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Laos FC’s all-around offense smothered Nomads FC



United Football League (UFL) Division II Laos FC showed their offensive prowess as they dispatch Nomads FC, 7-1, to start off their UFL Cup campaign, Sunday, May 3 at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium.

Laos FC made their intentions known at the sound of the kickoff whistle, immediately  going on an offensive charge, which paid off. Within the second minute fo the game, Patrik Franksson was able to move around the defense and power the ball to the top right corner of the net to draw first blood. Their momentum, however,  did not stop there. Only two minutes later, Cheick Camara had an attempt for another goal, but his shot was blocked by Nomads goalkeeper, Enrique Ortiz. The resulting rebound touched the feet of Aaron Altiche, only to be quickly collected by the Nomads goalkeeper once again. The UFL Division II leaders, however, continued to press on, keeping their momentum. During the sixth minute, Shayan Jafary converted an assist from the left to double the gap, 2-0. Afterwards, the Nomads finally got a break on the offense in the ensuing play. Benjamin Tolete tried to fire a looping shot in front of Oliver Moreno, who was able to tap it out for a corner kick. Furthermore, the Nomad’s efforts were all denied by the Laos defense, who easily dealt with their attempts. The trailing squad was unable to get their offense going, having their momentum stopped with two offside calls in succession. Moreover, in the 12th minute mark of the match, Tolete failed to finish on another pass that was given to him by teammate, Jorge Goitia.

Nomads kept on penetrating the box, and were eventually rewarded with a free kick, as Alhassan Mohammedu of Laos fouled Lionel William, 15 minutes into the game. Goitia, however, could not convert on the free kick. The following play awarded Williams with another free kick, and this time he was not be denied, when he pierced through the hole in the Laos wall with a direct shot to cut the deficit to one, 1-2, in the 17th minute. The goal served as a wake-up call for the Nomads as they were able to execute their plays better. Soon afterwards, Nomads’ Philip Zemen Isnardi stole the ball from the Laos midfield and managed to connect to his winger. Despite the opportunities given, they were unable to make the most of it. Laos then took advantage of the men in black’s unsuccessful chances and began their counterattack. Laos’ forward Jafary, survived a scuffle in front of the goal, and flicked the ball into the back of the net to restore the two-point cushion for his team yet again, 3-1.

Laos’ aggressiveness did not drop a notch, regardless of the Nomad’s lead. In the 24th minute, the team had another chance, but a Franksson’s header off an Altiche pass was collected by Ortiz. On the other hand, Nomads tried to get one back, two minutes after, yet a shot by William hit the crossbar and was, consequently, cleared by the opposing defense. At the 27th minute, Nomads’ backline denied another attempt by Franksson, but a rebound by Camara helped put his team up, 4-1. It was back-and-forth action from that moment, until Nomads’ Patrick Wilson, from way outside the box, shot at the goal only to be caught by the opponent’s keeper Moreno, at the half-hour mark. Nomads kept on attacking with Tolete making another shot that was, once again, easily retrieved by Moreno. At the 36th minute, Laos defense maintained its stronghold, preventing an attempt from Darren Hartmann, who was fouled at the edge of the box earlier.

The Division II mainstays tried to shoot from yards out, however the attempts of Jafary and Altiche did not pose as a threat. A minute before the first half whistle, Laos striker, Franksson, made Ortiz pay for the goalkeeper’s mistake of surging ahead too early. The halftime score was 5-1 in favor of Laos FC.

At the onset of the second period, Franksson tried another one for Laos, only to be off the side netting. Nomads, being in the back heel throughout the match, started to up the offensive ante in this half. At the 48th minute, William connected with Fabrice Coulibaly, who was off target. In the succeeding play, Hartmann was awarded a free kick that he was unable to convert into a score. Moreno was continuously tested by Coulaliby and William with long bombs, which did not faze the custodian.

With the lead, Laos almost stayed on the defensive for most of the entire half of the game. However, in the 79th minute, Camara took off from the wing and made a wonderful long shot into the onion bag, to break the long silence and further the lead for the former Division I squad. The match went into the doldrums again, with only the final whistle waiting to be blown. Around the 85th minute, a foul was called on Nomads inside the penalty area. Figo Elhabib, who entered in lieu of his brother Bads, delivered the final blow as he calmly sank the bonus for the final score, 7-1. William, who had been the lone bright spot for Nomads, strived to get one back in injury time only to be stopped by the steady Moreno.

Laos FC will try to push their winning run against Forza FC on May 10, while Nomads FC will test their mettle against Division I mainstays and group favorites on Saturday, May 16.


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



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



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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Ilocos United takes leave from PFL



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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CJ Perez, Jaycee Marcelino in unison: D-League is a whole other level



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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