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NU Men’s Badminton Team: Sweetest championship yet

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The match of NU’s Paul Gonzales and Ros Pedrosa against La Salle’s Monterubio brothers sealed a second straight UAAP Men’s Badminton Championship for the National University.In the second Finals tie, a 22-20 third game win in the second doubles match completed NU’s sweep of Season 78. The tie was also their eighteenth consecutive win across UAAP seasons 77 and 78.

“Na eexcite kasi, unang-una gusto namin lahat mag-champion” was all Ros Pedrosa could say when asked what was going through his mind, with the championship point so near for NU.

For one of NU’s team leaders and Season 78 MVP Peter Magnaye, this victory was extra special since it could be the last time he could play in the UAAP. “Bago kumbaga, iniisip ko, sabi ko one last. Sabi ko sa sarili ko, sa lahat ng mga kasama ko, teammates ko, sabi ko last. Nandito na tayo. Hindi na natin kailangang bitawan.”

This was Magnaye’s third championship in the UAAP and second MVP award. His first championship was with UST, along with an MVP award, and his next two have been with NU. While Magnaye may have had a UAAP career filled with glory, he understood even in his last match that he wouldn’t be anywhere without his teammates. “Siguro hindi sa pagmamayabang talaga, lahat ng teammates ko may tiwala ako sa kanila. Kumbaga alam ko kilala ko silang lahat. Kumbaga alam kong magchachampion kami dahil sa kanila.” Magnaye then declared international competition will be his main focus now that his UAAP career is over.

Mance x Gabuelo

Meanwhile, NU coach Jojo Mance was at a loss for words after the tie. Despite only mustering a few words, his elation was obvious, as NU’s latest triumph in Badminton left him and his players jumping for joy, splashing Gatorade and water on themselves and on the court.

Mance said that he had given his players freedom to prepare for Season 78, even allowing them to compete and train abroad as long as they remembered that everything they did was in preparation for the UAAP. However, training abroad also became a challenge; Mance pointed out that Magnaye could not compete in an international tournament despite being defending champion because of the UAAP. “Sabi ko you have to sacrifice. Most of the players are in the national pool and had to sacrifice dahil hindi sila nag-abroad para sa UAAP.”

With two straight championships under his belt, Mance has every reason to be proud of his players, especially in the second Finals tie. “Talagang pinaghandaan namin. Sobrang kuntento ako sa performance nila, although may isang talo pero talagang pinaglaban nang husto eh. Talagang satisfying lahat ng games.”

Even if the third game of Pedrosa and Gonzales versus the Monterubio brothers went down the wire, Mance admitted he felt the championship was close. “Sabi ko sana makuha na. Kasi nung una medyo hirap sina Ros at Paul eh. Na-pressure kami. Sabi ko basta isipin niyo no pressure. Kasi talagang kung atin yan, makukuha natin yan if ibibigay sa atin yan pero kailangan kunin niyo yan. Paghirapan niyo. Ilabas niyo lang yung laro niyo.”

Two straight championships in any sport will always make people thankful of others for what they achieved. Amidst all the emotion in what could have been his last UAAP appearance, Magnaye clearly knew who he was thankful for. “Siyempre masaya kumbaga blessings kay Lord. Kumbaga masaya sobra. Siguro sa lahat. Family ko, sa girlfriend ko, sa team, lahat. Hindi lang sa akin ito. Para rin sa nagmamahal sa akin.”

Ariel Magnaye MVP

Likewise, Mance said “to God be the glory. Talagang may halong sobrang blessing.” Mance later gave a message to the NU community: “dedicated ito sa lahat ng taga-NU. This may serve as an inspiration to all students and players.”

In the aftermath of a dominant Season 78 for the NU Bulldogs, this could very well be their most gratifying UAAP Men’s Badminton Championship yet. Rest assured they’ll be raring to go in Season 79 as Pedrosa ominously declared, “Three-peat. Kakayanin”

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Lorenzo's a frustrated author who knows a thing or two about Football and Basketball. Went all green from Ortigas to Taft. Supports Liverpool FC, FC Bayern Munich and the Alaska Aces

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ABL

Christian Standhardinger goes perfect from stripe in Hong Kong’s rout of Formosa

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After going a horrid 5-for-17 from the stripe during their first loss of the season last January 9, Christian Standhardinger made sure to make good on his free throws to power the Hong Kong Eastern Basketball Club to a dominant 99-79 rout of the Formosa Dreamers, Thursday evening in Southorn Stadium.

The 6-foot-8 Filipino-German, who tallied 37 points and 19 rebounds in the overtime loss to Saigon, went a perfect 9-for-9 from the foul line. He finished with 25 points and 10 rebounds.

The contest itself was not close, as the defending champions were able to impose their will on the bottom-ranked squad, leading by as much as 23 points, 93-70, after two free throws by Standhardinger with 2:58 remaining.

If Standhardinger was having a good day with his free throws, the entire Formosa squad could not say the same, going 13-of-27 from the line.

Tyler Lamb had 25 markers as well for Hong Kong, while Marcus Elliott grabbed a triple-double with 19 points, 11 rebounds, and 11 assists.

Lenny Daniel paced Formosa with 25 points and 11 rebounds. World Import Ronnie Aguilar had 14 points and 16 rebounds but went just 5-for-14 from the field.

With the win, Hong Kong goes to 8-1, while the Dreamers fell to 1-8.

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2018 FIBA 3X3 World Cup

Chooks-to-Go President hopes 3×3 World Cup breaks Philippine Arena record

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Last October 27, 2017, Game Seven of the PBA Governors’ Cup Finals between heated rivals Barangay Ginebra San Miguel and Meralco Bolts saw 54,083 people troop to the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan. The attendance broke all records for both the venue and the PBA.

Come June this year, the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas and Chooks-to-Go are hoping that the upcoming 2018 FIBA 3×3 World Cup will surpass that record.

“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. Kanina pinag-uusapan na, if we’re going to break the record in attendance,” said Bounty Agro Ventures Inc. president Ronald Mascariñas on Thursday afternoon during a press conference held at BGC High Street in Taguig.

“I think the question there is not if we’re going to break, but how many more times. Because FIBA should see how passionate the Filipinos are about basketball. That’s a given,” one of the patrons of Gilas Pilipinas added.

Besides the event itself, the local government of Bulacan has pledged to make the week of the tournament filled with activities to celebrate the Philippines’ 120th year of Independence.

For their part, Chooks-to-Go vowed to help out the SBP in organizing the event and in building the team.

“We are throwing our support not to improve on our finish, but we want to help SBP organize, to win the championship — not just to improve our ranking,” Mascariñas shared.

And the experience he and his company gained after backing the Pilipinas 3×3 team during last year’s tournament will only help.

“In past tournaments, we’ve lost some games na maninipis lang talaga,” he recalled about the team composed of Kobe Paras, Kiefer Ravena, Jeron Teng, and JR Quinahan that competed in Nantes, France.

“This time around, with five months to go, we need to organize and put in the best t

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Football

Ilocos United takes leave from PFL

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Another one bites the dust

After months of speculation, Ilocos United has formally announced their absence from the Philippines Football League for the 2018 season.

A statement signed by Ilocos Chief Executive Officer Tony Lazaro and posted on the club’s Facebook page broke the big news.

“Unfortunately, after months of negotiation, efforts to attract a new naming sponsor for the Team were unsuccessful,” the statement opened. “Consequently, it has become financially prohibitive to continue participation in the PFL.

“Primarily, the lack of broadcasting exposure in 2017 created an apprehension in the corporate community, cascading into a series of afflictions that has ultimately led to our withdrawal from the competition.”

Ilocos finished last during the inaugural season, tallying 1 win, 6 draws, and 21 losses with a -49 goal differential.

Still, Ilocos gave their thanks to those who supported the club during the inaugural PFL season.

“We are cautiously optimistic of a potential return to the PFL for the 2019 season, whereby secured broadcasting exposure will hopefully lead to higher confidence from potential sponsorship partners.”

While their PFL operations will fold for the time being, Ilocos will continue the grassroots programs they have started within the area. ¨In the meantime, the foundation of football development we helped to build in Ilocos will continue, including grassroots initiatives at local schools, women’s futsal, Special Olympics, and, of course, the IUFC Academy.¨

The latest development will be another big blow for the young league. Meralco Manila pulled out of the competition beforehand, and now Ilocos´ absence leaves only six teams in the competition.

Now more than ever, something needs to be done by the PFL or even the Philippine Football Federation to ensure the feasibility of the clubs and the league itself for years to come.

Football is a hard sport to build in the Philippines despite its resurgence since 2010. There are limited corporate boosters for the sport which is in dire need of a financial push to sustain its growth.

Ilocos´ leave and Meralco´s folding now forces local football´s stakeholders to take a step back and examine the next moves to build the sport.

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Basketball

CJ Perez, Jaycee Marcelino in unison: D-League is a whole other level

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After falling just two games short of copping Lyceum’s first-ever NCAA crown, the Pirates went to the PBA D-League to gain experience. However, in their first foray in the second league, the Lyceans realized that it was a whole different beast.

Going up against the veteran-laden Marinerong Pilipino Skippers, the Zark’s Burgers-backed squad suffered a slow start as they adjusted to the tougher calls of the league. The Jawbreakers were down by as much as 17 points early in the third frame, 37-54.

“Yung physicality hindi naman ako masyadong nagulat pero sa mental toughness, yung pagod ka na, tapos may babanggga pa sa ‘yo, ang iniisip ko kailangan mas maging tough,” admitted reigning NCAA Most Valuable Player CJ Perez.

“Nangangapa kami nung una lahat kasi first game namin ito, pati dito sa court na ‘to first game din namin,” added Jaycee Marcelino.

It served as a wake-up call. Adjusting on the fly, Perez and Marcelino rallied the Jawbreakers back — even fashioning multiple attempts to take over the contest late in the game. However, they fell short, 92-94.

“Binalik lang namin yung laro namin dati, pass the ball, hindi yung puro dribble, i-run lang namin yung plays,” shared Marcelino, as he and Perez combined to score 16 points in the final frame.

The 21-year-old Marcelino finished with a game-high 20 points on an efficient 7-of-9 shooting to go along with four rebounds, three assists, two steals, and a block. The 24-year-old Perez added 19 points, five assists, two steals, and a block.

With their first game in the bag, the duo — and the rest of the Jawbreakers — now have the experience under their belts. And they plan to put in the work to prove that they belong.

“Sa NC naman kasi puro ka-level namin kalaro namin, dito puro beterano ang naglalaro,” said Marcelino. “Hindi talaga namin masabi na yung ginawa namin sa NC magagawa din namin dito.

“Mageextra work pa kami para masustain namin kung ano kami sa Lyceum.”

“It’s a good experience. Ibang iba pala talaga yung laro ng D-League sa NCAA,” expressed Perez, who is a consensus top three pick for the upcoming PBA Rookie Draft.

“Sobrang grateful kami na nakalaro na rin kami sa D-League.”

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