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‘Hot’ Ferrer, UST torch Ateneo in huge come-from-behind victory

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Battling a fever from the night before and with his team down 16 points in the third quarter, Smart Elite ambassador Kevin Ferrer threw bomb after bomb to hijack the game, 68-58, early Saturday evening at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

Hotshot Von Pessumal started on fire, as the momentum he gained from their previous game against the Adamson Soaring Falcons carried over in the early minutes of the game. The Ateneo senior scored seven of the team’s first nine points that gave the Katipunan cagers a 9-4 lead early on. Slowly, Santo Tomas senior, Kevin Ferrer, scored four straight points to cut the lead to just one. Then, a steal by Marvin Lee led to an easy layup for the lead. All the while, the Ateneo V could not find their groove on offense, shooting blanks and failing to move the ball. Free throws by Jeepy Faundo and Marvin Lee closed the quarter with UST up 12 to 9.

Due to his frustration with the game, Von Pessumal was called for a technical foul early in the second quarter. This fired up the Blue Eagles as Ravena, Matt Nieto, and the seldomly used, Arvin Tolentino, all poured in baskets to regain the lead 19-18. The Blue Eagles absorbed all long baskets thrown by Ferrer in the quarter, as Ravena and Pessumal teamed up to gain a 28-23 for their team with 1:20 to go. A timely find by Mario Bonleon to Ferrer for his second three of the game was answered right back by a Ravena dish to Gotladera. That Ravena dish gave Ateneo a 30-26 lead to enter the second half.

A lackadaisical UST defense showed up on the courts after the intermission. With the Blue-and-White squad leading 36-34 at the 7:01 mark of the third canto, Ravena spun to the hoop that faked out Ed Daquioag in the air for an and-one play. This play sparked a huge 16-2 rally, as Pessumal, Babilonia, John Apacible, and Aaron Black all shot at will, which gave Ateneo the biggest lead, 52-36. Baskets by Ferrer and Bonleon ended the Ateneo momentum and the third quarter with the gold-and-white squad down 52-42.

“Kevin Ferrer, being the leader that he is, huddled up the guys and asked them to intensify their defense,” UST head coach Bong dela Cruz said about the interval between the third and the fourth. After free throws by Jerie Pingoy that gave Ateneo a 54-43 lead, Ferrer and the Growling Tigers played like a house on fire, as they turned up both their offense and their defense. Bonleon shot a long rainbow from the top of the arc at the 9:09 mark. This three pointer sparked a huge game-breaking rally that turned the tides of the game. Furthermore, Ferrer carried his team on his back, as he threw bomb, after bomb, after bomb, in an 11-0 run that tied game at 57-all to the delight of the thousands of UST fans in attendance. Moreover, the Bong dela Cruz-mentored squad switched from a zone to a man-to-man defense that switched to a zone in the halfcourt, which confounded the Blue Eagle-offense. In the last 3:03 of the game, the Katipunan cagers only scored a single point, which was a free throw by Ravena. The team’s shooting went sour in the final nine minutes of the game, as they missed all but one of the shots they chalked up. In addition, rookie Bonleon sticked to Ravena like glue that forced the former MVP to tough shot attempts. Conversions by Daquioag and a huge and-one play by grizzled veteran Karim Abdul closed the game with UST winning its fourth game in five outings, 68-58.

“Defense talaga ang inemphasis ko sa kanila and increase yung intensity,” coach Bong Dela Cruz disclosed about how they prepared against Ateneo. “First three quarters the defense was flat, but Kevin huddled everyone up, and they responded.”

Moreover, Dela Cruz proudly said this about his star senior. “Si Kevin Ferrer yan e. Yung puso niya di matitibag.” He also added that Ferrer was ill the night prior to this game, as he was scorching with fever. “Nung kinagabihan sabi ko kay coach baka di ako makalaro,” said Ferrer. “Pero pinilit ko talaga maglaro dahil importante ito.”

Smart Elite ambassador, Kevin Ferrer led all scorers with a career-high 27 points. He was 8/17 from the field, that included six triples, and added nine boards. Karim Abdul, even in shooting a miserable 3/13 from the field for seven points, grabbed 11 huge boards.

For the Blue Eagles, Von Pessumal led the team with 19 markers. He was 7/13 from the field including 3/7 from rainbow country. Fellow Smart Elite ambassador Kiefer Ravena had an atrocious shooting game, as he made just four of his 18 field goal attempts. To make matters worse, Ravena was just 1/4 from the charity stripe in the deciding quarter, 4/7 in the game.

As a team, the Growling Tigers shot slightly better than the Blue Eagles, 35% to 32%. However, Ateneo committed 16 turnovers that led to 12 UST turnover points that proved to be the difference.

The UST Growling Tigers (4-1) will face another tough opponent on Wednesday, September 30 as they face the DLSU Green Archers at 4:00pm while the Ateneo Blue Eagles (3-2) face the UP Fighting Maroons on the same day at 2:00pm.

The Scores:
ADMU (58) – Pessumal 19, Ravena 13, Nieto Ma. 8, Babilonia 5, Tolentino 4, Gotladera 3, Apacible 2, Pingoy 2, Black 2, Ikeh 0, Capacio 0, Cani 0, Wong 0.
UST (68) – Ferrer 27, Daquioag 9, Lee 8, Bonleon 7, Abdul 7, Vigil 6, Sheriff 3, Faundo 1, Lao 0, Suarez 0, Subido 0, Caunan 0.
Quarterscores: 9-12, 26-30, 42-52, 68-58.

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ABL

Christian Standhardinger goes perfect from stripe in Hong Kong’s rout of Formosa

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After going a horrid 5-for-17 from the stripe during their first loss of the season last January 9, Christian Standhardinger made sure to make good on his free throws to power the Hong Kong Eastern Basketball Club to a dominant 99-79 rout of the Formosa Dreamers, Thursday evening in Southorn Stadium.

The 6-foot-8 Filipino-German, who tallied 37 points and 19 rebounds in the overtime loss to Saigon, went a perfect 9-for-9 from the foul line. He finished with 25 points and 10 rebounds.

The contest itself was not close, as the defending champions were able to impose their will on the bottom-ranked squad, leading by as much as 23 points, 93-70, after two free throws by Standhardinger with 2:58 remaining.

If Standhardinger was having a good day with his free throws, the entire Formosa squad could not say the same, going 13-of-27 from the line.

Tyler Lamb had 25 markers as well for Hong Kong, while Ryan Moss grabbed a triple-double with 19 points, 11 rebounds, and 11 assists.

Lenny Daniel paced Formosa with 25 points and 11 rebounds. World Import Ronnie Aguilar had 14 points and 16 rebounds but went just 5-for-14 from the field.

With the win, Hong Kong goes to 8-1, while the Dreamers fell to 1-8.

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2018 FIBA 3X3 World Cup

Chooks-to-Go President hopes 3×3 World Cup breaks Philippine Arena record

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Last October 27, 2017, Game Seven of the PBA Governors’ Cup Finals between heated rivals Barangay Ginebra San Miguel and Meralco Bolts saw 54,083 people troop to the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan. The attendance broke all records for both the venue and the PBA.

Come June this year, the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas and Chooks-to-Go are hoping that the upcoming 2018 FIBA 3×3 World Cup will surpass that record.

“We look at 3×3 as our best hope, really, to get a medal in the Olympics. Kami naman sa Chooks, we are behind SBP realizing that dream. Kanina pinag-uusapan na, if we’re going to break the record in attendance,” said Bounty Agro Ventures Inc. president Ronald Mascariñas on Thursday afternoon during a press conference held at BGC High Street in Taguig.

“I think the question there is not if we’re going to break, but how many more times. Because FIBA should see how passionate the Filipinos are about basketball. That’s a given,” one of the patrons of Gilas Pilipinas added.

Besides the event itself, the local government of Bulacan has pledged to make the week of the tournament filled with activities to celebrate the Philippines’ 120th year of Independence.

For their part, Chooks-to-Go vowed to help out the SBP in organizing the event and in building the team.

“We are throwing our support not to improve on our finish, but we want to help SBP organize, to win the championship — not just to improve our ranking,” Mascariñas shared.

And the experience he and his company gained after backing the Pilipinas 3×3 team during last year’s tournament will only help.

“In past tournaments, we’ve lost some games na maninipis lang talaga,” he recalled about the team composed of Kobe Paras, Kiefer Ravena, Jeron Teng, and JR Quinahan that competed in Nantes, France.

“This time around, with five months to go, we need to organize and put in the best t

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Football

Ilocos United takes leave from PFL

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Another one bites the dust

After months of speculation, Ilocos United has formally announced their absence from the Philippines Football League for the 2018 season.

A statement signed by Ilocos Chief Executive Officer Tony Lazaro and posted on the club’s Facebook page broke the big news.

“Unfortunately, after months of negotiation, efforts to attract a new naming sponsor for the Team were unsuccessful,” the statement opened. “Consequently, it has become financially prohibitive to continue participation in the PFL.

“Primarily, the lack of broadcasting exposure in 2017 created an apprehension in the corporate community, cascading into a series of afflictions that has ultimately led to our withdrawal from the competition.”

Ilocos finished last during the inaugural season, tallying 1 win, 6 draws, and 21 losses with a -49 goal differential.

Still, Ilocos gave their thanks to those who supported the club during the inaugural PFL season.

“We are cautiously optimistic of a potential return to the PFL for the 2019 season, whereby secured broadcasting exposure will hopefully lead to higher confidence from potential sponsorship partners.”

While their PFL operations will fold for the time being, Ilocos will continue the grassroots programs they have started within the area. ¨In the meantime, the foundation of football development we helped to build in Ilocos will continue, including grassroots initiatives at local schools, women’s futsal, Special Olympics, and, of course, the IUFC Academy.¨

The latest development will be another big blow for the young league. Meralco Manila pulled out of the competition beforehand, and now Ilocos´ absence leaves only six teams in the competition.

Now more than ever, something needs to be done by the PFL or even the Philippine Football Federation to ensure the feasibility of the clubs and the league itself for years to come.

Football is a hard sport to build in the Philippines despite its resurgence since 2010. There are limited corporate boosters for the sport which is in dire need of a financial push to sustain its growth.

Ilocos´ leave and Meralco´s folding now forces local football´s stakeholders to take a step back and examine the next moves to build the sport.

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Basketball

CJ Perez, Jaycee Marcelino in unison: D-League is a whole other level

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After falling just two games short of copping Lyceum’s first-ever NCAA crown, the Pirates went to the PBA D-League to gain experience. However, in their first foray in the second league, the Lyceans realized that it was a whole different beast.

Going up against the veteran-laden Marinerong Pilipino Skippers, the Zark’s Burgers-backed squad suffered a slow start as they adjusted to the tougher calls of the league. The Jawbreakers were down by as much as 17 points early in the third frame, 37-54.

“Yung physicality hindi naman ako masyadong nagulat pero sa mental toughness, yung pagod ka na, tapos may babanggga pa sa ‘yo, ang iniisip ko kailangan mas maging tough,” admitted reigning NCAA Most Valuable Player CJ Perez.

“Nangangapa kami nung una lahat kasi first game namin ito, pati dito sa court na ‘to first game din namin,” added Jaycee Marcelino.

It served as a wake-up call. Adjusting on the fly, Perez and Marcelino rallied the Jawbreakers back — even fashioning multiple attempts to take over the contest late in the game. However, they fell short, 92-94.

“Binalik lang namin yung laro namin dati, pass the ball, hindi yung puro dribble, i-run lang namin yung plays,” shared Marcelino, as he and Perez combined to score 16 points in the final frame.

The 21-year-old Marcelino finished with a game-high 20 points on an efficient 7-of-9 shooting to go along with four rebounds, three assists, two steals, and a block. The 24-year-old Perez added 19 points, five assists, two steals, and a block.

With their first game in the bag, the duo — and the rest of the Jawbreakers — now have the experience under their belts. And they plan to put in the work to prove that they belong.

“Sa NC naman kasi puro ka-level namin kalaro namin, dito puro beterano ang naglalaro,” said Marcelino. “Hindi talaga namin masabi na yung ginawa namin sa NC magagawa din namin dito.

“Mageextra work pa kami para masustain namin kung ano kami sa Lyceum.”

“It’s a good experience. Ibang iba pala talaga yung laro ng D-League sa NCAA,” expressed Perez, who is a consensus top three pick for the upcoming PBA Rookie Draft.

“Sobrang grateful kami na nakalaro na rin kami sa D-League.”

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