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San Miguel holds off fiery GlobalPort, but fail to make the playoffs



The San Miguel Beermen fail to make the Playoffs, but end their campaign with a win, forcing the GlobalPort Batang Pier to misfire in crunch time to escape with a 106-94 victory Tuesday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The first quarter featured a heated trade of salvos between the two squads, with baskets falling from everywhere around the arc. The score stayed knotted for most of the period, but GlobalPort took advantage of a brief lull in the Beermen’s defense to take a 21-16 lead with three minutes left on the clock. Baskets from Doug Kramer and Marcio Lassiter forced a 21-all deadlock in the final minute of the quarter, but the tie was broken by a late bucket by GlobalPort’s John Pinto. At the buzzer, the score was 23-21 with GlobalPort ahead.

GlobalPort top gunner, Terrence Romeo exploded for six straight points in a flurry that propelled the Batang Pier to a 39-28 lead just four minutes into the second period. SMB’s own gunner, Chris Lutz addressed the growing deficit by nailing eight points in a run that cut the lead to three within the next four minutes, 40-43. GlobalPort’s Ronjay Buenafe extinguished the fire, nailing a triple on the other end to bring the lead back up to six. Furthermore, baskets from Arwind Santos and Chris Ross cut the lead to two, 44-46, but the revived San Miguel rally was extinguished when GlobalPort’s Romeo, Caracter, and Buenafe put together another blitz of their own. At the half, GlobalPort led 55-49.

A 6-0 run early in the third capped by a jumper from Alex Cabagnot put San Miguel within striking distance once again, 57-59. Back-to-back baskets from front court personnel, Arwind Santos and June Mar Fajardo, put the Beermen up ahead for the first time since the early first quarter, 63-60, around the halfway mark of the period. With the Batang Pier’s gunners exhausted, the Beermen were able to regain their foothold, and hold on to the steady lead, leading by as many as six in the next few minutes of play. Reigning MVP Fajardo held the fort for San Miguel, who withstood a late GlobalPort resurgence to take a 76-72 lead at the end of the period.

It was the bigmen who kept the Beermen ahead of the contest early in the fourth, with Fajardo, import Arizona Reid, and enforcer Doug Kramer hitting baskets to help San Miguel take an 88-81 lead three minutes into the final phase of the contest. The Beermen’s seamless shooting kept them ahead of the chase for most of the quarter, but with around four minutes left on the clock, a five-point explosion from Gabby Espinas cut the lead to two, 92-94. The Batang Pier’s much needed rally, however, was easily extinguished when Arizona Reid and June Mar Fajardo collaborated for six straight points that extended the lead to six, 100-94, just as the last two minute mark clocked in.

The Beermen needed only to put up another couple of stops to force the Batang Pier to go scoreless in the next few possessions. The last forty seconds saw treys from Alex Cabagnot in consecutive possessions to put the icing on the cake.

June Mar Fajardo had 31 points, 19 rebounds, and 4 blocks and was named Best Player of the Game. Derrick Caracter led the scoring for GlobalPort with 18 points. The Philippine Cup champions finish the elimination round at 4-7, and have a chance to make the playoffs should they emerge with a superior quotient over the other 4-7 teams at the end of the week. GlobalPort likewise finishes at 4-7.

The Scores:
SMB 106 – Fajardo 31, Reid 20, Ross 15, Cabagnot 13, Lutz 11, Santos 9, Kramer 4, Lassiter 3

GlobalPort 94 – Caracter 18, Romeo 15, Espinas 14, Buenafe 13, Jensen 8, Nabong 8, Semerad 6, Miranda 4, Taha 2, Ponferada 2,

Quarters: 21-23, 49-55, 76-72, 106-94

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Calvin Abueva, Raymond Almazan cut from pool



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



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



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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Michael Calisaan tows Che’lu-San Sebastian past Perpetual



Photo by PBA Images

Michael Calisaan poured 20 points as he captained newcomer Che’Lu-San Sebastian Revellers to a decisive 83-70 win over the University of Perpetual Help System DALTA Altas to start their voyage, Monday evening at the Pasig City Sports Center.

Doing it all for the Revellers, the veteran forward provided the stability for his side as he shot 8-of-15 from the field while also hauling down nine rebounds, two assists, and two steals in the conference-opening win.

But it wasn’t all Calisaan as Che’Lu got contributions from all over its roster.

Samboy de Leon chimed in 16 markers and nine boards. RK Ilagan went 2-of-5 from threes to collect 13 points, eight dimes, and three rebounds, while big men Alfred Batino and Jeepy Faundo combined for 20 in the victory.

Despite the triumph, coach Stevenson Tiu gave all the praise to his players, noting the team’s lack of time preparing for the tourney.

“Nanalo kami dahil sa talent ng players. Medyo mali ko rin kasi nahirapan pa ako mag-adjust sa players. Hopefully, we play much better in the coming games,” he said.

The Revellers used a 16-4 run to finally break away from the Altas, taking a 77-60 lead with 4:03 to play as they punished their foes for their turnovers, turning Perpetual’s 30 miscues to 28 points in their favor.

Prince Eze anchored the Altas with 15 points, 11 rebounds, and seven blocks in their first game under new head coach Frankie Lim.

Che’lu-San Sebastian look to make it two in a row when they take on the Wangs-Letran Couriers on Monday, January 29 at 5:00pm. Perpetual, on the other hand, hope they can notch their first win when they take on Mila’s Lechon Mighty Roasters.

The Scores:

Che’lu-SSCR 83 — Calisaan 20, De Leon 16, Ilagan 13, Batino 10, Faundo 10, Bulanadi 6, Costelo 6, Calma 2, David 0, Lao 0, Santos 0, Valdez 0.

UPHSD 70 — Eze 15, Coronel 13, Villanueva 13, Jimenez 9, Charcos 7, Peralta 7, Gallardo 5, Pido 1, Antonio 0, Aurin 0, Tamayo 0, Tongco 0.

Quarterscores: 17-22, 34-38, 59-53, 83-70.

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