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NU coasts through UST, leads tournament



Court 2

In a display of on-court dominance and the huge improvement of their badminton program, the National University Bulldogs coasted through their series against the UST Golden Shuttlers winning 4 out of the 5 matches. The Bulldogs were led by Philippine Youth team member Ariel Magnaye and former UAAP MVP, both of who never lost a game in their singles and doubles matches against the Golden Shuttlers. With the win, National University is in first place by virtue of winning 13 matches and only dropping 2.

Men’s Singles Match 1: Ariel Magnaye (NU) def. John Paul Yabut (UST), 2:0
NU 1 – 0 UST

Ariel Magnaye routed John Paul Yabut in 2 straight games to give the Bulldogs a head start in their series against the Golden Shuttlers. Magnaye started-off slow in the first game, falling into a 4-2 early hole. This would just serve as a warm-up for the Youth Team member. With him leading by just a solitary point during the 11th point break, Magnaye would blast through Yabut with a showcase of excellent returns and drops to win the first game, 21 – 16. During the 2nd set, Magnaye would go on a blistering pace finishing the 2nd game in less than 12 minutes. The Magnaye lead would go to as high as 18 – 10 before the final tally of 21 – 14.

Aggregate Score: Magnaye 42 – Yabut 30
Total Match Time: 30 mins.

Men’s Singles Match 2: Roseleenard Pedrosa (NU) def. Paul John Pantig (UST), 2:1
NU 2 – 0 UST
Paul John Pantig delivered the best men’s singles performance for the Golden Shuttlers in the first game of the match. Pantig started-off hot scoring in 7 of the first 8 points of the match with a series of successful drops. Pedrosa could not capitalize with his serves during the set as his returns fell short all through-out the first game. Pantig would break-away with 6-point run with the score tallying 18 – 11. Pantig won the first game 21 – 16. The 2nd set would see a close game as the game would be tied 8 times and 6 lead changes. The final tie occurred at 18-all before the momentum finally swung in favor of Pedrosa. Pedrosa would score in three successful returns, including an empathic smash, to tie the games at 1 apiece. The final game for this match saw Pantig gain a 15-11 advantage midway through the game. Pedrosa, not willing to give-up the game to Pantig, would rally to score 10 straight points. During the rally, Pantig drop returns would fall short and could not return lobs coming from Pedrosa. Pedrosa won the 3rd game 21-15.

Aggregate Score: Pedrosa 58 – Pantig 55
Total Match Time: 55 mins.

Men’s Doubles Match 1: Ariel Magnaye and Joper Escueta (NU) def. John Edgard Reyes and Matt Gerald Tungul (UST), 2:0
NU 3 – 0 UST (NU wins)
In a bloodbath of a doubles match, Ariel Magnaye and his partner Joper Escueta blasted through the team of Reyes and Tungul. The NU tandem would even gain a 14 point advantage against the UST tandem, with the score at 15 – 1. The run is highlighted by a no-look smash by Ariel Magnaye that the Golden Shuttlers failed to return. The UST team of Reyes and Tungul would only register 3 points in the game enroute to a 21 – 3 win by Magnaye and Escueta. The second game would again start with failed returns, even from lobs, by the UST tandem. The score during the 11th point break was 11-4 in favor of the Bulldogs. Both teams would trade points for the rest of the game. Magnaye and Escueta would win the 2nd game 21 – 12.

Aggregate Score: Magnaye (26) and Escueta (16) 42 – Reyes (8) and Tungul (7) 15
Total Match Time: 20 mins.

Men’s Doubles Match 2: Paul John Pantig and Patrique Magnaye (UST) def. Alvin Morada and Paolo Gonzales (NU), 2:1
NU 3 – 1 UST (NU wins)
Alvin Morada and Paolo Gonzales, determined to sweep all the matches for the Bulldogs’ side, would win the first set of the match in a close game that would see both tandems gain no momentum swings. Morada and Gonzales would escape the first game with a 21 – 17 win over the second tandem from Espana. The Bulldog tandem would continue the ride of momentum they got to start the 2nd set with a 10 to 7 lead. The Golden Shuttlers, however, would make a 4 point rally to gain the advantage prior to the 11th point break. With the game tight, Pantig and Magnaye would score on 7 of the game’s last 9 points with a series of successful returns and a couple of drops. Pantig and Magnaye take the second game 21-16 to force a 3rd and deciding game. The deciding set would see the momentum fully swing towards the UST side as Morada and Paolo Gonzales had no answer for every smash and drops the Golden Shuttlers threw at them. The tandem of Pantig and Magnaye win the deciding set 21-13 to win the match.

Aggregate Score: Morada (26) and Gonzales (24) 50 – Pantig (33) and Magnaye (26) 59
Total Match Time: 30 mins.

Men’s Singles Match 3: Joper Escueta (NU) def. Alaced Sabanal (UST), 2:0
NU 4 – 1 UST (NU wins)
Former MVP Joper Escueta did not let his team lose another match, especially knowing that the Green Shuttlers are only a match behind them in the standings. Joper Escueta would blast through Alaced Sabanal in the first set, it was visible that Escueta was on a whole other level. He would ooh the crowd with a stumbling return and recovery at one point of the game. The game would be out-of-hand for Sabanal with the lead reaching as high as 18-9. Escueta would win the game 21-14. The second game was no different as Escueta outclassed Sabanal in every point of the match. Sabanal would only score on Escueta’s errors from the service and beyond-the-line returns. Escueta took the game and the match 21-13.
Aggregate Score: Escueta 42 – Sabanal 27
Total Match Time: 40 mins.

Aggregate Games Won: NU 9 – 3 UST

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After getting first D-League experience, Zark’s-Lyceum ready to get loose



After a hesitant performance in their PBA D-League debut last Thursday that resulted in a loss to the Marinerong Pilipino Skippers, the Zark’s Burger-Lyceum Jawbreakers seemingly caught up with the league’s style of play on Tuesday.

Zark’s-Lyceum displayed their true form and stamped their class all over the Batangas-EAC Generals with a 37-point destruction, 112-75 — so far the biggest winning margin the franchise has ever had in its D-League history.

“Medyo adjusted na kami on everything — the calls and the teams we’re playing against with,” said Zark’s-Lyceum head coach Topex Robinson after the match at Pasig Sports Center. “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.”

Robinson’s claim was strongly backed up by the numbers that the Jawbreakers produced.

CJ Perez had 21 points and 10 rebounds. MJ Ayaay produced 15 points and 10 boards, and Mike Nzeusseu delivered 14 markers and 11 boards.

Even the bench made their presence felt in the victory. With guard Jaycee Marcelino spearheading the supporting cast’s charge with 12 markers, the bench contributed a remarkable 56 points to their total output.

Photo by PBA Images

“Ano lang, cinontrol lang namin yung pace kasi yun naman talaga yung laro namin, yung mabilisan,” said the 24-year-old do-it-all forward, who also collected three steals.

“Kailangan talaga mabilisan para ma-execute namin yung mga ginagawa namin.”

This week will be a rough one for the Pirates, as they will play right away this Thursday against the AMA Online Education. And for Perez, he strongly believes that they will be able to carry over their momentum.

“Oo. Nandun pa. Energy talaga yung puhunan namin para makalaro ng maayos.”

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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 are carrying the Wang’s Basketball Couriers franchise.

And the 5-foot-11 guard showed 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 the 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 has him even more satisfied 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 on the back foot. Italian striker Massimo Maccarone handed the home side the lead in 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 had already made Philippine football proud at halftime. By this stage last year, Brisbane had accrued a 4-0 halftime cushion against Global Cebu en route to a 6-0 rout.

Today, though, Brisbane faced tougher resistance at Ceres’ hands. That resistance turned into a full-fledged revolt in 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 room in the 75th minute when Omid Nazari scored from close range to give Ceres a two-goal cushion over Brisbane.

Nazari’s goal not only sealed the win for Ceres, it also propelled Philippine football into the big leagues. Not even a late goal from French midfielder Éric Bauthéac could 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 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 their hype, as they clobbered the Batangas-EAC Generals to score a 37-point beatdown, 112-75 for their 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 would 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. 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 the 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 look to continue to roll when they face the AMA Online Education Titans on Thursday, January 25. EAC-Batangas, on the other hand, take 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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