Connect with us
[adinserter block="13"] [adinserter block="3"]

Extend to defend: Bulldogs live another day, trounce UST in four tight sets



The National University Bulldogs breezed through the second-seeded UST squad to extend their season in a four-set win, 26-24, 28-26, 23-25, 25-21 at the Mall of Asia Arena. This has them sitting in unfamiliar territory after the elimination phase, holding on to third in the rankings.

Both teams rushed to a closely-fought opening canto with no team leading by more than three points, and this was the theme throughout the game. UST and NU had the taste of the lead entering the first and second technical timeouts of the match, respectively. The exchanges between the two piled up in multiple plays on both offense and defense.

The Tigers led 24-22 and were a point away from taking the opener. However, errors haunted them late in the game as NU snatched the set away, giving the defending champions a 1-0 set lead.

UST opened things up sharper in the second period as they entered the first technical timeout up 8-5. However, the Bulldogs responded with a 9-4 counter to gain the upper hand in the second set. It was Jan Paglinawan who made three of those points through spikes. The Bulldogs greatly extended their lead by four points, due to their net defense playing a huge factor in the stretch.

Off a timeout, Mark Alfafara started scoring to keep UST close, as he scattered three of the next five points to push his team into retaking the lead. With UST two points away from making the match even at a set apiece, Peter Torres stepped up to score on two powerful spikes to tie things up anew.

After a see-saw exchange in the extension, Torres dropped the ball to a wide open spot against UST’s scattered defense to give the Bulldogs a 26-25 lead. Afterwards, Romnick Rico scored for another deadlock. Looking to finally end the set, NU brought out a triple block against UST’s spikers. On the ensuing play, Arnold Bautista’s free ball attempt went wide.

UST had another strong start in the third set as they built a quick 8-5 lead, when their spikes started finding their marks. Despite NU chipping in points to make it a close game, UST went exclusively to Alfafara as he delivered the offense against the blockers from NU. Alfafara scored on four straight points including an ace to give UST an 18-15 edge.

With UST once again two points away from claiming a set, Torres nailed the necessary attacks to make the game closer. NU tied things up at 23-all with Torres and Rueben Inaudito scoring in the clutch. This time however, Alfafara and the Tigers made sure that the set was theirs as they ended the third frame up by two, sealed with a huge rejection at the end.

The Bulldogs were on fire in the fourth set as they established a comfortable lead against the Tigers. They led 13-8 as the quick attacks and drop balls were finding the spots for multiple markers. UST kept on chipping points to trim the gap, but they could not find a good rhythm as service errors kept them from building momentum.

After the second technical timeout with NU ahead, the feisty Tiger Spikers still dialed in points despite an exhausted Alfafara. With reception not working for UST and Alfafara’s back row spikes sailing wide, NU reached match point. UST was able to save a match point, but they couldn’t stop Vince Mangulabnan’s one-handed game-winning drop ball, which allowed NU to force the rubber match on Saturday.

The close match ended with UST leading the spiking department, 62-59, and both teams scoring five points each on service aces. NU had more blocks, 12-10, and committed less errors, 19-26.

Alfafara filled the stat sheet as he tallied a monstrous 37-point outing, 34 of which came from attacks. Bautista, on the other hand, tallied 18 for UST including two blocks.

For the winners NU, four Bulldogs scored in double figures led by Torres and Paglinawan, who each had 19 points. In addition, Torres had four rejections to anchor the net defense displayed by the defending champions.

The scores:

NU(3) – Torres 19, Paglinawan 19, Inaudito 17, Baysac 12, Tolentino 6, Mangulabnan 2, Ismail 0, Tipay(L) 0, Dizon(L) 0

UST(1) – Alfafara 37, Bautista 14, Balse 8, Rico 8, Sarabia 5, Tajanlangit 3, Arbasta 1, Guzman 1, Castillo 0, Pangan(L) 0, Francisco 0

Click to comment


Composed Ceres-Negros expels Shan United in shootout victory



Photo from

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.

Continue Reading


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.”

Continue Reading

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 rehabilitating his injury 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 a lot 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.

Continue Reading


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.

Continue Reading