Connect with us
[adinserter block="13"] [adinserter block="3"]


NU reaches 5th straight finals, extends unbeaten run to 62 games



The door for a fourth consecutive UAAP Women’s Basketball Title opened up for the National University Lady Bulldogs after the defending champions swept the Season 80 elimination round.

NU proved to be too strong for the determined University of the East Lady Warriors, who were defeated 63-50, Saturday morning at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan City.

“Well I am just very happy for the girls but the job is not yet done. It’s just the end of the eliminations. We still have a goal to attain and hopefully we’ll be ready for that,” commented NU coach Pat Aquino.

Ria Nabalan led NU with 14 points, followed by Trixie Antiquera and Je Anne Camelo, who both chipped in 11 markers. Janet Sison also provided 10 points for the Lady Bulldogs.

NU twin towers Rhena Itesi and Jack Animam failed to score double digits for the first time this year, but the duo more than made up for it with 16 and 25 rebounds respectively.

“That’s (Itesi and Animam’s’) job. I hope we get better having them score more because we need them to make space for our shooters outside so making them a threat inside would be better for us,” explained Aquino.

The Lady Warriors kept it tight with the Lady Bulldogs in the second quarter as they were only down 22-23 thanks to a Ruthlaine Tacula three. But Tacula’s three woke the Lady Bulldogs from their slumber, as NU went on a 7-0 run capped off by Monique Del Carmen’s basket to lead 30-22 at halftime.

Upon the game’s resumption, NU tightened up on defense and limited UE to just one field goal and two free throws in the third quarter. A 13-3 run handed capped off by Itesi’s post move yielded NU a 43-25 separation from UE

UE were just no match for NU at that point, and a Camelo three gave NU their biggest lead of the ballgame at 52-25 with just 48 seconds left in the period.

NU virtually sealed the contest before the fourth quarter, and perhaps took their feet off the pedal, as they allowed UE to make a 5-20 run ignited by Eunique Chan’s four unanswered points, to trim the deficit to 46-57.

In the end, NU still had the last say, as two straight threes from Sison and Camelo extended the Lady Bulldogs’ edge to 63-48 near the end of the game.

The Lady Bulldogs ultimately prevailed 63-50 over the Lady Warriors to sweep the elimination round and also enter the Finals anew. The result also extended NU’s unbeaten run to 62 games.

Rebounds won the game for NU. The Lady Bulldogs made 56 rebounds, 16 of which came on the offensive end. Those boards handed NU 12 second chance points. In contrast, UE only seized 31 boards, with just five in the NU paint and zero second chance points.

Tacula led UE with 14 points, while Anna Requiron and Love Sto. Domingo made 12 and 10 respectively. The Lady Warriors shall enter the post-season with an 11-3 record, which makes them the second seed.

“We’ll have another team building and assess all the things that we did. We’ll probably have a practice game with the (NU Bullpups) not to be rusty. We’ll have another series of practice games, not here maybe boys schools. Hopefully we’ll have a good momentum going into the Finals,” concluded Aquino.

The Scores:

NU (63) – Nabalan 14, Antiquera 11, Camelo 11, Sison 10, Itesi 8, Animam 5, Del Carmen 2, Harada 2, Ano-os 0, Cacho 0.

UE (50) – Tacula 14, Requiron 12, Sto. Domingo 10, Chan 9, Ramos 2, Gayacao 2, Francisco 1, Cortizano 0.

Quarterscores: 18-11, 30-22, 52-26, 63-50.



OIC Willie Marcial insists ‘walang pagbabago’ in return of physical play in PBA



The return of physicality in PBA games early this 43rd season has drawn raves from the coaches and the fans. At last, the matches are decided by the players themselves and not by the way the referees blow their whistles.

All the fans, the players, and ultimately the coaches have been longing for this, as physical play had been heavily controlled during the administration of former commissioner Chito Narvasa from 2015 to 2017.

“The games are being called a little differently now. They’re allowing a little bit more contact or a lot more contact,” said Meralco Bolts head coach Norman Black.

“I love it. I’m an old school guy so you can imagine. No harm, no foul.”

“The physicality’s good. It’s good for the game. It’s real men going at it,” opined Alaska Aces head coach Alex Compton on the other hand, seconding Black’s sentiments.

“I like the direction the league is going in with officiating.”

It is just one of the many positive changes that are currently taking place in the league under the management of officer-in-charge Willie Marcial. But he insisted that tweaks haven’t really been made in terms of calling games.

“Wala, pinapalaro lang namin. Walang pagbabago yun,” said the amiable league official on Monday evening, when he paid Gilas Pilipinas a surprise visit at the Meralco Gym in Pasig City.

“Pinapalaro lang namin yung mga players.”

All that he’s doing, according to Marcial, is simply reminding the referees to be firm with their calls.

“Sinabihan ko lang yung mga referees na, ‘Manindigan kayo kung ano talaga.'”

With more consistent calls comes the shorter duration of games compared to the past two seasons, as time-consuming reviews by referees and officials has not occurred in matches too often this season.

“Mas mabilis na (mga laro ngayon),” said Marcial, also the league’s former external affairs and communications head.

“One hour (and) 56 (minutes), one hour 52… ‘Di umaabot ng dalawang oras eh.”

Continue Reading


Abu Tratter plans to work his way to 2023 by continuing to do ‘the dirty work’



Abu Tratter may have missed the jersey-giving ceremony that the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas held for the 23 for 2023 cadets last Monday but he made sure to help out when the current batch needed him the most.

After helping the Marinerong Pilipino Skippers win the Sinulog Cup in Cebu a week ago, the 6-foot-7 Filipino-American did not hesitate to heed Gilas’ call, as they were undermanned for their second session in preparation for the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers.

“I think it’s just an honor to put on this jersey, to be able to represent our country, to possibly represent our country in the future. It’s an honor,” shared the Laguna-native.

The 25-year old, who just celebrated his birthday last January 9, admitted that he was in awe of the talent inside the Meralco Gym. Like a fan, he wanted to take a few photo ops with the senior team’s Gabe Norwood and June Mar Fajardo.

“Actually, at first I was just shocked to see June Mar and Gabe, just to be able to be in the midst of them,” gushed the former DLSU Green Archer, who will suit-up for Marinerong Pilipino in the D-League. “I even asked them for a picture, and hopefully they’ll still give me one.

“It’s just humbling, definitely.”

However, the work has only began for Tratter. With five years to go until the 2023 FIBA World Cup, the two-time UAAP champion plans to continue to do what he does best — be the same scrapper that he is and hopefully catch the eye of Gilas’ brass.

“I think just doing the dirty work, of course. Giving whatever the team needs, rebound or any steals, any thing a dirty player would need to pick up on,” he said.

“That’s how it is, garbage into gold. Get anything, sweep up anything and try to put it back.”

Moreover, he will continue answering the call when Gilas needs him, as he himself is learning a lot from being surrounded by the country’s topflight cagers.

“Whenever I can. I want to be able to absorb all the information coming from here and hopefully apply it in the D-League and hopefully apply it on future practices, future games.”

Continue Reading

2018 FIBA 3X3 World Cup

Terrence Romeo invited to join Pilipinas 3×3 for World Cup



Stronger than ever

Scoring sensation Terrence Romeo has been invited by the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas to join the Philippine team in the upcoming FIBA 3X3 World Cup, according to Philippine Star columnist Quinito Henson.

Romeo, who is currently out due to a right knee injury, has been in rehabilitation and is expected to miss the entire Philippine Cup campaign of the Globalport Batang Pier and the second window of the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers.

“Baka sa second conference na ko makabalik kasi talagang gusto ko malakas ako pagbalik ko,” the 25-year-old shared during Chooks-to-Go Live last January 2.

SBP Executive Director Sonny Barrios personally met with the 6-foot guard, inviting him to be part of the Philippine team.

Romeo has plenty of 3×3 basketball experience under his belt.

Back in 2014, Romeo was part of the Manila West 3×3 team during the Manila Masters. He was adjudged as the tournament Most Valuable Player.

The 2018 3X3 World Cup will take place from June 8-12 at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan.

Continue Reading


23 for 2023 cadet CJ Perez honored to help out Gilas



Having had the chance to represent the Philippines in FIBA-sanctioned cagefests such the Asia Challenge Cup and the 3X3 All-Stars back in 2016, Lyceum Pirates star CJ Perez is no stranger to the international stage.

But the 24-year-old do-it-all swingman admits that he still gets overwhelmed whenever he sees his seniors — the stars and pillars of the program — in the team. “Nasusurprise [pa rin] ako,” he said. “Mga professionals eh.

“Na-istarstruck pa rin ako sa kanila.”

Perez said so when he finally made his return within Gilas’ realms last Monday night. The last time he was with the National Team was in August 2016, when the SBP built an amateur-laden batch of Gilas cagers that served as the transition from the 2016 Olympic Qualifiers squad to the 2017 SEABA team.

“Sobrang grateful ako (sa invitation),” said the talented six-foot-two guard, after practice at the Meralco Gym.

The reigning NCAA Most Valuable Player is back in the fold for Gilas as his name, along with young, up-and-coming stars, was included in the 23 for 2023 pool — a list of cagers projected to be the contingent for the Manila-hosted World Cup.

“Iniisip ko yun (FIBA World Cup 2023) simula magtawag sila ng practice. Actually nandoon na yung utak ko eh,” the Lyceum Pirate ace bared. “Kailangan ko lang mag work hard pa para makapasok dun sa lineup na yun, kahit malayo pa.

“It’s an honor para ma-represent yung country.”

Unlike in 2016, Perez graced the court and took part in drills with the veterans such as Gabe Norwood, Japeth Aguilar, June Mar Fajardo, among others. With those type of players around him, he feels that the lessons he can get will be limitless.

“Oo sobra. Kahit kanino naman (matututo ka talaga),” Perez shared. “(At tsaka) Dito parang more on sa mental. ‘Di na iniisip yung conditioning kasi may ibang teams naman sila so about sa mental toughness [talaga].”

For now, the 23 for 2023 cadets are already working out not just for familiarity, but also to help the seniors in preparing for the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers this February.

“Sobrang happy and grateful na nakakatulong ako sa kanila kahit sa simpleng practice lang.”

Continue Reading