David Will Keep On Dunking

     JUST LIKE any young Filipino basketball player, David Carlos dreamt of making the PBA one day.  While he is making a name these days as a professional dunker, the urge to make it to Asia’s first pro league remains.

Recently, Carlos made headlines by winning Third Place in the Slam Dunk Contest held as part of the FIBA 3X3 World Cup at the Philippine Arena.  He makes as much as eight trips a month mostly to China and nearby Asian countries to join contests or conduct exhibitions or clinics.

Even though the money he makes as a dunker is higher compared to what he could earn as regular basketball player, Carlos still wants to bring his skills to Asia’s first play for pay league.  The closest step he got was being taken in as a practice player with Big Chill and several other teams during the early years of the PBA D-League.

“Every year, I always think of applying for the PBA Draft,” he said.  “Maybe a team will take a chance and draft and sign me so I can join the dunk contest during the All-Star Game.”

Carlos is a winner having been part of the first two championship teams of the San Sebastian College dynasty in the NCAA Juniors Division from 2005 to 2008.  His more illustrious teammates like Eric Salamat, Paul Lee and Raphy Reyes immediately landed slots in top college programs but he found himself languishing in the reserve team of the University of Santo Tomas.

“I usually used David for defense,” said his SSC coach Raymond Valenzona.  “Back then, I already saw his athleticism that I even allowed him to compete for the school in the high jump of the NCAA Athletics meet.”

In 2010, a chance to play came from the then Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Pasay (now City University of Pasay) of the NAASCU and Carlos quickly transferred.  After one season with the Eagles, he decided to transfer again to the University of Perpetual Help System-Dalta and finish his studies as an ordinary student.

“I once worked as an assistant coach at Southridge School and planned to retire from pro dunking at the age of 28 but now I am 30 so I see myself doing this as long as my body will allow,” he said as a parting shot.  Carlos may not be alone soon as Chooks To Go through Bounty Fresh Agro Ventures President Ronald Mascarinas expressed admiration for his feat and promised that the company will back him up in his future.

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NCAA94: Lyceum d. San Sebastian, 85-80

NCAA Season 93     PASAY CITY – Last season’s runner-up Lyceum of the Philippines University set aside memories of their championship debacle and started the 94th National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Season on the right note by disposing of San Sebastian College, 85-80, on the league’s opening day at the Mall of Asia Saturday.  Big man Mike Harry Nzeusseu churned out a monster performance to lift the Pirates who registered an 18-game sweep of the elimination round a year ago.

“Coach told us in practice that we are not competing against another but rather against ourselves,” said Nzeusseu.  “We aim to be a better version of ourselves.”

Nzeusseu, who is on his final season of eligibility, was all over the court with 23 points and 20.  CJ Perez was next with 15 points, six rebounds and five steals.

RK Ilagan paced the Stags with 18 points but fouled out early in the fourth to greatly affect their chances.  In his absence, Allyn Bulanadi tried to carry the Stags and wound up with 15 points and seven rebounds while Michael Calisaan had 12 points and 12 rebounds.

How They Scored:

LYCEUM (85) – Nzeusseu 23, Perez 15, JC Marcelino 13, Pretta 6, Yong 6, Serrano 6, JV Marcelino 5, Caduyac 4, Ayaay 4, Ibanez 2, Santos 1, Valdez 0, Cinco 0, Tansingco 0.

SAN SEBASTIAN (80) – Ilagan 18, Bulanadi 15, Calisaan 12, Calma 10, Valdez 7, Sumoda 5, Desoyo 4, Villapando 3, Are 0, Baytan 0, Capobres 0.

Period Scores: 22-14, 43-43, 67-60, 85-80.

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NCAA94: SBU d. Perpetual Help, 67-65

NCAA Season 93     PASAY CITY – Defending champion San Beda University went through the wringer before chalking up the win over a very tough University of Perpetual Help System-Dalta, 67-65, on opening day of the 94th National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Season at the Mall of Asia Arena.  Robert Bolick capped another solid performance with a steal off Edgar Charcos in the dying seconds to preserve the win but the SBU star wanted a little more.

“We only had five assists against their 19, we cannot play like that,” said Bolick after the game.  “I also have to do extra work with my shooting, we have two days to prepare before our next game against Arellano.”

A seesaw battle throughout, the Red Lions took the lead for good on a triple by Toba Eugene with 3:40 to play, 58-57.  From there, the champions held strong behind timely baskets by Javee Mocon and Donald Tankoua.

Tankoua then fouled Prince Eze with 14 seconds left and Eze calmly made both free throws to threaten for the last time, 65-67.  SBU then held their breath as Rey Anthony Peralta immediately fouled Jose Presbitero who missed both his gift shots allowing the Altas to scramble down the court only to be thwarted by Bolick’s defensive gem.

Bolick led the way with 15 points, four rebounds and three of his team’s five assists.  Mocon had a double-double of 14 points and 10 rebounds just like Tankoua who submitted 12 and 12.

Charcos still topped the Altas with 14 points and seven assists.  Eze followed with 13 points and 11 rebounds while AJ Coronel also had 13 points.

How They Scored:

SAN BEDA (67) – Bolick 15, Mocon 14, Tankoua 12, Eugene 8, Soberano 6, Kwekuteye 3, Cabanag 2, Doliguez 2, Presbitero 2, Oftana 0, Tongco 0, Cuntapay 0, Carino 0, Nelle 0.

PERPETUAL HELP (65) – Charcos 14, Coronel 13, Eze 13, Razon 10, Aurin 8, Peralta 7, Pasia 0, Mangalino 0, Cuevas 0, Tamayo 0.

Period Scores: 13-10, 23-23, 44-40, 67-65.

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UCBL Adds Three New Schools

Our Time To Shine     EIGHT SCHOOLS will compete in the Third Universities and Colleges Basketball League (UCBL) beginning September 6, 2018.  Three promising newcomers are raring to take the spots vacated by three teams in the offseason thus assuring fans of more exciting action.

The league officially welcomes Philippine Christian University-Dasmarinas, Calayan Educational Foundation and Saint Joseph College of Bulacan as they expand their reach into other provinces.  The trio will take over from last year’s champion Colegio de San Lorenzo, Bulacan State University and University of Batangas who all opted to go on a leave of absence.

The PCU-D Dolphins were the first team to be accepted earlier this year and they have been a regular participant in leagues in Cavite and Region 4A.  The Calayan Cougars and Saint Joseph Taurus are also winning programs in their respective provinces of Quezon and Bulacan.

Coming back will be inaugural season champion and last year’s runner-up Centro Escolar University, Diliman College, Olivarez College, Technological Institute of the Philippines and Lyceum of the Philippines University-Batangas.

With the departure of the champion Griffins, the Scorpions are installed as early favorites.  CEU served notice of their title intentions by ruling the recent Smart UCBL Summer Tournament wherein they defeated the Diliman Blue Dragons in the one-game final, 79-77.

The Third UCBL will also have a new television partner in ESPN 5 and Aksyon TV.  Games will be held every Monday, Tuesday and Thursday with same day telecast in the evening.

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D-League: Batangas d. Go For Gold, 87-85

2018 Foundation Cup     PASIG CITY – Cyrus Tabi scored on a layup at the buzzer to give the victory to Batangas over Go For Gold, 87-85, at the resumption of the 2018 PBA D-League Foundation Cup at the Ynares Sports Arena Thursday.  Newcomer Michael Mabulac forced a turnover from James Martinez with the ball going to Clark Bautista who in turn fed the streaking Tabi for the winner and their first winning streak of the conference.

Tabi, a discovery from the Rizal Technological University, made eight of his 13 points in the fourth period, including the go-ahead basket with 2:23 to play, 83-81.  Kris Porter answered with a triple followed by a free throw split to restore the lead to the Scratchers, 85-83, but Bautista tied the game for the last time at the 25-second mark, 85-85, and set the stage for the wild finish.

Mabulac made an instant impact with 10 of his 19 points in the first period on top of 11 rebounds and two steals. Bautista also played solidly with 16 points and seven assists.

Porter led Go For Gold with 22 points and six rebounds.  He was followed by Ron Dennison with 12 points and six rebounds as they absorbed their second straight setback.

In the second game, Che’Lu Bar affirmed its status as the league’s hottest team by walloping Centro Escolar University, 105-80, for their fifth win in a row.  The Revellers avenged their only loss to the same Scorpions, 78-98, in their conference debut last June 7 and have not tasted defeat since.

Che’Lu put up a torrid shooting display by sinking 18 of their 32 three-point attempts.  “We will be hard to beat if we shoot like that,” said Coach Stevenson Tiu who also admitted that the team really prepared well in order to get back at CEU.

The best that the Scorpions could do was force a 4-4 deadlock and it was all-Revellers from thereon with Jessie James Collado and Stephen Siruma igniting the initial breakaway with a combined five triples by halftime, 50-34. The lead expanded to as much as 28 markers in the fourth, 90-62, as Coach Tiu already began to field in his role players.

Jeff Alvin Viernes presided over the rout with 11 of his 22 points in the third period on six triples to go with four assists.  Siruma and Collado were next with 14 and 12 respectively as the hot-shooting duo did not need to score anymore in the final frame.

Tyron Chan paced the Scorpions with 16 points and 11 rebounds.  Rich Guinitaran followed with all his 13 points coming in the fourth period as they saw their two-game winning streak come to an end.

How They Scored:

First Game

BATANGAS (87) – Mabulac 19, Bautista 16, Tabi 13, de Joya 7, de la Pena 6, Derige 5, de Guzman 5, Laude 5, Arim 4, Austria 4, Manalo 3, Saldana 0, Mendoza 0.

GO FOR GOLD (85) – Porter 22, Dennison 12, Martinez 12, Salem 10, Desiderio 6, Gaco 6, Reyes 5, Cipriano 3, Pili 3, Wong 0.

Period Scores: 20-22, 47-48, 62-70, 87-85.

Second Game

CHE’LU BAR (105) – Viernes 22, Siruma 14, Collado 12, Taganas 10, Bitoon 10, Melano 9, Ng 9, Flores 7, Lao 5, Ochea 4, Sta. Ana 3, Mallari 0.

CENTRO ESCOLAR (80) – Chan 16, Guinitaran 13, Oloume 12, Wamar 11, Ko Caballero 6, Rojas 5, Uri 4, Ke Caballero 4, Fuentes 4, Formento 3, Pamaran 2, Intic 0.

Period Scores: 23-16, 50-34, 73-48, 105-80.

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NCAA Season 94 Preview

The traditional show of unity by 10 coaches before the war begins on July 7.

NCAA Season 93     UNIVERSITY OF Perpetual Help System-Dalta will be the host of the 94th season of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) as they open its centerpiece basketball tournament on Saturday (July 7) at the Mall of Asia Arena.  “Unparalleled Heights In Sports Development” is this season’s theme as the country’s oldest collegiate sports organization also aims to build the student athletes’ character, leadership skills and values.  Here are capsule previews of the 10 participating basketball varsities:

SAN BEDA UNIVERSITY (Defending Champion, 19-2 in Season 93)

Championship experience was very vital in the then San Beda College Red Lions’ ascent to their 21st championship as that same experience will be the key as they return a nearly intact roster for their first campaign since attaining university status in the offseason.  Coach Boyet Fernandez admits that it gets tougher as they shoot for another three-peat as all the teams have beefed up with one goal of dethroning the holders.  Robert Bolick, Javee Mocon and Donald Tankoua will spearhead the title defense with arguably the deepest bench in the league that also counts top rookie prospect Evan Nelle from the Red Cubs.

Franz Abuda, Robert Bolick, Jeramer Cabanag, James Canlas, Kenmark Carino, Damie Cuntapay, Clint Doliguez, Toba Eugene, Javee Mocon, Evan Nelle, Calvin Oftana, Jose Presbitero, AC Soberano, Donald Tankoua and Ranbill Tongco.


Talk about heartbreak, the Pirates swept the elimination round and earned an outright spot in the championship series but it was their turn to be swept.  Instead of sulking, the team picked up the pieces and won the Philippine Collegiate Champions League as well as the PBA D-League Aspirants Cup under the name of Zark’s Burger.  Coach Topex Robinson will likewise enjoy the benefit of an almost intact lineup as they continue their goal of playing inspirational basketball behind MVP contender CJ Perez, Mike Harry Nzeusseu and twin brothers Jaycee and Jayvee Marcelino.

Mer Jesper Ayaay, Reymar Caduyac, Kim Cinco, Nino Ibanez, Carl Lumbao, Jaycee Marcelino, Jayvee Marcelino, Mike Harry Nzeusseu, CJ Perez, Spencer Pretta, Jeffrey Santos, Jeric Serrano, Ralph Tansingco, Enoch Valdez and Rhanzelle Yong.


The Stags were just one win away from barging into the championship series but fell short so this time Coach Edgar Macaraya and the team will try again to bring back the championship they last won in 2009.  Although rocked by a lot of player movements in the offseason, the team is looking forward to a banner year as returning veteran Michael Calisaan hopes to give it one final push before graduation aided by a pool of promising rookies fresh from their high school program.

Peter Arciaga, Michael Are, Kevin Baytan, Allyn Bulanadi, Michael Calisaan, JM Calma, Aljon Capobres, Arjan de la Cruz, Alex Desoyo, RK Ilagan, Jerico Isidro, Hosea Mananquil, Jessie Sumoda, Ian Valdez and Kenneth Villapando.


Don’t sell the Heavy Bombers short despite their so-so performance in the preseason tournaments like the FilOil Flying V and Smart UCBL and even the PBA D-League Aspirants Cup.  Coach Vergel Meneses, the longest tenured coach in the league, is known to consistently weave magic when the games really count and pundits are just surprised that his wards are in the Final Four.  Guards Jonathan Jed Mendoza and Mark Justin de la Virgen have stepped up as of late and loom as the team leaders this season.

Ronnie Aguilar, Aaron Bordon, Richard David, Ry de la Rosa, Mark Justin de la Virgen, Axel Doromal, Leonardo Esguerra, Darius Estrella, Mark Mallari, Jonathan Jed Mendoza, Agem Miranda, Justin Padua, Jarvy Ramos, Serafin Santos and Junmark Silvarez. 


As he enters his third season, a lot is expected from Coach Jeff Napa as he has now had time to implement his system and bring in recruits since taking over after the Knights’ championship run in 2015.  The prospect of another title looks juicy as Coach Napa has brought in the needed size as well as a youth brigade to help out veterans point guard John Paul Calvo, national player Jeo Ambohot and versatile forward Bong Quinto, whose preseason performance indicates a possibility of being the first former NCAA Juniors Most Valuable Player to earn the same award in the Seniors Division in a long while.

Evan Agbong, Jeo Ambohot, Christian Balagasay, Jerrick Balanza, Shamsneh Banez, Edson Batiller, John Paul Calvo, Jason Celis, Christian Fajarito, Nicolo Galvelo, Alex Mandreza, Larry Muyang, Bong Quinto, Jeremiah Taladua and Fran Yu.


The Chiefs managed to reach the NCAA Finals twice in school history both under the watch of Coach Jerry Codinera but this time it will be challenging as the program is in transition with the departure of many veterans and the presence of a young core.  Guard Kent Salado was supposed to carry the team until an offseason injury forced him out so expect the likes of Michael Canete, Rence Alcoriza, Archie Concepcion and Brylle Meca to try to fill the gap.

Osama Abdurasad, Adrian Alban, Rence Alcoriza, Daniel Bayla, Michael Canete, Manu Codinera, Archie Concepcion, Levi de la Cruz, Guilmer de la Torre, Brylle Meca, Elie Ongolo Ongolo, Jan Sacramento, Ronan Santos, Maui Sera Josef and Kraniel Villoria.


Things were going well for the Generals until center Hamadou Laminou sustained a serious knee injury and it was all downhill from there.  The Generals had a forgettable preseason, including a winless stint in the FilOil Flying V Preseason Cup, but that should all change as Laminou has been cleared to play and Coach Ariel Sison needs to extract the best from the local crew led by Jerome Garcia and Renzo Tampoc plus promising rookie Maui Cruz, last season’s top scorer in the Juniors Division with EAC’s Immaculate Conception Academy Brigadiers.

CJ Cadua, Juju Bautista, Rustan Bugarin, Maui Cruz, Jeric Diego, Jerome Garcia, Rodney Fuentes, Hamadou Laminou, Renz Gonzales, Jethro Mendoza, John Paul Maguliano, Sean Neri, Arjell Natividad, Ralph Vincent Robin and Renzo Tampoc.


In his rookie season, Coach Tyrone Tang chalked up a relatively okay 4-14 record compared to the previous team that almost went winless until winning their final game of the season in 2016.  The Blazers raised a lot of eyebrows in the preseason owing to their impressive run in the FilOil Flying V Preseason Cup wherein they reached the semifinals behind the efforts of super rookie Justin Gutang and the improved play of Edward Dixon, Unique Naboa and Clement Leutcheu and Yankie Haruna who is coming off a shoulder injury that sidelined him last season.

Joshua Barnes, Kendrix Belgica, Prince Carlos, Edward Dixon, JJ Domingo, Justin Gutang, Yankie Haruna, Clement Leutcheu, Unique Naboa, Robi Nayve, RR Pagulayan, Jimboy Pasturan, Luigi Velasco and Carlo Young.


As the season hosts, the Altas made sure they would be contenders by bringing in four-time NCAA champion coach Frankie Lim.  The new mentor immediately cleaned house and brought in his style that brought titles to his alma mater San Beda from 2007 to 2011.  However, the results may not be instant as he is promising to the community that he is going to build a winning team for the years to come so for now, the Altas will rely heavily on defensive ace Prince Eze and a trio of impressive transferees in Kim Aurin, Edgar Charcos and Rey Anthony Peralta.

Kim Aurin, Kobe Canoy, Edgar Charcos, AJ Coronel, Jasper Cuevas, Prince Eze, Glenn Gallardo, Krystoffe Jimenez, Rommel Mangalino, Jerome Pasia, Jesmar Pedrosa, Rey Anthony Peralta, Jielo Razon, Luke Sese and Anton Tamayo.


The cellar-dweller Cardinals were also another surprise team in the preseason as they opened the FilOil Flying V Preseason Cup with a four-win run until they faced the heavyweights and dropped their last five assignments.  In recent years, manpower shortage has been a constant problem for Coach Atoy Co but he promises that his team will always give it their best effort.  A big positive for the program is that they are slowly getting in stalwarts from their winning Juniors program as former Red Robins are forming the core of the Seniors squad in Denniel Aguirre, Laurenz Paul Victoria, Noah Lugo and Warren Bonifacio.

Denniel Aguirre, Jesper Bautista, Exequiel Biteng, Warren Bonifacio, Christian Bunag, John Carandang, Arvin Gamboa, Joaqui Garcia, Erick Jabel, Noah Lugo, Herson Pajarillo, Cedric Pelayo, Jasper Salenga, Justin Serrano and Laurenz Paul Victoria.

94th NCAA Commissioner Arturo Cristobal

Commissioner Arturo “Bai” Cristobal will serve another term as league commissioner.  Tapped to officiate the games are referees from UBRA, an organization with previous experience in handling the NCRAA tournament earlier this year.

As per league tradition, the host Altas will tangle with the defending champion Red Lions on opening day at 2:00 PM after the opening ceremonies at 12:00 PM.  It will be followed by the equally tasty matchup between the Pirates and the Stags at 4:00 PM.

Games will be held every Tuesday, Thursday and Friday at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan City.  Selected games will be played in school campuses as part of the “NCAA On Tour”, a practice that began last season in hopes of bringing the games closer to the students.

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Black Monday

The calm before the storm at the Philippine Arena.

BOCAUE, BULACAN – July 2, 2018 will go down as one of the lowest points in Philippine basketball history.  A bench-clearing brawl in the third period resulted in nine Filipinos getting ejected and two more eventually fouling out thus forcing officials to declare Australia the winner by default, 89-53, in continuing action from the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers at the Philippine Arena.

The visiting Boomers were way ahead with 4:01 remaining in the third, 79-48, when Roger Pogoy and Chris Goulding started exchanging blows under the Philippine basket and the action escalated to involve more players and a few fans that pelted the court with debris.  After a 30-minute lull and a plea for sobriety from Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas President Al Panlilio, the referees threw out nine Filipinos and four Australians forcing the host to play with the trio of foul-plagued Junemar Fajardo, Gabe Norwood and Baser Amer who had yet to see action.

Play resumed and Fajardo and Norwood picked up their fifth foul one after the other so the referees put a halt to the game with 1:57 left.  It was a bitter ending for the hosts who were clearly outclassed by the visitors since the opening tip.

NBA veterans Matthew Dellavedova and Thon Maker of the Milwaukee Bucks combined well with fellow starters Goulding, Kevin Lisch and Nick Kay for crisp passing and sharp three-point shooting to jump to a 19-10 lead.  The Philippines would cut the gap by period’s end with Fajardo and Terrence Romeo coming off the bench, 23-18, but the Aussie reserves sustained the attack as they extended the margin by halftime, 52-37.

There was already trouble brewing during the pre-game warm-ups as security had to separate both teams after one of the Boomers allegedly got into contact with one of the Filipinos as they crossed paths.  Add to that the incident on the eve of the game wherein the Australians removed sponsor stickers on the Philippine Arena floor during their practice also added to the tensions.

Goulding was one of the four Boomers given the boot after the brawl but he still topped his side with 20 points, 13 coming in the third period.  Dan Kickert, who was also ejected, followed with points.

Andray Blatche paced the hosts with 12 points from four out of 12 shooting plus 10 rebounds.  Fajardo followed with 10 points despite early foul trouble.

Australia thus topped Group B with a 5-1 win-loss card.  The Philippines came in second at 4-2 and will also advance to the second round of the qualifiers together with Japan who eliminated Chinese-Taipei in the day’s other game, 108-68.

Waiting for them in the second round are Group D early qualifiers Iran and Kazakhstan.  The third spot will be disputed by Qatar and Iraq on the final day of action.

How They Scored:

AUSTRALIA (89) – Goulding 20, Kickert 12, Dellavedova 9, Maker 8, Brandt 8, Sobey 7, Lisch 7, Kay 7, Gliddon 6, Drmic 5, Cadee 0, McCarron 0.

PHILIPPINES (53) – Blatche 12, Fajardo 10, Castro 8, Romeo 6, Aguilar 6, Norwood 4, Pogoy 4, Amer 3, Abueva 0, Rosario 0, Wright 0.

Period Scores: 23-18, 52-37, 89-53.

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