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U23 Azkals falter against Cambodia XI

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In spite of going into the match with much hope, the Philippine U23 men’s football team could not follow up on a commendable opening game, as they succumbed to a well-oiled Cambodia side, 1-3, at the ongoing action of the 2015 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games.

Right at the start of the match, the Khmers immediately pressed on the Filipino defense. At the second minute, Cambodia Captain, Prak Mony Udom, dispossessed Paolo Bugas and slithered past Ian Clarino for a shot, but it was easily collected by Jun Badelic. Clarino stood his ground on the ensuing play and blocked an attempted cross by Keo Sokpheng for a corner. However, Sos Suhana’s corner kick went way off the mark. The home side kept on piling up the attack in the succeeding minutes, while the Philippines had trouble getting the ball in play. The Young Azkals made a run at the ninth minute, but Cambodia did well to deny an attempt from Paolo Salenga off a long ball.

Cambodia finally got a better chance at the 14th minute when Richard Talaroc fouled a rushing Prak just outside the box. The resulting kick did not bother the country’s skipper-for-the-day, Badelic, as the direct shot of Nen Sothearoth sailed over the bar. Afterwards, Ngoy Sirin and Prak had a few more opportunities by continuously attacking a very high away side backline; nonetheless, they could not finish. At the half-hour mark, the tenacious offense of the blue team was finally rewarded with a goal. From an excellent buildup play at the center, Keo connected a through ball to Prak, who then slotted the ball past Clarino and Badelic for the breakthough goal, 1-0.

Despite the goal, the leading squad stayed aggressive and punished the sloppy Philippines side. Keo was having a good day at the pitch delivering crosses and passes to Chhin Chhoeun and Prak, but their shots were either off target or retrieved by Badelic. The crafty playmaker took matters into his own hands, at the 41st minute. After another great work near the box, Tit Dina back heeled a pass to Keo, who took the shot. With Badelic off his line to meet the attempt, Aguisanda and Clarino tried to keep the ball, but Keo was there to guide the ball to the back of the net as the Angkor Warriors doubled their lead. At the extension, the away team tried to take one back before the break. Nathan Alquiros found Ronnie Aguisanda, who ran all the way from the back, but the former FEU captain could not find the net. The halftime concluded with a 2-0 scoreline.

It was a similar story in the first few minutes of the second half, as it was still the blue shirts who tried to score. The Cambodians could have tripled their lead, if not for the timely saves by Badelic. The complexion of the game, however, suddenly changed when the Philippines finally got the ball in their midfield. A buildup at the 53rd minute found Alquiros sending a shot, which was deflected, and, unfortunately, no one was there to take the rebound. At the following minute, however, Fitch Arboleda secured the ball and passed it to winger Uzoka, who then flicked the ball into the six-yard box that Salenga tapped over the hands of Um and into the back of the net to cut the deficit to one, 1-2.

The goal woke both the Filipino crowd in attendance and the team, who managed to push for an equalizer. The succeeding play saw Cambodia concede a free kick after Arboleda was fouled in a dangerous area. Substitute Arnel Amita attempted the shot, but home keeper Um collared the ball. A few minutes after, Talaroc lost the ball allowing the leading side to play at the right flank and regain momentum. Cambodian Captain Prak had enough room to shoot, but was denied by Badelic when he went out to get the ball. At the 66th minute, a goal by the blue side was nullified because Ngoy was adjudged offside. Shortly after that call, Prak sent a free kick that needed to be retaken. Badelic easily collected this cross to keep his squad within striking distance.

The leading ensemble continued from where they started and attacked the Philippine team. Cambodia had a few more opportunities to add on the lead, but lacked finishing. The defense of the red side did all their best to stifle the barrage of passes and crosses into their box. Nine minutes before the end of regulation, Prak showed how long passes should be done. Seeing the wide gap between the opposing defensive and midfield lines, he connected to substitute, Chan Vathanaka, on the right, who stroked the ball low and past Badelic for the nail on the coffin, 3-1. With a minute left, the Nationals tried for goal, but the Camboadian defense held its fort until the final whistle. To make things worse for the Azkals, midfielder Amita will miss their next game because he was given two yellow cards and was sent out after committing dangerous tackles.

Cambodia pocketed three points on their first outing of the 28th SEA Games, while the Philippines failed to follow their impressive showing last match against Singapore and dropped their second match of the meet. The Angkor Warriors takes on Indonesia on June 6, while the Young Azkals meet Myanmar the following day.

*With insights from Alfonso Ancheta

**Screenshot from Sport Singapore’s Youtube Channel

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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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AU

Impervious Lady Chiefs stay perfect after sweep of Lady Pirates

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The Arellano University Lady Chiefs extended their winning streak to 17 dating back to last season, after clobbering the Lyceum of the Philippines Lady Pirates, 25-16, 25-17, 25-11, at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

The defending champions were unrelenting with four Lady Chiefs scoring in double-digits with rookie Necole Ebuen powering in 11 points. Third-year open hitter Regine Arocha and Arellano’s middle blockers Mary Anne Esguerra and Andrea Marzan each provided 10 markers.

Conversely, no Lady Pirate managed to score in double-figures.

“Maganda naman talaga ang nilalaro ng mga bata. Lahat kasi kami determinado na makakuha ulet ng championship. Alam nila (Lady Chiefs) na kailangan pataas nang pataas ang ginagalaw namin,” said Arellano head coach Obet Javier.

The Lady Chiefs also limited their errors to a season-best 16 while the Lady Pirates surrendered 24 miscues.

The Lady Chiefs look for their sixth win of the season when they face the red-hot University of Perpetual Help System DALTA (4-1) on Tuesday at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

Christine Miralles and Monica Sevilla each supplied the struggling Lyceum with eight point apiece.

The Lady Pirates (1-4) take on the undefeated San Beda College (4-0) on Wednesday also at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

The Scores

AU (3) – Ebuen 11, Arocha 10, Esguerra 10, Marzan 10, Prado 3, Ramirez 3, Liu 2, Balanoba 1, Donato 1, Verutiao 0, Buemia (L), Flores (L)

LPU (0) – Miralles 8, Sevilla 8, Juanilla 7, Patio 4, Genova 1, Romanban 0, Bongabong 0, Marcella (L)

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Basketball

Late whistle costs San Beda against Sousse to fall to 0-2

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23 for 2023 cadet Robert Bolick is averaging 27.5 points per game in the tournament

After struggling to close out the UAE National Team in their opener last Friday, the San Beda College Red Lions figured in a late judgment call that did not fall into their favor, Saturday at the Shabab Al Ahli Club in Dubai. Due to this, the defending NCAA Champions lost to Tuniasian club team Sousse, 78-79.

With the loss, the Red Lions fell to a 0-2 hole in the 29th Dubai Basketball Championship. But the record does not reflect how the Filipinos played.

Robert Bolick, who scored 28 points against the UAE National Team, led the charge for San Beda in their second outing had 27 points. Fellow 23 for 2023 cadet Javee Mocon added 11 points and seven rebounds.

Sousse, the second-best club team in Tunisia and boasts four national team players and an American import, led by as much as 10 points, 70-60 in the final frame.

Fired-up by the Filipinos who stormed the venue, the Red Lions answered right back with an 18-8 run capped by a booming Bolick triple with six ticks left to gain a 78-76 lead.

However, a foul was called on a Red Lion on a three-point attempt by a Sousse player. He calmly sank all three free throws with 1.5 seconds remaining to seal the win.

Donald Tankoua had eight points and 13 rebounds as he was saddled with foul trouble all throughout the game.

The Tunisian club team was paced by Radzhouane Slimane with 18 points while Ibrahim Nadarri and Joshua Cassady had 13 markers each.

San Beda will have a day break before taking on Moroccan club team Al Sale on Monday, January 22.

The Scores:

San Beda 78 – Bolick 27, Mocon 11, Tankoua 8, Noah 8, Toba 6, Soberano 6, Prebitero 4, Tongco 4, Bahio 2, Carino 2, Oftana 0, Adamos 0.

Sousse 79 – Slimane 18, Naddari 13, Cassady 13, Mouhli 11, Knioua 9, Toumi 8, Monastiri 4, Gaddour 3.

Quarterscores: 23-17, 36-39, 57-62, 78-79.

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JRU

Perpetual overpowers JRU to keep pace of Final Four

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Strutting their decisive height and power advantage, the University of Perpetual Help System DALTA Lady Altas slammed the Jose Rizal University Lady Bombers, 25-21, 22-25, 25-14, 25-21, at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

The Lady Altas were still heavy-handed with their errors, surrendering 35 miscues, including 12 in the second set, the only frame they lost.

The Las Piñas-based program, however, kept a scorching offensive pace, bombarding the Lady Bombers with six blocks and 12 aces. JRU had just five points combined crom those categories.

“Mataas pa talaga ‘yung tendency ng mga bata mamigay ng mga puntos. Sabi ko nga hindi kami mananalo kung tutulungan pa namin ‘yung kalaban maka-score,” rued Perpetual head coach Michael Cariño.

“Pero, unti-unte namang gumaganda ‘yung galaw ng mga bata. Lahat naman ng pagkukulang nila, tinatrabaho namin para maayos sa ensayo,” the champion mentor added.

Perpetual’s six-foot-three middle blocker Lourdes Clemente towered over the Lady Bombers with a season-high 19 points which included 14 attacks, two blocks, and three aces. Winger Cindy Imbo added 15 points.

The Lady Altas (4-1) take on the undefeated defending champs Arellano University (5-0) on Tuesday at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

Rookie Dolly Versoza paced the Lady Bombers with a game-high 21 points while captain Shola Alvarez managed 15.

The Lady Bombers (2-3) face the College of Saint Benilde (3-1) on Wednesday also at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

The Scores

UPHSD (3) – Clemente 19, Imbo 15, Sangalang 8, Llorente 7, Tripoli 7, Gual 6, Versoza 2, Umandal 1, Estanislao 0, Medalla (L)

JRU (1) – Versoza 21, Alvarez 15, Ebuenga 5, Montojo 2, Rivera 2, Sibangan 1, Bodiongan 0, Macaraya (L)

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Basketball

Marc Pingris wants Rafi Reavis to break Robert Jaworski’s record

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Marc Pingris was all praises for veteran Rafi Reavis Saturday night, as the 40-year-old center made his presence felt in the Magnolia Hotshots’ 97-91 victory — their third straight win — over Phoenix Fuel Masters at the Cuneta Astrodome.

The six-foot-nine Reavis finished with 11 points, 11 rebounds, and three blocks — a performance perfectly punctuated by a follow-up of a Paul Lee miss with 12.5 seconds left to play that knocked out the Fuel Masters for good.

“Papasalamat ako kay Rafi na talagang kababalik lang niya pero binigay niya talaga lahat,” said Pingris after the bout, as Saturday night was just Reavis’ second outing in the 2018 Philippine Cup after recovering from a hip injury.

“Nag-usap nga kami kanina e, hindi pa siya 100 percent. So bukas, ang sabi niya babalik daw siya sa gym dahil gusto niya ibalik yung lakas ng legs dahil wala pa daw,” added the 36-year-old, who also suffered a hip injury last season.

Reavis has been playing in the league for 16 years. Seeing the work he has put in, Pingris, who finished the game with 17 rebounds, four assists, four points and two blocks, believes that the 10-time PBA champion can play for 10 more years — at least.

“You know naman Rafi eh, katulad ko rin yan eh – rebound and depensa. At tsaka sobrang vocal siya sa team eh,” beamed Pingris, who himself is a 14-year veteran. “Walang siyang inaano, talagang sinasabihan niya kung sino yung mga nagmi-mistake, kung paano kami mag-adjust, so nakikinig naman lahat sa kanya.

“Talagang nandun yung respeto namin kay Rafi.”

And if Reavis stays healthy for the next decade, Pingris wants Reavis to exceed Jaworki’s 958 games played — third most all time.

“Nasa kanya yun, basta kaya mo ba eh. As a player, kung masipag ka naman at may disiplina sa sarili mo, kaya niya yun.”

Still, Reavis has a lot of catching up to do.

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