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Lady Bulldogs move up the stepladder; douse fiery FEU



Drawing spectacular performances from their top three scorers, the Lady Bulldogs move on to face La Salle with a four-set triumph of the FEU Lady Tams 25-13, 25-17, 25-27, 25-23 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The Lady Tams fell victim to NU’s offensive juggernaut as the Lady Bulldogs outspiked them, 61-46, while driving in more aces, 8-2. Fifth-year open spiker, Myla Pablo led NU’s attack netting 22 points off 21 attacks. First year player, Jorelle Singh, contributed her second best scoring output of the season with 20 makers, while Jaja Santiago pitched in 19 points off 16 spikes, two aces, and a block.

The Lady Bulldogs dominated the onset of the match as Jaja Santiago dished out six early points to power NU to a 16-7 lead. Errors marred FEU for the rest of the set allowing NU to take the set handily.

FEU’s floor and net defense continued to struggle into the second set as NU had no problem drilling in attacks. Myla Pablo played magnificently throughout the set, pacing NU’s offense with six points in the set, leading NU to their second set win.

FEU handled the start of the third set better, deflecting NU’s attacks and funneling them to their Libero, Tin Agno. A pair of Jorelle Singh attacks gave NU a momentary 15-14 lead. The next point saw NU’s Myla Pablo sprain her right ankle after diving for a ball that went off a digger’s arm. Pablo returned to the match with FEU leading 18-17 after getting the ankle taped up and sprayed. Both teams slugged it out into a deuce, with Jorelle Singh driving in a spike then an ace to give NU the first deuce advantage. NU errors eventually led to their demise, giving FEU their only set win.

The Lady Tams continued to battle through NU’s superior height with relentless floor defense. Jorelle Singh and Myla Pablo teamed up for a combined 11 points in the set, but FEU still held an advantage midway through the set, 13-10. Coach Roger Gorayeb tried to get his team’s offense going, opting to utilize backup setter, Ivy Perez, but the fourth year setter had failed to get her team going, leading to FEU netting a critical 23-22 advantage. Hence, Jaja Santiago took control of the match, dropping a point and forcing an error with her long arms as NU swooped in and took the match.

FEU sophomore, Bernadette Pons paced her team and kept them afloat in tight situations. She finished with a team-high 16 points, while third year player, Heather Guino-O, managed 13 markers in their first Final Four appearances. Graduating spiker, Sam Dawson, started the match, but failed to score a point in her final UAAP game. FEU Libero, Tin Agno turned in a signature performance in her last UAAP outing zipping around the court for 14 digs and eight excellent receptions.

NU now has a tough task ahead of them as they will have to take down the Lady Spikers on Wednesday, with La Salle holding a twice-to-beat advantage.

Coach Roger stressed in a postgame interview that his team needs to put on a better performance on Wednesday if they hope to survive.

“Every game for us now is parang championship, do-or-die na lahat ng mga susunod na laban. La Salle is already a tough team, ngayon twice-to-beat pa sila. Mahirap talaga. Pero paghahandaan namin, we’ll see,” Coach Gorayeb remarked. Coach Gorayeb is yet to beat La Salle in his tenure as a UAAP Coach.

The Scores

NU – Pablo 22, Singh 20, Santiago 19, Mandapat 9, Dadang 5, Perez 0, Doria 0, Abriam 0, General (L)

FEU – Pons 16, Guino-O 13, Basas 10, Casugod 9, Simborio 3, Malabanan 2, Palma 2, Papa 1, Negrito 0, Atienza 0, Agno (L)


Miguel Luis Flores fell face first into sports writing in high sch9l and has never gotten up. He reluctantly stumbled into the volleyball beat when he started with Tiebreaker Times three years ago. Now, he has waded through everything volleyball - from its icky politics to the post-modern art that is Jia Morado's setting.

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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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