Filipinos Falter In Doha 3X3

Despte losing, Philippine 3X3 remains on the rise.  (JF)

DOHA, QATAR – The Cinderella run of the Philippine teams at the 2019 FIBA 3X3 World Tour Masters is over after Pasig Chooks and Balanga Chooks bowed out in the knockout quarterfinals Friday at the Katara Amphitheatre.  First to fall was Pasig to third seed and eventual champion Riga Ghetto of Latvia, 21-15, followed by Balanga at the hands of top seed Liman of Serbia, 21-9.

Pasig was saddled with foul trouble and it tolled heavily on their defenses as the Latvians scored four unanswered points to break the game’s last deadlock and lead, 17-13.  Joshua Munzon would reply with a two-pointer but that was the last hurrah as the Latvians went on another 4-0 run to abbreviate the game.

Balanga allowed the Serbians to go on a 7-0 run to break the game wide apart, 8-3.  Karl Dehesa and Travis Franklin would put Balanga back to contention, 7-9, but Serbia was too much by going on an 11-2 run to advance to the semifinals.

Ironically, both European squads were among the Filipinos’ victims in Thursday’s preliminaries.  Balanga clipped Riga Ghetto, 19-17, while Pasig created the biggest upset of the tournament thus far over Liman, 21-14.

In the semifinals, Riga Ghetto eliminated Piran of Slovenia, 21-14, while Liman ousted fellow Serbian squad Novi Sad, 20-17.  The Latvians then nipped Liman in the finale, 15-14, for the top prize of USD 30,000.00 (PHP 1,560,000.00).

Despite the loss, Pasig ended up in Fifth Place and pocketed USD 5,000.00 (PHP 260,000.00).  Bataan wound up in Sixth and together with Pasig and 10 other teams picked up valuable ranking points that could earn them a spot in the World Tour season Finals this November in Utsonomiya, Japan.

Meanwhile, it really was a poor day for the Filipinos as David Carlos lost out in the Slam Dunk Contest to Vadim Poddubchenko of Ukraine.  His two balls and a ladder final dunk earned only a 29 from the judges as the Ukrainian capped his performance with a third perfect 30-point under both legs slam.

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Philippines Sweeps Day One of Doha 3X3 World Tour

Taylor Statham and Travis Franklin (JF)

DOHA, QATAR – Debuting Filipino teams Pasig Chooks and Balanga Chooks more than exceeded expectations and upset their more fancied rivals to achieve a combined sweep of all of their four games at the conclusion of Day One of the FIBA 3X3 World Tour Masters at the Katara Amphitheatre Thursday evening.  They now have less than 24 hours to prepare for the knockout playoffs set for Friday.

Pasig registered what could be the biggest upset of the tournament by shocking top seed Liman of Serbia to sweep Group A, 18-16.  It was a fitting follow up to their opening win over home side Katara, 21-14.

Ironically, it was Serbian Nikola Pavlovic who hit a crucial two-pointer followed by a Joshua Munzon basket that gave Pasig the 17-14 advantage.  Liman then countered with two free throws to slightly threaten but Taylor Statham responded with back to back field goals for the final tally.

Balanga set the tone for the day by dismantling third seed Riga Ghetto of Latvia in Group C, 19-17, and then returned later to upend Moscow Inanomo of Russia in overtime, 20-19.  Balanga was forced to play with only three players after Leonard Santillan got injured early against the Latvians but the rest of the team in Travis Franklin, Alvin Pasaol and Karl Dehesa stepped up with big plays.

Franklin scored 14 points against Riga but it was Pasaol and Dehesa who hit the shots to break away from the game’s final tie at 17-17.  Pasaol would come up with more heroics with the winning two-pointer against the Russians.

The win by Pasig was significant as it avoided a quarterfinal clash with Balanga.  Instead, Pasig will face Latvia while Bataan will take on Liman.

Other quarterfinal pairings will have Group B winner Novi Sad of Serbia against Ljubljana of Slovenia and the other Slovenian entry Piran battling Japan’s Tokyo Dime.  David Carlos of the Philippines will also compete in the Slam Dunk Contest.

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NCRAA26: April 16 Volleyball Opening Day Recap

NCBA Lady Wildcats want back to back NCRAA Volleyball crowns.

#NCRAA26     QUEZON CITY – Defending Women’s Division champion National College of Business and Arts opened the 26th National Capital Region Athletic Association (NCRAA) Volleyball tournaments on a high note by disposing of newcomer Centro Escolar University in four sets, 25-15, 25-17, 27-29 and 25-18 at the NCBA-Fairview Gym Tuesday.  Last season’s runner-up De La Salle University-Dasmarinas also opened their drive with a sweep of Asian Institute of Maritime Studies, 25-13, 25-13 and 25-17.

After breezing through the first two sets, Coach Ernesto Balubar decided to give his second stringers more playing time in the third set and still gave the multi-titled Lady Scorpions a tough time before falling and extending the match to a fourth set wherein the starters returned to finish the job.  In the other Women’s encounter, another rookie team Immaculada Concepcion College opened the day’s hostilities with a grinding four-setter over Olivarez College, 25-23, 22-25, 28-26 and 25-21.

Over in the Men’s Division, Philippine Merchant Marine School dropped the first two sets but recovered in time to subdue AIMS in a five-set marathon, 19-25, 22-25, 25-16, 28-26 and 17-15.  DLSU-D then welcomed CEU to the NCRAA with a three-set sweep, 25-20, 25-20 and 25-19, while NCBA took care of Emilio Aguinaldo College-Cavite in the nightcap, 25-17, 25-19 and 26-24.

NCRAA Volleyball action will resume after the Holy Week break with defending Men’s Division champion PATTS College of Aeronautics hosting Pasig Catholic College on April 23 at the A. R. Valdez Hall.  The Seahorses-Crusaders match will be followed by a heavy five-game bill in the Women’s Division.

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NCRAA26: April 15 Juniors Recap

Only four schools are left in contention for the 26th NCRAA Juniors Basketball crown.

#NCRAA26     PASIG CITY – National College of Business and Arts needed overtime to claim the fourth and final spot in the semifinals of the 26th National Capital Region Athletic Association (NCRAA) Juniors Basketball Tournament at the expense of Immaculada Concepcion College, 90-88, at the Saint Joseph Gymnasium of Pasig Catholic College Monday.  The other three semifinal seats were secured via blowouts with Lyceum of the Philippines University –Laguna, Immaculate Concepcion Academy-EAC and Saint Francis of Assisi College stamping their class over their respective rivals.

Pint-size Matthew John Sayson sent the game into overtime with a triple at the buzzer, 80-80.  From there, NCBA’s veterans went to work with Aeron Verbo completing a three-point play followed by a Jonash Villas basket that gave them the 85-81 lead which they never relinquished.

Despite the Blue Hawks’ constant threats, the Junior Wildcats always had an answer with big boy Mark Froilan Nebre converting a crucial put back then helped seal the deal via the free throw line along with Sayson for a three-point advantage with five seconds remaining, 90-87.  NCBA then held their breath as Derec Jensen Jovellanos fouled Ray Brian Aviles at 1.6-second mark but he split his shots and time expired with the ensuing scramble for the loose ball.

ICA-EAC maintained their perfect record by repeating over Philippine Merchant Marine School, 91-73.  Center Genzi Justin Pascual scored the first eight points of the third period to break the game wide open, 53-35, and Reynante Guinto added 12 more points for an unassailable 71-51 edge entering the fourth period.

Jolo Sumagaysay topped the Brigadiers with 19 points.  Guinto finished with 16 points as they remained undefeated in five games.

LPU-Laguna looked to end the game early as Lean Benedict Acosta set the tone by scoring the first seven points en route to the 94-80 cakewalk over De La Salle University-Dasmarinas.  Acosta eventually outscored the entire Junior Patriots in the first period with 14 as the Junior Pirates led for good, 31-12.

Acosta returned for spot duty in the remaining three periods and ended up with 29 points.  Jan Derick Villarez struggled in the first period but recovered to finish with 19 points while Diether John Solisa added 14.

Saint Francis also did not waste time in eliminating home squad Pasig Catholic College, 91-65.  John Matthew Santos was his usual prolific self in powering their 21-3 jackrabbit start and at several instances had more points than the entire Junior Crusaders.

Santos had another monster effort with 34 points.  Also provided firepower were Michael Angelo David and John Razen Serdon with 18 and 15 respectively.

The semifinal pairings will be LPU-Laguna against Saint Francis and NCBA versus ICA-EAC.  The games will be hosted by the Junior Wildcats on April 22 after the Holy Week break.

How They Scored:

First Game

ICA-EAC (91) – Sumagaysay 19, Guinto 16, Sollestre 11, Uson 9, Quirap 8, Pascual 8, Murillo 6, Tan 4, Avila 4, Lozano 3, Quebral 3, Felicidario 0, Santiago 0.

P M M S (73) – de la Cruz 22, Urbayo 16, Abitan 15, Cabauatan 9, Sierra 6, E Tatad 4, Mata 1, Aleligay 0, Cantoria 0, Libay 0, Tabuco 0, Irlandez 0, Alburo 0.

Period Scores: 19-19, 45-35, 71-51, 91-73.

Second Game

LYCEUM-LAGUNA (94) – Acosta 29, Viillarez 19, Solisa 14, Rodriguez 10, Cacas 6, Danta 6, Geneciran 6, Aragones 4, Gupo 0, Ignacio 0, Navarro 0, Barnizo 0, Agustin 0.

DLSU-DASMARINAS (80) – Blasquino 16, Singh 12, Bunda 11, Villa 11, Mercado 6, Borja 6, Oliveros 6, Calaustro 5, Reyes 3, Grantusa 2, Semilla 1, Taban 1, Nadres 0, Dimapawi 0, Anacay 0, Rojales 0, Laplana 0, Palmes 0.

Period Scores: 31-12, 55-37, 77-54, 94-80.

Third Game

SAINT FRANCIS (91) – Santos 34, David 18, Serdon 15, Paglinawan 9, Donis 4, Yan 3, Arqueza 2, Malabanan 2, Alghanim 2, Merciales 2, Victoriano  0, Balido 0, Trinidad 0.

PASIG CATHOLIC (65) – Garsula 12, Salonga 10, Pizarro 9, Samson 9, Cruz 7, Abuan 6, Estil 6, Ballesteros 4, Montero 2, Taguba 0, Calderon 0.

Period Scores: 32-13, 59-30, 78-48, 91-65.

Fourth Game

N C B A (90) – Sayson 22, Verbo 16, Nebre 13, Villas 9, Dado 7, Tica 6, G Reyes 5, Elli 4, Jovellanos 2, Beljera 2, Casihan 2, Luceno 2.

IMMACULADA CONCEPCION (88) – Guillermo 33, Namol 12, Grado 10, Estrella 9, Aviles 8, Jamera 7, Misa 3, Rueco 2, Moana 2, Zacate 2, Torio 0, Priela 0, Marzan 0.

Period Scores: 21, 44, 62, 80-80 (reg.), 90-88 (OT).

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Philippines To Shock 3X3 World Tour

Pasig and Balanga are ready to shock the 3X3 World in Doha. (JF)

THE RENAMED Pasig Chooks and Balanga Chooks are all ready to represent the Philippines in the FIBA 3X3 World Tour Masters set for April 18 to 19 in Doha, Qatar.  This is the first time in four years that the country is competing in what is considered the world’s highest level for professional clubs and they will go all out to shock the world.

Pasig earned their slot by ruling the inaugural Chooks To Go Pilipinas 3X3 President’s Cup last March 31.  The former Grindhouse Kings-Pasig will be bannered by stalwarts Joshua Munzon, Taylor Statham, import Nikola Pavlovic from Serbia and new acquisition Angelo Tsagarakis, a 6’3” veteran of France’s 3X3 national team.

On the other, Balanga will field exactly the same roster that finished runner-up in the recent Chooks To Go 3X3 Asia Pacific Super Quest where they punched their ticket April 7 as the 1Bataan Risers.  Familiarity will be the edge of the quartet of Alvin Pasaol, Leonard Santillan, Karl Dehesa and American Travis Franklin.

“We are willing to lend all of our players to the national team especially for the coming Southeast Asian Games,” said Pilipinas 3X3 owner Ronald Mascarinas during a recent send off party he tendered for the teams.  Despite being in existence for only two months, the pioneering 3X3 league has helped raise the Philippines’ FIBA 3X3 ranking to 32nd or 17 notches better than the 49th rank at the start of 2019.

The tournament format in Doha will be the same as the Super Quest wherein the 12 teams will be divided into four groups of three and play a single round elimination.  The top two from each group will advance to the knockout playoffs on the second day.

A big challenge faces Pasig as they have been assigned to Group A together with top seed Liman of Serbia and Katara of host Qatar.  Balanga finds themselves in Group B in the company of Riga Ghetto of Latvia and Moscow Inanomo of Russia.

Super Quest champions Tokyo Dime of Japan is in Group B along with another home team Doha and Novi Sad of Serbia that will parade the world’s top-ranked 3X3 player Dusan Bulut.  Group D has a pair of teams from Slovenia in Piran and Ljubljana to tangle with Mount Royal McGill of Canada.

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NCRAA26: April 12 Juniors Recap

The elimination round is over, get ready for the 26th NCRAA Juniors Playoffs!

#NCRAA26     DASMARINAS CITY – The quarterfinal pairings for the 26th National Capital Region Athletic Association (NCRAA) Juniors Division is now complete at the close of the elimination round Friday at the Ugnayang La Salle.  Immaculate Conception Academy-EAC formally swept Group A with their fourth win in a row over Pasig Catholic College, 88-79, while Group B’s Immaculada Concepcion College worked hard to overcome the resistance of home team De La Salle University-Dasmarinas, 97-81.

The trio of Jolo Sumagaysay, Eigen Quebral and Bling Murillo took turns at leading the initial offense as the Brigadiers held full control.  Not even a late scoring rally anchored on Julius Garsula was enough.

Sumagaysay led all scorers with 20 points followed by Murillo with 15.  Reynante Guinto put in 12 of his 14 in the second half while burly Genzi Justin Pascual added 11.

Immaculada Concepcion took advantage of their height and physicality for an eye-popping 38 points in the first period alone as the Junior Patriots resorted to giving up 11 fouls to slow down the game but to no avail.  The Blue Hawks were coasting to the win and kept enough spunk to stymie a third period rally led by Ronroy Bunda, Amrit Singh and Rasheed Taban.

Tall boys Kenneth Grado and Gabriel Guillermo frolicked against their smaller defenders for 28 and 27 points respectively.  Two other equally tall frontliners were next with Lawrence Marzan chipping in 13 off the bench followed by John Dofelle Jamera with 12.

The Group A pairings will have ICA-EAC (4-0) versus Philippine Merchant Marine School (1-3) and Saint Francis of Assisi College (3-1) versus Pasig Catholic (2-2).  Group B will see top seed Lyceum of the Philippines University-Laguna (3-0) tackling DLSU-D (0-3) and ICC (2-1) testing National College of Business and Arts (1-2).

The quarterfinals will be a straight knockout affair and will be played on Monday (April 15) at the Saint Joseph Gymnasium of Pasig Catholic.  The tournament will then break for the Holy Week and resume with the semifinals on April 22 at NCBA-Fairview followed by the championship game on April 24 back at PCC.

How They Scored:

First Game

ICA-EAC (88) – Sumagaysay 20, Murillo 15, Guinto 14, Pascual 11, Quebral 8, Tan 4, Quirap 4, Uson 3, Avila 3, Sollestre 2, Lozano 2, Roxas 2, Santiago 0.

PASIG CATHOLIC (79) – Estil 16, Garsula 14, Samson 13, Cruz 9, Pizarro 8, Montero 8, Salonga 6, Biaco 3, Ballesteros 2, Taguba 0.

Period Scores: 20-18, 46-36, 69-57, 88-79.

Second Game

IMMACULADA CONCEPCION (97) – Grado 28, Guillermo 27, Marzan 13, Jamera 12, Namol 7, Torio 3, Misa 3, Moana 2, Zacate 2, Rueco 0, Estrella 0, Priela 0, Aviles 0.

DLSU-DASMARINAS (81) – Bunda 14, Singh 13, Calaustro 11, Taban 11, Borja 9, Nadres 4, Blasquino 4, Dimapawi 4, Palmes 4, Oliveros 3, Anacay 2, Reyes 2, Rojales 0, Mercado 0, Semilla 0.

Period Scores: 38-20, 58-31, 81-64, 97-81.

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NCRAA26: April 10 Juniors Recap

Second straight day of 26th NCRAA action at NCBA in Fairview.

#NCRAA26    QUEZON CITY – Lyceum of the Philippines University-Laguna completed a sweep of Group B of the 26th National Capital Region Athletic Association (NCRAA) Juniors Basketball tournament after an inspiring victory on the road over home team National College of Business and Arts, 77-64, Wednesday afternoon.  The penultimate day of the eliminations also saw Saint Francis of Assisi College and Pasig Catholic College register major wins to enhance their playoff bids in Group A.

     The Junior Pirates set the tone early by grabbing the first period, 22-7.  Despite fouls plaguing their key players, the Junior Wildcats tried to claw back but timely hits by Lean Benedict Acosta in the fourth period kept the safe distance.

     Acosta scored eight of his team-best 18 points in the final minutes.  Jan Derick Villarez followed with 15 and John Philip Rodriguez added 13 as they now await their quarterfinal opponent for this coming Monday at the Saint Joseph Gymnasium of Pasig Catholic College.

      Pasig Catholic survived the early ejection of Coach Segundo de la Cruz for the hard-earned 89-70 beating of Philippine Merchant Marine School.  Coach de la Cruz got tossed with 4:11 to go in the first period for back to back technical fouls thus handing the coaching mantle to team captain and point guard Chean Cruz.

     Aside from coaching, Cruz gave the Junior Crusaders a big lift with two booming triples in the fourth period to spark their breakaway.  Big boys Angelo Salonga and Sonny Estil then helped put the finishing touches on their second win in three games.

     Randolph Abuan only had a basket in the fourth but still paced Pasig Catholic with 21 points.  Estil added 19 and Stephen Kobe Samson chipped in 16.

     Meanwhile, Saint Francis opened the day’s action with a 145-61 massacre of Integrated School of Science-AIMS.  Guard John Matthew Santos was all over the court and at times outscored the entire AIMS side that played with five players until a sixth man arrived in the fourth.

     Santos returned late in the game to close his scoring account at 40 points.  John Razen Serdon dropped 17 points all in the first half while Eli Rae Yan finished the rout with 16 mostly in the fourth canto.

How They Scored:

First Game

     SAINT FRANCIS (145) – Santos 40, Serdon 17, Yan 16, Merciales 11, Donis 10, Alghanim 10, Arqueza 8, Victoriano 8, Paglinawan 8, David 6, Trinidad 6, Malabanan 5, Balido 0.

     IS-AIMS (61) – Lozano 19, Sapuan 18, Emata 9, Cuba 7, Arguilles 5, Duque 3.

    Period Scores: 37-12, 76-20, 109-48, 145-61.

Second Game

     PASIG CATHOLIC (89) – Abuan 21, Estil 19, Samson 16, Cruz 13, Salonga 7, Garsula 5, Montero 3, Taguba 3, Ballesteros 2, Calderon 0.

     P M M S (70) – Abitan 19, Cabauatan 15, de la Cruz 10, Tabuco 9, Mata 6, E Tatad 4, Alburo 4, Sierra 3, Cantoria 0, Urbayo 0, Libay 0, Irlandez 0.

     Period Scores: 17-15, 39-35, 61-56, 89-70.

Third Game

     LYCEUM-LAGUNA (77) – Acosta 18, Villarez 15, Rodriguez 13, Solisa 11, Cacas 9, Geneciran 6, Danta 4, Gupo 1, Ignacio 0, Aragones 0. Canillas 0.

     N C B A (64) – Villas 15, Verbo 12, Sayson 11, Jovellanos 6, Ozarraga 6, Nebre 5, Dado 4, G Reyes 3, Casihan 2, Elli 0, Tica 0, Luceno 0.

     Period Scores: 22-7, 35-28, 59-44, 77-64.

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