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Seventh heaven: San Miguel keeps winning streak alive; hands Talk ‘N Text fourth straight loss

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Arguably the hottest team of the conference so far, the San Miguel Beermen continued its dominance in the Governor’s Cup and notching its seventh straight victory with a 101-96 win over the Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters held at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

TNT started out the match by showcasing splendid ball movement that led to early assists while Jason Castro catching fire in the first minutes. The Texters held a slim 10-8 lead in the early goings, but the Beermen were on par in terms of the exchange of baskets between the two squads. After the first timeout of the match, Talk ‘N Text were still firing as they scored successfully on all of their next five possessions capped by a three-point play by Steffphon Pettigrew and a long trey by Sam Daghles to make it a 22-11 game.

With less than 4 ½ minutes to go in the first, TNT converted on their possession on a 4-on-5 break as JuneMar Fajardo dropped after Pettigrew fell on his calf. While the Beermen got only two points in the next three minutes, the Texters were sizzling from the perimeter. Good ball denial by the Texters clobbered the inside game for San Miguel that thwarted the Beermen’s scoring chances. TNT eventually ended up the first quarter on top by 14 points with Matt Ganuelas-Rosser scoring a long two on the dying seconds.

Despite Fajardo being redeployed in the match for San Miguel, the Texters extended their lead to as high as 17 at 32-15 with bench players providing offense. Fortunately for the Beermen, Arizona Reid came to the rescue to quickly slice the lead as he scored his team’s next eight points in their 9-1 run. The furious run was extended with Ranidel De Ocampo assessed with his fourth personal foul with still over six minutes to go in the first half.

The 17-point deficit was quickly erased by the Beermen as Ronald Tubid tied the game at 35 with a pull up jumper. After a near five-minute silence from the field, Larry Fonacier finally hit a triple to stop the bleeding for the Texters. The last four minutes of the first half was nothing but good defensive and offensive exchanges by both teams as the game was tied at 45 after 24 minutes of action.

Despite a 5-0 start by TNT to the second half which included two baskets from quick plays, SMB countered with an 8-0 response that displayed their transition game to start the third. The Beermen’s interior defense also played a key role when San Miguel built their separation during the third quarter. Two straight triples by Arwind Santos gave them a 69-61 edge with less than five minutes to play in the third quarter. Despite a slow start from their bench, SMB’s second unit played tremendous defense as their squad ended the third strong and lead by eight.

In a tale of two halves starting to take over for TNT, the Texters are starting to struggle from the perimeter compared to their sizzling shooting from the first half. San Miguel was still in hold of the lead as they were able to contain the Texters from putting on successive buckets while free throws became a source of offense. Two more paint scores by Chris Lutz and Fajardo gave the Beermen their largest lead at 83-71.

The Texters slowly clawed their way back but rally-extinguishing baskets by Reid with high level of difficulty provided the needed points to keep TNT at bay. The reinsertion by Jason Castro to the Talk ‘N Text five provided some points, but it was San Miguel’s late game composure that spelled the difference en route to the win.

Reid led his Beermen once again with his 29-point exertion. Four other locals from San Miguel scored in double-figure led by Lassiter’s 15. Castro led Talk ‘N Text with 25 points, including four triples, five rebounds and seven assists. Pettigrew added 17 markers and 11 boards.

San Miguel improves to an 8-2 record and Talk ‘N Text slides to a 3-5 slate.

The Scores:

San Miguel(101) – Reid 29, Lassiter 15, Santos 14, Cabagnot 11, Tubid 10, Fajardo 9, Espinas 7, Ross 4, Lutz 2, Reyes 0

Talk ‘N Text(96) – Castro 25, Pettigrew 17, Fonacier 11, Miller 10, De Ocampo 8, Daghles 8, Williams 8, Seigle 4, Carey 2, Ganuelas-Rosser 2, Washington 1

Quarters: 15-28, 45-45, 75-67, 101-96

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Football

Composed Ceres-Negros expels Shan United in shootout victory

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Photo from the-AFC.com

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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Basketball

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

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Abu Tratter may have missed the jersey-giving ceremony 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, being 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 continue answering the call when Gilas needs it 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

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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 rehabilitating his injury 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 a lot 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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NCAA

Red Spikers extinguish Blazers for second win

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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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