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Lady Tams snatch win from Tigresses to move up step-ladder

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After trailing for most of the game, the Far Eastern University Lady Tamaraws find themselves in the second round of the Final Four stepladder, snatching the game in the fourth quarter from the University of Santo Tomas Growling Tigresses, 62-61, Sunday at the Mall of Asia Arena.

The Tigresses dominated most of the first quarter, holding a clumsy FEU squad to only six points in the first seven minutes to take a 12-6 lead. A 5-0 run by the Lady Tams in the final minute however would close the gap for the women of Morayta, 12-11 at the end of the first.

FEU would manage to get a taste of the lead, 14-12 at the start of the quarter. but Lore Rivera and Maica Cortes would fire back for the Tigresses and wrestle back the lead, 17-16, in the first three minutes of the second quarter. With the rest of their team struggling to find the easy basket, Lore Rivera and Maica Cortes would lead the charge for Espana, combining for 26 of their 31 first half points; with 15 and 10 markers respectively. FEU meanwhile would rely on Claire Castro’s 8 points and Angel Arellado and Jacqueline Tanaman’s 7, making up for 22 of FEU’s 24. The Tigresses would also manage to bring down a whopping twenty-two offensive boards, care of Cortes, who brought down 17 rebounds in 18 minutes of play. The Tigresses would close the quarter with the lead, 31-24, after veering away from their usual fiery, run-and-gun play.

Back-to-back three pointers from Angel Arellado and Lorraine Ventura would trim the gap to one point, 31-30, in the first minute of the second half. Lore Rivera however would fire back for UST, scoring five straight points off a trifecta and breakaway jumper to extend the lead to 36-30 within the minute. A floater from Kim Reyes would extend the lead, 38-30. With the Tigresses controlling the boards and the duo of Rivera and Cortes still unstoppable, UST would retain the lead, 48-41, entering the final period of the ballgame.

With Rivera and Cortes getting some much needed rest, Sofie Felisarta and Clarice Magdaluyo would pick up the offensive for the Tigresses to open the fourth quarter to extend the lead to as much as nine points, 54-45. UST would continue to enjoy the lead for the next few minutes, but halfway through the fourth, Angel Arellado and Claire Castro would rise to the occasion and take advantage of the worn-out Tigresses. With Rivera and Cortes beginning to show signs of fatigue, the Lady Tams would finally come within striking distance, 59-60, approaching the final three minutes.

After a series of turnovers, the Tigresses would remain unable to take back the lead heading into the final two minutes. A lay-up by Claire Castro from a pass from Lorraine Ventura would give FEU the lead, 61-60, with 54.9 left on the clock. After another series of missed baskets, a split free-throw opportunity from Lore Rivera would force the deadlock, 61-all with twenty seconds left on the clock.

With clock about to expire, Ventura would be fouled on a lay-up attempt. She would manage to hit one of two to give FEU the narrow lead, 62-61 with around three seconds left on the clock.

UST’s leading scorer Lore Rivera would manage to find the ball in their next possession, but was fouled before she could get into position for the shot attempt. As FEU still had fouls to give, the foul would only serve to trouble UST further. With 1.2 seconds left, UST would have one more chance at snatching back the win, but the inbound pass would result in the ball ending up in the hands of FEU’s April Siat just as the final buzzer sounded. After four quarters, the Lady Tams would be the ones celebrating on the floor.

Angel Arellado led FEU with 18 points. Claire Castro meanwhile had 15 points and 8 rebounds while Jacqueline Tanaman had 12. UST’s Lore Rivera finished with a game-high 23 points, along with 14 rebounds. Maica Cortes added 16 points and 23 rebounds. Both Rivera and Cortes put up stellar performances in the first half, but struggled in the final period.

With the win, FEU move up the step-ladder to face last year’s champions, the De La Salle University Lady Archers, this coming Thursday, 11 am at the San Juan Arena

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Basketball

SJ Belangel makes leap to top 3 of Chooks-to-Go/NBTC 24

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Ateneo Blue Eaglets towering teen Kai Sotto and La Salle Greenhills Junior Blazers court general Joel Cagulangan remained as the top two high school players in the Chooks-to-Go/National Basketball Training Center 24, but there was a lot of movement this week, including the rise of SJ Belangel.

Belangel, Ateneo’s graduating floor leader had a sensational week, helping steer the Blue Eaglets to an unblemished 10-0 record. With his exploits, he was the consensus third-ranked player of the week, leapfrogging Mapua High School’s and NCAA MVP Will Gozum.

FEU-Diliman do-it-all guard L-Jay Gonzales and Katipunan swingman Dave Ildefonso also moved up the ladder while UST Tiger Cub ace CJ Cansino dropped to eighth after finishing fourth last week.

Besides movement at the top, there were also a lot of debutatants in this week’s list.

Blue Eaglets double-double machine Joaqui Manuel’s workhorse type of game paid off as he was ranked 21st this week.

After firing 51 markers last weekend, Bacolod Tay Tung High School’s Harold Alarcon was named as the 22nd top prospect.

Joshua Yerro of University of Visayas then rounded out the list.

Here is the complete Chooks-to-Go/NBTC 24 Week 2:

1. Kai Sotto, center, Ateneo (1)
2. Joel Cagulangan, guard, La Salle (2)
3. SJ Belangel, guard, Ateneo (5)
4. Will Gozum, center, Mapua (3)
5. L-Jay Gonzales, guard, FEU-Diliman (6)
6. Dave Ildefonso, forward, Ateneo (8)
7. Rhayyan Amsali, forward, NU (7)
8. CJ Cansino, forward, UST (4)
9. Clint Escamis, guard, Mapua (10)
10. Aaron Fermin, center, Arellano (9)
11. Terrence Fortea, guard, NU (16)
12. RJ Abarrientos, guard, FEU-Diliman (15)
13. Inand Fornilos, forward, La Salle (11)
14. Evan Nelle, guard, San Beda (12)
15. Warren Bonifacio, center, Mapua (13)
16. John Galinato, guard, Chiang Kai Shek (14)
17. Mac Guadaña, guard, Lyceum (18)
18. Raven Cortez, center, La Salle Zobel (19)
19. Harvey Pagsanjan, guard, Hope Christian (20)
20. Maui Cruz, guard, EAC (23)
21. Joaqui Manuel, forward, Ateneo (N/A)
22. Harold Alarcon, guard, Tay Tung-Bacolod (N/A)
23. Jancork Cabahug, forward, UV (17)
24. Joshua Yerro, guard, UV (N/A)

On Tuesday, January 23, the second episode of Chooks-to-Go/NBTC 24 will air live at 7:00pm. Tonight’s special guest will be former Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas player and NBTC alumnus Jeron Teng.

The Chooks-to-Go/National Basketball Training Centre 24 is the first-ever attempt to rank the top high school prospects in the country today.

The weekly ranking used the following criteria: league stats, impact in team, team record, leadership, defense, offense, and level of competition.

These rankings will be used to determine the 24 players who will take part in the annual SM-NBTC High School All-Star Game on March at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.

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MIT

Joyce Sta. Rita slams 28 as Lady Stags avert Cardinal upset

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Erasing a disappointing third set, the San Sebastian College-Recoletos Lady Stags upended the upset-conscious Mapua University Lady Cardinals, 25-20, 25-7, 29-31, 25-14, Tuesday afternoon at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

The win revived the Lady Stags’ campaign after back-to-back losses to Jose Rizal University and University of Perpetual Help System DALTA. San Sebastian is now at 3-2.

“Andun pa rin naman, apat pa naman laro,” said Stags’ head coach Roger Gorayeb on their chances for the Final Four. “Sana umabot.”

Team captain Joyce Sta. Rita produced a career-high 28 points off 22 attacks, four blocks, and two serves. The senior middle hitter paced her squad’s 58 spikes, which outscored that of Mapua’s 33.

The Lady Cards capitalized on the rotation wherein Sta. Rita was in the backline in that third set turnaround. Nonetheless, Vira Guillema and the rest of the Lady Stags just turned to their experience to ultimately finish the match.

Gorayeb, nonetheless, hopes his team will toughen up mentally for the home stretch of the eliminations. “Kasi ‘yung laro, nawawala na ‘yan sa physical side, napupunta na sa psychological part ng game.”

San Sebastian will take on Colegio de San Juan de Letran (2-3) on Thursday.

Angelie Magundayao lead the Cardinals with 10 markers.

Mapua (0-5) will take on Emilio Aguinaldo College (0-5) in a battle of winless earlier that day.

The Scores:

SSC-R 3 – Sta. Rita 28, Dalisay 17, Santos 11, Encarnacion 10, Guillema 4, Tiangco 2, Eroa L.

MU 1 – Mangundayao 10, Racelis 9, Pena 9, Latayan 5, Morano 4, Frando 2, Mercado 1, Barias 0, Hermano 0, Ramilo L.

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MIT

Cardinals blast Golden Stags for third win

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After absorbing a sorry defeat from the San Beda College Red Spikers in their last outing, the Mapua University Cardinals subdued the San Sebastian College-Recolletos Golden Stags, 26-24, 25-16, 26-24, to take their third victory of the season, Tuesday morning at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

Mark Jason Egan paced the Intramuros-based squad with 14 points on eight attacks and three each of blocks and serves. Team captain Anjo Pertierra finished with 13 markers, while Alfred Pagulong had 10.

Despite a miserable reception output, Cardinals setter Raven Evangelista still had a field day as he produced 32 excellent sets on the 41 attack points of his squad.

Such would not go unnoticed as Pertierra lauded his playmaker’s production that led to the win. He said, “Sobrang ganda kung performance ni Raven. Nakapag-adjust siya sa bad reception. Kino-commend ko siya today.”

Losing that second set big, the Stags threatened to steal the third as they led 21-18 off back-to-back hits from James Eugenio and even forced a deuce. Nonetheless, a quick attack from Pertierra and an ace off Pagulong sealed the win for the Cards.

Pertierra admitted their lack of intensity almost cost them the first and third sets, and hopes the team address it as soon as the next game against the Emilio Aguinaldo College Generals.

“Kilala naman EAC na maganda floor defense, sobrang makapit. Sasabayan namin sila, we’ll give our best,” he shared.

That important tussle between the Cards (3-2) and the Generals (2-3) will happen on Thursday.

Former skipper Jahir Ebrahim led the Stags with 16 markers.

San Sebastian (1-4) will try to get back on winning track when they face winless Letran (0-5) later that day.

The Scores:

MU 3 – Egan 14, Pertierra 13, Pagulong 10, Damian 8, Navera 8, Evangelista 1, Bondoc L.

SSC-R 0 – Ebrahim 16, Lana 9, Eugenio 8, Ronato 6, Ongque A 3, Campuspos 1, Eusebio 1, Lazaro 0, Toledo 0, Ongque AC L, Enano L.

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AU

Kent Salado re-injures MCL, out for Go for Gold campaign

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Photo by PBA Images

Kent Salado suffers a setback

The worst fear of the Go for Gold Scratchers came true Monday evening as all-around combo guard Kent Salado re-injured the medial cruciate ligament in his right knee.

The injury was confirmed by Kent Salado and the officials of Go for Gold and he will miss the entire 2018 PBA D-League Aspirants Cup.

With under three minutes left in the third quarter of Go for Gold’s opening game against the Gamboa-St. Clare Coffee Lovers Monday afternoon, the 5-foot-9 guard went for a drive but could not get the proper lift. He tried to walk it off but limped towards the audience section of the Pasig Sports Center.

“Parang may narinig nga siya na may tumunog daw,” shared Scratchers head coach Charles Tiu after their 75-68 win.

“We’re very worried.

“I think our PT said baka MCL ‘yun, so that might be a month or two, so that’s a big problem for us,” the youthful mentor added.

Salado finished the game with nine points, five rebounds, four assists, and three steals. He was immediately rushed to the Makati Medical Center afterwards. At around nine in the evening, the MRI showed that he tore his ACL as was initially reported by Tiebreaker Times. A second opinion, however, contradicted the initial diagnosis, showing only an MCL tear.

Prior to this, the native of Cagayan de Oro suffered a partial tear on medial collateral damage on the same knee last October 10, 2017 during Arellano’s 85-79 win over the San Sebastian Golden Stags.

With this setback, Salado was also advised to not play in the summer leagues to fully recover in time for the NCAA Season 94 Seniors Basketball tournament.

“Okay lang para NCAA na ko makapaglaro,” he said.

“Mas importante naman yun.”

The 23-year-old averaged 19.1 points, 5.0 assists, 3.8 rebounds, and 1.3 steals last season. He is eligible to enter the 2018 PBA Rookie Draft.

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