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Ferrer embraces leadership role in last dance with UST



It has been a long yet fulfilling journey for UST’s do-it-all forward Kevin Ferrer.

Part of the highly-talented UAAP 2011 rookie class that featured the likes of Ateneo’s Kiefer Ravena and National University’s Ray Parks, Ferrer’s versatile play has been a key contributor for the UST Growling Tigers for the past four years.

During his rookie year, he seemingly blended with the likes of seasoned vets Jeric Teng, Jeric Fortuna, Clark Bautista and Chris Camus. Come his second and third year in the league, Ferrer made his mark by transforming into one of the league’s best lockdown defenders. In that stretch, everyone could easily recall on how Ferrer sucked the life out of two-time MVP Parks in their Final Four bouts. Also, despite having a bridesmaid finish against the De La Salle Green Archers in 2013, Ferrer’s torrid outside shooting and defensive tactics against Jeron Teng proved dividends as it extended the championship series to a do-or-die scenario.

With all of those accumulated learnings, he eventually soared to new heights and took his game to the international scene as he was part of Tab Baldwin’s Gilas cadets that won gold in the recently concluded 2015 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games Basketball Championship held in Singapore.

Photo by SINGOC

Photo by SINGOC

But now, with a ton of experience to lean on and with him pegged as the team’s leader for his last UAAP Season, Ferrer has only one thing in mind for his Tigers: win at all costs.

“Sobrang thankful and honored ako kasi madami talaga akong natutunan sa mga experiences ko doon [sa SEA Games],” Ferrer told Tiebreaker Times. “Dinadala ko sa training ang mga natutunan ko doon at pinapractice ko lagi. Mga natutunan ko [before] sa RP [Youth Team] tinuturo ko rin sa mga teammates ko and iyon, nakukuha rin naman nila.”

To begin their UAAP Season 78 campaign, Ferrer, who dropped 24 points, 8 rebounds and 4 assists, was on full throttle as UST stymied the rebuilding Adamson Falcons with a 70-64 win yesterday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

“Iniisip ko na last year ko na ito at last season ko na. Lahat gagawin ko na, all out na,” Ferrer remarked. “All out na kaming mga beterano kaya sabi nga ni coach na isa ako sa mga leader. Kailangan ko magset ng good example sa mga teammates ko.”

Knowing that this current UST team isn’t as stacked compared to their previous incarnations, Ferrer stressed that his team must make it a point to show the fighting spirit that UST is always known for. Despite facing a mountain’s worth of pressure to deliver in every game they play, the fifth-year forward also added that the only way to achieve success this season is to double their efforts and work as a team.

“Ang team namin gusto palagi parang kami ang underdog. Hindi namin talaga nilalagay ang pressure sa amin. Basta laro kami,” he added. “Ganoon naman talaga ang UST di ba? Kahit hindi inaasahan sa Final Four, gagawin namin ang lahat para makaabo doon. Hindi lang kami ang team na basta-basta maglalaro lang kasi lalaban kami.”

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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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Michael Calisaan tows Che’lu-San Sebastian past Perpetual



Photo by PBA Images

Michael Calisaan poured 20 points as he captained newcomer Che’Lu-San Sebastian Revellers to a decisive 83-70 win over the University of Perpetual Help System DALTA Altas to start their voyage, Monday evening at the Pasig City Sports Center.

Doing it all for the Revellers, the veteran forward provided the stability for his side as he shot 8-of-15 from the field while also hauling down nine rebounds, two assists, and two steals in the conference-opening win.

But it wasn’t all Calisaan as Che’Lu got contributions from all over its roster.

Samboy de Leon chimed in 16 markers and nine boards. RK Ilagan went 2-of-5 from threes to collect 13 points, eight dimes, and three rebounds, while big men Alfred Batino and Jeepy Faundo combined for 20 in the victory.

Despite the triumph, coach Stevenson Tiu gave all the praise to his players, noting the team’s lack of time preparing for the tourney.

“Nanalo kami dahil sa talent ng players. Medyo mali ko rin kasi nahirapan pa ako mag-adjust sa players. Hopefully, we play much better in the coming games,” he said.

The Revellers used a 16-4 run to finally break away from the Altas, taking a 77-60 lead with 4:03 to play as they punished their foes for their turnovers, turning Perpetual’s 30 miscues to 28 points in their favor.

Prince Eze anchored the Altas with 15 points, 11 rebounds, and seven blocks in their first game under new head coach Frankie Lim.

Che’lu-San Sebastian look to make it two in a row when they take on the Wangs-Letran Couriers on Monday, January 29 at 5:00pm. Perpetual, on the other hand, hope they can notch their first win when they take on Mila’s Lechon Mighty Roasters.

The Scores:

Che’lu-SSCR 83 — Calisaan 20, De Leon 16, Ilagan 13, Batino 10, Faundo 10, Bulanadi 6, Costelo 6, Calma 2, David 0, Lao 0, Santos 0, Valdez 0.

UPHSD 70 — Eze 15, Coronel 13, Villanueva 13, Jimenez 9, Charcos 7, Peralta 7, Gallardo 5, Pido 1, Antonio 0, Aurin 0, Tamayo 0, Tongco 0.

Quarterscores: 17-22, 34-38, 59-53, 83-70.

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