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UP Lady Maroons shutout DLSU; will battle UST for 2nd seed



DLSU (6-6), T-4th/5th00000022
UP (7-5), T-2nd/3rd22003780


The University of the Philippines Lady Maroons placed the De La Salle University Lady Batters on full lockdown in giving up just two hits in a 7-0 fifth inning stoppage victory on Wednesday at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium.

Rookie sensation Cochise Diolata and the UP fielders made short work of the DLSU batters in the first two innings in ousting the top six of DLSU’s batting order.

On the other end, the UP Lady Maroons were able to pick up four runs, two runs each at the bottom end of the innings. With the bases loaded for the Lady Maroons in the first inning and no outs, a sacrifice fly by Cochise Diolata paved the way for a Danielle Cruz run. Then with just one out, Dennise Cruz, twin sister of Danielle, popped another sacrifice fly that led to a Isabella Mendoza run. Then, at the bottom half of the second inning, Gabin Paz was hit by a Jamica Arribas pitch. Paz managed to steal third, while a single by Mary Joy Abanes led to a Paz run. With two outs, Isabella Mendoza popped a single that gave Abanes a run. UP held a 4-0 lead by the end of the second inning.

The DLSU Lady Batters were only able to connect with their first hit at the top of the fourth inning with a Mercy Arroyo double. However, Arroyo was left stranded at second after the next two batters were putout by the defense.

DLSU prized recruit and starting pitcher Jamica Arribas got her groove back on the third and fourth innings in giving up no hits. Her UP counterpart, Cochise Diolata, would only give up her second hit of the game in the fifth inning. With two outs, Mercy Arroyo was able to connect with a single but next batter Maria Victoria Munoz’s fly was caught by UP right fielder Gabin Paz for last out.

To close the game out, the Lady Maroons needed to score three runs for a mercy rule win at the bottom of the fifth inning. With one out, Dennise Cruz connected with a double and was able to steal third base. A ground out of next batter Angela Penales at first base led to UP’s second out. Slugger Gabin Paz more than made up for it with a triple that led to a Dennise Cruz run. A throwing error by DLSU shortstop Judy Macatangay gave Paz a run. A triple by Lily Gonzales gave the Lady Maroons the opportunity to seal the game. A passed ball with Seiko Hashimoto batting gave Gonzales the run and the win. More importantly, the win gives UP the chance to battle for second in their next matchup against the UST Softbelles, who won their game against the UE Lady Warriors.

After the game, we asked UP’s starting pitcher Cochise Diolata on the expectations of the team prior to the season. “Ang aim talaga namin is to get to the top two,” the lanky pitcher told us. “And for me personally, happy ako kasi eto ang sinukli sa amin ng hard training namin.”

Prior to this crucial game, Diolata told us that they took extra time in their hitting. “These past few days more on hitting kami kasi sabi nila yun yung kulang. And kasi si [Jamica] Arribas may slow ball so yun yung pinag-work namin. Yung defense kasi namin nandiyan na. Kulang na lang sa palo.”

And looking forward to a potential showdown against the UST Softbelles with the second seed at stake, the rookie told us that they need to work harder on all the facets of the game. “Para sa amin di pa yun 100%. Iba kasi yung sa training, iba yung sa laro. May pressure kasi. Gusto namin mawala yung pressure or ma-balance out at least.”

Cochise Diolata in the game only gave up two hits, a walk, and only three batters were able to reach base. All three batters were left on base eventually,

On the offensive end, Gabin Paz led the team with two runs, an RBI and a triple. Five other batters were able to pick up runs for the Lady Maroons.

The UP Lady Maroons next play the UST Softbelles on Saturday, March 14 at 11am for the right to gain twice-to-beat in the Stepladder playoffs while the DLSU Lady Batters will head into a do-or-die match against the NU Lady Bulldogs at 9am. Both games will still be played at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium.

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After getting first D-League experience, Zark’s-Lyceum ready to get loose



After a hesitant performance in their PBA D-League debut last Thursday that resulted in a loss to the Marinerong Pilipino Skippers, the Zark’s Burger-Lyceum Jawbreakers seemingly caught up with the league’s style of play on Tuesday.

Zark’s-Lyceum displayed their true form and stamped their class all over the Batangas-EAC Generals with a 37-point destruction, 112-75 — so far the biggest winning margin the franchise has ever had in its D-League history.

“Medyo adjusted na kami on everything — the calls and the teams we’re playing against with,” said Zark’s-Lyceum head coach Topex Robinson after the match at Pasig Sports Center. “But the things we want to mind are those things we control.

“We just have to keep on doing what we are doing. It’s more on replenishing na lang on our old ways.”

Robinson’s claim was strongly backed up by the numbers that the Jawbreakers produced.

CJ Perez had 21 points and 10 rebounds. MJ Ayaay produced 15 points and 10 boards, and Mike Nzeusseu delivered 14 markers and 11 boards.

Even the bench made their presence felt in the victory. With guard Jaycee Marcelino spearheading the supporting cast’s charge with 12 markers, the bench contributed a remarkable 56 points to their total output.

Photo by PBA Images

“Ano lang, cinontrol lang namin yung pace kasi yun naman talaga yung laro namin, yung mabilisan,” said the 24-year-old do-it-all forward, who also collected three steals.

“Kailangan talaga mabilisan para ma-execute namin yung mga ginagawa namin.”

This week will be a rough one for the Pirates, as they will play right away this Thursday against the AMA Online Education. And for Perez, he strongly believes that they will be able to carry over their momentum.

“Oo. Nandun pa. Energy talaga yung puhunan namin para makalaro ng maayos.”

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Bonbon Batiller shows what he can bring to Letran in D-League debut



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Tuesday proved to be a double debut for Bonbon Batiller. Aside from beginning his first foray in the PBA D-League, it also marked his debut for the Letran Knights, who are carrying the Wang’s Basketball Couriers franchise.

And the 5-foot-11 guard showed what he can bring to the table. Batiller collected 15 points, five rebounds, and three assists to help the Knights raise the curtains of their campaign with a 93-75 rout of the Batangas-EAC Generals.

“Nagworkout yung pinagpraktisan namin,” said Batiller. “Nagbunga rin yung tinuro samin ni Coach Jeff (Napa) lalo sa depensa. Tsaka siguro sa rebounds — laking lamang namin sa rebound. Nagsipag mga bigs namin.”

But what has him even more satisfied is the warm reception and trust he’s had from the Knights, even if he has spent barely a year with them after transferring from University of the East last 2017.

“Masaya po kasi tinanggap nila ako sa Letran ng buong-buo,” said Batiller, who normed 10.5 points, 3.7 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 1.6 steals with UE in two years. “Tsaka yung tiwala nila na makakatulong ako sa team nandoon.

“Kaya masaya ako sa pinakita nila sa akin.”

That is why the General Santos native is hard-pressed to prove himself to Letran, saying that he’s all about giving back to the school that gave him another opportunity to resume his young, up-and-coming basketball career.

“Kailangan kong may mapatunayan na deserving ako sa binigay na second chance sa akin ni Letran,” said Batiller, who decided to switch schools partly due to academic reasons.

“Malaki ang utang ko sa Letran.”

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Bienvenido Maranon scores brace as Ceres-Negros eliminates Brisbane Roar



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Philippine club football just achieved its biggest continental result yet

The inaugural Philippines Football League champions Ceres-Negros Football Club eliminated three-time Australian champions Brisbane Roar in the 2018 AFC Champions League’s second preliminary round with a 3-2 stunner, away at the QSAC Stadium in Brisbane.

With the win, the 2017 AFC Cup ASEAN Zonal Champions are set to face Chinese Super League club Tianjin Quanjian next January 30, 2018 at the Haihe Educational Football Stadium in Tianjin, China, to book a seat in the group stages.

Brisbane were the favorites for this tie and it showed, as Ceres started the contest on the back foot. Italian striker Massimo Maccarone handed the home side the lead in the 35th minute when he turned in Brett Holman’s pass.

Maccarone’s goal could have lowered the Busmen’s moral, but Risto Vidakovic’s men took it as a motivation rather than a downer. In fact, Ceres replied in the best way possible when Bienvenido Maranon scored his first goal of the match two minutes from halftime, thanks to a scramble in the Brisbane box.

By all accounts, Ceres had already made Philippine football proud at halftime. By this stage last year, Brisbane had accrued a 4-0 halftime cushion against Global Cebu en route to a 6-0 rout.

Today, though, Brisbane faced tougher resistance at Ceres’ hands. That resistance turned into a full-fledged revolt in the 65th minute when Maranon directed the ball past a helpless Jamie Young to give the Busmen their first taste of the lead.

Maranon’s goal well and truly turned the tide in Ceres’ favor. Brisbane were stunned. The home side are the defending A-League champions, but are currently eighth in the table this season and would soon face elimination from Asia’s premier club competition.

Already up 2-1, the Busmen finally achieved some breathing room in the 75th minute when Omid Nazari scored from close range to give Ceres a two-goal cushion over Brisbane.

Nazari’s goal not only sealed the win for Ceres, it also propelled Philippine football into the big leagues. Not even a late goal from French midfielder Éric Bauthéac could prevent the Busmen’s victory.

After five minutes of stoppage time, Ceres emerged 3-2 winners against Brisbane Roar. Come what may against Tianjin seven days from now, the Busmen have already achieved Philippine football’s biggest result since their own achievement in last season’s AFC Cup.

Who knows? Maybe Ceres can pull off another upset?

Ceres-Negros XI: Doblas (GK), Super, Mike Ott, Ingreso, Maranon, Porteria, Schrock, De Murga (C), Munoz, Nazari, Christaens.

Brisbane Roar XI: Ingham, Bowles, Papadopoulos, Maccarone, Holman, Khalfallah, Oxborrow, McKay (C), Hingert, Young (GK), Franjic.

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CJ Perez, Zark’s-Lyceum vent ire on Batangas-EAC with 37-point romp



Photo by PBA Images

CJ Perez and the Zark’s Burger-Lyceum Jawbreakers finally lived up to their hype, as they clobbered the Batangas-EAC Generals to score a 37-point beatdown, 112-75 for their first win, Tuesday at the Pasig Sports Center.

It was an all-out attack from the Jawbreakers, as they beat the Generals to the bite and took control of the game early, with Mike Nzeusseu and Jaycee Marcelino guiding their side to the 48-33 lead at halftime which they would never surrender.

Perez paced Zark’s Burger-Lyceum with 21 points and 10 rebounds, while MJ Ayaay tallied a double-double with his 15 markers, 10 boards, and three assists.

Cameroonian student-athlete Nzeusseu also delivered 14 points, 11 rebounds, and two assists. Marcelino had eight first half points and wound up with 12 off the bench, as the reserves chipped in 56 huge points in the tussle.

Coach Topex Robinson lauded the Jawbreakers for quickly adjusting to the style of the PBA D-League just days after falling to the Marinerong Pilipino, 92-94, back in opening day.

“Medyo adjusted na kami on everything — the calls and the teams were playing against with. But the things we want to mind are those things we control. We just have to keep on doing what we are doing. It’s more on replenishing na lang on our old ways,” he said.

Earvin Mendoza and Cedric de Joya both had 16 points for the Generals in the losing effort.

Zark’s-Lyceum look to continue to roll when they face the AMA Online Education Titans on Thursday, January 25. EAC-Batangas, on the other hand, take on the Gamboa-St. Clare Coffee Lovers on Monday, January 29.

The Scores:

Zark’s-Lyceum 112 — Perez 21, Ayaay 15, Nzeusseu 14, Jc. Marcelino 12, Serrano 10, Baltazar 8, Santos 8, Jv. Marcelino 6, Tansingco 6, Marata 4, Liwag 4, Ibañez 2, Cinco 2, Pretta 0.

Batangas-EAC 75 — E. Mendoza 16, De Joya 16, Tampoc 12, Laude 9, Pate 8, Maguliano 6, Altamirano 5, Diego 3, Garcia 0, Dela Peña 0, Martin 0, J. Mendoza 0, Neri 0.

Quarterscores: 19-14, 48-33, 84-47, 112-75.

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