14th NAASCU Women’s Hoops Opens

NAASCU on Facebook     QUEZON CITY – Action in the Women’s Division of the 14th National Athletic Association of Schools, Colleges and Universities (NAASCU) basketball games got underway as the favorites got away with easy romps Wednesday (August 20) at the New Era University Gym. The four participating squads will play a double-round elimination phase with the top two meeting in a best-of-three championship series.

Despite fielding only eight players, defending champion Centro Escolar University got the better of Our Lady of Fatima University, 83-52. The ninth and final player on the Lady Scorpions’ submitted roster, reigning Most Valuable Player Janine Pontejos, sat out the contest.

Divine Lacson presided over the blowout with 22 points and five steals while Demi Lou Villanueva added 20 points on top of five assists and four steals. Therese Mae Manahan paced the Lady Phoenix with 22 points followed by Junnelyn Quitomo with 16 points, seven rebounds, four assists and three steals.

In the first game, the Rizal Technological University Lady Thunder dominated the Saint Clare College of Caloocan Lady Saints, 80-43. The Lady Thunder managed to lead by as much as 40 markers midway through the final canto, 75-35.

Karlois Marie Duazo, a member of last season’s Mythical Five, powered RTU with 21 points and nine rebounds followed by Janine Dag-uman with 15. None of the Lady Saints finished in double-digits.

Later in the day, the leaders of the Juniors Division pulled further away from the pack. The Junior Phoenix hammered the Junior Thunder, 79-41, the Junior Scorpions toppled the New Era Junior Hunters, 70-34, and the Junior Saints zapped the Philippine Christian Baby Dolphins, 91-55.

How They Scored:

First Game

RIZAL TECH (80) – Duazo 21, Dag-uman 15, Pocallan 14, Mier 10, Ayhon 6, Castillano 4, Guinsan 3, Santos 2, Inoferio 2, Orillana 2, Ybanez 1, Villamonte 0, Mantos 0.

SAINT CLARE (43) – Sison 9, Lizada 7, Zamudio 6, Regoso 5, Patan-ao 4, Borbon 4, Decapia 3, Hernandez 3, Briones 2, Natividad 0, Mendoza 0.

Period Scores: 20-10, 47-20, 69-32, 80-43.

Second Game

CENTRO ESCOLAR (83) – Lacson 22, Villanueva 20, Figuracion 14, Mercado 12, Mamaril 6, Caranto 6, Ventura 2, Doloque 1.

OUR LADY OF FATIMA (52) – Manahan 22, Quitomo 16, Buenamente 4, Tuazon 2, Beltran 2, Bentic 2, Tulio 2, Vasquez 2, Borbe 0, Gamboa 0, Guiang 0, Bacani 0.

Period Scores: 20-14, 40-21, 60-35, 83-52.

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Scorpions Solo Leaders

NAASCU on Facebook     MAKATI CITY – The expected blockbuster meeting between the undefeated co-leaders fizzled out as defending champion Centro Escolar University held strong in the final period to subdue Our Lady of Fatima University, 80-71, at the resumption of the 14th National Athletic Association of Schools, Colleges and Universities (NAASCU) basketball tournament Tuesday morning (August 19) at the Makati Coliseum. The Scorpions of Coach Edgar Macaraya thus seized the solo leadership with four straight wins.

The best that the Phoenix could do was knotting the score at 2-2 courtesy of Marvin Moraga. It was an all-Scorpions show hence with their lead ballooning to as high as 18 points on several occasions, the last coming at the onset of the fourth period on a stab by Joseph Ryan Celso, 62-44.

Suddenly, the Phoenix sprung back to life with Romyl Jornacion, Hector de los Santos and JJ Mallari at the firing end of a 20-5 run capped by a Moraga free throw to come at their closest, 64-67. However, Joseph Sedurifa doused the rally with a booming triple, 70-64.

Mallari then threatened for the last time with two charities at the 2:11 mark, 67-72. Rodrigue Ebondo responded with a stretch layup followed by a triple that restored the Scorpions’ twin-digit lead with 1:31 to play, 77-67.

Sedurifa powered the Scorpions with 20 points. Ebondo followed with 15 and Samboy de Leon added 11.

Jornacion paced the Phoenix with 17, eight coming in the fourth period rally. De los Santos supported him with 11 markers followed by Mallari with 10.

The Diliman Computer Technology Institute Senators tamed the City University of Pasay Eagles, 78-70, to grab solo Fifth Place at 2-2. Only the top six teams will advance to the next round.

Mark Anthony Yaon and McArthur Enriquez canned back-to-back triples to shatter a 62-62 deadlock and erect a 68-62 cushion with 1:46 to play. Eric Sarmiento quickly countered with a triple of his own but this was neutralized by a three-point play by Ibrahim Qattara, 71-65.

Ronel Panogadia then stretched the Senators’ lead to eight, 73-65, but the Eagles did not quit easily with Janno Penaredondo hitting a triple followed by another basket by Aldrin Telpo, 70-73. Yaon then delivered the knockout blow with another triple and Mark Edmon Protacio iced the result from the free throw stripe.

The 6’6” Qattara dominated the much smaller Eagles to unload 29 points. Yaon added 11 followed by Enriquez with 10.

Penaredondo paced the Eagles with 19 markers. Sarmiento chipped in 16 as their team fell to 1-3 and solo Sixth Place.

Meanwhile, the Rizal Technological University Blue Thunder and season host Saint Clare College of Caloocan kept their respective opponents winless and mired at the bottom of the table with convincing blowouts. Coupled with the Fatima loss, RTU and Saint Clare ended in a three-way logjam for Second to Fourth Place at 3-1.

The Blue Thunder used a strong second half to put away the New Era University Hunters, 77-62, while the Saints bulldozed newcomer Philippine Christian University Dolphins, 104-64. Both the Hunters and Dolphins dropped to 0-4 and are in danger of missing the next round with three games remaining on their schedules.

With the scored tied at 40-40, Renell Montecillo sank a triple to trigger a 9-2 Blue Thunder run to close out the third period, 49-42. Montecillo was not finished as he added two more triples in the final canto that pushed RTU to its biggest lead, 73-54.

Montecillo had six triples en route to 25 total points to lead all scorers. Sandy Cenal backed him up with 15 followed by Alvin Glen Pronto with 13.

Leo Roncal made 12 of his 17 points in the fourth period to top the Hunters. AJ Vitug was next with 11, the only other Hunter in double figures.

Saint Clare was all-business as they never allowed the Dolphins to get their rhythm going. All 11 players fielded by Coach Jino Manansala contributed their share in a fine display of firepower.

The Saints drew a breakout performance from Cameroon exchange student Fabien Redoh who tallied 33 points and 14 rebounds. Darwin Lunor and Jayson Ibay both had 11 with Lunor grabbing 13 rebounds for a double-double.

John Carlo Tuazon topped the Dolphins with 17, mostly on jumpers. Efren Gayosa added 12.

How They Scored:

First Game

RIZAL TECH (77) – Montecillo 25, Cenal 15, Pronto 13, Tabi 7, Bangeles 6, Quiro 4, Riva 3, de la Pena 2, Bear 2, Estoce 0, Sarona 0, Justiniani 0, Adin Santos 0, Mayuyo 0, Malimban 0, Parina 0.

NEW ERA (62) – Roncal 17, Vitug 11, Ilarde 8, Absin 9, Sarmiento 7, Luz 4, Magkalas 4, Bondoc 2, Duaman 0, Borje 0.

Period Scores: 10-15, 29-32, 49-42, 77-62.

Second Game

CENTRO ESCOLAR (80) – Sedurifa 20, Ebondo 15, de Leon 14, Celso 11, Opiso 6, Jeruta 5, Casino 4, Abundo 3, Batino 2, Amil 0, Vargas 0.

OUR LADY OF FATIMA (71) – Jornacion 17, de los Santos 11, Mallari 10, Gallardo 9, Pineda 7, Moraga 6, Cabrera 4, Datu 4, Cruz 2, Flores 1, Marquez 0, Rosales 0.

Period Scores: 21-16, 38-28, 60-44, 80-71.

Third Game

SAINT CLARE (104) – Redoh 33, Ibay 11, Lunor 11, Gil 10, Acebron 9, Jamito 8, Mendoza 7, Dulalia 5, Managuelod 5, Ibarra 2, Ambulodto 2.

PHILIPPINE CHRISTIAN (64) – Tuazon 17, Gayosa 12, Sadiwa 11, Juan 10, Tapiz 8, Bautista 3, Lindo 2, Sia 1, Co 0, Lahora 0, Moldon 0, Cadiente 0.

Period Scores: 26-11, 50-32, 79-45, 104-64.

Fourth Game

DILIMAN COMPUTER (78) – Qattara 29, Yaon 11, Enriquez 10, Protacio 9, Olea 9, Panogadia 6, Nudo 2, Palogan 2, Tay 0, Barranco 0, Mamba 0, Aguilon 0.

PASAY (70) – Penaredondo 19, Sarmiento 16, Aquino 12, Telpo 10, Solero 6, Baldos 3, Lizardo 3, de Vega 1, Cahansa 0, Erice 0.

Period Scores: 19-18, 35-28, 52-51, 78-70.

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Scorpions, Phoenix Go 3-0

NAASCU on Facebook     MANDALUYONG CITY – Our Lady of Fatima University and defending champion Centro Escolar University remained the only two undefeated sides by blasting separate opponents Sunday (August 17) at the resumption of the 14th National Athletic Association of Schools, Colleges and Universities (NAASCU) basketball games at the Rizal Technological University Gym. The Phoenix and Scorpions have won all their three games and will now try to inflict the first defeat on each other when they clash on Tuesday (August 19) at the Makati Coliseum starting at 9:30 AM.

The Phoenix gave head coach Ralph Emerson Rivera an advance present on the occasion of his birthday on August 18 by thumping the Diliman Computer Technology Institute Senators, 69-47. It also marked the first meeting between the Phoenix and their former head coach Rensy Bajar who moved to DCTI after the 12th NAASCU season.

Unsatisfied with his starters’ plays, Coach Rivera made a platoon substitution and the move immediately perked up the team led by forward Romyl Jornacion whose back-to-back baskets gave the Phoenix the lead for good, 10-6. Turning up the defense, Fatima then outscored DCTI in the second period, 16-9, and the Senators never recovered as Fatima displayed good lead management in the second half to coast to their third straight triumph.

Jornacion led all scorers with 21 points. Hector de los Santos, a rookie from Zamboanga, followed with 11.

The Senators were topped by McArthur Enriquez with 12 points with Mark Anthony Yaon chipping in 11. Ibrahim Qattara added 10 points as the rest of the team had a hard time finding their marks.

The Scorpions’ patented defense limited the City University of Pasay Eagles to single-digit production in the first three periods to prevail running away, 75-39. Center Joseph Ryan Celso and Samboy de Leon put the game to rest with timely baskets in the second half.

Celso poured 10 of his team-best 16 points in the second half to lead the Scorpions. Aaron Jeruta was the only other Scorpion in double figures with 10 but six other teammates had five or more for a balanced attack.

Rookie James Solero and team captain Aldrin Telpo paced the Eagles with 11 markers each. The Eagles lost for the second game in a row to drop to 1-2 in the standings.

Season host Saint Clare College of Caloocan kept within striking distance of the leaders with a clinical 87-46 mastery of New Era University. The Saints improved to 2-1 while the Hunters remained sans a win in three outings.

The Hunters actually had a good start by taking the opening period, 22-21, behind Chris Sarmiento, Leo Roncal and Brian Ilarde. However, they failed to sustain the surge as they could only come up with eight and seven markers in the next two periods, allowing the Saints to go on a scoring rampage featuring torrid three-point shooting by Marte Gil, Bong Managuelod and rookie Earvin Mendoza.

Gil fired seven triples for 21 points, converting at least once in each period with Managuelod and Mendoza contributing a combined five more triples. Jan Acebron submitted all his 10 points in the fourth period.

In the other Seniors encounter, the Rizal Technological University Blue Thunder outclassed the Philippine Christian University Dolphins, 68-51. RTU turned to their big physical advantage and experience against the young but tough Dolphins.

Sandy Cenal dominated both ends of the floor to finish with 23 followed by Renell Montecillo with 11. Raymond Lahora paced PCU with 14 as the lone Dolphin in twin scores.

Results from the Juniors Division games played earlier in the day saw defending champion CEU crush PCU, 75-39, to go to 2-0. Saint Clare stayed undefeated at 2-0 as well by whipping RTU, 73-59, and Fatima had the better of New Era, 72-50.

How They Scored:

Fourth Game

SAINT CLARE (87) – Gil 21, Acebron 10, Mendoza 9, Ibarra 8, Jamito 8, Managuelod 8, Lunor 7, Ibay 6, Dulalia 6, Ambulodto 3, Redoh 1.

NEW ERA (46) – Sarmiento 11, Roncal 10, Ilarde 9, Bondoc 5, Vitug 5, Paguio 2, Luz 2, Makaranas 2, Absin 0, Bebit 0, Recetes 0, Magkalas 0.

Period Scores: 21-22, 44-30, 66-37, 87-46.

Fifth Game

CENTRO ESCOLAR (75) – Celso 16, Jeruta 10, de Leon 7, Ebondo 6, Opiso 6, Batino 6, Silverie 5, Sedurifa 5, Anunciacion 4, Vargas 3, Banua 3, Amil 2, Casino 2, Abundo 0.

PASAY (39) – Telpo 11, Solero 11, Sarmiento 5, Erice 4, Cahansa 3, Padilla 3, Aquino 2, Manansala 0, Penaredondo 0, Lizardo 0, de Vega 0.

Period Scores: 11-8, 29-16, 49-22, 75-39.

Sixth Game

RIZAL TECH (68) – Cenal 23, Montecillo 11, Quiro 7, Bangeles 7, Riva 6, Pronto 4, Sarona 3, Estoce 2, Tabi 2, Armin Santos 2, Malimban 1, Justiniani 0, de la Pena 0, Adin Santos 0, Mayuyo 0, Bear 0.

PHILIPPINE CHRISTIAN (51) – Lahora 14, Gayosa 9, Sadiwa 7, Tuazon 7, Juan 6, Tapiz 3, Bautista 3, Sia 2, Badilla 0, Lindo 0, Mojares 0, Co 0, Moldon 0, Cadiente 0.

Period Scores: 19-15, 37-28, 55-38, 68-51.

Seventh Game

OUR LADY OF FATIMA (69) – Jornacion 21, de los Santos 11, Mallari 6, Datu 6, Jimenez 3, Marquez 3, Cruz 3, Cabrera 3, Pineda 3, Flores 3, Gallardo 2, Moraga 2, Villalon 1, Rosales 0, Matignas 0.

DILIMAN COMPUTER (47) – Enriquez 11, Yaon 11, Qattara 10, Antalan 6, Nudo 5, Tay 2, Barranco 1, Panogadia 1, Protacio 0, Olea 0, Aguilon 0, Palogan 0.

Period Scores: 17-12, 33-21, 51-34, 69-47.

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East Shines In Historic NCAA All-Star Game

The day's biggest winners - the children of Hospicio San Jose with the NCAA All-Stars.

The day’s biggest winners – the children of Hospicio San Jose with the NCAA All-Stars.

NCAA Season 90

SAN JUAN City – The East All-Stars proved to be the better against the West All-Stars, 104-97, in the inaugural National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) All-Star Game last Saturday (August 16) at the San Juan Arena. The whole day of festivities included a Slam Dunk Contest, Three-Point Shootout and the Miss NCAA Beauty Pageant.

Arellano University’s John Pinto was named as the Most Valuable player after uncorking eight of his 10 total points in the final period to power the East’s breakaway. The burly guard from Davao also had four rebounds, three assists and two steals in only 11 minutes of action.

The first half was tight as both teams battled through 10 deadlocks and 18 lead changes. That all changed by the third canto as Art de la Cruz hit back-to-back baskets to give the East the lead for good, 49-47.

From there, de la Cruz took turns with Jaymar Perez of San Sebastian and Prince Caperal of Arellano in stretching their lead. Pinto’s last field goal gave the East their biggest lead of the game, 96-80.

De la Cruz topped the winners with 12 points. Juneric Baloria of Perpetual Help was next with 11 as Coach Boyet Fernandez and his staff did a great job of distributing the minutes.

Jeson Cantos of Mapua Tech paced the West with 18 points. John Tayongtong of Emilio Aguinaldo chipped in 14.

In the skills events, Travis Jonson of Saint Benilde nipped Philip Paniamogan of Jose Rizal in the finals to rule the Three-Point Shootout, 20-12. Jonson also topped the elimination round with 21, while Paniamogan had to eliminate Mapua Tech’s Exequiel Biteng in a playoff, 9-4, after both tied for the second spot with 19.

San Beda reserve Arnaud Noah leapt over 6’5” teammate Donald Tankoua to win the Slam Dunk Contest. The 6’2” exchange student from Cameroon had an easy path to the victory after finals opponent Perez could not convert all his attempts.

Meanwhile, Jian Salazar of Perpetual Help bested nine other candidates to be crowned as this season’s Miss NCAA. She also was chosen as Miss Photogenic.

Katrina Racelis of Mapua Tech and Mharyel Tapia of Lyceum were her runner-ups. Tapia also won as Miss Bodyfit while Letran’s Carmela Benedicto was named Miss Congenialty.

However, the day’s biggest winners were the children of the Hospicio de San Jose, the event’s main beneficiary. A delegation from the orphanage joined both teams at center court during the post-game awarding ceremonies.

How They Scored:

EAST (104) – A. de la Cruz 12, Baloria 11, Pinto 10, Caperal 9, Teodoro 9, Guinto 8, Perez 8, Thompson 8, J. de la Cruz 7, Arboleda 6, Paniamogan 6, Ciriacruz 4, Mabulac 2, Pascual 2.

WEST (97) – Cantos 18, Tayongtong 14, Romero 12, Gabayni 10, Cruz 8, Saitanan 8, Arquero 7, Taha 7, Bartolo 6, Jamon 5, Zamora 2, Estrella 0, Nambatac 0, Racal 0.

Period Scores: 22-22, 45-45, 76-71, 104-97.

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Fatima, CEU Share Lead

NAASCU on Facebook     MAKATI CITY – Defending champion Centro Escolar University and Our Lady of Fatima University grabbed their second wins in as many starts to share the early of the 14th National Athletic Association of Schools, Colleges and Universities (NAASCU) basketball games at the Makati Coliseum Friday (August 15). The Scorpions massacred the Philippine Christian University Dolphins, 106-57, while the Phoenix crushed the New Era University Hunters, 80-53.

However, the day’s excitement was provided by the Rizal Technological University Blue Thunder’s 66-58 thumping of the Diliman Computer Technology Institute Senators. Trailing early at 4-14, the Blue Thunder slowly crept back into contention as the Senators suddenly wilted.

Kerr Bangeles gave RTU their first taste of the lead, 25-23. Daniel Nudo responded with a late basket to deadlock the score at halftime, 25-25.

As the second half opened, King Aguillon banged in a triple for a 28-25 DCTI advantage. That would be the Senators’ last hurrah as RTU rattled off 11 unanswered points for a 36-28 lead which they never relinquished.

Timely baskets by Alvin Glen Pronto and Cyrus Tabi plus free throws from Jopet Quiro and Renell Montecillo preserved the win for the wards of Coach Johnedel Cardel. The Senators of Coach Rensy Bajar dropped to 1-1 after winning their first game with PCU, 72-54, in the lone Seniors game last Wednesday.

Montecillo and Pronto were the high men for RTU with 13 points apiece. Algin Justiniani added nine, five coming in the second period.

Ibrahim Quattara, a 6’6” exchange student from the Republic of Mali, had a monster effort of 20 points and 22 rebounds for the Senators. McArthur Enriquez, a transferee from Fatima, was next with 10.

The PCU-CEU tussle marked the meeting of two coaches with a combined eight NAASCU championships – Ato Tolentino and Edgar Macaraya. The Scorpions limited the Dolphins to a mere six markers in the second quarter and that was all CEU needed as Coach Macaraya exploited the luxury of giving extended minutes to his role players.

Erven Silverie, who last played for the STI College Junior Olympians two seasons ago, scattered 14 of his 23 points in the fourth period to preside over the rout. Jason Opiso backed him up with 12 followed by former Dolphin Jan Anuciacion with 11.

John Carlo Tuazon and Wesley Bautista paced the Dolphins with 13 points each, the only two in twin digits. Jonathan Juan could only make eight points as the Dolphins dropped to 0-2.

The Phoenix survived a slow and dragging contest with the Hunters, nursing a slim 12-8 after the first period. Suddenly, the floodgates burst open in the second and third periods as the Phoenix woke up and decided to dictate the tempo.

The Hunters’ campaign hit a snag as top gunner Leo Roncal picked up his fourth personal foul in the second period and had no option but to be benched for a long spell by Coach Adonis Tierra. Without Roncal, the Hunters groped for production while the Phoenix started to score at will.

John Allen Cruz and JJ Mallari topped the Phoenix with 10 points each. Lervin Flores added eight as the Phoenix had a very balanced scoring attack with five other teammates submitting five or more markers.

Center Brian Ilarde led all scorers with 17 points. Despite his personal foul woes, Roncal still managed to churn in 13 points, eight coming in the fourth period.

In the day’s other game, Saint Clare College of Caloocan bounced back from their opening day debacle by pulverizing City University of Pasay, 89-52. The Saints of Coach Jino Manansala started like a house on fire and never looked back with all players fielded contributing.

Robin Dulalia slashed and burned his way to 15 points to lead the Saints. Darwin Lunor was next with 14.

Team captain Aldrin Telpo had 14 for the Eagles. Eric Sarmiento and Edgar Erice chipped in 12 points each but the rest of the team struggled for form.

Meanwhile, action in the six-team Juniors Division for players aged 19 years and under began last Wednesday (August 13) at the same venue. Defending champion CEU tripped last year’s finals opponent Fatima, 86-67, Saint Clare buried New Era, 73-43, and RTU trounced PCU, 82-76.

How They Scored:

First Game

CENTRO ESCOLAR (106) – Silverie 23, Opiso 12, Anunciacion 11, Jeruta 10, Vargas 9, Banua 8, Ebondo 7, de Leon 8, Abundo 6, Sedurifa 6, Celso 2, Casino 2, Batino 2, Amil 0.

PHILIPPINE CHRISTIAN (57) – Tuazon 13, Bautista 13, Juan 8, Lahora 7, Gayosa 4, Sia 4, Tapiz 3, Lindo 3, Cadiente 2, Badilla 0, Sadiwa 0, Mojares 0, Co 0, Moldon 0.

Period Scores: 25-13, 54-19, 76-33, 106-57.

Second Game

SAINT CLARE (89) – Dulalia 15, Lunor 14, Gil 13, Mendoza 10, Ibay 9, Jamito 8, Ibarra 7, Managuelod 5, Acebron 3, Redoh 3, Ambulodto 2.

PASAY (52) – Telpo 14, Sarmiento 12, Erice 12, Aquino 6, Penaredondo 2, Lizardo 2, Encina 2, Solero 2, Ramos 0, Manansala 0, Baldos 0, de Vega 0, Padilla 0.

Period Scores: 20-8, 50-23, 74-38, 89-52.

Third Game

RIZAL TECH (66) – Montecillo 13, Pronto 13, Justiniani 9, Bangeles 8, Quiro 7, Cenal 5, Tabi 5, Sarona 2, Mayuyo 2, Malimban 2, Estoce 0, de la Pena 0, Riva 0, Parina 0.

DILIMAN COMPUTER (58) – Quattara 20, Enriquez 10, Olea 8, Nudo 7, Yaon 6, Aguillon 3, Panogadia 2, Tay 1, Antalan 1, Aide 0, Barranco 0, Mamba 0.

Period Scores: 7-17, 25-25, 44-36, 66-58.

Fourth Game

OUR LADY OF FATIMA (80) – Cruz 10, Mallari 10, Flores 8, de los Santos 7, Marquez 6, Cabrera 6, Pineda 6, Jornacion 5, Jimenez 4, Gallardo 4, Villalon 4, del Rosario 3, Rosales 2, Matignas 2, Datu 2, Moraga 1.

NEW ERA (53) – Ilarde 17, Roncal 13, Sarmiento 6, Vitug 6, Duaman 3, Bebit 3, Absin 2, Borje 2, Paguio 1, Bondoc 0, Tierra 0, Recetes 0, Luz 0, Makaranas 0, Magkalas 0.

Period Scores: 12-8, 32-16, 56-28, 80-53.

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World Poker Tour Hits Philippines

WPT President Adam Pliska (2nd from left) is joined by Solaire VP-Casino Marketing Cyrus Sherafat, promoter Mike Kim and Solaire President and COO Thomas Arasi at the recent launch of the WPT Natiional Philippines.

WPT President Adam Pliska (2nd from left) is joined by Solaire VP-Casino Marketing Cyrus Sherafat, promoter Mike Kim and Solaire President and COO Thomas Arasi at the recent launch of the WPT National Philippines.

World Poker Tour National Philippines     AFTER A long wait, the World Poker Tour will finally make a stop in the country as Solaire Resort and Casino plays host to the WPT National Philippines from October 16 to 28, 2014. The event is sure to pump up further interest in the fast growing sport as top international professional players will match card skills with the best Filipino challengers.

Although the WPT has held events across Asia, this marks the first time they will visit Southeast Asia. No less than WPT President Adam Pliska flew in to grace the event’s official launching recently, underscoring how much the organization values the Philippine market.

Pliska cited three factors for the game’s success – the players, the venue and the media. “Poker has a unique set of skills that helps one make good, calculated decisions while developing energy, perseverance and dedication,” he said.

The main event, a USD 2,200.00 buy in, kicks off on October 25 where big cash prizes are at stake together with valuable ranking points in the race for the WPT Player of the Year. Aside from that, a series of satellite events with buy ins as low as PHP 300.00 will be held including a celebrity invitational truly making it a two-week festival of the best in poker.

A lot of poker celebrities are expected to arrive including WPT Tour Executive Director Matt Savage and legendary player and television commentator Matt Sexton. The Royal Flush Girls will also lend their beauty and charm to the table, including Fil-Am Ivy Teves.

For his part, Solaire President and Chief Operating Officer Thomas Arasi sees the event as a truly historic moment that will serve as a coming out party. “We are constantly creating ways for our guests to have the ultimate resort experience so hosting the WPT only comes naturally for us,” added Arasi who also looks to poker as a teacher of life lessons.

Pliska also commended promoter Mike Kim who brokered the unprecedented partnership. Kim describes poker as fun, sometimes working 10 to 15 hours a day on the game, and a true gentleman’s game.

Filipino poker players and fans are sure to have a never before seen experience. The cards and chips will be flying as the stars of the poker universe align and descend towards the Philippines this October!

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Scorpions, Phoenix Open Season On High

NAASCU on Facebook     MAKATI CITY – Centro Escolar University began the defense of their National Athletic Association of Schools, Colleges and Universities (NAASCU) Senior Men’s Basketball title by outlasting archrival Saint Clare College of Caloocan, 76-62, on opening day of the rising varsity league’s 14th season at the Makati Coliseum Tuesday afternoon (August 12). The rematch of last season’s championship protagonists turned out to be a one-sided affair as the Scorpions took advantage of the Saints’ lapses.

CEU’s tight defense held Saint Clare scoreless for almost the first six minutes of the second period, blowing the game wide open on 12 unanswered points by Rodrigue Ebondo, Alfred Batino and reigning Most Valuable Player Joseph Sedurifa, 35-19. Darwin Lunor finally broke the Saints’ silence and scored all of his team’s nine points, but the Scorpions remained in control by halftime, 46-28.

The Scorpions always had a ready answer for all of the Saints’ rallies with Aaron Jeruta and Samboy de Leon playing the role of firemen with their timely scores. Ebondo then put a punctuation mark on the game with a slam dunk with less than three minutes remaining, 72-50.

De Leon topped CEU with 17 points. Jeruta came off the bench to add 14 points.

After his nine-point explosion in the second canto, Lunor added 11 more in the second half to lead all scorers with 20. Redoh Fabien, a rookie exchange student from Cameroon, was the only other bright spot for Saint Clare with 14 markers, 10 of those coming in the first period.

Later in the day, the Our Lady of Fatima University Phoenix blasted the Rizal Technological University Blue Thunder, 94-85. In a game of spurts, the Phoenix proved to hold tougher in the end and have the last laugh.

After rookie Cyrus Tabi’s triple gave RTU a 36-32 edge, Fil-Am guard Marvin Moraga and team captain Joseph Marquez starred in a 13-0 run that gave Fatima the lead for good, 45-36. Halftime was pegged at 47-38 after both teams swapped field goals.

RTU proved to be a tough customer, cutting their deficit to a single point on a dunk by Sandy Cenal, 76-77, and 5:21 remaining. Crucial triples by Romyl Jornacion and Marquez restored a seven-point lead, 85-78, enough cushion for the Phoenix to coast to the victory.

Moraga, a transferee from on-leave NAASCU member STI College, paced the Phoenix with 20 points. Jornacion was next with17.

Jopet Quiro showed the form that made him last season’s scoring champion by scattering 25 points but it was not enough. Cenal chipped in 17.

In the curtain-raiser, the City University of Pasay Eagles won by default over the New Era University Hunters after the latter failed to arrive in time for their 8:00 AM meeting.

How They Scored:

Second Game (Seniors)

CENTRO ESCOLAR (76) – de Leon 17, Jeruta 14, Ebondo 11, Batino 10, Celso 6, Sedurifa 5, Abundo 4, Opiso 3, Casino 3, Anunciacion 3, Amil 0, Banua 0.

SAINT CLARE (62) – Lunor 20, Redoh 14, Managuelod 8, Gil 6, Ibay 4, Ibarra 4, Dulalia 3, Jamito 2, Acebron 1, Ambulodto 0.

Period Scores: 23-19, 46-28, 66-49, 76-62.

Third Game (Seniors)

OUR LADY OF FATIMA (94) – Moraga 20, Jornacion 17, Gallardo 11, Mallari 11, Marquez 7, Pineda 6, Jimenez 5, de los Santos 5, Datu 4, Cruz 2, Cabrera 2, Matignas 2, Flores 2.

RIZAL TECH (85) – Quiro 25, Cenal 17, Tabi 14, Montecillo 11, Pronto 10, Mayuyo 3, Riva 2, Sarona 0, Justiniani 0, Adin Santos 0, Bear 0, Armin Santos 0, Parina 0.

Period Scores: 18-20, 47-38, 68-66, 94-85.

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