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NU inches closer to back-to-back, crush UST in Tie 1



One more to destiny

Defending champions National University (NU) Lady Bulldogs are a step closer to a consecutive victory as they blanked University of Santo Tomas (UST) Tigresses, 3-0, at Tie 1 of the best-of-three Finals series, Sunday, February 22 at the Olivarez College Tennis Center.

Sophomore Kendies Malinis of UST, fought hard against leading Most Valuable Player (MVP) candidate, Clarice Patrimonio, but could not complete the upset. The NU newcomer remained unscathed after winning a tight 6-4, 7-5 match. Malinis and Patrimonio battled toe-to-toe as either player won their own service games early on. The Lady Bulldog had the first break of serve and managed to consolidate in the first set. Malinis kept the match close, with her good service being her counterattack. This surprised the solid NU stalwart, and had forced her to commit uncharacteristic errors.

The second set continued in the same manner. Three straight service winners by Malinis during the crucial stages gave UST the lead, but it was the patience and experience of Patrimonio that prevailed as she got that momentous break of serve to lead 6-5, and consequently held on to win the set and the match.

A tweak in the lineup paid dividends for the reigning queens as the usual singles player, Hannah Espinosa, teamed up with Junnelyn Polito for NU to upend the stronger Thomasian duo of April Santos and Lenelyn Milo. Polito and Espinosa shocked Santos and Milo to lead 3-0 early in the first set. The Lady Bulldogs pair served well, while UST was unable to return the ball. The Tigresses bounced back as they held on to their own service and finally scored on winners. The match grew into a tight affair, but it was NU who walked away with the win, 6-3, 6-4 and the lead, 2-0.

NU only needed one more match to seal the deal. UAAP 76 MVP, Tin Patrimonio, and the tandem of Jzash Canja and Marie Nagret took the court for NU in the second singles and second doubles, against UAAP 74 MVP, Macy Gonzales, and the duo of Genevieve Caorte and Shymae Gitala.

Both Patrimonio and the Canja-Nagret duo breezed through their opponents in the first set as they won 6-1 and 6-0, respectively. Patrimonio struggled during some stretches of the set, committing errors just when she was about to close the games. On the other hand, in the doubles court, Canja and Nagret dominated with good service and court control, which Caorte and Gitala had no rebuttal for the onslaught.

It was Canja and Nagret who would continue to prove strong for NU as they were able to dictate the pace of the rest of their match. The UST pair took a few points and won some games, but this was mainly due to the many errors committed by the Bulldogs, especially Canja. Nevertheless, the young NU player bounced back with her net play that put the finishing toucher on the match. She and Nagret won the set and the match, 6-3.

With the tie decided, the match between Tin Patrimonio and Macy Gonzales was abandoned with NU leading the second set, 2-1. The Lady Bulldogs are an inch closer to a back-to-back championship and can clinch it with a win on Saturday, February 28, at the same venue.

The Tigresses need to come up with a plan to extend the series to a do-or-die battle the following day.


Grew to appreciate various sports from tennis to judo. True-maroon kiddo since the new millennium. Fanboy. Singer. Occasional sports writer.

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Calvin Abueva, Raymond Almazan cut from pool



SMART Gilas Pilipinas’ third session for the second leg of the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers ended early on Monday evening.

Prior to the end of the practice, head coach Chot Reyes talked to team veterans Jayson Castro, Gabe Norwood, and June Mar Fajardo. The outspoken mentor told the seniors of the team that he is cutting Calvin Abueva and Raymond Almazan from the pool.

“The reason why we’re dropping Abueva and Almazan for the second window is because they haven’t showed up,” lamented Reyes.

“It’s already our third practice at hindi pa sila nagpapakita. It’s simply a matter of disinterest.

“I guess they’re not interested so we have to move on we can’t wait for those guys,” he pointed out.

Both Abueva and Almazan were part of the teams that competed in the 2017 SEABA Championship, the 2017 FIBA Asia Cup, and the first window of the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers.

Only 10 players from the pool showed up for the team’s third session. And with the second leg exactly one month away, Gilas cannot let a slip up happen especially against Australia.

“Aside from those two we don’t know where Matt Wright is, while Allein [Maliksi] is attending a wedding in Australia. Other than that it’s really just an issue of Calvin and Raymond if they don’t want to be a part of the pool.” expressed Reyes.

“That’s the reason we’re dropping them for the second window.”

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2019 FIBA World Cup Qualifiers

23 for 2023 cadets fill up Gilas practice



With just 31 days until the second window of the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers, only 10 players from the pool attended the team’s third session, Monday evening at the Meralco Gym.

Suiting up in the session presided over by Coach Chot Reyes were June Mar Fajardo, Gabe Norwood, Troy Rosario, Jio Jalalon, Mac Belo, Kiefer Ravena, Kevin Alas, and Roger Pogoy. Carl Cruz and Jayson Castro were in attendance but were in street clothes.

Not present were Matthew Wright, Japeth Aguilar, and Allein Maliksi. Calvin Abueva and Raymond Almazan have yet to attend practice.

Joining the seniors team to prep them up for the World Cup Qualifiers were 10 players from the 23 for 2023 pool.

Ateneo Blue Eagle Matt Nieto attended his first Gilas practice. Joining him were teammates Isaac Go and Thirdy Ravena.

Completing the night’s cast were CJ Perez, Abu Tratter, Will Gozum, J-jay Alejandro, Arvin Tolentino, and Juan Gomez de Liano. Joshua Sinclair watched from the sidelines as he is still recovering from an ACL injury.

Gilas will take on Australia in Melbourne on February 22. The Philippine will then host Japan three days later at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

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San Beda fends off Letran for back-to-back wins



With seasoned setter John Carlo Desuyo steering the wheel to near perfection, the San Beda College romped to their second straight win.

The Red Spikers pulled double-digit outings from four players to upend archrival Colegio de San Juan de Letran Knights, 19-25, 25-13, 25-21, 25-22, and register their fourth win of the season, Monday early evening at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

It was the Knights, however, who started on the right foot, overhauling a 4-10 deficit to snag the first set. Better passing from liberos Aljune Centeno and Johnsen Timbreza resulted in kills from captain Bobby Gatdula.

Nonetheless, San Beda picked up the service game in the next three sets to ultimately finish off the blue-shirts.

Despite the win-loss record they currently sport, the Red Spiker playmaker admitted that t

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Michael Calisaan tows Che’lu-San Sebastian past Perpetual



Photo by PBA Images

Michael Calisaan poured 20 points as he captained newcomer Che’Lu-San Sebastian Revellers to a decisive 83-70 win over the University of Perpetual Help System DALTA Altas to start their voyage, Monday evening at the Pasig City Sports Center.

Doing it all for the Revellers, the veteran forward provided the stability for his side as he shot 8-of-15 from the field while also hauling down nine rebounds, two assists, and two steals in the conference-opening win.

But it wasn’t all Calisaan as Che’Lu got contributions from all over its roster.

Samboy de Leon chimed in 16 markers and nine boards. RK Ilagan went 2-of-5 from threes to collect 13 points, eight dimes, and three rebounds, while big men Alfred Batino and Jeepy Faundo combined for 20 in the victory.

Despite the triumph, coach Stevenson Tiu gave all the praise to his players, noting the team’s lack of time preparing for the tourney.

“Nanalo kami dahil sa talent ng players. Medyo mali ko rin kasi nahirapan pa ako mag-adjust sa players. Hopefully, we play much better in the coming games,” he said.

The Revellers used a 16-4 run to finally break away from the Altas, taking a 77-60 lead with 4:03 to play as they punished their foes for their turnovers, turning Perpetual’s 30 miscues to 28 points in their favor.

Prince Eze anchored the Altas with 15 points, 11 rebounds, and seven blocks in their first game under new head coach Frankie Lim.

Che’lu-San Sebastian look to make it two in a row when they take on the Wangs-Letran Couriers on Monday, January 29 at 5:00pm. Perpetual, on the other hand, hope they can notch their first win when they take on Mila’s Lechon Mighty Roasters.

The Scores:

Che’lu-SSCR 83 — Calisaan 20, De Leon 16, Ilagan 13, Batino 10, Faundo 10, Bulanadi 6, Costelo 6, Calma 2, David 0, Lao 0, Santos 0, Valdez 0.

UPHSD 70 — Eze 15, Coronel 13, Villanueva 13, Jimenez 9, Charcos 7, Peralta 7, Gallardo 5, Pido 1, Antonio 0, Aurin 0, Tamayo 0, Tongco 0.

Quarterscores: 17-22, 34-38, 59-53, 83-70.

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