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Foton avenges first round loss to Philips Gold

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With teams jockeying for position heading into the playoffs, the Foton Tornadoes snapped their three-game losing streak with an impressive five-set triumph over the team that sent them sliding, the Philips Gold Lady Slammers 25-16, 25-20, 22-25, 19-25, 15-9 at the Alonte Sports Arena in Biñan, Laguna.

According to Foton Coach, Vilet De Leon the time away from the court was huge for her players to iron out their wrinkles. “Sobrang laki ng energy ng team heading into the matches. The past few games wala kaming ganoon, parang umaasa kami lagi na babawi na lang. In the time off nakapagusap sila. Kahit marami pa kaming kailangang ayusin, maganda na nakita ko ‘yung kagustuhan nila manalo noong fifth set.”

Foton got their game rolling right off the bat, erecting a 7-2 advantage built off steady floor defense. Philips Gold sliced the deficit down to one, 10-9, as Michele Gumabao and Myla Pablo got into their groove offensively. But as Michele and Myla shifted to the backrow, Philips Gold struggled to generate offense. A Foton 4-0 run led by Orendain, Lastimosa, and Tiamzon proppeled the tornadoes to a hefty 14-9 lead. UST’s Pam Lastimosa finished the set off marvelously for Foton, dropping eight points as Philips Gold could not deliver an offensive counter punch.

The second set unfolded much like the first set did for Philips Gold. Their overall defense was steady, but their offense went down the drain whenever Pablo and Gumabao rotated to the back row. A Shaya Adorador drop ball brought the Lady Slammers the closest they got for the second frame at 9-8. A string of long rallies ensued wherein Foton came out on top of everyone of them they won 10 of the next 13 points, cruising to another easy set win.

The Lady Slammers started the third set with a lineup face lift, opting to slot Leuseht Dawis as a utility hitter moving Michele Gumabao to Desiree Dadang’s Middle Blocker slot. The change worked as their offense flowed better through the next two sets. The Lady Slammers established an early four-point lead in the third frame, 11-7. Philips Gold’s momentum halted temporarily when they suddenly began to cough up errors leading to Foton to knot the set at 19. Benilde’s Rossan Fajardo and Gumabao came to Philips’ rescue as they split the last six Philips points, which brought the Lady Slammers to their first set win.

Myla Pablo put an offensive display in the fourth set as the Lady Bulldog had her hand in eight of Philips Gold’s first 10 points. Pablo wound up scoring 10 points in the set, but got timely assists from Gumabao and Fajardo to finish off Foton as the pair notched two late aces apiece.

The Tornadoes regained their dominating offensive touch in the deciding set. Foton got off to a 7-1 lead highlighted by back-to-back Patty Orendain kills. Philips Gold tried to come back, trimming the lead to as snall as three, 5-8. From there UP’s Nicole Tiamzon came alive and scored four points down the stretch, drilling the finals nails in Philips’ coffin.

Bacolod’s Patty Orendain dropped two points to lead all Tornadoes. Pam Lastimosa finished with 17 points while Nicole Tiamzon bounced back beautifully from a string of bad games with a 15 point outing.

The win evens Foton’s record at 4-4 while Philips drops to 4-5.

The Scores

Philips Gold (2) – Pablo 22, Gumabao 20, Malaluan 8, Fajardo 8, Dawis 7, Tolenada 4, Dadang 4, Mea 2, Adorador 2, Gohing (L)

Foton (3) – Orendain 20, Lastimosa 17, Tiamzon 15, Araneta 11, Remulla 8, Estamapa 5, Macatuno 2, Panteleon (L), Acevedo (L)

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Miguel Luis Flores fell face first into sports writing in high sch9l and has never gotten up. He reluctantly stumbled into the volleyball beat when he started with Tiebreaker Times three years ago. Now, he has waded through everything volleyball - from its icky politics to the post-modern art that is Jia Morado's setting.

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ABL

Christian Standhardinger goes perfect from stripe in Hong Kong’s rout of Formosa

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After going a horrid 5-for-17 from the stripe during their first loss of the season last January 9, Christian Standhardinger made sure to make good on his free throws to power the Hong Kong Eastern Basketball Club to a dominant 99-79 rout of the Formosa Dreamers, Thursday evening in Southorn Stadium.

The 6-foot-8 Filipino-German, who tallied 37 points and 19 rebounds in the overtime loss to Saigon, went a perfect 9-for-9 from the foul line. He finished with 25 points and 10 rebounds.

The contest itself was not close, as the defending champions were able to impose their will on the bottom-ranked squad, leading by as much as 23 points, 93-70, after two free throws by Standhardinger with 2:58 remaining.

If Standhardinger was having a good day with his free throws, the entire Formosa squad could not say the same, going 13-of-27 from the line.

Tyler Lamb had 25 markers as well for Hong Kong, while Ryan Moss grabbed a triple-double with 19 points, 11 rebounds, and 11 assists.

Lenny Daniel paced Formosa with 25 points and 11 rebounds. World Import Ronnie Aguilar had 14 points and 16 rebounds but went just 5-for-14 from the field.

With the win, Hong Kong goes to 8-1, while the Dreamers fell to 1-8.

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2018 FIBA 3X3 World Cup

Chooks-to-Go President hopes 3×3 World Cup breaks Philippine Arena record

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Last October 27, 2017, Game Seven of the PBA Governors’ Cup Finals between heated rivals Barangay Ginebra San Miguel and Meralco Bolts saw 54,083 people troop to the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan. The attendance broke all records for both the venue and the PBA.

Come June this year, the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas and Chooks-to-Go are hoping that the upcoming 2018 FIBA 3×3 World Cup will surpass that record.

“We look at 3×3 as our best hope, really, to get a medal in the Olympics. Kami naman sa Chooks, we are behind SBP realizing that dream. Kanina pinag-uusapan na, if we’re going to break the record in attendance,” said Bounty Agro Ventures Inc. president Ronald Mascariñas on Thursday afternoon during a press conference held at BGC High Street in Taguig.

“I think the question there is not if we’re going to break, but how many more times. Because FIBA should see how passionate the Filipinos are about basketball. That’s a given,” one of the patrons of Gilas Pilipinas added.

Besides the event itself, the local government of Bulacan has pledged to make the week of the tournament filled with activities to celebrate the Philippines’ 120th year of Independence.

For their part, Chooks-to-Go vowed to help out the SBP in organizing the event and in building the team.

“We are throwing our support not to improve on our finish, but we want to help SBP organize, to win the championship — not just to improve our ranking,” Mascariñas shared.

And the experience he and his company gained after backing the Pilipinas 3×3 team during last year’s tournament will only help.

“In past tournaments, we’ve lost some games na maninipis lang talaga,” he recalled about the team composed of Kobe Paras, Kiefer Ravena, Jeron Teng, and JR Quinahan that competed in Nantes, France.

“This time around, with five months to go, we need to organize and put in the best t

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Football

Ilocos United takes leave from PFL

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Another one bites the dust

After months of speculation, Ilocos United has formally announced their absence from the Philippines Football League for the 2018 season.

A statement signed by Ilocos Chief Executive Officer Tony Lazaro and posted on the club’s Facebook page broke the big news.

“Unfortunately, after months of negotiation, efforts to attract a new naming sponsor for the Team were unsuccessful,” the statement opened. “Consequently, it has become financially prohibitive to continue participation in the PFL.

“Primarily, the lack of broadcasting exposure in 2017 created an apprehension in the corporate community, cascading into a series of afflictions that has ultimately led to our withdrawal from the competition.”

Ilocos finished last during the inaugural season, tallying 1 win, 6 draws, and 21 losses with a -49 goal differential.

Still, Ilocos gave their thanks to those who supported the club during the inaugural PFL season.

“We are cautiously optimistic of a potential return to the PFL for the 2019 season, whereby secured broadcasting exposure will hopefully lead to higher confidence from potential sponsorship partners.”

While their PFL operations will fold for the time being, Ilocos will continue the grassroots programs they have started within the area. ¨In the meantime, the foundation of football development we helped to build in Ilocos will continue, including grassroots initiatives at local schools, women’s futsal, Special Olympics, and, of course, the IUFC Academy.¨

The latest development will be another big blow for the young league. Meralco Manila pulled out of the competition beforehand, and now Ilocos´ absence leaves only six teams in the competition.

Now more than ever, something needs to be done by the PFL or even the Philippine Football Federation to ensure the feasibility of the clubs and the league itself for years to come.

Football is a hard sport to build in the Philippines despite its resurgence since 2010. There are limited corporate boosters for the sport which is in dire need of a financial push to sustain its growth.

Ilocos´ leave and Meralco´s folding now forces local football´s stakeholders to take a step back and examine the next moves to build the sport.

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Basketball

CJ Perez, Jaycee Marcelino in unison: D-League is a whole other level

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After falling just two games short to cop Lyceum’s first-ever NCAA crown, the Pirates went to the PBA D-League to gain experience. However, in their first foray in the second league, the Lyceans realized that it was a whole different animal.

Going up against the veteran-laden Marinerong Pilipino Skippers, the Zark’s Burgers-backed squad had a slow start as they adjusted to the tougher calls of the league. The Jawbreakers were down by as much as 17 points early in the third frame, 37-54.

“Yung physicality hindi naman ako masyadong nagulat pero sa mental toughness, yung pagod ka na, tapos may babanggga pa sa ‘yo, ang iniisip ko kailangan mas maging tough,” admitted reigning NCAA Most Valuable Player CJ Perez.

“Nangangapa kami nung una lahat kasi first game namin ito, pati dito sa court na ‘to first game din namin,” added Jaycee Marcelino.

It however served as a wake-up call. Adjusting on the fly, Perez and Marcelino rallied the Jawbreakers back — even having multiple attempts to take over the contest late in the game. However, they fell short, 92-94.

“Binalik lang namin yung laro namin dati, pass the ball, hindi yung puro dribble, i-run lang namin yung plays,” shared Marcelino as he and Perez combined to score 16 points in the final frame.

The 21-year-old Marcelino finished with a game-high 20 points on an efficient 7-of-9 shooting to go along with four rebounds, three assists, two steals, and a block while the 24-year-old Perez added 19 points, five assists, two steals, and a block.

With their first game in the bag, the two and the rest of the Jawbreakers now have this experience under their belts. And they plan to put in the work to prove that they belong.

“Sa NC naman kasi puro ka-level namin kalaro namin, dito puro beterano ang naglalaro,” said Marcelino. “Hindi talaga namin masabi na yung ginawa namin sa NC magagawa din namin dito.

“Mageextra work pa kami para masustain namin kung ano kami sa Lyceum.”

“It’s a good experience. Ibang iba pala talaga yung laro ng D-League sa NCAA,” expressed Perez, who is a consensus top three pick for the upcoming PBA Rookie Draft.

“Sobrang grateful kami na nakalaro na rin kami sa D-League.”

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