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UAAP S77 Men’s Final Four Survival Kit: Aggression is Key



[nextpage title = “UST vs. NU”] We have now arrived in the Final Four. The men’s semifinal matches will be interesting to watch as both matchups offset each other in terms of individual skills. Both UST-NU and Ateneo-Adamson are tied head-to-head in the eliminations, and these four teams will duke it out in tomorrow’s showdowns. Ateneo and UST both have the twice-to-beat advantage coming into the semis – can NU and Adamson overcome this? Check out our takes on both matches below.

UST Growling Tigers vs NU Bulldogs

Atk Eff%25%27%
Rebound %33%32%
Ace per set1.191.02
Digs per set5.384.57
Exc Set per set8.567.98
Pass Eff%27%29%

Head-to-head, UST and NU were tied in the elimination rounds – NU winning the first round in five sets, while UST was able to get their revenge in the second round by winning in three sets. In their latest duel, despite NU being number one in attacks in the league, UST was able to mount more in that particular game (46 vs 36) – this was due to the excellent playmaking led by Paul Castillo and Timothy Tajanlangit. For tomorrow’s game, NU being the last in the ranks in terms of digging, must try to catch opponent attacks, especially from UST’s main scorer, Mark Alfafara. Despite NU’s lackluster floor defense, they make up for it on offense with an attack efficiency of 27%. UST has better serving, with more aces per set than NU, but they need to pick up their offense in other areas – service aces won’t take you places if the opponent is receiving the ball better (NU passing efficiency 29% vs 27% of UST). UST also has better setting and playmaking, but attack conversion is more important in winning the game.

Keys to the match:
USTNUvsUST Round 2-0605 >> Given NU is # 1 in attacking, blocking is imperative for UST. In the elimination round, they won the matchup when they elevated their blocking significantly.


>> Limit errors in all aspects. If they do commit errors, they must be able to overcome this with consistent attacking.

NU NUvsUST-8572
>> Continue aggression on attacks, but be wary of attack errors.

Hitting IPE %83.9%78.1%82.2%

>> Errors must be less than 60% of points contributed by the team (atks, blks, aces).

Prediction:NUvsUST-8592 NU can extend this to a second game if they keep up their attacks and if UST cannot control their own errors (for the season, UST is net negative on errors on their won points while NU is positive).
[/nextpage] [nextpage title = “ADMU vs. ADU”]
Ateneo Blue Eagles vs Adamson Soaring Falcons

Atk Eff%25%18%
Rebound %33%33%
Ace per set1.371.00
Digs per set5.256.35
Exc Set per set8.428.33
Pass Eff%32%33%

Adamson and Ateneo are also tied in the elimination rounds – Adamson winning the first clash with a four set victory while Ateneo won the next one in straight sets. Ateneo was able to produce more attack points (40 vs 22) in their second round match, backed by defense on digs (16 vs 9) and passing (27 vs 17) to overcome Adamson, the team known to be the best defensive squad in the league. This matchup will be all about offense vs defense – Ateneo outranks Adamson in terms of attacks, serves, and sets/playmaking, while Adamson is the league’s king on defense, #1 in digging and passing, and #2 in blocking. For tomorrow’s match, Adamson should bank on their steady defense to be able to win the game (both floor and net). Ateneo has to find the seams of the blocks, or use the block whenever spiking, and avoid Rence Melgar- the #1 libero in the league- as much as possible.

Keys to the match:


photo by Joaqui Flores

photo by Joaqui Flores

>> Continue to be aggressive on the serve. Despite committing more errors, they won the games where the team took more risks on the service line.


>> Errors should not be more than 50% of the point contribution of the team.


photo by Joaqui Flores

photo by Joaqui Flores

>> Be able to successfully convert more points from attacks. Their contribution from attacks is significantly lower when they lose a game (by more than half compared to games won)


>> Continue aggression on the block by getting at least three blocks per set.


photo by Joaqui Flores

photo by Joaqui Flores

Ateneo, if they continue to dominate on all offensive skills (on the average, Ateneo has more effort on point contribution than Adamson, i.e. Ateneo gets points from their own attacks, blocks and aces while Adamson’s differential in winning relies more on opponent errors than their own efforts).[/nextpage]

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SJ Belangel makes leap to top 3 of Chooks-to-Go/NBTC 24




Ateneo Blue Eaglets towering teen Kai Sotto and La Salle Greenhills Junior Blazers court general Joel Cagulangan remained as the top two high school players in the Chooks-to-Go/National Basketball Training Center 24, but there was a lot of movement this week, including the rise of SJ Belangel.

Belangel, Ateneo’s graduating floor leader had a sensational week, helping steer the Blue Eaglets to an unblemished 10-0 record. With his exploits, he was the consensus third-ranked player of the week, leapfrogging Mapua High School’s and NCAA MVP Will Gozum.

FEU-Diliman do-it-all guard L-Jay Gonzales and Katipunan swingman Dave Ildefonso also moved up the ladder while UST Tiger Cub ace CJ Cansino dropped to eighth after finishing fourth last week.

Besides movement at the top, there were also a lot of debutatants in this week’s list.

Blue Eaglets double-double machine Joaqui Manuel’s workhorse type of game paid off as he was ranked 21st this week.

After firing 51 markers last weekend, Bacolod Tay Tung High School’s Harold Alarcon was named as the 22nd top prospect.

Joshua Yerro of University of Visayas then rounded out the list.

Here is the complete Chooks-to-Go/NBTC 24 Week 2:

1. Kai Sotto, center, Ateneo (1)
2. Joel Cagulangan, guard, La Salle (2)
3. SJ Belangel, guard, Ateneo (5)
4. Will Gozum, center, Mapua (3)
5. L-Jay Gonzales, guard, FEU-Diliman (6)
6. Dave Ildefonso, forward, Ateneo (8)
7. Rhayyan Amsali, forward, NU (7)
8. CJ Cansino, forward, UST (4)
9. Clint Escamis, guard, Mapua (10)
10. Aaron Fermin, center, Arellano (9)
11. Terrence Fortea, guard, NU (16)
12. RJ Abarrientos, guard, FEU-Diliman (15)
13. Inand Fornilos, forward, La Salle (11)
14. Evan Nelle, guard, San Beda (12)
15. Warren Bonifacio, center, Mapua (13)
16. John Galinato, guard, Chiang Kai Shek (14)
17. Mac Guadaña, guard, Lyceum (18)
18. Raven Cortez, center, La Salle Zobel (19)
19. Harvey Pagsanjan, guard, Hope Christian (20)
20. Maui Cruz, guard, EAC (23)
21. Joaqui Manuel, forward, Ateneo (N/A)
22. Harold Alarcon, guard, Tay Tung-Bacolod (N/A)
23. Jancork Cabahug, forward, UV (17)
24. Joshua Yerro, guard, UV (N/A)

On Tuesday, January 23, the second episode of Chooks-to-Go/NBTC 24 will air live at 7:00pm. Tonight’s special guest will be former Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas player and NBTC alumnus Jeron Teng.

The Chooks-to-Go/National Basketball Training Centre 24 is the first-ever attempt to rank the top high school prospects in the country today.

The weekly ranking used the following criteria: league stats, impact in team, team record, leadership, defense, offense, and level of competition.

These rankings will be used to determine the 24 players who will take part in the annual SM-NBTC High School All-Star Game on March at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.

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Joyce Sta. Rita slams 28 as Lady Stags avert Cardinal upset



Erasing a disappointing third set, the San Sebastian College-Recoletos Lady Stags upended the upset-conscious Mapua University Lady Cardinals, 25-20, 25-7, 29-31, 25-14, Tuesday afternoon at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

The win revived the Lady Stags’ campaign after back-to-back losses to Jose Rizal University and University of Perpetual Help System DALTA. San Sebastian is now at 3-2.

“Andun pa rin naman, apat pa naman laro,” said Stags’ head coach Roger Gorayeb on their chances for the Final Four. “Sana umabot.”

Team captain Joyce Sta. Rita produced a career-high 28 points off 22 attacks, four blocks, and two serves. The senior middle hitter paced her squad’s 58 spikes, which outscored that of Mapua’s 33.

The Lady Cards capitalized on the rotation wherein Sta. Rita was in the backline in that third set turnaround. Nonetheless, Vira Guillema and the rest of the Lady Stags just turned to their experience to ultimately finish the match.

Gorayeb, nonetheless, hopes his team will toughen up mentally for the home stretch of the eliminations. “Kasi ‘yung laro, nawawala na ‘yan sa physical side, napupunta na sa psychological part ng game.”

San Sebastian will take on Colegio de San Juan de Letran (2-3) on Thursday.

Angelie Magundayao lead the Cardinals with 10 markers.

Mapua (0-5) will take on Emilio Aguinaldo College (0-5) in a battle of winless earlier that day.

The Scores:

SSC-R 3 – Sta. Rita 28, Dalisay 17, Santos 11, Encarnacion 10, Guillema 4, Tiangco 2, Eroa L.

MU 1 – Mangundayao 10, Racelis 9, Pena 9, Latayan 5, Morano 4, Frando 2, Mercado 1, Barias 0, Hermano 0, Ramilo L.

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Cardinals blast Golden Stags for third win



After absorbing a sorry defeat from the San Beda College Red Spikers in their last outing, the Mapua University Cardinals subdued the San Sebastian College-Recolletos Golden Stags, 26-24, 25-16, 26-24, to take their third victory of the season, Tuesday morning at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

Mark Jason Egan paced the Intramuros-based squad with 14 points on eight attacks and three each of blocks and serves. Team captain Anjo Pertierra finished with 13 markers, while Alfred Pagulong had 10.

Despite a miserable reception output, Cardinals setter Raven Evangelista still had a field day as he produced 32 excellent sets on the 41 attack points of his squad.

Such would not go unnoticed as Pertierra lauded his playmaker’s production that led to the win. He said, “Sobrang ganda kung performance ni Raven. Nakapag-adjust siya sa bad reception. Kino-commend ko siya today.”

Losing that second set big, the Stags threatened to steal the third as they led 21-18 off back-to-back hits from James Eugenio and even forced a deuce. Nonetheless, a quick attack from Pertierra and an ace off Pagulong sealed the win for the Cards.

Pertierra admitted their lack of intensity almost cost them the first and third sets, and hopes the team address it as soon as the next game against the Emilio Aguinaldo College Generals.

“Kilala naman EAC na maganda floor defense, sobrang makapit. Sasabayan namin sila, we’ll give our best,” he shared.

That important tussle between the Cards (3-2) and the Generals (2-3) will happen on Thursday.

Former skipper Jahir Ebrahim led the Stags with 16 markers.

San Sebastian (1-4) will try to get back on winning track when they face winless Letran (0-5) later that day.

The Scores:

MU 3 – Egan 14, Pertierra 13, Pagulong 10, Damian 8, Navera 8, Evangelista 1, Bondoc L.

SSC-R 0 – Ebrahim 16, Lana 9, Eugenio 8, Ronato 6, Ongque A 3, Campuspos 1, Eusebio 1, Lazaro 0, Toledo 0, Ongque AC L, Enano L.

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Kent Salado re-injures MCL, out for Go for Gold campaign



Photo by PBA Images

Kent Salado suffers a setback

The worst fear of the Go for Gold Scratchers came true Monday evening as all-around combo guard Kent Salado re-injured the medial cruciate ligament in his right knee.

The injury was confirmed by Kent Salado and the officials of Go for Gold and he will miss the entire 2018 PBA D-League Aspirants Cup.

With under three minutes left in the third quarter of Go for Gold’s opening game against the Gamboa-St. Clare Coffee Lovers Monday afternoon, the 5-foot-9 guard went for a drive but could not get the proper lift. He tried to walk it off but limped towards the audience section of the Pasig Sports Center.

“Parang may narinig nga siya na may tumunog daw,” shared Scratchers head coach Charles Tiu after their 75-68 win.

“We’re very worried.

“I think our PT said baka MCL ‘yun, so that might be a month or two, so that’s a big problem for us,” the youthful mentor added.

Salado finished the game with nine points, five rebounds, four assists, and three steals. He was immediately rushed to the Makati Medical Center afterwards. At around nine in the evening, the MRI showed that he tore his ACL as was initially reported by Tiebreaker Times. A second opinion, however, contradicted the initial diagnosis, showing only an MCL tear.

Prior to this, the native of Cagayan de Oro suffered a partial tear on medial collateral damage on the same knee last October 10, 2017 during Arellano’s 85-79 win over the San Sebastian Golden Stags.

With this setback, Salado was also advised to not play in the summer leagues to fully recover in time for the NCAA Season 94 Seniors Basketball tournament.

“Okay lang para NCAA na ko makapaglaro,” he said.

“Mas importante naman yun.”

The 23-year-old averaged 19.1 points, 5.0 assists, 3.8 rebounds, and 1.3 steals last season. He is eligible to enter the 2018 PBA Rookie Draft.

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