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GAU, La Salle strengthen grip on playoff spots with emphatic wins

Green Archers United – Women and De La Salle University beat their opposition in convincing fashion on day 5 of the PFF Women’s Invitational Cup




The Green Archers United-Women and the De La Salle University teams delivered identical 3-0 victories over their respective foes in today’s PFF Women’s Cup matches held at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium this afternoon. The results mean that the semifinals will likely compose of these two teams, with one securing a slot in the semifinals while the other moved a step closer towards the final four.

Narciso leads the way for GAU with early hat-trick over UP-Y

Mariane Narciso beats two defenders

Marianne Narciso netted three times inside eight first half minutes to guide the Green Archers United FC to a comfortable 3-0 win against the University of the Philippines-Y team coached by Anto Gonzales.

Despite the one-sided scoreline, the girls from Diliman opened the match better as they were actively attempting to unlock the GAU defense. Their tries were futile, however, often lacking the killer touch or two needed to nab the first goal. Claudia Mendoza, Christille Ardiente, and Angeliza Sta. Clara all drilled the ball into the danger area, but none of those caused damage to the Green Archers United back row.

While UP struggled offensively in the early stages of the match, GAU needed a few touches in the attacking third to take the lead. Marianne Narciso sprinted to win the loose ball near the UP-Y box. The forward then neatly cleared the shot to give her team the advantage. Not long after, Narciso doubled the lead with a strike glaringly similar to her first just five minutes before. The national team mainstay then completed her hat-trick three minutes after scoring her second, although appearing to have needed the help of UP-Y goalkeeper Maria Wong who seemed to have fumbled the ball into the net.

In the second half, UP-Y again had the opportunities to claw their way back in the match. Unfortunately, their lack of composure cruelly betrayed them of any chance to score. Their best try came at the 53rd minute when Eloisa Fagsao opted to pass the ball to nearby teammate Alyssa Ube despite having acres of space to test GAU goalie Haya Ibarra. Ube, who took the shot instead, sent it wide. As for GAU, they went to pad their lead, especially towards the latter part of the second half. Narciso again causing problems to the UP-Y backline, who grew more composed in dealing with the pacy attack-minded player. Without any goals to show in the second half, GAU held on to secure an important win.

The result allows GAU to move on top of Group A with seven points in three games. To reach the semifinals, they must avoid losing to Ateneo next week. A win against the Ateneans will guarantee GAU pole position entering the semifinals.

La Salle marches on to semis after slamming Lady Tamaraws

Irish Navaja x Meryll Ledesma Celebration

Three goals from three different players against Lady Tamaraws FC ensured the DLSU Women’s Football Team’s safe passage to the semifinals.

DLSU wasted no time in attempting to seize the initiative in the match. Chelo Hodges and Kyra Dimaandal bombarded the box with several chances but none of them were able to make those count. On the counterattack, La Salle was exposed by Lou Amita who created two opportunities herself. Fortune simply did not favor her team, who nearly went ahead had Amita’s strike gone in off the bar at the 26th minute.

It would have been an undeserved Lady Tamaraws’ lead against the women in white who were dictating the flow of the match. After multiple waves of attack, La Salle finally notched a breakthrough goal. Irish Navaja sneaked past her marker to force the Lady Tamaraw goalkeeper to charge down. Navaja was not able to shoot the ball but luckily for her, Dimaandal was at the right place at the right time to bury the chance on a quickly set-up play. La Salle carried the slender lead to halftime.

In the second half, DLSU converted in their first clear chance on goal. A similar scenario to the first goal, Navaja sprang to punish the lackluster Lady Tamaraws defense to tee up Meryll Ledesma who comfortably slid the ball into the back of the net. After falling two goals down, the Lady Tamaraws threatened to make a contest out of it. Ruchell Latap and Charmaine Fagaragan, however, only forced brilliant saves from Inna Palacios. The impending result was put beyond doubt 10 minutes before time by Chelo Hodges who thrived from a third Navaja assist of the game. Moments before scoring, the UAAP Season 77 Rookie of the Year was denied by the goalpost following a good pass from Dimaandal.

La Salle’s win makes them all but the top seed of Group B with an impressive 10 points out of four games, winning three out of their four group stage matches. Only a win by seven goals or more by UST next week would send DLSU to a lower ranking entering the final four of the competition. —LGT

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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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