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Purefoods fends off slumping Barako Bull; rises to top of the standings



The Purefoods Star Hotshots rose to the top of the Commissioner’s Cup standings after dealing the Barako Bull Energy their fourth straight loss, 103-96, Tuesday evening at the Araneta Coliseum.

The two squads traded baskets and leads for most of the first quarter, with import Solomon Alabi doing the damage for Barako Bull, and the locals leading the charge for Purefoods. With around three minutes left in the period, Chico Lanete exploded for five-straight points to give Barako Bull a five-point advantage, 19-14. Baskets from Alabi and R.R Garcia protected the Energy’s lead to end the quarter, 24-19.

The Energy continued to outgun the Star Hotshots early in the second period, eventually building a 28-21 edge just three minutes into the period. Alex Mallari and Justin Melton responded to the brewing Barako Bull rally by kicking off a 6-0 rally that brought the Hotshots to within one, 27-28. Barako Bull’s Garcia ended the Purefoods run with a floater to extend the lead to three, but a three-point play by Melton on the other end knotted the game at 30-all. A trey from Melton later gave Purefoods back the lead, 33-30, with less than six minutes left in quarter. The Star Hotshots led by as many as eight in the following minutes of play. They led 47-40 with just around a minute left in the quarter, but a quick 7-0 burst from the Energy capped off by a trey from JC Intal, just before the buzzer, tied the score at 47-all at halftime.

Another shootout between the two squads broke out as the second half opened, with the lead exchanging hands play after play. It was import Denzel Bowles who took charge of the scoring reins around the halfway point, helping the Star Hotshots exploit a brief lull in the Energy’s offense to build a 72-62 lead late in the quarter. Scrambling to break out of the sudden deficit, the Energy looked to their gunners for their much needed spark, but were unable to start any sudden runs. At the end of the quarter, Purefoods led 81-72.

Purefoods showed no sign of easing up on their barrage, nailing four straight points, care of Allein Maliksi and Joe Devance, to extend the lead to 85-72 in the opening minutes of the fourth. With the Hotshots sinking buckets from everywhere around the arc, the lead moved up 18 points in the following minutes of play. Around past the halfway mark, Barako Bull’s Alabi and JC Intal put together a brief spurt to come within nine, 85-94. The fire was doused by Purefoods’ Devance, who sank an easy trey just as the last two minutes clocked in.

Free throws from Solomons Alabi and Mercado gave the Energy a lease on life in the following minute, coming within single digits again, 89-97, with a minute and a half to play. A triple from Intal later put Barako Bull within five just less than a minute to play, 92-97. Purefoods’ Marc Pingris hammered the first nail in the coffin with a narrow jumper to extend the lead to seven. The Hotshots needed only to put up a couple more defensive stops to slow down the unsullied Barako Bull. With less than ten seconds to play, Pingris put the icing on the cake with an emphatic slam.

Denzel Bowles was once again named Best Player of the Game with 34 points, 17 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 blocks. Solomon Alabi led Barako Bull with 29 points and 19 rebounds. As of press time, Purefoods are at solo first with a 7-3 record. Barako Bull meanwhile slide to 4-6 after suffering from their fourth straight loss.

The Scores:

PUREFOODS: Bowles 34, Devance 15, Maliksi 13, Pingis 8, Melton 8, Pennisi 7, Barroca 6, Yap 6, Simon 3, Mallari 2, Taha 1

BARAKO BULL: Alabi 29, Lanete 21, Intal 15, Mercado 14, Garcia 5, Hubalde 4, Pascual 4, Marcelo 4

Quarters: 19-24, 47-47, 81-72, 103-96

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D-League to hold three-day showcase for players



Seeking to further display the greatness of the Filipino basketball players, the PBA is giving more chances to the cagers as the league is set to hold the first-ever PBA D-League Showdown later this conference.

Opening the eighth season with this ground-breaking news, PBA officer-in-charge Willie Marcial is hopeful that this will serve as another motivation for the players to perform at their best this 2018 PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup.

“Ginagawa naman natin ito para mas galingan ng mga players natin para rin maipakita nila yung tunay nilang talento,” he said Thursday during the opening ceremonies at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.

Marcial bared that the plan is to hold a two-day summit for the players suiting up in the ongoing conference to allow them to showcase their talents in front of coaches and scouts, not just from the PBA but also from countries in the Southeast Asian region.

“Lahat ng mga players ay maglalaro dito at mapapanood hindi lang ng mga PBA coaches,” he said.

“Iimbitahin din namin ang mga coaches ng ibang bansa tulad ng Malaysia, Thailand, at Vietnam na kumukuha ng imports sa atin.”

Marcial acknowledged that as much as players seek to make the jump to the pro league, securing spots in the PBA teams have been hard to crack over the past few years, forcing the players to look elsewhere for opportunities.

That has made playing in overseas leagues an option for these less fortunate ballers, keeping them earning while also hoping to impress scouts while keeping their PBA dreams alive.

Some of the players who suited up in the D-League and are currently playing outside of the country are Paul Zamar and Almond Vosotros in Thailand, AJ Mandani in Singapore, and Reil Cervantes in Indonesia.

With this project, Marcial is hopeful that this would keep the players in line while also delivering the best competition the D-League could dream of.

“Iwasan natin ang bisyo at galingan ninyo.”

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Letran overpowers Lyceum for second win



After a string of losses, the Colegio San Juan de Letran Lady Knights returned to the NCAA Season 93 win column with a gritty win over the short-handed Lyceum of the Philippines University Lady Pirates, 28-26, 20-25, 26-24, 25-20, at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

The Lady Knights won out in a sloppy match which had both teams combine for 25 aces, 15 coming from Letran. According to assistant coach Ron Dulay, Letran needed to solve their reception problems on the fly.

“Weakness nga siguro namin ‘yung receive, pero inaayos namin siya ensayo. Kanina medyo shaky lang ‘yung mga bata. Mabuti noong dulo naka-adjust kami sa ginagawa ng kalaban,” said Dulay.

Both sides also had a whooping 34 errors apiece. Letran’s miscues, however, came early in the match and were lessened by the deciding fourth set which they won convincingly.

“Unti-unte tumataas ‘yung level ng team. Kailangan talaga namin mag-double time pa sa mga susunod na laban kung gusto namin umabot doon sa Top Four,” Dulay added.

Second-year Lady Knight Charm Simborio led the way with 17 points while Glayssa Torres added 15 which includes two blocks and three aces.

The Lady Knights (2-2) take on perennial rival San Beda College (4-0) on Monday at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

Christine Miralles topped the Lady Pirates with a career-high 21 points. Team captain Bien Juanillo added 17 markers.

The Lady Pirates (1-3) face the undefeated defending champs Arellano University (4-0) on Sunday also at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

The Scores

CSJL (3) – Simborio 17, Torres 15, Abitan 11, Barrinuevo 8, Parin 8, Mendoza 3, Bangcola 2, Uriza 1, Perez 0, Larioque (L)

LPU (1) – Miralles 21, Juanillo 17, Sevilla 11, Bongabong 5, Patio 5, Genova 2, Marcella (L), Romanban (L)

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2018 FIBA 3X3 World Cup

FIBA 3×3 World Cup to be a huge boost for country’s Olympic bid



All roads will lead to Bocaue, Bulacan as the 2018 FIBA 3×3 World Cup will head to the Philippine Arena. The biggest tournament in 3×3 basketball will be played from June 8-12, 2018.

The announcement was made Thursday afternoon by Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas executives. The event was graced by Bounty Agro Ventures Inc. president Ronald Mascariñas, SMART Sports’ Christopher Quimpo, and FIBA’s 3×3 Managing Director Alex Sanchez.

With 3×3 basketball being declared an Olympic event last 2017, the SBP is looking at this tournament as a way to prove to the world that we are capable of hosting and that we can compete with the world’s finest.

“As mentioned earlier, I think we’ve been very successful holding it in the malls, 3,000 to 4,000 people watching the games. We chose to move it to a bigger venue, I think we want to give an opportunity for more people to see the games,” said SBP president Al Panlilio.

“From a Philippine basketball point of view, that gives an opportunity for the youth to watch the game. From an SBP, FIBA perspective, we want bigger crowds in 3×3 and that’s something we want to deliver to FIBA,” he added.

There will be 40 teams split into two divisions that will compete in this annual tourney.

For the men’s side, the Philippines will take on teams from Brazil, Canada, Croatia, Ecuador, Estonia, Japan, Jordan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Mongolia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovenia, Ukraine, and Uruguaz.

In the women’s division, the hosts will face Andorra, Argentina, Bahrain, China, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Iran, Italy, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Netherlands, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, Turkmenistan, United States, and Venezuela.

With this task of hosting a world class tournament, Chooks-to-Go vowed to help in the organization of it.

“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,” said Mascariñas.

“Kanina pinag-uusapan na, if we’re going to break the record in attendance. I think the question there is not if we’re going to break, but how many more times.”

FIBA, on the other hand, is looking forward to helping groom a possible Philippine team that will compete in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

“I’m sure the event this year, we’re starting the countdown, is going to be amazing,” Sanchez said. “I think this is going to be helpful for us in developing.

“I’m coming from Tokyo where we’re discussing the venue and layout of the Olympics. We should make an effort with Al and SBP to see if we have a Filipino team in Olympics. In my opinion Filipinos have a real chance to make it. Hopefully this can give us a nice push to get a PH team to the Olympics,” the Spanish executive added.

“See you in June.”

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Perpetual escapes upset-hungry EAC



Fighting off a sluggish start, the University of Perpetual Help System DALTA Lady Altas came alive late to slip past the Emilio Aguinaldo College Lady Generals, 22-25, 25-19, 25-14, 23-25, 15-13, and remain on pace for a spot in the NCAA Season 93 Final Four at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

Taking on a struggling EAC side, Perpetual head coach Michael Cariño knew that there was a possibility that his squad would relax. His team has had trouble starting and finishing off matches, as evidenced in their first set performance and lack of finishing push in the fourth frame.

“May tendency talaga ‘yung team ko na mag-relax. Sabihin na nating hindi kasi sobrang lakas ng kalaban. Pero alam naman natin sa volleyball na wala namang team na ibibigay sa’yo ‘yung panalo, kailangan kunin mo talaga,” Cariño lamented.

The fifth frame came down to late breaks. The Lady Altas broke a 13-all tie with back-to-back transition conversions from Cindy Imbo and Lourdes Clemente.

“Siyempre, nage-expect ako nang mas maganda pang performance sa team ko. Alam din naman nila na mas may ibubuga pa sila kaya kailangan mas maganda ang ipakita namin sa mga huli naming laro,” the NCAA champion mentor added.

Imbo tallied a game-high 17 points, while Clemente and Maria Aurora Tripoli added 15 points, apiece. The Lady Altas needed all of their 11 aces and 11 blocks to offset their season-high 42 errors.

Aira Binondo was the only Lady General in double-digits with 13 points.

The Lady Altas (3-1) next face the Jose Rizal University (2-2) on Sunday at the FilOil Flying V Centre. EAC (0-4) will look for their first win on Monday against the College of Saint Benilde (2-1).

The Scores

UPHSD (3) – Imbo 17, Clemente 15, Tripoli 15, Sangalang 11, Llorente 10, Versoza 4, Estanislao 1, Gual 1, Umandal 0, Medalla (L)

EAC (2) – Binondo 13, Tongco 9, Pablo 8, Lumbao 7, Magbanua 7, Reyes A. 3, Reyes K. 3, Tasis 2, Yongco 1, Medina (L)

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