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State U open campaign with 4th inn stoppage win over Ateneo



Coming from a successful UAAP Season 78 campaign, the University of the Philippines Lady Maroons made a statement in the opening day of UAAP softball action.

The UP Lady Maroons blasted the Ateneo de Manila University Lady Eagles 11-0 in an abbreviated fourth inning win Saturday morning at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium.

Ateneo pitcher Nikki Borromeo and the Ateneo defense only gave up a single hit at the top of the opening inning, leading to no runs. On the other end, one of last season’s top rookies Cochise Diolata struckout the Ateneo’s Cheska Imperial and Ira Nevalga that left Borromeo in second base to close out the first inning.

The floodgates opened for the Lady Maroons at the top of the second inning. The defense of the Lady Eagles completely collapsed after a throwing error by Yla Trindad that led to Swing dela Cruz gaining first base. Consecutive singles by MJ Abanes and Maki Cabriana loaded the bases. Borromeo then walked Jen Alinsod, paving the way for a Trinidad run, the first run scored in UAAP Season 78.

Another fielding error by Ateneo led to the second run for UP. UP slugger and team captain Gabin Paz popped the ball off to right field to bring in two more runs for the Diliman softbelles. Cleanup batter DC Cruz then knocked a triple to center field to send Penales and Paz back home and put their team up 6-0. A fielding error by Ateneo short stop Gina Nevalga after an Omul bat then led to another run.

After finally gaining their first out of the inning, a flyout to centerfield by Chantal Bongat, Borromeo was subbed out for rookie pitcher Clariele Dacanay. UP brought in another run UP before the last two UP batters for the inning, Dela Cruz and Abanes, were flied and grounded out respectively.

The Lady Eagles offense never had a chance against the excellent pitching of Diolata in the next three innings. The UP sophomore was able to strike out four Katipunan softbelles during that span. Moreover, the defense of the Lady Maroons was in-sync both in the infield and the outfield as only one Lady Eagle, lead-off batter and team captain Angela Natividad during the bottom of the third inning, reached third base during that span.

At the top of the fourth inning, the Lady Maroons were able to bring in three more runs to put them wide-ahead, 11-0. Cruz, Omul, and Bongat scored the runs needed to lead the way for an abbreviated fourth inning victory for the Lady Maroons.

UP team captain and birthday girl Gabin Paz is proud of the way her team performed in this game especially the team’s sophomores. “Given na may mga nabawasan sa team, they’re good na replacements na talaga,” Paz shared. “I know that we’re a young team but we practiced so hard for this.”

Pitcher Cochise Diolata had an excellent outing as well with six strikeouts in the game, only giving up a single hit. “Diolata is now a sophomore and, compared to last year, she really improved,” UP’s team captain added. “Her targets better and she has more variety with her pitches. She’s also being a leader on the field given na wala na si Ate Seiko (Hashimoto) and Danielle (Cruz).”

On the offensive end, UP senior DC Cruz had an excellent outing with two hits, both singles, and scoring two runs in two at bats. Rookie Juliet Omul added two more hits, a single and a double, and two runs in two at bats as well.

For the Lady Eagles, Natividad was the only batter who made a successful bat with a single.

The Lady Maroons next face the Adamson Lady Falcons on Wednesday, February 3 in the rematch of the UAAP Season 77 Finals. “We really want to show them (Adamson) in this game na we are a team to look out for,” Paz closed. “I know that we are capable talaga and they have a chance of beating us and we have a chance of beating them.”

On the other hand, the Ateneo Lady Eagles face the National University Lady Bulldogs on Monday, February 1 at 11:00am.







UP (1-0)





ADMU (0-1)









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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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