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San Beda opens six-peat hopes with win over Mapua



The 5-time NCAA champs San Beda Red Lions started out their 91st NCAA season on a winning note as they defeated the season hosts, the Mapua Institute of Technology Cardinals 102-89 on the first game of the opener held at the Mall of Asia Arena.

The Red Lions went firing from all cylinders as they jumped to an early lead against Mapua. Ryusei Koga scored eight of his team’s first 11 points to jump start the Red Lions against the Cardinals single basket in the first three minutes of action. As the Red Lions showcased what they displayed in the recently concluded tournament, their fullcourt press defense was helpful early for the squad as it limited Mapua’s offensive execution that led to fast transition baskets on San Beda’s end.

The early and up-tempo offense led to back-to-back threes by Radge Tongco to increase their lead to double digits. Mapua, on the other hand, hit double-digit scoring courtesy of the hot shooting by the comebacking Josan Nimes who scored 13 points in the first to pace his team early. The Mendiola-based cagers went to lead by 15 at 22-7 but the Cardinals ended the first quarter on an 13-1 run

Scoring picked up in the second quarter as the opening quarter jitters seemed to wear off. Two free throws by Allwell Oraema opened up chances for his squad to take the lead but unfortunately Mapua muffed two fast break opportunities. Tongco drained in two more treys in the period but Nimes was redeployed to the floor as he continued to pour on the baskets for the Cardinals.

The pressure defense was still sharp for the Red Lions while extra passes led to two more trifectas from Ryusei Koga to make it a 38-32 game. Senior Art Dela Cruz also played a tremendous second period as he tallied 10 markers in the quarter to lead his squad to close the first half on a 9-2 run and lead by 11 entering the break.

Oliver Serrano capped an 8-1 start for the Cardinals to slice the lead down to four as Mapua started the third period on a good note. Off the halftime period, an adjusted Mapua team showed up as they were quicker to the ball and good ball movement powered them to intensify their run for a comeback. Andretti Stevens banked in a three while Oraeme’s free throw cut the lead down to one-possession as they limited San Beda to 5 points in the first four minutes.

Scoring somewhat slowed down with the defensive pressure starting to take place for both teams. Offense came from transition as two fast break plays by Mapua tied the match anew at 62. Unfortunately for the Cardinals, Dela Cruz scored five more points to cap an 11-3 run to end the third quarter.

A series of exchange of baskets opened up the last period as the two teams combined for 13 points in three minutes as the Red Lions maintained their double-digit advantage. Mapua put up minimal baskets but every run they put on was countered with multiple baskets on San Beda’s end. In addition, San Beda capitalized as the Cardinals entered the penalty situation early in the fourth quarter. Looking for one last rally, a 15-point lead was sliced down to nine with three straight layups, two by Stevens in the last minutes of the game.

Fortunately for rookie coach Jamike Jarin’s team, their late-game composure was able to sustain their grip late and even restore the 15-pt edge with Pierre Tankoua’s basket and free throw. San Beda was also able to make the necessary stops and make the needed shots to seal the deal for their first win of the season.

Dela Cruz played a tremendous season-opener with 27 points, 18 rebounds and six assists.

The Red Lions played without star point guard Baser Amer who is nursing a shoulder injury and Ola Adeogun who has a sore left knee. On the other hand, Mapua did not have the services of CJ Isip who attended family matters abroad.

After the game, Coach Jamike Jarin was relieved that his first game in coach a collegiate team is over with a win, “I’m happy and, personally, I’m happy that the boys performed. The players, your son, gave it their best.” Moreover, the coach gave credit to the opposing team, “credit to Mapua, they came prepared and contested our shots.” Finally, Coach Jarin praised Micole Solera on his defense on Josan Nimes in the second half, “Nimes had 17 points in the 1st half but Sorela did good defense on him come the second half.”

SBC shot 48% from the field, including 7/16 from downtown, compared to 44% by MIT. Moreover, the Red Lions outrebounded the Cardinals 50-43.

San Beda’s next game will be up against Emilio Aguinaldo College while Mapua faces San Sebastian College. Both games will be played at 2pm and 4pm respectively on July 2, Thursday at the Filoil Arena in San Juan.

The Scores:
SBC (102) – De la Cruz 27, Tankou 18, Tongco 18, Koga 16, Solera 11, Sara 6, Sedillo 2, Mocon 2, Presbitero 2, Cabanag 0, Soberano 0, Reyes 0, Bonsubre 0
MIT 89 – Nimes 23, Oraeme 13, Stevens 13, Menina 12, Serrano 10, Villasenor 8, Que 3, Raflores 3, Brana 2,Dela Rosa 2, Biteng 0, Nieles 0, Aguerre 0, Layug 0
Quarterscores: 23-20, 49-38, 73-65, 102-89

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Bonbon Batiller shows what he can bring to Letran in D-League debut



Photo by PBA Images

Tuesday proved to be a double debut for Bonbon Batiller. Aside from beginning his first foray in the PBA D-League, it also marked his debut for the Letran Knights, who is carrying the Wang’s Basketball Couriers franchise.

And the 5-foot-11 guard unleashed what he can bring to the table. Batiller collected 15 points, five rebounds, and three assists to help the Knights raise the curtains of their campaign with a 93-75 rout of Batangas-EAC Generals.

“Nagworkout yung pinagpraktisan namin,” said Batiller. “Nagbunga rin yung tinuro samin ni Coach Jeff (Napa) lalo sa depensa. Tsaka siguro sa rebounds — laking lamang namin sa rebound. Nagsipag mga bigs namin.”

But what makes him beam even more is the warm reception and trust he’s had from the Knights, even if he has spent barely a year with them after transferring from University of the East last 2017.

“Masaya po kasi tinanggap nila ako sa Letran ng buong-buo,” said Batiller, who normed 10.5 points, 3.7 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 1.6 steals with UE in two years. “Tsaka yung tiwala nila na makakatulong ako sa team nandoon.

“Kaya masaya ako sa pinakita nila sa akin.”

That is why the General Santos-native is hard-pressed to prove himself to Letran, saying that he’s all about giving back to the school that gave him another opportunity to resume his young, up-and-coming basketball career.

“Kailangan kong may mapatunayan na deserving ako sa binigay na second chance sa akin ni Letran,” said Batiller, who decided to switch schools partly due to academic reasons.

“Malaki ang utang ko sa Letran.”

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Bienvenido Maranon scores brace as Ceres-Negros eliminates Brisbane Roar



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Philippine club football just achieved its biggest continental result yet

The inaugural Philippines Football League champions Ceres-Negros Football Club eliminated three-time Australian champions Brisbane Roar in the 2018 AFC Champions League’s second preliminary round with a 3-2 stunner away at the QSAC Stadium in Brisbane.

With the win, the 2017 AFC Cup ASEAN Zonal Champions are set to face Chinese Super League club Tianjin Quanjian next January 30, 2018 at the Haihe Educational Football Stadium in Tianjin, China to book a seat in the group stages.

Brisbane were the favorites for this tie and it showed as Ceres started the contest at the backfoot. Italian striker Massimo Maccarone handed the home side the lead at the 35th minute when he turned in Brett Holman’s pass.

Maccarone’s goal could have lowered the Busmen’s moral, but Risto Vidakovic’s men took it as a motivation rather than a downer. In fact, Ceres replied in the best way possible when Bienvenido Maranon scored his first goal of the match two minutes from halftime thanks to a scramble in the Brisbane box.

By all accounts, Ceres already made Philippine football proud at halftime. By this stage last year, Brisbane accrued a 4-0 halftime cushion against Global Cebu en route to a 6-0 rout.

Today, though, Brisbane faced tougher resistance at the hands of Ceres. This resistance turned into a full-fledged revolt at the 65th minute when Maranon directed the ball past a helpless Jamie Young to give the Busmen their first taste of the lead.

Maranon’s goal well and truly turned the tide in Ceres’ favor. Brisbane were stunned. The home side are the defending A-League champions, but are currently eighth in the table this season and would soon face elimination from Asia’s premier club competition.

Already up 2-1, the Busmen finally achieved some breathing space at the 75th minute when Omid Nazari scored from close range to give Ceres a two-goal cushion from Brisbane.

Nazari’s goal not only sealed the win for Ceres as it also propelled Philippine football into the big leagues. Not even a late goal from French midfielder Éric Bauthéac can prevent the Busmen’s victory.

After five minutes of stoppage time, Ceres emerged 3-2 winners against Brisbane Roar. Come what may against Tianjin seven days from now, the Busmen have already achieved Philippine football’s biggest result ever since their own achievement in last season’s AFC Cup.

Who knows? Maybe Ceres can pull off another upset?

Ceres-Negros XI: Doblas (GK), Super, Mike Ott, Ingreso, Maranon, Porteria, Schrock, De Murga (C), Munoz, Nazari, Christaens.

Brisbane Roar XI: Ingham, Bowles, Papadopoulos, Maccarone, Holman, Khalfallah, Oxborrow, McKay (C), Hingert, Young (GK), Franjic.

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CJ Perez, Zark’s-Lyceum vent ire on Batangas-EAC with 37-point romp



Photo by PBA Images

CJ Perez and the Zark’s Burger-Lyceum Jawbreakers finally lived up to its hype as it clobbered the Batangas-EAC Generals to score a 37-point beatdown, 112-75 for its first win, Tuesday at the Pasig Sports Center.

It was an all-out attack from the Jawbreakers as they beat the Generals to the bite and took control of the game early with Mike Nzeusseu and Jaycee Marcelino guiding their side to the 48-33 lead at halftime which they will never surrender.

Perez paced Zark’s Burger-Lyceum with 21 points and 10 rebounds, while MJ Ayaay tallied a double-double with his 15 markers, 10 boards, and three assists.

Cameroonian student-athlete Nzeusseu also delivered 14 points, 11 rebounds, and two assists, while Marcelino had eight first half points and wound up with 12 off the bench as the reserves chipped in 56 huge points in the tussle.

Coach Topex Robinson lauded the Jawbreakers for quickly adjusting to the style of the PBA D-League just days after falling to Marinerong Pilipino, 92-94 back in opening day.

“Medyo adjusted na kami on everything — the calls and the teams were playing against with. But the things we want to mind are those things we control. We just have to keep on doing what we are doing. It’s more on replenishing na lang on our old ways,” he said.

Earvin Mendoza and Cedric de Joya both had 16 points for the Generals in the losing effort.

Zark’s-Lyceum looks to continue to roll when it faces the AMA Online Education Titans on Thursday, January 25. EAC-Batangas, on the other hand, takes on the Gamboa-St. Clare Coffee Lovers on Monday, January 29.

The Scores:

Zark’s-Lyceum 112 — Perez 21, Ayaay 15, Nzeusseu 14, Jc. Marcelino 12, Serrano 10, Baltazar 8, Santos 8, Jv. Marcelino 6, Tansingco 6, Marata 4, Liwag 4, Ibañez 2, Cinco 2, Pretta 0.

Batangas-EAC 75 — E. Mendoza 16, De Joya 16, Tampoc 12, Laude 9, Pate 8, Maguliano 6, Altamirano 5, Diego 3, Garcia 0, Dela Peña 0, Martin 0, J. Mendoza 0, Neri 0.

Quarterscores: 19-14, 48-33, 84-47, 112-75.

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Mixed Martial Arts

ONE Championship pledges to help Global Citizen in fight against poverty



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During the pre-fight showdown between the fighters main evening ONE Championship: Global Superheroes, the biggest mixed martial arts promotion in Asia also forged a partnership, Monday afternoon.

ONE, through chief executive officer and chariman, Chatri Sityodtong vowed to help Global Citizen in its fight to end poverty.

“It is with great excitement that I announce ONE Championship’s partnership with Global Citizen, an NGO with the goal of ending extreme poverty across the world by the year 2030,” said Sityodtong. “Just like Global Citizen, ONE Championship aims to inspire the people of the world to come together to solve some of the world’s biggest challenges.”

“We are thrilled to be joining forces with ONE Championship to bring Global Citizen to Asia. ONE Championship reaches millions of young people around the region and together we will engage them on issues that impact the entire world,” expressed Global Citizen co-founder Wei Soo. “Since we launched Global Citizen in 2012, over 13 million actions have been taken, and we are excited to drive more actions and increase our impact for the world’s most marginalized people through this partnership.”

Headquartered in New York with offices in Canada, Australia, Germany, and the United Kingdom, Global Citizen was founded in 2012 with the goal of building the largest platform where people can learn about issues, take action on what matters most, and join a global movement working to end extreme poverty by 2030. Since then, millions of Global Citizens around the world have taken over ten million actions, which includes millions of emails, tweets, petition signatures, and phone calls targeting world leaders to end extreme poverty by 2030.

To date, the actions by Global Citizen’s global community, along with its high-level advocacy efforts and various partners, have resulted in 130 commitments and policy announcements from leaders, including financial aid valued at over US $35-billion, that is set to affect the lives of over 1.3 billion people.

Also present in the launch were ONE Heavyweight World Champion Brandon Vera, ONE Atomweight World Champion Angela Lee, and former ONE Lightweight World Champion Eduard Folayang.

The partnership launching at ONE’s upcoming event in Manila, Philippines on Friday, January 26, will harness the power of ONE’s platform to engage millions of martial arts fans around the world to support initiatives and find solutions to the issues associated with extreme poverty.

Global Citizen and ONE will collaborate across 24 live ONE events scheduled in 2018, and various outreach activations throughout Asia. Fans will have the opportunity to take action and engage with specific policy areas including, education, food security, hunger and nutrition, global health, gender equality and empowerment.

“Our ONE Championship athletes embody the spirit of perseverance and many have risen through poverty through martial arts, inspiring millions of people around the world with their journey,” Sityodtong added. “Through our collaboration across all 24 of our live events scheduled in 2018, ONE Championship and Global Citizen aim to affect positive movement in our society.”

The first action ONE fans can take will be centred on global education. Fans will be able to call on donor countries such as Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, and India, to attend the Global Partnership for Education’s replenishment conference in Dakar, Senegal on February 2, 2018, and make a commitment to GPE to support better education for all. Currently, 264 million children around the world are missing out on an education.

Over half are girls, and over 75 million have had their schooling disrupted by conflict or natural disasters. At the replenishment conference, the GPE will raise much needed funds that will allow it to continue to support quality, inclusive education to hundreds of millions of children around the world.

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