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Jose Rizal U makes statement in blow out win over Arellano

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In a rematch of last season’s semifinals series, the Jose Rizal University Heavy Bombers displayed great interior passing and pressing defense in a statement win against the Arellano University Chiefs, 78-61, to open their NCAA campaign at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City Saturday afternoon.

The first quarter was a close one as both teams traded baskets en route to a 15-all deadlock after a floater by national team player Jio Jalalon. Abdoul Poutouochi then responded with an underhand lay-up of his own and a fastbreak conversion by Tey Teodoro gave JRU a four point lead. However, a three pointer by Zachary Nicholls and a free throw by Michael Salado tied the game at 19-all to end the quarter.

During the second quarter, the pressing defense of the Heavy Bombers suffocated the Chiefs offense that resulted to turnovers and a bunch of contested shots. Gio Lasquety led the charge for the Heavy Bombers on offense in scoring four points in an 8-0 run. Moreover, the Chiefs became over anxious on defense that resulted to the team being in the penalty in as early as the 7:28 mark of the quarter. Arellano was only able to punch in their first field goal of the game at the 6:20 mark behind a three pointer by Donald Gumaru. The Heavy Bombers continued to push the pace with Abdulwasak Abdulwahab scoring six straight points in a furious rally that helped extend their lead to 40-28 to end the quarter. Moreover, the Heavy Bombers were able to attempt 18 free throws in the first half alone, with 12 conversions, compared to just the seven attempts of their opponents, who only made one.

After halftime, the Jerry Condinera-mentored squad switched to a full court press defense but JRU was able to adjust quickly. In addition, constant turnovers by last season’s runner-up in the NCAA tournament doomed the team as the JRU lead blew to 66-41 in the third stanza. The Heavy Bombers exploded on offense as well in scoring 26 points as the team made the extra pass to free up their big man below. Poutouochi scored 11 points in the game breaking quarter.

Arellano showed glimpses of hope in the final quarter but their effort came too late as the lead was insurmountable. With just five seconds to go in the quarter, and with JRU holding a 78-61 lead, Arellano’s Gumaru was ejected after he punched Poutouochi in the back. Fortunately, the officials were on top of the situation. The ejection will result to a one game suspension for Gumaru.

After the game, JRU head coach downplayed the emphatic win by his squad, “we just had a good game, we moved the ball well to look for the open guy.”

Abdoul Poutouochi led all scorers with 23 points and added 11 rebounds. 11 players scored for JRU as well. For the Chiefs, Michael Salado led the team with 15 points while Allen Enriquez grabbed a double-double with 10 points and 11 boards. Jio Jalalon was still feeling the effects of his right should injury sustained in the SEA Games as he only played 20 minutes and scoring just four points and committing seven turnovers.

As a team, both teams shot poorly with JRU shooting 39% while AU shot a dismal 32%. JRU outrebounded the Chiefs 57-44 with 26 coming from the offensive glass. Finally, the most glaring stat was the Heavy Bombers’ 19 assists on 30 made field goals.

The Heavy Bombers next face the Letran Knights at 4:00pm on Friday, July 3 while the Chiefs play the LPU Pirates on the same day at 12:00nn. Both games will be played at the Filoil Flying V Arena in San Juan.

The Scores:
JRU (78) – Poutouochi 23, Teodoro 11, Abdul Wahab 9, Lasquety 8, Sanchez 7, Dela Paz 6, Grospe, 6 Pontejos 4, Cruz 2, Aurin 2, Astilla 0, Dela Virgen 0
AU (61) – Salado 15, Holts 11, Enriquez 10, Cadavis 8, Gumaru 5, Bangga 5, Jalalon 4, Nichols 3, Meca 0, Ongolo 0, Ortega 0, De Guzman 0, Zamora 0, Tano 0.

Quarterscores: 19-19, 40-28, 66-41, 78-61

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2018 FIBA 3X3 World Cup

Chooks-to-Go President hopes to break PH Arena record come 3×3 World Cup

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Last October 27, 2017, Game Seven of the PBA Governors’ Cup Finals that pitted 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 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 that was 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 team to win the championship.”

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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 formally announced its 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 its 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 its PFL operations will fold for the time being, Ilocos will continue the grassroots programs it 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 aren’t a lot of 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 to cop 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 animal.

Going up against the veteran-laden Marinerong Pilipino Skippers, the Zark’s Burgers-backed squad had 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 however served as a wake-up call. Adjusting on the fly, Perez and Marcelino rallied the Jawbreakers back — even having 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 while the 24-year-old Perez added 19 points, five assists, two steals, and a block.

With their first game in the bag, the two and the rest of the Jawbreakers now have this 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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Basketball

Renzo Subido to bring Marinerong Pilipino experience to UST

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When Renzo Subido decided to skip out the University of Santo Tomas Growling Tigers’ UAAP Season 80 campaign, he had only one thing in mind: to improve on his craft. And he was able to do so under coach Koy Banal in the Marinerong Pilipino Skippers.

After the AMA Online Education Titans had a quick end to their campaign during the 2017 Foundation Cup, the 5-foot-9 floor general was immediately picked up by Marinerong Pilipino for the playoffs. Liking his style of play, he was again tapped for the 2018 Aspirants Cup.

And he showed a lot of growth from then, leading the Skippers to a 94-92 victory over fellow contenders Zark’s Jawbreakers. The 21-year-old tallied 20 points, three rebounds, and five assists while knocking down the crucial free throws to seal off the Lyceum-backed team.

“It was a good win for us. We’re happy that we won the game because it’s a good way to start the conference,” beamed Subido. “I’ve played against Lyceum in the past so I had familiarity with how they play.

“It was a good experience for us.”

Expectations are high for Marinerong Pilipino this conference as they are pegged as their blend of veterans and young guns are seen too overwhelming for the rest of the field. Still, Subido knows that it will be a tough climb as the other teams, especially the collegiate-based squads, have familiarity on their side.

“We’re taking it one game at a time but the goal is to win the championship,” he said. “But we know that it’s not going to be easy since we are going up against the top collegiate teams.

“So we’re just going to go all out every game.”

Besides winning the championship, Subido is on a personal mission. Being one of the seniors for the Growling Tigers next season, he hopes to learn to become a better leader for next season.

“I want to become a better leader. I know that everything I can learn this conference, I can bring to UST,” Subido expressed.

“For all I can see, coach Aldin [Ayo] is a guard-oriented coach. So I’m using all the experience I get here in Marinero, I’ll bring it to UST.”

For sure, Subido wants to make up for lost time.

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