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Romeo, Globalport motivated as ever

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With three hours left before the tip-off of Alaska-Globalport Game 1, Terrence Romeo was already sweating profusely, shooting jumpers alone inside an unlit Mall of Asia Arena.

Romeo then upped his shoot-around routine a notch, as he proceeded to shoot 40-foot jumpers near the half-court. He went on to make eight straight then returned to draining more threes from the usual distance He concluded his shoot-around by practising dribble pull-ups, and when he was done, other players were just starting to warm-up.

Prior to the semi-finals, the Globalport Batang Pier were just happy to be part of the final four cast battling it out for the Philippine Cup title.

Romeo himself was stoked; qualifying for the semi-finals for the first time, the superstar guard had a lot of thoughts leading to the final minute before tip-off.

“Hindi ako gaanong nakatulog kagabi kasi iniisip ko first semis ko. Ine-expect ko malaki yung crowd. Isa pa yung kaba, hindi rin nawala sa akin so ginawa ko na lang inagahan ko mag-shooting at yun nga, nag-hard work ako. Nilagay ko sa isip ko na hindi pwede umiral yung kaba sa akin,” Romeo said.

The mood changed as Globalport eviscerated Alaska’s defense en route to an impressive 107-93 win Monday night, taking a 1-0 series lead and putting the pressure on the Aces. Romeo, one of those players whose abilities are enough to light up a huge fire, led the way in Game 1.

By the 9:44 mark of the third frame, Romeo had already dropped 30 points, and ended up setting a new career-high of 41 points from only 21 shots, including six threes and 11-for-12 from the charity stripe.

“Nagbunga naman yung hardwork,” Romeo shared, although he cautioned that the team remains the underdog in the long series. “Malayo pa yung series eh. Hindi pa kami pwede makuntento sa ganito. I know hindi papayag ang Alaska na ganyan ulit ang laro nila kaya mag-a-adjust yan.”

With the win — and with newfound confidence — the Batang Pier’s collective mindset has reached another level. They are not just content to be part of the cast; they want to go as far as they can.

Head coach Pido Jarencio, who prior to the semi-finals had already stated his team has “nothing to lose”, says that right now the team is motivated.

Pido Jarencio

“We know Alaska is a tough team. This is going to be a long series. Ang Alaska, they shut down teams. Pero, tonight was our night. Yung players, aggressive. Gusto talaga nila manalo ng Game 1. Iba yung makapanalo ng Game 1, may momentum kahit papano, and for sure mahabang series to,” Jarencio said.

Veteran Billy Mamaril added: “I keep telling them to have confidence that we can play against these teams. Don’t be contented with the semis. There is more basketball after.”

Even Alaska head coach Alex Compton spoke highly of the way Globalport embarrassed them in Game 1.

“They deserve all the credit. They played well. They beat us fair and square. They maximized their talent. I don’t think Pido (Jarencio) gets enough credit in putting his players in a position to be successful. They just beat us,” Compton said.

Having dealt the Aces the loss, and knowing they have the tools on how to beat them again, the Batang Pier are raring to succeed.

“Oo, ready na kami,” Jarencio said of the change in approaching the series. “Alam kasi nila na dehado kami sa laban. Alam nila na beteranong team ang Alaska, galing sa finals, well-coached. Ang focus lang namin, we do our thing, and okay na kami dun.”

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

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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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Basketball

Calvin Abueva, Raymond Almazan cut from pool

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SMART Gilas Pilipinas’ third session for the second leg of the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers ended early on Monday evening.

Prior to the end of the practice, head coach Chot Reyes talked to team veterans Jayson Castro, Gabe Norwood, and June Mar Fajardo. The outspoken mentor told the seniors of the team that he is cutting Calvin Abueva and Raymond Almazan from the pool.

“The reason why we’re dropping Abueva and Almazan for the second window is because they haven’t showed up,” lamented Reyes.

“It’s already our third practice at hindi pa sila nagpapakita. It’s simply a matter of disinterest.

“I guess they’re not interested so we have to move on we can’t wait for those guys,” he pointed out.

Both Abueva and Almazan were part of the teams that competed in the 2017 SEABA Championship, the 2017 FIBA Asia Cup, and the first window of the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers.

Only 10 players from the pool showed up for the team’s third session. And with the second leg exactly one month away, Gilas cannot let a slip up happen especially against Australia.

“Aside from those two we don’t know where Matt Wright is, while Allein [Maliksi] is attending a wedding in Australia. Other than that it’s really just an issue of Calvin and Raymond if they don’t want to be a part of the pool.” expressed Reyes.

“That’s the reason we’re dropping them for the second window.”

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2019 FIBA World Cup Qualifiers

23 for 2023 cadets fill up Gilas practice

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With just 31 days until the second window of the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers, only 10 players from the pool attended the team’s third session, Monday evening at the Meralco Gym.

Suiting up in the session presided over by Coach Chot Reyes were June Mar Fajardo, Gabe Norwood, Troy Rosario, Jio Jalalon, Mac Belo, Kiefer Ravena, Kevin Alas, and Roger Pogoy. Carl Cruz and Jayson Castro were in attendance but were in street clothes.

Not present were Matthew Wright, Japeth Aguilar, and Allein Maliksi. Calvin Abueva and Raymond Almazan have yet to attend practice.

Joining the seniors team to prep them up for the World Cup Qualifiers were 10 players from the 23 for 2023 pool.

Ateneo Blue Eagle Matt Nieto attended his first Gilas practice. Joining him were teammates Isaac Go and Thirdy Ravena.

Completing the night’s cast were CJ Perez, Abu Tratter, Will Gozum, J-jay Alejandro, Arvin Tolentino, and Juan Gomez de Liano. Joshua Sinclair watched from the sidelines as he is still recovering from an ACL injury.

Gilas will take on Australia in Melbourne on February 22. The Philippine will then host Japan three days later at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

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CSJL

San Beda fends off Letran for back-to-back wins

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With seasoned setter John Carlo Desuyo steering the wheel to near perfection, the San Beda College romped to their second straight win.

The Red Spikers pulled double-digit outings from four players to upend archrival Colegio de San Juan de Letran Knights, 19-25, 25-13, 25-21, 25-22, and register their fourth win of the season, Monday early evening at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

It was the Knights, however, who started on the right foot, overhauling a 4-10 deficit to snag the first set. Better passing from liberos Aljune Centeno and Johnsen Timbreza resulted in kills from captain Bobby Gatdula.

Nonetheless, San Beda picked up the service game in the next three sets to ultimately finish off the blue-shirts.

Despite the win-loss record they currently sport, the Red Spiker playmaker admitted that t

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