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Fourth quarter outburst boosts Barako over Star



As the log jam in the team standings continues going into the tail-end of eliminations, the Barako Bull Energy Cola used a 34-point fourth quarter surge to propel them to a 101-83 victory over the Star Hotshots, and keep their quarterfinal, twice-to-beat hopes alive on Sunday, at the Big Dome.

A closely-fought first quarter featured five deadlocks for the two teams, with no squad able to hold any sort of momentum for the first 12 minutes. Barako Bull tweaked their usual starting five by fielding Josh Urbiztondo and Emman Monfort. The two guards made jumpers that made it a 22-18 affair with 2:25 left. However, Star’s second unit built a 10-3 spurt to end the quarter including baskets from Mark Cruz and Justin Melton.

Star increased their lead in the first seven minutes of the next quarter to eight as Barako struggled with their miscues. However, as Star did in the first, Barako’s ended the frame strongly, as Urbiztondo made two big threes before the half expired. By the break, the score was knotted once again at 45.

A quick 7-0 run for Star to open the third quarter dictated the pace in favor of the Hotshots. They once again pulled away, increasing the lead to 11, halfway through the 3rd canto. Unfortunately for the Hotshots, the game turned out to be all-Barako from that point on as the Energy Cola successfully sliced seven points off the lead just before the final period of play.

Barako’s defense held Star to zero production offensively until the 6:50 mark of the final quarter. By that time, Barako had piled up the points and were able to turn the match around to build their own double-digit gap at 84-73. Star missed all of their six attempts from the three-point area, while the lead kept growing for Energy en route to the win.

Urbiztondo led all scorers with 24 points – including 5/10 shooting from downtown – three assists, and three boards. He started for first time and instantly paid dividends for Barako. “It’s really important to come out with a sense of urgency. (Coach said) be the initiator on physicality and everything. It’s huge especially entering the playoffs. It’s a confidence builder and showed a lot of our team’s character in bouncing back from the tough loss against Blackwater” he said.

Intal and Wilson combined for 36 points and 16 boards to aid their guard. For Star, Barroca paced the team with 17 points, seven assists, and a block. Yap chipped in 12, but needed 17 shots for it.

Barako Bull improve to a .500 record and now hold a 5-5 slate. They wrap up their elimination round on December 19, Saturday against the Alaska Aces. On the other hand, Star drop to a 3-7 record. The Hotshots’ last game will be up against the Blackwater Elites on Friday, December 18.

The Scores:
Barako Bull (101) – Urbiztondo 24, Intal 18, Wilson 18, Pennisi 14, Fortuna 14, Brondial 6, Monfort 5, Lanete 2, Miranda 0, Sorongon 0.
Star (83) – Barroca 17, Yap 12, Sangalang 11, Pingris 10, Mallari 9, Taha 7, Melton 5, Cruz 5, Pascual 4, Torres 3, Simon 0.
Quarterscores: 25-28, 45-45, 67-71, 101-83.

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Calvin Abueva, Raymond Almazan cut from pool



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



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



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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Michael Calisaan tows Che’lu-San Sebastian past Perpetual



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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