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La Salle gives UST double whammy with come-from-behind win

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Undefeated Nicole Albo and the De La Salle University Lady Shuttlers eked out huge comeback win against the University of Santo Tomas, 3–2, to grab their second straight win, Saturday afternoon at the Rizal Badminton Hall.

Patricia Barredo of UST stepped on to the court to face a familiar foe in DLSU’s Alyssa Leonardo. The Thomasian veteran took advantage of the situation: it being the La Sallian’s first singles match since last year’s UAAP, to take the match in straight games. The former national team player from UST bucked a sluggish start to lead 11–9 at the break of the first game. A series of miscues from Leonardo and a flurry of attacks from herself powered Barredo to a 21 –13 first frame win. The DLSU veteran again managed to keep the game tight in the following game before Barredo unleashed a 7–0. Leonardo did not give up and challenged her counterpart by cutting the deficit to 1, 18–19. Barredo put on the finishing touches and took the game and the 1–0 lead in the tie, 21–18.

Trailing by a match, national juniors player Iya Sevilla showed her might against another Thomasian veteran Steffie Aquino to level the tie in the following singles match. The rookie wasted no time as she took advantage of misfiring Aquino early in the first game to slowly pile up the points en route to a 21–12 win. The UST senior got her bearings and kept the succeeding frame close up to the interval. From there, Sevilla took over and denied UST the advantage, 21–16.

With the tie leveled at one match apiece, it is the experienced duo of La Sallians Kristelle Salatan and Leonardo who wrestled the tie advantage over UST’s Kristine Gaspar and Victoria Vizmonte in the first doubles match. The Thomasians engaged their opponents to a tight battle at the first game, before Salatan and Leonardo nosed them out into the interval. With excellent play and transition, DLSU clinched the game, 21–14. Using this momentum, the Taft-based pair started with a 3–0 run in the following frame. Gaspar and Vizmonte momentarily took the lead after four unanswered points, which turned out be their last hurrah as the La Sallians clinched the game and the match, 21–7, to wrestle the 2–1 lead in the tie.

As Salatan and Leonardo proved in the previous doubles match, Barredo and Aquino confirmed that it pays to have the perfect chemistry in doubles to win a match. The long-time UST tandem leveled the tie against the veteran-and-rookie pair of Aires Montilla and Sevilla in two games. The Thomasians led after a tussle in the opening part of the first game to lead at the interval, 11–8. After the break, however, DLSU forced UST to another tight battle before the latter ended the game with two straight points off the Aquino service, 21–16. The Tigresses seized momentum in the following frame that gave them a comfortable lead. The Lady Shuttlers from Taft were able to trade points with their opponents, but could not string up a couple. Thus, UST forced a deciding game with a 21–17 match-winning score line.

Similar to what happened to their men’s tie with UP earlier that morning, Airish Macalino and UST faced a tough task facing a national team player in DLSU’s Nicole Albo in the final singles match. The Thomasian took the challenge at least in the opening part of the first game and led Albo, 7–3. The La Salle rookie had other plans as she slowly crept in to the lead, cut it off, and eventually taking it at the break. To her credit, Macalino tried to keep it close against her counterpart, but a four-point blast from Albo sealed the deal for La Salle in the first frame, 21–18. The newcomer then zapped Macalino’s confidence in the following frame early and never looked back. A huge 7–0 in the middle part of the game virtually gave Albo and the second-running Lady Shuttlers the win and UST’s second demise of the day. DLSU won the game, the match, and the tie, 21–7.

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Grew to appreciate various sports from tennis to judo. True-maroon kiddo since the new millennium. Fanboy. Singer. Occasional sports writer.

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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 Ryan Moss 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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