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Green Archers surpass Growling Tigers to seal quarterfinal berth

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A last-second Jeron Teng drive to the hoop spelled the difference in De La Salle University (DLSU) Green Archers’ tight 84-82 victory over traditional basketball rivals University of Santo Tomas (UST) Growling Tigers to book a place into the quarterfinals of the FilOil Flying V Premier Cup Saturday evening at the FilOil Flying V Arena in San Juan City.

Both sides missed key personnel for several reasons. UST played without the services of Karim Abdul, Kevin Ferrer, and Renzo Subido while DLSU only just fielded eight men. Green Archers Prince Rivero, Arnold van Opstal, Joshua Torralba, and Renzo Navarro were also not available. Ferrer and Rivero left earlier in the week to represent the Philippines in the SEA Games while the others were dealing with injuries.

In their absence, some familiar names shone in the 40-minute encounter between the UAAP Season 76 finalists. Thomas Torres topped all scorers with 26 points, 12 of which were scored in the final quarter. The LSGH alum also hauled nine rebounds, an assist, and a steal. Rookie hotshot Andrei Caracut, Jason Perkins, and Teng provided ample support with a combined contribution of 43 points, 28 rebounds, and 11 assists. For the losing team, veterans Ed Daquioag, Kent Lao, and Louie Vigil scored 20, 14, and 13 points respectively. First year standout Mario Bonleon also lifted a good portion of the load with 10 points, but his team fell short in taking home the much-sought victory.

From the opening tip until the end, it was relatively close even if the biggest lead of the match spanned to as big as 11 points. UST actually started the game as the better team, scoring six unanswered points in the process. DLSU then broke out to come up with a 10-0 rally of their own to go ahead. Their lead was short-lived, however, with the Growling Tigers leveling the score with two quick baskets. This excerpt of the match perfectly depicts the flow of the game. Both teams have been able to string together a bunch of baskets throughout different points of the game.

DLSU ended the first quarter with a solitary lead but suddenly found themselves down by six points in the first two minutes of the second period. Coming off the bench, Vigil was the man behind UST’s early 8-1 rally by scoring a completed hoop and harm play before he drilled an open three. Incoming fourth year players Teng and Torres answered by putting together a 9-0 run, prompting UST Coach Bong Dela Cruz to call a timeout at the 4:38 mark. It went well for the Growling Tigers who took a 42-40 lead into halftime. In that stretch, Daquioag scored seven points to lead his team.

The third quarter was the most unproductive period of the match for both teams who only tallied a joint 32-point output inside 10 minutes of action. Vigil and Lao took command for UST while the backcourt tandem of Torres and Caracut, whose two triples even placed La Salle in an advantageous position midway through the penultimate round. A late 7-2 run by the Growling Tigers, which was capped of by Lao’s triple, made the game interesting by tying the score entering the final quarter.

The Green Archers looked to have pulled away in the first five minutes of the fourth quarter. At the halfway point, the Lasallians held a 10-point lead behind three triples coming from Torres and Caracut. With only 3:15 on the clock, it was slightly increased to 11 by Torres’ trifecta after Daquioag’s layup. With their backs against the wall, the Growling Tigers refused to give up. Behind the determined duo of Bonleon and Sheriff, UST unleashed the so-called Tiger Power within to reduce the deficit to two in just 85 seconds. DLSU Coach Juno Sauler wisely called for a timeout for his team to regroup.

After the summit, Torres connected from downtown for the fifth time in the game to give DLSU a five-point lead. In the ensuing play, another ex-LSGH standout in Bonleon cancelled Torres’ shot by easily swishing in a triple of his own. A split from Torres from the line was followed by a perfect trip for Daquioag to make it a one-point game with only 19.2 seconds on the clock. With no other choice but to foul, Daquioag sent Perkins to the line. The DLSU forward sank both of his shots to expand his team’s lead to three, but a Daquioag triple knotted the teams once more 10.2 seconds before the final buzzer sounded.

Pressure was high from that moment. With no more timeouts, DLSU rushed with the ball to have more time en route to the final basket. To their disappointment, however, Torres spilled the ball outside to award possession to UST. Given the chance to close out the game, the Growling Tigers also fumbled. Sheriff’s inbound was botched to return the rock to the Green Archers. Known for his ability to hit tough game-winners, Teng went for the orthodox drive to the hoop to earn DLSU the victory.

Sauler has the reputation of playing short rotations so many expected the former Green Archer to find less difficulty in the situation. However, the DLSU Head Coach told after the match that it pushed his team to the limit. “It was really difficult for us coming into the game because of the rotation that we have to live with today,” he declared.

Sauler also gave credit to his opponents, who had to play with important players out of the picture as well. Moving forward, Sauler admitted that he has no clue about how their quarterfinal opponents, the University of Perpetual Help System Dalta Atlas, play but remains adamant that the team still has a lot of work to do in all aspects.

They have four more days in order to find out before clashing with the Altas on Wednesday at 5pm.

The scores:

DLSU (84) — Torres 26, Caracut 17, Perkins 14, Teng 12, Tratter 9, Gob 4, Go 2, Pascual 0
UST (82) — Daquioag 20, Lao 14, Vigil 13, Bonleon 10, Sheriff 8, Lee 8, Huang 3, Kakonda 2, Faundo 2, Arana 2, Caunan 0, Garrido 0

Quarters: 20-19, 40-42, 57-57, 84-82

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AU

Impervious Lady Chiefs stay perfect after sweep of Lady Pirates

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The Arellano University Lady Chiefs extended their winning streak to 17 dating back to last season, after clobbering the Lyceum of the Philippines Lady Pirates, 25-16, 25-17, 25-11, at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

The defending champions were unrelenting with four Lady Chiefs scoring in double-digits with rookie Necole Ebuen powering in 11 points. Third-year open hitter Regine Arocha and Arellano’s middle blockers Mary Anne Esguerra and Andrea Marzan each provided 10 markers.

Conversely, no Lady Pirate managed to score in double-figures.

“Maganda naman talaga ang nilalaro ng mga bata. Lahat kasi kami determinado na makakuha ulet ng championship. Alam nila (Lady Chiefs) na kailangan pataas nang pataas ang ginagalaw namin,” said Arellano head coach Obet Javier.

The Lady Chiefs also limited their errors to a season-best 16 while the Lady Pirates surrendered 24 miscues.

The Lady Chiefs look for their sixth win of the season when they face the red-hot University of Perpetual Help System DALTA (4-1) on Tuesday at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

Christine Miralles and Monica Sevilla each supplied the struggling Lyceum with eight point apiece.

The Lady Pirates (1-4) take on the undefeated San Beda College (4-0) on Wednesday also at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

The Scores

AU (3) – Ebuen 11, Arocha 10, Esguerra 10, Marzan 10, Prado 3, Ramirez 3, Liu 2, Balanoba 1, Donato 1, Verutiao 0, Buemia (L), Flores (L)

LPU (0) – Miralles 8, Sevilla 8, Juanilla 7, Patio 4, Genova 1, Romanban 0, Bongabong 0, Marcella (L)

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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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JRU

Perpetual overpowers JRU to keep pace of Final Four

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Strutting their decisive height and power advantage, the University of Perpetual Help System DALTA Lady Altas slammed the Jose Rizal University Lady Bombers, 25-21, 22-25, 25-14, 25-21, at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

The Lady Altas were still heavy-handed with their errors, surrendering 35 miscues, including 12 in the second set, the only frame they lost.

The Las Piñas-based program, however, kept a scorching offensive pace, bombarding the Lady Bombers with six blocks and 12 aces. JRU had just five points combined crom those categories.

“Mataas pa talaga ‘yung tendency ng mga bata mamigay ng mga puntos. Sabi ko nga hindi kami mananalo kung tutulungan pa namin ‘yung kalaban maka-score,” rued Perpetual head coach Michael Cariño.

“Pero, unti-unte namang gumaganda ‘yung galaw ng mga bata. Lahat naman ng pagkukulang nila, tinatrabaho namin para maayos sa ensayo,” the champion mentor added.

Perpetual’s six-foot-three middle blocker Lourdes Clemente towered over the Lady Bombers with a season-high 19 points which included 14 attacks, two blocks, and three aces. Winger Cindy Imbo added 15 points.

The Lady Altas (4-1) take on the undefeated defending champs Arellano University (5-0) on Tuesday at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

Rookie Dolly Versoza paced the Lady Bombers with a game-high 21 points while captain Shola Alvarez managed 15.

The Lady Bombers (2-3) face the College of Saint Benilde (3-1) on Wednesday also at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

The Scores

UPHSD (3) – Clemente 19, Imbo 15, Sangalang 8, Llorente 7, Tripoli 7, Gual 6, Versoza 2, Umandal 1, Estanislao 0, Medalla (L)

JRU (1) – Versoza 21, Alvarez 15, Ebuenga 5, Montojo 2, Rivera 2, Sibangan 1, Bodiongan 0, Macaraya (L)

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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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