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FEU Lady Tams eliminate the UST Lady Shuttlers 3-1

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Team badminton can be compared to chess for the coaches involved. Predicting the opponent’s line-up and gambling on probability are the factors each coach takes into account minutes before submitting their line-ups.

Just like in their round match-up loss against the Ateneo Lady Shuttlers, Coach Noel Cajefe designated UST star shuttler Patricia Barredo as closer for this do-or-die series against the Lady Tamaraws. It was a risky move that, unfortunately, did not pay-off. The solid quartet of Michal Dei Duquilla, Thea Marie Pomar, Hannah Tudtud and Maridel Rivera staved-off elimination in just 4 matches to advance to the Final Four of this year’s UAAP Women’s Badminton Tournament.

 

Women’s Singles Match 1: Michal Dei Duquilla (FEU) def. Steffie Denise Aquino (UST); 2:1

UST 0 – 1 FEU

Steffie Aquino opened the series for the Golden Shuttlers against Michal Duquilla. The  1st set of this match-up was a close affair with the match being tied 6 times. With the game tied at 16-all, the agile Michal Duquilla would try to break-away in to give her an 18-16. Aquino would take advantage of a service error from Duquilla to storm back with a 4-point rally to be 1-point shy of taking the game. Duquilla would score after an excellent return to try to extend the game. However, an errand service gave Aquino the match 21-19.

After the court switch, Michal Duquilla would blitz to a 13-4 lead in the 2nd set. The lead would balloon to 19-9 later on. Duquilla would tire Aquino by mixing lobs and drops before setting up for a hard return. Duquilla would tie things up by winning the game 21-13.

Duquilla would turn the tides in favor and never give Aquino even a hint of momentum in the deciding set for this match. Duquilla would jump to an early 8-2 lead. The lead would further extend to 18-8 before going for the kill with a smash to take the game and the match 21-9.

Aggregate Score: Duquilla 61 – Aquino 43

Total Match Time: 48 mins

 

Women’s Singles Match 2: Thea Marie Pomar (FEU) def. Airish Ann Macalino (UST); 2:0

UST 0 – 2 FEU

From the start of the match and right to the very end, Thea Pomar just had one pace. She never let-up and had no dead time in blowing-out the rookie Airish Macalino in 2 sets. Pomar would start the game quick and furious to storm with an early 11-4 lead. The rookie from Espana would make a quick rally after the break to be only down a solitary point 10-11. The FEU lady shuttler would halt any momentum Macalino gains by only giving-up 6 points, mostly duty to her errors, in winning the 1st game 21-16.

The 2nd game would start with an aggressive Airish Macalino take an early 7-2 lead. Thea Pomar would loosen up and slowly set the pace of the game once more. She would cut the Macalino lead to just 1, 7-8 before breaking the game wide open with a series of excellent drops. She would blitz to a 12-2 rally to give her a huge 19-10 lead. She would win the game 21-12 with a smash that just bounced off the racket of Macalino.

Aggregate Score: Pomar 42 – Macalino 28

Total Match Time: 30 mins

 

Women’s Doubles Match 1: Steffie Denise Aquino and Ana Patricia Barredo (UST) def. Thea Marie Pomar and Hannah Tudtud (FEU); 2:0

UST 1 – 0 FEU

The tandem of Aquino and Barredo is one of the top doubles teams this season in the Women’s division of the UAAP. The lanky duo has a tall task in front of them. Defeating the duo of Pomar and Tudtud would be step 1 of a 3 step process to bounce back and punch a ticket to the playoffs.

Patricia Barredo would lead her team to a 21-15 routing to give her team a 1-0 lead. The 2nd game was a slobber-knocker. Thea Pomar would give her team an early 9-4 lead over the heralded pair from Espana. The lead would jump to 11-6 via two excellent returns by Hannah Tudtud before the 11th minute break. Patricia Barredo and Steffie Aquino would slowly chip into the FEU lead to tie things up at 16-all. The two tandems would go point-for-point for the next couple of minutes. With the FEU leading 19-18, a Tudtud return was initially deemed in by the umpire. However, the side judge, with a clearer view of where the shuttlecock landed, would change the call and score the point to the Golden Shuttlers to the game. After that lucky break, Steffie Aquino would seal the game with two excellent drops to give win the set 21-19.

Aggregate Score: Aquino and Barredo 42 – Tudtud and Pomar 34

Total Match Time: 36 mins

 

Women’s Doubles Match 2: Michal Dei Duquila and Maridel Rivera (FEU) def. Ma. Kristine Gaspar and Ma. Victoria Vizmonte (UST); 2:0

UST 1 – 3 FEU (FEU wins)

The tandem of Gaspar and Vizmonte would carry the weight of the UST community on their shoulders in their match-up against Duquila and Rivera. With a win, the gamble of Coach Cajefe would have paid-off with Hannah Tudtud facing the unbeaten Patricia Barredo in a deciding final match.

The 1st game would see Gaspar lead her team to an early 9-6 lead over Duquila and Rivera. The UST lead would extend to 14-9. It was an error-filled start for the FEU pair. They would recover midway to eventually tie the game at 17-all. Both pairs would exchange excellent returns to extend the game into the advantage points. The athletic Michel Duquilla would make a push in scoring two successive backhanded returns to steal the 1st set from the Golden Shuttlers 22-20.

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The 2nd set would again start with the two tandems go on short rallies. Gaspar and the lanky Vizmonte would be down 11-9 before the break. During the break, Patricia Barredo would go down from the bleachers to cheer her team on staying in court 5. The tandem of Duquila and Rivera would gain a 20-14 lead. A teary Patricia Barredo would lie down onto the court, hoping for a miracle run by her teammates. Duquila and Rivera would have a hard time closing-out the pair from UST. Gaspar would burst with a 5 point rally, coming from amazing drops and errand returns. With the UST crowd hoping for a miracle, Duquila would execute a low drop that Vizmonte and Gaspar failed to return to give FEU the game win 21-19 and the match.

Aggregate Score: Duquila and Rivera 43 – Gaspar and Vizmonte 39

Total Match Time: 40 mins

The gamble of Coach Cajefe did not pay-off this time. In an interview, Coach Cajefe said that this was a team building experience and the team would be intact for next year. Coach would then lead the team in prayer and thanked his players for a wonderful season.

The Far Eastern University Lady Tamaraws would now advance to the next phase of the knock-out stage to face the winner of the Ateneo-DLSU game at the other court.

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Football

Composed Ceres-Negros expels Shan United in shootout victory

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Photo from the-AFC.com

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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Basketball

Abu Tratter plans to work his way to 2023 by continuing to do ‘the dirty work’

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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

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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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NCAA

Red Spikers extinguish Blazers for second win

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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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