Tuesday, April 30, 2019

29 make the cut at the Jr. NBA Philippines Manila Regional Selection Camp

The Don Bosco Technical Institute once again hosted the Jr. NBA Philippines Manila RSC
The final Regional Selection Camp for the Jr. NBA Philippines 2019 presented by Alaska took place this past weekend at the Don Bosco Technical Institute in Makati, with 591 participants vying for the opportunity to showcase their know-how in the sport of basketball.

The first day was to determine the participants' fundamental skills and if they exhibit the hallmark core values of the program: Sportsmanship, Teamwork, a positive Attitude, and Respect. Those who make the cut get to prove themselves again on the second day, where the finalists are to be selected by the coaches, led by Jr. NBA Coaches Rob Newson, Jeffrey Cariaso, Tony dela Cruz, and Willie Miller.

After all of that, there were nine boys and twenty girls that made the cut for the National Training Camp, joining those from the Luzon (Benguet and Lucena), Visayas (Dumaguete), and Mindanao (Butuan) Regional Selection Camps, and the Alaska Power Camp.

The nine boys are: James Ison of La Salle-Greenhills, Joshua Minguillo and Marc Kerby Samson of Panorama Montessori School of Binan, Daniel Padilla, Sebastian Roy Reyes, Syrex Jun Silorio, and Elijah Ray Yusi of Nazareth School of National University, Hikaru Policarpio of Bacood Elementary School, and Lanze Ronquillo of San Beda.

The twenty girls are:

First Name
Last Name
Sophia Amol De La Salle Zobel
Crisciona Ann Bagasani San Sebastian College
Franchesca Isabela Buenvenida Mother of Divine Providence School
Dancylle Gabrealene Busime Gulod National High School
Leanne Jazmine Catalan Arandia College
Ciara Centeno Eulogio Rodriguez Integrated School
Merylle Cuasay Oriental Mindoro National High School
Mikaela Francesca Galauran St. Paul College Pasig
Ysabela Louise Gonzales St. Paul College Pasig
Jay Anne Marie Lachica Sta. Clara Parish School
Kyla Marie Mataga De La Salle Zobel
Dianne Camille Nolasco Miriam College
Rochelle Omalin De La Salle Zobel
Frances Maxine Pamintuan UST-Angelicum College
Ellen Parane Tandang Sora Integrated School
Aaliyah Mai Reyes St. Paul College Pasig
Kharel Joy Siapoc La Salle College Antipolo
Erika Nadine Tenorio School of the Holy Spirit of Quezon City
Justine Mhyrra Vibanco Saint Joseph Parish School
Princess Villarin De La Salle Zobel

The National Training Camp is scheduled to take place on May 17-19 at the same venue. Outstanding participants from the NTC will be christened as the Jr. NBA and Jr. WNBA All-Stars and will be sent to the first Jr. NBA Global Championship Asia-Pacific Selection Camp in June, where they will join their counterparts across the region to vie to be part of the first Asia-Pacific team in the Jr. NBA Global Championship in August at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex inside Walt Disney World in Florida.

Serving as official partners of the Jr. NBA Philippines 2019 is presented by Alaska are AXA, Gatorade, Globe, Panasonic, Rexona and Vivo, with ABS-CBN S+A, Basketball TV and NBA Premium TV acting as the official broadcasters.

STATS Performance Apparel secures role as UP outfitter and merchandise provider

NTGBUP x STATS Performance Apparel, with UPMBT in the background
The revitalization of the athletic program of the University of the Philippines continues, under the auspices of the Nowhere to Go by UP Foundation (NTGBUP), a volunteer group of UP alumni tasked to support the different varsity programs in the university.

Led by its president, Atty. Agaton Uvero, NTGBUP's latest effort is an evolution of partnership with STATS Performance Apparel. Said agreement was finalized last week, with officials from both sides and select members of the UP Men's Basketball Team in attendance at the UP Bahay ng Alumni.

Representing STATS Performance Apparel are Januarius Holdings, Inc. Chairman and CEO JJ Atencio, COO Marcy Venezuela, and STATS Performance Apparel CEO and Creative Director Edrin Panganiban.

Also gracing the occasion are Head Coach Bo Perasol, UAAP Season 81 Most Valuable Player Bright Akhuetie, Juan and Javi Gomez de Liano, Janjan Jaboneta, and Noah Webb.

Already a supporter of the UP MBT, STATS Performance Apparel has expanded its role with the team for Season 82, from not just becoming the official on- and off-court wear of the team, the athleisure brand will now also provide official team merchandise.

Favorites advance into the 7s Football League semis

Men's Quarterfinals at the 7s Football League
Chalk was the flavor of the day at the Philam Life 7s Football League, with the top-seeded teams in the men's quarterfinals booking their respective tickets to the semifinals this past Sunday at the McKinley Hill Stadium in Taguig.

Delimondo-Laro FC 2 - Real Amigos 1

In what was likely the game of the day, Delimondo-Laro FC pulled off a 2-1 win over Real Amigos.

After a scoreless first half, Gui Hasegawa's late goal secured the win for Laro, with Cedric Hodreal making numerous stops to keep things interesting.

The former Ilocos United keeper shared after the win, "In the first half, we realized that towards the end hindi nila nadadala ‘yung bola sa side naming, lagi silang naglo-long ball. Anton (Del Rosario) suggested that why don’t we go a bit higher, so when they throw ball, there’s someone there to meet the defender. It worked for us, we worked hard, and we didn’t give up, which is why we won."

Hasegawa was not supposed to play in the quarterfinals, but Laro was lucky that he changed his mind for this matchup.

Hodreal also provided his thoughts on the potential of the team, "You could see the quality in our team, a lot of them played for the Azkals and played in the national league. Since a lot of our players before won championships internationally and here in the Philippines, why not?"

With the Super Eagles as their semifinal dance partners, Delimondo Laro FC will rely on their collective experience and resiliency in order to book a berth in the finals.

Super Eagles 4 - Tondo FC 1

The defending champions flexed their muscles against Tondo FC for the 4-1 win.

Determined to add another title to their trophy case, they scored twice early in the first half and then continued to put pressure on their opposition, tacking on a couple more goals to ensure an impressive victory and a semifinal matchup against Delimondo Laro FC.

Head coach Danny Kross shared post-match, "The semifinals will not be easy, and we know that they’ll prepare for us. But at the end of the day, we have one goal – it’s one game to the finals. Our mission is to get to the finals and win it all again."

Ghana FC 4 - Futbol Funatics 0

Last season's runner-up gets to continue to their quest to avenge their finals defeat by defeating Futbol Funatics, 4-0 in the quarterfinals.

Futbol Funatics turned up the ante on the defensive end in the first half, limiting Ghana to just a goal, but they were unable to keep that up in the second, as Junior Sam's all-around performance allowed Ghana to score thrice to seal the win.

Reflecting on the match, Ghana FC head coach Ayi Bimbo shares, "First half, when it was 0-0, it was really, really scary because they were attacking, and we were holding back. So, I told the boys that we are better than this and we have to play our game." Bimbo hopes that they could sustain their momentum moving forward.

Sam adds, "There was some sort of awareness between every department. We knew how important this game is for us, so it was a must-win situation. Of course, it is going to be difficult, but we have the capabilities and the potential to go as far as possible in the tournament and possibly win this time."

Bohemian Sporting Club 2 - H&J All-Stars 1

Completing the cast of semifinalists are Bohemian Sporting Club, as they pip the H&J All-Stars, 2-1.

Bohemian Sporting Club scored first during the first half, but H&J would equalize late in the second half.

However, team chairman Jason de Jong took matters in his own hands, with the former Philippines international scoring the game-winner from the penalty spot.

With their upcoming matchup against Ghana FC in the semifinals, head coach Mikee Carrion shares, "It’s going to be the same approach every game, we’re not going to change anything. We’re definitely going to make a push to the finals and we’re going to give teams a headache when we’ll face them. It’s going to be an exciting match for sure in the semis."

de Jong adds, "I’m very happy and proud of the team that in the first season we already made an impact in this league. We’re very happy for the win and we’re going to prepare well against Ghana FC."

Youth League

It was the Under-5, Under-7, and Under-9's turn to take to the turf in the 7s Youth League with Sugod Malaya B and Kaya B notching impressive wins on opening day.

Kaya B defeated Kaya A (4-0), Sugod A (3-0), and G8 (3-2) in the U5, while Sugod B beat Sugod A, G8, and Mondo in the U7.

As for the U9, Bannister and Bohemian each secured a win and a draw, with Sugod B securing clean sheet victories over Sugod A, G8, and Marista.

Complete results in both the 7s Youth League and the Philam Life 7s Football League Men's Quarterfinals below:

7s Youth League:


Kaya B 4, Kaya A 0
G8 2, Mondo 1
Sugod B 0, Kaya A 0
Kaya A 4, G8 1
Kaya A 3, Mondo 1
Kaya B 4, Sugod A 0
Sugod B 3, Sugod A 2
Kaya B 3, G8 2


G8 3, Mondo 2
Sugod B 2, Sugod A 0
Sugod B 4, G8 1
Sugod B 2, Mondo 0
Sugod B 3, G8 0


Sugod B 2, G8 0
Bannister 2, Marista 0
Bohemian 2, G8 0
Marista 1, San Lo F.C. 0
Bannister 1, Sugod A 1
Bohemian 0, Mondo 0
Sugod A 0, Bohemian 0
San Lo F.C. 1, Mondo 0
Sugod B 1, Sugod A 0
Bannister 1, Mondo 0
San Lo F.C. 2, G8 1
Sugod B 3, Marista 0

Philam Life 7s Football League Men

Delimondo-Laro 2, Real Amigos 1
Ghana F.C. 4, Futbol Funatics 0
Super Eagles 4, Tondo F.C. 1
Bohemian S.C. 2, H&J All-Stars 1

Mixed results for Letran in Fr. Martin's Cup Summer League play

La Consolacion vs Letran in Fr. Martin's Cup Summer League action
La Consolacion College of Manila overcame a sluggish start to turn back Letran in the 25th Fr. Martin's Cup Summer League, 79-71, inside the Mendiola campus of San Beda on Tuesday.

The Knights rode on Kenny Rocacurba's hot shooting to establish a 10-1 lead early on, but TJ Cariño and the rest of the Blue Royals would survive their early struggles to eventually take a 41-33 halftime lead.

LCC-M would then open the third with an 11-2 run to take the biggest lead of the game at 52-36, but Letran answered that with their own run that eventually reduced that deficit to just four points with 5:41 left in the game, 66-62.

However, Gabriel Latoreno would stabilize things for La Consolacion with key baskets late to eventually secure their first win in league play.

Cariño led the winners with eighteen points, while Ahron Estacio added fourteen markers.

Rocacurba topped all scorers with 26 points, as Letran falls to 1-3 in Group B.

Letran did manage a win today through in the Juniors division, as the Squires easily dispatched Diliman Preparatory School, 100-60.

Shawn Umali and Andrei Romenez each scored thirteen points in the win, which keeps their record spotless at 3-0 in Group A.

Aaron Acop led the Junior Blue Dragons with seventeen points in their tournament debut.

The 25th edition of the Fr. Martin's Cup Summer League is presented by Resorts World Manila, Bedans 62-66, and Cocolife.

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Stallion Laguna FC statement on the Philippine Premier League

On Friday, Stallion Laguna FC, along with Global Makati, held an emergency press conference on the eve of the opener of the Philippine Premier League.

The team then sent an official statement the next day. The full content of the statement is posted below.
After careful consideration Stallion Laguna FC will not be participating in the 2019 Philippine Premier League.  We held a press conference today where we shared our sentiments and disappointments.

We have been part of the Philippine Football scene since 2010. Regardless of all the challenges and hardships, we are confident that the future of Philippine Football is bright. But for this to happen we will need to partner with a League operator that will not only help develop the clubs but will also add value to the development of professional football in the Philippines.

Stallion Laguna FC will not be joining the PPL 2019 League competitions because of the following promises made by PPL under the Tournament Commissioner and PSG/Triple CH owner Bernard Sumayao:

    1. The PFF awarded Triple CH a license to operate the league.  Bernie told us that he owned the league, and later retracted it and acknowledged that he is the League Operator and not the League Owner.
    2. He stated on his Dec 2018 letter to the clubs that his plan is to collect P500K Participation Fee from each club, to be used to operate the league, and “if there is any shortfall the PPL owners will take responsibility of this and not the PFF”. During our Workshop it was disclosed that each club will be paying the following:
        a. P500K Participation Fee (to be used to operate the PPL)
        b. P100K insurance (the beneficiary being the PPL)
        c. P1.15Million in match day expenses broken down as follows
            i. P619,500.00 (league -double header) 15 matches total expense for each club
            ii. P203,250.00 (League-Stand Alone) 3 matches total expense for each club
            iii. P123,900.00 (Cup-Double header) 3 matches total expense for each club
            iv. P203,250.00 (Cup-Stand alone) 3 matches total expense for each club
        d. Total collection from the 7 clubs will be P12.250Million

If the clubs will be spending P12.250 Million to run and operate the league, what is Bernie’s contribution? Yet in his proposed Participation Agreement Bernie will get 60% of the profit? He promised that the clubs will be spending less to be part of the PPL. In 2018 PFL clubs did not pay for the franchise fee or any type our tournament fee. As per the proposed PPL budget, Stallion Laguna FC will end up spending 200% more on home matches in the PPL compared to the PFL.

    3. All competitions will be Centralized. Meaning on match days there will only be one playing venue. Yet the PPL claims to be compliant with PFF and AFC Rules and Regulations. AFC Rules and Regulations for Professional League competitions allows only for HOME AND AWAY type matches for professional league that will be sending teams for the AFC Cup and AFC Champions League. Why call us Stallion Laguna FC if we will be playing our home games in Batangas? How can we promote SLFC to our local fans in Biñan and Laguna if they cannot watch us play our home matches at our home pitch?
    4. They claim that the Champion of the PPL League will be sent to the AFC Champions League. As per AFC Champions League Rules and Regulations, the PFF is the only authorized body to recommend a professional team to represent the Top Tier Professional League in the Philippines to any AFC Club level competition.
    5. The PPL reduced our economic rights to almost nothing. Our marketing rights in the PPL have been limited only to what you will see on our jerseys. We cannot even promote our sponsors during the matches via A-boards or other collaterals.
    6. The only commitment the PPL made to raise funds for the league is “BEST EFFORTS”. All they are committing to is to TRY to bring in sponsors and funding.
    7. Bernie Sumayao was granted the right to operate the PFLlast July 2018. Since July 2018 to March 14,2019 he was not successful in producing the following deliverables :
        a. Produce a League Sponsor or Title Sponsor
        b. He did not produce the 8-12 Professional Licensed Teams as promised
        c. He did not complete his SEC registration until March 15, 2019.
        d. He was not able to submit the PPL Participation Agreement of PPL Competition Rules and Regulations until after March 15, 2019
    8. During the 2017 and 2018 PFL season the stakeholders (PFL,PFF, and club owners or representatives) met as a group at least once every 2 weeks. The clubs attended numerous workshops and seminars.
During the 9 months of PPL operations they have met with the PPL/PFF/Clubs together as a group ZERO times. We have had 1 workshop, met with Bernie twice, and got 2 responses from 7 emails sent.

    9. Based on these facts, Stallion Laguna FC has 0 confidence in the ability of the Bernie Sumayao to operate a professional league in the Philippines to its completion

It is the right of any participating club to ask questions and request for information regarding the league you will be joining. If a club is unclear as to the financial viability of a league, how money will be spent, and how will the league operate financially from day 1/ Then something must be wrong.

We made a public statement last Monday that we are ready to play our 1st game in the PPL as scheduled. We were informed on Thursday that we were removed from the schedule because we did not sign the PPL Participation Agreement nor pay the Participation Fee. We have been requesting the PPL for the Tripartite Participation Agreement approved by the PFF, but to this day we have not received the approved agreement.

The PPL Tournament Rules and Regulations must be approved by the PFF, since the PPL is purportedly the qualifying tournament for all AFC Professional Club competitions. We have yet to receive the approved Rules and Regulations.

We therefore decide that it will be to the best interest of our fans, sponsors, host city and supporters, that we pull out of the 2019 PPL season.

We’ve sent numerous questions and emails to the PPL from 2018 to 2019. Most of them were never answered. It was only during the last few weeks that Mr. Sumayo responded to my emails. Here is the summary of questions we sent them:

QUESTIONS: Questions in Blue were eventually answered.

    1. Who are the sponsors of the PPL?
    2. What is they peso value of sponsorship? Where is the contract?
    3. Who are the licensed club teams that are joining the PPL? Who are the unlicensed teams?
    4. Who is the PPL’s network partner?
    5. How many games are live and when?
    6. The PPL cannot issue club licenses, nor can they send teams to the AFC. What will happen if only 4 teams have their National Club license?
    7. What will be P500K be used for? Why is there an ACCELERATION CLAUSE?
    8. Where is the approved Participation Agreement, and Tournament Regulations?
    9. When will the PPL present their total proposal?
        a. Projected FS
        b. Breakdown of projected expenses
        c. Plans for the league
    10. What are the financial responsibilities of the PPL? Based on the submitted Participation Agreement, the PPL has no financial responsibilities to the league. The clubs are paying for majority of the expenses. PPL will only do “BEST EFFORTS”?
    11. How come the MOA with the PFF was not even referenced in the Participation Agreement?
    12. What is the Organizational Structure of the PPL?
    13. Is the owner of the PPL registered with the SEC? Where is the GIS if it is registered?>
    14. What qualified Bernie to be the Tournament Chairman?
    15. What is the justification for the profit sharing? Majority of expenses will be paid by the clubs, then why is Bernie getting 60%?
    16. What will happen is the PPL is not sanctioned by the PFF, and the champion of the league cannot represent the league in AFC?
    17. Who will be responsible for the liabilities of the PPL? Where is it stated on the participation agreement?
    18. How come all the communications of the PPL are not official? No email address? No approval from the PFF?
    19. Why is the PPL not transparent with the clubs?
    20. How come the PPL releases statements to the press without talking to the Clubs or the PFF?
    21. Why is the PPL claiming to be the owner of the league when it is only a LEAGUE OPERATOR?
    22. I want to be clear that we are TEAM OWNER’s and not team operators, to be granted rights to operate by the PPL. We own our teams, and our players are contracted to us. We own our marketing rights, as well as images and collaterals of our club.  We own our logo, our club name, and we own the contracts we have with our sponsors. The PPL cannot issue rights to operate our teams, since we are duly registered with the PSE already, licensed by the PFF,  recognized by GAB as a Professional Football Team, and are privately funded.
Global Makati's statement was released through their Facebook page.

Meanwhile, the Philippine Premier League pushed through as schedule with a doubleheader at Rizal Memorial, with matches scheduled to take place at the Aboitiz Field in Lipa.

San Beda romps in Fr. Martin's Cup Summer League play

An All-San Beda in Fr. Martin's Cup action
San Beda took advantage of an undermanned University of the Philippines squad to secure an 83-65 victory in the ongoing 25th Fr. Martin's Cup Summer League at its home gym located inside its Mendiola campus.

Five Red Lions scored in double figures for the Boyet Fernandez-coached side, led by Ain Obenza's eighteen points. Ralph Penuela and Rey Reyno each added fourteen markers.

Former NCAA Finals MVP Arnaud Noah kickstarted things for San Beda early on, allowing the NCAA champions to take a 9-2 lead, with Eugene Toba taking over in the second quarter to allow the Red Lions to establish a 34-16 advantage. The African duo would finish with a combined total of 22 points.

The Fighting Maroons managed to whittle the deficit down to 43-36 early in the third period, but Obenza would convert back-to-back triples to anchor an 8-0 run to restore a large lead for San Beda at 57-40.

David Murrell and Joe Gomez de Liano each led UP with eleven points, as they played without Bright Akhuetie, Ricci Rivero, and Kobe Paras for this matchup.

In a matchup flaunting how good the San Beda high school basketball program is, the Red Cubs' Team A beat their Team B, 99-72.

Rhayyan Amsali led Team A with an all-around performance, contributing 21 points, five rebounds, five assists, a couple of steals, and three blocks. Tony Ynot led five other Red Cubs in double figures with seventeen markers.

Team A went on a 35-6 lead after one quarter of play and never looked back, establishing a lead as large as 44 points before Team B would slice and reduce the deficit into the current score.

Rojan Montemayor led the Team B Red Cubs with 22 points on 9/15 shooting. He would add six rebounds, three assists, and five rejections.

Also in high school action, Letran defeated Treston International College, 71-49, to claim their second win in the tournament.

The Squires rode on Kyle Tolentino and Andrei Romenez to preserve their undefeated record, combining for 24 points in the win over the Golden Cubs, who suffered their first loss in the tournament.

The 25th edition of the Fr. Martin's Cup Summer League is presented by Resorts World Manila, Bedans 62-66, and Cocolife.

Friday, April 26, 2019

NCAA teams make headway in Fr. Martin's Cup Summer League play

Fr. Martin's Cup Summer League action resumed today.
The Letran Knights got themselves on the winning track in the Fr. Martin's Cup Summer League play, as they dispatched National University, 83-82.

Off a timeout after Patrick Yu split his free throws to establish an 81-79 lead with 7.3 seconds remaining, Kobe Monje received the inbound pass at the right wing and then nailed a triple with under five seconds remaining to wrest the lead for the Knights.

Letran had led by as much as thirteen points at 48-35 in the third quarter, before the Bulldogs chipped away at the deficit until they finally took the lead at 66-65 in the final period off a breakaway slam from Adama Faye.

Nico Abatayo would convert on a fastbreak to establish an 80-77 lead with 89 seconds left, but Monje converted a miss from Kenny Rocacurba to cut that deficit to 80-79 with eighteen seconds left, setting up the situation for the final two scoring sequences.

Monje would finish with seventeen points, while Allen Mina led Letran in scoring with 23 points. Mina led the outside shooting barrage for the Knights, converting four of the team's twelve triples.

Abatayo led NU with sixteen points while adding three rebounds and three assists. Mansour Jeno added ten markers for the Bulldogs.

The second match scheduled saw the University of Perpetual Help Dalta System snap up their second win in the tournament, defeating Treston International College, 88-70.

A huge third quarter allowed the Altas to break away against the Golden Lions, with Luke Sese's triple allowing them to establish a 66-50 lead heading into the final period.

From then on, it was smooth sailing for the Frankie Lim-coached squad, keeping themselves undefeated.

Jielo Razon led Perpetual with 21 points, with his drives netting nine conversions off the free throw line. San Beda transfer Bem Adamos added twelve points and nine rebounds.

Eugene Tan led Treston with 21 points.

Also undefeated in the seniors division is Arellano University. The Chiefs secured their third straight victory with a come-from-behind 78-73 victory over La Consolacion College-Manila.

LCC-M rode on a strong 15-2 start to the game, but Arellano managed to catch up by the middle of the second quarter, tying the game at 30 and turning it into a close encounter between both squads.

A top-of-the-key triple from Kent Segura sealed the victory for Arellano, toting a 74-67 lead with a couple of minutes remaining, with free throws from Daryl Bayla adding insurance.

Bayla would finish with twelve points, while Rence Alcoriza led the Chiefs with fifteen markers. The Blue Royals relied on Jesse Bardaje, who led the team with fifteen points and three steals.

The 25th Fr. Martin's Cup Summer League is presented by Resorts World Manila, the Bedans Batch 62-66, and Cocolife.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Adamson keeps San Beda winless in Fr. Martin's Cup Summer League

Winning start for the UST in the opening match of the Fr. Martin's Cup Summer League (women's division)
Defending champions San Beda still yet to produce a win in the Fr. Martin's Cup Summer League, as they bowed to Adamson in their matchup at SGS Gym, 73-69.

An Andrey Doria triple allowed the Soaring Falcons to take the lead for good, before he and Jed Colonia's free throws ensured their first victory in the tournament.

Lendu Dimercia pounded the interior with 21 points and twenty rebounds, while Colonia contributed twelve points and seven assists.

University of Santo Tomas defeated La Salle in the opening match for women's basketball in the tournament, 52-49.

The Lady Archers would rue the chance to win this game if they shot better from the stripe, going 16/31 there.

Elonda Rivera led all scorers with sixteen points, while Grace Irebu added twelve points and ten rebounds for the Tigresses.

Joehanna Arciga led La Salle with ten points, five rebounds, and six assists.

In high school action, La Consolacion defeated AMA, 80-74 in Group B.

LCC-M led by fourteen at the half, with Kobe Pableo and Edrian Notarte proving vital in preserving the win as AMA mounted their comeback attempt.

Ymard Urbano led La Consolacion with 24 points and thirteen rebounds, while Chad Amante adding nineteen points and three rebounds.

Christian Germino led AMA with 26 points and thirteen rebounds.

Far Eastern University capped off action with an 84-82 win over St. Patrick in Group A of high school action.

Cholo Anonuevo's free throws with thirty seconds left broke an 82-all deadlock, with Siegfried Llamado's baseline jumper grazed off the rim to prevent overtime.

Anonuevo finished with seventeen points and seven rebounds, while the duo of Aaron Lumapas and Geremie Sanchez combined for 52 points.

Monday, April 22, 2019

Tottenham coaches conduct clinic

A couple of Tottenham coaches arrived in the country to conduct a clinic this past weekend
Earlier this month, the Philam Life 7s Football League, conducted a two-hour football clinic at the McKinley Hill Stadium.

What makes this particular clinic different from the ones they normally conduct is the presence of a couple of coaches from Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur.

Anton Blackwood and Shaun Harris of Tottenham's Global Football Development program spearheaded the football clinic, which had participants from Taguig National High School learn the basics of the sport. Among those who were also present for the clinic are Philam Life CEO Kelvin Ang, CMO Leonard Tan, and 7FL founder Anton del Rosario. Each of the participating club teams were also represented and helped facilitate the clinic.

Tan shares, "Not known to many, Philam Life formed a partnership with Tottenham Hotspur way back in 2017. These guys have been moving around Asia and Philippines is their 13th country now."

He adds, "The love for football, the universal game, (is something) we have to promote here in the Philippines. We were lucky also that we partnered with (7s FL) and we told Anton (Blackwood) and Shaun (Harris) that this is the perfect time to have the kids here and give them two international coaches who are very good at their jobs so that we can promote a healthier, longer, and better lives."

Philam Life's connection to Tottenham lies with the team's partnership with AIA, which is Philam Life's parent company. In line with such partnership, AIA has exerted effort to spread football awareness across Asia, doing so with coaches conducting programs and other related activities across the region.

Spurs coaches have been able to work with over ten thousand participants and five hundred coaches during the past year.

In this case, Philam Life coordinated with the 7s Football League in order to bring in both coaches in time during the 7FL's third season.

Harris and Blackwood maximized their time at the 7FL and both saw encouraging signs with regards to the growth of the sport in the country.

According to the former, "I think first and foremost, just the energy and the smiles of the faces. They just have the passion to come play football and express themselves. They might not be the best players (yet), but the attitude to go out and just give it a go is the most important factor for me," said Harris.

He adds, "We traveled out to countries like the Philippines and host football clinics to demonstrate what we do back home at Tottenham."

For the latter, he shares, "I think if the kids can come in and play in an environment that allows them to be able to express themselves and demonstrate what they can do to have fun, I think that’s the foundation. and that would make them more likely to continue to play and hone their skills for the long-term and maybe they can become professionals and represent the Philippines in the international level."

Cebu to host Chooks Pilipinas 3x3 second conference opener

Ronald Mascarinas addressing the crowd

In the aftermath of the success of the Chooks Pilipinas 3x3, the league will commence with its second conference by heading to Cebu.

League owner Ronald Mascariñas made the announcement earlier this month, during the send-off for the Pasig and Bataan teams to the FIBA 3x3 World Tour Masters in Doha.

"I'm glad to announce that the second conference of our league will open in Cebu on June 1," he disclosed. The SM Seaside Activity Center has been selected to host the opening leg.

The Bounty Agro-Ventures, Inc. head honcho continues, "With the support we got from the basketball-loving Cebuanos last January, we made sure to bring our league to them."

Back in January, in coordination with the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas, they set a FIBA-record 3,043 participants for a 3x3 tournament, involving the Sisters of Mary School Boystown and Girlstown.

According to league commissioner Eric Altimirano, the Patriots' Cup will be a reinforced conference, with teams being allowed to have a foreign player. He adds, "For the number of legs, we will limit it to at least five legs. Currently, FIBA might ask us to host another Super Quest as the sixth leg just like the President's Cup."

Coming off the success of the biggest 3x3 basketball festival in the world last January, Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 is set to bring the country's first-ever 3x3 league to Cebu.

Unlike the President's Cup, adding spice to the second conference is that each team will be allowed to field an import in the Patriots' Cup.

"The second conference will be a reinforced conference. We are going to allow one foreign player to play per team," unveiled league commissioner Eric Altamirano.

All twelve teams who took part in the President's Cup are expected to be involved in the Patriots' Cup, including the soon-to-be hosts Cebu-Max4 Birada and recent 3x3 World Tour participants Bataan Risers and Pasig Grindhouse.

The league is looking into the possibility of expanding the tourney by adding more teams, including the potential of having overseas squads.

Altamirano says, "We are looking at retaining the twelve pioneering teams. If there will be additions, we need to have at least four additional teams. We need to add teams by four for scheduling purposes. So it's either four to eight teams."

Mascariñas adds, "Currently, we have received interest from a couple of international teams as well. A Indonesian club and a Japanese club already talked to us during the Super Quest."

Chooks World Tour yields immediate dividends in FIBA 3x3 rankings

Taylor Statham drives to the basket against Katara opposition.

The Philippines' quest to make the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in 3x3 basketball continues to make incidental advances, in the advent of the release of the updated FIBA 3x3 rankings.

After the FIBA 3x3 World Tour Masters in Doha, the Philippines moved up a single spot in the federation rankings to 31st overall with 1,806,820 points.

This is possible due to the effort of Pasig Grindhouse and the Bataan Risers, who finished fifth and sixth in the first leg of the 2019 World Tour.

Chooks Pilipinas 3x3 owner Ronald Mascariñas says, "We are elated with this development but the work is far from over." He adds, "We at Chooks-to-Go will continue to do our part in helping promote 3x3 basketball, develop our players, and join the tournaments sanctioned by FIBA."

The efforts of two teams also yielded their own benefits for themselves.

Pasig is now ranked 27th in the world with their fifth-place finish, having beat Katara, 21-14 in just over eight minutes and upsetting Liman, 19-16, before bowing out to Riga Ghetto in the quarterfinals, 15-21.

The Kings have a chance to further improve these rankings with their participation in the Huaqiao International Kunshan Challenger this coming May 18-19. This particular Challenger is a qualifier to the Chengdu Masters, which is the second leg of the 3x3 World Tour.

Individually, Taylor Statham moved past teammate Joshua Munzon to be the top-ranked Filipino in 3x3.

Statham is now ranked 114th in the world with 349,080. Munzon is now 120th with 338,520.

Bataan's core duo of Alvin Pasaol and Leonard Santillan also rocketed up the standings, with Pasaol now 148th at 308,680 and Santillan at 221st 254,820.

FIBA has set some guidelines in order to secure berths in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, with only seven available berths (as Japan claims one spot by serving as hosts).

Only the top 24 federations as of November 1 this year will be allowed to participate in the Olympic Qualifying Tournaments, which as of the moment are composed of:

Men: Serbia, Russia, Slovenia, Latvia, Japan, China, Mongolia, United States, Netherlands, Qatar, Lithuania, Ukraine, Brazil, Romania, Poland, France, Estonia, Czech Republic, Canada, South Korea, Turkey, Germany, Hungary, and Belarus (5,934,045). The Philippines is currently 30th with 5,196,380.

Women: China, Mongolia, Russia, Romania, France, Estonia, Japan, Ukraine, Netherlands, Hungary, Uruguay, Iran, Indonesia, Italy, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Brazil, Latvia, Belarus, Uganda, Sri Lanka, Spain, Turkmenistan, and Australia (985,332). The Philippines is currently 35th with 628,245.

In addition, National team pools are restricted to the top 10 players of each country in the FIBA 3x3 rankings. Players in the Chooks Pilipinas 3x3 compose the top 21 3x3 Filipinos in the country as of the end of the President's Cup.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Chooks World Tour provides dose of reality in Doha

Balanga Chooks
The FIBA 3x3 World Tour Masters in Doha showed how good the Philippines is and at the same time, how much they need to work on, as both Pasig Chooks and Balanga Chooks were sent to the sidelines in the quarterfinals.

Liman and Riga showed why they were two of the three best teams in the FIBA 3x3 club scene, defeating their respective Filipino opposition.

Top-ranked Liman avenged their 19-16 loss to Pasig in pool play by beating Balanga, 21-9, while third-ranked Riga Ghetto avenged their 19-17 loss to Balanga in pool play by beating Pasig, 21-15.

Both teams went on to face off in the finals after dispatching their respective semifinal opposition: Liman ended Novi Sad's World Tour winning streak at 35 with a 20-17 victory, while Riga dispatched Piran, 21-14.

The Latvian quartet then finally secured their first-ever World Tour title with a hard-fought 15-14 battle.

As for the side events, Stefan Kojic topped the shootout, while in the dunk contest, Vadim Poddubchenko, better known in basketball circles as Miller, beat out David Carlos in the final.

The 5'9" Pinoy dunker's three dunks, which included a scorpion dunk over Alvin Pasaol, yielded a total score of 85, compared to the flawless performance of 90 from the Ukranian sensation.

Carlos did get $500 for his efforts.

Pasig's performance in both days netted them a fifth place finish, which nets the quartet of Joshua Munzon, Taylor Statham, Nikola Pavlovic, and Angelo Tsagarakis $5,000. Balanga's quartet of Pasaol, Leonard Santillan, Karl Dehesa, and Travis Franklin was not far behind in the final rankings with their sixth place result.

Reflecting on how both Pasig and Balanga fared in the Qatari capital, Chooks Pilipinas 3x3 commissioner Eric Altamirano expressed pride, noting that "We made a statement that we belong here in the World Tour."

He adds, "Seeing the level of play here and knowing that we can keep up with the world's best, it will definitely make our players hungrier to get back in the next legs of the World Tour."

Seeing how the teams fared, Chooks Pilipinas 3x3 owner Ronald Mascarinas vows that there will be more to come for 3x3 basketball in the Philippines, reaffirming his vow during the send-off to participate in whatever 3x3 tourney FIBA invites them to.

He declares, "Now that we are back in the game, we will join every 3x3 tournament FIBA wants us to join. This is just the start for us. We will continue to raise the level of our league, hoping that one day we can be seen by the world as one of the elite 3x3 basketball countries."

Pasig has some unfinished work to do, as they are headed to the Huaqiao International Kunshan Challenger on May 18-19. The Kunshan Challenger is a qualifier to the Chengdu Masters, which takes place on June 1-2 and is the second leg of the World Tour Masters.

June 1-2 also is slated for the start of the Patriots' Cup, which is the second conference of the Chooks Pilipinas 3x3. The SM Seaside Events Center in Cebu is slated to host the league opener.

Friday, April 19, 2019

Philippines goes 4-0 in FIBA 3x3 Doha Masters

Joshua Munzon is fired up.
The Chooks World Tour is off to a smashing start at the FIBA 3x3 World Tour Masters in Doha.

Both Pasig Chooks and Balanga Chooks are through to the knockout rounds after winning each of their group stage matches at the Katara Amphitheatre in the Qatar capital, egged on the Filipino crowd present.

Chooks Pilipinas 3x3 commissioner Eric Altamirano saw the effort of the Pinoy clubs in person in Doha, and he was beaming with pride. He shares, "Our teams showed the world what we have been doing for the last three months. Unlike past teams that were confused with the rules, Pasig and Balanga only made a few mental mistakes during their games. In addition, they were disciplined."

The Risers needed some down-the-wire dramatics to sweep Pool C.

They survived an ankle injury to Leonard Santillan during their massive 19-17 victory over Riga Ghetto, the third-ranked team in FIBA 3x3 and is fresh from claiming the Wuxi Challenger earlier this month. Playing without him in the second game, they then managed to eke out a 20-19 overtime win over Moscow Inanomo.

Overtime rules dictate the first team to score a couple of points wins, and with Moscow scoring first, thanks to Yura Bespalov, but the Russians can't celebrate that, as Alvin Pasaol nails a corner two-pointer to end the game.

The UE standout shared after the game, "Unang-una, nagpapasalamat ako kay Boss Ronald [Mascariñas]. Para sa kanya yung tira na ito kung hindi dahil sa kanya, wala kami rito. Kahit dehado na dehado na kami, pinakita namin na ang pusong Pinoy ay hindi titiklop ng ganun ganun lang."

The Kings also pulled off the sweep in Pool A.

After opening their campaign with a 21-14 win over host side Katara that ensured their berth into the knockout rounds, the Chooks Pilipinas 3x3 President's Cup champions faced off against top-ranked FIBA 3x3 team Liman, with the likelihood of an All-Filipino quarterfinal had they lost.

It was a nip-and-tuck matchup, even with the Serbs not having their top-ranked player Stefan Stojacic for this tournament.

Nikola Pavlovic nails a two-pointer with 64 seconds remaining to give Pasig the lead for good at 16-14. Liman would cut that deficit back down to a single point, but Taylor Statham scored back-to-back buckets to complete the 19-16 upset.

Taylor shared after the game, "I am very happy in the way our team took care of business today. Beating the number one team in the world is a great accomplishment but we are nowhere near satisfied."

Travis Franklin of Bataan ended up the leading scorer after Day 1 with 24 points, followed by Statham's eighteen.

The success of both teams was a nice surprise for Chooks Pilipinas 3x3 league owner Ronald Mascariñas, who says, "Even we are surprised with the performance of both our teams. But now that we are in the quarterfinals, I challenged the boys to continue the momentum and show the world that Philippine 3x3 basketball is here to stay in the World Tour."

The only disappointment for the Philippines in the Doha Masters came in the shootout qualifiers, where both Karl Dehesa (Balanga) and Angelo Tsagarakis (Pasig) fell short of making the finals. Both finished with four points out of ten, a couple shy of finishing in the top three that makes it into the finals.

The knockout rounds commence later tonight, with Pasig Chooks kicking things off at 945pm with their quarterfinal matchup against Riga Ghetto.

As for Balanga Chooks, they will face off against Liman at 1115pm. All eyes now are on Santillan's ankle, as he remains a game-time decision for that matchup.

In between, Piran faces Chooks-to-Go 3x3 Asia Pacific Super Quest champions Tokyo Dime.EXE at 1015pm, with Novi Sad attempting to extend their 34-match World Tour winning streak against Ljubljana at 1040pm.

Also to take place at Day 2 is the Dunk Contest, where Filipino dunking sensation David Carlos goes up against Vadim Poddubchenko (a.k.a Miller) of the Ukraine and Joel Henry of Great Britain. It takes place at 1255am, before the final.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

The Chooks World Tour set to commence in Doha

Pasig Chooks and Balanga Chooks together with Philippine Ambassador to Doha H.E. Alan L. Timbayan
The Chooks World Tour has its first stop, bringing back the Philippines into the FIBA 3x3 World Tour Masters in Doha, and Bounty Agro Ventures, Inc. boss Ronald Mascarinas believes in what the country can do in the competition.

"Having been with these guys since February, I honestly believe that our players have superior skills. However, we need to play disciplined and smart basketball with no individualism at all," said the sports patron. "If they do this, I am confident that we can come out on top in Doha."

And the country is ready, sending its top two teams in the Chooks Pilipinas 3x3 to participate in this two-day tournament.

Pasig Grindhouse is rebranded as Pasig Chooks for this tournament, which they earned by topping the Chooks Pilipinas 3x3 tournament back on April 7. They are composed of the quartet of Joshua Munzon and Taylor Statham, joined by a couple of reinforcements in Nikola Pavlovic and the newly-acquired Angelo Tsagarakis.

Pasig's campaign starts at 1050pm against host side Katara, which features Qatari youth 3x3 standout Bobo Magassa. They then follow that with a matchup against the top-ranked 3x3 team in the world, Liman, although the Serb side will not have the 2nd-best 3x3 player in the world in Stefan Stojacic.

The Kings are joined by their friendly rivals, the Bataan Risers, who as 1Bataan Risers made it to the finals of the Chooks-to-Go 3x3 Asia-Pacific Super Quest. The Risers will be known as Balanga Chooks for this tournament. They are retaining the quartet that participated in the Super Quest: stalwarts Alvin Pasaol and Leonard Santillan, Vigan Baluarte's Karl Dehesa, and newcomer Travis Franklin.

Balanga is scheduled to face Wuxi Challenger champions Riga at 950pm, followed by their matchup against Moscow Inatomo at 1135pm.

Chooks Pilipinas 3x3 league commissioner Eric Altamirano believes both teams are more than ready to test their mettle against some of the world's best in 3x3 basketball.

He shares, "Given the short time of preparation, I was surprised with how intense and how focused the players are. They were so intense that there was a lot of frustrations shown and some flare-ups. We expected that because they want to win and they really want to have a good representation for the country in the World Tour."

Altamirano also gave his thoughts about the opposition Pasig and Balanga will be facing in the tournament.

For Pasig, he says, "We know that Liman is one of the top teams in the world but we don't know anything about Katara. They're the host country. That is the one thing they will have going for them, the support of the home crowd. But we are also hoping that we get the support of the local Pinoys there."

For Balanga, Eric adds, "Those are two tough assignments. But what I like about Bataan is yung puso nila. They never back down. They seem to be the underdog but they don't show it. They never give up."

In the other two groups, Pool B will have the second-ranked team in 3x3 in Novi Sad, Super Quest champions Tokyo Dime.EXE, and host squad Doha. Pool D will have the two Slovenian sides, Piran and Ljubljana, as well as University of McGill-Mount Royal of Canada.

Only the top two of each group will advance at the knockout rounds the next day.

The Doha Masters champion will take home $30,000, while the first-runner up nets $20,000. Top five finishers will receive $12,000, $8,000, and $5,000 respectively.

Aside from the main competition, there is a shootout contest with $5,000 at stake, and David Carlos is set to participate in the dunk contest on Day 2.

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Chooks Pilipinas 3x3 players ready for national team call up - Mascarinas

BAVI head honcho Ronald Mascarinas addressing the audience during the sendoff for Pasig Chooks and Balanga Chooks.
When it comes to playing for the flag, the Chooks Pilipinas 3x3 players are ready to step up to the plate.

That is what league owner Ronald Mascarinas is making a stand for, when he addressed those who were present in the send-off for the two Filipino teams for the upcoming FIBA 3x3 World Tour Masters in Doha on Friday.

The Bounty Agro Ventures Inc. president says during the gathering, "We are publicly offering the field for SBP." Ronald adds, "All the players who played in our Chooks-to-Go league are available. Even if there's an ongoing tournament, if the country needs our players, we will release them for the country. It's up to them now."

The Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 has the top 21 Filipino 3x3 players in the country, led by the Risers (Joshua Munzon, Troy Rike, Taylor Statham, Dylan Ababou, and late addition Leo De Vera) and the Kings (Alvin Pasaol, Leonard Santillan, Sean Manganti, Anton Asistio).

Completing the top 21 are the Pasay quartet of Jaypee Belencion, Arvin Tolentino, Roosevelt Adams, and Ron Lastimosa, the trio of Paulo Hubalde, Chris de Chavez, and Jan Jamon of Carga Valenzuela, Karl Dehesa and Jojo Cunanan of Vigan Baluarte, John Wilson and Larry Muyang of San Juan-Go for Gold, and Rey Suerte of Cebu-Max Birada 4.

In addition, the league already secured a Quest-Level status after one leg from FIBA, after federation officials were impressed during the opener at the SM Megamall. Pasig and Bataan earned berths into the first-of-its-kind Chooks 3x3 Asia-Pacific Super Quest, where both teams made the top 3 and each lost to eventual champions Tokyo Dime.EXE.

Such efforts have helped raised the country's profile in the FIBA 3x3 rankings, moving them up to 32nd from 49th overall.

This particular line of thought from Mascarinas came on the same week as Philippine Basketball Association chairman Ricky Vargas noting the league's commitment to lend their players in both 5x5 and 3x3 for the Southeast Asian Games during the PSA Forum.

The head of the Philippine Olympic Committee shared, "Oo. Committed din kami magpahiram ng PBA players sa three-on-three."

The league enlisted Troy Rosario, Stanley Pringle, Christian Standhardinger, and Roger Pogoy during the FIBA 3x3 World Cup last year inside the Philippine Arena.

The quartet managed an eleventh place finish in this competition out of twenty teams.

Mascarinas hopes that the SBP will make the right decision with regards to the SEA Games, notes that "It is their responsibility to our country that any team playing for our country must be the best."

Pasig ready for World Tour challenge

Angelo Tsagarakis
Fresh from their success at the Chooks Pilipinas 3x3 President's Cup and the FIBA 3x3 Asia-Pacific Super Quest, the Pasig-Grindhouse Kings believe they are ready for the upcoming FIBA 3x3 World Tour Masters in Doha.

President's Cup MVP Joshua Munzon shares, "That's our first taste of international competition. I think that made us ready for the physicality of the game."

Taylor Statham adds, "The President's Cup was something that helped us understand the 3x3 game. The Super Quest was a whole other level."

If they think they are ready, the two reinforcements for the Kings sort of think otherwise.

Nikola Pavlovic, who helped Novi Sad win three World Tour Masters titles, says "The level is completely different from here and the way of playing basketball is completely different from here. It's going to be much more physical. It's more deliberate basketball."

Angelo Tsagarakis adds, "Doha is gonna be a learning experience and a slap to the face. Whatever they faced in the Super Quest is nothing compared to what we will face in Doha." He also shares, "Nikola knows -- he won the Utsonomiya [2017 World Tour Masters] leg. He understands what we are going to face."He has to bring his level higher, we all need to do it."

The Frenchman continued, "I don't think the guys realize yet the intensity that we are going to face in Doha."

Knowing that they have to give it their all at the World Tour Masters, he concludes, "We can't base things on what we did and did not do during the Super Quest. We got to think much higher and much further. We need to fight for everything than what we have already done. If there's one thing I know about sports in general, it's about the heart that you bring during each competition. Things your team is missing can compensate with heart. That's the main thing we can bring right now."

The Kings, along with the Bataan Risers, have a couple of practice sessions left before departing for the Qatar capital on Tuesday night.

Diliman, Arellano HS secure Fr. Martin's Cup wins

UCBL champions Diliman College kicked off their campaign in the Fr. Martin's Cup Summer League with a smashing 107-76 victory this past Saturday, April 13 inside the San Beda campus in Mendiola.

Four players finished in double figures for the Blue Dragons, with Johnnel Bauzon leading the way with his twenty points. Joseph Brutas nailed four triples on his way to eighteen markers. Completing the quartet are John Mahari and Kevin Gandjeto with fourteen and twelve points, respectively.

Diliman rode on a strong start, using back-to-back Brutas triples to open the game at 13-3, which they would extend to 29-11 after one quarter of play. The Rensy Bajar-coached team never looked back since.

Daryl Pascual led the Knights with a game-high 21 points, as they fell to 0-2 in Group B.

In the lone high school basketball matchup scheduled, Arellano defeated La Consolacion College-Manila, 71-64.

JC Recto led the Braves with twenty points, with Ivan Salinel adding seventeen, five of them coming in a key stretch to fend off the Junior Blue Royals.

Arellano established a 35-17 lead during the second quarter, but LCC-M would manage to cut that down to 63-57 before Salinel's heroics secured the victory.

The 25th edition of the Fr. Martin's Cup Summer League is presented by Resorts World Manila and the Bedans Class 62-66.

Saturday, April 13, 2019

BAVI rewards Pasig, 1Bataan with PHP 2M incentives

1Bataan Risers from last week's SuperQuest

In a surprise announcement last Friday, Bounty Agro-Ventures Incorporated head honcho and Chooks Pilipinas 3x3 league owner Ronald Mascarinas disclosed that he is gifting the eight players comprising the Pasig Grindhouse and 1Bataan Risers a total of PHP 2M.

The reward is based on the achievements both teams made during the Chooks-to-Go 3x3 Asia Pacific Super Quest, with the Kings finishing in third place and the Risers as runners-up, which is aside from the $7,000 and $15,000 they each earned in the tournament.

According to Mascariñas, it is "As a gesture of gratitude to the players, we are giving the players of both teams a little gift that is a little over two-million pesos." He adds, "Thank you for serving your country."

According to league officials, the Risers (composed of Alvin Pasaol, Leonard Santillan, and Karl Dehesa, and Travis Franklin) will get a larger share of the incentives compared to the Kings (Joshua Munzon, Taylor Statham, Troy Rike, Nikola Pavlovic, and non-playing member Dylan Ababou) due to their better finish.

When asked about this, here are a few thoughts from the players:

Munzon: "We were surprised. None of us expected this. I thought we were just going to have lunch here."

Statham: "Extremely grateful to Boss Ronald and Chooks-to-Go. Definitely, we will use this to motivate us to represent the country better in Doha."

Pasaol: "Malaking bagay ito sa amin kasi napapakita namin na hindi lang sa five-on-five ang future ng basketball player."

Dehesa: "I mean, very grateful to have this opportunity after playing in the PBA for four years. I stepped out of my comfort zone now and it's paying off."

Both teams, rebranded for the upcoming FIBA 3x3 World Tour Masters in Doha on April 18-19, as Pasig Chooks and Balanga Chooks, now have their sights set on shocking the world once again.

Fight Night III a go with all fighters passing weigh-in

There will be no hitches in the Cage Gladiators and Hitman MMA co-produced mixed martial arts event on April 14, as all fighters made weight for Fight Night III.

Set to take place at SM Skydome, the main event will have Sprawl MMA's Miguel Alo facing off against Min Hyeok Lee of Extreme Combat / Top Gym BF.

When asked about taking part in the main event, Alo shares, "I treat this as a normal fight as I have fought many stronger and bigger fighters. This is not to say I am underestimating my opponent. It is too early to judge but I am confident in my skills and experience as I have been fighting for a decade now."

As for Lee, he says, "I am excited for this fight, and I would like to savor every moment of it. This is my first time to be competing in the main event of a mixed martial arts event, so I look forward to this. I really hope I can give the Filipino fans a good show."

According to Cage Gladiators founder and CEO Laurence Canavan, "We are going to continue to go higher. This is the first time we are going international with the South Korean fighters on board, and I am very thankful for their entry. We have received many inquiries from Russian, Japanese, and even Thai fighters. They all want to join the Fight Night series. It means a lot to us. We will do our best to continue growing this."

The results of the weigh-ins are as follows:

Lightweight bout: Miguel Alo (155 lbs) vs. Min Hyeok Lee (155 lbs)
Lightweight bout: Dennis Domingo (151 lbs) vs. Kim Jae Woong (153.5)
Bantamweight bout: Norman Agcopra (134.6) vs. Genil Francisco (131 lbs)
Light Heavyweight bout: Kevin Guevara (191 lbs) vs. John Tirona (193.8 lbs)
Strawweight bout: Ezekiel Cerbito (112 lbs) vs. Ian Jay Batoto (113.4 lbs)
Featherweight bout: Jayco Madrona (146 lbs) vs. Alexander Aballe (146.5 lbs)
Lightweight bout: Rod Santos (149 lbs) vs. Christchan Buentiempo (147 lbs)
Flyweight bout: Edrion Macatangay (126.6) vs. Luke Quinlan Cruz (126.7 lbs)
Bantamweight bout: Cesar Paragas (136 lbs) vs. Mark Postrano (130 lbs)

Friday, April 12, 2019

Mapua opens Fr. Martin's Cup campaign on a winning note

Warren Bonifacio trying to score a lay-up for Mapua
Mapua used a second quarter run to secure a 90-72 win over Treston International College in Fr. Martin's Cup Summer League action inside the Mendiola campus of San Beda on Friday.

The duo of Warren Bonifacio and Christian Buñag took charge in the second period for the Cardinals, using a 13-6 run to help establish a 38-21 lead over the Golden Lions.

Treston would manage to reduce the deficit to 69-59, but Mapua held on with a strong close out finish.

Bonifacio led all scorers with sixteen points, while Adrian Nocum added fifteen markers. Buñag netted fourteen points.

Treston does not come out empty handed, as their high school team defeated San Beda, 93-74.

The Golden Cubs relied on fourteen points from Ronel Ulep to dispatch the Red Cubs, establishing a sizable lead in the second quarter. They would then expanded the lead to large as 57-34 in the third quarter before settling in at 67-47 into the fourth.

San Beda would use an 8-1 run to cut that lead down to 68-55, but Treston would respond to ensure the win.

Art Cagandahan chipped in with twelve points, while playmaker Rasheen Jose contributed ten markers. Meanwhile, Andrei Ostonal led San Beda with a game-high 23 points.

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Altas trip Red Lions on Fr. Martin's Cup Summer opener

Games on Wednesday, April 10 (SGS Gym, G. Araneta Ave.)

8:00 a.m. La Salle vs AMA University (Seniors A)
9:30 a.m. University of Santo Tomas vs San Beda (Juniors A)

San Beda's title defense in the 25th Fr. Martin's Cup Summer League kicked off on the wrong note with a 60-52 defeat to the University of Perpetual Help Altas at the St. Placid's Gym inside the Red Lions' campus at Mendiola.

Luke Sese finished with a game-high fifteen points for the Altas, while Tonton Peralta added eleven markers.

The Red Lions tried to make things into a game in the final quarter, under the stewardship of Arnaud Noah, but Edgar Charcos nails a floater with less than a minute left, and Sese would make free throws in order to preserve the victory.

The other collegiate matchup scheduled saw Arellano escape with a 69-62 win over Letran.

A triple from John Templonuevo and some effective defense from the Chiefs helped secure the victory over the Knights. Templonuevo would finish with sixteen points.

In high school action, Letran ran right through St. Patrick School of Quezon City, 95-51, to kick off their campaign. The Squires used their transition offense to pull away in the second period and never looked back, riding on the trio of Charles Saure, Ralph Yanes, and Lenard Santiago for the victory.

Saure would finish with a game-high nineteen points, while Yanes added fifteen of his own.

Tokyo Dime claims Chooks-to-Go Super Quest

Tomoya Ochiai screams in delight during the final
19th-ranked Tokyo Dime.Exe claimed the first-ever Chooks-to-Go 3x3 Asia Pacific Super Quest last Sunday, dispatching 1Bataan in dramatic fashion, 22-20, at the Fashion Hall of SM Megamall.

Masahiro Komatsu nailed the game-winning two-pointer with 33 seconds left over the outstretched arms of Leonard Santillan, completing the comeback after trailing 18-13 with over two and a half minutes remaining.

The Risers managed to reach the Hill first at 20-18 with eighty seconds left on an Alvin Pasaol bucket, but that was the last point the Chooks Pilipinas 3x3 runners-up would score.

Petar Perunovic halved the deficit on a drive with under a minute remaining, which was then followed by a costly delay of game technical foul on Santillan. Kenta Suzuki would make the free throw to tie the game at 20, setting things up for Komatsu's dramatics.

When asked about the final, Tomoya Ochiai says, "Good fight. It was a physical game, a tough game and I like it. Filipino guys are very tough." The top-ranked Japanese player in the 3x3 basketball scored six points in the final, with new acquisition Perunovic also scoring that much. Both Komatsu and Suzuki each contributed five points to reflect their balanced scoring.

As for Santillan, he rues the mistakes that cost 1Bataan the championship, but his teammates were encouraging him by sharing positive thoughts.

Considered as one of the favorites to claim the championship, Tokyo Dime.Exe kickstarted their afternoon with a 22-9 win over Aotearoa in the quarterfinals, then followed that with a 16-11 victory over Chooks Pilipinas 3x3 champions Pasig Grindhouse in the semifinals. By clinching the title, they earned $50,000 and berths in the 2019 FIBA 3x3 World Tour Masters in Doha on April 18-19 and the Penang leg of FIBA 3x3 Challenger on May 12-13.

1Bataan's road to the final on Sunday started with a 21-15 win over SSLC, and then followed by a 21-18 win over Jakarta West Bandits in the semifinals. The Indonesian side had the stunning result of the day with their 20-19 victory over 15th-ranked Ulaanbaatar in the quarterfinals. By making it to the finals, the Risers secured a berth into the Doha Masters, joining Pasig-Grindhouse as the only Filipino clubs to earn qualification. They also receive $15,000.

As for the Kings, their third place finish nets them $7,000, as well as a spot in the Kunshan leg of FIBA 3x3 Challenger on May 18-19. The West Bandits also snag a spot in Kunshan, as well as $4,000 by finishing fourth.

By virtue of making the quarterfinals, Ulaanbaatar, Aotearoa, SSLC, and TSV Reading Cinemas each get $1,000.