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Flamboyant Dy thrashes Mosquera; Team Lakay’s Iniong, Corton impress

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“Dy Incredible” Rolando Dy looked comfortable in his featherweight debut and Team Lakay’s John Cris Corton impressed in his unanimous decision win.

However, it was the darling of Philippine mixed martial arts Gina Iniong that left the crowd in awe after a thrilling submission win to close-out the undercard of PXC 51.

John Cris Corton vs. Farmon Gafarov


After an impressive win in PXC 48 against Rufino Mante, John Cris Corton’s “Happy Feet” was in full display against iron-chinned Farmon Gafarov that led to an impressive unanimous decision win.

Corton immediately displayed his bread-and-butter to open the match as a flurry of head kicks and leg kicks were thrown against Gafarov to open the match. Midway through the round, Gafarov was able to keep pace with the Team Lakay standout with his counter-punching that slowed Corton for a bit. Corton then went on with a flurry to close out the round but as the blows connected, Gafarov just shrugged it off. The Uzbek closed the round with a guillotine attempt just as the bell sounded to close out the round.

“Happy Feet” focused on the body of Gafarov to open the second round with kicks but a third attempt to connect was caught by Gafarov that paved the way for an overhand right. Corton then showed another facet to his arsenal in securing a takedown with 1:23 remaining in the round. The Team Lakay fighter tried a guillotine choke attempt of his own to close out the round but the Uzbek was able to break free after a short struggle.

In the final round, a thudding leg kick by Corton resonated in the ballroom much to the delight of the crowd. Another head kick connected but Gafarov was just as tough as nails. JC then went on for a takedown right into mount with 1:27 left and rained elbows and punches. Corton tried to finish the fight with a rear naked choke attempt but time did not allow it.

Corton swept the cards with a 30-27 across the board scores. The Team Lakay fighter extends his win streak to four fights and is now 4-2 while Gafarov suffered his first career loss and is now 3-1.

Rolando Dy vs. Miguel Mosquera


PXC 51 - Rolando DyRolando Gabriel Dy was as confident as ever going into the bout. He made the featherweight limit with ease while his opponent is coming off a two-year layoff. Dy pretty much dominated Mosquera to break his two-fight funk.

An advanced striker, Dy went for kicks to stymie the ground game of Atos Jiu Jitsu and Submission Sports fighter Miguel Mosquera. Mosquera tried to close in the distance all throughout the bout by cornering Dy but almost immediately was reversed by the underhooks of “Dy Incredible.”

In the second round, Moquera was able to take Dy down as he dragged his opponent to the ground but could not take advantage of it as Dy was able to spring back up immediately. A jab and high kick combination by Dy followed and a huge body kick by the son of former boxing great Rolando Navarette crumbled his opponent to the mat as the bell sounded. As the two fighters were separated for the third round interval, Dy taunted Mosquera on the way to his corner while Mosquera could only crawl back to his stool.

Knowing that this match is in the bag, Dy let his guard down and taunted Mosquera for the majority of the third round. Loose kicks by Dy were thrown while a a flurry of punches and knees connected for Dy to close-out the match.

Without any doubt, Rolando Dy swept all the scorecards 30-27 for the unanimous decision win to give Mosquera his first pro loss. However, a wave of boos showered Dy from the large contingent of Submission Sports fighters in attendance that included BJJ world champion Meggie Ochoa and prospect Gelli Bulaong. Dy though apologized for his antics in saying, “humihingi ako ng paumanhin sa ginawa ko. Mahal ko si Mosquera,” Dy said after the bout. “Ginagawa ko lang ito para mapunta sa comfort zone ko.”

He then added that he will stay at bantamweight for the time-being. “Madali lang weight-cut ko ngayon. Ngayon, nakakakain na ako ng lechon hindi tulad sa 135,” he quipped.

Gina Iniong vs. Vanessa Fernandez


PXC 51 - Vanessa FernandezIf there was a star of the night, it was Team Lakay’s Gina Iniong. Iniong was crushed both physically and emotionally during PXC 46 after falling to a much stronger Casey Suire.

Iniong bounced back big time Saturday evening with a huge come-from-behind win against Spaniard Vanessa Fernandez to the delight of the people in attendance at Solaire Grand Ballroom.

“Conviction” was able to clip the Spaniard early that sent Fernandez to the corner. As Fernandez dropped, the Spaniard was able to grip both the body and the neck of Iniong for a huge fireman’s carry takedown and was able to gain side control all in one motion. Fernandez tried to move positions but the Team Lakay fighter immediately grabbed the foot of the Spaniard with 3:40 to go. Iniong tried desperately to secure the foot lock and after 30 seconds was able to lock it in properly. At the 3:04 mark, Fernandez had no other recourse but to tap out.

“Tinry ko lang po yun,” an overjoyed Iniong shared. “Nagulat ako nung nabato niya ako, isip ko ang gaan ko naman. Pero nung nakuha ko yung opportunity sa leg lock ginawa ko na kaagad.”

Iniong’s prizefighting record now stands at 3-2 while Fernandez falls to 2-2.

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Fired-up Von Pessumal on Kiefer Ravena incident: ‘I’m not here to make any friends’

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Will bridges be burned?

Von Pessumal was heavily scrutinized on Friday evening after an incident with fellow Ateneo lifer Kiefer Ravena.

It took place with 9:50 left in the final frame of the San Miguel Beermen’s highly-charged tilt against the NLEX Road Warriors. After Marcio Lassiter launched a trey, Pessumal looked like he was aiming for the rebound. Instead, he simply charged towards Ravena and pushed him down.

Lassiter’s three-pointer counted, while Pessumal, who was blocked by Ravena during a fastbreak and then received a staredown moments prior, was whistled for an unsportsmanlike foul.

It was a surprising sight to see considering the amount of time he and Ravena have spent together — a bond that started when they were in high school. Even the second-generation star admitted that he did not expect that from his former running body.

“I did not expect that at all,” said the NLEX rookie.

But Pessumal downplayed the incident despite attempts by scribes to make him elaborate on what had really transpired during that moment.

“It’s part of the game. It’s part of the game,” the league sophomore said after the match which they won 109-98. “I don’t wanna say anything, I’m sorry.

“It’s part of the game. Whatever move on. Not a big deal.”

Asked if he was motivated to face Ravena — with whom he had shared three UAAP juniors titles, two UAAP seniors crowns, and a SEA Games gold medal — the 24-year-old shared that he had approached Friday’s bout the way he usually does.

“I wouldn’t say motivated [versus Kiefer], I mean, it’s just like any other game. When I play, I don’t see who’s guarding me, I just play,” said the 6-foot-2 swingman.

“I play to win all the time.”

The incident he and Ravena figured in shadowed his performance of 10 points on 50 percent shooting off the bench — the second time he has scored in double figures this season. After Friday, Pessumal is averaging 8.25 points.

“We have to sustain the level of excellence that they (starters) have. Our job is — I wouldn’t say support, but — when we get in, we should bring the level higher so when they come back, the game is easier for them,” he said.

Pessumal was then asked if he and Ravena met each other after the buzzer sounded, as the two did not even shake hands after the contest. But, through a short yet strong response, the 24-year-old said that they did not.

“I wouldn’t say anything. I don’t know, after the game?,” he expressed.

“I’m a professional basketball player, I’m not here to make any friends.”

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Yeng Guiao denies using racial slur against Chris Ross

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During the post-game of the San Miguel Beermen’s victory over the NLEX Road Warriors, reigning Coach of the Year Leo Austria said that NLEX head coach Yeng Guiao called Chris Ross the “N” word that caused the commotion.

According to Chris, tinawagan siya ng nigger or ganiyan,” said Austria. “I don’t know but that’s what he explained to me because I confronted Chris Ross because he’s one of the most important players in my team.

“But that’s the thing he doesn’t want to hear so nagflare up yung bata so I cannot blame him.”

Guiao though denied that he blurted out racial slurs against San Miguel’s Chris Ross.

“Hindi. Hindi ko tinawag na N-word. Ewan ko kung may nakarinig. Pero hindi,” clarified the fiery tactician moments after their 98-109 defeat, their third straight after starting the 2018 Philippine Cup with two straight wins.

That tussle, according to Guiao, was just filled with trash talking against each other, as he felt the need to retaliate. In fact, Guiao was even caught by the TV camera saying “son of a bitch” towards the Filipino-American point guard.

“Daldal siya ng daldal eh. Eh sa akin naman kapag ganon, siguro respeto nalang. Lumayo ka nalang tutal mananalo naman na kayo,” he said. “I didn’t understand what he was saying, what he was talking about.

“Nakipagtrash-talking din ako sa kanya.”

Furthermore, the 58-year-old was also caught by the cameras flipping the bird — in one quick motion — also against Ross.

“Oo. Kasama na rin yun.

“Pero ano naman eh, it’s part of, siguro, psychological warfare. Malakas din siya mang-asar. Hindi lang naman sa amin. Everytime naman na mga ganoong skirmishes, he also knows what he’s capable of,” the seven-time champion coach furthered.

But more than this scuffle, it really has become a stressful time for Guiao and the Road Warriors. They have now went down to 2-3 in the team standings, and the mentor sees the great need to end this slump immediately.

“We have to arrest it very soon. Ang susunod na laro namin ay versus Rain or Shine sa Friday. So we need to go back to 50 percent win-loss level para at least may chance ka na maka-playoffs. That’s going to be a crucial game for us,” he stressed.

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Kiefer Ravena shocked with Von Pessumal’s shove: ‘I did not expect that at all’

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Kiefer Ravena and Von Pessumal have been teammates ever since they were in high school, winning three UAAP juniors crowns together. They won two championships together in the seniors level and even played together in Gilas. They were inseparable.

Friday evening however, they were playing for separate camps.

Ravena admitted that he never expected a shove to come from Pessumal during the NLEX Road Warriors’ clash with San Miguel Beermen.

In an off-ball situation, Pessumal charged at Ravena, sending the rookie down to the floor with 9:50 remaining in the final frame. He was then whistled for an unsportsmanlike foul, and Ravena sank one from the line.

“I did not expect that at all,” admitted Ravena after the match in which they lost, 98-109 — their third straight defeat after a 2-0 start. “But hopefully Von doesn’t take it personal.

“I’m just doing my job. They won the game.”

Ravena insisted that there wasn’t any physicality between him and Pessumal prior to that, but he thinks that his former Gilas teammate may have gotten irked by his staredown after blocking him on a fastbreak play early in the fourth.

“When that fastbreak happened — the same exact possession na I challenged him, I looked at him, and after that yun na yung nangyari,” said the 23-year-old guard. “But I never instigated something to provoke Von to do that.

“Probably nung tinignan ko siya.”

Moreover, the second overall pick of the 2017 PBA Rookie Draft felt that that incident “started all the commotions during the end game (laughs). Yun yung pinaka-una eh. And with that, the team got fired up and it worked for them.”

He may be right, for the game saw more skirmishes after that: from teammate Michael Miranda kicking Chris Ross to the groin, and with his head coach Yeng Guiao figuring in a heated verbal war also against Ross.

But then, Ravena made it clear that it was never a plan of his to put down somebody, especially someone like Pessumal who he sees as a brother for life.

“You know, Von and I, we go way back. Things like this hopefully don’t become too personal.

“I have no intention na ipapahiya yung tao or sasaktan mo yung tao. Wala namang ganun. Laro-laro lang,” said NLEX’s leading scorer.

It was somehow a night to remember for Ravena, but for all the wrong reasons. After Friday’s loss that sent their card to 2-3, the veteran internationalist now sees the need for him and the Road Warriors to push the panic button.

“‘Di na pwedeng sabihin palaging kailangan namin matuto eh. Pangatlong sunod na,” the second-generation cager expressed.

“Kailangan siguro naming umaksyon.”

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Downcast Chris Ross chooses to stay mum after heated altercation with Yeng Guiao

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Through wins or losses, Chris Ross has always accommodated the members of the press asking for interviews and fans requesting for photo ops every after game. But Friday evening, the nine-year pro was despondent.

Visibly agitated with the events that had transpired during the San Miguel Beermen’s tilt against the NLEX Road Warriors, Ross, with his hoodie covering his head, left the Cuneta Astrodome without saying a word.

The reigning Defensive Player of the Year had figured in physical play after physical play and verbal exchange after verbal exchange with the frustrated Road Warriors.

Ross and Alex Mallari were both slapped with technicals after a confrontation with 9:06 left. This was just the start of many things to come for the Filipino-American defensive specialist

After knocking down a triple and receiving a taunt from Ross, Michael Miranda was assessed a disqualifying foul for an apparent kick to the groin against Ross with 4:35 left.

The tip of the iceberg came with 1:46 left to play and the game all but settled.

Yeng Guiao and Ross figured in a heated word war that resulted in Ross’ second technical foul for the game. Referees and players from both sides had to separate the two to prevent things from escalating.

San Miguel coach Leo Austria alleged that the fiery NLEX mentor said the “N” word, while some said Guiao called Ross a “bitch”.

Ross finished the game with four points, eight rebounds, and four steals in 37 minutes of action.

For sure, penalties and suspensions will come out of this game.

And it was better for Ross to stay silent.

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