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Nambatac’s 25 leads Letran past Jose Rizal to stay perfect



The Letran Knights’ writ-and-grit defense continues to confound the opponents offensive schemes. This time, it was the Jose Rizal University Heavy Bombers who felt the wrath of the defense in a 78-62 route Friday evening at the FilOil Flying V Arena.

The game started off as a low scoring affair as both teams displayed great defense. Both the Knights and the Heavy Bombers utilized a press that had both teams scrabbling all over the court. In addition, the big men of JRU, namely Abdoul Poutouochi and Abdulrazak Abdulwahab were in foul trouble early on as they could not keep up with the pace of the game. The opening quarter ended with Letran holding on to a solitary point lead, 14-13.

Rey Nambatac exploded in the second quarter in scoring to majority of his 19 first half points in the quarter. Nambatac was 3/4 from downtown in the half. Moreover, the Knights kept busy in the offensive glass as they furiously crashed the boards that resulted to nine offensive rebounds. For the Heavy Bombers, Dave Sanchez paced the team with his eight points while super sub Paolo Pontejos connected on all three of his shots from distance to keep up with the Blue-and-red squad’s pace. The Knights were able to extend their lead to 40-36 entering halftime.

The Knights came out of their locker room with guns blazing. The full court press imposed by the Aldin Ayo-mentored squad created chaos resulting to JRU turnovers. Even in breaking the press, the constant switching on defense resulted to almost all their shot attempts being contested.

With the score at 44-40 in favor of CSJL at the 7:09 mark of the third quarter, Letran unleashed a huge 17-0 rally behind the hot shooting of Kevin Racal and Kier Quinto. Both Letranites assisted of each other that resulted to wide open threes. The rally spanned a total of five minutes and seven seconds before the Rizalians would score. To end the quarter, JRU made a mini spurt behind putbacks by Marco Balagtas and a layup by Abdulwahab. The quarter ended with Letran holding a 63-49 lead.

In the final quarter, the yellow-and-blue team could not find an answer to the controlled chaos set by the Intramuros-based squad on defense. Cold-blooded back-to-back threes by Nambatac and Cruz extended the lead to 74-56 with 2:44 remaining. In addition, Felix Apreku continued his hussle on crashing the boards and disrupting any momentum gained by JRU’s foreign student athletes. Letran took its second win in as many games in slaying the heavy-favored JRU squad 78-62.

After the game, the chaos created by the defense of Letran is a result of putting order first. “Yung gulo na sinasabi, bago namin gawin yun, we put order first,” Ayo said. “By the time the player becomes responsible, puwede na siyang pakawalan para manggulo.” He also commended the hard playing, undersized center Felix Apreku. “Ang trabaho niya ay manggulo at tumalon. Na-out rebound pa nga niya ang centers ng Jose Rizal.”

Rey Nambatac was brilliant all throughout the game in scoring 25 points while shooting 9/21 from the field. The returning Kevin Racal, who according to him is at 70% strength, scored 15 points. The big men of Letran, Apreku and Sollano, combined for 22 rebounds, compared to only 12 rebounds produced by the centers of JRU. For JRU, Pontejos and Abdulwahab both scored 11 points apiece.

As a team CSJL shot a poor 35% from the field but converted on 16 of their 22 attempts. Moreover, the Letran Knights connected on 13 three pointers, a good 40% clip from downtown. The undersized Letran team also outrebounded Jose Rizal 46-37.

The Knights next face the Mapua Cardinals on Friday, June 10 at 12:00nn while the Heavy Bombers face the Altas at the same day at 2:00pm.

The Scores:

CSJL (78) – Nambatac 25, Racal 15, Cruz 12, Sollano 10, Quinto 6, Luib 3, Calvo 3, Apreku 2, Balanza 2, Balagaysay 0

JRU (62) – Pontejos 11, Abdulwahab 11, Sanchez 10, Grospe 9, Dela Paz 8, Lasquety 6, Balagtas 4, Teodoro 3, Poutouochi 0, Aurin 0, Dela Virgen 0

Quarters: 14-13, 40-36, 63-49, 78-62.

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D-League to hold three-day showcase for players



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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Letran overpowers Lyceum for second win



After a string of losses, the Colegio San Juan de Letran Lady Knights returned to the NCAA Season 93 win column with a gritty win over the short-handed Lyceum of the Philippines University Lady Pirates, 28-26, 20-25, 26-24, 25-20, at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

The Lady Knights won out in a sloppy match which had both teams combine for 25 aces, 15 coming from Letran. According to assistant coach Ron Dulay, Letran needed to solve their reception problems on the fly.

“Weakness nga siguro namin ‘yung receive, pero inaayos namin siya ensayo. Kanina medyo shaky lang ‘yung mga bata. Mabuti noong dulo naka-adjust kami sa ginagawa ng kalaban,” said Dulay.

Both sides also had a whooping 34 errors apiece. Letran’s miscues, however, came early in the match and were lessened by the deciding fourth set which they won convincingly.

“Unti-unte tumataas ‘yung level ng team. Kailangan talaga namin mag-double time pa sa mga susunod na laban kung gusto namin umabot doon sa Top Four,” Dulay added.

Second-year Lady Knight Charm Simborio led the way with 17 points while Glayssa Torres added 15 which includes two blocks and three aces.

The Lady Knights (2-2) take on perennial rival San Beda College (4-0) on Monday at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

Christine Miralles topped the Lady Pirates with a career-high 21 points. Team captain Bien Juanillo added 17 markers.

The Lady Pirates (1-3) face the undefeated defending champs Arellano University (4-0) on Sunday also at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

The Scores

CSJL (3) – Simborio 17, Torres 15, Abitan 11, Barrinuevo 8, Parin 8, Mendoza 3, Bangcola 2, Uriza 1, Perez 0, Larioque (L)

LPU (1) – Miralles 21, Juanillo 17, Sevilla 11, Bongabong 5, Patio 5, Genova 2, Marcella (L), Romanban (L)

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2018 FIBA 3X3 World Cup

FIBA 3×3 World Cup to be a huge boost for country’s Olympic bid



All roads will lead to Bocaue, Bulacan as the 2018 FIBA 3×3 World Cup will head to the Philippine Arena. The biggest tournament in 3×3 basketball will be played from June 8-12, 2018.

The announcement was made Thursday afternoon by Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas executives. The event was graced by Bounty Agro Ventures Inc. president Ronald Mascariñas, SMART Sports’ Christopher Quimpo, and FIBA’s 3×3 Managing Director Alex Sanchez.

With 3×3 basketball being declared an Olympic event last 2017, the SBP is looking at this tournament as a way to prove to the world that we are capable of hosting and that we can compete with the world’s finest.

“As mentioned earlier, I think we’ve been very successful holding it in the malls, 3,000 to 4,000 people watching the games. We chose to move it to a bigger venue, I think we want to give an opportunity for more people to see the games,” said SBP president Al Panlilio.

“From a Philippine basketball point of view, that gives an opportunity for the youth to watch the game. From an SBP, FIBA perspective, we want bigger crowds in 3×3 and that’s something we want to deliver to FIBA,” he added.

There will be 40 teams split into two divisions that will compete in this annual tourney.

For the men’s side, the Philippines will take on teams from Brazil, Canada, Croatia, Ecuador, Estonia, Japan, Jordan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Mongolia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovenia, Ukraine, and Uruguaz.

In the women’s division, the hosts will face Andorra, Argentina, Bahrain, China, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Iran, Italy, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Netherlands, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, Turkmenistan, United States, and Venezuela.

With this task of hosting a world class tournament, Chooks-to-Go vowed to help in the organization of it.

“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,” said Mascariñas.

“Kanina pinag-uusapan na, if we’re going to break the record in attendance. I think the question there is not if we’re going to break, but how many more times.”

FIBA, on the other hand, is looking forward to helping groom a possible Philippine team that will compete in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

“I’m sure the event this year, we’re starting the countdown, is going to be amazing,” Sanchez said. “I think this is going to be helpful for us in developing.

“I’m coming from Tokyo where we’re discussing the venue and layout of the Olympics. We should make an effort with Al and SBP to see if we have a Filipino team in Olympics. In my opinion Filipinos have a real chance to make it. Hopefully this can give us a nice push to get a PH team to the Olympics,” the Spanish executive added.

“See you in June.”

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Perpetual escapes upset-hungry EAC



Fighting off a sluggish start, the University of Perpetual Help System DALTA Lady Altas came alive late to slip past the Emilio Aguinaldo College Lady Generals, 22-25, 25-19, 25-14, 23-25, 15-13, and remain on pace for a spot in the NCAA Season 93 Final Four at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

Taking on a struggling EAC side, Perpetual head coach Michael Cariño knew that there was a possibility that his squad would relax. His team has had trouble starting and finishing off matches, as evidenced in their first set performance and lack of finishing push in the fourth frame.

“May tendency talaga ‘yung team ko na mag-relax. Sabihin na nating hindi kasi sobrang lakas ng kalaban. Pero alam naman natin sa volleyball na wala namang team na ibibigay sa’yo ‘yung panalo, kailangan kunin mo talaga,” Cariño lamented.

The fifth frame came down to late breaks. The Lady Altas broke a 13-all tie with back-to-back transition conversions from Cindy Imbo and Lourdes Clemente.

“Siyempre, nage-expect ako nang mas maganda pang performance sa team ko. Alam din naman nila na mas may ibubuga pa sila kaya kailangan mas maganda ang ipakita namin sa mga huli naming laro,” the NCAA champion mentor added.

Imbo tallied a game-high 17 points, while Clemente and Maria Aurora Tripoli added 15 points, apiece. The Lady Altas needed all of their 11 aces and 11 blocks to offset their season-high 42 errors.

Aira Binondo was the only Lady General in double-digits with 13 points.

The Lady Altas (3-1) next face the Jose Rizal University (2-2) on Sunday at the FilOil Flying V Centre. EAC (0-4) will look for their first win on Monday against the College of Saint Benilde (2-1).

The Scores

UPHSD (3) – Imbo 17, Clemente 15, Tripoli 15, Sangalang 11, Llorente 10, Versoza 4, Estanislao 1, Gual 1, Umandal 0, Medalla (L)

EAC (2) – Binondo 13, Tongco 9, Pablo 8, Lumbao 7, Magbanua 7, Reyes A. 3, Reyes K. 3, Tasis 2, Yongco 1, Medina (L)

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