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FEU, UP-Y take respective wins; UP-X, Chelsea settle for stalemate



Far Eastern University (FEU) and University of the Philippines (UP)-Y bounced back from opening day losses to register their first wins against Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) and Sikat FC, respectively, while UP-X and Chelsea Soccer School (CSS) share the spoils at the 2015 PFF Women’s Invitational Cup, Sunday, August 16 at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium

FEU charges through Ateneo for first victory

Barbie Sobredo Goal

UAAP Champions, FEU turned back a sorry defeat as the pummelled opening day victors ADMU, 4-0, in the curtain-raiser of Day 2 of the tourney.

The green-shirts flexed their muscle early as they controlled the possession and aggression towards the goal, but the Ateneo defense was able to hold. In the following minutes, however, the Morayta-based squad kept on breaching the backline with several attempts and was eventually rewarded with goals.

At the 25th minute, Barbie Sobredo registered her first goal of the match. The crafty winger picked herself up from a collision with Kimberlee Jimenez and slotted one past Mariane Caparros for the go-ahead goal. Ateneo did well to deny FEU more goals as the halftime came, 1-0, in favor of the visitors.

FEU played more relentlessly in the second half and produced more goals. Sobredo scored two more in the half against the trying Ateneo backline. At the 53rd minute, the winger fired from a corner kick, which Caparros misjudged completely and went into the onion bag for her second. Sobredo scored another at the 67th minute as she chipped one over Caparros to push the lead to 3-0.

The Lady Eagles Camille Rodriguez and Martie Bautista tried to push for goals, however, they were heavily defended and could not convert.

At the 73rd minute, Roselle Lacera put the exclamation point for FEU’s comprehensive win over their UAAP rivals, 4-0, to take their first win of the tournament.


UP-X and CSS finish with draw

Marielle Sutacio v Mary Rose Obra

Coming from a highly-contested stalemate against Lady Tamaraws FC, UP-X had to make do with another tied game, as they finished scoreless along with Chelsea SS FC at the end of 90 minutes.

It was the blue-shirts who had their first chance at the goal, but the shot from Marielle Sutacio at the eighth minute was cleared by Marie Navea-Huff. Another attempt at the 15th minute by Chelsea from Sheen Ramores was deflected and cleared. On the other hand, UP-X kept on trying to execute form the left flank; nonetheless, the opposing defense was able to stifle their run towards the goal for most of the time.

The Lady Maroons had their first chance on the goal at the 24th minute, but Sabrina Nierras’ shot was a little off to the right. Aira Agustin charged all the way from the back on a succeeding play, only her shot was blocked by the defense. The halftime whistle was sounded with neither team getting something on the board.

The second half of the match was the same, as both teams had trouble breaking though the middle third. UP-X controlled everything from possession to attack, but could not get the ball inside the box. On the other side of the pitch, Chelsea rode on their few opportunities to score with Mara Sabanal and Karen Ladero knocking on the door of the UP-X defense. Nevertheless, the Maroon backline was able to hold as the final whistle was sounded as the match started.

Delos Reyes brace powers UP-Y to initial win

Cristina delos Reyes SWAG

In the final match of the day, UP-Y edged Cup debutants, Sikat FC, 2-0, off goals from veteran Midfielder, Cristina Delos Reyes, in the both halves.

Sikat FC started on the right foot in the first half, as they tested the Maroon defense with several incursions towards the goal. Nevertheless, the attempts from Natasha Alquiros and Aiza Mondero could not find the back of the net. The Lady Maroons, on the other hand, fired towards the opposing Keeper, Jezza Baron, only the shots from Delos Reyes and Gae Saluria were too strong.

At the 26th minute, Delos Reyes finally plucked the breakthrough goal. Seeing Baron off her line, the former Philippine International lobbed the ball into the goal and past the custodian to take the lead for UP-Y. The white-shirts had more chances to add to the lead, only their efforts were not enough.

Despite the lead, the Lady Maroons continued to execute on their offense. They were able to send balls into their attacking third; however, the defense pulled through. Sikat turned this defensive intensity into counterattacks. Josephine Luto had several chances on the right wing, but was denied by Molly Manalansan and Martha Dagdag. Alquiros tried an equalizer on the other side, but UP-Y goalie AJ Javier calmly collected the ball.

The Lady Maroons mounted a late run for the insurance goal in the dying minutes. Delos Reyes, Alyssa Ube, and Bling Perez broke away from the defense; and the UAAP Season 77 Best Midfielder zoomed past Baron and fired the winning goal from the top of the box. The final whistle sounded with UP-Y taking the full points.


Grew to appreciate various sports from tennis to judo. True-maroon kiddo since the new millennium. Fanboy. Singer. Occasional sports writer.

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Calvin Abueva rejuvenated with return of physical play: ‘Masarap maglaro’



Photo by PBA Images

For Calvin Abueva, it feels great to play in the PBA nowadays.

The Beast, who has always been known as one of the league’s most physical players since entering in 2012, was all praises for the way the officiating has changed this 43rd season — by just letting all the players play.

“Mas gumanda yung tawagan ngayon, naging physical nga. Naging exciting para sa mga tao, mas marami na nanonood ngayon eh,” said Abueva moments after their 97-83 victory over the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel, Sunday night.

As has been said many times, physicality had become something controlled over the last two years. Abueva knows it too well, having been a casualty, as he has paid a bevy of penalties during that time.

And now that it is a thing of the past, the 6-foot-2 bruiser feels much better, knowing that he can display his brand of basketball once more.

“Masarap maglaro, talagang pisikalan,” said the 29-year-old forward from Angeles, Pampanga. “Siyempre makikita naman natin kung sinasadya o hindi, basta katawan lang.

“Pisikal. Yun yung magandang laro di ba?”

Aside from the comeback of physicality, what makes Abueva beam even more is the way the Aces have been playing in the 2018 Philippine Cup. After a 0-2 start in the tourney, they have now booked their third straight win.

“Nung 2017 parang nilubog na namin yung losing streak namin doon. Ito 2018 na at panibagong destination na naman yung ina-ano namin,” said Abueva, who had nine points, nine rebounds, and five assists against Ginebra.

“Sustain muna namin ‘to… Sana magtuloy-tuloy ‘tong winning streak namin.”

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Alaska takes advantage of Greg Slaughter’s absence



For the streaking Alaska Aces, their stunning 97-83 victory over the favored Barangay Ginebra San Miguel on Sunday night was partly made possible by the absence of one key player: seven-foot behemoth Greg Slaughter.

The 28-year-old center, who was averaging 20.67 points and 10.3 rebounds prior to Sunday, did not play against the Aces due to a hamstring injury. How he incurred the injury has yet to be determined.

“There’s a small person named Greg Slaughter who didn’t play; I think he has an impact on the game,” quipped coach Alex Compton after the match.

“[They missed] a guy who I think is gonna win an MVP soon in Greg Slaughter.

“Sometimes dito sa liga natin, you have to take advantage when opportunities come your way. You don’t want anybody to get hurt [though],” added Compton.

With Slaughter out of the way, the Aces’ big men feasted.

Vic Manuel top-billed with 18 points and five rebounds, and elder statesman Sonny Thoss turned back the clock with a 17-point, four-rebound outing.

“Malaking bonus na rin sa amin, kasi wala nga si Greg kaya nakuha namin yung panalo,” said Manuel.

“Yeah it definitely helped,” added the six-foot-seven Thoss, who shot 6-of-12 from the floor and made four of his freebies.

“He’s a big guy, he’s a big presence inside so it took one big guy off our shoulder.”

Slaughter was approached and asked by scribes regarding his injury, but he was not in the mood to comment. No one can blame him, though, since the Barangay have slipped to their second straight defeat after a 2-0 start.

“I’m always there in practice, going over our gameplans. But it’s better if you ask our PT,” he said.

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Alaska completes turnaround at Greg Slaughter-less Ginebra’s expense



Photo by PBA Images

A strong second half surge was all the Alaska Aces needed to turn back the heavily-favored Barangay Ginebra San Miguel, 97-83, and book their third straight victory, Sunday night at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City.

The Aces, who have yet to lose this 2018, have now improved to 3-2. Meanwhile, the Barangay absorbed their second straight loss and have dropped to 2-2.

“I was telling the guys na parang ang dami nating iniisip, hindi natin ginagawa yung ginagawa natin noong nakaraang dalawang linggo. Sabi ko relax lang tayo,” said coach Alex Compton, sharing what he told his wards that sparked the win.

Vic Manuel led the Milkmen with 18 points and five rebounds. Sonny Thoss turned back the clock as he made 17 markers on 6-of-12 shooting, while Chris Banchero supplied 14 points, six assists, and five rebounds.

The Aces were trailing by eight, 36-44 at the half, but it became a different ball game come the third chapter as they outscored the Gin Kings, 37 to 19, to erect a favorable 73-63 cushion heading into the game’s final 12 minutes.

From there, Alaska kept their foot on the gas to sustain their lead, which grew to as much as 18, 85-67, after their 6-0 spree — punctuated by Banchero’s lay-up plus a foul — with 6:14 remaining in the final frame.

Ginebra still tried to make one last push as they inched within 10, 75-85, but baskets by Thoss and Kevin Racal propelled Alaska to an 89-75 lead with 3:42 left to play — more than enough to knock out their counterparts.

“I was glad to come away with the win,” added Compton. “Sometimes, we have to take advantage of opportunities coming your way. You don’t want anybody to get hurt but when two number one picks on the other team aren’t playing… There.”

Jvee Casio had 13 markers for Alaska, while Calvin Abueva nearly had a double-double of nine points and nine boards along with five assists in 20 minutes.

Aljon Mariano had 15 points, nine rebounds, and three dimes for Ginebra, who — despite having Sol Mercado back in the fold after ankle issues — missed the services of Joe Devance and Greg Slaughter due to injuries.

Japeth Aguilar, Scottie Thompson, and Kevin Ferrer each scored 12 for the Barangay, with Thompson adding five assists. The trio combined for 15 of Ginebra’s 43 rebounds.

Alaska will aim to extend their streak versus the Blackwater Elite on Saturday, January 27 at 4:30 PM, while Ginebra will look to end their slump against the Phoenix Fuel Masters on Friday, January 26 at 7:00 PM. Both games are at SMART Araneta Coliseum.

The Scores:

Alaska 97 — Manuel 18, Thoss 17, Banchero 14, Casio 13, Abueva 9, Teng 9, Cruz 5, Enciso 3, Potts 3, Exciminiano 2, Magat 2, Racal 2, J. Pascual 0.

Ginebra 83 — Mariano 15, J. Aguilar 12, Ferrer 12, Thompson 12, Caguioa 8, Cruz 8, R. Aguilar 5, Tenorio 5, Mercado 2, Taha 2, Wilson 2, Jamito 0.

Quarterscores: 26-23, 36-44, 73-63, 97-83.

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Frustrated Jared Dillinger admits ‘he’s getting sick’ of Meralco’s bad PH Cup runs



It’s no secret that the Meralco Bolts have struggled in the Philippine Cup for the last three years. During the last two seasons, the eight-year-old franchise’s win-loss tally is four wins and 18 losses.

And in the 2018 edition, the narrative has been the same, with little to no hope of it turning the other way around.

The Bolts bowed to the TNT Katropa, 99-81, Sunday night — their third straight defeat after winning over Blackwater Elite in their opener last December. If things continue as they are, it looks like another poor all-Filipino tilt run is looming.

“We’re 1-3 and there’s nothing to be happy about,” said Jared Dillinger, who had 14 points and five caroms in the match at Ynares Center in Antipolo. “It’s a long season though… We [shouldn’t] panic but it’s not fun right now.

“The Philippine Cup has been our Achilles heel and every damn Philippine Cup we get our ass kicked. I’m getting sick of it.”

In this game, Meralco missed the services of top forwards Ranidel De Ocampo and Cliff Hodge due to injuries. But for Dillinger, those issues shouldn’t be excuses.

“When you get two guys like Ranidel and Cliff out, as a team, that’s the opportunity for the guys below them to step up,” asserted Dillinger, who has been with the franchise since 2013.

“It doesn’t have to mean scoring, getting the assists or rebound, it’s just making the right play, being smart.”

Asked what went wrong in this particular loss versus their sister team, where they shot just 39.2 percent from the floor and had committed 17 turnovers, the 10-year veteran lamented the poor effort that the Bolts put up.

“TNT didn’t do anything much, given that they played well. But they didn’t have any secret schemes against us. They just passed the ball around, and they got open shots,” added the 10-year pro, as TNT made 23 assists and shot 18 triples.

“Our effort wasn’t there. We got to put up the intensity cause it sucks right now.”

Meralco have a chance to end their slump against the Kia Picanto this Wednesday. Dillinger sees it as a do-or-die affair, warning that it will be a grind-out affair knowing that the Picanto is coming off a skid-ending win over Rain or Shine.

Do-or-die ’cause that’s gonna be a playoff game. Thank God they beat Rain or Shine ’cause you don’t want to be that one team that gives the win to a 0-16 [team]. You don’t want to play teams like that,” stressed the all-around forward.

“Nothing to take away from Kia though. It’s gonna be tough.”

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