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Catching fire! Pontejos lifts Heavy Bombers past Altas in crucial game



When the going gets tough, Paolo Pontejos gets going.

The Jose Rizal University hotshot exploded in the second half as the Heavy Bombers completed a huge turnaround to repulse University of Perpetual Help, 62-60 Friday in the NCAA Season 91 basketball tournament at the Filoil Flying V Arena.

Pontejos dropped 16 of his 19 points in the third frame alone, where the Heavy Bombers outscored the Altas, 29-14.

The Heavy Bombers then tightened up defensively towards the end to prevail and improve to fifth spot in the team standings with a 10-6 card overall, staying in the hunt for the Final Four.

The Altas remained in third place after the setback at 11-5.

The Altas broke loose from a tight first quarter after closing the opening period on a 10-4 run to hold a 17-11 lead. Perpetual’s full court trap allowed them to stop the Heavy Bombers from scoring easily.

In the second quarter, Prince Eze made impact on both ends of the floor, protecting the rim and scoring underneath the rim while the rest of the team added baskets in transition to give Perpetual a double-digit advantage at 38-24.

But Ervin Grospe made three baskets to open the third frame, before Paolo Pontejos caught fire for JRU, exploding for 16 straight points to bring back the Heavy Bombers in the game and take the 48-47 lead.

It was a see-saw affair from that point, although a triple by Gerald Dizon followed by a basket by Bright Akhuetie underneath made it 59-56 for the Altas in the fourth quarter.

But a 6-1 run behind Abdul Poutuouchi and Grospe gave JRU back the lead at 62-60 with only less than three minutes remaining.

The Heavy Bombers was able to control possession down the wire, not giving the Altas any opportunity to steal the game as their pesky defense held Perpetual without a field goal for over seven minutes.

Perpetual had one final chance to win the game with only 1.1 seconds left but a beyond the arc attempt by Dizon failed to hit the mark.

“Two more games, two more games! If we play just like how we played against the Letran Knights, not in this game, we have a chance,” an enthusiastic Vergel Meneses said after the game. “Yung first quarter and first half namin, mapapamura ka na lang talaga. All layups ang Perpetual.” But during the third quarter, Paolo Pontejos lifted the Heavy Bombers with 16 big points. “Yun yung big run namin. That’s a huge run by Paolo that brought us back into the game.”

Finally, even in grabbing a double-double, Meneses is expecting Poutuouchi to do more. “Iba sana yung complexion ng laro pag nandiyan siya [Abdulwahab Abdulrazak]. Nagkadengue kasi yung lamok sa kanya. I mean nagkadengue kasi siya.” “I’m expecting more from him because I know he is better than this.”

Paolo Pontejos led all scorers with 19 huge points, 16 coming from the third canto. He was 7/14 from the field, 2/6 from rainbow country. Poutouochi, Teodoro, and Grospe added 12 markers each with Smart Elite ambassador Teodoro shooting just 4/17 from the field but added four boards and two dimes. Poutouochi grabbed ten rebounds as well.

For the Las Pinas-based squad, Gerald Dizon led the team with 12 points. Smart Elite ambassador Scottie Thompson played a game-high 37 minutes. He notched a double-double with 12 points and 11 boards while adding six dimes.

The Heavy Bombers (10-6) will look to sustain their streak against the Lyceum Pirates on Tuesday, September 29 at 2:00pm while t he Perpetual Altas (11-5) will look to bounce back against the San Sebastian Stags on the same day at 4:00pm.

The Scores:

JRU (62) – Pontejos 19, Poutouochi 12, Teodoro 12, Grospe 12, Lasquety 4, Cruz 2, Dela Virgen 1, Astilla 0, Sanchez 0, Balagtas 0, Dela Paz 0, Estrella 0

UPHSD (60) – Dizon 15, Thompson 12, Akhuetie 9, Dagangon 7, Eze 6, Coronel 4, Gallardo 4, Oliveria 3, Ylagan 0, Tamayo 0, Sadiwa 0

Quarters: 11-17, 26-38, 55-52, 62-60



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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