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NCAA 95: San Beda s Bandana Bros got a Bolick-Mocon-sized chip on their shoulder

San Beda University has remained unscathed in its title defense in the NCAA 95 Men's Basketball Tournament. Through five games, the Red Lions have set themselves as the standard as they already count victories versus title hopefuls Colegio de San Juan de Letran and San Sebastian College-Recoletos. Even more impressive, the three-peat champions have done it with second-year stars showing the way. Thus far in their sophomore seasons, James Canlas and Evan Nelle have been as good as advertised. Canlas has looked the part of a go-to-guy with averages of 14.6 points, including 32 percent from deep, on top of 5.2 rebounds and 1.8 assists while Nelle seems to be the school's next in a long line of great point guards, averaging 12.2 markers, including also 32 percent from deep, to go along with 6.6 dimes, 5.8 boards, and 1.2 steals. Of course, they have had huge help from the likes of Cameroonian powerhouse Donald Tankoua and Calvin Oftana. Still, the fact remains that the "Bandana Bros." have only proven worthy to be wearing the red and white crowns of leaderships that, for them, just so happen to be, well, bandanas. Even better, rather than be dragged down by the weight of taking over for Robert Bolick and Javee Mocon, both now making waves in PBA, the challenge of being the storied squad's new leaders have actually done nothing but lift up the two. "We want to prove something to everyone that we're still a winning team without Bolick and Mocon," Canlas said. "We're still sophomores, but we just want to improve every game and show what we can do every game." And this is, apparently, just the start for San Beda's "Bandana Bros." as the rest of the league better watch out because both of them also want to prove they can also do what the other does. "Coach puts me at two and Evan at one and we switch," Canlas said. "I can also play the point guard aside from the scoring role and he can do more than just playmaking and passing." That means, Evan setting up a James score in one possession and then Nelle finishing what Canlas started the next? Without a doubt, the Red Lions are in good hands. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource: abscbn abscbnAug 15th, 2019

NCAA: James Canlas will remain in San Beda

The "Bandana Bros." are no more. Evan Nelle has, indeed, set out for a homecoming in De La Salle University while at the same time, James Canlas has reiterated his commitment to San Beda University. According to team manager Jude Roque, the Filipino-Canadian will remain a Red Lion from now until the foreseeable future. That is nothing but good news for Mendiola which had been rocked with the departure of its court general just days ago. Canlas posted per game counts of 14.1 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 2.8 assists as a sophomore for San Beda last year. Alongside Nelle and Season MVP Calvin Oftana, he made sure the dynastic squad did not miss a beat even without Robert Bolick and Javee Mocon. Now, however, the 6-foot-2 guard will be expected to carry a heavier burden as the Red Lions regroup from losing their championship. He will be flanked by Oftana, promising big men Kemark Carino and Damie Cuntapay, and blue-chip recruits Rhayyan Amsali and Tony Ynot. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 22nd, 2020

SUPER SHOWDOWN: CJ s 2017 LPU vs Calvin s 2019 San Beda

A perfect run in NCAA Men's Basketball, as it stands today, has not been done. Yes, San Beda University scored a season sweep in 2010, but that tournament totaled nine teams - meaning, the Red Lions won 16 elimination round games as well as two more in the best-of-three Finals for an overall record of 18-0. Even farther back, San Sebastian College-Recoletos didn't lose once in several seasons from the 1980s to the 1990s, but played, at maximum, 13 games. As it stands today, the Grand Old League has 10 squads - making for 18 elims matches and then a race-to-two championship round. As such, an eye-popping 20-0 perfect run has not been done. In the last three years, two teams have come close - CJ Perez's Lyceum of the Philippines University in 2017 and Calvin Oftana's San Beda in 2019. After winning each and every game in the elims, however, both squads went on to lose in the Finals - and so, not only did they miss out on a season sweep, but also got denied of a championship. Looking back, which almost-but-not-quite was more powerful - and therefore, more painful? That is what we hope to answer in this ABS-CBN Sports Super Showdown. In reviewing the elims masterpiece and Finals meltdown of the two teams, we will be judging them in five categories (elims dominance, expectations exceeded, inherent talent, competition, and Finals fight) with a boxing-style 10-point must system determining the decision. ELIMS DOMINANCE Simply put, San Beda just ran roughshod over the rest of the league in the NCAA 95 elims. Doubted after having lost Robert Bolick and Javee Mocon, the Red Lions sent a statement that the title still goes through them and beat up their opponents by an average of 18.9. In the end, their closest call was a four-point triumph over archrival Colegio de San Juan de Letran and the number of their single-digit wins were a staggering, well, three out of 18. For comparison, LPU normed a winning margin of 12.8 in the Season 93 elims - with more than a few close calls against also-rans in Arellano University, Emilio Aguinaldo College, and Mapua University. After ambushing the rest of the league with their run-and-gun game, the Pirates had to fight tooth and nail in the stretch run of the elims. In fact, in the last game before the playoffs, LPU needed two extra periods to put away San Beda. Yes, a win is a win, but it's clear as day that between the wo teams, it was the 2019 Red Lions who dominated the elims. Advantage San Beda, 10-8 EXPECTATIONS EXCEEDED As aforementioned, San Beda was expected to go through growing pains in 2019 as they had lost Bolick and Mocon and would have to rely on a talented yet young core of James Canlas, Evan Nelle, and Calvin Oftana. Still, the Red Lions were the Red Lions - and in recent history, a playoff fixture in the Grand Old League. And so, expectations were quite a bit lower - for the dynasty in Mendiola, that is - and the red and white did nothing but far exceed them with an unbeaten run in the elims. Still, back in 2017, LPU literally came out of nowhere to go undefeated in the elims. On a sunken ship in their first years in the NCAA, the Pirates finally got winds in their sails in the form of Perez and Marcelino twins Jaycee and Jayvee. Those three, alongside captain MJ Ayaay and Cameroonian powerhouse Mike Nzeusseu, led them to their first-ever playoff berth which they got with their 13th win in as many games in the season. And with an 18th consecutive victory, LPU then booked for itself an automatic advance into its first-ever Finals. Expectations were highest in school history for the Pirates with Perez in tow, but nobody at all assumed they were sailing straight to the championship round. Advantage LPU, 10-9 INHERENT TALENT 2017 was the year that Perez became Perez. Putting up per game counts of 19.3 points in 45.1 percent shooting on top of 6.5 rebounds, 3.6 assists, and 1.9 steals, the 6-foot-1 swingman was the undisputed MVP. At the same time, the Marcelino twins terrorized opposing backcourts by making an immediate impact as end-to-end menaces. Add to that Ayaay and Nzeusseu and LPU had a championship core - just about everybody else didn't know it just yet. On the other hand, 2019 was the first time that, arguably, San Beda wasn't the most talented team in the tournament. Make no mistake, the Red Lions remained loaded with the likes of "Bandana Bros." Canlas and Nelle, but it was actually former reserve forward Oftana who emerged as the league's top individual player with norms of 15.6 points, 8.2 rebounds, 2.7 assists, and 1.2 blocks. Still, in the end, San Beda went 18-0 in the elims by staying true to itself - utilizing an uncompromising total team effort. Advantage LPU, 10-9 COMPETITION LPU had to traverse rough seas in 2017 for its elims sweep. Back then, San Beda had Bolick and Mocon, Jose Rizal University had Teytey Teodoro and Jed Mendoza, San Sebastian had Michael Calisaan and Allyn Bulanadi, Letran had Rey Nambatac and Bong Quinto, and Arellano had Kent Salado and Lervin Flores. Even more, the Mythical Team had Perez, teammate Nzeusseu, Red Lion Mocon, Sidney Onwubere from non-Final Four team EAC, and University of Perpetual Help's Nigerian tower Prince Eze. Fast forward to 2019 and household names were hard to come by as the Mythical Team had San Beda's Oftana, a former reserve forward; Nelle, a former backup point guard; Canlas, a former secondary scorer; as well as San Sebastian late-bloomer Bulanadi and LPU playmaker Jaycee Marcelino. Of those five, Marcelino was the most recognizable name - and he was not necessarily known for putting a team on his back. Safe to say, Season 93 was much more competitive than Season 95. Even more, 2019 was the last year with foreign student-athletes and by then, only three remained. Tankoua is as solid as they come, Nzeusseu is spectacular at times, and College of St. Benilde's Clement Leutcheu is serviceable. The crop of reinforcements in 2017, though, had those three as well as MVP runner-up Eze of Perpetual, Hamadou Laminou of EAC, and JRU's Abdul Wahab Abdul Razak and Abdel Poutuouchi. Advantage LPU, 10-8 FINALS FIGHT Both LPU and San Beda woke up from dreaming of a perfect season in Game 1 of the Finals. The Pirates were sent crashing back to earth by the defending champion Red Lions and were ultimately swept in the championship round of Season 93. On the other hand, San Beda went the distance with archrival Letran in the Season 95 Finals, but was also at the losing end. Also, if not for Bonbon Batiller's botched reverse layup in the dying moments, Game 2 may have had a different ending, and the Red Lions may have been swept as well. Still, the fact that San Beda was able to take one from the eventual champions nudges it ahead of LPU which went winless in the championship round after a perfect elims. Advantage San Beda, 10-9 FINAL SCORE, 47-46, for LPU.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 7th, 2020

The Beast remains NCAA basketball s best moniker in 20 years

We have already gone through the most memorable monikers in the UAAP since 2000. Not to be outdone, of course, the NCAA has had its own nicknames to easily identify its shining stars. From Baser Amer to Rey Nambatac and from CJ Perez to Robert Bolick, the Grand Old League has been a grand old stage for tantalizing talents to make a name for themselves - and even more, make a nickname for themselves. Here, we have gathered the cream of the crop monikers for the NCAA in the last 20 years. First and foremost, there is not one nickname that had as much of an impact as this: THE ULTIMATE NCAA MONIKER Without a doubt, Calvin Abueva is a beast on the court. The now-Phoenix Fuel Master can make his presence felt anywhere and everywhere - and he has always done so even in his time in San Sebastian. Abueva was such a problem for defenses, even dynastic San Beda's, and that's exactly why it was just perfect to call him "The Beast." Also, did you know that "beast" is actually an anagram for Baste? How 'bout that, huh?! More than the perfect fit, though, Abueva's nickname has also had an impact quite like "Phenom" from the UAAP. After Abueva, San Sebastian just had to have more beasts in the form of "Baby Beast" CJ Perez and "Lady Beast" Grethcel Soltones. MONIKERS THAT FOLLOWED SUIT Perez's nickname isn't original - as already said, it came from Abueva's "The Beast." Still, "Baby Beast" is a perfect fit for the top overall pick in the 2018 PBA Draft - a player who can make his presence felt anywhere and everywhere. He just does it all while standing two inches shorter and packing 20 lbs. lighter than "The Beast." MONIKERS ABOUT DEFINING MOMENTS Once upon a time, Robert Bolick was a bench player in La Salle. Not getting his shot in his time as a Green Archer is his origin story - as he loves to tell. Fast forward to his donning the red and white for San Beda and Bolick got his shot. 2??3??PTS 0?? 6??ASTS 0??4??REBS Big Shot Bolick made sure San Beda punched a ticket to the #NCAASeason94 Finals! pic.twitter.com/8z5GYsNXRn — ABS-CBN Sports (@abscbnsports) October 26, 2018 Once he did, not only did he deliver, he delivered big-time - hitting the biggest shots in the biggest moments in the biggest games. BIG. SHOT. BOLICK. #NCAASeason94 #GalingNCAA pic.twitter.com/votXDwW7xE — ABS-CBN Sports (@abscbnsports) August 10, 2018 That is why he was "Big Shot Bolick." MONIKERS THAT GO TOGETHER Abueva already has the ultimate NCAA moniker - and still, he also has the best name for a group. "Pinatubo Trio" was an ominous moniker that denoted doom and gloom for San Sebastian's opponents. And it wasn't just scare tactics either. Abueva, Ronald Pascual, and Ian Sangalang are all Kapampangan and therefore, hail from Mt. Pinatubo, indeed. It was always just a matter of time before any of them - or worse for the rest of the NCAA, all of them - erupted. A close second was San Beda's "Bandana Bros" in James Canlas and Evan Nelle. With Robert Bolick and Javee Mocon gone, the spotlight, all of a sudden, shone on two guards who were just entering the second seasons. Still, Canlas and Nelle did nothing but take the challenge head-on - and the black bandanas on their foreheads game in and game out symbolized that the Red Lions' future was now. Unfortunately, "Bandana Bros" is no more, but we will always have that "new drip." MONIKERS THAT PLAYED ON GIVEN NAMES When an opportunity presents itself, you just have to take it. That's what happened with the names of these guys: Bright Akhuetie became "Mr. Brightside" Baser Amer became "The Hammer" Sudan Daniel became "Superman" Sam Ekwe became "The Equalizer" Rey Nambatac became "Stingrey" And Scottie Thompson became "The Pearl" (his full name is Earl Scottie Thompson) MONIKERS THAT ARE JUST… COOL Nothing much to explain here other than the fact that RJ Jazul, now of Phoenix, had one of the most unique nicknames in all of sports. "So Cool" encapsulated what he was as a lead guard for Letran - and it just so happened that it rhymed so well with his last name. All in all, "So Cool" RJ Jazul is just, well, so cool. HONORABLE MENTIONS Of course, how could we forget how both Mark Cruz and Borgie Hermida played way bigger than their actual heights. "Ant-man" Cruz came through time and time again for Letran while Hermida transformed into "The Mighty Kid" to take charge for San Beda. There's also "Master Chief" for Kent Salado to definitely describe how he led Arellano into remaining a tough out even after the departure of Jiovani Jalalon - much like how Halo's supersoldier stood strong in the face of The Covenant. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 27th, 2020

San Beda takes LPU’s best shot, still takes seventh straight win in NCAA 95

San Beda University continued to have all the answers for modern-day rival Lyceum of the Philippines University for a convincing 88-73 victory in the two team’s first meeting in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, Tuesday at Filoil Flying V Centre. The now-vacated places of Robert Bolick and Javee Mocon were simply filled by Evan Nelle and James Canlas as the Red Lions remained unscathed through seven games in their title defense. Well aware of all LPU had up its sleeve, San Beda was in complete command for majority of the matchup. "Unang-una, nagpapasalamat ako sa players ko for all the sacrifices they have had the past few days preparing for LPU," a more than satisfied head coach Boyet Fernandez said post-game. Of course, the Pirates kept coming and were within six, 64-70, inside the last seven minutes. In the next four minutes, however, Nelle sparked a 14-0 charge that re-increased the Red Lion edge to 84-64. The red and white would not be threatened the rest of the way as they re-asserted their mastery over the LPU crew they had downed in the Finals of the last two years. Nelle wound up with 14 points, all but five coming in the final frame, to go along with seven rebounds and four assists while "Bandana Bro" Canlas also added nine markers, four boards, and three dimes. Topping the scoring column for the defending champions was Calvin Oftana who posted a 20-point, 12-rebound double-double while Cameroonian bruiser Donald Tankoua had 19 markers and six boards of his own. Even after taking down another playoff hopeful, however, San Beda is well aware is has a long way to go. "Hopefully, we won't stop here. it's only one game and we have so many to go," coach Boyet said. On the other hand, the Pirates were sank for just the second time in eight games. Mike Nzeusseu, their powerhouse from Cameroon, paced them with 18 points and nine rebounds and he was backstopped by Jaycee Marcelino who had 13 markers, five assists, three steals, and two boards. BOX SCORES SAN BEDA 88 - Oftana 20, Tankoua 19, Doliguez 15, Nelle 14, Canlas 9, Bahio 8, Abuda 3, Etrata 0, Soberano 0, Cuntapay 0, Alfaro 0, Carino LPU 73 - Nzeusseu 18, Marcelino JC 13, David 10, Marcelino JV 8, Santos 6, Ibanez 5, Navarro 4, Pretta 3, Caduyac 2, Tansingco 2, Valdez 2, Guinto 0 QUARTER SCORES: 29-17, 44-36, 61-58, 88-73 —— Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 20th, 2019

WHAT IF… Back-to-back MVP Allwell Oraeme stayed in Mapua

History lesson: Mapua University was a legitimate championship contender for two years in NCAA Men's Basketball. In the time when the Grand Old League was as star-studded as it had been in recent history, there were the Cardinals who had one surefire superstar in Allwell Oraeme. Oraeme, a towering talent from Nigeria, then had several perfect pieces in his orbit as the likes of three-point threats Exi Biteng, CJ Isit, Darrell Menina, and JP Nieles spread out defenses for him to be able to make a living in the paint. Behind averages of 16.3 points, 20.3 rebounds, and 2.9 blocks, the then first-year player bested the likes of Art Dela Cruz of San Beda University, Bright Akhuetie and Scottie Thompson of University of Perpetual Help, and Jiovani Jalalon of Arellano University to convincingly claim the MVP award in Season 91.  Next year, he then normed 15.8 markers, 19.8 boards, and 2.3 rejections to get the better of big names such as Emilio Aguinaldo College's Hamadou Laminou and San Beda's Donald Tankoua as well as Akhuetie and Jalalon once more for another top individual player trophy. In those two seasons, Oraeme posted per game counts of 16.0 points, 20.5 rebounds, and 2.6 blocks - unfortunately, he could not push Mapua to the Finals as they fell to Season 91 champion Colegio de San Juan de Letran and then Season 92 runner-up Arellano in the Final Four. Still, with just two go-rounds under his belt, the then 20-year-old had three more seasons to play in red and gold. However, that wasn't meant to be. As ex-Cardinals head coach Atoy Co put it then, "Wala nang Oraeme. Nagpaalam siya at ang katwiran ay hindi na raw siya masaya sa Mapua kaya uuwi na lang daw siya sa Nigeria." Whispers were heard that some schools, including ones from the UAAP, were wooing him over to their side. Ultimately, though, the back-to-back MVP was never seen in action and never heard from again. In the years since, Coach Atoy could only lament what could have been for the Intramuros-based squad. Indeed, what could have been if, and only if, Oraeme decided to build on back-to-back MVP campaigns still in Mapua? If that would have been true, he would have seen action in a tournament that, pretty much, had a new look. Gone were Akhuetie, Dela Cruz, Jalalon, and Thompson and taking their places were Robert Bolick and Javee Mocon from San Beda, Prince Eze from Perpetual, and CJ Perez from Lyceum of the Philippines University. In NCAA 93, LPU memorably swept the elimination round to not only punch its first-ever playoff ticket, but its breakthrough Finals appearance as well. As the Pirates had all the answers for Perpetual's Eze, EAC's Laminou, and San Beda's Tankoua, it would not be farfetched that they also would have been able to take care of business against the Nigerian and his Cardinals. The other three playoff berths that year went to San Beda, Jose Rizal University, and San Sebastian College-Recoletos. Safe to say, only San Beda was the sure thing and Mapua, on the back of Oraeme, would have been able to replace the Golden Stags. Come the stepladder, Oraeme would turn in his best postseason performance yet and carry his team over the Heavy Bombers and to the next step in the ladder. Opposite the Red Lions, however, Bolick and Mocon would be much too much and stamp their class on the upstarts en route to upsetting LPU in the Finals. And so, Mapua falls short of the championship round anew. Still, finally having tasted a playoff win, Oraeme comes back for his fourth season, hungrier than ever and reclaims the MVP that Perez won the year before. NCAA 94 featured, more or less, the same cast of characters and so we fast forward to the Final Four where the Cardinals would be the fourth-seed behind top-seed San Beda, second-seed LPU, and three-seed Letran. Unfortunately, their Final Four opponent are the Red Lions, only this time, with Bolick and Mocon determined to close their collegiate careers with a big bang. Oraeme and his three-point threats would still be no match for that and they bow out yet again. The three-time MVP would then think hard about staying, but eventually ends up forgoing his fifth and final season to take his talents overseas. He wouldn't have known that NCAA 95 was actually his best shot, and the other's best shot, at a title as San Beda was to be a very, very young team led into battle by James Canlas, Evan Nelle, and Calvin Oftana. Still, Oraema would be showcasing his skills in Korea and in Europre, ala two-time UAAP MVP Ben Mbala. And as for Mapua, they still switch to Randy Alcantara for Season 95 who wastes no time enforcing a modern game plan that would lead to continued contention. In the end, the Cardinals would still be unable to hoist their first championship since 1992. However, they would still have a four-year run of legitimate title chances - led by a three-time MVP who may very well go down as the NCAA's greatest of all time. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 20th, 2020

Canlas sheds bandana, shifts focus to leading San Beda in NCAA 96

"The Bandana Bros." are no more. And so, James Canlas' trademark look is no more as well. With former running mate Evan Nelle having taken his talents to De La Salle University, Canlas has ditched the bandana the two had worn for all of last season. Then, the bandana represented that skillful scorer Canlas and primetime playmaker Nelle were here to lead San Beda University in the present and into the future. Now, however, "The Bandana Bros" have gone their separate ways and the Filipino-Canadian is, of course, already adjusting. "Honestly, it's very different, but we just have to play through it. He will always be my teammate, but he is just one guy," he said. With Nelle moving on, Canlas is now the Red Lions' lead guard and is nothing but ready and raring to take a step forward of his own. "This is going to be a big step for me because I have to be a leader now, I have to take charge," he said. He then continued, "But I won't rush anything. I will take it game by game." Fortunately for the 6-foot-2 guard, he doesn't have to go at it by his lonesome as Season MVP Calvin Oftana remains by his side while high school standouts Rhayyan Amsali, Justine Sanchez, and Tony Ynot are also all determined to make an immediate impact. As for his former running mate, Canlas is only wishing him well. "I was surprised, of course, by at the end of the day, that's his decision. I got love for him and I respect his decision," he said. He then continued, "Good luck to him in La Salle." --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 20th, 2020

Tony Ynot to keep up two-way play now for San Beda s Srs. squad

San Beda University is already stocking up on weapons as it sets out to reclaim the crown it had just lost. The Red Lions are adding promising prospect Tony Ynot to their arsenal of young guns for the NCAA 96 Men's Basketball Tournament. "Sa San Beda pa rin po ako sa Srs.," he said. Ynot, a 5-foot-11 guard, had spent the last two seasons emerging as a 3-and-D talent for the Red Cubs. In their championship run in the recently concluded season, he put up per game counts of 12.1 points, 4.8 rebounds, 2.3 assists, and 1.5 steals all while totaling the most triples for the red and white with 24. His signature moment, however, is still the time when he registered a win-sealing block on Jalen Green, one of the most prized prospects in the US NCAA, in the 2019 National Basketball Training Center League National Finals. Now, the pride of Misamis Occidental will help out Mendiola climb the mountaintop once more. Ynot joins Jrs. Finals MVP Rhayyan Amsali in the hungry core fronted by Srs. Season MVP Calvin Oftana as well as "Bandana Bros." James Canlas and Evan Nelle. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 22nd, 2019

NCAA 95: More than MVP, Oftana wants to be role model for San Beda

From out of nowhere, Calvin Oftana is the frontrunner for MVP in the NCAA 95 Men's Basketball Tournament. Posting per game counts of 15.3 points, 8.6 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 1.2 blocks, the fourth-year forward has been the most consistent player for league-leading San Beda University. Because of him, the Red Lions haven't missed a beat even after losing Javee Mocon - and in the same light, Robert Bolick as well. And for Oftana himself, the fact that he has given and done it all to fill the leadership of Mocon and Bolick is much more important than the monster numbers he has been putting up. "Hindi ko talaga iniisip (yung MVP). I just play my game and want to be a role model sa mga kasama ko," he said. He then continued, "Minsan, yung mga nasa bench namin, nagtatampo pag 'di nakakalaro so gusto kong tingnan nila ako na nandun lang palagi, ready to step up sa kung anong kulang sa team namin. I just wanna be a role model sa mga teammates ko para ganahan pa rin silang maglaro kahit off the bench o any second lang silang maglaro." In his first three years in red and white, the pride of Dumaguete was the backup to Mocon. Still, each and every time he was sent into the court, he turned in quality minutes. Now, Oftana is one of the leaders of a San Beda machine that has remained undefeated thus far in its quest for a four-peat. And that fourth consecutive championship remains the focus for him and his teammates. "I just want to win a championship para masaya kaming lahat. Kung nandun man (yung MVP), siguro, nag-pay off lang lahat ng hard work ko," he said. He then continued, "Wala sa akin yung award. Ang goal ko is makita kami sa championship kahit wala na yung mga Robert Bolick, Javee Mocon." Indeed, Red Lions mentor Boyet Fernandez has but one reminder for the MVP leader - as well as Evan Nelle, Donald Tankoua, and James Canlas who are also in the top five of the race. "I always make sure my players realize that individual awards come second to winning a championship. I'm happy with Calvin and I appreciate what he's been doing," he said. He then continued, "I'm happy he's the leading candidate for the individual awards, but it will be for nothing if we will not win the championship." --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 12th, 2019

San Beda-Letran must-see of all must-see matchups from August 6 to 10

These are the NCAA 95 Men's Basketball Tournament games from August 6 to 10 all of us just CAN NOT miss! TUESDAY, 10:00 a.m., Red Cubs vs Red Robins This will be a clash between the two teams that have dominated the NCAA Jrs. in the last five years. San Beda is, as expected, at the top of the standings in its quest for its first championship since 2015 – and only hungrier after suffering its first setback in the season. Just as hungry, if not more, is Mapua which is in unfamiliar territory at the bottom third of the standings – but is nonetheless coming off a breakthrough win. The Red Cubs and the Red Robins do battle and y'all can watch VIA LIVESTREAM. TUESDAY, 12:00 p.m., Letran vs CSB The hottest team in the tournament up against one of the two perfect squads in the league. Letran puts its five-game win run on the line against a CSB side which will also have to stake its spotless slate. The Knights and the Blazers do battle and y'all can watch on ABS-CBN S+A Channel 23, ABS-CBN S+A HD Channel 166, LIGA SkyCable Channel 86, LIGA HD SkyCable Channel 183, and iWant as well as livestream. THURSDAY, 2:00 p.m., Jr. Altas vs Jr. Pirates Perpetual and LPU are the two upstarts that have the confidence and capability to finally break through to the top tier of the NCAA Jrs. A statement win is at hand when the Jr. Altas led by super scorer Emman Galman and the Jr. Pirates captained by do-it-all Mac Guadana wage war in Las Pinas. The Jr. Altas and the Jr. Pirates do battle and y'all can watch VIA LIVESTREAM. THURSDAY, 4:00 p.m., Perpetual vs LPU Right after their little brothers wage war, Perpetual and LPU’s Srs. squads also figure in a heavyweight bout. A year ago, the Altas got one over the CJ Perez-fueled Pirates and the former is only hopeful for a repeat right on its home floor in Las Pinas. The Altas and the Pirates do battle and y'all can watch on ABS-CBN S+A Channel 23, ABS-CBN S+A HD Channel 166, LIGA SkyCable Channel 86, LIGA HD SkyCable Channel 183, and iWant as well as livestream. FRIDAY, 2:00 p.m., CSB vs JRU Youth will be served in this duel between upstarts. Both CSB and JRU can make a claim that they are the most pleasant surprise in the season. The two teams also have even more surprises in store when they are pitted against one another. The Blazers and the Heavy Bombers do battle and y'all can watch on ABS-CBN S+A Channel 23, ABS-CBN S+A HD Channel 166, LIGA SkyCable Channel 86, LIGA HD SkyCable Channel 183, and iWant as well as livestream. SATURDAY, 4:00 p.m., San Beda vs Letran Finally, San Beda and Letran can do battle once more in a storied venue. The fierce foes will stand opposite one another at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay for a special Saturday showcase in NCAA 95. “Bandana Bros.” James Canlas and Evan Nelle vs Jerrick Balanza and Bonbon Batiler. Donald Tankoua vs Larry Muyang. Calvin Oftana vs Jeo Ambohot. Boyet Fernandez vs Bonnie Tan. This right here is, without a doubt, the most anticipated matchup in all of the first round. Age-old rivals Red Lions and Knights do battle and y'all can watch on ABS-CBN S+A Channel 23, ABS-CBN S+A HD Channel 166, LIGA SkyCable Channel 86, LIGA HD SkyCable Channel 183, and iWant as well as livestream......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 5th, 2019

San Beda to fill shoes left by Bolick, Mocon amid 4-peat bid

MANILA, Philippines – The San Beda Red Lions are still the favorites to clinch a title 4-peat in the upcoming NCAA Season 95. However, unlike the previous 3 championship-winning seasons, head coach Boyet Fernandez has been tasked to develop a contender without trusty stars Robert Bolick and Javee Mocon. As testament to how great ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsJul 7th, 2019

Rebuilding San Beda still coaches team to beat in NCAA Season 95

MANILA, Philippines – Despite losing their superstar duo of Robert Bolick and Javee Mocon, the reigning three-time NCAA champion San Beda Red Lions are still the team to beat, according to coaches in the upcoming Season 95. A number of coaches attending the Season 95 press conference at the Mall ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsJul 1st, 2019

10 NCAA players to watch in Season 95

It’s important to note that half of the players who were picked in the first round of the 2018 PBA Draft were products of the country’s first collegiate sports league. CJay Perez and Robert Bolick have immediately become the cornerstones of Columbian Dyip and NorthPort Batang Pier, respectively. Javee Mocon, Jesper Ayaay, Michael Calisaan and JP Calvo have all received high praise from the coaches of their new teams. While last season’s heroes are now living their lifelong dreams in the PBA, new stars are looking to shine as NCAA Season 95 opens on July 7 at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City. James Kwekuteye (SBU)   If there is one player worthy enough to succeed Bolick as the King Lion of Mendiola, it’s the 6’3” Fil-Canadian shooting guard, James Kwekuteye. As a rookie, Kwekuteye came off the bench for majority of the season and had limited time to really put his talent on display. But, when he did start, particularly in San Beda’s second round game against LPU, Kwekuteye proved that he could be a major threat as he scored a career-high 18 points for the Red Lions, matching the scoring output of Bolick. In that game, Bolick motivated Kwekuteye by saying, “they can’t stop you.” James Kwekuteye introduces himself to Lyceum with 18 big points! #NCAASeason94 #GalingNCAA pic.twitter.com/OQS5eZBTJL — ABS-CBN Sports (@abscbnsports) October 18, 2018 As the new starting shooting guard of Coach Boyet Fernandez, Kwekuteye led San Beda in scoring in the 2019 Fil-Oil Flying V Pre-season Cup averaging 14.1 points per game.    Evan Nelle (SBU)   Another talented player who didn’t see the floor much last year due to the loaded roster of guards on the San Beda lineup was former NCAA Jrs. Finals MVP Evan Nelle. Evan Nelle repays coach Boyet Fernandez' trust by drilling the early three! #NCAASeason94 #GalingNCAA pic.twitter.com/kpfdsnro2i — ABS-CBN Sports (@abscbnsports) September 11, 2018 Nelle was the fourth string point guard behind Bolick, Jo Presbitero and Radge Tongco in Season 94. But, with the graduation of all three aforementioned players, the keys to the Red Lions’ offense has fallen straight into Nelle’s hands. While sharing the backcourt with Kwekuteye, Nelle led San Beda to the 2019 FilOil Championship and averaged a league-best 4.7 assists per contest.    Donald Tankoua (SBU)   Aside from capturing the title in the country’s most prestigious pre-season tournament, Kwekuteye and Nelle were also named to the Mythical Five along with their starting center, Donald Tankoua.  Donald Tankoua drops 23 points to help San Beda end the eliminations on a high note. #NCAASeason94 #GalingNCAA pic.twitter.com/EUFpXnAt8T — ABS-CBN Sports (@abscbnsports) October 23, 2018 The 6’6” Cameroonian big man has always been one of the most consistent players, year in and year out in the NCAA and will continue to be as he plays out his final year of eligibility in Season 95. Because he’s a walking double-double, expect Tankoua to be the early favorite to win MVP.   Mike Harry Nzeusseu (LPU)   Now, if there is anybody who possesses the physical attributes and the numbers to challenge Tankoua’s MVP campaign, it’s LPU’s Mike Harry Nzeusseu. Mike Harry Nzeusseu gets NASTY ???? #NCAASeason94 #NCAAFinals pic.twitter.com/yEAr0ywBPd — ABS-CBN Sports (@abscbnsports) November 12, 2018 Nzeusseu ended last season without confirming that he would return to play one more year with the Pirates but his participation in the Fil-Oil tournament tells us that he will be back to anchor the defense of Coach Topex Robinson. And without Perez, the 6’6” center from the Republic of Cameroon will also have to do major damage on the offensive end as well.  Jayson David (LPU)   Jayson David picks Robert Bolick's pocket for the transition finish! #NCAASeason93 #NCAAStrong pic.twitter.com/Inl17UZbKq — ABS-CBN Sports (@abscbnsports) November 7, 2017 Back in Season 91, the NCAA added a Most Improved Player trophy to their list of awardees for every basketball tournament. Based on the pre-season, former San Sebastian guard Jayson David has emerged as the frontrunner for that award as he has assumed the starting spot of Perez with LPU. David is no “Baby Beast”, but it seems that Robinson trusts him enough to be a critical piece in the Pirates’ quest to capture that elusive NCAA championship. He averaged 7.3 PPG, 6 RPG and 2.1 APG in the Fil-Oil tourney.   Jeo Ambohot (CSJL)   Another player who seems to have earned the trust of his coach is Jeo Ambohot. Under Coach Jeff Napa, the ‘23 for 23’ Gilas World Cup pool member came off the bench and underachieved, only averaging 7.2 PPG and 7.2 RPG for the Knights in Season 94. Jeo Ambohot can hit this all game long! ???? #NCAASeason94 #GalingNCAA pic.twitter.com/5NCj7tV7Gt — ABS-CBN Sports (@abscbnsports) October 9, 2018 However, under new Letran Head Coach Bonnie Tan, Ambohot was being utilized as the starting center with last year’s Rookie of the Year, Larry Muyang coming off the bench in their pre-season games. Nevertheless, a player like Ambohot should not be happy with his dismal outing last year and should come out stronger in Season 95.    Renato Ular (CSJL)   Here’s a guy you probably haven’t heard about before. His name is Renato Ular. Ring a bell? Probably not. The last time he saw action was during his rookie year in Season 92. Actually, he didn’t even do much back then. He only played in four games in did not score a single point in any of those games. After two years as a spectator, Ular has finally rejoined the Letran lineup and was their best player in the Fil-Oil tournament averaging 9.8 PPG and 8.1 RPG. The last left-handed legend from Letran was Rey Nambatac. This lefty’s got a long way to go to get on the Sting Rey’s level, but expect him to be one of the Knights' primary attackers this year.   RK Ilagan (SSC-R)   RK Ilagan was FEELING IT from downtown, dropping a new career-high 2??6?? PTS vs Mapua! #NCAASeason94 #GalingNCAA pic.twitter.com/SDIaVmtzCF — ABS-CBN Sports (@abscbnsports) October 12, 2018 Speaking of attacking, one player who will be more relentless than he’s ever been this Season 95 is RK Ilagan. The pride of Barrio Fugoso, Tondo, Manila ranked seventh in scoring last year, averaging 15.2 PPG and was the Golden Stags’ leading scorer despite the presence of Calisaan. Coach Egay Macaraya loves a shooter and will continue to give the green light to Ilagan who made more triples (40) than any player in the NCAA in Season 94.    Kent Salado (AU)   Prior to injuring his right knee on October 10, 2017 in an 85-79 Arellano win over SSC-R in Season 93, Kent Salado was one of the most exciting players in the NCAA. The spitfire point guard from Cagayan de Oro was averaging 19.1 PPG (2nd behind Perez) and 5.0 APG (2nd behind Bolick) for the Chiefs, taking over the driver’s seat that Jiovani Jalalon occupied during their run to the Finals in Season 92. Lervin Flores with a nice block, Kent Salado with an even better finish! #NCAASeason93 #NCAAStrong pic.twitter.com/ohK28fFFhS — ABS-CBN Sports (@abscbnsports) September 15, 2017 Now that he’s finally had surgery to repair what was eventually revealed to be a torn ACL, Salado is looking to excite fans anew especially since Arellano University will serve as the host of the NCAA for the first time in league history. Justin Gutang (CSB)   Recently, I asked former Arellano Head Coach Jerry Codi?era who he thought had the makings of a star in the NCAA now that the likes of Perez and Bolick are in the pros. The “Defense Minister” immediately mentioned one name: Justin Gutang. The 6’3” Fil-American forward from San Francisco, California had an impressive rookie season, averaging 13.4 PPG, 6.2 RPG and 4.3 APG for the Blazers and winning the Slam Dunk contest along the way. Although we haven’t heard much from Gutang in the off-season, the fact that a PBA Legend still has him on his radar means that the kid’s potential cannot be ignored. ?Editor's Note: The list is based on pre-season performances of teams. There are some NCAA teams who have not partcipated in pre-season tournaments nor released line-ups.  ?Catch NCAA Season 95 starting July 7, Sunday, 11:30 am LIVE on S+A, S+A HD, Liga, Liga HD, iWant and via livestream.    .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 27th, 2019

Lions still force to reckon with

Reigning NCAA champion San Beda will no longer be as formidable as it was the past few years when it boasted the league’s deepest, most talented roster headed by the prolific duo of Robert Bolick and Javee Mocon......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJun 24th, 2019

Ateneo s Ravena flanked by two UP Maroons in 2019 All-Collegiate Team

Four different schools will be represented in this year's All-Collegiate Team. Robert Bolick of NCAA three-peat titlist San Beda and Thirdy Ravena of UAAP back-to-back champion Ateneo are the headliners of the Mythical Five in the 2019 Chooks-to-Go Collegiate Awards presented by SportsVision scheduled for Monday at Amelie Hotel Manila in Malate. Bolick ended his collegiate career with a bang, averaging 16.8 points in 49.1 percent shooting, 5.4 rebounds, and 4.8 assists in the Red Lions' 20-1 romp through the 94th Season of the NCAA. That included a 50-point outburst against Arellano in the elimination round - one of the highest individual marks in the history of the Grand Old League. For his part, Ravena flew the highest he ever has with norms of 14.9 points, 3.1 rebounds, 1.2 steals, and 1.0 blocks as the Blue Eagles' dominated UAAP Season 81 with an overall 15-2 record. He saved his best for last when he imposed his will on UP en route to being hailed as Finals MVP. Completing this year's All-Collegiate Team selected by the Collegiate Press Corps, made up of scribes from print and online outfits covering the NCAA and UAAP, are NCAA 94 MVP Prince Eze of Perpetual and the UP pair of Bright Akhuetie and Paul Desiderio. Eze put the Altas on his back all season long as they barged back into the playoffs. Akhuetie's own MVP campaign as well as Desiderio's heroics were also more than enough to bring the Fighting Maroons to their first Final Four since 1997 and first Finals in 32 years. All five will be honored in the annual event also supported by Amelie Hotel Manila, Rain or Shine, NorthPort, World Balance, Arellano, and AXA Team EDS. They will be alongside fellow awardees in NU Lady Bulldogs who will receive the Award of Excellence, Ateneo's Ange Kouame and San Beda's Javee Mocon who will receive Pivotal Player plums, Adamson's Sean Manganti and Lyceum's CJ Perez who will receive Impact Player citations, Red Lions' mentor Boyet Fernandez and Blue Eagles' tactician Tab Baldwin who will be recognized as Coaches of the Year, and UST's Sisi Rondina and Arellano's Regine Arocha who will make history as the first-ever SportsVision Volleyball Players of the Year. The 2019 Chooks-to-Go Collegiate Press Corps Awards presented by SportsVision will be aired live over Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas and Tiebreaker Times on Facebook......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 25th, 2019

REWIND RANKINGS: Thirdy, Arvin T., and 14 NBTC All-Stars

The National Basketball Training Centre 24 is now on its third year and through its run, it has been graced by the likes of Kai Sotto, Joel Cagulangan, SJ Belangel, Carl Tamayo, Rhayyan Amsali, and Kevin Quiambao as top three talents. From 2018 onward, a selection committee made up of scribes from ABS-CBN Sports, ESPN5, Spin, and Tiebreaker Times have reviewed the best of the best in the NCAA, UAAP, MMBL, CESAFI-NBTC, and FCAAF and then ranked them in the definitive list of the most promising prospects in the Philippines. That list of names then became the final roster for the annual NBTC All-Star Game. Even before the NBTC 24, though, the grassroots national tournament has organized All-Star Games with 24 of the most promising prospects in the Philippines. And so, wouldn't it be fun if the All-Stars before 2018 will get the NBTC 24 treatment? In this space, the current selection committee will be retroactively ranking the NBTC All-Stars in their respective years from the game's debut in 2012 all the way to 2017. Next, it's the 2014 NBTC All-Stars - a class that was composed of several players from two teams who had perfect seasons. --- Both San Beda High School and Nazareth School of National University completed clean sweeps of their respective tournaments in 2013. The Red Cubs were the class of the NCAA Jrs. after going 18-0 in the elimination round and then disposing of La Salle Green Hills via two consecutive convincing victories in the Finals. The Bullpups were right there with them after winning each and every one of their 14 matches in the elims before stamping their class on Ateneo de Manila High School in the championship round. Perfect runs are a rarity and that's why it would be a no-brainer that players from San Beda and National U would top our retroactive rankings - as, famously, the NBTC 24 values winning first and foremost. That means that Red Cub Arvin Tolentino and Bullpup Hubert Cani vault over NCAA MVP Prince Rivero of LSGH and UAAP MVP Thirdy Ravena of Ateneo. And that's not just because of who wound up with the biggest wins. Tolentino only proved to be worthy of the hype as the best big man coming out of high school as he displayed his versatility en route to the Finals MVP. Cani was himself Finals MVP as nobody from the blue and white had an answer for his steady play that turned up the volume when it mattered most. Of course, even then, there was no denying the tantalizing talent that was Ravena and, in the future, he would go on to be the top talent from this class and won three championships with Ateneo. Rivero, meanwhile, had for himself a solid stint in college as well, but never got to harness his full potential as a banger in La Salle. The year also saw the charge of San Sebastian back into the forefront of the high school wars led by Mythical Teamers Michael Calisaan and Rhanzelle Yong. The year was definitely dominated by the NCAA and the UAAP as those leagues held down the top 13 spots. Hope Christian big man John Apacible and point guard Arjan Dela Cruz were the first players outside those tournaments at 14th and 15th, respectively. Going farther down the list, however, there hides Isaac Go who was a raw project in Xavier before rising to great heights in Ateneo. A noteworthy absence in the All-Star Game is LSGH's Kobe Paras who, by then, was already priming and preparing to go to the US and play in the NCAA. In all, the 2014 NBTC All-Stars counted 11 players from the NCAA, seven from the UAAP, and 6 players from other leagues in Manila. In the top 10, the NCAA also boasted of occupying the most seats with six. This is the final NBTC 24 for 2014 - retroactively, that is: 1. Arvin Tolentino, F, San Beda 2. Hubert Cani, G, National U 3. Thirdy Ravena, F, Ateneo 4. Prince Rivero, F, LSGH 5. JP Cauilan, F, National U 6. Michael Calisaan, F, San Sebastian 7. Revrev Diputado, G, San Beda 8. Javee Mocon, F, San Beda 9. Rhanzelle Yong, F, San Sebastian 10. Diego Dario, G, UPIS 11. Enzo Battad, F, National U 12. Richard Escoto, F, FEU-Diliman 13. Radge Tongo, G, San Beda 14. John Apacible, C/F, Hope 15. Arjan Dela Cruz, G, Hope 16. Alfren Gayosa, F/G, San Sebastian 17. Chino Mosqueda, G, National U 18. Med Salim, F, Chiang Kai Shek 19. Isaac Go, C, Xavier 20. Ryan Costelo, G, San Sebastian 21. Jarrell Lim, G, Xavier 22. Ivan Villanueva, F, Letran 23. Jobert Mercado, G/F, Hope 24. Justine Serrano, F, Mapua.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 8th, 2020

2019: To sweep or not to sweep in collegiate basketball

The 2019 collegiate basketball season will always be remembered as the time when all of NCAA defending champion San Beda, UAAP Men’s defending champion Ateneo, and UAAP Women’s defending champion National U were trying for season sweeps. Two of them did it, one of them didn’t. All in all, though, that storyline that had something to do with history defined NCAA 95 and UAAP 82. A tale of two leagues – when it comes to foreign student-athletes NCAA 95 was the last season wherein the Grand Old League’s 10 member-schools were still able to trot out foreign student-athletes. This, after more than a decade of the likes of Sam Ekwe, Sudan Daniel, Allwell Oraeme, Prince Eze, and Mike Nzeusseu setting the bar higher for big men. Over in UAAP 82, Beninese ball of energy Soulemane Chabi Yo and Ivorian tower Ange Kouame jostled throughout the tournament for the recognition as top individual player. In the end, Chabi Yo followed in the footsteps of Cameroon’s Ben Mbala and Nigeria’s Bright Akhuetie as Season MVPs. The NCAA will go local from here on out while the UAAP will still parade promising prospects from overseas – what’s certain is that both leagues will go all-out to ascertain that the action will never stop. Rising stars become shining stars Robert Bolick left San Beda with a big, big hole at point guard – only for Evan Nelle to waste no time proving the Red Lions remain in good hands. UST’s fast and furious attack needed a fast and furious playmaker – and the Growling Tigers got just that in the form of Mark Nonoy. In his first year as FEU’s lead guard, L-Jay Gonzales showed time and time again why he was always seen as the next one in the Tamaraws’ long, long line of great guards. The story of the season in terms of guards, however, has got to be Fran Yu who came out of nowhere to energize Letran to a pleasant surprise of a championship. UP might 2019 was the first time in a long, long while – or maybe even ever – that UP was considered a shoo-in for the Final Four. The Fighting Maroons had just ended a 32-year Finals absence and a 21-year playoff drought last year and came into this season still with Bright Akhuetie, Jun Manzo, and Gomez de Liano brothers Javi and Juan, but also now with Kobe Paras and Ricci Rivero. In all, State U lived up to the hype and made it back-to-back Final Four appearances, but at the same time, fell short of fulfilling the promise of its fully loaded line-up. Still, continued contention is nothing but a welcome development for Diliman which had been experiencing dark, dark days for far too long. Gilas Pilipinas calling With Tab Baldwin overseeing the program, Gilas Pilipinas will try once more to take a long-term, big-picture view – especially with the 2023 FIBA World Cup looming large. With that, the American-Kiwi mentor tapped on five collegiate standouts to form the foundation of the national team – Ateneo’s Isaac Go and Nieto twins Mike and Matt, UE’s Rey Suerte, and San Sebastian’s Allyn Bulanadi. And with that, the Philippines is yet again leaning on the best of the best of collegiate basketball to wear the flag and do the country proud. It’s a new day, it’s a new generation The NCAA hit home runs in each and every one of its coaching changes. Bonnie Tan raised banner no. 18 for Letran in his first year. Randy Alcantara has Mapua prepped and primed to take flight. Louie Gonzalez has given JRU an attitude. Oliver Bunyi and Cholo Martin have EAC and Arellano, respectively, headed in the right direction. The same cannot be said for the UAAP as both of its new head coaches found themselves on the outside looking into the playoff picture. Jermaine Byrd had La Salle fighting, but ultimately failed to find a finishing kick. UE also kept coming with the leadership of Lawrence Chongson, but eventually ended eliminated. Teeth out, claws out, all-out UST has a proud program in basketball, but only had nine wins to show in 42 games from 2016 to 2018 That all came to an end in 2019 as Aldin Ayo had the Growling Tigers, well, growling from the get-go. Bombing away at their opponents and forcing them to keep up, Espana made its mark as a legitimate contender that made it all the way to the Finals. There, they were sent away by Ateneo’s championship-winning machine, but the future remains bright for the black and gold with all of Season MVP Chabi Yo, Rookie of the Year Nonoy, captain CJ Cansino, Brent Paraiso, and Sherwin Concepcion, among others, coming back for more. Fitting farewell for Ateneo’s championship core Thirdy Ravena. Isaac Go. Mike Nieto. Matt Nieto. Adrian Wong. Those five left Ateneo on top of the world – having claimed a three-peat as well as completed a historic season sweep. And without a doubt, those five were also the catalysts in this new golden age for the Blue Eagles – a golden age which has seen them set and then raise the standard for team glory time and time again. Katipunan will have a tough time moving forward from those five, but at the same time, having the likes of Ange Kouame, Will Navarro, Gian Mamuyac, and SJ Belangel just waiting in the wings makes it easier. Who run the world? National U has not lost a game in 2,270 days. National U has not lost a game in 74 months. National U has not lost a game in six years. The last time head coach Pat Aquino had to lift up the spirits of his Lady Bulldogs was back in October 5, 2013 when they bowed to La Salle in the winner-take-all Finals Game 3. Since then, the blue and gold has been the gold standard of women’s basketball all while giving its opponents the blues. That didn’t change this year as behind Jack Animam and Rhena Itesi as well as welcome additions Kelli Hayes and Camille Clarin, National U continued to have all the answers – even for back-to-back Season MVP Grace Irebu and UST. Shock the system Letran was, in no way, given a chance to deny archrival San Beda’s bid for a perfect season – or much more, win the championship altogether. But the Knights didn’t listen and took that chance themselves, catching just everybody by surprise by taking Game 1 and dealing the Red Lions their first defeat in the season. San Beda bounced back in Game 2, but in the decider, Jerrick Balanza, Bonbon Batiller, Larry Muyang, and Yu just willed Letran to the title. Now, the Knights are kings for the 18th time – and indeed, they had no import, but had no problem. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 23rd, 2019

THROWBACK: The stunning San Beda-Letran Finals face-off in Season 91

With yet another important milestone in its more than a decade-long dominance in the NCAA, the San Beda University Red Lions seek their fourth straight men’s basketball crown in Season 95. But in their roar to four, San Beda would face not just an old rival, but also a heartbreaking tormentor in the Colegio de San Juan de Letran Knights, which denied them a colossal, record-setting six-peat in Season 91.  While carrying a spotless 18-0 slate behind MVP Calvin Oftana, Evan Nelle, James Canlas-Kwekuteye and coach Boyet Fernandez that forced the stepladder semifinals, wherein Letran emerged as the rightful finals contender, carried by skipper Jerrick Balanza, Fran Yu, Larry Muyang, and coach Bonnie Tan, with victories over San Sebastian and Lyceum, San Beda would dread a repeat of that debacle.  But definitely, the veteran Knight Balanza, moreso AC Soberano and Donald Tankoua of the present San Beda roster, along with the 20,158 individuals inside the venue couldn’t forget that long, grueling championship night on October 29, 2015 at the Mall of Asia Arena. Storied nemeses They were already part of their respective varsity rosters, with the Knights coached then by Aldin Ayo and the Red Lions mentored at that time by Jamike Jarin, when the storied nemeses met in Game 3 of the Season 91 Finals that fateful Thursday. In each of their two previous successive Finals meetings in Seasons 88 and 89 with mostly the same lineup, the Knights would bow in three games to the Red Lions, which claimed their third and fourth consecutive titles since 2010. The first San Beda-Letran NCAA Finals match in half a century happened in 2007, with San Beda winning the crown—the Red Lions’ second straight title then after a 28-year title drought. After San Beda took its fifth straight title at the expense of the Arellano Chiefs in 2014, Letran got the chance to face the Red Lions again in the Finals of Season 91, and they would go all-out to stop their bitter rival’s date with history. A six-peat? No way, the Knights would assert in their march onto the Best-of-Three with a more formidable team under the new aggressive young coach Ayo, a former Letran player, in their bid to notch its first NCAA finals victory over the Red Lions since the heydays of the Lauro Mumar vs Carlos Loyzaga duel in the 1950s. And in the Season 91 Finals, Letran took the first game, 94-90, but San Beda emerged victorious in the second, 68-61, arranging the winner-take-all. Moment of truth When that moment of truth came, the Red Lions were reenergized with their Game 2 win and became confident in snagging that sixth straight title. Faced with this, however, the Knights remained solid and unperturbed in their iron-clad “Mayhem” armor. True enough, San Beda was shut out of focus in the beginning, as the Knights romped with a raging run-and-gun, leaving the Red Lions scoreless in a key stretch, 8-0, for a 16-7 early lead. Javee Mocon and Michole Sorela would finally provide the needed stops and lead a spirited comeback for the Red Lions. But Letran’s Rey Nambatac would drop a clutch basket to give the Knights an eight-point advantage at the end of the first quarter, 20-12. JP Calvo would continue Letran’s scorching offense in the second quarter, instigating a 10-0 run in the first minutes. But San Beda will answer a 5-0 spurt of its own behind Tankoua and Soberano’s steady shooting and consistency in the charity lane. The Knights’ high-octane offense held the Red Lions at bay, but the Mendiola dribblers’ 11-of-15 free throws would still keep Muralla cagers within striking distance. By the 1:14 mark, Roldan Sara converted a triple to give San Beda its first taste of the lead, 39-38, but Nambatac provided Letran the marginal lead at halftime with his two free throws, 40-39. See-saw battle The Lions would take over at the start of the third quarter, behind a string of baskets from Mocon and Art dela Cruz. The Knights, however, would answer with a nine-point blitz from Jomari Sollano to wrest the lead back at 51-48. Mocon would extend the see-saw battle with a putback and free throws, 52-51. But a 3-0 spurt, capped off by Kier Quinto’s twinner at the end of the period still placed Letran on top at the end of the third quarter, 54-52. By the first few minutes of the final canto, San Beda seemed frustrated by Letran’s incredible defensive game. And the Knights would dictate the tempo, preventing the Red Lions to wrest control. Letran’s offensive might was also a big factor, with Kevin Racal sinking back-to-back threes, halfway in the fourth.  Graduating players Baser Amer and Ola Adeogun would prevent a Letran pull away, keeping it a manageable four-point deficit, 60-64. But after Racal and Finals MVP Cruz’s assault from three-point land gave Letran what seemed an insurmountable 75-67 lead with 1:53 left, the Knights were silenced by a shocking 8-0 barrage by the Red Lions at the end of regulation, with Amer scoring the equalizer, 13.5 seconds left, to send the game to overtime.  Extended play During the extended play, Amer scored off a gallant incursion to pad an 82-79 lead, 1:28 remaining, setting off wild chants from the San Beda gallery. But these were then muted after four unanswered points coming from Racal’s two charities off an Adeogun foul and Sollano’s midrange jumper after a 24-second violation by the Red Lions, that put Letran in the lead once more, 83-82, with 32.6 seconds left. After successive misses by Amer and Dela Cruz, Adeogun fouled Sollano as the Knights regained possession, and the Letran center marched to the charity lane for two free throws with six seconds left. Sollano would sink the first, and flub the second. In the battle for the rebound, Letran’s McJour Luib and San Beda’s Dela Cruz were then assessed a controversial double-lane violation by referee Nestor Sambrano, who awarded ball possession to the Knights under FIBA rules of “alternating possession.” With 3.7 seconds left to play, and Letran leading at 84-82, Sara had no other choice but to foul Cruz, who would also split his charities.  First title in 10 years, championship steak ended Sorela would then miss a desperation attempt near mid-court as time expired, sending the Letran crowd to a frenzy, with the Knights bagging its first title in 10 years, breaking the hearts of Bedans everywhere as the Red Lions’ five-year championship streak has ended. Racal would top-score for the Knights with 24 markers, most of which in that key stretch in the endgame. Sollano had his career game of 19 points and seven rebounds, Cruz finishing with 14, and Nambatac, 13. Dela Cruz would lead the Red Lions with a near triple-double of 15 points, 13 rebounds, and eight assists. He added a steal and two blocks in his incredible all-around game. Adeogun completed his duty in San Beda with a monster double-double of 13 points and 13 rebounds. Fellow outgoing Lion Amer chipped in 14 points, which was similar to the output of the prolific Mocon. Will San Beda avenge this heartbreaking loss in their first Finals rematch against Letran since Season 91 and assert its remarkable dynasty or will the Knights frustrate the Red Lions anew and waylay them in an NCAA men’s basketball championship series for the second time in a row?  Watch Game 1 of the NCAA Season 95 Finals between the San Beda Red Lions and the Letran Knights starting on Tuesday, November 12, at the Mall of Asia Arena and live on ABS-CBN S+A Channel 23, ABS-CBN S+A HD Channel 166, LIGA SkyCable Channel 86, LIGA HD SkyCable Channel 183, TFC.tv, TFC, iWant and livestream......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 12th, 2019

SUPER SHOWDOWN: San Sebastian s Allyn Bulanadi vs UE s Rey Suerte

Whenever University of the East needs a basket, the ball goes to the hands of Rey Suerte. In the very same way, whenever San Sebastian College-Recoletos is looking for somebody to score, it looks to Allyn Bulanadi. Suerte's an orthodox shot-creator. Bulanadi's a southpaw bucket-getter. Without a doubt, though, the two of them are scoring machines the Red Warriors and the Golden Stags know full well they can turn on when it matters most. These two gunslingers may not be dueling anytime soon, but lucky for us we got ABS-CBN Sports' Super Showdown to pit them against one another. To determine who the greater scoring machine is, we will judge them in five categories (shooting from the outside, finishing at the rim, playmaking, defense, and clutch gene) with a boxing-style 10-point must system determining the decision. SHOOTING FROM OUTSIDE Bulanadi is a deadeye shooter. When people think about San Sebastian, they think about RK Ilagan being the one player you can never leave open, but they actually have two as their lefty forward has nailed 35 percent of his attempts from deep and has notched a total of 41 triples through the elimination round. Make no mistake, Suerte is himself a scary shooter, but he can be described better as a streaky shooter rather than a deadeye one. It also doesn't hurt Bulanadi that his being a lefty only makes his jumpshot all the more beautiful. Advantage, Bulanadi, 10-9 FINISHING AT THE RIM Suerte is a threat from all over the court, but inside the paint is where he shines. With all the finesse in the world to complement his superb ballhandling, UE's top gun gives defenders nightmares whenever they start on him from beyond the arc. With a nifty headfake, Suerte can freeze just about everybody in front of him before wasting no time slicing into the lane where he can most certainly bang with the big boys - drilling difficult shots or getting sent to the stripe. Bulanadi's no slouch from inside, but he has always been more of a shooter than a slasher. Advantage, Suerte, 10-9 PLAYMAKING San Sebastian is a two-man show as head coach Egay Macaraya lets Bulanadi and Ilagan run wild on offense. While there are times they set one another up, more often than not, the two give truth to the saying "shooters gonna shoot." On the other hand, Suerte has all the capability and confidence to make plays not just for himself, but for all of UE. In fact, the one-and-done star ranks third in all of the league in terms of assists - and is the only non-point guard in the top 10. Advantage, Suerte, 10-9 DEFENSE Suerte has a lot more bulking up to do so that he can translate his game into the next level. While his height is ideal at 6-foot-3, his width still has a long ways to go for him to make the same sort of impact in the pros. Bulanadi, meanwhile, already has the prototype body for a modern swingman in the pros. Also at 6-foot-3 and with above average upper body strength as well as limbs for days, he has the potential to be as disruptive on defense as he is destructive on offense. Advantage, Bulanadi, 10-9 CLUTCH GENE There's a possibility that Suerte, by his lonesome, will bar La Salle's entry into the Final Four with his cold-blooded game-winning triple being the loss that the Green Archers would look back to as the one that got away. Along with that, he has also had more than a few clutch moments back when he was still playing for University of the Visayas in CESAFI. Bulanadi, however, is just on a different level, proving fearless even when he was still a reserve forward - and you may ask Robert Bolick, Javee Mocon, and the rest of San Beda University about that. And most recently, he turned in his masterpiece - a 44-point outburst, five coming in the last three minutes, that wrestled down University of Perpetual Help and willed San Sebastian back into the Final Four. Advantage, Bulanadi, 10-9 FINAL SCORE, 48-47 for San Sebastian's Allyn Bulanadi.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 25th, 2019

EYES ON YOU, KID: NCAA 95 Jrs. players to watch

The first round of the NCAA 95 Juniors Basketball Tournament is over and done with. And with the second round already underway, we’re getting even more glimpses of the future of Philippine basketball courtesy of these players: MAC GUADANA – Lyceum of the Philippines University ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 18.7 points, 6.6 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 2.1 steals LPU is on the brink of its first playoff appearance in school history – and throughout its quest to do just that, Mac Guadana has been its constant. For a long time, the 6-foot playmaker has stood as the pillar for the Jr. Pirates, but now, he has taken the leap all the way up there as one of the best players in all of high school. The former Batang Gilas guard has been stuffing the stat sheet and is tops in steals, fourth in scoring, and fifth in assists in the league. Without a doubt, he can and he is doing it all in his fifth and final year in maroon and grey. Most importantly, LPU has only followed his lead all the way to a place well inside the playoff picture. Of course, it remains to be seen if the Jr. Pirates can continue their sail to treasure island. What’s certain, though, is that their 18-year-old homegrown star will keep giving his all for them. RHAYYAN AMSALI – San Beda High School ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 16.3 points, 7.2 rebounds, 4.9 assists, 1.7 steals For four years running now, Rhayyan Amsali has been one of the most promising prospects in the Jrs. Now in his last year in high school, he has only brought over all the confidence and capabilities he had honed in National U all the way to San Beda. Now donning red and white, the 6-foot-3 forward has unleashed a more well-rounded game as he is actually the league’s best playmaker while at the same time, its third-best pilferer and fifth-best scorer. And if not for a controversial suspension, he would have also been the frontrunner for MVP as he has been a key cog for the league-leading Red Cubs. Still, what matters most for the now 18-year-old is another championship – and at the end of it all, he may very well be in select company of players who have won two titles in two different high schools in two different leagues. JONNEL POLICARPIO – Mapua High School ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 16.1 points, 10.6 rebound, 2.6 assists, 1.3 blocks The biggest reason Mapua has found itself in the bottom third of the standings is the inconsistency of main man Jonnel Policarpio. From missing the first three games due to personal problems to getting irregular playing time due to mental lapses, the 6-foot-4 energizer has only proven he has got much room for improvement when it comes to intangibles. Still, whenever he’s on the floor, Policarpio has always made his presence felt and that is very much evident with him being the MVP leader even after only playing seven games. However, the league’s top rebounder needs to prove he can stay on the court and lead his team to victory if he wants to have a hold of that top individual trophy and, more importantly, extend his team’s title reign. JUSTINE SANCHEZ – San Beda High School ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 12.5 points, 62.8 percent shooting, 7.5 rebounds Justine Sanchez is turning in a career year in his last year for San Beda. From coming off the bench a year ago to claiming a starting spot for himself, the long-limbed forward is on pace to be hailed as the league’s Most Improved Player. All the proof he needs for that is already there as he is an automatic finisher of set-ups by his teammates, with an astounding 62.8 shooting clip from the field. At the same time, though, he has also shown flashes of shooting and playmaking – showing that even the favorite for Most Improved Player looks like he can still keep growing. JOHN BARBA – Lyceum of the Philippines University ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 20.4 points, 8.4 rebounds, 3.0 assists Mac Guadana does it all, but if and when LPU needs a basket badly, it turns to John Barba. A fearless slasher that boasts of one of the best – if not the best – upper body strengths, the 6-foot-2 swingman can score however he wants once he gets to the paint. That is exactly why he is the league’s second-best scorer. Of course, Barba has to work on his shooting, but as of right now, that hole in his game is only offset by his energy and activity that allow him to haul in offensive rebounds and make good on second chance points. TONY YNOT – San Beda High School ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 10.5 points, 4.7 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.3 steals Tony Ynot missed San Beda’s first five games due to a knee injury, but once he was good to go, he did nothing but make an immediate impact. A defensive specialist who made noise in the preseason with a poster block on Jalen Green, the Filipino-American blue-chip recruit in the US NCAA, he is only proving to be more of a two-way force now in his second season in red and white. The 5-foot-11 wing now has the confidence to let it fly from deep or venture inside the paint for a closer look, but when it all boils down to it, defense is and will always be his calling card. RC CALIMAG – College of St. Benilde-La Salle Greenhills ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 20.7 points, 23-of-60 from three, 5.0 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 1.0 steals RC Calimag has always been in love with the midrange shot in his time in DLSZ and now in his second season in LSGH. The 6-foot-2 forward knocks those down at a respectable rate, but his transition into taking more threes this year has unlocked his entire offensive arsenal. Calimag is the league’s top scorer, with a bulk of his output coming from deep where he has hit 23 in total. Without a doubt, he has always been a deadly scorer, but with his outside shot now a legitimate threat, he has become an elite offensive player. JOSHUA RAMIREZ – Colegio de San Juan de Letran ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 15.1 points, 29-of-90 from three, 5.5 rebounds, 2.4 assists Joshua Ramirez’s game will not blow anybody away at all as he is yet to have a skill that will put him above everybody else. What the 6-foot-3 forward is, however, is an all-around player who will do whatever it takes to help out his team – if Letran needs points, he will be there; if Letran needs playmaking, he will be there; if Letran needs defense, he will be there. No doubt about it, he is the quintessential glue guy that any other team will want to have on their side. EMMAN GALMAN – University of Perpetual Help ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 19.5 points, 7.8 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 1.5 steals One word perfectly encapsulates Emman Galman – gunner. The 6-foot-2 swingman is a volume shooter who has the greenest of green lights to take shots for Perpetual. That’s not a bad thing at all, though, because he actually makes good on many of those and finds himself as the third-best scorer in all of the league. SHAWN UMALI – Colegio de San Juan de Letran ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 9.7 points, 8.5 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 1.4 blocks, 1.1 steals What Joshua Ramirez is from the perimeter, Shawn Umali is inside the paint for Letran. The undersized big man will not wow everybody, but his do-it-all game has been the engine that has kept the Squires running for two years now. And don’t let his 6-foot-4 height and wide frame fool you, he actually has great timing and is the league’s fifth-best shot blocker. HONORABLE MENTIONS Yukien Andrada – San Beda High School Gholam Garcia – Jose Rizal University High School CJ Saure – Colegio de San Juan de Letran Ezdel Galoy – University of Perpetual Help --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 17th, 2019

NCAA 95 Player of the Week Calvin Oftana doing it all for San Beda

Defending champion San Beda remains the benchmark of excellence in NCAA after a perfect 4-0 start in Season 95. A wealth of talent has contributed to the Red Lions’ early success, but one player stood out in particular after their 73-59 victory versus title hopeful San Sebastian last Friday.  Veteran forward Calvin Oftana put his imprint in the game with 10 points, 10 rebounds, and seven assists. More than that, he was instrumental in the final period, scoring eight points, including two triples, to help keep San Beda's record unblemished.  That  all-around brilliance earned for him the Chooks-to-Go Collegiate Press Corps NCAA Player of the Week award. "Calvin made his shots in the fourth. He had been missing that in the first quarters, but I told them if they’re open, they should take it," said Red Lions coach Boyet Fernandez. "I’m happy with the way he played today and hopefully, maging consistent pa lalo si Calvin."  For the 6-foot-5 forward, the focus remains on working his way to becoming a reliable and consistent big man for San Beda. "Sobrang mahirap, pero dinodoble ko yung effort ko para mag-improve," said Oftana, determined to fill the void left behind by Javee Mocon. "Para may ipakita naman ako this season."  Oftana beat out Lyceum’s Renzo Navarro, Letran's Ato Ular, CSB’s Jimboy Pasturan, and Arellano's Kent Salado for the weekly award handed out by scribes covering the beat from print and online......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 28th, 2019