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Thompson, Perpetual rally in win against Nimes-led Mapua



Down majority of the game, reigning NCAA Most Valuable Player Scottie Thompson controlled the game down the stretch, in almost notching another triple double, to lead the University of Perpetual Help System Dalta (Altas) to its third straight win, 81-78, against Mapua Institute of Technology (MIT) Cardinals early Tuesday evening at the FilOil Flying V Arena.

Both teams were neck-and-neck in the opening minutes of the game. With Perpetual down 13-14 with 1:17 remaining in the quarter, Cris Elopre was able to score five straight points, including a three-point shot from the top of the arc with the foul, to put the Altas up an 18-16 lead. Denniel Aguirre then assisted on a jumper by Mark Brana and scored a fastbreak layup of his own, giving the Cardinals a 20-18 lead to end the quarter.

The physicality in the game turned up a notch in the second stanza of the game. The quarter opened with a 6-0 rally capped by a corner three pointer by Exe Biteng from an Andretti Stevens pass that gave the Cardinals an eight-point lead. However, the Altas came crawling back with Bright Akhuetie scoring six straight points to cut the lead to just a solitary point. A problem arose though for the Las Pinas-based squad as they were in the penalty zone as early as the 5:09 mark of the quarter. A total of eight fouls were given up by Perpetual in the quarter. Moreover, Akhuetie was assessed with three fouls in the quarter.

19-year old center Allwell Oraeme took advantage of this in going to the line six times, converting on four of them, to render the Cardinals a 34-29 lead. More free throws came for Mapua but Elopre again converted on a four-point play to cut the lead just 35-38. A layup by Mapua’s Justin Serrano to enter halftime was unfortunately not counted.

The Cardinals again blasted the Altas to start the third canto. Team captain Josan Nimes created for his teammates to free up Oraeme and Raflores to give Mapua a 47-38 lead. The tides of the game turned when the Red-and-Gold squad were in the penalty as early as the 6:09 mark of the quarter. Akhuetie and Thompson pushed the offense and pounded the paint that resulted to free throws. With 3:50 remaining, Akhuetie was able to score on a three-point play to tie the game at 52-all. With Oraeme getting his fourth foul, all coming in the quarter, Nimes exploded to score the eight straight points. A drive by layup by Gerald Dizon just in the nick of time ended the quarter with the Cardinals clinging to a 62-59 lead.

MIT was able to extend the lead to 71-64 with 5:56 remaining in the last stanza of the game. This is where reigning NCAA MVP Scottie Thompson took charge. Thompson pushed the pace in slashing to the lanes in either grabbing contact or assisting to his teammates. Behind Thompson, the Altas were able to cut the lead to 70-73. Oraeme and Akhuetie exchanged baskets with Mapua clinging to a one-point lead with 1:05 remaining. Nimes, out of an isolation play, badly missed a fadeaway jumper. Thompson then found a cutting Gab Dagangon to finally give the Altas the lead. After a timeout, the play set by the MIT coaching staff was badly broken resulting to a turnover by Oraeme. Akuetie was able to grab the ball and throw an outlet to Dagangon to give Perpetual a three-point cushion with seven seconds remaining. Nimes badly missed a step back three to give the Altas its third straight win, 82-79.

Coach Aric del Rosario called this game as a test of character for the Altas. “Grabe ang puso na pinakita ng mga ito,” pointing to his players. Dagangon and Akhuetie were down with the flu but still persisted on playing this game. A gamble that paid off for the Altas. Moreover, he commended rookie Antonio Coronel’s defense on Josan Nimes down the stretch.

The Altas were led by Akhuetie’s 24 big points on 8/12 shooting and 8/9 from the charity stripe. Scottie Thompson almost notched his second straight triple double in grabbing 12 rebounds and dishing out ten assists but fell just one point shy with nine points. On the other end, Josan Nimes scored 16 points, eight rebounds, and nine assists. Allwell Oraeme had 15 points and continued to pound the boards with 18 rebounds.

Both teams combined for 54 fouls. UPHSD outrebounded MIT 52-42 resulting to a 13-9 advantage in second chance points. What led to the downfall for Mapua was them missing 18 free throws, 21/39.

Perpetual will next face Jose Rizal University on Friday, July 10 at 2:00pm while Mapua will go against Letran on the same day at 12:00nn.

The Scores:

UPHSD (82) – Akhuetie 24, Dagangon 16, Elopre 14, Thompson 9, Eze 7, Coronel 5, Oliveria 4, Dizon 2, Sadiwa 1, Oliveria 0, Ylagan 0, Tamayo 0, Bantayan 0, Gallardo 0, Cabiltes 0

MIT (79) – Nimes 16, Oraeme 15, Isit 13, Aguirre 12, Biteng 8, Raflores 4, Stevens 4, Serrano 4, Brana 2, Dela Rosa 1, Que 0, Menina 0, Layug 0

Quarters: 18-20, 35-39, 59-62, 82-79.

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Christian Standhardinger goes perfect from stripe in Hong Kong’s rout of Formosa



After going a horrid 5-for-17 from the stripe during their first loss of the season last January 9, Christian Standhardinger made sure to make good on his free throws to power the Hong Kong Eastern Basketball Club to a dominant 99-79 rout of the Formosa Dreamers, Thursday evening in Southorn Stadium.

The 6-foot-8 Filipino-German, who tallied 37 points and 19 rebounds in the overtime loss to Saigon, went a perfect 9-for-9 from the foul line. He finished with 25 points and 10 rebounds.

The contest itself was not close, as the defending champions were able to impose their will on the bottom-ranked squad, leading by as much as 23 points, 93-70, after two free throws by Standhardinger with 2:58 remaining.

If Standhardinger was having a good day with his free throws, the entire Formosa squad could not say the same, going 13-of-27 from the line.

Tyler Lamb had 25 markers as well for Hong Kong, while Marcus Elliott grabbed a triple-double with 19 points, 11 rebounds, and 11 assists.

Lenny Daniel paced Formosa with 25 points and 11 rebounds. World Import Ronnie Aguilar had 14 points and 16 rebounds but went just 5-for-14 from the field.

With the win, Hong Kong goes to 8-1, while the Dreamers fell to 1-8.

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2018 FIBA 3X3 World Cup

Chooks-to-Go President hopes 3×3 World Cup breaks Philippine Arena record



Last October 27, 2017, Game Seven of the PBA Governors’ Cup Finals between heated rivals Barangay Ginebra San Miguel and Meralco Bolts saw 54,083 people troop to the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan. The attendance broke all records for both the venue and the PBA.

Come June this year, the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas and Chooks-to-Go are hoping that the upcoming 2018 FIBA 3×3 World Cup will surpass that record.

“We look at 3×3 as our best hope, really, to get a medal in the Olympics. Kami naman sa Chooks, we are behind SBP realizing that dream. Kanina pinag-uusapan na, if we’re going to break the record in attendance,” said Bounty Agro Ventures Inc. president Ronald Mascariñas on Thursday afternoon during a press conference held at BGC High Street in Taguig.

“I think the question there is not if we’re going to break, but how many more times. Because FIBA should see how passionate the Filipinos are about basketball. That’s a given,” one of the patrons of Gilas Pilipinas added.

Besides the event itself, the local government of Bulacan has pledged to make the week of the tournament filled with activities to celebrate the Philippines’ 120th year of Independence.

For their part, Chooks-to-Go vowed to help out the SBP in organizing the event and in building the team.

“We are throwing our support not to improve on our finish, but we want to help SBP organize, to win the championship — not just to improve our ranking,” Mascariñas shared.

And the experience he and his company gained after backing the Pilipinas 3×3 team during last year’s tournament will only help.

“In past tournaments, we’ve lost some games na maninipis lang talaga,” he recalled about the team composed of Kobe Paras, Kiefer Ravena, Jeron Teng, and JR Quinahan that competed in Nantes, France.

“This time around, with five months to go, we need to organize and put in the best t

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Ilocos United takes leave from PFL



Another one bites the dust

After months of speculation, Ilocos United has formally announced their absence from the Philippines Football League for the 2018 season.

A statement signed by Ilocos Chief Executive Officer Tony Lazaro and posted on the club’s Facebook page broke the big news.

“Unfortunately, after months of negotiation, efforts to attract a new naming sponsor for the Team were unsuccessful,” the statement opened. “Consequently, it has become financially prohibitive to continue participation in the PFL.

“Primarily, the lack of broadcasting exposure in 2017 created an apprehension in the corporate community, cascading into a series of afflictions that has ultimately led to our withdrawal from the competition.”

Ilocos finished last during the inaugural season, tallying 1 win, 6 draws, and 21 losses with a -49 goal differential.

Still, Ilocos gave their thanks to those who supported the club during the inaugural PFL season.

“We are cautiously optimistic of a potential return to the PFL for the 2019 season, whereby secured broadcasting exposure will hopefully lead to higher confidence from potential sponsorship partners.”

While their PFL operations will fold for the time being, Ilocos will continue the grassroots programs they have started within the area. ¨In the meantime, the foundation of football development we helped to build in Ilocos will continue, including grassroots initiatives at local schools, women’s futsal, Special Olympics, and, of course, the IUFC Academy.¨

The latest development will be another big blow for the young league. Meralco Manila pulled out of the competition beforehand, and now Ilocos´ absence leaves only six teams in the competition.

Now more than ever, something needs to be done by the PFL or even the Philippine Football Federation to ensure the feasibility of the clubs and the league itself for years to come.

Football is a hard sport to build in the Philippines despite its resurgence since 2010. There are limited corporate boosters for the sport which is in dire need of a financial push to sustain its growth.

Ilocos´ leave and Meralco´s folding now forces local football´s stakeholders to take a step back and examine the next moves to build the sport.

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CJ Perez, Jaycee Marcelino in unison: D-League is a whole other level



After falling just two games short of copping Lyceum’s first-ever NCAA crown, the Pirates went to the PBA D-League to gain experience. However, in their first foray in the second league, the Lyceans realized that it was a whole different beast.

Going up against the veteran-laden Marinerong Pilipino Skippers, the Zark’s Burgers-backed squad suffered a slow start as they adjusted to the tougher calls of the league. The Jawbreakers were down by as much as 17 points early in the third frame, 37-54.

“Yung physicality hindi naman ako masyadong nagulat pero sa mental toughness, yung pagod ka na, tapos may babanggga pa sa ‘yo, ang iniisip ko kailangan mas maging tough,” admitted reigning NCAA Most Valuable Player CJ Perez.

“Nangangapa kami nung una lahat kasi first game namin ito, pati dito sa court na ‘to first game din namin,” added Jaycee Marcelino.

It served as a wake-up call. Adjusting on the fly, Perez and Marcelino rallied the Jawbreakers back — even fashioning multiple attempts to take over the contest late in the game. However, they fell short, 92-94.

“Binalik lang namin yung laro namin dati, pass the ball, hindi yung puro dribble, i-run lang namin yung plays,” shared Marcelino, as he and Perez combined to score 16 points in the final frame.

The 21-year-old Marcelino finished with a game-high 20 points on an efficient 7-of-9 shooting to go along with four rebounds, three assists, two steals, and a block. The 24-year-old Perez added 19 points, five assists, two steals, and a block.

With their first game in the bag, the duo — and the rest of the Jawbreakers — now have the experience under their belts. And they plan to put in the work to prove that they belong.

“Sa NC naman kasi puro ka-level namin kalaro namin, dito puro beterano ang naglalaro,” said Marcelino. “Hindi talaga namin masabi na yung ginawa namin sa NC magagawa din namin dito.

“Mageextra work pa kami para masustain namin kung ano kami sa Lyceum.”

“It’s a good experience. Ibang iba pala talaga yung laro ng D-League sa NCAA,” expressed Perez, who is a consensus top three pick for the upcoming PBA Rookie Draft.

“Sobrang grateful kami na nakalaro na rin kami sa D-League.”

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