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Defending champions Blue Shuttlers eliminate UP, 3-1

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Even with a twice-to-beat advantage over the Fighting Maroons, the Ateneo de Manila University Blue Shuttlers, led by Patrick and Justin Natividad, eliminated the University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons in 4 matches. With the win, the Ateneo de Manila Blue Shuttlers set-up a date with their arch-rivals, the De La Salle University Green Shuttlers in the semifinals of this year’s UAAP Men’s Badminton Tournament.

 

Men’s Singles Match 1: Patrick Wilfred Natividad (ADMU) def. Lorenzo Miguel Leonardo (UP); 2:1

ADMU 1 – 0 UP

 

Two highly-ranked shuttlers faced-off in the opening match of the UP-ADMU quarterfinals. In the 1st game between Natividad and Leonardo, Leonardo would take an early 11-4 lead. Patrick Natividad returns were either flat or would hit the net early on. Natividad would then find his footing after the break to slowly come crawling back and cut the deficit down to 2 at 13-11. Leonardo would then come rallying back to score in a series of drops and Natividad errors to take the 1st game 21-13. The 2nd game would see a fired-up Patrick Natividad take a huge 10-1 lead over Leonardo. There would be no comeback from the shuttler from Diliman as Patrick Natividad would take the game 21-12 to tie things up at 1. The deciding set saw the two shuttlers go point-for-point in the early goings of the game. Leonardo would then score 6 of the next 7 points, including an emphatic smash, to take the lead going into the 11th point break at 11-6. The Leonardo lead would extend to 16-11. Patrick Natividad luckily would find his momentum at the right moment. Leonardo would have a hard time figuring-out the low-style of play and deceiving returns of Natividad to tie the game at 16-all. With the game almost reaching an hour, Patrick Natividad would unleash another furious rally, scoring 5 out of the last 6 points to give Ateneo it’s first match point of the day.

 

Aggregate Score: P.Natividad 55 – Leonardo 51

Total Match Time: 54 mins

 

Men’s Singles Match 2: Justin Wilbert Natividad (ADMU) def. Wilson Joseph Lopez (UP); 2:0

ADMU 2 – 0 UP

 

Justin Natividad would start the 2nd match of the series slow. A series of short drops and outside lobs resulted to him falling 7-2 to Wilson Lopez. Justin Natividad, all warmed-up, would demonstrate various diving returns that were perfect set-ups to his drops and a smash. The game would be tied 10-all then 11-10 with Lopez leading the game during the 11th point break. Coming out of the break, Justin Natividad would find the momentum swing in his favor. Justin Natividad displayed excellent returns and offense by only giving-up just 3 points after the break, routing Wilson Lopez with the score of 21-14. The 2nd game would be a tight match as the game would be tied 4 times in the early part of the game. Leonardo would try to break the game open with a 16-13 lead. Justin Natividad would score 3 straight points from errand returns by Lopez to again tie the game at 16. With the game tied at 19, Justin Natividad would be able to muster a final rally to win the game 21-19 and take an imposing 2-0 lead over the Fighting Maroons.

Aggregate Score: J. Natividad 42 – Lopez 33

Total Match Time: 45 mins

Men’s Doubles Match 1: Carl Kristian Clemente and Joaquin Raphael Deato (UP) def. Theodore Christopher Co and Nicole Clarence Filart (ADMU); 2:0

ADMU 2 – 1 UP

 

Needing to win all the remaining matches in the series to have a chance to fight another day, the tandem of CK Clemente and Joaquin Deato would fight tooth and nail for every point in their victory over Theodore Co and Nicole Filart. The pair from Diliman would win a close 1st game with a score of 21-19. The 2nd set saw Clemente take charge for the Fighting Maroons, registering 10 excellent returns. Co and Filart would not be in-sync the entire game, even clanking their rackets in a couple of moments. Clemente and Deato would take the game and the match with a score of 21-17.

 

Aggregate Score: Clemente and Deato 42 – Co and Filart 36

Total Match Time: 40 mins

 

Men’s Doubles Match 2: Patrick Wilfred Natividad and Justin Wilbert Natividad (ADMU) def. Lorenzo Miguel Leonardo and Ethan Joshua Malelang (UP); 2:1

ADMU 3 – 1 UP (ADMU wins)

 

In another close match-up, the Natividad brothers were able to close-out the series and eliminate the UP Fighting Maroons in 3 games. The 1st game was a close set. With the score at 17-13 in favor of the Natividads, Ethan Malelang would be a one-man show in scoring a string of 4 points to tie the game at 17. That huge boost would be enough to swing the tide of the game to the UP pair to win the 1st set 21-19. The 2nd set would be a display of Patrick Natividad’s excellent court control, even in a doubles’ setting. Justin Natividad also displayed solid set-up smashes that would eventually lead to a smash from his brother. The shuttlers from Katipunan would take the 2nd set 21-17 to tie things up. Going into the deciding set for the match-up, the question raised in the ADMU crowd was would the Ateneo tandem of Patrick and Justin Natividad still continue the pace they pushed for last 35 minutes after having played 54 and 45 minutes respectively. The opposite happened as the UP tandem were the ones who were visibly fatigued all throughout the 3rd set. This set served as the curtain call for the UP Men’s Badminton team as they were outclassed by the Natividad brothers with a score of 21-14. Ateneo advances on to the semifinals.

 

Aggregate Score: P. Natividad and J. Natividad 61 – Leonardo and Malelang 52

Total Match Time: 50 mins

 

With this win, the Ateneo Blue Shuttlers would book a date with the 2nd place team DLSU Green Shuttlers. The Green Shuttlers would have the twice-to-beat advantage. In their first meeting this year, the Green Shuttlers beat the Blue Shuttlers 3 sets to 2.

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AU

Impervious Lady Chiefs stay perfect after sweep of Lady Pirates

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The Arellano University Lady Chiefs extended their winning streak to 17 dating back to last season, after clobbering the Lyceum of the Philippines Lady Pirates, 25-16, 25-17, 25-11, at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

The defending champions were unrelenting with four Lady Chiefs scoring in double-digits with rookie Necole Ebuen powering in 11 points. Third-year open hitter Regine Arocha and Arellano’s middle blockers Mary Anne Esguerra and Andrea Marzan each provided 10 markers.

Conversely, no Lady Pirate managed to score in double-figures.

“Maganda naman talaga ang nilalaro ng mga bata. Lahat kasi kami determinado na makakuha ulet ng championship. Alam nila (Lady Chiefs) na kailangan pataas nang pataas ang ginagalaw namin,” said Arellano head coach Obet Javier.

The Lady Chiefs also limited their errors to a season-best 16 while the Lady Pirates surrendered 24 miscues.

The Lady Chiefs look for their sixth win of the season when they face the red-hot University of Perpetual Help System DALTA (4-1) on Tuesday at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

Christine Miralles and Monica Sevilla each supplied the struggling Lyceum with eight point apiece.

The Lady Pirates (1-4) take on the undefeated San Beda College (4-0) on Wednesday also at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

The Scores

AU (3) – Ebuen 11, Arocha 10, Esguerra 10, Marzan 10, Prado 3, Ramirez 3, Liu 2, Balanoba 1, Donato 1, Verutiao 0, Buemia (L), Flores (L)

LPU (0) – Miralles 8, Sevilla 8, Juanilla 7, Patio 4, Genova 1, Romanban 0, Bongabong 0, Marcella (L)

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Basketball

Late whistle costs San Beda against Sousse to fall to 0-2

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23 for 2023 cadet Robert Bolick is averaging 27.5 points per game in the tournament

After struggling to close out the UAE National Team in their opener last Friday, the San Beda College Red Lions figured in a late judgment call that did not fall into their favor, Saturday at the Shabab Al Ahli Club in Dubai. Due to this, the defending NCAA Champions lost to Tuniasian club team Sousse, 78-79.

With the loss, the Red Lions fell to a 0-2 hole in the 29th Dubai Basketball Championship. But the record does not reflect how the Filipinos played.

Robert Bolick, who scored 28 points against the UAE National Team, led the charge for San Beda in their second outing had 27 points. Fellow 23 for 2023 cadet Javee Mocon added 11 points and seven rebounds.

Sousse, the second-best club team in Tunisia and boasts four national team players and an American import, led by as much as 10 points, 70-60 in the final frame.

Fired-up by the Filipinos who stormed the venue, the Red Lions answered right back with an 18-8 run capped by a booming Bolick triple with six ticks left to gain a 78-76 lead.

However, a foul was called on a Red Lion on a three-point attempt by a Sousse player. He calmly sank all three free throws with 1.5 seconds remaining to seal the win.

Donald Tankoua had eight points and 13 rebounds as he was saddled with foul trouble all throughout the game.

The Tunisian club team was paced by Radzhouane Slimane with 18 points while Ibrahim Nadarri and Joshua Cassady had 13 markers each.

San Beda will have a day break before taking on Moroccan club team Al Sale on Monday, January 22.

The Scores:

San Beda 78 – Bolick 27, Mocon 11, Tankoua 8, Noah 8, Toba 6, Soberano 6, Prebitero 4, Tongco 4, Bahio 2, Carino 2, Oftana 0, Adamos 0.

Sousse 79 – Slimane 18, Naddari 13, Cassady 13, Mouhli 11, Knioua 9, Toumi 8, Monastiri 4, Gaddour 3.

Quarterscores: 23-17, 36-39, 57-62, 78-79.

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JRU

Perpetual overpowers JRU to keep pace of Final Four

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Strutting their decisive height and power advantage, the University of Perpetual Help System DALTA Lady Altas slammed the Jose Rizal University Lady Bombers, 25-21, 22-25, 25-14, 25-21, at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

The Lady Altas were still heavy-handed with their errors, surrendering 35 miscues, including 12 in the second set, the only frame they lost.

The Las Piñas-based program, however, kept a scorching offensive pace, bombarding the Lady Bombers with six blocks and 12 aces. JRU had just five points combined crom those categories.

“Mataas pa talaga ‘yung tendency ng mga bata mamigay ng mga puntos. Sabi ko nga hindi kami mananalo kung tutulungan pa namin ‘yung kalaban maka-score,” rued Perpetual head coach Michael Cariño.

“Pero, unti-unte namang gumaganda ‘yung galaw ng mga bata. Lahat naman ng pagkukulang nila, tinatrabaho namin para maayos sa ensayo,” the champion mentor added.

Perpetual’s six-foot-three middle blocker Lourdes Clemente towered over the Lady Bombers with a season-high 19 points which included 14 attacks, two blocks, and three aces. Winger Cindy Imbo added 15 points.

The Lady Altas (4-1) take on the undefeated defending champs Arellano University (5-0) on Tuesday at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

Rookie Dolly Versoza paced the Lady Bombers with a game-high 21 points while captain Shola Alvarez managed 15.

The Lady Bombers (2-3) face the College of Saint Benilde (3-1) on Wednesday also at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

The Scores

UPHSD (3) – Clemente 19, Imbo 15, Sangalang 8, Llorente 7, Tripoli 7, Gual 6, Versoza 2, Umandal 1, Estanislao 0, Medalla (L)

JRU (1) – Versoza 21, Alvarez 15, Ebuenga 5, Montojo 2, Rivera 2, Sibangan 1, Bodiongan 0, Macaraya (L)

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Basketball

Marc Pingris wants Rafi Reavis to break Robert Jaworski’s record

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Marc Pingris was all praises for veteran Rafi Reavis Saturday night, as the 40-year-old center made his presence felt in the Magnolia Hotshots’ 97-91 victory — their third straight win — over Phoenix Fuel Masters at the Cuneta Astrodome.

The six-foot-nine Reavis finished with 11 points, 11 rebounds, and three blocks — a performance perfectly punctuated by a follow-up of a Paul Lee miss with 12.5 seconds left to play that knocked out the Fuel Masters for good.

“Papasalamat ako kay Rafi na talagang kababalik lang niya pero binigay niya talaga lahat,” said Pingris after the bout, as Saturday night was just Reavis’ second outing in the 2018 Philippine Cup after recovering from a hip injury.

“Nag-usap nga kami kanina e, hindi pa siya 100 percent. So bukas, ang sabi niya babalik daw siya sa gym dahil gusto niya ibalik yung lakas ng legs dahil wala pa daw,” added the 36-year-old, who also suffered a hip injury last season.

Reavis has been playing in the league for 16 years. Seeing the work he has put in, Pingris, who finished the game with 17 rebounds, four assists, four points and two blocks, believes that the 10-time PBA champion can play for 10 more years — at least.

“You know naman Rafi eh, katulad ko rin yan eh – rebound and depensa. At tsaka sobrang vocal siya sa team eh,” beamed Pingris, who himself is a 14-year veteran. “Walang siyang inaano, talagang sinasabihan niya kung sino yung mga nagmi-mistake, kung paano kami mag-adjust, so nakikinig naman lahat sa kanya.

“Talagang nandun yung respeto namin kay Rafi.”

And if Reavis stays healthy for the next decade, Pingris wants Reavis to exceed Jaworki’s 958 games played — third most all time.

“Nasa kanya yun, basta kaya mo ba eh. As a player, kung masipag ka naman at may disiplina sa sarili mo, kaya niya yun.”

Still, Reavis has a lot of catching up to do.

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