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UP ends year with 6-0 domination of Adamson



The Christmas break is going to be a little merrier for the University of the Philippines men’s football team. The booters from Diliman closed out their final assignment of 2014 in ruthless fashion, trouncing the still winless Adamson University, 6-0, Thursday afternoon at the FEU-FERN football field.

The first half was all UP from start to finish. Vincent Aguilar had the chance to draw first blood at the sixth minute, breaking through the defense to go one-on-one with Adamson keeper Carl Jupiter Viray, but the ball ended up flying wide over the bar. A mere minute later, the first of UP’s four first half goals came when Michaels Simms managed to squeeze through the Adamson back and receive the inside pass from teammate Jacob Ochoa to score on the point-blank shot. Simms had the chance to double his output only two minutes later at the ninth minute, striking from the right flank after escaping Adamson’s defenders, but the ball was slapped away by Adamson keeper Viray.

The UP flurry only continued, and at the 19th minute, Ochoa, who set up UP’s first goal 12 minutes earlier, found an opening in the Adamson defense after receiving the inside pass from Aguilar to the extend the lead to 2-0. Another UP goal came at the 28th minute, after what initially appeared to be a cross from the left wing by Daniel Gadia ended up sailing past the keeper and into the net. Aguilar, the control tower at the center midfield, who had kept the Adamson defenders on their toes for most of the first half had the chance to bag his first goal just three minutes later, breaking through the Adamson back to go one-on-one with goalie Viray, but had the ball swept from under his feet before he could ease into shooting form.

Aguilar, who wore the captain’s band for the first half, was finally rewarded with his first goal at the 40th minute, escaping the Adamson defenders once more to strike from the right post. At the halftime break, UP led by a staggering 4-0.

The Adamson offense showed some life around the 50th minute after Brian Bless Jumo I was able to get into position for a strike just inside the penalty box, but the ball was caught by UP goalie Ace Villanueva. Another golden opportunity for Adamson to finally score came 10 minutes later, after an erroneous attempt to take control of the ball by the UP front line of defense led to Jumo I escaping the clutter of the midfield to race down the other end of the pitch, with only substitute UP goalie Micah Alampay to stop him. Quick to his feet, Alampay was able to meet Jumo I before the Adamsonian could get into position for the easy shot, swiping the ball from his feet with a clean tackle and denying the Falcons the easy goal.

UP on the other hand proved unsatisfied with their four goals in the first half, and kept biting at the heels of the struggling Adamson defense. Gerardo Valmayor, UP’s leading scorer who was substituted into the game just shortly after the start of the second half, had the chance to bag his fifth goal at the 67th minute, connecting with a volley from teammate Francisco Santos, but the shot from the front of the goal was blocked. Though Valmayor would later finish the game without a single goal, his presence of mind on the attack and skillful passing kept the UP offense going, and at the 74th minute, it was his pass to teammate Joseph Ryan Fermin that produced the Maroons’ fifth goal. Fermin, after corralling the pass from Valmayor just outside the penalty box, sent a powerful strike from long range that left Viray stunned in place.

Another UP goal later came at the 76th minute, following a cross from just around the left post to keep the ball in play by Lou Rafanan that was received by Rogie Maglinas, who was able to head in the ball and bag UP’s sixth goal.

UP’s continued dominance of the midfield prevented the Falcons from mounting the late resurgence. A couple more Adamson attacks approaching the 90th minute only yielded shots that went wide or were stopped by the UP defense, and at the end of injury time, UP escaped with the clean sheet.

“Maganda yung adjustment nila. Yun yung pinag-planuhan namin at pinakita naman nila. Maganda yung response nila from the bad performance against Ateneo,” said UP head coach Anto Gonzales regarding his team’s performance. “Na-establish namin ang aming midfield na talaga namang nag-demand ng bola at willing to distribute.”

Following the victory, UP now sits at the top of the standings with 10 points, beating Ateneo, who also has 10 points in the season thus far, via goal differential. Adamson, yet to record any wins or draws this season, sits at the bottom of the standings with zero points.

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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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