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Lunging Forward: UAAP Men’s Fencing Recap Day 1

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Finding a new home at the UP College of Human Kinetics Gym, the UAAP Fencing Championship took off without a hitch. All schools showed great power and determination as their fencers once again took hold of their swords to fight for the pride of their respective universities.

Battling to the end: Individual Epee

Starting the day with an impressive display spirited lunges and lighting-like stabs, the men’s epee tournament highlighted the skills and talents of the rosters and showed just a glimpse of what was to come.

Fielding two fencers for the tournament, three schools rose above the rest as they quickly dominated their division. The three schools being none other than DLSU, UE, and UST who were quick to dispatch the fencers of ADMU (Michael Tan) and UP (Juan Concepcion and Armstrong Tibay). Rough patches, however, cut down the numbers of DLSU and UE as their UST counterparts were also quick to take them out. DLSU’s Rodriguez fell to UST’s Joselito Jose, 15-11, and UE’s Erigna was routed by UST’s Bernindino Aribas.

The damage done by a resurgent UST team hungry to play a part in the regaining of their lost UAAP general championship, however, did not go unnoticed by DLSU’s lone combatant Raymond Orozco and UE’s final fencer Nathaniel Perez as both were quick to switch to offense. Sadly for UE, only Orozco succeeded as he was able to fell UST’s Aribas. This however did not equate to another victory as he ultimately lost to UST’s Jose who took home the gold.

Raymund Orozco, Joselito Jose, Bernardino Aribas, and Nathaniel Perez

Raymund Orozco, Joselito Jose, Bernardino Aribas, and Nathaniel Perez

Besides the gold won by Jose, Aribas also took home the bronze which he shared with UE’s Perez while green and white Fencer Orozco took home the silver.

Reversed Outcome: Individual Sabre

While the first matches were filled with their own share of heartbreaks and surprises for the less fortunate teams, the men’s sabre which took place in the afternoon held a surprising twist to finally cap off the day.

Creating an intimidating lead early were none other than UST and UE, who were both initially in the position to duel once again in a repeat of the day’s earlier matches. Fate, however, had a different plan as FEU’s Andrew Raymundo and UP’s Juan Ferrer quickly ate out the lead carved by both UE and UST to deny both powerhouses the chance to compete for the gold.
Overcoming the powerhouses, both Ferrer and Raymundo engaged in a duel that could be described as the day’s highlight. Likened to the duels of the old medieval ages, both Ferrer and Raymundo gave it their best to secure the gold for their team.

Fighting like each point was the difference between life and death, both sides tried and succeeded in denying their opposition even the tiniest headway. Switching blows and lunges, it seemed UP had more to give as Ferrer finally ended the day’s tensest match with a quick counterattack to end at 15-14. The truly emotional win for UP, however, served a purpose far greater than school pride as it also acted as a tribute to UP’s Allan Salupado, who was slated to compete but sadly lost his life before the UAAP Fencing Championship.

Sabre Champion: Juan Paolo Ferrer-UP

Sabre Champion: Juan Paolo Ferrer-UP

Joining Ferrer on the podium were Raymundo who grabbed the silver along with UE’s Bruce Ng and UST’s Angelo Ramos who both shared the bronze.

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Football

Brazilian football legend Zico to visit Manila

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Contributed photos

One of the best to ever play the Beautiful Game is coming to the Philippines. Zico, who electrified the footballing world in the ’70s and ’80s, is slated to visit Manila on the weekend of January 27.

The Brazilian, whose real name is Arthur Antunes Coimbra, is considered one of the best footballers in the world during the late 70’s and early 80’s. Zico starred for the Brazilian national team, scoring 48 goals in 71 appearances for the Selecao. In 1999, the attacking midfielder came 8th in the FIFA Player of the Century grand jury vote, and in 2004 was named in FIFA’s list of the world’s greatest living players.

Zico played for legendary Brazilian club Flamengo and also for the Italian Serie A team Udinese. He finished his playing career suiting up for Kashima Antlers in the J-League, the top tier of Japanese football, leading them to an unlikely runner-up finish.

The 64-year-old also had a successful managerial career, leading Turkey’s Fenerbahce, Greek team Olympiacos, and CSKA Moscow to titles. Zico was also in charge of the Japanese national team when they won the AFC Asian Cup in 2004. Because of that accomplishment, Zico is one of the most beloved football figures in the Land of the Rising Sun.

Seven Seas Properties, a company that promotes Philippine real estate and Philippine stocks in the Japanese market, is bringing the football icon here.

“We are delighted to welcome Zico to the Philippines. I’m sure he will give a big boost to the growing football scene here,” says Seven Seas Properties President Yukihiro Nishimura.

Zico will attend a CSR event with young footballers from underprivileged communities on Saturday, January 27. The following day, Sunday January 28, he will lead a football clinic for elite young players and coaches in the McKinley Hill stadium in Taguig. Football fans and media are welcome to watch this event, which kicks off at 2:00 pm. Admission is free.

Zico in Manila is also made possible by Otsuka – Solar Philippines, Inter Sports Partners, AgriNurture, and Primex.

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Jake Vicen saves Saint Benilde’s season, forces winner-take-all

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For most of the match, College of Saint Benilde Blazers’ goalkeeper Jake Vicen was under pressure. However, that just set up for his heroics in the end.

The third-year custodian came up big with two huge denials in the shootout as the Blazers won 4-2 after the match ended at 3-3 after 120 minutes against the Arellano University Chiefs, Friday evening at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.

Applying the same game plan and using their speed advantage, the Chiefs pummeled the Blazers’ defense plucking a chance at the set piece. The free kick went for nought, but the succeeding sequence turned to the go-ahead goal.

At the seventh minute, the ball bounced in front of Arellano captain Cymun Sanquilos, who blasted the ball into the top corner past the outstretched arms of Jake Vicen.

The rest of the first period was a defensive clinic from the Season 91 champions as Saint Benilde was left scouring for opportunities to level the match. The green-shirts just waited for that moment as their possession improved and their attacking aggressiveness increased in the following period.

At the one hour mark, Dean Ebarle received a low cross inside the penalty area, and finding himself unmarked, slotted the ball into the bag for the equalizer.

Both teams tried to break the deadlock once more, only neither team could not barge through the opposing defense in the remaining minutes of the second half and the whole of extra time.

Thus, the match has to be decided on kicks from the penalty spot.

Vicen and Jericho Desalisa denied the second kickers setting up a dramatic finish. To which the former turned his focus, “Sabi ko sa coaches, ‘Kukunin ko ‘to. Yung shoot out di naturalist hangga’t di pumipito yung ref.”

Patrick Bernarte missed miserably wide as Vicen was on point, setting up long-time teammate Moiselle Alforque for the winning spot kick.

Head coach Marlon Maro was pleased on how the Blaers responded in this game. As for the sudden-death match, he commented, “May the best team win.”

That third and deciding match is scheduled on Wednesday also at 6:00pm.

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Basketball

Gilas still sticking with Andray Blatche, says team manager Butch Antonio

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It will still be Andray Blatche

Gilas Pilipinas team manager Butch Antonio made it clear that naturalized Filipino Andray Blatche will be back for the second window of the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers in February.

Blatche has yet to attend Gilas practices due to his commitment with the Xinjiang Flying Tigers in the Chinese Basketball Association, but Antonio said that they have already reached out to the said league for his temporary release.

“We have already made communication. We sent a letter already,” said the executive after Gilas’ practice Monday. “Kasi that’s the protocol now eh… You have to write a letter to the team through the CBA and you will just have to wait for their reply.”

It is still uncertain if and when the Flying Tigers will lend the naturalized center to Gilas, who will face Australia and Japan on February 22 and 25, respectively. But Antonio is confident that the ball club will let the former NBA cager go.

“More ofte

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Jong Uichico calls for pool players to be complete as Gilas brace for Aussies

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Cause for concern?

In their second session for the second window of the 2019 FIBA World Cup Qualifiers, only nine of the 15 Gilas pool players actively participated.

June Mar Fajardo, Kiefer Ravena, Kevin Alas, Troy Rosario, Jiovani Jalalon, Carl Cruz, Gabe Norwood, Allein Maliksi, and Japeth Aguilar were in uniform while Roger Pogoy watched on the sidelines. Jayson Castro and Mac Belo were not present while Calvin Abueva and Raymond Almazan have yet to attend a session. 23 for 2023 cadets CJ Perez and Abu Tratter were called to duty to give the team added bodies.

The session ended earlier than usual, only practicing for around 45 minutes.

“Light lang naman. Some players had games last night,” said assistant coach Uichico, who together with Josh Reyes handled the night’s session. “Light lang pero we emphasized on some things in today’s practice, it’s more mental and a little bit of execution. “

With Gilas’ game against the 10th ranked Australia just 34 days away, Uichico expressed his concern that the Nationals won’t be as cohesive as they want it to be.

“It’s always a concern naman. We prefer once a week na lang naman, di pa tayo makumpleto,” expressed Uichico,

“We prefer really na makumpleto whether they practice or not, at least nandyan sila nanonood kung anong nangyayari.

“So mas mabilis yung pagtuto, especially if we put something new, at least nakikita nila kahit hindi nila naeexecute. We prefer and it’s really mandatory na nandito sila every Monday,” the mentor of the 2017 SEA Games team furthered.

Due to this, the staff of the team has yet to formulate a gameplan for the Aussies. A win against either the Boomers or Japan will automatically qualify Gilas to the next stage of the qualifiers.

“I don’t know. Our first plan is to practice everyday and then see if we can get the team complete as soon as possible.”

But as Gilas has proven time and time again, the multi-time PBA champion coach believes that they will overcome once more.

“There’s always challenges naman, especially the situation that we’re in. The PBA’s ongoing and we try to practice,” the soft-spoken tactician shared.

“There will always be challenges but every problem or challenge can be solved naman.”

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