Blue Dragons Rule NCBL

Sen. Nikki Coseteng leads her Diliman College Blue Dragons in savoring their first ever NCBL championship!

Sen. Nikki Coseteng leads her Diliman College Blue Dragons in savoring their first ever NCBL championship!

QUEZON CITY – The visiting Diliman College Blue Dragons bagged the Third National Collegiate Basketball League (NCBL) championship by braving the hostile crowd at the Dr. Henry Noble Gym to thwart the home side Trinity University of Asia White Stallions, 59-50, in the one-game playoff last October 24 (Friday). A first time participant, the team was formerly known as the Diliman Computer Technology Institute Senators until the team of Senator Nikki Coseteng and Coach Rensy Bajar made the name change just before the start of the five-week tournament.

The White Stallions of Coach Junel Mendiola raced to a 19-9 lead after the first period behind Raymark Matias, Mark Doligon and Angelo Pineda. But just as the home team thought they would have things easy, the Blue Dragons came roaring back in the second period via the 10-point explosion of Harley Diego.

Diego scored all 10 points in a crippling 14-1 run, including the field goal that gave the Blue Dragons the lead for good, 24-23. Halftime tally was pegged at 28-25.

Matias and Laude tried their best to rally Trinity, managing to close in by a point entering the fourth period, 42-43. The lack of a supporting cast would later toll heavily on their cause.

Ivan Barranco and Laude opened the fourth by swapping triples. The Blue Dragons’ defense then limited Trinity to only two Laude free throws while beanpole Ibrahim Quattara, Ronel Panogadia and MacArthur Enriquez delivered the key hits to give Diliman its biggest lead of the game, 56-47, and 3:21 to play.

A Doligon triple proved to be Trinity’s final gasp, 50-56. From there, Coach Bajar ordered his players to waste the time away as they coasted to the victory.

Diego led all scorers with 20 points en route to being named as Most Valuable Player of the Finals. He was followed by Quattara with 13 and Barranco with 11.

Matias paced Trinity with 16 markers. Laude added 11 as the only player on their team in double figures.

Entering the Final Four as the third seed, the Blue Dragons had to overcome the challenge of second seed and defending champion Technological Institute of the Philippines. Top seed Trinity disposed of fourth seed Enderun Colleges in the other fixture.

The NCBL also honored Enderun’s Jordan Rios as the tournament’s Most Valuable Player. Joining him in the Mythical Five were Diliman’s Enriquez, Trinity’s Doligon, Ben Adamos of TIP and Art Patrick Aquino of Centro Escolar University.

How They Scored:

DILIMAN (59) – Diego 20, Quattara 13, Barranco 11, Enriquez 7, Panogadia 4, Protacio 3, Akpa 1, Aguilon 0, Antalan 0, Cruz 0.

TRINITY (50) – Matias 16, Laude 11, Doligon 9, Pineda 4, Wong 4, Mora 2, Reyes 2, Yombi 2, Maglupay 0, Macaballug 0, Ellarmo 0, Rivera 0.

Period Scores: 9-19, 28-25, 43-42, 59-50.

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NCR Shoots for MILO Little Olympics Triple

Delegation officials enjoy a light moment before action in the 2014 MILO Little Olympics commences today.

Delegation officials enjoy a light moment before action in the 2014 MILO Little Olympics commences today.

#BuildChampions

ALL EYES will be on host and defending overall champion National Capital Region as student athletes from the rest of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao will try to wrest the title away at the start of the 2014 MILO Little Olympics National Finals today (October 24) at the Marikina Sports Park. Team NCR is aiming for a championship treble which will earn possession of the Perpetual Trophy, a feat only accomplished once in the past by Team Visayas from 2009 to 2011.

Over a thousand elementary and high school pupils will dispute 13 sports disciplines namely Athletics, Swimming, Basketball, Football, Volleyball, Gymnastics, Sepak Takraw, Chess, Scrabble, Tae Kwon Do, Table Tennis, Lawn Tennis and Badminton. Aside from the main venue Marikina Sports Park, action will be spread out at Marist School, Concepcion Elementary School and Marikina Sports Hub as well as in SM Masinag and Fin-Asia in Antipolo City and Club Gymnastica in Pasig City.

A festive opening ceremony is set beginning at 4:00 PM. Marikina City Mayor Del R. de Guzman has been invited as the guest of honor and keynote speaker.

The MILO Little Olympics is open to all bona fide students born before 2002 for elementary and 2007 for high school. The competition is open to all foreign students as long as they are properly enrolled.

As part of the ongoing 50th anniversary of MILO in the Philippines, 50 Most Outstanding Athletes will be selected. The criteria will cover not only their performance in the playing field but also take into account their attitude and character as recommended by their coaches.

Through the years, the MILO Little Olympics has proven to be a valuable source of talents for possible inclusion in the National Teams. Many of its alumni have also gone on to accept athletic scholarships at top universities.

Witness the next wave of sports superstars at the MILO Little Olympics. The event is made possible with the valuable assistance of Wilson, Mikasa, Molten, Butterfly, Marathon, Smart Communications, 2Go Travel and the City Government of Marikina with endorsements by the Department of Education (DepEd), Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) and Philippine Olympic Committee (POC).

This year, MILO has embarked on a partnership with the DepEd for the “One Child, One Sport Program”. The campaign hopes to get more schoolchildren involved in sports as they continue to build champions.

For more information on the MILO Little Olympics like comprehensive schedules and past year’s results, log on to www.milo.com.ph. Like and follow MILO’s official social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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The Finals: GO SAN BEDA FIVE!

The Red Lions and their supporters celebrate five straight NCAA championships!

The Red Lions and their supporters celebrate five straight NCAA championships!

NCAA Season 90

PASAY CITY – San Beda College made history by annexing its fifth consecutive National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Seniors basketball championship by blasting Arellano University, 89-70, Wednesday afternoon (October 22) at the Mall of Asia Arena. The Red Lions thus swept the best-of-three series, 2-0, after winning Game One two days earlier, 74-66.

The Red Lions went out to settle the outcome early. After a Dioncee Holts triple tied for the game for the second and final time at 12-12, the Red Lions went on a 10-2 tear to grab the upper hand for good by the end of the first period, 22-14.

The defending champions were never threatened, maintaining twin digit leads. Even if the Chiefs managed to pierce the double-digit barrier, the Red Lions always had a ready solution.

The floodgates began to burst as the margin ballooned to as high as 20 points, 88-68, entering the final two minutes. Graduating players Anthony Semerad and Kyle Pascual punctured the hoop with aplomb as their lasting mark on their successful college stints.

Semerad unloaded 12 point of his game-high 30 points in the fourth period, enough for him to earn the nod as Most Valuable Player of the Finals. Team skipper Pascual added 16 points and eight rebounds as he made it a perfect five championships in his five years on campus.

Keith Agovida paced the Chiefs with 22 points on top of seven rebounds. Isaiah Ciriacruz chipped in 15 points.

Finals MVP Anthony Semerad and Coach of the Year Boyet Fernandez at the post-game media conference.

Finals MVP Anthony Semerad and Coach of the Year Boyet Fernandez at the post-game media conference.

San Beda’s Boyet Fernandez received the Coach of the Year citation. “I leave it to management to decide if I will return next season,” said Coach Fernandez who will now handle new PBA team NLEX Road Warriors.

“I give credit to my players and it is for the Bedan community and for the late Fr. Basil Apostol and my wife and two daughters,” continued Coach Fernandez. “Thank you also to SBC High School Class ’89 for adopting me.”

Meanwhile, the San Beda Red Cubs kept their title-retention bid alive by trouncing the Malayan High School of Science Red Robins, 78-68, and level their best-of-three series at 1-1. The Red Robins took Game One last Monday (October 20), 84-75.

Unlike Game One which was tight, the Red Cubs managed to build a lead as much as 18 markers in the third period on a triple by Joshua Andrei Caracut, 54-36. They then held on to maintain a 65-50 margin entering the final canto.

Malayan suddenly woke up as Sherwin Concepcion drained three triples as part of a 15-5 run to allow the Red Robins to threaten with 4:44 to play, 65-70. However, the deficit proved too big to overcome as the Red Cubs preserved the win from the free throw line.

“We adjusted our defense and I fired up the players,” explained Coach Sison. So dominating were the Red Cubs that they led all the way except for a brief moment when the Red Robins tied the game for the only time at 12-12.

Marc Joper Diputado led the Red Cubs of Coach JB Sison with 19 points and nine rebounds. Caracut was next with 16 followed by Niko Angelo Abatayo with 13 points and 10 rebounds.

Concepcion topped the Red Robins with 21 points and nine rebounds. David Velvez chipped in 16 points and seven assists.

How They Scored:

First Game (Juniors)

SAN BEDA-RIZAL (78) – Diputado 19, Caracut 16, Abatayo 13, Alas 9, Decapia 7, Bordeos 7, Abuhijle 4, Furaque 3, Framil 0.

MALAYAN SCIENCE (68) – Concepcion 21, Velvez 16, Calderon 8, Aguirre 8, Victoria 6, Lugo 3, Pascua 3, Bonifacio 3, Enriquez 0, Salenga 0, Cabural 0.

Period Scores: 21-14, 40-32, 65-50, 78-68.

Second Game (Seniors)

SAN BEDA (89) – A. Semerad 30, Pascual 16, Adeogun 15, de la Cruz 12, Mendoza 6, Sara 6, Amer 4, Koga 0, D. Semerad 0, Tongco 0.

ARELLANO (70) – Agovida 22, Ciriacruz 15, Jalalon 6 Hernandez 6, Holts 6, Pinto 3, Salcedo 2, Bangga 2, Ortega 2, Gumaru 0, Nicholls 0, Caperal 0, Cadavis 0.

Period Scores: 22-14, 39-25, 63-52, 89-70.

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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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