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Daquioag unstoppable as UST fends off State U to stay perfect

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Then there was one.

The University of the Santo Tomas Growling Tigers needed every point, every hustle play from explosive senior Ed Daquioag in staving off the University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons, 67-59, to remain as the only unbeaten team in the 78th season of the UAAP Sunday afternoon at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

11,705 fans packed the MOA Arena to witness this battle. Moreover, the match-up between two of the biggest universities in the country was much-hyped on both the internet and on the streets. However, the game started off slow and sluggish as both teams were cold from the field. After a 4-0 start courtesy of Ed Daquioag, both teams could not buy a basket for almost six minutes of action. The cagers from Diliman would only get their first bucket at the 3:51 mark of the first quarter coming from a fade away shot by Jarrell Lim. Louis Vigil, Karim Abdul, and Daquioag pounced the paint in order to put up points for the UST. With 1.1 seconds to go and with the UP faithful growing restless, Diego Dario was able to find French student-athlete Cheick Kone for a thunderous jam to end the opening stanza with the score of 10-4.

The Growling Tigers blasted the still struggling Maroons during the start of the second quarter. After a hard drive by Kone to open up the scoring, Marvin Lee converted on three free throws that sparked a 9-2 run that gave the Gold and White squad a 19-8 lead. As the Tigers were trying to breakaway, the Iskos ng Bayan took advantage of careless UST turnovers. A top of the arc three pointer by JR Gallarza and free throws by Dario ended the quarter with UP still down six 21-15.

Rensy Bajar’s wards fired on all cylinders during the third canto in eventually getting the lead for the first time 27-25 with 6:11 remaining in the third after a three pointer by Jett Manuel. With UST regaining the lead at 32-31, member of the legendary San Beda Super Six Dave Moralde was called for a technical foul for swinging an elbow at Abdul with 3:55 to go. Both teams were fired up after the call as they went hard on offense. A three-point play conversion by lanky forward Kevin Ferrer and a fastbreak layup by Sheriff gave UST a 42-37 lead but a three-pointer by Gelo Vito ended the quarter with UST holding on to just a 42-40 lead.

The fourth quarter was a whole different story as Ed Daquioag took over the game. Daquioag opened the quarter in scoring seven points in a 9-2 blast to give his team a 51-44. And by the 2:38 mark of the final frame, explosive wingman had already scored 22 points in the game. Jett Manuel tried to spark a final UP rally with a three pointer that cut the lead to just three, 55-52, with 2:22 remaining in the game. However, Manuel badly missed a breakaway layup that could have cut the lead to just one. A turnaround hook by Daquioag followed by free throws gave the Growling Tigers a 59-54 lead. Questionable decisions were also made by the inexperienced UP squad in taking long three-pointers and making fouls even with still a minute to go. Dario tried to keep his team afloat by Ferrer, Renzo Subido, and Vigil sealed the game for UST, 67-59, to remain undefeated.

“It was a hard game. UP prepared really hard for us,” coach Bong dela Cruz remarked about the game. “Sinuwerte lang kami kasi naexecute namin ng tama ang defense and offense namin.” Moreover, the victorious coach knew that Daquioag would lead the team this year. “Last year pa lang alam ko na na si Ed at Kev [Ferrer] ang magdadala ng team.” This was a long-time coming for Daquioag as his UAAP season 77 campaign was hampered by injury.

The Growling Tigers were led by Ed Daquioag’s 27 big points on 53% shooting from the field and 8/11 from the charity stripe. Smart Elite ambassador Kevin Ferrer complimented the effort with a huge double-double with 16 points and ten boards. For the upstart Maroons, Diego Dario led the team with 15 points. Paul Desiderio added 12 while Smart Elite ambassador Jett Manuel had 9 markers and 7 boards. However, Manuel shot a dismal 4/12 from the field.

The UST Growling Tigers (3-0) look to extend their best start since 2003 as they face the NU Bulldogs (0-2) on Saturday, September 19 at 4:00pm while the UP Maroons (2-1) will have the FEU Tamaraws as their next assignment on Sunday, September 20 at 4:00pm.

The Scores:

UST (67) – Daquioag 27, Ferrer 16, Abdul 8, Subido 4, Vigil 4, Bonleon 3, Sherrif 2, Huang 0, Lao 0, Suarez 0

UP (59) – Dario 15, Desiderio 12, Manuel 9, Kone 6, Gallarza 5, Moralde 4, Juruena 3, Vito 3, Lim 2, Amar 0, Asilum 0, Harris 0, Jaboneta 0, Longa 0, Prado 0

Quarters: 10-3; 21-15; 42-40; 67-59

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Kent Salado re-injures MCL, out for Go for Gold campaign

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Photo by PBA Images

Kent Salado suffers a setback

The worst fear of the Go for Gold Scratchers came true Monday evening as all-around combo guard Kent Salado re-injured the medial cruciate ligament in his right knee.

The injury was confirmed by Kent Salado and the officials of Go for Gold and he will miss the entire 2018 PBA D-League Aspirants Cup.

With under three minutes left in the third quarter of Go for Gold’s opening game against the Gamboa-St. Clare Coffee Lovers Monday afternoon, the 5-foot-9 guard went for a drive but could not get the proper lift. He tried to walk it off but limped towards the audience section of the Pasig Sports Center.

“Parang may narinig nga siya na may tumunog daw,” shared Scratchers head coach Charles Tiu after their 75-68 win.

“We’re very worried.

“I think our PT said baka MCL ‘yun, so that might be a month or two, so that’s a big problem for us,” the youthful mentor added.

Salado finished the game with nine points, five rebounds, four assists, and three steals. He was immediately rushed to the Makati Medical Center afterwards. At around nine in the evening, the MRI showed that he tore his ACL as was initially reported by Tiebreaker Times. A second opinion, however, contradicted the initial diagnosis, showing only an MCL tear.

Prior to this, the native of Cagayan de Oro suffered a partial tear on medial collateral damage on the same knee last October 10, 2017 during Arellano’s 85-79 win over the San Sebastian Golden Stags.

With this setback, Salado was also advised to not play in the summer leagues to fully recover in time for the NCAA Season 94 Seniors Basketball tournament.

“Okay lang para NCAA na ko makapaglaro,” he said.

“Mas importante naman yun.”

The 23-year-old averaged 19.1 points, 5.0 assists, 3.8 rebounds, and 1.3 steals last season. He is eligible to enter the 2018 PBA Rookie Draft.

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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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