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Fourbees sweeps Baguio in straight sets; earn second win of the season

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The Fourbees-Perpetual Lady Altas posted their second victory in five outings after dominating the Baguio Summer Spikers in straight sets fashion, 25-20, 25-20, and 27-25, in the Shakey’s V-League Season 12 Open Conference, this afternoon at the FilOil-Flying V Arena in San Juan.

Both teams had a rough start in the opening set when a succession of deadlocks took place. But from a 10-all knot, the Lady Altas pulled away to score a 16-12 lead midway into the set. Another 4-2 rally sent Fourbees five points closer to winning the first set, 20-16.

Baguio did all they can to equalize and sneak from behind, but their attack errors late in the set closed it out in favor of the Lady Altas, 25-20.

Fourbees-Perpetual seemed to have shaken the rust off their bodies as they took a quick 9-3 commanding lead early in the second set. However, the Summer Spikers, late in the second set, pulled through an 8-3 run to close within striking distance, 23-20.

The Summer Spikers tried to post a come-from-behind surge, but the Lady Altas did not let them through with Shallane Eniong and Marijo Medalla, who nailed two straight points to win the second set, 2-0.

Things went far for Fourbees-Perpetual come the third set, as they saw themselves behind Baguio, 8-4. Baguio was doing their best to keep the Lady Altas at bay, but midway into the frame, Fourbees-Perpetual scored eight straight points, higlighted by three straight service aces from Ana Diocareza, to erase the deficit and inch within a single point, 20-19. However, errors on their side sent Baguio closer to forcing the match into a fourth set, 23-20.

Trailing by three, the Lady Altas gathered themselves and did not let the deficit send their game into a downward spiral, sending the match to a 24-all knot behind a Diocareza drop over Baguio’s net defense. Baguio regained the lead, 25-24, after a down-the-line hit from Cindy Benitez, but two straight attack errors from their side instantly gave the Lady Altas the lead once more, 26-25. A block by Diocareza closed the set for the Lady Altas, 27-25, and the set 3-0.

Despite the victory, Fourbees-Perpetual assistant coach Michael Molino downplayed the team’s win, saying that a win shoukd not rob them out of focus in the tournament. “Sabi mga namin sa mga bata, hindi porke’t nananalo, ikasasaya na agad. May limitation. Kaya bukas, balik na naman kami sa ensayo,” said Molino.

Three Lady Altas scored in double figures to help their team in posting the W. Jamel Suyat led all scorers with 16 points, 15 of those coming from spikes. Diocareza had 12, while Cindy Imbo supplied 11. Florence Madulid came through for Baguio with 12 markers in a losing effort.

The win improved Fourbees-Perpetual to a 2-3 win-loss slate, while Baguio dropped to 1-5. The former will face PLDT next on Tuesday, April 28, while the latter will have Philippine Navy as their next assignment on Thursday, April 30. Both matches will still be held at the Arena.

The Scores:

Fourbees-Perpetual (3) – Suyat 16, Diocareza 12, Medalla 11, Cabriana 7, Eniong 7, Abcede 3, Imbo 3, Condada (L), Calleja (L)

Baguio (0) – Madulid 12, Benitez 6, Tsuchiya 5, Agudia 5, Balantac 3, Madulid 2, Rossi 1, Abella (L), Degay (L)

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Alaska completes turnaround at Greg Slaughter-less Ginebra’s expense

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Photo by PBA Images

A strong second half surge was all the Alaska Aces needed to turn back the heavily-favored Barangay Ginebra San Miguel, 97-83, and to book their third straight victory, Sunday night at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City.

The Aces, who have yet to lose this 2018, have now improved to 3-2. The Barangay, meanwhile, absorbed their second straight loss and had dropped to 2-2.

“I was telling the guys na parang ang dami nating iniisip, hindi natin ginagawa yung ginagawa natin noong nakaraang dalawang linggo. Sabi ko relax lang tayo,” said coach Alex Compton, sharing what he told his wards that sparked the win.

Vic Manuel led the Milkmen with 18 points and five rebounds. Sonny Thoss turned back the clock as he made 17 markers on 6-of-12 shooting, while Chris Banchero supplied 14 points, six assists, and five rebounds.

The Aces were trailing by eight, 36-44 at the half, but it all became a different ball game come the third chapter as they outscored the Gin Kings, 37 to 19, to erect a favorable 73-63 cushion heading into the game’s final 12 minutes.

From there, Alaska kept their foot on the gas pedal to sustain their lead, which grew to as much as 18, 85-67, after their 6-0 spree — punctuated by Banchero’s lay-up plus a foul — with 6:14 remaining in the final frame.

Ginebra still tried to make one last push as they inched within 10, 75-85, but baskets by Thoss and Kevin Racal propelled Alaska to an 89-75 lead with 3:42 left to play — more than enough to knock their counterparts out.

“I was glad to come away with the win,” added Compton. “Sometimes, we have to take advantage of opportunities coming your way. You don’t want anybody to get hurt but when two number one picks on the other team aren’t playing… There.”

Jvee Casio had 13 markers for Alaska, while Calvin Abueva nearly had a double-double of nine points and nine boards along with five assists in 20 minutes.

Aljon Mariano had 15 points, nine rebounds, and three dimes for Ginebra, who, despite having Sol Mercado back in the fold after ankle issues, missed the services of Joe Devance and Greg Slaughter due to injuries.

Japeth Aguilar, Scottie Thompson, and Kevin Ferrer each scored 12 for the Barangay, with Thompson adding five assists. The trio combined for 15 of Ginebra’s 43 rebounds.

Alaska will aim to extend its streak versus Blackwater on Saturday, January 27 at 4:30 PM, while Ginebra will look to end their slump against Phoenix on Friday, January 26 at 7:00 PM. Games are at SMART Araneta Coliseum.

The Scores:

Alaska 97 — Manuel 18, Thoss 17, Banchero 14, Casio 13, Abueva 9, Teng 9, Cruz 5, Enciso 3, Potts 3, Exciminiano 2, Magat 2, Racal 2, J. Pascual 0.

Ginebra 83 — Mariano 15, J. Aguilar 12, Ferrer 12, Thompson 12, Caguioa 8, Cruz 8, R. Aguilar 5, Tenorio 5, Mercado 2, Taha 2, Wilson 2, Jamito 0.

Quarterscores: 26-23, 36-44, 73-63, 97-83.

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Frustrated Jared Dillinger admits ‘he’s getting sick’ of Meralco’s bad PH Cup runs

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It’s no secret that the Meralco Bolts have always struggled in the Philippine Cup for the last three years. During the last two seasons, the eight-year-old franchise’s win-loss tally is four wins and 18 losses.

And in the 2018 edition, the narrative has been the same, with little to no hope of it turning the other way around.

The Bolts bowed to the TNT Katropa, 99-81, Sunday night — their third straight defeat after winning over Blackwater Elite in their opener last December. If things continue to stay as they are, it looks like it will be another poor all-Filipino tilt run is looming.

“We’re 1-3 and there’s nothing to be happy about,” said Jared Dillinger, who had 14 points and five caroms in the match at Ynares Center in Antipolo. “It’s a long season though… We [shouldn’t] panic but it’s not fun right now.

“The Philippine Cup has been our Achilles heel and every damn Philippine Cup we get our ass kicked. I’m getting sick of it.”

In this game, Meralco missed the services of top forwards Ranidel De Ocampo and Cliff Hodge due to injuries. But for Dillinger, those issues shouldn’t be an excuse.

“When you get two guys like Ranidel and Cliff out, as a team, that’s the opportunity for the guys below them to step up,” expressed Dillinger, who has been with the franchise since 2013.

“It doesn’t have to mean scoring, getting the assists or rebound, it’s just making the right play, being smart.”

Asked what went wrong in this particular loss versus their sister team, where they shot just 39.2 percent from the floor and had committed 17 turnovers, the 10-year veteran lamented the poor effort the Bolts put up.

“TNT didn’t do anything much, given that they played well. But they didn’t have any secret schemes against us. They just passed the ball around, and they got open shots,” added the 10-year pro, as TNT made 23 assists and shot 18 triples.

“Our effort wasn’t there. We got to put up the intensity cause it sucks right now.”

Meralco though has a chance to end their slump against Kia this Wednesday. Dillinger sees it as a do-or-die affair, warning that it will be a grind-out affair knowing that the Picanto is coming off a skid-ending win over Rain or Shine.

Do-or-die ’cause that’s gonna be a playoff game. Thank God they beat Rain or Shine ’cause you don’t want to be that one team that gives the win to a 0-16 [team]. You don’t want to play teams like that,” stressed the all-around forward.

“Nothing to take away from Kia though. It’s gonna be tough.”

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Troy Rosario’s birthday wish: ‘I hope ma-sustain ko yung game na ganito’

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Photo from PBA Images

Troy Rosario had just turned 26 years old on Saturday. So when he suited up for TNT Katropa’s match versus Meralco Bolts the next day, he made sure to churn out a performance that is a perfect birthday present for him and the team.

The six-foot-seven forward turned to a conference-best outing of 22 points on an excellent 8-of-13 shooting along with 10 rebounds to power the Texters to a masterful 99-81 victory over the Meralco Bolts at the Ynares Center in Antipolo.

“Parang na-extend yung birthday ko,” the third-year pro quipped. “Para sa’kin good year ito eh. Simula pa lang ng taon marami na kong blessings na natatanggap.

“Continue ko lang yung hard work na ginagawa ko kasi alam ko it will pay off anytime.”

“It’s just a product of Troy’s hard work,” said TNT head coach Nash Racela. “He takes a lot of shots before practice, and then even after practice, naiiwan talaga siya to take more shots.

“Not really surprised with the way he shot today.”

Rosario was averaging 13.25 points on 41.5 percent shooting prior to Sunday. But twice in their last four games, he only scored in single digits, and that is why the former NU Bulldog aims to be consistent for TNT in their next games.

“I hope ma-sustain ko yung game na ganito,” said the second overall pick of the 2015 PBA Rookie Draft. “Yun din yung hinahanap sa’min ng coaches eh, yung consistency sa laro.

“‘Di yung akyat-baba, akyat-baba.”

“It’s nice that he shot well while celebrating his birthday, but he also needs to shoot well during other days. That’s how you become consistent,” seconded Racela. “We just have to look for consistency.”

It was a Sunday full of celebrations indeed for Rosario. Aside from his birthday, the Katropa had also earned their second straight win — their first winning streak in the 2018 Philippine Cup after a 1-2 start.

For the Gilas Pilipinas veteran, this mini streak of theirs is a result of him and the Katropa regaining their groove as a collective.

“Nakukuha na namin yung laro namin,” said the second overall pick in the 2015 Rookie Draft.

“Nagkakaamuyan na. Sa tingin ko malaki yung tsansa namin ngayong all-Filipino at iangat pa namin yung level ng laro namin.”

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Jason Brickman steers Mono to back-to-back wins; Mikey Williams’ struggles continue

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Photo from ASEAN Basketball League

After stunning defending champions Hong Kong Eastern and contenders Chong Son Kung Fu, the high of Mikey Williams and the Saigon Heat were snatched from them by Joshua Munzon and the Malaysia Dragons last January 18.

But it just got tougher for the Vietnam-based club team as Jason Brickman and the Mono Vampire ran them out of the CIS Arena as Thailand’s super team took a 97-83 win, Sunday evening.

Jason Brickman, who flirted with a triple-double last January 19 against the Singapore Slingers, finished with just six points but did the rest by grabbing 13 rebounds and dishing out nine assists.

Brickman’s compatriot Paul Zamar had 16 points and was a game-high plus-25 for the game.

Same could not be said about their Saigon counterpart Mikey Williams.

Last week’s Heritage Import of the Week once again struggled. Limited to just a solitary point during their last outing, the Filipino-American guard was limited to just five points on 2-for-9 shooting while going assist-less for the first time in five games.

The visitors locked down Saigon in the second frame that resulted to giving up just nine points during that 10-minute span. A Zamar lay-up with 5:32 left gave Mono an imposing 28-point lead, 87-59.

With the win, Mono lifted their record to 8-4, 1.5 games ahead of Alab and 2 games ahead of Saigon. The Vampire fell to an even 4-4 record.

Mono’s World Import Mike Singletary had 25 points while 7-foot-4 big man Samuel Deguara had another double-double with 20 points on 9-for-13 shooting and 16 rebounds.

Maxie Esho led Saigon with 25 points and 10 rebounds. Moses Morgan and Akeem Scott had 17 and 16 points respectively.

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