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Daquioag’s career-high steers league-leading UST past UE



After taking a step back to co-team captain Kevin Ferrer in their last games, Ed Daquioag saved the best for last as he notched his career-high in their final game of the first round. Moreover, the University of Santo Tomas Growling Tigers defeated the University of the East Red Warriors, 83-76 to cap their impressive first round in the UAAP Season 78 Men’s Basketball tournament. 

Despite taking the early lead at 5-2 with a Paul Varilla triple, UE had a horrible shooting display and was cold from the perimeter against UST’s defense. On the other hand, Ed Daquioag and Kevin Ferrer kept piercing through the Warriors for five combined layups in the first period and build an early 8-0 counter for the Tigers.

With their full court pressure still in effect, UE was able to slice the lead momentarily with Chris Javier making inside baskets and trim the deficit down to two points at 14-12. However, in a blink of an eye, UST erected a 12-0 run in the last 3:21 of the period including triples from Louie Vigil and Kevin Ferrer. The stretch was capped with Daquioag being fouled from an attempt from beyond halfcourt by a poor UE foul that led to an early 14 point lead after one quarter.

The game slowed down with the number of fouls committed by both teams. Just like the opening quarter, UE entered the penalty situation early in the 5:54 mark of the second frame. Fortunately for the Red Warriors, scoring started to take place as they erased a 16 point lead but had a hard time barging it into single digits.

As starters slowly fielded in anew for the Tigers, UST romped points courtesy of a fallaway triple by Daquioag and a four point play off the catch by Ferrer to make it a 39-26 game. UE kept afloat in the game with the help of their offensive rebounding and second chance points with 14 second chance points at the break but the Espana-based crew retained their double digit lead after two cantos.

Two quick layups by Varilla and Charcos swiftly melted the lead down to single digits and let the UE crowd get into the game. As the Red Warriors made a frantic rally of their own, Varilla nailed a three-ball to cement a 13-7 start to the second half as the Tigers struggled with their shot selection.

However, Daquioag came to the rescue scoring five points in the next plays including two side step layups in transition. In the last four 2 1/2 minutes of the third, UE once again built a furious rally, now a 9-1 spurt with their frenetic defense on point. Daquioag would then break the rally with a layup in the dying seconds to make it a 60-56 game heading into the final period.

UE had a last rally in them in the fourth period, making the game interesting as they pull through within two points, 73-71 with a total team effort making the furious run. However, too much Daquioag down the stretch proved too much for the young UE squad as he overshadowed Varilla’s brilliant shooting in the fourth quarter. In addition, a poor foul by the Red Warriors to the shooting Louis Vigil hurt their chances in the comeback as the guard made it a three-possession game, making it hard for UE to clinch their comeback.

“Hindi na ko nagtataka sa pinapakita niya,” Coach Bong dela Cruz said of his senior Ed Daquioag. “Nung summer pa lang sa Filoil at last year pa nakikita ko na siya.” He added that, “natural na sa kanya yun para sa kin.”

For Daquioag, he is playing inspired ball and even thanking the people around him. “Laking pasasalamat ko sa aking pamilya, girlfriend, at mga kaibigan. Sila ang nagbibigay ng lakas sa akin,” the soft-spoken Ilocos del Norte-native said.

Looking forward to the next round, the sophomore head coach said that they will prepare for every game just like in the first round. “One game at a time,” he closed.

The Growling Tigers were led by Daquioag’s career-high of 34 points. He added four boards and six dimes and shot at a clip of 61%, 14/23. Smart Elite ambassador Kevin Ferrer added 14 points and three assists.

For the skidding Warriors, Paul Varilla was outstanding as he scored 25 points and grabbed eight boards. Chris Javier meanwhile added 12 markers and five rebounds.

As a team, the Espana cagers shot 49% from the field compared to just the 37% shooting clip of their opponents. The free throws attempted by UST also made a difference as UST shot 25/40 from the field compared to just 13/22 by UE.

With the win, the UST Growling Tigers will end the first round on top with a 6-1 slate. UE, however, extend their losing streak to four games to end the first round with a 2-5 record.

The Scores:
UST (83) – Daquioag 34, Ferrer 14, Vigil 14, Abdul 9, Sheriff 5, Lee 5, Lao 2, Abdurassad 0, Bonleon 0, Caunan 0, Faundo 0, Garrido 0, Subido 0.
UE (76) – Varilla 25, Javier 12, De Leon 8, Palma 8, Batiller 5, Charcos 5, Sta. Ana 4, Abanto 3, Derige 2, Gagate 2, Manalang 2, Gonzales 0, Penuela 0, Yu 0.
Quarterscores: 26-12, 44-33, 60-56, 83-76

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Christian Standhardinger goes perfect from stripe in Hong Kong’s rout of Formosa



After going a horrid 5-for-17 from the stripe during their first loss of the season last January 9, Christian Standhardinger made sure to make good on his free throws to power the Hong Kong Eastern Basketball Club to a dominant 99-79 rout of the Formosa Dreamers, Thursday evening in Southorn Stadium.

The 6-foot-8 Filipino-German, who tallied 37 points and 19 rebounds in the overtime loss to Saigon, went a perfect 9-for-9 from the foul line. He finished with 25 points and 10 rebounds.

The contest itself was not close, as the defending champions were able to impose their will on the bottom-ranked squad, leading by as much as 23 points, 93-70, after two free throws by Standhardinger with 2:58 remaining.

If Standhardinger was having a good day with his free throws, the entire Formosa squad could not say the same, going 13-of-27 from the line.

Tyler Lamb had 25 markers as well for Hong Kong, while Marcus Elliott grabbed a triple-double with 19 points, 11 rebounds, and 11 assists.

Lenny Daniel paced Formosa with 25 points and 11 rebounds. World Import Ronnie Aguilar had 14 points and 16 rebounds but went just 5-for-14 from the field.

With the win, Hong Kong goes to 8-1, while the Dreamers fell to 1-8.

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2018 FIBA 3X3 World Cup

Chooks-to-Go President hopes 3×3 World Cup breaks Philippine Arena record



Last October 27, 2017, Game Seven of the PBA Governors’ Cup Finals between heated rivals Barangay Ginebra San Miguel and Meralco Bolts saw 54,083 people troop to the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan. The attendance broke all records for both the venue and the PBA.

Come June this year, the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas and Chooks-to-Go are hoping that the upcoming 2018 FIBA 3×3 World Cup will surpass that record.

“We look at 3×3 as our best hope, really, to get a medal in the Olympics. Kami naman sa Chooks, we are behind SBP realizing that dream. Kanina pinag-uusapan na, if we’re going to break the record in attendance,” said Bounty Agro Ventures Inc. president Ronald Mascariñas on Thursday afternoon during a press conference held at BGC High Street in Taguig.

“I think the question there is not if we’re going to break, but how many more times. Because FIBA should see how passionate the Filipinos are about basketball. That’s a given,” one of the patrons of Gilas Pilipinas added.

Besides the event itself, the local government of Bulacan has pledged to make the week of the tournament filled with activities to celebrate the Philippines’ 120th year of Independence.

For their part, Chooks-to-Go vowed to help out the SBP in organizing the event and in building the team.

“We are throwing our support not to improve on our finish, but we want to help SBP organize, to win the championship — not just to improve our ranking,” Mascariñas shared.

And the experience he and his company gained after backing the Pilipinas 3×3 team during last year’s tournament will only help.

“In past tournaments, we’ve lost some games na maninipis lang talaga,” he recalled about the team composed of Kobe Paras, Kiefer Ravena, Jeron Teng, and JR Quinahan that competed in Nantes, France.

“This time around, with five months to go, we need to organize and put in the best t

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Ilocos United takes leave from PFL



Another one bites the dust

After months of speculation, Ilocos United has formally announced their absence from the Philippines Football League for the 2018 season.

A statement signed by Ilocos Chief Executive Officer Tony Lazaro and posted on the club’s Facebook page broke the big news.

“Unfortunately, after months of negotiation, efforts to attract a new naming sponsor for the Team were unsuccessful,” the statement opened. “Consequently, it has become financially prohibitive to continue participation in the PFL.

“Primarily, the lack of broadcasting exposure in 2017 created an apprehension in the corporate community, cascading into a series of afflictions that has ultimately led to our withdrawal from the competition.”

Ilocos finished last during the inaugural season, tallying 1 win, 6 draws, and 21 losses with a -49 goal differential.

Still, Ilocos gave their thanks to those who supported the club during the inaugural PFL season.

“We are cautiously optimistic of a potential return to the PFL for the 2019 season, whereby secured broadcasting exposure will hopefully lead to higher confidence from potential sponsorship partners.”

While their PFL operations will fold for the time being, Ilocos will continue the grassroots programs they have started within the area. ¨In the meantime, the foundation of football development we helped to build in Ilocos will continue, including grassroots initiatives at local schools, women’s futsal, Special Olympics, and, of course, the IUFC Academy.¨

The latest development will be another big blow for the young league. Meralco Manila pulled out of the competition beforehand, and now Ilocos´ absence leaves only six teams in the competition.

Now more than ever, something needs to be done by the PFL or even the Philippine Football Federation to ensure the feasibility of the clubs and the league itself for years to come.

Football is a hard sport to build in the Philippines despite its resurgence since 2010. There are limited corporate boosters for the sport which is in dire need of a financial push to sustain its growth.

Ilocos´ leave and Meralco´s folding now forces local football´s stakeholders to take a step back and examine the next moves to build the sport.

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CJ Perez, Jaycee Marcelino in unison: D-League is a whole other level



After falling just two games short of copping Lyceum’s first-ever NCAA crown, the Pirates went to the PBA D-League to gain experience. However, in their first foray in the second league, the Lyceans realized that it was a whole different beast.

Going up against the veteran-laden Marinerong Pilipino Skippers, the Zark’s Burgers-backed squad suffered a slow start as they adjusted to the tougher calls of the league. The Jawbreakers were down by as much as 17 points early in the third frame, 37-54.

“Yung physicality hindi naman ako masyadong nagulat pero sa mental toughness, yung pagod ka na, tapos may babanggga pa sa ‘yo, ang iniisip ko kailangan mas maging tough,” admitted reigning NCAA Most Valuable Player CJ Perez.

“Nangangapa kami nung una lahat kasi first game namin ito, pati dito sa court na ‘to first game din namin,” added Jaycee Marcelino.

It served as a wake-up call. Adjusting on the fly, Perez and Marcelino rallied the Jawbreakers back — even fashioning multiple attempts to take over the contest late in the game. However, they fell short, 92-94.

“Binalik lang namin yung laro namin dati, pass the ball, hindi yung puro dribble, i-run lang namin yung plays,” shared Marcelino, as he and Perez combined to score 16 points in the final frame.

The 21-year-old Marcelino finished with a game-high 20 points on an efficient 7-of-9 shooting to go along with four rebounds, three assists, two steals, and a block. The 24-year-old Perez added 19 points, five assists, two steals, and a block.

With their first game in the bag, the duo — and the rest of the Jawbreakers — now have the experience under their belts. And they plan to put in the work to prove that they belong.

“Sa NC naman kasi puro ka-level namin kalaro namin, dito puro beterano ang naglalaro,” said Marcelino. “Hindi talaga namin masabi na yung ginawa namin sa NC magagawa din namin dito.

“Mageextra work pa kami para masustain namin kung ano kami sa Lyceum.”

“It’s a good experience. Ibang iba pala talaga yung laro ng D-League sa NCAA,” expressed Perez, who is a consensus top three pick for the upcoming PBA Rookie Draft.

“Sobrang grateful kami na nakalaro na rin kami sa D-League.”

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