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FEU eliminates La Salle in shocking fashion

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The De La Salle University Green Archers were poised to earn a playoff game against the National University Bulldogs, as Coach Nash Racela and the FEU Tamaraws fielded their second and third unit for the majority of the game.

However, even up against the starting five of the Archers in crunch time, Monbert Arong and Roger Pogoy led the Tamaraws bench to a shocking fourth quarter hijack, 71-68, to eliminate La Salle for the second straight season, early Wednesday evening at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.

Jumpshots were dropping successively for the Tamaraws as they shattered the 4-4 start with an 8-2 scoring spree in the middle of the first quarter to establish their biggest lead of the game at 6. Achi Iñigo and Richard Escoto would then combine for four points apiece to give FEU a 22-19 lead, notwithstanding Prince Rivero’s early assertion on the other end.

Rivero would enter double digit scoring in the first possession of the second quarter, which initiated a 7-0 run for La Salle within two minutes. FEU tied the game once again at 26, but the Green Archers’ defense limited the Tamaraws to only two points in the last 5:50 of the first half. Balanced scoring for DLSU during the stretch increased their lead, was capped by two free throws by Jeron Teng to give the Archers a 38-29 cushion at the break.

Scoring continued for the Archers as they continued to romp the Tamaraws, who were playing Mac Belo and Mike Tolomia in limited minutes throughout the match. By the 1:01 mark of the third, a triple by Thomas Torres established La Salle’s biggest lead of the match at 52-37. However, FEU capitalized on La Salle’s early entrance to penalty situation as the Tamaraws drained eight free throws during the period and closed the third down by single digits.

FEU head coach Nash Racela started bench players Monbert Arong, Francis Tamsi, Wendel Comboy, and Prince Orizu together with starting floor general Achie Inigo to start the fourth quarter. After a three-point play by Jeron Teng extended the La Salle lead to 57-45 with 7:40 remaining, a split on the stripe by Trinidad sparked a 10-0 run. Trinidad capped things by finding a wide-open Pogoy for a triple that cut the lead to just two with 4:32 remaining. That triple was just the start for the fifth-year Cebuano. Pogoy responded to conversions by Torres and Rivero with a fadeaway and a triple, coming from Steve Holmqvist, to cut the lead to just a solitary point with 3:13 left. After a travel was called on Rivero, the in-form Pogoy knocked down a huge go-ahead rainbow to give FEU the lead 63-61. Pogoy was brought back to the bench after the play.

The Tamaraws then managed to make a huge stop as seldomly-used Ken Holmqvist blocked a Perkins layup, paving the way for an acrobatic layup by Arong to extend the FEU lead to four. After a La Salle timeout, their last in regulation, Rivero converted on a reverse layup but it was answered by a pullup jumper by Arong. La Salle were able to cut the lead to just one after a Teng and-one play. A miss by Arong gave La Salle a chance to at least take the lead but Torralba’s corner triple badly missed with 39.1 seconds remaining. However, an inbound play went wrong for the Tamaraws as Ken Holmqvist miscommunicated with his guard Trinidad on a handoff, resulting in a turnover. Teng, though, missed a well-contested layup and had to foul Steve Holmqvist. The Davaoeno split his charity, however, but was fortunate that the rebound by Thomas Torres was ruled out-of-bounds. In the ensuing play, Arong was able to convert on two free throws to give FEU a 69-66 lead with 12.8 remaining. Teng was able to convert on a layup five seconds later, but the Green Archers failed to foul an FEU player. That resulted in Steve Holmqvist finding a wide-open Trinidad for a layup, giving the Tamaraws a 71-68 win and eliminating La Salle from the Final Four for the first time since season 74.

“The objective of the game was to keep the guys fresh. Ateneo’s resting right now and this is a non-bearing game for us,” coach Nash Racela said after the game. “The intention was to minimize the minutes of the starters.”

However, “the chance to win presented itself,” Racela continued. “This game gave the other players preparation for the Final Four. We saw a lot of players who could play. What they only needed were the opportunity and the exposure.”

Pogoy, who scored all 11 points in the fourth quarter, added that “Napaghandaan lang namin. Gusto ko pumasok kami sa Final Four na may momentum.” Pogoy shot just 4/9 from the field but had four boards and three triples.

Monbert Arong added 13 points, on 4/13 shooting from the field but 5/5 from the charity stripe, in just 17 minutes of action. Smart Elite ambassador Mac Belo had ten points and five boards in 13 minutes of game time.

Jeron Teng led La Salle by 22 points. He was 7/22 from the field and 6/7 from the foul stripe. Smart Elite ambassador Prince Rivero added 16 poinys on 8/15 shooting. Both grabbed nine boards each.

As a team, La Salle shot better at a 41.18% clip compared to just 36% by FEU. However, the Tamaraws out-rebounded the Green Archers 51-44 that led to 19 second chance points. In addition, they were able to force the Green Archers into 15 turnovers.

The FEU Tamaraws will face the Ateneo Blue Eagles on Sunday, November 22 at 3:00pm. FEU will hold a twice-to-beat advantage. The De La Salle University Green Archers, with a 6-8 slate, will finish the season at fifth place.

The Scores:
FEU (71) – Arong 13, Pogoy 11, Belo 10, Iñigo 9, Ri. Escoto 8, Orizu 5, Ru. Escoto 4, Trinidad 3, Tamsi 2, K. Holmqvist 2, Tolomia 2, S. Holmqvist 2, Comboy 0, Eboña 0.
DLSU (68) – Teng 20, Rivero 16, Torralba 8, Torres 7, Perkins 6, Muyang 5, Caracut 3, Langston 3, Gob 0.
Quarterscores: 22-19, 29-38, 45-54, 71-68.

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Yeng Guiao denies using racial slur against Chris Ross

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During the post-game of the San Miguel Beermen’s victory over the NLEX Road Warriors, reigning Coach of the Year Leo Austria said that NLEX head coach Yeng Guiao called Chris Ross the “N” word that caused the commotion.

According to Chris, tinawagan siya ng nigger or ganiyan,” said Austria. “I don’t know but that’s what he explained to me because I confronted Chris Ross because he’s one of the most important players in my team.

“But that’s the thing he doesn’t want to hear so nagflare up yung bata so I cannot blame him.”

Guiao though denied that he blurted out racial slurs against San Miguel’s Chris Ross.

“Hindi. Hindi ko tinawag na N-word. Ewan ko kung may nakarinig. Pero hindi,” clarified the fiery tactician moments after their 98-109 defeat, their third straight after starting the 2018 Philippine Cup with two straight wins.

That tussle, according to Guiao, was just filled with trash talking against each other, as he felt the need to retaliate. In fact, Guiao was even caught by the TV camera saying “son of a bitch” towards the Filipino-American point guard.

“Daldal siya ng daldal eh. Eh sa akin naman kapag ganon, siguro respeto nalang. Lumayo ka nalang tutal mananalo naman na kayo,” he said. “I didn’t understand what he was saying, what he was talking about.

“Nakipagtrash-talking din ako sa kanya.”

Furthermore, the 58-year-old was also caught by the cameras flipping the bird — in one quick motion — also against Ross.

“Oo. Kasama na rin yun.

“Pero ano naman eh, it’s part of, siguro, psychological warfare. Malakas din siya mang-asar. Hindi lang naman sa amin. Everytime naman na mga ganoong skirmishes, he also knows what he’s capable of,” the seven-time champion coach furthered.

But more than this scuffle, it really has become a stressful time for Guiao and the Road Warriors. They have now went down to 2-3 in the team standings, and the mentor sees the great need to end this slump immediately.

“We have to arrest it very soon. Ang susunod na laro namin ay versus Rain or Shine sa Friday. So we need to go back to 50 percent win-loss level para at least may chance ka na maka-playoffs. That’s going to be a crucial game for us,” he stressed.

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Kiefer Ravena shocked with Von Pessumal’s shove: ‘I did not expect that at all’

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Kiefer Ravena and Von Pessumal have been teammates ever since they were in high school, winning three UAAP juniors crowns together. They won two championships together in the seniors level and even played together in Gilas. They were inseparable.

Friday evening however, they were playing for separate camps.

Ravena admitted that he never expected a shove to come from Pessumal during the NLEX Road Warriors’ clash with San Miguel Beermen.

In an off-ball situation, Pessumal charged at Ravena, sending the rookie down to the floor with 9:50 remaining in the final frame. He was then whistled for an unsportsmanlike foul, and Ravena sank one from the line.

“I did not expect that at all,” admitted Ravena after the match in which they lost, 98-109 — their third straight defeat after a 2-0 start. “But hopefully Von doesn’t take it personal.

“I’m just doing my job. They won the game.”

Ravena insisted that there wasn’t any physicality between him and Pessumal prior to that, but he thinks that his former Gilas teammate may have gotten irked by his staredown after blocking him on a fastbreak play early in the fourth.

“When that fastbreak happened — the same exact possession na I challenged him, I looked at him, and after that yun na yung nangyari,” said the 23-year-old guard. “But I never instigated something to provoke Von to do that.

“Probably nung tinignan ko siya.”

Moreover, the second overall pick of the 2017 PBA Rookie Draft felt that that incident “started all the commotions during the end game (laughs). Yun yung pinaka-una eh. And with that, the team got fired up and it worked for them.”

He may be right, for the game saw more skirmishes after that: from teammate Michael Miranda kicking Chris Ross to the groin, and with his head coach Yeng Guiao figuring in a heated verbal war also against Ross.

But then, Ravena made it clear that it was never a plan of his to put down somebody, especially someone like Pessumal who he sees as a brother for life.

“You know, Von and I, we go way back. Things like this hopefully don’t become too personal.

“I have no intention na ipapahiya yung tao or sasaktan mo yung tao. Wala namang ganun. Laro-laro lang,” said NLEX’s leading scorer.

It was somehow a night to remember for Ravena, but for all the wrong reasons. After Friday’s loss that sent their card to 2-3, the veteran internationalist now sees the need for him and the Road Warriors to push the panic button.

“‘Di na pwedeng sabihin palaging kailangan namin matuto eh. Pangatlong sunod na,” the second-generation cager expressed.

“Kailangan siguro naming umaksyon.”

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Downcast Chris Ross chooses to stay mum after heated altercation with Yeng Guiao

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Through wins or losses, Chris Ross has always accommodated the members of the press asking for interviews and fans requesting for photo ops every after game. But Friday evening, the nine-year pro was despondent.

Visibly agitated with the events that had transpired during the San Miguel Beermen’s tilt against the NLEX Road Warriors, Ross, with his hoodie covering his head, left the Cuneta Astrodome without saying a word.

The reigning Defensive Player of the Year had figured in physical play after physical play and verbal exchange after verbal exchange with the frustrated Road Warriors.

Ross and Alex Mallari were both slapped with technicals after a confrontation with 9:06 left. This was just the start of many things to come for the Filipino-American defensive specialist

After knocking down a triple and receiving a taunt from Ross, Michael Miranda was assessed a disqualifying foul for an apparent kick to the groin against Ross with 4:35 left.

The tip of the iceberg came with 1:46 left to play and the game all but settled.

Yeng Guiao and Ross figured in a heated word war that resulted in Ross’ second technical foul for the game. Referees and players from both sides had to separate the two to prevent things from escalating.

San Miguel coach Leo Austria alleged that the fiery NLEX mentor said the “N” word, while some said Guiao called Ross a “bitch”.

Ross finished the game with four points, eight rebounds, and four steals in 37 minutes of action.

For sure, penalties and suspensions will come out of this game.

And it was better for Ross to stay silent.

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Jason Brickman flirts with triple-double as Mono holds off Singapore

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After playing his worst game of the season last Sunday against Tanduay Alab Pilipinas, Jason Brickman bounced back, steering the Mono Vampire to a 91-88 road victory over the Singapore Slingers, Friday evening at the OCBC Arena.

The 26-year-old, who finished with just seven points and three assists in their 71-104 loss to Alab, tallied 10 points, 11 rebounds, and nine assists. The league-leader in assists did not take a break, playing all 40 minutes.

But it was not a walk in the park for the Thailand-based squad.

Mono led by as much as 22 points, 60-48, with 7:46 left, 16 points entering the final frame. A furious fourth quarter rally by Singapore sliced the lead, turning the game into a single-possession contest with a minute left. The steady hands of Samuel Deguara and Mike Singletary from the stripe fended off Singapore.

Brickman’s compatriot Paul Zamar chipped in 13 markers for Mono.

Since torching Alab last January 3, Filipino-Canadian AJ Mandani has been on a slump, going just 3-for-11 from the field for nine points.

Mono’s World Imports Samuel Deguara and Mike Singletary both finished with 26 points with the former hauling down 18 rebounds. For Singapore, Xavier Alexander paced the Slingers with 29 points, nine rebounds, and eight assists.

With the win, the Vampire kept solo third with a 7-4 slate. On the other hand, the Slingers dropped its second straight game since winning against Alab, falling to 5-6.

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