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Perasol looking for options outside of Ravena, Pessumal

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Coach Bo Perasol and the Ateneo community had been waiting for this season.

This season marks the third year of coach Perasol’s run with the Blue Eagles. More importantly, this is the make-or-break year for his stint as the team now has all its blue-chip recruits and reinforcements in the lineup.

UAAP Season 75 Juniors MVP Jerie Pingoy, UAAP Season 76 Finals MVP Hubert Cani, UAAP Season 78 Juniors MVP Mike Nieto and his twin Matthew Nieto, former U17 National team member Aaron Black, and Nigerian student-athlete Chibueze Ikeh were all brought in to ease the burden of scoring off of co-captains Kiefer Ravena and Von Pessumal during their breaks. However, this has yet to happen consistently for the Katipunan cagers.

During the team’s three-game win streak, Ikeh, Pingoy, and Black have provided the scoring punch to complement the outputs of Ravena and Pessumal. In their game against the UST Tigers though, the lack of both offensive output and defensive stops from the bench unit sparked a game breaking 26-6 fourth quarter rally that led to the Eagles’ second loss in five outings.

UAAP 78 - UST ADMU - Ravena“Six points only in a quarter and allow 26 points, talagang may problema. Especially during the fourth quarter. I think we need to do a better job of pacing our players. Siyempre medyo pagod na rin si Kiefer nung dulo,” Ateneo head coach Perasol said after the game. Kiefer Ravena played a game-high 35 minutes in that game. After scoring 12 points during the first three quarters, Ravena blanked all his shots in the final quarter and was just 1/4 from the charity stripe.

The UST rally began during the first few minutes of the fourth quarter that saw bench players like Pingoy and Black on the court. “Oo, it was the only time. In fact, yun din yung run. I was hoping that I could give Kiefer and Von a good time resting [sic]. Kasi alam ko they’re going to have another run and it went on early,” the third year coach said about his decision to rest his captains. “But I think again the point of that is that we were not able to get our shots early. Masyadong mababa yung six points. I think this was our lowest this season. Masyadong mababa. In terms of percentage, mababa din. We just shot 6% in the fourth quarter.”

Perasol defended the team’s skipper in saying that whatever happens they will stick with their captain during the crunch time. “At the end of they day, even if he was not making his shots, he still made the crucial shots of the game during nung three games namin. Kasi tumatrabaho din sa depensa. That’s really expected sa kanya. He knows his responsibilities. He knows the composition of our team.”

In five games, both Ravena and Pessumal are in the top ten in minutes per game in averaging 34.4 and 32 minutes per outing respectively. For the Ateneo mentor, he and his staff know that the team is currently lacking bench production. “I think it was more of a fatigue [factor]. Medyo napagod na rin siya nung dulo, I wanted to substitute him for the fourth quarter. I was hoping na we get a good run and then, at least mga two minutes, makapahinga siya pero nagtuloy-tuloy ang run. We all know na medyo mahihirapan kami, from off the bench, na nahihirapan yung unit na yun.”

Nonetheless, the Ateneo mentor knows that the lack of bench production is a challenge that needs to be solved for the team. “Even if we or he wanted to rest, Kiefer knows very well that with him not inside, it’s really going to cost us a little bit. Kung matatawid namin yun without him inside, it would be tremendous for us. That’s a challenge for us actually.”

UAAP 78 FEU vs. ADMU - Capacio“Whoever it is who’s gonna step up, just like last game si Von stepped up. I think I need to see other players step up like si Gwynne [Capacio] and our point guards also to help in scoring. We know the composition of our team. Palagay ko we just have to defend well para makashoot kami.”

Even after the loss, coach Perasol still complimented the effort of his boys and is still optimistic about the next games. “If you take it away the last quarter, we were playing well. Kaya lang, nangyari sa end kaya nagmistulang pangit talaga. But we have to take it into the right perspective na maaga pa. We’re 3-2 and we’re still in the middle of the first round. We know na we can have a good first round,” he closed

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2018 FIBA 3X3 World Cup

Chooks-to-Go President hopes to break PH Arena record come 3×3 World Cup

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Last October 27, 2017, Game Seven of the PBA Governors’ Cup Finals that pitted 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 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 that was 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 team to win the championship.”

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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 formally announced its 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 its 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 its PFL operations will fold for the time being, Ilocos will continue the grassroots programs it 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 aren’t a lot of 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 to cop 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 animal.

Going up against the veteran-laden Marinerong Pilipino Skippers, the Zark’s Burgers-backed squad had 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 however served as a wake-up call. Adjusting on the fly, Perez and Marcelino rallied the Jawbreakers back — even having 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 while the 24-year-old Perez added 19 points, five assists, two steals, and a block.

With their first game in the bag, the two and the rest of the Jawbreakers now have this 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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Basketball

Renzo Subido to bring Marinerong Pilipino experience to UST

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When Renzo Subido decided to skip out the University of Santo Tomas Growling Tigers’ UAAP Season 80 campaign, he had only one thing in mind: to improve on his craft. And he was able to do so under coach Koy Banal in the Marinerong Pilipino Skippers.

After the AMA Online Education Titans had a quick end to their campaign during the 2017 Foundation Cup, the 5-foot-9 floor general was immediately picked up by Marinerong Pilipino for the playoffs. Liking his style of play, he was again tapped for the 2018 Aspirants Cup.

And he showed a lot of growth from then, leading the Skippers to a 94-92 victory over fellow contenders Zark’s Jawbreakers. The 21-year-old tallied 20 points, three rebounds, and five assists while knocking down the crucial free throws to seal off the Lyceum-backed team.

“It was a good win for us. We’re happy that we won the game because it’s a good way to start the conference,” beamed Subido. “I’ve played against Lyceum in the past so I had familiarity with how they play.

“It was a good experience for us.”

Expectations are high for Marinerong Pilipino this conference as they are pegged as their blend of veterans and young guns are seen too overwhelming for the rest of the field. Still, Subido knows that it will be a tough climb as the other teams, especially the collegiate-based squads, have familiarity on their side.

“We’re taking it one game at a time but the goal is to win the championship,” he said. “But we know that it’s not going to be easy since we are going up against the top collegiate teams.

“So we’re just going to go all out every game.”

Besides winning the championship, Subido is on a personal mission. Being one of the seniors for the Growling Tigers next season, he hopes to learn to become a better leader for next season.

“I want to become a better leader. I know that everything I can learn this conference, I can bring to UST,” Subido expressed.

“For all I can see, coach Aldin [Ayo] is a guard-oriented coach. So I’m using all the experience I get here in Marinero, I’ll bring it to UST.”

For sure, Subido wants to make up for lost time.

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