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    DATE: November 29, 2014 (Saturday)
    VENUE: Philippine Cultural College Gym
    TIME: 11:00 a.m. – Hope Christian High School vs. Stephen’s High School (3rd Place)
    12:30 p.m. – Chiang Kai Shek College vs. Saint Jude Catholic School (1st Place)
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    Philippine Basketball
  2. 17th MASA Basketball Finals: CKSC vs. SJCS

    It will guest team Chiang Kai Shek College against host Saint Jude Catholic School in the one-game finals of the 17th Metropolitan Amateur Sports Association (MASA) high school basketball tournament.

    D-Day (Decision Day) will be on Saturday, November 29, at the Philippine Cultural College Gym in Tondo, Manila. Just before the championship game (10:30 a.m.), deposed titlist Hope Christian High School and Saint Stephen’s High School will duke it out for third-place honors in the opener (9:00 a.m.) of Saturday’s doubleheader.

    The Chiang Kai Shek College Blue Dragons, who sport a lily-white 8-0 record in the eight-school, seven-week competitions, had destroyed the SJCS Judenites, 60-37, in their elimination-round faceoff last November 22, although both squads missed the services of some of their key players at the time.

    In that game, tree-like Jonas Raphael Tibayan showed up for the first time in the tournament and put together a double-double performance for CKSC with 22 points and 12 rebounds.

    During last Sunday’s semifinal playoffs, Chiang Kai Shek College brushed aside its twice-to-beat incentive and made quick work of fourth-seeded Saint Stephen’s High School, 65-46, while third-seeded Saint Jude Catholic School avenged its 79-63 elimination-round loss to Hope Christian High School by stunning the 2013 MASA titlist, 70-67, in their knockout encounter.

    Against the Stephenians (4-4), CKSC took control late in the first 10-minute quarter then outscored its foes, 22-7, in the second period to grab a sizeable 38-19 advantage at halftime. The Blue Dragons were never seriously challenged in the second half, enjoying a lead of at least 13 points throughout and their largest at 63-38 on a Robert John Minerva triple with four minutes remaining.

    Tibayan once again spearheaded CKSC’s offense with 15 markers along with six rebounds. Shamasneh Banez, another hulking frontliner, produced a double-double with 10 points and 10 boards and speedy guard Gershom Norman Montes also collected 10 markers.

    For Saint Jude Catholic School, it was off-the-chart to have beaten Hope Christian HS in the semifinals. The Warriors, who whipped the Judenites in the MASA finals a year ago, were ahead by as much as 22 points, 38-16, late in the first half notwithstanding the offensive woes of their scoring leader, National Youth Team member Jollo Go.

    As if it were a portent of things to come, Hope Christian surrendered the final five points of the half to lead by just 17, 38-21. It turned out to be the calm before the storm as Saint Jude made a huge game-altering turnaround in the third period, outscoring the Warriors, 29-9, to move ahead, 50-47, entering the final 10 minutes.

    The Judenites of bench boss Luis Nolasco erected a 67-57 lead with two minutes and 36 seconds remaining behind the heroics of Renzel Yongco, Maynard Yap, Earl See and Daniel Pua. But Hope Christian, however, was not done yet. A last-ditch rally put the Warriors within one point, 68-67, with 19.1 ticks left.

    Ahead 70-67, Saint Jude hung on to victory when Go, who labored offensively all game long, misfired on a trifecta attempt that could have forced a deadlock and sent the game into overtime.

    Four players scored in twin digits for the Judenites – See, 17 points; Pua, 17; Yongco, 15; and Yap 13. The team missed the services of burly frontliner Alec Johnson Billan due to an ankle injury he sustained against CKSC during their elims showdown.

    Go epitomized Hope Christian HS’ horrendous meltdown, collecting a frigid 12 points (on 4-of-25 FG and 4-of-10 FT shooting) without a single three-pointer (his trademark shot) throughout the game nor a field goal in the payoff quarter.

    Antonio Miguel Yang topscored for the Warriors with 14 markers and Kris Harvey Pagsanjan had eight of his 10 markers in the final canto.
    Chiang Kai Shek College is a slight favorite to repeat over Saint Jude Catholic School in the finals with its height advantage and deeper bench corps – granting the team comes in full force, of course.

    White they don’t own a legit go-to-guy, the Blue Dragons have a physical, tall lineup in Tibayen (18.5 ppg), Banez, Marc Erzel Quijano, Minerva, Adrian Martin Magada, Eric Anthony Guiao (9.8 ppg) and Joshua Ramirez (11.8 ppg) although Guiao and Ramirez have not shown up in CKSC’s last three assignments.

    Other CKSC contributors are backcourters Montes (10.5 ppg) and Richmond Sedrick King (7.9 ppg) and wingmen Jaylen Christian Ang (7.1 ppg) and Danilo Hernandez (6.8 ppg).

    For Saint Jude Catholic School, which has a 6-2 record, much of its strength lies in the troika of Yongco (16.0 ppg), See (13.5 ppg) and Yap (11.0 ppg), who ranked fifth, sixth and 14th, respectively, in the league in point production.

    Hardworking ...
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    Philippine Basketball
  3. Development and Imports

    So the UAAP has finally done it.

    Rod Roque of the University of the East, the UAAP Secretary-Treasurer for this season, declared in a sportswriters forum, "Starting Season 78 only one foreign player will be allowed in the lineup."

    “We are also thinking of the possibility that by 2015-2016, there will be no more recruitment of foreign players. Soon, there will be no foreign players na nandito. Patatapusin na lang,” Roque added further.

    That means that schools have up to academic year 2015 - 2016 only to recruit foreigners to play, at least in UAAP basketball.

    Considering the school that Roque represents has three African imports - Charles Mammie, Moustafa Arafat, and Bernard Awana - it is mighty strange that this policy should be passed during the year UE is the UAAP host. I mean, for cryin' out loud, a school with three imports of its own already in tow, one would think they would be among the most vociferous to object to such a policy, if only for selfish reasons.

    We are not privy to how the process went in arriving at this policy; a policy that has a profound impact on all UAAP schools. Roque was not able to elaborate too much if this just applies to college basketball or to all UAAP sports. I think this will be - even more controversially - confined only to the flagship men's senior division basketball event.

    I'm not sure how and why any UAAP school, especially the weaker programs, could go along with this policy.

    First of all, in basketball, height is still very much might. In our country, finding a quality player six feet or taller, especially in that sweet spot big man range of 6'4" and taller, is inherently difficult. Filipinos are on average only 5'4" or so in height. At 5'8" your humble servant is already considered tall in our country. Yet no one ever has, nor ever will be confused for a quality basketball player. Finding a credible, UAAP-senior grade guard (the usual position played by guys my size) is difficult as it is. How much more difficult could it be finding a credible UAAP-senior grade big man, 6'4" or taller, in a country that is made up of guys mostly a foot shorter?

    How then to make up for that gap? Recruit a quality import, usually from Africa. UE's Mammie, 6'7" and 250 pounds, built like the proverbial brick outhouse, arguably the most powerful board cleaner in the league, more than makes up for the lack of quality UE big men. Where would UE be without him?

    Some might say, without imports then nobody has an edge, especially in size. Tell that to National University, who had a 6'7" pogo stick with a jumpshot in Troy Rosario, or to Far Eastern, who has 6'4" do-it-all forward Mac Belo, or Lasalle, who had the pair of 6'6" Norbert Torres and 6'7" Arnold Van Opstal. FEU even has its own 6'7" pogo stick in Russell Escoto, who sat out part of this season with an assortment of injuries. All of these guys bring quality size up front.

    UE was somehow able to compete toe to toe with them just because they have Mammie, and Arafat as well. Next season they can only line up one import. What happens if Mammie gets into foul trouble?

    History will also show that imports do not offer much of an advantage. Look no further once again than newly-crowned champion NU. NU is the first team to have a star import win the men's senior basketball title in 6'6" Cameroonian Alfred Aroga. As good as Aroga is he got plenty of help from Rosario up front, and from the likes of Glenn Khobuntin, Gelo Alolino, Jay Alejandro, and Rev Diputado. So in 77 seasons the UAAP has crowned exactly one champion that had a star import. So it isn't as if NU won strictly, exclusively, and only because of Aroga.

    This of course is not the same with the NCAA. In eight of its last nine seasons, a team with a star import won their men's senior basketball title, the San Beda Red Lions.

    But again, it would be a fallacy to think that it is strictly, exclusively, and only because of their imports that San Beda has won eight of the last nine NCAA championships. Simplistically speaking, one might even argue that in 2009, the one gap in what should have been a 9-Peat dynasty, an All-Filipino San Sebastian squad beat a San Beda squad that even featured an American import in 6'8" Sudan Daniel, thus ending any talk that all it takes is a good import to guarantee a championship. The NCAA beat the UAAP to the punch in imposing its own import ban.

    That is why this total ban on imports makes no sense to me. It is as if college leagues are afraid of their own shadow.

    I submit that this will not really level the playing field all that much. Think back to say 1993, when Santo Tomas won the first of what would be a 4-Peat. There was a gap in 1997 when FEU won the title behind Onak Magtulis and Robin Mendoza. Then Lasalle had its own 4-Peat ...
    Philippine Basketball

    1-Bryan Navarro, NRYS, 7 games, 164 points, 23.4 ppg
    2-Jollo Go, HCHS, 6 games, 115 points, 19.2 ppg
    3-Jonas Raphael Tibayan, CKSC, 2 games, 37 points, 18.5 ppg
    4-Bryant Terrado, SSHS, 8 games, 137 points, 17.1 ppg
    5-Renzel Yongco, SJCS, 6 games, 96 points, 16.0 ppg

    6-Earl See, SJCS, 6 games, 81 points, 13.5 ppg
    7-Bryan So, PHS, 5 games, 64 points, 12.8 ppg
    8- Luigi Laroco, SSHS, 8 games, 101 points, 12.6 ppg
    9-Richmond Legaspi, SSHS, 5 games, 61 points, 12.2 ppg
    10-Jerome Fuentes, NRYS, 7 games, 85 points, 12.1 ppg

    11-Joshua Ramirez, CKSC, 5 games, 59 points, 11.8 ppg
    12-John Mark Santos, PCC, 5 games, 59 points, 11.8 ppg
    13-Jherico Cagomoc, NYRS, 7 games, 81 points, 11.6 ppg
    14-Maynard Yap, SJCS, 8 games, 88 points, 11.0 ppg
    15-Franz Yap, SSHS, 8 games, 88 points, 11.0 ppg

    16-Gershom Montes, CKSC, 8 games, 72 points, 10.5 ppg
    17-Phillip Jason Midel, PHS, 7 games, 72 points, 10.3 ppg
    18-Pranz Chan, PA Sakya, 5 games, 51 points, 10.2 ppg
    19-John Wilbert Midel, PHS, 7 games, 71 points, 10.1 ppg
    20-Ian Kristoffer Pasion, PAS, 6 games, 59 points, 9.8 ppg

    21-Eric Anthony Guiao, CKSC, 4 games, 39 points, 9.8 ppg
    22-Antonio Miguel Yang, HCHS, 7 games, 68 points, 9.7 ppg
    23-Jeffrey Weng, SSHS, 7 games, 68 points, 9.7 ppg
    24-Daniel Pua, SJCS, 6 games, 57 points, 9.5 ppg
    25-Angelo Tan, PCC, 7 games, 66 points, 9.4 ppg

    26-Alec Johnson Billan, SJCS, 7 games, 65 points, 9.3 ppg
    27-Kris Harvey Pagsanjan, HCHS, 7 games, 63 points, 9.0 ppg
    28-Allan Paul Bautista, NRYS, 7 games, 62 points, 8.9 ppg
    29-Charles Yap, PHS, 6 games, 49 points, 8.2 ppg
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    Philippine Basketball

    There will be a new champion in the 17th Metropolitan Amateur Sports Association (MASA) high school basketball competitions.

    This came about after host Saint Jude Catholic School stunned 2013 titlist Hope Christian High School, 70-67, in their knockout semifinal showdown Sunday afternoon (November 23) at the Philippine Cultural College Gym to reach the one-game finals against top seed and unblemished Chiang Kai Shek College.

    The Judenites were limited to just eight points in the second quarter and trailed by as much as 22 points, 38-16, late in the first half. It was in the helter-skelter third period that coach Luis Nolasco’s charges turned their fortunes around, outscoring HCHS, 29-9, to move ahead, 50-47, entering the fourth period.

    SJCS, which lost to HCHS in last year’s finals, took a 67-57 lead with 2:36 left but fell into a maze of errors that enabled HCHS to come within one, 68-67, with 19.1 seconds left.

    The Judenites increased their lead to 70-67 on split charities by Renzel Yongco and Maynard Yap at the 12.6-second mark ticks and then off-form HCHS marksman Jollo Go, who struggled offensively all game long with a porous 4-for-25 field clip , sealed his team’s monumental downfall by missing a contested three-pointer in the next play.

    Earlier in the day, guest team CKSC made mincemeat of the short-handed and No.4 Saint Stephen’s High School in their own semifinal duel, coming up with an easy 65-46 victory to register their eighth victory in as many appearances in the seven-week tournament. The Blue Dragons came into the game armed with a twice-to-beat advantage.

    Chiang Kai Shek College (8-0) and Saint Jude Catholic School (6-2) will clash for the MASA crown on Saturday, November 29 (10:30 a.m.), at the PCC Gym. The twin bill starts at 9:00 a.m. with the third-place game between Hope Christian High School (6-2) and Saint Stephen’s High School (4-4).

    During the elimination phase, Chiang Kai Shek College downed Saint Jude Catholic School, 60-37, behind Jonas Raphael Tibayan’s 22 points and 12 rebounds.

    SJCS 70 – HCHS 67

    Dethroned champion Hope Christian High School raced to a 7-0 getaway behind by Antonio Miguel Young (two baskets, including a triple) and John Francis Sacundo before speedy guard Earl Vincent See connected on a trifecta to jumpstart Saint Jude Catholic School’s offense.

    The HCHS Warriors led, 15-13, after one quarter and enjoyed a 38-21 advantage at the half as nine players broke into the scoring column, led by Yang’s 12 points (including a pair of triples) on 5-for-7 shooting). Go had four points on 2-of-10 FG shooting at the half, none in the opening period.

    As if it was a portent of its impending doom, the Warriors gave up the last four points of the second period on a twinner by energetic frontliner Daniel Edwin Pua and a trey by Yongco, who went a paltry 1-for-9 from the field and missed a pair of charity attempts after 20 minutes.

    The 5-0 mini run sparked a huge comeback by SJCS. After Go connected on a jumper (his fourth and final fielder) to give HCHS a 40-23 lead, the Judenites engineered an 11-3 run to trim their deficit under single digit, 43-34, on a three-play by Yongco.

    Lorenzo Celis knocked in a short shot off a fake to restore Hope Christian’s lead back to 11, 45-34, with 6:29 remaining in the third period. It was at this stage that Saint Jude made its game-altering move, detonating a 14-0 bomb behind the snipings of See (seven points, including a triple), Yongco (a triple) and a fielder each by Yap (who jumpstarted the rally) and Pua (a putback) to go ahead, 48-45, time down to 2:16 in the same period.

    It was the first of See’s back-to-back baskets that propelled SJCS to its first lead at 46-45. Marvel Joy Jimenez stopped the bleeding with a free throw for HCHS, 48-46, but Pua made a fielder to jack up the Judenites’ advantage to four, 50-46, at the 1:01 mark. Jimenez again split his charities as the quarter ended, 50-47, in the Judenites’ favor.

    In the pivotal third quarter in which Saint Jude broke away from Hope Christian’s halfcourt pressure and mesmerized its foes with a number of razzle-dazzle plays, SJCS limited HCHS to just three field goals and nine points, with Yongco, See and Christian Erwin Carlos alternately shadowing Go and holding the National Youth Team member to just five markers. It also frolicked on the other end, with Pua and Yongco scoring eight points each, See tallying seven and Yap contributing four for the Judenites.

    See shoved SJCS to a four-point lead, 52-48, with a basket early in the payoff period but HCHS countered with consecutive twinners by Kris Harvey Pagsanjan and Joshua Davara (a putback) to force the game’s first and only deadlock at 52-all.

    See quickly connected on a three-ball ...
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    Philippine Basketball
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