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Basketball

Ben Mbala, La Salle pour out wrath on UST

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Coming off a loss to UP last Saturday, Ben Mbala and the De La Salle University Green Archers stormed right out off the gate, pouncing on the hapless University of Santo Tomas Growling Tigers, 115-86, Saturday afternoon at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.

“We were very eager because we were disappointed after that game against UP. We needed to get back on track,” said Mbala.

With the win, La Salle lift their slate to 4-1, while dropping UST to their worst-ever start in the Final Four era with a 0-6 record. The 29-point romping is the worst loss any team has received this season in the Men’s Basketball tournament.

The result is much better for UST compared to the two games they had played against La Salle last year. Last season, the Green Archers defeated the Growling Tigers by an average margin of 39.5 points, including a 43-point beat down last October 23.

For the first time in his UAAP career, Mbala missed out on a double-double, finishing with 29 points on 11-for-22 shooting to go along with nine rebounds and three blocks.

Behind Mbala and Santi Santillan, the Green Archers raced to an early 17-5 lead to start off the tilt.

“We played unselfish basketball, I think we had 26 assists. Sobrang aggressive namin and we pushed the pace which is what we want,” said assistant coach Miggy Solitaria.

Santillan, a transferee from the University of Visayas, added 13 points, while Andrei Caracut chipped in 14 markers.

In addition, it was a bad match-up for the most turnover-prone team in the league, as La Salle — the league’s leader in steals — were relentless on defense. The Green Archers forced the Growling Tigers to commit 16 turnovers in the first half, leading to 20 La Salle points.

“I’m glad we played better defense. We were able to make them commit many turnovers that led to easy points,” added the 22-year-old Cameroonian student-athlete as La Salle forced 35 turnovers that led to 37 points.

Midway through the second frame, La Salle were able to extend their lead to 50-26 after a Ben Mbala and-one play. UST tried to push a run in the third frame, cutting the lead to 13. 69-56, after Jeepy Faundo cleaned up a Jordan Sta. Ana miss. But La Salle were able to restore order, going on a 7-0 blast.

UST could only get the lead to as low as 17 points, 90-73, in the final frame. La Salle’s lead, on the other hand, ballooned to as high as 31 points, 115-84, after a signature layup by Ricci Rivero with 36 ticks left.

La Salle were without their second leading scorer Aljun Melecio, as he is still confined in the hospital after suffering a case of urinary tract infection. Moreover, Ricci Rivero only checked in the game with 4:55 remaining.

Oliver de Guzman tallied his career-high in the loss with 18 markers. UST’s Cameroonian student-athlete Steve Akomo tallied 15 points on 7-for-10 shooting with 13 rebounds.

The Green Archers play their penultimate game of the round on Wednesday, October 4, when they take on the University of the East Red Warriors at 4:00pm. The Growling Tigers, on the other hand, look to end their round on a high note on Saturday, October 7, against the same team. The former will be played at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum, while the latter takes place at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.

The Scores:

DLSU (115) – Mbala 29, Caracut 14, Santillan 13, Rivero P 11, Montalbo 8, Tratter 8, Capacio 7, Go 7, Rivero R 7, Tero 5, Baltazar 4, Paraiso 2, Gonzales 0

UST (86) – De Guzman 18, Akomo 15, Sta. Ana 14, Lee 8, Faundo 8, Macasaet 8, Romero 4 , Kwawukumey 4, Caunan 2, Huang 2, Escalambre 2, Arana 1, Lorenzana 0, Garcia 0, Soriano 0

Quarterscores: 30-21, 60-42, 85-63, 115-86

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

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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

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

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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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Renzo Subido to bring Marinerong Pilipino experience to UST

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When Renzo Subido decided to skip out the University of Santo Tomas Growling Tigers’ UAAP Season 80 campaign, he had only one thing in mind: to improve  his craft. And he was able to do so under coach Koy Banal in the Marinerong Pilipino Skippers.

After the AMA Online Education Titans saw a quick end to their campaign during the 2017 Foundation Cup, the 5-foot-9 floor general was immediately picked up by Marinerong Pilipino for the playoffs. And as they liked his style of play, he was again tapped for the 2018 Aspirants Cup.

And he showed a lot of growth from then, leading the Skippers to a 94-92 victory over fellow contenders Zark’s Jawbreakers. The 21-year-old tallied 20 points, three rebounds, and five assists while knocking down the crucial free throws to seal off the Lyceum-backed team.

“It was a good win for us. We’re happy that we won the game because it’s a good way to start the conference,” beamed Subido. “I’ve played against Lyceum in the past so I had familiarity with how they play.

“It was a good experience for us.”

Expectations are high for Marinerong Pilipino this conference, as their blend of veterans and young guns have been pegged as too overwhelming for the rest of the field. Still, Subido knows that it will be a tough climb since the other teams — especially the collegiate-based squads — have familiarity on their side.

“We’re taking it one game at a time but the goal is to win the championship,” he said. “But we know that it’s not going to be easy since we are going up against the top collegiate teams.

“So we’re just going to go all out every game.”

Besides winning the championship, Subido is on a personal mission. As one of the seniors for the Growling Tigers next season, he hopes to learn to become a better leader for next season.

“I want to become a better leader. I know that everything I can learn this conference, I can bring to UST,” Subido expressed.

“For all I can see, coach Aldin [Ayo] is a guard-oriented coach. So I’m using all the experience I get here in Marinero, I’ll bring it to UST.”

For sure, Subido wants to make up for lost time.

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