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Kings Cup: Visiting West builds 4-2 lead after Day 1

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The captains expected the Kings Cup to be intense from the get-go, and momentum swung in favor of Team West as the squad took a 4-2 lead after Day 1 of the competition at Resorts World Manila.

Shane Van Boening capped an improbable comeback by storming past Django Bustamante in a hill-hill battle, 5-4, in the singles match which gave Team West a 3-2 lead in the overall tally.

Team West then took charge with a 5-3 win in the triples match between Albin Ouschan/Mika Immonen/Shane Van Boening and Team Asia’s Efren Reyes/Ko Pin Yi/Ko Ping Chung.

The tournament continues with six more matches lined up on Day 2, November 20, Friday.

The first side to win 10 matches will take home the inaugural Kings Cup.

Below is a recap of all matches.

Match 1 – 4 on 4

Team Asia – Reyes/Bustamante/Ko/Ko
Team West – Immonen/Appleton/Van Boening/Ouschan

West wins, 5-2

Team West went on to take a 4-nil lead in the very first match as a dry break by Ko Pin Yi opened the first rack, allowing West to take the first two racks.

In the third rack, Team Asia managed to pocket a ball during the break, but a failed safety by Ko Pin Yi on the 1-ball led to a 1-10 combination from Shane Van Boening.

Team West had a run out in the fourth rack, and the team had a chance to sweep Team Asia when Efren Reyes had another dry break in the fifth rack.

Mika Immonen however, missed an open 4-ball, which led to Team Asia finally taking a rack. In the sixth, Albin Ouschan also missed an open 4-ball and Team Asia was able to clean it out to cut the deficit down to 4-2.

But in the seventh rack, Django Bustamante missed a 2-9-10 three-ball combination, even as Shane Van Boening pocketed the 2 and 3-balls before going with a 4-10 combo to seal the win.

Match 2 – Doubles

Team Asia – Ko/Ko
Team West – Immonen/Van Boening

Asia wins, 5-2

In the second match, Team Asia bounced back through the reigning World Cup of Pool winning tandem Ko Pin Yi and Ko Ping Chung.

Misses by Immonen on easy shots in the second and third racks allowed Team Asia to take a 3-0 lead.

In the fourth rack, Van Boening failed to hide the 3-ball on a safety attempt, leading to another rack for Team Asia, 4-0.

Team West finally got on the board in the fifth rack. In the sixth rack, Ko Pin Yi missed a difficult cut shot on the 5-ball to the side pocket, as West cut the lead down to 4-2.

But in the seventh rack, Van Boening again failed to make a safety shot and Team Asia managed to close it out for the 5-2 win.

Match 3 – Doubles

Team Asia – Reyes/Bustamante
Team West – Appleton/Ouschan

West wins, 5-2

The Filipino duo of Reyes and Bustamante succumbed in their doubles match to Darren Appleton and Albin Ouschan.

The first four racks were all run outs as Asia and West were deadlocked at 2 apiece.

But in the fifth rack, a miss by Reyes on the 3-ball gave a chance for West to turn things around. Ouschan however, also missed the 3-ball.

Asia pocketed the next three balls but Bustamante rushed a 6-10 combination. Appleton took care of the 6-ball although Ouschan missed an open 7-ball. Reyes however, failed to sink the same ball as West cleaned the rest of the fifth rack.

West then took the final two racks — one a run out and the other a 7-10 combination after Reyes missed the 7-ball in the seventh rack.

Match 4 – Singles

Team Asia – Ko Pin Yi
Team West – Appleton

Asia wins, 5-0.

Team Asia again bounced back to tie the overall score at 2-all after Ko Pin Yi showed a masterful performance against Appleton.

Ko, the reigning 9-ball and 10-ball world champion and no. 1 ranked pool player in the world, showcased a methodical way of out-pointing the England’s Appleton.

After taking the first rack easily, Ko capitalized on Appleton’s miss at a partly-hidden 1-ball in the second rack.

Ko did miss a 5-ball in the third rack, giving Appleton a chance to score but the latter missed a 5-9 combination as Ko made it 3-nil.

A dry break by Appleton in the fourth led to another rack for Ko before the Taiwanese star finished the match in the fifth rack.

Match 5 – Singles

Team Asia – Bustamante
Team West – Van Boening

West wins, 5-4

In what was the most exciting match yet of the Kings Cup, American Van Boening overcame a 3-0 hole and stunned Bustamante in a momentum-changing victory which gave Team West the upperhand.

Bustamante had an impressive shot in the opening rack, bouncing the cue ball off two rails before making contact with the 5-ball to clean the first.

Van Boening tried to do a jump shot on the hidden 4-ball in the second rack, put did not pocket the target as Bustamante took two more racks for a commanding 3-nil lead.

Van Boening had a run out on the fourth rack to get on the board, before stealing the fifth away from Bustamante. Bustamante was on his way to making it 4-1 but the legend missed on an open 9-ball, as Van Boening cut the deficit down to 3-2.

Van Boening surged ahead in the next two racks, as Bustamante had a dry break in the seventh. Van Boening took a 4-3 lead but scratched on the break in the eighth rack, allowing Bustamante to tie the match at 4 apiece.

Bustamante had a golden chance to recover when Van Boening missed on the 2-ball, but Bustamante scratched and West was able to complete the comeback.

Match 6 – Triples

Team Asia – Ko/Ko/Reyes
Team West – Immonen/Ouschan/Van Boening

West wins, 5-3

Team West was able to assert control in the final match to give the side a 4-2 lead after the opening day.

A missed cut shot by Ko Pin Chung on the 5-ball in the third rack allowed West to steal it, and the team followed it by a run-out in the fourth for a 4-0 lead.

West had a chance to sweep it in the fifth but Ouschan had a bad shot after the Ko Pin Chung safety on the 8-ball.

Asia took the next two racks although it was the final time they took the table as West had a run-out in the eighth rack for the win.

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Christian Standhardinger goes perfect from stripe in Hong Kong’s rout of Formosa

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After going a horrid 5-for-17 from the stripe during their first loss of the season last January 9, Christian Standhardinger made sure to make good on his free throws to power the Hong Kong Eastern Basketball Club to a dominant 99-79 rout of the Formosa Dreamers, Thursday evening in Southorn Stadium.

The 6-foot-8 Filipino-German, who tallied 37 points and 19 rebounds in the overtime loss to Saigon, went a perfect 9-for-9 from the foul line. He finished with 25 points and 10 rebounds.

The contest itself was not close, as the defending champions were able to impose their will on the bottom-ranked squad, leading by as much as 23 points, 93-70, after two free throws by Standhardinger with 2:58 remaining.

If Standhardinger was having a good day with his free throws, the entire Formosa squad could not say the same, going 13-of-27 from the line.

Tyler Lamb had 25 markers as well for Hong Kong, while Marcus Elliott grabbed a triple-double with 19 points, 11 rebounds, and 11 assists.

Lenny Daniel paced Formosa with 25 points and 11 rebounds. World Import Ronnie Aguilar had 14 points and 16 rebounds but went just 5-for-14 from the field.

With the win, Hong Kong goes to 8-1, while the Dreamers fell to 1-8.

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2018 FIBA 3X3 World Cup

Chooks-to-Go President hopes 3×3 World Cup breaks Philippine Arena record

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Last October 27, 2017, Game Seven of the PBA Governors’ Cup Finals between 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 on 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 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 t

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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 has formally announced their 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 their 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 their PFL operations will fold for the time being, Ilocos will continue the grassroots programs they have 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 are limited 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 of copping 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 beast.

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

With their first game in the bag, the duo — and the rest of the Jawbreakers — now have the 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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