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Gorayeb expects better effort from PLDT in upcoming do-or-die bout



The heavily worn out PLDT Home Ultera Ultra Fast Hitters saw its undefeated streak come to an end at the hands of a highly-rested and well-conditioned Philippine Army Lady Troopers last Thursday during Game 1 of the Shakey’s V-League best-of-three championship series at the FilOil Flying V Arena.

Alyssa Valdez and Jaja Santiago were the only ones that scored in double digits for PLDT as they dropped 25 and 11 points respectively. In addition, team captain Sue Roces had nine points while Gretchel Soltones had eight.

On the other hand, Army displayed a more balance attack as Dindin Santiago-Manabat and Jovelyn Gonzaga dropped 16 points apiece while Nene Baustista, Royse Tubino, Ging Balse and Tina Salak chalked up 9, 8, 7, and 6 points respectively.

“Nagkulang kami. Siguro sa tingin ko naging complacent kami kasi masyado dahil mahaba ang winning streak,” said PLDT head coach Roger Gorayeb. “Pero I’m still very proud of the girls. Masyadong mataas lang kasi iyong expectation ng lahat para hindi kami matalo.”

With the pressure of preserving such a long winning streak finally gone, it is now time for Gorayeb and his team to go back to the drawing board and correct the things that went wrong for them.

“Again and again, iyong ego nila kailangan din nila ma-satisfy kasi wala silang talo lagi. You put too much pressure,” Gorayeb said. “Siguro ang pagkatalo na ito ay wakeup call sa kanila. Sabi ko nga sa kanila, konting effort lang yan at hahakbangin natin. Parang doon sa second set, 23-24, ilang hakbang na lang iyon.”

PLDT committed uncharacteristic errors which cost them precious points. In the latter part of the third set, the PLDT players went neutral, and gave up an easy point in the process as no one attempted to dig the free ball coming from Army’s Libero Patricia Siatan-Torres.

“Nagkataon lang talaga na nasabi ko rin sa kanila na those mistakes will make them stronger,” Gorayeb added. “Wala naman nangyari na sisihan, parang nagulat lang sila na bakit ganoon ang kilos nila. Kung baga parang isang matanda, bakit hindi na sila nakakilos at bakit hindi na nila maintindihan?”

PLDT also had a hard time containing the massive hits from the Manabat and Gonzaga duo of Army. Considering the fact that PLDT easily outgunned Army in the opening set, even Gorayeb was in total shock with his team’s sudden crash in the latter parts of the game.

“Dalawang tao ang pumatay sa amin. Iyong Jovelyn at si Dindin na hindi namin ma-check,” Gorayeb remarked. “Siguro gusto lang talaga nila manalo. Nagkulang kami kasi sa amin na iyong second set at iyong third set, tapos walang dumampot? Hindi ko nga alam kung bakit nagkaroon ng ganoon.”

PLDT cannot do anything about this game anymore but they still have the chance to even things up as they have a shot of tying the series tomorrow, 12:45 pm, in Game 2 of the championship series at the FilOil Flying V Arena.

“Siguro this is a good test for us. Ang mga bata kasi nag sink-in na sa kanila ang nangyari. Sabi ko sa kanila hindi na natin pwede balikan iyan,” Gorayeb ended. “Talo kami ngayon [kaya dapat] babawi kami sa Sunday.”

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Christian Standhardinger goes perfect from stripe in Hong Kong’s rout of Formosa



After going a horrid 5-for-17 from the stripe during their first loss of the season last January 9, Christian Standhardinger made sure to make good on his free throws to power the Hong Kong Eastern Basketball Club to a dominant 99-79 rout of the Formosa Dreamers, Thursday evening in Southorn Stadium.

The 6-foot-8 Filipino-German, who tallied 37 points and 19 rebounds in the overtime loss to Saigon, went a perfect 9-for-9 from the foul line. He finished with 25 points and 10 rebounds.

The contest itself was not close, as the defending champions were able to impose their will on the bottom-ranked squad, leading by as much as 23 points, 93-70, after two free throws by Standhardinger with 2:58 remaining.

If Standhardinger was having a good day with his free throws, the entire Formosa squad could not say the same, going 13-of-27 from the line.

Tyler Lamb had 25 markers as well for Hong Kong, while Ryan Moss grabbed a triple-double with 19 points, 11 rebounds, and 11 assists.

Lenny Daniel paced Formosa with 25 points and 11 rebounds. World Import Ronnie Aguilar had 14 points and 16 rebounds but went just 5-for-14 from the field.

With the win, Hong Kong goes to 8-1, while the Dreamers fell to 1-8.

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2018 FIBA 3X3 World Cup

Chooks-to-Go President hopes 3×3 World Cup breaks Philippine Arena record



Last October 27, 2017, Game Seven of the PBA Governors’ Cup Finals between heated rivals Barangay Ginebra San Miguel and Meralco Bolts saw 54,083 people troop to the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan. The attendance broke all records for both the venue and the PBA.

Come June this year, the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas and Chooks-to-Go are hoping that the upcoming 2018 FIBA 3×3 World Cup will surpass that record.

“We look at 3×3 as our best hope, really, to get a medal in the Olympics. Kami naman sa Chooks, we are behind SBP realizing that dream. Kanina pinag-uusapan na, if we’re going to break the record in attendance,” said Bounty Agro Ventures Inc. president Ronald Mascariñas on Thursday afternoon during a press conference held at BGC High Street in Taguig.

“I think the question there is not if we’re going to break, but how many more times. Because FIBA should see how passionate the Filipinos are about basketball. That’s a given,” one of the patrons of Gilas Pilipinas added.

Besides the event itself, the local government of Bulacan has pledged to make the week of the tournament filled with activities to celebrate the Philippines’ 120th year of Independence.

For their part, Chooks-to-Go vowed to help out the SBP in organizing the event and in building the team.

“We are throwing our support not to improve on our finish, but we want to help SBP organize, to win the championship — not just to improve our ranking,” Mascariñas shared.

And the experience he and his company gained after backing the Pilipinas 3×3 team during last year’s tournament will only help.

“In past tournaments, we’ve lost some games na maninipis lang talaga,” he recalled about the team composed of Kobe Paras, Kiefer Ravena, Jeron Teng, and JR Quinahan that competed in Nantes, France.

“This time around, with five months to go, we need to organize and put in the best t

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Ilocos United takes leave from PFL



Another one bites the dust

After months of speculation, Ilocos United has formally announced their absence from the Philippines Football League for the 2018 season.

A statement signed by Ilocos Chief Executive Officer Tony Lazaro and posted on the club’s Facebook page broke the big news.

“Unfortunately, after months of negotiation, efforts to attract a new naming sponsor for the Team were unsuccessful,” the statement opened. “Consequently, it has become financially prohibitive to continue participation in the PFL.

“Primarily, the lack of broadcasting exposure in 2017 created an apprehension in the corporate community, cascading into a series of afflictions that has ultimately led to our withdrawal from the competition.”

Ilocos finished last during the inaugural season, tallying 1 win, 6 draws, and 21 losses with a -49 goal differential.

Still, Ilocos gave their thanks to those who supported the club during the inaugural PFL season.

“We are cautiously optimistic of a potential return to the PFL for the 2019 season, whereby secured broadcasting exposure will hopefully lead to higher confidence from potential sponsorship partners.”

While their PFL operations will fold for the time being, Ilocos will continue the grassroots programs they have started within the area. ¨In the meantime, the foundation of football development we helped to build in Ilocos will continue, including grassroots initiatives at local schools, women’s futsal, Special Olympics, and, of course, the IUFC Academy.¨

The latest development will be another big blow for the young league. Meralco Manila pulled out of the competition beforehand, and now Ilocos´ absence leaves only six teams in the competition.

Now more than ever, something needs to be done by the PFL or even the Philippine Football Federation to ensure the feasibility of the clubs and the league itself for years to come.

Football is a hard sport to build in the Philippines despite its resurgence since 2010. There are limited corporate boosters for the sport which is in dire need of a financial push to sustain its growth.

Ilocos´ leave and Meralco´s folding now forces local football´s stakeholders to take a step back and examine the next moves to build the sport.

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CJ Perez, Jaycee Marcelino in unison: D-League is a whole other level



After falling just two games short of copping Lyceum’s first-ever NCAA crown, the Pirates went to the PBA D-League to gain experience. However, in their first foray in the second league, the Lyceans realized that it was a whole different beast.

Going up against the veteran-laden Marinerong Pilipino Skippers, the Zark’s Burgers-backed squad suffered a slow start as they adjusted to the tougher calls of the league. The Jawbreakers were down by as much as 17 points early in the third frame, 37-54.

“Yung physicality hindi naman ako masyadong nagulat pero sa mental toughness, yung pagod ka na, tapos may babanggga pa sa ‘yo, ang iniisip ko kailangan mas maging tough,” admitted reigning NCAA Most Valuable Player CJ Perez.

“Nangangapa kami nung una lahat kasi first game namin ito, pati dito sa court na ‘to first game din namin,” added Jaycee Marcelino.

It served as a wake-up call. Adjusting on the fly, Perez and Marcelino rallied the Jawbreakers back — even fashioning multiple attempts to take over the contest late in the game. However, they fell short, 92-94.

“Binalik lang namin yung laro namin dati, pass the ball, hindi yung puro dribble, i-run lang namin yung plays,” shared Marcelino, as he and Perez combined to score 16 points in the final frame.

The 21-year-old Marcelino finished with a game-high 20 points on an efficient 7-of-9 shooting to go along with four rebounds, three assists, two steals, and a block. The 24-year-old Perez added 19 points, five assists, two steals, and a block.

With their first game in the bag, the duo — and the rest of the Jawbreakers — now have the experience under their belts. And they plan to put in the work to prove that they belong.

“Sa NC naman kasi puro ka-level namin kalaro namin, dito puro beterano ang naglalaro,” said Marcelino. “Hindi talaga namin masabi na yung ginawa namin sa NC magagawa din namin dito.

“Mageextra work pa kami para masustain namin kung ano kami sa Lyceum.”

“It’s a good experience. Ibang iba pala talaga yung laro ng D-League sa NCAA,” expressed Perez, who is a consensus top three pick for the upcoming PBA Rookie Draft.

“Sobrang grateful kami na nakalaro na rin kami sa D-League.”

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