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Tams overcome slow start to top Letran



The Far Eastern University (FEU) Tamaraws pulled through late in the second half and edged Colegio de San Juan de Letran, 80-75, to post their first victory in the 2015 FilOil-Flying V Hanes Premier Cup this afternoon at the FilOil-Flying V Arena in San Juan.

CSJL had the upper hand in the opening frame, heading quickly to a 9-2 advantage with less than six minutes to go. The Tamaraws, however, overcame the deficit and closed within three, 11-8, after a Prince Orizu layup with 3:14 on the clock. FEU tried to trim down Letran’s lead further, but their misfiring shots and miscues in ball movement prompted Letran to take advantage and post a 17-8 lead with 1:35 left. Another triple from CSJL left FEU trailing, 20-10, with twenty ticks left, but FEU guard, Mike Tolomia, closed out the frame with a three-pointer just before the buzzer sounded.

The Tamaraws were slowly picking up their rhythm come the second canto, as they were finally converting their shots from inside to the perimeter. Down 24-18 with 4:16 on the clock, FEU began plowing through to close the gap. Backed by Jose’s putback layups and one-handers, FEU inched within three, 28-25, approaching the two-minute mark. Letran, on the other hand, prevented the green and gold squad in building up a run, eventually outscoring them, 6-2, to end the first half in their favor, 34-27.

The Intramuros-based Knights opened up the second half with five straight points behind Mark Cruz and Nambatac, widening the gap to twelve, 39-27. However, the Tamaraws, behind the spark provided by Jose and Mark Belo, cut Letran’s lead to just two, 39-37, with 5:43 left. CSJL took their offense inside the paint and stretched their lead to seven, 49-42, with 1:23 remaining. FEU bravely answered Letran, and ended the quarter with a 7-0 run to send the game into a 49-all knot coming into the fourth and final frame.

Both teams exchanged series of baskets in the fourth quarter. After exchanges of leads from the start to midway, Letran saw themselves up, 63-61, with less than five minutes on the clock. That, unfortunately, proved to be their last taste of the lead, for the Morayta-based cagers: Belo, Jose, and rookies Jojo Trinidad and Monbert Arong joined forces on the offensive end, to grab the lead, 76-71, with 22.4 seconds ticking. CSJL fought back as they closed within one, 76-75, after a four-point play by Cruz, with less than twenty seconds left. Although Letran could not sustain momentum from that basket, as FEU scored five more off a pair of free throws by Belo and a layup by Arong, ending the game 80-75 and earning their first W of the tourney.

Despite the victory, FEU Head Coach Nash Racela was not satisfied with the way the Tamaraws played. “We were not satisfied with the way we played. Ang daming lapses in the defensive end,” said Racela, who just came from a successful stint with the Gilas-Pilipinas Cadet squad in the SEABA tournament that took home the gold medal. “Marami pang dapat trabahuhin,” he furthered.

Belo led the Tamaraws with 21 points and 7 rebounds. Jose had 18, while Russel Escoto added 12. Arong chipped in 11 markers off the bench. CSJL, meanwhile, were led by Cruz and Nambatac with 25 and 23, respectively.

The University of San Jose-Recoletos Jaguars will be FEU’s next assignment this Saturday, May 9, at 1:30 PM. Letran, meanwhile, will face Emilio Aguinaldo College Generals next Wednesday, May 13, also at 1:30 PM.

The scores:

FEU 80 – Belo 21, Jose 18, Escoto 12, Arong 11, Trinidad 5, Tolomia 4, Orizu 4, Tamsi 3, Bienes 2.

CSJL 75 – Cruz 25, Nambatac 23, Sollano 16, Quinto 6, Calvo 4, Dela Pena 1.

FEU (A, 1-1)13274980
CSJL (A, 1-2)20344975

Oftentimes on the sidelines. Forever a student of the game. Morayta-bred.

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



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



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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Bienvenido Maranon scores brace as Ceres-Negros eliminates Brisbane Roar



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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 on the back foot. Italian striker Massimo Maccarone handed the home side the lead in 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 had already made Philippine football proud at halftime. By this stage last year, Brisbane had accrued a 4-0 halftime cushion against Global Cebu en route to a 6-0 rout.

Today, though, Brisbane faced tougher resistance at Ceres’ hands. That resistance turned into a full-fledged revolt in 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 room in the 75th minute when Omid Nazari scored from close range to give Ceres a two-goal cushion over Brisbane.

Nazari’s goal not only sealed the win for Ceres, it also propelled Philippine football into the big leagues. Not even a late goal from French midfielder Éric Bauthéac could 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 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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CJ Perez, Zark’s-Lyceum vent ire on Batangas-EAC with 37-point romp



Photo by PBA Images

CJ Perez and the Zark’s Burger-Lyceum Jawbreakers finally lived up to their hype, as they clobbered the Batangas-EAC Generals to score a 37-point beatdown, 112-75 for their 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 would 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. 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 the 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 look to continue to roll when they face the AMA Online Education Titans on Thursday, January 25. EAC-Batangas, on the other hand, take 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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