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Mintah leads Stallion FC in hammering Mendiola FC 1991



Stallion uncorked their UFL Cup 2015 campaign by winning comfortably, 4-1, over Mendiola FC 1991 Sunday afternoon at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium. Jordan Mintah’s first half hattrick and a second half wonder strike from Jojo Borromeo were too much for the UFL Division 2 squad to handle but were not unfazed by their stellar opponents as striker Connor Tacagni also figured in the scoresheet.

As expected in a match between teams in first and second division, it was Stallion who totally controlled the first half of the match. More active with much of possession, the team currently second in Division I patiently broke down the resolute Mendiola FC 1991 defense. Levi Gilmar Fernandez had the first chance of the game six minutes into the match but was not able to strike on target after dribbling a few yards closer into the Mendiola goal. At the same minute, Mintah linked up with Fitch Arboleda but the latter’s return pass off a one-two was too strong to reach his teammate. Not long after, the 2013 UFL League Champions finally got themselves on the board. Along the left hand side, Ruben Doctora Jr. fed Mintah the ball before the striker managed to guide the ball past Mendiola keeper Christian Jayloni. The Ghanaian forward was heavily involved in Stallion’s offensive sequences after managing to strike the woodwork at the 15th minute. Before that, he had a half volley from outside the box stopped by Jayloni and a near assist to Doctora whose shot was blocked by Neil Dorimon from around 10 yards. Given another chance just 16 minutes after kick-off, Mintah made sure to pad Stallion’s advantage. Upon gathering the Ian Araneta pass from outside the box, Mintah turned to shrug off his marker before scoring his and Stallion’s second of the game with a well-placed shot into the bottom right corner.

Not willing to sit back any longer, Mendiola FC 1991 tried to get one back almost instantly care of Elnie Dorimon. He received a decent pass from Miguel Caindec but could not find a way past the Stallion defense. Dorimon’s deflected cross resulted in a corner instead, which produced a more dangerous chance for Mendiola. At the 21st minute, a cleared corner delivery invited Geno Dalampan to smash the ball from long range but Stallion goalkeeper Johann Neotzel was able to tip it behind. Four minutes before the half hour mark, Mintah and Stallion FC made their opponents pay by seemingly building an assailable lead when the 21-year-old forward completed his hattrick by cheekily floating the ball just inside the far post, much to the dismay of the helpless Jayloni. Chances continued to fall for Mintah but neither of the next two he had altered the score line. With 15 minutes left in the first half, he unsuccessfully attempted a bicycle kick. At the following minute, he blasted a decent chance from inside the box wide.

Just before halftime, Mendiola looked to find a way back into the game by reducing the gap to at least two. Tacagni’s cross found teammate Ashley Flores inside the box but the latter did not keep his effort low, to the relief of Neotzel. The Stallion keeper became uneasy before the break but was alert enough to deal with shots from captain Jay Soberano and Flores to keep it 3-0 in favor of his team at the half.

Much like the opening half, Stallion dictated the pace in the second. They still lorded over possession and chances created but were tested by Mendiola’s counter attacking approach. Fernandez had a lot of good looks but failed to convert in any of those, partly due to Mendiola’s compact defending inside their defending third. On the other end, Mendiola’s struggles of breaching Stallion’s defense was eased by a neat play involving Flores and Tacagni. Flores, stationed at right wing, had enough room to send a sublime cross to the rushing Tacagni who got on to the ball just in time to score against Neotzel.

With 33 minutes of football left to be played, Mendiola looked like they were back in the game. That was not the case though as Stallion only made things more difficult for Mendiola defensively, forcing the players in black to stay in their own half. Mintah and Jojo Borromeo were bothering the Mendiola fullbacks with their crafty play down the wing. There was nearly a fourth goal for Stallion just a minute after the hour mark when Borromeo’s deflected cross landed in front of Doctora. The Ilonggo only had keeper Jayloni between him and the goal but his shot was blocked by the goalkeeper. Not long after blowing several chances away, Stallion restored their lead to three thanks to Borromeo. The substitute received the ball after Doctora was clamped down by Mendiola defenders in the box. With his first touch, he gave the opposing keeper no chance as he booted the ball with great technique to smack the crossbar before falling into the top corner. Philippine international Simone Rota wanted to join the goal scoring party late in the game, but his two chances from around 25 yards did not bother the already troubled Jayloni. Similarly in the first half, Mendiola refused to go down without a fight. A couple of good chances in the last 10 minutes of play forced Neotzel into action. E. Dorimon and Soberano struck well but lacked the quality to put the ball into the back of the net. Full time came eventually with Stallion unsurprisingly starting off their Cup bid barely scathed.

“We’re a little bit slow and rusty because of the long break… a win is still a win,” Stallion Coach Ernie Nierras stated, slightly with relief, after seeing his team dominate their Division 2 foes despite needing more improvements in several aspects of their game. He was also happy to witness quality players Araneta and Fernandez play for his side after the duo faced a considerably long layoff from football.

Nierras’ unit will be tested in their next UFL Cup game, slated on May 9 at 6:15PM against Loyola Meralco Sparks. Meanwhile, Mendiola FC 1991 will be targeting to play better when they clash with Group C leaders JP Voltes FC on the same day, at 8:30PM.

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Bonbon Batiller shows what he can bring to Letran in D-League debut



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Tuesday proved to be a double debut for Bonbon Batiller. Aside from beginning his first foray in the PBA D-League, it also marked his debut for the Letran Knights, who is carrying the Wang’s Basketball Couriers franchise.

And the 5-foot-11 guard unleashed what he can bring to the table. Batiller collected 15 points, five rebounds, and three assists to help the Knights raise the curtains of their campaign with a 93-75 rout of Batangas-EAC Generals.

“Nagworkout yung pinagpraktisan namin,” said Batiller. “Nagbunga rin yung tinuro samin ni Coach Jeff (Napa) lalo sa depensa. Tsaka siguro sa rebounds — laking lamang namin sa rebound. Nagsipag mga bigs namin.”

But what makes him beam even more is the warm reception and trust he’s had from the Knights, even if he has spent barely a year with them after transferring from University of the East last 2017.

“Masaya po kasi tinanggap nila ako sa Letran ng buong-buo,” said Batiller, who normed 10.5 points, 3.7 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 1.6 steals with UE in two years. “Tsaka yung tiwala nila na makakatulong ako sa team nandoon.

“Kaya masaya ako sa pinakita nila sa akin.”

That is why the General Santos-native is hard-pressed to prove himself to Letran, saying that he’s all about giving back to the school that gave him another opportunity to resume his young, up-and-coming basketball career.

“Kailangan kong may mapatunayan na deserving ako sa binigay na second chance sa akin ni Letran,” said Batiller, who decided to switch schools partly due to academic reasons.

“Malaki ang utang ko sa Letran.”

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Bienvenido Maranon scores brace as Ceres-Negros eliminates Brisbane Roar



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Philippine club football just achieved its biggest continental result yet

The inaugural Philippines Football League champions Ceres-Negros Football Club eliminated three-time Australian champions Brisbane Roar in the 2018 AFC Champions League’s second preliminary round with a 3-2 stunner away at the QSAC Stadium in Brisbane.

With the win, the 2017 AFC Cup ASEAN Zonal Champions are set to face Chinese Super League club Tianjin Quanjian next January 30, 2018 at the Haihe Educational Football Stadium in Tianjin, China to book a seat in the group stages.

Brisbane were the favorites for this tie and it showed as Ceres started the contest at the backfoot. Italian striker Massimo Maccarone handed the home side the lead at the 35th minute when he turned in Brett Holman’s pass.

Maccarone’s goal could have lowered the Busmen’s moral, but Risto Vidakovic’s men took it as a motivation rather than a downer. In fact, Ceres replied in the best way possible when Bienvenido Maranon scored his first goal of the match two minutes from halftime thanks to a scramble in the Brisbane box.

By all accounts, Ceres already made Philippine football proud at halftime. By this stage last year, Brisbane accrued a 4-0 halftime cushion against Global Cebu en route to a 6-0 rout.

Today, though, Brisbane faced tougher resistance at the hands of Ceres. This resistance turned into a full-fledged revolt at the 65th minute when Maranon directed the ball past a helpless Jamie Young to give the Busmen their first taste of the lead.

Maranon’s goal well and truly turned the tide in Ceres’ favor. Brisbane were stunned. The home side are the defending A-League champions, but are currently eighth in the table this season and would soon face elimination from Asia’s premier club competition.

Already up 2-1, the Busmen finally achieved some breathing space at the 75th minute when Omid Nazari scored from close range to give Ceres a two-goal cushion from Brisbane.

Nazari’s goal not only sealed the win for Ceres as it also propelled Philippine football into the big leagues. Not even a late goal from French midfielder Éric Bauthéac can prevent the Busmen’s victory.

After five minutes of stoppage time, Ceres emerged 3-2 winners against Brisbane Roar. Come what may against Tianjin seven days from now, the Busmen have already achieved Philippine football’s biggest result ever since their own achievement in last season’s AFC Cup.

Who knows? Maybe Ceres can pull off another upset?

Ceres-Negros XI: Doblas (GK), Super, Mike Ott, Ingreso, Maranon, Porteria, Schrock, De Murga (C), Munoz, Nazari, Christaens.

Brisbane Roar XI: Ingham, Bowles, Papadopoulos, Maccarone, Holman, Khalfallah, Oxborrow, McKay (C), Hingert, Young (GK), Franjic.

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CJ Perez, Zark’s-Lyceum vent ire on Batangas-EAC with 37-point romp



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CJ Perez and the Zark’s Burger-Lyceum Jawbreakers finally lived up to its hype as it clobbered the Batangas-EAC Generals to score a 37-point beatdown, 112-75 for its first win, Tuesday at the Pasig Sports Center.

It was an all-out attack from the Jawbreakers as they beat the Generals to the bite and took control of the game early with Mike Nzeusseu and Jaycee Marcelino guiding their side to the 48-33 lead at halftime which they will never surrender.

Perez paced Zark’s Burger-Lyceum with 21 points and 10 rebounds, while MJ Ayaay tallied a double-double with his 15 markers, 10 boards, and three assists.

Cameroonian student-athlete Nzeusseu also delivered 14 points, 11 rebounds, and two assists, while Marcelino had eight first half points and wound up with 12 off the bench as the reserves chipped in 56 huge points in the tussle.

Coach Topex Robinson lauded the Jawbreakers for quickly adjusting to the style of the PBA D-League just days after falling to Marinerong Pilipino, 92-94 back in opening day.

“Medyo adjusted na kami on everything — the calls and the teams were playing against with. But the things we want to mind are those things we control. We just have to keep on doing what we are doing. It’s more on replenishing na lang on our old ways,” he said.

Earvin Mendoza and Cedric de Joya both had 16 points for the Generals in the losing effort.

Zark’s-Lyceum looks to continue to roll when it faces the AMA Online Education Titans on Thursday, January 25. EAC-Batangas, on the other hand, takes on the Gamboa-St. Clare Coffee Lovers on Monday, January 29.

The Scores:

Zark’s-Lyceum 112 — Perez 21, Ayaay 15, Nzeusseu 14, Jc. Marcelino 12, Serrano 10, Baltazar 8, Santos 8, Jv. Marcelino 6, Tansingco 6, Marata 4, Liwag 4, Ibañez 2, Cinco 2, Pretta 0.

Batangas-EAC 75 — E. Mendoza 16, De Joya 16, Tampoc 12, Laude 9, Pate 8, Maguliano 6, Altamirano 5, Diego 3, Garcia 0, Dela Peña 0, Martin 0, J. Mendoza 0, Neri 0.

Quarterscores: 19-14, 48-33, 84-47, 112-75.

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Mixed Martial Arts

ONE Championship pledges to help Global Citizen in fight against poverty



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During the pre-fight showdown between the fighters main evening ONE Championship: Global Superheroes, the biggest mixed martial arts promotion in Asia also forged a partnership, Monday afternoon.

ONE, through chief executive officer and chariman, Chatri Sityodtong vowed to help Global Citizen in its fight to end poverty.

“It is with great excitement that I announce ONE Championship’s partnership with Global Citizen, an NGO with the goal of ending extreme poverty across the world by the year 2030,” said Sityodtong. “Just like Global Citizen, ONE Championship aims to inspire the people of the world to come together to solve some of the world’s biggest challenges.”

“We are thrilled to be joining forces with ONE Championship to bring Global Citizen to Asia. ONE Championship reaches millions of young people around the region and together we will engage them on issues that impact the entire world,” expressed Global Citizen co-founder Wei Soo. “Since we launched Global Citizen in 2012, over 13 million actions have been taken, and we are excited to drive more actions and increase our impact for the world’s most marginalized people through this partnership.”

Headquartered in New York with offices in Canada, Australia, Germany, and the United Kingdom, Global Citizen was founded in 2012 with the goal of building the largest platform where people can learn about issues, take action on what matters most, and join a global movement working to end extreme poverty by 2030. Since then, millions of Global Citizens around the world have taken over ten million actions, which includes millions of emails, tweets, petition signatures, and phone calls targeting world leaders to end extreme poverty by 2030.

To date, the actions by Global Citizen’s global community, along with its high-level advocacy efforts and various partners, have resulted in 130 commitments and policy announcements from leaders, including financial aid valued at over US $35-billion, that is set to affect the lives of over 1.3 billion people.

Also present in the launch were ONE Heavyweight World Champion Brandon Vera, ONE Atomweight World Champion Angela Lee, and former ONE Lightweight World Champion Eduard Folayang.

The partnership launching at ONE’s upcoming event in Manila, Philippines on Friday, January 26, will harness the power of ONE’s platform to engage millions of martial arts fans around the world to support initiatives and find solutions to the issues associated with extreme poverty.

Global Citizen and ONE will collaborate across 24 live ONE events scheduled in 2018, and various outreach activations throughout Asia. Fans will have the opportunity to take action and engage with specific policy areas including, education, food security, hunger and nutrition, global health, gender equality and empowerment.

“Our ONE Championship athletes embody the spirit of perseverance and many have risen through poverty through martial arts, inspiring millions of people around the world with their journey,” Sityodtong added. “Through our collaboration across all 24 of our live events scheduled in 2018, ONE Championship and Global Citizen aim to affect positive movement in our society.”

The first action ONE fans can take will be centred on global education. Fans will be able to call on donor countries such as Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, and India, to attend the Global Partnership for Education’s replenishment conference in Dakar, Senegal on February 2, 2018, and make a commitment to GPE to support better education for all. Currently, 264 million children around the world are missing out on an education.

Over half are girls, and over 75 million have had their schooling disrupted by conflict or natural disasters. At the replenishment conference, the GPE will raise much needed funds that will allow it to continue to support quality, inclusive education to hundreds of millions of children around the world.

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