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DYNASTY ESTABLISHED! Ateneo sweeps La Salle for UAAP Baseball Three-peat



DLSU (8-2, 0-2)110000000263
ADMU (7-3, 2-0)001002000353


“Our seniors don’t want to lose on their last year.” – ADMU Head Coach Randy Dizer after their first win of the season against the UP Fighting Maroons

The Blue Eagle seniors, Aids Bernardo, Chip Esguerra, Matt Laurel, Pelos Remollo, Andy Tan, and Iñigo Untalan, have succeeded in starting a winning Ateneo baseball tradition; sweeping the De La Salle University Green Batters in the UAAP Season 77 Baseball Championships to win three straight Senior’s crowns on Thursday at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium.

According to Coach Dizer, Andy Tan was supposed to start again in Game 2 of the Finals, but Tan was not able to practice last Wednesday due to class. To replace Tan, the Blue Eagles started with sophomore Miguel Dumlao as pitcher. For the Green Batters, Kiko Gesmundo, a rookie from Marist School, was assigned as starting pitcher.

The Blue Eagle defense made quick work of the first two DLSU batters with two consecutive ground outs to Ateneo shortstop, Adriene Bernardo. A catching error by ADMU center fielder, Pelos Remollo, gave Boo Barandiaran first base. After a double by Carlos Muñoz that gave Barandiaran prime real estate to score, a throwing error by third baseman, Matt Laurel, led to a Barandiaran run before Carlos Muñoz was tagged out at third base for last out.

After a 1-2-3 of the Ateneo offense at the bottom half of the first, the Green Batters doubled their lead at the top of the second inning. Lead-off batter, Cholo Dominguez popped a double to open the inning. After ousters of Joaquin Bilbao and Andre Palacios, another Ateneo error, this time by shortstop, Adriene Bernardo, led to a run courtesy of Cholo Dominguez. Dio Remollo almost had a chance to put Ateneo on the scoreboard at the bottom of the second, but was tagged out at home after a dropped third strike. The inning ended with DLSU still up 2-0 over the defending champions.

Miguel Dumlao managed to settle down in the next two innings in holding the Green Batters scoreless. Adriene Bernardo placed the Blue Eagles on the scoreboard coming from an RBI single by RBI king, Matt Laurel, at the bottom of the third.

DLSU almost had a chance to further extend the lead in the fifth inning. After singles by Paolo Salud and Carlos Muñoz, Salud was able to steal third base, and Salud gained second. However, DLSU already had two outs at the time, and Dumlao was able to strikeout Gabo Pineda for third out stranding the two runners.

Former Most Valuable Player Andy Tan retired Dumlao on the mound at the top of the sixth inning. Tan would hold the Green Batters scoreless in the inning.

At the bottom of the sixth inning, a fatigued Kiko Gesmundo gave up two consecutive singles to Iñigo Untalan and Matt Laurel. Dio Remollo hit a sacrifice bunt to move both runners to prime scoring positions. A throwing error by first baseman Carlos Muñoz led to runs by Laurel and Untalan to give the Blue Eagles their first lead of the game at 3-2.

Pelos Remollo almost had the chance to add another run at the top of the seventh inning. With one out, the graduating Remollo popped a double to left field. A sacrifice bunt by Radito Banzon moved Pelos to third base and forced DLSU Coach Joseph Orillana to call a timeout. Carlos Muñoz was released from the bullpen to replace Gesmundo on the mound, while Gesmundo moved to third base, and Barandiaran moved to first base. The DLSU closer was able to strikeout Aids Bernardo for last out thus stranding Pelos at third base.

After holding the Ateneo Blue Eagles scoreless in the eighth inning, the DLSU offense needed at least two more runs at the top of the ninth to keep their championship hopes alive. Graduating senior, Dino Imperial made an appearance, after badly injuring his shoulder during the first game of the Finals, to replace Andrei Palacios at bat. Imperial was hit by a Tan pitch to move him to first. Imperial drew a standing ovation as he was subbed out for pinch runner Ricardo Yulo. Yulo managed to move to second after a sacrifice bunt by Franco Hashimoto. Yulo was, then, forced out at third base after a fielder’s choice that gave Paolo Salud first base. Aids Bernardo then forced out Salud at second base to seal the three-peat for the Blue and White squad.

After the game, Ateneo Baseball program director, Coach Randy Dizer told us that this was the hardest of the three championships. “The seniors know that I am relying on them, but this is the hardest, because the hardest part there is to control yung anim to stay on the ground, na hindi sila superstar,” the three-time champion Randy Dizer told us. “They have to play as a team dahil kailangan sila ng rookies, sophomores, and the juniors of the team.”

“The only way this team can win is by them staying sa ground and for the whole season they did,” Coach Dizer concluded.

The now three-time UAAP Baseball Champions only connected with just five hits in the game compared to La Salle’s six. But what set them apart was the way the Blue Eagles took advantage of errors committed by the DLSU fielders, especially in the pivotal sixth inning. Moreover, just like in Game 1, DLSU closer Carlos Muñoz entered the game with Ateneo already gaining the lead which proved too late as seen in the results of the two games. The Ateneo fielders also left a total of nine runners on base in the game with five of the runners stranded at second base and one at third base during the fifth inning.

RBI leader and graduating senior Matt Laurel led the team on offense with two runs and an RBI. On defense, first basemen Ryon Tionloc ended his solid defensive season in putting out seven runners.

Click Image for the UAAP Season 77 Baseball Awarding Ceremony:
DLSUvsADMU Baseball Finals Game 2-7774

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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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