CEU Sweeps 4th NCBL

Add the 4th NCBL to the CEU Scorpions growing trophy collection.

Add the 4th NCBL to the CEU Scorpions’ growing trophy collection.

NCBL_logo     MANILA – Amidst the hostile environment, visiting Centro Escolar University captured the Fourth National Collegiate Basketball League (NCBL) title by taming the host Technological Institute of the Philippines, 75-65, at the TIP-Manila Gym last Tuesday (September 1).  The Scorpions of Coach Edgar Macaraya completed the six-team tournament undefeated in all their 12 games.

Holding a precarious 35-32 lead, the Scorpions responded positively to Coach Macaraya’s halftime huddle as he lashed out at his players for “playing lazy”. Alfred Batino led the charge as he unloaded 15 of his 21 points in the second half on top of five rebounds to earn Freego Best Player of the Finals honors.

TIP’s Roldan Pinas tied the score for the last time, 61-61, via two free throws off JK Casino with 6:40 to go.  Defense again proved to be the key for CEU as they held the Engineers to a solitary free throw in an almost six-minute span while leaving the home fans stunned in disbelief.

Batino, Rodrigue Ebondo and Samboy de Leon delivered the key hits with Jason Opiso capping the Scorpions’ 12-1 run with a booming triple at the 1:05 mark, 73-62.  That proved to be the jugular as TIP continued to fire blanks from the field and de Leon icing the game and the final tally with two free throws.

Ebondo and de Leon submitted 11 and 10 points respectively.  The CEU pair was later named to the tournament’s Freego Mythical Five along with Kim Medina of TIP, Dennis Santos of Manuel L. Quezon University and Von Tambeling of Philippine Christian University.

4th NCBL Freego Mythical Five (L-R): Medina, de Leon, MVP Ebondo, Santos and Tambeling.

4th NCBL Freego Mythical Five (L-R): Medina, de Leon, MVP Ebondo, Santos and Tambeling.

For his excellent play throughout the tournament, Ebondo was selected as the Freego Most Valuable Player.  The exchange student from the Democratic Republic of the Congo regularly churned out double-figures in both points and rebounds.

“This is a result of the players’ hard work,” said Coach Macaraya.  “This is for the students of CEU and the team management who never fails to support us.”

Pinas paced the Engineers of Coach Sebastian de Vera with 12 points.  The trio of Medina, Jemuel Namocatcat and Raymond Alvarado followed with 11 markers each.

This is the second NCBL title for CEU and Coach Macaraya after winning the very first tournament held in March, 2013.  The Scorpions also earned a spot in the coming Philippine Collegiate Champions League (PCCL).

Other members of the champion squad are Alvin Abundo, Aaron Jeruta, Joseph Celso, JM Vargas, Jhan Anunciacion, Joseph Manlangit, Jeremy Gallemit, Rey Telen, Art Patrick Aquino, O’Neal Arim, Kenneth Kurt de Leon, JR Aranas and Sonny Boy Saber.  Coach Macaraya’s assistants coaches are Yong Garcia, Jun Tiongco, Oscar Torres, Jay Cambarihan and Timothy Taclas with athletic trainers Philip Go, Rachel Santos and Alex Almonte.

How They Scored:

CENTRO ESCOLAR (75) – Batino 21, Ebondo 11, S. de Leon 10, Opiso 9, Casino 8, K. de Leon 5, Arim 4, Abundo 3, Jeruta 3, Manlangit 1, Saber 0, Celso 0, Telen 0.

TIP-MANILA (65) – Pinas 12, Namocatcat 11, Medina 11, Alvarado 11, Ibanez 8, Okoronkwo 4, Akpuru 3, Tumalip 3, Alcober 2, Gadon 0, Santos 0.

Period Scores: 12-16, 35-32, 54-53, 75-65.

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Delos Santos, Suazo Blitz Lucena

#BuildChampions     LUCENA CITY – Former MILO Queen Mary Grace delos Santos took the first step at reclaiming her throne by dominating the 39th MILO Marathon Lucena qualifiers last Sunday (August 30) at the SM City Lucena.  The pride of Zamboanga managed to stay toe to toe with the top male runners, including eventual overall winner Ruel Suazo.

A member of the Philippine Air Force, delos Santos literally flew over the 21-kilometer course in a time of 1:25:19, 13 minutes ahead of defending leg champion Janice Tawagin (1:38:56) and Third Place Jeany Rose Hari (1:47:39).  Delos Santos actually checked in as the Eighth overall finisher.

Suazo was last year’s 10-kilometer champion and definitely took his game to the next level.  He clocked 1:13:23 to beat the challenge of Alley Quisay (1:15:29) and Nimrod Cesar (1:19:26).

Both champions went home with trophies and PHP 10,000.00.  They will also lead Lucena’s team of qualifiers to the National Finals set for December 6, 2015 at the SM City Clark in Angeles City, Pampanga.

Delos Santos’ last-minute decision to sign up proved to be right and she vowed to work hard for the finale under the guidance of Coach Roy Vence, himself a six-time MILO King.  Suazo meanwhile bucked an injury to seize the lead at the nine-kilometer mark and never looked back.

Over 11,200 combined runners showed up in all the distance categories, including Mayor Roderick A. Alcala and several local celebrities.  Those that made the Nationals will now have a chance to represent the Philippines in the prestigious 120th Boston Marathon on April 18, 2016.

The MILO Marathon will take a break and resume on September 20 in Iloilo City, marking the start of their swing through Visayas and Mindanao.  For registration and more information, contact Rommel “Jojo” Castro at (033) 333-1111 local 503, (0917) 720-0630 and (0910) 963-9401.

For hosting a qualifier for the second year in a row, selected public school pupils from Lucena and nearby areas received athletic shoes as part of the MILO Marathon’s continuing advocacy.  At least 10,000 pairs are marked for distribution this year alone.

Other Winners: Richard S.L. Salano and Mcgrace Dichoso (10 kilometers), Dah Arom Ramirez and Romea Mae Balleras (five kilometers) and Bruce Christian Esguerra and Geraldine Alarva (three kilometers).

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CEU, TIP Collide For NCBL Crown

NCBL_logo     MANILA – Top seeds Centro Escolar University Scorpions and Technological Institute of the Philippines Engineers advanced to the championship game of the National Collegiate Basketball League (NCBL) via dominating performances against their semifinal opponents last Friday (August 28) at the TIP-Manila Gym.  The finale will be contested on September 1 (Tuesday) at the same venue starting at 10:00 AM.

The Scorpions kept their perfect slate by halting the Philippine Christian University Dolphins, 70-55.  In the first game, the Engineers go the better of the Olivarez College Sea Lions, 61-46.

Leading all the way, CEU went ahead by as much as 23 markers in the third period, 49-26.  Suddenly, the Dolphins woke up and rallied behind the one-two scoring punch of Von Tambeling and Michael Ayonayon, with the latter completing a three-point play to reduce the deficit to only five points at the 9:27 mark of the fourth period, 46-51.

The Scorpions quickly zapped the uprising starting with timely free throws from Aaron Jeruta followed by back to back baskets by JK Casino and Jason Opiso.  Coach Edgar Macaraya then reintroduced his regular starters to finish the job with Rodrigue Ebondo putting an exclamation point with a thundering dunk, 68-55, and 41 seconds left.

Ebondo copped another Freego Best Player citation with 22 points and 13 rebounds.  O’Neal Arim and Samboy de Leon both had a pair of triples to finish with eight points each.

Tambeling paced the Dolphins with 15 points.  Ayonayon was close behind with 14 points.

Cheered on by the home crowd, Chief Engineer Jemuel Namocatcat sank a triple to signal the start of a critical 11-0 run that gave TIP an unassailable 55-39 cushion with 2:50 remaining in the game.  Pruvil Bermudes then shatter the Sea Lions’ almost six-minute silence with a triple but this was quickly answered by another Namocatcat triple just as the two-minute warning sounded, 56-42.

Freego Best Player Namocatcat submitted 11 of his team-best 18 points in the fourth period to key the win for the wards of Coach Sebastian de Vera.  Jay Gadon was next with nine points.

Bermudes paced the Sea Lions with 18 points.  Marvi Bustos, who hit a triple just before the Engineers’ game-clinching run, added 10 points.

Before Tuesday’s championship game, the NCBL will honor the tournament’s best individual performers.  The champion team will also earn the right to be the league’s official representative to the Philippine Collegiate Champions League (PCCL).

CEU won the very first NCBL tournament in March of 2013.  The Scorpions opted not to participate in the second tournament held in October of the same year that was captured by the Engineers.

How They Scored:

First Game

TIP-MANILA (61) – Namocatcat 18, Gadon 9, Akpuru 7, Medina 7, Okoronkwo 4, Tumalip 4, Alcober 4, Pinas 4, Ibanez 3, Santos 1, Lara 0.

OLIVAREZ (46) – Bermudes 18, Bustos 10, Singh 6, Begaso 4, Saguiguit 3, Corneh 2, Labis 2, Magbitang 1, Navarro 0, Tomilloso 0, Andico 0.

Period Scores: 9-8, 24-16, 41-35, 61-46.

Second Game

CENTRO ESCOLAR (70) – Ebondo 22, Arim 8, S. de Leon 8, Opiso 7, Casino 5, Jeruta 4, Gallemit 4, Manlangit 4, Celso 3, Abundo 3, Batino 2, Saber 0, Telen 0.

PHILIPPINE CHRISTIAN (55) – Tambeling 15, Ayonayon 14, Dangca 8, Mescallado 7, Sazon 4, Castro 3, Pallatao 3, Malto 0, Bautista 0, Bayotas 0, Leron 0, Catipay 0, Vasquez 0.

Period Scores: 19-14, 32-20, 51-41, 70-55.

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SBC Beats CSB Again, 89-63

NCAA Season 91     SAN JUAN City – Defending champion San Beda College continued its slow climb up the standings of the 91st National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) basketball tournament by repeating over the College of Saint Benilde, 89-63, in continuing action Friday (August 28) at the San Juan Arena.  The Red Lions are now two for two in the Second Round to up their win-loss mark to 9-2.

Maintaining a seven-point lead at the halftime break, 38-31, the Red Lions made their move in the third as Ranbill Tongco pumped in seven of his 11 points while Art de la Cruz and Donald Tankoua chipped in four apiece to stretch the margin to 20 entering the fourth, 62-42.  Scrub time set in early and San Beda coasted to the victory.

De la Cruz again led the winners with 17 points.  AC Soberano followed with 12 as a total of six of the 13 players fielded by Coach Jamike Jarin scored in double digits to underscore their balanced attack.

JJ Domingo paced the Blazers with 20 points.  Christian Fajarito added 11 points and 10 rebounds while Alfonso Saavedra chipped in 10.

San Beda defeated St. Benilde, 73-67, last July 23. Jonathan Grey, who paced the Blazers’ loss back then with 16 points, was in playing attire but was not fielded by Coach Gabby Velasco.

Later in the day, Colegio de San Juan de Letran matched San Beda’s win-loss card by exacting revenge on Round One tormentor Emilio Aguinaldo College, 86-76.  Lyceum of the Philippines University thwarted San Sebastian College in the other game, 71-67.

In the Juniors Division, defending champion San Beda-Rizal tallied its 11th straight win thanks to a late breakaway against a gritty and tough La Salle Green Hills, 82-70.  The Red Cubs survived the 32-point explosion of Greenie Ricci Rivero with big boy Germy Mahinay stepping up with eight of his 12 markers in the final period to sew up the win.

JM Lagumen led the Red Cubs with 13.  Also scoring big were Joshua Tagala and Pedro Alfaro with 11 each.

Meanwhile, the Lyceum-Cavite Junior Pirates rose to 7-3 via a 78-49 shaming of the Staglets.  The ICA-EAC Brigadiers decisioned the Letran Squires in the nightcap, 87-77.

How They Scored:

Juniors Division

SAN BEDA-RIZAL (82) – Lagumen 13, Mahinay 12, Tagala 11, Alfaro 11, Nelle 9, Etrata 7, de la Rosa 7, Abuhijle 7, Bordeos 3, Nayve 2, Velasquez 0.

LA SALLE GREEN HILLS (70) – Rivero 32, Mallillin 10, Velasco 9, Herrera 8, Manuel 7, Madrigal 2, Lanot 2, Ollano 0, Pedrosa 0.

Period Scores: 16-17, 36-32, 52-51, 82-70.

Seniors Division

SAN BEDA (89) – de la Cruz 17, Soberano 12, Adeogun 12, Koga 11, Tongco 11, Tankoua 10, Cabanag 7, Mocon 4, Reyes 3, Bonsubre 2, Sara 0, Sorela 0, Sedillo 0.

SAINT BENILDE (63) – JJ Domingo 20, Fajarito 11, Saavedra 10, Young 9, Ongteco 3, Deles 3, Sta. Maria 2, San Juan 2, Flores 1, Nayve 0, Castor 0, Dixon 0.

Period Scores: 13-12, 38-31, 62-42, 89-63.

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Olivarez, PCU March To NCBL Semis

NCBL_logo     PARANAQUE CITY – Olivarez College and Philippine Christian University secured their semifinal spots in contrasting fashion at the completion of the National Collegiate Basketball League (NCBL) quarterfinals Tuesday (August 25) at the Dr. Pablo R. Olivarez Gym.  Olivarez blew away Eulogio “Amang” Rodriguez Institute of Science and Technology, 80-55, while PCU rallied to frustrate Manuel L. Quezon University, 85-80.

The MLQU Stallions jumped out of the gates in the first period, 26-15, and looked all set to turn the contest into a laugher.  However, the Dolphins did not find it funny and slowly climbed back into contention to trail by only four entering the final canto, 59-63.

Suddenly, the Stallions’ offense went cold.  With 18 points to his credit after three periods, Christopher Bitoon continued to sizzle but the rest of the team fired blanks leaving Bitoon to carry the team by himself.

That was the cue for the Dolphins to make their move.  The one-two scoring punch of Mike Ayonayon and Von Tambeling began to puncture the hoop at will eventually taking the lead for good.

Tambeling tallied 24 points while Ayonayon backed him up with 19.  Fidel Castro provided added support with 10 markers.

Bitoon added 11 more in the fourth period to up his total to 29 points.  John Ambulodto, Nikko Lao and Dennis Santos all notched twin digits but they all disappeared in the crucial stages of the fourth.

Waiting for the Dolphins in the semifinals is the undefeated top seed Centro Escolar University.  Olivarez will tangle with second seed Technological Institute of the Philippines in the other pairing.

It was a different story for the Sea Lions.  The hosts set the tone by grabbing the first period, 17-7, leading all the way from the opening tip.

The Red Fox partially threatened in the second period with the entry of Ebuka Umeanozie and Jervis Jed Bandalan but Olivarez always had a ready counter.  Despite the outcome long decided, the Red Fox continued to display flashes of brilliance as the Sea Lions continued to stretch their lead.

Klarenz Singh led all scorers with 18 points while Pruvil Bermudes chipped in 13.  Adding to the rout were nine points each from Vinny Begaso, Dwight Saguiguit and Elmer Labis.

RJ Natividad paced the Red Fox with 15 points.  Umeanozie had 12 points and 10 rebounds.

The knockout semifinals will be held on August 28 at the TIP-Manila Gym starting at 10:00 AM.  The winners will go on to clash in the winner take all championship game on September 1 (Tuesday).

How They Scored:

First Game

OLIVAREZ (80) – Singh 18, Bermudes 13, Saguiguit 9, Begaso 9, Labis 9, Navarro 7, Andico 5, Jasmin 4, Corneh 2, Solis 2, Young 2, Madera 0, Tomilloso 0, Diaz 0.

EARIST (55) – Natividad 15, Umeanozie 12, Bandalan 8, Quiminales 6, Perez 3, Jimenez 3, de la Cruz 2, Orticio 2, Montealegre 2, Pancho 2, Cruz 0, Martinez 0, Galvez 0.

Period Scores: 17-7, 34-27, 61-39, 80-55.

Second Game

PHILIPPINE CHRISTIAN (85) – Tambeling 24, Ayonayon 19, Castro 10, Pallatao 8, Mescallado 7, Sazon 7, Catipay 4, Vasquez 3, Dangca 3, Malto 0, Bautista 0, Leron 0.

MANUEL L. QUEZON (80) – Bitoon 29, Ambulodto 13, Lao 11, Santos 10, Villegas 6, Ambrosio 4, Rivera 3, Ignacio 2. Aurelio 2, Maglangcom 0.

Period Scores: 15-26, 30-42, 59-63, 85-80.

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SBC Begins Round 2 By Beating EAC

NCAA Season 91     SAN JUAN City – Defending champion San Beda College overcame the odds stacked against them to begin the second round of the 91st National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) on the right note by thumping  Emilio Aguinaldo College, 96-84, Tuesday (August 25) at the San Juan Arena.  The Red Lions played without suspended center Ola Adeogun and continued to miss injured guard Baser Amer but their absence hardly mattered as Art de la Cruz dished out another award-winning performance.

A major contender for the season’s Most Valuable Player award, de la Cruz scattered 12 points in the second period to reverse their 14-16 deficit after the first period into a 44-35 cushion by halftime.  That was all the Red Lions needed as coasted along from there.

De la Cruz finished with a game-high 30 points followed by AC Soberano who made 12 of his 20 markers in the final canto.  Ironically, the same duo also led San Beda with a combined 34 points in their 108-80 demolition of the Generals in their first meeting last July 2.

Francis Munsayac topped the Generals with 20 points.  Hamadou Laminou was next with 18 points followed by Jeric Diego with 14.

Adeogun was suspended by the league for his emotional outburst in the game against Arellano University last August 18.  He was also ordered to pay for the repair of the glass door of their dugout.

In Juniors action, the defending champion Red Cubs remained unscathed with their 10th straight win of the tournament at the expense of the ICA-EAC Brigadiers, 100-83.  The Brigadiers fell to 4-6.

Evan Nelle paced the Red Cubs with 19 points followed by Pedro Alfaro with 15.  Mark Lester Castillo topped the Brigadiers with 25 points while Kerby Dularte added 16.

Later in the day, the San Sebastian Stags upset the league-leading Letran Knights, 89-87, thanks to the late game heroics of Ryan Costelo and Mike Calisaan.  Costelo spun to the hoop for the go-ahead field goal and Calisaan followed it up with a free throw but it was a clean defensive stop at the buzzer saved the day.

The Knights and Red Lions are now tied for the top spot in the Seniors Division with similar 8-2 records while the Stags broke away from a four-team logjam at the bottom with a 3-7 record, good for solo Seventh Place.  Meanwhile, the Squires edged out the Staglets in their Juniors duel, 78-73.

How They Scored:

Juniors Division

SAN BEDA-RIZAL (100) – Nelle 19, Alfaro 15, Abuhijle 14, Tagala 12, Nayve 11, Mahinay 8, Etrata 6, Lagumen 6, Bonalos 4, Barbero 2, Bordeos 2, de la Rosa 1.

ICA-EAC (83) – Castillo 25, Dularte 16, Cruz 12, Boado 11, Beduria 9, Baliquig 8, Calara 2, Tanque 0, Anonuevo 0.

Period Scores: 21-19, 47-38, 76-66, 100-83.

Seniors Division

SAN BEDA (96) – de la Cruz 30, Soberano 20, Sara 14, Tankoua 11, Mocon 5, Koga 4, Sorela 4, Cabanag 2, Tongco 2, Reyes 0, Bonsubre 0.

EMILIO AGUINALDO (84) – Munsayac 20, Laminou 18, Diego 14, Mejos 12, Pascua 8, Onwubere 6, Bonleon 3, Morada 3, Estacio 0.

Period Scores: 14-16, 44-35, 70-60, 96-84.

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Rubio Storms Manila

NBA star Ricky Rubio meets the Filipino media at adidas-BGC.

NBA star Ricky Rubio meets the Filipino media at adidas-BGC.

TAGUIG CITY – After witnessing how rabid were the Filipino fans during the FIBA World Cup held in his home country of Spain last year, Ricky Rubio could not wait to visit the Philippines. The Minnesota Timberwolves star guard finally got his chance when adidas flew him in for the Take On Manila Tour.

“No wonder they were named as FIBA’s Most Valuable Fans,” said Rubio as he met the local media Friday (August 21) at the adidas Store in Bonifacio Global City. Despite flying in the night before, Rubio gamely answered questions and interacted with selected fans that won various promos for the chance for a meet and greet session.

Although Spain never got to play the Philippines in the World Cup, Rubio observed that the Filipino style of play is very close to the NBA. He advised Filipinos to take advantage of their speed to make up for lack of height.

After the media conference, Rubio underwent a whirlwind of activities. Braving the rains of the last few days, he went to Anda Street in the heart of Intramuros for a game with street ballers and adidas ambassadors, stopping by for a photo op at the Rizal Monument.

The following day, Rubio showed his love and passion for his other sport Football as he met with national players Phil and James Younghusband and some kids for a clinic at The Circuit in Makati City. He then motored to the Gatorade Hoops Center in Mandaluyong City for a kiddie basketball clinic and a scrimmage with adidas ambassadors and local celebrities.

Football has helped a lot in Rubio’s basketball success and he strongly encourages players to cross-train during the offseason. “Football strengthened my cardio and improved my footwork,” he said.

Going back to basketball, Rubio believes that aspiring players must possess or do five things to succeed – passion, share the ball, smarts, work hard and enjoy the game. The youth can find great credence in these tips coming from someone who began playing professionally at the age of 14.

His NBA team the Timberwolves are on a youth movement as one of the teams to watch out for in the next few seasons. “Rookie of the Year Andrew Wiggins will become an MVP one day,” he said about his 19-yer old teammate and fellow adidas ambassador.

The Timberwolves are coming off a 16-66 season, the franchise’s second worst since going 15-67 in 1991-1992, their third year of existence and Rubio was still a one-year old baby. For as long as they dream big, set the bar high and believe in the team while staying healthy, they can do it.

Rubio was seen in most of his activities donning the adidas Crazylight Boost in Blue colorway. The shoe features a Primeknit upper and has the latest Boost cushioning technology and is available at adidas stores for a suggested retail price of PHP 7,995.00.

Two days is not enough to see the Philippines for a confessed avid traveler like Rubio as his schedule has him jetting to Dubai immediately after his Manila sojourn for another Take On Tour stop. He would definitely love to come back with his usual companions consisting of either his family or long-time friends.

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