Connect with us
[adinserter block="13"] [adinserter block="3"]

From game one: Ochea, Adamson moving towards the right direction



Season Previews weren’t kind for the Adamson Falcons. Most writers pegged them to dwell at the bottom of the standings with some going as far as to question the intelligence of those who think the Falcons stand a chance to win a game.

“I wouldn’t take it away from Adamson Falcons to win a game. But if you’re a smart man, you wouldn’t bet on it,” one writer confidently concluded in his primer.

However, with the way Adamson performed in their opening day match against the UST Tigers, the Falcons showed why there really should be more optimism for their team not only for this season, but especially for years to come.

Last season, the Falcons were in the wrong end of every statistical ranking last year, where they most notably scored only a league-low 55 points per game. They surpassed that in their opening match and gave a veteran-laden UST team a run for their money.

AdU team captain and Smart Elite ambassador, Dawn Ochea provided the lift his jittery teammates needed to close in on the Tigers, who led them 22-5 after the opening quarter. Ochea wound up with 12 points on 5/8 shooting while inhaling five boards.

Former AdU mentor, Leo Austria tagged Ochea as a four-year project when he recruited him and compared him to former Falcon and current NLEX Road Warrior Eric Camson. “Si Dawn, pakiramdam ko kailangan niya pa ng ilang taon para gumaling. By his fourth year, when his body and game has matured, I think maipapakita niya na ‘yung talent niya. Matalino siya maglaro tapos hard worker din,” Austria told the author before being ousted from his position.

UAAP 78 UST vs. AdU - OcheaNow in his third year in San Marcelino, the Sacred Heart School – Ateneo de Cebu standout has had to do a bit more growing up than he initially expected, but Ochea’s has addressed his team’s status like a veteran.

“Okay pa rin ‘yung team. Maraming nagbago, pero in terms of samahan, okay pa rin kami,” said Ochea. “Malaki naman ‘yung improvement sa team. Sa FilOil, kumuha lang kami ng experience para mag-gel kami as a team. Nag-polishing lang kami,” the Adamson captain added of his team’s turbulent off-season that saw the sudden firing of then head coach Kenneth Duremdes and the transfer of Matt Aquino and Axel Iñigo to NU and FEU, respectively.

“Ayos lang. Nasa sa amin na lang siguro nila Ivan [Villanueva] at Pape [Sarr] para buhatin ‘yung team,” Ochea replied when asked about the team’s changes that also includes the graduation of veterans Don Trollano and Jansen Rios.

Unfortunately, Ochea didn’t receive the contribution he was hoping for from Pape and Villanueva in the first game. However, veteran point guard, Airo Nalos provided a team-high 18 points.

Nalos has no shortage of big-game experience, having previously played for the SWU Cobras with Ben Mbala, where they won a CESAFI title. He might not norm 18 ppg but the Cebuano’s fast offensive game should constantly create opportunities for the team.

Like in the UST game, Adamson’s lack of veteran leadership will be most felt during the tail end of close games. When UST had Smart Elite ambassador Ferrer and veteran Daquiaog to provide clutch points, Ochea suffered from cramps and Adamson looked lost in trying to find decent shots.

For now, all Adamson has are baby-faced, scrappy young guns with Ochea’s young voice leading their plod. It’s going to be a long season, but odds are, it isn’t going to feel as long as last season.

With Mike Fermin unclogging the offense and providing a fresh, less violent voice, a bunch of young players due for a good game, and a community hungry for a win, the Falcons are a safe bet to bust our primers.


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.

Click to comment


Marc Pingris wants Rafi Reavis to break Robert Jaworski’s record



Marc Pingris was all praises for veteran Rafi Reavis Saturday night, as the 40-year-old center made his presence felt in the Magnolia Hotshots’ 97-91 victory — their third straight win — over Phoenix Fuel Masters at the Cuneta Astrodome.

The six-foot-nine Reavis finished with 11 points, 11 rebounds, and three blocks — a performance perfectly punctuated by a follow-up of a Paul Lee miss with 12.5 seconds left to play that knocked out the Fuel Masters for good.

“Papasalamat ako kay Rafi na talagang kababalik lang niya pero binigay niya talaga lahat,” said Pingris after the bout, as Saturday night was just Reavis’ second outing in the 2018 Philippine Cup after recovering from a hip injury.

“Nag-usap nga kami kanina e, hindi pa siya 100 percent. So bukas, ang sabi niya babalik daw siya sa gym dahil gusto niya ibalik yung lakas ng legs dahil wala pa daw,” added the 36-year-old, who also suffered a hip injury last season.

Reavis has been playing in the league for 16 years. Seeing the work he has put in, Pingris, who finished the game with 17 rebounds, four assists, four points and two blocks, believes that the 10-time PBA champion can play for 10 more years — at least.

“You know naman Rafi eh, katulad ko rin yan eh – rebound and depensa. At tsaka sobrang vocal siya sa team eh,” beamed Pingris, who himself is a 14-year veteran. “Walang siyang inaano, talagang sinasabihan niya kung sino yung mga nagmi-mistake, kung paano kami mag-adjust, so nakikinig naman lahat sa kanya.

“Talagang nandun yung respeto namin kay Rafi.”

And if Reavis stays healthy for the next decade, Pingris wants Reavis to exceed Jaworki’s 958 games played — third most all time.

“Nasa kanya yun, basta kaya mo ba eh. As a player, kung masipag ka naman at may disiplina sa sarili mo, kaya niya yun.”

Still, Reavis has a lot of catching up to do.

Continue Reading


Altas surge to fifth straight win, slam Heavy Bombers



Pulling double-digit scoring outings from three spikers, the University of Perpetual Help System DALTA Altas remained unbeaten in NCAA Season 93 after a straight-set triumph over thr Jose Rizal University Heavy Bombers, 25-17, 25-16, 25-20, at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

Middle blocker Ronniel Rosales topped the Altas with 13 points off 10 attacks and three blocks. Team captain Rey Taneo and Joebert Almodiel added 12 markers apiece.

The Altas dominated every scoring category, recording 44 attacks to JRU’s 26, five blocks to the Bombers’ zero, and three aces to JRU’s one.

Breezing through the first half of the season, Altas head coach Sammy Acaylar lauded his team’s consistency and hoped they continue getting better as they aim for a championship.

“So far, masasabi kong maganda ang nilalaro ng mga bata. Consistent naman ang mga galaw nila and focused sila sa mga laban,” said Acaylar.

“Pero alam nilang may ibubuga pa sila. We still need to get better and reach the championship level. Kailangan hindi mawala ‘yung ganito naming killer instinct,” the decorated mentor added.

The Altas take on a major test on Tuesday at the FilOil Flying V Centre when they face fellow undefeated squad Arellano Chiefs (4-0).

Wenjo Lahaylahay led the Bombers with 10 points while captain Patrick Rabaja managed seven.

JRU (0-5) limps into their Wednesday showdown against defending champs College of Saint Benilde (3-1).

The Scores

UPHSD (3) – Rosales 13, Almodiel 12, Taneo R. 12, Muhali 7, Ramos 5, Atentar 1, Catipay 1, Salo 1, Bation 0, Solamilo 0, Taneo S. 0, Kalingking (L)

JRU (0) – Lahaylahay 10, Rabaja 7, Sulivas 6, Salazar 4, Cebrero 1, Soriano 1, Cruz 0, Ferwelo 0, Defensor (L), Flor (L)

Continue Reading

Mixed Martial Arts

Rene Catalan continues rampage with TKO win



Rene Catalan continues to turn critics into believers

Filipino fighter Rene Catalan made his sixth appearance inside the ONE Championship cage at ONE: Kings of Courage, held at the Jakarta Convention Center in Indonesia, Saturday evening. He faced 21-year-old Chinese athlete Peng Xue Wen in the opening main card bout, and leaned on his elite wushu skills to stop the young star at the 4:22 mark of the second round.

The victory improves Catalan’s record to 4-2 (1 NC), extends his winning streak to four, and gives him the first TKO stoppage of his martial arts career, as he bids to climb the strawweight ladder in search of the ONE Strawweight World Championship.

“The Challenger” came out in the southpaw stance to open the bout, throwing big hooks and a head kick that narrowly missed as he established the center of the cage from the start of the contest.

The Filipino landed a host of powerful strikes, including a perfectly-placed uppercut and a melee of punishing leg kicks, but Peng’s conditioning and composure kept him in the match as he looked to stand and trade with the man 18 years his elder.

Catalan picked up where he left off when the bout resumed in the second round, this time operating out of the orthodox stance, landing more leg kicks and continuing to deny Peng any space to work.

Despite his dominance on the feet, there was a brief moment of concern for the Filipino on the mat when he jumped into the Chinese wrestler’s guard mid-way through the second round, and immediately found himself in a triangle choke. But the Filipino kept his composure and managed to work himself free.

Once the fighters returned to their feet, Catalan poured on the pressure in search of a finish, and he got it with just 38 seconds remaining in the stanza.

“The Challenger” scored big with a liver shot, then unloaded a fierce flurry of punches that forced Peng onto his back foot. Another shot forced Peng to the mat, where a salvo of ground and pound from Catalan eventually forced the TKO stoppage as referee Olivier Coste stepped in to halt the contest.

Photo, story, and video from ONE Championship

Continue Reading


Gelo Alolino regrets Phoenix’s failure to close out Hotshots



Photo by PBA Images

Gelo Alolino had his best game for the Phoenix Fuel Masters on Saturday night at the Cuneta Astrodome with 19 points, eclipsing his previous career-high of 16 markers which he made last May 21, 2017 in a loss to the Mahindra Floodbuster.

But his achievement won’t be too memorable, as it went for naught following a 91-97 defeat at the hands of Paul Lee and the Magnolia Hotshots, who have now collected their third straight victory.

For the second overall pick in the regular 2016 Rookie Draft, it was all because of their failure to sustain momentum up until the game’s final buzzer.

“Sayang, nandun na. We felt na sa amin na nung dulo kaso lang ganun talaga,” rued the 24-year-old sophomore after the match, where he shot an excellent 7-of-10 from the floor.

“Breaks of the game napunta sa kabila.”

Phoenix were in contention all throughout the match. In fact, they were even ahead, 89-84, with just three minutes left to play. But the Hotshots’ comeback skills were unleashed, leading to the narrow win.

“Siyempre kami lahat nasayangan. Maganda naman yung team effort talaga namin,” admitted the 6-foot floor general of their end-game collapse, which wasted their efforts in assists (21) and on defense, where they forced Magnolia to 21 turnovers.

“Kami as players talagang gusto namin bumawi coming from a loss last game sa Rain or Shine.

The Fuel Masters have now lost their second straight outing and have dropped to 2-3. And for Alolino, all they have to do is learn as much as they can from this loss, especially now that they are about to face the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel next.

“Yun nga. Medyo masakit para sa’min ‘to,” admitted the National University product.

“All we have to do is magviview ulit kami ng tape para makita kung saan kami mas pwede mag-improve as a team and bawat isa — including me.”

Continue Reading