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Developing UST’s maturity tops Kung Fu Reyes’ checklist

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In last Saturday’s Shakey’s V-League Season 12 Collegiate Conference opener, the UST Tigresses came up short in Kung Fu Reyes’ coaching debut in their 25-11, 27-25, 19-25, 25-20 defeat at the hands of the undermanned Ateneo Lady Eagles.

Pam Lastimosa led UST with 14 points and 4 blocks while Ej Laure followed up with 13 points and 3 blocks. In addition, Carmela Tunay chipped in 11 points and 9 digs.

“Normal lang at walang masyadong ineexpect sa mga bata. Ang aim is to win pero hindi naman namin pwede ipilit iyon,” said Reyes when asked about his assessment of the team after game. “Nandoon na nga kami, kung makikita niyo sa second set. Iyong first set talaga wala kaya kapag nag-start kami ng pangit nahihirapan kaming makarecover. Kung gusto namin mag-end up ng good, we must have a good start.”

The long road back

Since winning their last UAAP title in 2011 and their V-League title in 2010, it was an uphill battle for UST in capturing another string of volleyball championships.

In the succeeding V-League seasons after 2010, the Tigresses managed to end up at first runner-up during the 1st Conference of its 9th season, at second runner-up during the 1st conference of the 10th season and a third runner-up finish during last year’s 11th season.

On the other hand, the Tigresses have yet to taste another championship since the Aiza Maizo era in the UAAP. After their championship season back in Season 73, UST came up short in the ensuing seasons as they had a 3rd place finish in Season 74, a 5th place finish in Season 75, a 6th place finish in Season 76 and another 5th place finish in last year’s Season 77.

But now, everyone gets a fresh breather with Reyes paving the way in fine-tuning UST’s arsenal. The individual skills are already present in the athletes but the willpower and mental toughness is not yet.

“Ang emphasis ko sa kanila is kung popularity tayo or maturity? Siyempre ang sagot nila is maturity,” Reyes further elaborated. “Kapag dikdikan mahihirapan kami bumalik kasi iyong killing instincts ng bata wala pa pero ang skills nandoon naman. Ang maturity kasi nila hindi pa nararamdaman kaya more on character-building kami sa team.”

Grasping holistic improvements

Admitting that his plans for the team will take time develop, Reyes hopes that they must have the necessary patience to approach things one step at a time. With the massive influx in the competitiveness of the collegiate volleyball scene today, UST must focus on its long-term goals to ensure its sustainability in future contests.

“Sana maka-bounce back kami sa mga next games namin at magkakaroon dapat ng improvement. Nandiyan naman ang mga skills namin pero iyong [cohesion] as a team mayroon din dapat improvement. Kung mananalo kami, ang susunod naman na tanong doon is convincing ba ang panalo namin? Or mas mahina naman ang kalaban?,” Reyes remarked. “So binibigyan ko ng mensahe ang mga bata na hindi namin dapat kailangan makalaro ng mahinang team para manalo. Ang kailangan namin is kami ang magpapalakas.”

Furthermore, Reyes also expects wing spikers Lastimosa and Tunay, his team’s seniors, to take charge in leading the group inside the court since he can only do so much. With their participation during the 2015 Philippine Superliga (PSL) All-Filipino Conference for the Foton Tornadoes and the Cignal HD Spikers respectively, the knowledge they gained from it will surely be a big plus for UST.

“Hindi naman labanan ng coaches ito kasi labanan ito ng mga players. Dapat sila [Lastimosa and Tunay] na ang reyna dito kasi sila na ang nasa fifth year nila. Ang mangyayari, kung paano ko sila napapanood noong nakaraang laro nila, ganoon pa rin,” Reyes quipped. “May nagbago naman pero hindi ko pa nararamdaman.”

With everything said and done, UST will attempt to secure its first win and continue its V-League campaign as they are set to face the De La Salle University Dasmariñas Lady Patriots this coming Saturday, 12:45 pm, at the Filoil Flying V Arena.

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

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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 Ryan Moss 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

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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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Football

Ilocos United takes leave from PFL

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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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Basketball

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

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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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