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History is made! San Miguel cement ‘Beeracle Run’

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For starters, a 3-0 series lead in basketball history should always lead to a series win for the leading team.

Tonight was definitely the exception.

For the first time in professional basketball history, the San Miguel Beermen captured the 2015-16 Philippine Cup by pounding the Alaska Aces, 96-89, to take home back-to-back titles, held on a historical Wednesday evening at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.

In an unlikely start to the final game of the series, Alaska began the game with three timeouts off the jumpball. However, San Miguel neglected the ‘strategy’ and went on to lead in the opening chapter. Jumpers fell down from SMB’s starting crew, which gave them a quick 18-11 lead.

Despite the Aces also pulling off a platoon substitution midway in the first, San Miguel switched the pace in their favor and took a 22-16 lead after the opening 12 minutes of action.

Alaska had the usual help from their bench players, but San Miguel’s second crew responded. Marcio Lassiter, June Mar Fajardo, and Ronald Tubid combined for 18 first-half points, countering the running attack made by Alaska.

Vic Manuel returned to the action in the second quarter after spraining his left ankle in the prior canto, which helped the Aces spur their comeback. However, two straight three-pointers by Chris Ross lifted the Beermen to a five-point edge during the break.

With no unusual event taking place prior to the start of the new half, the Beermen started to mean business. SMB’s frenetic defense limited the Aces to only four points in six minutes, while they scored fourteen to pull away.

The third quarter proved to be a San Miguel show, pulling off multiple stops at the defensive end. Fajardo led San Miguel’s juggernaut quarter by scoring 11 of the team’s 25. In addition, Arwind Santos banked in a straightaway triple to give the Beermen their largest lead of the game at 68-47. The champs eventually entered the final quarter up by 17.

Alaska pulled off a nerve-racking rally to melt the lead in a blink of an eye. Chris Banchero and Calvin Abueva anchored the defense and transition baskets to suddenly make it a 75-70 game with still 7:30 to go. However, as the defense focused on Fajardo, Chris Ross scored two quick layups to halt the rally.

San Miguel restored control late with resilient stops and composure down the stretch. With less than three minutes to go, Ross punched in a triple to beat the shot clock and cap a 9-0 run that proved the deciding stretch for San Miguel’s championship.

Despite committing 26 turnovers, San Miguel had more rebounds, 62-50. They also shot three more baskets from downtown, while dishing out more assists than the Aces, 20-13.

Chris Ross bagged home the Finals MVP award with a remarkable 21-point outing, four rebounds and three 3-pointers, which all came at a much-needed moment for the Beermen. He averaged 8.4 points, 4.6 rebounds and 4 assists for the entire series.

“I wanna thank the fans, we couldn’t do it without you. Your message was always the same with us, ‘keep fighting!'” the Finals MVP said. “I couldn’t take this trophy all by myself. Gabby and Marcio had all-star performances, Alex hit big shots and June Mar came back 60% with his knee. We’re all MVPs”.

During the coronation, Coach Leo Austria gratefully pointed out and commended his players, who had refused to lose. He also credited Alaska for an entertaining 7-game series. “Job well done for them (Alaska), but I think we’re luckier than them. Both of us deserved it, but I think miracle is just around the corner and it happened,” Austria added.

Banchero fired 21 points for the Aces, who lost another heartbreaking Game 7 to the Beermen. Abueva added 16 markers.

This is SMB’s 22nd championship for their franchise. Furthermore, the SM Mall of Asia Arena staged the monumental evening with a record-setting 23,616 crowd attendance for games played in the venue.

The Scores:
San Miguel Beer (97) – Ross 21, Fajardo 21, Lassiter 15, Santos 13, Cabagnot 8, De Ocampo 7, Tubid 7, Espinas 2, Lutz 0, Heruela 0.

Alaska (89) – Banchero 21, Abueva 16, Baguio 10, Exciminiano 8, Casio 8, Hontiveros 6, Thoss 4, Baclao 4, Jazul 4, Dela Rosa 3, Manuel 3, Dela Cruz 2, Menk 0, Eman 0.
Quarterscores: 22-16, 43-38, 68-51, 96-89.

Photo by PBA Images
Videos courtesy of Sports5

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Mixed Martial Arts

ONE Championship pledges to help Global Citizen in fight against poverty

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During the pre-fight showdown between the fighters main evening ONE Championship: Global Superheroes, the biggest mixed martial arts promotion in Asia also forged a partnership, Monday afternoon.

ONE, through chief executive officer and chariman, Chatri Sityodtong vowed to help Global Citizen in its fight to end poverty.

“It is with great excitement that I announce ONE Championship’s partnership with Global Citizen, an NGO with the goal of ending extreme poverty across the world by the year 2030,” said Sityodtong. “Just like Global Citizen, ONE Championship aims to inspire the people of the world to come together to solve some of the world’s biggest challenges.”

“We are thrilled to be joining forces with ONE Championship to bring Global Citizen to Asia. ONE Championship reaches millions of young people around the region and together we will engage them on issues that impact the entire world,” expressed Global Citizen co-founder Wei Soo. “Since we launched Global Citizen in 2012, over 13 million actions have been taken, and we are excited to drive more actions and increase our impact for the world’s most marginalized people through this partnership.”

Headquartered in New York with offices in Canada, Australia, Germany, and the United Kingdom, Global Citizen was founded in 2012 with the goal of building the largest platform where people can learn about issues, take action on what matters most, and join a global movement working to end extreme poverty by 2030. Since then, millions of Global Citizens around the world have taken over ten million actions, which includes millions of emails, tweets, petition signatures, and phone calls targeting world leaders to end extreme poverty by 2030.

To date, the actions by Global Citizen’s global community, along with its high-level advocacy efforts and various partners, have resulted in 130 commitments and policy announcements from leaders, including financial aid valued at over US $35-billion, that is set to affect the lives of over 1.3 billion people.

Also present in the launch were ONE Heavyweight World Champion Brandon Vera, ONE Atomweight World Champion Angela Lee, and former ONE Lightweight World Champion Eduard Folayang.

The partnership launching at ONE’s upcoming event in Manila, Philippines on Friday, January 26, will harness the power of ONE’s platform to engage millions of martial arts fans around the world to support initiatives and find solutions to the issues associated with extreme poverty.

Global Citizen and ONE will collaborate across 24 live ONE events scheduled in 2018, and various outreach activations throughout Asia. Fans will have the opportunity to take action and engage with specific policy areas including, education, food security, hunger and nutrition, global health, gender equality and empowerment.

“Our ONE Championship athletes embody the spirit of perseverance and many have risen through poverty through martial arts, inspiring millions of people around the world with their journey,” Sityodtong added. “Through our collaboration across all 24 of our live events scheduled in 2018, ONE Championship and Global Citizen aim to affect positive movement in our society.”

The first action ONE fans can take will be centred on global education. Fans will be able to call on donor countries such as Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, and India, to attend the Global Partnership for Education’s replenishment conference in Dakar, Senegal on February 2, 2018, and make a commitment to GPE to support better education for all. Currently, 264 million children around the world are missing out on an education.

Over half are girls, and over 75 million have had their schooling disrupted by conflict or natural disasters. At the replenishment conference, the GPE will raise much needed funds that will allow it to continue to support quality, inclusive education to hundreds of millions of children around the world.

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AU

Unscathed Altas on another plane, hands Chiefs first loss

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Eighteen straight sets won

NCAA Men’s Volleyball powerhouse University of Perpetual Help System DALTA Altas showed no signs of letting up and crushed fellow erstwhile undefeated Arellano University Chiefs in just three sets, 25-14, 25-22, 25-17, to notch their sixth consecutive victory, Tuesday afternoon at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

Skipper Jun Taneo scattered his quiet 13 points throughout the match to lead the Season 91 champions. Rookie Joebert Almodiel finished with 10 spikes.

The Altas edged out the opposition in all scoring skills and dominated them in the non-scoring ones to bag the win. Nonetheless, it was the uncharacteristic 34 errors from the Chiefs that ultimately caused their doom.

With expectations minimized at the start of the season, head coach Sammy Acaylar shared his pride on how his wards have been playing so far.

“Sabi ko nga, hindi ako satisfied sa team ko kasi maraming nawala. Pero dinaan ko sila sa force, sa discipline, sa training. And I always motivate them na everything will come into place,” the seasoned mentor shared.

Acaylar was pleased that what they trained on showed up in the game. “Nakita ko ‘yung galaw nila, almost perfect,” he ended beaming.

The now 6-0 Perpetual will try to seal another semifinals appearance as they battle fellow day winners Mapua University (3-2) on Tuesday, January 30.

John Cabillan rallied the tribe with 10 markers.

The Chiefs (5-1) and the San Beda College (4-1) will figure in an all-important battle on Friday.

The Scores:

UPHSD 3 – Taneo 13, Almodiel 10, Rosales 8, Ramos 6, Muhali 3, Solamilo 1, Catipay 0, Kalingking L.

AU 0 – Cabillan 10, Dela Paz 8, Segovia 5, Lapuz 4, Liberato J 3, Liberato K 1, Arellano T 0, Soriano 0, Domingo 0, Arellano K 0, Blanco L, Esguerra L.

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Basketball

Tireless J-Jay Alejandro heads from D-League game to Gilas training

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Former NU Bulldogs captain J-Jay Alejandro was at the Pasig Sports Center Monday afternoon, making his debut for the Go for Gold Scratchers. After their 75-68 win over Gamboa-St. Clare Coffee Lovers, he immediately packed his bags and headed for the exit.

Why was he in a rush? He did not want to be late for Gilas later on.

PHOTO by PBA Images

“Sayang, malapit na ako eh. Pasig lang. Walang showbiz-showbiz, malapit lang talaga,” shared Alejandro, who had five points, five rebounds, seven assists, and two steals for Go for Gold. “Wala rin akong gagawin kasi.

“Tsaka minsan lang magpa-tawag ng practice, every Monday lang, so sayang ‘yung chance makapag-practice.”

The 6-foot-2 combo guard was a much-needed body by the pool of Gilas as only eight players suited-up for Monday’s session. Besides helping out the seniors team, the 22-year-old is looking at the sessions as a way to not just improve but also get in touch with his former collegiate foes.

“Well, ganoon talaga eh. Player, mapapagod at mapapagod ka talaga,” said the All-UAAP team member.

“Pero nakakasama ko sila Arvin Tolentino, sila CJ Perez, tsaka ‘yung ibang mga PBA players, siyempre experience ‘yun eh, tsaka learning process din sa akin.”

Moreover, he knows that being under the tutelage of coach Chot Reyes will only do wonders for him, especially with the 2018 PBA Rookie Draft just months away.

“Mas pisikal talaga sa PBA. ‘Yun, kung paano mo gagamitin ang utak mo pati ‘yung katawan mo sa tamang posisyon sa laro, makukuha ko yun rito,” he said.

“Well sa akin kasi, ‘yung mapabilang ka sa Gilas, mapabilang lang ang pangalan mo sa Gilas, sobrang fortunate na ako, sobrang blessed na ako,” Alejandro added.

“And siguro sa akin, may opportunity na nag-open, so iga-grab ko na lang — either PBA or Gilas.”

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Basketball

Loaded Wangs-Letran wallops AMA in debut

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Armed with new recruits, the Wangs Basketball-Letran Knights embarked on its new chapter with a rousing 93-75 rout of the AMA Online Education Titans, Tuesday afternoon at the Pasig Sports Center.

Everyone clicked for the Couriers with Bong Quinto spearheading the blowout with 19 points, 10 rebounds, and six assists.

Newcomer Bonbon Batiller added 15 markers, five boards, and three dimes in his debut, while starting point guard JP Calvo chipped in 12 points, eight rebounds, and two assists.

Christian Fajarito also registered 11 markers and nine boards, while Alex Mandreza had 10 points for Wangs-Letran.

Despite the promising showing, coach Jeff Napa said that he still wants to see more from his Couriers moving forward.

“Masaya kami syempre dahil nanalo. Pero marami pa rin kaming kailangang gawin,” he said as he wanted more from the Knights after outrebounding the Titans, 57-44.

Quinto and Calvo triggered Wangs-Letran’s second quarter pullaway to establish the 38-26, lead which grew to as high as 22 points, 81-59 in the payoff period.

Michael Cañete topscored AMA with 20 points and 11 rebounds, while Kris Porter had 13 in the defeat.

Wangs-Letran will have vengeance on their minds on Monday, January 29 when it takes on NCAA tormentors Che’lu- San Sebastian Revellers. AMA, on the other hand, will have a tough assignment when it takes on the Zark’s-Lyceum Jawbreakers on Thursday, January 25.

The Scores:

Wangs-Letran 93 — Quinto 19, Batiller 15, Calvo 12, Fajarito 11, Mandreza 10, Trinidad 8, Publico 6, Vacaro 4, Balagasay 3, Ambohot 3, Muyang 2.

AMA Online Education 75 — Cañete 20, Porter 13, Escalambre 11, Casiño 10, Antonares 6, Manalang 6, Garcia 4, Ng 3, Parcero 2, Bragais 0, Carpio 0, Paras 0, Raflores 0, Salonga 0.

Quarterscores: 16-13, 44-35, 67-52, 93-75.

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