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Intal shines in Ateneo’s Game One triumph over NU

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Veteran middle blocker, Rex Intal delivered a game-high 15 points with seven blocks that helped his Ateneo De Manila University Blue Eagles plow through the National University Bulldogs in Game One of the Spikers’ Turf Collegiate Conference Finals, 25-17, 25-18, 25-19 at the FilOil Flying V Arena.

Ateneo controlled the match masterfully throughout with steady blocking, floor defense and relentless serving. The defending UAAP champs coaxed their foes into 26 errors, garnered eight aces to NU’s zero, while also netting ten blocks to NU’s three.

The Blue Eagles also rotated all their players throughout the match and had everyone deliver significant contributions. Crowned the conference MVP before the match, Marck Espejo and the conference’s best opposite hitter, Ysay Marasigan each put nine points. Usually brought off the bench, Karl Baysa started the match and finished with seven points.

UAAP 77 Best setter, Ish Polvorosa tossed up 24 excellent sets despite coming off a serious illness this past week.

“Akala talaga naman na-dengue siya,” said Ateneo head coach, Oliver Almadro about his setter. “He was hospitalized last Monday. It turns out may viral infection siya. We were fully prepared to play without him. But he came back last Thursday and insisted na kaya niya daw. So by Thursday, we had him train with the team and thankfully he played really well today. Wala akong masabi sa fighting spirit ng bata. He really wanted to win.”

Coach Oliver continued by praising his team’s brilliant performance. “I’m really happy na lahat ng ginamit ko nag-deliver. Especially Karl Baysa na hindi ko inexpect na magiistep up ng husto. I’m very happy with our performance. I wouldn’t say that we have an advantage against NU because their really tall and powerful. My players really just wanted to win more,” Almadro expressed. “We just trained really hard like we always do. Sabi nga sa akin ni Coach Tai [Bundit] ‘Can win, can lose’ kaya hindi talaga kami pwede mag-relax.”

Sophomore Bryan Bagunas led his Bulldogs with 11 markers while Fauzi Ismail and Francis Saura provided nine points apiece. The Bulldogs owe all their loses this season to the Blue Eagles.

Game Two of this series will take place on Sunday, September 27 3 p.m. at the San Juan Arena.

The Scores:

Ateneo (3) – Intal 15, Espejo 9, Marasigan 9, Baysa 7, Villanueva 4, Polvorosa 3, Magadia 1, Sto Tomas 1, Rivera 0, Koyfman 0, Sumanguid (L)

NU (0) – Bagunas 11, Ismail 9, Saura 9, Gampong 6, Malabunga 4, Baysac 0, Dayandante 0, Mangulabnan 0, Marcos (L), Ancheta (L)

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Miguel Luis Flores fell face first into sports writing in high sch9l and has never gotten up. He reluctantly stumbled into the volleyball beat when he started with Tiebreaker Times three years ago. Now, he has waded through everything volleyball - from its icky politics to the post-modern art that is Jia Morado's setting.

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Kent Salado re-injures MCL, out for Go for Gold campaign

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Photo by PBA Images

Kent Salado suffers a setback

The worst fear of the Go for Gold Scratchers came true Monday evening as all-around combo guard Kent Salado re-injured the medial cruciate ligament in his right knee.

The injury was confirmed by Kent Salado and the officials of Go for Gold and he will miss the entire 2018 PBA D-League Aspirants Cup.

With under three minutes left in the third quarter of Go for Gold’s opening game against the Gamboa-St. Clare Coffee Lovers Monday afternoon, the 5-foot-9 guard went for a drive but could not get the proper lift. He tried to walk it off but limped towards the audience section of the Pasig Sports Center.

“Parang may narinig nga siya na may tumunog daw,” shared Scratchers head coach Charles Tiu after their 75-68 win.

“We’re very worried.

“I think our PT said baka MCL ‘yun, so that might be a month or two, so that’s a big problem for us,” the youthful mentor added.

Salado finished the game with nine points, five rebounds, four assists, and three steals. He was immediately rushed to the Makati Medical Center afterwards. At around nine in the evening, the MRI showed that he tore his ACL as was initially reported by Tiebreaker Times. A second opinion, however, contradicted the initial diagnosis, showing only an MCL tear.

Prior to this, the native of Cagayan de Oro suffered a partial tear on medial collateral damage on the same knee last October 10, 2017 during Arellano’s 85-79 win over the San Sebastian Golden Stags.

With this setback, Salado was also advised to not play in the summer leagues to fully recover in time for the NCAA Season 94 Seniors Basketball tournament.

“Okay lang para NCAA na ko makapaglaro,” he said.

“Mas importante naman yun.”

The 23-year-old averaged 19.1 points, 5.0 assists, 3.8 rebounds, and 1.3 steals last season. He is eligible to enter the 2018 PBA Rookie Draft.

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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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