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Holding on to First: UAAP Women’s Fencing Recap Final Day



Heartbreaks, surprises and injuries, these were the things that played center stage during the first 3 days and these are the things that will still take center space as the women of the participating in the UAAP Season 77 Fencing Championship at the UP-College of Human Kinetics will, for the final time, raise their blades for a chance to bag the gold.

Early heartbreak: team epee

Enjoying the relative comforts of automatically entering the semis in the women’s team epee was none other than fencing powerhouses UE and UST. Despite their relative comforts, however, both teams were still on the edge as they were observed to be watching the matches of their potential enemies with DLSU or FEU for the Espana based campus and ADMU or UP for the long reigning fencing champion’s UE.

DLSU composed of individual epee bronze medallist Mikaella Castillo, May Montenegro, Justine Lim and Geraldine Tianzon along with ADMU composed of Precious Castillo, Maryrose Hernandez Andrea Ignacio and Elise Chanco were both able to triumph against there quarter finals assignment FEU, composed of Dralen Drio, Donnabelle Gaoat, Maria sanchez, and Joan Sergio, and UP, composed of Monique Aglipay, Maria Hernandez, Alecxandra Obispo and Kattia Pineda, respectively after a tiring battle that lasted till the end of regulation with the results 42-37 for the DLSU-FEU match and 35-31 for the ADMU-UP match-up.

Despite their hard fought win, however, the inevitable took place as both university rivals DLSU and ADMU eventually fell from the ladder after being dominated by the fencing powerhouses. The Taft based squad fell against their UAAP General Championship rival UST, composed of silver medallist Hanniel Abella, bronze medallist Dyren Penaflor,nGisela Rey, and Maricar Dizon after a 45-38 match while the ADMU team fared no better against UE who was once again composed of gold medallists Justine Tinio (individual foil) Keren Pangilinan (individual epee) and silver medallist Wilhelmina Lozada (individual foil) along with Kea Gonzales as they fell after a 45-28 match.


The UE all-star squad, however, went through it very own bad luck spell as they surprised not only the crowds, but also their opponents after falling victim to UST’s team after experiencing a stunning 35-45 loss to take home a disapproving silver while their opponents took home the glorious gold. Joining the two powerhouses we’re the teams they defeated, DLSU and ADMU, who both took home the bronze.

Major comeback: team sabre

UE and UST once again enjoyed the relative comforts of their ticket to the semis. Similar to their position during the morning matches, both teams were also seen to intently observe their possible opponents, FEU or DLSU for UST and ADMU or UP for UE, duel it out for the hopes of winning a gold medal themselves after the morning’s upset.

Starting out their final battle with high spirits, the FEU squad, composed April Ventura, Dolly Curiba, Eladia De Guzman, and Shaira Lanon, were able to push the DLSU squad composed of Mikaella Castillo, May Montenegro, Jianne Piguing and Geraldine Tianzon out of the medal race after a 45-29 match. The ADMU camp meanwhile also defeated their quarter finals assignment UP as the Blue Lady Fencers composed of Eugine Huibonhua, Justine Joseph, Aedia Lim and Audrey Uyan delivered a 45-37 victory against Up’s bronze medallist Irene Balatbat, Francesca Cuerdo, River Gaddi, and Leah Halili.

The victorious ADMU and FEU, however, failed to continue their positive run as they eventually lost their semis assignment 45-26 and a close 45-42 respectively to ensure another finals meet-up between the two.

UAAP Womens Team Sabre Champions: UE

UAAP Womens Team Sabre Champions: UE

The matches between the two squads, however, went through a different tune from the injury free run both team’s enjoyed as the UE squad was clearly in shellshock after witnessing their comrade take an injury to the hand. The UE team, regardless of the insurmountable odds stacked against them, however, still proved to come out on top as the combination of medallist winners Nicole Cortey, Wilhelmina Lozada, Keren Pangilinan, and Justine Tinio proved to be far too much for Kimberly camahalan, Eileen De Guzman Cherie Manago and Maylene Pailma as their match ended in a close 45-41 win for the reigning fencing women’s champion UE.

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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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