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FEU outlasts La Salle to bag twice-to-beat advantage

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For the third time this season, the Far Eastern University Tamaraws defeat the defending champions the De La Salle Green Archers. Relying on the fourth quarter heroics of Mike Tolomia and Carl Cruz, the Morayta-based squad beat back a second half comeback from the Archers to take the 65-62 win, Sunday at the Mall of Asia Arena.

The Tamaraws ushered in the game with a dominant display, holding La Salle’s leading scorer Jeron Teng to a dismal two points in the quarter. Mike Tolomia would lead the charge for the Tams with six points, while Jason Perkins would pick up the scoring reins for La Salle to answer back with six of his own. Though FEU would look poised to close the first quarter in lopsided fashion after taking a 13-8 lead approaching the final minute, a late run from the Archers would trim the FEU lead. At the end of the first, the Tamaraws would however retain the lead, 15-12.

R.R Pogoy would welcome the second quarter with a triple to extend the FEU lead. With Mark Belo finally finding his touch after a quiet first quarter, the Tamaraws would find themselves with the double digit lead, 30-18 halfway through the quarter. The return of veteran guard Thomas Torres to the floor after sitting out of most of the season due to an injury late in the quarter, along with baskets from Jeron Teng and Kib Montalbo would inject some life into the La Salle crowd late in the quarter. However it was the Tamaraws who would walk away with the halftime lead, 32-24.

The Tamaraws would open the third quarter with another run, with Tolomia drilling a triple to give FEU back the double digit lead, 41-31, with six minutes on the clock. Two triples from Almond Vosotros and Julian Sargent in the next few minutes would trim the lead to 46-41 approaching the final three minutes. A basket from FEU’s Belo would extend the lead to 48-41, but Vosotros would fire back for La Salle in the next play, making a rare four point play. Vosotros would manage to drain 13 points in the third quarter, shooting four of five from beyond the arc. Another trifecta from Vosotros would force the deadlock at 50-50 in the dying seconds, but Mike Tolomia would manage to fire back for FEU, draining a three of his own just before the buzzer expired.

A resurgent La Salle would open the fourth quarter putting up another strong fight, finally finding a way through FEU’s defensive lockdown. After trading runs and baskets for most of the first seven minutes, the Archers would finally take the lead from the Tamaraws, 60-58, after a basket from Arnold Van Opstal.

Tolomia however would fire back for FEU, scoring on a fast break attack and splitting a free throw opportunity in the next two minutes to put FEU back up, 61-60, with 1:16 left on the clock. The two teams would go on to trade turnovers in the next few plays, and the score would remain unchanged entering the final minute.

After another series of misses from both squads, FEU’s Carl Cruz would finally break the silence, sinking a lay-up despite being fouled to extend the lead for FEU, 63-60 with 22 seconds left on the clock. La Salle would have the chance to bounce back, but would be unable to deliver. Tolomia would manage to grab the offensive board, and would be fouled by Jeron Teng on the fast break. Tolomia would manage to sink one more for FEU, and would retain possession of the ball after the foul was declared unsportsmanlike, all with 7.7 left on the clock. Another free throw basket from Carl Cruz would seal the victory for the Tamaraws.

Mike Tolomia led the Tamaraws with 19 points, 8 rebounds, and 2 steals. Mark Belo contributed 15 points and 10 rebounds, while fourth quarter hero Carl Cruz had 7 points.

Jason Perkins led the Archers with 15 points and 13 rebounds. Almond Vosotros had 13 points, all in the third quarter. Leading scorer Jeron Teng was held to 8 points and 8 rebounds, and was held to a dismal two-of-seven from the field. Teng was diagnosed with dengue earlier in the past week, and had recovered only a few days prior to this game.

“It was really hard after that loss against Ateneo. This win is a reflection of the team’s character, “ said FEU head coach Nash Racela at the post-game conference. “It wasn’t easy beating La Salle. The Tams were persevering.”

“I don’t think we have the advantage…I have to remind them DLSU is still the better team on paper,” said Coach Racela after being asked about the twice-to-beat advantage.

The Tams and the Archers resume their post-season battle next Saturday at the Araneta Coliseum, in their first meeting of the semi-final proper. This is the third straight year FEU and La Salle play in a knockout game just before the Final Four.

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Basketball

KIA signs Carlo Lastimosa

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After being released by the NLEX Road Warriors during the off-season, gunner Carlo Lastimosa has found a new home.

KIA Picanto team governor Bobby Rosales confirmed to Tiebreaker Times Thursday evening that they have tapped Carlo Lastimosa for the rest of the PBA Philippine Cup campaign.

“Yes,” Rosales confirmed in a text message.

Lastimosa, a two-time All-Star, averaged 8.8 points, 1.4 rebounds, and 1.7 assists in his one-year stay with the Road Warriors. Coach Yeng Guiao cited that NLEX already had too many guards that resulted to Lastimosa’s release.

The product of College of Saint Benilde was drafted as the 20th overall pick in the 2013 Rookie Draft by Barako Bull. A year later, he was traded to the Blackwater Elite for Brian Heruala.

The 27-year-old is set to make his debut on Saturday when the Picanto take on the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters.

The Kia Picanto are in the midst of a 16-game losing streak.

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Marinerong Pilipino withstands furious Zark’s rally to open season on high note

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The Marinerong Pilipino Skippers averted a collapse and held off the Zark’s Burger-Lyceum Jawbreakers to come away with the 94-92 thriller to open the 2018 PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.

Losing hold of a 17-point edge, 56-39 with 7:57 left in the third frame, the Skippers survived the furious rally from the Jawbreakers in the clutch as Mike Nzeusseu and CJ Perez missed their three-pointers in the final minute before Rian Ayonayon and Renzo Subido sealed off the win for their side at the charity stripe

Subido topscored for Marinerong Pilipino with 20 points, five assists, and three rebounds, while Ayonayon unleashed 15 markers, three boards, and two dimes in the early battle between the two contenders.

Gab Banal also registered a double-double of 14 points, 14 rebounds, six assists, and four steals against his 10 turnovers in the win, while Papot Paredes got 12 of his 14 markers in the first half to help the Skippers establish control at halftime.

Victorious as Marinerong Pilipino maybe in the marquee matchup, coach Koy Banal refused to brand his side as the undisputed team-to-beat, noting: “This win means nothing. We need to keep on working get better every day because everybody will now prepare for us.”

Banal also lauded top rookie picks Alvin Pasaol and Abu Tratter, who were both fielded in the second half and stepped up to help the Skippers’ cause.

“Those guys have been with us since January 2 lang, and pretty much, medyo nangangapa pa sila sa sistema. But good thing is that they were able to deliver especially when their number were called,” he said.

The Skippers used a huge 12-0 run to end the second quarter to grab a 47-35 halftime lead, which further ballooned to 17, 56-39 in the third quarter.

Jaycee Marcelino paced Zark’s Burger-Lyceum with 20 points, four rebounds, and three assists in the loss, while Perez had 19 markers and five assists.

Earlier, PBA officer-in-charge Willie Marcial and PBA vice chairman Dickie Bachmann of Alaska graced the opening ceremonies, which was made special thanks to league newcomer Mila’s Lechon.

Marinerong Pilipino looks to sustain the momentum it gained in this game when it faces the Akari-Adamson Falcons on Thursday, January 25 at 5:00pm. Zark’s Burgers, on the other hand, takes on the Batangas-EAC Generals on Tuesday, January 23 at 4:00pm.

The Scores:

Marinerong Pilipino 94 – Subido 20, Ayonayon 15, Paredes 14, Banal 14, Robles 10, Tolentino 4, Tratter 4, Pasaol 4, Terso 3, Lopez 2, Inigo 2, Babilonia 2, Toth 0.

Zark’s 92 – Marcelino JC 20, Perez 19, Nzeusseu 18, Ayaay 11, Ibanez 6, Marcelino JV 6, Cinco 5, Tansingco 3, Santos 2, Pretta 2, Marata 0, Liwag 0

Quarterscores: 17-19, 47-34, 69-58, 94-92

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CSJL

Pirates notch first win at struggling Knights’ expense

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After floundering in their first three games, the Lyceum of the Philippines University Pirates broke into the win column after trouncing the Colegio San Juan de Letran Knights, 20-25, 27-25, 25-20, 25-22, at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

The Pirates, after a sluggish start, got the best of their Intramuros neighbors by limiting their miscues in the latter three sets. According to head coach Emil Lontoc, Lyceum needed every bit of momentum they gained in their rousing win in the second set.

“Nabuhayan sila (Pirates) ng loob noong makalusot kami noong second set,” Lontoc said. “Mababa ‘yung nilaro namin nung simula tapos medyo struggle pa din noong sumunod na set. Pero nakabangon din. Crucial ‘yun kasi baka hindi na kami naka-angat kung natalo pa kami noong second set.”

The Pirates delivered three of their four aces in the final set to close the match. They also shored up their reception, finishing at 38 percent, after an atrocious start.

Jhonel Badua topped the Pirates with 19 points while Joeward Presnede added 14.

Lyceum (1-3) takes on the undefeated Arellano University (4-0) on Sunday at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

Paul John Alilio and Bobby Gatdula each provided Letran with 19 points. Christopher Cistina managed 11 markers.

Letran (0-4) aims for their first win against rivals San Beda College (3-1) on Monday.

The Scores

LPU (3) – Badua 19, Presnede 14, Lajara 9, Ilano 7, Samonte 5, Uy 5, Rubio (L)

CSJL (1) – Alilio 19, Gatdula 19, Cistina 11, Almoguerra 3, Ladeon 3, Dizon 2, Domingo 2, Brioso 0, Tumbali 0, Centeno (L), Timbreza (L)

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D-League to hold three-day showcase for players

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Seeking to further display the greatness of the Filipino basketball players, the PBA is giving more chances to the cagers as the league is set to hold the first-ever PBA D-League Showdown later this conference.

Opening the eighth season with this ground-breaking news, PBA officer-in-charge Willie Marcial is hopeful that this will serve as another motivation for the players to perform at their best this 2018 PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup.

“Ginagawa naman natin ito para mas galingan ng mga players natin para rin maipakita nila yung tunay nilang talento,” he said Thursday during the opening ceremonies at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.

Marcial bared that the plan is to hold a two-day summit for the players suiting up in the ongoing conference to allow them to showcase their talents in front of coaches and scouts, not just from the PBA but also from countries in the Southeast Asian region.

“Lahat ng mga players ay maglalaro dito at mapapanood hindi lang ng mga PBA coaches,” he said.

“Iimbitahin din namin ang mga coaches ng ibang bansa tulad ng Malaysia, Thailand, at Vietnam na kumukuha ng imports sa atin.”

Marcial acknowledged that as much as players seek to make the jump to the pro league, securing spots in the PBA teams have been hard to crack over the past few years, forcing the players to look elsewhere for opportunities.

That has made playing in overseas leagues an option for these less fortunate ballers, keeping them earning while also hoping to impress scouts while keeping their PBA dreams alive.

Some of the players who suited up in the D-League and are currently playing outside of the country are Paul Zamar and Almond Vosotros in Thailand, AJ Mandani in Singapore, and Reil Cervantes in Indonesia.

With this project, Marcial is hopeful that this would keep the players in line while also delivering the best competition the D-League could dream of.

“Iwasan natin ang bisyo at galingan ninyo.”

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