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Basketball

Perpetual survives Letran in overtime to halt skid

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Last August 11, The Colegio de San Juan de Letran and University of Perpetual Help System DALTA figured in an emotionally-charged affair that saw doors broken and the Knights come out on top, 63-61. This time, the Altas did not allow a Knights hijack to happen again, surviving Letran in an 88-82 overtime win, Thursday afternoon at the Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan City.

Prior to this game, Perpetual had lost four of their last five games.

“Simple lang naman ang ginawa namin, walang pressure. We play na walang pressure. Free-wheel na. Walang hesitation especially in offense,” said Perpetual head coach Jimwell Gican, who called the shots on the sidelines as consultant Nosa Omorogbe was away for personal reasons.

Perpetual is now 4-6 in the standings while Letran dropped to an even 5-5, creating a logjam in fourth place.

Leading MVP candidate Prince Eze powered Perpetual with 21 points and 19 rebounds, while Gab Dagangon finished with 21 points as well. And the two were instrumental in overtime.

Not wanting an encore of their heartbreaking loss to Letran in the first round, Dagangon converted on back-to-back clutch buckets to give Perpetual an 82-77 lead with 3:01 left. A jumper by Eze with 40.9 ticks remaining proved to be the dagger to the hearts of the Knights.

“Credit to him because he’s working hard especially nung nag-break kami. Kinausap ko siya especially na nasa MVP race siya. I keep telling him to work hard and don’t stop learning sa basketball,” Gican remarked about Eze.

The Knights, a team that last played on August 17, gave a valiant stand that sent the game into overtime.

Letran rallied back from six points down in the final frame with JP Calvo knotting the game at 72-all with 1:35 left. Dagangon was able to answer right back, however, blowing past Rey Nambatac to give Perpetual the edge.

However, a split on the stripe by AJ Coronel with 14.2 seconds left in regulation led to a sidestep triple by Bong Quinto with 4.4 seconds remaining, sending the game into overtime.

“Nanalo kami pero may mga kaunting lapses pero at least na-survive namin sa overtime yun. Yun ang wino-work out pa namin ngayon,” recalled Gican as they struggled to find poise during the final frame.

Calvo paced Letran with 21 points, while Quinto and Nambatac added 15 each. However, Letran committed 25 turnovers that led to 24 points.

Perpetual look to ride the momentum they gained from this game on Tuesday, September 12, at 4:00pm against the San Sebastian Stags. Letran, on the other hand, look to snap out of their funk on Thursday, September 14, when they face the JRU Heavy Bombers at 2:00pm.

The Scores:

UPHSD 88 – Eze 21, Dagangon 21, Ylagan 18, Coronel 10, Pido 9, Cabiltes 4, Hao 3, Yuhico 2, Mangalino 0, Sadiwa 0, Clemente 0, Lucente 0, Tamayo 0

CSJL 82 – Calvo 21, Quinto 15, Nambatac 15, Vacaro 9, Balanza 8, Taladua 7, Bernabe 3, Mandreza 2, Gedaria 2, Pamulaklakin 0, Balagasay 0, De Villa 0, Caralipio 0, Pascual 0

Quarterscores: 18-12, 32-33, 57-52, 75-75, 88-82

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OIC Willie Marcial insists ‘walang pagbabago’ in return of physical play in PBA

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The return of physicality in PBA games early this 43rd season has drawn raves from the coaches and the fans. At last, the matches are decided by the players themselves and not by the way the referees blow their whistles.

All the fans, the players, and ultimately the coaches have been longing for such, as physical play was something that was heavily controlled during the administration of former commissioner Chito Narvasa from 2015 to 2017.

“The games are being called a little differently now. They’re allowing a little bit more contact or a lot more contact,” said Meralco Bolts head coach Norman Black.

“I love it. I’m an old school guy so you can imagine. No harm, no foul.”

“The physicality’s good. It’s good for the game. It’s real men going at it,” opined Alaska Aces head coach Alex Compton on the other hand, seconding Black’s sentiments.

“I like the direction the league is going in with officiating.”

It is just one of the many positive changes that is currently taking place in the league under the management of officer-in-charge Willie Marcial. But he insisted that tweaks haven’t really been made in terms of calling games.

“Wala, pinapalaro lang namin. Walang pagbabago yun,” said the amiable league official Monday evening, when he paid Gilas Pilipinas a surprise visit at the Meralco Gym in Pasig City.

“Pinapalaro lang namin yung mga players.”

All that he’s doing, according to Marcial, is simply reminding the referees to be firm with their calls.

“Sinabihan ko lang yung mga referees na, ‘Manindigan kayo kung ano talaga.'”

With much more consistent calls comes the shorter duration of games compared to the past two seasons, as time-consuming reviews by referees and officials have not taken place in matches too often this season.

“Mas mabilis na (mga laro ngayon),” said Marcial, also the league’s former external affairs and communications head.

“One hour (and) 56 (minutes), one hour 52… ‘Di umaabot ng dalawang oras eh.”

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Abu Tratter plans to work his way to 2023 by continuing to do ‘the dirty work’

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Abu Tratter may have missed the jersey-giving ceremony that the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas held for the 23 for 2023 cadets last Monday but he made sure to help out when the current batch needed him the most.

After helping the Marinerong Pilipino Skippers win the Sinulog Cup in Cebu a week ago, the 6-foot-7 Filipino-American did not hesitate to heed Gilas’ call, as they were undermanned for their second session in preparation for the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers.

“I think it’s just an honor to put on this jersey, to be able to represent our country, to possibly represent our country in the future. It’s an honor,” shared the Laguna-native.

The 25-year old, who just celebrated his birthday last January 9, admitted that he was in awe of the talent inside the Meralco Gym. Like a fan, he wanted to take a few photo ops with the senior team’s Gabe Norwood and June Mar Fajardo.

“Actually, at first I was just shocked to see June Mar and Gabe, just to be able to be in the midst of them,” gushed the former DLSU Green Archer, who will suit-up for Marinerong Pilipino in the D-League. “I even asked them for a picture, and hopefully they’ll still give me one.

“It’s just humbling, definitely.”

However, the work has only began for Tratter. With five years to go until the 2023 FIBA World Cup, the two-time UAAP champion plans to continue to do what he does best — be the same scrapper that he is and hopefully catch the eye of Gilas’ brass.

“I think just doing the dirty work, of course. Giving whatever the team needs, rebound or any steals, any thing a dirty player would need to pick up on,” he said.

“That’s how it is, garbage into gold. Get anything, sweep up anything and try to put it back.”

Moreover, he will continue answering the call when Gilas needs him, as he himself is learning a lot from being surrounded by the country’s topflight cagers.

“Whenever I can. I want to be able to absorb all the information coming from here and hopefully apply it in the D-League and hopefully apply it on future practices, future games.”

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2018 FIBA 3X3 World Cup

Terrence Romeo invited to join Pilipinas 3×3 for World Cup

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Stronger than ever

Scoring sensation Terrence Romeo has been invited by the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas to join the Philippine team in the upcoming FIBA 3X3 World Cup, according to Philippine Star columnist Quinito Henson.

Romeo, who is currently out due to a right knee injury, has been in rehabilitation and is expected to miss the entire Philippine Cup campaign of the Globalport Batang Pier and the second window of the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers.

“Baka sa second conference na ko makabalik kasi talagang gusto ko malakas ako pagbalik ko,” the 25-year-old shared during Chooks-to-Go Live last January 2.

SBP Executive Director Sonny Barrios personally met with the 6-foot guard, inviting him to be part of the Philippine team.

Romeo has plenty of 3×3 basketball experience under his belt.

Back in 2014, Romeo was part of the Manila West 3×3 team during the Manila Masters. He was adjudged as the tournament Most Valuable Player.

The 2018 3X3 World Cup will take place from June 8-12 at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan.

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23 for 2023 cadet CJ Perez honored to help out Gilas

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Having had the chance to represent the Philippines in FIBA-sanctioned cagefests such the Asia Challenge Cup and the 3X3 All-Stars back in 2016, Lyceum Pirates star CJ Perez is no stranger to the international stage.

But the 24-year-old do-it-all swingman admits that he still gets overwhelmed whenever he sees his seniors — the stars and pillars of the program — in the team. “Nasusurprise [pa rin] ako,” he said. “Mga professionals eh.

“Na-istarstruck pa rin ako sa kanila.”

Perez said so when he finally made his return within Gilas’ realms last Monday night. The last time he was with the National Team was in August 2016, when the SBP built an amateur-laden batch of Gilas cagers that served as the transition from the 2016 Olympic Qualifiers squad to the 2017 SEABA team.

“Sobrang grateful ako (sa invitation),” said the talented six-foot-two guard, after practice at the Meralco Gym.

The reigning NCAA Most Valuable Player is back in the fold for Gilas as his name, along with young, up-and-coming stars, was included in the 23 for 2023 pool — a list of cagers projected to be the contingent for the Manila-hosted World Cup.

“Iniisip ko yun (FIBA World Cup 2023) simula magtawag sila ng practice. Actually nandoon na yung utak ko eh,” the Lyceum Pirate ace bared. “Kailangan ko lang mag work hard pa para makapasok dun sa lineup na yun, kahit malayo pa.

“It’s an honor para ma-represent yung country.”

Unlike in 2016, Perez graced the court and took part in drills with the veterans such as Gabe Norwood, Japeth Aguilar, June Mar Fajardo, among others. With those type of players around him, he feels that the lessons he can get will be limitless.

“Oo sobra. Kahit kanino naman (matututo ka talaga),” Perez shared. “(At tsaka) Dito parang more on sa mental. ‘Di na iniisip yung conditioning kasi may ibang teams naman sila so about sa mental toughness [talaga].”

For now, the 23 for 2023 cadets are already working out not just for familiarity, but also to help the seniors in preparing for the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers this February.

“Sobrang happy and grateful na nakakatulong ako sa kanila kahit sa simpleng practice lang.”

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