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Santos’ game-winning putback lifts SMB over gritty Barako Bull for solo first



Being in the right place at the right time, after a loose ball scramble, led to an Arwind Santos putback that lifted the San Miguel Beermen to a 106-105 escape over the Barako Bull Energy Cola at the Ynares Center in Antipolo on Sunday afternoon.

The Beermen’s plan of attack was to feed the ball from the get go to their big men. This paid early dividends, with June Mar Fajardo and Arwind Santos already combining for 12 early points on perfect shooting from two-point distance. Barako Bull tried to keep pace, with five early deadlocks in the quarter and Willie Wilson already posting six points and five boards. However, Marcio Lassiter drained two quick triples off the bench to power the Beermen to a 10-0 closeout in the first quarter.

Lassiter and Chris Ross combined for SMB’s first baskets of the second period as they extended their lead to 36-26 by the 8:49 mark. Unfortunately for the Beermen, the rest of the first half went the way of Barako Bull, who uncorked a sizzling shooting display from downtown. The run was anchored by Josh Urbiztondo, who scored 17 points in the quarter including five triples. Energy Cola turned it around after outscoring the Beermen 37-20 in the period as they ended up with the 55-48 halftime lead and limiting San Miguel to only three points in the last five minutes.

Arwind Santos scored six on the 11-6 run put up by the Beermen in four minutes to open up the new half. However, a timely 5-point swing including a triple by former SMB player Mick Pennisi and a one-handed jam by JC Intal kept the Beermen at bay. For the remainder of the third, Barako held onto the lead as two free throws by Caperal served as the quarter’s last points to give Energy a four point cushion after three quarters.

San Miguel had its best scoring quarter in the final one as they tallied 30 in the down-the-wire frame. The closely-contested period had the game knotted at 98 with 2:25 remaining in the period. Afterwards, Tubid and Fajardo made timely baskets to give SMB a momentary hold of the lead. Barako responded with a 5-0 counter capped by a big three-ball by RR Garcia with 10 ticks left in the match. On SMB’s last possession, Marcio Lassiter attempted a long two-pointer that went black, and the battle for the rebound went the way of Santos who then provided the game-winning bucket.

Fajardo had another monstrous 28-point, 20-rebound effort in the win, including 11-of-17 shooting from the field and two blocks. Ronald Tubid and Arwind Santos contributed 16 and 15 markers respectively and a combined 8-for-8 shooting from the foul stripe. For the Energy Cola, Urbiztondo finished with 19 points to lead his team while Wilson added 18 and 11 boards.

The Beermen had 51 rebounds compared to Barako’s 38. In addition, they outscored them by 20 from the inside 48-28, and had eight blocks compared to three by the losing team.

San Miguel are now winners of three straight matches, and now hold a 5-1 record. They will try to make it four straight against the Star Hotshots (2-4), 3pm on Nov. 28 at the Mall of Asia Arena. On the other hand, Barako Bull (3-3) will next face the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters (4-1) on Nov. 27 at the Big Dome.

The Scores:
San Miguel (106) – Fajardo 28, Tubid 16, Santos 15, Cabagnot 12, Lassiter 11, Espinas 11, Lutz 4, Ross 3, Heruela 2, Arana 2, De Ocampo 2, Reyes 0
Barako Bull (105) – Urbiztondo 19, Wilson 18, Pennisi 15, Garcia 14, Baracael 9, Brondial 7, Monfort 6, Fortuna 6, Intal 5, Lanete 4, Caperal 2, Miranda 0
Quarterscores: 28-18, 48-55, 76-80, 106-105



AJ Mandani sparks Singapore in win over Joshua Munzon-led Westsports



Back to his role as the sixth man of the Slingers after two games, AJ Mandani provided the firepower needed by Singapore in a fourth quarter surge to stop the Westsports Malaysia Dragons, 93-85, Sunday afternoon at the MABA Stadium in Malaysia.

The win arrested the Slingers’ two-game losing streak, raising their slate to 6-6. Westsports, a team coming off a two-game winning streak that included a 91-87 win over Mikey Williams and the Saigon Heat last January 18, fell to 3-5.

Struggling in the first three quarters, Mandani six of his eight points in the final frame. And those points were povital in fending off Westsports.

With Singapore clinging to a solitary point lead early in the fourth quarter, the Filipino-Canadian scored four straight points 8-0 run to gain a 74-67 lead with under seven minutes left. Another basket by Mandani followed it up with a breakaway layup with with 5:18 remaining to give Singapore an 81-72 cushion.

Filipino exports Joshua Munzon and Patrick Cabahug tried to rally the home team back as a triple by the latter cut the lead down to just three with 1:40 on the clock. Big buckets by Delvin Goh and Chris Charles sealed off the Malaysia-based club team.

Munzon went just 5-for-18 from the field to finish with 15 points, seven rebounds, and three steals. Cabahug chipped in eight points on 3-for-4 shooting off the bench.

Xavier Alexander led Singapore with 33 points while Charles tallied a double-double with 25 points and 13 rebounds to go along with three swats. Singaporean Goh had 16 points, seven rebounds, and four assists.

Marcus Marshall paced Westsports with 22 points, playing all 40 minutes as fellow World Import AJ West had a tough outing.

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Impervious Lady Chiefs stay perfect after sweep of Lady Pirates



The Arellano University Lady Chiefs extended their winning streak to 17, dating back to last season, after clobbering the Lyceum of the Philippines Lady Pirates, 25-16, 25-17, 25-11, at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

The defending champions were unrelenting, with four Lady Chiefs scoring in double-digits. Rookie Necole Ebuen powered in 11 points. Third-year open hitter Regine Arocha and Arellano’s middle blockers Mary Anne Esguerra and Andrea Marzan each provided 10 markers.

Conversely, no Lady Pirate managed to score in double-figures.

“Maganda naman talaga ang nilalaro ng mga bata. Lahat kasi kami determinado na makakuha ulet ng championship. Alam nila (Lady Chiefs) na kailangan pataas nang pataas ang ginagalaw namin,” said Arellano head coach Obet Javier.

The Lady Chiefs also limited their errors to a season-best 16, while the Lady Pirates surrendered 24 miscues.

Christine Miralles and Monica Sevilla each supplied the struggling Lyceum with eight point apiece.

The Lady Chiefs will look for their sixth win of the season when they face the red-hot University of Perpetual Help System DALTA (4-1) on Tuesday at the FilOil Flying V Centre. The Lady Pirates (1-4) take on the undefeated San Beda College (4-0) on Wednesday also at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

The Scores

AU (3) – Ebuen 11, Arocha 10, Esguerra 10, Marzan 10, Prado 3, Ramirez 3, Liu 2, Balanoba 1, Donato 1, Verutiao 0, Buemia (L), Flores (L)

LPU (0) – Miralles 8, Sevilla 8, Juanilla 7, Patio 4, Genova 1, Romanban 0, Bongabong 0, Marcella (L)

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Late whistle costs San Beda against Sousse, drops Red Lions to 0-2



23 for 2023 cadet Robert Bolick is averaging 27.5 points per game in the tournament

After struggling to close out the UAE National Team in their opener last Friday, the San Beda College Red Lions figured in a late judgment call that did not fall into their favor, Saturday at the Shabab Al Ahli Club in Dubai. Due to this, the defending NCAA Champions lost to Tuniasian club team Sousse, 78-79.

With the loss, the Red Lions fell to a 0-2 hole in the 29th Dubai Basketball Championship. But the record does not reflect how the Filipinos played.

Robert Bolick, who scored 28 points against the UAE National Team, led the charge for San Beda in their second outing with 27 points. Fellow 23 for 2023 cadet Javee Mocon added 11 points and seven rebounds.

Sousse — the second-best club team in Tunisia, who boasts four national team players and an American import — led by as much as 10 points, 70-60 in the final frame.

Fired up by the Filipinos who stormed the venue, the Red Lions answered right back with an 18-8 run capped by a booming Bolick triple with six ticks left to gain a 78-76 lead.

However, a foul was called on a Red Lion on a three-point attempt by a Sousse player. He calmly sank all three free throws with 1.5 seconds remaining to seal the win.

Donald Tankoua had eight points and 13 rebounds as he was saddled with foul trouble all throughout the game.

The Tunisian club team was paced by Radzhouane Slimane with 18 points, while Ibrahim Nadarri and Joshua Cassady had 13 markers each.

San Beda will have a one-day break before taking on Moroccan club team Al Sale on Monday, January 22.

The Scores:

San Beda 78 – Bolick 27, Mocon 11, Tankoua 8, Noah 8, Toba 6, Soberano 6, Prebitero 4, Tongco 4, Bahio 2, Carino 2, Oftana 0, Adamos 0.

Sousse 79 – Slimane 18, Naddari 13, Cassady 13, Mouhli 11, Knioua 9, Toumi 8, Monastiri 4, Gaddour 3.

Quarterscores: 23-17, 36-39, 57-62, 78-79.

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Perpetual overpowers JRU to keep pace for Final Four



Strutting their decisive height and power advantage, the University of Perpetual Help System DALTA Lady Altas slammed the Jose Rizal University Lady Bombers, 25-21, 22-25, 25-14, 25-21, at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

The Lady Altas were still heavy-handed with their errors, surrendering 35 miscues, including 12 in the second set — the only frame they lost.

The Las Piñas-based program, however, kept a scorching offensive pace, bombarding the Lady Bombers with six blocks and 12 aces. JRU had just five points combined from those categories.

“Mataas pa talaga ‘yung tendency ng mga bata mamigay ng mga puntos. Sabi ko nga hindi kami mananalo kung tutulungan pa namin ‘yung kalaban maka-score,” rued Perpetual head coach Michael Cariño.

“Pero, unti-unte namang gumaganda ‘yung galaw ng mga bata. Lahat naman ng pagkukulang nila, tinatrabaho namin para maayos sa ensayo,” the champion mentor added.

Perpetual’s six-foot-three middle blocker Lourdes Clemente towered over the Lady Bombers with a season-high 19 points which included 14 attacks, two blocks, and three aces. Winger Cindy Imbo added 15 points.

Rookie Dolly Versoza paced the Lady Bombers with a game-high 21 points, while captain Shola Alvarez managed 15.

The Lady Altas (4-1) take on the undefeated defending champs Arellano University (5-0) on Tuesday at the FilOil Flying V Centre. The Lady Bombers (2-3) face the College of Saint Benilde (3-1) on Wednesday, also at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

The Scores

UPHSD (3) – Clemente 19, Imbo 15, Sangalang 8, Llorente 7, Tripoli 7, Gual 6, Versoza 2, Umandal 1, Estanislao 0, Medalla (L)

JRU (1) – Versoza 21, Alvarez 15, Ebuenga 5, Montojo 2, Rivera 2, Sibangan 1, Bodiongan 0, Macaraya (L)

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