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Green Archers dig deep against UST to clinch third straight championship

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The DLSU Men’s Table Tennis Team defeated UST to claim a third consecutive UAAP Men’s Table Tennis Championship.

DLSU and UST finished first and second respectively at the end of the elimination round, giving the two schools a twice-to-beat advantage in the Final Four. Both teams only needed one game each to reach the Finals. DLSU did so at NU’s expense while UST knocked out FEU.

Ledesma sets the tone in the first tie

As one of the pillars of DLSU this Season 78, Walden Ledesma displayed his determination to end his UAAP career with a championship via his 3-0 sweep of UST’s Gil Ablanque in the first singles match. All three sets were close encounters but Ledesma managed to fend off Ablanque. The scores for the match were 11-8, 11-9, and 12-10.

UST pulled one back courtesy of Adolfo Bazar Jr.’s 3-1 over DLSU’s Jethro Yatco in the second singles match. Bazar seized the first two sets 11-8 and 11-7. Yatco then claimed the third set 9-11. In the fourth set, Yatco focused on equalizing the match but Bazar maintained his composure to narrowly win 12-10.

Tarak Cabrido and Edmund Garganian Jr. represented DLSU in the doubles match for which UST selected Norielle Pantoja and Christian Abendan. The Green Archers swept the Growling Tigers in this match 3-0, controlling the tempo all throughout. The Growling Tigers were no match for the Green Archers this time. Scores for the match were 11-4, 11-8 and 11-5.

It was left to Francis Garganian to seal the tie for DLSU while UST relied on Alberto Bazar to provide a lifeline. Garganian and Bazar were neck and neck with each other, especially in the first set. Garganian eventually snatched the first set 13-11. Garganian then had an easier time in the second set where he won 11-7. Not to be undone, Bazar earned the third set 8-11 to give himself a chance to overturn Garganian. However, Garganian recovered to narrowly beat Bazar in the fourth set 11-9. Garganian settled the match 3-1 to secure the first tie of the finals for DLSU.

Mateo wins it at the end

The second finals tie was a much closer affair than the previous one, with a final score of 3-2 in favor of DLSU.

DLSU started Yatco this time around against UST’s Bazar for the first singles match. Bazar won a close first set 12-10 but Yatco came back to get the second 9-11. The third was another tight affair where Yatco who prevailed 11-13. Bazar then forced a fifth set after an 11-9 success in the fourth. Bazar had momentum at his side, which he didn’t waste and roundly defeated Yatco 11-8 in the fifth set to collect the match 3-2. First blood to UST in the second finals tie.

For the second singles match, DLSU’s Ledesma enjoyed a dramatic come-from-behind victory at the expense of UST’s Ablanque. Ablanque took the first two sets 13-11 and 11-7. Undeterred, Ledesma surged back to win the next three sets 11-9, 11-5, and 11-1 to stun Ablanque.

The doubles match saw DLSU’s Cabrido and Garganian Jr. return to face UST’s Pantoja and Alberto Bazar who took this set 3-1. The Growling Tigers grabbed the first two sets 13-11 and 11-7. The Green Archers then took the third set 11-13. It would prove to be a false dawn as the Growling Tigers held on to take the fourth set with an astonishing scoreline of 17-15 after multiple rallies.

DLSU’s Francis Garganian was up next versus UST’s Paul Que. Frances Garganian won the first set 11-8, for which Que countered in the second set 9-11. The third set proved to be the most important in the match as Francis Garganian squeaked past Que 12-10. Afterwards, Francis Garganian won the fourth 11-4, with Que already exhausted.

This set up a rubber match between DLSU rookie Carlo Mateo and UST’s Christian Abendan. Abendan captured the first set 13-15. Determined not to let the championship slip, Mateo won the next three sets 11-8, 11-6, and 11-9 to end the series and secure the title for DLSU. After the tie, Ledesma and Mateo were awarded the MVP and Rookie of the Year honors for UAAP Season 78.

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Lorenzo's a frustrated author who knows a thing or two about Football and Basketball. Went all green from Ortigas to Taft. Supports Liverpool FC, FC Bayern Munich and the Alaska Aces

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ABL

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

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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 Marcus Elliott 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

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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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Football

Ilocos United takes leave from PFL

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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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Basketball

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

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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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