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Global squeaks past JP Voltes to barge into the semifinals

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An Arthur Kouassi second-half strike proved to be enough for Global FC in turning back an unwavering JP Voltes and gaining passage into the semifinals of the 2016 United Football League (UFL) Cup.

At the start, JP Voltes held Global pretty well. Their steady defending tested Global’s creativity up front. It took 11 minutes for Leigh Manson’s team to get the ball in a dangerous place. Elhabib picked up the loose ball inside the box and was in a good position to put his team ahead. Unfortunately for him, Lemuel Unabia was there to prevent the Sudanese striker from striking the ball. Moments later, OJ Clarino managed to register a shot on target, a tame one as Noel Gasic gathered it with ease.

Sixteen minutes into the game, it was JP Voltes’ turn to put people in the attacking third. A defensive lapse allowed William Espinosa to give a good try in breaking the deadlock. The JP Voltes midfielder did not make it count though as his effort was nowhere near breaching Patrick Deyto on goal. JP Voltes’ aggression led to more possession in Global’s half. They had a penalty claim dismissed when Takashi Odawara was felled in the box. It would have been a double whammy for JP Voltes if Elhabib finished his chances slightly afterwards.

The veteran striker was nicely set up by Hikaru Minegishi from the left wing. Near the six-yard box, Elhabib was denied by Gasic. Getting the rebound, Elhabib could have picked his spot with only a defender between him and a goal. Yet, he sent it towards PJ Fadrigalan who cleared his strike off the line.

That moment ignited the game, with both teams doing their part in stirring up an exciting match. JP Voltes had more of the shots with Fadrigalan, Yuta Nakagaito, and Espinosa squandering their efforts wide. Minegishi then went on his own and could have changed the score had he kept his shot a bit lower.

Still scoreless, the People’s Club was made to work even harder when Omid Nazari received his marching orders five minutes before the break. The 24 year-old mistimed his challenge on J Baguioro, prompting the referee to book Nazari for the second time in a game. His first yellow came when he fouled Alex Elnar a few moments before. The halftime whistle sounded shortly with the score the same as it was in the beginning at 0-0.

Early in the second half, JP Voltes nearly went in front. Yu Hoshide’s corner at the 52nd minute located Espinosa who nodded the ball. It looked poised to break the deadlock but Deyto made a catching save to preserve his clean sheet.

Seemingly alarmed, Manson shuffled the deck up front. It was a bold move that immediately paid dividends. Replacing Elhabib, Kouassi made an impact almost immediately. The Ivorian substitute tucked the ball in from close range in with just his first involvement on the attack. Kouassi came close in adding his and Global’s tally two minutes after the hour mark. Invited to shoot from around 25 yards, he launched an effort eventually parried away by Gasic. His introduction not only changed the score as it also boosted his teammates’ confidence. At the 73rd minute, fullback Louis Kaole had a decent shot blocked by former Global defender Masaki Yanagawa.

Looking to equalize, JP Voltes got to exploit Global’s loose defending towards the final minutes of the match. They weren’t able to test Global a lot, but one opportunity would have been enough for JP Voltes to at least send the game to extra time. It was almost the case at the 79th minute when Nakagaito moved deep into the Global half until reaching the box. In there, the Japanese player hit a shot that looked tame enough for Deyto to collect. That was the closest both teams went in changing the scoreline as Global held on to seal a place in the semis with a 1-0 win.

After the match, Manson was delighted with the fact that they have made it to the semifinals with a performance he deems uncharacteristic by their standards. “This was not the same level of performance as the Loyola and the Ceres wins. We showed the right spirit. You can’t always win pretty but we are in the semifinals. For me, that’s the important thing because we have the opportunity to play prettier in the semifinals,” he stated. While at it, he also praised their opponents for putting them up to the test until the final whistle.

On Wednesday, Global will battle Stallions for the right to make it to the cup final. As for JP Voltes, they are looking forward to redeem themselves in the plate semifinal against Green Archers United the following day.

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Basketball

Late whistle costs San Beda against Sousse to fall to 0-2

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23 for 2023 cadet Robert Bolick is averaging 27.5 points per game in the tournament

After struggling to close out the UAE National Team in their opener last Friday, the San Beda College Red Lions figured in a late judgment call that did not fall into their favor, Saturday at the Shabab Al Ahli Club in Dubai. Due to this, the defending NCAA Champions lost to Tuniasian club team Sousse, 78-79.

With the loss, the Red Lions fell to a 0-2 hole in the 29th Dubai Basketball Championship. But the record does not reflect how the Filipinos played.

Robert Bolick, who scored 28 points against the UAE National Team, led the charge for San Beda in their second outing had 27 points. Fellow 23 for 2023 cadet Javee Mocon added 11 points and seven rebounds.

Sousse, the second-best club team in Tunisia and boasts four national team players and an American import, led by as much as 10 points, 70-60 in the final frame.

Fired-up by the Filipinos who stormed the venue, the Red Lions answered right back with an 18-8 run capped by a booming Bolick triple with six ticks left to gain a 78-76 lead.

However, a foul was called on a Red Lion on a three-point attempt by a Sousse player. He calmly sank all three free throws with 1.5 seconds remaining to seal the win.

Donald Tankoua had eight points and 13 rebounds as he was saddled with foul trouble all throughout the game.

The Tunisian club team was paced by Radzhouane Slimane with 18 points while Ibrahim Nadarri and Joshua Cassady had 13 markers each.

San Beda will have a day break before taking on Moroccan club team Al Sale on Monday, January 22.

The Scores:

San Beda 78 – Bolick 27, Mocon 11, Tankoua 8, Noah 8, Toba 6, Soberano 6, Prebitero 4, Tongco 4, Bahio 2, Carino 2, Oftana 0, Adamos 0.

Sousse 79 – Slimane 18, Naddari 13, Cassady 13, Mouhli 11, Knioua 9, Toumi 8, Monastiri 4, Gaddour 3.

Quarterscores: 23-17, 36-39, 57-62, 78-79.

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Basketball

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

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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.

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JRU

Altas surge to fifth straight win, slam Heavy Bombers

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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)

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Mixed Martial Arts

Rene Catalan continues rampage with TKO win

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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

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