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Lady Luck finally on Mapua side in upset win over Perpetual



Scoring only 11 points in the last quarter, there was no meltdown this time for the Mapua Institute of Technology (MIT) Cardinals as they were able to pull off a 70-65 win over the University of Perpetual Help System DALTA (UPHSD) Altas held at the FilOil Flying V Arena on Thursday late afternoon.

Mapua went to the MVP frontrunner Allwell Oraeme as the big man delivered his team’s first six points including a wide open jumper and give his squad the early edge early on. The Cardinals also kept on pushing the ball together with the pace of the game as a 9-2 run nearing the tail-end of the period extended their lead. On the other hand, Perpetual was active with the offensive boards but failed to convert on second chances and led to transition points on Mapua’s end. Despite making a little 5-0 spurt in the dying seconds of the first quarter, JP Nieles beat the first quarter buzzer with a top of the key triple to give Mapua a 20-13 lead after 10 minutes.

The Cardinals opened up the second quarter with suffocating defense by closing out well on Perpetual’s shooters while also clogging the paint to intercept interior passes. In two minutes, they inked in 6 unanswered points including fast break points to double the output of their opponents at 26-13. The Altas were also haunted by point-blank misses while good transition offense enabled them to lead by as much as 18 with less than 2 minutes to play in the first half with a triple by Exe Biteng.

A defensive-themed beginning to the second half was showcased by both teams as they combined for a solitary point by a free throw by Scottie Thompson nearly three minutes into the third canto. The Altas’ defense limited Mapua to only three points in the ensuing plays while a Thompson started to make noise from putbacks and dishing out assists to pull through within single digits. In addition, Mapua’s zone defense was effective as Perpetual’s shooters could not find the bottom of the rim from the perimeter.

Biteng and Medina each knocked down a triple to halt the Altas’ rally and extend the game once again to 57-42. As Mapua led by 17 entering the fourth period, three rushed possessions to start the payoff quarter led to two turnovers and four quick points by Perpetual. Despite Oraeme salvaging Mapua’s scoring by a dunk, Gerald Dizon made five straight points to make it a 61-54 game with five minutes left in the game.

For Perpetual, Bright Akhuetie made three straight turnovers on outlet passes that stopped their team’s chances scoring. However, Mapua was not able to capitalize as they missed on their attempts on their end and also gave up cheap fouls on the Altas’ bigs. After free throws made by Akhuetie, Kevin Oliveria and JP Nieles exchanged big shots with 1:21 left and make the score 67-61. Perpetual pulled off a 4-1 counter in just a few seconds followed by a good stop that enabled them to get a shot to at least tie the game. However, they failed to convert as Oraeme grabbed the miss and threw it for a fast break score that iced the game for the Cardinals.

“Lady luck is on our side!” declared Mapua head coach Atoy Co. “We practiced our late-game execution during our two week off,” he remarked about the team’s end game composure. Moreover, Co expects to have Josan Nimes back after two games while floor general CJ Isit will return after four games. However, Smart Elite ambassador Andretti Stevens is still having trouble with a recurring knee injury.

Allwell Oraeme led the Cardinals with 19 points and 15 rebounds while fellow big man Bright Akhuetie led Perpetual with 18 points and nine rebounds. However, Smart Elite ambassador Scottie Thompson had a subpar outing with just 14 points on 5/18 shooting. He also had seven boards, three dimes, and two steals but committed five turnovers.

The Mapua Cardinals (5-5) will face the San Sebastian Stags (7-3) on Friday, September 4 at 12:00nn while the Perpetual Altas look to bounce back against the Lyceum Pirates on Tuesday, September 1 at 4:00pm.

The Scores:
MIT (70) – Oraeme 19, Biteng 12, Serrano 11, Nieles 9, Menina 9, Que 4, Brana 4, Aguirre 2, Dela Rosa 0, Raflores 0.
UPHSD (65) – Akhuetie 18, Thompson 14, Dagangon 11, Dizon 5, Oliveria 4, Eze 4, Sadiwa 3, Coronel 2, Bantayan 2, Gallardo 2, Ylagan 0, Tamayo 0, Elopre 0, Cabiltes 0.
Quarterscores: 20-13, 46-29, 59-42, 70-65

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Composed Ceres-Negros expels Shan United in shootout victory



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2017 AFC ASEAN Zone Champions Ceres-Negros banked on their poise and composure from the spot as they knocked out Myanmar’s Shan United via a 4-3 penalty shootout (1-1 after extra time) triumph, Tuesday evening at the Thuwunna Stadium in Yangon, Myanmar.

The Negrenses punched their ticket to Brisbane, Australia after emerging the better spotkick takers. Four Busmen were on target, while two of their Shan Warriors counterparts fluffed their lines.

The two domestic champions were inseparable after 120 minutes, with the hosts holding their own against the Philippine champions. Ceres-Negros looked the more dominant of the two teams. However, they couldn’t make the advantage count where it mattered, as they failed to breach the sturdy Shan United defense inside the first two regulation halves.

The visitors were visibly more comfortable in the first half, but with the scores staying level at the break, the less-fancied Myanmar champions eventually found their footing in the encounter. While there were several half-chances from either side to open the scoring, both defenses remained defiant en route to unwanted extra time.

“It was a tough game. We weren’t ready to play 120 minutes because we only had four training sessions before the game but everytime we wear this jersey, we represent Ceres, we represent Bacolod, we represent the Philippines, so we have to give our best,” Ceres’ defender Carli de Murga elaborated to the Inquirer after the match. The Asian Football season has yet to start, and with both teams not too busy with pre-season preparations, rust and fatigue in a demanding affair were evident.

Come extra time, Ceres-Negros took the initiative when Stephan Schröck’s deflected effort went past the helpless Thiha Si Thu just three minutes into the first half.

Nonetheless, the hosts refused to go down without a fight, and their resilience was rewarded later in the opening half. Substitute Patrick Asare found the back of the net to restore parity in Yangon.

Another 15 minutes of goalless action took place in the second half as both teams looked more cautious, perhaps with the collective aim of avoiding a costly error or two. Among all the chances, Schröck’s in the 114th minute may have proved to be the closest to changing the scores, as his attempt shaved the post.

Shan United took to the spot first, where Asare made his penalty attempt count. Nay Lin Tun also made his, but not before teammate Chizoba smashed his attempt over Toni Doblas’ goal.

While the hosts squandered a shot, the visitors remained calm in front of a hostile Myanmar crowd. De Murga, Schröck and Mike Ott nailed their turns, with Marañon also not missing a vital kick from 12 yards.

It set up William Biassi Nyakwe, the man credited with the own goal when he deflected Schröck’s opener, with the chance to prolong his team’s campaign in the AFC Champions League. Unfortunately for him, he couldn’t atone for his earlier mistake, as his attempt soared high and wide — much to the delight of the visiting team from Bacolod, the Philippines.

The reward for Ceres-Negros is a trip to Queensland, Australia, where they will seek to do one better than compatriots Global-Cebu. The 2016 Philippine champions also played against the Brisbane Roar, who dealt them a staggering 6-0 hammering this time last year. The match will be held at the Suncorp Stadium on January 23.

As for Shan United, a spot in the AFC Cup Group Stage awaits them and they may not have seen the last of Ceres-Negros just yet. If the Negrenses lose to either Brisbane Roar or Tianjin Quanjian, they will be reacquainted with the Burmese champions in Group F.

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Abu Tratter plans to work his way to 2023 by continuing to do ‘the dirty work’



Abu Tratter may have missed the jersey-giving ceremony that the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas held for the 23 for 2023 cadets last Monday but he made sure to help out when the current batch needed him the most.

After helping the Marinerong Pilipino Skippers win the Sinulog Cup in Cebu a week ago, the 6-foot-7 Filipino-American did not hesitate to heed Gilas’ call, as they were undermanned for their second session in preparation for the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers.

“I think it’s just an honor to put on this jersey, to be able to represent our country, to possibly represent our country in the future. It’s an honor,” shared the Laguna-native.

The 25-year old, who just celebrated his birthday last January 9, admitted that he was in awe of the talent inside the Meralco Gym. Like a fan, he wanted to take a few photo ops with the senior team’s Gabe Norwood and June Mar Fajardo.

“Actually, at first I was just shocked to see June Mar and Gabe, just to be able to be in the midst of them,” gushed the former DLSU Green Archer, who will suit-up for Marinerong Pilipino in the D-League. “I even asked them for a picture, and hopefully they’ll still give me one.

“It’s just humbling, definitely.”

However, the work has only began for Tratter. With five years to go until the 2023 FIBA World Cup, the two-time UAAP champion plans to continue to do what he does best — be the same scrapper that he is and hopefully catch the eye of Gilas’ brass.

“I think just doing the dirty work, of course. Giving whatever the team needs, rebound or any steals, any thing a dirty player would need to pick up on,” he said.

“That’s how it is, garbage into gold. Get anything, sweep up anything and try to put it back.”

Moreover, he will continue answering the call when Gilas needs him, as he himself is learning a lot from being surrounded by the country’s topflight cagers.

“Whenever I can. I want to be able to absorb all the information coming from here and hopefully apply it in the D-League and hopefully apply it on future practices, future games.”

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2018 FIBA 3X3 World Cup

Terrence Romeo invited to join Pilipinas 3×3 for World Cup



Stronger than ever

Scoring sensation Terrence Romeo has been invited by the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas to join the Philippine team in the upcoming FIBA 3X3 World Cup, according to Philippine Star columnist Quinito Henson.

Romeo, who is currently out due to a right knee injury, has been in rehabilitation and is expected to miss the entire Philippine Cup campaign of the Globalport Batang Pier and the second window of the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers.

“Baka sa second conference na ko makabalik kasi talagang gusto ko malakas ako pagbalik ko,” the 25-year-old shared during Chooks-to-Go Live last January 2.

SBP Executive Director Sonny Barrios personally met with the 6-foot guard, inviting him to be part of the Philippine team.

Romeo has plenty of 3×3 basketball experience under his belt.

Back in 2014, Romeo was part of the Manila West 3×3 team during the Manila Masters. He was adjudged as the tournament Most Valuable Player.

The 2018 3X3 World Cup will take place from June 8-12 at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan.

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Red Spikers extinguish Blazers for second win



Shaking off a forgettable outing against the Perpetual Help Altas last January 11, the San Beda College Red Spikers vented their ire on defending champions College of Saint Benilde Blazers in four sets, 25-15, 25-16, 23-25, 26-24, and claimed their second win of the season, Friday afternoon at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

“Sabi ng coaches kalimutan na yung talo,” shared captain Lorenze Santos of what transpired after that match.

So, in this game, the San Beda team poured on what they worked hard for to regain momentum. “Binuhos po namin lahat ng ginawa namin sa training [ngayon].”

After tight starts in all the first two sets, the Mendiola-based side pulled away to register the seemingly insurmountable 2-0 lead.

Nonetheless, summoning the heart of a champion and led by seniors Isaah Arda and Jethro Orian, the reigning champions pulled off gritty runs to snag the third set and making a tussle of the fourth.

Ultimately, Adrian Viray virtually ended the match with a vicious serve, which the Blazers failed to convert.

The prolific outside hitter finished with 17 points, 11 coming from attacks and five off blocks. Former skipper Mark Encino also registered 17 markers.

The Red Spikers (2-1) will face the Mapua University, also at 2-1, on Friday, January 19.

Orian was such a presence at the net, ending up with 20 points for the Taft-based squad.

The defending champions Blazers (2-1) will try to bounce back later that day against San Sebastian College (0-3).

The Scores:

SBC 3 – Viray 17, Enciso 17, Santos 11, Patenio 7, Amagan 7, Desuyo 3, Zabala 0, Genobaten 0, Manliclic 0, Casin L.

CSB 1 – Orian 20, Arda 18, Bacani 6, Basilan 4, Bautista 4, Magsino 2, Martinez 0, Garcia 0, San Miguel 0, Saldavia 0, Dy L.

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