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UP Lady Shuttlers’ immaculate record is cemented by a 4-1 victory over FEU



UP’s celebration began long before the game had ended. Up 3 – 0, with their victory all but secured, the throng of UP followers along with their mens and womens team began drowning the Rizal Coliseum Badminton Hall with their school’s cheers.


Women’s Singles 1: Paola Beatriz Bernardo (UP) def. Michal Dei Duquilla (FEU) 2:1

UP 1 – FEU 0


The first match started out pretty evenly with Bernardo being able to take an early 7 – 5 lead. Duquilla then countered with 5 straight points for her team to give her the lead. Bernard fought back, slowly chipping at the lead until she was able to tie the game at 16 points. Duquilla responded with 2 points in a row, but was met with 2 more for Bernardo to keep the game even. Both ladies traded points again to tie the game at 19, but Duquilla was able to blitz Bernardo with 2 straight points to win the 1st set, 19 – 21. The 2nd set saw Duquilla take an early 2-point lead at 3 – 5, but she was met with 6 straight points from Bernardo to give Bernard a 9 – 5 advantage. Duquilla would chip at the lead by going on 2 or 3 point scoring runs, but Bernardo maintain the lead by going on runs of her own. Duquilla was able to eventually get within 1 at 17 – 16, but 4 consecutive points from Bernardo gave her the win, 21 – 16. Bernardo finally started strong for the final set, taking an early 7 – 2 advantage. Duquilla was able to get within 1 by going on her own 4-point run. Unfortunately for her, Bernardo would go on a 9 – 2 blitz that saw her with twice the points of her opponent, 16 – 8. Duquilla would try to stage a comeback by scoring 5 straight points, but they would eventually end up trading points, leading to Bernardo’s victory, 21 – 16.


Aggregate score: Bernard (61) – Duquilla (51)

Total match time: 50 mins.


Women’s Singles 2: Mary Ann Maranon (UP) def. Thea Marie Pomar (FEU) 2:0

UP 2 – FEU 0


The 1st set started out close with Maranon taking an early 3 – 1 lead that was lost when Pomar scored 3 straight points to get ahead 3 – 4. Maranon was able to counter with 7 consecutive points to give her a comfortable 10 – 4 lead. Pomar was able to chip away at the lead, and with the score at 16 – 12, go on a 4-point run to finally tie the game. Things started to get tense late in the game when Maranon’s 2-point lead vanished when Pomar scored 2 points to tie the game at 20 all. Pomar got within 1 point of winning when she was able to score over Maranon, but 3 uninterrupted points from Maranon gave her the win, 23 – 21. The 2nd set was even more intense as both players traded points until the 11-point break. The cycle was broken when trading points transformed into going on runs. Pomar struck first with 3 straight points for her team, but was countered with 5 consecutive points from Maranon. Pomar fought back with her own 4-point run to give her the slim 16 – 17 lead. Unfortunately for her, Maranon countered with 5 straight points to steal the win, 21 – 17.


Aggregate score: Maranon (44) – Pomar (38)

Total match time: 35 mins.


Women’s Doubles 1: Jessie Francisco and Maria Elisha Ongcuangco (UP) def. Thea Marie Pomar and Hannah Tudtud (FEU) 2:0

UP 3 – FEU 0 (UP wins)


The 1st set started with FEU’s 4 – 7 lead vanished when Ongcuangco bombarded them with 6 straight points to take an 11 – 8 lead. The lead ballooned as the UP squad was able to 5 – 2 run to give them a 16 – 10 lead. FEU was unable to recover from this setback as they eventuall fell, 21 – 16. The 2nd set started just as evenly as FEU was able to keep the game tied at 4 all, but UP was able to go on a 5 – 2 run that earned them a 9 – 6 advantage. FEU was finally able to retake a significant lead when they went on 4-point run to take a 16 – 19 lead. Alas, that would be their last points of the game as Ongcuangco would pilfer the victory with a 5-point burst to win, 21 – 19. With this victory, UP was sure to sweep the elimination round, and the whole UP corner began cheering loudly with their fanbase. Even their coach joined in the celebration.


Aggregate score: Francisco (16) Ongcuangco (26) – Pomar (17) Tudtud (18)

Total match time: 50 mins


Women’s Doubles 2: Marina Caculitan and Mary Ann Maranon (UP) def. Michal Dei Duquilla and Maridel Rivera (FEU) 2:0

UP 4 – FEU 0 (UP wins)


The duo from UP was able to take an early 7 – 3 lead for the 1st set, but FEU was able to chip away and get the deficit down to 1 at 10 – 9. Maranon would shock the FEU team when she would go on a 9-point blitz that pretty much secured the victory for UP. They eventually won the set, 21 – 13. During the 2nd set, FEU was able to secure an early 7 – 10 lead over UP. They were able to increase their lead to 8 – 13, but UP would go on a 7 – 1 run that would finally give them a slim 1-point lead. With UP ahead 20 – 17, FEU would make a last ditch effort by scoring 2 more points before they eventually fell to UP’s final point, 21 – 19.


Aggregate score: Caculitan (20) Maranon (22) – Duquilla (12) Rivera (20)

Total match time: 35 mins.


Women’s Singles 3: Hannah Tudtud (FEU) def. Jessie Francisco (UP) 2:1


With Francisco still in a celebratory mood over her team’s sure win, Tudtud would take a quick 2 – 8 lead early on. Francisco would score here and there, but it would seem like she was more intent in celebrating than in playing, as Tudtud would take the win, 16 – 21. The 2nd set saw Francisco exert more effort as she was able to take a small 9 – 6 lead over Tudtud. Tudtud would get the lead down to 1 at 10 – 9, but Francisco would counter with 6 consecutive points to give her a 16 – 9 lead. Tudtud would eventually tie the game at 20 apiece, but 2 straight points from Francisco would give her the win, 22 – 20. The final set would see Francisco take an early 9 – 6 lead, but Tudtud’s 7 straight points would give her the lead for good, 13 – 9. Down 13 – 19, Francisco would give a final push by scoring 4 straight points, but Tudtud would counter with 2 straight points that would seal the win for the FEU shuttler, 17 – 21.


Aggregate score: Francisco (55) Tudtud (62)

Total match time: 50 mins.


Total Games Won: UP 7 – FEU 3



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Mixed Martial Arts

Rene Catalan continues rampage with TKO win



Rene Catalan continues to turn critics into believers

Filipino fighter Rene Catalan made his sixth appearance inside the ONE Championship cage at ONE: Kings of Courage, held at the Jakarta Convention Center in Indonesia, Saturday evening. He faced 21-year-old Chinese athlete Peng Xue Wen in the opening main card bout, and leaned on his elite wushu skills to stop the young star at the 4:22 mark of the second round.

The victory improves Catalan’s record to 4-2 (1 NC), extends his winning streak to four, and gives him the first TKO stoppage of his martial arts career, as he bids to climb the strawweight ladder in search of the ONE Strawweight World Championship.

“The Challenger” came out in the southpaw stance to open the bout, throwing big hooks and a head kick that narrowly missed as he established the center of the cage from the start of the contest.

The Filipino landed a host of powerful strikes, including a perfectly-placed uppercut and a melee of punishing leg kicks, but Peng’s conditioning and composure kept him in the match as he looked to stand and trade with the man 18 years his elder.

Catalan picked up where he left off when the bout resumed in the second round, this time operating out of the orthodox stance, landing more leg kicks and continuing to deny Peng any space to work.

Despite his dominance on the feet, there was a brief moment of concern for the Filipino on the mat when he jumped into the Chinese wrestler’s guard mid-way through the second round, and immediately found himself in a triangle choke. But the Filipino kept his composure and managed to work himself free.

Once the fighters returned to their feet, Catalan poured on the pressure in search of a finish, and he got it with just 38 seconds remaining in the stanza.

“The Challenger” scored big with a liver shot, then unloaded a fierce flurry of punches that forced Peng onto his back foot. Another shot forced Peng to the mat, where a salvo of ground and pound from Catalan eventually forced the TKO stoppage as referee Olivier Coste stepped in to halt the contest.

Photo, story, and video from ONE Championship

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Gelo Alolino regrets Phoenix’s failure to close out Hotshots



Photo by PBA Images

Gelo Alolino had his best game for the Phoenix Fuel Masters on Saturday night at the Cuneta Astrodome with 19 points, eclipsing his previous career-high of 16 markers which he made last May 21, 2017 in a loss to the Mahindra Floodbuster.

But his achievement won’t be too memorable, as it went for naught following a 91-97 defeat at the hands of Paul Lee and the Magnolia Hotshots, who have now collected their third straight victory.

For the second overall pick in the regular 2016 Rookie Draft, it was all because of their failure to sustain momentum up until the game’s final buzzer.

“Sayang, nandun na. We felt na sa amin na nung dulo kaso lang ganun talaga,” rued the 24-year-old sophomore after the match, where he shot an excellent 7-of-10 from the floor.

“Breaks of the game napunta sa kabila.”

Phoenix were in contention all throughout the match. In fact, they were even ahead, 89-84, with just three minutes left to play. But the Hotshots’ comeback skills were unleashed, leading to the narrow win.

“Siyempre kami lahat nasayangan. Maganda naman yung team effort talaga namin,” admitted the 6-foot floor general of their end-game collapse, which wasted their efforts in assists (21) and on defense, where they forced Magnolia to 21 turnovers.

“Kami as players talagang gusto namin bumawi coming from a loss last game sa Rain or Shine.

The Fuel Masters have now lost their second straight outing and have dropped to 2-3. And for Alolino, all they have to do is learn as much as they can from this loss, especially now that they are about to face the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel next.

“Yun nga. Medyo masakit para sa’min ‘to,” admitted the National University product.

“All we have to do is magviview ulit kami ng tape para makita kung saan kami mas pwede mag-improve as a team and bawat isa — including me.”

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Glenn Khobuntin repays Ricky Dandan’s trust with end-game heroics



FILE Photo from PBA Images

Glenn Khobuntin can finally say that he had himself a moment in the pro ranks

The National University alumnus proved his worth for the Kia Picanto, scoring his team’s final six points to steer the often-ridiculed club to their first win after a historic 16-game skid, at the expense of the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters, 98-94.

“I knew he would. I knew he would,” lauded Kia head coach Ricky Dandan of the takeover by the six-foot-four forward.

“It was a blessing he didn’t play for the first two quarters because he [came in] fresh at gigil na gigil.”

Khobuntin finished with 11 markers on 5-of-7 shooting — the best game he’s had so far, not because of the numbers he posted but with the way he made them. But the three-year pro does not want to take the spotlight all onto himself.

“Hindi lang din naman ako e, kami ding lahat e,” the 26-year-old shared. “Siguro kumbaga nagka-opportunity lang, napunta sa akin yung bola kasi yun yung nasa scheme ng play so ayun.

“Thankful lang ako na-hit ko yung mga na-design na plays.”

However, the third-year pro admitted that he had been frightened during the game’s final stretch, as Rain or Shine managed to impose a serious threat by coming back from a seven-point deficit, 94-96, with just less than 22 ticks left to play.

“Kinakabahan ako kasi two minutes pa rin yun e tapos Rain or Shine yung kalaban namin,” the native of Cagayan de Oro said. “Nakita ko nakakabalik sila. Thankful lang naman ako na yung game napunta sa amin, at least natapos yung losing streak namin.”

But more than the end of their months-long slump, what Khobuntin is grateful for is the trust given to him by Dandan, who fielded him as a starter in the second half after sitting out the entirety of the first 24 minutes.

“Nag-decide siya na ako yung i-start niya so thankful ako kasi nagtiwala siya sa akin.”

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Justin Brownlee, Alab lock down Knights for fifth win



Paying a visit to Indonesia for the first time this season, Tanduay Alab Pilipinas needed time to figure the CLS Knights out before stifling the hosts in the final frame to take a 92-87 road win, Saturday evening at the GOR CLS Kertajaya in Indonesia.

This is Alab’s second straight win after losing to the Singapore Slingers last January 10.

With the win, the Philippine-based club team lifts its slate to 5-4 for solo fourth. CLS, on the other hand, dropped to 1-7 — just half a game ahead of the cellar-dwelling Formosa Dreamers.

Justin Brownlee displayed his all-around brilliance in the game, leading Alab with 36 points on 15-for-24 shooting to go along with eight rebounds, seven assists, and three steals.

But Alab’s bench could not sustain the effort of the starters, which meant the team was clinging to a two-point lead with 7:06 remaining.

Needing a spark, 40-year-old sniper Dondon Hontiveros provided for Alab, knocking down a triple that proved to be the starting point 14-2 Alab run. A jumper by Bobby Ray Parks, Jr. with 2:57 left capped the rally and gave Alab an 87-73 lead.

Hontiveros scored five of the eight Alab bench points. Fortunately for Alab, Renaldo Balkman and Bobby Ray Parks, Jr. were on point. The former tallying a double-double with 17 points and 13 rebounds, while Alab’s skipper had 14 points, four assists, two rebounds, two steals, and two blocks.

Coach Jimmy Alapag fielded his bench afterwards, but they let the quintet of Brian Williams, Mario Wuysang, Arif Hidayat, Decorey Jones, and Sandy Kurniawan slice the lead to as low as four points. Then free throws by Oping Sumalinog with eight ticks left put CLS away for good.

Williams paced CLS with 22 points and 14 rebounds while Kurniawan added 19 markers. Indonesian legend Wuysang had 17 points and six rebounds in the loss.

Alab ends its road trip on Sunday, January 28, when it takes on the Saigon Heat at the CIS Arena in Ho Chi Minh City.

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