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WA-CHA! DLSU completes come back, defeats arch-rivals ADMU



The spirit of the rivalry was visible in the stands during the match between the De La Salle Green Shuttlers and the defending UAAP Champions Ateneo de Manila University Blue Shuttlers. In the most thrilling series of the day, ADMU led 2 matches to none going into the doubles matches. The shuttlers from Taft would win both doubles matches to tie the series. In the final singles match for the rivalry, it was Carlos Cayanan dominating Carlos Remo to give the green-side the series win.


Men’s Single Match 1: Justin Natividad (ADMU) def. Gerald Sibayan (DLSU), 2:1



The opening match for the DLSU-ADMU series pitted Justin Natividad against charismatic and deceivingly athletic Gerald Sibayan. Justin Natividad, brother of #4 ranked Patrick Natividad, started slow for the Blue Shuttlers but would then pick his pace up with a string of excellent returns to gain the lead 12-9 during the first half of the first set. Sibayan would then storm back scoring 4 straight points to gain a solitary point advantage against Natividad. Both shuttlers would then exchange leads until Sibayan would close out the set winning 21 to 16. The second set saw a composed Justin Natividad and a fatigued Gerald Sibayan. Gerald Sibayan was not able to follow-through on a lot of Natividad’s drop shots. Natividad would win the set 21 – 10. On the third and deciding set of the match, Justin Natividad would continue to ride the momentum he gained from the 2nd set, leading by as much as 19-11 before winning the set 21 – 14. This would serve as the start for the things that would follow between Justin Natividad and Gerald Sibayan later on.


Aggregate Score: Natividad 58 – Sibayan 40

Total Match Time: 68 mins.


Men’s Singles Match 2: Patrick Natividad (ADMU) def. John Kenneth Monterubio (DLSU), 2:1




In an anticipated match-up between ranked players, #4 ranked Patrick Natividad escaped with a win against #25 ranked John Kenneth Monterubio in an 80-minute classic. Patrick Natividad would storm to an early 9-3 lead during the first set but Monterubio would slowly come crawling back to tie the set at 13-all. Not fazed with the comeback, Patrick Natividad displayed composure with graceful drops that Monterubio was not able to return successfully. Patrick Natividad took the first set with a score of 21-17. The second set was as close as the first set. Patrick Natividad would take 17-13 lead mid-way through the set. John Kenneth Monterubio would make a come back scoring 10 of the set’s last 14 points to tie the match up at 1-1 with a score of 18 to 21. Patrick Natividad, during the final set for the match, showed why he was the better conditioned shuttler. With the match breaking the hour-point, the older Natividad, who appeared to have sprained his ankle right after the end of the first set,  still managed to dominate the final set of the match. After 80 minutes and 20 shuttlecocks, Patrick Natividad would win the set 21 – 10 and give ADMU a 2 matches to none lead over DLSU.


Aggregate Score: Natividad 60 – Monterubio 48

Total Match Time: 80 mins.


Men’s Doubles Match 1: Carlos Cayanan and Gerald Sibayan (DLSU) def. Carlo Remo and Justin Natividad (ADMU), 2:0



Gerald Sibayan, a doubles expert from the DLSU-side, was the star of this match-up. Sibayan, who is ranked thrice with 3 different partners in the open men’s doubles division, would make his presence known, not only on-the-court but also in the minds of his opponents to lead the Taft-based tandem to a 2-0 set sweep to give the Green Shuttlers a chance to come back and take the series from the defending champions. During the first set, the tandem of Cayanan and Sibayan worked in perfect harmony to take the set 21 to 15. As the ample crowd cheered on each of the now infamous WA-CHA! celebration of Sibayan, the DLSU crowd would cheer on each Sibayan score while the ADMU crowd would mock each error committed by the flamboyant shuttler. During the second set, every time Justin Natividad would score a point for the Katipunan-based squad, he would shout the same WA-CHA in a playful banter against Sibayan. But for every time this happened during the set, Sibayan would score showing that mind games would not work against him. Gerald Sibayan would put the finishing touches in this match, winning the set 21-16.


Aggregate Score: Remo (18) and Natividad (13) 31 – Cayanan (25) and Sibayan (17) 42

Total Match Time: 30 mins.


Men’s Doubles Match 2: John Kenneth Monterubio and Prince Joshua Monterubio (DLSU) def. Theodore Christopher Co and Patrick Natividad (ADMU), 2:0



With the series in the balance for the Taft-based squad, the Monterubio brothers would tie the contest with a 2 set sweep against the tandem of Patrick Natividad and Theodore Co to force a crucial final singles match against their rivals. Inspired by the performance of the earlier doubles tandem of Cayanan and Sibayan, the Monterubios would not let an early hole let their will down. The brothers would score on 6 straight points to give them a 15-10 lead enroute to a 21 to 14 1st set win. The 2nd set saw a see-saw affair between both teams, going point-for-point during the mid-way part of the set. The set saw both teams tie the game 7 times with no team gaining an obvious advantage against the other. With the Taft-based brothers tied with the tandem of Co and Natividad at 17-all, Kenneth and Prince Monterubio would score on 4 of the last 5 points of the match, including an empathic smash after a long rally, to tie the series up 2-all.


Aggregate Score: Co (20) and Natividad (12) 32 – J. Monterubio (20) and P. Natividad (22) 42

Total Match Time: 40 mins.


Men’s Singles Match 3: Carlos Cayanan (DLSU) def. Carlo Remo (ADMU), 2:0

ADMU 2 – 3 DLSU (DLSU wins)


In a match that would decide the winner of the series, it was uber-athletic Carlos Cayanan performing well under pressure defeating the higher ranked Carlo Remo in straight sets to give the Green Shuttlers the win in the series. With the entire badminton hall watching the match, Cayanan brought a certain calmness that would be the x-factor that set the course of the entire match. The first set saw a close first half to it with both shuttlers exchanging long-point rallies to exchange leads. After an errant service by Remo, which gave Cayanan his 13th point in the match, Cayanan would score the sets’ 7 of its last 9 points to take the first set with the score of 21 – 13. During the second set, Carlos Cayanan would storm to a huge 9 to 1 lead early on. The higher-ranked Remo would then score a string of 6 points to tie the game up 14-all. Both shuttlers would exchange on long rallies to give the audience a close-scoring contest. With the momentum going to Carlo Remo and the game tied at 18, Carlo Remo would hit an emphatic smash. However, the umpire, who had the better view of where the shuttle cock landed, deemed that the shot was outside. The Ateneo crowd was in disbelief. This turned the tides of the match with Cayanan scoring on a drop shot for the 21st point of the set, giving the DLSU Green Shuttlers an upset win over the defending champions.


Aggregate Score: Remo 31 – Cayanan 42

Total Match Time: 35 mins.


Aggregate Sets Won: ADMU 4 – DLSU 8


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Joshua Munzon, Westsports snap Saigon’s streak in highly emotional contest



Photo by ASEAN Basketball League

Entering Wednesday night’s game, Mikey Williams and the Saigon Heat were on a high, slaying the winning streaks of Hong Kong Eastern and Nanhai Kung Fu. However, Joshua Munzon and the Westsports Malaysia Dragons had other things in mind, keeping the Heat winless at the MABA Stadium, 91-87.

In his fourth game since returning to the Dragons, Munzon filled up the stat sheet, tallying 18 points, 10 rebounds, six assists, two steals, and two blocks.

Besides putting up the numbers, the athletic swingman from California helped limit reigning Heritage Player of the Week Williams to his worst game so far in the ABL. Averaging 27.33 points, 6.67 assists, and 6.0 rebounds prior to this game, Williams went field goal-less against the Dragons, missing all 11 of his attempts. The Filipino-American floor general was able to dish out eight assists and grab five caroms.

Westsports led by as much as 11 points in the final frame, 82-71, after Munzon found Marcus Marshall for a triple with 4:59 remaining. Behind World Imports Akeem Scott and Maxie Esho, the Heat stormed right back but was answered by a long bomb by Munzon to keep them at bay.

Marshall and Scott figured in a shootout to close out the game but in the end, the hosts were still able to etch out their second straight victory.

Marshall finished the game with 25 points, nine assists and six rebounds for the Dragons while Scott’s 44-point game went for naught.

After the emotionally charged contest though, few unkind words were exchanged by the officials of both squads that almost resulted into a brawl. Fortunately, things did not escalate beyond that.

In the video, Munzon was also seen shoving a Saigon player to try and pacify the situation. The league is currently investigating the post-game incident.

With the win, Westsports Malaysia raised its record to 3-4 while dropping Saigon to 4-3.

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Mixed Martial Arts

Edward Kelly honored to fight alongside brother Eric



Eric and Edward Kelly lived under the same roof for years in their hometown of Baguio City when they were young and shared the same burning passion in martial arts.

Growing up in the small town community of San Tomas Central, located within the city limits of Baguio, Eric and Edward did not always get along with one another as the two fought all the time, sometimes even resulting in injury.

“We were not that close before. We always fought. In short, Eric and I were headaches to our parents,” Edward recalled in jest.

“But of course, things change when you grow up and mature. We now appreciate each other’s company.”

Fortunately, when the brothers entered high school, Eric discovered martial arts, and everything would change for both of them.

Edward paid attention to the growing accolades of his older brother and was heavily motivated by it.

“I noticed after he started martial arts that it taught him the discipline not to fight me as a brother. Instead, he started giving me advice through what he had learned,” he bared. “I also joined martial arts because it teaches you discipline, and a lot of other positives, too.”

Years later, both men have made remarkable runs as outstanding martial artists in their respective professional careers.

Eric is widely regarded as one of the best homegrown martial arts athletes to come out of the Philippines.

A Wushu practitioner who combines solid striking techniques with high-level grappling skills, Eric owns nine scintillating submissions and one knockout out of 12 total career victories.

Eric’s most impressive showing to date came in a submission win over Rob Lisita in July 2014, a performance that earned him the USD 50,000 ONE Warrior Bonus.

Meanwhile, Edward is considered as one of the best and brightest featherweight prospects to emerge from the well-established martial arts scene in the Philippines.

With a complete striking and grappling skill set, Edward brings Team Lakay’s world-renowned Wushu to center stage as he showcases his impeccable skillset inside the ONE Championship cage.

In addition, the younger Kelly has won three of his last four bouts under the ONE Championship banner, all by spectacular finish.

The Kelly brothers get a rare chance on Friday, January 26 as the siblings will compete side-by-side when ONE Championship holds its first of the four scheduled events in the country for 2018.

Eric squares off with Brazilian standout Rafael Nunes on the undercard of ONE: Global Superheroes, while Edward crosses paths with Cambodia’s Meas Meul in a three-round featherweight clash.

It is the first time both of them will be featured at a ONE Championship event together, and Edward plans to make it a night they will never forget.

“I am so excited because finally, it’s going to happen. It marks the first time that I will compete alongside my older brother. Surely, it’s going to be a memorable night for the both of us,” he said.

“We have the same aim of winning. So making it two for two on this card will make this extra special.”

As Eric seeks to get back on the winning track at the expense of Nunes, Edward is likewise looking to move forward in his career after getting his three-bout winning streak snapped by American stalwart Emilio Urrutia in August 2017.

In his next cage outing, Edward goes up against Meul, a undefeated promotional newcomer with six wins to his credit.

“My coaches has prepared me well for this. I am not going to disappoint my team and my country when I enter that cage on 26th of January,” Edward assured. “I don’t want to let my countrymen down this time. I am here to give them a great bout.

“And of course, win the bout in impressive fashion for them.”

Edward has no qualms if he has to go full three rounds with Meul, but he admitted that his sights are always set on securing the finish.

“I am looking to dominate him for three rounds. But hopefully, I can get the finish,” he vowed.

“A finish will be the perfect way to tell the world that I am back.”

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Roger Pogoy churns best performance against former teammates



Prior to Wednesday, all eyes were on the TNT Katropa-Blackwater Elite face-off, with many curious to see how last season’s Rookie of the Year Roger Pogoy would fare against his former FEU teammates Mac Belo and Raymar Jose.

And as the final buzzer sounded, the 25-year-old Pogoy had reigned triumphant over his close pals, getting away with a conference-best performance as a bonus.

The six-foot-two Cebuano sniper fired a game-high 24 points on 10-of-14 shooting, along with eight rebounds, three assists, and two steals, to lead the Texters to a skid-ending, 92-83 victory at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.

“Must-win talaga namin ‘to para makabawi kami, kasi 1-2 na yung standing namin (before the game) eh.

“Buti na lang maganda yung nilaro ko,” said Pogoy, who was just averaging 11.3 points in the past three games.

But Pogoy tipped his hat to the much taller Elite, who enjoyed plenty of time in the driver’s seat in the first half, until the Katropa found their groove in the third canto — highlighted by a 16-3 rally that put them ahead, 60-53.

“Malakas yung Blackwater eh, tapos ang lalaki nila kaya mahirap mag-drive, mahirap pumasa kasi naagaw nila,” said Pogoy. “Buti na lang naka-adjust kami nung second half. Hindi kami nagmadali, dinahan-dahan namin.”

Aside from his own outing, Pogoy is thankful that they were able to address their fourth quarter woes when facing the Elite — the issue that hounded them in their 76-88 loss to the San Miguel Beermen last Saturday in Iloilo.

TNT had actually been mere steps away from melting down — again — against Blackwater, no thanks to a 20-9 run that wiped out their 17-point lead to just six,

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With Nash Racela knowing his tendencies, Mac Belo limited to poor shooting



Prior to Wednesday, Blackwater Elite’s young star Mac Belo was on a roll early in the 2018 Philippine Cup, averaging exactly 20 points on 42.6 percent shooting in their games against Meralco, Rain or Shine, and Ginebra.

But, as they say, good things must come to an end.

Belo, despite having 13 rebounds, was held to just nine points on 4-of-18 shooting as the Elite bowed to TNT Katropa, 92-83 — a sour loss knowing that they’re coming off huge 94-77 win against Ginebra last Friday.

“Bukol,” said Belo in jest of his poor outing after the match. “Big test para sa’min kasi yung TNT talagang isang de-kalibreng team dito sa PBA.

“Talagang pinaghandaan nila kami, at gustong-gusto nila manalo.”

It also did not help that the Katropa’s head coach, Nash Racela, was his coach in FEU Tamaraws for three years — a relationship brightly highlighted by a championship run in the UAAP Season 78 back in 2015.

“Siyempre alam niya yung mga tendencies ko. Matagal ko siyang coach sa FEU,” said the 6-foot-4 forward.

“Sa akin naman, kailangan ko pa matuto sa ganun, kung anong mga defense binabato niya sakin. Kailangan ko pang pag-aralan.”

But for Belo, the loss was more than his own showing. The 25-year-old lamented his and the Elite’s lapses on defense, which was encapsulated by the second half collapse they had that allowed TNT to come back and steal the win.

“Medyo marami lang kaming lapses especially sa defense namin,” said the sophomore forward, as they allowed TNT to shoot 41.6 percent from the floor. “Maraming mga miscommunication na kailangan pa namin i-work.”

Belo and the Elite are now set to move on from this bitter defeat, as they all shift their sights in their match this Friday versus GlobalPort Batang Pier. For the Gilas Pilipinas stalwart, it is already a must-win for them.

“Kailangan namin ng rest ngayon kasi back-to-back games kami. We need to win sa Friday para okay sa’min,” said Belo. “Kailangan din namin paghandaan kasi galing sila sa win.

“Kailangan namin i-double yung effort namin.”

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