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Despite loss, Amer showing signs of old form



The San Beda College Red Lions are currently sitting at second with a 10-3 record with just five games to go in the season.

The defending NCAA champions currently have the second lowest point differential in losses with an average of -6.33 point margin in those three losses. Moreover, they have accomplished this without ace floor general and co-chieftain Baser Amer in nine of those games.

Last September 10, the Perpetual Altas and the Red Lions figured in an epic tilt for the ages that ended with a buzzer beating layup by Bright Akhuetie that handed San Beda its third loss of the season. The silver lining for the Mendiola cagers in that game was seeing Baser Amer play a season-high 21 minutes.

“The demeanor and the leadership, the winning attitude of Baser Amer cannot be coached,” coach Jarin said about the return of Amer in their matchup against the Jose Rizal Heavy Bombers. This was clearly evident during their game against the Altas as Amer was on the floor in the majority of the fourth quarter as the two teams exchanged leads. Moreover, the return of Amer gave Jarin the flexibility to use a three-guard lineup with Amer being capable of defending the opposing team’s top wing guy due to his length and defensive savvy.

With 45.1 ticks to go in the game and after a mad scramble, Dan Sara was able to find a wide open Amer, who calmly knocked down a clutch three-pointer to give San Beda an 84-83 lead. The joy in Amer’s face after the ball swished through the net is a testament to the hard work he has put in during his therapy sessions at the Ateneo. The humble floor general credited the shot to sheer luck, “Nagkataon lang talaga. Swerte kasi na rebound pa, napasa pa sa akin. So swerte lang, ako ready to shoot lang anytime. Nasa isip ko kasi nun yung shot clock paubos na,” he said. The SEA Games gold medalist finished the game with ten points on 4/9 shooting and added two dimes and a steal.

NCAA 91 UPHSD vs. SBC - Amer floater-1886However, Amer still cannot say when we can see the Smart Elite ambassador at full strength. “Di ko pa masabi. Yung sa akin minamaintain ko lang therapy and workout. Kelangan kasi maibalik yung timing and yung [strength] sa bangaan,” he added. More so, he feels that the Red Lions have no time to sulk and they need to go straight to the gym and improve more with their chemistry, especially with just five games remaining in the elimination round. “Sabi nga ni coach move-on lang kami. Marami pa rin kelangan i-improve as a team. Kanina kasi nagkanya-kanya kami,” the Smart Elite ambassador closed.

Still not being 100%, we have seen signs of how lethal Baser Amer is on the court as he has not lost his knack for knocking down the big shots and making the huge stops. With five games still remaining in the calendar, Amer and San Beda look to improve on their personal and their team strength to prepare for the final stretch.

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Calvin Abueva, Raymond Almazan cut from pool



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



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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San Beda fends off Letran for back-to-back wins



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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Michael Calisaan tows Che’lu-San Sebastian past Perpetual



Photo by PBA Images

Michael Calisaan poured 20 points as he captained newcomer Che’Lu-San Sebastian Revellers to a decisive 83-70 win over the University of Perpetual Help System DALTA Altas to start their voyage, Monday evening at the Pasig City Sports Center.

Doing it all for the Revellers, the veteran forward provided the stability for his side as he shot 8-of-15 from the field while also hauling down nine rebounds, two assists, and two steals in the conference-opening win.

But it wasn’t all Calisaan as Che’Lu got contributions from all over its roster.

Samboy de Leon chimed in 16 markers and nine boards. RK Ilagan went 2-of-5 from threes to collect 13 points, eight dimes, and three rebounds, while big men Alfred Batino and Jeepy Faundo combined for 20 in the victory.

Despite the triumph, coach Stevenson Tiu gave all the praise to his players, noting the team’s lack of time preparing for the tourney.

“Nanalo kami dahil sa talent ng players. Medyo mali ko rin kasi nahirapan pa ako mag-adjust sa players. Hopefully, we play much better in the coming games,” he said.

The Revellers used a 16-4 run to finally break away from the Altas, taking a 77-60 lead with 4:03 to play as they punished their foes for their turnovers, turning Perpetual’s 30 miscues to 28 points in their favor.

Prince Eze anchored the Altas with 15 points, 11 rebounds, and seven blocks in their first game under new head coach Frankie Lim.

Che’lu-San Sebastian look to make it two in a row when they take on the Wangs-Letran Couriers on Monday, January 29 at 5:00pm. Perpetual, on the other hand, hope they can notch their first win when they take on Mila’s Lechon Mighty Roasters.

The Scores:

Che’lu-SSCR 83 — Calisaan 20, De Leon 16, Ilagan 13, Batino 10, Faundo 10, Bulanadi 6, Costelo 6, Calma 2, David 0, Lao 0, Santos 0, Valdez 0.

UPHSD 70 — Eze 15, Coronel 13, Villanueva 13, Jimenez 9, Charcos 7, Peralta 7, Gallardo 5, Pido 1, Antonio 0, Aurin 0, Tamayo 0, Tongco 0.

Quarterscores: 17-22, 34-38, 59-53, 83-70.

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