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UAAPS78 Men’s Basketball Final Four: UST vs FEU Survival Kit



After 14 games of hostilities in the UAAP basketball tournament eliminations and a pair of thrilling encounter in the semifinals, it has come down to two of the top teams this season.

University of Santo Tomas, Far Eastern University – battling it out for all the marbles in the country’s most popular collegiate league.

Fitting as it may seem, the Tamaraws and the Tigers are two of the winningest ball clubs in the league. The men from Morayta hold a record of 19 titles, something that the cagers from Espana would attain to tie with a victory.

Not only are they the teams with the most titles, they also ended the tournament on top, finishing first and second, setting up a thrilling encounter that was 36 years in the making.

Who’s ahead in what could be an epic finals showdown between the Tams and the Tigers? Let’s take a look.

Why UST would win

UAAP 78 UST vs. UP - Daquioag celebIn both of their encounters in the eliminations, the Tigers emerged victorious.

Proving that their first win behind Ed Daquioag’s heroics was no fluke, the boys of coach Bong dela Cruz stormed back from a double-digit deficit in the second round to prove that they indeed have FEU’s number.

Psychologically – whether both teams admit it or not – that has to play out in some way in this game.

Manpower wise, they won’t be having the same type of advantage they had against National University, but it’s still a luxury to have big time players like Kevin Ferrer, Karim Abdul, and Ed Daquioag on your squad with the championship on the line.

Also there’s this guy named Louie Vigil who’s eager to put his name on the higher echelon of the people who donned the gold and black and against NU, he definitely showed it.

Why FEU would win

UAAP 78 FEU vs. AdU - Tolomia celebration-7067Law of averages? Maybe. But it’s really hard to see a team like this one, as strong as this one, being outplayed four times in one single year.

To put things into perspective, they were a stop or two away from winning their first encounter against the Tigers. They also built a big lead in the second game proving that if they are on point, they’re leveled or atleast slight better than these Tigers.

In terms of firepower, they’re the only team who can match with UST blow by blow. And while these Tigers have suffered enough heartbreaks in the apst few years, the Tamaraws were one win away from winning a title last year and mentally, that could be an added motivation for the boys of Nash Racela.


For UST: Louie VigilUAAP 78 UST vs. UE - Vigil-9995

Playing like the Thomasians’ answered prayer, Vigil showed that he can carry the bulk of their offense despite playing with stars like Ferrer and Daquioag.

If there’s one thing that we’ve learned from the NU game, it’s the fact that UST can still win despite their big three of Ferrer, Daquioag and Abdul struggling and Vigil had a lot to do with that.

A consistent Vigil in this series would be a major headache for coach Nash Racela.

For FEU: The bench mobUAAP 78 Final Four FEU vs. ADMU - Pogoy-2785

Remember when they eliminated La Salle with guys like Mac Belo, Mike Tolomia, Russel Escoto, and Achie Inigo on the bench?

If there’s an advantage FEU has in this series, it’s depth. All season long, Racela has done a great job in giving his bench players decent exposure while not compromising the quality of his rotation.

This should pay dividends in this series as it will keep the Tams’ big guns fresh legs heading into the crucial stretches of the game(s).


UAAP 78 Final Four UST vs. NU - Ferrer-3219


Tough. Tough. Tough. FE…. UST. Three games. Just for the sole reason that they’ve been the more consistent squad all throughout.

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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 Ryan Moss 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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