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Global suffer 6-1 loss to South China in AFC Cup opener



A historic match took place on Wednesday night at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium when Global FC hosted Hong Kong’s South China AA. The monumental match was the first time a Philippine club football team played in the continent’s second-most important club football tournament. The outcome, nonetheless, was less romantic than the occasion as the visitors put on a clinic to thrash Global, 6-1, in their opening Group G game.

The home side had the worst of starts in their first game in the AFC Cup. South China striker Daniel McBreen pounced on a defensive lapse committed by Patrick Deyto to grab the lead for the Hong Kong squad. Deyto’s kick struck a South China player, prompting the Filipino goalkeeper to move forward in order to clear the ball better. Unfortunately for him, McBreen got to the ball first and chipped it over everyone else before it gradually strolled into the back of the net just two minutes after the kick off.

After giving away a calamitous opening goal, Global asserted themselves to notch an equalizer to get back into the game. They produced three good chances—two from Jerry Barbaso and Mark Hartmann whose long-range attempts have been off target, while Misagh Bahadoran was unable to head in Ray Jonsson’s cross from the right flank. Momentum was in Global’s favor at that moment but South China displayed their tremendous counterattacking play that caused plenty of problems for Global throughout the match. On their part, Global moved with more patience, eagerly waiting to find gaps in the stiff South China defense.

Ten minutes in, Lo Kong Wai got room to shoot inside Global’s box but was denied by Deyto. Moments later, Global’s Raul Martinez blasted his shot wide from outside the box. On the other end, Jack Sealy launched a volley from way out only for it to be easily saved by the Global goalkeeper. At the 18th minute, Misagh Bahadoran earned his side a free kick. It was awarded within the range of free kick specialist Mark Hartmann’s range but the Global forward could not get his shot to dip into South China AA goalkeeper Mora Medrano’s goal. In between those chances, both teams relatively split possession but the visitors looked more dangerous whenever they controlled the ball.

The floodgates opened for South China AA in the 27th minute when McBreen collected his second goal of the match to pad his team’s advantage. Mahama Awal, who has given Global FC a massive concern in counterattacks, led the way by sending a cross into the box. His initial cross found Chan Siu Ki but the forward’s attempt was stopped by Deyto. The young goalkeeper however was not able to get anything on to McBreen’s attempt which has been the result of Awal’s second cross along the byline. Global, now 2-0 behind, had trouble in breaking down the well-organized zonal defense of South China as they tried their luck, albeit unsuccessfully from far out.

Six minutes into the break, Awal’s sumptuous cross from the right wing found Chan Siu Ki. Like his earlier attempt in the game, Deyto managed to block the shot but again had no chance in preventing a catastrophic third from going in as Lo Kong Wai was at the right place at the right time to flick in South China AA’s third of the night. Halftime whistle sounded with Global down 3-0 in front of the 1300 spectators who graced their debut in second-tier Asian club football scene.

With the hope of pulling one back right away in order to get a result out of their first game, Hartmann opened the second half by firing a shot over the bar at the 47th minute. But it was the red-hot South China AA that was able to score next, increasing their lead two minutes after. Bahadoran fouled Lo Kong Wai from around 30 yards. Captain Chan Wai Ho, on the ensuing free kick, whipped in a delicate shot that struck the top corner with Deyto and the rest of the Global defense helplessly turned into spectators of the magnificent set piece. Awal also had a shot on target but was routinely gathered by Deyto 10 minutes after the restart. It was immediately followed by Chan Siu Ki’s wasted effort. It came at a time when Deyto was off his line due to high pressure exerted by South China AA. Fortunately for Deyto, the South China striker did not hit the mark.

The visitors did not wait longer for a goal to come their way. A key cog in their attacking sequences, Awal finally barged into the scoresheet at the 66th minute. Chan Siu Ki located Philip Chan who then diverted the ball towards the winger who coolly slotted it into the onion bag. Nine minutes later, the hardworking Cameroonian netted his second of the night to further dampen Global’s curtain raiser in the tournament. Going up 6-0 with only a quarter of an hour left, South China AA took their foot off the gas to allow the home team in finding a consolation goal. John Christopher Kanayama and Bahadoran had a go inside the last 10 minutes of normal time. The former’s shot did not bother Mora who also had to flex muscles in keeping Bahadoran’s shot from breaching his goal.Three minutes before the 90, Michael Jonsson turned a lot of frowns upside down when he smashed his strike off a poorly-dealt Hartmann cross past Mora to finish the game at 1-6.

Scorer of two goals that dictated the pace for South China AA, the 37-year old McBreen was delighted with the result. ““[Coach told us to] press early and try to put them under pressure,” shared the Australian who grabbed the lead off a defensive error to score instantly, putting Global off pace from that point. “We went on from there and I thought we played really well,” he added. Meanwhile, Bahadoran remains hopeful of their chances in the tournament. “We lost the game 6-1 but that showed that we found our mistakes now. We will know what level are we in,” he stated as they are set to prepare for their upcoming Group G match on March 11 when they travel to Malaysia and face Pahang FA. The Malaysian club uncorked their AFC Cup campaign with a 3-2 win over Myanmar club Yadanarbon.

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Composed Ceres-Negros expels Shan United in shootout victory



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2017 AFC ASEAN Zone Champions Ceres-Negros banked on their poise and composure from the spot as they knocked out Myanmar’s Shan United via a 4-3 penalty shootout (1-1 after extra time) triumph, Tuesday evening at the Thuwunna Stadium in Yangon, Myanmar.

The Negrenses punched their ticket to Brisbane, Australia after emerging the better spotkick takers. Four Busmen were on target, while two of their Shan Warriors counterparts fluffed their lines.

The two domestic champions were inseparable after 120 minutes, with the hosts holding their own against the Philippine champions. Ceres-Negros looked the more dominant of the two teams. However, they couldn’t make the advantage count where it mattered, as they failed to breach the sturdy Shan United defense inside the first two regulation halves.

The visitors were visibly more comfortable in the first half, but with the scores staying level at the break, the less-fancied Myanmar champions eventually found their footing in the encounter. While there were several half-chances from either side to open the scoring, both defenses remained defiant en route to unwanted extra time.

“It was a tough game. We weren’t ready to play 120 minutes because we only had four training sessions before the game but everytime we wear this jersey, we represent Ceres, we represent Bacolod, we represent the Philippines, so we have to give our best,” Ceres’ defender Carli de Murga elaborated to the Inquirer after the match. The Asian Football season has yet to start, and with both teams not too busy with pre-season preparations, rust and fatigue in a demanding affair were evident.

Come extra time, Ceres-Negros took the initiative when Stephan Schröck’s deflected effort went past the helpless Thiha Si Thu just three minutes into the first half.

Nonetheless, the hosts refused to go down without a fight, and their resilience was rewarded later in the opening half. Substitute Patrick Asare found the back of the net to restore parity in Yangon.

Another 15 minutes of goalless action took place in the second half as both teams looked more cautious, perhaps with the collective aim of avoiding a costly error or two. Among all the chances, Schröck’s in the 114th minute may have proved to be the closest to changing the scores, as his attempt shaved the post.

Shan United took to the spot first, where Asare made his penalty attempt count. Nay Lin Tun also made his, but not before teammate Chizoba smashed his attempt over Toni Doblas’ goal.

While the hosts squandered a shot, the visitors remained calm in front of a hostile Myanmar crowd. De Murga, Schröck and Mike Ott nailed their turns, with Marañon also not missing a vital kick from 12 yards.

It set up William Biassi Nyakwe, the man credited with the own goal when he deflected Schröck’s opener, with the chance to prolong his team’s campaign in the AFC Champions League. Unfortunately for him, he couldn’t atone for his earlier mistake, as his attempt soared high and wide — much to the delight of the visiting team from Bacolod, the Philippines.

The reward for Ceres-Negros is a trip to Queensland, Australia, where they will seek to do one better than compatriots Global-Cebu. The 2016 Philippine champions also played against the Brisbane Roar, who dealt them a staggering 6-0 hammering this time last year. The match will be held at the Suncorp Stadium on January 23.

As for Shan United, a spot in the AFC Cup Group Stage awaits them and they may not have seen the last of Ceres-Negros just yet. If the Negrenses lose to either Brisbane Roar or Tianjin Quanjian, they will be reacquainted with the Burmese champions in Group F.

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Abu Tratter plans to work his way to 2023 by continuing to do ‘the dirty work’



Abu Tratter may have missed the jersey-giving ceremony the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas held for the 23 for 2023 cadets last Monday but he made sure to help out when the current batch needed him the most.

After helping the Marinerong Pilipino Skippers win the Sinulog Cup in Cebu a week ago, the 6-foot-7 Filipino-American did not hesitate to heed Gilas’ call as they were undermanned for their second session in preparation for the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers.

“I think it’s just an honor to put on this jersey, to be able to represent our country, to possibly represent our country in the future. It’s an honor,” shared the Laguna-native.

The 25-year old, who just celebrated his birthday last January 9, admitted that he was in awe of the talent inside the Meralco Gym. Like a fan, he wanted to take a few photo ops with the senior team’s Gabe Norwood and June Mar Fajardo.

“Actually, at first I was just shocked to see June Mar and Gabe, just to be able to be in the midst of them,” gushed the former DLSU Green Archer who will suit-up for Marinerong Pilipino in the D-League. “I even asked them for a picture, and hopefully they’ll still give me one.

“It’s just humbling, definitely.”

However, the work has only began for Tratter. With five years to go until the 2023 FIBA World Cup, the two-time UAAP champion plans to continue to do what he does best, being the same scrapper that he is and hopefully catch the eye of Gilas’ brass.

“I think just doing the dirty work, of course. Giving whatever the team needs, rebound or any steals, any thing a dirty player would need to pick up on,” he said.

“That’s how it is, garbage into gold. Get anything, sweep up anything and try to put it back.”

Moreover, he continue answering the call when Gilas needs it as he himself is learning a lot from being surrounded by the country’s topflight cagers.

“Whenever I can. I want to be able to absorb all the information coming from here and hopefully apply it in the D-League and hopefully apply it on future practices, future games.”

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2018 FIBA 3X3 World Cup

Terrence Romeo invited to join Pilipinas 3×3 for World Cup



Stronger than ever

Scoring sensation Terrence Romeo has been invited by the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas to join the Philippine team in the upcoming FIBA 3X3 World Cup, according to Philippine Star columnist Quinito Henson.

Romeo, who is currently out due to a right knee injury, has been rehabilitating his injury and is expected to miss the entire Philippine Cup campaign of the Globalport Batang Pier and the second window of the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers.

“Baka sa second conference na ko makabalik kasi talagang gusto ko malakas ako pagbalik ko,” the 25-year-old shared during Chooks-to-Go Live last January 2.

SBP Executive Director Sonny Barrios personally met with the 6-foot guard, inviting him to be part of the Philippine team.

Romeo has a lot of 3×3 basketball experience under his belt.

Back in 2014, Romeo was part of the Manila West 3×3 team during the Manila Masters. He was adjudged as the tournament Most Valuable Player.

The 2018 3X3 World Cup will take place from June 8-12 at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan.

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Red Spikers extinguish Blazers for second win



Shaking off a forgettable outing against the Perpetual Help Altas last January 11, the San Beda College Red Spikers vented their ire on defending champions College of Saint Benilde Blazers in four sets, 25-15, 25-16, 23-25, 26-24, and claimed their second win of the season, Friday afternoon at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

“Sabi ng coaches kalimutan na yung talo,” shared captain Lorenze Santos of what transpired after that match.

So, in this game, the San Beda team poured on what they worked hard for to regain momentum. “Binuhos po namin lahat ng ginawa namin sa training [ngayon].”

After tight starts in all the first two sets, the Mendiola-based side pulled away to register the seemingly insurmountable 2-0 lead.

Nonetheless, summoning the heart of a champion and led by seniors Isaah Arda and Jethro Orian, the reigning champions pulled off gritty runs to snag the third set and making a tussle of the fourth.

Ultimately, Adrian Viray virtually ended the match with a vicious serve, which the Blazers failed to convert.

The prolific outside hitter finished with 17 points, 11 coming from attacks and five off blocks. Former skipper Mark Encino also registered 17 markers.

The Red Spikers (2-1) will face the Mapua University, also at 2-1, on Friday, January 19.

Orian was such a presence at the net, ending up with 20 points for the Taft-based squad.

The defending champions Blazers (2-1) will try to bounce back later that day against San Sebastian College (0-3).

The Scores:

SBC 3 – Viray 17, Enciso 17, Santos 11, Patenio 7, Amagan 7, Desuyo 3, Zabala 0, Genobaten 0, Manliclic 0, Casin L.

CSB 1 – Orian 20, Arda 18, Bacani 6, Basilan 4, Bautista 4, Magsino 2, Martinez 0, Garcia 0, San Miguel 0, Saldavia 0, Dy L.

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