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De Ocampo, Castro power Talk ‘N Text past Rain or Shine in heated game four



The Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters are back on track in their Commissioner’s Cup finals campaign, after stunning performances from Ranidel de Ocampo and Jayson Castro successfully dismantling the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters in a fiery Game 4 that saw three ejections and a massive bench-clearing en route to the crucial 99-92 victory, Wednesday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

What would turn out to be a heated first half affair opened to a fiery trade of baskets between the two squads. The Tropang Texters enjoyed a 7-2 start early in the first quarter, but lost the advantage when big baskets from Raymond Almazan and Ryan Araña paved the way for a 10-10 deadlock halfway throughout the quarter. The trade of baskets would continue for the remainder of the quarter, with a Paul Lee jumper giving Rain or Shine a 16-14 lead. It was, however, short lived as a triple from Jayson Castro in the dying seconds gave TNT the 17-16 lead at the end of the quarter.

A sparked Ranidel de Ocampo helped the Tropang Texters lead by as many as six in the opening minutes of the second. However, a 6-0 flurry around the halfway point put together by Paul Lee and Jireh Ibañes was just what the Elasto Painters needed to steal the lead, 32-30. Moreover, the lead exchanged hands several minutes in the final few minutes of the first half. At the end of another heated twelve minutes, the Tropang Texters held on to the lead, 42-41. Both teams shot below 40% from the field in the half, TNT having shot 36.8% and RoS 37.2%.

It was the Tropang Texters who came in strong as the second half unfolded, with baskets from Ivan Johnson and de Ocampo paving the way for a 47-41 lead. Commotion erupted for the umpteenth time in the series when Rain or Shine’s Ryan Araña and Talk ‘N Text’s Harvey Carey were handed technical fouls following a brief altercation. The Tropang Texters kept momentum on their side and took advantage of foul-plagued Wayne Chism’s continued absence from the court, and with around seven minutes left to play, a 7-0 rally put together by Johnson, de Ocampo, and Castro paved the way for the first double-digit lead of the game, 59-49. The Tropang Texters led by as many as 13 points in the next few minutes of play. Sparked by the re-inserted Chism and Chris Tiu, the Elasto Painters were able to trim the lead to six, 61-67, late in the quarter. At the end of the quarter, however, the Tropang Texters still led, 74-66.

Still hot from the previous quarter’s late flurry, Wayne Chism knocked down four straight points to come within four, 70-74, early in the fourth. The run, unfortunately, was extinguished by a triple from TNT’s Castro to make it a seven-point game.

Unfortunately, Chaos erupted anew when Elasto Painter, Ibañes, and rookie Tropang Texter, Matt Ganuelas-Rosser, found themselves tangled up following a collision. Ibañes’ teammate, JR Quiñahan, came to his teammate’s defense, prompting players from both benches to storm out of the court. Ibañes and Ganuelas-Rosser were both ejected from the game, while Quiñahan was slapped a flagrant 2 and an ejection for throwing a ball at Ganuelas Rosser. Officials restrained various parties from both squads from showing any more signs of aggression. The lead was with TNT when the free-for-all took place, 82-72.

Showing no signs of being rattled by the increased physicality, the Tropang Texters held on to the double digit for the next few minutes of play, draining one for every bucket sunk by Elasto Painter Chris Tiu, who kept the spark alive for RoS. With two minutes left on the clock, TNT still led by double digits, 94-83. A triple from Ranidel de Ocampo with around half a minute left to play made it a fourteen-point game. Back to back triples from Elasto Painters Lee and Tiu, on the other end, made it a single-digit affair, 89-97, with just a minute left to play. A layup from Jayson Castro following a series of big stops sealed the deal for the Tropang Texters.

Ranidel de Ocampo was named Best Player of the Game with 33 points, 5 rebounds, and 2 blocks. Newly-crowned Best Player of the Conference, Jayson Castro, had 25 points off 5-of-9

Chris Tiu led the Elasto Painters with 21 points off the bench. Rain or Shine’s Chism, the newly-crowned Best Import of the Conference, was held to 13 points in 27 minutes of play, having spent extended minutes in the bench after picking up four fouls in the first half. The series, which resumes on Friday night, is at 2-2.

The Scores:

TNT (99) – De Ocampo 33, Castro 25, Johnson 19, Fonacier 10, Washington 4, Alas 4, Williams 2, Ganuelas-Rosser 2
RoS (92) – Tiu 21, Lee 17, Chism 13, Almazan 13, Araña 8, Ibañes 6, Jervy Cruz 4, Uyloan 3, Norwood 3, Belga 2, Quiñahan 2, Jericho Cruz 0, Tang 0.

Quarters: 17-16, 42-41, 74-66, 99-92



Composed Ceres-Negros expels Shan United in shootout victory



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2017 AFC ASEAN Zone Champions Ceres-Negros banked on their poise and composure from the spot as they knocked out Myanmar’s Shan United via a 4-3 penalty shootout (1-1 after extra time) triumph, Tuesday evening at the Thuwunna Stadium in Yangon, Myanmar.

The Negrenses punched their ticket to Brisbane, Australia after emerging the better spotkick takers. Four Busmen were on target, while two of their Shan Warriors counterparts fluffed their lines.

The two domestic champions were inseparable after 120 minutes, with the hosts holding their own against the Philippine champions. Ceres-Negros looked the more dominant of the two teams. However, they couldn’t make the advantage count where it mattered, as they failed to breach the sturdy Shan United defense inside the first two regulation halves.

The visitors were visibly more comfortable in the first half, but with the scores staying level at the break, the less-fancied Myanmar champions eventually found their footing in the encounter. While there were several half-chances from either side to open the scoring, both defenses remained defiant en route to unwanted extra time.

“It was a tough game. We weren’t ready to play 120 minutes because we only had four training sessions before the game but everytime we wear this jersey, we represent Ceres, we represent Bacolod, we represent the Philippines, so we have to give our best,” Ceres’ defender Carli de Murga elaborated to the Inquirer after the match. The Asian Football season has yet to start, and with both teams not too busy with pre-season preparations, rust and fatigue in a demanding affair were evident.

Come extra time, Ceres-Negros took the initiative when Stephan Schröck’s deflected effort went past the helpless Thiha Si Thu just three minutes into the first half.

Nonetheless, the hosts refused to go down without a fight, and their resilience was rewarded later in the opening half. Substitute Patrick Asare found the back of the net to restore parity in Yangon.

Another 15 minutes of goalless action took place in the second half as both teams looked more cautious, perhaps with the collective aim of avoiding a costly error or two. Among all the chances, Schröck’s in the 114th minute may have proved to be the closest to changing the scores, as his attempt shaved the post.

Shan United took to the spot first, where Asare made his penalty attempt count. Nay Lin Tun also made his, but not before teammate Chizoba smashed his attempt over Toni Doblas’ goal.

While the hosts squandered a shot, the visitors remained calm in front of a hostile Myanmar crowd. De Murga, Schröck and Mike Ott nailed their turns, with Marañon also not missing a vital kick from 12 yards.

It set up William Biassi Nyakwe, the man credited with the own goal when he deflected Schröck’s opener, with the chance to prolong his team’s campaign in the AFC Champions League. Unfortunately for him, he couldn’t atone for his earlier mistake, as his attempt soared high and wide — much to the delight of the visiting team from Bacolod, the Philippines.

The reward for Ceres-Negros is a trip to Queensland, Australia, where they will seek to do one better than compatriots Global-Cebu. The 2016 Philippine champions also played against the Brisbane Roar, who dealt them a staggering 6-0 hammering this time last year. The match will be held at the Suncorp Stadium on January 23.

As for Shan United, a spot in the AFC Cup Group Stage awaits them and they may not have seen the last of Ceres-Negros just yet. If the Negrenses lose to either Brisbane Roar or Tianjin Quanjian, they will be reacquainted with the Burmese champions in Group F.

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Abu Tratter plans to work his way to 2023 by continuing to do ‘the dirty work’



Abu Tratter may have missed the jersey-giving ceremony that the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas held for the 23 for 2023 cadets last Monday but he made sure to help out when the current batch needed him the most.

After helping the Marinerong Pilipino Skippers win the Sinulog Cup in Cebu a week ago, the 6-foot-7 Filipino-American did not hesitate to heed Gilas’ call, as they were undermanned for their second session in preparation for the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers.

“I think it’s just an honor to put on this jersey, to be able to represent our country, to possibly represent our country in the future. It’s an honor,” shared the Laguna-native.

The 25-year old, who just celebrated his birthday last January 9, admitted that he was in awe of the talent inside the Meralco Gym. Like a fan, he wanted to take a few photo ops with the senior team’s Gabe Norwood and June Mar Fajardo.

“Actually, at first I was just shocked to see June Mar and Gabe, just to be able to be in the midst of them,” gushed the former DLSU Green Archer, who will suit-up for Marinerong Pilipino in the D-League. “I even asked them for a picture, and hopefully they’ll still give me one.

“It’s just humbling, definitely.”

However, the work has only began for Tratter. With five years to go until the 2023 FIBA World Cup, the two-time UAAP champion plans to continue to do what he does best — be the same scrapper that he is and hopefully catch the eye of Gilas’ brass.

“I think just doing the dirty work, of course. Giving whatever the team needs, rebound or any steals, any thing a dirty player would need to pick up on,” he said.

“That’s how it is, garbage into gold. Get anything, sweep up anything and try to put it back.”

Moreover, he will continue answering the call when Gilas needs him, as he himself is learning a lot from being surrounded by the country’s topflight cagers.

“Whenever I can. I want to be able to absorb all the information coming from here and hopefully apply it in the D-League and hopefully apply it on future practices, future games.”

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2018 FIBA 3X3 World Cup

Terrence Romeo invited to join Pilipinas 3×3 for World Cup



Stronger than ever

Scoring sensation Terrence Romeo has been invited by the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas to join the Philippine team in the upcoming FIBA 3X3 World Cup, according to Philippine Star columnist Quinito Henson.

Romeo, who is currently out due to a right knee injury, has been in rehabilitation and is expected to miss the entire Philippine Cup campaign of the Globalport Batang Pier and the second window of the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers.

“Baka sa second conference na ko makabalik kasi talagang gusto ko malakas ako pagbalik ko,” the 25-year-old shared during Chooks-to-Go Live last January 2.

SBP Executive Director Sonny Barrios personally met with the 6-foot guard, inviting him to be part of the Philippine team.

Romeo has plenty of 3×3 basketball experience under his belt.

Back in 2014, Romeo was part of the Manila West 3×3 team during the Manila Masters. He was adjudged as the tournament Most Valuable Player.

The 2018 3X3 World Cup will take place from June 8-12 at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan.

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Red Spikers extinguish Blazers for second win



Shaking off a forgettable outing against the Perpetual Help Altas last January 11, the San Beda College Red Spikers vented their ire on defending champions College of Saint Benilde Blazers in four sets, 25-15, 25-16, 23-25, 26-24, and claimed their second win of the season, Friday afternoon at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

“Sabi ng coaches kalimutan na yung talo,” shared captain Lorenze Santos of what transpired after that match.

So, in this game, the San Beda team poured on what they worked hard for to regain momentum. “Binuhos po namin lahat ng ginawa namin sa training [ngayon].”

After tight starts in all the first two sets, the Mendiola-based side pulled away to register the seemingly insurmountable 2-0 lead.

Nonetheless, summoning the heart of a champion and led by seniors Isaah Arda and Jethro Orian, the reigning champions pulled off gritty runs to snag the third set and making a tussle of the fourth.

Ultimately, Adrian Viray virtually ended the match with a vicious serve, which the Blazers failed to convert.

The prolific outside hitter finished with 17 points, 11 coming from attacks and five off blocks. Former skipper Mark Encino also registered 17 markers.

The Red Spikers (2-1) will face the Mapua University, also at 2-1, on Friday, January 19.

Orian was such a presence at the net, ending up with 20 points for the Taft-based squad.

The defending champions Blazers (2-1) will try to bounce back later that day against San Sebastian College (0-3).

The Scores:

SBC 3 – Viray 17, Enciso 17, Santos 11, Patenio 7, Amagan 7, Desuyo 3, Zabala 0, Genobaten 0, Manliclic 0, Casin L.

CSB 1 – Orian 20, Arda 18, Bacani 6, Basilan 4, Bautista 4, Magsino 2, Martinez 0, Garcia 0, San Miguel 0, Saldavia 0, Dy L.

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