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Huge second half surge powers Alaska past Barako

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Down by 22 at the start of the second half, Alaska outscored Barako by 28 in the second half to escape in a 101-95 victory to get their seventh win in nine games held at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Saturday.

It was an energetic start to the match as Barako Bull went charging from the tipoff anchored by the agile Chico Lanete who score five of his team’s first 10 points against Alaska’s 5. The Energy’s zone defense also played a big part in the first quarter rally that forced Alaska’s shooters to attempt form the perimeter. Fortunately for Barako, the Aces blanked their first jumpers that led to fast offense on their end.

Energy’s good start resulted to an early double-digit lead at 15-5 wherein Alaska’s bigs had a hard time containing Liam McMorrow in the interior. It took the Aces down to the three-minute mark before hitting double digits in scoring despite getting the majority of rebounds during the first quarter. RR Garcia caught fire off the bench as he hit two triples for his team that built an early 15-point lead at the end of 12 minutes of play.

With majority of the team’s second unit inserted into the floor, Barako was able to maintain their double-digit spread in the opening minutes of the second half. Once Romeo Travis was redeployed by the Aces, Alaska was able to pull within seven point at 45-38 capped by a triple by the reinforcement. However, it was Alaska’s last positive thing to do in the first half with Barako triggered to make a new run to extend their lead.

The defense of Barako limited the Aces to five points in the second quarter’s last five minutes while they scored 17 points to build a 22-point cushion heading into halftime. During this stretch, Joseph Yeo and JC Intal combined for 11 points including two triples.

Six straight points was quickly put on by the Aces at the start of the second half but was answered by another triple by Intal. However, Alaska looked sharper on both sides on the floor at that moment and was on hold of a needed-momentum to claw their way back in the game. As Energy once again erected a 21-point gap with a little over eight minutes to play, things started to shift the way of the Aces.

The rampage started with two jumpers by Travis while Chris Banchero was also making his free throws. Then the trapping defense and the energy plays were led by Calvin Abueva that slowly took the confidence out of the Energy. By the two-minute mark of the third, Alaska was on a 24-4 spurt that suddenly sliced the lead down to a point. Barako eventually ended the quarter up by six but Alaska knew they made a ball game out of this.

Armed with momentum, the bench players continued their hot streak in the fourth quarter for the Aces. Banchero gave the Aces the lead with 8 ½ minutes to go in the game at 82-81. Alaska never looked back since. After an exchange of baskets in the next minutes, the Aces were up by four with a little over a minute to go in regulation. Unfortunately for the rattled Barako team, they settled for bad attempts from the three-point area and resorted for the lower-percentage attempts. With necessary stops and free throws to ice the game, Alaska managed to compete the turnaround and thus, win the game.

Alaska now has a 7-2 record and is tied with the San Miguel Beermen for first place on the standings. On the other hand, Barako Bull slides to solo second at 6-3.

Alaska ended up shooting 41.1% against Barako’s 37%. In addition, they had more rebounds, 59-47 and assists, 25-16.

Travis had 23 points, 14 rebounds and 5 assists to lead his squad offensive-wise. Chris Banchero added 20 including 8-of-8 from the free throw area. McMorrow led Barako with 26 markers and 15 boards.

Barako Bull will have Ginebra as its next opponent on June 17, 4:15 pm at the Smart Araneta Coliseum while Alaska’s next assignment will be up against San Miguel on Davao at June 20.

The Scores:

Alaska(101) – Travis 23, Banchero 20, Abueva 16, Jazul 11, Dela Rosa 9, Casio 8, Manuel 6, Baguio 4, Exciminiano 4, Thoss 0, Hontiveros 0, Baclao 0, Eman 0, Menk 0, Dela Cruz 0

Barako Bull(95) – McMorrow 26, Garcia 19, Yeo 18, Lanete 18, Intal 10, Wilson 2, Ababou 2, Hubalde 0, Chua 0, Maierhofer 0

Quarters: 17-32, 40-62, 72-78, 101-95

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2018 FIBA 3X3 World Cup

FIBA 3×3 World Cup to be a huge boost for country’s Olympic bid

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All roads will lead to Bocaue, Bulacan as the 2018 FIBA 3×3 World Cup will head to the Philippine Arena. The biggest tournament in 3×3 basketball will be played from June 8-12, 2018.

The announcement was made Thursday afternoon by Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas executives. The event was graced by Bounty Agro Ventures Inc. president Ronald Mascariñas, SMART Sports’ Christopher Quimpo, and FIBA’s 3×3 Managing Director Alex Sanchez.

With 3×3 basketball being declared an Olympic event last 2017, the SBP is looking at this tournament as a way to prove to the world that we are capable of hosting and that we can compete with the world’s finest.

“As mentioned earlier, I think we’ve been very successful holding it in the malls, 3,000 to 4,000 people watching the games. We chose to move it to a bigger venue, I think we want to give an opportunity for more people to see the games,” said SBP president Al Panlilio.

“From a Philippine basketball point of view, that gives an opportunity for the youth to watch the game. From an SBP, FIBA perspective, we want bigger crowds in 3×3 and that’s something we want to deliver to FIBA,” he added.

There will be 40 teams split into two divisions that will compete in this annual tourney.

For the men’s side, the Philippines will take on teams from Brazil, Canada, Croatia, Ecuador, Estonia, Japan, Jordan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Mongolia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovenia, Ukraine, and Uruguaz.

In the women’s division, the hosts will face Andorra, Argentina, Bahrain, China, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Iran, Italy, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Netherlands, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, Turkmenistan, United States, and Venezuela.

With this task of hosting a world class tournament, Chooks-to-Go vowed to help in the organization of it.

“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,” said Mascariñas.

“Kanina pinag-uusapan na, if we’re going to break the record in attendance. I think the question there is not if we’re going to break, but how many more times.”

FIBA, on the other hand, is looking forward to helping groom a possible Philippine team that will compete in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

“I’m sure the event this year, we’re starting the countdown, is going to be amazing,” Sanchez said. “I think this is going to be helpful for us in developing.

“I’m coming from Tokyo where we’re discussing the venue and layout of the Olympics. We should make an effort with Al and SBP to see if we have a Filipino team in Olympics. In my opinion Filipinos have a real chance to make it. Hopefully this can give us a nice push to get a PH team to the Olympics,” the Spanish executive added.

“See you in June.”

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EAC

Perpetual escapes upset-hungry EAC

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Fighting off a sluggish start, the University of Perpetual Help System DALTA Lady Altas came alive late to slip past the Emilio Aguinaldo College Lady Generals, 22-25, 25-19, 25-14, 23-25, 15-13, and remain on pace for a spot in the NCAA Season 93 Final Four at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

Taking on a struggling EAC side, Perpetual head coach Michael Cariño knew that there was a possibility that his squad would relax. His team has had trouble starting and finishing off matches, as evidenced in their first set performance and lack of finishing push in the fourth frame.

“May tendency talaga ‘yung team ko na mag-relax. Sabihin na nating hindi kasi sobrang lakas ng kalaban. Pero alam naman natin sa volleyball na wala namang team na ibibigay sa’yo ‘yung panalo, kailangan kunin mo talaga,” Cariño lamented.

The fifth frame came down to late breaks. The Lady Altas broke a 13-all tie with back-to-back transition conversions from Cindy Imbo and Lourdes Clemente.

“Siyempre, nage-expect ako nang mas maganda pang performance sa team ko. Alam din naman nila na mas may ibubuga pa sila kaya kailangan mas maganda ang ipakita namin sa mga huli naming laro,” the NCAA champion mentor added.

Imbo tallied a game-high 17 points, while Clemente and Maria Aurora Tripoli added 15 points, apiece. The Lady Altas needed all of their 11 aces and 11 blocks to offset their season-high 42 errors.

Aira Binondo was the only Lady General in double-digits with 13 points.

The Lady Altas (3-1) next face the Jose Rizal University (2-2) on Sunday at the FilOil Flying V Centre. EAC (0-4) will look for their first win on Monday against the College of Saint Benilde (2-1).

The Scores

UPHSD (3) – Imbo 17, Clemente 15, Tripoli 15, Sangalang 11, Llorente 10, Versoza 4, Estanislao 1, Gual 1, Umandal 0, Medalla (L)

EAC (2) – Binondo 13, Tongco 9, Pablo 8, Lumbao 7, Magbanua 7, Reyes A. 3, Reyes K. 3, Tasis 2, Yongco 1, Medina (L)

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EAC

Altas steamroll Generals for fourth win

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The University of Perptual Help System DALTA Altas maintained top-billing in the NCAA Season 93 Men’s Volleyball tournament after cruising past the Emilio Aguinaldo College Generals, 25-14, 25-19, 25-11, at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

Last season’s runners-up dominated right from the first point and never let the Generals sniff the lead. The Altas outclassed the San Marcelino-based program in every scoring category, tallying a season-high 13 blocks to EAC’s three.

The Altas also maintained their solid passing this season, a trend that delighted head coach Sammy Acaylar.

“Isa ‘yun sa mga bagay na tinututukan ko talaga sa kanila kasi we know na we can be good at attacking and blocking. We just need to be consistent on floor defense and reception,” said Acaylar, as the Altas were 58 percent on excellent receives.

“Kahit maganda ang nilalaro namin ngayon, alam naman ng mga bata ang end goal namin which is to win a championship. So kailangan isa-isa lang ang tingin namin sa mga laro kasi marami pang challenges na darating bago namin makamit ang championship,” the decorated mentor added.

Graduating team captain Rey Taneo towed the Las Piñas-based spikers with 12 points coming off seven attacks and five blocks. Joebert Almodiel added 11 points.

Open hitter Joshua Mina was the lone bright spot for the Generals, scoring 13 points.

Perpetual (4-0) look to keep streaking when they face the struggling Jose Rizal University (0-4) on Sunday at the FilOil Flying V Centre. EAC (2-2) take on the defending champions College of Saint Benilde (2-1) on Monday, also at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

The Scores:

UPHSD (3) – Taneo 12, Almodiel 11, Rosales 10, Muhali 8, Ramos 8, Atentar 1, Solamilo 1, Bateon 0, Catipay 0, Salo 0, Taneo S. 0, Kalingking (L)

EAC (0) – Mina 13, Lim 5, Ilano 4, Rasing 2, Castelano 0, Garcia 0, Panoy 0, Magadan (L)

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ABL

Joshua Munzon, Westsports snap Saigon’s streak in highly emotional contest

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Photo by ASEAN Basketball League

Entering Wednesday night’s game, Mikey Williams and the Saigon Heat were on a high, slaying the winning streaks of Hong Kong Eastern and Nanhai Kung Fu. However, Joshua Munzon and the Westsports Malaysia Dragons had other things in mind, keeping the Heat winless at the MABA Stadium, 91-87.

In his fourth game since returning to the Dragons, Munzon filled up the stat sheet, tallying 18 points, 10 rebounds, six assists, two steals, and two blocks.

Besides putting up the numbers, the athletic swingman from California helped limit reigning Heritage Player of the Week Williams to his worst game so far in the ABL. Averaging 27.33 points, 6.67 assists, and 6.0 rebounds prior to this game, Williams went field goal-less against the Dragons, missing all 11 of his attempts. The Filipino-American floor general was able to dish out eight assists and grab five caroms.

Westsports led by as much as 11 points in the final frame, 82-71, after Munzon found Marcus Marshall for a triple with 4:59 remaining. Behind World Imports Akeem Scott and Maxie Esho, the Heat stormed right back but was answered by a long bomb by Munzon to keep them at bay.

Marshall and Scott figured in a shootout to close out the game but in the end, the hosts were still able to etch out their second straight victory.

Marshall finished the game with 25 points, nine assists and six rebounds for the Dragons while Scott’s 44-point game went for naught.

After the emotionally charged contest though, few unkind words were exchanged by the officials of both squads that almost resulted into a brawl. Fortunately, things did not escalate beyond that.

In the video, Munzon was also seen shoving a Saigon player to try and pacify the situation. The league is currently investigating the post-game incident.

With the win, Westsports Malaysia raised its record to 3-4 while dropping Saigon to 4-3.

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