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Purefoods outlasts Talk ‘N Text in 3OT classic



Another classic is in the books. The Purefoods Star Hotshots prevailed in the first triple overtime match of the year, leaning on import Denzel Bowles in crunch time to stop the ever dangerous Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters, 118-117 in the USEP Gym in Davao.

Baskets from Denzel Bowles and James Yap gave Purefoods a 5-0 start after the opening buzzer, but Matt Ganuelas-Rosser and Jayson Castro sank a couple of free throws in succession to force a deadlock, and open what would be a heated trade of baskets in the next minutes of play. Late in the quarter however, veteran sharpshooter Allein Maliksi exploded for back-to-back treys and nifty bucket to give Purefoods a 21-16 edge, coming from a 13-16 deficit earlier. At the end of the quarter, the Hotshots led 22-18.

Purefoods led by as many as six points early in the second quarter, but the Tropang Texters responded with a 6-0 run to force a 28-all deadlock with seven minutes left on the clock. It was Mark Barroca who doused the fire, nailing four straights points and helping the Hotshots take another two-possession lead, 32-28, just around the halfway mark of the quarter. A layup from TNT’s Castro forced another deadlock, 40-all, with just a minute left on the clock. But once again, the Star Hotshots wrestled back the momentum, scoring four straight points to pull away for another two-possession lead. At the half, Purefoods led 46-43.

The third quarter saw Purefoods hold on to the steady lead despite a spirited showing from the Tropang Texters. Around three minutes into the period, tempers flared on court when Purefoods big man, Marc Pingris, and Talk ‘N Text import, Ivan Johnson, figured in a near scuffle. Both Pingris and Johnson were slapped technical fouls for second motion. With around seven minutes left in the clock, TnT were within striking distance once more, when a triple from Castro and a mid-range jumper from Ranidel de Ocampo forced a 53-all deadlock. Joe Devance responded on the other end with a hook shot made, while drawing the foul, giving the Hotshots another three point lead. The Tropang Texters, however, continued to push for the lead, and with four and half minutes left, a dunk from their import, Johnson, gave TNT a 59-57 lead. The ensuing shootout in the last minutes of the quarter saw numerous deadlocks and lead changes. Back-to-back baskets from TNT rookie, Kevin Alas, in the final minute gave the Tropang Texters a 70-66 lead to end the third.

The fourth quarter opened to a continuation of the previous quarter’s shootout, with the two teams duking it out in another back-and-forth affair that saw lead change after lead change. But with a three minutes left to play, a seven-point flurry capped off by a fastbreak layup, off a steal, by Jayson Castro gave Talk ‘n Text their largest lead of the game thus far, 89-84. Purefoods’ Alex Mallari, however, proved to be all the spark the Hotshots needed, draining five straight points to force an 89-all deadlock just as the last two minute mark clocked in.

Larry Fonacier sank two free throws in the following minute to give Talk ‘N Text the two-point edge, but Mark Barroca responded on the other end to bring the ball game to a 91-all deadlock. Neither team could create in the following plays, and with 15 ticks left on the clock, the score was unchanged and possession with Talk ‘N Text. The ball found its way to import Johnson lurking on the wing, but the three-pointer just before the clock expired ended with the ball bouncing off the rim, seemingly sending the game into overtime. Officials however ruled that there was still 0.7 seconds left on the clock, with possession back to Purefoods. Regulation’s final sequence saw Pingris make a putback to salvage a bricked shot from Mark Barroca. Pingris’ putback, however, was ruled to have taken place after the buzzer, and the game, finally, was headed to the extra five minutes.

The overtime period saw another trade of baskets and leads, with neither team looking to lose momentum in the ball game. A triple from Joe Devance with a minute left on the clock gave Purefoods the first two-point lead of the extra period, 101-99. TNT’s de Ocampo responded on the other end with a long-two to force another deadlock with 36.9 seconds left. Talk ‘N Text staff appealed to the officials, claiming the shot was made with de Ocampo’s feet both behind the arc. The officials, however, ruled in favor of the basket being a two-point field goal.

It was de Ocampo to the rescue once again in the next possessions, scoring on the attack to sink a difficult basket, and give TNT a 103-101 edge with just ten seconds left. Purefoods’ Denzel Bowles, however, rose to the occasion in the next possession, sinking a tough floater to knot the game at 103-all, with a single second left on the clock. Bowles was the man of the hour in the final second of the play, swatting away Jayson Castro’s stealthy layup to send the game into another overtime period.

With neither team looking to back down and let the other get away, the lead changed hands several times in the opening minutes of the second overtime period. With a minute left to play, the score was still tied at 107-all. Talk ‘N Text put up an excellent defensive showing that forced Purefoods to waste an entire shot clock, giving them possession of the ball with less than 30 seconds left. The Tropang texters, however, were unable to create in the next possession. A bricked shot from Jay Washington was collected by the Hotshots, who raced to the other end of the court. It was, however, fearsome defense from the Tropang Texters that denied the Hotshots any good looks on the basket. A botched attack by Mark Barroca led to the clock expiring, and a third overtime period announced.

Both teams went scoreless in the first two minutes of the third overtime period, until the cold spell was broken a three-point play by Mark Barroca that gave Purefoods a 110-107 edge. With a minute left, the score was tied at 114, but James Yap sank a spin move with 51.2 seconds left to help Purefoods get away with the lead. After forcing the Hotshots to throw away the ball, a triple from Jay Washington put Talk ‘N Text up ahead, 117-116 with 28.3 seconds left. The next play saw Denzel Bowles sink a tough floater to put Purefoods back up with a narrow 118-117 edge with 7.1 seconds left on the clock.

The last play of the game saw Talk ‘N Text go to gunner Washington, who unfortunately found himself covered by the towering import Bowles. Washington’s awkward trey ended with the ball inches short of going through the hoop. As the buzzer expired, the Hotshots were celebrating on the court.

Bowles took home Player of the Game honors with 30 points, 15 rebounds, 6 assists, and 4 blocks to his name. Ivan Johnson, who fouled out late in the game, led Talk ‘N Text with 26 points and 15 rebounds. Purefoods improves to 6-3, a slate shared with the Tropang Texters after this evening’s encounter.

The Scores:


Bowles 30, Mallari 17, Yap 15, Devance 14, Barroca 13, Simon 10, Maliksi 9, Pingris 7, Reavis 3


Johnson 26, Castro 24, Ganuelas-Rosser 20, Washington 19, de Ocampo 12, Fonacier 6, Alas 6, Carey 2

Quarters: 22-18, 46-43, 66-70, 91-91, 103-103 (1OT) 107-107 (2OT) 118-117 (3OT)

*Photo from PBA

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Marc Pingris wants Rafi Reavis to break Robert Jaworski’s record



Marc Pingris was all praises for veteran Rafi Reavis Saturday night, as the 40-year-old center made his presence felt in the Magnolia Hotshots’ 97-91 victory — their third straight win — over Phoenix Fuel Masters at the Cuneta Astrodome.

The six-foot-nine Reavis finished with 11 points, 11 rebounds, and three blocks — a performance perfectly punctuated by a follow-up of a Paul Lee miss with 12.5 seconds left to play that knocked out the Fuel Masters for good.

“Papasalamat ako kay Rafi na talagang kababalik lang niya pero binigay niya talaga lahat,” said Pingris after the bout, as Saturday night was just Reavis’ second outing in the 2018 Philippine Cup after recovering from a hip injury.

“Nag-usap nga kami kanina e, hindi pa siya 100 percent. So bukas, ang sabi niya babalik daw siya sa gym dahil gusto niya ibalik yung lakas ng legs dahil wala pa daw,” added the 36-year-old, who also suffered a hip injury last season.

Reavis has been playing in the league for 16 years. Seeing the work he has put in, Pingris, who finished the game with 17 rebounds, four assists, four points and two blocks, believes that the 10-time PBA champion can play for 10 more years — at least.

“You know naman Rafi eh, katulad ko rin yan eh – rebound and depensa. At tsaka sobrang vocal siya sa team eh,” beamed Pingris, who himself is a 14-year veteran. “Walang siyang inaano, talagang sinasabihan niya kung sino yung mga nagmi-mistake, kung paano kami mag-adjust, so nakikinig naman lahat sa kanya.

“Talagang nandun yung respeto namin kay Rafi.”

And if Reavis stays healthy for the next decade, Pingris wants Reavis to exceed Jaworki’s 958 games played — third most all time.

“Nasa kanya yun, basta kaya mo ba eh. As a player, kung masipag ka naman at may disiplina sa sarili mo, kaya niya yun.”

Still, Reavis has a lot of catching up to do.

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Altas surge to fifth straight win, slam Heavy Bombers



Pulling double-digit scoring outings from three spikers, the University of Perpetual Help System DALTA Altas remained unbeaten in NCAA Season 93 after a straight-set triumph over thr Jose Rizal University Heavy Bombers, 25-17, 25-16, 25-20, at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

Middle blocker Ronniel Rosales topped the Altas with 13 points off 10 attacks and three blocks. Team captain Rey Taneo and Joebert Almodiel added 12 markers apiece.

The Altas dominated every scoring category, recording 44 attacks to JRU’s 26, five blocks to the Bombers’ zero, and three aces to JRU’s one.

Breezing through the first half of the season, Altas head coach Sammy Acaylar lauded his team’s consistency and hoped they continue getting better as they aim for a championship.

“So far, masasabi kong maganda ang nilalaro ng mga bata. Consistent naman ang mga galaw nila and focused sila sa mga laban,” said Acaylar.

“Pero alam nilang may ibubuga pa sila. We still need to get better and reach the championship level. Kailangan hindi mawala ‘yung ganito naming killer instinct,” the decorated mentor added.

The Altas take on a major test on Tuesday at the FilOil Flying V Centre when they face fellow undefeated squad Arellano Chiefs (4-0).

Wenjo Lahaylahay led the Bombers with 10 points while captain Patrick Rabaja managed seven.

JRU (0-5) limps into their Wednesday showdown against defending champs College of Saint Benilde (3-1).

The Scores

UPHSD (3) – Rosales 13, Almodiel 12, Taneo R. 12, Muhali 7, Ramos 5, Atentar 1, Catipay 1, Salo 1, Bation 0, Solamilo 0, Taneo S. 0, Kalingking (L)

JRU (0) – Lahaylahay 10, Rabaja 7, Sulivas 6, Salazar 4, Cebrero 1, Soriano 1, Cruz 0, Ferwelo 0, Defensor (L), Flor (L)

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Mixed Martial Arts

Rene Catalan continues rampage with TKO win



Rene Catalan continues to turn critics into believers

Filipino fighter Rene Catalan made his sixth appearance inside the ONE Championship cage at ONE: Kings of Courage, held at the Jakarta Convention Center in Indonesia, Saturday evening. He faced 21-year-old Chinese athlete Peng Xue Wen in the opening main card bout, and leaned on his elite wushu skills to stop the young star at the 4:22 mark of the second round.

The victory improves Catalan’s record to 4-2 (1 NC), extends his winning streak to four, and gives him the first TKO stoppage of his martial arts career, as he bids to climb the strawweight ladder in search of the ONE Strawweight World Championship.

“The Challenger” came out in the southpaw stance to open the bout, throwing big hooks and a head kick that narrowly missed as he established the center of the cage from the start of the contest.

The Filipino landed a host of powerful strikes, including a perfectly-placed uppercut and a melee of punishing leg kicks, but Peng’s conditioning and composure kept him in the match as he looked to stand and trade with the man 18 years his elder.

Catalan picked up where he left off when the bout resumed in the second round, this time operating out of the orthodox stance, landing more leg kicks and continuing to deny Peng any space to work.

Despite his dominance on the feet, there was a brief moment of concern for the Filipino on the mat when he jumped into the Chinese wrestler’s guard mid-way through the second round, and immediately found himself in a triangle choke. But the Filipino kept his composure and managed to work himself free.

Once the fighters returned to their feet, Catalan poured on the pressure in search of a finish, and he got it with just 38 seconds remaining in the stanza.

“The Challenger” scored big with a liver shot, then unloaded a fierce flurry of punches that forced Peng onto his back foot. Another shot forced Peng to the mat, where a salvo of ground and pound from Catalan eventually forced the TKO stoppage as referee Olivier Coste stepped in to halt the contest.

Photo, story, and video from ONE Championship

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Gelo Alolino regrets Phoenix’s failure to close out Hotshots



Photo by PBA Images

Gelo Alolino had his best game for the Phoenix Fuel Masters on Saturday night at the Cuneta Astrodome with 19 points, eclipsing his previous career-high of 16 markers which he made last May 21, 2017 in a loss to the Mahindra Floodbuster.

But his achievement won’t be too memorable, as it went for naught following a 91-97 defeat at the hands of Paul Lee and the Magnolia Hotshots, who have now collected their third straight victory.

For the second overall pick in the regular 2016 Rookie Draft, it was all because of their failure to sustain momentum up until the game’s final buzzer.

“Sayang, nandun na. We felt na sa amin na nung dulo kaso lang ganun talaga,” rued the 24-year-old sophomore after the match, where he shot an excellent 7-of-10 from the floor.

“Breaks of the game napunta sa kabila.”

Phoenix were in contention all throughout the match. In fact, they were even ahead, 89-84, with just three minutes left to play. But the Hotshots’ comeback skills were unleashed, leading to the narrow win.

“Siyempre kami lahat nasayangan. Maganda naman yung team effort talaga namin,” admitted the 6-foot floor general of their end-game collapse, which wasted their efforts in assists (21) and on defense, where they forced Magnolia to 21 turnovers.

“Kami as players talagang gusto namin bumawi coming from a loss last game sa Rain or Shine.

The Fuel Masters have now lost their second straight outing and have dropped to 2-3. And for Alolino, all they have to do is learn as much as they can from this loss, especially now that they are about to face the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel next.

“Yun nga. Medyo masakit para sa’min ‘to,” admitted the National University product.

“All we have to do is magviview ulit kami ng tape para makita kung saan kami mas pwede mag-improve as a team and bawat isa — including me.”

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