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UST nails first win, squeaks by Ateneo



The UST Growling Tigresses notched their first victory of the still-young UAAP Season 77 with a tense 55-54 decision over the no-longer unbeaten ADMU Lady Eagles. With ADMU and UST’s superstars respectively shackled by foul trouble and outstanding defence, Growling Tigress Jen Angeles took matters into her own hands, scoring a game-high 14 points on an efficient 5/9 outing from the field. ADMU, who slip to 2-1, will be left wringing their hands after two sequential technical fouls in the second quarter handed precious momentum to the now 1-2 UST.

The Growling Tigresses looked the hungrier team from the outset, with star point forward Lore Rivera, who entered the game averaging 15.5 points and 13 rebounds a match, carving the Lady Eagles’ porous defence to earn UST an early 13-6 lead midway through the first. Ateneo head coach Erika Dy burned a time-out to settle her squad and the Lady Eagles came out of the huddle with renewed focus. Ateneo’s reshuffled their defensive deck by sticking the tenacious reserve Hazelle Yam on Rivera, stymieing a key element of UST’s attack. The Lady Eagles then pushed the tempo to the limit, punishing UST’s leaky transition defence with fast-break opportunities, cutting UST’s lead to 15-13 at the end of the opening salvo. The interval between quarters did little to quell Ateneo’s momentum as the Katipunan-based ballers reeled off a 9-2 run to start the second quarter, earning them a 22-17 cushion.

The tide would turn sharply in UST’s favour as the hard-driving Jen Angeles, who would sink 8 of her points in the quarter, drew a third personal foul on towering Lady Eaglet Danica Jose, who buoyed Ateneo’s first two wins with her 20 points and 10.5 boards a game. The call incited vehement remonstrations from the Ateneo bench, who were then slapped with consecutive technical fouls for unruly decorum. The 6-point swing snuffed out ADMU’s momentum and handed Angeles and the Growling Tigresses a slender one point lead. The Ateneo bench could only grit their teeth in frustration as with 1.7s left in the first half, the refs handed the exasperated Jose her fourth foul as she battled for an offensive rebound against UST’s imposing center, Maica Cortes. The Growling Tigresses would settle for a three-point lead heading into the lockers. Meanwhile, the partisan crowd at ADMU’s Blue Eagle Gym mockingly shouted “Technical! Technical!” at the game officials as they left the court for half-time.

The vengeful Lady Eagles struck quickly to open the second half, with elusive forward Claire Aseron slashing her way to two early buckets. Aseron would score 7 of her team-high 13 points in the third quarter, but UST’s guard tandem of Angeles and Kim Reyes poured in 8 combined markers to prevent Ateneo from pulling away. With the score knotted at 41-41 entering the deciding period, Jose returned to action for the team in blue. However, it was the Tigresses who would pounce first, blitzing the Lady Eagles with an 8-0 flurry. Jose would not let Ateneo go down meekly, as she answered UST’s surge with 6 points and some incisive passing to win the Lady Eagles a pair of attempts at the charity stripe. Ateneo’s superstar center herself sunk two clutch free throws to give the Lady Eagles the lead, 54-53, with only 22.9 seconds to play. The drama continued as Lore Rivera, with her personal set of handcuffs in Yam sitting on the bench in favour of the more offensive-minded Aseron, reminded the few UST fans in attendance that they too had a superstar. Freed from the suffocating attention of Yam, Rivera, who had only mustered a paltry 7 points, danced her way deep into the heart of Ateneo’s interior defence, where she skilfully dished to wide-open reserve Mariella Isanan for the game-winning basket. With only 15.7 seconds left on the clock, the Lady Eagles’ starting point guard Sara Bo-ot misfired a contested shot from midrange, triggering the celebrations on the UST bench.



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Calvin Abueva, Raymond Almazan cut from pool



SMART Gilas Pilipinas’ third session for the second leg of the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers ended early on Monday evening.

Prior to the end of the practice, head coach Chot Reyes talked to team veterans Jayson Castro, Gabe Norwood, and June Mar Fajardo. The outspoken mentor told the seniors of the team that he is cutting Calvin Abueva and Raymond Almazan from the pool.

“The reason why we’re dropping Abueva and Almazan for the second window is because they haven’t showed up,” lamented Reyes.

“It’s already our third practice at hindi pa sila nagpapakita. It’s simply a matter of disinterest.

“I guess they’re not interested so we have to move on we can’t wait for those guys,” he pointed out.

Both Abueva and Almazan were part of the teams that competed in the 2017 SEABA Championship, the 2017 FIBA Asia Cup, and the first window of the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers.

Only 10 players from the pool showed up for the team’s third session. And with the second leg exactly one month away, Gilas cannot let a slip up happen especially against Australia.

“Aside from those two we don’t know where Matt Wright is, while Allein [Maliksi] is attending a wedding in Australia. Other than that it’s really just an issue of Calvin and Raymond if they don’t want to be a part of the pool.” expressed Reyes.

“That’s the reason we’re dropping them for the second window.”

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2019 FIBA World Cup Qualifiers

23 for 2023 cadets fill up Gilas practice



With just 31 days until the second window of the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers, only 10 players from the pool attended the team’s third session, Monday evening at the Meralco Gym.

Suiting up in the session presided over by Coach Chot Reyes were June Mar Fajardo, Gabe Norwood, Troy Rosario, Jio Jalalon, Mac Belo, Kiefer Ravena, Kevin Alas, and Roger Pogoy. Carl Cruz and Jayson Castro were in attendance but were in street clothes.

Not present were Matthew Wright, Japeth Aguilar, and Allein Maliksi. Calvin Abueva and Raymond Almazan have yet to attend practice.

Joining the seniors team to prep them up for the World Cup Qualifiers were 10 players from the 23 for 2023 pool.

Ateneo Blue Eagle Matt Nieto attended his first Gilas practice. Joining him were teammates Isaac Go and Thirdy Ravena.

Completing the night’s cast were CJ Perez, Abu Tratter, Will Gozum, J-jay Alejandro, Arvin Tolentino, and Juan Gomez de Liano. Joshua Sinclair watched from the sidelines as he is still recovering from an ACL injury.

Gilas will take on Australia in Melbourne on February 22. The Philippine will then host Japan three days later at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

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San Beda fends off Letran for back-to-back wins



With seasoned setter John Carlo Desuyo steering the wheel to near perfection, the San Beda College romped to their second straight win.

The Red Spikers pulled double-digit outings from four players to upend archrival Colegio de San Juan de Letran Knights, 19-25, 25-13, 25-21, 25-22, and register their fourth win of the season, Monday early evening at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

It was the Knights, however, who started on the right foot, overhauling a 4-10 deficit to snag the first set. Better passing from liberos Aljune Centeno and Johnsen Timbreza resulted in kills from captain Bobby Gatdula.

Nonetheless, San Beda picked up the service game in the next three sets to ultimately finish off the blue-shirts.

Despite the win-loss record they currently sport, the Red Spiker playmaker admitted that t

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Michael Calisaan tows Che’lu-San Sebastian past Perpetual



Photo by PBA Images

Michael Calisaan poured 20 points as he captained newcomer Che’Lu-San Sebastian Revellers to a decisive 83-70 win over the University of Perpetual Help System DALTA Altas to start their voyage, Monday evening at the Pasig City Sports Center.

Doing it all for the Revellers, the veteran forward provided the stability for his side as he shot 8-of-15 from the field while also hauling down nine rebounds, two assists, and two steals in the conference-opening win.

But it wasn’t all Calisaan as Che’Lu got contributions from all over its roster.

Samboy de Leon chimed in 16 markers and nine boards. RK Ilagan went 2-of-5 from threes to collect 13 points, eight dimes, and three rebounds, while big men Alfred Batino and Jeepy Faundo combined for 20 in the victory.

Despite the triumph, coach Stevenson Tiu gave all the praise to his players, noting the team’s lack of time preparing for the tourney.

“Nanalo kami dahil sa talent ng players. Medyo mali ko rin kasi nahirapan pa ako mag-adjust sa players. Hopefully, we play much better in the coming games,” he said.

The Revellers used a 16-4 run to finally break away from the Altas, taking a 77-60 lead with 4:03 to play as they punished their foes for their turnovers, turning Perpetual’s 30 miscues to 28 points in their favor.

Prince Eze anchored the Altas with 15 points, 11 rebounds, and seven blocks in their first game under new head coach Frankie Lim.

Che’lu-San Sebastian look to make it two in a row when they take on the Wangs-Letran Couriers on Monday, January 29 at 5:00pm. Perpetual, on the other hand, hope they can notch their first win when they take on Mila’s Lechon Mighty Roasters.

The Scores:

Che’lu-SSCR 83 — Calisaan 20, De Leon 16, Ilagan 13, Batino 10, Faundo 10, Bulanadi 6, Costelo 6, Calma 2, David 0, Lao 0, Santos 0, Valdez 0.

UPHSD 70 — Eze 15, Coronel 13, Villanueva 13, Jimenez 9, Charcos 7, Peralta 7, Gallardo 5, Pido 1, Antonio 0, Aurin 0, Tamayo 0, Tongco 0.

Quarterscores: 17-22, 34-38, 59-53, 83-70.

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