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FEU silences UE to complete fourth quarter hijack



Down for the most part, what a time to flip the switch for the Tamaraws

Trailing by as much as 15 points against a fully energetic University of the East Red Warriors, the Far Eastern University Tamaraws used a 33-point fourth quarter to pull off an impressive come-from-behind win, 92-81, over the Red Warriors held at the Mall of Asia Arena early Wednesday afternoon.

The Tamaraws came off the gates fiery as they charged to an 8-0 start within the 7:45 mark of the opening quarter. Coach Pumaren signalled an early ceasefire that gathered his squad en route to a 12-3 counter for the Red Warriors. During the stretch, their fullcourt defense was effective enough while inside baskets helped them take the lead. FEU would retake the lead for a couple of times in the latter stretch of the quarter but too much energy gave by the Warriors end the quarter with a 15-6 spurt. This was capped with a tough wing triple by Paul Varilla, in addition to Edgar Charcos 5 straight points to put distance against the Tamaraws.

The momentum UE gathered propelled them to a 7-0 burst to start the second period as FEU struggled making the most of their possessions. A triple by UE’s Manalang gave the Red Warriors their biggest lead of the half at 40-25 with 4:45 left. The Tams responded with 8 quick points within two minutes but Bongbong Batiller caught fire as he scored eight out of his team’s last 10 points of the quarter. The Red Warriors had an 11-pt lead at the break as they capitalized on FEU’s whopping 17 turnovers at the half.

FEU made a mini spurt to come within seven points in four minutes into the second half. However, UE would again respond with a quick 6-0 counter as Chris Javier made the plays inside. Despite Raymar Jose also making noise with his easy points, UE was quicker to the 50-50 balls that helped them maintain the lead. At the last 1:37 of the third, Batiller and Clark Derigue inked in five more points to give their team a dozen point advantage entering the fourth.

And then came the one-sided payoff period that went the way for last year’s bridesmaid finishers. They limited UE to only four silent points within eight minutes while their usual core of scorers piled up the baskets to comeback, and eventually take the lead. Achi Iñigo and Mike Tolomia started the berserk as each nailed in a trey to begin the fourth. Afterwards, Mac Belo anchored both the offense and defense as he was able to tie the game at 75 with a three, then followed it up with another basket as his team did not look back since. Varilla finally broke the silence for UE at the 1:16 mark with a jumper but they were suddenly down by double-digits against the loaded Tamaraws team.

“Hard-earned [win], indeed,” an exhausted FEU head coach Nash Racela said after the game. “We promised our players it was going to be a tough week. Hirap na hirap kami. Fourth quarter lang kami nakakuha ng momentum.”

Former HTC Wildcat Edson Batiller was torching the Tamaraws in scoring 18 markers but his offensive surge was stopped by Francis Tamsi. “We accidentally found a Batiller stopper in Tamsi. The plan was to use Monbert Arong but Tamsi was very effective. Tamsi is a disciplined defensive player.”

Finally, coach Racela said that the team needs to be consistent in all four quarters. “We had 24 turnovers today buti na lang we just committed seven in the second half,” he said. “We are consistently inconsistent. We only played defense in the fourth quarter.”

Smart Elite ambassador Mac Belo led all scorers with 24 markers and 8 boards. He was 9/15 from the field, including 3/4 from downtown. Mike Tolomia added 15 points and eight assists.

For the Red Warriors, Batiller led the team with 18 points but was a miserable 6/17 from the field. He added five boards and five dimes.

As a team the Tamaraws shot 49.21% from the field compared to just 38.5% by their rivals. Moreover, the green-and-gold squad was able to go to the charity stripe 34 times, converting on 22, compared to just 15 times by UE.

FEU improves to solo first place with now a 4-1 record while UE drops to a 2-3 slate. The Tamaraws will next face the Adamson Falcons while the Warriors look to bounce back and seek another win against the Green Archers. Both games will be played on September 27, at the Araneta Coliseum.

The Scores:

FEU (92) – Belo 24, Tolomia 15, Arong 14, Jose 13, Pogoy 10, Inigo 8, Tamsi 3, Escoto 2, Orizu 2, Escoto 1, Dennison 0, Comboy 0, Trinidad 0, Ebona 0

UE (81) – Batiller 18, Javier 13, Derige 10, Varilla 9, Abanto 8, Charcos 7, De Leon 7, Palma 6, Manalang 3, Penuela 0, Yu 0

Quarters: 21-29, 39-50, 59-71, 92-81.

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After getting first D-League experience, Zark’s-Lyceum ready to get loose



After a hesitant performance in their PBA D-League debut last Thursday that resulted in a loss to the Marinerong Pilipino Skippers, the Zark’s Burger-Lyceum Jawbreakers seemingly caught up with the league’s style of play on Tuesday.

Zark’s-Lyceum displayed their true form and stamped their class all over the Batangas-EAC Generals with a 37-point destruction, 112-75 — so far the biggest winning margin the franchise has ever had in its D-League history.

“Medyo adjusted na kami on everything — the calls and the teams we’re playing against with,” said Zark’s-Lyceum head coach Topex Robinson after the match at Pasig Sports Center. “But the things we want to mind are those things we control.

“We just have to keep on doing what we are doing. It’s more on replenishing na lang on our old ways.”

Robinson’s claim was strongly backed up by the numbers that the Jawbreakers produced.

CJ Perez had 21 points and 10 rebounds. MJ Ayaay produced 15 points and 10 boards, and Mike Nzeusseu delivered 14 markers and 11 boards.

Even the bench made their presence felt in the victory. With guard Jaycee Marcelino spearheading the supporting cast’s charge with 12 markers, the bench contributed a remarkable 56 points to their total output.

Photo by PBA Images

“Ano lang, cinontrol lang namin yung pace kasi yun naman talaga yung laro namin, yung mabilisan,” said the 24-year-old do-it-all forward, who also collected three steals.

“Kailangan talaga mabilisan para ma-execute namin yung mga ginagawa namin.”

This week will be a rough one for the Pirates, as they will play right away this Thursday against the AMA Online Education. And for Perez, he strongly believes that they will be able to carry over their momentum.

“Oo. Nandun pa. Energy talaga yung puhunan namin para makalaro ng maayos.”

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Bonbon Batiller shows what he can bring to Letran in D-League debut



Photo by PBA Images

Tuesday proved to be a double debut for Bonbon Batiller. Aside from beginning his first foray in the PBA D-League, it also marked his debut for the Letran Knights, who are carrying the Wang’s Basketball Couriers franchise.

And the 5-foot-11 guard showed what he can bring to the table. Batiller collected 15 points, five rebounds, and three assists to help the Knights raise the curtains of their campaign with a 93-75 rout of the Batangas-EAC Generals.

“Nagworkout yung pinagpraktisan namin,” said Batiller. “Nagbunga rin yung tinuro samin ni Coach Jeff (Napa) lalo sa depensa. Tsaka siguro sa rebounds — laking lamang namin sa rebound. Nagsipag mga bigs namin.”

But what has him even more satisfied is the warm reception and trust he’s had from the Knights, even if he has spent barely a year with them after transferring from University of the East last 2017.

“Masaya po kasi tinanggap nila ako sa Letran ng buong-buo,” said Batiller, who normed 10.5 points, 3.7 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 1.6 steals with UE in two years. “Tsaka yung tiwala nila na makakatulong ako sa team nandoon.

“Kaya masaya ako sa pinakita nila sa akin.”

That is why the General Santos native is hard-pressed to prove himself to Letran, saying that he’s all about giving back to the school that gave him another opportunity to resume his young, up-and-coming basketball career.

“Kailangan kong may mapatunayan na deserving ako sa binigay na second chance sa akin ni Letran,” said Batiller, who decided to switch schools partly due to academic reasons.

“Malaki ang utang ko sa Letran.”

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Bienvenido Maranon scores brace as Ceres-Negros eliminates Brisbane Roar



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Philippine club football just achieved its biggest continental result yet

The inaugural Philippines Football League champions Ceres-Negros Football Club eliminated three-time Australian champions Brisbane Roar in the 2018 AFC Champions League’s second preliminary round with a 3-2 stunner, away at the QSAC Stadium in Brisbane.

With the win, the 2017 AFC Cup ASEAN Zonal Champions are set to face Chinese Super League club Tianjin Quanjian next January 30, 2018 at the Haihe Educational Football Stadium in Tianjin, China, to book a seat in the group stages.

Brisbane were the favorites for this tie and it showed, as Ceres started the contest on the back foot. Italian striker Massimo Maccarone handed the home side the lead in the 35th minute when he turned in Brett Holman’s pass.

Maccarone’s goal could have lowered the Busmen’s moral, but Risto Vidakovic’s men took it as a motivation rather than a downer. In fact, Ceres replied in the best way possible when Bienvenido Maranon scored his first goal of the match two minutes from halftime, thanks to a scramble in the Brisbane box.

By all accounts, Ceres had already made Philippine football proud at halftime. By this stage last year, Brisbane had accrued a 4-0 halftime cushion against Global Cebu en route to a 6-0 rout.

Today, though, Brisbane faced tougher resistance at Ceres’ hands. That resistance turned into a full-fledged revolt in the 65th minute when Maranon directed the ball past a helpless Jamie Young to give the Busmen their first taste of the lead.

Maranon’s goal well and truly turned the tide in Ceres’ favor. Brisbane were stunned. The home side are the defending A-League champions, but are currently eighth in the table this season and would soon face elimination from Asia’s premier club competition.

Already up 2-1, the Busmen finally achieved some breathing room in the 75th minute when Omid Nazari scored from close range to give Ceres a two-goal cushion over Brisbane.

Nazari’s goal not only sealed the win for Ceres, it also propelled Philippine football into the big leagues. Not even a late goal from French midfielder Éric Bauthéac could prevent the Busmen’s victory.

After five minutes of stoppage time, Ceres emerged 3-2 winners against Brisbane Roar. Come what may against Tianjin seven days from now, the Busmen have already achieved Philippine football’s biggest result since their own achievement in last season’s AFC Cup.

Who knows? Maybe Ceres can pull off another upset?

Ceres-Negros XI: Doblas (GK), Super, Mike Ott, Ingreso, Maranon, Porteria, Schrock, De Murga (C), Munoz, Nazari, Christaens.

Brisbane Roar XI: Ingham, Bowles, Papadopoulos, Maccarone, Holman, Khalfallah, Oxborrow, McKay (C), Hingert, Young (GK), Franjic.

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CJ Perez, Zark’s-Lyceum vent ire on Batangas-EAC with 37-point romp



Photo by PBA Images

CJ Perez and the Zark’s Burger-Lyceum Jawbreakers finally lived up to their hype, as they clobbered the Batangas-EAC Generals to score a 37-point beatdown, 112-75 for their first win, Tuesday at the Pasig Sports Center.

It was an all-out attack from the Jawbreakers, as they beat the Generals to the bite and took control of the game early, with Mike Nzeusseu and Jaycee Marcelino guiding their side to the 48-33 lead at halftime which they would never surrender.

Perez paced Zark’s Burger-Lyceum with 21 points and 10 rebounds, while MJ Ayaay tallied a double-double with his 15 markers, 10 boards, and three assists.

Cameroonian student-athlete Nzeusseu also delivered 14 points, 11 rebounds, and two assists. Marcelino had eight first half points and wound up with 12 off the bench, as the reserves chipped in 56 huge points in the tussle.

Coach Topex Robinson lauded the Jawbreakers for quickly adjusting to the style of the PBA D-League just days after falling to the Marinerong Pilipino, 92-94, back in opening day.

“Medyo adjusted na kami on everything — the calls and the teams were playing against with. But the things we want to mind are those things we control. We just have to keep on doing what we are doing. It’s more on replenishing na lang on our old ways,” he said.

Earvin Mendoza and Cedric de Joya both had 16 points for the Generals in the losing effort.

Zark’s-Lyceum look to continue to roll when they face the AMA Online Education Titans on Thursday, January 25. EAC-Batangas, on the other hand, take on the Gamboa-St. Clare Coffee Lovers on Monday, January 29.

The Scores:

Zark’s-Lyceum 112 — Perez 21, Ayaay 15, Nzeusseu 14, Jc. Marcelino 12, Serrano 10, Baltazar 8, Santos 8, Jv. Marcelino 6, Tansingco 6, Marata 4, Liwag 4, Ibañez 2, Cinco 2, Pretta 0.

Batangas-EAC 75 — E. Mendoza 16, De Joya 16, Tampoc 12, Laude 9, Pate 8, Maguliano 6, Altamirano 5, Diego 3, Garcia 0, Dela Peña 0, Martin 0, J. Mendoza 0, Neri 0.

Quarterscores: 19-14, 48-33, 84-47, 112-75.

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