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UP Fighting Maroons: UAAP S78 Starter Pack

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The Dark Horse

UAAP Season 77
Record: 1-13 (7th)
Offense: 62.9 ppg (6th)
Defense: 74.9 ppg (8th)
Rebounds: 35.6 rpg (8th)
Assists: 11.6 apg (8th)

Pomp and Circumstance
Mikee Reyes, Darwish Bederi, COACH Moriah Gingerich, Kyles Lao (out for season due to ACL injury)

Depth Chart

CPFSFSGPG
Kone, Cheick (1st)Jeruena, Mark (5th)Gallarza, JR (5th)Manuel, Jett (4th)Asilum, Henry (4th)
Vito, Gelo (2nd)Harris, Paul (3rd)Jaboneta, Jan Jan (1st)Moralde, Dave (2nd)Dario, Diego (2nd)
Prado, Jerson (1st)Amar, Agustini (5th)Desiderio, Paul (2nd)Lim, Jarrell (2nd)
Webb, Noah (1st)Longa, Jose (1st)

Assessment
The fanbase of the University of the Philippines Men’s Basketball team have long been suffering.

When I asked our reporter Max Gana about what it feel like to follow the UPMBT, he just replied a simple answer: “Sanay na kami.”

It’s been 29 years since the Fighting Maroons basketball team took home a UAAP championship. Moreover, they just recently broke their 27 game losing streak a year ago and celebrated the win with a bonfire. However, they are currently riding a six game losing streak.

In an interview with Team Manager Dan Palami last Summer, he told me that bringing in five coaches (Rensy Bajar, Allan Gregorio, Joe Ward, Moriah Gingerich, Poch Juinio), a five-headed beast, is something that is unorthodox, but hopefully works for the Maroons. In addition, he wants to instill a winning culture in UP that is why they entered the FBA just to let the boys know the feeling. [READ: Dan Palami finding hope through change]

Don’t worry Iskos and Iskas ng bayan! The 2015-16 UP Fighting Maroons squad is for real!

Jett ManuelFirst off, the wing position of the team is the deepest amongst all teams in the UAAP right now. The returning Jett Manuel is a great boost for the team, even if Kyles Lao is sidelined with an injury. Dave Moralde, a member of the legendary San Beda Super Six, will surely insert the winning mindset Mr. Palami wants. Finally, former U17 Philippine team member Paul Desiderio is a scoring machine that will lead the team’s bench offense.

The frontline of the Maroons is no pushovers as well. French student-athlete, Cheick Kone is capable of anchoring the defense, as seen during his few games in the Filoil Flying V Hanes Premier Cup tournament. On offense, his game is more of a post up game that opposing teams will have a hard time defending, due to his sheer size (he is 6’9, 6’10 with shoes on). Moreover, expect a much more leaner (and meaner) Gelo Vito. Vito, compared to his form last year, packed on the muscles and has developed a solid midrange jumper. Finally, the immortal Mark Juruena will don the Maroon jersey for the last time. Max Gana calls him “the most efficient player in the UAAP.” Juruena is a post creator that dishes out well to his teammates from the inside.

The problem, though, will lie at the one spot. Even with Mikee Reyes not being invited back for his fifth year (According to Mr. Palami), the team still lacks the floor general that will give ample touches to the four other guys on the floor. Henry Asilum and Diego Dario are serviceable point guards, but their shoot-first mentality may sometimes have costly consequences. Also, due to their size, they are a liability on defense.

This UP squad can go places if all goes well, but can easily fall to the 7th spot once more if things don’t go as planned.

Best case: 8-6 (Fighting for a Final Four spot with NU and UST)
Worst case: 2-12


UAAP Season 78 Men’s Basketball Starter Pack
Let’s Rebuild Every Year!Taking Flight for One Last Time
uaap14uaap215
Hauling the Best of the ClassOn the Verge
uaap12uaap11
Underdogs Once AgainReplicating the House of Chaos
uaap4uaap4
Kevin and Karim’s One Last ChanceThe Dark Horse
Filoil UP vs UST-2771uaap9
UAAP Season 78 Women’s Basketball Starter Pack
UAAP-Womens-Basket-Starter-Pack
The Ultimate UAAP Season 78 Basketball First Round Schedule
UAAP-78-Bball-CDC-1rd-sched
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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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