Anderson added 18 markers off 15 attacks and three blocks. The HD Spikers had come off a five-set win last Saturday when they took down the defending champs Petron Blaze Spikers.

“Kung tutuusin, mas gusto ko sana na hindi abutin ng five sets. Pero kung panalo naman, I guess we’ll take it,” said Cignal head coach Sammy Acaylar. “We’ll work on our errors – medyo naparami kami ng error nung dulo ng fifth set. Baka hindi na kami swertehin pagdating ng sundo ng mga laban.”

UCLA’s Alexis Olgard led all Lady Slammers with 20 points, Bojana Todorovic had 18 markers, while NU’s Myla Pablo added 17 points.

The HD Spikers (2-0) will take on the Meralco Power Spikers (0-2) at the Cuneta Astrodome on Saturday, while the Lady Slammers (0-1) have the Petron Blaza Spikers (1-1) on the same day and venue.

The Scores

Cignal (3) – Usher 30, Anderson 18, Gallenero 7, Laborte 5, Vivas 5, Tiu 5, Mandapat 2, Hingpit 2, Enclona (L), Dionela (L)

Philips (2) – Olgard 20, Todorovic 18, Pablo 17, Dadang 5, Gumabao 3, Dowd 2, Espelita 0, Yongco 0, Gohing (L)

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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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Basketball

Calvin Abueva, Raymond Almazan cut from pool

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SMART Gilas Pilipinas’ third session for the second leg of the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers ended early on Monday evening.

Prior to the end of the practice, head coach Chot Reyes talked to team veterans Jayson Castro, Gabe Norwood, and June Mar Fajardo. The outspoken mentor told the seniors of the team that he is cutting Calvin Abueva and Raymond Almazan from the pool.

“The reason why we’re dropping Abueva and Almazan for the second window is because they haven’t showed up,” lamented Reyes.

“It’s already our third practice at hindi pa sila nagpapakita. It’s simply a matter of disinterest.

“I guess they’re not interested so we have to move on we can’t wait for those guys,” he pointed out.

Both Abueva and Almazan were part of the teams that competed in the 2017 SEABA Championship, the 2017 FIBA Asia Cup, and the first window of the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers.

Only 10 players from the pool showed up for the team’s third session. And with the second leg exactly one month away, Gilas cannot let a slip up happen especially against Australia.

“Aside from those two we don’t know where Matt Wright is, while Allein [Maliksi] is attending a wedding in Australia. Other than that it’s really just an issue of Calvin and Raymond if they don’t want to be a part of the pool.” expressed Reyes.

“That’s the reason we’re dropping them for the second window.”

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2019 FIBA World Cup Qualifiers

23 for 2023 cadets fill up Gilas practice

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With just 31 days until the second window of the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers, only 10 players from the pool attended the team’s third session, Monday evening at the Meralco Gym.

Suiting up in the session presided over by Coach Chot Reyes were June Mar Fajardo, Gabe Norwood, Troy Rosario, Jio Jalalon, Mac Belo, Kiefer Ravena, Kevin Alas, and Roger Pogoy. Carl Cruz and Jayson Castro were in attendance but were in street clothes.

Not present were Matthew Wright, Japeth Aguilar, and Allein Maliksi. Calvin Abueva and Raymond Almazan have yet to attend practice.

Joining the seniors team to prep them up for the World Cup Qualifiers were 10 players from the 23 for 2023 pool.

Ateneo Blue Eagle Matt Nieto attended his first Gilas practice. Joining him were teammates Isaac Go and Thirdy Ravena.

Completing the night’s cast were CJ Perez, Abu Tratter, Will Gozum, J-jay Alejandro, Arvin Tolentino, and Juan Gomez de Liano. Joshua Sinclair watched from the sidelines as he is still recovering from an ACL injury.

Gilas will take on Australia in Melbourne on February 22. The Philippine will then host Japan three days later at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

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CSJL

San Beda fends off Letran for back-to-back wins

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With seasoned setter John Carlo Desuyo steering the wheel to near perfection, the San Beda College romped to their second straight win.

The Red Spikers pulled double-digit outings from four players to upend archrival Colegio de San Juan de Letran Knights, 19-25, 25-13, 25-21, 25-22, and register their fourth win of the season, Monday early evening at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

It was the Knights, however, who started on the right foot, overhauling a 4-10 deficit to snag the first set. Better passing from liberos Aljune Centeno and Johnsen Timbreza resulted in kills from captain Bobby Gatdula.

Nonetheless, San Beda picked up the service game in the next three sets to ultimately finish off the blue-shirts.

Despite the win-loss record they currently sport, the Red Spiker playmaker admitted that t

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Basketball

Michael Calisaan tows Che’lu-San Sebastian past Perpetual

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Photo by PBA Images

Michael Calisaan poured 20 points as he captained newcomer Che’Lu-San Sebastian Revellers to a decisive 83-70 win over the University of Perpetual Help System DALTA Altas to start their voyage, Monday evening at the Pasig City Sports Center.

Doing it all for the Revellers, the veteran forward provided the stability for his side as he shot 8-of-15 from the field while also hauling down nine rebounds, two assists, and two steals in the conference-opening win.

But it wasn’t all Calisaan as Che’Lu got contributions from all over its roster.

Samboy de Leon chimed in 16 markers and nine boards. RK Ilagan went 2-of-5 from threes to collect 13 points, eight dimes, and three rebounds, while big men Alfred Batino and Jeepy Faundo combined for 20 in the victory.

Despite the triumph, coach Stevenson Tiu gave all the praise to his players, noting the team’s lack of time preparing for the tourney.

“Nanalo kami dahil sa talent ng players. Medyo mali ko rin kasi nahirapan pa ako mag-adjust sa players. Hopefully, we play much better in the coming games,” he said.

The Revellers used a 16-4 run to finally break away from the Altas, taking a 77-60 lead with 4:03 to play as they punished their foes for their turnovers, turning Perpetual’s 30 miscues to 28 points in their favor.

Prince Eze anchored the Altas with 15 points, 11 rebounds, and seven blocks in their first game under new head coach Frankie Lim.

Che’lu-San Sebastian look to make it two in a row when they take on the Wangs-Letran Couriers on Monday, January 29 at 5:00pm. Perpetual, on the other hand, hope they can notch their first win when they take on Mila’s Lechon Mighty Roasters.

The Scores:

Che’lu-SSCR 83 — Calisaan 20, De Leon 16, Ilagan 13, Batino 10, Faundo 10, Bulanadi 6, Costelo 6, Calma 2, David 0, Lao 0, Santos 0, Valdez 0.

UPHSD 70 — Eze 15, Coronel 13, Villanueva 13, Jimenez 9, Charcos 7, Peralta 7, Gallardo 5, Pido 1, Antonio 0, Aurin 0, Tamayo 0, Tongco 0.

Quarterscores: 17-22, 34-38, 59-53, 83-70.

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