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EAC cruises past NCBA, one win away from third place



Reigning NCAA champion Emilio Aguinaldo College (EAC) Generals overwhelmed the National College of Business and Arts (NCBA) Wildcats in straight sets, 25-18, 25-12, 25-14 to take game one of the battle for third in the Spikers Turf Season One Collegiate Conference at the FilOil Flying V Arena, Saturday afternoon.

In the first set with the Generals at 19-13 advantage, the Wildcats relied on its blocking to cut the lead to two, 19-17. However, Howard Mojica and Isarael Encina delivered for the Generals totake a 22-19 advantage. Errors coming from the Wildcats also helped the Generals to seale the first set for the San Marcelino based squad.

Once again Mojica and Encina, along with Mark Arias, blasted the Wildcats in the early goings of the second set to establish an 8-2 lead for the Generals. Three service aces from Mojica afterwards helped the Generals continue their offensive onslaught as the Wildcats didn’t have any answers to counter the Generals.

The Generals continues their offensive brilliance in the third set with Mojica leading the way, as the Wildcats committed errors that helped the Generals to further create separation. Mojica unloaded a quick hit to give the Generals a 21-11 lead against the Wildcats. While NCBA was able to score three straight points from EAC Errors, Kerth Melliza scored two straight points to bring the Generals at match point, 24-14 and Jan Cedric Item blocked Jason Canlas to end the match for the Generals.

EAC Head Coach Rod Palmero said he wanted to finish the game in straight sets to give them greater quotient points against the Wildcats in case the championship series between the Ateneo Blue Eagles and National University Bulldogs ends early.

“Motivation ko sa mga players namin na makuha yung laro ng straight sets para makakuha ng points(quotients points) if case na mag champion kaagad sa gold. At least secure kami sa third place,” said Palmero.

Palmero also added the Spikers Turf Collegiate Conference is also a stepping stone for the team to prepared them for the NCAA men’s volleyball tournament in a few months, as they also reflect on what went wrong during their semifinals series against the National University Bulldogs.

“This is a stepping stone to NCAA, kaya tuloy-tuloy ang preparation. Natuto namin this conference na dapat maging consistent kami sa blocking lalo kasi doon kami nagkulang sa NU,” Palmero added.

Mojica scored 21 points including nine service aces to lead the Generals while guest player setter April Pagtalunan tossed 37 excellent sets.

Guest player Edwin Tolentino was the lone Wildcat in double digits with 10 points while fellow guest player Reyson Fuentes chipped eight points.

Game Two of the battle of bronze between the Generals and the Wildcats will be played on September 26 at 3:00 PM in the same venue.

The scores:

EAC (3) – Mojica 21, Encina 9, Doguna 9, Melliza 8, Arias 4, Item 1, Pagtalunan 0,Gorospe 0, Bihag 0, Cilocilo 0, Mangaring (L)

NCBA (0) – Tolentino 10, Fuentes 8, Canlas 6, Domingo 1, Oclima C. 1, Oclima R. 1, Valenzuela 1, Nidua 0, Nullar 0, Ugoy 0, Escobido (L)

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Kent Salado re-injures MCL, out for Go for Gold campaign



Photo by PBA Images

Kent Salado suffers a setback

The worst fear of the Go for Gold Scratchers came true Monday evening as all-around combo guard Kent Salado re-injured the medial cruciate ligament in his right knee.

The injury was confirmed by Kent Salado and the officials of Go for Gold and he will miss the entire 2018 PBA D-League Aspirants Cup.

With under three minutes left in the third quarter of Go for Gold’s opening game against the Gamboa-St. Clare Coffee Lovers Monday afternoon, the 5-foot-9 guard went for a drive but could not get the proper lift. He tried to walk it off but limped towards the audience section of the Pasig Sports Center.

“Parang may narinig nga siya na may tumunog daw,” shared Scratchers head coach Charles Tiu after their 75-68 win.

“We’re very worried.

“I think our PT said baka MCL ‘yun, so that might be a month or two, so that’s a big problem for us,” the youthful mentor added.

Salado finished the game with nine points, five rebounds, four assists, and three steals. He was immediately rushed to the Makati Medical Center afterwards. At around nine in the evening, the MRI showed that he tore his ACL as was initially reported by Tiebreaker Times. A second opinion, however, contradicted the initial diagnosis, showing only an MCL tear.

Prior to this, the native of Cagayan de Oro suffered a partial tear on medial collateral damage on the same knee last October 10, 2017 during Arellano’s 85-79 win over the San Sebastian Golden Stags.

With this setback, Salado was also advised to not play in the summer leagues to fully recover in time for the NCAA Season 94 Seniors Basketball tournament.

“Okay lang para NCAA na ko makapaglaro,” he said.

“Mas importante naman yun.”

The 23-year-old averaged 19.1 points, 5.0 assists, 3.8 rebounds, and 1.3 steals last season. He is eligible to enter the 2018 PBA Rookie Draft.

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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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