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Ortuoste leads Golden Stags late against hapless Generals



“Enjoy the last five games. ‘Yung mga bagay na may control kami, gawin lang namin.”

This was what San Sebastian head coach Rodney Santos told his wards during the pre-game in their matchup against the Emilio Aguinaldo College Generals and for most of the game, the Golden Stags was flawless in their execution.

Holding a 21-point lead in the third period, the San Sebastian Stags almost lost it in the fourth against the EAC Generals but was able to survive in a 91-77 victory, held at the Filoil Flying V Arena Thursday afternoon.

Both teams had good interior defense to clog the lanes of the bigmen at the start of the game. This opened up two perimeter jumpers for EAC as they also limited the Stags to its first field goal of the match at the 6:14 mark courtesy of Jeick Fabian. Pro-bound Bradwyn Guinto was active in crashing the boards but Hamadou Laminou and off-the-bench Francis Munsayac, who scored an instant eight points during the quarter, pushed the Generals fo a 17-16 lead at the end of one quarter.

The duo of Jon Ortuoste and Ryan Costelo sparked a 10point start for the Stags in the first three minutes to answer Laminou’s paint baskets. Their three point shooting was a key to their high-scoring half as Spencer Pretta inked in five of his own during the quarter alone. San Sebastian had a 39-26 lead in the middle of the quarter but an 8-1 response by the Generals melted the lead. However, Pretta made two corner triples to also pace the 34 bench points they had at the half, in addition to the big lead they established after 20 minutes.

Despite EAC piling up the steals in the early goings to cut lead of the Stags, San Sebastian answered with five straight layups in the middle of the third quarter to extend their lead to 63-42 with 4:36 left. Three straight turnovers, however, helped EAC to claw their way back partially with Sidney Onwubere and Hamadou Laminou still drilling in baskets inside. The Generals had a huge ending to the third as Munsayac punched a three to slice the deficit down to 13 entering the fourth.

Onwubere continued his stellar presence in the second half when he led the 12-5 spurt to open the final period of action as the Stags cooled from the perimeter. Munsayac also contributed big in transition during the stretch as the big lead vanished slowly in favor of EAC. Entering the final four minutes, Laminou made it a one-possession game as he muscled his way to cut the lead, 77-75.

However, Ortuoste anchored the last surge of the game for the Golden Stags as he scored two quick layups in a 8-0 answer. San Sebastian’s defense also tightened late in the game as they limited the Generals to only two points in the last three minutes of the game and had their comeback hopes short.

“Wala naman silang pressure to win the game. Basta gusto ko lang every game, they have a positive attitude,” coach Rodney Santos said on what he wants the mentality his team has in their last five games. “Just enjoy this game. Kung magkamali kayo, huwag kayo tumingin sa akin. Set lang sa depansa, sa opensa kayo na bahala.”

The Golden Stags were led by Jon Oruoste’s 24 markers. He was 10/21 from the field and added six boards, seven dimes, and three steals. Smart Elite ambassador Bradwyn Guinto added a double-double with 11 points and 17 huge boards.

For the cagers from Paco, Smart Elite ambassador Francis Munsayac led the team with 21 points on 50% shooting. He had two rebounds, an assist, and a steal as well. Two players notched double-doubles for EAC with Onwubere having a 16-12 day while Laminou had 20 and 13.

The San Sebastian Stags (4-10) will next face the San Beda Red Lions on Tuesday, September 22 at 2:00pm while the EAC Generals (2-12) have the Perpetual Altas on the same day at 4:00pm.

The Scores:

SSC-R (91) – Ortuoste 24, Pretta 19, Bulanadi 17, Guinto 11, Costelo 7, Fabian 6, Bragais 3, Calisaan 2, Capobres 2, Sibal 0, Alvarez 0, Santos 0

EAC (77) – Munsayac 21, Laminou 20, Onwubere 16, Mejos 8, Pascua 5, Bonleon 4, Diego 3, Pascual 0, General 0, Corilla 0, Estacio 0

Quarters: 16-17, 51-35, 68-55, 91-77



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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