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Kia stays alive in gutsy win over Meralco



As of presstime, the eighth spot in the standings is still up for grabs.

With several scenarios boiling down on the last game day of eliminations, the final seedings of the Governor’s Cup relied on the last two games. A Kia win was split into two more scenarios: due to the quotient system, if they win by 17, they advance automatically but if they win with less than said number, they’ll advance if Ginebra loses the next game. After their match, one foot was in for Carnival.

In the presence of the People’s champ Manny Pacquiao, the Kia Carnival went all out in the dying minutes to save their tournament as they escape with a 88-85 win over the Meralco Bolts held at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Wednesday Afternoon.

Down by three after the first half, Meralco quickly tied the match at 44 in the first minute of the second half but was countered by six points by the score-hungry Carnival team including three succeeding layups. Kia settled for a man-to-man defense, but Emmett was still unstoppable underneath. The score became close in the next minutes as Kia missed several attempts from three-point territory. By the five-minute mark of the third quarter, the score was deadlocked at 50 as the match slowed down due to fouls.

There were six more lead changes before the quarter ended as the exchanges continued, but not in the favor of the Carnival. The stretch ended with Simon Atkins draining a wide-open corner three and a stop on the other end to enter the fourth up by two. The Bolts scored four points to open up the fourth and extend their lead to eight. However, playing with a sense of urgency, Kia responded with a 9-0 run capped by a Dehasa trey to take the lead for a brief moment.

Meralco called for a timeout and despite Kia playing quicker to the ball, the Bolts were able to sustain the lead and remained poised to build a 74-70 lead with about six minutes to play. Minutes later, Karl Dehesa and LA Revilla knocked down consecutive jumpers to tie the game at 78. After crucial stops on the other end, Revilla once again scored on a floater to take the lead for a while but Emmett answered back.

After a timeout, the Lasallian connection of LA Revilla and Joshua Webb clicked as the guard found the open forward as he delivered the lead-giving trey with 1:14 to go in regulation. Afterwards, two more stops by Carnival led to a free throw by N’Diaye, extending the lead to two possessions. Seconds later, Reynel Hugnatan swished in a long two but Revilla made it another four-point game at 86-82 with charity shots with 18 ticks left. Five free throws were combined by David and Revilla in the next plays, but David missed the potential overtime-extending shot that led to Kia’s win.

N’Diaye tallied 24 markers, 19 rebounds and blocked six shots in nearly 46 minutes of action to spearhead the offense for the Carnival who salvaged their season. Three more from the team added with double figures in scoring, led by Revilla’s 16 points, which included eight perfect attempts from the free-throw area.

Emmett finished with 35 points for Meralco including 14 rebounds on 15-of-31 shooting from the field. David added 14 as the two were the only ones scoring double digits for the Bolts.

Ginebra and NLEX battles it out at the 7:15 pm game as a Kings win will give them the last spot, while a loss will help the Carnival to push through the quarters.

The Scores:

Kia(88) – N’Diaye 24, Revilla 16, Yee 13, Dehesa 10, Buensuceso 8, Avenido 6, Webb 5, Pascual 2, Bagatsing 2, Cawaling 2, Deutschman 0, Chang 0, Alvarez 0

Meralco(85) – Emmett 35, David 14, Hugnatan 9, Atkins 6, Hodge 5, Dillinger 4, Nabong 3, Guevarra 3, Anthony 2, Ildefonso 2, Cortez 2

Quarters: 22-19, 44-41, 61-63, 88-85

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AJ Mandani sparks Singapore in win over Joshua Munzon-led Westsports



Back to his role as the sixth man of the Slingers after two games, AJ Mandani provided the firepower needed by Singapore in a fourth quarter surge to stop the Westsports Malaysia Dragons, 93-85, Sunday afternoon at the MABA Stadium in Malaysia.

The win arrested the Slingers’ two-game losing streak, raising their slate to 6-6. Westsports, a team coming off a two-game winning streak that included a 91-87 win over Mikey Williams and the Saigon Heat last January 18, fell to 3-5.

Struggling in the first three quarters, Mandani six of his eight points in the final frame. And those points were povital in fending off Westsports.

With Singapore clinging to a solitary point lead early in the fourth quarter, the Filipino-Canadian scored four straight points 8-0 run to gain a 74-67 lead with under seven minutes left. Another basket by Mandani followed it up with a breakaway layup with with 5:18 remaining to give Singapore an 81-72 cushion.

Filipino exports Joshua Munzon and Patrick Cabahug tried to rally the home team back as a triple by the latter cut the lead down to just three with 1:40 on the clock. Big buckets by Delvin Goh and Chris Charles sealed off the Malaysia-based club team.

Munzon went just 5-for-18 from the field to finish with 15 points, seven rebounds, and three steals. Cabahug chipped in eight points on 3-for-4 shooting off the bench.

Xavier Alexander led Singapore with 33 points while Charles tallied a double-double with 25 points and 13 rebounds to go along with three swats. Singaporean Goh had 16 points, seven rebounds, and four assists.

Marcus Marshall paced Westsports with 22 points, playing all 40 minutes as fellow World Import AJ West had a tough outing.

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Impervious Lady Chiefs stay perfect after sweep of Lady Pirates



The Arellano University Lady Chiefs extended their winning streak to 17, dating back to last season, after clobbering the Lyceum of the Philippines Lady Pirates, 25-16, 25-17, 25-11, at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

The defending champions were unrelenting, with four Lady Chiefs scoring in double-digits. Rookie Necole Ebuen powered in 11 points. Third-year open hitter Regine Arocha and Arellano’s middle blockers Mary Anne Esguerra and Andrea Marzan each provided 10 markers.

Conversely, no Lady Pirate managed to score in double-figures.

“Maganda naman talaga ang nilalaro ng mga bata. Lahat kasi kami determinado na makakuha ulet ng championship. Alam nila (Lady Chiefs) na kailangan pataas nang pataas ang ginagalaw namin,” said Arellano head coach Obet Javier.

The Lady Chiefs also limited their errors to a season-best 16, while the Lady Pirates surrendered 24 miscues.

Christine Miralles and Monica Sevilla each supplied the struggling Lyceum with eight point apiece.

The Lady Chiefs will look for their sixth win of the season when they face the red-hot University of Perpetual Help System DALTA (4-1) on Tuesday at the FilOil Flying V Centre. The Lady Pirates (1-4) take on the undefeated San Beda College (4-0) on Wednesday also at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

The Scores

AU (3) – Ebuen 11, Arocha 10, Esguerra 10, Marzan 10, Prado 3, Ramirez 3, Liu 2, Balanoba 1, Donato 1, Verutiao 0, Buemia (L), Flores (L)

LPU (0) – Miralles 8, Sevilla 8, Juanilla 7, Patio 4, Genova 1, Romanban 0, Bongabong 0, Marcella (L)

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Late whistle costs San Beda against Sousse, drops Red Lions to 0-2



23 for 2023 cadet Robert Bolick is averaging 27.5 points per game in the tournament

After struggling to close out the UAE National Team in their opener last Friday, the San Beda College Red Lions figured in a late judgment call that did not fall into their favor, Saturday at the Shabab Al Ahli Club in Dubai. Due to this, the defending NCAA Champions lost to Tuniasian club team Sousse, 78-79.

With the loss, the Red Lions fell to a 0-2 hole in the 29th Dubai Basketball Championship. But the record does not reflect how the Filipinos played.

Robert Bolick, who scored 28 points against the UAE National Team, led the charge for San Beda in their second outing with 27 points. Fellow 23 for 2023 cadet Javee Mocon added 11 points and seven rebounds.

Sousse — the second-best club team in Tunisia, who boasts four national team players and an American import — led by as much as 10 points, 70-60 in the final frame.

Fired up by the Filipinos who stormed the venue, the Red Lions answered right back with an 18-8 run capped by a booming Bolick triple with six ticks left to gain a 78-76 lead.

However, a foul was called on a Red Lion on a three-point attempt by a Sousse player. He calmly sank all three free throws with 1.5 seconds remaining to seal the win.

Donald Tankoua had eight points and 13 rebounds as he was saddled with foul trouble all throughout the game.

The Tunisian club team was paced by Radzhouane Slimane with 18 points, while Ibrahim Nadarri and Joshua Cassady had 13 markers each.

San Beda will have a one-day break before taking on Moroccan club team Al Sale on Monday, January 22.

The Scores:

San Beda 78 – Bolick 27, Mocon 11, Tankoua 8, Noah 8, Toba 6, Soberano 6, Prebitero 4, Tongco 4, Bahio 2, Carino 2, Oftana 0, Adamos 0.

Sousse 79 – Slimane 18, Naddari 13, Cassady 13, Mouhli 11, Knioua 9, Toumi 8, Monastiri 4, Gaddour 3.

Quarterscores: 23-17, 36-39, 57-62, 78-79.

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Perpetual overpowers JRU to keep pace for Final Four



Strutting their decisive height and power advantage, the University of Perpetual Help System DALTA Lady Altas slammed the Jose Rizal University Lady Bombers, 25-21, 22-25, 25-14, 25-21, at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

The Lady Altas were still heavy-handed with their errors, surrendering 35 miscues, including 12 in the second set — the only frame they lost.

The Las Piñas-based program, however, kept a scorching offensive pace, bombarding the Lady Bombers with six blocks and 12 aces. JRU had just five points combined from those categories.

“Mataas pa talaga ‘yung tendency ng mga bata mamigay ng mga puntos. Sabi ko nga hindi kami mananalo kung tutulungan pa namin ‘yung kalaban maka-score,” rued Perpetual head coach Michael Cariño.

“Pero, unti-unte namang gumaganda ‘yung galaw ng mga bata. Lahat naman ng pagkukulang nila, tinatrabaho namin para maayos sa ensayo,” the champion mentor added.

Perpetual’s six-foot-three middle blocker Lourdes Clemente towered over the Lady Bombers with a season-high 19 points which included 14 attacks, two blocks, and three aces. Winger Cindy Imbo added 15 points.

Rookie Dolly Versoza paced the Lady Bombers with a game-high 21 points, while captain Shola Alvarez managed 15.

The Lady Altas (4-1) take on the undefeated defending champs Arellano University (5-0) on Tuesday at the FilOil Flying V Centre. The Lady Bombers (2-3) face the College of Saint Benilde (3-1) on Wednesday, also at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

The Scores

UPHSD (3) – Clemente 19, Imbo 15, Sangalang 8, Llorente 7, Tripoli 7, Gual 6, Versoza 2, Umandal 1, Estanislao 0, Medalla (L)

JRU (1) – Versoza 21, Alvarez 15, Ebuenga 5, Montojo 2, Rivera 2, Sibangan 1, Bodiongan 0, Macaraya (L)

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