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N’Diaye, Chang power Kia over Blackwater in Double OT for share of second spot



Regulation and a first overtime were not enough, but Hamady N’Diaye and the rest of his crew proved to have the needed push in 2nd OT as Kia takes its third win in four games with a 83-77 victory over the Blackwater Elites held at the Cuneta Astrodome on Tuesday.

Bambam Gamalinda made the game’s opening basket via a wide-open wing jumper. Kia responded with Jett Chang anchoring the opening quarter run with three straight perimeter buckets. Carnival missed their initial attempt from the field but they made seven of their next eight shots to make it 15-7 capped by a Hamady N’Diaye long deuce.

Despite Kia missing their six next attempts, Blackwater failed to capitalize quickly on their end with N’Diaye leading the Kia defense with successive rejections and rim protection. The Elites made free throws within the next four minutes to slice the lead down to three. The two teams combined for eight points in the last three minutes of the defensive-themed first canto.

Kia extended their lead to 29-16 on a fast 8-0 blitz to start the second quarter including triples by LA Revilla and Karl Dehesa. On the other end, the Elites still struggled finding their rhythm offensively as they also muffed their transition attempts. While the Carnival kept on making the lead grow in their favor, Blackwater only scored four points within eight minutes of play in the second frame.

The low-scoring affair continued in the period as Kia cooled down with their shooting on the tail-end of the first half. Marcus Douthit entered double digits in scoring but needed nine hard-earned attempts as he powered his squad to enter the break down only by single digits. By halftime, N’Diaye already had 10 boards and five blocks while Blackwater shot poorly at 32% wherein no Elite other than Douthit made more than one field goal.

An awakened and well-adjusted Blackwater squad showed up in the second half as they outscored Kia, 13-6 in the first six minutes to regain the lead at 41-40. N’Diaye still was a force in the defensive end particularly against Douthit, but the other locals of the Elites were sharp enough to scramble for loose balls and scored on putbacks. During the stretch, it was the Carnival who looked like the struggling Elites during the first half as they had a hard time piling up shots.

Reil Cervantes knocked down a trey during the rally and after a Kia timeout, the Carnival settled for missed perimeter jumpers as they looked completely out of sync. On the other side, the lead kept on growing on Blackwater’s end in the total shift of momentum in the match. The lead grew to as large as seven for the Elites but was quickly countered by Kia when Alex Nuyles finished a fastbreak to tie things up at 50. Bryan Heruela made a basket in the dying seconds to beat the third quarter buzzer to give his team the lead heading into the last quarter.

The number of lead changes started to pile up in the fourth and final quarter as the exchange of baskets kept on coming for both teams. With the game tied at 59, Raffy Reyes drilled in a triple with a little over six minutes to go in the game to give them back the advantage. On Kia’s end, Chang missed his two free throws but answered big on the next play with an and-one, to tie the game again with four minutes to play.

Fast forward to the regulation’s last two minutes and down by a point, N’Diaye failed to convert on his free throws but Chang stood sharp enough, securing a big offensive putback to swing back the lead to Kia once again. After free throws made by two teams, the game was tied at 70 with 31.7 seconds left to play. After Hyram Bagatsing and Bryan Heruela exchanged big shots at crunch time, Kia was left with 19.5 ticks to go. However, Chang lost possession while Bagatsing missed the potential game-winner over multiple Carnival defenders that signaled overtime.

In overtime, Bagatsing and Mark Yee traded the extension’s two baskets in 4 ½ minutes. After the tired-looking squads missed chances to increase their production, Blackwater called for timeout with 33 seconds to play. However, Cervantes overshot his floater that left Kia with another crack for the game. Again, Chang missed his attempt to win the game while Hans Thiele shot an air ball to send the game to a second overtime.

Fast forward to the 1:46 mark of the second extension, N’Diaye and Nuyles combined for Kia’s three points while Cervantes completed an uncontested fastbreak layup to make it 77-76. After a ceasefire, Chang found N’Diaye for a slam to extend their lead. While Blackwater missed more attempts down the wire, Kia scored six more to finally seal the deal.

N’Diaye finished with 16 points, 25 rebounds and nine blocks in 53 minutes of action. His co-import Chang tallied 25 markers and grabbed six boards.

Kia improves to 3-1 and is now tied with Alaska at second place in the standings as of press time. On the other hand, Blackwater drops to 1-4.

Blackwater will next face Meralco on Friday, 4:15pm at the Smart Araneta Coliseum while Kia’s next assignment will be up against the Star Hotshots on Saturday at Pampanga.

The Scores:

Kia(83) – Chang 25, N’Diaye 16, Revilla 10, Dehesa 9, Nuyles 8, Yee 4, Bagatsing 3, Thiele 2, Webb 2, Alvarez 2, Pascual 2, Deutchman 0, Avenido 0, Parreno 0
Blackwater(76) – Heruela 19, Douthit 16, Cervantes 13, Reyes 8, Laure 8, Gamalinda 6, Faundo 2, Erram 2, Acuna 2, Timberlake 0
Quarters: 21-16, 34-28, 50-52, 72-72, 74-74, 83-76

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Marc Pingris wants Rafi Reavis to break Robert Jaworski’s record



Marc Pingris was all praises for veteran Rafi Reavis Saturday night, as the 40-year-old center made his presence felt in the Magnolia Hotshots’ 97-91 victory — their third straight win — over Phoenix Fuel Masters at the Cuneta Astrodome.

The six-foot-nine Reavis finished with 11 points, 11 rebounds, and three blocks — a performance perfectly punctuated by a follow-up of a Paul Lee miss with 12.5 seconds left to play that knocked out the Fuel Masters for good.

“Papasalamat ako kay Rafi na talagang kababalik lang niya pero binigay niya talaga lahat,” said Pingris after the bout, as Saturday night was just Reavis’ second outing in the 2018 Philippine Cup after recovering from a hip injury.

“Nag-usap nga kami kanina e, hindi pa siya 100 percent. So bukas, ang sabi niya babalik daw siya sa gym dahil gusto niya ibalik yung lakas ng legs dahil wala pa daw,” added the 36-year-old, who also suffered a hip injury last season.

Reavis has been playing in the league for 16 years. Seeing the work he has put in, Pingris, who finished the game with 17 rebounds, four assists, four points and two blocks, believes that the 10-time PBA champion can play for 10 more years — at least.

“You know naman Rafi eh, katulad ko rin yan eh – rebound and depensa. At tsaka sobrang vocal siya sa team eh,” beamed Pingris, who himself is a 14-year veteran. “Walang siyang inaano, talagang sinasabihan niya kung sino yung mga nagmi-mistake, kung paano kami mag-adjust, so nakikinig naman lahat sa kanya.

“Talagang nandun yung respeto namin kay Rafi.”

And if Reavis stays healthy for the next decade, Pingris wants Reavis to exceed Jaworki’s 958 games played — third most all time.

“Nasa kanya yun, basta kaya mo ba eh. As a player, kung masipag ka naman at may disiplina sa sarili mo, kaya niya yun.”

Still, Reavis has a lot of catching up to do.

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Altas surge to fifth straight win, slam Heavy Bombers



Pulling double-digit scoring outings from three spikers, the University of Perpetual Help System DALTA Altas remained unbeaten in NCAA Season 93 after a straight-set triumph over thr Jose Rizal University Heavy Bombers, 25-17, 25-16, 25-20, at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

Middle blocker Ronniel Rosales topped the Altas with 13 points off 10 attacks and three blocks. Team captain Rey Taneo and Joebert Almodiel added 12 markers apiece.

The Altas dominated every scoring category, recording 44 attacks to JRU’s 26, five blocks to the Bombers’ zero, and three aces to JRU’s one.

Breezing through the first half of the season, Altas head coach Sammy Acaylar lauded his team’s consistency and hoped they continue getting better as they aim for a championship.

“So far, masasabi kong maganda ang nilalaro ng mga bata. Consistent naman ang mga galaw nila and focused sila sa mga laban,” said Acaylar.

“Pero alam nilang may ibubuga pa sila. We still need to get better and reach the championship level. Kailangan hindi mawala ‘yung ganito naming killer instinct,” the decorated mentor added.

The Altas take on a major test on Tuesday at the FilOil Flying V Centre when they face fellow undefeated squad Arellano Chiefs (4-0).

Wenjo Lahaylahay led the Bombers with 10 points while captain Patrick Rabaja managed seven.

JRU (0-5) limps into their Wednesday showdown against defending champs College of Saint Benilde (3-1).

The Scores

UPHSD (3) – Rosales 13, Almodiel 12, Taneo R. 12, Muhali 7, Ramos 5, Atentar 1, Catipay 1, Salo 1, Bation 0, Solamilo 0, Taneo S. 0, Kalingking (L)

JRU (0) – Lahaylahay 10, Rabaja 7, Sulivas 6, Salazar 4, Cebrero 1, Soriano 1, Cruz 0, Ferwelo 0, Defensor (L), Flor (L)

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Mixed Martial Arts

Rene Catalan continues rampage with TKO win



Rene Catalan continues to turn critics into believers

Filipino fighter Rene Catalan made his sixth appearance inside the ONE Championship cage at ONE: Kings of Courage, held at the Jakarta Convention Center in Indonesia, Saturday evening. He faced 21-year-old Chinese athlete Peng Xue Wen in the opening main card bout, and leaned on his elite wushu skills to stop the young star at the 4:22 mark of the second round.

The victory improves Catalan’s record to 4-2 (1 NC), extends his winning streak to four, and gives him the first TKO stoppage of his martial arts career, as he bids to climb the strawweight ladder in search of the ONE Strawweight World Championship.

“The Challenger” came out in the southpaw stance to open the bout, throwing big hooks and a head kick that narrowly missed as he established the center of the cage from the start of the contest.

The Filipino landed a host of powerful strikes, including a perfectly-placed uppercut and a melee of punishing leg kicks, but Peng’s conditioning and composure kept him in the match as he looked to stand and trade with the man 18 years his elder.

Catalan picked up where he left off when the bout resumed in the second round, this time operating out of the orthodox stance, landing more leg kicks and continuing to deny Peng any space to work.

Despite his dominance on the feet, there was a brief moment of concern for the Filipino on the mat when he jumped into the Chinese wrestler’s guard mid-way through the second round, and immediately found himself in a triangle choke. But the Filipino kept his composure and managed to work himself free.

Once the fighters returned to their feet, Catalan poured on the pressure in search of a finish, and he got it with just 38 seconds remaining in the stanza.

“The Challenger” scored big with a liver shot, then unloaded a fierce flurry of punches that forced Peng onto his back foot. Another shot forced Peng to the mat, where a salvo of ground and pound from Catalan eventually forced the TKO stoppage as referee Olivier Coste stepped in to halt the contest.

Photo, story, and video from ONE Championship

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Gelo Alolino regrets Phoenix’s failure to close out Hotshots



Photo by PBA Images

Gelo Alolino had his best game for the Phoenix Fuel Masters on Saturday night at the Cuneta Astrodome with 19 points, eclipsing his previous career-high of 16 markers which he made last May 21, 2017 in a loss to the Mahindra Floodbuster.

But his achievement won’t be too memorable, as it went for naught following a 91-97 defeat at the hands of Paul Lee and the Magnolia Hotshots, who have now collected their third straight victory.

For the second overall pick in the regular 2016 Rookie Draft, it was all because of their failure to sustain momentum up until the game’s final buzzer.

“Sayang, nandun na. We felt na sa amin na nung dulo kaso lang ganun talaga,” rued the 24-year-old sophomore after the match, where he shot an excellent 7-of-10 from the floor.

“Breaks of the game napunta sa kabila.”

Phoenix were in contention all throughout the match. In fact, they were even ahead, 89-84, with just three minutes left to play. But the Hotshots’ comeback skills were unleashed, leading to the narrow win.

“Siyempre kami lahat nasayangan. Maganda naman yung team effort talaga namin,” admitted the 6-foot floor general of their end-game collapse, which wasted their efforts in assists (21) and on defense, where they forced Magnolia to 21 turnovers.

“Kami as players talagang gusto namin bumawi coming from a loss last game sa Rain or Shine.

The Fuel Masters have now lost their second straight outing and have dropped to 2-3. And for Alolino, all they have to do is learn as much as they can from this loss, especially now that they are about to face the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel next.

“Yun nga. Medyo masakit para sa’min ‘to,” admitted the National University product.

“All we have to do is magviview ulit kami ng tape para makita kung saan kami mas pwede mag-improve as a team and bawat isa — including me.”

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