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Four takeaways from Rain or Shine’s win and why Chism changes everything



Rain or Shine trailed early when the team faced Blackwater on Friday [READ: Balanced offense aids Rain or Shine over Blackwater to share top spot in standings]. Wayne Chism committing three fouls in the first quarter alone was the last thing the Elasto Painters needed, and the Elite pounced on this setback as they took a 28-23 lead early in the second quarter.

The game, however, still swung the Elasto Painters’ way when Chism returned, as it opened the lane for Rain or Shine to attack. Aside from Chism, who finished with 30 points and 14 rebounds, three other players finished in double figures for Yeng Guiao.

On the other end, Blackwater had another monster game from Marcus Douthit, who posted 34 points, 20 rebounds, and a tied career-high eight assists.

There were a few key points from this game, which showed the Elite’s weakness in defending teams with good ball movement, and teams using the dribble-penetration offense.

1. Wayne Chism changes everything

Blackwater held a five-point edge with Chism on the bench as Douthit did not have to go way out to defend Rain or Shine’s bigs. Beau Belga is an atrocious shooter from three-point land (one-for-19 this conference). So whenever the Elasto Painters threw a pick and roll play, Douthit was not too concerned with the roll man, and it helped them protect the rim.

It helped that JP Erram was the other forward on the floor, and with his length, the Elite made it difficult for the Elasto Painters to finish around the rim. Erram was the “helper of the helper” in this defensive line-up.

However, everything changed for Rain or Shine after Chism returned. Chism shoots over 40 percent from the outside. Guiao paired Chism with JR Quiñahan, who is about 36 percent from the same area.

This drew Douthit out of the paint, as he respected the outside game of both Chism and Quiñahan, and it opened the lane for Rain or Shine to penetrate. The Elasto Painters held a five-point advantage at halftime, and they never looked back.

Rain or Shine shot 11-for-31 from downtown (35 percent) and had 48 points in the paint, eight more than Blackwater. What made it worse for the Elite was that their players were helping one pass away, and the Elasto Painters did a good job of finding open shooters to mess up the defensive rotation.

“When Wayne is making his outside shots, it makes it a bit easier for us. We were really trying to pull out Marcus and play him from the outside and it opened the floor for our guards to drive,” Guiao said. “When he was making those, it was positive for us.”

“[Space] is very important for us, because I attract so much attention whether from inside or top of the key and when we run that offense by Coach Yeng Guiao it opens up so much for us,” Chism added.

2. Val Acuña gives Blackwater additional space, threat from deep

Acuña is averaging only 12.12 minutes a game and 33 percent from three-point country this conference, and played only one game above 20 minutes (29 minutes against Talk ‘N Text on February 1). On Friday he played 30 minutes, sank five-for-10 threes, and finished with a career-high 20 points (his previous high was 12).

Most of his triples came from kick-out passes, which is a welcome development for the Elite, with a penetrator like Brian Heruela and a good reader like Douthit. Seeing a three from Acuña assisted by Heruela off a dribble pitch or a kick-out, would also be a fun thing to watch.

3. Brian Heruela is pound-for-pound one of the toughest players in the league

Heruela faced a physical Rain or Shine group but it didn’t matter at all. Guiao put different players in front of him, but Heruela was just too strong, which is why he will be a good focal point for this Blackwater offense in the years to come. The Elite do have shooters, so it would be a great sight to see Heruela beating opponents off the dribble and finishing hard underneath, aside from locating open guys.

4. Rain or Shine is very dangerous in transition

The Elasto Painters scored 26 fastbreak points, as the team made a conscious effort of pushing the pace the moment they gathered the possession. Gabe Norwood had an alley-oop slam in the third quarter. Furthermore, Chism had a dunk one early in the first half. Not to mention, the way they execute during fastbreak situations is incredible.

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After getting first D-League experience, Zark’s-Lyceum ready to get loose



After a hesitant performance in their PBA D-League debut last Thursday that resulted in a loss to the Marinerong Pilipino Skippers, the Zark’s Burger-Lyceum Jawbreakers seemingly caught up with the league’s style of play on Tuesday.

Zark’s-Lyceum displayed their true form and stamped their class all over the Batangas-EAC Generals with a 37-point destruction, 112-75 — so far the biggest winning margin the franchise has ever had in its D-League history.

“Medyo adjusted na kami on everything — the calls and the teams we’re playing against with,” said Zark’s-Lyceum head coach Topex Robinson after the match at Pasig Sports Center. “But the things we want to mind are those things we control.

“We just have to keep on doing what we are doing. It’s more on replenishing na lang on our old ways.”

Robinson’s claim was strongly backed up by the numbers that the Jawbreakers produced.

CJ Perez had 21 points and 10 rebounds. MJ Ayaay produced 15 points and 10 boards, and Mike Nzeusseu delivered 14 markers and 11 boards.

Even the bench made their presence felt in the victory. With guard Jaycee Marcelino spearheading the supporting cast’s charge with 12 markers, the bench contributed a remarkable 56 points to their total output.

Photo by PBA Images

“Ano lang, cinontrol lang namin yung pace kasi yun naman talaga yung laro namin, yung mabilisan,” said the 24-year-old do-it-all forward, who also collected three steals.

“Kailangan talaga mabilisan para ma-execute namin yung mga ginagawa namin.”

This week will be a rough one for the Pirates, as they will play right away this Thursday against the AMA Online Education. And for Perez, he strongly believes that they will be able to carry over their momentum.

“Oo. Nandun pa. Energy talaga yung puhunan namin para makalaro ng maayos.”

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Bonbon Batiller shows what he can bring to Letran in D-League debut



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Tuesday proved to be a double debut for Bonbon Batiller. Aside from beginning his first foray in the PBA D-League, it also marked his debut for the Letran Knights, who are carrying the Wang’s Basketball Couriers franchise.

And the 5-foot-11 guard showed what he can bring to the table. Batiller collected 15 points, five rebounds, and three assists to help the Knights raise the curtains of their campaign with a 93-75 rout of the Batangas-EAC Generals.

“Nagworkout yung pinagpraktisan namin,” said Batiller. “Nagbunga rin yung tinuro samin ni Coach Jeff (Napa) lalo sa depensa. Tsaka siguro sa rebounds — laking lamang namin sa rebound. Nagsipag mga bigs namin.”

But what has him even more satisfied is the warm reception and trust he’s had from the Knights, even if he has spent barely a year with them after transferring from University of the East last 2017.

“Masaya po kasi tinanggap nila ako sa Letran ng buong-buo,” said Batiller, who normed 10.5 points, 3.7 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 1.6 steals with UE in two years. “Tsaka yung tiwala nila na makakatulong ako sa team nandoon.

“Kaya masaya ako sa pinakita nila sa akin.”

That is why the General Santos native is hard-pressed to prove himself to Letran, saying that he’s all about giving back to the school that gave him another opportunity to resume his young, up-and-coming basketball career.

“Kailangan kong may mapatunayan na deserving ako sa binigay na second chance sa akin ni Letran,” said Batiller, who decided to switch schools partly due to academic reasons.

“Malaki ang utang ko sa Letran.”

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Bienvenido Maranon scores brace as Ceres-Negros eliminates Brisbane Roar



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Philippine club football just achieved its biggest continental result yet

The inaugural Philippines Football League champions Ceres-Negros Football Club eliminated three-time Australian champions Brisbane Roar in the 2018 AFC Champions League’s second preliminary round with a 3-2 stunner, away at the QSAC Stadium in Brisbane.

With the win, the 2017 AFC Cup ASEAN Zonal Champions are set to face Chinese Super League club Tianjin Quanjian next January 30, 2018 at the Haihe Educational Football Stadium in Tianjin, China, to book a seat in the group stages.

Brisbane were the favorites for this tie and it showed, as Ceres started the contest on the back foot. Italian striker Massimo Maccarone handed the home side the lead in the 35th minute when he turned in Brett Holman’s pass.

Maccarone’s goal could have lowered the Busmen’s moral, but Risto Vidakovic’s men took it as a motivation rather than a downer. In fact, Ceres replied in the best way possible when Bienvenido Maranon scored his first goal of the match two minutes from halftime, thanks to a scramble in the Brisbane box.

By all accounts, Ceres had already made Philippine football proud at halftime. By this stage last year, Brisbane had accrued a 4-0 halftime cushion against Global Cebu en route to a 6-0 rout.

Today, though, Brisbane faced tougher resistance at Ceres’ hands. That resistance turned into a full-fledged revolt in the 65th minute when Maranon directed the ball past a helpless Jamie Young to give the Busmen their first taste of the lead.

Maranon’s goal well and truly turned the tide in Ceres’ favor. Brisbane were stunned. The home side are the defending A-League champions, but are currently eighth in the table this season and would soon face elimination from Asia’s premier club competition.

Already up 2-1, the Busmen finally achieved some breathing room in the 75th minute when Omid Nazari scored from close range to give Ceres a two-goal cushion over Brisbane.

Nazari’s goal not only sealed the win for Ceres, it also propelled Philippine football into the big leagues. Not even a late goal from French midfielder Éric Bauthéac could prevent the Busmen’s victory.

After five minutes of stoppage time, Ceres emerged 3-2 winners against Brisbane Roar. Come what may against Tianjin seven days from now, the Busmen have already achieved Philippine football’s biggest result since their own achievement in last season’s AFC Cup.

Who knows? Maybe Ceres can pull off another upset?

Ceres-Negros XI: Doblas (GK), Super, Mike Ott, Ingreso, Maranon, Porteria, Schrock, De Murga (C), Munoz, Nazari, Christaens.

Brisbane Roar XI: Ingham, Bowles, Papadopoulos, Maccarone, Holman, Khalfallah, Oxborrow, McKay (C), Hingert, Young (GK), Franjic.

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CJ Perez, Zark’s-Lyceum vent ire on Batangas-EAC with 37-point romp



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CJ Perez and the Zark’s Burger-Lyceum Jawbreakers finally lived up to their hype, as they clobbered the Batangas-EAC Generals to score a 37-point beatdown, 112-75 for their first win, Tuesday at the Pasig Sports Center.

It was an all-out attack from the Jawbreakers, as they beat the Generals to the bite and took control of the game early, with Mike Nzeusseu and Jaycee Marcelino guiding their side to the 48-33 lead at halftime which they would never surrender.

Perez paced Zark’s Burger-Lyceum with 21 points and 10 rebounds, while MJ Ayaay tallied a double-double with his 15 markers, 10 boards, and three assists.

Cameroonian student-athlete Nzeusseu also delivered 14 points, 11 rebounds, and two assists. Marcelino had eight first half points and wound up with 12 off the bench, as the reserves chipped in 56 huge points in the tussle.

Coach Topex Robinson lauded the Jawbreakers for quickly adjusting to the style of the PBA D-League just days after falling to the Marinerong Pilipino, 92-94, back in opening day.

“Medyo adjusted na kami on everything — the calls and the teams were playing against with. But the things we want to mind are those things we control. We just have to keep on doing what we are doing. It’s more on replenishing na lang on our old ways,” he said.

Earvin Mendoza and Cedric de Joya both had 16 points for the Generals in the losing effort.

Zark’s-Lyceum look to continue to roll when they face the AMA Online Education Titans on Thursday, January 25. EAC-Batangas, on the other hand, take on the Gamboa-St. Clare Coffee Lovers on Monday, January 29.

The Scores:

Zark’s-Lyceum 112 — Perez 21, Ayaay 15, Nzeusseu 14, Jc. Marcelino 12, Serrano 10, Baltazar 8, Santos 8, Jv. Marcelino 6, Tansingco 6, Marata 4, Liwag 4, Ibañez 2, Cinco 2, Pretta 0.

Batangas-EAC 75 — E. Mendoza 16, De Joya 16, Tampoc 12, Laude 9, Pate 8, Maguliano 6, Altamirano 5, Diego 3, Garcia 0, Dela Peña 0, Martin 0, J. Mendoza 0, Neri 0.

Quarterscores: 19-14, 48-33, 84-47, 112-75.

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