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Déjà Vu! Adamson gains first season win over UP once more



In an encore to the second round of last season’s UAAP tournament, the Adamson University Soaring Falcons scored their first win of the season against the University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons.

Hotshot Adamson wingman Jerome Garcia was on fire to start the game. Garcia scored four of the team’s first seven points to gain a 7-4 lead. This early spurt was a sign of things to come in the game. Just like in their first six games, the Fighting Maroons continued their offensive struggles as the team found it hard to convert on easy baskets. Floor general William Polican ended the quarter with a rainbow to give the Falcons a 21-14 lead to end the opening quarter.

To open the second quarter, Diego Dario tried to ignite a UP rally in finding Pio Longa for a corner triple while dishing out to a cutting Cheick Kone for a dunk. However, Garcia blistered the UP defense with a scintillating scoring spree. Garcia erupted for 13 points in the quarter, that included three conversions from downtown. In addition, JD Tungcab drove through the lanes for easy baskets that destroyed the UP zone. To add to UP’s misery, big man Jerson Prado fell to an injury at the 3:04 mark after a rebounding battle against Papi Sarr. The Adamson lead went to game-high 47-28 to enter halftime.

Former U-16 national team player Paul Desiderio, knowing that they needed to make a rally, carried the team on his back. Desiderio drove hard through the lanes for easy baskets and free throws to cut the lead to half with 4:22 to go in the third. After another Garcia triple to extend the lead to 13 once more, the young Falcons could not maintain their composure as the team was called for two technical fouls in the last 20 seconds of the third canto. A technical was called on Cristian Garcia for excessive swinging of elbows while Alvin Margallo was called for a T for pointing at a referee. Longa made both free throws to cut the Adamson lead to 11, 57-46 to enter the final quarter.

After a Longa three, team captain Dawn Ochea was called for the team’s third technical for illegal eye-guarding. While head coach Mike Fermin was penalized with another technical at the 7:35 mark. These calls greatly rattled the Falcons as their defense failed to cover the UP slashers. Desiderio then went into overdrive in scoring seven in a 16-4 blast capped by a three pointer by Dave Moralde that gave UP its first lead of the game 62-61. Senior Joseph Nalos stabilized his team with a layup while another three-pointer by Garcia qulled the bleeding for Adamson to regain the lead 68-64. Reaching the penalty early spelled the doom for UP as free throws from Tungcab and Garcia closed the win for the San Marcelino cagers 73-68.

“Let’s end the first round with the win,” Coach Mike Fermin disclosed to the members of the press after the game. “The rookie coach gave credit to his boys especially Jerome Garcia. “It’s about time he breaks out. Siya yung inaasahan namin na scoscore sa amin to start the season.” Fermin added that,” pinush namin siya sa limit niya.”

For Garcia, he gave credit to his coach who gave him confidence to shoot. “Kahit nagmimintis ako ng mga tira, kahit pagalitan niya ako, binibigyan pa rin ako ng confidence ni coach,” he said.

“Maganda ang momentum na nakuha namin from FEU. Kulang lang talaga sa maturity but we promise to win more than one game,” Fermin closed.

The Adamson Soaring Falcons were led by Jerome Garcia’s 26 huge points. He was 8 of 15 from the field, including 5/10 from downtown. Joseph Nalos added 15 points while Pape Sarr grabbed 15 boards.

Paul Desiderio notched a career-high 26 points as well in a losing cause. Smart Elite ambassador Jett Manuel had another disappointing scoreless outing in just nine minutes of play.

As a team, UP shot better from the field at 36% compared to the victor’s 34.38%. Free throws made the difference as Adamson shot 20/33 compared to just 7/14 for the hosts.

With the win, the Soaring Falcons end the first round with a 1-6 slate while the Fighting Maroons fall to seventh with a 2-5 record.

The Scores:

ADU (73) – Garcia 26, Nalos 15, Tungcab 13, Sarr 8, Polican 5, Ochea 4, Margallo 2, Camacho 0, Garcia 0, Ng 0, Villanueva 0

UP (68) – Desiderio 26, Longa 9, Jaboneta 7, Dario 6, Amar 4, Kone 4, Prado 4, Moralde 3, Vito 3, Asilum 2, Harris 0, Juruena 0, Lim 0, Manuel 0

Quarters: 21-14, 47-28, 57-46, 73-68.

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After getting first D-League experience, Zark’s-Lyceum ready to get loose



After a hesitant performance in their PBA D-League debut last Thursday that resulted in a loss to the Marinerong Pilipino Skippers, the Zark’s Burger-Lyceum Jawbreakers seemingly caught up with the league’s style of play on Tuesday.

Zark’s-Lyceum displayed their true form and stamped their class all over the Batangas-EAC Generals with a 37-point destruction, 112-75 — so far the biggest winning margin the franchise has ever had in its D-League history.

“Medyo adjusted na kami on everything — the calls and the teams we’re playing against with,” said Zark’s-Lyceum head coach Topex Robinson after the match at Pasig Sports Center. “But the things we want to mind are those things we control.

“We just have to keep on doing what we are doing. It’s more on replenishing na lang on our old ways.”

Robinson’s claim was strongly backed up by the numbers that the Jawbreakers produced.

CJ Perez had 21 points and 10 rebounds. MJ Ayaay produced 15 points and 10 boards, and Mike Nzeusseu delivered 14 markers and 11 boards.

Even the bench made their presence felt in the victory. With guard Jaycee Marcelino spearheading the supporting cast’s charge with 12 markers, the bench contributed a remarkable 56 points to their total output.

Photo by PBA Images

“Ano lang, cinontrol lang namin yung pace kasi yun naman talaga yung laro namin, yung mabilisan,” said the 24-year-old do-it-all forward, who also collected three steals.

“Kailangan talaga mabilisan para ma-execute namin yung mga ginagawa namin.”

This week will be a rough one for the Pirates, as they will play right away this Thursday against the AMA Online Education. And for Perez, he strongly believes that they will be able to carry over their momentum.

“Oo. Nandun pa. Energy talaga yung puhunan namin para makalaro ng maayos.”

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Bonbon Batiller shows what he can bring to Letran in D-League debut



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Tuesday proved to be a double debut for Bonbon Batiller. Aside from beginning his first foray in the PBA D-League, it also marked his debut for the Letran Knights, who are carrying the Wang’s Basketball Couriers franchise.

And the 5-foot-11 guard showed what he can bring to the table. Batiller collected 15 points, five rebounds, and three assists to help the Knights raise the curtains of their campaign with a 93-75 rout of the Batangas-EAC Generals.

“Nagworkout yung pinagpraktisan namin,” said Batiller. “Nagbunga rin yung tinuro samin ni Coach Jeff (Napa) lalo sa depensa. Tsaka siguro sa rebounds — laking lamang namin sa rebound. Nagsipag mga bigs namin.”

But what has him even more satisfied is the warm reception and trust he’s had from the Knights, even if he has spent barely a year with them after transferring from University of the East last 2017.

“Masaya po kasi tinanggap nila ako sa Letran ng buong-buo,” said Batiller, who normed 10.5 points, 3.7 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 1.6 steals with UE in two years. “Tsaka yung tiwala nila na makakatulong ako sa team nandoon.

“Kaya masaya ako sa pinakita nila sa akin.”

That is why the General Santos native is hard-pressed to prove himself to Letran, saying that he’s all about giving back to the school that gave him another opportunity to resume his young, up-and-coming basketball career.

“Kailangan kong may mapatunayan na deserving ako sa binigay na second chance sa akin ni Letran,” said Batiller, who decided to switch schools partly due to academic reasons.

“Malaki ang utang ko sa Letran.”

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Bienvenido Maranon scores brace as Ceres-Negros eliminates Brisbane Roar



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Philippine club football just achieved its biggest continental result yet

The inaugural Philippines Football League champions Ceres-Negros Football Club eliminated three-time Australian champions Brisbane Roar in the 2018 AFC Champions League’s second preliminary round with a 3-2 stunner, away at the QSAC Stadium in Brisbane.

With the win, the 2017 AFC Cup ASEAN Zonal Champions are set to face Chinese Super League club Tianjin Quanjian next January 30, 2018 at the Haihe Educational Football Stadium in Tianjin, China, to book a seat in the group stages.

Brisbane were the favorites for this tie and it showed, as Ceres started the contest on the back foot. Italian striker Massimo Maccarone handed the home side the lead in the 35th minute when he turned in Brett Holman’s pass.

Maccarone’s goal could have lowered the Busmen’s moral, but Risto Vidakovic’s men took it as a motivation rather than a downer. In fact, Ceres replied in the best way possible when Bienvenido Maranon scored his first goal of the match two minutes from halftime, thanks to a scramble in the Brisbane box.

By all accounts, Ceres had already made Philippine football proud at halftime. By this stage last year, Brisbane had accrued a 4-0 halftime cushion against Global Cebu en route to a 6-0 rout.

Today, though, Brisbane faced tougher resistance at Ceres’ hands. That resistance turned into a full-fledged revolt in the 65th minute when Maranon directed the ball past a helpless Jamie Young to give the Busmen their first taste of the lead.

Maranon’s goal well and truly turned the tide in Ceres’ favor. Brisbane were stunned. The home side are the defending A-League champions, but are currently eighth in the table this season and would soon face elimination from Asia’s premier club competition.

Already up 2-1, the Busmen finally achieved some breathing room in the 75th minute when Omid Nazari scored from close range to give Ceres a two-goal cushion over Brisbane.

Nazari’s goal not only sealed the win for Ceres, it also propelled Philippine football into the big leagues. Not even a late goal from French midfielder Éric Bauthéac could prevent the Busmen’s victory.

After five minutes of stoppage time, Ceres emerged 3-2 winners against Brisbane Roar. Come what may against Tianjin seven days from now, the Busmen have already achieved Philippine football’s biggest result since their own achievement in last season’s AFC Cup.

Who knows? Maybe Ceres can pull off another upset?

Ceres-Negros XI: Doblas (GK), Super, Mike Ott, Ingreso, Maranon, Porteria, Schrock, De Murga (C), Munoz, Nazari, Christaens.

Brisbane Roar XI: Ingham, Bowles, Papadopoulos, Maccarone, Holman, Khalfallah, Oxborrow, McKay (C), Hingert, Young (GK), Franjic.

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CJ Perez, Zark’s-Lyceum vent ire on Batangas-EAC with 37-point romp



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CJ Perez and the Zark’s Burger-Lyceum Jawbreakers finally lived up to its hype as it clobbered the Batangas-EAC Generals to score a 37-point beatdown, 112-75 for its first win, Tuesday at the Pasig Sports Center.

It was an all-out attack from the Jawbreakers as they beat the Generals to the bite and took control of the game early with Mike Nzeusseu and Jaycee Marcelino guiding their side to the 48-33 lead at halftime which they will never surrender.

Perez paced Zark’s Burger-Lyceum with 21 points and 10 rebounds, while MJ Ayaay tallied a double-double with his 15 markers, 10 boards, and three assists.

Cameroonian student-athlete Nzeusseu also delivered 14 points, 11 rebounds, and two assists, while Marcelino had eight first half points and wound up with 12 off the bench as the reserves chipped in 56 huge points in the tussle.

Coach Topex Robinson lauded the Jawbreakers for quickly adjusting to the style of the PBA D-League just days after falling to Marinerong Pilipino, 92-94 back in opening day.

“Medyo adjusted na kami on everything — the calls and the teams were playing against with. But the things we want to mind are those things we control. We just have to keep on doing what we are doing. It’s more on replenishing na lang on our old ways,” he said.

Earvin Mendoza and Cedric de Joya both had 16 points for the Generals in the losing effort.

Zark’s-Lyceum looks to continue to roll when it faces the AMA Online Education Titans on Thursday, January 25. EAC-Batangas, on the other hand, takes on the Gamboa-St. Clare Coffee Lovers on Monday, January 29.

The Scores:

Zark’s-Lyceum 112 — Perez 21, Ayaay 15, Nzeusseu 14, Jc. Marcelino 12, Serrano 10, Baltazar 8, Santos 8, Jv. Marcelino 6, Tansingco 6, Marata 4, Liwag 4, Ibañez 2, Cinco 2, Pretta 0.

Batangas-EAC 75 — E. Mendoza 16, De Joya 16, Tampoc 12, Laude 9, Pate 8, Maguliano 6, Altamirano 5, Diego 3, Garcia 0, Dela Peña 0, Martin 0, J. Mendoza 0, Neri 0.

Quarterscores: 19-14, 48-33, 84-47, 112-75.

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