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Ravena, Pessumal combine for 52 to complete NU sweep



The Ateneo de Manila University Blue Eagles, in the past five seasons, have struggled against the National University Bulldogs.

After a double-overtime classic in the first round, Ateneo senior Kiefer Ravena sparked his team, while Von Pessumal finished off the Bulldogs in a 68-59 victory to sweep the season series Sunday afternoon at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

In a dazzling display of offensive mastery, Ravena made the hardcourt of the MOA Arena his stage in the first quarter. The Ateneo captain absolutely torched Pao Javellona and the NU perimeter defense, scoring 21 first quarter points. Ravena was perfect from three point country during the run that gave Ateneo a 21-6 lead with 3:02 remaining in the opening quarter. He capped a masterful first quarter performance with a four-point play.

As Ravena was subbed out of the game, the NU defense ground it out to limit the Ateneo offense. With Ateneo holding a 24-16 lead to enter the second quarter, Reden Celda, Kyle Neypes, and Rev Diputado led the turnaround for the defending champions to chip the lead. The hot-shooting of Ravena then cooled off while Alolino was able to bring his team back with two triples to cut the Ateneo lead to just three, 38-35, going into the break.

The Bulldogs were able to gain the lead for the first and only time in the game after an Aroga putback and a Alolino dish to Jeoff Javillonar on the inside for a 39-38 lead. It was short-lived, however, as Ravena scored with an off balance jumper. Back-to-back triples by Ateneo co-captain Von Pessumal extended the lead to seven once more. After a sneaky inbound play that resulted in a Pessumal layup and two free throws by Ravena, the Bulldogs went on an 8-0 rally led by sophomore Diputado to trim the lead down to three. Free throws by Arvin Tolentino and Chibueze Ikeh ended the quarter with Ateneo up 52-47.

In the final quarter, the Bulldogs went scoreless for seven minutes and two seconds as Ateneo’s scrambling defense forced them into turnovers. The NU drought ended with free throws by Alolino while back-to-back conversions by NU’s floor general cut the lead to three, 57-54, with 3:58 to go. Pessumal, though, did not allow another let-down to happen as he finished off the Bulldogs, scoring nine points in the final fourter. Misses by the Bulldogs did not help their cause, while two free throws by Ikeh sealed the game for the Ateneo, 68-59.

“It really helped us in the start for someone to score 21 points in the first quarter,” said a relaxed Bo Perasol about the first quarter surge by the Blue Eagles.

“Kiefer was still hurt coming from the last game, that’s why he lost his explosiveness and had to settle for jumpers,” Perasol disclosed. “Buti na lang he was making them or else they were bad shots.”

Ravena, who finished the game with 32 points with 10/21 shooting and six triples, then admitted they’d had to rush him to game-shape as the last few games of his team are crucial. “70% pa lang ako,” he said about his left ankle injury. “Thankful na nanalo kami at buti na lang ginuide ni Lord yung bola.”

Pessumal added 20 points for the Blue Eagles and was 6/10 from the field, including 4/6 from downtown. For him, though, even if he and Ravena combined for 52 out of the team’s 68 points, the credit should still go to their teammates. “The other guys helped us especially in defense. Everybody deserves the credit.”

For the Bulldogs, Gelo Alolino was their top scorer with 17 markers. He was 6/13 from the field and was able to knock down three three-pointers. He added five boards and three assists. Aroga struggled on both ends as he was just 4/12 from the field in scoring just ten points. He was able to grab 14 boards in the loss.

As a team, the Blue Eagles shot 38.46% from the field compared to just 33.87% for the Bulldogs. Moreover, Ateneo shot more free throws, 17/31, compared to just 11/20 for NU.

The Ateneo Blue Eagles (7-4) look to extend their winning streak as they face the UP Fighting Maroons on Wednesday, November 4, at 4:00pm, while the NU Bulldogs (4-7) have little margin of error left. They need to lick their wounds fast as they face the DLSU Green Archers (5-5) on Wednesday, October 28 at 4:00pm.

The Scores:
ADMU (68) – Ravena 32, Pessumal 20, Ikeh 4, Tolentino A 3, Tolentino V 3, Wong 3, Black 2, Nieto Ma. 1, Babilonio 0, Cani 0, Capacio 0, Gotladera 0, Go 0.

NU (59) – Alolino 17, Aroga 10, Javillonar 8, Celda 7, Diputado 7, Neypes 4, Alejandro 3, Javalona 3, Rangel 0, Tansingco 0, Yu 0.
Quarterscores: 24-16, 38-35, 52-47, 68-59.

1 Comment
  • Ariel Escasa

    “The Ateneo de Manila University Blue Eagles, in the past five seasons, have struggled against the National University Bulldogs.”

    Huh? Ateneo swept NU in seasons 74 and 75, the last two years of their five-peat run.


SJ Belangel makes leap to top 3 of Chooks-to-Go/NBTC 24




Ateneo Blue Eaglets towering teen Kai Sotto and La Salle Greenhills Junior Blazers court general Joel Cagulangan remained as the top two high school players in the Chooks-to-Go/National Basketball Training Center 24, but there was a lot of movement this week, including the rise of SJ Belangel.

Belangel, Ateneo’s graduating floor leader had a sensational week, helping steer the Blue Eaglets to an unblemished 10-0 record. With his exploits, he was the consensus third-ranked player of the week, leapfrogging Mapua High School’s and NCAA MVP Will Gozum.

FEU-Diliman do-it-all guard L-Jay Gonzales and Katipunan swingman Dave Ildefonso also moved up the ladder while UST Tiger Cub ace CJ Cansino dropped to eighth after finishing fourth last week.

Besides movement at the top, there were also a lot of debutatants in this week’s list.

Blue Eaglets double-double machine Joaqui Manuel’s workhorse type of game paid off as he was ranked 21st this week.

After firing 51 markers last weekend, Bacolod Tay Tung High School’s Harold Alarcon was named as the 22nd top prospect.

Joshua Yerro of University of Visayas then rounded out the list.

Here is the complete Chooks-to-Go/NBTC 24 Week 2:

1. Kai Sotto, center, Ateneo (1)
2. Joel Cagulangan, guard, La Salle (2)
3. SJ Belangel, guard, Ateneo (5)
4. Will Gozum, center, Mapua (3)
5. L-Jay Gonzales, guard, FEU-Diliman (6)
6. Dave Ildefonso, forward, Ateneo (8)
7. Rhayyan Amsali, forward, NU (7)
8. CJ Cansino, forward, UST (4)
9. Clint Escamis, guard, Mapua (10)
10. Aaron Fermin, center, Arellano (9)
11. Terrence Fortea, guard, NU (16)
12. RJ Abarrientos, guard, FEU-Diliman (15)
13. Inand Fornilos, forward, La Salle (11)
14. Evan Nelle, guard, San Beda (12)
15. Warren Bonifacio, center, Mapua (13)
16. John Galinato, guard, Chiang Kai Shek (14)
17. Mac Guadaña, guard, Lyceum (18)
18. Raven Cortez, center, La Salle Zobel (19)
19. Harvey Pagsanjan, guard, Hope Christian (20)
20. Maui Cruz, guard, EAC (23)
21. Joaqui Manuel, forward, Ateneo (N/A)
22. Harold Alarcon, guard, Tay Tung-Bacolod (N/A)
23. Jancork Cabahug, forward, UV (17)
24. Joshua Yerro, guard, UV (N/A)

On Tuesday, January 23, the second episode of Chooks-to-Go/NBTC 24 will air live at 7:00pm. Tonight’s special guest will be former Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas player and NBTC alumnus Jeron Teng.

The Chooks-to-Go/National Basketball Training Centre 24 is the first-ever attempt to rank the top high school prospects in the country today.

The weekly ranking used the following criteria: league stats, impact in team, team record, leadership, defense, offense, and level of competition.

These rankings will be used to determine the 24 players who will take part in the annual SM-NBTC High School All-Star Game on March at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.

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Joyce Sta. Rita slams 28 as Lady Stags avert Cardinal upset



Erasing a disappointing third set, the San Sebastian College-Recoletos Lady Stags upended the upset-conscious Mapua University Lady Cardinals, 25-20, 25-7, 29-31, 25-14, Tuesday afternoon at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

The win revived the Lady Stags’ campaign after back-to-back losses to Jose Rizal University and University of Perpetual Help System DALTA. San Sebastian is now at 3-2.

“Andun pa rin naman, apat pa naman laro,” said Stags’ head coach Roger Gorayeb on their chances for the Final Four. “Sana umabot.”

Team captain Joyce Sta. Rita produced a career-high 28 points off 22 attacks, four blocks, and two serves. The senior middle hitter paced her squad’s 58 spikes, which outscored that of Mapua’s 33.

The Lady Cards capitalized on the rotation wherein Sta. Rita was in the backline in that third set turnaround. Nonetheless, Vira Guillema and the rest of the Lady Stags just turned to their experience to ultimately finish the match.

Gorayeb, nonetheless, hopes his team will toughen up mentally for the home stretch of the eliminations. “Kasi ‘yung laro, nawawala na ‘yan sa physical side, napupunta na sa psychological part ng game.”

San Sebastian will take on Colegio de San Juan de Letran (2-3) on Thursday.

Angelie Magundayao lead the Cardinals with 10 markers.

Mapua (0-5) will take on Emilio Aguinaldo College (0-5) in a battle of winless earlier that day.

The Scores:

SSC-R 3 – Sta. Rita 28, Dalisay 17, Santos 11, Encarnacion 10, Guillema 4, Tiangco 2, Eroa L.

MU 1 – Mangundayao 10, Racelis 9, Pena 9, Latayan 5, Morano 4, Frando 2, Mercado 1, Barias 0, Hermano 0, Ramilo L.

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Cardinals blast Golden Stags for third win



After absorbing a sorry defeat from the San Beda College Red Spikers in their last outing, the Mapua University Cardinals subdued the San Sebastian College-Recolletos Golden Stags, 26-24, 25-16, 26-24, to take their third victory of the season, Tuesday morning at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

Mark Jason Egan paced the Intramuros-based squad with 14 points on eight attacks and three each of blocks and serves. Team captain Anjo Pertierra finished with 13 markers, while Alfred Pagulong had 10.

Despite a miserable reception output, Cardinals setter Raven Evangelista still had a field day as he produced 32 excellent sets on the 41 attack points of his squad.

Such would not go unnoticed as Pertierra lauded his playmaker’s production that led to the win. He said, “Sobrang ganda kung performance ni Raven. Nakapag-adjust siya sa bad reception. Kino-commend ko siya today.”

Losing that second set big, the Stags threatened to steal the third as they led 21-18 off back-to-back hits from James Eugenio and even forced a deuce. Nonetheless, a quick attack from Pertierra and an ace off Pagulong sealed the win for the Cards.

Pertierra admitted their lack of intensity almost cost them the first and third sets, and hopes the team address it as soon as the next game against the Emilio Aguinaldo College Generals.

“Kilala naman EAC na maganda floor defense, sobrang makapit. Sasabayan namin sila, we’ll give our best,” he shared.

That important tussle between the Cards (3-2) and the Generals (2-3) will happen on Thursday.

Former skipper Jahir Ebrahim led the Stags with 16 markers.

San Sebastian (1-4) will try to get back on winning track when they face winless Letran (0-5) later that day.

The Scores:

MU 3 – Egan 14, Pertierra 13, Pagulong 10, Damian 8, Navera 8, Evangelista 1, Bondoc L.

SSC-R 0 – Ebrahim 16, Lana 9, Eugenio 8, Ronato 6, Ongque A 3, Campuspos 1, Eusebio 1, Lazaro 0, Toledo 0, Ongque AC L, Enano L.

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Kent Salado re-injures MCL, out for Go for Gold campaign



Photo by PBA Images

Kent Salado suffers a setback

The worst fear of the Go for Gold Scratchers came true Monday evening as all-around combo guard Kent Salado re-injured the medial cruciate ligament in his right knee.

The injury was confirmed by Kent Salado and the officials of Go for Gold and he will miss the entire 2018 PBA D-League Aspirants Cup.

With under three minutes left in the third quarter of Go for Gold’s opening game against the Gamboa-St. Clare Coffee Lovers Monday afternoon, the 5-foot-9 guard went for a drive but could not get the proper lift. He tried to walk it off but limped towards the audience section of the Pasig Sports Center.

“Parang may narinig nga siya na may tumunog daw,” shared Scratchers head coach Charles Tiu after their 75-68 win.

“We’re very worried.

“I think our PT said baka MCL ‘yun, so that might be a month or two, so that’s a big problem for us,” the youthful mentor added.

Salado finished the game with nine points, five rebounds, four assists, and three steals. He was immediately rushed to the Makati Medical Center afterwards. At around nine in the evening, the MRI showed that he tore his ACL as was initially reported by Tiebreaker Times. A second opinion, however, contradicted the initial diagnosis, showing only an MCL tear.

Prior to this, the native of Cagayan de Oro suffered a partial tear on medial collateral damage on the same knee last October 10, 2017 during Arellano’s 85-79 win over the San Sebastian Golden Stags.

With this setback, Salado was also advised to not play in the summer leagues to fully recover in time for the NCAA Season 94 Seniors Basketball tournament.

“Okay lang para NCAA na ko makapaglaro,” he said.

“Mas importante naman yun.”

The 23-year-old averaged 19.1 points, 5.0 assists, 3.8 rebounds, and 1.3 steals last season. He is eligible to enter the 2018 PBA Rookie Draft.

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