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State U gets back at Adamson in foulfest

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After an embarrassing loss to the hapless Adamson University Soaring Falcons, the University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons needed two hours and 30 minutes to break their five-game losing streak Saturday afternoon at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

The game was marred by fouls left and right by both squads in the second half. After a first half that finally saw the UP Fighting Maroons put up points in the first quarter, the troika of Agustini Amar, Jett Manuel, and Diego Dario were able to rally the Diliman cagers with a 7-1 rally to open the second half with a 51-37 lead. However, slowly UP big men Cheick Kone, Andrew Harris, and Mark Juruena were dumbfounded on defense as Pape Sarr and the UP wings drove hard to grab fouls. It resulted to a total of ten fouls in the quarter and 19 free throw attempts for the Soaring Falcons. The Maroons though still kept their lead at the end of the third canto due to careless turnovers by their opponents and conversions by Paul Desiderio and Henry Asilum.

The UP lead grew to a game-high 76-61 with 7:42 to go in the final stanza of the game. After a timeout by Adamson head coach Mike Fermin, the hero in their first round encounter, Jerome Garcia converted on back-to-back triples to cut the lead to seven with 4:48 to go. Moreover, the UP offense was held without a field goal for the next four minutes and 12 seconds. A long jumper by Dario momentarily halted the drought but was answer right back by a three-pointer JD Tungcab to cut the UP lead to just four, 78-74, at the 3:19 mark of the third. The game though became foul-plagued as both squads could not commit on the defensive end. A total of 13 fouls were given up by both squads in the final 3:30 of the game. Missed free throws by the Falcons, missed inside baskets by Sarr, and careless turnovers led to the Falcons’ demise. In addition, conversions from the foul stripe by Manuel, Asilum, and Dario gave the Maroons an 89-84 win to break their five-game funk.

“Throughout the last three weeks, our emotions were down. On the bright side, iyon din ang nagtest sa amin to be a team,” UP head coach Rensy Bajar said after the game. “Sobra yung emotions namin nun. Pero ngayon na figure-out namin kung panu namin ma-overcome ito.”

Bajar also disclosed that the team went on a team building at the Holiday Inn in Malate last night to build energy on their team. He credits the win to the collective effort including the utility team to finally break the five-game losing streak.

Manuel though admitted that he wanted to get back from the loss to Adamson last week. “As a competitor, we wanted to get back,” the Smart Elite ambassador admitted. “We took it as a challenge.” The UP senior also said that the win is dedicated to the injured Jerson Prado, who suffered a broken knee.

The referees were busy the entire game as they blew the whistle 61 times for fouls. The Fighting Maroons shot 21/28 from the charity stripe while Adamson shot 33/45 from that distance. Even in outrebounding the hosts 57-31, the Falcons shot poorly from the field in shooting 32.26% from the field.

Henry Asilum played his best game of the season with 19 points on 6/11 shooting. Jett Manuel also bounced back from two scoreless outings in scoring 16 points on 5 of 9 shooting and grabbed eight boards.

For the Soaring Falcons, Pape Sarr grabbed a double-double with 18 points and 17 boards. He was just 1/6 from the field but converted on 16 free throws on 22 attempts. Jerome Garcia added 12 markers.

The UP Fighting Maroons (3-5) will the FEU Tamaraws on Wednesday, October 14, 4:00pm at the Smart Araneta Coliseum while the Adamson Soaring Falcons (1-7) will have the Ateneo Blue Eagles as their next assignment on Saturday, October 17 at 4:00pm.

The Scores:
UP (89) – Asilum 19, Manuel 16, Dario 14, Amar 13, Desiderio 8, Longa 8, Juruena 7, Harris 2, Moralde 2, Kone 0, Jaboneta 0, Lim 0, Vito 0.
ADU (84) – Sarr 18, Garcia J. 12, Margallo 11, Nalos 8, Ng 8, Capote 7, Escalambre 5, Garcia C. 5, Tungcab 5, Polican 3, Ochea 2, Camacho 0.
Quarterscores: 19-16, 44-36, 68-56, 89-84.

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Basketball

After getting first D-League experience, Zark’s-Lyceum ready to get loose

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After a hesitant performance in their PBA D-League debut last Thursday that resulted in a loss to the Marinerong Pilipino Skippers, the Zark’s Burger-Lyceum Jawbreakers seemingly caught up with the league’s style of play on Tuesday.

Zark’s-Lyceum displayed their true form and stamped their class all over the Batangas-EAC Generals with a 37-point destruction, 112-75 — so far the biggest winning margin the franchise has ever had in its D-League history.

“Medyo adjusted na kami on everything — the calls and the teams we’re playing against with,” said Zark’s-Lyceum head coach Topex Robinson after the match at Pasig Sports Center. “But the things we want to mind are those things we control.

“We just have to keep on doing what we are doing. It’s more on replenishing na lang on our old ways.”

Robinson’s claim was strongly backed up by the numbers that the Jawbreakers produced.

CJ Perez had 21 points and 10 rebounds. MJ Ayaay produced 15 points and 10 boards, and Mike Nzeusseu delivered 14 markers and 11 boards.

Even the bench made their presence felt in the victory. With guard Jaycee Marcelino spearheading the supporting cast’s charge with 12 markers, the bench contributed a remarkable 56 points to their total output.

Photo by PBA Images

“Ano lang, cinontrol lang namin yung pace kasi yun naman talaga yung laro namin, yung mabilisan,” said the 24-year-old do-it-all forward, who also collected three steals.

“Kailangan talaga mabilisan para ma-execute namin yung mga ginagawa namin.”

This week will be a rough one for the Pirates, as they will play right away this Thursday against the AMA Online Education. And for Perez, he strongly believes that they will be able to carry over their momentum.

“Oo. Nandun pa. Energy talaga yung puhunan namin para makalaro ng maayos.”

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Basketball

Bonbon Batiller shows what he can bring to Letran in D-League debut

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Photo by PBA Images

Tuesday proved to be a double debut for Bonbon Batiller. Aside from beginning his first foray in the PBA D-League, it also marked his debut for the Letran Knights, who are carrying the Wang’s Basketball Couriers franchise.

And the 5-foot-11 guard showed what he can bring to the table. Batiller collected 15 points, five rebounds, and three assists to help the Knights raise the curtains of their campaign with a 93-75 rout of the Batangas-EAC Generals.

“Nagworkout yung pinagpraktisan namin,” said Batiller. “Nagbunga rin yung tinuro samin ni Coach Jeff (Napa) lalo sa depensa. Tsaka siguro sa rebounds — laking lamang namin sa rebound. Nagsipag mga bigs namin.”

But what has him even more satisfied is the warm reception and trust he’s had from the Knights, even if he has spent barely a year with them after transferring from University of the East last 2017.

“Masaya po kasi tinanggap nila ako sa Letran ng buong-buo,” said Batiller, who normed 10.5 points, 3.7 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 1.6 steals with UE in two years. “Tsaka yung tiwala nila na makakatulong ako sa team nandoon.

“Kaya masaya ako sa pinakita nila sa akin.”

That is why the General Santos native is hard-pressed to prove himself to Letran, saying that he’s all about giving back to the school that gave him another opportunity to resume his young, up-and-coming basketball career.

“Kailangan kong may mapatunayan na deserving ako sa binigay na second chance sa akin ni Letran,” said Batiller, who decided to switch schools partly due to academic reasons.

“Malaki ang utang ko sa Letran.”

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Football

Bienvenido Maranon scores brace as Ceres-Negros eliminates Brisbane Roar

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Photo from the-AFC.com

Philippine club football just achieved its biggest continental result yet

The inaugural Philippines Football League champions Ceres-Negros Football Club eliminated three-time Australian champions Brisbane Roar in the 2018 AFC Champions League’s second preliminary round with a 3-2 stunner away at the QSAC Stadium in Brisbane.

With the win, the 2017 AFC Cup ASEAN Zonal Champions are set to face Chinese Super League club Tianjin Quanjian next January 30, 2018 at the Haihe Educational Football Stadium in Tianjin, China to book a seat in the group stages.

Brisbane were the favorites for this tie and it showed as Ceres started the contest at the backfoot. Italian striker Massimo Maccarone handed the home side the lead at the 35th minute when he turned in Brett Holman’s pass.

Maccarone’s goal could have lowered the Busmen’s moral, but Risto Vidakovic’s men took it as a motivation rather than a downer. In fact, Ceres replied in the best way possible when Bienvenido Maranon scored his first goal of the match two minutes from halftime thanks to a scramble in the Brisbane box.

By all accounts, Ceres already made Philippine football proud at halftime. By this stage last year, Brisbane accrued a 4-0 halftime cushion against Global Cebu en route to a 6-0 rout.

Today, though, Brisbane faced tougher resistance at the hands of Ceres. This resistance turned into a full-fledged revolt at the 65th minute when Maranon directed the ball past a helpless Jamie Young to give the Busmen their first taste of the lead.

Maranon’s goal well and truly turned the tide in Ceres’ favor. Brisbane were stunned. The home side are the defending A-League champions, but are currently eighth in the table this season and would soon face elimination from Asia’s premier club competition.

Already up 2-1, the Busmen finally achieved some breathing space at the 75th minute when Omid Nazari scored from close range to give Ceres a two-goal cushion from Brisbane.

Nazari’s goal not only sealed the win for Ceres as it also propelled Philippine football into the big leagues. Not even a late goal from French midfielder Éric Bauthéac can prevent the Busmen’s victory.

After five minutes of stoppage time, Ceres emerged 3-2 winners against Brisbane Roar. Come what may against Tianjin seven days from now, the Busmen have already achieved Philippine football’s biggest result ever since their own achievement in last season’s AFC Cup.

Who knows? Maybe Ceres can pull off another upset?

Ceres-Negros XI: Doblas (GK), Super, Mike Ott, Ingreso, Maranon, Porteria, Schrock, De Murga (C), Munoz, Nazari, Christaens.

Brisbane Roar XI: Ingham, Bowles, Papadopoulos, Maccarone, Holman, Khalfallah, Oxborrow, McKay (C), Hingert, Young (GK), Franjic.

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EAC

CJ Perez, Zark’s-Lyceum vent ire on Batangas-EAC with 37-point romp

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Photo by PBA Images

CJ Perez and the Zark’s Burger-Lyceum Jawbreakers finally lived up to its hype as it clobbered the Batangas-EAC Generals to score a 37-point beatdown, 112-75 for its first win, Tuesday at the Pasig Sports Center.

It was an all-out attack from the Jawbreakers as they beat the Generals to the bite and took control of the game early with Mike Nzeusseu and Jaycee Marcelino guiding their side to the 48-33 lead at halftime which they will never surrender.

Perez paced Zark’s Burger-Lyceum with 21 points and 10 rebounds, while MJ Ayaay tallied a double-double with his 15 markers, 10 boards, and three assists.

Cameroonian student-athlete Nzeusseu also delivered 14 points, 11 rebounds, and two assists, while Marcelino had eight first half points and wound up with 12 off the bench as the reserves chipped in 56 huge points in the tussle.

Coach Topex Robinson lauded the Jawbreakers for quickly adjusting to the style of the PBA D-League just days after falling to Marinerong Pilipino, 92-94 back in opening day.

“Medyo adjusted na kami on everything — the calls and the teams were playing against with. But the things we want to mind are those things we control. We just have to keep on doing what we are doing. It’s more on replenishing na lang on our old ways,” he said.

Earvin Mendoza and Cedric de Joya both had 16 points for the Generals in the losing effort.

Zark’s-Lyceum looks to continue to roll when it faces the AMA Online Education Titans on Thursday, January 25. EAC-Batangas, on the other hand, takes on the Gamboa-St. Clare Coffee Lovers on Monday, January 29.

The Scores:

Zark’s-Lyceum 112 — Perez 21, Ayaay 15, Nzeusseu 14, Jc. Marcelino 12, Serrano 10, Baltazar 8, Santos 8, Jv. Marcelino 6, Tansingco 6, Marata 4, Liwag 4, Ibañez 2, Cinco 2, Pretta 0.

Batangas-EAC 75 — E. Mendoza 16, De Joya 16, Tampoc 12, Laude 9, Pate 8, Maguliano 6, Altamirano 5, Diego 3, Garcia 0, Dela Peña 0, Martin 0, J. Mendoza 0, Neri 0.

Quarterscores: 19-14, 48-33, 84-47, 112-75.

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