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Mapua pushes for playoff spot with demolition of EAC



The logjam continues.

With a JRU win earlier today, the Mapua Institute of Techonology Cardinals joined the 12-6 crew as they end their elimination games with a blowout win against the cellar-dealing Emilio Aguinaldo College Generals, 88-63 and keep their season alive at the Filoil Flying V Arena on Friday afternoon.

The frontline crew of both teams came to play early with a fast joust between Allwell Oraeme and Hamadou Laminou being showcased. Mapua entered the penalty situation early, giving the Generals a lot of free throw attempts during the opening frame. EAC also limited the Cardinals to a scoreless five-minute drought in the middle of the first quarter that enabled them to build a 12-7 cushion. However, Mapua responded well by making four straight field goals in the last two minutes of the quarter including three baskets from JP Nieles. They would eventually end the period up by a point, 15-14.

The three-guard setup of Mapua was effective in transition as they kept running for their points. The number of lead changes and deadlocks also piled up during the second canto with a good exchange of outside shots by the teams being displayed. But just like in the first, Mapua would then again finish the quarter strong now with five straight layups in the last 3 minutes of the first half with CJ Isit and Josan Nimes scoring productively in transition.

As the Cardinals led by three at the break, the Generals were still knocking on the door despite 19 first half turnovers due to their 13 offensive rebounds. Mapua then fed their bigs in the interior as Mark Brana and Allwell Oraeme dominated the inside battle and score on plenty of paint points. Mapua’s defense also limited the Generals scoring to only eight points in the first six minutes of the second half while the frontcourt duo of the Cardinals kept on feasting in the paint.

Mapua then outscored EAC 20-12 in the third canto capped by a buzzer-beating layup by Brana to slowly shift the momentum in their side exclusively. By the fourth period, Mapua pounced more on the struggling Generals with good ball movement to locate their snipers from downtown while playing splendid defense on the other end.

Six quick points to start the final chapter pretty much closed the deal for the Cardinals as their core scorers were making the big shots to keep their season alive. Shane Menina also played big in the fourth, coming up with deflections and easy layups for Mapua. To add to their woes, Sidney Onwubere fouled out of the match to make things harder for the Generals as Mapua punched its ticket to the post-elimination round phase

“Depensa pa rin ang nagdala sa amin,” Mapua head coach Atoy Co said after the game. The Cardinals were able to limit the EAC Generals to just 36% shooting but, more importantly, forced 29 turnovers that led to 28 turnover points. “In any basketball game the key is defense,” the PBA legend emphasized.

“Dikit yung laban kasi yung depensa namin nabreak,” he reflected about the first half of the game. “Nag adjust kami and they responded. Puwede kasi kami matalo sa larong ito. E ‘di nasayang lahat ng pagod at hirap namin. Nagrespond sila nung sinabi ko iyon.”

Looking forward to the playoffs, coach Atoy Co believes that their chance is 50/50 to go all the way but more importantly for him, they brought Mapua basketball back. “Dati hindi naman kami napapansin. Baka nga yung mga ibang team hindi na naghahanda noon pag kami ang nakakalaban. Ngayon, napag-uusapan na kami.” He even joked that, “isa pa sa nagpag-usapan yung naghubad yung Atoy Co.”

The Mapua Cardinals had six players score in double-digits spearheaded by foreign student-athlete Allwell Oraeme’s double-doubl. Oraeme notched 16 markers and 15 boards in their final regular season game. Rain or Shine Elasto Painter-bound Josan Nimes had a spectacular outing as well with 16 points, on 60% shooting, and dished out seven assists.

For the hapless Generals, Sidney Onwubere still managed to score 21 points and grab 11 boards even after a hit and in just 28 minutes of play. Hamadou Laminou also grabbed a double-double with 11 points and ten boards. Smart Elite ambassador Francis Munsayac was limited to just eight points. He added three rebounds and two assists to his statline.

With the win, the Mapua Cardinals ended the second round with an 8-1 slate for a 12-6 record. Moreover, the hosts are guaranteed of a playoff spot and will have to wait for the result of the Letran-Perpetual tilt. The EAC Generals finished the tournament at last place with a 2-16 record.

The Scores:
MIT (88) – Oraeme 16, Menina 14, Brana 14, Nimes 13, Nieles 12, Isit 11, Biteng 3, Serrano 3, Aguirre 2, Raflores 0.
EAC (63) – Onwubere 21, Laminou 11, General 8, Munsayac 8, Diego 5, Mejos 2, Pascual 0, Corilla 0, Mallari 0.
Quarterscores: 15-14, 41-38, 61-50, 88-63.

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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 Marcus Elliott 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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