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Iñigo caps solid UAAP career with championship

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Achie Iñigo has always been an underrated player since donning the Green-and-Gold back in the 75th season of the UAAP.

After a stellar second round performance under former Far Eastern University head coach Bert Flores, the ex-Letran squire has been entrusted with floor general duties under coach Nash Racela for his final two years with the team. In his UAAP career, Iñigo has averaged 4.6 points on 39% shooting from the field and 35% from deep and two assists. Moreover, he started 20 out of the 28 regular season games the Tamaraws played in during the last two seasons.

The 5’9″ floor general was one of the key cogs that led to FEU’s 20th men’s basketball crown. During the 2015 UAAP Men’s Basketball Playoffs, he averaged just 4.8 point and 1.5 assists, but it was the intangible things like his defense and hustle that stood out. During Game Three of the Finals, Iñigo logged in 26 minutes of playing time and helped cool down the hot-shooting of Marvin Lee and Ed Daquioag in key situations.

At the end of the game, Iñigo had been overjoyed that he and his teammates finally secured the long-awaited championship. “Overwhelmed kami! Sobrang pinaghirapan namin ito atsaka since last year gusto na namin mag-champion so inunti-unti namin yung mga problema namin last year and then ngayon, thanks to God nakuha namin ang Championship!”

Every champion at all levels of sport works hard to clinch glory. This championship was no different. Iñigo shared, “Sobrang hirap. Since day one sobrang hirap talaga kasi siyempre mag-aadjust kami offense and defense eh. Talagang pinaghahandaan namin ito.”

UAAP 78 FEU vs. ADMU - Inigo-1197Former FEU Tamaraw Ping Exciminiano was awarded a slot in the 2015 PBA All Defensive Team. With that said, it is safe to say Iñigo learned a thing or two from his predecessor on how to defend against taller guards. “Mahirap talaga kasi siyempre ano ako, liit ko tapos sila sina Ed (Daquiaog) babantayan ko so kailangan ko talagang maging tough.”

FEU’s loss to UST in Game 2 triggered a case of potential deja vu for Iñigo and his teammates. In Iñigo’s last-ever game for FEU, he manned the point for the Tamaraws in a silent but effective way. Iñigo may not have been the star of the show, but he left it all on the floor in his final game. “Siguro nung Game Two naisip ko yun kasi Game One nanalo kami then Game Two natalo kami, Game Three talo pero sabi namin, sabi ko sa sarili ko hindi na dapat maulit yun. Ayoko na mag-regret.”

Iñigo is one of six players who have played their last game for FEU. No doubt their UAAP careers had been a roller-coaster ride for all of them, and Inigo is immensely proud that they carried their school to the holy grail in their last-ever game. “Sobrang saya ko kasi siyempre kaming anim, kumbaga kami yung core ng team eh tapos kami yung nagdadala sa iba naming teammates so sobrang saya ko kasi nagperform sila nang maayos.”

Even with the FEU core graduating, Iñigo is still optimistic of future success for his school. “Meron pa naman kaming mga Team B na iaangat tulad ng kapatid ko si Axel, kaya naman nila mag-sustain sa nawala.” One of the Team B players that we might actually see don the Green-and-Gold jersey is his brother, former Adamson Soaring Falcon Axel Iñigo.

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Lorenzo's a frustrated author who knows a thing or two about Football and Basketball. Went all green from Ortigas to Taft. Supports Liverpool FC, FC Bayern Munich and the Alaska Aces

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Basketball

Calvin Abueva, Raymond Almazan cut from pool

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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

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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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CSJL

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

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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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Basketball

Michael Calisaan tows Che’lu-San Sebastian past Perpetual

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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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