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PXC 48: Pitpitunge vindicates contendership status; Aguon grinds out Dy



In a night where Pacific Xtreme Combat lost their two championship bouts, all of the fighters performed beyond expectation to produce one of the most hard-hitting shows to give the Philippine audience a night to remember.

To cap the night, Team Lakay’s Crisanto Pitpitunge vindicated his status as a top fighter in the PXC’s stacked flyweight division in making short work of Filipino-American Alvin Cacdac. In the co-main event, Kyle Aguon displayed his wrestling game in grinding out rival Rolando Dy to put an end to their rivalry. Moreover, the undercard delivered with only one match heading into the scorecards; including an epic come-from-behind knockout win by Team Insider’s Jinel Lausa.

Here is the recap of PXC 48: Cacdac vs. Pitpitunge

Pitpitunge makes quick work of Cacdac

Team Lakay’s Flyweight standout Crisanto Pitpitunge, with the PXC Flyweight Championship vacant, made an emphatic statement in securing a quick knockout win over fallen champion Alvin Cacdac.

“The Slugger” circled the terror dome to open the match as he weaved his way with stinging jabs. As Cacdac found his footing, Pitpitunge’s constant motion set up a huge overhand right that made the Filipino-American fall to both of his knees. Another huge right knocked the senses out of the former champion. The win moves Pitpitunge to 8-3 while the MMA journeyman falls to 15-11.

After the match, Pitpitunge was humble in victory. Moreover, his gameplan was to counter the game plan of Cacdac, “yung last opponent ko striker [Rambaa Somdet] so I had to work on my wrestling, this time wrestler kalaban so I had to train extensively sa striking,” the police/fighter told us.

“Bahala na ang PXC sa next opponent ko. Basta ako I’m ready and I’ll train,” he closed.

Aguon puts an end to rivalry


Guam-based fighter Kyle Aguon displayed great wrestling in grinding out a surprising split decision win over Rolando Dy.

Prior to the fight Aguon was disappointed that Dy did not make weight to make the fight a five-round fight. “I trained hard to be in shape for a five round fight. It’s really frustrating since I sacrificed a lot to stay in weight only to find out that my opponent did not,” the Spike 22 standout told us prior to the fight.

Aguon took his frustrations out on the Davao-based fighter in their match. Aguon was aggressive all throughout in shooting for takedowns. In contrast to their first encounter, the PXC Bantamweight champion did not try to exchange with Dy. Dy had few glimpses to shine in the match in the first round but was overpowered by Aguon the rest of the way. Dy was able to land a huge forearm shot that led to a cut above the right ear of Aguon. Aguon though quickly recovered and was able to get a takedown. The champion was on top the entire way. Aguon won the match by Split Decision 30-27, 29-28, 30-27.

“I know his a good striker, that’s why I went with my wrestling. I have a great camp that focuses on wrestling, we have champion coaches,” Aguon told us about his technical approach to the match.

Night of first round finishes

It was a night of impressive finishes with all but one fight reaching the second round.

The highlight of the night was an impressive come-from-behind knockout win by Jinel Lausa. After being dominated in the majority of the first round by Ernesto Montilla, a failed attempt for a takedown by the Team Insider member led to a stand-up exchange by the two. With just a second to go in the round, Lausa landed a huge overhand left that knocked Montilla out to the cage. The power of the punch even dropped Lausa after landing the shot. “Wala na sa isip ko ang oras nun,” Lauza said when asked about his buzzer-beating performance.

Montilla had to be stretchered out of the arena as he could not stand to head to the nearest hospital. The flyweight had the glazed-eyes look when Tiebreaker Times saw him on the stretcher. According to a representative by My Health Clinic, the medical team for the event, they are fearing that Montilla might have suffered a concussion. “We will do a CT scan on him but his eyes were teary and shaking which is a symptom for a concussion,” the medical representative told us after the event.

The 21 year old prospect from Team Lakay, Harold Banario, was outclassed by Team Quest-Thailand veteran Mark Abelardo in bantamweight action. Banario was aggressive with strikes and takedown attempts to start the match. However, a glancing forearm by Abelardo led to a cut below the left eye of Banario. An overhand right by Abelardo knocked his opponent down and strikes to a turtled up opponent led to the end of the match at the 4:36 mark of the first round. Banario receives his first career loss as a result while Abelardo extends his win streak to seven.

Another Team Lakay member took home a win in this night as John Cris Corton made rookie Rufino Mante look like he does not belong in the cage. Corton immediately took the former boxer down. After a rear naked choke and kimura attempt by Corton, he flattened the Legacy Gym member out with elbows that led to a stoppage in just the 2:18 mark of the first round. Mante was all bloodied up after the match. Corton is now above .500 in his win-loss record going 3-2.

To open the main card, Team Insider’s Adamson Turbiso knocked out a cocky Nilo Vidal with a headkick in flyweight action. Vidal taunted Turbiso all throughout the fight. While Turbiso landed clean body and leg kicks, Vidal shrugged it off and seemed to taunt his opponent. Turbiso was parrying Vidal with a low shot but instead connected with a head kick at the 4:50 mark. A right punch by Turbiso was landed for good measure to secure the knockout win.

The only letdown of the night was the Roman Alvarez-Ernie Braca bout. The fight started with a great stand-up exchange by the two. The unbeaten Alvarez was able to take his opponent down but was quickly reversed by Braca after a missed elbow attempt by the unbeaten prospect. However, as the two stood up, Braca, with intent, attempted a soccer kick to his opponent. The Legacy Gym member then followed it up with a solid punch to knock Alvarez out. The referee had to wave the match off as a soccer kick is not allowed in the unified rules giving the win to Alvarez, who is now 5-0.

Catch the telecast of PXC 48 on TV5 at 11:00pm on June 14, 2015

PXC 48: Cacdac vs. Pitpitunge
June 13, 2015 – Ynares Sports Center, Pasig City

Catchweight bout: Crisanto Pitpitunge def. Alvin Cacdac via Knockout (Right hook) at 3:52, Rd 1
Bantamweight bout: Kyle Aguon def. Rolando Dy via Split Decision (30-27, 28-29, 30-27)
Flyweight bout: Jinel Lausa def. Ernesto Montilla via Knockout (left overhand punch) at 4:59, Rd 1
Bantamweight bout: Mark Abelardo def. Harold Banario via Technical Knockout (ground strikes) at 4:36, Rd 1
Bantamweight bout: Roman Alvarez def. Ernie Braca via Disqualification (Soccer Kick) at 4:33, Rd 1
Flyweight bout: John Cris Corton def. Rufino Mante via Technical Knockout (Elbows) at 2:28, Rd 1
Flyweight bout: Adamson Torbiso def. Nilo Vidal via Knockout (Headkick) at 4:59, Rd 1
Amateur Flyweight bout: Marcelo Cabusas def. Mark Alcoba via Unanimous Decision
Amateur Bantamweight bout: Genil Francisco def. Charles Diao via Submission (Armbar) at 1:45, Rd 1

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Calvin Abueva rejuvenated with return of physical play: ‘Masarap maglaro’



Photo by PBA Images

For Calvin Abueva, it feels great to play in the PBA nowadays.

The Beast, who has always been known as one of the league’s most physical players since entering in 2012, was all praises for the way the officiating has changed this 43rd season — by just letting all the players play.

“Mas gumanda yung tawagan ngayon, naging physical nga. Naging exciting para sa mga tao, mas marami na nanonood ngayon eh,” said Abueva moments after their 97-83 victory over the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel, Sunday night.

As has been said many times, physicality had become something controlled over the last two years. Abueva knows it too well, having been a casualty, as he has paid a bevy of penalties during that time.

And now that it is a thing of the past, the 6-foot-2 bruiser feels much better, knowing that he can display his brand of basketball once more.

“Masarap maglaro, talagang pisikalan,” said the 29-year-old forward from Angeles, Pampanga. “Siyempre makikita naman natin kung sinasadya o hindi, basta katawan lang.

“Pisikal. Yun yung magandang laro di ba?”

Aside from the comeback of physicality, what makes Abueva beam even more is the way the Aces have been playing in the 2018 Philippine Cup. After a 0-2 start in the tourney, they have now booked their third straight win.

“Nung 2017 parang nilubog na namin yung losing streak namin doon. Ito 2018 na at panibagong destination na naman yung ina-ano namin,” said Abueva, who had nine points, nine rebounds, and five assists against Ginebra.

“Sustain muna namin ‘to… Sana magtuloy-tuloy ‘tong winning streak namin.”

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Alaska takes advantage of Greg Slaughter’s absence



For the streaking Alaska Aces, their stunning 97-83 victory over the favored Barangay Ginebra San Miguel on Sunday night was partly made possible by the absence of one key player: seven-foot behemoth Greg Slaughter.

The 28-year-old center, who was averaging 20.67 points and 10.3 rebounds prior to Sunday, did not play against the Aces due to a hamstring injury. How he incurred the injury has yet to be determined.

“There’s a small person named Greg Slaughter who didn’t play; I think he has an impact on the game,” quipped coach Alex Compton after the match.

“[They missed] a guy who I think is gonna win an MVP soon in Greg Slaughter.

“Sometimes dito sa liga natin, you have to take advantage when opportunities come your way. You don’t want anybody to get hurt [though],” added Compton.

With Slaughter out of the way, the Aces’ big men feasted.

Vic Manuel top-billed with 18 points and five rebounds, and elder statesman Sonny Thoss turned back the clock with a 17-point, four-rebound outing.

“Malaking bonus na rin sa amin, kasi wala nga si Greg kaya nakuha namin yung panalo,” said Manuel.

“Yeah it definitely helped,” added the six-foot-seven Thoss, who shot 6-of-12 from the floor and made four of his freebies.

“He’s a big guy, he’s a big presence inside so it took one big guy off our shoulder.”

Slaughter was approached and asked by scribes regarding his injury, but he was not in the mood to comment. No one can blame him, though, since the Barangay have slipped to their second straight defeat after a 2-0 start.

“I’m always there in practice, going over our gameplans. But it’s better if you ask our PT,” he said.

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Alaska completes turnaround at Greg Slaughter-less Ginebra’s expense



Photo by PBA Images

A strong second half surge was all the Alaska Aces needed to turn back the heavily-favored Barangay Ginebra San Miguel, 97-83, and book their third straight victory, Sunday night at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City.

The Aces, who have yet to lose this 2018, have now improved to 3-2. Meanwhile, the Barangay absorbed their second straight loss and have dropped to 2-2.

“I was telling the guys na parang ang dami nating iniisip, hindi natin ginagawa yung ginagawa natin noong nakaraang dalawang linggo. Sabi ko relax lang tayo,” said coach Alex Compton, sharing what he told his wards that sparked the win.

Vic Manuel led the Milkmen with 18 points and five rebounds. Sonny Thoss turned back the clock as he made 17 markers on 6-of-12 shooting, while Chris Banchero supplied 14 points, six assists, and five rebounds.

The Aces were trailing by eight, 36-44 at the half, but it became a different ball game come the third chapter as they outscored the Gin Kings, 37 to 19, to erect a favorable 73-63 cushion heading into the game’s final 12 minutes.

From there, Alaska kept their foot on the gas to sustain their lead, which grew to as much as 18, 85-67, after their 6-0 spree — punctuated by Banchero’s lay-up plus a foul — with 6:14 remaining in the final frame.

Ginebra still tried to make one last push as they inched within 10, 75-85, but baskets by Thoss and Kevin Racal propelled Alaska to an 89-75 lead with 3:42 left to play — more than enough to knock out their counterparts.

“I was glad to come away with the win,” added Compton. “Sometimes, we have to take advantage of opportunities coming your way. You don’t want anybody to get hurt but when two number one picks on the other team aren’t playing… There.”

Jvee Casio had 13 markers for Alaska, while Calvin Abueva nearly had a double-double of nine points and nine boards along with five assists in 20 minutes.

Aljon Mariano had 15 points, nine rebounds, and three dimes for Ginebra, who — despite having Sol Mercado back in the fold after ankle issues — missed the services of Joe Devance and Greg Slaughter due to injuries.

Japeth Aguilar, Scottie Thompson, and Kevin Ferrer each scored 12 for the Barangay, with Thompson adding five assists. The trio combined for 15 of Ginebra’s 43 rebounds.

Alaska will aim to extend their streak versus the Blackwater Elite on Saturday, January 27 at 4:30 PM, while Ginebra will look to end their slump against the Phoenix Fuel Masters on Friday, January 26 at 7:00 PM. Both games are at SMART Araneta Coliseum.

The Scores:

Alaska 97 — Manuel 18, Thoss 17, Banchero 14, Casio 13, Abueva 9, Teng 9, Cruz 5, Enciso 3, Potts 3, Exciminiano 2, Magat 2, Racal 2, J. Pascual 0.

Ginebra 83 — Mariano 15, J. Aguilar 12, Ferrer 12, Thompson 12, Caguioa 8, Cruz 8, R. Aguilar 5, Tenorio 5, Mercado 2, Taha 2, Wilson 2, Jamito 0.

Quarterscores: 26-23, 36-44, 73-63, 97-83.

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Frustrated Jared Dillinger admits ‘he’s getting sick’ of Meralco’s bad PH Cup runs



It’s no secret that the Meralco Bolts have struggled in the Philippine Cup for the last three years. During the last two seasons, the eight-year-old franchise’s win-loss tally is four wins and 18 losses.

And in the 2018 edition, the narrative has been the same, with little to no hope of it turning the other way around.

The Bolts bowed to the TNT Katropa, 99-81, Sunday night — their third straight defeat after winning over Blackwater Elite in their opener last December. If things continue as they are, it looks like another poor all-Filipino tilt run is looming.

“We’re 1-3 and there’s nothing to be happy about,” said Jared Dillinger, who had 14 points and five caroms in the match at Ynares Center in Antipolo. “It’s a long season though… We [shouldn’t] panic but it’s not fun right now.

“The Philippine Cup has been our Achilles heel and every damn Philippine Cup we get our ass kicked. I’m getting sick of it.”

In this game, Meralco missed the services of top forwards Ranidel De Ocampo and Cliff Hodge due to injuries. But for Dillinger, those issues shouldn’t be excuses.

“When you get two guys like Ranidel and Cliff out, as a team, that’s the opportunity for the guys below them to step up,” asserted Dillinger, who has been with the franchise since 2013.

“It doesn’t have to mean scoring, getting the assists or rebound, it’s just making the right play, being smart.”

Asked what went wrong in this particular loss versus their sister team, where they shot just 39.2 percent from the floor and had committed 17 turnovers, the 10-year veteran lamented the poor effort that the Bolts put up.

“TNT didn’t do anything much, given that they played well. But they didn’t have any secret schemes against us. They just passed the ball around, and they got open shots,” added the 10-year pro, as TNT made 23 assists and shot 18 triples.

“Our effort wasn’t there. We got to put up the intensity cause it sucks right now.”

Meralco have a chance to end their slump against the Kia Picanto this Wednesday. Dillinger sees it as a do-or-die affair, warning that it will be a grind-out affair knowing that the Picanto is coming off a skid-ending win over Rain or Shine.

Do-or-die ’cause that’s gonna be a playoff game. Thank God they beat Rain or Shine ’cause you don’t want to be that one team that gives the win to a 0-16 [team]. You don’t want to play teams like that,” stressed the all-around forward.

“Nothing to take away from Kia though. It’s gonna be tough.”

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