Monday, September 26, 2022

LG Philippines welcomes KBL side Changwon LG Sakers

 LG Electronics Philippines’ Managing Director Mr Sungjae Kim and LG Philippines Product Director Mr Changsoo Jang, handed over units of LG PuriCare Wearable Air Purifiers to LG Sakers headed by Head Coach Sang Hyun Cho, together with Justin Gutang, their Filipino player.

Korean side Changwon LG Sakers have once again visited the Philippines as they prepare for the upcoming Korean Basketball League season.

As part of their visit, they spent it going up against teams from both the PBA and the UAAP, helping those teams also prepare for their respective campaigns.

Sakers guard Lee Gwan Hee, who once played in the Philippines for Phoenix when the league once adopted the Asian reinforcement quota, shares, "I think both our PBA and KBL (experience) made it possible to level up in our playing field."

The KBL just installed an Asian quota for the coming season, and Changwon has taken advantage by snapping up Justin Gutang. The former student-athlete from the College of Saint Benilde says, "It has been amazing so far, it’s a blessing."

Before their friendly against World University Basketball Series champions Ateneo de Manila University, the Philippines subsidiary of LG Electronics, which serve as Changwon's major sponsor, handed over LG Puricare Wearable Air Purifiers that the team can use during their visit here. Overseeing the handover are LG Philippines Managing Director Sungjae Kim and Product Director Changsoo Jang.

Kim shares about the Sakers' visit, "We can’t wait to see more of these events in the future. Aside from honing their skills on the court, each team also gets exposed to different cultures."

Friday, September 23, 2022

Esteban named as Maharlika Manila FC’s new head coach

Maharlika Manila FC

Maharlika Manila FC is set to change things up in their current Philippines Football League campaign, making a change in their head coaching responsibilities.

Arman "Biboy" Esteban has been named as the new gaffer for the team, replacing Derick Keongil Kim after seven straight defeats to start off the current campaign.

Esteban played for the University of Santo Tomas, also serving as an assistant to current Tiger Booters mentor Marjo Allado. He also helmed Mapua's football program in the NCAA.

Lauren Bidias has also been tapped to serve as Esteban's assistant.

Aside from Esteban, Maharlika also revealed that they have snapped up three players that they believe they can help get the team going in defenders Lawrence Baguio and Alimar Job Ambong, as well as midfielder Jappeth Piñero.

All three players have Visayan roots and collegiate football experience in Manila.

Baguio is from Cebu and played for the College of Saint Benilde, with Ambong (Dumaguete) and Piñero (Bacolod) are Negrenses who were teammates at National University.

All three have national team experience, with the latter two also represented the Philippines in the AFF Under-19 Championships in Vietnam. Ambong had additional experience representing the country at the Under-18 level at Cambodia.

Baguio, on the other hand, was called up for national team duty in the 2019 AFF Under-22 campaign in Cambodia, as well as the 2020 AFC U23 qualifiers in Malaysia.

Maharlika hopes the new additions will help change the fortunes of the side, which is coming off a 1-0 defeat to Cebu FC earlier this week.

The club will face off against United City on October 1 after the international break.

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Letran escapes in season opener

c/o NCAA

Letran kicked off its title defense with a victory on Wednesday afternoon, surviving a feisty Jose Rizal University in overtime, 101-97.

Kurt Reyson had a career day for the Knights, as he scored 31 points, including a game-tying triple with five seconds remaining in regulation.

In the five-minute extension, it was a rookie and a veteran who stepped for the two-time champions.

Kobe Monje proved to be clutch, securing the rebound off a free throw miss by William Sy, then received a pass from King Caralipio for a layup with 28.1 left, giving Letran the lead for good at 98-97.

And as JRU committed miscues in trying to answer, Fran Yu converted three free throws to provide necessary breathing room. The former Finals MVP contributed twelve points, six rebounds, five assists, and three steals in an all-around effort.

Head coach Bonnie Tan shared to the media after the game, "It's all about heart and suwerte,"

He adds, "I'm happy for the win. Going into the game, talagang blindfolded kami. Hindi pa namin alam kung paano pa manalo. Hindi ko alam kung sino pa ang first five namin. We were just blessed na na-pull through namin ito."

Tan also lavished praised towards Reyson, who scored ten points in the final quarter and overtime, "Kurt played a good game, 9 out of 14 (field goal shooting). Hindi puwersado ang mga tira. Free throws niya 7 out of 7. Wala akong masabi sa mga bata. For me it is time for him to step up. Dati nao-overshadow siya ng ibang veterans."

Caralipio finished with a double-double with fourteen points and eleven rebounds, while Brent Paraiso added thirteen markers and four steals.

John Amores led the Heavy Bombers with nineteen points, six rebounds, three steals, and a couple of steals. Agem Miranda added eighteen, with five rebounds and six dimes.

The scores:

Letran (101) -- Reyson 31, Caralipio 14, Paraiso 13, Yu 12, Sangalang 9, Monje 9, Santos 6, Olivario 3, Go 2, Miclat 2, Ariar 0, Guarino 0.

JRU (97) -- Amores 19, Miranda 18, Celis 14, Dela Rosa 14, Guiab 10, Dionisio 7, Arenal 7, Medina 5, Sy 3, Delos Santos 0, Abaoag 0.

Quarterscores: 19-27, 49-41, 74-71, 89-89, 101-97

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

San Sebastian claims Season 98 opener over Arellano

c/o NCAA

San Sebastian rode on their defense in the second half to fend off Arellano on Tuesday afternoon at the Filoil EcoOil Centre, 60-51.

The Golden Stags held the Chiefs without a field goal in the first 4:42 of the fourth quarter, providing themselves some semblance of cushion before Arellano fired thirteen straight points to reduce the deficit to 57-51.

Unfortunately for Arellano, Tristan Felebrico completed an and-1 play with 101 seconds remaining to restore a nine-point cushion and what turned out to be the final points of the game.

Egay Macaraya shared, post-match, "I think the guys just proved themselves na if we played defense, nandoon ang opensa namin.  That's our battlecry and motivation namin ngayon.  I hope we can bring it in other games."

Ichie Altamirano led San Sebastian with ten points, four rebounds, four assists and a couple of steals. As one of the team's leaders this season, the guard has embraced that responsibility.

"Sa team namin, talaga role player kami. Kayang depensa namin, ita-translate namin sa offense. Nagawa namin sa game, lalo na sa depensa," Altamirano says. He adds, "Kailangan nagsasalita kami on and off the court lalo na sa practice. Gina-guide namin sila, para sa ikagaganda ng team."

Rhinwil Yambing scored seven of his nine points in the third quarter, as San Sebastian went from a tied game at the half to a 50-38 lead heading into the fourth.

Axel Doromal led the Chiefs with fifteen points, three rebounds, and three assists, as they dropped to 1-1 in the early stages of the 98th season of the league. Cade Flores almost netted a double-double with twelve points and nine rebounds.

Shane Menina, who helped anchor Arellano to their Opening Day victory over Emilio Aguinaldo College with fifteen points, dealt with early foul trouble and was held scoreless in eighteen minutes of play.

The scores:

SSC-R (60) -- Altamirano 10, Villapando 9, Yambing 9, Felebrico 7, Cosari 6, Una 6, Sumoda 4, Are 3, Shanoda 2, Escobido 2, Desoyo 2, Suico 0.

Arellano (51) -- Doromal 15, Flores 12, Abastillas 8, Talampas 8, Oliva 2, Mallari 2, Tolentino 2, Sunga 2, Menina 0, Oftana 0, Mantua 0.

Quarterscores: 10-12, 27-27, 50-38, 60-51

First Tuesday doubleheader set for NCAA Season 98

c/o NCAA

Arellano seeks to replicate its 2016 start with consecutive victories, as it faces San Sebastian in the first game of the doubleheader on Tuesday afternoon.

Fresh from its 63-58 victory over Emilio Aguinaldo College this past Saturday, the Chiefs were appreciative of the contributions Shane Menina provided in the match.

The Cebuano guard netted a game-high fifteen points and grabbed five rebounds, and provided key leadership down the stretch.

Head coach Cholo Martin shared post-match, "Alam naman natin yung laro niya eh." He adds, "And yung timing, and yung adjustment niya and yung adjustment niya sa team niya kasi nga bag siya sa team namin. So okay naman, good result naman."

Arellano is hoping to claim back-to-back victories as they go up against the Golden Stags, who are making their season debut.

Behind rising Ichie Altamirano and head coach Egay Macaraya, San Sebastian are hopeful their offseason efforts, which included a spot in the PBA D-League Aspirants Cup semifinals, yield a return to the NCAA postseason.

The second game of the doubleheader sees EAC and San Beda tangle after suffering Opening Day defeats on Saturday.

The Red Lions are raring to go after suffering a 66-55 loss to Mapua, their first season-opening defeat since 2005.

James Kwekuteye led the team with fifteen points, but was the only one in double figures. Yuri Escueta hopes for a better performance from Ralph Penuela and Jacob Cortez, who each made just two field goals this past Saturday.

As for the Generals, they are seeking to bounce back after a disappointing final few minutes, putting to waste a double-double effort from Allen Liwag.

Monday, September 12, 2022

Bacolod to host second Kampeon Cup

coming next month in October

The second edition of the AIA Vitality Kampeon Cup has a date, and is headed down south.

The La Provincia Polo Field in Bacolod will be serving as host of the best of the best in 7-a-side football on October 14-16.

This is the first time they will be able to hold the competition since its inaugural version at McKinley-Hill in Taguig, which Cebu claimed.

A 2020 edition had been in the works to take place in the Queen City of the South, but the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the proceedings.

This year's edition is expected to be a six-team field, with three of the four members comprising the inaugural field in Manila, Bacolod, and Cebu, being joined by Iloilo and Pampanga. The final entrant will be either the fourth inaugural team in Davao or by newcomer Muntinlupa.

Each team will be fielding their outstanding participants from their respective 7s competitions, with the chance to be called a national champion on the line.

AIA Vitality Kampeon Cup founder Anton del Rosario shares, "The Kampeon Cup is a tournament that seeks to bring the best football players all over the country in a festival-type atmosphere where there are games for kids, a tournament for the youth, women’s, and men’s with the Kampeon Cup in between."

The former Philippines international adds, "The Kampeon Cup is the culmination tournament that brings our nationwide efforts for seven-a-side football and to give the winning teams of each region a showcase for their talents at a higher level. By taking the best eight players in each city, not only do they represent their teams, but also their leagues, and cities."

Del Rosario hopes that the Kampeon Cup would eventually lead it to being an international competition.

"The goal for the Kampeon Cup is to be an international tournament where teams from Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, and others come over to participate," he concludes. "Now that will not only help the sport on a national level, but also foster better relations with our neighbors."

Sunday, September 11, 2022

UP sweeps to seal inaugural PIBC crown

Your podium finishers (L-R: UP, PUP, Ateneo, San Beda)

The University of the Philippines made their case for the upcoming UAAP season in badminton, as they clinched the inaugural Philippine Intercollegiate Badminton Championships at the badminton courts of Centro Atletico in Quezon City.

The Fighting Maroons did it in impressive fashion, winning all three matchups to lock in the title over San Beda on Sunday afternoon.

Jason Vanzuela and Michael Clemente secured the tie with a 21-16 21-11 victory over Arjhay Lazareto and Ramon Timothy Santos in men's doubles.

The Maroons shook off errors in the first set before settling things in the second to net the victory.

Kervin Llanes started things off for UP with a 21-13 22-20 triumph in men's singles against Laurence Alejo, with the latter's miscues late costing him the matchup.

In contrast, Anthea Gonzalez dominated her singles matchup against Dana Navarro, sealing the matchup, 21-7 21-7, setting up Vanzuela and Clemente's heroics.

By winning the PIBC, UP took home PhP 50,000, medals, a championship trophy, and Apacs rackets.

Lea Inlayo shares post-competition, "Since marami po kaming freshies medyo nag-aadjust pa kami. Pero hindi naman tumitigil ng support sila Tito Conrado (Co, UP's team manager), at happy po kami na after two years tuluy-tuloy pa rin po kami."

She adds, "Makakatulong po talaga to sa campaign namin (sa UAAP) para maging mas confident kami 'pag dating ng Season 85. Mas nabigyan kami ng boost and pride going into the season."

Completing the rest of the championship side are Susmita Ramos, Enzo Rivera, Jaja Andres, Paul Gonzales, and Althea Rio Fuentespina.

San Beda received PhP 20,000 as the runner-up, while Ateneo and PUP earned PhP 10,000 for finishing as the second-best team in their respective groups.

This tournament is organized by the Philippine Badminton Association, powered by SMART Communications, and supported by the MVP Sports Foundation, Ducksports, Young, and Apacs.

Perpetual claims opener vs JRU

c/o NCAA

Tuesday schedule at Filoil EcoOil Centre

12nn San Sebastian vs Arellano

3pm San Beda vs Emilio Aguinaldo College

A strong second half allowed the University of Perpetual Help System Dalta to blow out Jose Rizal University, 84-60, Sunday afternoon at the Filoil EcoOil Centre in San Juan.

After a first half that saw the Altas hold on a 37-36 lead, Myk Saguiguit's wards took over in the second half, with Kim Aurin and Jielo Razon getting a surprise boost from Rey Barcuma to overrun the Heavy Bombers.

Known more for his defensive prowess, Barcuma scored a career-high 24 points on 10/11 shooting. Razon added thirteen points, seven rebounds, and a couple of assists, while Aurin scored all seven of his points in that pivotal third quarter that saw the Altas score 28 points. Mark Omega also added a near double-double with thirteen points and nine rebounds.

Saguiguit shared post-match, "They run it properly, sumunod sa sistema. Sana ganyan kami lagi para maging competitive kami sa (Season 98)." He also adds, "We made a lot of adjustments. Ang sabi ko sa kanila, relax lang tayo. Alam ninyo naman kung saan tayo malakas. Yung lahat ng ipinakita sa first half, hinayaan na namin."

Jonathan Guiab was the lone JRU player in double-digit with 15 points.

The scores:

First Game

Perpetual (84) -- Barcuma 22, Razon 13, Omega 13, Aurin 7, Roque 5, Ferreras 5, Abis 4, Nitura 4, Egan 2, Boral 2, Martel 2, Nunez 2, Flores 2, Orgo 1, Cuevas 0.

JRU (60) -- Medina 15, Guiab 9, Arenal 6, Sy 5, Delos Santos 4, Miranda 4, De Jesus 4, Dela Rosa 3, Dionisio 3, Villarin 3, Amores 2, Celis 2, Joson 0, Abaoag 0, Gonzales 0, Tan 0, Famaranco 0.

Quarterscores: 12-21, 37-36, 65-51, 84-60

San Beda and UP to dispute inaugural PIBC title

San Beda into the finals

The University of the Philippines and San Beda topped their respective groups to set up a finals matchup on Sunday afternoon at the badminton courts of Centro Atletico in Quezon City for the SMART-Philippine Intercollegiate Badminton Championships.

Sunday morning saw the Fighting Maroons winning all five matches of their tie against the University of Santo Tomas in Group A.

Kervin Llanes started things off with a 21-14 18-21 21-12 victory over Lennox Cuilao in men's singles.

Anthea Gonzalez neutralized her Golden Shuttler counterpart Charlize Belen, 21-6 21-5 in women's singles, before Michael Clemente and Paul Gonzales clinched the tie over Francis Sarmiento and Lanz Ramirez, 21-17 21-19.

Completing the sweep are Susmita Ramos and Althea Fuentespina's 21-15 21-14 victory over Elij Pena and Jennifer Saldaga in women's doubles, followed by Jason Vanzuela and Lea Inlayo's 21-15 21-13 win over Rhafi Santos and Ron Jacob Galve in mixed doubles.

Group B featured a matchup of undefeated teams, but the Red Shuttlers emerged victorious, 4-1.

Julie Gimena and Iana Belen clinched the tie for the lone NCAA participant in women's doubles, dispatching their Mighty Maroons counterparts Jermae and Angel Esto, 23-21 21-5.

PUP did manage to secure a win in their matchup, as Mary Joy Arizara claimed her singles matchup against Anniena Cruz. 21-12 21-18.

The other matchups ended in contrasting fashion.

Ateneo wrapped up its stint with a sweep over Adamson in Group A, as Arthur Salvado and Lynden Laborte secured a 21-15 21-15 triumph over Noel Hernandez and Gabrielle Ganov in men's doubles.

Technological University of the Philippines outlasted Rizal Technological University in the other matchup, 3-2, to wrap up their campaign.

Joanna Dumapit and Derothy Mella sealed the tie over Lowella Navarro and Andrea Paurillo in women's doubles.

Ateneo and PUP will finish as co-bronze medalists, with UP and San Beda set to dispute the title at 1pm.

This tournament is organized by the Philippine Badminton Association, powered by SMART Communications, and supported by the MVP Sports Foundation, Ducksports, Young, and Apacs.

Saturday, September 10, 2022

San Beda, PUP, UP sweep in PIBC afternoon session

De Guzman and Abang for PUP

San Beda and PUP are set for a Sunday morning matchup to determine the finalist from Group B in the SMART Philippine Intercollegiate Badminton Championships, after both schools swept their opposition on Saturday afternoon at the Centro Atletico courts in Quezon City.

The Red Lions secured their second win in the tournament against RTU, with the men's doubles tandem of Timothy Santos and Laurence Alejo needed twenty minutes to defeat Bryant Pili and Rowell Pereda, 21-15 21-8.

John Niel Panganiban got things going in men's singles with a 21-4 21-8 win over Louise Anton de Leon, followed by Anniena Cruz's 21-19 21-10 victory in women's singles.

Clinching the sweep for the Mendiola-based squad are Dana Navarro and June Gimena's 21-4 21-4 win over Andrea Pajarillo and Jolina Miranda in women's doubles, followed by Ianah Belen and Kish Laboy's 21-9 21-7 rout against Ada Alfonzo and Adrian Ong in mixed doubles.

For PUP, John Oliver de Guzman and Kevin Abang clinch the tie with a 21-10 21-13 victory in men's doubles against TUP counterparts Allen Benamir and John Emmanuel Balgos.

In Group A, the University of the Philippines kept their record spotless after sweeping Adamson.

Michael Clemente and Paul Gonzales clinched the tie with a 21-15 21-14 win over Gabrielle Hernandez and Noel Ganoy.

The Fighting Maroons can clinch the top spot with a win over the University of Santo Tomas

Ateneo entered the win column with a 4-1 win over UST, as Arthur Salvado ensured the tie belongs to the Blue Eagles with a 21-13 21-10 triumph over Kyle Adiel Basilio.

In addition, Lyndon Laborte and Bryan Bernardo defeated Francis Sarmiento and Lanz Ramirez in men's doubles, 24-22 21-15.

The final group phase matches are scheduled on Sunday at 8 a.m., while the championship tie is scheduled at 1 p.m. between the respective group winners.

The tournament is organized by the Philippine Badminton Association, powered by SMART Communications, and supported by the MVP Sports Foundation, Ducksports, Young, and Apacs.

Philippines suffers Grand Prix setback to Vietnam

The Philippines dropped its second assignment in the ASEAN Grand Prix Women's Volleyball Invitational on Saturday afternoon, bowing to Vietnam, 25-12 25-16 25-16 at Chartchai Hall in Nakhon Ratchasima.

Unlike their previous meeting at the AVC Cup for Women, the current SEA Games silver medalists showed their dominance as they secure their second win in the four-nation tournament.

Tots Carlos led the Philippines with eleven spikes, eight of which came in the third set. Celine Domingo added seven points, including a couple of service aces. Also netting seven spikes is Jema Galanza, with Rose Vargas contributed five points.

Tran Thi Thanh Thuy led all scorers with thirteen points, with Vietnam having the opportunity to secure the top spot in the four-nation tournament against Thailand on Sunday night.

The Philippines seeks to end their campaign on a positive note against Indonesia on Sunday afternoon. A win there could potentially net another bronze for the Sherwin Meneses-coached side.

Chiefs trip Generals to start NCAA Season 98

Shane Menina. Photo c/o Angela Davocol

Arellano University topped Emilio Aguinaldo College, 63-58, to commence the men's basketball competition of the 98th season of the NCAA on Saturday afternoon at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

After a Kris Gurtiza drive to put the Generals ahead, 55-53, the Chiefs would score six straight points to take the lead for good, capped by a Shane Menina layup with 104 seconds remaining.

Ralph Robin converted a triple with 42.3 seconds remaining to make it 59-58, but Menina converts two free throws with eleven seconds left.

Robin tried to replicate that magic, but he missed the game-tying triple, with Axel Doromal securing the miss as the clock ticked down to 5.1 seconds. He converted the subsequent free throws to seal the victory.

Menina topped all scorers with fifteen points in his return to the league, while adding five rebounds. The Cebuano guard previously played for Mapua to start his collegiate odyssey.

Doromal finished with thirteen points and six boards, with Neil Tolentino also finishing in double figures with ten markers.

Allen Liwag led EAC with twelve points, thirteen rebounds, and three assists. His efforts in the second quarter allowed the Generals to take a 32-23 lead in the second quarter, before Menina would anchor a 10-3 run by the Chiefs to make it 35-33 heading into the break.

UST transfer Nat Cosejo added ten points and six rebounds.

Arellano stepped as a late replacement for Opening Day, after Letran had to deal with health and safety protocols days before the start of the competition.

Before the game, everyone was treated to a special opening ceremony, with artists from the Sparkle GMA Artists Center providing an added element to the event, dubbed as "Pista ng Atleta."

The scores:

Arellano (63) -- Menina 15, Doromal 13, Tolentino 10, Flores 9, Mantua 5, Oftana 3, Mallari 2, Abastillas 2, Oliva 2, Talampas 2, Sunga 0.

EAC (58) -- Liwag 12, Cosejo 10, Maguliano 9, Gurtiza 8, Umpad 8, Luciano 4, Tolentino 4, Robin 3, Balowa 0, An. Doria 0, Ad. Doria 0, Bajon 0.

Quarterscores: 14-17, 33-35, 46-47, 63-58.

Cebu advances in Penang Challenger

Mac Tallo

Cebu Chooks! secures a berth into the knockout rounds of the FIBA 3x3 Penang Challenger on Saturday, after defeating Zavkhan MMC Energy, 18-15, at the Queensbay Mall in Malaysia.

A slow start saw Cebu trail Zavkhan, 5-0, before managing to knot things at 8-all.

Mac Tallo then decided to take control of the game, with the top-ranked Filipino in the 3x3 scene finishing with five deuces against their Mongolian opposition. He would finish with a game-high twelve points.

Brandon Ramirez and Zach Huang are credited with Cebu's remaining six points, as Vince Tolentino makes his debut without a point to his name.

Avirmed Lhagvaa paced Zavkhan with six points.

"It's a good start for our Cebu team and for Coach Chico (Lanete). They showed great heart in overcoming a slow start against their archrivals," according to Chooks-to-Go president Ronald Mascariñas.

Cebu earned the berth into the knockout rounds due to Zavkhan having previously lost to Liman, 21-11 to finish Pool A without a victory.

Cebu and Liman will determine who tops the pool at 650pm.

Head trainer Chico Lanete shares, "Kahit nakapasok na kami sa next round, gagawin namin ang lahat against Liman. Malalaman namin kung nasan na kami sa larong 'yun."

The Scores:

Cebu 18 - Tallo 12, Ramirez 4, Huang 2, Tolentino 0.

Zavkhan 15 - Lhagvaa 6, Bayarsaikhan 4, Tsermaa 3, Khureltogoo 2.

UP, San Beda, PUP open PIBC pool play with sweeps

Clemente and Gonzales for UP

The Philippine Intercollegiate Badminton Championships opened on Saturday morning with its first set of pool play matches, highlighted by the University of the Philippines blanking Ateneo de Manila, 5-0 at the courts of Centro Atletico in Quezon City.

Michael Clemente and Paul Gonzales sealed the tie for the Fighting Maroons with a 21-9 21-15 win over Jacinto Maliwat and Arthur Salvado in men's doubles.

The highlight of the tie saw Anthea Gonzales stun Chanelle Lunod in women's singles with the rookie stunning the two-time UAAP Most Valuable Player, 23-21 21-19.

Fellow newcomer Kervin Llanes started things off with a 21-15 21-13 victory over Lynden Laborte, while capping the sweep for UP are Lea Inlayo and Susmita Ramos' 19-21 21-15 21-13 win over Jochelle Alvarez and Missy Cervantes in women's doubles and Jason Vanzuela and Althea Fuentespina's 21-15 20-22 21-15 victory over Bryan Bernardo and Maxene Olango in mixed doubles.

The other Group A match saw UST defeat Adamson, 4-1, with Elij Pena and Jennifer Baladaga sealing the tie in women's doubles after a 21-7 21-11 demolition of Ivy Plata and Althea Bartolazob.

In Group B, San Beda swept TUP 5-0, as Arjhay Lazareto and Laurence Alejo clinched the tie with a 21-7 21-8 victory over John Emmanuel Balgos and Eljohn Penalosa in men's doubles.

The other matchup also saw PUP sweep RTU, with the duo of John Oliver de Guzman and Kevin Abang ensuring the victory for the Mighty Maroons. They dispatched their Blue Thunder counterparts Bryant Pili and Sean Rejuso, 21-9 21-12.

The tournament is organized by the Philippine Badminton Association, powered by SMART Communications, and supported by the MVP Sports Foundation, Ducksports, Young, and Apacs.

NCAA kickstarts 98th season



Collegiate competition gets raised up a notch with the start of the 98th season of the NCAA, starting things off with the Opening Ceremonies at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

Unlike the past couple of seasons, where only men's basketball and women's volleyball were played in person, the upcoming campaign will see the return of six more events: high school basketball, cheerleading, swimming, track and field, beach volleyball, and men's indoor volleyball.

Meanwhile, taekwondo and chess, which previously took place virtually, will now revert back to in-person competition, making it a ten-event season.

Season 98 Policy Board representative Dr. Jose Paolo Campos of host school Emilio Aguinaldo College shared on Monday's media launch, "We are hoping to return to a normal season. We look forward to a very successful season."

He adds, "For the past two seasons, we have seen the resilience of our member school communities and student-athletes. As we begin Season 98, the Philippines’ first collegiate athletic competition remains steadfast in instilling values in our students: “Achieve Greatness Every Day.’ We continue to inspire everyone to do their best in everything they do, every day."

After the Opening Ceremonies, the Generals will kick off competition proper against Arellano at 330pm. Following that will be a Final Four rematch with Mapua facing San Beda at 6pm.

Chiefs mentor Cholo Martin thinks that this season is very much open. He says, "It's anybody's ballgame.  All teams are outstanding.  Walang favorites, you will be surprised."

The Cardinals were so close to ending a title drought lasting over three decades, and they have an intact lineup to rely on and hope to close the deal this time. Randy Alcantara says, "I agree sa mga sinasabi ng mga coaches. Sa haba ng preparation, parang even lahat ng teams."

Defending champions Letran had been originally set to be part of opening day, but its start of the season was moved to September 14, where they will face Jose Rizal University.

Head coach Bonnie Tan knows what lies ahead for the Knights. He notes, "I agree. Lahat ng teams malakas at lumaki. Nandiyan pa rin ang San Beda, Mapua, CSB and Baste (San Sebastian)."

Friday, September 9, 2022

Thailand tops Philippines in ASEAN Grand Prix opener

The Philippines stumbled on its opener for the ASEAN Grand Prix Women's Volleyball Invitational on Friday night, bowing to Thailand, 25-17 25-22 25-12 at the Chartchai Hall in Nakhon Ratchasima.

The second set saw the Filipinas battle toe-to-toe with the hosts, even taking a 17-16 lead at that point before the Thais re-established themselves, especially in the final set that secured their first win of the four-nation competition.

Tots Carlos led the Philippines with ten spikes and a block, with Jema Galanza netting eight markers, five of which came in the second set. Celine Domingo and Michele Gumabao each had four points, while Jeanette Panaga served a couple of aces to finish with three points.

Pimpichaya Kokram led all scorers with seventeen points, with Srithong Wipawee adding ten markers in just two sets of action.

In the earlier matchup, Vietnam dispatched Indonesia, 25-23 25-19 25-9 to secure their first-ever victory in the Grand Prix, as the current SEA Games silver medalists lost all six matches in the inaugural edition back in 2019.

The Philippines will face Vietnam on Saturday afternoon at 4pm, with both teams having recently faced off at the AVC Cup for Women. That matchup saw the hosts without the services of team captain Jia de Guzman. Even though it was straight sets defeat, the Philippines managed to force an extended third set.

SMART Philippine Intercollegiate Badminton Championships set this weekend


The first-ever SMART Philippine Intercollegiate Badminton Championships will commence this weekend, September 10 and 11, at the courts of Centro Atletico in Quezon City.

Eight institutions from three leagues have been invited, with the field being split into two pools that will face off in the mixed team-tie format.

Pool A is comprised of the four participating UAAP schools: Adamson, the Ateneo de Manila, the University of the Philippines, and the University of Santo Tomas.

Pool B features the lone NCAA participant in San Beda, followed by SCUAA stalwarts Polytechnic University of the Philippines, Rizal Technological University, and Technological University of the Philippines.

Philippine Badminton Association vice president Jude Turcuato shares, "It was a good response from these universities and colleges that they have decided to join this inaugural tournament. We hope that this could build something in the years to come."

Saturday will feature two sets of matchups, with the 8am fixture seeing UP-Ateneo, UST-Adamson in Group A and San Beda-TUP and PUP-RTU, followed by the 1pm fixtures comprised of UP-Adamson, UST-Ateneo, San Beda-RTU, and PUP-TUP.

The final set of preliminary matches will see UP-UST, Ateneo-Adamson, San Beda-PUP, and RTU-TUP on Sunday at 8am.

Teams finishing at the top of their respective pools will face off for the championship at 1pm that day.

The tournament is organized by the Philippine Badminton Association, powered by SMART Communications, and supported by the MVP Sports Foundation, Ducksports, and Apacs.

Four medals for Smash Pilipinas in Africa

From L-R: Christian Bernardo, Thea Pomar, Rosman Razak, Yssa Leonardo, Alvin Morada

The Philippines netted four medals in international competition, pulling it off at the 2022 iteration of the Cameroon International in Yaounde.

The duo of Alvin Morada and Yssa Leonardo claimed the mixed doubles title, defeating Sathish Kumar Karunakaran and Aadya Varivath, 21-19 18-21 22-20 in the final.

Karunakaran and Varivath had earlier dispatched Christian Bernardo and Thea Pomar in the semifinals, 21-17 16-21 21-14, netting a bronze for the Filipino tandem.

Morada and Bernardo secured the other gold in men's doubles, defeating Dhruy Rawat and Chirag Sen, 21-12 21-13, while the other bronze came in women's doubles, with Pomar and Leonardo falling short against Srivedya Gurazada and Pooryisha S Ram, 19-21 14-21.

Two other Filipinos participated in the touranment, with Jewel Albo falling short in men's singles qualifying against Kim Sheng Chua, 17-21 17-21. Mika de Guzman, on the other hand, fell short against Katsuri Radhakrishnan, 14-21 21-10 18-21 in the quarterfinals. The Malaysian would eventually claim the women's singles title.

Philippine Badminton Association vice president Jude Turcuato shares, "I am immensely proud of the performance of our national athletes. The results show what our athletes can do, given our support. We vow to join more tournaments in the future for them to gain more exposure and experience. And, hopefully, we could bring more honor and achievements to the country like what we got here in Africa."

National team head coach Rosman Razak adds, "The players are starting to get the feel of playing continuously, and, hopefully, we will continue to improve and get more success."

The team is currently in Benin for a similar tournament, with upcoming tournaments in Yogyakarta down the line.

Thursday, September 8, 2022

Bachmann named as UAAP Season 85 and 86 Commissioner for basketball

Richard Bachmann

The University Athletic Association of the Philippines has named Richard Bachmann as its commissioner for basketball for the next two seasons.

Bachmann, a former student-athlete with De La Salle University, graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Commerce, majoring in Business Management in 1991.

He says, "It's like going full circle, starting out as a player to an assistant coach then, later on, team manager and team governor and now to a commissioner, I'm really blessed and grateful for this opportunity. And the UAAP was the place it all started for me, that's what excites me the most."

In a move to break from tradition, season 85 hosts Adamson opted to involve the entire Board of Managing Directors in the selection process.

According to Season 85 president Fr. Aldrin Suan, CM, "As hosts for UAAP Season 85, we at Adamson University decided to break tradition of endorsing one and make everyone part of the selection process in choosing the commissioner for both the basketball and volleyball tournaments."

He continues, "Executive Director Atty. Rebo Saguisag formed a search committee that screened applicants and nominees and came up with a shortlist which was presented to the BMD. After painstaking deliberation by the BMD, it was Mr. Richard Bachmann who stood out."

The Adamson representative to the BMD concludes, "We are excited to have him and see him execute his expertise and vision for our basketball tournaments, not just this season but also for UAAP Season 86."

The move to have Bachmann serve as commissioner for two seasons is geared towards the continued improvement of the league's officiating.

According to him, "My main task is improving the officiating of the league, a one-year term on any commissioner is not enough. There should be continuity through training and they also need to call some games outside of the UAAP which will be also supervised by us."

Executive Director Atty. Rene Saguisag echoes Bachmann's sentiments. "The UAAP is aligned with Commissioner Bachmann's vision of referee development. With his recommendation, we will have him on board for the next two UAAP seasons. This is not just for the UAAP but for the entire collegiate basketball landscape, and perhaps the nation's as well. The UAAP is very excited to have continuity and, hopefully, synergy with the other leagues in creating a harmonious environment for our student-hoopers, coaches, officials, and our staff."

The new commissioner is currently in the process of selecting the pool of referees tasked to call the league's matches in all divisions: collegiate (men and women), high school (boys and girls), and 3x3.

He notes, "Basically, they asked me my plans for the referees. I said that I'd rather have a pool that I can control, a collection of referees from various leagues and groups."

Also in Bachmann's plans is to talk to the head coaches of all eight member-institutions. He says, "I'm going to meet each team. I would rather go to each school and meet each head coach to know their experiences from past seasons. I'm going to listen to them and see the positives and negatives of past seasons so we can improve on those."

Wednesday, September 7, 2022

Vince Tolentino set to make Cebu Chooks debut

Cebu Chooks with new addition Vince Tolentino

Vince Tolentino hits the ground running when he makes his Chooks 3x3 debut with Cebu Chooks! this weekend, alongside Mac Tallo, Zach Huang, and Brandon Ramirez.

The former Ateneo and Rain or Shine big man replaces Mike Harry Nzeusseu, who had visa issues and will miss out on this tournament.

The quartet is set to join the FIBA 3x3 Penang Challenger, a level-nine tournament that also serves as a qualifier for the Paris Masters in the 3x3 World Tour.

Tolentino says, "I'm really excited as this will be my first-ever 3x3 tournament. Definitely looking forward to competing with my new teammates and representing the country. I'll do my best in fulfilling my role here in the team."

Cebu is slotted into Pool A, alongside Liman Huishan NE, followed by Zavkhan MMC Energy. They face the Mongolian side first at 410pm, with their duel against the Serbians at 650pm.

Chooks-to-Go president Ronald Mascarinas shares, "This will be a good test for Cebu Chooks! on whether they can compete on their own. All of our efforts for the next month will be leading towards our hosting Chooks-to-Go FIBA 3x3 Cebu World Tour Masters and Penang will be a good test for our team."

For head trainer Chico Lanete, it is an opportunity to see who would be comprising the team for that important event. He says, "I will use this tournament as my gauge on who will compose the Cebu team for the Cebu Masters. Hopefully, we can bounce back in this tournament and gain momentum for our hosting."

The first-ever 3x3 World Tour event in the Queen City of the South, the Cebu Masters will take place at SM Seaside on October 1-2.

Philippines set to compete in Thailand for overseas volleyball

Creamline representing the Philippines in the ASEAN Grand Prix

Fresh from their sixth place finish for the Asian Volleyball Confederation Cup for Women, Creamline is set to represent the Philippines again in international competition, as they head to Thailand to take part in the 2nd ASEAN Grand Prix this weekend at Nakhon Ratchasima.

The first edition of the Grand Prix saw the Philippines finish with a bronze medal after two legs in Nakhon Ratchasima and Santa Rosa.

Familiar opposition from the aforementioned AVC Cup for Women looms, as they face hosts Thailand on Friday night at 7pm, followed by Vietnam on Saturday afternoon at 4pm. Their campaign ends against Indonesia at 4pm on Sunday.

With Alyssa Valdez sidelined for this tournament, Jia de Guzman leads the way with a virtually intact roster from a sixth place finish at the AVC Cup, with Risa Sato being the major new addition.

Tots Carlos, Jema Galanza and Michele Gumabao are tasked to continue their scoring exploits, with Celine Domingo and Jeanette Panaga serving as the main frontline defense while Kyla Atienza and Ella de Jesus serve as floor defense essentials.

Sherwin Meneses remains as the head coach, with Karlo Santos and Bok Morado as his assistants and Mark Caron handling strength and conditioning.

Also headed to Thailand are Sisi Rondina, Bernadeth Pons, Dij Rodriguez, and Gen Eslapor, who are headed to Roi-et for two beach volleyball competitions: the AVC Asian Beach Tour Roi-et Open on September 10-12, followed by the AVC Senior Women's Beach Volleyball Championship.

Eslapor last competed overseas in March, where she and Nene Bautista claimed the bronze medal in the Women's Challenger Division in the Australian Beach Volleyball Tour at Coolangatta Beach. The others are competing abroad for the first time since representing the country in the SEA Games at Vietnam back in May.

The Roi-et Open features 22 tandems, with AVC Championship involves 32 of them.

Coaching our beach volleybelles are Paul Jan Doloiras as head coach and Romnick Rico as the assistant coach.

Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Game On kickstarts NCAA Season 98

Game On!

The 98th season of the National Collegiate Athletic Association will kick off on September 10, but getting the ball rolling for the season by broadcast partner GMA starts on September 5 with GMA Synergy's "Game On!" on GTV.

For this week, Game On will have the troika of Martin Antonio, Martin Javier, and Anton Roxas break down the upcoming season with a five-episode primer.

Javier shares, "We're hoping as sportscasters to bring so much input and entertainment kasi symempre bukod sa nangyayari sa court, it's our job to make it a little bit interesting and a little bit more fun for our audience - both at home and 'yung mga nanonood ng live. It's our job to make it more fun and entertaining aside from what they are already seeing on the court." He is very much looking forward to providing viewers with additional knowledge and entertainment.

Roxas reflected on the last couple of seasons, and he says, "We start off with Game On!, then we have the game, then at halftime, we have Kapuso artists perform. In between, we have interesting discussions, interviews with Kapuso celebrities and players. We  also get to converse with the coach. Hindi ganun ang pag cover ng sports noon. This is the first time that this has happened. Kung ano ang nakita namin sa Season 96 and 97, expect a more exciting way of presenting sports that will happen in Season 98. I think that's the evolution of the way sports is being presented - it's not just sports - it's also sports and entertainment."

Antonio hammered on the concept of the NCAA becoming more accessible to the public during the pandemic. According to him, "It's the first time in a long time that the NCAA became the number one priority and they are the most covered and the most accessible league right now in the Philippines. Even though it was still a pandemic year (during Season 97), it gave opportunities for the student body. Napapanood sila ng public, mas nakikita sa maraming platforms and mas maraming engagement from the student body. Given the partnership with GMA and GMA Sports, mas nabigyan ng pagkakataon, hindi lang ang artists but the players and the other people behind the scenes para mas maintindihan ng tao ang nangyari."

Game On! will continue to hype up NCAA fans this coming season, with stories, interviews, and features about your student-athletes, coaches, teams, and even the courtside reporters. This is set to even extend towards sports luminaries and notable alumni.

GMA Regional TV and Synergy First Vice President Oliver Victor Amoroso says, "After two successful seasons, we are gearing up for Season 98 of NCAA. And what better way to further pump up sports fans' excitement than having Game On - hosted by sports experts themselves Martin Javier, Anton Roxas, and Martin "Coach Hammer" Antonio. Martin has been with us since day one and has been very articulate when it comes to collegiate sports. Anton and Coach Hammer have been regular sportscasters of the previous seasons. Their teamwork and dedication to the NCAA have been instrumental for us to reach more audience. And as we begin NCAA Season 98 this September 10, GMA Network is excited to show to our viewers here and abroad the world-class talent of our Filipino student-athletes. We will Achieve Greatness Every Day with NCAA Season 98 starting off with Game On."

Game On! will be shown on GTV on September 5-9 at 1030am, with regular episodes slated in between the doubleheader of every NCAA playdate.

The Opening Ceremonies of NCAA Season 98 is slated on September 10, with the broadcast to take place on GMA as well as on GTV, locally, with overseas viewers able to check it out on GMA Pinoy TV and GMA News TV.

UAAP earmarks October 1 as start of 85th season

Rise As One on October 1

The date is official.

The 85th season of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines starts on October 1, together with its broadcast partner Cignal TV.

For this particular season, hosts Adamson University is using the "Rise As One" as its slogan, as the country trudges on back to normalcy post-pandemic.

Season 85 president Fr. Aldrin Suan CM shares, "After the last UAAP Season made us Fully Alive and created Champions for Life, UAAP Season 85 is hoping to call the entire community to Rise As One. It's been two years since the COVID-19 pandemic happened and has yet to end. Together, we are looking to rise as a nation, helping build a better future for a brighter tomorrow."

No details yet available with regards to the calendar of events, but it is expected to be revealed within the end of the month.

Fr. Suan says, "Our student-athletes have been waiting for their moment, some yet to return to the playing field since 2019. Together with Cignal, we are hoping and praying that we are allowed to have the full calendar back this season."

The league is bring back traditions that were paused due to pandemic restrictions, while at the same time, integrating innovations that hopefully would passed on down the line.

As we get back to normalcy, we will be going back to the 'original' days of the UAAP pre-pandemic which is holding our televised games on Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays. This season, we are also not just looking to have accomplished a 'good hosting year' for Adamson University but begin traditions that will be passed on from host to host for seasons to come," said Fr. Suan.

Ateneo stumbles in Israel friendly

Chris Koon

Ateneo finishes with a split in its Holy Land sojourn, as they fall short against Eliztur Eito Ashkelon on Monday night at the Zysman Arena, 81-73.

Trailing by seven at the half, the Blue Eagles were forced to a slow start to the third quarter, which saw the Israeli side lead by as much as twelve heading into the final period.

Ateneo would battle back, cutting the deficit to five with 119 seconds left after a Forthsky Padrigao free throw, 72-67.

However, multiple turnovers doomed the comeback and sent the Blue Eagles to defeat.

Yuval Haim led all scorers with seventeen points, while adding four assists, a couple of rebounds, and a steal. Alon Sapir added fifteen points and five rebounds for the second-tier side.

Ange Kouame led Ateneo with sixteen points and nine rebounds, with Padrigao and Chris Koon netting thirteen points each.

Dave Ildefonso was limited to eight points on 5/13 shooting after his 27-point outburst a couple of days earlier against Ramat HaSharon.

The Blue Eagles are set to fly back to the Philippines on September 7.

The Scores:

Ateneo 73 - Kouame 16, Koon 13, Padrigao 13, Ildefonso 8, Obasa 8, Ballungay 4, Andrade 4, Garcia 3, Daves 2, Chiu 2, Lazaro 0, Gomez 0, Fetalvero 0, Quitevis 0, Fornilos 0.

Quarterscores: 18-19, 41-34, 61-49, 81-73.

Monday, September 5, 2022

Manila Wrestling Federation set to crown champ at Road To Fate


The PETA Theater Center in Quezon City will be the venue to be on Sunday, September 11, as the Manila Wrestling Federation holds its latest event, the Road To Fate 2022.

The main event will feature a four-way elimination match that would not only determine the new MWF Pinoy Wrestling Champion, but also have the chance to represent the country in the growing Southeast Asian pro wrestling scene.

Crystal, Nigel "Suplex" San Jose, Jake de Leon, and Fabio Makisig are set to squabble over the MWF belt, which is set to make its return since the pandemic.

Tickets for the event are available via Ticket2Me. For more details on Road To Fate 2022, you can check out

Ayala Vermosa Sports Hub to remain as a key athlete training facility

Vermosa Track Oval

With the recent staging of the Green Run this past July, an event that involved a variety of groups, from elite athletes to fun run participants and fitness enthusiasts, Ayala Land, through its Vermosa Estate in Imus, Cavite, is making moves to be the ideal venue to conduct an active and healthy lifestyle in the South.

Established in 2018, the Ayala Vermosa Sports Hub was established with the goal of becoming the go-to training facility south of the Metro. It features a FINA-standard Aquatic Center that includes an Olympic-sized pool, a World Athletics-certified Athletics Center that includes a world-class track oval, a natural grass-laden football field, and a gym operated by Santé Fitness Lab.

Thanks to its partnerships with the national sports associations of archery, athletics, rugby, and triathlon, the Sports Hub is where our national athletes train in preparation for their upcoming competitions. In addition, the underwater hockey events of the 2019 Southeast Asian Games took place there.

Vermosa Project Development Manager Moses Aragones shares, "The Ayala Vermosa Sports Hub was built with athletes in mind. We want athletes to come here and consider it their training place and call it home."

Even with the present facilities, there is always an opportunity to build on them and improve. The Aquatic Center now has a 25-meter warm-up pool and bleacher-style seating around the main pool. A lighting system has been installed that would allow the track oval to host events at night. An Athlete's Lounge has been made available for seminars and events, with a dormitory called The Athletes' House that would be initially be comprised of thirty rooms totaling eighty beds, including ones designated for PWDs.

Aragones says, "The Athletes’ House aims to support the needs of elite national athletes who will train in the Sports Hub. It lets them do lock-in training so they can avoid the hassle of transporting to and from the training venue. We want our athletes to start preparing already for the 2024 Olympics."

As for what lies ahead, a multi-purpose field for archery, rugby, and ultimate is in the works, as well as a multi-purpose gym for indoor sports that spectators can attend. Food establishments are already present for those who need nutrition replenishment.

According to Vermosa Estate Head Jay Teodoro, "These continued improvements have made AVSH grow into a viable venue for hosting key local and international sporting events. Hopefully, we can continue to make this place a home and training ground to more athletes and enthusiasts.  This is for all athletes to realize their dreams and for individuals to move forward in their pursuit of a healthy and active lifestyle."

Sunday, September 4, 2022

Tolentino, Ando join Chooks 3x3 program

Vince and Dave flanking Chico Lanete

The Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3 program has snapped up a couple of guys to bolster its current pool as it prepares for the remainder of the FIBA 3x3 circuit this year.

Earlier this week, Vince Tolentino and Dave Ando signed three-year deals at the Bounty Agro-Ventures Inc. headquarters, becoming the latest members of the 3x3 pool that includes the likes of Mac Tallo and Zach Huang.

Chooks-to-Go president Ronald Mascarinas shares, "As promised, we will be giving our new head coach Chico Lanete all the resources he needs to be successful in his first foray as head coach."

He adds, "With Vince and Dave, he will have players that are as versatile as they come both in offense and in defense. And both players are what we are looking for -- players that stand at least 6-foot-4 and show no fear on defense."

Tolentino is a 6'5 forward fresh from a stint with Rain or Shine, where he spent three seasons after being its second round pick. The Ateneo alumnus shares, "I am very excited about this opportunity. This will be my first time experiencing the 3x3 environment and I will do my best to adapt as quickly as possible."

He adds, "Having a chance to represent the country is something that motivates me to do whatever I can to put the team in a position to win. Personally, I want to prove that I can contribute and play at the international level. Of course, the goal is to win as many games as possible and hopefully give the Philippines a shot to play in the Olympics."

Ando, on the other hand, is a 6'7 big man fresh from a collegiate stint with the University of Santo Tomas.

The Cebuano says, "Malaking bagay ito sa career ko kasi ibang level na po ito, eh. Nirerepresent ko na po ‘yong ating bansa kaya gagawin ko ang best ko every game para masuklian ang tiwala ni Boss Ronald at ni Coach Chico. Kahit galing pa lang ako sa UAAP, talagang nagtiwala ang Chooks-to-Go sa akin sa malaking responsibilidad na ito. Nagpapasalamat talaga ako sa kanila."

Chooks-to-Go 3x3 is set to ramp up its efforts as it is set to participate in the Penang Challenger next week, as well as the Chooks-to-Go FIBA 3x3 Invitational Quest in Laguna on September 16. This is capped off by the Chooks-to-Go FIBA 3x3 Cebu World Tour Masters on October 1-2.

Chico Lanete, who has been named as the interim trainer for the program after Aldin Ayo's departure, expressed his gratitude to the program. "Nagpapasalamat ako kasi sobrang all-out ang suporta at tiwala sa akin nila Boss Ronald at ng Chooks-to-Go. Pero patuloy pa rin ang paghanap namin ng players para umangat pa tayo sa FIBA 3x3 rankings at umabot sa Paris Olympics."

Ateneo escapes with win in Israel


from the AS Ramar HaSharon Facebook page

Ateneo defeated AS Ramat HaSharon, 73-69, for its first of two games highlighting their Israeli training camp on Saturday night at the Oranim Sports Hall.

BJ Andrade's triple with 36.8 seconds left broke a 69-all tie, with Ange Kouame's block eventually resulting to a Sean Quitevis free throw with 12.8 seconds left to seal the victory.

The Blue Eagles struggled at the onset against their second-tier Israeli League opposition, who were without their overseas reinforcements.

Keeping the UAAP Season 84 runner-up afloat was Dave Ildefonso, as he and the Blue Eagles useed a strong second period to stabilize themselves, then established a lead as large as ten points, 54-44, after Ildefonso converted a four-point play with 3:33 remaining. The guard would finish with a team-high 27 points anchored on five three-pointers.

Ramat HaSharon answered back with a nine-point swing to be just down one early in the fourth, eventually tying things up at 69 with 84 seconds remaining, setting up Ateneo's late heroics.

Forthsky Padrigao was the only other Blue Eagle in double figures with ten points. Josh Lazaro added nine markers. Foreign student-athletes Ange Kouame and Joseph Obasa each netted six points.

Ateneo will play its second game in the Holy Land against Elitzur Eito Ashkelon on Monday night at 1030pm (Manila time). The match at Zysman Arena will be streamed online through SMART Sports.

The Scores:

Ateneo  73 - Ildefonso 27, Padrigao 10, Lazaro 9, Kouame 6, Andrade 6, Obasa 6, Garcia 4, Koon 3, Chiu 1, Quitevis 1, Gomez 0, Ballungay 0, Daves 0.

Quarterscores: 14-19, 42-35, 57-53, 73-69.

Saturday, September 3, 2022

SMART Sports to broadcast Ateneo games in Israel

Tab Baldwin

With the UAAP a month away, its member-schools have ramped up their preparations for their men's basketball tournament.

Ateneo de Manila is no different, as the Blue Eagles have flown to Tel Aviv to hold their overseas camp, with the objective of rebuilding the side that lost in the finals last year to the University of the Philippines.

Head coach Tab Baldwin shares, "We only have a couple of games. We are going there to flesh out our system even more. We need more offensive attacks and defensive sophistication."

The team has a simple objective in the Holy Land, just to be better.

"Just got to get a lot better. We have had such a disruptive buildup in June and July because of injuries. Ange [Kouame] just came back, Dave [Ildefonso] has only been back a couple of weeks. Same with Matthew Daves," Baldwin says.

He adds, "We don't have settled rosters and combinations that are used to working together. We have to get better and time is running."

The Israel camp will have a couple of friendly matches, both against second-division Liga Leumit sides.

The first one will be against A.S. Ramat HaSharon at 1030pm on Saturday, with the other one coming a couple of days later against Eliztur Eito Ashkelon at 9pm.

These matches will be streamed on the Facebook page of SMART Sports.

Ateneo's preparations for the upcoming season saw them claim the inaugural World University Basketball Series in Tokyo, as well as a defeat to the Bay Area Dragons of the East Asia Super League.