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Ferrer’s outside sniping clinches twice-to-beat for UST



In the final game of the regular season for both squads, MVP candidate Kevin Ferrer displayed cold-hearted shooting to lead the University of Santo Tomas Growling Tigers in a wire-to-wire victory over the Adamson University Soaring Falcons 78-63 to clinch twice-to-beat adavantage Wednesday afternoon at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Knowing the importance of the twice-to-beat incentive, the Growling Tigers immediately blasted the young Falcons with a 12-0 start. Ferrer started the rally with a layup while a fastbreak layup by Louie Vigil capped the rally. Moreover, the Falcons were held scoreless in the first 5:15 of the game. After a Ferrer layup that extended UST’s lead to 16-4, the Falcons went on an 8-0 run highlighted by a dunk by freshman JD Tungcab. A three-pointer by Kent Lao halted the Adamson rally while a jumper by Vigil closed the quarter with the Yellow and Black squad holding a 21-14 lead to end the first quarter.

Tungcab took charge for the Soaring Falcons to start the second quarter. As the hot shooting off the Growling Tigers went cold, the rookie slashed his way through the lanes in scoring five points in the quarter. A Pape Sarr layup with 3:23 remaining in the half cut the lead to just four, 28-24. A hard drive by Vigil sparked a 9-2 rally by UST capped by a triple by Marvin Lee to give UST a 37-26 lead entering the break.

In the second half, it was all UST. Smart Elite ambassador Kevin Ferrer torched the San Marcelino cagers in draining three straight triples to open the third canto that extended the UST lead to 14. Even an 8-0 rally by the Falcons could not stop the UST rampage as Embons Bonleon and Karim Abdul poured it on to give their team a 57-44 lead entering the final frame.

Ferrer then put on the finishing touches in the game in scoring seven fourth quarter points. Moreover, by the 9:25 mark of the fourth, the senior was also able to notch a double-double in grabbing his tenth rebound. A stepback three by Ferrer with 4:21 to go gave UST its biggest lead of the game 73-48. Baskets by Ochea and Nalos in the end game were fruitless as the lead was insurmountable. UST clinched the first twice-to-beat incentive in the Final Four with a 78-63 win.

A proud UST head coach Bong Dela Cruz said that the team deserves this twice-to-beat advantage as they had work all season long to get this. “Siyempre, pinaghirapan namin yung elimination round. Gusto namin yung twice-to-beat.”

Ferrer, who led the Growling Tigers with 25 points on a blistering 9/14 shooting and grabbing ten boards, disclosed that this was a good confidence-builder for the team come the Final Four. “Dito kami kukuha ng kumpiyansa patungo sa Final Four,” he said. “Pero hindi pa namin gusto ang performance namin. Kelangan pa namin galingan sa susunod.”

Describing the mindset UST has right now, Abdul, who had nine points and four boards, said it best in saying, “This is just the start. We are aiming for the finals and we need to get back to practice. We need to work harder.”

Vigil and Daquoiag were also able to score in double-figures for UST. The former had 15 markers whiel Daquioag almost had a double-double with 11 points and eight boards.

For Adamson, Pape Sarr led the team in scoring 12 points and was able to grab 11 boards. He was just 5/13 from the field and was forced to commit five turnovers. Playing in their final collegiate game, Nico Capote had ten points, on just 4/11 shooting, while Joseph Nalos was just 1/6 from the field but was 6/8 from the charity stripe to score eight markers. Smart Elite ambassador Dawn Ochea was able to score nine points, all from free throws (9/10), in just 12 minutes of action.

As a team, the Soaring Falcons shot a horrible 26.15% from the field while the victors were able to shoot 41.89%. The Growling Tigers though had a 20-9 advantage in second chance points and were able to knock down seven more triples than the Soaring Falcons.

With the win, the Growling Tigers (11-3) will close out the elimination round with a top two seed pending the performance of the FEU Tamaraws in their last two assignments. The Adamson Soaring Falcons will finish at eight place with a 3-11 record.

The Scores:
UST (78) – Ferrer 25, Vigil 15, Daquioag 11, Abdul 9, Lao 6, Bonleon 5, Faundo 4, Lee 3, Sheriff 0, Subido 0, Arana 0, Caunan 0, Aburasad 0, Garrido 0, Huang 0, Suarez 0.
ADU (63) – Sarr 12, Capote 10, Ochea 9, Nalos 8, Tungcab 8, Polican 5, Fernandez 4, J. Garcia 3, Villanueva 2, Bernardo 1, Margallo 0, C. Garcia 0, Escalambre 0, Miranda 0.
Quarterscores: 21-14, 37-26, 57-44, 78-63.



Marc Pingris wants Rafi Reavis to break Robert Jaworski’s record



Marc Pingris was all praises for veteran Rafi Reavis Saturday night, as the 40-year-old center made his presence felt in the Magnolia Hotshots’ 97-91 victory — their third straight win — over Phoenix Fuel Masters at the Cuneta Astrodome.

The six-foot-nine Reavis finished with 11 points, 11 rebounds, and three blocks — a performance perfectly punctuated by a follow-up of a Paul Lee miss with 12.5 seconds left to play that knocked out the Fuel Masters for good.

“Papasalamat ako kay Rafi na talagang kababalik lang niya pero binigay niya talaga lahat,” said Pingris after the bout, as Saturday night was just Reavis’ second outing in the 2018 Philippine Cup after recovering from a hip injury.

“Nag-usap nga kami kanina e, hindi pa siya 100 percent. So bukas, ang sabi niya babalik daw siya sa gym dahil gusto niya ibalik yung lakas ng legs dahil wala pa daw,” added the 36-year-old, who also suffered a hip injury last season.

Reavis has been playing in the league for 16 years. Seeing the work he has put in, Pingris, who finished the game with 17 rebounds, four assists, four points and two blocks, believes that the 10-time PBA champion can play for 10 more years — at least.

“You know naman Rafi eh, katulad ko rin yan eh – rebound and depensa. At tsaka sobrang vocal siya sa team eh,” beamed Pingris, who himself is a 14-year veteran. “Walang siyang inaano, talagang sinasabihan niya kung sino yung mga nagmi-mistake, kung paano kami mag-adjust, so nakikinig naman lahat sa kanya.

“Talagang nandun yung respeto namin kay Rafi.”

And if Reavis stays healthy for the next decade, Pingris wants Reavis to exceed Jaworki’s 958 games played — third most all time.

“Nasa kanya yun, basta kaya mo ba eh. As a player, kung masipag ka naman at may disiplina sa sarili mo, kaya niya yun.”

Still, Reavis has a lot of catching up to do.

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Altas surge to fifth straight win, slam Heavy Bombers



Pulling double-digit scoring outings from three spikers, the University of Perpetual Help System DALTA Altas remained unbeaten in NCAA Season 93 after a straight-set triumph over thr Jose Rizal University Heavy Bombers, 25-17, 25-16, 25-20, at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

Middle blocker Ronniel Rosales topped the Altas with 13 points off 10 attacks and three blocks. Team captain Rey Taneo and Joebert Almodiel added 12 markers apiece.

The Altas dominated every scoring category, recording 44 attacks to JRU’s 26, five blocks to the Bombers’ zero, and three aces to JRU’s one.

Breezing through the first half of the season, Altas head coach Sammy Acaylar lauded his team’s consistency and hoped they continue getting better as they aim for a championship.

“So far, masasabi kong maganda ang nilalaro ng mga bata. Consistent naman ang mga galaw nila and focused sila sa mga laban,” said Acaylar.

“Pero alam nilang may ibubuga pa sila. We still need to get better and reach the championship level. Kailangan hindi mawala ‘yung ganito naming killer instinct,” the decorated mentor added.

The Altas take on a major test on Tuesday at the FilOil Flying V Centre when they face fellow undefeated squad Arellano Chiefs (4-0).

Wenjo Lahaylahay led the Bombers with 10 points while captain Patrick Rabaja managed seven.

JRU (0-5) limps into their Wednesday showdown against defending champs College of Saint Benilde (3-1).

The Scores

UPHSD (3) – Rosales 13, Almodiel 12, Taneo R. 12, Muhali 7, Ramos 5, Atentar 1, Catipay 1, Salo 1, Bation 0, Solamilo 0, Taneo S. 0, Kalingking (L)

JRU (0) – Lahaylahay 10, Rabaja 7, Sulivas 6, Salazar 4, Cebrero 1, Soriano 1, Cruz 0, Ferwelo 0, Defensor (L), Flor (L)

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Mixed Martial Arts

Rene Catalan continues rampage with TKO win



Rene Catalan continues to turn critics into believers

Filipino fighter Rene Catalan made his sixth appearance inside the ONE Championship cage at ONE: Kings of Courage, held at the Jakarta Convention Center in Indonesia, Saturday evening. He faced 21-year-old Chinese athlete Peng Xue Wen in the opening main card bout, and leaned on his elite wushu skills to stop the young star at the 4:22 mark of the second round.

The victory improves Catalan’s record to 4-2 (1 NC), extends his winning streak to four, and gives him the first TKO stoppage of his martial arts career, as he bids to climb the strawweight ladder in search of the ONE Strawweight World Championship.

“The Challenger” came out in the southpaw stance to open the bout, throwing big hooks and a head kick that narrowly missed as he established the center of the cage from the start of the contest.

The Filipino landed a host of powerful strikes, including a perfectly-placed uppercut and a melee of punishing leg kicks, but Peng’s conditioning and composure kept him in the match as he looked to stand and trade with the man 18 years his elder.

Catalan picked up where he left off when the bout resumed in the second round, this time operating out of the orthodox stance, landing more leg kicks and continuing to deny Peng any space to work.

Despite his dominance on the feet, there was a brief moment of concern for the Filipino on the mat when he jumped into the Chinese wrestler’s guard mid-way through the second round, and immediately found himself in a triangle choke. But the Filipino kept his composure and managed to work himself free.

Once the fighters returned to their feet, Catalan poured on the pressure in search of a finish, and he got it with just 38 seconds remaining in the stanza.

“The Challenger” scored big with a liver shot, then unloaded a fierce flurry of punches that forced Peng onto his back foot. Another shot forced Peng to the mat, where a salvo of ground and pound from Catalan eventually forced the TKO stoppage as referee Olivier Coste stepped in to halt the contest.

Photo, story, and video from ONE Championship

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Gelo Alolino regrets Phoenix’s failure to close out Hotshots



Photo by PBA Images

Gelo Alolino had his best game for the Phoenix Fuel Masters on Saturday night at the Cuneta Astrodome with 19 points, eclipsing his previous career-high of 16 markers which he made last May 21, 2017 in a loss to the Mahindra Floodbuster.

But his achievement won’t be too memorable, as it went for naught following a 91-97 defeat at the hands of Paul Lee and the Magnolia Hotshots, who have now collected their third straight victory.

For the second overall pick in the regular 2016 Rookie Draft, it was all because of their failure to sustain momentum up until the game’s final buzzer.

“Sayang, nandun na. We felt na sa amin na nung dulo kaso lang ganun talaga,” rued the 24-year-old sophomore after the match, where he shot an excellent 7-of-10 from the floor.

“Breaks of the game napunta sa kabila.”

Phoenix were in contention all throughout the match. In fact, they were even ahead, 89-84, with just three minutes left to play. But the Hotshots’ comeback skills were unleashed, leading to the narrow win.

“Siyempre kami lahat nasayangan. Maganda naman yung team effort talaga namin,” admitted the 6-foot floor general of their end-game collapse, which wasted their efforts in assists (21) and on defense, where they forced Magnolia to 21 turnovers.

“Kami as players talagang gusto namin bumawi coming from a loss last game sa Rain or Shine.

The Fuel Masters have now lost their second straight outing and have dropped to 2-3. And for Alolino, all they have to do is learn as much as they can from this loss, especially now that they are about to face the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel next.

“Yun nga. Medyo masakit para sa’min ‘to,” admitted the National University product.

“All we have to do is magviview ulit kami ng tape para makita kung saan kami mas pwede mag-improve as a team and bawat isa — including me.”

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