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Hot-shooting Batiller sends National U to 0-2 pit



The defending UAAP Men’s Basketball champions, the National University Bulldogs, are still looking for their first win in the early-goings of the tournament as they fell to the hot-shooting of Bonbon Batiller and the University of the East Red Warriors, 76-71, early Saturday evening at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

The Bulldogs had a tough time finding their offense in the first quarter as Edgar Charcos led the Red Warriors to an early 20-16 lead. Versatile big man RR de Leon continued the UE surge in the early-goings of the second stanza. Key NU stoppers Nico Javellona and Ed Salim provided the much-needed energy lacking for the reigning champions that helped their team in finding their bearings and regain the lead. The half closed with a buzzer beating jumper by Smart Elite ambassador Gelo Alolino that gave the Bulldogs a 37-32 lead.

Eric Altamirano’s squad extended the lead to 41-33 with 7:47 remaining in the third canto. Just as the Bulldogs were finding their groove, former Holy Trinity College Wildcat Edison Batiller torched the Bulldogs in scoring 10 points in a momentum altering 12-0 rally. The General Santos-native scored on jumpers and back-to-back three pointers. Moreover, during that span, the Warriors forced the Bulldogs to turnovers. Batiller outscored the entire Bulldogs squad in the third quarter in scoring 14 points compared to NU’s 9 as the Red Warriors took the game’s biggest lead 60-46.

The dynamic backcourt of Alolino and sophomore Rev Diputado blasted a 9-0 run to open the final frame to cut the deficit to just five. After a conversion by Renz Palma that momentarily stopped the NU rally Alolino converted on a triple that cut the lead to just a solitary point with 5:26 to go. However, the Bulldogs committed a lot of unforced turnovers that resulted to easy baskets for the UE. Javellona tried to spark one last NU rally but eventually succumbed to cramps with 52.7 to go. Late baskets by Alolino and Javellona, after resting for a few seconds, cut the lead short but eventually succumbed to UE, 76-71.

“I challenged the guys during halftime,” said Derick Pumaren after the game. “The guys showed their worth in the third quarter.” He added that their debut game against the Fighting Maroons was not the real Red Warriors he sees in practice but today they showed up.

Pumaren also commended the performance of RR De Leon who scored just eight points, but helped limit Aroga to just eight points and committing 16 turnovers. “RR played great defense on Aroga. He made him work and on offense he hit three point shots.” De Leon played a game-high 33 minutes and did not sit during the second half.

This win was special for Batiller since he just came back from General Santos to end the wake of his close cousin. He dedicated his performance to him.

Edison Batiller scored 23 points to lead the Red Warriors. He was 8/15 from the field and knocked down four triples. Edgar Charcos added 12 points while Paul Varilla had 11 markers.

For the Bulldogs, Gelo Alolino had a statline of 23 points, five rebounds, four assists and two steals. Alfred Aroga despite having 16 rebounds, committed eight turnovers that led to the team’s demise.

The UE Red Warriors (1-1) will face the Adamson Falcons (0-2) on Wednesday, September 16 at 2:00pm while the NU Bulldogs (0-2) will look to gain their first win against the Ateneo Blue Eagles (1-1) on the same day at 4:00pm. Games will be held at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The Scores:

UE (76) – Batiller 23, Charcos 12, Varilla 11, Abanto 9, De Leon 8, Palma 6, Sta. Ana 4, Manalang 3, Derige 0, Gagate 0, Gonzales 0, Penuela 0, Yu 0

NU (71) – Alolino 23, Javelona 16, Aroga 8, Salim 6, Diputado 5, Javillonar 5, Neypes 4, Abatayo 2, Celda 2, Alejandro 0, Morido 0, Rangel 0

Quarters: 20-16, 32-37, 60-46, 76-71

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Calvin Abueva, Raymond Almazan cut from pool



SMART Gilas Pilipinas’ third session for the second leg of the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers ended early on Monday evening.

Prior to the end of the practice, head coach Chot Reyes talked to team veterans Jayson Castro, Gabe Norwood, and June Mar Fajardo. The outspoken mentor told the seniors of the team that he is cutting Calvin Abueva and Raymond Almazan from the pool.

“The reason why we’re dropping Abueva and Almazan for the second window is because they haven’t showed up,” lamented Reyes.

“It’s already our third practice at hindi pa sila nagpapakita. It’s simply a matter of disinterest.

“I guess they’re not interested so we have to move on we can’t wait for those guys,” he pointed out.

Both Abueva and Almazan were part of the teams that competed in the 2017 SEABA Championship, the 2017 FIBA Asia Cup, and the first window of the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers.

Only 10 players from the pool showed up for the team’s third session. And with the second leg exactly one month away, Gilas cannot let a slip up happen especially against Australia.

“Aside from those two we don’t know where Matt Wright is, while Allein [Maliksi] is attending a wedding in Australia. Other than that it’s really just an issue of Calvin and Raymond if they don’t want to be a part of the pool.” expressed Reyes.

“That’s the reason we’re dropping them for the second window.”

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2019 FIBA World Cup Qualifiers

23 for 2023 cadets fill up Gilas practice



With just 31 days until the second window of the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers, only 10 players from the pool attended the team’s third session, Monday evening at the Meralco Gym.

Suiting up in the session presided over by Coach Chot Reyes were June Mar Fajardo, Gabe Norwood, Troy Rosario, Jio Jalalon, Mac Belo, Kiefer Ravena, Kevin Alas, and Roger Pogoy. Carl Cruz and Jayson Castro were in attendance but were in street clothes.

Not present were Matthew Wright, Japeth Aguilar, and Allein Maliksi. Calvin Abueva and Raymond Almazan have yet to attend practice.

Joining the seniors team to prep them up for the World Cup Qualifiers were 10 players from the 23 for 2023 pool.

Ateneo Blue Eagle Matt Nieto attended his first Gilas practice. Joining him were teammates Isaac Go and Thirdy Ravena.

Completing the night’s cast were CJ Perez, Abu Tratter, Will Gozum, J-jay Alejandro, Arvin Tolentino, and Juan Gomez de Liano. Joshua Sinclair watched from the sidelines as he is still recovering from an ACL injury.

Gilas will take on Australia in Melbourne on February 22. The Philippine will then host Japan three days later at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

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San Beda fends off Letran for back-to-back wins



With seasoned setter John Carlo Desuyo steering the wheel to near perfection, the San Beda College romped to their second straight win.

The Red Spikers pulled double-digit outings from four players to upend archrival Colegio de San Juan de Letran Knights, 19-25, 25-13, 25-21, 25-22, and register their fourth win of the season, Monday early evening at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

It was the Knights, however, who started on the right foot, overhauling a 4-10 deficit to snag the first set. Better passing from liberos Aljune Centeno and Johnsen Timbreza resulted in kills from captain Bobby Gatdula.

Nonetheless, San Beda picked up the service game in the next three sets to ultimately finish off the blue-shirts.

Despite the win-loss record they currently sport, the Red Spiker playmaker admitted that t

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Michael Calisaan tows Che’lu-San Sebastian past Perpetual



Photo by PBA Images

Michael Calisaan poured 20 points as he captained newcomer Che’Lu-San Sebastian Revellers to a decisive 83-70 win over the University of Perpetual Help System DALTA Altas to start their voyage, Monday evening at the Pasig City Sports Center.

Doing it all for the Revellers, the veteran forward provided the stability for his side as he shot 8-of-15 from the field while also hauling down nine rebounds, two assists, and two steals in the conference-opening win.

But it wasn’t all Calisaan as Che’Lu got contributions from all over its roster.

Samboy de Leon chimed in 16 markers and nine boards. RK Ilagan went 2-of-5 from threes to collect 13 points, eight dimes, and three rebounds, while big men Alfred Batino and Jeepy Faundo combined for 20 in the victory.

Despite the triumph, coach Stevenson Tiu gave all the praise to his players, noting the team’s lack of time preparing for the tourney.

“Nanalo kami dahil sa talent ng players. Medyo mali ko rin kasi nahirapan pa ako mag-adjust sa players. Hopefully, we play much better in the coming games,” he said.

The Revellers used a 16-4 run to finally break away from the Altas, taking a 77-60 lead with 4:03 to play as they punished their foes for their turnovers, turning Perpetual’s 30 miscues to 28 points in their favor.

Prince Eze anchored the Altas with 15 points, 11 rebounds, and seven blocks in their first game under new head coach Frankie Lim.

Che’lu-San Sebastian look to make it two in a row when they take on the Wangs-Letran Couriers on Monday, January 29 at 5:00pm. Perpetual, on the other hand, hope they can notch their first win when they take on Mila’s Lechon Mighty Roasters.

The Scores:

Che’lu-SSCR 83 — Calisaan 20, De Leon 16, Ilagan 13, Batino 10, Faundo 10, Bulanadi 6, Costelo 6, Calma 2, David 0, Lao 0, Santos 0, Valdez 0.

UPHSD 70 — Eze 15, Coronel 13, Villanueva 13, Jimenez 9, Charcos 7, Peralta 7, Gallardo 5, Pido 1, Antonio 0, Aurin 0, Tamayo 0, Tongco 0.

Quarterscores: 17-22, 34-38, 59-53, 83-70.

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