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Setbacks against Mapua, Letran a huge wakeup call for Arellano



The past two games haven’t been friendly for the Arellano University Chiefs.

In both of their losses against the Mapua Institute of Technology and the Colegio de San Juan de Letran Knights, the Chiefs would usually play their game in their favored blistering pace but come the fourth quarter, the lead they’ve worked hard to establish simply went down the drain.

As of press time, the Chiefs are managing to score 13 fourth quarter points in their last two games, but the alarming trend for the team is that they have given up 25.5 fourth quarter points per game in their last two losses.

“The past two games we lost in the fourth quarter, we ran out of steam. We played [the game] according to the game plan from the first to third quarter but eventually we ran out of steam in the fourth quarter,” Arellano assistant coach Barry Tobias told in an exclusive interview with Tiebreaker Times. “We missed a lot of closing shots for this [Letran] game and our game against Mapua, we were so lazy sprinting back on defense. So that’s it, Coach Jerry [Codinera] said they wanted it more and the opposing teams played with more heart.”

Tobias also noted that Arellano controlled the most part of their game against Letran. They led most of the way after methodically breaking Letran’s terror pressure defense and nailing timely three-pointers. Everyone was also in high spirits after the Chiefs managed to have a 69-63 after three quarters but as the fourth quarter arrived, Tobias observed that the team’s sense of urgency to win a crucial game suddenly disappeared. He also noted that they were outrebounded by the opposing the team, 56-40, despite having the obvious size advantage.

“I think they [Letran] were stronger in the first round because they were confident that time because of their streak of wins but during the second round they were very beatable. For the first three quarters, they were like a normal team. We didn’t play like they were a Final Four team during this game. They lacked size and we were bigger than them but we were outrebounded,” he pointed out. “We [have] collapsed big time in the fourth quarter since the Mapua game. We only scored 12 points in the fourth quarter. We were up by 6 by the end of the third and I think we felt good already, but things didn’t go our way in the fourth.”

NCAA 91 CSJL vs. AU - Nambatac-6581In addition, given that they could go toe to toe with Letran, it was Arellano’s game to lose. They let the likes of Jomar Sollano and Rey Nambatac grab 22 rebounds combined and Kevin Racal also owned the boards by grabbing 9 boards on his own. On the other hand, no Arellano player managed to achieve double figures in rebounding as Dioncee Holts, Jiovani Jalalon and Kent Salado were the leading rebounders for the team with them grabbing 7 rebounds apiece.

On the bright side, Arellano moved the ball better as they had 21 assists compared to Letran’s 11. They also were more efficient as they only coughed up the ball 13 times compared to the opposition’s 16.

“We were complete and we were not injured. We had a complete lineup. We had the advantage man for man against Letran. We could big, we could go small, we could go fast and we could go slow against them but they just wanted it more during that fourth quarter run. They didn’t panic and they tried to eat our lead slowly and surely. Letran didn’t panic. We were playing not to lose and they played to win.”

NCAA 91 CSJL vs. AU - Salado drve-6668With this alarming trend of burning out in the fourth quarter in the latter stages of the NCAA Season, Tobias expects that the team can still turn things around in their bid of nailing a Final Four slot by being more focused and using those losses as a wakeup call. However, a tougher opponent awaits them as they are set to battle it out against the San Beda Red Lions in their next game.

“Nothing is wrong with the team. They just have no sense of urgency and maybe the honeymoon period of coming off a Finals stint last year, we think we could turn on the switch [anytime] just like that. But, we have to be scrappy and we have to fight for everything during this season,” he ended.

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Composed Ceres-Negros expels Shan United in shootout victory



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2017 AFC ASEAN Zone Champions Ceres-Negros banked on their poise and composure from the spot as they knocked out Myanmar’s Shan United via a 4-3 penalty shootout (1-1 after extra time) triumph, Tuesday evening at the Thuwunna Stadium in Yangon, Myanmar.

The Negrenses punched their ticket to Brisbane, Australia after emerging the better spotkick takers. Four Busmen were on target, while two of their Shan Warriors counterparts fluffed their lines.

The two domestic champions were inseparable after 120 minutes, with the hosts holding their own against the Philippine champions. Ceres-Negros looked the more dominant of the two teams. However, they couldn’t make the advantage count where it mattered, as they failed to breach the sturdy Shan United defense inside the first two regulation halves.

The visitors were visibly more comfortable in the first half, but with the scores staying level at the break, the less-fancied Myanmar champions eventually found their footing in the encounter. While there were several half-chances from either side to open the scoring, both defenses remained defiant en route to unwanted extra time.

“It was a tough game. We weren’t ready to play 120 minutes because we only had four training sessions before the game but everytime we wear this jersey, we represent Ceres, we represent Bacolod, we represent the Philippines, so we have to give our best,” Ceres’ defender Carli de Murga elaborated to the Inquirer after the match. The Asian Football season has yet to start, and with both teams not too busy with pre-season preparations, rust and fatigue in a demanding affair were evident.

Come extra time, Ceres-Negros took the initiative when Stephan Schröck’s deflected effort went past the helpless Thiha Si Thu just three minutes into the first half.

Nonetheless, the hosts refused to go down without a fight, and their resilience was rewarded later in the opening half. Substitute Patrick Asare found the back of the net to restore parity in Yangon.

Another 15 minutes of goalless action took place in the second half as both teams looked more cautious, perhaps with the collective aim of avoiding a costly error or two. Among all the chances, Schröck’s in the 114th minute may have proved to be the closest to changing the scores, as his attempt shaved the post.

Shan United took to the spot first, where Asare made his penalty attempt count. Nay Lin Tun also made his, but not before teammate Chizoba smashed his attempt over Toni Doblas’ goal.

While the hosts squandered a shot, the visitors remained calm in front of a hostile Myanmar crowd. De Murga, Schröck and Mike Ott nailed their turns, with Marañon also not missing a vital kick from 12 yards.

It set up William Biassi Nyakwe, the man credited with the own goal when he deflected Schröck’s opener, with the chance to prolong his team’s campaign in the AFC Champions League. Unfortunately for him, he couldn’t atone for his earlier mistake, as his attempt soared high and wide — much to the delight of the visiting team from Bacolod, the Philippines.

The reward for Ceres-Negros is a trip to Queensland, Australia, where they will seek to do one better than compatriots Global-Cebu. The 2016 Philippine champions also played against the Brisbane Roar, who dealt them a staggering 6-0 hammering this time last year. The match will be held at the Suncorp Stadium on January 23.

As for Shan United, a spot in the AFC Cup Group Stage awaits them and they may not have seen the last of Ceres-Negros just yet. If the Negrenses lose to either Brisbane Roar or Tianjin Quanjian, they will be reacquainted with the Burmese champions in Group F.

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Abu Tratter plans to work his way to 2023 by continuing to do ‘the dirty work’



Abu Tratter may have missed the jersey-giving ceremony that the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas held for the 23 for 2023 cadets last Monday but he made sure to help out when the current batch needed him the most.

After helping the Marinerong Pilipino Skippers win the Sinulog Cup in Cebu a week ago, the 6-foot-7 Filipino-American did not hesitate to heed Gilas’ call, as they were undermanned for their second session in preparation for the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers.

“I think it’s just an honor to put on this jersey, to be able to represent our country, to possibly represent our country in the future. It’s an honor,” shared the Laguna-native.

The 25-year old, who just celebrated his birthday last January 9, admitted that he was in awe of the talent inside the Meralco Gym. Like a fan, he wanted to take a few photo ops with the senior team’s Gabe Norwood and June Mar Fajardo.

“Actually, at first I was just shocked to see June Mar and Gabe, just to be able to be in the midst of them,” gushed the former DLSU Green Archer, who will suit-up for Marinerong Pilipino in the D-League. “I even asked them for a picture, and hopefully they’ll still give me one.

“It’s just humbling, definitely.”

However, the work has only began for Tratter. With five years to go until the 2023 FIBA World Cup, the two-time UAAP champion plans to continue to do what he does best — be the same scrapper that he is and hopefully catch the eye of Gilas’ brass.

“I think just doing the dirty work, of course. Giving whatever the team needs, rebound or any steals, any thing a dirty player would need to pick up on,” he said.

“That’s how it is, garbage into gold. Get anything, sweep up anything and try to put it back.”

Moreover, he will continue answering the call when Gilas needs him, as he himself is learning a lot from being surrounded by the country’s topflight cagers.

“Whenever I can. I want to be able to absorb all the information coming from here and hopefully apply it in the D-League and hopefully apply it on future practices, future games.”

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2018 FIBA 3X3 World Cup

Terrence Romeo invited to join Pilipinas 3×3 for World Cup



Stronger than ever

Scoring sensation Terrence Romeo has been invited by the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas to join the Philippine team in the upcoming FIBA 3X3 World Cup, according to Philippine Star columnist Quinito Henson.

Romeo, who is currently out due to a right knee injury, has been in rehabilitation and is expected to miss the entire Philippine Cup campaign of the Globalport Batang Pier and the second window of the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers.

“Baka sa second conference na ko makabalik kasi talagang gusto ko malakas ako pagbalik ko,” the 25-year-old shared during Chooks-to-Go Live last January 2.

SBP Executive Director Sonny Barrios personally met with the 6-foot guard, inviting him to be part of the Philippine team.

Romeo has plenty of 3×3 basketball experience under his belt.

Back in 2014, Romeo was part of the Manila West 3×3 team during the Manila Masters. He was adjudged as the tournament Most Valuable Player.

The 2018 3X3 World Cup will take place from June 8-12 at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan.

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Red Spikers extinguish Blazers for second win



Shaking off a forgettable outing against the Perpetual Help Altas last January 11, the San Beda College Red Spikers vented their ire on defending champions College of Saint Benilde Blazers in four sets, 25-15, 25-16, 23-25, 26-24, and claimed their second win of the season, Friday afternoon at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

“Sabi ng coaches kalimutan na yung talo,” shared captain Lorenze Santos of what transpired after that match.

So, in this game, the San Beda team poured on what they worked hard for to regain momentum. “Binuhos po namin lahat ng ginawa namin sa training [ngayon].”

After tight starts in all the first two sets, the Mendiola-based side pulled away to register the seemingly insurmountable 2-0 lead.

Nonetheless, summoning the heart of a champion and led by seniors Isaah Arda and Jethro Orian, the reigning champions pulled off gritty runs to snag the third set and making a tussle of the fourth.

Ultimately, Adrian Viray virtually ended the match with a vicious serve, which the Blazers failed to convert.

The prolific outside hitter finished with 17 points, 11 coming from attacks and five off blocks. Former skipper Mark Encino also registered 17 markers.

The Red Spikers (2-1) will face the Mapua University, also at 2-1, on Friday, January 19.

Orian was such a presence at the net, ending up with 20 points for the Taft-based squad.

The defending champions Blazers (2-1) will try to bounce back later that day against San Sebastian College (0-3).

The Scores:

SBC 3 – Viray 17, Enciso 17, Santos 11, Patenio 7, Amagan 7, Desuyo 3, Zabala 0, Genobaten 0, Manliclic 0, Casin L.

CSB 1 – Orian 20, Arda 18, Bacani 6, Basilan 4, Bautista 4, Magsino 2, Martinez 0, Garcia 0, San Miguel 0, Saldavia 0, Dy L.

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