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Manila Jeepney inch closer to quarters; demolish Nomads

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Division I side Manila Jeepney FC stepped near a slot in the knockout stage of the 2015 United Football League (UFL) Cup as they pummelled Nomads FC, 7-0, Saturday, May 23 at Rizal Memorial Football Stadium.

The top flight team went on the attack early and at the third minute a shot from Arthur Kouassi went wide. The formidable striker had two more chances inside the first 10 minutes. The latter of these opportunities was converted into the goal when he broke free from the defense on the left flank and slotted the ball into the back of the net. The blue-and-red pushed for more goals, but they were having problems on their build up. In the 21st minute, Nomads’ Carl Amisola had a shot on goal, which was blocked by the opposing goalkeeper RJ Joyel; which then followed with a corner kick that was unsuccessful.

In the half-hour mark, Nomads was called on a handball inside the box conceding a penalty to Manila Jeepney. Kouassi calmly sank the spot kick pass the white-and-green’s keeper Joshua Cruz to pad the lead, 2-0. The Division I mainstays played better and the defense had no choice but to foul and deny the chances. A few seconds before the halftime whistle, Manila Jeepney’s Eric Giganto breached the offside trap and fired a shot into the onion bag for his team’s third. The first half ended with the higher seeds with a comfortable 3-0 lead.

It was pretty much the same in the second half as Manila Jeepney FC continued to roll on offense, whereas Nomads only had a few opportunities on their attacking third. The leading side was able to execute better on the build up and found creativity on finishing. Kouassi, Van Rey Diaz, and Alvaro Alonso had chances to score, nonetheless, the defense of the former Division II squad held. On their part, Nomads had a chance to take one back off Manuel Yuhico from yards out in the 59th minute, which was easily retrieved by Joyel. Ten minutes after, Jamal Dalir Lord connected to Alonso inside the box and the latter tucked the ball into the goal as their side now leads, 4-0.

It was total domination onwards as Manila Jeepney controlled the possession and attack despite the lead, thwarting any attempt by Nomads to comeback. UAAP standout Arnel Amita found the back of the net for his team’s fifth at the 74th minute when he drove in and shot from inside the box. As if the score line was not enough, Lord fired two more goals in two minutes to push the Division I team a step closer into the next phase of the Cup. The match ended 7-0 in favor of the Manila Jeepney.

Amita shared that they made adjustments for the second half with regards to their build up. “Tungkol po dun sa [build up], huwag lang pilitan yung bola kung masikip po; dapat execute lang ng maayos, tapos balasahin ng maigi para makascore kami ng simple lang,” he explained. The win gives Manila Jeepney a good chance to make it to the quarterfinals and the team is aware of it. However, the winger stressed that they need to win their next game. “Kailangan naming maipanalo, mapakita yung galing namin sa team sa next game.” On his part, Amita believes that his training with the U23 men’s national team helped his game in the UFL. He said, “Opo, kasi nung nasa Australia kami, mas matangkad yung kalaban namin kesa dito, so mas nakakagalaw ako ng maayos. Tapos nakakapag-execute ng maayos.”

Manila Jeepney will battle Laos FC on the last day of group stage action, Tuesday, May 26, while Nomads will close their UFL Cup campaign against Forza FC on the same day.

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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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Basketball

KIA signs Carlo Lastimosa

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After being released by the NLEX Road Warriors during the off-season, gunner Carlo Lastimosa has found a new home.

KIA Picanto team governor Bobby Rosales confirmed to Tiebreaker Times Thursday evening that they have tapped Carlo Lastimosa for the rest of the PBA Philippine Cup campaign.

“Yes,” Rosales confirmed in a text message.

Lastimosa, a two-time All-Star, averaged 8.8 points, 1.4 rebounds, and 1.7 assists in his one-year stay with the Road Warriors. Coach Yeng Guiao cited that NLEX already had too many guards that resulted to Lastimosa’s release.

The product of College of Saint Benilde was drafted as the 20th overall pick in the 2013 Rookie Draft by Barako Bull. A year later, he was traded to the Blackwater Elite for Brian Heruala.

The 27-year-old is set to make his debut on Saturday when the Picanto take on the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters.

The Kia Picanto are in the midst of a 16-game losing streak.

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Marinerong Pilipino withstands furious Zark’s rally to open season on high note

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The Marinerong Pilipino Skippers averted a collapse and held off the Zark’s Burger-Lyceum Jawbreakers to come away with the 94-92 thriller to open the 2018 PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.

Losing hold of a 17-point edge, 56-39 with 7:57 left in the third frame, the Skippers survived the furious rally from the Jawbreakers in the clutch as Mike Nzeusseu and CJ Perez missed their three-pointers in the final minute before Rian Ayonayon and Renzo Subido sealed off the win for their side at the charity stripe

Subido topscored for Marinerong Pilipino with 20 points, five assists, and three rebounds, while Ayonayon unleashed 15 markers, three boards, and two dimes in the early battle between the two contenders.

Gab Banal also registered a double-double of 14 points, 14 rebounds, six assists, and four steals against his 10 turnovers in the win, while Papot Paredes got 12 of his 14 markers in the first half to help the Skippers establish control at halftime.

Victorious as Marinerong Pilipino maybe in the marquee matchup, coach Koy Banal refused to brand his side as the undisputed team-to-beat, noting: “This win means nothing. We need to keep on working get better every day because everybody will now prepare for us.”

Banal also lauded top rookie picks Alvin Pasaol and Abu Tratter, who were both fielded in the second half and stepped up to help the Skippers’ cause.

“Those guys have been with us since January 2 lang, and pretty much, medyo nangangapa pa sila sa sistema. But good thing is that they were able to deliver especially when their number were called,” he said.

The Skippers used a huge 12-0 run to end the second quarter to grab a 47-35 halftime lead, which further ballooned to 17, 56-39 in the third quarter.

Jaycee Marcelino paced Zark’s Burger-Lyceum with 20 points, four rebounds, and three assists in the loss, while Perez had 19 markers and five assists.

Earlier, PBA officer-in-charge Willie Marcial and PBA vice chairman Dickie Bachmann of Alaska graced the opening ceremonies, which was made special thanks to league newcomer Mila’s Lechon.

Marinerong Pilipino looks to sustain the momentum it gained in this game when it faces the Akari-Adamson Falcons on Thursday, January 25 at 5:00pm. Zark’s Burgers, on the other hand, takes on the Batangas-EAC Generals on Tuesday, January 23 at 4:00pm.

The Scores:

Marinerong Pilipino 94 – Subido 20, Ayonayon 15, Paredes 14, Banal 14, Robles 10, Tolentino 4, Tratter 4, Pasaol 4, Terso 3, Lopez 2, Inigo 2, Babilonia 2, Toth 0.

Zark’s 92 – Marcelino JC 20, Perez 19, Nzeusseu 18, Ayaay 11, Ibanez 6, Marcelino JV 6, Cinco 5, Tansingco 3, Santos 2, Pretta 2, Marata 0, Liwag 0

Quarterscores: 17-19, 47-34, 69-58, 94-92

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CSJL

Pirates notch first win at struggling Knights’ expense

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After floundering in their first three games, the Lyceum of the Philippines University Pirates broke into the win column after trouncing the Colegio San Juan de Letran Knights, 20-25, 27-25, 25-20, 25-22, at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

The Pirates, after a sluggish start, got the best of their Intramuros neighbors by limiting their miscues in the latter three sets. According to head coach Emil Lontoc, Lyceum needed every bit of momentum they gained in their rousing win in the second set.

“Nabuhayan sila (Pirates) ng loob noong makalusot kami noong second set,” Lontoc said. “Mababa ‘yung nilaro namin nung simula tapos medyo struggle pa din noong sumunod na set. Pero nakabangon din. Crucial ‘yun kasi baka hindi na kami naka-angat kung natalo pa kami noong second set.”

The Pirates delivered three of their four aces in the final set to close the match. They also shored up their reception, finishing at 38 percent, after an atrocious start.

Jhonel Badua topped the Pirates with 19 points while Joeward Presnede added 14.

Lyceum (1-3) takes on the undefeated Arellano University (4-0) on Sunday at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

Paul John Alilio and Bobby Gatdula each provided Letran with 19 points. Christopher Cistina managed 11 markers.

Letran (0-4) aims for their first win against rivals San Beda College (3-1) on Monday.

The Scores

LPU (3) – Badua 19, Presnede 14, Lajara 9, Ilano 7, Samonte 5, Uy 5, Rubio (L)

CSJL (1) – Alilio 19, Gatdula 19, Cistina 11, Almoguerra 3, Ladeon 3, Dizon 2, Domingo 2, Brioso 0, Tumbali 0, Centeno (L), Timbreza (L)

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D-League to hold three-day showcase for players

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Seeking to further display the greatness of the Filipino basketball players, the PBA is giving more chances to the cagers as the league is set to hold the first-ever PBA D-League Showdown later this conference.

Opening the eighth season with this ground-breaking news, PBA officer-in-charge Willie Marcial is hopeful that this will serve as another motivation for the players to perform at their best this 2018 PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup.

“Ginagawa naman natin ito para mas galingan ng mga players natin para rin maipakita nila yung tunay nilang talento,” he said Thursday during the opening ceremonies at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.

Marcial bared that the plan is to hold a two-day summit for the players suiting up in the ongoing conference to allow them to showcase their talents in front of coaches and scouts, not just from the PBA but also from countries in the Southeast Asian region.

“Lahat ng mga players ay maglalaro dito at mapapanood hindi lang ng mga PBA coaches,” he said.

“Iimbitahin din namin ang mga coaches ng ibang bansa tulad ng Malaysia, Thailand, at Vietnam na kumukuha ng imports sa atin.”

Marcial acknowledged that as much as players seek to make the jump to the pro league, securing spots in the PBA teams have been hard to crack over the past few years, forcing the players to look elsewhere for opportunities.

That has made playing in overseas leagues an option for these less fortunate ballers, keeping them earning while also hoping to impress scouts while keeping their PBA dreams alive.

Some of the players who suited up in the D-League and are currently playing outside of the country are Paul Zamar and Almond Vosotros in Thailand, AJ Mandani in Singapore, and Reil Cervantes in Indonesia.

With this project, Marcial is hopeful that this would keep the players in line while also delivering the best competition the D-League could dream of.

“Iwasan natin ang bisyo at galingan ninyo.”

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