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Guinto shines as San Sebastian upsets San Beda



Playing as the spoilers in the tail-end of the elimination phase, the San Sebastian College-Recoletos Golden Stags pulled off an impressive 98-92 win over the San Beda College Red Lions at the Filoil Flying V Arena on Tuesday afternoon.

A high-scoring affair was displayed by the two schools in the 28-23 ending to the first quarter in favor of San Sebastian. During the quarter, the Stags built its largest lead at 11-5 with a triple by Spencer Preta. Pro-bound Bradwyn Guinto was also a force underneath as he was located by his teammates in the paint that led to their early lead. San Beda managed to tie the match but the transition game of the Stags enabled them to take the lead in their strong offensive start to the game. To top it off, Jam Ortuestre drained a tough three pointer from way downtown to beat the first quarter buzzer.

Settling for a fullcourt pressure defense to shock the Stags at the start of the second as they managed to take a 29-28 lead within a minute.
However, as the Stags starters started to field the floor anew, they went on a huge surge in the middle of the quarter with their transition game and build the lone double-digit lead at 43-33. 8 points would then be quickly sliced off by the defending champs with Baser Amer facilitating his team. The Stags had a four point lead at the break notwithstanding a strong half by San Beda’s bigs.

Guinto continued his stellar outing as he opened up the second half with two quick baskets. Art Dela Cruz started to make noise for the Red Lions as his unstoppable floaters and undergoal stabs hurt the lead established by San Sebastian. He had a 7-0 personal run to cap off his 11-point third quarter to help his squad take a solitary point edge after 30 mins. On the other hand, San Sebastian struggled finding the mark late as the Red Lions’ defense making its presence felt.

Four lead changes and a two deadlocks happened in the first five minutes of the payoff period as a solid exchange of baskets took off for both teams. In the 3:37 mark of the fourth, Radge Tongco committed an unsportsmanlike foul which seemed to be the turning point of the game. After the call, the Stags punched in eight unanswered points while San Beda committed crucial turnovers on their end. That stretch sealed the deal for the Stags as Ryan Costello and Jam Ortuestre provided 7/8 free throws down the stretch to ice the victory for San Sebastian.

“Enjoy na lang natin yung last five games,” San Sebastian head coach Rodney Santos said. “I just don’t want to pressure them.” With regard to his gameplan, the former PBA cager said that they executed well on offense “Nagwork yung gameplan namin, they moved the ball well and executed. Everytime we play San Beda, we have to play 40 minute basketball.”

For Guinto, who is playing his final year with the Stags, this win was special since this was the first time he defeated San Beda ever since. “This was the first time I won against San Beda, even in Team B,” the Smart Elite ambassador said.

Guinto finished the game with 26 points and 9 boards. He shot an excellent 80% from the field and was 2/2 from the charity stripe. Michael Calisaan complemented the effort with 21 points and 9 boards.

For the Red Lions, Art Dela Cruz grabbed a triple-double with 30 points, on 14/16 shooting, 12 boards and 10 dimes. Smart Elite ambassador Baser Amer added 9 points and 9 dimes.

The San Sebastian Golden Stags (5-10, 7th) will look to end their season on a high note as they face the College of Saint Benilde Blazers on Thursday, September 24 at 4:00pm while the San Beda Red Lions (11-4, T-1st) face the Mapua Institute of Technology Cardinals on Friday, September 25 at 12:00nn.

The Scores:
SSC-R (98) – Guinto 26, Calisaan 21, Fabian 16, Ortuoste 13, Bulanadi 10, Costelo 7, Pretta 5, Santos 0, Capobres 0.
SBC (92) – Dela Cruz 30, Adeogun 17, Tankoua 10, Amer 9, Soberano 8, Mocon 7, Solera 4, Presbitero 3, Koga 2, Tongco 2, Cabanag 0, Reyes 0.
Quarterscores: 28-23, 49-45, 73-74, 98-92

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Mixed Martial Arts

Rene Catalan continues rampage with TKO win



Rene Catalan continues to turn critics into believers

Filipino fighter Rene Catalan made his sixth appearance inside the ONE Championship cage at ONE: Kings of Courage, held at the Jakarta Convention Center in Indonesia, Saturday evening. He faced 21-year-old Chinese athlete Peng Xue Wen in the opening main card bout, and leaned on his elite wushu skills to stop the young star at the 4:22 mark of the second round.

The victory improves Catalan’s record to 4-2 (1 NC), extends his winning streak to four, and gives him the first TKO stoppage of his martial arts career, as he bids to climb the strawweight ladder in search of the ONE Strawweight World Championship.

“The Challenger” came out in the southpaw stance to open the bout, throwing big hooks and a head kick that narrowly missed as he established the center of the cage from the start of the contest.

The Filipino landed a host of powerful strikes, including a perfectly-placed uppercut and a melee of punishing leg kicks, but Peng’s conditioning and composure kept him in the match as he looked to stand and trade with the man 18 years his elder.

Catalan picked up where he left off when the bout resumed in the second round, this time operating out of the orthodox stance, landing more leg kicks and continuing to deny Peng any space to work.

Despite his dominance on the feet, there was a brief moment of concern for the Filipino on the mat when he jumped into the Chinese wrestler’s guard mid-way through the second round, and immediately found himself in a triangle choke. But the Filipino kept his composure and managed to work himself free.

Once the fighters returned to their feet, Catalan poured on the pressure in search of a finish, and he got it with just 38 seconds remaining in the stanza.

“The Challenger” scored big with a liver shot, then unloaded a fierce flurry of punches that forced Peng onto his back foot. Another shot forced Peng to the mat, where a salvo of ground and pound from Catalan eventually forced the TKO stoppage as referee Olivier Coste stepped in to halt the contest.

Photo, story, and video from ONE Championship

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Gelo Alolino regrets Phoenix’s failure to close out Hotshots



Photo by PBA Images

Gelo Alolino had his best game for the Phoenix Fuel Masters on Saturday night at the Cuneta Astrodome with 19 points, eclipsing his previous career-high of 16 markers which he made last May 21, 2017 in a loss to the Mahindra Floodbuster.

But his achievement won’t be too memorable, as it went for naught following a 91-97 defeat at the hands of Paul Lee and the Magnolia Hotshots, who have now collected their third straight victory.

For the second overall pick in the regular 2016 Rookie Draft, it was all because of their failure to sustain momentum up until the game’s final buzzer.

“Sayang, nandun na. We felt na sa amin na nung dulo kaso lang ganun talaga,” rued the 24-year-old sophomore after the match, where he shot an excellent 7-of-10 from the floor.

“Breaks of the game napunta sa kabila.”

Phoenix were in contention all throughout the match. In fact, they were even ahead, 89-84, with just three minutes left to play. But the Hotshots’ comeback skills were unleashed, leading to the narrow win.

“Siyempre kami lahat nasayangan. Maganda naman yung team effort talaga namin,” admitted the 6-foot floor general of their end-game collapse, which wasted their efforts in assists (21) and on defense, where they forced Magnolia to 21 turnovers.

“Kami as players talagang gusto namin bumawi coming from a loss last game sa Rain or Shine.

The Fuel Masters have now lost their second straight outing and have dropped to 2-3. And for Alolino, all they have to do is learn as much as they can from this loss, especially now that they are about to face the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel next.

“Yun nga. Medyo masakit para sa’min ‘to,” admitted the National University product.

“All we have to do is magviview ulit kami ng tape para makita kung saan kami mas pwede mag-improve as a team and bawat isa — including me.”

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Glenn Khobuntin repays Ricky Dandan’s trust with end-game heroics



FILE Photo from PBA Images

Glenn Khobuntin can finally say that he had himself a moment in the pro ranks

The National University alumnus proved his worth for the Kia Picanto, scoring his team’s final six points to steer the often-ridiculed club to their first win after a historic 16-game skid, at the expense of the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters, 98-94.

“I knew he would. I knew he would,” lauded Kia head coach Ricky Dandan of the takeover by the six-foot-four forward.

“It was a blessing he didn’t play for the first two quarters because he [came in] fresh at gigil na gigil.”

Khobuntin finished with 11 markers on 5-of-7 shooting — the best game he’s had so far, not because of the numbers he posted but with the way he made them. But the three-year pro does not want to take the spotlight all onto himself.

“Hindi lang din naman ako e, kami ding lahat e,” the 26-year-old shared. “Siguro kumbaga nagka-opportunity lang, napunta sa akin yung bola kasi yun yung nasa scheme ng play so ayun.

“Thankful lang ako na-hit ko yung mga na-design na plays.”

However, the third-year pro admitted that he had been frightened during the game’s final stretch, as Rain or Shine managed to impose a serious threat by coming back from a seven-point deficit, 94-96, with just less than 22 ticks left to play.

“Kinakabahan ako kasi two minutes pa rin yun e tapos Rain or Shine yung kalaban namin,” the native of Cagayan de Oro said. “Nakita ko nakakabalik sila. Thankful lang naman ako na yung game napunta sa amin, at least natapos yung losing streak namin.”

But more than the end of their months-long slump, what Khobuntin is grateful for is the trust given to him by Dandan, who fielded him as a starter in the second half after sitting out the entirety of the first 24 minutes.

“Nag-decide siya na ako yung i-start niya so thankful ako kasi nagtiwala siya sa akin.”

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Justin Brownlee, Alab lock down Knights for fifth win



Paying a visit to Indonesia for the first time this season, Tanduay Alab Pilipinas needed time to figure the CLS Knights out before stifling the hosts in the final frame to take a 92-87 road win, Saturday evening at the GOR CLS Kertajaya in Indonesia.

This is Alab’s second straight win after losing to the Singapore Slingers last January 10.

With the win, the Philippine-based club team lifts its slate to 5-4 for solo fourth. CLS, on the other hand, dropped to 1-7 — just half a game ahead of the cellar-dwelling Formosa Dreamers.

Justin Brownlee displayed his all-around brilliance in the game, leading Alab with 36 points on 15-for-24 shooting to go along with eight rebounds, seven assists, and three steals.

But Alab’s bench could not sustain the effort of the starters, which meant the team was clinging to a two-point lead with 7:06 remaining.

Needing a spark, 40-year-old sniper Dondon Hontiveros provided for Alab, knocking down a triple that proved to be the starting point 14-2 Alab run. A jumper by Bobby Ray Parks, Jr. with 2:57 left capped the rally and gave Alab an 87-73 lead.

Hontiveros scored five of the eight Alab bench points. Fortunately for Alab, Renaldo Balkman and Bobby Ray Parks, Jr. were on point. The former tallying a double-double with 17 points and 13 rebounds, while Alab’s skipper had 14 points, four assists, two rebounds, two steals, and two blocks.

Coach Jimmy Alapag fielded his bench afterwards, but they let the quintet of Brian Williams, Mario Wuysang, Arif Hidayat, Decorey Jones, and Sandy Kurniawan slice the lead to as low as four points. Then free throws by Oping Sumalinog with eight ticks left put CLS away for good.

Williams paced CLS with 22 points and 14 rebounds while Kurniawan added 19 markers. Indonesian legend Wuysang had 17 points and six rebounds in the loss.

Alab ends its road trip on Sunday, January 28, when it takes on the Saigon Heat at the CIS Arena in Ho Chi Minh City.

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