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At The SEA Games: The water ran dry in Day 12



Team Philippines waited and waited for even a single gold, but it did not come to them as the Friday’s set of competitions drew to a close. The delegation, however, collected three silvers and five bronzes to bring the haul to 115 total.

Here is the tough Day 12 for the country in this episode of At The Games.

Archery: Dela Cruz missed on the bronze

At medal rounds of the recurve events, the last woman standing for the for Team Philippines failed to capture the bronze. Rachelle De Guzman lost to Le Thi Thu Hien, 4-6. The Filipina actually took the first set to lead 2-0, only for the Vietnamese to grab the lead in the next two sets, 4-2. It was a see-saw battle from there with Le emerging victorious.

The recurve archers, who went to the Games with high hopes, had a disappointing finish as they had no medals to bring home.

Cycling: No golden double for Salamat

In the third and final event in the women’s cycling for the Games, individual time trial gold medalist Marella Salamat tried to capture another one. In the end, the 21-year old Games rookie finished in eighth for the women’s mass start road race in 2:49:47. Teammate Avegail Rombaon, also a first-time participant, clocked in at 2:49:43 to finish sixth.

The men takes on the road later today with hopes of making it two golds for the team for this edition of the biennial meet.

Floorball: Team PH is winless in the prelims

It was an arduous day for the Philippine men’s floorball team lost another match, 2-11, against Thailand at the end of the preliminary round action at the ITE Central. The Philippines kept the game close for the first period, trailing by just two goals. The Thais exploded to nine goals in the next two frames for the final tally. The two points of the Nationals came from Ronald Carbonell in the second period, and Mark Polo’s third of the Games in the final canto.

The Philippines will battle Malaysia later for the bronze medal, hoping to turn it around against the latter. Malaysia blanked the Filipinos, 10-0, in their first meeting.

Pencak Silat: Team PH settle for bronzes

It was a tough day for the Philippine pencak silat team as they faltered to progress in the final of their respective tanding weight classes, taking bronze medals in the process, Saturday, at EXPO Hall 2.

In the men’s class A (45-50 kg), Alshamier Ibnohasim lost to Aluwaddin Nur of Indonesia, 5-0. Clyde Joy Baria suffered the same defeat against Nur’s compatriot Wewey Wita. Indonesia, from where the sport came from, made it a sweep against the Filipinos, as Tri Juanda Samsul Bajar also blanked Juanillio Ballesta.

Sailing: Another silver for PH sailors

The Philippine sailing team produced another silver finish at the National Training Centre in the male 470 event, Thursday.

It was not a great start as the female match racing keelboat crew struggled for form in the second stage of the round robin competitions. They lost to Malaysia, Thailand, and Singapore, in succession, to remain with no points after two stages. Dazer Balanguer consistently held on his fourth place finish up to the medal race, to end up in that position for the male optimist U16 event,

In second place going to the final race, the male 470 tandem of Lester Tayong and Emerson Villena, tried to capture the gold. However, they finished fourth in the medal round. That result is enough for them to nose out Thailand to notch the silver medal with 27 total points.

Taekwondo: Gold medal hopes shut off

Gold medal prospects Levita Ronna Ilao and Francis Aaron Agojo came up short to give the country its second taekwondo gold, Saturday, at EXPO Hall 2.

Agojo started with a bang in as he smothered Cambodia’s Heng Chan Ty in their quarterfinals bout, 35-6, causing a halt in the action in just the second round. Ilao followed it up with a blanking of Laotian Alisa Panyasyli, 12-0, in the same stage of the competitions.

It was in the semifinals where the two took separate paths. Agojo continued his rampage when he defeated Jason Tan Junwe of Singapore, 20-13, to book his place in the final. Ilao settled for the bronze after she lost to Thailand’s Sonkham Chanatip, 4-11.

As the last golden hope of the day, Agojo tried to keep his gold medal match close. It was Nguyen Van Duy who overpowered the Ateneo standout this time as walked away with a rousing 23-9 victory and the title, relegating Agojo to silver.

Tennis: Team PH takes silver and finals berths


It was a positive day for the Philippine tennis team as they gathered a silver medal and progressed to two gold medal matches later today at the Kallang Tennis Centre.

In the men’s doubles semifinals, it was both Thailand-Philippines pairings. In the end, both countries had a representative in the final match. Thailand’s Sonchat Ratiwatana and Sanchai Ratiwatana edged Francis Casey Alcantara and Treat Huey, 6-4 4-6 10-8, to move on to the next round. Reuben Gonzales and Jeson Patrombon eked out a similar three-set win over Warit Sornbutnark and Kittipong Wachiramanowong, 2-6 7-6 10-8, to take one for the Philippines.

Defending mixed doubles champions Huey and partner Denise Dy grabbed their chance to defend their title after playing great tennis over Tamarine Tanasugarn and Sa. Ratiwatana, 6-2 6-3, in the semifinals. Dy had a great day amassing three wins in the day. The veteran and her women’s doubles pair Katharina Lehnert romped Indonesia’s Ayu Damayanti and Lavinia Tananta, 6-4 6-4, and survived Tanasugarn and Peangtarn Plipuech, 1-6 6-2 10-8, to advance to medal rounds as well.

At the final match of the day. it was the Ratiwana twins who emerged victorious in the men’s doubles gold medal match, 6-4 6-4, against Gonzales and Patrombon. The Thais had a break of the serve in each set, which spelled the difference in the battle. Patrombon had problems on his first serve throughout the match, but the Filipinos hang on to hold on their service games. The twins just played more aggressively in the two games that they broke the Philippines duo’s serve.

Bowling: Philippines competes in Women’s Masters, ends block 1 with polar opposite finish

Entering the lanes once again for the fourth consecutive day of the 2015 SEAG Bowling Tournament, competitors representing their respective countries were up for a bigger challenge, as they finally compete with the best players their opposing countries can field, entering the first block of the Masters match at the Orchard Country Club.

Completely ignoring the Men’s Masters matches, the Philippines only competed in Women’s Masters matches fielding in the three highest scoring women of Team Philippines, Krizziah Tabora, Lisa del Rosario, and Alexis Marie Sy; who proved to be some of the most instrumental players in the bronze medals won in both Women’s Trio and the Women’s group of 5 matches from the previous days.

Initially engaged in a sluggish start, it seemed that the bad luck that was avoided in the past two days, were once again creeping back as Tabora and del Rosario were starting off slow only to be joined by Sy soon after the first game. Thankfully, however, the curse was only temporary when a revived Tabora soon retaliated delivering high scores in games 5, 6, 7, and 8 to land at an amazing second place finish for the first block with a score of 1744, 157 points shy of first place.

Her powerful efforts, however, sadly seemed one-sided despite a strong performance in her fourth game. Del Rosario failed to get in winning form as she lands at 13th place with 1608 points, while Sy, who never got to recover after her strong start, landed at end of the pack at 16th after a total score of 1523.

No medals were awarded on the fourth day of the 2015 SEAG Bowling tournament as it was only the first round for the Masters matches.

Rowing: Opportunity for a medal

Two men took part in the day’s rowing competition, with both progressing to the Finals of their respective events. Justine Karyle finished the men’s lightweight single with a record of 3:41.65 for a third place finish. Meanwhile, Nestor Cordova, who took part in the men’s single sculls, completed the race with a 3:35.40 record, and he too finished third in his event. Both Pinoys have the opportunity to get a medal for the Philippines in the last day of their events.

Sepak Takraw: Pinoys take home bronze

In the men’s regu group A match, team Philippines, which consisted of Regie Reznan Pabriga, Rhemwil Catana, John John Bobier, Ronsited Gabayeron, and John Jeffrey Morcillos lost to a gritty Singapore squad, 21-13, and 21-11. Despite the loss, the team from the Philippines was able to take home a bronze medal for their efforts.

Water Polo: Team PH Experience Contrasting Losses

It was a tough day for Philippine water polo as both the men’s (Gators) and women’s (Sirens) teams remained winless after four days. The Sirens faced defending champions Singapore in what turned out to be a shooting spree for the hosts. The Gators matched well with Thailand, but ended flat as the Thais broke away in the endgame.

A frustrated Sirens coach Dale Evangelista was issued a yellow card | Screenshot from Sport Singapore

A frustrated Sirens coach Dale Evangelista was issued a yellow card | Screenshot from Sport Singapore

Coming off a heartbreaking one-point loss to Malaysia in their debut game, the Sirens found it harder to get their offense going as Singapore blitzed them on their way to a 10-1 score in the first period. Only captain Bea Felise Garrido was able to get through the goal during that period. The Sirens settled down on defense in the second period but still yielded another ten goals till the end of the game while they were only able to produce one, courtesy of Carla Beatriz Grabador. The final score stood at 20-2 in what could be the most forgettable outing for the Sirens in the games.

Goalkeeper Tani Gomez Jr. singlehandedly kept the score close | Screenshot from Sport Singapore

Goalkeeper Tani Gomez Jr. singlehandedly kept the score close | Screenshot from Sport Singapore

On the other hand, the Gators went up against a Thai squad that was pretty much within reach most of the game. Behind the stellar defense of goalkeeper Tani Gomez Jr., the Gators were able to keep it close until the third period which ended at 6-8, in favor of the Thais. Scoring was spread across five different players for the Gators. However, the Gators lost steam in the fourth period as they were blanked while Thailand added another two goals en route to a final score of 6-10. The crisp passing of the Thais proved to be lethal for the Gators as they recorded their third straight loss in as many games.

Both the Sirens and Gators return to the OCBC Aquatic Centre on June 14 to face Thailand (2:30pm) and Singapore (8:00pm), respectively.

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Alaska takes advantage of Greg Slaughter’s absence



For the streaking Alaska Aces, their stunning 97-83 victory over the favored Barangay Ginebra San Miguel on Sunday night was partly made possible by the absence of one key player: seven-foot behemoth Greg Slaughter.

The 28-year-old center, who was averaging 20.67 points and 10.3 rebounds prior to Sunday, did not play against the Aces due to a hamstring injury. How he incurred the injury has yet to be determined.

“There’s a small person named Greg Slaughter who didn’t play; I think he has an impact on the game,” quipped coach Alex Compton after the match.

“[They missed] a guy who I think is gonna win an MVP soon in Greg Slaughter.

“Sometimes dito sa liga natin, you have to take advantage when opportunities come your way. You don’t want anybody to get hurt [though],” added Compton.

With Slaughter out of the way, the Aces’ big men feasted.

Vic Manuel top-billed with 18 points and five rebounds, and elder statesman Sonny Thoss turned back the clock with a 17-point, four-rebound outing.

“Malaking bonus na rin sa amin, kasi wala nga si Greg kaya nakuha namin yung panalo,” said Manuel.

“Yeah it definitely helped,” added the six-foot-seven Thoss, who shot 6-of-12 from the floor and made four of his freebies.

“He’s a big guy, he’s a big presence inside so it took one big guy off our shoulder.”

Slaughter was approached and asked by scribes regarding his injury, but he was not in the mood to comment. No one can blame him, though, since the Barangay have slipped to their second straight defeat after a 2-0 start.

“I’m always there in practice, going over our gameplans. But it’s better if you ask our PT,” he said.

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



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 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. Meanwhile, the Barangay absorbed their second straight loss and have 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 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 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 out their counterparts.

“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 their streak versus the Blackwater Elite on Saturday, January 27 at 4:30 PM, while Ginebra will look to end their slump against the Phoenix Fuel Masters on Friday, January 26 at 7:00 PM. Both 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



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’



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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