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Green Saturday, the Battle of DLSU & FEU: Survival Kit

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Green and White vs. Green and Gold

On Saturday, September 27, UAAP fans everywhere will be treated to something we haven’t seen in a while. The women’s and men’s basketball squads from the De La Salle University and the Far Eastern University go head-to-head in back-to-back matchups on Saturday afternoon, in one of the single most crucial game days in the basketball tournament thus far.

Last year’s champions the Lady Archers took the first round meeting in the elimination round, but bowed down to the Lady Tams in their last two matches. The Lady Archers and the Lady Tamaraws will be facing each other for the fourth and final time this season, with the winner booking a trip to finals against the 14-0 NU Lady Bulldogs, the ladies of Morayta having won the first game of the final four series against the twice-to-beat Lady Archers. FEU, the champions of seasons 74 and 75, were not given an opportunity to defend their title last year due to a majority of their games being forfeited because one of their players saw action in a commercial league while the UAAP was in session. The eventual champions for Season 76? The DLSU Lady Archers.

Meanwhile, things are just heating up for the boys of the hardcourt. The defending champions from Taft have bowed down to three straight match-ups with the Tamaraws this season, including last week’s play-off for the second seed. While the Tamaraws lead the season’s series at 3-0, all three matchups have been pretty close games. Not to mention it was La Salle who eliminated FEU from the play-offs the last 2 years. Coach Juno Sauler’s boys need to finally get one against Coach Nash Racela’s Tams if they want to hold on to that crown.
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The Story So Far:

Green Archers vs. Tamaraws

FEU 3, DLSU 0

First meeting: 82-77 (FEU, July 12, 2014 – Smart Araneta Coliseum, Quezon City)

FEU Beats Reigning Champs La Salle to Open Season 77 Campaign

FEU Beats Reigning Champs La Salle to Open Season 77 Campaign

Second meeting: 74-70 (FEU, August 8, 2014 – SM Mall of Asia Arena, Pasay City)

Like Mike: Tolomia clutch as FEU nips DLSU

Like Mike: Tolomia clutch as FEU nips DLSU

Third meeting: 65-62 (FEU, September 21, 2014 – SM Mall of Asia Arena, Pasay City)

FEU outlasts La Salle to bag twice-to-beat advantage

FEU outlasts La Salle to bag twice-to-beat advantage

Lady Archers vs. Lady Tamaraws

FEU 2, DLSU 1

First meeting: 46-43 (DLSU, August 6, 2014 – Blue Eagle Gym, Quezon City)

DLSU survives FEU rally, stays unbeaten

DLSU survives FEU rally, stays unbeaten

Second meeting: 48-43 (FEU, September 7, 2014 – Blue Eagle Gym, Quezon City)

“Precious” Win: Arellado shoots FEU past 2-seed DLSU

“Precious” Win: Arellado shoots FEU past 2-seed DLSU

Third meeting: 61-56 (FEU, September 25, 2014 – Flying V Arena, San Juan City)

Lady Tams snatch win from Lady Archers to force do-or-die matchup

Lady Tams snatch win from Lady Archers to force do-or-die matchup

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MEN’S
FEU: MIKE TOLOMIA
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Everyone knows how the tandem of Mike Tolomia and Mark Belo has been the most dangerous 1-2 punch the league has seen this season. However, it’s Tolomia who has been giving La Salle nightmares. He’s dropped 22, 23, and 19 in three outings with the Archers. The men in green and white have come up empty-handed as far as stopping this guy goes.

DLSU: JERON TENG
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And then there’s Jeron Teng. He proved his worth as King Archer this season, keeping his team afloat in a season of wild, wild rides and returning to the Mythical Five. But he’s been under the spotlight for all the wrong reasons since the Archers’ loss to FEU in the play-off for the No.2 spot, where he was held to eight points and eight rebounds, faltering when his team needed him most. Was it the dengue? Was it The Naked Truth? We don’t know. But what we do know is that he’ll have to bounce back big time if he wants to make sure the Archers hold on to the crown.

WOMEN’S
FEU: JACQUELINE TANAMAN
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Veteran Jacqueline Tanaman was the X-factor in the win over the Lady Archers on Thursday. The point guard finished the game with an impressive near triple-double with 16 points, 11 rebounds, and 9 assists, contributing in the fourth quarter rally that stole the game for FEU. While her elimination round numbers weren’t exactly stellar, it’s in always in the Final Four where the kuyas and ates of the team are expected to step-up. Another explosion in the knockout match could spell trouble for La Salle.
DLSU: TRISHA PIATOS
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Season 76 Finals MVP Trisha Piatos was La Salle’s leading scorer in the elimination round this year. However, she struggled in the game against FEU, managing to put up a lone three-pointer. And though that one lackluster outing may haunt her for a while, she still remains the most threatening scorer on the La Salle roster. Like her men’s counterpart Jeron Teng, she’s expected to bounce back hard this coming Saturday. If these two trigger-happy Archers decide that they’ve just about had enough, the weekend might be a little cheerier for the La Sallians.

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HISTORY LESSON

Time for a short history lesson. Why is the La Salle-FEU men’s basketball matchup always one of the most hyped-up matchups every season?

Along with UST and Ateneo, La Salle and FEU are two of the four teams that have bagged the UAAP crown since the final four format was instituted in the ‘93-’94 season. The Archers have won six times while the Tamaraws have won four times, their last title being the 2005 crown. In another universe, that would have been seven and three for the two squads. We’ll get to that in a little while.

La Salle and FEU have also had the most semi-final appearances in the final four era, the Archers with eighteen and the Tamaraws with sixteen. They’re first and third respectively in finals appearances, with La Salle making it to the final stage nine times and FEU making it seven times. Translation: these are two of most successful college basketball programs of the past two decades. That means they’ve run into each other in the big stages a couple of times, right?

Right. They’ve met in the semi-finals five times (six including this year), and have met another three times (four including this year) in a one-game play-off before the semi-final proper. Five times have these two schools met in the finals-in 1997, 1998, 2000, 2004, 2005. FEU took the ‘97, ‘04, and ‘05 crowns while ‘98 and ‘2000 went to La Salle. Ritualo, Allado, Cardona, Cortez, Casio, Yeo, TY, Arwind, Miranda, Jonas, Isip, Jeff Chan–familiar names that saw action in that nine-season stretch.

The 2004 finals is a tricky one, though. It was the Archers who had actually won the finals series that year, edging the Tamaraws in an exciting three-game series. But a year later, it was revealed that the Archers had fielded academically ineligible players that season, and the 2004 title has since then been ruled as rightfully FEU’s. The two green squads haven’t met in the final stage since ‘05, and that may have something to do with mutual headache Ateneo dominating the scene the past few years. The three straight play-off matches they’ve had since the 2012 season and back-to-back semi-final encounters from last year and this year will have to suffice for those of us who love to see these two classic powerhouses duke it out.

So yes, this Saturday is a good day to see green. Will the boys and girls of Taft hold on to their trophies or will the cagers of Morayta ruin the weekend for the defending champs? Saturday couldn’t come sooner.
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Yeng Guiao denies using racial slur against Chris Ross

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During the post-game of the San Miguel Beermen’s victory over the NLEX Road Warriors, reigning Coach of the Year Leo Austria said that NLEX head coach Yeng Guiao called Chris Ross the “N” word that caused the commotion.

According to Chris, tinawagan siya ng nigger or ganiyan,” said Austria. “I don’t know but that’s what he explained to me because I confronted Chris Ross because he’s one of the most important players in my team.

“But that’s the thing he doesn’t want to hear so nagflare up yung bata so I cannot blame him.”

Guiao though denied that he blurted out racial slurs against San Miguel’s Chris Ross.

“Hindi. Hindi ko tinawag na N-word. Ewan ko kung may nakarinig. Pero hindi,” clarified the fiery tactician moments after their 98-109 defeat, their third straight after starting the 2018 Philippine Cup with two straight wins.

That tussle, according to Guiao, was just filled with trash talking against each other, as he felt the need to retaliate. In fact, Guiao was even caught by the TV camera saying “son of a bitch” towards the Filipino-American point guard.

“Daldal siya ng daldal eh. Eh sa akin naman kapag ganon, siguro respeto nalang. Lumayo ka nalang tutal mananalo naman na kayo,” he said. “I didn’t understand what he was saying, what he was talking about.

“Nakipagtrash-talking din ako sa kanya.”

Furthermore, the 58-year-old was also caught by the cameras flipping the bird — in one quick motion — also against Ross.

“Oo. Kasama na rin yun.

“Pero ano naman eh, it’s part of, siguro, psychological warfare. Malakas din siya mang-asar. Hindi lang naman sa amin. Everytime naman na mga ganoong skirmishes, he also knows what he’s capable of,” the seven-time champion coach furthered.

But more than this scuffle, it really has become a stressful time for Guiao and the Road Warriors. They have now went down to 2-3 in the team standings, and the mentor sees the great need to end this slump immediately.

“We have to arrest it very soon. Ang susunod na laro namin ay versus Rain or Shine sa Friday. So we need to go back to 50 percent win-loss level para at least may chance ka na maka-playoffs. That’s going to be a crucial game for us,” he stressed.

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Kiefer Ravena shocked with Von Pessumal’s shove: ‘I did not expect that at all’

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Kiefer Ravena and Von Pessumal have been teammates ever since they were in high school, winning three UAAP juniors crowns together. They won two championships together in the seniors level and even played together in Gilas. They were inseparable.

Friday evening however, they were playing for separate camps.

Ravena admitted that he never expected a shove to come from Pessumal during the NLEX Road Warriors’ clash with San Miguel Beermen.

In an off-ball situation, Pessumal charged at Ravena, sending the rookie down to the floor with 9:50 remaining in the final frame. He was then whistled for an unsportsmanlike foul, and Ravena sank one from the line.

“I did not expect that at all,” admitted Ravena after the match in which they lost, 98-109 — their third straight defeat after a 2-0 start. “But hopefully Von doesn’t take it personal.

“I’m just doing my job. They won the game.”

Ravena insisted that there wasn’t any physicality between him and Pessumal prior to that, but he thinks that his former Gilas teammate may have gotten irked by his staredown after blocking him on a fastbreak play early in the fourth.

“When that fastbreak happened — the same exact possession na I challenged him, I looked at him, and after that yun na yung nangyari,” said the 23-year-old guard. “But I never instigated something to provoke Von to do that.

“Probably nung tinignan ko siya.”

Moreover, the second overall pick of the 2017 PBA Rookie Draft felt that that incident “started all the commotions during the end game (laughs). Yun yung pinaka-una eh. And with that, the team got fired up and it worked for them.”

He may be right, for the game saw more skirmishes after that: from teammate Michael Miranda kicking Chris Ross to the groin, and with his head coach Yeng Guiao figuring in a heated verbal war also against Ross.

But then, Ravena made it clear that it was never a plan of his to put down somebody, especially someone like Pessumal who he sees as a brother for life.

“You know, Von and I, we go way back. Things like this hopefully don’t become too personal.

“I have no intention na ipapahiya yung tao or sasaktan mo yung tao. Wala namang ganun. Laro-laro lang,” said NLEX’s leading scorer.

It was somehow a night to remember for Ravena, but for all the wrong reasons. After Friday’s loss that sent their card to 2-3, the veteran internationalist now sees the need for him and the Road Warriors to push the panic button.

“‘Di na pwedeng sabihin palaging kailangan namin matuto eh. Pangatlong sunod na,” the second-generation cager expressed.

“Kailangan siguro naming umaksyon.”

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Downcast Chris Ross chooses to stay mum after heated altercation with Yeng Guiao

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Through wins or losses, Chris Ross has always accommodated the members of the press asking for interviews and fans requesting for photo ops every after game. But Friday evening, the nine-year pro was despondent.

Visibly agitated with the events that had transpired during the San Miguel Beermen’s tilt against the NLEX Road Warriors, Ross, with his hoodie covering his head, left the Cuneta Astrodome without saying a word.

The reigning Defensive Player of the Year had figured in physical play after physical play and verbal exchange after verbal exchange with the frustrated Road Warriors.

Ross and Alex Mallari were both slapped with technicals after a confrontation with 9:06 left. This was just the start of many things to come for the Filipino-American defensive specialist

After knocking down a triple and receiving a taunt from Ross, Michael Miranda was assessed a disqualifying foul for an apparent kick to the groin against Ross with 4:35 left.

The tip of the iceberg came with 1:46 left to play and the game all but settled.

Yeng Guiao and Ross figured in a heated word war that resulted in Ross’ second technical foul for the game. Referees and players from both sides had to separate the two to prevent things from escalating.

San Miguel coach Leo Austria alleged that the fiery NLEX mentor said the “N” word, while some said Guiao called Ross a “bitch”.

Ross finished the game with four points, eight rebounds, and four steals in 37 minutes of action.

For sure, penalties and suspensions will come out of this game.

And it was better for Ross to stay silent.

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Jason Brickman flirts with triple-double as Mono holds off Singapore

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After playing his worst game of the season last Sunday against Tanduay Alab Pilipinas, Jason Brickman bounced back, steering the Mono Vampire to a 91-88 road victory over the Singapore Slingers, Friday evening at the OCBC Arena.

The 26-year-old, who finished with just seven points and three assists in their 71-104 loss to Alab, tallied 10 points, 11 rebounds, and nine assists. The league-leader in assists did not take a break, playing all 40 minutes.

But it was not a walk in the park for the Thailand-based squad.

Mono led by as much as 22 points, 60-48, with 7:46 left, 16 points entering the final frame. A furious fourth quarter rally by Singapore sliced the lead, turning the game into a single-possession contest with a minute left. The steady hands of Samuel Deguara and Mike Singletary from the stripe fended off Singapore.

Brickman’s compatriot Paul Zamar chipped in 13 markers for Mono.

Since torching Alab last January 3, Filipino-Canadian AJ Mandani has been on a slump, going just 3-for-11 from the field for nine points.

Mono’s World Imports Samuel Deguara and Mike Singletary both finished with 26 points with the former hauling down 18 rebounds. For Singapore, Xavier Alexander paced the Slingers with 29 points, nine rebounds, and eight assists.

With the win, the Vampire kept solo third with a 7-4 slate. On the other hand, the Slingers dropped its second straight game since winning against Alab, falling to 5-6.

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