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Pachanga-Diliman, Manila Jeepney settle for a highly-contested draw



In a battle for pride, both Pachanga Diliman FC and Manila Jeepney FC had their answers to the opposition as they figured in a stalemate at the end of 90 minutes, 3-all, early Sunday evening at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium.

Eighth-placed team Pachanga Diliman went to work early in the match and continually peppered the defense of the blue-shirts. At the sixth minute, skipper Hamed Hajimehdi could have broken the deadlock, but the captain was denied by Manila Jeepney’s keeper RJ Joyel. Joyel once again muffed another opportunity for Pachanga in the following play. Jinggoy Valmayor had room to operate on the left flank; nonetheless, the Los Manileños custodian tapped the ball out for a corner. Pachanga kept their fluidity going on the offensive side, but they could not put something into the back of the net.

With the home side in attack mode, Manila Jeepney took their chances on the counterattack. At the quarter-hour mark, it was the patient defense that worked for the visitors. Eric Giganto received a pass from the back and found Michael Menzi on the opposite flank. With Pachanga goalie Steve Yambou approaching, Giganto sent the ball to Menzi for the finish and the go-ahead goal.

Pachanga-Diliman did not let up on their attacking pressure and continued to send passes into their final third, but Jeepney was there to stifle any chance for the white-shirts. The next few minutes were highly physical as both teams tried to wrestle control of the match. The home team searched hard for an equalizer, which went on to stoppage time. After several attempts and incursions into the box, Pachanga was finally rewarded with a change to score. At the final minute of stoppage time, Joyel was whistled for a foul on Valmayor inside the box, conceding a penalty. Hajimehdi calmly tucked the ball into the upper right corner and into the net for the tying goal. The halftime whistle was sounded with both teams knotted at 1.

At the second half, Pachanga picked up from where they left off in the first. Six minutes from the restart, Valmayor received a long pass from Nathan Octavio. The former UAAP stalwart passed it to his captain Hajimehdi on left wing, who then connected with Hossein Doustdarsefidmazgi. The latter fired from close range and straight into the mitts of Joyel. However, as what happened in the first goal, Manila Jeepney again pounced on a defensive lapse of the home squad. At the 59th minute, Giganto paced himself and blasted the ball from the top of the box over Yambou to regain the lead for the Los Manileños.

The gap did not last long, as Pachanga was able to level the match again in the following play. Jeepney’s Van Rey Diaz was called for a foul off a scuffle inside the box, giving away another penalty for the opponents. Hajimehdi tapped the ball inside, but the spot kick was ordered to be retaken. The Pachanga forward could not be denied on the second attempt as he outsmarted Joyel to put the game back on even terms again at 2-apiece.

Manila Jeepney was finally able to execute their offense and reclaimed the lead thereafter. Ten minutes before regulation, Valmayor was double-teamed by the opposing defense, and Joshua Mulero then stole the ball off him. Mulero found a long gap in the Pachanga’s backline and drove towards Yambou’s goal. The centerback then sent the ball to his teammate Giganto, who then passed it back to him. Mulero tapped pass the goal line to wrestle back the lead for the visitors, 3-2. The burly defender almost scored his second of the match six minutes after, only the shot was too strong and went over the bar.

It was Pachanga that made the most of their opportunity in the ensuing play. From the midfield, Hajimehdi controlled the ball before crossing it to compatriot Doustdarsefidmazgi, who then passed it to Gadia inside the penalty area. With Joyel on his heels, Gadia flicked the ball to his left for substitute Step Permanes, who headed the ball into the onion bag for the equalizer. The home squad almost stole the victory in the dying minutes, only Pemanes was denied by Joyel on his final attempt. The match ended as Manila Jeepney and Pachanga Diliman share the spoils, three goals each.

The two teams will end their League season on Wednesday, August 5. Pachanga-Diliman FC will take on Stallion FC, and Manila Jeepney FC will face Division I champions Ceres-La Salle FC.


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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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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