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Filart, Ateneo edge UP in gripping battle

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Clarence Filart and the Ateneo De Manila University Blue Shuttlers outlasted the University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons, 3–2, to secure the third seed and get the psychological advantage heading to their rematch on Wednesday, last Sunday at the Rizal Memorial Badminton Hall.

The veterans of the Maroons were in full force in the lineup for this important tie in all their three singles matches. Miggy Leonardo started the day on a high note for UP after dismantling Ateneo’s Hanz Bernardo in two consecutive games. After a tight start, Leonardo nosed out Bernardo to lead 11–10 in the break. Two consecutive points from Ateneo pushed them to the lead at 15–13, before UP romped off with six unanswered points to get to game point and eventually close out the game. Leonardo took the first frame, 21–16. The fourth-year Maroon continued his momentum in the following game and led by seven points at the interval, 11–4. The huge lead proved to be enough as UP took the game and the match, 21–12.

Another senior took the court for UP as Jon Masongsong took the courts against Jan Mangubat. Nonetheless, it was the rookie Mangubat who pulled off the win in three games over his senior counterpart. Masongsong was the one who dictated the first game and took the lead for his team. The Fighting Maroons captain turned a two-point deficit at the interval to a huge five-point lead, 19–14, after surviving a tight start at the early part of the frame. Masongsong made sure to take the game in the next three rallies, 21–15. It was another close battle at the beginning of the following frame, before Mangubat went ahead again into the break, 11–8. This time, the Ateneo newbie waylaid his opponent and led by as much as seven, 17–10. UP kept it close at 14–17, but Mangubat would not be denied of tying the match, 21–15. The deciding game was no different as Mangubat and Masongsong both knew the implication of this crucial match. The two warriors fought toe-to-toe again at the start of the final frame, but it was the UP skipper who went with the lead this time prior to the court change. From this point, Mangubat slowly crept back into the game and wrestled the control. Masongsong tried to answer, but that twin two-point binges from Mangubat was enough for him to level the tie at one match apiece, 21–18.

Bernardo bounced back big time in the first doubles when he partnered with Carlo Remo and dislodged the struggling duo of CK Clemente and Wakee Deato in just two games. The Blue Shuttlers went ahead at 9–4, before UP made their run to level the game. Two straight points gave Clemente and Deato the lead at the break, 11–10. The exchange of points continued even after the interval but Bernardo and Remo limited their opponents to single points to get to the game point, 20–15. The Maroons tried to salvage the frame with three consecutive points, 18–20. Nonethless, Ateneo took the frame at the following rally. Banking on their solid play in the following game, the Ateneans never looked back against UP. Two four-point binges at the start of the game and another to end the match was the key for Bernardo and Remo to wrestle the lead for the Loyola Heights squad, 21–13.

With the tie at stake, Vinci Manuel and Betong Pineda again attempted to play the hero’s role as they forced a deciding match after upending Patrick Gecosala and Fides Bagasbas. The two pairs figured in a tight start at the first game with UP heading into the interval with an 11–9 advantage. After the ceasefire, Gecosala and Bagasbas wrestled the lead, but Manuel and Pineda kept it close. Ateneo took a slim 18–17 lead after all these exchanges, before UP cruised to four straight points to take the game, 21–18. It was a different story in the second frame, as the Maroons got their groove on. Gecosala and Bagasbas cut the deficit to one, 10–11, before UP took control of the game. A 5–0 run by Manuel and Pineda stopped this Ateneo run and levelled the tie, 21–14.

As what he was doing all-season long, Ateneo Team Captain Clarence Filart used his length and smart play, this time against another UP veteran Jojo Malelang in the first game of the deciding singles match. Filart started the opening frame strong with a 5–1 lead, fended off the challenge of Malelang, and ended up on top, 11–9, at the interval. The Maroon tried to keep the match close, but the Atenean took the game point after scoring two straight, 20–15. Malelang changed the pace of the play and strung three consecutive points to attempt a comeback before Filart closed the game with a well-placed shot. The second game was a similar story, but it was Malelang who kicked off the frame with a huge run. Three straight points after the break gave UP a 14–10 advantage. Filart went to within two of Malelang, but the Maroon closed it out and levelled the match and forced a winner-take-all final game, 21–16. The Ateneo skipper left no tables unturned in the third game and mounted a huge 11–6 advantage heading to the court change. After Malelang cut the margin to three, 9–12, Filart romped to mount the biggest lead of the match at nine, 18–9. UP retaliated again and kept it close, but Filart went just two points away from taking the victory for Ateneo, 19–13. However, just when the Blue Shuttler felt it is in the bag with that huge lead, Malelang attempted to turn the tides for one last time and tied the game at 19. Filart took the all important match point in the following rally, before closing out the tie and the epic Battle of Katipunan in the Blue and White’s favor, 21–19.

 

The Blue Shuttlers and the Fighting Maroons will face each other again on Wednesday, October 7, in the First Round knockout tie of the step-ladder postseason, 8am at the same venue. The winner of this playoff will face the second-seeded De La Salle University on Saturday, October 10.

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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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Basketball

Calvin Abueva, Raymond Almazan cut from pool

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SMART Gilas Pilipinas’ third session for the second leg of the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers ended early on Monday evening.

Prior to the end of the practice, head coach Chot Reyes talked to team veterans Jayson Castro, Gabe Norwood, and June Mar Fajardo. The outspoken mentor told the seniors of the team that he is cutting Calvin Abueva and Raymond Almazan from the pool.

“The reason why we’re dropping Abueva and Almazan for the second window is because they haven’t showed up,” lamented Reyes.

“It’s already our third practice at hindi pa sila nagpapakita. It’s simply a matter of disinterest.

“I guess they’re not interested so we have to move on we can’t wait for those guys,” he pointed out.

Both Abueva and Almazan were part of the teams that competed in the 2017 SEABA Championship, the 2017 FIBA Asia Cup, and the first window of the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers.

Only 10 players from the pool showed up for the team’s third session. And with the second leg exactly one month away, Gilas cannot let a slip up happen especially against Australia.

“Aside from those two we don’t know where Matt Wright is, while Allein [Maliksi] is attending a wedding in Australia. Other than that it’s really just an issue of Calvin and Raymond if they don’t want to be a part of the pool.” expressed Reyes.

“That’s the reason we’re dropping them for the second window.”

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2019 FIBA World Cup Qualifiers

23 for 2023 cadets fill up Gilas practice

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With just 31 days until the second window of the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers, only 10 players from the pool attended the team’s third session, Monday evening at the Meralco Gym.

Suiting up in the session presided over by Coach Chot Reyes were June Mar Fajardo, Gabe Norwood, Troy Rosario, Jio Jalalon, Mac Belo, Kiefer Ravena, Kevin Alas, and Roger Pogoy. Carl Cruz and Jayson Castro were in attendance but were in street clothes.

Not present were Matthew Wright, Japeth Aguilar, and Allein Maliksi. Calvin Abueva and Raymond Almazan have yet to attend practice.

Joining the seniors team to prep them up for the World Cup Qualifiers were 10 players from the 23 for 2023 pool.

Ateneo Blue Eagle Matt Nieto attended his first Gilas practice. Joining him were teammates Isaac Go and Thirdy Ravena.

Completing the night’s cast were CJ Perez, Abu Tratter, Will Gozum, J-jay Alejandro, Arvin Tolentino, and Juan Gomez de Liano. Joshua Sinclair watched from the sidelines as he is still recovering from an ACL injury.

Gilas will take on Australia in Melbourne on February 22. The Philippine will then host Japan three days later at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

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CSJL

San Beda fends off Letran for back-to-back wins

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With seasoned setter John Carlo Desuyo steering the wheel to near perfection, the San Beda College romped to their second straight win.

The Red Spikers pulled double-digit outings from four players to upend archrival Colegio de San Juan de Letran Knights, 19-25, 25-13, 25-21, 25-22, and register their fourth win of the season, Monday early evening at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

It was the Knights, however, who started on the right foot, overhauling a 4-10 deficit to snag the first set. Better passing from liberos Aljune Centeno and Johnsen Timbreza resulted in kills from captain Bobby Gatdula.

Nonetheless, San Beda picked up the service game in the next three sets to ultimately finish off the blue-shirts.

Despite the win-loss record they currently sport, the Red Spiker playmaker admitted that t

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Basketball

Michael Calisaan tows Che’lu-San Sebastian past Perpetual

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Photo by PBA Images

Michael Calisaan poured 20 points as he captained newcomer Che’Lu-San Sebastian Revellers to a decisive 83-70 win over the University of Perpetual Help System DALTA Altas to start their voyage, Monday evening at the Pasig City Sports Center.

Doing it all for the Revellers, the veteran forward provided the stability for his side as he shot 8-of-15 from the field while also hauling down nine rebounds, two assists, and two steals in the conference-opening win.

But it wasn’t all Calisaan as Che’Lu got contributions from all over its roster.

Samboy de Leon chimed in 16 markers and nine boards. RK Ilagan went 2-of-5 from threes to collect 13 points, eight dimes, and three rebounds, while big men Alfred Batino and Jeepy Faundo combined for 20 in the victory.

Despite the triumph, coach Stevenson Tiu gave all the praise to his players, noting the team’s lack of time preparing for the tourney.

“Nanalo kami dahil sa talent ng players. Medyo mali ko rin kasi nahirapan pa ako mag-adjust sa players. Hopefully, we play much better in the coming games,” he said.

The Revellers used a 16-4 run to finally break away from the Altas, taking a 77-60 lead with 4:03 to play as they punished their foes for their turnovers, turning Perpetual’s 30 miscues to 28 points in their favor.

Prince Eze anchored the Altas with 15 points, 11 rebounds, and seven blocks in their first game under new head coach Frankie Lim.

Che’lu-San Sebastian look to make it two in a row when they take on the Wangs-Letran Couriers on Monday, January 29 at 5:00pm. Perpetual, on the other hand, hope they can notch their first win when they take on Mila’s Lechon Mighty Roasters.

The Scores:

Che’lu-SSCR 83 — Calisaan 20, De Leon 16, Ilagan 13, Batino 10, Faundo 10, Bulanadi 6, Costelo 6, Calma 2, David 0, Lao 0, Santos 0, Valdez 0.

UPHSD 70 — Eze 15, Coronel 13, Villanueva 13, Jimenez 9, Charcos 7, Peralta 7, Gallardo 5, Pido 1, Antonio 0, Aurin 0, Tamayo 0, Tongco 0.

Quarterscores: 17-22, 34-38, 59-53, 83-70.

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