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La Salle, FEU settle for 1-1 draw

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The second round matchup between the De La Salle University Lady Archers and Far Eastern University Lady Tamaraws saw each side turn in crunch time goals to end in a 1-1 draw, Sunday afternoon at the FEU Diliman Football Field.

From the get-go, the Lady Tamaraws controlled the offensive flow, with the Lady Archers struggling to find a way to cut inside to the front of the goal or attack from the wing. Though their midfield was able to distribute effectively, resorting to a steady tiki-taka, La Salle struggled to find the means to attack the goal. FEU on the other hand got a much-needed boost from their personnel at the top of the field, who had the presence of mind to exploit every opening in the La Salle back. Kimberly Cupal almost drew first blood at the 10th minute, taking advantage of miscommunication in the La Salle defense to go one-on-one with La Salle goalie Inna Palacios, but lost the ball to the keeper after Cha Guancia caught up with her and prevented her from getting into position to tap the ball into the direction of the net.

At the 17th minute, Regine Metillo almost gave La Salle the early lead when a free kick she took from midway of the left wing came dangerously close to hitting the net before it was eventually stopped in its tracks by FEU goalie Sheramae Ramos. Three minutes later, FEU had the chance to finally put one on the goal tally when a corner kick taken by Barbie Ann Sobredo was redirected into the path of the net by Jean Kadil’s header. La Salle goalie Palacios was able to parry the shot away, but could not hold on to the ball as it immediately bounced back into play. A couple more FEU players came close to tapping the ball towards the net, but the flurry in front of the goal had an abrupt end when a flag was raised by the linesman.

The FEU attackers had a couple more good looks in the remaining twenty minutes of play in the first half, with La Salle’s defenders finally bracing together to suppress the Tams’ offense. Charmaine Fagaragan almost scored for FEU at the 27th minute, going one-on-one with the La Salle goalie and striking from just a few feet away from the net, but the shot was easily stopped by Palacios. Three minutes later, another La Salle free kick from long distance- this time by Alexi Arrieta- almost sent the ball to the net. The FEU goalie however managed to parry away the ball before it could cross the line, much to the relief of the FEU personnel at the sidelines. The last fifteen minutes saw the beginning of another midfield struggle for the ball, but with neither team able to send the ball into the goal. At the half, the score stood at 0-0.

The Lady Tams’ all-out push for the first goal resumed right at the start of the second half, forcing the La Salle goalie to bring a little more hustle. FEU’s Fagaragan was inches away from glory at the 54th minute, going one-on-one with Palacios and forcing her into a premature awkward dive and needing only to chip the ball into the open net. But before she could position herself for the easy goal, Mary Christine Duran caught up in time to sweep the ball from her feet, preventing FEU from drawing first blood.

The next twenty minutes saw the FEU attackers continue to cause trouble for the La Salle defenders. The Lady Tams were rewarded at the 78th minute, when Alesa Dolino collected a cross from the left wing, and keeping her composure in front of the goal, easily launched the ball into the net before Palacios could get a hand on it.

But four minutes later, it was suddenly the Archers’ time to celebrate. At the 82nd minute, Anita Amita tripped Guancia just as the latter entered the penalty area maneuvering with the ball. Guancia had no trouble sending in the penalty, equalizing at 1-1 with just ten minutes of regular time left.

Fired up from the lease on life given by Guancia’s goal, the Archers took control of their offense and produced a couple of good opportunities. Megan Diaz almost snatched the game away with an 84th minute header, but the ball wound up bouncing into the outstretched hands of the FEU goalie. At the end of stoppage time, the score remained at 1-1.

“We’re playing more as a team and they’re following more instructions. It’s just the lapses and individual mistakes. Those things can cost [us],” said La Salle head coach Hans Smit when asked about his reaction to the draw.

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Yeng Guiao denies using racial slur against Chris Ross

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During the post-game of the San Miguel Beermen’s victory over the NLEX Road Warriors, reigning Coach of the Year Leo Austria said that NLEX head coach Yeng Guiao called Chris Ross the “N” word that caused the commotion.

According to Chris, tinawagan siya ng nigger or ganiyan,” said Austria. “I don’t know but that’s what he explained to me because I confronted Chris Ross because he’s one of the most important players in my team.

“But that’s the thing he doesn’t want to hear so nagflare up yung bata so I cannot blame him.”

Guiao though denied that he blurted out racial slurs against San Miguel’s Chris Ross.

“Hindi. Hindi ko tinawag na N-word. Ewan ko kung may nakarinig. Pero hindi,” clarified the fiery tactician moments after their 98-109 defeat, their third straight after starting the 2018 Philippine Cup with two straight wins.

That tussle, according to Guiao, was just filled with trash talking against each other, as he felt the need to retaliate. In fact, Guiao was even caught by the TV camera saying “son of a bitch” towards the Filipino-American point guard.

“Daldal siya ng daldal eh. Eh sa akin naman kapag ganon, siguro respeto nalang. Lumayo ka nalang tutal mananalo naman na kayo,” he said. “I didn’t understand what he was saying, what he was talking about.

“Nakipagtrash-talking din ako sa kanya.”

Furthermore, the 58-year-old was also caught by the cameras flipping the bird — in one quick motion — also against Ross.

“Oo. Kasama na rin yun.

“Pero ano naman eh, it’s part of, siguro, psychological warfare. Malakas din siya mang-asar. Hindi lang naman sa amin. Everytime naman na mga ganoong skirmishes, he also knows what he’s capable of,” the seven-time champion coach furthered.

But more than this scuffle, it really has become a stressful time for Guiao and the Road Warriors. They have now went down to 2-3 in the team standings, and the mentor sees the great need to end this slump immediately.

“We have to arrest it very soon. Ang susunod na laro namin ay versus Rain or Shine sa Friday. So we need to go back to 50 percent win-loss level para at least may chance ka na maka-playoffs. That’s going to be a crucial game for us,” he stressed.

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Kiefer Ravena shocked with Von Pessumal’s shove: ‘I did not expect that at all’

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Kiefer Ravena and Von Pessumal have been teammates ever since they were in high school, winning three UAAP juniors crowns together. They won two championships together in the seniors level and even played together in Gilas. They were inseparable.

Friday evening however, they were playing for separate camps.

Ravena admitted that he never expected a shove to come from Pessumal during the NLEX Road Warriors’ clash with San Miguel Beermen.

In an off-ball situation, Pessumal charged at Ravena, sending the rookie down to the floor with 9:50 remaining in the final frame. He was then whistled for an unsportsmanlike foul, and Ravena sank one from the line.

“I did not expect that at all,” admitted Ravena after the match in which they lost, 98-109 — their third straight defeat after a 2-0 start. “But hopefully Von doesn’t take it personal.

“I’m just doing my job. They won the game.”

Ravena insisted that there wasn’t any physicality between him and Pessumal prior to that, but he thinks that his former Gilas teammate may have gotten irked by his staredown after blocking him on a fastbreak play early in the fourth.

“When that fastbreak happened — the same exact possession na I challenged him, I looked at him, and after that yun na yung nangyari,” said the 23-year-old guard. “But I never instigated something to provoke Von to do that.

“Probably nung tinignan ko siya.”

Moreover, the second overall pick of the 2017 PBA Rookie Draft felt that that incident “started all the commotions during the end game (laughs). Yun yung pinaka-una eh. And with that, the team got fired up and it worked for them.”

He may be right, for the game saw more skirmishes after that: from teammate Michael Miranda kicking Chris Ross to the groin, and with his head coach Yeng Guiao figuring in a heated verbal war also against Ross.

But then, Ravena made it clear that it was never a plan of his to put down somebody, especially someone like Pessumal who he sees as a brother for life.

“You know, Von and I, we go way back. Things like this hopefully don’t become too personal.

“I have no intention na ipapahiya yung tao or sasaktan mo yung tao. Wala namang ganun. Laro-laro lang,” said NLEX’s leading scorer.

It was somehow a night to remember for Ravena, but for all the wrong reasons. After Friday’s loss that sent their card to 2-3, the veteran internationalist now sees the need for him and the Road Warriors to push the panic button.

“‘Di na pwedeng sabihin palaging kailangan namin matuto eh. Pangatlong sunod na,” the second-generation cager expressed.

“Kailangan siguro naming umaksyon.”

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Downcast Chris Ross chooses to stay mum after heated altercation with Yeng Guiao

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Through wins or losses, Chris Ross has always accommodated the members of the press asking for interviews and fans requesting for photo ops every after game. But Friday evening, the nine-year pro was despondent.

Visibly agitated with the events that had transpired during the San Miguel Beermen’s tilt against the NLEX Road Warriors, Ross, with his hoodie covering his head, left the Cuneta Astrodome without saying a word.

The reigning Defensive Player of the Year had figured in physical play after physical play and verbal exchange after verbal exchange with the frustrated Road Warriors.

Ross and Alex Mallari were both slapped with technicals after a confrontation with 9:06 left. This was just the start of many things to come for the Filipino-American defensive specialist

After knocking down a triple and receiving a taunt from Ross, Michael Miranda was assessed a disqualifying foul for an apparent kick to the groin against Ross with 4:35 left.

The tip of the iceberg came with 1:46 left to play and the game all but settled.

Yeng Guiao and Ross figured in a heated word war that resulted in Ross’ second technical foul for the game. Referees and players from both sides had to separate the two to prevent things from escalating.

San Miguel coach Leo Austria alleged that the fiery NLEX mentor said the “N” word, while some said Guiao called Ross a “bitch”.

Ross finished the game with four points, eight rebounds, and four steals in 37 minutes of action.

For sure, penalties and suspensions will come out of this game.

And it was better for Ross to stay silent.

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Jason Brickman flirts with triple-double as Mono holds off Singapore

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After playing his worst game of the season last Sunday against Tanduay Alab Pilipinas, Jason Brickman bounced back, steering the Mono Vampire to a 91-88 road victory over the Singapore Slingers, Friday evening at the OCBC Arena.

The 26-year-old, who finished with just seven points and three assists in their 71-104 loss to Alab, tallied 10 points, 11 rebounds, and nine assists. The league-leader in assists did not take a break, playing all 40 minutes.

But it was not a walk in the park for the Thailand-based squad.

Mono led by as much as 22 points, 60-48, with 7:46 left, 16 points entering the final frame. A furious fourth quarter rally by Singapore sliced the lead, turning the game into a single-possession contest with a minute left. The steady hands of Samuel Deguara and Mike Singletary from the stripe fended off Singapore.

Brickman’s compatriot Paul Zamar chipped in 13 markers for Mono.

Since torching Alab last January 3, Filipino-Canadian AJ Mandani has been on a slump, going just 3-for-11 from the field for nine points.

Mono’s World Imports Samuel Deguara and Mike Singletary both finished with 26 points with the former hauling down 18 rebounds. For Singapore, Xavier Alexander paced the Slingers with 29 points, nine rebounds, and eight assists.

With the win, the Vampire kept solo third with a 7-4 slate. On the other hand, the Slingers dropped its second straight game since winning against Alab, falling to 5-6.

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