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UST trounces Ateneo to extend semis series, hands Lady Eagles first loss



Playing as if there was no tomorrow, the University of Santo Tomas Golden Tigresses shocked the UAAP champion Ateneo Lady Eagles to extend their semifinals series with a hard earned 18-25, 25-16, 25-23, 25-22 victory in the Shakeys V-League Collegiate Conference at the FilOil Flying V Arena.

Both teams played a tight first set, with the Lady Eagles managing to create a 16-12 separation against the Golden Tigresses. The Lady Eagles, behind the effort of Alyssa Valdez, Kim Gequillana and Jhoanna Maraguinot led the charge to dispatch the gritty Golden Tigressses.

Despite having a slow start in the second set with the Lady Eagles in the driver seat at 6-2, the Golden Tigresses relied on the triumvirate of Pam Lastimosa, Ria Meneses and EJ Laure to give the España-based squad a 8-7 lead in the first technical timeout. Both teams exchanged attacks until the Lady Eagles committed attack errors coming from Valdez and Maraguinot to give UST a 13-10 lead. Afterwards, Carmela Tunay and Meneses took over in burying the Lady Eagles in the set.

The Tigresses and Lady Eagles played a roller coaster of a third set. With the Golden Tigresses leading 22-16, the Lady Eagles relied on its blocking and errors coming from the Golden Tigresses to catch up, as Bea De Leon scored two consecutive points to take the lead at 23-22. Tunay answered in scoring through the block to tie it at 23. Jessey De Leon then was able to block Valdez and Sarah Verutiao unloaded an ace to take the set from the Lady Eagles.

In the fourth set, the Golden Tigresses showed brilliant floor defense that made it difficult for the Lady Eagles to convert points easily. With a 16-10 deficit in the second technical timeout, the reigning UAAP champion managed to slowly crawl back, with Bea De Leon and Amy Ahomiro leading the charge to cut the lead to just three, 18-15. EJ Laure erupted, scoring the Golden Tigresses five out of six points to put them at matchpoint, 24-18. Ateneo still had some gas left in the tank, with Valdez scoring four straight points to keep them at a 24-22 disadvantage. Tunay didn’t allow Ateneo to gain any more momentum, as she unleashed a quick attack to end the winning streak of the Lady Eagles.

After the game UST Head Coach Kungfu Reyes said the team was really motivated after its straight loss against the Lady Eagles in the semifinals opener yesterday, with the team spending an hour in the dug out to talk things over what went wrong in the game.

“Habang kumakain sa dug out kahapon, nag-usap kami at sinabi ko sa kanila wala mawawala sa atin. Sabi ko bigyan ninyo ang sarili ninyo ng redemption. Ayun nakuha naman ang reward from it,” Reyes said.

Despite the victory against the Lady Eagles Reyes said there is still more things to improve for the Golden Tigresses.

“Sa endgame kami nayayari, buti na lang nakabalik kami, sabi ko sa kanila sa timeout focus muna sila para makabalik at maging consistent sa receive, tapos susunod na ang attacks at blocking,” Reyes added.

Laure led the Golden Tigresses with 17 points while Tunay and Meneses adding 15 and 12 points to extend the semifinals series against the Lady Eagles.

Valdez finished with 24 points to lead the Lady Eagles while Bea De Leon and Kim Gequillana provided 13 and 10 markers respectively.

The Golden Tigresses and the Lady Eagles will tangle in the winner take all game three on September 16 at 4:00 PM in the same venue to figure out who will face the National University Lady Bulldogs at the finals of the Collegiate Conference.

The Scores:

UST (3) – Laure 17, Tunay 15, Meneses 12, Lastimosa 10, De Leon 7, Verutiao 4, Cortez 0, Francisco 0, Cabanos 0, Rasmo (L)

ADMU (1) – Valdez 24, De Leon 13, Gequillana 10, Maraguinot 8, Ahomiro 3, Tiangco-Williams 2, Tan 1, Gaston 0, De Jesus (L)

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



After showing tentativeness during their PBA D-League debut last Thursday that resulted to a loss to Marinerong Pilipino Skippers, the Zark’s Burger-Lyceum Jawbreakers have seemingly caught up with the league’s style of play 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 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 AMA Online Education. And for Perez, he strongly believes that they will be able to carry over this momentum of theirs.

“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 is carrying the Wang’s Basketball Couriers franchise.

And the 5-foot-11 guard unleashed 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 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 makes him beam even more 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 at the backfoot. Italian striker Massimo Maccarone handed the home side the lead at 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 already made Philippine football proud at halftime. By this stage last year, Brisbane accrued a 4-0 halftime cushion against Global Cebu en route to a 6-0 rout.

Today, though, Brisbane faced tougher resistance at the hands of Ceres. This resistance turned into a full-fledged revolt at 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 space at the 75th minute when Omid Nazari scored from close range to give Ceres a two-goal cushion from Brisbane.

Nazari’s goal not only sealed the win for Ceres as it also propelled Philippine football into the big leagues. Not even a late goal from French midfielder Éric Bauthéac can 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 ever 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



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CJ Perez and the Zark’s Burger-Lyceum Jawbreakers finally lived up to its hype as it clobbered the Batangas-EAC Generals to score a 37-point beatdown, 112-75 for its 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 will 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, while 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 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 looks to continue to roll when it faces the AMA Online Education Titans on Thursday, January 25. EAC-Batangas, on the other hand, takes 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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