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Rondina, Tigresses bury Lady Bulldogs for third straight win

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Rattling off another double-digit outing, the UAAP’s Cebuana hotshot, Cherry Rondina, came off the bench and led UST to a straight-set win, 25-22, 25-19, 25-18 over the NU Lady Bulldogs at the MoA Arena.

Rondina led all scorers with 15 points and bannered a 43-27 spike advantage for the Thomasians. UST’s pair of graduating spikers, Pam Lastimosa and Mela Tunay, pitched in eight points apiece.

The Tigresses played rusty to start the match, giving away four points of errors that pushed NU to a 10-3 lead. UST coach Odjie Mamon injected Cherry “Instant Offense” Rondina from there, sparking a 4-0 run for the Tigresses. The Lady Bulldogs quelled UST’s run as Jaja Santiago’s powerful hits kept them in front, 14-8. UST again tweaked their lineup, fielding Chlodia Cortez for Tunay. Cortez drilled in three straight spikes that tied the set at 19-19. A Thomasian run followed Santiago’s rotation to the back row. NU struggled to score with Myla Pablo giving away two points off attack errors which allowed UST to steal the set.

NU’s role players wrested away control of the second set early, taking a brief 11-9 lead. Rondina lit the fuse on another UST run that had her team pull away, 22-17. UST team captain Lastimosa drove her squad to its second set win with two late attacks.

A flurry of UST attack errors kept the third set close, but stellar offense from the Tigresses afforded them a 13-11 lead. The high-flying Rondina bombarded NU’s defense for six of UST’s 15 spikes in the set.

NU’s Santiago struggled to drill home most of her spikes but still wound up with 14 markers off eight spikes and five blocks. Pablo cost her team crucial points and was subbed out after the first set. Pablo reentered the game late in the second set but did not play the third. She ended the game with seven markers.

After starting the season at 1-5, the Tigresses have now rolled to a 4-5 record, tied with NU for the last two spots in the Final Four. UST will face FEU this Saturday while NU has UE on Feb. 7.

The scores:

UST- Rondina 15, Lastimosa 8, Tunay 8, Laure 6, Meneses 6, De Leon 5, Cortez 3, Cabanos 1, Dusaran (L) 0, Rasmo (L) 0

NU- Santiago 14, Pablo 7, Singh 6, Dadang 4, Abriam 3, Mandapat 2, Doromal 1, General (L) 0, Valdez (L) 0

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Miguel Luis Flores fell face first into sports writing in high sch9l and has never gotten up. He reluctantly stumbled into the volleyball beat when he started with Tiebreaker Times three years ago. Now, he has waded through everything volleyball - from its icky politics to the post-modern art that is Jia Morado's setting.

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CSJL

Lady Red Spikers subdue Lady Knights to remain unbeaten

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With their undefeated record at stake, last season’s Rookie of the Year Cesca Racraquin pulled the San Beda College Lady Red Spikers from a huge deficit in the fifth frame and guided them to a 17-25, 25-15, 25-16, 27-29, 15-12 win over arch-rivals Colegio San Juan de Letran Lady Knights at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

The open hitter saw her team out of a 2-8 hole in the decider through steady serving that produced two aces in an 8-0 run. The Lady Red Spikers closed the match out thanks to quick transition plays, ending the match after an errant Letran attack.

San Beda head coach Nemesio Gavino lauded his team’s maturity in tight situations. However, he acknowledged that their slow starts might eventually cost them against better teams.

“Alam naman natin na malalakas ‘yung mga susunod naming kalaban kaya sana malimitahan namin ‘yung mga pagkakamali namin sa mga susunod na game,” said Gavino. “Alam ko namang nandiyan ‘yung maturity ng mga bata. Hindi naman nawawala ‘yun. Hindi din nawala ‘yung tiwala ko sa kanila na mananalo kami kanina.”

Racraquin finished with 17 points while Nieza Viray added 14 to pace four Lady Red Spikers who scored in double-digits.

San Beda (5-0) takes on Lyceum of the Philippines University (1-4) on Wednesday at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

Glayssa Torres towed the Lady Knights with 18 points while Charm Simborio managed 14.

Letran (2-3) figures in a pivotal tiff with Final Four implications when they take on San Sebastian College – Recoletos (3-2) on Thursday.

The Scores

SBC (3) – Racraquin A. 17, Viray N. 14, Espiritu 12, Paras 11, Viray J. 10, Cuevas 6, Manuel 0, Tannagan 0, Racraquin D. (L)

CSJL (2) – Torres 18, Simborio 14, Parin 11, Mendoza 7, Abitan 4, Barrinuevo 4, Urriza 1, Bangcola 0, Perez 0, Mendoza (L)

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Basketball

Go for Gold survives Kent Salado injury to turn back Gamboa-St. Clare

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Photo from PBA Images

The Go for Gold Scratchers got their act together late as it slipped past Gamboa-St. Clare Coffee Lovers with a 75-68 win Monday afternoon at the Pasig City Sports Center.

It was a total team effort for the Scratchers with veterans Jerwin Gaco and J-Jay Alejandro stabilizing their camp as they closed the game out with a 23-point finishing salvo.

Senegalese center Clement Leutcheu proved to be a solid force for his side as he tallied 14 points, seven rebounds, and two blocks, while Gaco just missed out on a double-double with his 13 markers and nine boards.

Justin Gutang also corralled 10 points and 13 rebounds in the win, while Kent Salado had nine markers, five boards, four assists, and three steals before suffering an MCL sprain on his right knee with 2:48 to play in the third frame.

Despite Salado’s absence in the payoff period, Go for Gold coach Charles Tiu praised his wards for its defensive effort late.

“We cut down our turnovers and we rebounded well, and then we executed very well,” he said.

It was a complete turnaround from the Scratchers’ lackluster start, where they fell behind by as much as 10, 28-18 midway in the second quarter.

We’re a new team and hindi pa kami sanay sa isa’t isa. As you can see in the first half, ang dami naming turnovers because we’re not that familiar with each other,” said Tiu. “But I’m happy naman kasi the guys, we needed a test like this as a young team, to learn how to come from behind against a very good team like St. Clare.“

Aris Dionisio carried the load for the Coffee Lovers with 19 points and 13 rebounds, while Raymond Rubio had 11 markers and six boards in the defeat.

Go for Gold will face a familiar foe in the JRU Heavy Bombers on Tuesday, January 30 at the Ynares Sports Arena. Gamboa-St. Clare, on the other hand, will take on the Batangas-EAC Generals on Monday, January 29.

The Scores:

Go for Gold 75 — Leutcheu 14, Gaco 13, Gutang 10, Salado 9, Naboa 8, Salem 8, Alejandro 5, Dixon 3, Pili 2, San Juan 2, Domingo 1.

Gamboa-St. Clare 68 — Dionisio 19, Rubio 11, Pare 10, Ambuludto 8, Hallare 6, Rebugio 6, Jackson 4, Acuno 2, Bitoon 2, Alcober 0.

Quarterscores: 14-19, 30-33, 52-53, 75-68.

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Basketball

PBA slaps fines on Yeng Guiao, Chris Ross

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Yeng Guiao and Chris Ross opt to move on

The much-talked about tilt that pitted the San Miguel Beermen and the NLEX Road Warriors last January 18 featured numerous confrontations and exchanges. But none was more heated than what happened between fiery head coach Yeng Guiao and emotional defensive cog Chris Ross.

With 1:46 remaining in that game, Guiao and Ross figured in a verbal altercation that resulted to the latter being slapped with his second technical foul of the contest.

San Miguel head coach Leo Austria alledged that Guiao threw a racial slur at Ross that triggered the Filipino-American.

The league though could not find any hard evidence that this occurred.

“Upon review of the incident, consulting possible witnesses to the event and discussing the matter with both parties, the alleged racist remark attributed to Coach Guiao could not be established,” the league said in a statement. “Coach Guiao has denied such allegation while Chris Ross has opted to move forward and said that he would not want to discuss the matter further. However, Coach Guiao and Chris Ross will be subject to appropriate fines for their respective misconduct.

“As a result, the Office of the Commissioner finds no sufficient basis to discuss the matter of an alleged racist remark uttered by Coach Guiao. It may be recalled that in a previous incident, a heavy penalty was imposed for a racist remark that was clearly proven.

“Rest assured that any act that is racially derogatory and pejorative in nature will be dealt with sternly by the league,” the statement ended.

As a result, Guiao is fined PHP 11,000 for obscene gesture, use of profane language and engaging in a verbal altercation while Ross is fined the amount of PHP 2,600 for incurring two technical fouls, both for verbal altercation.

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Basketball

MPBL aims to give local talent biggest exposure

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CONTRIBUTED Photo

After months of planning, the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League will finally raise its curtains on Thursday, January 25 at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum. Unlike the other leagues in the country, the MPBL wants to give Filipino aspirants from local communities a chance to shine on national TV.

“I would like to say, this is the noble project of our founder and chairman, Senator Manny Pacquiao, Talagang dream niya ito, matulungan ‘yung mga grassroots,” said MPBL head of marketing Arnold Vegafria during the league’s press conference. “And from the grassroots, to the collegiate players and also professionals na gusto niyang tulungan, mabigyan ng chances, makalaro at ma-expose ang skills nila para matulungan ang mga basketbolista not only sa Metro Manila but this is gonna be all over the Philippines.

“Simula muna sa Metro Manila and key cities in Luzon. Soon it will go to Visayas and Mindanao.”

The first conference for the league is the Anta Raja Cup. 10 teams from Luzon will compose the league, namely Bataan, Batangas, Bulacan, Caloocan, Imus, Muntinlupa, Navotas, Paranaque, Quezon City, and Valenzuela.

Though it may be ambitious, the league wants to continue the dream started by the Metropolitan Basketball Association which is to create a league that has a home and away format.

“For the longest time, after ng MBA, I think it’s 20 years ago na ‘yun, I think it’s due na rin for our basketball fans around the country, ‘yung mga sa provinces, ‘cause ‘yung advantage nito is ‘yung games mismo, dadalhin mo sa kanila. Unlike before sa mga liga natin, naka-stay lang sila sa isang venue,” said league commissioner Kenneth Duremdes.

“Maraming factors ngayon, traffic and time-consuming. Pero itong liga natin, tayo ang magdadala mismo sa mga tao, sa mga basketball fans. Sa tagal-tagal ng walang organized, or high-level na basketball tournament, ito na ‘yung time na makikita ng mga basketball fans natin na up close and personal ang mga ini-idolo nila, lalo na ang mga hometown hero nila,” the PBA legend furthered.

Armed with this vision, the league plans to be the country’s premier amateur league, helping build the dreams of the Filipino youth.

“It’s an amateur league. Kaya nga natin siya tinatawag na liga para sa lahat ng Pilipino, kasi lahat dito as long as Filipino ka, kasali ka,” shared Duremdes.

“Kagaya ng sinasabi ni Sen. Manny, matutulungan natin ang mga players ng grumaduate sa college na walang mapaglaruan, mga ex-pro na hindi masyado nabigyan ng exposure sa PBA, may exposure sila dito. Tapos yung mga grassroots player natin, malay mo springboard nila ang MPBL and who knows they will represent the country in the national team.

“Ito ang nakikita ni Sen Manny, mga players na out of school or the big leagues, ma-expose sila sa MPBL at mapansin sila ng national team or pro team,” he furthered.

The league’s first game will feature Caloocan taking on Paranaque at the Big Dome. Tickets are priced at P300, P200, P150, P100 while the Gen Ad will be open for all.

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