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Talk ‘N Text blocks NLEX, sets up knockout date with Rain or Shine

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Working through another adversity-filled match, the Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters squeaked past a determined NLEX Road Warriors side, 90-88, to advance in the PBA Philippine Cup Quarterfinals earlier today at the Mall Of Asia Arena.

The Road Warriors quelled an early TnT run to take the upper hand early. After scoring the first seven points of the game, the Texters’ offense froze, allowing NLEX to rattle off 11 unanswered points. The Road Warriors ended the first quarter with a 21-11 lead.

Veteran Danny Seigle hopped off the bench in the second quarter to power the Talk ‘N Text offense. The Demolition Man wreaked havoc in the paint, scoring off putbacks and smart cuts for eight second quarter markers. His breakaway layup brought the NLEX lead down to two, 29-31, but Mac Cardona immediately answered with a transition trifecta to keep NLEX ahead, 29-34. After a three-minute offensive drought, TnT’s Ryan Reyes drained two jumpers in the dying moments of the half, that knotted the game at 39.

The sister teams continued to trade blows in the third quarter. NLEX’s first round pick, Glen Khobuntin provided offense offense off the bench, scoring eight third quarter points. Talk ‘N Text continued to get production from the sweet shooting Reyes and second overall pick in this year’s draft, Troy Rosario. Tied at 61 in the last minute of the quarter, NLEX rookie Garvo Lanete drained back-to-back triples to push his team to a 67-61 lead heading into the fourth period.

With foul troubles hampering him all-game, Jayson Castro finally got a chance to lead his team in the payoff period. After incurring a technical foul for gamely challenging a referee’s call, Asia’s best point guard, Castro worked the two-man game with Rosario perfectly, finding the power forward for back-to-back layups that forced a 68-all tie. Baskets from Taulava and Anthony kept NLEX up midway through the fourth, 76-73, but the revitalized Seigle supplied clutch baskets, scoring off putback following a Castro triple to give the Tropang Texters the lead permanently, 85-80. Seigle found Rosario open in the wing for another triple then was gifted a basket off an offensive rebound for a 90-84 lead with less the two minutes remaining. After a timeout, Kevin Alas completed an and-1 play, 90-87, keeping NLEX’s hopes alive. After Castro uncharacteristically missed two free throws, NLEX had multiple chances to tie the game. Anthony split charities, leaving 30 ticks on the game clock. 90-88. The Road Warriors then got a successful stop but had just two seconds remaining for a game-tying play, which Anthony somehow managed to turn into an open jump shot. But the energetic forward shot just a few inches of forcing overtime.

Player of the game Troy Rosario admitted that he was excited to face Sean Anthony in this game that led to a slow start for him. “Sa tingin ko meron kasi wala talaga rhythm ko nung first half,” Rosario said. “Nahanap ko naman ng second half.”

Rosario had an efficient outing in scoring 20 points on 50% shooting from the field and 70% shooting from the charity stripe. He was also able to grab six boards, three coming from the offensive end.

The move to give heavy minutes to Rosario, Danny Seigle, Ryan Reyes, and Harvey Carey was a calculated move also according to TNT head coach Jong Uichico. “Wala namang concern, it’s just like we were not executing well in the first half. At least we found our groove in the second half. I decided to stick with Troy, Danny, and Harvey,” Uichico admitted. “The more we can rest, it ‘s just going to be better for us.”

Besides Rosario, grizzled veteran Danny Seigle also had a spectacular outing scoring 17 points. He was 6/9 from the field and added five points from the foul line. He also grabbed seven boards in the win.

For the Road Warriors, Asi Taulava again led the team with 22 points and eight boards. Tournament revelation Sean Anthony finished his Philippine Cup campaign with a double-double in scoring 17 points and grabbing 13 rebounds.

As a team, both teams were excellent from the field with TNT shooting 50% while NLEX shot an outstanding 54%. However, the Tropang Texters were able to outrebound NLEX 54-38 and knock down eight triples compared to just six by their opponents. In addition, TNT’s bench scored 38 points against just the 22 bench points of NLEX.

Looking forward to their match-up against the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters, Rosario said that they need to work on their rebounding since their opponents are one of the top rebounding teams in the league. “Alam naman natin yung ROS hindi basta basta. Kelangan namin talaga yung rebounding kasi di kami kalakasan dun. Kelangan namin pagtrabahuan talaga yung rebounding,” the rookie emphasized.

The Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters will face the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters in the final phase of the quarterfinals on Monday, December 28 at 7:00pm. Game will be played at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.

The Scores:
Talk ‘N Text (90) – Rosario 20, Seigle 17, Reyes R. 12, Fonacier 10, Castro 10, Williams 9, Tautuaa 3, Miranda 3, Ganuelas-Rosser 2, Carey 2, Aban 2, Reyes J. 0.
NLEX (88) – Taulava 22, Anthony 17, Villanueva J. 13, Lanete 9, Khobuntin 7, Alas 7, Borboran 7, Cardona 5, Enciso 1, Villanueva E. 0, Reyes 0.
Quarterscores: 11-21, 36-36, 61-67, 90-88.

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Miguel Luis Flores fell face first into sports writing in high sch9l and has never gotten up. He reluctantly stumbled into the volleyball beat when he started with Tiebreaker Times three years ago. Now, he has waded through everything volleyball - from its icky politics to the post-modern art that is Jia Morado's setting.

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Basketball

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

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After showing tentativeness during their PBA D-League debut last Thursday that resulted to a loss to Marinerong Pilipino Skippers, the Zark’s Burger-Lyceum Jawbreakers have seemingly caught up with the league’s style of play 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 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 AMA Online Education. And for Perez, he strongly believes that they will be able to carry over this momentum of theirs.

“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 is carrying the Wang’s Basketball Couriers franchise.

And the 5-foot-11 guard unleashed 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 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 makes him beam even more 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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