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Ravena nails game-winner, ADMU prevails over UST



With the game on the line and the seconds ticking away, the ADMU Blue Eagles knew exactly whose number to call. Captain clutch Kiefer Ravena drained a tough fall-away with 3.7s left, giving the Blue Eagles a hard-fought 63-61 win over the UST Growling Tigers. Ateneo’s victory keeps them abreast of the NU Bulldogs at 5-1 in the standings, while the 3-2 Tigers slip to the increasingly crowded middle of the pack. Ravena, who continued his Season 77 shooting woes with 17 points on a mediocre 7/18 outing, saved his best for last in yet another dramatic ADMU win. UST wasted a dominant performance by big man Karim Abdul, who feasted on the Eagles’ frontline with 19 points, on 5/7 shots and 9/10 free-throws. Abdul also tossed in 12 rebounds and a block as UST fell short for the second time this season.

The Growling Tigers and the Blue Eagles traded more blows than baskets in a sloppy, scrappy first quarter of action. Within 2 minutes of the game, an errant elbow from ADMU’s Nico Elorde to UST’s Karim Abdul’s face went unpunished, as the hulking Cameroonian writhed in pain on the floor. 2 minutes later, Growling Tiger swingman Louie Vigil was called for an unsportsmanlike foul after undercutting Blue Eagle Chris Newsome on a corner three attempt. Amidst a chorus of Tiger boos, Newsome’s 3 free throws would cut UST’s early lead to 9-7. The towering Abdul would thrive on the first period’s physicality, banging his way to 6 points and 5 boards in only 7 minutes of play. With time expiring in the quarter, ADMU’s standout rookie Arvin Tolentino buried a triple from the wing to trim UST’s lead to 15-14.

Tolentino, who would impress yet again with a strong 14 point – 12 board double-double, picked up where he left off in the second quarter, scoring 5 consecutive points to ignite a 10-0 rally for the Eagles. It took the Tigers more than 5 minutes to finally tally a basket in the second, as Abdul calmly hit 2 more free throws to end ADMU’s run. After struggling to make a shot to start the 2nd quarter, the Growling Tigers would suddenly explode for 6 straight points, courtesy of Abdul and gunner Aljon Mariano. Kiefer Ravena and Tolentino immediately responded with a pair of baskets to keep the Growling Tigers at bay, 28-25 as the half came to a close.

Ravena would get the ADMU crowd on their feet to start the second half; Ateneo’s King Eagle skilfully ducked under two flailing UST defenders to sink a tough jumper as the shot-clock wound down. Mariano, who would score 5 points in the quarter alone, would answer with a field goal at the opposite end, starting a 6-0 surge for the Growling Tigers that would hand them the lead, 31-30. The UST momentum swing was highlighted by a technical foul on ADMU Head Coach Bo Perasol, a call the loud Ateneo faithful booed lustily. The Eagles’ Chris Newsome, who top-scored for his team with a cool 18 points on 5/9 shooting, pushed back against the growing UST run with 7 points in the period. Starting ADMU point guard After ADMU’s Nico Elorde hit 3 consecutive free throws to hand the Blue Eagles a 2-point cushion, UST’s Kevin Ferrer would counter with his only made shot of the night, a three-pointer to snatch back the lead, 45-44. As the seconds ticked down in the third, UST Head Coach Bong Dela Cruz earned the ire of the officials for excessively complaining about another call on his squad. Ateneo’s Von Pessumal sank the 2 freebies to give the Eagles the slimmest of leads, 46-45, with only the final quarter to play.

UST and ADMU exchanged baskets in an entertainingly competitive fourth quarter. After Abdul carried the Tigers to within 2 points of the Eagles, 55-53, Kiefer Ravena would restore Ateneo’s breathing space with a crafty under-goal layup with only 2 seconds left on the shot clock. Mariano, who shook off his season-long rust to finish with 17 points, drove UST forward in the quarter with 8 points and an assist; His pinpoint entry pass to Abdul finally returning the lead, 60-58, to the Tigers, with barely a minute to play. Newsome would counter with a nifty spin inside for a close-range basket, drawing the 5th foul on a disappointed Mariano. Newsome’s bonus point from the charity stripe would give Ateneo a 1-point lead with 40.5s remaining. UST’s Ferrer responded by nervily hitting 1/2 free throws, knotting the score at a 61-61 deadlock, and setting the stage for yet another game-winner by Ravena.


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Impervious Lady Chiefs stay perfect after sweep of Lady Pirates



The Arellano University Lady Chiefs extended their winning streak to 17 dating back to last season, after clobbering the Lyceum of the Philippines Lady Pirates, 25-16, 25-17, 25-11, at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

The defending champions were unrelenting with four Lady Chiefs scoring in double-digits with rookie Necole Ebuen powering in 11 points. Third-year open hitter Regine Arocha and Arellano’s middle blockers Mary Anne Esguerra and Andrea Marzan each provided 10 markers.

Conversely, no Lady Pirate managed to score in double-figures.

“Maganda naman talaga ang nilalaro ng mga bata. Lahat kasi kami determinado na makakuha ulet ng championship. Alam nila (Lady Chiefs) na kailangan pataas nang pataas ang ginagalaw namin,” said Arellano head coach Obet Javier.

The Lady Chiefs also limited their errors to a season-best 16 while the Lady Pirates surrendered 24 miscues.

The Lady Chiefs look for their sixth win of the season when they face the red-hot University of Perpetual Help System DALTA (4-1) on Tuesday at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

Christine Miralles and Monica Sevilla each supplied the struggling Lyceum with eight point apiece.

The Lady Pirates (1-4) take on the undefeated San Beda College (4-0) on Wednesday also at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

The Scores

AU (3) – Ebuen 11, Arocha 10, Esguerra 10, Marzan 10, Prado 3, Ramirez 3, Liu 2, Balanoba 1, Donato 1, Verutiao 0, Buemia (L), Flores (L)

LPU (0) – Miralles 8, Sevilla 8, Juanilla 7, Patio 4, Genova 1, Romanban 0, Bongabong 0, Marcella (L)

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Late whistle costs San Beda against Sousse to fall to 0-2



23 for 2023 cadet Robert Bolick is averaging 27.5 points per game in the tournament

After struggling to close out the UAE National Team in their opener last Friday, the San Beda College Red Lions figured in a late judgment call that did not fall into their favor, Saturday at the Shabab Al Ahli Club in Dubai. Due to this, the defending NCAA Champions lost to Tuniasian club team Sousse, 78-79.

With the loss, the Red Lions fell to a 0-2 hole in the 29th Dubai Basketball Championship. But the record does not reflect how the Filipinos played.

Robert Bolick, who scored 28 points against the UAE National Team, led the charge for San Beda in their second outing had 27 points. Fellow 23 for 2023 cadet Javee Mocon added 11 points and seven rebounds.

Sousse, the second-best club team in Tunisia and boasts four national team players and an American import, led by as much as 10 points, 70-60 in the final frame.

Fired-up by the Filipinos who stormed the venue, the Red Lions answered right back with an 18-8 run capped by a booming Bolick triple with six ticks left to gain a 78-76 lead.

However, a foul was called on a Red Lion on a three-point attempt by a Sousse player. He calmly sank all three free throws with 1.5 seconds remaining to seal the win.

Donald Tankoua had eight points and 13 rebounds as he was saddled with foul trouble all throughout the game.

The Tunisian club team was paced by Radzhouane Slimane with 18 points while Ibrahim Nadarri and Joshua Cassady had 13 markers each.

San Beda will have a day break before taking on Moroccan club team Al Sale on Monday, January 22.

The Scores:

San Beda 78 – Bolick 27, Mocon 11, Tankoua 8, Noah 8, Toba 6, Soberano 6, Prebitero 4, Tongco 4, Bahio 2, Carino 2, Oftana 0, Adamos 0.

Sousse 79 – Slimane 18, Naddari 13, Cassady 13, Mouhli 11, Knioua 9, Toumi 8, Monastiri 4, Gaddour 3.

Quarterscores: 23-17, 36-39, 57-62, 78-79.

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Perpetual overpowers JRU to keep pace of Final Four



Strutting their decisive height and power advantage, the University of Perpetual Help System DALTA Lady Altas slammed the Jose Rizal University Lady Bombers, 25-21, 22-25, 25-14, 25-21, at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

The Lady Altas were still heavy-handed with their errors, surrendering 35 miscues, including 12 in the second set, the only frame they lost.

The Las Piñas-based program, however, kept a scorching offensive pace, bombarding the Lady Bombers with six blocks and 12 aces. JRU had just five points combined crom those categories.

“Mataas pa talaga ‘yung tendency ng mga bata mamigay ng mga puntos. Sabi ko nga hindi kami mananalo kung tutulungan pa namin ‘yung kalaban maka-score,” rued Perpetual head coach Michael Cariño.

“Pero, unti-unte namang gumaganda ‘yung galaw ng mga bata. Lahat naman ng pagkukulang nila, tinatrabaho namin para maayos sa ensayo,” the champion mentor added.

Perpetual’s six-foot-three middle blocker Lourdes Clemente towered over the Lady Bombers with a season-high 19 points which included 14 attacks, two blocks, and three aces. Winger Cindy Imbo added 15 points.

The Lady Altas (4-1) take on the undefeated defending champs Arellano University (5-0) on Tuesday at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

Rookie Dolly Versoza paced the Lady Bombers with a game-high 21 points while captain Shola Alvarez managed 15.

The Lady Bombers (2-3) face the College of Saint Benilde (3-1) on Wednesday also at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

The Scores

UPHSD (3) – Clemente 19, Imbo 15, Sangalang 8, Llorente 7, Tripoli 7, Gual 6, Versoza 2, Umandal 1, Estanislao 0, Medalla (L)

JRU (1) – Versoza 21, Alvarez 15, Ebuenga 5, Montojo 2, Rivera 2, Sibangan 1, Bodiongan 0, Macaraya (L)

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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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