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Hot shooting aids CEU in pounding over UP; wins second straight

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The Centro Escolar University Scorpions won their second victory as they destroyed the University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons with an offensive showcase, 89-74 held at the Filoil Arena in San Juan City.

The Scorpions came out sizzling from the perimeter as they established a double-digit deficit in the first quarter. Behind by two, after the first basket of the match by UP, CEU scored on a 20-5 rampage. The stretch included three early bombs from downtown that broke the game open in the opening frame. CEU’s Rodel De Leon scored 10 fast points including two triples in the first eight minutes that matched the entire offensive production of UP.

With less than five minutes to go in the first, returning Jett Manuel entered the game for UP. Manuel came off aggressive, attacking the rim but the returning Maroon had a hard time making his shots. On the other hand, Bernard Pagkatipunan drained in two more triples to end the quarter as the Scorpions built a 15-point cushion.

Again, UP scored the first basket of the second quarter courtesy of Diego Dario. However, the CESAFI-based squad unleashed a fast 7-0 run via a putback from JM Vargas off a missed bonus free throw of Carlo Casino to install their largest lead at 20, 32-12. Afterwards, JR Galanza made two shots from the charity stripe to start a mini 7-0 counter by the Maroons to trim the deficit down to 13.

After taking a breather from a hot first quarter start, De Leon halted a three-minute scoring drought for the Scorpions with two free throws and stopped UP’s run just before the first half ended. The two squads went on to tally 11 points apiece in the last 4 ½ minutes of the first half.

In the third, the Maroons sliced the lead down to 11 courtesy of an and-one play coming from Paul Desiderio. The Pink Scorpions quickly responded as they mounted a 16-5 scoring spree including wide open interior baskets from their bigs while still draining down their triples. The run featured a wide open lay-up and a two-handed flush by Rod Ebondo to pounce over the stunned UAAP team.

CEU burned UP’s zone defense with their stellar perimeter shooting as they used their jump shots to answer potential rallies put up by the Maroons. The next half of the third quarter slowed the game down due to a lot of free throws by both teams. While CEU erected its largest lead at 68-44 by Ebundo’s made attempts, Manuel came off the bench to spur UP with two pull up jumpers the helped them outscore CEU by six points in the dying minutes and trim the gap to 18 entering the fourth.

Amidst a seemingly decided game in the final period, the Maroons failed to capitalize with their defensive stops as the transition defense by the Scorpions held down UP. Kyles Lao and Desiderio poured on buckets, but their squad had a tough time barging into the 20-point barrier put up by the Scorpions. CEU’s Ebondo made his presence felt down low in the fourth both in the offensive and rebounding side in order to seal the game in favor of the Scorpions.

CEU finished the match shooting 50% from the two-point territory and was also plus 24 from downtown; they also had 10 more second chance points, 14-4, and outrebounded UP, 49-32.

The all-around team effort scoring-wise for the Scorpions was led by De Leon’s 16, which included two triples and four made free throws. Dario paced UP with 15 and was 9 out of 10 from the charity stripe.

CEU looks for its 3rd straight win against Mapua, 5pm on May 9 while UP looks to bounce back against La Salle on May 8.

The Scores:

CEU (89) – De Leon 16, Opiso 14, Ebondo 11, Abundo 9, Silverie 8, Batino 7, Pagkatipunan 6, Jeruta 5, Casino 4, Celso 4, Vargas 3, Arim 2, Aranas 0

UP (74) – Dario 15, lao 12, Desiderio 9, Manuel 9, Moralde 8, Vito 6, Knoe 5, Longa 3, Juruena 2, Gallarza 2, Amar 2, Jaboneta 1, Prado 0, Lim 0, Asilum 0, Tekoudjou 0

Quarters: 25-10, 45-31, 74-56, 89-74

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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 Marcus Elliott 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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