MVP For Thompson

Things are looking up for NCAA Season 90 MVP Earl Scottie Thompson of the UPHSD Altas.

Things are looking up for NCAA Season 90 MVP Earl Scottie Thompson of the UPHSD Altas.

NCAA Season 90

IF GIVEN the chance, newly-minted National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Most Valuable Player Earl Scottie Thompson of the University of Perpetual Help System-Dalta would at the snap of a finger trade his harvest of individual awards for an NCAA title. His Altas ended their season last October 15 by bowing to defending champion San Beda College Red Lions in the Final Four, 81-75.

After electrifying the statistics sheets during the eliminations, the pride of Digos City in Davao del Sur turned the NCAA Awards into his own show in between games last October 20 at the Mall of Asia Arena. Aside from the MVP plum, Thompson locked up spots in the Mythical Five and All-Defensive Team.

His numbers have been no less than amazing – 17.1 points, 11.4 rebounds and 5.5 assists – not bad for a 6’0” shooting guard. Along the way, Thompson registered a pair of triple-doubles.

With Season 90 already in the books for Perpetual Help, the 21-year old Thompson looks forward to Season 91 where he hopes to help his Altas to bounce back big time and finally bring the NCAA trophy to Las Pinas City. A pair of tall and beefy exchange students from Africa in Akhuete Bright and Prince Eze will complete their residency in order to be eligible plus several promising members of their farm team will be elevated to make up for the graduation of stalwarts Justine Matthew Alano, Joel Jolangcob Juneric Baloria and Harold Arboleda.

Believe it or not, Thompson was not in the radar of Metro Manila schools while he was in high school at the Agro Industrial Foundation College in Davao City. He had an earlier offer to join the powerhouse San Beda Red Cubs but declined.

It was only Perpetual Help that showed interest in him for its college team. However, Thompson enrolled late hence forcing him to sit out his first year as a fresh high school graduate.

Philippine basketball is a small world indeed. His stint with the Red Cubs did not push through but Thompson will now unite with the core of the Red Lions at Hapee Toothpaste in the coming PBA D-League Aspirants Cup beginning October 27 at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.

Things are definitely looking up for the young man whose name was inspired by basketball superstar Scottie Pippen. Thompson’s father was a big Chicago Bulls fan and his son was born on July 12, 1993, a few weeks after the team garnered its third consecutive NBA World Championship.

Joining Thompson in the Mythical Five were teammate Arboleda, Ola Adeogun of San Beda, Bradwyn Guinto of San Sebastian and Jiovani Jalalon of Arellano. The other members of the All-Defensive Team were Adeogun, Guinto, Abdul Razak Abdulwahab of Jose Rizal and eventual Defensive Player of the Year Joseph Gabyani of Lyceum.

Arellano’s Dioncee Holts got the nod as Rookie of the Year while teammate Jalalon was named as Most Improved Player. Season 90 host Jose Rizal University received the Sportsmanship Award.

Meanwhile, Jose Rizal’s Darius Estrella headlined the Juniors Division honorees as the season’s Most Valuable Player along with Rookie of the Year Raphael Jose Chavez of Perpetual Help. Comprising the Mythical Five were Estrella, Ricci Paolo Rivero and John Winifred Gob of La Salle Green Hills, Niko Angelo Abatayo of San Beda-Rizal and Dennel Jay Aguirre of Malayan High School of Science.

The 6’5” Gob, easily one of the top college prospects for next year, also took home Defensive Player of the Year and Most Improved Player honors. The All-Defensive Team was made up of Estrella, Gob, Abatayo, Chavez and Makki Jamdee Santos of Lyceum-Cavite. The Red Cubs received the Sportsmanship Award.

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The Finals: SBC Takes Game One, 74-66

NCAA Season 90

PASAY CITY – Defending champion San Beda College moved a step closer to continuing its dynasty by manhandling Arellano University, 74-66, in Game One of the 90th National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Seniors Basketball Finals Monday afternoon (October 20) at the Mall of Asia Arena. The Red Lions can end it all in Game Two set for Wednesday at the same venue starting at 1:30 PM.

Playing in their very first championship series since joining the league in 2009, the Chiefs allowed the Red Lions to open the contest with an 11-0 run behind Baser Amer, Ola Adeogun and Anthony Semerad. Recovering their bearings, the wards of Coach Jerry Codinera slowly fought back to tie the count at 31-31 on a Nico Bangga drive.

Unfazed by the Chiefs’ assault, the Red Lions closed out the first half with a 9-0 run sparked by a triple from Semerad. Halftime score was pegged at 40-31 in favor of San Beda.

SBC coach Boyet Fernandez previously warned that Arellano is a dangerous opponent. True enough, the Chiefs gave the Red Lions a major scare as Jiovani Jalalon scored on back-to-back layups to bring Arellano to their closest, 56-61, with 6:18 remaining in the final period.

The Chiefs’ campaign hit a roadblock when Jalalon picked up his fifth and final foul in the ensuing sequence. The Red Lions then turned up the defense by sending Keith Agovida to the free throw stripe but the veteran forward could make only three of his eight attempts.

Ryusei Koga made a basket followed by an Amer triple that delivered the knockout blow with 1:10 on the clock and the Red Lions stretching their lead, 72-59. That was enough cushion as San Beda held on despite a late triple by Dioncee Holts and drive by Donald Gumaru.

Amer had another prodigious game with 17 points, five rebounds and seven assists. Semerad and Adeogun backed him up with 14 markers each and Adeogun hauling 14 rebounds.

Agovida paced the Chiefs with 14 points and 17 rebounds. Holts was next with 11 points as the only other Chief in double figures.

In the Juniors Division finals, the Malayan High School of Science Red Robins took Game One by shocking the defending champion San Beda Red Cubs, 84-75. The Red Robins are aiming for their first title since rejoining the league in 2008.

When the old Mapua Institute of Technology High School on Doroteo Jose Street was still operating, it had a colorful rivalry with the Red Cubs who were at that time based in Mendiola. Both schools account for 20 NCAA Juniors titles each.

It was a tight contest with the score knotted at 63-63 after three periods. With the count still deadlocked at 65-65, the Red Robins rattled off six straight points behind Dennel Aguirre, Warren Bonifacio and David Velvez for 71-65 tally at the 5:31.

A six-point lead was already a big luxury. Sam Abuhijle scored underneath but this was quickly neutralized by a booming triple from Noah Lugo as the Red Robins began their breakaway, 74-67.

The Red Cubs refused to quit with Mark Framil hitting a triple to threaten for the last time, 75-78, and 1:48 to play. Sherwin Concepcion countered with a field goal followed by a three-point play by Velvez to ice the game with a minute to go.

“We took advantage of their fatigue and foul trouble,” said winning coach Randy Alcantara. “After losing to them twice in the eliminations, we drew inspiration from our playoff game for the top seeding where we beat them (the Red Robins won, 87-78, last October 10).”

Bonifacio powered the win with 18 points and 11 rebounds. Lugo and Velvez chipped in 14 each.

Kenneth Alas was the high man for the Red Cubs with 15 points and nine rebounds. Norrish Decapia followed with 13.

How They Scored:

First Game (Juniors)

MALAYAN SCIENCE (84) – Bonifacio 18, Lugo 14, Velvez 14, Victoria 12, Concepcion 7, Calderon 4, Aguirre 4, Pascua 4, Salenga 4, Cabural 3.

SAN BEDA-RIZAL (75) – Alas 15, Decapia 13, Furaque 12, Diputado 12, Abuhijle 9, Framil 5, Bordeos 4, Caracut 4, Abatayo 1, Alfaro 0.

Period Scores: 23-23, 44-45, 63-63, 84-75.

Second Game (Seniors)

SAN BEDA (74) – Amer 17, A. Semerad 14, Adeogun 14, de la Cruz 13, Pascual 7, Sara 5, Koga 2, Mendoza 2, Cabanag 0, Mocon 0, D. Semerad 0, Tongco 0.

ARELLANO (66) – Agovida 14, Holts 11, Jalalon 9, Bangga 9, Pinto 6, Gumaru 5, Salcedo 4, Ciriacruz 4, Nicholls 2, Enriquez 2, Hernandez 0, Palma 0, Caperal 0, Cadavis 0.

Period Scores: 26-17, 40-31, 59-48, 74-66.

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Malaysia Wins 1st WPT Nations Challenge

Philip Salvador (R) in deep concentration during semifinal duel with eventual champion Malaysia.

Philip Salvador (R) in deep concentration during semifinal duel with eventual champion Malaysia.

World Poker Tour National Philippines

PARANAQUE CITY – Team Malaysia made history Sunday (October 19) by ruling the First World Poker Tour (WPT) Solar Sports Nations Challenge at the plush Solaire Resort and Casino. The youthful Malaysians outsmarted a tough veteran entry from South Korea to essay the come from behind win in the finale.

Lua Heng Mun combined with skipper Daniel Chin and David Lim to bait two Koreans into a three-way all-in. With Chin and Lim pulling out just in time, Lua managed to eliminate the two Koreans, sending the pro-Malaysia gallery into celebration mode.

The Koreans never recovered as Malaysia held on until time expired. Despite playing only in the finals, Jerry Lai was named as the tournament’s Most Valuable Player for amassing the most number of chips.

Malaysia pocketed USD 3,000.00 (PHP 134,124.91) for their effort plus unquantifiable bragging rights. MVP Lai and the rest of the squad are expected to see action in the WPT National Philippines Main Event beginning on Thursday (October 23).

On their way to the title, Malaysia massacred host Philippines in the semifinals the day earlier (October 18) by eliminating all its 10 players. Meanwhile, South Korea had to really on chip count to slip past bitter rival Japan after both sides still had nine players remaining at the end of play.

Team Philippines was captained by retired Police Chief Superintendent Wally “The Dream” Sombero. Joining him were actor Philip Salvador, Vic de Guzman, Martin Corpus, Derek Bautista, Jay Lubas, Derek Leano, Edison Marzan, Almond Cabral and Alan Escano.

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Tabal, Zabala Best of Butuan

#BuildChampions

BUTUAN CITY – Reigning MILO Marathon Queen Mary Joy Tabal served notice of her title-retention bid by breezing through the field in the 38th MILO Marathon Butuan City qualifying race Sunday (October 19) that began and ended at the Father Saturnino Urios University Gym. Despite being already seeded into the December 7 National Finals at the SM Mall of Asia in Pasay City, Tabal still participated and set a new season record of 1:20:46 for the 21-kilometer distance.

Tabal’s performance was good enough to crowd the podium contenders in the Men’s Division, eventually checking in as the fifth overall finisher among all runners just four minutes behind her coach John Philip Duenas who timed 1:16:36. Last year, she registered the fastest qualifying time of 1:24:40 during the Cebu City Leg to earn her a special prize at the pre-race carbo-loading party.

The old season record used to be held by four-time MILO Queen Christabel Martes in winning the inaugural Baguio City leg in 1:26:40 last June 29. Expect a battle royal as past winners Tabal, Martes, Mary Grace de los Santos, Jho-An Banayag and other leg champions try to outrace each other for top honors.

The Men’s race was won by Jerald Zabala of Cagayan de Oro City in 1:13:49, sprinting to the finish line to edge out runner-up and last year’s 10-kilometer champion Bobby Tadlas (1:14:00). Third Place went to Ramil Neri (1:15:09).

Zabala, who has been joining MILO races since he was a teenager, dedicated his victory to his son who celebrated his birthday that day. Sunday’s winners pocketed PHP 10,000.00 each and trophies.

Taking runner-up honors in the Women’s Division was last year’s 10-kilometer winner Michell Ann Aclo, coming in 12 minutes after Tabal in 1:42:30. Third Place was bagged by Jenefer Paloma (1:44:05).

Tabal and Zabala will lead four other women and 29 other men who met their respective qualifying times as Butuan City’s delegation to the National Finals. A whopping PHP 300,000.00 each awaits the MILO King and Queen plus a chance to represent the Philippines at the 2015 Tokyo Marathon.

With last year’s winners moving up in category, Bryan Antero (35:05) and Lalaine Patricio (47:45) emerged as the new 10-kilometer rulers while the five kilometers went to Chris Aclo (17:17) and Weljalyn Puno (22:09). The three-kilometer kiddy race went to Kent Joshua Reyes of Butuan City Central Elementary School (12:07) while Ruby Joy Lopez of Patin-ay Elementary School won for the second straight year in 12:55.

MILO is targeting to give 16,000 pairs of athletic shoes to underprivileged public school children this year, the 50th year of MILO in the Philippine market. Special attention will be given to children affected by last year’s typhoons in Eastern Visayas.

The MILO Marathon will continue its tour of Mindanao by stopping by Cagayan de Oro City next week (October 26). For more information and to register, contact local organizer Circle Productions at (0915) 375-3117.

The full results of the Butuan City Leg as well as the 12 other completed legs this year may be downloaded at www.milo.com.ph. Like and follow MILO’s official social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for the latest news and updates.

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Presenting The Philippine Volleyball Teams 2015

The beauties of the Philippine Women's Team.

The beauties of the Philippine Women’s Team.

MAKATI CITY – After weeks of speculation, the Philippine Volleyball Federation (PVF) finally unveiled the members of the national teams for Women and Men that will aim to compete in the 28th Southeast Asian Games next year in Singapore. The last time the country sent representatives to the biennial regional sports meet was back in 2005 when the Philippines acted as hosts with the ladies grabbing the bronze medal.

The Women’s team is a merry mix of veterans and rising stars led by Mary Jean Balse and Tina Salak plus Alyssa Valdez, Dennise Lazaro, Ara Galang, Mika Reyes, Kim Fajardo and sisters Dindin Santiago and Jaja Santiago. Completing the 18-player pool are Nene Bautista, Rachel Anne Daquis, Rhea Dimaculangan, Jovelyn Gonzaga, Maika Ortiz, Lizlee Ann Gata-Pantone, Aiza Maizo-Pontillas, Jen Reyes and Royse Tubino.

They will be coached by the multi-titled Ramil de Jesus of De La Salle University. His coaching staff will be composed of Ariel de la Cruz, Rico de Guzman, Norman Miguel and Emilio “Kung Fu” Reyes.

The Men have adopted the moniker Bagwis Pilipinas after the fictional archangel movie character popularized by Chuck Perez, hoping that the team would imbibe the attributes of soaring high and using its strength to defeat opponents. The Women are still considering options on what moniker to use.

Headlining the Bagwis is Ran Abdilla, who made a name during the Asian Club Championships earlier this year at the Mall of Asia Arena and varsity standouts Marck Espejo, Mark Gil Alfafara and Peter Torres. Joining him are John Vic de Guzman, Pitrus de Ocampo, Kheeno Franco, Reyson Fuentes, JR Labrador, Jessie Lopez, Jeff Mangulabnan, Vinz Mangulabnan, Howard Mojica, Sandy Montero, Raffy Mosuela, Henry Pecana, Jayson Ramos and JP Torres.

Their coach will be Odjie Mamon of the University of Santo Tomas. He will be assisted by George Pascua, Jasper Jimenez, Shak de los Santos and Dante Alinsunurin.

“This is a 10-month program that began with tryouts last September,” explained PVF Secretary General Ottie Camangian. “The players underwent a rigorous screening process as we want the best team for the country.”

The Men's Team, Bagwis Pilipinas, hopes to soar high and defeat its opponents.

The Men’s Team, Bagwis Pilipinas, hopes to soar high and defeat its opponents.

Among the factors considered aside from volleyball skills were the player’s physical attributes, character, leadership and the ability to gel quickly with others. Asked about the absence of some prominent names, Camangian was quick to point out that the process was never a popularity contest.

For his part, PVF President Karl Chan bared that they are finalizing the teams’ participation in several tournaments as part of their buildup for Singapore 2015. One of these tournaments is the Asian Club Championships in April with the Men playing in Kazakhstan and the Women going to Vietnam.

However, a big event that local fans can look forward to is the First Asian Women’s Under-23 Championship from May 1 to 9 at the Mall of Asia Arena. The likes of Fajardo, Galang, Reyes, Valdez, Lazaro, Tubino and the Santiago Sisters are eligible to represent the country in the tournament that will serve as a continental qualifier for the FIVB World Under-23 Championship.

Giving the Nationals a major shot in the arm is PLDT Home Fibr, which was represented at the launch by Senior Product Manager Maxene Parangan. With a major sponsor in tow, Philippine volleyball is expected to reach unprecedented heights.

A gold medal next year in Singapore by either team will be a big achievement. Camangian added that the other teams are happy to see the Philippines back in the scene after he attended a recent meeting in Thailand with his Southeast Asian counterparts.

The Nationals are expected to plunge into their first workout this Monday (October 20). This early, the PVF is coordinating with the players’ schools or club teams to ensure good attendance.

A successful national team program is the logical product of volleyball’s phenomenal growth in the past decade as both a spectator and participatory sport. Now, it is in the hands of 18 men and 18 women to prove that Philippine volleyball is here to stay.

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San Beda In The Finals!

NCAA Season 90

PASAY CITY – San Beda College is back in familiar territory, the championship series of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) basketball tournament. The defending champion and top seed Red Lions made short work of a fighting fourth seed University of Perpetual Help System-Dalta Altas, 81-75, in their Final Four encounter last Wednesday (October 15) at the Mall of Asia Arena.

Determined to settle the outcome early, San Beda raced to a 16-1 lead behind Ola Adeogun, Baser Amer and Kyle Pascual. It took the Altas over six minutes to churn out a field with Juneric Baloria finally finding the hoop at the 3:40 mark.

So unforgiving were the Red Lions that they erected their biggest lead of 26 markers on an Anthony Semerad basket, 42-16. Halftime score was pegged at 44-18 after an exchange of scores.

The looming blowout was unexpected since the teams split their elimination round meetings, both in cliffhanger fashion. San Beda took the first game last August 6, 77-75, but Perpetual Helped regrouped to snatch the second on September 22, 76-75.

The break proved to be beneficial to the Altas as they reentered the floor a totally different team, going on a 17-2 opening tear powered by the Fab Four of Baloria, Justine Alano, Earl Scottie Thompson and Harold Arboleda to close in, 35-46. Thompson continued his personal assault in the fourth period as he pumped in 11 markers, capped by two free throws that allowed the Altas to threaten for the last time entering the final two minutes, 67-76.

Still, the tough uphill climb from the early 26-point deficit was too much to bear. Time was not on the Altas’ side despite back-to-back triples by Arboleda and free throws by Baloria to move to within five markers, 75-80, but only 15 ticks left to on the clock.

Semerad finished with a team-best 18 points for the Red Lions, 12 coming in the second half to keep the Altas’ rallies in check. Amer was next with 17 and Adeogun posted a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds.

“This is my last year so I push myself,” said Semerad, who is on track to earn a degree in Business Marketing. “I have been there before but I still cannot describe how it is to be in the Finals.”

Thompson proved why he is a leading contender for the season’s Most Valuable Player honors with eye-popping outputs of 20 points, 10 rebounds, five assists and three steals. Baloria also finished with 20 points on top of five rebounds.

The flat start to the second half did not sit well with SBC coach Boyet Fernandez. “I told the players that they will never be champions if they do not survive Perpetual and I guess it woke them up,” said Coach Fernandez who is aiming for his second NCAA championship in as many seasons.

The Red Lions will now shoot for a fifth consecutive title against the Arellano University Chiefs, who outplayed the Jose Rizal University Heavy Bombers in the other Final Four fixture, 72-65. The Chiefs of Coach Jerry Codinera will be making their maiden appearance in the best-of-three NCAA Finals starting October 20 (Monday).

It was a double celebration for San Beda as their Red Cubs also barged into the Finals of the Juniors Division by blasting the Letran Squires, 70-64. Waiting for the Red Cubs are the Malayan High School of Science Red Robins who grabbed the first championship berth earlier in the day by frustrating the JRU Light Bombers in overtime, 76-68.

The Squires briefly seized the upper hand on back-to-back triples by Miguel Villasis to open the final period, 53-50. The Red Cubs then countered with six straight points as Niko Abatayo’s three-point play gave them the lead for good, 56-53.

Again, former Squire Kenneth Louie Alas proved to be a big thorn to Letran’s cause as the 6’4” transferee scored on a breakaway dunk followed by two more key baskets to maintain the Red Cubs’ advantage, 63-58. As Letran refused to quit, Joshua Andrei Caracut delivered the knockout blows via a pair of triples that gave the Red Cubs an unassailable seven-point edge with less than a minute to play, 69-62.

How They Scored:

Second Game (Seniors)

SAN BEDA (81) – A. Semerad 18, Amer 17, Adeogun 13, Mendoza 12, de la Cruz 11, Pascual 6, Koga 2, Tongco 2, Sara 0, Abude 0, D. Semerad 0.

PERPETUAL HELP (75) – Thompson 20, Baloria 20, Arboleda 14, Alano 11, Dagangon 7, Oliveria 2, Jolangcob 1, Dizon 0, Ylagan 0, Bantayan 0, Gallardo 0.

Period Scores: 22-7, 44-18, 55-44, 81-75.

Third Game (Seniors)

ARELLANO (72)- Holts 22, Hernandez 12, Jalalon 8, Caperal 8, Pinto 7, Agovida 7, Ciriacruz 4, Salcedo 2, Enriquez 2, Gumaru 0, Bangga 0, Cadavis 0.

JOSE RIZAL (65) – Teodoro 19, Asuncion 13, Mabulac 13, Abdulwahab 6, Benavides 5, Sanchez 4, Paniamogan 3, Lasquety 2, Salaveria 0, Grospe 0.

Period Scores: 21-18, 36-31, 54-53, 72-65.

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Get Ready For The D Rose 5

Derrick Rose's NBA return gets a big Boost with new signature shoes.

Derrick Rose’s NBA return gets a big Boost with new signature shoes.

CHICAGO BULLS superstar guard Derrick Rose recently unveiled the newest incarnation of his signature basketball shoes, the adidas D Rose 5 Boost. The new shoe is the first for its sport to use full length Boost cushioning, the revolutionary technology that offers ultimate comfort and energy return.

Expect Rose to go all out in the coming 2014-2015 National Basketball Association (NBA) season as he slowly reclaims his spot among the league’s elite. Injuries have limited him to only 49 games in the last three seasons, including sitting out the entire 2012-2013 campaign.

The 2011 NBA Most Valuable Player is coming off a good summer where he was part of Team USA that captured the inaugural FIBA World Cup in Spain. Rose submitted averages of 4.8 points, 1.9 rebounds and 3.1 assists over nine games, all won in convincing fashion.

Boost technology was first used on running shoes in 2013 and immediately received good reviews. The foam material features thousands of capsules for lightweight cushioning that also store and release energy.

Meanwhile, a close inspection of the shoe’s details will reveal a lot about the 26-year old Rose as he pays tribute to his family and personal advocacies. There are also mentions of his long road to success starting in high school at Chicago’s Simeon Career Academy to the University of Memphis to being selected first overall by the Bulls in the 2008 NBA Draft.

The colorways are made to match the Chicago Bulls’ home and away jerseys. More colorways will be introduced as the season progresses.

The adidas D Rose 5 will be available in the Philippines starting October 16, 2014 (Thursday) at all adidas stores and major sporting goods shops and department stores. Suggested retail price is PHP 7,995.00 a pair.

For more information, log on to news.adidas.com. Follow the official adidas social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the hash tags #DRose5 and #Boost.

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