Saturday, September 30, 2017

Ceres host Ilocos in Saturday night PFL fixture

In the lone Saturday night match in the Philippines Football League, Ilocos United FC head to Bacolod to face Ceres-Negros FC at the Pana-ad Park and Stadium at 7pm.

The visitors made history last week at the Binan Football Stadium, as they finally secured their first-ever PFL win, a 2-1 come-from-behind victory against JPV Marikina FC. Even with that, the team remains mired at the bottom due to an inferior goal difference compared to fellow newcomers Davao.

Ilocos is looking to have a better performance the last time they were in Negros, a 7-0 drubbing back in July. They have since beefed up that side with the likes of Adam Mitter, Charlie Beaton, and Arthur Kouassi. Head coach Ian Gillan admitted that this fixture will be tough due to the presence of quality opposing players. Mitter adds, "Ceres are a great team and a play good football. The lads know what to do."

The hosts are also fresh from a victory, with a solo strike from Stephan Schroeck scoring the only goal of the match against Global Cebu FC. They are also fresh from a stretch of having played five games in two weeks, closing in on six in under three. Injuries are slowly taking their toll, with Martin Steuble fresh from minor surgery and Patrick Reichelt and Luke Woodland still recovering from their injury knocks.

The Busmen are currently in fourth place with 32 points, just two behind idle Global and having played the fewest games amongst all PFL sides.

For those who can't be at Pana-ad tonight, there is a streaming link below.

NOTES: This will be the final PFL match before the FIFA international window reopens. League will go on break and will resume on October 14.

Kaya FC-Makati and FC Meralco Manila set for end of September PFL clash

Tyler Matas tangles for possession with Kaya's Jordan Mintah in the team's meeting last August.
The final set of Philippines Football League matches before the international break are set to take place this Saturday, with the most prominent matchup of the three fixtures being a top-of-the-table clash between Kaya FC-Makati and FC Meralco Manila at the University of Makati Football Stadium. Kickoff is slated at 4pm.

The Sparks have won the past couple of meetings, although the more recent encounter had a controversial nature to it, thanks to a nullified equalizer due to Jordan Mintah being offside late. Nevertheless, expect this matchup to be intense, considering the rivalry of the two sides.

Both sides are fresh from wins last week, with FC Meralco Manila denying Davao Aguilas FC a positive homecoming for the Younghusband brothers with a 2-0 result, while Kaya FC-Makati snapped Stallion Laguna FC's four-game winning streak with an impressive 4-0 victory. The hosts are seeking to snap a seven-match unbeaten run by the visitors in the PFL, while also reducing the gap between them in half with the victory.

Aris Caslib, Tyler Matas, Woody Ugarte, Noel Marcaida

At the post-match press conference, Kaya head coach Noel Marcaida highlighted the very high intensity during training in the run-up for this match. He also praised the Sparks, "Looking forward to the game, I think Meralco has been very consistent. It shows in their results from the previous seven matches, they’re undefeated. Coach Aris has been able to establish a defensive structure for Meralco. For tomorrow’s game, it’s a test of consistency for both clubs." He adds that one important factor in this match maintaining the high intensity all throughout the game.

His counterpart, Aris Caslib, credited the team's togetherness for their current unbeaten run, adding, "I think it’s teamwork. It’s having great ambition, and working together."

Tickets are available at the gate (PhP 20 field side, PhP 350 grandstand) as well as through SM Tickets. If unable to attend in person, one can also check out the streaming below:


Mintah as since emerged as one of the the league's top scorers on 14 goals, and he will test the Meralco defense. Caslib also noted the need to cut off the supply of balls headed towards Mintah as a key factor in this match.

Miguel Tanton, who scored an incredible 40-yard goal last weekend in Makati's 4-0 win over Stallion, will also command respect from the Sparks, after seeing action for the first time recently. Marcaida has gone on to say that Tanton will play later today.

Woody Ugarte on the rivalry between the two teams: "These are the games that everyone enjoys the most. Derby matches are always the best. There's something about Kaya and Meralco games - there's always going to be something interesting."

Tyler Matas on what is needed for the victory: "Both teams go out with good intensity. Kaya, what I've noticed, is that they don't like to lose to us, so we're going to give it all we've got." He adds, "We just have to be organized, which is what we do, and find a way to win."

Milan Nikolic will be suspended for this match, but Simon Greatwich makes his return from suspension last week.

Stallion, Davao seeking bounce back today

Davao Aguilas FC continue their quest to finally secure their first win in the Philippines Football League this afternoon, as they visit Stallion Laguna FC at the Binan Football Stadium at 4pm.

The Aguilas were denied that winning moment last week, a 2-0 loss to FC Meralco Manila at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium last week. Both goals took place in the second half, as Aris Caslib made some adjustments on their offense, while maintaining their defensive game plan against the Younghusbands in their first match against their old club.

Davao interim head coach Marlon Maro bemoaned the depth situation he has with the squad in that loss. Since then, he has received some good news with Angel Guirado finally now available to play.

As for the hosts, they are looking to pick up the pieces after their four-match winning run was halted in emphatic fashion against Kaya FC last week, losing 4-0 at the University of Makati.

This match will feature some offensive threats, as Jhanjhan Melliza will be up against Harry Sawyer and Dylan De Bruycker.

Streaming link for the match can be viewed below

Notes: Kim Kyung So and Carlo Polli are both suspended for Stallion this matchup.

San Beda doubleheader on tap for Saturday Ang Liga action

The campus of La Salle's Science and Technology Complex in Canlubang will once again be host to Ang Liga action this afternoon.

The first half of the doubleheader features National University going up against San Beda at 1pm. The Bulldogs are fresh from claiming the top of the Div I standings with a 5-0 thrashing of Lyceum, and are looking at extending their lead against the Red Lions. On the other hand, the NCAA champions are smarting off a disappointing 4-0 defeat to UP this past weekend.

Div II action finally resumes in the second half of the doubleheader, as the junior teams of Ateneo and San Beda face off at 3pm. The Blue Eaglets are looking to join idle DBTC in second place with a win, while the Red Cubs are still looking for their first win in the tournament.

ABS-CBN Sports to show NBA Preseason

Preseason is coming
With the dawn of October comes the arrival of the NBA season, and to wet your appetite for the upcoming 2017-18 NBA season, ABS-CBN Sports will be airing some of the NBA preseason games on S+A.

The first LIVE preseason game to be shown will be the Milwaukee Bucks and the Dallas Mavericks on October 3 at 8:30am. With the Eastern Conference weakened by the departure of some stars, the Bucks look to make a play to be one of the top four teams in the East. In contrast, the Mavs are entering the 20th season of Dirk Nowitzki still searching for that combination that could enable them to contend again in a now-stacked Western Conference.

Here are the other preseason games that will be shown on S+A:

October 4 at 7:30am: Brooklyn Nets vs New York Knicks. See how the Knicks play without Carmelo Anthony and with Kristaps Porzingis as their main centerpiece.

October 5 at 7am: Memphis Grizzlies vs Philadelphia 76ers. Markelle Fultz and Ben Simmons up against a Grizzlies side that is looking to establish a new identity.

October 9 at 7am: Golden State Warriors vs Minnesota Timberwolves. The defending champs face the revitalized upstarts boosted by the presence of Jimmy Butler.

October 10 at 730am: Houston Rockets vs New York Knicks. See how Chris Paul and James Harden mesh as ballhandlers.

October 11 at 8am: Cleveland Cavaliers vs Chicago Bulls. LeBron James gets new teammates. See how Derrick Rose and Dwyane Wade work with the King, Kevin Love, and Tristan Thompson, while the Bulls figure out things as they pick-up the pieces after Wade and Butler's departures.

October 12 at 7am: Boston Celtics vs Charlotte Hornets. The Celtics have a new "Big Three" to showcase, as Al Horford, Gordon Hayward, and Kyrie Irving face the duo of Kemba Walker and Dwight Howard.

The much-loved NBA Action will also make its return for the upcoming season, with the first episode slated to be shown on starting this Friday, October 6 at 11am.

In addition, ABS-CBN Sports is also going to show Game 4 of the WNBA Finals between the Minnesota Lynx and the Los Angeles Sparks, albeit on a delayed basis. Telecast is pegged at 12nn, with an 8pm replay. (The best-of-five series is currently tied at 1-1, with Game 3 scheduled later this morning).

Thursday, September 28, 2017

FC Meralco Manila beats Davao, spoil Younghusbands homecoming

In the lone Saturday night matchup for the Philippines Football League, FC Meralco Manila spoiled the much-anticipated Younghusband homecoming with a 2-0 victory over the Davao Aguilas at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium.

Goals from Tahj Minniecon and Jake Morallo in the second half propelled the Sparks to the win, retaining their six-point gap against their upcoming opponents Kaya FC-Makati atop the PFL standings with 44 points.

The Sparks got the first scoring opportunity of the match, with Minniecon firing a long range attempt directly at Marko Trkulja in the 18th minute. Tahj got a second chance in the 35th minute, but his volley off a Tyler Matas throw-in sailed over. Daniel Gadia also had a chance just before the halftime whistle, but was off-target. As for Davao, Matthew Hartmann, Harry Sawyer, and Dylan de Bruycker came close to their respective chances, but unable to convert.

Davao had the first crack of breaking the deadlock in the second half, with Hartmann's left-footed shot forcing an acrobatic save from Junjun Badelic, but it was the Sparks that managed to finally score in the 52nd minute, as Anto Gonzales found Minniecon for the score. The Aussie sent a low drive to the left side of Trkulja for his fifth goal of the season.

Alvin Sarmiento had a chance to double the lead thirteen minutes later, but his volley sailed high. The hosts finally got that insurance goal from Jake Morallo in the 83rd minute, as the substitute nodded home a Matas delivery from the left flank into the lower left corner.

NOTES: Head coach Aris Caslib made just one change to the side that faced Global last week, with Gadia replacing team skipper Simon Greatwich at midfield. Canas inherited the captaincy in Simon's absence.

Matas has continued his "iron man" like streak in the PFL, having played every single minute for the Sparks this season.

Post-match quotes:

Caslib on Gadia being named as the Man of the Match: "Gadia understood his role, to control Matt Hartmann and play in front of the backline. He also worked well with Anto."

Gadia on playing alongside Gonzales, who coached him at UP: "Playing with Anto was like playing with my Dad. He taught me everything about football in college. He corrected me on the small details."

Caslib on their gameplan today: "Our plan was that when Phil and James get the ball, we would double-team them. That's why there were so many orange shirts around them whenever they received the ball."

Marlon Maro on the loss: "Two games in so short a time is hard for us."

Maro on the current roster construction: "Our team is not balanced. I have too many midfielders and not enough side defenders."

Kaya FC-Makati puts an emphatic end on Stallion Laguna streak

Enjoying the aftermath of a win inside the University of Makati
The winning streak of Stallion Laguna FC has been silenced in impressive fashion on the road by Kaya FC-Makati, with the home side pulling out a 4-0 victory at the University of Makati this past Saturday afternoon.

All four goals came in the second half, three of them coming in a span of six minutes. At the hour mark, Jordan Mintah received the ball just inside the Stallion half, then releasing to the ball towards Robert Lopez Mendy out on the left flank. He would then sprint towards the box, then received the ball back from Lopez Mendy, beat his defender using one touch, then taking another touch to settle himself down before slotting past the net into the far corner to open the scoring that afternoon.

It didn't take long for a second goal for the hosts. Miguel Tanton just came into the match to replace Woody Ugarte, and when he received the ball just inside the Stallion half a couple of minutes after the first Mintah goal, he fired a lob that dropped perfectly under the crossbar and into the net.

Mintah would get his second goal in the 66th minute, scoring from a header off a Tanton assist.

Capping things off for the victory is Eric Giganto, as he received a pass from Marvin Angeles on the right flank to put it past the line in the 86th minute.

Noel Marcaida and Jordan Mintah addressing the media after the match

Addressing the media post-match, Noel Marcaida was pleased with the result, knowing how much this was needed. He says, "I think coming into this game, everyone was on the same page. As I mentioned before the match, we had plans for Melliza, plans for their midfielders, and I think we were successful. We denied them scoring chances, and I give credit to all our players for playing very well."

Marcaida also praised Tanton's return, noting that it "really made a difference." He added, "We had lots of penetration, we had lots of chances, and we were able to score goals. Noel noted the collective effort of the team as well in the victory.

The four goals Kaya FC-Makati scored that afternoon matched the team's scoring output in the previous four matches, underscoring the team's offensive issues.

With the victory, they solidified their hold on second place with 38 points in 22 matches. The loss keeps Stallion at 26 points in 21 matches.

Kaya hosts FC Meralco Manila in a huge top-of-the-table clash at 4pm on September 30, while Stallion hosts the Davao Aguilas, also at that same time frame.

The other Saturday afternoon PFL matchup saw Ilocos United FC finally break through with their first victory, defeating JPV Marikina FC at the Binan Football Stadium, 2-1. Kennedy Uzoka scored the game-winner in the 82nd minute for the visitors. Allen Angeles broke the ice for the "home" side after ten minutes, but Angelo Marasigan equalized in the 32nd off a free kick.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Michael Dasmarinas joins Ringstar Boxing, set for October fight in Singapore

Hot & Spicy debut this coming October 20.
Singapore-based sports management and boxing promotions outfit RingStar Boxing recently announced its signing of Filipino boxer Michael "Hot & Spicy Dasmarinas.

The 25-year old Camarines Sur native has a 25-2 record, with 16 win coming by way of knockout.

He will make his RingStar debut at "The Roar of Singapore III - The Chosen Wan" boxing event this coming October 20 at the Suntec City Convention Centre. This event will be sanctioned by the International Boxing Organization (IBO).

RingStar Boxing CEO Scott Farrell says, "We are very excited about signing Dasmarinas. RingStar has a plan to bring him to the top and turn him into a world champion, and make him an inspiration to his fellow countrymen in the Philippines. His career so far on paper makes him look like a good opponent for someone to beat for a major title; we at RingStar now want to guide him and his career, and take him to the top, as I see Dasmarinas as a world-class and a future division dominator."

Dasmarinas is set to face a Thai fighter for this event, with plans on getting his first title shot in early 2018 in China.

Those who want to watch The Roar of Singapore III can get tickets already at

For further details about RingStar Boxing, one can check out

Tripleheader clean sheets for Ang Liga Sunday

The Sunday triple-header for the Ang Liga tournament produced interesting results at the La Salle Science and Technology Complex inside Canlubang.

The first match of the day saw the University of Santo Tomas dismantle Emilio Aguinaldo College, 6-0, with six different Golden Booters getting onto the scoresheet to snap a three-match winless skid.

It took them four minutes to score first, with Marvin Bricenio credited with the goal. Jayson Rafol and Gino Clarino completed the first half scoring in the 17th and 29th minute.

The second half was much like the first one for the defending champions, with Conrado Dimacali taking just three minutes after kickoff to add a fourth goal for UST. Completing the scoring for the Golden Booters are Efren Menares and Aljireh Fuchigami in the 66th and 83rd minute, respectively.

The loss keeps the Generals rooted at the bottom without a point, and without a goal.

Kicking off the afternoon doubleheader is the University of the Philippines housing San Beda, 4-0, for their fourth straight victory.

A mental lapse by a San Beda player resulted in a penalty, committing handball inside the area after 18 minutes. Daniel Saavedra's spot kick was saved by Michael Asong, but he would eventually convert the subsequent rebound. He would then score his second fourteen minutes later, firing a long curling bomb past Asong.

Ian Clarino made it 3-0 six minutes before the break, converting on a header off a corner into the far post. Rvin Resuma would score the final goal of the match in similar circumstances in the 69th minute.

Capping off the Red Booters' rough day is James Pangasian getting sent off for punching Ryan delos Reyes just two minutes before second half injury time.

This is the first loss for the defending NCAA champions, while combining this result with Saturday's loss by Lyceum enables UP to move into second place on goal difference.

The final match of the day sees a 2-0 College of Saint Benilde victory over the University of Perpetual Help System Dalta.

Vincent Erik Lovitos scored inside the box in the 39th minute, his second of the tournament, while an own goal from Inigo Mongaya doubled the lead and ensures that the Blazers will not have a fourth straight 1-0 result.

CSB would join UP and Lyceum at twelve points, but their inferior goal difference puts them in fourth place. The Blazers are also the last team in Division I without a loss.

NU blows out Lyceum, takes Ang Liga lead

In the lone Saturday matchup at the Ang Liga tournament, National University returned atop the Division I roost in emphatic fashion with a 5-0 victory over Lyceum at the Gatorade Blue Pitch in Makati.

The Bulldogs moved ahead of the Pirates late in the first half, with Lawrence Colina scoring first in the 41st minute, followed by Jekar Sullano three minutes later.

It didn't take long for NU to pad the lead further in the second half, with skipper Patrick Valenzuela adding to the tally in the 49th minute to make it 3-0.

Lyceum's woes were exacerbated when Neil Mark Subebe was sent off for his second booking in the 56th minute, putting the Pirates at a personnel disadvantage. NU would take full advantage, as they scored their fourth goal at the hour mark through Sean Epili.

Francis Mbei would cap the scoring in the 84th minute on a goalmouth scramble.

The win puts NU atop Division I with fourteen points through four wins and two draws, while snapping Lyceum's four-match winning streak. The Pirates are now two points behind with their first loss in the tournament.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Folayang to face Nguyen in ONE: Legends of the World main event

ONE Championship earlier this week officially announced the main event of their MMA event in Manila, called ONE: Legends of the World.

To take place at the SM Mall of Asia Arena on November 10, ONE: Legends of the World will feature reigning ONE Lightweight World Champion Eduard Folayang, as he makes his title defense against another current champion, ONE Featherweight World Champion Martin Nguyen.

In making the announcement, ONE Championship Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong says, "ONE Championship continues to push the boundaries of sports and entertainment with each event, and our next show in Manila is going to be absolutely phenomenal. Two world champions in their respective weight classes are set to go head-to-head in a cross-divisional showdown that will be talked about the world over. Newly minted ONE Featherweight World Champion Martin Nguyen will take on reigning ONE Lightweight World Champion Eduard Folayang in a bout that is sure to produce fireworks."

In separate statements, both Folayang and Nguyen gave their respective thoughts about the match.

Folayang: "As a martial artist, I am constantly in search of the biggest challenges, the biggest tests of my skills. As champion, I welcome any and all challengers. Martin [Nguyen] is one of the best in the world and it is an honor to share the ONE Championship cage with him. This is a bout for the fans, and I can’t wait to perform in front of my hometown crowd in Manila once again. I have complete respect for my opponent’s skills and together with my brothers at Team Lakay, my coach Mark Sangiao, I’m preparing to showcase the best version of Eduard Folayang on 10 November."'

Nguyen: "New Year's will be coming early this year, because in this fight there will definitely be fireworks. I'm out not only to make a statement, but to go down in history as the best to ever compete under the ONE Championship banner. I have the utmost respect for the lightweight champion, and will definitely not take his skills for granted. But this is going to be a dog fight. It's the first time two champions in different divisions go head-to-head in ONE, and I am excited to give the performance of a lifetime. The real winner of this bout will be the fans at the Mall of Asia Arena."

A member of the legendary Filipino fight stable Team Lakay, the "Landslide" is one of the most experienced Filipino martial artists, amassing an 18-5 professional record spanning almost a decade. He's currently on a four-match winning streak, including a TKO win over Shinya Aoki to claim the lightweight title. Folayang is fresh from successfully defending his belt against Ev Ting this past April.

On the other hand, "The Situ-Asian" is fresh from the biggest victory of his career, stopping Marat Gafurov to clain the featherweight title last August. Toting a 9-1 record, Nguyen is looking to crack double digit victories and a chance to secure a second title.

For further details on this matchup, as well as other news from ONE Championship, check out

Desiderio named as UAAP Player of the Week

The second Chooks-To-Go UAAP Press Corps Player of the Week went to someone who led arguably the most surprising result so far in UAAP Season 80.

Paul Desiderio fired a career-high thirty points this past Saturday against La Salle, while also contributing six rebounds and five assists. He led the charge for the University of the Philippines' monumental victory against the defending champions, 98-87.

The Cebuano's feat was the first thirty-point performance for a Fighting Maroon since Imperium took over the handling of statistics in the UAAP back in 2003. Paul's six three-pointers played a large part in UP converting sixteen triples in the match, which tied the most a team has converted in a game.

Paul beat out Jun Manzo, Ben Mbala, Papi Sarr, and last week's winner Thirdy Ravena for the nod.

In the post-match press conference with the media, he could say, "Naglaro lang ako." He added, "Wala akong masabi. Nagpapasalamat lang ako sa mga teammates ko, kasi tulong-tulong kami para manalo."

His head coach, Bo Perasol chimed in, "His teammates are his unsung heroes. They pass the ball to him, they rebound for him, they set screens for him, they do the little things for him." Perasol believes that the guys made Paul's "excellent performance possible."

And that was especially true against the Green Archers. Manzo contributed 17 markers, including five straight in the fourth quarter to allow UP to erect an 86-77 lead with over three minutes left in the period. Jan Jaboneta and Paolo Romero stepped in with quality minutes in the final period, while the likes of Jerson Prado, Ibrahim Ouattara, and Andrew Harris took turns trying to keep Mbala in check all game.

Paul's performance has taken off since the first couple of games, chiming in 28 against UE over a week ago. He shares that "Medyo gigil pa ako first two games, pero ngayon, okay na. Nag-relax na ako."

Opposing coaches have taken note of his prowess. Aldin Ayo after the game told the media, "Ginawa na rin sa amin ni Desiderio 'yun before, so we prepared ourselves for that, pero our players did not respond." Meanwhile, UE head coach Derrick Pumaren had this to say after the game, "I think Desiderio killed us."

Adamson rebounds with NU victory

Adamson bounced back from their previous loss, grinding out National University in UAAP Season 80 men’s basketball tournament this past Sunday evening inside the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City, 83-76.

Fresh from their 85-73 loss to La Salle last Wednesday, Head Coach Franz Pumaren noted that "We played smarter basketball today compared to last." His counterpart, Jamike Jarin, said that "Adamson's guards outplayed us."

Papi Sarr played his best ball for the Soaring Falcons, contributing 19 points and 13 rebounds, while Jerrick Ahanmisi and Jun Espeleta combined for 26 points. Jerie Pingoy starred on both ends of the court with twelve points and six steals.

It was a typical grit-and-grind for both teams as Adamson starting to find their groove for the season and controlling the game from the get go.

Jjay Alejandro led the Bulldogs with 25 points.

Both Adamson and NU are now tied in the standings at 2-2. (c/o Kim Karlo Castro)

Ateneo still undefeated; clobbers UE anew

Ateneo remains undefeated in the UAAP Season 80 men's basketball tournament, beating the University of the East, 83-65 this past Sunday afternoon at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

Thirdy Ravena led the way for the Blue Eagles with 21 points, eight rebounds, two assists, and a steal. Eleven of those 21 came in the final period, as they finally pulled away from the pesky Red Warriors.

The second-generation star praised their opposition in the post-match press conference, "UE showed their fighting spirit. We can't be complacent with any team. UE gave us a hard time."

Lead assistant Sandy Arespacochaga noted that the Red Warriors scored 29 in the third canto.

Ateneo may have struggled offensively in the first half, as they were limited to just 32 points, but they did manage to hold their own in the rebounding department overall, 44-32.

Alvin Pasaol led UE with 22 points, as they fell to 0-4. The Red Warriors will face Adamson next week, in an all-Pumaren coaching matchup. The Blue Eagles, on the other hand, will face a UST side this coming Wednesday that is also currently winless this season. (c/o Kim Karlo Castro)

Sunday, September 24, 2017

UAAP to honor Ricafort TRO

Addressing the media at the half of FEU-UST, UAAP Executive Director and concurrent Commissioner for Basketball Rebo Saguisag says that he and the rest of the UAAP Board will not keep Rob Ricafort from playing in the UAAP Season 80 men’s basketball tournament, but warned the University of the Philippines to be ready when facing consequences under the 20-day TRO.

In the official statement, the UAAP said that they’ll respect the TRO issued against the league regarding the eligibility of Ricafort. The UAAP age limit is 24 and those athletes who will turn 25 in the same season are not eligible to play; Rob Ricafort is 24 years old, but will not turn 25 until January next year.

Saguisag also added that the risk of playing Ricafort in their games faces a possible huge consequence, like forfeiting the games in which the latter will play and if the TRO is null and void.

Saguisag also cited Matthew Aquino’s situation with National Unversity two years ago, as where those games that he did play was not forfeited. (c/o Kim Karlo Castro)

UP with a statement win over La Salle

The University of the Philippines sent shockwaves across Philippine basketball with a stunning 98-87 win over defending champions La Salle in the UAAP Season 80 men’s basketball tournament on Saturday night at the Mall of Asia Arena, Pasay City.

UP head coach Bo Perasol actually had doubts coming into the ball game on how to beat the defending champions, until someone forwarded to him the tweet of one of his players, Jun Manzo, who said “walang imposible sa taong naniniwala,” he told in the press room after their victory.

Paul Desiderio finished the game with a new UAAP career of high 30 points, the most points scored by a UP player since 2003. Aside from composing that tweet, Manzo, also helped in the scoring department by tallying 17 points.

It was DLSU who started the game strong, taking of Ben Mbala firing threes everywhere. The Cameroon international scored a total of 16 points, including 4 made field goals from beyond the arc. But it was in the 2nd quarter where the UP made a run of their own and they went toe to toe with the Archers to take a 4-point lead after the 1st half, capped off by a Rob Ricafort transition layup just before the buzzer.

The fourth quarter saw UP make key baskets, started the quarter strong with a 10-3 blitz, utilizing contributions from key reserves Paolo Romero and Janjan Jaboneta to establish their biggest lead of the game at 11.

“This cannot be a means to step backwards. Cannot be too emotional win about this. It is just one win.” told by UP head coach Bo Perasol in the press room, recognizing the magnitude of the moment and looking at the upcoming schedule.

Ben Mbala finished the game with a career high too of 34 points making 4 out of 8 from the three-posint range.

Both UP and DLSU are now tied in the standings with 3-1 record. (c/o Kim Karlo Castro)

FEU Tamaraws use a huge 4th qtr to keep UST Tigers winless

It was in the 4th period wherein Far Eastern University opened the floodgates to beat the University of Santo Tomas, 78-65 in UAAP Season 80 men’s basketball tournament on Saturday afternoon at Mall of Asia Arena, Pasay City.

The Growling Tigers controlled the game from the get go, establishing a 10-point lead in the 1st half over the Tamaraws.

After playing three quarters and having a one-point advantage heading into the final canto, 49-48, the Tamaraws went a 14-0 run that was kickstarted by Arvin Tolentino hitting two straight 3-point shots. They would then never look back since.

Arvin Tolentino led the way for FEU with 15 points and 10 rebounds. Ron Dennison also chipped in with 15 points.

“It’s hard to get wins in the UAAP. We have to grind it out.” said by FEU coach Olsen Racela inside the press room.

UST shot 33% only from the field along with 24 turnovers. They were also down by 12 points in fast break points.

Jeepy Faundo led the way for UST with double-double performance of 16 points and 11 rebounds.

FEU now with a record of 2-2 while UST still winless after 4 outings. (c/o Kim Karlo Castro)

Tripleheader lined up for Ang Liga in Canlubang

The Ang Liga tournament heads back to Canlubang today, with a Division tripleheader on tap inside the La Salle Science and Technology Complex in Binan.

Kicking off the trifecta of games today at 10am is the University of Santo Tomas against Emilio Aguinaldo College.

The Golden Booters are seeking to get their season back on track against the Generals, who have yet to even score in this tournament after four matches. Both teams are fresh from suffering narrow defeats to College of Saint Benilde in their last matches.

The Blazers are also on tap to play today, capping off the day's action at 4pm against the struggling University of Perpetual Help System Dalta. CSB is looking to remain unbeaten this year, while the Altas share the same struggling predicament of EAC.

Completing the triple-header is the marquee matchup of the day, as the University of the Philippines goes up against San Beda at 1pm.

The Red Booters from Mendiola are seeking to dispatch the Maroon Booters in order to earn third win of the season, whilst UP looks to remain in step with current pacesetters NU and Lyceum.

With UST, CSB, UP, and San Beda all separated by five points, a win will make for a good leg up in the race for the postseason.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Younghusband homecoming set against FC Meralco Manila

Davao Aguilas vs FC Meralco Manila
In the lone Saturday night matchup in the Philippines Football League, FC Meralco Manila hosts the Davao Aguilas at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium.

The 7pm kick-off will feature the much-anticipated return of the Younghusbands to face the team they used to play for the last six years.

Both sides are fresh from draws, as the Sparks snatched a point on the road at the CCSC against Global Cebu FC without scoring, while the Aguilas hosted Ceres-Negros FC for a 1-1 result that keeps them still without a victory in the PFL.

The hosts have won all three meetings this season, with the last meeting back in July at Tagum being the final game the Younghusbands would ever wear the orange kit. They are looking to strengthen their stranglehold atop the league, providing themselves just enough cushion against the contenders below them. On the other hand, the visitors still remain in seventh place, trying to fend off fellow newcomers Ilocos United FC in the battle at the bottom of the league.

Newly-minted head coach Marlon Maro gets to match wits once again with Aris Caslib. Both men are very familiar with each other's tactics and methods, having coaching backgrounds in the NCAA with CSB and San Beda, respectively.

Notes: Both Nate Burkey and Simon Greatwich are suspended for this particular matchup.

Quotes from the pre-match press conference:


"We are coming out tomorrow for a win. The spirit is high, the mentality is positive, I can see the attitude in training that they really want to win."
"Tactically not much will change. We will just play to our strengths."
"We want to encourage our fans, but we have to win for them and the sponsors."

Phil Younghusband:

"We have the determination and motivation to win."
"James and I spent six years with Meralco. They weren't just teammates, everyone there were friends. But when we step across the white line it will be all about the team we are representing and we will do everything to make sure Davao wins."
"Before and after the game there will be some emotion when we see familiar faces but during the game there will be no love lost."
"We have the quality. We have a clear goal, structure, and organization. We've improved by leaps and bounds."
"Bojan has good size, experience, and knowledge. He will be a strong asset for us." (Bojan is Bojan Malisic, who made his PFL debut in their last match.)
"I know Aris likes to surprise teams and do something different (tactically). He does his homework and likes to go into detail.


"We have been competitors for a long time, but we are also very good friends off the pitch." (On the match-up against Maro)
"Phil Younghusband ever since has been all about quality. He is always consistent and we expect the same thing tomorrow."
"With Simon Greatwich suspended, we will rely on Anto Gonzales and Daniel Gadia to assist in the midfield. Tahj Minniecon can also help."
"Davao will play high and press us. They are dangerous in set pieces. We have to watch for Matt Hartmann on the break on the left side."
"Coach Marlon is a good manager with a lot of experience. He brings good man management to the table. It will be a tough match tomorrow."

Connor Tacagni: "We have huge respect for Phil and James and what they have done for Meralco and the national team."

Kaya FC–Makati Returns to UMak, Looks to Put a Halt to Stallion Laguna’s Winning Run

Kaya might have this guy back later today.
Kaya FC Makati make their return to the University of Makati later this Saturday afternoon, taking on a red hot Stallion Laguna side hunting for their fifth straight victory in the Philippines Football League. Kickoff is scheduled at 4pm, with tickets to Field Side (P20) and Grand Stand (P350) seats available either through SM Tickets or at the venue.

Fresh from snapping a 6-game winless skid in Ilocos, Kaya are eager to get back into the habit of winning, especially with only seven games left for Makati to ensure their presence in the Finals Series. Every outing now bears massive consequences to the club’s hopes of finishing in the top four.

“The only option we really have is to get those three points, so we can get a stranglehold of a top four spot,” said Kaya Makati head coach Noel Marcaida. “Our goal tomorrow is to stop their winning streak, and for us to begin our winning momentum.”

One key hurdle for the home side will be Jesus Melizza. Known as Jhan-Jhan, the former FEU standout is the PFL’s current leading scorer with 14 goals. He’s been on a tear in the last few weeks, with his blinding pace and clinical finishing shooting him into the very top of a prestigious list of the league’s finest finishers. Kaya’s Jordan Mintah and Robert Lopez Mendy are not far behind with 12, and nine, respectively.

“I think Stallion has been working on their fitness, especially Jhan Jhan Melliza. At the start of the league, you can see Melliza was not that fit. Now he’s in good shape, thats why he’s able to get lots of goals for Stallion. I think tomorrow, the main goal is stop the source to Melliza, and we make sure we control him. If we do that all throughout the game, for sure we’ll get a good result,” stated Marcaida.

Laguna head coach Armando Heria isn’t so sure stopping Stallion will be so easy.

“Maybe they can stop Jhan Jhan. But other players can penetrate on the left or right side,” he said. “Kaya FC is one of the very strong teams in the PFL, and we are prepared to face them tomorrow. We are preparing on pressurizing them in the midfield, not to allow them to distribute upfront,” he added.

It’s been more than a month since Kaya last played at the University of Makati. And the club’s return has been buoyed by the return of a key player from injury.

“It’s been a long while since we last played in our home. It’s going to be an interesting and exciting game. Last time we played Stallion at home, we won 1-0, but they also created lots of chances. We just have to make sure that everyone is ready, everyone is sharp, and that everyone is on the same page,” said Marcaida, before revealing, “Everyone is available. We have players who haven’t played for more than a month now. Miguel Tanton’s presence in tomorrow’s game will be a big help for us.”

Jovin Bedic, who was a part of Stallion’s glory years in the United Football League, is eagerly anticipating tomorrow’s showdown against his former club, confident that Kaya have the necessary hunger to send the visitors home empty handed.

“Bukas, very exciting yung game kasi, Stallion kakagaling lang sa four-game winning streak,” he said. “Pero kailangan nating depensahan, nasa home din tayo. Yung supporters, yung Ultras Kaya, nandun. Dapat depensahan yung home mo, so lalaban kami bukas.”

(“Tomorrow is going to be a very exciting game because, Stallion have just come from a four-game winning streak,” he said. “But we need to protect, we are at home afterall. The supporters, the Ultras Kaya, they’re there. Your home needs to be defended, so tomorrow we’re coming out fighting.”)

“We’re hungrier to win in tomorrow’s game. We’ve been working hard after that winless streak. Tomorrow, we’re going to go out there strong, prepared for a physical game against Stallion. That’s it.”

JPV Marikina in a "must-win" situation vs Ilocos

JPV Marikina FC is looking to keep themselves in contention for the postseason as they face off against cellar dwellers Ilocos United in the Philippines Football League at 4pm later this afternoon at the Binan Football Stadium.

The hosts are currently just outside the top four in fifth place with 27 points. They are two points behind Ceres-Negros for the fourth and final postseason spot currently up for grabs, with the Busmen owning five games in hand.

Head coach Dan Padernal views this match-up as a "must-win" for the club, acknowledging that this is an opportunity to move up in the table. He sees this is as a "nice game" and "it will not be an easy win for us." Padernal also notes their upcoming schedule against teams in the running for the postseason as opportunities to make up lost ground.

Camelo Tacusalme echoed the "must-win" sentiment of Padernal, noting that they will have a "tough game," and that they will prepare for this matchup.

JPV will still not have the services of Taku Uesato, who is suffering from a rib injury and is scheduled to fly back to Japan to have it looked into. The forward, according to Padernal, wanted to play, but "I don't want to risk the future of his career." They will have Takashi Odawara back alongside Masaki Yanagawa and Satoshi Otomo provding stability.

As for Ilocos United, although they remain rooted at the bottom of the league, head coach Ian Gillian believes that the team has no pressure in seeking that inaugural victory, especially considering their preparations for this season. He says, "There is no expectations. We just go in day in and day out." He also praised JPV and considers them as one of the better tactical sides in the PFL.

Streaming link for the upcoming match can be seen below:

NOTES: Padernal shares that JPV will finally make their official home debut in Marikina on October 22, which pits them against the Davao Aguilas. As such, this afternoon's match will be, in theory, the final home game played elsewhere. In addition, he also shares that the team has made an appeal of their forfeiture loss against Kaya FC-Makati.

Ceres-Negros prevents Davao breakthrough

Davao hosting Ceres at Tagum earlier this week.
The Davao Aguilas have yet to win a football game as a club in the Philippines Football League, as they were held by Ceres-Negros FC to a 1-1 draw on Wednesday afternoon at the Davao del Norte Sports Complex in Tagum City.

With the attention the team got after making the decision to name Marlon Maro as the interim head coach to replace their inaugural gaffer Gary Phillips, the Aguilas were hoping that such a change would lead to an improvement in fortune after losing six of their last eight matches.

Such changes saw immediate dividends, with James Younghusband scoring the opening goal of the match in the 27th minute, as a Phil Younghusband free kick found its way to Harry Sawyer inside the area, with the ball eventually finding James to poke in past the line, after getting a deflection off a Ceres defender.

The Busmen did have their scoring opportunities. Stephan Schroeck's chance in the tenth minute was deflected to the left of the post in the tenth minute, while Manny Ott's opportunity was saved by Marko Trkulja in the 36th minute. Ceres also had a couple of chances just before the first half ended, but the break came with the hosts taking a 1-0 lead.

The visitors continued to put pressure on the Davao defense to find an equalizer to start off the second half, with Schroeck's attempt from the right side being saved by Trkulja in the 48th minute. They eventually would break through in the 73rd minute, as Fernando Rodriguez finally puts Ceres on the board with a header from inside the area.

Each side had their chances to secure the winning goal, but Trkulja challenged Iain Ramsay's scoring opportunity in the 76th minute, while Jeffrey Christiaens and Omid Nazari could not convert on their chances. Meanwhile, Simone Rota's header off a free kick, was ruled offside in the 84th minute, an outcome that Maro was not thrilled with.

Meanwhile, in what was the surprising development of the day for the PFL, the other match scheduled for the day between Global Cebu FC and Stallion Laguna FC at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium was cancelled. Both teams, represented by Josef Malinay for the hosts and Ernie Nierras for the visitors, would then conduct a press conference to address this particular matter, mainly apologizing to the fans for the sudden cancellation.

As of this writing, the league has not yet addressed the statements made by both teams concerned publicly. Aside from its post on Facebook announcing said postponement, the PFL has yet to officially comment on this matter.

NOTES: Attendance at Tagum for this match was just under four thousand. Maro at the post-match press conference: "We indeed won. However, the referee nullified our second goal. It's his opinion. We respect it. To our fans, we are still on the right track for the remaining matches. Ceres has 29 points, but can easily overcome their twelve-point deficit to FC Meralco Manila with their five games in hand. Davao remains mired in seventh place with seven points.

Top of Div I clash in lone Saturday Ang Liga match

Just a single match-up is on tap for the Ang Liga tournament today, featuring a matchup involving the top two teams of Div I.

National University is seeking to end Lyceum's current four-match winning streak and retake control atop their division at 7am this morning at the Gatorade-Blue Pitch in Makati.

The Bulldogs currently have 11 points, just a point behind the Pirates in second place. Do keep in mind that the latter has a game in hand to the former, which has only won once in their last four matches. The side of Mari Aberasturi are coming off a scoreless draw against UE a week ago at the field inside the San Beda campus in Mendiola. In contrast, Popoy Clarino's squad are fresh from a 3-0 win over EAC almost a couple of weeks ago at the field inside La Salle-Canlubang.

Both teams tout their offensive capabilities, having scored a combined 29 goals so far in this tournament, coming from 19 different players. Only the idle UP Maroons have scored more as a unit. In addition, both have also dispatch their intra-league opposition, with NU issuing shutouts against EAC and Perpetual, while Lyceum has beaten UP and UST.

Friday, September 22, 2017

ONE Championship 2018 calendar set

Earlier on Wednesday, ONE Championship officially revealed its 2018 calendar, with 24 events scattered all across Asia.

Ten cities will have the chance to host a ONE Championship event in nine countries, with Manila, Jakarta, and Bangkok each getting four events. Shanghai, which just had its first ONE Championship event earlier this month, will have three events, just like Kuala Lumpur, while Singapore will have two events.

ONE Championship will also make their initial forays into South Korea and Japan next year, while Yangon and Beijing complete the cast of cities that comprises the 2018 calendar.

In releasing the 2018 schedule, ONE Championship Chairman and CEO Sityodtong says, "We are thrilled to announce our incredible 2018 calendar of events for ONE Championship. We have 24 massive shows planned for all sports fans in Asia and will continue to showase the absolute best in martial arts, delivered by our homegrown martial arts superheroes. 2018 is going to be an epic year of action and I can't wait to get things started."

2017 has been phenomenal for ONE Championship, with historic matchups having taken place or is on tap, with six more events lined up for the rest of the year. There has been three title changes so far, with Aung La N Sang, Martin Nguyen, and Adriano Moraes earning their title shots, while the likes of Ben Askren, Angela Lee, and Eduard Folayang remaining dominant in their divisions.

ONE Championship has also taken the opportunity to host authentic martial arts matches like traditional Lethwei and Silat during its events. It even had a special grappling super-match featuring Shinya Aoki and Garry Tonon. The company has also touted its increased reach in both television and social media, with increasing partnerships with some of the world's biggest global brands.

Here is ONE Championship's 2018 calendar:

Jakarta, Indonesia: January 20 / May 12 / September 22 / December 8
Manila, Philippines: January 26 / April 20 / July 27 / November 16
Yangon, Myanmar: February 24
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: March 9 / June 8 / September 15
Bangkok, Thailand: March 24 / August 11 / October 6 / December 22
Singapore: May 18 / November 23
Shanghai, China: May 26 / August 18 / December 15
Beijing, China: June
Seoul, South Korea: July
Tokyo, Japan: September

Make sure to continue to check out for the latest updates on ONE Championship.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Mbala returns, keeps La Salle unbeaten

After his noteworthy contribution for Cameroon in FIBA Afrobasket 2017, Ben Mbala finally played his first game of the season, making sure that he never missed a beat in leading the charge for La Salle in overpowering Adamson, 85-73 during the UAAP Season 80 men's basketball tournament held at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

Mbala finished the game with a UAAP career-high of 32 points on 11-16 shooting, along with ten rebounds and four blocks. He also showed his newfound versatility by knocking down 2/4 from beyond the arc. Santi Santillan was the only other Green Archer who finished in double figures with ten points.

La Salle started out strong, firing from all cylinders and putting their "Mayhem" pressure defense on the Soaring Falcons, erecting an early 29-9 advantage and then extending to as large as 24 in the first half.

The second half was a slight different story, as the Soaring Falcons made sure that it won’t be a walk in the park for La Salle, as they made their comeback in the 3rd canto by outscoring the Archers 28-15, aided by their 9-2 edge in 2nd chance points. They even managed to reduce the deficit to just seven points, before La Salle got their bearings and finish them off.

Robbie Manalang led Adamson with 16 points, while Papi Sarr had a double-double performance of 12 points and 16 rebounds.

The win puts La Salle now level alongside Ateneo atop the standings, both toting a 3-0 record. Adamson dropped to 1-2. (c/o Kim Karlo Castro)

NU bounces back, keeps UST winless

National University gets back on the winning track, after escaping the gritty University of Santo Tomas, 94-84 in the UAAP Season 80 men's basketball tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena, Pasay City.

Issa Gaye led the way for the Bulldogs, tallying 17 points, 13 rebounds and 4 blocks. Jjay Alejandro also made a noteworthy contribution with a near triple-double performance of 12 points, 10 rebounds and 8 assists.

It was UST who had a great shooting game of 43% compared to only 34% shooting of NU, which allowed them to remain within striking distance and even allowed them to take the lead heading into the fourth quarter. Also worth noting that the Tigers ended up with more rebounds than their counterparts, 59-46, but it was the turnovers again that really killed the Tigers. They tallied 29 turnovers overall, with 12 of those coming in the 4th quarter alone. They also committed twelve more fouls than NU, resulting to twelve more free throw attempts for the Bulldogs.

Regie Basibas led the way for the Growling Tigers with 23 points and 8 rebounds.

Bulldogs now with 2-1 record while the Tigers still winless after 3 outings. (c/o Kim Karlo Castro)

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Pinoy Pride 42 replay sked this week

El Metodico retains title
For those who missed out on Pinoy Pride 42: Clash for Glory, ABS-CBN Sports has scheduled two replays of the ALA Boxing event in the next couple of days on S+A.

Pinoy boxing fans can watch how Milan "El Metodico" Melindo successfully defended his IBF Light Flyweight title not only on September 21 at 12nn, but also on September 22 immediately after the NCAA collegiate tripleheader.

More accustomed to being a counterpuncher, Melindo opted to be a more aggressive fighter against Hekkie Budler, on his way to securing a split-decision victory over the current IBO Light Flyweight champion, raising his record to 37-2 with 13 wins coming by way of KO.

During the fight, he had to deal with cuts from accidental headbutts, which eventually led to blood streaming down from his busted eyebrows. Melindo shared post-fight that "He thought I can't see his punch because of the blood coming out of my eyes. It's lucky that I was still able to hit him, and I credit the crowd for cheering me on, it helped me a lot. I was hurt in the fight but my heart kept telling me that I have to win."

Despite the blood streaming from his busted eyebrows, Milan “El Metodico” Melindo did not let his fellow Filipinos, who came in droves, go home sad as he scored a critical knockdown against challenger Hekkie “The Hexecutioner” Budler en route to a split decision win in his first title defense last Saturday (September 16) in “Pinoy Pride 42: Clash for Glory.”

Also from Pinoy Pride 42,  Jonas Sultan outpointed John Reil Casimero in the biggest fight of his young career, potentially earning him a title shot against the reigning IBF Super Flyweight champion Jerwin Ancajas, while Kevin Jake Cataraja defeated Wiljan Ugbaniel via a second round knockout.

Meanwhile, Jason Pagara's quest for a world title was derailed by a draw against James Onyango of Kenya.

Fight fans also can get a glimpse of MMA action with the ONE Championship highlights show that S+A airs every night at around 1030pm. The latest MMA event ONE Championship hosted, ONE: Total Victory, saw victories by Roy Doliguez and Ramon Gonzales, while Geje Eustaquio suffered a narrow defeat in the main event to former ONE Flyweight world champion Kairat Akhmetov.

Marlon Maro set to make PFL head coaching debut

With the team's continuing struggles in its inaugural season as a club, the Davao Aguilas have turned to a local face to lead the charge in changing their fortunes in the Philippines Football League.

Tasked to replace Gary Phillips on an interim coaching capacity is Marlon Maro, who was the head coach of the Philippines' Under-22 men's football team at the Southeast Asian Games. When asked about potential adjustments heading into their matchup against the Busmen, Maro noted that "there will be a lot of changes, but there is only one option, which is winning." He added that the team is in "high spirits" and is looking forward to snatching their first win this season.

The lone Mindanao side in the PFL has mustered only six points in fifteen matches, with losses in six of its last eight fixtures. In spite of this, Maro still believes that the team can still make a push for the postseason, highlighting that it still remains mathematically possible to be among the top four teams.

Meanwhile, Ceres-Negros is currently in fourth place with 28 points, but has at least six games in hand compared to the teams above and below it in the race for the postseason.

Streaming for the Davao vs Ceres matchup can be seen below.

Meanwhile, the other PFL matchup set to tip off at the same time is Global Cebu FC hosting Stallion Laguna FC at the Cebu City Sports Complex.

Global is currently in third place at 34 points, and with a game in hand against current second placers Kaya FC-Makati, are seeking to retake that plum position with a victory. Stallion is on the outside looking in at sixth place with 26 points, and a win on the road will bunch up the field further in the race for the postseason.

The hosts are seeking to avenge their 2-1 loss to the visitors in their last meeting on August 25, the final PFL match before the FIFA international break. They are also going to attempt to douse fire on Jhanjhan Melliza and his red-hot scoring streak for the Lakeside Squad.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Kaya ends skid, sweeps Ilocos United

Kaya FC-Makati XI vs Ilocos United FC

Jordan Mintah's 34th minute header was enough to propel Kaya FC-Makati to a 1-0 victory over Ilocos United in the lone Philippines Football League matchup on Sunday at the EPQ Stadium in Ilocos Sur.

Robert Lopez Mendy beat his defender, then looped in a cross over to the far post, which Mintah nodded in. Although it was the lone goal of the match, Kaya had plenty of scoring opportunities that they could not convert.

On the defensive end, Masanari Omura stepped up for the visitors, leading a back line that had to do some shuffling during the match, with Julian Matthews replacing Kenshiro Daniels and Woody Ugarte replacing Jalsor Soriano. The shutout was also their fifth of the season.

In the post-match press conference, Kaya head coach Noel Marcaida said, "We needed this win, we needed these 3 points. It's the buildup for us to get back into the winning momentum. I think Kaya FC played well from start to finish. But the game looked tough because we kept on missing goal scoring opportunities. I think we could have finished the game as early as the first half if we finished all our chances." He also noted that "We need our players to have more confidence in front of goal, to have more composure, and to be more clinical."

Omura added, "We couldn't finish in the first half. We had a lot of chances. If we finish three or four goals it would've been easy to win, but that's football. But even if we scored just one, we didn't concede a goal." When asked about the defensive adjustments, he says, "It wasn't really difficult. Julian used to play in the starting 11. Woody (Ugarte) came on in the back line and that was a little bit hard, but I just said to him, 'We are winning 1-0, just sit back. As long as we don't concede, we win.'"

Noel concludes, "But despite the chances missed, we accept this wholeheartedly. I think the outlook is positive. The main objective at the start of the league was to finish in the top four, so I think we're still on the right track. We just keep moving on and keep improving."

With the win, Kaya ends its six-game run without a victory, and also moves them back up to second place with 35 points, one ahead of Global Cebu FC. At the same time, it increases the gap to JPV Marikina FC and Stallion Laguna FC in the race to the top four spots that guarantee postseason play.

FC Meralco Manila, Global battle to a PFL top-of-table stalemate

FC Meralco Manila battled to a goalless draw against Global Cebu FC at the Cebu City Sports Complex in front of 4,850 spectators last Saturday afternoon in a matchup featuring the top two sides in the Philippines Football League.

Patrick Deyto shone for the hosts, ably preventing what was the best scoring opportunity of the match, redirecting a Tahj Minniecon shot to prevent the Sparks from netting a goal.

Rainy conditions during the second half made playing onto the natural grass surface a little bit more dicey, although that did not prevent FC Meralco Manila from making a couple of unsuccessful scoring forays. Alvin Sarmiento had a chance in the 56th minute, but his shot went directly to Deyto, while Minniecon got another chance in the 63rd minute, but his shot went wide instead.

The hosts also had their own missed opportunities, with a couple of set piece situations that they were unable to convert.

As a result of both sides splitting the points, the Sparks maintain their seven-point gap against Global, 41-34, with the former also having a game in hand.

FC Meralco Manila head coach Aris Caslib post-match says, "The usual fast transition of Global was evident in the last twenty minutes, and we had a hard time managing it." He also took the opportunity to praise the home crowd, noting that "There were a lot of kids watching, which is good because the effect of this will be long-term."

Meanwhile, Aris' Global Cebu counterpart Akbar Nawas praised Deyto's performance, sharing that "He has saved us a lot throughout the season." Patrick highlighted that both teams played safe in this matchup, adding that "It is hard to take risks in this kind of game."

Meanwhile, the two other PFL matches scheduled alongside this fixture netted victories for Ceres-Negros FC and Stallion Laguna FC.

The Busmen extend the woes of the Davao Aguilas FC with a 3-1 victory at Rizal Memorial Football Stadium, while the red-hot Jhanjhan Melliza kept his goal scoring run going by scoring the lone goal for the Lakeside Squad against JPV Marikina FC in the 77th minute.

CSB, UP secure Sunday Ang Liga wins

Favored sides College of Saint Benilde and the University of the Philippines held firm in their respective matchups on Sunday afternoon at the Ang Liga tournament held inside the La Salle-Canlubang campus.

In the first part of the doubleheader, the Blazers defeated Emilio Aguinaldo College, 1-0, with Daniel Liozo scoring the only goal of the match in the 44th minute.

The second part of the doubleheader featured the Maroons taking out Perpetual Help System Dalta, 4-0. Karl Bugayong opened the scoring for the Anto Gonzales-coached side in the 15th minute with a header, followed by Kintaro Miyagi at the 30-minute mark.

Compounding the Altas' woes was Bryll Espina's dismissal at the 32nd minute mark. UP would then work on their personnel advantage, providing Miyagi's brace in the 36th minute that capped the scoring in the first half. Fidel Tacardon would complete the scoring in the 81st minute of the second half.

Both CSB and UP moved up the standings, earning nine points from three wins, although the latter has the advantage in goal difference whilst the former has a game in hand.

Meanwhile, both EAC and Perpetual remain winless and goalless in Div I play.

Contrasting NU results in Saturday Ang Liga action

The football field inside the campus of San Beda in Mendiola hosted nearby National University's two Ang Liga matches on Saturday afternoon, with differing results.

The opening portion of its doubleheader saw Mari Aberasturi's Div II side snatching a 2-0 victory over the hosts. The Bullpups managed to get on the board just before the halftime whistle, thanks to Bryan Ybanez, firing a shot past Jessie Semblante in the box. They would then assure themselves of the three points when Lemark Unabia doubled the lead in the 86th minute.

By securing its third straight win, NU remains atop the Div II leaderboard, while the Red Cubs suffered their first defeat in the tournament.

In the closing portion of its doubleheader, on the other hand, NU's Div I side played to a goalless draw against UE. The tie prevents the Bulldogs from moving atop the division, keeping Lyceum on top.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Thirdy Ravena named as first UAAP Season 80 Player of the Week

Fresh from a surprising run to the finals last season, the Ateneo de Manila University has shown no let up this season, racking up victories against perceived postseason contenders Adamson, the University of the Philippines, and Far Eastern University, to go atop the UAAP standings at 3-0.

Leading the charge for the Blue Eagles is Thirdy Ravena, whose all-around contributions of 18 points, 9 rebounds, and 2.3 assists, allowed him to be named as the first Chooks-to-Go UAAP Press Corps Player of the Week.

The swingman beat out Paul Desiderio and Aljun Melecio for the nod.

Although Thirdy was in last season's Mythical Five, contributing 9.9 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 2.3 assists, he shared to the media that for this season, he has learned to be a constant force for the Blue and White. He says, "I need to stay more consistent than last season. Last season, I’ll have a good game then polar opposite. I’m just mentally focused coming into the season, that I need to stay consistent."

Alongside Thirdy's contributions, Ateneo's depth has been in full display for all three games, with their versatility and unselfishness allowing them to blowout all three of his opponents by an average of 17.6 points. According to assistant coach Sandy Arespacochaga, "The players have been terrific, their attitude has been that it doesn't matter how many minutes they play, they come in and they do their job. We'd like to keep it that way."

Thirdy adds, "I have to trust my teammates because everyone’s been doing a really good job. We’ve been winning cause everyone’s staying together and we followed whatever coach Tab (Baldwin) told us."

Ateneo looks to keep its slate unblemished against winless UE on September 24.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Ateneo still undefeated, downs FEU.

Still a perfect record for Ateneo Blue Eagles in Season 80, after prevailing over FEU Tamaraws 94-82 in the second part of the men's basketball doubleheader on Sunday at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.

Thirdy Ravena led the way for the Blue Eagles putting up solid numbers of 18 points, 11 rebounds and five assists. Anton Asistio and Matt Nieto helped also in scoring department with 16 points and 11 points, respectively.

It was a fast paced start for Ateneo, knocking down 7 threes to give them an early 12-point advantage. FEU would mount a comeback later on by making shots and playing defense. Asistio tallied 14 of his 16 points in the 1st half and Ateneo took a 10 point advantage.

Ravena, Chibueze Ikeh and Matt Nieto took over in the 3rd qtr and started converting shots giving Ateneo a 15-point lead.

Wendell Comboy led FEU with 12 points. Meanwhile, former Blue Eagle Arvin Tolentino put up 11 points, all in the fourth quarter.

Ateneo now has a 3-0 record on top of the standings. FEU dropped to 1-2. (c/o Kim Karlo Castro)

UP uses a strong 2nd half to keep UE winless.

UP relied on Paul Desiderio once again to pull away from UE, 84-71 in UAAP Season 80 men's basketball tournament Saturday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

It was UE who started the game strong led by Derige to take a 9 point advanatge in the 1st qtr.

UP made a run of their own down by to took the lead by virtue of 4 pt play. Then UE made blitz run to close the half, 42-38.

UP started the 3rd qtr 15-6 to take an early 53-48 advantage. They outscored UE in the 3rd qtr 26-7 with Paul Desiderio scoring 16 of those.

Since that, UP never looked back and even extend their lead as high as 23 points.

Paul Desiderio finished with career high of 28 points along with 10 rebounds. Ibrahim Quattara chipped in with a double double performance of 14 points and 18 rebounds.

Clark Derige led the way for UE with 21 points.

UP' s record is now 2-1 and will try to extend their winning way against DLSU on Saturday. Meanwhile, UE still winless at 0-3 and will look to get their victory against ADMU on Sunday. (c/o Kim Karlo Castro)

CSB, UP face struggling opposition in Sunday Ang Liga action

Ang Liga action returns to Canlubang later this afternoon, with a doubleheader involving teams seeking their third wins facing winless sides.

The earlier fixture sees College of Saint Benilde face Emilio Aguinaldo College at 1pm in an all-NCAA preview, while the latter match-up sees the University of the Philippines against Perpetual Help System Dalta at 3pm.

Both the Blazers and the Maroons are pegged at six points, although the former has played two matches in contrast to the latter's three. Both sides seeking to get a leg up against idle San Beda, whom they are level in points with, as well as UST and Ateneo, who are not that far off at four and three points, respectively.

In contrast, both EAC and Perpetual hog the basement of Div I alongside UE as they all are still without a point this season, although the two NCAA sides have the worst goal difference in the entire league.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Adamson grabs their first win of the season

Adamson Soaring Falcons came away victorious after a neck and neck battle against the UST Tigers, 88-81 in UAAP season 80 men's basketball tournament Wednesday night at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Rob Manalang tallied 19 points, 4 rebounds and 5 assists. Papi Sarr returned to their team after missing their opening game due to an injury. He played just 12 minutes, but ended up with 10 points and 4 rebounds.

The story of the game was UST's turnovers which was 41, most in UAAP since 2003. At least four Tigers had at least five miscues.

"We needed this type of game. We made a lot of mental mistakes down the stretch. Credits to UST. We were a different team than last", head coach Franz Pumaren said in the press room after his first win of the season.

UST tried to kept the game close with 52% shooting from the field. Jeepy Faundo led the way for the Tigers with double-double output 21 points and 12 rebounds. Marvin Lee with 14 points while having 9 turnovers, most with the team.

The Falcons now with a 1-1 record and will face DLSU in their next game on Wednesday. Meanwhile, UST dropped to 0-2 for the season will try to win against NU on Wednesday also. (c/o Kim Karlo Castro)

Kaya FC-Makati Looks to Snap PFL skid against Ilocos United

Kaya FC-Makati at Ilocos United FC
Kaya FC-Makati is aiming to continue their mastery over Ilocos United in the Philippines Football League, with the hopes of ending a streak of six games without a win. The match takes place tomorrow afternoon, 4pm, at the Elpidio P. Quirino Stadium in Ilocos Sur.
“The journey was the same as last time, quite long, but we’re used to it now. The boys are just resting up, and physically and mentally preparing for the game tomorrow,” said Kaya defender Julian Matthews on the seven-hour bus ride from Metro Manila.

Although Kaya FC- Makati is currently sitting within the top four of the PFL standings and facing a team they’ve already beaten three times this season, head coach Noel Marcaida isn’t taking the contest lightly in the slightest.

“The players must feel that hunger to win the game. We need to make sure that our trip here to Ilocos will be worth it,” he said. “We’ve been performing well, but we want more desire, and more focus in finishing in front of goal. For those last six games, we didn’t win, but we created lots of chances. So I think going forward to tomorrow’s game, if we create the chances, we need to score.”

Although Kaya’s last visit to Ilocos yielded a comfortable 4-2 victory, the last meeting between the two at the University of Makati was a close contest, one that needed an 81st minute goal to decide the winner.

“Down at Kaya, especially in that second game, where we lost 2-1 — again, we conceded to a corner — but if we put that kind of performance in, anything can happen, especially on home turf,” said United goalkeeping coach Andy Pederson, who will be in charge in tomorrow’s game, in place of the suspended Ian Gillan.

The match will also feature the first opportunity for Charlie Beaton to face his former side, since his recent transfer to Ilocos United from Kaya.

“The boys [at Ilocos] have welcomed me with open arms. The training’s been positive and it’s been helping me as a player. I look forward to the game tomorrow,” he said. “It’ll be a tough game. They definitely have a lot of strong players. They’re quite high up the table, so I’m just excited to be on the pitch and play against my former teammates. I think they have a lot of technical midfielders, very gifted players, and a very strong front line, so we’re expecting a tough game.”

Meanwhile, Kaya is preparing for a physical test against the home side.

“We try to key in on their strikers as they’re quite physical, and we’ll be keeping an eye on their pace out wide as well. But I think with our back line, we can cope with them, same as last time,” said Matthews.

“In the past three games, it’s always been a physical game,” added Marcaida. “They are one of the teams that never stop playing until the final whistle.”

La Salle outpaces NU to share UAAP lead

It was a high scoring and fast-paced game that saw DLSU Green Archers prevailing over NU Bulldogs, 115-109 in UAAP season 80 men's basketball tournament, Saturday afternoon at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

This is the first meeting of Aldin Ayo and Jamike Jarin since transferring from NCAA.

Both teams came out on firing to start the game that saw DLSU having a 3 pt advantage at the half. In the 3rd canto, it was NU who came out strong leading by as much as 11 before the Green Archers closed the quarter with a 22-8 run.

In the 4th qtr, it was a see-saw battle with DLSU reaching the hundred mark first before the Bulldogs tying the game at 102.

Ricci Rivero was the one took over for DLSU scoring 5 straight pts. He finished the game with 21 points, 7 rebounds and 2 assists. 5 more players finished with double digit output for them.

Jordan Bartlett leading the way for NU ended the game with 23 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists.
The Archers with a 2-0 standing meanwhile Bulldogs at 1-1. (c/o Kim Karlo Castro)

Stallion seeking to extend PFL winning streak

Stallion Laguna FC is looking to continue its winning run in the Philippines Football League, as it hosts JPV Marikina FC this afternoon at the Binan Football Stadium.

The Lakesiders are currently toting a three-match winning streak, including a 5-0 demolition of Ilocos United FC last Sunday. The winning run has put them within striking distance in the race to be part of the top four teams that qualify for the postseason at 23 points.

Head coach Armando Heria says that the team is practicing harder and that they are excited to face JPV. Fitch Arboleda adds that the team added some emphasis on defense during practices in the run up to tomorrow's match, since JPV is a more attacking side heavy on possession.

Fitch also adds that team spirit is high after their last victory, and hopes that this can carry over into this upcoming match.

JPV is also coming off a victory, a 1-0 win over Kaya FC that solidifies its hold on fourth place at 27 points. Voltes has racked up points in its last five matches since that four-match losing streak.

Streaming link for the match is noted above.

Ceres-Negros kicks off PFL stretch drive against Davao

With its AFC Cup campaign over, Ceres-Negros turns its focus onto the quest for the inaugural Philippines Football League championship, kicking things off this afternoon at 4pm against Davao Aguilas FC.

Due to its continental campaign, the Busmen have played the fewest league matches of the season at just twelve games. In spite of this perceived disadvantage, they remain within striking distance of the Top 4, which would guarantee them a spot in the postseason.

In addressing the media on Friday, Ceres assistant Ian Treyes acknowledged that the grind that playing in both the AFC Cup and the RHB Singapore Cup has put into the squad, noting that "We have to make some adjustments for the upcoming games."

Davao isn't that far back, due to some of their players' involvement in the SEA Games, having played just fourteen matches, two of which came in the past week. However, the team is still looking for its first league win, struggling in seventh place with just six points.

Streaming link for the upcoming match can be viewed below.

NOTE: Match is scheduled to be played at Rizal Memorial due to the unavailability of the Davao del Norte Sports Complex in Tagum City. Tickets will be available at the venue.

FC Meralco Manila returns to PFL action on the road

Global defender Jerry Barbaso, (left), fights for the ball with Manila's Tyler Matas.
One of three Philippines Football League matches will take place at the Cebu City Sports Complex, with league leaders FC Meralco Manila visiting Global Cebu FC in a top-of-the-table clash at 4pm.

Due to the international break and schedule considerations, the Sparks had three-and-a-half weeks off before making their way to the Queen City of the South. At 40 points, they have a solid lead in the standings. Before the break, they drew 1-1 against JPV Marikina FC back in August 23, ending a four-match winning streak.

On the other hand, Global is fresh from their 3-1 victory against Davao Aguilas FC this past Wednesday. At 33 points, they are seven points behind the Sparks for the lead, but any points will allow the team to have a better standing in the race for the four-team postseason.

Global also happens to be the only team that FC Meralco Manila has yet to defeat this season, drawing them 2-2 in the first meeting back in July, then defeating them in their second meeting, 2-1, back in August. This is the first and only meeting that will take in place in Cebu, with both previous fixtures taking place at Rizal Memorial.

When asked about the match, Meralco head coach Aris Caslib says, "This in an important match for the players and the club," adding that "We have to manage their fast and good players up front as well as their quality defenders. This is an important stage in the league for our team. Everyone knows the September campaign is crucial and it starts with the game against Global Cebu. Everyone has to step up and focus."

When asked about facing his former teammate Sanchez for the first time, defender Joaco Cañas says that "It's gonna be entertaining and very different to play against him." Both players were teammates at CF International Madrid when they flew in to the country to play a friendly. Cañas adds, "We have never faced each other except in training. It will be nice to share a football field again with him even while defending different colors. But for sure it will get rough and we both will fight for the win as we have always done.

For those who want to partake of the match in Cebu, tickets cost PhP 20 for grandstand, PhP 100 for premium seats, and PhP 200 for the VIP. One can buy them at the Cebu FA office beside the CCSC. Those who can't go can watch this online. Streaming link for the upcoming match-up can be seen below

Here are some quotes from the pre-match press conference that took place on Friday.

Sparks assistant coach Jeff Liman: "Ang target namin is kung anung nasimulan, ipagpapatuloy. We know how they play, they know how we play. Ang importante is the execution of our tactics. In a sense Ang kalaban namin is any sarili namin. I hope we all step up."

Cebu native and FCM player Neil Dorimon: (Speaking mostly in Cebuano so this is translated). "I'm excited to play for the first time in Abellana field. I'm also proud to represent the kids from Cebu. My relatives and friends from Bantayan will come to watch. Ihatag ko Ang tanan para sa ila. (I will give my all for them.)"

Global coach Akbar Nawas: "This is our third game in seven days so recovery is of utmost importance. I don't think  the fixture list is ideal but it is what it is... We're not going into this game so they can run us down. What really gets us going is the crowd. Once the game kicks off we don't even think of playing three games in so short a time. The adrenalin kicks in and we feel fresh... Meralco are top of the table for a reason and we have to give them due respect, with or without the Younghusbands."

Global striker Darryl Roberts: "We need to stick to the game plan and we need the support of that 12th man. "

Liman on why Global is such a tough opponent: "Ang mga veterans nila pasok sa system ng coach. From the locals to the imports, Isang team talaga sila. They deserved to qualify for the AFC Cup... The message to our players is this: Oras na gumawa Ng sarili mong pangalan."

ONE Championship reveals latest MMA event in Singapore

ONE Championship on Thursday officially announced its upcoming MMA event in Singapore, called ONE: Immortal Pursuit.

Set to take place at the Singapore Indoor Stadium on November 24, ONE: Immortal Pursuit already has two confirmed fights on its card, both of which are set to be historic for the promotion.

The main event features a title rematch, as defending ONE Women's Atomweight World Champion "Unstoppable" Angela Lee is once against facing Mei "V. V." Yamaguchi. Lee defeated Yamaguchi to be its inaugural champion back in 2016, and has since made two successful title defenses, the latest being against Istela Nunes while also battling an illness. Yamaguchi has bounced back nicely from that title loss, eventually earning another title shot by defeating Jenny Huang in two rounds. Their first meeting earned multiple "Fight of the Year" plaudits from a variety of media outfits, and this rematch could possibly match or even exceed the hype.

The co-main event features the final fight of Ben " Funky" Askren's MMA career, as the reigning ONE Welterweight World Champion defends his title against Shinya "Tobikan Judan" Aoki. Askren has been the champ since 2014, defeating Nobutatsu Suzuki to claim the strap, then successfully defending it three times, including his win against Zebaztian Kadestam. He is going to defend it for the final time against Aoki, a legend in Japanese mixed martial arts. An expert in grappling, the former ONE Lightweight World Champion will be making his welterweight debut.

In making this announcement, ONE Championship Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong says, "This is going to be the biggest event we have ever put together for martial arts fans in Singapore and around the world. Two of the most dominant world champions in ONE Championship history are set to grace the cage in a single evening of world-class entertainment. Angela Lee and Mei Yamaguchi are ready for an encore to their phenomenal first bout in 2016 in a rematch of epic proportions, while Ben Askren will perform for his fans for the final time against the legendary Shinya Aoki. It's a night fans will certainly not want to miss."

For the latest details re: ONE: Immortal Pursuit and others under the ONE Championship banner, do visit

Ateneo takes UAAP solo lead

Ateneo Blue Eagles made a strong start after blitzing UP in the end, 92-71 in the UAAP Season 80 men’s basketball tournament Wednesday afternoon at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Ateneo continued their domination in the paint as they outrebounded the Fighting Maroons, 51-38 including a huge advantage in 2nd chance points 31-7.

It was also the debut of Ateneo rookie Tyler Tio who was out due to an injury in their first game. He really made an impressive showing especially in the 4th qtr, where the Blue Eagles made the separation wide open. Tyler Tio finished the game with 14 points on perfect 6/6 shooting in just 11 minutes of action.

Juan Gomez de Liano led the way for UP with 16 points while Paul Desiderio the hero in their first win limited only to 9 points. (c/o Kim Karlo Castro)