A Dozen Of FilOil Flying V

FilOil defending champions San Beda University – new name but just as potent.

     The 12th edition of the FilOil Flying V Premier Cup, the preeminent preseason tournament for NCAA and UAAP schools, opens on April 21 with a doubleheader at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan City.  Fans are sure to look forward to seeing again their favorite collegiate stars while putting focus on a fresh crop of rookies and transferees.

As an added attraction for this year, the Gilas Pilipinas Cadets will be participating as part of their build up for tournaments leading to the 2023 FIBA World Cup which the country is co-hosting with Japan and Indonesia.  Gilas will be bannered by Kobe Paras, Ricci Rivero and a bunch of the best young hoops talents to be coached by Joseph Uichico.

A quick acid test awaits them in the person of reigning UAAP champion Ateneo de Manila University in the day’s main game at 6:30 PM.  Action is expected to be tight as the Blue Eagles will draw power from the likes of Thirdy Ravena, twin brothers Matthew and Mike Nieto and big Isaac Go with former national coach Tab Baldwin calling the shots.

A simple opening ceremony will be held at 4:00 PM.  This will immediately be followed by the clash between De La Salle University and University of the Philippines at 4:30 PM.

Fans will get to see the extent of DLSU’s preparations under new coach Louie Gonzalez.  The Green Archers will try to extend their winning ways despite the exit of several key players most notably former UAAP Most Valuable Player Benoit Mbala.

If DLSU lost their prized foreign student, UP is agog with the debut of Bright Akhuetie who sat out a year after transferring from University of Perpetual Help System-Dalta.  The Nigerian behemoth will get a lot of support from veterans Paul Desiderio, Juan Gomez de Liano, Jun Manzo and Diego Dario.

DLSU, Ateneo, UP and Gilas are part of Group A together with defending FilOil and NCAA champion San Beda University, National University, Mapua University, University of Perpetual Help System-Dalta, University of the East and Emilio Aguinaldo College.  Group B consists of Far Eastern University, Adamson University, Arellano University, Jose Rizal University, Lyceum of the Philippines University, Colegio de San Juan de Letran, College of Saint Benilde, San Sebastian College and University of Santo Tomas.

The teams will play their group mates once with the top four in each group advancing to the knockout playoffs.  The championship game is scheduled for June 25.

There will also be action in the Juniors Division with defending champion Malayan High School of Science leading Group A along with UAAP champion Ateneo de Manila, NCAA champion La Salle Green Hills and perennial powerhouse San Beda College-Rizal in a virtual group of death.  Group B has Far Eastern University, Nazareth School of National University, Colegio de San Juan de Letran and CeSAFI champion Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu which is competing for the very first time.

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MILO Launches Free Sports Programs

#BuildChampions     MILO PHILIPPINES recently launched a pair of projects that sure to fire up the summer in the MILO Champ Champ and Barangay MILO Liga.  An estimated one million schoolchildren are expected to reap the benefits of these twin programs.

MILO Champ Champ is a grassroots sports program held in cooperation with the Department of Education wherein elementary school pupils will be taught the basics of popular sports Basketball, Volleyball and Football while also involving their parents who will be given insights on how to sustain the gains from the trainings.  The program is set to be implemented in 300 public schools in key cities nationwide with the DepEd providing competent coaches and trainers.

For Barangay MILO Liga, 300 Basketball courts from all over the country will be rehabilitated with fresh paint and equipment.  The court will thus be transformed into a “MILO Court of Values.”

The games already began last month and are expected to culminate by May with the local championships.  Aside from Basketball, such facilities may also be used for Volleyball and Futsal for those areas without a proper Football pitch.

“MILO is proud to kick off these two latest additions to our growing portfolio of grassroots sports programs which will be offered for free,” said Nestle Philippines Vice President Willy de Ocampo.  “It is our hope that by reaching out to the different public schools and barangays around the country that more parents and kids will realize the value of sports and ultimately build a nation of champions.”

It has always been MILO’s advocacy to get more children involved into sports.  These two programs are expected to expand the reach of the programs by targeting other economic strata – you can never tell that the next Filipino sports icon is waiting to be discovered in some remote mountain barangay in a faraway province.

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AMA Sweeps NCRAA Juniors

AMA University Junior Titans, 25th NCRAA Juniors Division champions!

#NCRAA25     PASIG CITY – AMA University was crowned as Juniors Basketball champion of the 25th Sta. Lucia Land National Capital Region Athletic Association (NCRAA) after surviving the tough challenge of New Era University, 79-74, at the Saint Joseph Gym of Pasig Catholic College Friday the 13th.  The Junior Titans thus completed their return season to league going undefeated through all their six games.

The Junior Titans had to work extra hard in the final four minutes to overturn a 64-73 deficit with a closing 15-4 run anchored on a pair of triples from Karl Bautista and inside forays of Christian Germino, who gave AMA the go-ahead points via a close stab at the 49-second mark, 74-73.  The Junior Hunters would tie the game one last time ion a free throw split from Hardee Laroa before Germino would give back the lead to AMA with a leaner, 76-74, and 28 ticks to play.

The Junior Hunters had one more chance to recover but Justin Arlo Moncawe’s attempt giving them no choice but to foul Bautista who then sank both free throws for a solid 78-74 advantage with 10 seconds to go.  AMA’s defense then went to work as forced New Era to miss two straight attempts with Germino grabbing the rebound and fittingly settling the final tally with a free throw.

The 25th NCRAA Juniors Mythical Five: de la Cruz, Santos, Germino, Zomil and Bautista.

Germino was eventually chosen as the tournament’s Most Valuable Player.  Joining him in the Mythical Five where Bautista, Jhonrick Zomil and Jeye Cyrus de la Cruz of New Era and John Matthew Santos of Saint Francis of Assisi College.

Bautista led the way for AMA with 24 points.  Germino was next with 18 while Zesther Nave finished with 15.

De la Cruz topped the Junior Hunters with 26 points followed by Moncawe with 13 and Malabanan with 12.  The usually prolific Zomil picked up two early fouls and was forced to sit for extended stretches thus limiting him to only eight markers.

NCRAA President Patrick Nolasco of Philippine Merchant Marine School handed out the awards together with General Manager Manuel “Buddy” Encarnado and Coach Luis Monfort of Saint Francis.  Coach Edwin Ancheta received the trophy on behalf of AMA who returned to the NCRAA this academic year after a long leave of absence.

Meanwhile, Saint Francis opened with a 19-0 and that was enough to bring home Third Place at the expense of deposed champion National College of Business and Arts, 94-69.  Santos and Jomar Ignacio powered the Junior Doves with 23 markers each.

How They Scored:


AMA (79) – Bautista 24, Germino 18, Nave 15, Catorce 8, Magada 4, Baclig 4, Lumaque 2, Sabile 2, Camay 2, Jocson 0, Martin 0, Ortega 0.

NEW ERA (74) – J de la Cruz 26, Moncawe 13, Malabanan 12, Zomil 8, Laroa 7, Santos 4, Olvinar 2, Sardenia 2, Cuaresma 0, Delen 0, Coquia 0, Gopio 0, Villacrucis 0.

Period Scores: 23-20, 38-38, 56-57, 79-74.

For Third Place

SAINT FRANCIS (94) – Santos 23, Ignacio 23, David 12, Pavia 8, Joaquin 7, Serdon 6, Baptista 5, Balido 5, Paglinawan 3, Arqueza 2, Flores 0, Donis 0, Yan 0, Callao 0.

NCBA (69) – Basilio 26, Reyna 12, Verbo 10, Reyes 9, Sayson 8, Nebre 2, de Vega 2, Beljera 0, Ballad 0, Robles 0.

Period Scores: 34-8, 57-23, 79-47, 94-69.

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DLSU-D New NCRAA Hoops Queens

DLSU-D Lady Patriots rise from worst to the best in the 25th NCRAA!

#NCRAA25     PASIG CITY – De La Salle University-Dasmarinas completed its ascent from worst to first as the Lady Patriots annexed the 25th Sta. Lucia Land National Capital Region Athletic Association (NCRAA) Women’s Division championship over  a very tough Emilio Aguinaldo College-Cavite, 71-63, Friday the 13th at the Saint Joseph Gym of Pasig Catholic College.  The wards of Coach Tito Reyes swept all their six games, a far cry from the team that finished fifth and dead last a season ago.

It was total domination for the Lady Patriots save for a hiccup in the second period that saw the Lady Vanguard seize control on five straight points from Jade Valenzuela, 25-24.  DLSU-D responded with playmaker Diane Reyes, who would later be named as tournament Most Valuable Player, teaming up with fellow Mythical Five member Mariel Campasa to restore order by halftime, 37-32.

Suddenly, the Lady Patriots’ surge hit a snag as Campasa rolled her ankle in the opening minutes of the third canto and never returned.  That was the cue for Reyes to step up further and got great support from Agatha Martha Azarcon and Claudine Fiel in breaking down the Lady Vanguard further.

Reyes then capped her game-long brilliance with a dagger triple at the one-minute mark to give the Lady Patriots an unassailable 67-57 advantage.  Still, the Lady Vanguard refused to fold with Valenzuela hitting a pair of triples but it proved a bit too late as Azarcon and Reyes iced the championship from the free throw line.

Reyes finished with a grand total of 22 points.  Azarcon added 19 from the center position as she battled the EAC bigs who stood almost a head taller than her while Fiel chipped in 12 mostly through fastbreak layups on precise outlet passes from Reyes.

Valenzuela led all scorers with 28 points.  Justine Palomillo came off the bench to add 12 followed by Miel Loremia with 11 but it was not enough as the Lady Vanguard finished in Second Place for the second year in a row.

25th NCRAA Women’s Mythical Five: Reyes, Campasa, Castillo, Ranoco and Valenzuela.

Joining Reyes and Campasa in the Mythical Team were Valenzuela and her teammate Rosanelle Ranoco and Philippine Merchant Marine School’s Ciara Castillo.  Awarding the trophies were NCRAA President Patrick Nolasco of PMMS, Coach Luis Monfort of Saint Francis of Assisi College and General Manager Manuel “Buddy” Encarnado who announced that the league’s best female ballers will be tapped for a 3X3 tournament in Malaysia this coming July.

Earlier, PMMS salvaged Third Place over University of Makati, 83-58.  Elsie Bolo paced the Lady Mariners with 21 points followed by Emily Dumago with 17.

How They Scored:


DLSU-DASMARINAS (71) – Reyes 22, Azarcon 19, Fiel 12, Cuyom 8, Campasa 8, Visitacion 2, Perlado 0, Famoso 0.

EAC-CAVITE (63) – Valenzuela 28, Palomillo 12, Loremia 11, Ranoco 5, Coronado 3, Orina 2, Brobio 2, Gabriana 0.

Period Scores: 19-10, 37-32, 56-48, 71-63.

For Third Place

PMMS (83) – Bolo 21, Dumago 17, Castillo 11, de la Cuesta 11, Suela 7, Malig-on 6, Herance 6, Abarra 2, Ogbac 2, Ilano 0, Munar 0, Escol 0.

MAKATI (58) – A Sarmenta 17, Espiritu 15, Pineda 11, Tadeo 6, Veras 4, Aceret 2, Pezcoso 2, Bande 1, de la Fuente 0, Penaflor 0, Marquez 0, Yumul 0.

Period Scores: 20-10, 38-16, 61-34, 83-58.

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NCRAA25: April 12 Women’s/Juniors Recap

#NCRAA25     PASIG CITY – It will be New Era University versus AMA University for the 25th Sta. Lucia Land National Capital Region Athletic Association (NCRAA) Juniors Basketball championship after they successfully hurdled their semifinal opponents Thursday at the Saint Joseph Gym of Pasig Catholic College. The one-game finale will be played immediately on Friday at the same venue starting at 2:15 PM.

AMA dethroned a shorthanded National College of Business and Arts, 81-77, with Christian Germino providing the crucial points and Karl Bautista shooting steadily from the free throw line as they averted a major collapse in the fourth period.  Bautista paced the Junior Titans with 28 points while Germino added 17 as the Junior Wildcats missed key players who were suspended after getting ejected in the highly-emotional quarterfinal against EAC-ICA.

New Era leaned on the game-long brilliance of Jhonrick Zomil to eliminate Saint Francis of Assisi College, 81-78.  Zomil shattered the game’s last deadlock with a basket with 25 ticks left, 75-73, then split his free throws at the 11-second mark as the team held their breath until Jomar Ignacio’s triple attempt at the buzzer missed.

Zomil had his best game of the tournament thus far with 34 markers.  He was ably supported by Jeye Cyrus de la Cruz and Mark Joshua Malabanan with 17 and 12 respectively.

Meanwhile, it will be an all-Cavite battle for the Women’s Division between De La Salle University-Dasmarinas and Emilio Aguinaldo College-Cavite.  It will also be a one-game finale just at 12:30 PM.

DLSU-D managed to settle the score early as Mariel Campasa and Diane Reyes began scoring from all angles over a very game University of Makati, 98-55.  Coach Tito Reyes then had the luxury of resting his stars and preserving them for the all-important game.

Campasa finished with 29 points while Reyes backed her up with 22.  The Lady Patriots also drew contributions from Agatha Martha Azarcon with 14 and Claudine Fiel with 11.

The Lady Vanguard barged into the finals after rallying to frustrate Philippine Merchant Marine School, 81-78.  Jade Valenzuela assisted Aizen Brobio for the winning basket at the 15-second mark, 80-78, and PMMS flubbed their next possession forcing them to send Rosanelle Ranoco to the line for a free throw split and the final tally.

Valenzuela’s winning assist capped her team-best 19-point performance while Miel Loremia hit six triples for a total of 18 points.  Ranoco and Justine Palomillo followed with 12 points each.

Before the championship games, the semifinal losers in both the Women’s and Juniors Divisions will play for Third Place.  The NCRAA will also name the best individual performers.

How They Scored:

First Game (Women)

DLSU-DASMARINAS (98) – Campasa 29, Reyes 22, Azarcon 14, Fiel 11, Cuyom 8, Perlado 5, Visitacion 4, Famoso 3, No 2.

MAKATI (55) – A Sarmenta 18, Pineda 14, Aceret 6, Marquez 5, Alba 4, Veras 4, Bande 2, Yumul 2, Tadeo 0, de la Fuente 0, Z Sarmenta 0, Penaflor 0.

Period Scores: 28-18, 56-30, 84-43, 98-55.

Second Game (Women)

EAC-CAVITE (81) – Valenzuela 19, Loremia 18, Ranoco 12, Palomillo 12, Brobio 11, Gabriana 4, Perez 3, Coronado 2, Bas 0.

PMMS (78) – Castillo 21, Malig-on 12, Herance 12, de la Cuesta 10, Dumago 9, Ilano 8, Bolo 6, Abarra 0.

Period Scores: 16-27, 34-41, 47-56, 81-78.

Third Game (Juniors)

AMA (81) – Bautista 28, Germino 17, Catorce 14, Nave 8, Lumaque 4, Jocson 4, Magada 2, Baclig 2, Ortega 2, Sabile 0, Martin 0, Camay 0.

NCBA (77) – Aculana 23, Verbo 16, Cortez 12, Reyes 9, Ramos 9, Casihan 4, Nebre 2, Diaz 2, Ballad 0, de Vega 0, Sayson 0.

Period Scores: 24-15, 46-34, 61-58, 81-77.

Fourth Game (Juniors)

NEW ERA (76) – Zomil 34, J de la Cruz 17, Malabanan 12, Santos 7, G de la Cruz 2, Laroa 2, Moncawe 2, Olvinar 0, Cuaresma 0, Gopio 0, Ladera 0, Villacrucis 0.

SAINT FRANCIS (73) – Ignacio 20, Santos 17, Serdon 10, Baptista 9, David 5, Balido 4, Joaquin 3, Paglinawan 3, Flores 2, Arqueza 0, Donis 0.

Period Scores: 15-16, 35-39, 64-54, 76-73.

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PBA D-League: Zark’s d. CEU, 82-77

2018 Aspirants Cup     PASIG CITY – Zark’s Burger advanced to the semifinals of the 2018 PBA D-League Aspirants Cup by completing their upset of favored Centro Escolar University, 82-77, in the lone game Thursday at the Ynares Sports Arena.  The Jawbreakers put up a dizzying fourth period run anchored on Mer Jesper Ayaay to beat the Scorpions for the second game in a row and set up a date with the waiting Marinerong Pilipino Skippers.

Art Patrick Aquino and Rich Guinitaran opened up the fourth period with a basket and triple respectively to up the Scorpions lead, 70-56.  Suddenly, Zark’s woke up and slowly cut into their deficit with Ayaay finally tying the score for the first time since the first period, 74-74, followed by a fastbreak layup from Raymar Caduyac entering the final two minutes for the game’s final lead change, 76-74.

CEU never recovered as they missed crucial free throws which were quickly answered by clutch hits from Jayvee Marcelino, including the final basket at the buzzer.  Zark’s took the series opener last Tuesday at the Pasig Sports Center, 104-95.

Jayvee Marcelino topped the Jawbreakers with 17 points while Ayaay had seven of his 15 points coming the third period.  Also hitting big were Mike Harry Nzeusseu with 12 points and 16 rebounds and Jaycee Marcelino with 10 markers.

The Scorpions led by as high as 18 in the first period, 30-12, after an 11-0 run.  Rodrigue Ebondo paced CEU with 22 points and 16 rebounds followed by Aquino with 16 points and 11 rebounds.

The other semifinal series will feature top seed Akari against Che’Lu Bar.  Both series will be best of three affairs.

How They Scored:

ZARK’S BURGER (82) – JV Marcelino 17, Ayaay 15, Nzeusseu 12, JC Marcelino 10, Perez 8, Tansingco 6, Caduyac 5, Serrano 4, Yong 3, Pretta 2, Ibanez 0, Cinco 0.

CENTRO ESCOLAR (77) – Ebondo 22, Aquino 16, Wamar 11, Guinitaran 10, Cruz 6, Fuentes 4, Caballero 3, Manlangit 3, Arim 2, Chan 0, Galinato 0, Intic 0, Veron 0.

Period Scores: 15-30, 37-46, 56-65, 82-77.

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NCRAA25: April 10 Women’s/Juniors Recap

#NCRAA25     PASIG CITY – Defending champion National College of Business and Arts advanced to the semifinals of the 25th Sta. Lucia Land National Capital Region Athletic Association (NCRAA) Juniors Division after a very physical contest against EAC-Immaculate Conception Academy, 95-80, Tuesday at the Saint Joseph Gym inside Pasig Catholic College. The Junior Wildcats had to come from behind but the victory came at cost as a pair of key players were thrown out and may miss the one-game semifinal.

Starter Emon Basilio and sixth man Aaron Reyna plus EAC-ICA’s Ron Avery Encila figured in separate incidents to get the boot just as NCBA was sewing up the victory.  The Junior Wildcats banked on the game-long effort of guard Kenneth Cortez as he scattered 22 points while getting major backup from fellow starters Aeron Verbo with 17 and JM Aculana with 14.

The defending champions will next meet undefeated AMA University, who advanced by flattening De La Salle University-Dasmarinas in the day’s opener, 77-64.  Christian Germino and Karl Bautista combined for 10 points each in the critical second period wherein the Junior Titans seized control and never looked back.

Germino was not yet done as he added 11 more in the third to finish with a total of 23 points.  Bautista followed with 18 points.

The other semifinal fixture will pit New Era University and Saint Francis of Assisi College who disposed of their quarterfinal opponents in contrasting fashion.  Saint Francis had to dig deep in its arsenal to put away University of Makati, 93-88.

The Junior Doves, last season’s runner-up to the Junior Wildcats, nearly paid dearly for their poor start as the Junior Herons played inspired to jump to a 24-12 lead.  However, Saint Francis began to assert their height advantage and scoring machine John Matthew Santos went to work by pumping in 26 points with help from Razen Serdon and Jomar Ignacio who combined for 35 points.

The Junior Hunters wasted no time in eliminating winless Asian Institute of Maritime Studies, 110-80.  After the starters did they work, Coach Renato Echavez allowed his role players to get more exposure as they coasted to the victory with Mark Joshua Malabanan and Jeye Cyrus de la Cruz top scoring with 21 points each.

Meanwhile, the Women’s Division Final Four will also get underway on Thursday still at PCC.  Undefeated DLSU-Dasmarinas takes on University of Makati at 9:00 AM followed immediately by EAC-Cavite versus Philippine Merchant Marine School at 10:45 AM.

How They Scored:

First Game

AMA (77) – Germino 23, Bautista 18, Nave 16, Catorce 9, Magada 6, Camay 3, Sayat 2, Jocson 0, Lumaque 0, Lacsi 0, Sabile 0, Baclig 0.

DLSU-DASMARINAS (64) – Stephenson 11, Cervantes 11, Blasquino 7, Nadres 7, Miranda 6, Quimpo 6, Ramirez 4, Maliksi 3, Calaustro 3, Rinoza 2, Suasba 2, Villa 2, Dizon 0, Dimapawi 0, Balomaga 0.

Period Scores: 12-16, 38-37, 54-46, 77-64.

Second Game

SAINT FRANCIS (93) – Santos 26, Serdon 19, Ignacio 16, David 14, Balido 11, Paglinawan 4, Donis 3, Baptista 0, Flores 0, Pavia 0.

MAKATI (88) – Agustin 26, Bariso 24, Daza 13, Sumodobila 10, Jaime 7, Queliza 3, Caraggayan 3, Bunye 2, Cuaycong 0, Ibesate 0.

Period Scores: 12-24, 35-39, 67-61, 93-88.

Third Game

NEW ERA (110) – Malabanan 21, J de la Cruz 21, Olvinar 11, Santos 10, Moncawe 9, Zomil 9, Sardenia 9, Gopio 8, Ladera 4, Coquia 3, Laroa 2, Villacrucis 2, Cuaresma 1, Balondo 0, Echavez 0.

AIMS-ISS (80) – Flores 20, Penaredonda 17, Lozano 17, Cuba 13, Vargas 8, Nanud 5, Avila 0, Lopez 0.

Period Scores: 32-17, 53-39, 75-57, 110-80.

Fourth Game

NCBA (95) – Cortez 22, Verbo 17, Aculana 14, Diaz 10, Reyna 10, Ramos 7, Basilio 3, Ballad 3, Casihan 2, Nebre 0, Reyes 0, de Vega 0, Sayson 0.

EAC-ICA (80) – Santillan 25, Encila 19, Sullano 12, Camana 7, Quebral 4, Lozano 4, Schroeder 4, Adiao 3, Moldez 2, Anonuevo 0, Lucas 0, Quiales 0, Aguilar 0, Monghit 0.

Period Scores: 18-22, 42-45, 66-63, 95-80.

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