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  1. PCYAA Aspi Finals: PCC, MGC-NLCA Duke It Out

    It will be Philippine Cultural College against upset-conscious Makati Gospel Church-New Life Christian Academy in the best-of-three finals of the Aspirants Open Division in the first Ching Yuen Athletic Association (PCYAA) basketball competitions.

    To be held at the Uno High School Gym in Manila, the title series opener will be played on Wednesday, February 19 (6:30 p.m.), right after the third-place duel between Saint Jude Catholic School and Pace Academy.

    The second-seeded PCC Seagulls made short work of the third-seeded Pace Academy Pacers in the semifinals, registering an easy 92-43 decision behind gangling center Daniel Manalang’s 20-point, 14-rebound, 2-block performance. Manalang had tallied no more than six points in his previous eight assignments.

    Fifth seed MGC-NLCA, on the other hand, survived four consecutive games facing elimination to arrange a championship duel with PCC.

    MGC-NLCA needed to beat No. 1 seed and erstwhile unblemished Saint Jude Catholic School twice in their semis and it did just that, winning 72-66 on Saturday and 48-45 on Sunday in the rubber match.

    Earlier, in the quarterfinals, MGC-NLCA also overcame a twice-to-beat advantage by No. 4 seed Icure-Jubilee Christian Academy with back-to-back victories.

    Something has to give when red-hot teams PCC (8-1) and MGC-NLCA (7-4) clash in the finals. The Seagulls currently own a six-game winning streak and MGC-NLCA has not tasted defeat in its last five assignments.

    PCC has a height advantage against MGC-NLCA and is the slight favorite to romp away with the Aspirants crown in the six-week, eight-school tournament featuring players aged 13 and under.

    PCC, whose solitary loss came against SJCS during the elimination phase, is built around long-range bombers Jharles Uy and Lian Dy and mastodons Manalang and John Santos in a Twin Towers combination.

    With a balanced offense, the Seagulls have six players averaging between five and 10 points per game. They are Uy, 10.0 ppg; Dy, 8.6; Santos, 8.1; Angelo Tan, 6.7; Manalang, 5.1; and Michael Manansala, 5.0.

    MGC-NLCA has its own advantages. It owns a deeper bench and appears to have the more agile players.

    The team has bruising frontliners in William Tan and Bohden Si, quick slashers in John Angping and Patrick Uy and a trio of long-range sharpshooters in Aaron Sy, Mikel Go and Ike Lim.

    MGC-NLCA also subscribes to the share-the-offensive-wealth philosophy as seven of its players are producing at least five points every time out.

    Patrick Uy leads the pack with 9.5 ppg, including a tournament high of 30 vs. St. Jude in their first semifinal encounter. The other top scorers for MGC-NLCA are Angping, 9.2 ppg; Lao, 9.1; Go, 8.9; Sy, 6.8; Lim, 6.6; and Si, 5.1.

    Game Two of the finals will be held on Saturday, February 22 (10 a.m.). Should a third game be necessary, it would be played on Wednesday, February 26 (5 p.m.).
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    Philippine Basketball
  2. 1st PCYAA Aspi Playoffs: MGC-NLCA Repeats Over SJCS, Reaches Finals

    Sunday February 16 Result

    (5) Makati Gospel Church-New Life Christian Academy 48 – (1) Saint Jude Catholic School 45


    Wednesday February 19 Schedule Venue: Uno HS Gym
    5:00 p.m. – St. Jude Catholic School vs. Pace Academy (for third place)
    6:30 p.m. – (2) Philippine Cultural College vs. (5) MGC-NLCA (Finals, Game 1)

    Saturday February 22 Schedule Venue: Uno HS Gym
    10:00 a.m. – (2) Philippine Cultural College vs. (5) MGC-NLCA (Finals, Game 2)

    Wednesday February 26 Schedule, *If Necessary Venue: Uno HS Gym
    5:00 p.m. – (2) Philippine Cultural College vs. (5) MGC-NLCA (Finals, Game 3)

    For the fourth game in a row, No. 5 seed Makati Gospel Church-New Life Christian Academy faced elimination with a loss.

    Astonishingly, MGC-NLCA survived one test after another and, with a victory each time, the Cinderella-like team has reached the Finals of the Aspirants Open Division of the 1st Philippine Ching Yuen Athletic Association basketball competitions.

    Sunday morning at the Uno High School Gym, MGC-NLCA completed its mastery of top seed Saint Jude Catholic School with a come-from-behind 48-45 repeat win that earned the team a ticket to the Finals against early qualifier and No. 2 seed Philippine Cultural College, a 92-43 victor over third seed Pace Academy in their own semifinal duel.

    The day before (Saturday), MGC-NLCA had whipped SJCS, 72-66, to force a winner-take-all encounter against the Judenites. The setback was St. Jude’s first in nine assignments.

    In the quarterfinals, MGC-NLCA also had to overcome a twice-to-beat advantage by its opponent, fourth seed Icure-Jubilee Christian Academy, with a pair of victories.

    Both MGC-NLCA and SJCS exhibited a lot of heart throughout their do-or-die match Sunday. Each mounted a huge comeback in the second half that resulted in a substantial change of leads by the two sides. However, at crunch time, it was MGC-NLCA that showed just a little bit more heart and poise under pressure.

    MGC-NLCA race to an 8-0 advantage (two free throws by Bohden Si, a basket by John Angping and four points by quick-moving Patrick Uy) as SJCS got off to a lethargic start.

    SJCS top gun Joao Filipino came off the bench midway through the first period after missing Saturday’s loss due to fever but the slugglish Judenites could not throw the rock into the ocean early and were held scoreless for the first 7.5 minutes before Calvin Uy completed a three-point play.

    Another three-point play from Uy and a couple of free throws by Filipino and the score was deadlocked at 8-all at the end of the first 10 minutes as MGC-NLCA also experienced an offensive drought after its 8-0 getaway.

    Long-range artist Ike Lim opened the second quarter with a trifecta and Angping added in a fielder to give MGC-NLCA a five-point lead, 13-8. But a 5-0 run by St. Jude that was capped by a triple by Calvin Uy resulted in another tie at 13-all (the second of four deadlocks in the game).

    SJCS grabbed the lead for the first time, 15-14, on a basket by Bentley Tia, but MGC-NLCA regained the upperhand, 20-15, on back-to-back three-pointers by pint-sized Aaron Sy (he missed the accompanying free throw following a foul off his second successful triple).

    The halftime score was 20-19 in MGC-NLCA’s favor after SJCS closed in on a pair of freebies each by Calvin Uy and Kyle Gan. Calvin totaled 11 scores after the first 20 minutes.

    After committing a turnover in each of its first three possessions to start the second half, St. Jude surged ahead, 21-20, on a Filipino twinner.

    Four points by Angping and two free throws by Patrick Uy and it was MGC-NLCA’s turn to taste the lead at 26-21. Tia sliced SJCS’s deficit to one, 26-25, with consecutive baskets (each time, he missed the free throw that accompanied the fielder) at the 5:51 mark.

    It was at this time that MGC-NLCA went to town offensively, detonating a 10-0 bomb – an Angping putback, a Mikel Go three, an Ike Lim long two and an Aaron triple – to take its largest lead, 36-25, time down to 3:12 in the third quarter.

    St. Jude, with its season hanging in the balance, did not quit, though.

    Just when MGC-NLCA looked ready to run away with the game, SJCS struck back mightily. It tallied 12 straight markers bridging the third and fourth quarters (MGC-NLCA was up, 36-33, at third quarter’s end despite Tia’s 10 points during the period) to regain the lead, 37-36, for the first time since early in the third quarter when high-scoring Calvin Uy knocked in a pair of free throws with 8:12 remaining in the payoff quarter.
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    Philippine Basketball
  3. 1st PCYAA Aspi Semis: MGC-NLCA Stops SJCS, PCC Earns Finals Ticket

    Saturday February 15 Results
    (Nos. 1 and 2 with a twice-to-beat advantage)

    (5) Makati Gospel Church-New Life Christian Academy 72 – (1) Saint Jude Catholic School 66

    (2) Philippine Cultural College 92 – (3) Pace Academy 43

    Note: MGC-NLCA and SJCS clash in a rubber match on Sunday February 16 and PCC earns a berth to the best-of-three finals.

    One team did not have its meal ticket (Joao Filipino) due to an illness. Another team lost its heart and soul (Getson Lim) due to an injury.

    The end result: Both lost their respective games Saturday morning in the Aspirants Open Division semifinal playoffs of the 1st Ching Yuen Athletic Association basketball competitions held at the Uno High School Gym in Manila.

    Second seed Philippine Cultural College demolished third seed Pace Academy, 92-43, to advance quickly to the finals and upset-conscious Makati Gospel Church-New Life Christian Academy wheeled past erstwhile unbeaten Saint Jude Catholic School, 72-66, to force a rubber match on Sunday, February 16.

    The winner of the MGC-NLCA vs. SJCS duel will meet PCC in the best-of-three championship series for players aged 13 and under. Game One of the Finals is set for Wednesday, February 19 (6:30 p.m.), following the third-place contest between Pace Academy and the loser of the MGC-NLCA vs. SJCS playoff.

    The PCC Seagulls and Pace Academy Pacers exchange leads in the opening quarter before stratospheric Daniel Manalang, who shot 4-for-4 from the field and had eight points in the first 10 minutes, knocked in a jumper to break the game’s third and final deadlock (after 6-6 and 8- and allow PCC to gain a 16-14 advantage at the conclusion of the first period.

    The Seagulls never gave up the lead since the time and frolicked merrily inside the paint the rest of the way following a serious ankle injury to the Pacers’ main man Getson Lim with 9:48 left in the second quarter (and the score still at 16-14). Pace Academy was never the same after the injury to the hulking Lim, who had all of his three points in the first period, and soon meekly surrendered.

    Lian Dy scored back-to-back baskets for a 20-14 PCC lead. A triple by Pol Antiporda put Pace within two points, 23-21, but a 10-2 run by the Seagulls (including four by Manalang) to end the first half gave them their first double-digit lead, 33-23.

    With 36.2 ticks left at the half, Lim was fielded back but the tournament’s No. 2 scorer with a 19.4-point clipbig fella simply could not move effectively and, sadly for the Pace Academy faithful, his day was done. (Lim sat out the entire second half).

    With Lim hobbled by the injury, his PCC counterpart Manalang was having a feast with a perfect shooting from the field (5-for-5) and from the foul line (2-for-2) for a dozen markers along with seven boards.

    PCC commenced action in the third period with 10 consecutive points behind a triple by Jharles Uy, a free throw by John Santos, back-to-baskets by Manalang (who made his first seven field-goal attempts) and a Lian Dy twinner. That completed a 14-0 blast by the Seagulls bridging the second and third quarters as they grabbed a commanding 43-23 advantage.

    Hardworking playmaker Tyrone Tan stopped the offensive drought by Pace with a triple and teammate Dean Ong followed it up with a pair of free throws to slice the deficit to 43-28, but that was the closest the Pacers were able to come within from thereon.

    Following a 1-for-3 performance from the charity stripes by Tyrone Tan, 45-29, the relentless PCC squad pounced on their disheartened opponents with another 10-0 bomb (behind a pair of twinners by Edge Sy and a fielder by Michael Manansala) with three minutes remaining in the third period to erect a 26-point bubble (55-29).

    The third-quarter ended at 60-24 after Pace’s Jeff Lugay, the league’s fourth-highest scorer at 16.8 ppg, made a couple of foul shots (his only points in the team’s second-half meltdown).

    Manalang was replaced with 4:34 left in the game, but not before collecting a game-high 20 points on 9-for-14 field shooting and 2-for-2 from the line, grabbing 14 rebounds and blocking two enemy missiles. The left-handed Dy got away with eight points in the fourth quarter as the Seagulls continued to keep up the pressure in a thorough display of dominance and a killer instinct.

    PCC scored 15 of the game’s final 18 points, including the last six, for an emphatic 49-point win, its largest lead for the game.

    Dy finished with 18 points (12 in the second half) for the Seagulls, who also drew 10 points (including 6-of-19 from the free throw area) and 10 boards from John Que.

    Tyrone Tan was the lone double-figure scorer for Pace with 10 points (including 5-of-13 ...
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    Philippine Basketball
  4. Sports on Valentine's Day

    Valentine’s Day is special for lovers young and young once, and for couples married or in a relationship.

    In addition to being a day for love and romance, some of the most memorable moments in sports history have come on February 14.

    Here are some of them.

    In 1951, boxers Sugar Ray Robinson and Jake LaMotta squared off in a 15-round bout for the world middleweight crown before 15,000 fans at the Chicago Stadium in Chicago, Illinois.

    The sixth fight between the two Americans would be known as “The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre” as the flamboyant Robinson (born Walker Smith Jr.) grabbed the undisputed world middleweight title with a 13th-round technical knockout.

    Robinson outboxed LaMotta for the first 10 rounds then unleashed a series of savage combinations on LaMotta for three rounds before stopping the latter for the first time in their epic six-bout series.

    On February 14, 1952, the 6th Winter Olympics commenced at Oslo, Norway. The games attracted nearly 700 athletes from 30 countries who took part in 22 separate events.

    Meanwhile, in the U.S. National Basketball Association, Harold Everett (Hal) Greer, a 6-2 guard known for his unique jumping free-throw stance, poured in 39 points for the Syracuse Nationals during the second half of a 1959 Valentine’s Day game against the Boston Celtics at the now-gone Boston Garden.

    Valentine’s Day in 1966 saw Wilt Chamberlain of the Philadelphia 76ers surpass Bob Pettit as the National Basketball Association’s all-time leading scorer. On that day, “The Stilt” upped his career scoring total to 20,884 points – four more than Pettit’s 20,880.

    On Valentine’s Day in 1962, the New York Knicks’ Richard Vincent (Richie) Guerin, a scrappy 6-4 guard out of Iona University, torched the Boston Celtics for 51 points in a victory at the old Madison Square Garden on 49th Street.

    Significantly, six years later also on V-Day, the current Madison Square Garden (on 33rd Street and 8th Avenue)above Penn Station) made its debut with the Knickerbockers beating the San Diego Rockets, 114-102.

    Guerin was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame last September.

    On February 14, 1967, high-scoring Richard Francis Dennis (Rick) Barry III of the San Francisco Warriors also burned the Boston Celtics for 50 points in a 128-122 victory at Oakland, California.

    Known for his unorthodox underhanded free-throw shooting, Barry won the NBA scoring title during the 1966-67 season.

    In U.S. college ball, Tony White of the University of Tennessee scored 51 points on February 14, 1987 in a 103-84 upset of Auburn University at the Stokely Athletics Center.

    A 6-2 senior guard known as the “Wiz,” White shot 15-for-20 from the field, including 3-for-3 from the three-point area, and was 18-for-19 from the free-throw line. It was the first year that the three-point shot was added to the U.S. college game.

    White broke the Volunteers’ all-time single-game scoring record previously held by Ron Widby, who chalked 50 points in 1967.

    To date, White’s 51-pointer remains the highest ever by a Tennessee cager. No one has come closer than former New York Knick Allan Houston’s 43 in 1990.

    White played one season and 49 games in the NBA, splitting time with the Chicago Bulls, New York Knicks and Golden State Warriors during the 1987-88 campaign.
  5. 1st PCYAA Aspirants Open Division: LEADING SCORERS, TEAM-BY-TEAM

    UNO HIGH SCHOOL (0- final
    Hans Chen – 8 games, 52 points, 6.5 ppg
    Matthew Vistan – 8 games, 46 points, 5.8 ppg
    Warren Tan – 8 games, 42 points, 5.3 ppg
    Jeremy Wu – 8 games, 41 points, 5.1 ppg
    Addrian Ramos – 8 games, 39 points, 4.9 ppg

    Elijah Sy – 8 games, 88 points, 11.0 ppg
    Dominic Ronquillo – 7 games, 69 points, 9.9 ppg
    John Chiu – 8 games, 62 points, 7.8 ppg

    Sebastian Choi – 8 games, 149 points, 18.6 ppg
    Seth Lim – 8 games, 69 points, 8.6 ppg
    Marcus Lu – 8 games, 57 points, 7.1 ppg

    Carlo Lim – 9 games, 198 points, 22.0 ppg
    Kyle Barraza – 9 games, 122 points, 13.6 ppg
    Jericho Albania – 7 games, 64 points, 9.1 ppg

    Tristan Lao – 9 games, 86 points, 9.6 ppg
    Mikel Go – 9 games, 84 points, 9.3 ppg
    John Angping – 9 games, 80 points, 8.9 ppg
    Patrick Uy – 9 games, 67 points, 7.4 ppg
    Ike Lim – 9 games, 61 points, 6.8 ppg
    Aaron Sy – 9 games, 56 points, 6.2 ppg
    Bohden Si – 9 games, 54 points, 6.0 ppg

    PACE ACADEMY (6-2)*
    Getson Lim – 8 games, 155 points, 19.4 ppg
    Jeff Lugay – 8 games, 134 points, 16.8 ppg
    Pol Antiporda – 8 games, 104 points, 13.0 ppg
    Tyrone Tan – 8 games, 70 points, 8.8 ppg

    Jharles Uy – 8 games, 86 points, 10.8 ppg
    John Santos – 7 games, 59 points, 8.4 ppg
    Lian Dy – 8 games, 59 points, 7.4 ppg
    Angelo Tan – 8 games,
    Michael Manansala – 8 games, 41 points, 5.1 ppg

    Joao Filipino – 8 games, 120 points, 15.0 ppg
    Calvin Uy – 8 games, 112 points, 14.0 ppg
    Bentley Tia – 8 games, 83 points, 10.4 ppg
    Patrick Go – 8 games, 40 points, 5.0 ppg
    John Zhuang – 8 games, 35 points, 4.4 ppg

    *qualified for the semifinals
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    Philippine Basketball
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