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Stallion arrests slump with comeback win over Kaya

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After a two-game slide, Stallion brought their “winner attitude” and pulled the rag off Kaya FC, 2-0, at the continuing 2015 United Football League (UFL) Division I action on Sunday evening, at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium.

Both teams started slow during the first few minutes of the game, as neither team gained control of the midfield and ball possession. Fifteen minutes into the first half, Kaya’s Jim Junior Muñoz found some room to operate, but he was tackled by the defense to fend off passes into the attacking third. However, it was Stallion who had the first chance to score.

At the 26th minute, a corner kick was awarded to the green-shirts. Nathan Alquiros sent the ball to the box, but only the subsequent attempt of Samuel Bonney did not find its intended target. The home squad repeatedly had chances via set pieces, however, they were not able to capitalize.

Before the halftime whistle is sounded, Kaya took chances to break the deadlock. At the 43rd minute, OJ Porteria connected with Miguel Tanton, who shot wide. Two minutes after, Diego Barrera attempted a shot directly from a corner kick, but Stallion Keeper, Johann Noetzel, was there to collect. Sensing momentum, Kaya managed to make more attempts during extension time, nonetheless, Stallion’s defense held. The first half ended with neither team putting something on the scoreboard.

It was a different second half, however, as both teams were able to run their offense. Kaya was finally rewarded with the first golden chance of the period after several runs towards the Stallion goal. At the 53rd minute, Stallion’s Bonney was called for a handball infraction inside the box, when he tried to stop a cross from the opponent. The returning Forward Louis Clark calmly slotted the penalty kick into the back of the net to finally end the stalemate.

Despite the lead, the black-shirts tried to add more goals to their tally. Porteria continued his brilliant performance as he kept on delivering timely passes and crosses towards his team’s forwards. A minute before the hour mark, the former Azkal found the dangerous Tishan Hanley at the top of the box. The Kittian international blasted a shot from a distance forcing Noetzel to pull off a spectacular save. Furthermore, Stallion’s defense again muffed any attempt from their opponent.

With a chance at second spot at the line, Stallion picked up the pace and went for the equalizer quickly. At the succeeding play, the home squad advanced the ball into their attacking third. A foul was called on Kaya conceding a free kick to the green-shirts, at the 61st minute. Simone Rota sent the ball into the six-yard box, and Captain Ruben Doctora headed it past opposing custodian, Nick O’Donnell, for the tying goal.

In the succeeding minutes, it was a tightly contested battle knowing the implications of a win on either team’s chances to finish as runners-up and a possible 2016 AFC Cup playoff berth. Both teams had a chance to go ahead, but shots from Kaya’s Clark and Stallion’s Bervic Italia would not go through the back of the net. Stallion, who was on a mission, notched what consequently was the winning goal. At the 79th minute, Mintah intercepted the ball against the run of play and fired the ball into the onion bag, past O’Donnell, to wrestle the lead for his team. The match ended with Stallion stealing the full points and the victory over Kaya to force a tie against their victims for fourth spot at present.

Stallion Head Coach Ernie Nierras was definitely pleased with how his boys played. The mentor exclaimed, “That’s a [very] good game.” Nierras felt that his wards vindicated themselves after openly uttering his disappointment on their performance in the last two games. “They played like winners,” he stated. When asked on what he felt was the key to their victory, the former women’s national team tactician shared that, “We know we will be playing undermanned. [However,] they were able to control the midfield and to hold themselves [on defense.]”

The race for the second place finish gets tighter in the next few matches with both Stallion and Kaya gunning for the coveted spot. The former will face league champions Ceres-La Salle on Sunday, August 2. Meanwhile, the latter will battle against Global on Saturday, August 1.

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Grew to appreciate various sports from tennis to judo. True-maroon kiddo since the new millennium. Fanboy. Singer. Occasional sports writer.

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Cardinals blast Golden Stags for third win

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After absorbing a sorry defeat from the San Beda College Red Spikers in their last outing, the Mapua University Cardinals subdued the San Sebastian College-Recolletos Golden Stags, 26-24, 25-16, 26-24, to take their third victory of the season, Tuesday morning at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

Mark Jason Egan paced the Intramuros-based squad with 14 points on eight attacks and three each of blocks and serves. Team captain Anjo Pertierra finished with 13 markers, while Alfred Pagulong had 10.

Despite a miserable reception output, Cardinals setter Raven Evangelista still had a field day as he produced 32 excellent sets on the 41 attack points of his squad.

Such would not go unnoticed as Pertierra lauded his playmaker’s production that led to the win. He said, “Sobrang ganda kung performance ni Raven. Nakapag-adjust siya sa bad reception. Kino-commend ko siya today.”

Losing that second set big, the Stags threatened to steal the third as they led 21-18 off back-to-back hits from James Eugenio and even forced a deuce. Nonetheless, a quick attack from Pertierra and an ace off Pagulong sealed the win for the Cards.

Pertierra admitted their lack of intensity almost cost them the first and third sets, and hopes the team address it as soon as the next game against the Emilio Aguinaldo College Generals.

“Kilala naman EAC na maganda floor defense, sobrang makapit. Sasabayan namin sila, we’ll give our best,” he shared.

That important tussle between the Cards (3-2) and the Generals (2-3) will happen on Thursday.

Former skipper Jahir Ebrahim led the Stags with 16 markers.

San Sebastian (1-4) will try to get back on winning track when they face winless Letran (0-5) later that day.

The Scores:

MU 3 – Egan 14, Pertierra 13, Pagulong 10, Damian 8, Navera 8, Evangelista 1, Bondoc L.

SSC-R 0 – Ebrahim 16, Lana 9, Eugenio 8, Ronato 6, Ongque A 3, Campuspos 1, Eusebio 1, Lazaro 0, Toledo 0, Ongque AC L, Enano L.

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Kent Salado re-injures MCL, out for Go for Gold campaign

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Photo by PBA Images

Kent Salado suffers a setback

The worst fear of the Go for Gold Scratchers came true Monday evening as all-around combo guard Kent Salado re-injured the medial cruciate ligament in his right knee.

The injury was confirmed by Kent Salado and the officials of Go for Gold and he will miss the entire 2018 PBA D-League Aspirants Cup.

With under three minutes left in the third quarter of Go for Gold’s opening game against the Gamboa-St. Clare Coffee Lovers Monday afternoon, the 5-foot-9 guard went for a drive but could not get the proper lift. He tried to walk it off but limped towards the audience section of the Pasig Sports Center.

“Parang may narinig nga siya na may tumunog daw,” shared Scratchers head coach Charles Tiu after their 75-68 win.

“We’re very worried.

“I think our PT said baka MCL ‘yun, so that might be a month or two, so that’s a big problem for us,” the youthful mentor added.

Salado finished the game with nine points, five rebounds, four assists, and three steals. He was immediately rushed to the Makati Medical Center afterwards. At around nine in the evening, the MRI showed that he tore his ACL as was initially reported by Tiebreaker Times. A second opinion, however, contradicted the initial diagnosis, showing only an MCL tear.

Prior to this, the native of Cagayan de Oro suffered a partial tear on medial collateral damage on the same knee last October 10, 2017 during Arellano’s 85-79 win over the San Sebastian Golden Stags.

With this setback, Salado was also advised to not play in the summer leagues to fully recover in time for the NCAA Season 94 Seniors Basketball tournament.

“Okay lang para NCAA na ko makapaglaro,” he said.

“Mas importante naman yun.”

The 23-year-old averaged 19.1 points, 5.0 assists, 3.8 rebounds, and 1.3 steals last season. He is eligible to enter the 2018 PBA Rookie Draft.

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San Beda overwhelmed by Sale, out of title contention

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Against a taller Moroccan club team, the San Beda College Red Lions could not get the ball rolling against Al Sale, falling 77-104, early Tuesday morning (Manila time) at the Al Ahli Club in Dubai.

With the loss and the UAE National Team defeating Sagesse earlier in the day, the 0-3 Red Lions can no longer advance to the next stage of the 29th Dubai International Basketball Tournament.

San Beda ace Robert Bolick continued his string of sensational outings. After putting up 28 and 27 points respectively in their first two games, the 23 for 2023 Gilas cadet had 20 markers in this game to lead San Beda.

Bolick’s fellow 23 for 2023 teammate Javee Mocon had 10 points but shot just 4-for-14 from the field while NCAA Season 93 Seniors Basketball Finals Most Valuable Player Donald Tankoua had six points, eight rebounds, three steals, and two blocks.

Sale, a team that has three national team players including 6-foot-11 Soufiane Kourdou and two American reinforcements, imposed their will right from the get-go — leading 28-7 to end the first frame.

Sale led by as much as 37 points midway through the second quarter, 51-14. On the other hand, San Beda could not muster a strong run as their longest rally was just a 6-0 spurt late in the third canto.

Sniper AC Soberano and Jeramer Cabanag played their best games in the tournament so far, finishing with 11 and eight points respectively. Co-captain Joe Presbitero also had eight markers.

American Patrick Rembert led six Sale players in double-figures with 22 points. Abderrahim Najah went 7-for-8 from the field for 17 points while Kordou had 16 points, eight rebounds, and three blocks.

San Beda-Pilipinas ends its campaign against Sagesse on Wednesday, January 24 (Manila time).

The Scores:

San Beda 77 – Bolick 20, Soberano 11, Mocon 10, Presbitero 8, Cabanag 8, Tankoua 6, Noah 4, Oftana 4, Carino 3, Adamos 3, Toba 0, Tongco 0.

Sale 104 – Rembert 22, Najah 17, Kourdou 16, Baery 14, Cutis 14, Arnold 13, Almahini 4, Jaddi 4, Elmadini 0, Belhaddar 0.

Quarterscores: 7-28, 22-54, 53-82, 77-104.

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Calvin Abueva, Raymond Almazan cut from pool

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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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