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Petron blazes to fifth straight win, stops Foton’s streak

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In a collision of the league’s two hottest teams, the Petron Blaze Spikers edged the tough Foton Tornadoes in straight sets, 27-25, 25-23, 25-16, to keep their winning run alive at five and stop Foton’s five-game rampage in the Philippine Superliga Grand Prix at the De La Salle University – Lipa Sentrum in Laguna.

Petron’s Brazilian import Rupia Inck set them on the right track, scoring their first three points and keying a 5-0 run that gave them an 8-5 lead. Foton’s Katy Messing sparked a counter-run with consecutive cross-court kills that momentarily handed Foton the lead, 10-9. Petron, however, quickly replied with eight consecutive points off powerful kills and Foton’s errors for a 17-10 advantage. Petron eventually threatened to take the set, leading 22-16, but an avalanche of mistimed connections between setter Erica Adachi and ace hitter Dindin Santiago-Manabat stalled Petron’s run and allowed Foton to knot the set at 22. Coming off the bench, Abigail Maraño arrested the Petron drought and scored off her signature running attack, sparking a heated exchange of attacks that led to a deuce. Foton middle blocker Jaja Santiago blasted a quick attack that gave Foton set point, 25-24, but three consecutive attack errors from Foton’s Santiago, Kayla Williams, and Lindsay Stalzer followed, allowing Petron to waltz to an early 1-0 set lead.

Santiago valiantly kept up the offensive pressure in the second set to mitigate her team’s errors. Santiago’s attacking was enough to maintain a tie throughout the frame, but Foton wound up gifting Petron four straight points midway through the set for their 18-15 lead. The Tornadoes, through attacks from Stalzer and Santiago, trimmed the deficit down to one, 22-21. Manabat, Maraño, and Rachel Daquis dragged Petron out of the bind, scoring Petron’s last three points amidst a slew of timeouts and heavily contested refereeing, for a two sets to love advantage.

Displaying rejuvenated confidence, Foton jumped ahead in the third set, 9-4, off terrific offensive play from Messing and setter Ivy Perez. After an early timeout, Petron regained composure, quickly hijacking the lead 12-11, off attacks from Maraño and Molina. This season’s All-Filipino Conference MVP Rachel Daquis put the final touches on the match, scoring five points down the stretch and leading Petron to take 13 of the match’s last 18 markers and seal a convincing victory.

Fresh out of college in the U.S., Rupia Inck led Petron with a game-high 19 makers. Daquis added 13 markers off 11 attacks and two aces. San Beda standout Ces Molina pitched in nine points, while Aby Maraño provided six. Petron’s all-around effort took pressure off former PSL MVP Dindin Manabat, who dropped a season-low two points. Petron also received a huge lift from Foton’s massive 25 errors as they surrendered just 11.

“Nadaan lang namin sa adjustments. May mga player ako na nilagay sa ibang mga position at gumana naman. Marami talaga akong versatile na players sa team – nandoon talaga ang lakas namin,” said Petron head coach George Pascua.

The win relegates Petron to a first place tie with Philps Gold, who sport an identical 7-2 record. The two face off on Monday, November 16, at the San Juan Arena for solo first place to finish the tournament’s elimination phase.

Santiago topped all Tornadoes with 15 markers off 12 attacks, two blocks, and an ace. Lindsay Stalzer pitched in 14 points, while Katy Messing managed 12 points.

Foton ended their elimination round with a 6-4 card, enough for a semis berth. With fellow semis aspirant Cignal still to play on Monday, seedings are yet to be determined for the one-game elimination semifinals round.

The Scores

Petron (3) – Inck 19, Daquis 13, Molina 9, Maraño 6, Manabat 2, Morada 2, Adachi 6, Cayetano 0, Masangkay 0, Reyes (L)

Foton (0) – Santiago 15, Stalzer 14, Messing 12, Perez 4, Araneta 3, Tianco-Williams 3, Orendain 2, Ceballos 0, Delos Reyes 0, Macatuno 0, Acevedo (L), General (L)

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Miguel Luis Flores fell face first into sports writing in high sch9l and has never gotten up. He reluctantly stumbled into the volleyball beat when he started with Tiebreaker Times three years ago. Now, he has waded through everything volleyball - from its icky politics to the post-modern art that is Jia Morado's setting.

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MIT

Joyce Sta. Rita slams 28 as Lady Stags avert Cardinal upset

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Erasing a disappointing third set, the San Sebastian College-Recoletos Lady Stags upended the upset-conscious Mapua University Lady Cardinals, 25-20, 25-7, 29-31, 25-14, Tuesday afternoon at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

The win revived the Lady Stags’ campaign after back-to-back losses to Jose Rizal University and University of Perpetual Help System DALTA. San Sebastian is now at 3-2.

“Andun pa rin naman, apat pa naman laro,” said Stags’ head coach Roger Gorayeb on their chances for the Final Four. “Sana umabot.”

Team captain Joyce Sta. Rita produced a career-high 28 points off 22 attacks, four blocks, and two serves. The senior middle hitter paced her squad’s 58 spikes, which outscored that of Mapua’s 33.

The Lady Cards capitalized on the rotation wherein Sta. Rita was in the backline in that third set turnaround. Nonetheless, Vira Guillema and the rest of the Lady Stags just turned to their experience to ultimately finish the match.

Gorayeb, nonetheless, hopes his team will toughen up mentally for the home stretch of the eliminations. “Kasi ‘yung laro, nawawala na ‘yan sa physical side, napupunta na sa psychological part ng game.”

San Sebastian will take on Colegio de San Juan de Letran (2-3) on Thursday.

Angelie Magundayao lead the Cardinals with 10 markers.

Mapua (0-5) will take on Emilio Aguinaldo College (0-5) in a battle of winless earlier that day.

The Scores:

SSC-R 3 – Sta. Rita 28, Dalisay 17, Santos 11, Encarnacion 10, Guillema 4, Tiangco 2, Eroa L.

MU 1 – Mangundayao 10, Racelis 9, Pena 9, Latayan 5, Morano 4, Frando 2, Mercado 1, Barias 0, Hermano 0, Ramilo L.

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MIT

Cardinals blast Golden Stags for third win

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After absorbing a sorry defeat from the San Beda College Red Spikers in their last outing, the Mapua University Cardinals subdued the San Sebastian College-Recolletos Golden Stags, 26-24, 25-16, 26-24, to take their third victory of the season, Tuesday morning at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

Mark Jason Egan paced the Intramuros-based squad with 14 points on eight attacks and three each of blocks and serves. Team captain Anjo Pertierra finished with 13 markers, while Alfred Pagulong had 10.

Despite a miserable reception output, Cardinals setter Raven Evangelista still had a field day as he produced 32 excellent sets on the 41 attack points of his squad.

Such would not go unnoticed as Pertierra lauded his playmaker’s production that led to the win. He said, “Sobrang ganda kung performance ni Raven. Nakapag-adjust siya sa bad reception. Kino-commend ko siya today.”

Losing that second set big, the Stags threatened to steal the third as they led 21-18 off back-to-back hits from James Eugenio and even forced a deuce. Nonetheless, a quick attack from Pertierra and an ace off Pagulong sealed the win for the Cards.

Pertierra admitted their lack of intensity almost cost them the first and third sets, and hopes the team address it as soon as the next game against the Emilio Aguinaldo College Generals.

“Kilala naman EAC na maganda floor defense, sobrang makapit. Sasabayan namin sila, we’ll give our best,” he shared.

That important tussle between the Cards (3-2) and the Generals (2-3) will happen on Thursday.

Former skipper Jahir Ebrahim led the Stags with 16 markers.

San Sebastian (1-4) will try to get back on winning track when they face winless Letran (0-5) later that day.

The Scores:

MU 3 – Egan 14, Pertierra 13, Pagulong 10, Damian 8, Navera 8, Evangelista 1, Bondoc L.

SSC-R 0 – Ebrahim 16, Lana 9, Eugenio 8, Ronato 6, Ongque A 3, Campuspos 1, Eusebio 1, Lazaro 0, Toledo 0, Ongque AC L, Enano L.

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AU

Kent Salado re-injures MCL, out for Go for Gold campaign

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Photo by PBA Images

Kent Salado suffers a setback

The worst fear of the Go for Gold Scratchers came true Monday evening as all-around combo guard Kent Salado re-injured the medial cruciate ligament in his right knee.

The injury was confirmed by Kent Salado and the officials of Go for Gold and he will miss the entire 2018 PBA D-League Aspirants Cup.

With under three minutes left in the third quarter of Go for Gold’s opening game against the Gamboa-St. Clare Coffee Lovers Monday afternoon, the 5-foot-9 guard went for a drive but could not get the proper lift. He tried to walk it off but limped towards the audience section of the Pasig Sports Center.

“Parang may narinig nga siya na may tumunog daw,” shared Scratchers head coach Charles Tiu after their 75-68 win.

“We’re very worried.

“I think our PT said baka MCL ‘yun, so that might be a month or two, so that’s a big problem for us,” the youthful mentor added.

Salado finished the game with nine points, five rebounds, four assists, and three steals. He was immediately rushed to the Makati Medical Center afterwards. At around nine in the evening, the MRI showed that he tore his ACL as was initially reported by Tiebreaker Times. A second opinion, however, contradicted the initial diagnosis, showing only an MCL tear.

Prior to this, the native of Cagayan de Oro suffered a partial tear on medial collateral damage on the same knee last October 10, 2017 during Arellano’s 85-79 win over the San Sebastian Golden Stags.

With this setback, Salado was also advised to not play in the summer leagues to fully recover in time for the NCAA Season 94 Seniors Basketball tournament.

“Okay lang para NCAA na ko makapaglaro,” he said.

“Mas importante naman yun.”

The 23-year-old averaged 19.1 points, 5.0 assists, 3.8 rebounds, and 1.3 steals last season. He is eligible to enter the 2018 PBA Rookie Draft.

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Basketball

San Beda overwhelmed by Sale, out of title contention

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Against a taller Moroccan club team, the San Beda College Red Lions could not get the ball rolling against Al Sale, falling 77-104, early Tuesday morning (Manila time) at the Al Ahli Club in Dubai.

With the loss and the UAE National Team defeating Sagesse earlier in the day, the 0-3 Red Lions can no longer advance to the next stage of the 29th Dubai International Basketball Tournament.

San Beda ace Robert Bolick continued his string of sensational outings. After putting up 28 and 27 points respectively in their first two games, the 23 for 2023 Gilas cadet had 20 markers in this game to lead San Beda.

Bolick’s fellow 23 for 2023 teammate Javee Mocon had 10 points but shot just 4-for-14 from the field while NCAA Season 93 Seniors Basketball Finals Most Valuable Player Donald Tankoua had six points, eight rebounds, three steals, and two blocks.

Sale, a team that has three national team players including 6-foot-11 Soufiane Kourdou and two American reinforcements, imposed their will right from the get-go — leading 28-7 to end the first frame.

Sale led by as much as 37 points midway through the second quarter, 51-14. On the other hand, San Beda could not muster a strong run as their longest rally was just a 6-0 spurt late in the third canto.

Sniper AC Soberano and Jeramer Cabanag played their best games in the tournament so far, finishing with 11 and eight points respectively. Co-captain Joe Presbitero also had eight markers.

American Patrick Rembert led six Sale players in double-figures with 22 points. Abderrahim Najah went 7-for-8 from the field for 17 points while Kordou had 16 points, eight rebounds, and three blocks.

San Beda-Pilipinas ends its campaign against Sagesse on Wednesday, January 24 (Manila time).

The Scores:

San Beda 77 – Bolick 20, Soberano 11, Mocon 10, Presbitero 8, Cabanag 8, Tankoua 6, Noah 4, Oftana 4, Carino 3, Adamos 3, Toba 0, Tongco 0.

Sale 104 – Rembert 22, Najah 17, Kourdou 16, Baery 14, Cutis 14, Arnold 13, Almahini 4, Jaddi 4, Elmadini 0, Belhaddar 0.

Quarterscores: 7-28, 22-54, 53-82, 77-104.

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