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At The Games Day 2 Roundup: Potpourri of results marks Philippines’ day



Four days left before the official opening ceremony, and the Philippine campaign is up and running. The table tennis and football teams started their competitions today, while the netball squad continued to feel the vibe of international experience. It was a day of highs and lows for the delegation as they continue their quest in the 28th Southeast Asian Games.

Gonzales stars for the PH paddlers

Veteran and 2013 men’s singles bronze medalist, Richard Gonzales proved he still has what it takes, as he provided a stellar performance in winning two of his three matches of the day. Gonzales along with his fellow veteran, Rodel Valle, defeated young Malaysians, Chun Cheun Wong and Chee Fung Leong, 11-5, 8-11, 11-6, 11-7, to advance to the quarterfinals of men’s doubles. Their journey was cut short, however, when they faced Feng Chen and Zhe Yu Clarence Chew of Singapore. The Filipinos took the first set, 13-11, in a grueling battle, but lost the succeeding sets 6-11, 6-11 and 4-11 to bow out of this event. Gonzales took on the table with a few minutes rest to dismantle Laotian Phathapone Thavisack, 11-2, 11-4, 11-4, in the first match of the men’s singles pools.

The tandem of UAAP MVP, Ian Lariba, and Sendrin Balatbat in the women’s doubles was not as fortunate, as they lost a five-set match against Gustin Dwijayanti and Kharisma Nur Hawwa of Indonesia, 11-6, 13-15, 12-10, 8-11, 5-11, in the Round of 16. The DLSU standout, Lariba could not get a breakthrough win as she, along with her partner Valle, lost in straight sets to Thailand’s Sawettabut Suthasini and young upstart, Tanviriyavechakul Padasak, 10-12, 3-11, 3-11, in the mixed doubles.

All is not over for the mixed doubles teams, however, as Balatbat and 17-year old Ryan Jacolo moved on to the next round with a 7-11, 11-6, 7-11, 14-12, 11-6 win against Laos’ Phathapone and Douangpanya Seangdavieng, to cap the day’s campaign for the sport.

Defending champions Malaysia bamboozles SiklabNetball day 2

It was over as soon as the first quarter ended.

The women’s netball team could not recover from too many errors and mistakes in their game against the reigning queens of Southeast Asian netball, as Malaysia dismantled the Nationals, 112-11.

The Malaysians scored 32 goals in the first quarter alone, while limiting the Philippines to a solitary goal. The shooting woes continued for the Nationals as they only produced two points in the following quarter. The first half ended with the defending champions up by a gigantic margin, 61-3. The Philippines was able to play a little better with eight goals in the next two quarters, but Malaysia’s experience was just too good for the sport’s newbies. The game ended with a triple-digit gap for the 2001 SEA Games gold medalist.

U23 Azkals drops curtain raiser to hosts

Photo from The Straits Times Singapore facebook page

Photo from The Straits Times Singapore facebook page

In the evening cap, the Philippines lost to Singapore, 0-1, in a thrilling match, at the Jalan Besar Stadium. The hosts were dominant in the first half. A few seconds before halftime, the Young Lions were awarded a free kick. Sheikh Abdul Hadi made sure their efforts was rewarded as he converted on a glancing header from Sariful Sulaiman’s delivery.

This proved to be the lone goal that separated the two teams despite the efforts of both squads in the following period. University of the Philippines fullback Patxi Santos had the Philippines’ best chance of the game when he managed to link up with Paolo Salenga on the flank, but Santos could not finish on the run.

Despite several attempts coming from Singapore, the Young Azkals held their fort with good defense from the backline with Santos, Ian Clarino, Shirmar Felongco, and Neil Dorimon, and the commendable goalkeeping from Jun Badelic.

In an interview, the Global FC net custodian shared that team is focused on their goal of making the semifinals that is why they played the way they did in the game. Badelic ended, “di kami lumalaban dito para sa sarili namin. Lalaban kami para sa bayan, para sa mga supporters ng football, sa mga fans na nanonood, at kay God.”

Synchronized Swimming:
The Philippines returns to the SEA Games synchronized swimming competitions as Allyssa Salvador and Jemimah Tiambeng takes the pool in the duet technical and free routine event at 1pm at the OCBC Aquatic Center, Tuesday, June 2.

Siklab Pilipinas returns to the court after two devastating losses and vows to bounce back against fellow winless team Myanmar at 1:30pm at the OCBC Arena Hall 1.

Table Tennis:
Table tennis action continues with Lariba and Balatbat taking on Feng Tianwei of Singapore and Mai Hoang My Trang of Vietnam, respectively, to start their women’s singles pools campaign. Balatbat’s match is set at 2:40pm, while Lariba battles at 3:20pm. Jacolo and Thailand’s Tanviriyavechakul duke it out at 4pm for their first matches in men’s singles pools. Gonzales will try to continue his winning streak as he faces Ficky Supit Santoso of Indonesia at the final session of the men’s singles matches at 4:40pm. All matches will be played at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.



Grew to appreciate various sports from tennis to judo. True-maroon kiddo since the new millennium. Fanboy. Singer. Occasional sports writer.

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Fired-up Von Pessumal on Kiefer Ravena incident: ‘I’m not here to make any friends’



Will bridges be burned?

Von Pessumal was heavily scrutinized on Friday evening after an incident with fellow Ateneo lifer Kiefer Ravena.

It took place with 9:50 left in the final frame of the San Miguel Beermen’s highly-charged tilt against the NLEX Road Warriors. After Marcio Lassiter launched a trey, Pessumal looked like he was aiming for the rebound. Instead, he simply charged towards Ravena and pushed him down.

Lassiter’s three-pointer counted, while Pessumal, who was blocked by Ravena during a fastbreak and then received a staredown moments prior, was whistled for an unsportsmanlike foul.

It was a surprising sight to see considering the amount of time he and Ravena have spent together — a bond that started when they were in high school. Even the second-generation star admitted that he did not expect that from his former running body.

“I did not expect that at all,” said the NLEX rookie.

But Pessumal downplayed the incident despite attempts by scribes to make him elaborate on what had really transpired during that moment.

“It’s part of the game. It’s part of the game,” the league sophomore said after the match which they won 109-98. “I don’t wanna say anything, I’m sorry.

“It’s part of the game. Whatever move on. Not a big deal.”

Asked if he was motivated to face Ravena — with whom he had shared three UAAP juniors titles, two UAAP seniors crowns, and a SEA Games gold medal — the 24-year-old shared that he had approached Friday’s bout the way he usually does.

“I wouldn’t say motivated [versus Kiefer], I mean, it’s just like any other game. When I play, I don’t see who’s guarding me, I just play,” said the 6-foot-2 swingman.

“I play to win all the time.”

The incident he and Ravena figured in shadowed his performance of 10 points on 50 percent shooting off the bench — the second time he has scored in double figures this season. After Friday, Pessumal is averaging 8.25 points.

“We have to sustain the level of excellence that they (starters) have. Our job is — I wouldn’t say support, but — when we get in, we should bring the level higher so when they come back, the game is easier for them,” he said.

Pessumal was then asked if he and Ravena met each other after the buzzer sounded, as the two did not even shake hands after the contest. But, through a short yet strong response, the 24-year-old said that they did not.

“I wouldn’t say anything. I don’t know, after the game?,” he expressed.

“I’m a professional basketball player, I’m not here to make any friends.”

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Yeng Guiao denies using racial slur against Chris Ross



During the post-game of the San Miguel Beermen’s victory over the NLEX Road Warriors, reigning Coach of the Year Leo Austria said that NLEX head coach Yeng Guiao called Chris Ross the “N” word that caused the commotion.

According to Chris, tinawagan siya ng nigger or ganiyan,” said Austria. “I don’t know but that’s what he explained to me because I confronted Chris Ross because he’s one of the most important players in my team.

“But that’s the thing he doesn’t want to hear so nagflare up yung bata so I cannot blame him.”

Guiao though denied that he blurted out racial slurs against San Miguel’s Chris Ross.

“Hindi. Hindi ko tinawag na N-word. Ewan ko kung may nakarinig. Pero hindi,” clarified the fiery tactician moments after their 98-109 defeat, their third straight after starting the 2018 Philippine Cup with two straight wins.

That tussle, according to Guiao, was just filled with trash talking against each other, as he felt the need to retaliate. In fact, Guiao was even caught by the TV camera saying “son of a bitch” towards the Filipino-American point guard.

“Daldal siya ng daldal eh. Eh sa akin naman kapag ganon, siguro respeto nalang. Lumayo ka nalang tutal mananalo naman na kayo,” he said. “I didn’t understand what he was saying, what he was talking about.

“Nakipagtrash-talking din ako sa kanya.”

Furthermore, the 58-year-old was also caught by the cameras flipping the bird — in one quick motion — also against Ross.

“Oo. Kasama na rin yun.

“Pero ano naman eh, it’s part of, siguro, psychological warfare. Malakas din siya mang-asar. Hindi lang naman sa amin. Everytime naman na mga ganoong skirmishes, he also knows what he’s capable of,” the seven-time champion coach furthered.

But more than this scuffle, it really has become a stressful time for Guiao and the Road Warriors. They have now went down to 2-3 in the team standings, and the mentor sees the great need to end this slump immediately.

“We have to arrest it very soon. Ang susunod na laro namin ay versus Rain or Shine sa Friday. So we need to go back to 50 percent win-loss level para at least may chance ka na maka-playoffs. That’s going to be a crucial game for us,” he stressed.

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Kiefer Ravena shocked with Von Pessumal’s shove: ‘I did not expect that at all’



Kiefer Ravena and Von Pessumal have been teammates ever since they were in high school, winning three UAAP juniors crowns together. They won two championships together in the seniors level and even played together in Gilas. They were inseparable.

Friday evening however, they were playing for separate camps.

Ravena admitted that he never expected a shove to come from Pessumal during the NLEX Road Warriors’ clash with San Miguel Beermen.

In an off-ball situation, Pessumal charged at Ravena, sending the rookie down to the floor with 9:50 remaining in the final frame. He was then whistled for an unsportsmanlike foul, and Ravena sank one from the line.

“I did not expect that at all,” admitted Ravena after the match in which they lost, 98-109 — their third straight defeat after a 2-0 start. “But hopefully Von doesn’t take it personal.

“I’m just doing my job. They won the game.”

Ravena insisted that there wasn’t any physicality between him and Pessumal prior to that, but he thinks that his former Gilas teammate may have gotten irked by his staredown after blocking him on a fastbreak play early in the fourth.

“When that fastbreak happened — the same exact possession na I challenged him, I looked at him, and after that yun na yung nangyari,” said the 23-year-old guard. “But I never instigated something to provoke Von to do that.

“Probably nung tinignan ko siya.”

Moreover, the second overall pick of the 2017 PBA Rookie Draft felt that that incident “started all the commotions during the end game (laughs). Yun yung pinaka-una eh. And with that, the team got fired up and it worked for them.”

He may be right, for the game saw more skirmishes after that: from teammate Michael Miranda kicking Chris Ross to the groin, and with his head coach Yeng Guiao figuring in a heated verbal war also against Ross.

But then, Ravena made it clear that it was never a plan of his to put down somebody, especially someone like Pessumal who he sees as a brother for life.

“You know, Von and I, we go way back. Things like this hopefully don’t become too personal.

“I have no intention na ipapahiya yung tao or sasaktan mo yung tao. Wala namang ganun. Laro-laro lang,” said NLEX’s leading scorer.

It was somehow a night to remember for Ravena, but for all the wrong reasons. After Friday’s loss that sent their card to 2-3, the veteran internationalist now sees the need for him and the Road Warriors to push the panic button.

“‘Di na pwedeng sabihin palaging kailangan namin matuto eh. Pangatlong sunod na,” the second-generation cager expressed.

“Kailangan siguro naming umaksyon.”

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Downcast Chris Ross chooses to stay mum after heated altercation with Yeng Guiao



Through wins or losses, Chris Ross has always accommodated the members of the press asking for interviews and fans requesting for photo ops every after game. But Friday evening, the nine-year pro was despondent.

Visibly agitated with the events that had transpired during the San Miguel Beermen’s tilt against the NLEX Road Warriors, Ross, with his hoodie covering his head, left the Cuneta Astrodome without saying a word.

The reigning Defensive Player of the Year had figured in physical play after physical play and verbal exchange after verbal exchange with the frustrated Road Warriors.

Ross and Alex Mallari were both slapped with technicals after a confrontation with 9:06 left. This was just the start of many things to come for the Filipino-American defensive specialist

After knocking down a triple and receiving a taunt from Ross, Michael Miranda was assessed a disqualifying foul for an apparent kick to the groin against Ross with 4:35 left.

The tip of the iceberg came with 1:46 left to play and the game all but settled.

Yeng Guiao and Ross figured in a heated word war that resulted in Ross’ second technical foul for the game. Referees and players from both sides had to separate the two to prevent things from escalating.

San Miguel coach Leo Austria alleged that the fiery NLEX mentor said the “N” word, while some said Guiao called Ross a “bitch”.

Ross finished the game with four points, eight rebounds, and four steals in 37 minutes of action.

For sure, penalties and suspensions will come out of this game.

And it was better for Ross to stay silent.

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