Zamboanga strikes two more deals, acquires Anton Asistio, Santi Santillan for 4 players

Dennis Rodman on matchmaking Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un

The Zamboanga-Family’s Brand Sardines made another aggressive move late Saturday night.

Zamboanga acquired two more blue chip players in Santi Santillan and Anton Asistio, whom they picked up in separate deals.

Santillan was shipped by Bataan to Zamboanga in exchange for big man Steven Cudal and Gino Jumao-as, giving the Britt Reroma-mentored team an additional frontliner.

Zamboanga also picked up Alvin Pasaol a few days ago in exchange for MPBL All-Star Reed Juntilla.

As soon as the team solidified its frontline by getting Pasaol and Santillan to join forces with mainstays Harold Arboleda, Leo de Vera, and promising big man Med Salim up front, Zamboanga also nabbed young, talented shooting guard Anton Asistio, who was acquired in exchange for ex-pro Mark Macapagal and Joseph Nalos.

Asistio will now share minutes in the backcourt with dead shot gunner Robin Rono, ex-pro Raphy Reyes and Ryan Costello, among others.

MPBL commissioner Kenneth Duremdes confirmed the approval of trade transactions to FOX Sports Philippines.

————
Can’t get enough of the latest sports action in the local and international scene? Join our Facebook Group Tagay Sports and hop in on the discussion with fellow passionate sports aficionados.

How did Kiefer Ravena fare in PBA return?

Dennis Rodman on matchmaking Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un

After a FIBA ban cut his PBA rookie year short, Kiefer Ravena finally made his long awaited return to Philippine basketball on Saturday, helping the NLEX Road Warriors clinch a 123-116 victory over the Phoenix Pulse Fuel Masters.

With fellow Gilas Pilipinas guards CJ Perez and Robert Bolick posting impressive numbers in their respective Governors’ Cup debuts, the 25-year-old Ateneo product joined the fray and produced a complete game of 20 points, nine rebounds, seven assists, and three steals.

READ — Surprise Gilas Pilipinas stars Perez, Bolick look good in PBA return

Ravena was a tad overeager in his first PBA game in 18 months, as he only shot 35 percent from the field (6-for-17). Bulk of those points came from distance, as he went 4-out-of-10 from three. Ravena came out hot and knocked down all those treys in the first quarter alone — setting the tone for the Road Warriors who went on to drain 20 three-pointers.

He also made the most of his trips to the foul line and missed only one of his five trips.

The two-time UAAP MVP did most of his scoring in the first half, knocking in 14 of his 20 points in the first 24 minutes. Ravena focused on facilitating coach Yeng Guiao’s offense in the final two quarters, connecting on seven of NLEX’s 30 total assists.

Even with the ball in his hands for majority of possessions, Ravena also protected the ball nicely and only committed two turnovers in 33 minutes of action.

It’s quite too early to tell but if his first game back is any indication, Ravena appears to have shaken off all the rust from his lengthy hiatus from basketball.

NLEX, meanwhile, looks to bounce back in this year’s season-ending tournament, especially after placing in 9th place in the Philippine Cup and ranking dead last in the Commissioner’s Cup.

(Image from PBA Media Group)

————
Can’t get enough of the latest sports action in the local and international scene? Join our Facebook Group Tagay Sports and hop in on the discussion with fellow passionate sports aficionados.

Bo Perasol admits UP still has to work on tendency to give up big leads

Dennis Rodman on matchmaking Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un

It wasn’t pretty, but the University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons once again managed to escape with another close victory on Saturday, edging the University of the East Red Warriors, 62-56, at the Ynares Center in Antipolo.

Up comfortably by 13 points in the penultimate quarter, UP once again got complacent and allowed the the Red Warriors to trim the lead to a single point with 1:54 left in regulation.

Big plays from Jaydee Tungcab and Kobe Paras down the stretch helped UP avoid a possible meltdown, but UP’s knack for losing big leads has become quite alarming for coach Bo Perasol.

Although thrilled by his team’s three-game winning streak, Perasol admitted that his talent-rich squad still have plenty of holes to address — particularly their tendency to let go of the gas pedal come crunchtime.

“Di naman siya obvious pero yung composition ng team namin would really answer that question. Most of my players, my starters, a lot of them are ball dominant guys. Although we really wanted to make sure that we have our own plans, we have our own roles, sino mainit, but in the end, pagnakakakita na ng lamang, lumalabas yung personal at individual tendencies to score,” he explained.

“But for me, okay lang naman yan kaya lang, napakarami talagang mintis namin at this moment. Because if there’s going to be a time that’s going to come na lahat sila mainit, mahirap din naman kami talunin. It just so happened na marami rin sa kanila nagmimintis pa. Juan is still waiting for his game to come back. Ricci… lahat sila. But there’s going to be a time that they’re going to be back.”

Perasol added that he hopes his team won’t have the same dilemma in their next game against La Salle, who are also coming off a big win over Adamson on Saturday.

“Ngayon sa La Salle iba sila ngayon kasi ang dami nilang recruit na one-and-done. Sino nga yun? Yung Malonzo. Isa pa yung threat sa kanila. Basta yun lang, pag nakalaban namin sila, kung ano ginagawa namin ngayon ganun lang ulit gagawin namin,” he said.

UP (4-1) and DLSU (2-3) will face off on Wednesday, September 25, at the Mall of Asia Arena.

————
Can’t get enough of the latest sports action in the local and international scene? Join our Facebook Group Tagay Sports and hop in on the discussion with fellow passionate sports aficionados.

Surprise Gilas Pilipinas stars Perez, Bolick look good in PBA return

Dennis Rodman on matchmaking Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un

The emergence of CJ Perez and Robert Bolick might just be the only silver lining in Gilas Pilipinas’ otherwise disastrous showing in the 2019 FIBA World Cup.

The national team neophytes brought a fearless swagger to the world stage as Perez often topped the team in scoring, while Bolick was undeniably the team’s only consistent shooter from downtown.

RELATED — Gilas Pilipinas review: How did each player perform in World Cup? (Part 1)

The youthful pair returned to action in the opening day of the 2019 PBA Governors’ Cup last night, helping their respective mother teams open the season-ending tournament on a winning note.

READ — NorthPort, Columbian score big opening day victories

“The Baby Beast” once again displayed his brilliant form against the Alaska Aces and proved that he was the best local on the floor. He tallied a complete game of 28 points on 38 percent shooting from the field (7-of-18) complemented by 13 big rebounds and two steals in 37 minutes of action for the Columbian Dyip.

Perez also got himself to the line often draining 11 of his 15 charities (73 percent) and made half of his three-point attempts (3-for-6).

His former NCAA rival, meanwhile, also did a splendid job in NorthPort Batang Pier’s 99-94 victory over the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters. Bolick, who usually starts for coach Pido Jarencio, was the first man off the bench as he pitched in 20 points, four rebounds, five assists, and two blocks in 32 minutes of play.

The moustachioed guard did struggle to hit his threes missing four of his five tries, but made up for it by connecting on his drives to the basket. He shot 46 percent from the field (7-for-15) and connected on four of his five trips from the free throw line.

(Images from PBA)

 

————
Can’t get enough of the latest sports action in the local and international scene? Join our Facebook Group Tagay Sports and hop in on the discussion with fellow passionate sports aficionados.

By the numbers: NorthPort, Columbian score big opening day victories

Dennis Rodman on matchmaking Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un

The season-ending tournament of the Philippine Basketball Association got underway at the Mall of Asia Arena last night featuring a double-header between the NorthPort Batang Pier versus the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters and the Columbian Dyip against the Alaska Aces.

The much awaited Governors’ Cup once again allowed each team to field in a foreign reinforcement granted that they pass the 6’5 height limit.

FOX Sports Philippines crunches down the numbers that factored into NorthPort and Columbian’s respective opening day wins.

Bench production key for Batang Pier

After getting outscored 28-16 in the final canto, the Batang Pier dodged a bullet and still managed to come out with a 99-94 win over RoS. Import Michael Ammons did most of the damage with 25 points and 19 boards, while his counterpart Joel Wright scored 22 but only shot 36 percent for the Elasto Painters.

Coach Pido Jarencio managed to squeeze 45 points out of his bench, contrary to the 30 points produced by coach Caloy Garcia’s reserves. Robert Bolick played a big part in that statistic, as he came off the bench and scored 20 points on 7-of-15 shooting topped with five dimes. NorthPort also held a slim advantage in total rebounds (52-47) and team assists (20-16).

NorthPort also managed to survive a turnover-prone game as they tallied 17 miscues, while RoS only committed eight. They made up for it by being more active on the break (14-10 lead in fast break points) and second chance points, 12-10.

Dyip’s frequent trips to the foul line pays dividends

Friday wasn’t a good day for the Aces. Not only did they come out on the losing end of a 117-110 ball game, they also lost center Noy Baclao to what appears to be a serious knee injury.

New imports Justin Watts (40 points and 14 boards) and Khapri Alston (38 points and 22 rebounds) had strong first impressions, but it was the latter’s team that got the W. Alaska actually shot better percentages from the field. However, it was Columbian’s aggressiveness that turned out to be the difference maker as they were rewarded with more frequent trips to the charity stripe. John Cardel’s wards went to the line 53 times and made 42 of those attempts (79 percent), while the Aces only made 16 of their 23 attempts (69 percent).

The Dyip also did a good job on pouncing on Alaska’s 15 turnovers by Turing it to 23 points off turnovers. Their bench also contributed more than the Aces (27-19) paced by Juami Tiongson’s 11 markers.

(Images from PBA)

ALSO READ — Surprise Gilas Pilipinas stars Perez, Bolick look good in PBA return

————
Can’t get enough of the latest sports action in the local and international scene? Join our Facebook Group Tagay Sports and hop in on the discussion with fellow passionate sports aficionados.

San Miguel marches to semis after edging defending champs Ryukyu Kings

Dennis Rodman on matchmaking Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un

The San Miguel Beermen topped Group B and officially advanced to the semifinals of the  East Asia Super League Terrific 12 after eliminating the Ryukyu Golden Kings, 101-92, at the Tap Seac Multisport Pavilion in Macau on Thursday.

Dez Wells dazzled the SMB-pro crowd with plenty of highlight-worthy jams en-route to a game-high 42 points (16-of-29 FG) and six rebounds. Terrence Romeo added 18 points on two-of-five shooting from deep, while Lester Prosper had another solid outing of 15 points and eight boards.

The reigning Terrific 12 champions actually started hot from beyond the arc and held a 12-4 lead, before the explosive duo of Wells and Romeo got it going to close the first half.

The pesky Japanese ball club still managed to keep the game close in the second half thanks to import Jeff Brooks’ 34 points and 11 boards, while speedy guard Ryuichi Kishimoto scored on a couple of drives and pitched in 12 markers.

But the Beermen blew the game wide open in the final canto, as Wells put on an acrobatic show and scored at will.

San Miguel will now face their stiffest challenge yet in the semifinals of the tournament, as they take on China’s Liaoning Flying Leopards bannered by former NBA players Lance Stephenson and Salah Mejri on Saturday.

(Image from EASL)

ALSO READ — McDaniels, Pogoy conspire to give TNT win vs Niigata

————
Can’t get enough of the latest sports action in the local and international scene? Join our Facebook Group Tagay Sports and hop in on the discussion with fellow passionate sports aficionados.

McDaniels, Pogoy conspire to give TNT win vs Niigata

Dennis Rodman on matchmaking Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un

After stumbling against the Liaoning Flying Leopards on Tuesday, the TNT Katropa bounced back against Niigata Albirex Basketball, 99-90, in Day 3 of the East Asia Super League Terrific 12 Tap Seac Multisport Pavilion in Macau.

With fellow reinforcement McKenzie Moore unable to suit up, McDaniels shouldered the load and dropped 47 points on 19-of-35 shooting from the field, to go along with 17 rebounds, two assists, two steals, and two blocks.

The 26-year-old high-flying import also got a lot of help from RR Pogoy who added 27 points, five rebounds and five steals, while newly acquired Almond Vosotros added 12 off the bench.

Trailing most of the first half due to the dominance of Niigata’s Nick Perkins, TNT leaned on McDaniels’ scoring prowess in the third to get themselves back in the ball game. Once McDaniels took a short breather, it was Pogoy who took over and cut the deficit to one 72-71 after a dazzling lay-up to beat the third quarter horn.

TNT hit some big shots down the stretch and got key defensive stops to preserve the win. Perkins paced the Japanese ball club with 34 points and 12 boards.

Despite the victory, TNT will not be moving on to the next round but will fly back to the Philippines with a win in hand.

(Photo from EASL)

————
Can’t get enough of the latest sports action in the local and international scene? Join our Facebook Group Tagay Sports and hop in on the discussion with fellow passionate sports aficionados.

Racela lauds defensive-minded Tchuente for offensive explosion vs DLSU

Dennis Rodman on matchmaking Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un

The Far Eastern University Tamaraws snatched their second win of UAAP Season 82 Men’s Basketball Tournament on Wednesday at the expense of the De La Salle Green Archers, 66-55, at the Mall of Asia Arena.

Streaky shooter Wendell Comboy delivered the goods in crunch time, but most of the team’s offense came from a rather unlikely source.

The team’s anchor in the middle, Patrick Tchuente, had his coming out party versus DLSU, dropping 19 points, 11 rebounds and swatting three shots.

The 6’10 Cameroonian center was instrumental on both ends of the floor — particularly during a crucial stretch in the third quarter when the Green Archers erased the Tamaraws’ 14-point lead and got to within three. FEU head coach Olsen Racela made sure to give credit to his hardworking slotman shortly after the decisive win.

“Can I just say something about this guy? I’ve been hard on him ever since because I expect a lot from Patrick. Ang goal niya really is to protect the paint, neutralize the opposing teams’ import or foreign student-athlete and I think he has been doing a good job of that, but now he did more,” he said.

“That’s not going to happen every game but I just like to commend him for his effort every single day in practice. He welcomes all our comments and criticisms. That’s how we get better.”

Days removed from their crushing defeat against defending champs Ateneo, Tchuente was proud of his team’s grit and composure against the explosive DLSU side.

“I’m so happy for the win today coming from the loss, as coach said. We have to show the FEU community that we can do better and we’re gonna stay focused and try to fight for the next game because every game is not the same. So we have to work hard again for the next game. That’s it,” he shared.

Tchuente has become an integral part of the Morayta-based unit this season, especially after Nigerian student-athlete Emman Ojouola was deemed ineligible to suit up in Season 82. Racela, however, said the team is no longer stressing over the missed opportunity and each player has already learned to embraced their responsibilities.

“The thing about that is here sa FEU kasi, we’re all family there. I mean, we supported Patrick and he knows the situation. When Emman couldn’t suit up, we supported him and then we told Patrick that we’re here for him to support him also and give him encouragement. That’s why I think he’s doing his job, he’s just doing his role.”

FEU returns to action on Sunday, September 22, against the UST Growling Tigers at the Ynares Sports Center in Antipolo.

ALSO READ — Val Chauca sets lofty goals for himself and for Adamson in one-and-done season

ALSO READ — After back-to-back 20-point outings, Kobe Paras continues with ’next-game’ mentality

————
Can’t get enough of the latest sports action in the local and international scene? Join our Facebook Group Tagay Sports and hop in on the discussion with fellow passionate sports aficionados.

After back-to-back 20-point outings, Kobe Paras continues with ’next-game’ mentality

Dennis Rodman on matchmaking Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un

After a sensational UAAP Season 81 debut over the weekend where he poured in 20 points vs Adamson, Kobe Paras one-upped his own performance and led the University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons to its second straight victory over the National University Bulldogs, 80-79, at the Mall of Asia Arena on Wednesday.

Paras once again paced the Diliman-based squad with 25 points on 10-of-22 shooting from the field and scattered six rebounds, and two assists.

With UP figuring in yet another cardiac finish, the 21-year-old athletic specimen said his team was lucky to get the breaks of the game in their favor down the stretch.

“I’m just grateful that we got the chance to finish the game like this. Just like what coach said, we just need to learn how to close games. Shout out to coach Jamike and his players, they put up one hell of a game. Just like what I said in the last interview, we just have to focus on the next game,” he shared post-match.

“I’m grateful that I’m here in this amazing tournament but I just want to focus on the team. Basketball is a team game so I just can’t wait to get ready for the next game,” he added.

The Bulldogs, meanwhile, dropped to an 0-4 record after another heartbreaking one-point defeat. Paras, who shares a relationship with NU’s Ildefonso brothers outside of basketball, said the team is much better that what their record suggests.

“That’s personal. But I grew up with Shaun and Dave. When I started playing basketball, they were basically my teammates. So we have a bond that no one really knows about. But I just told them to keep their heads up and they’re gonna win a game soon. They’re a great team, and coach Jamike does a wonderful job coaching them,” he said.

UP takes on the UE Red Warriors next on Saturday, September 21 at the Ynares Center in Antipolo.

————
Can’t get enough of the latest sports action in the local and international scene? Join our Facebook Group Tagay Sports and hop in on the discussion with fellow passionate sports aficionados.

WATCH: 2019 SEA Games official theme song ‘We Win As One’ performed by Lea Salonga

Fellani scores as Shandong Luneng drew against Shanghai Shenhua

With the 30th edition of the Southeast Asian Games fast approaching, host nation Philippines recently revealed the official theme song for the esteemed biennial regional event.

Performed by none other than world-renowned singer and actress Lea Salonga, the track “We Win As One” perfectly embodies the drive and passion of the participating athletes from all over the continent.

Filipino National Artist for Music Ryan Cayabyab reportedly composed the song, while award-winning writer Floy Quintos created the lyrics.

Salonga, meanwhile, is best known for her contributions in musical theatre and rose to global recognition after lending her singing voice to two Disney Princesses (Jasmine and Mulan) in blockbuster animated films.

The 30th SEA Games will run from November 30 to December 11, 2019 in various venues in the Philippines.

————
Can’t get enough of the latest sports action in the local and international scene? Join our Facebook Group Tagay Sports and hop in on the discussion with fellow passionate sports aficionados.

Lance Stephenson drops 31 points to lead Liaoning past TNT in Macau tiff

Dennis Rodman on matchmaking Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un

Despite getting impressive performances from the dynamic import duo of McKenzie Moore and KJ McDaniels, the TNT KaTropa were unable to get the win dropping a close 96-91 loss to the Liaoning Flying Leopards in the 2019 East Asia Super League Terrific 12 at the Tap Seac Multisport Pavilion in Macau on Tuesday.

Stephenson displayed his NBA chops early and often, barrelling his way inside at will and connecting on tough drives for a team-high 31 points on 50 percent shooting from the field (10-for-20). The nine-year NBA vet also kept his teammates involved and dished out eight assists and grabbed eight boards. Liaoning also got major contributions from Tunisian slotman Salah Mejri, who punished TNT with 22 points, 11 rebounds, and four rejections.

With Katropa threatening to take over in the fourth, the 29-year-old former Laker singlehandedly took the momentum back for his team with a ferocious one-handed jam. He completed a steal and turned it to a nice assist in the ensuing possession to give the Leopards a comfortable eight-point cushion in the final two minutes of regulation.

Moore impressed for the KaTropa with a game-high 41 points, while McDaniels pitched in 32 points and nine boards.

TNT will have a chance to bounce back on Thursday, September 19, against Japanese ball club Niigata Albirex Basketball.

(Image from EASL)

ALSO READ — Romeo, San Miguel catch fire in 4th quarter to trip Shenzhen Aviators

ALSO READ — SK Knights bring down the hammer on Parks-less Blackwater

————
Can’t get enough of the latest sports action in the local and international scene? Join our Facebook Group Tagay Sports and hop in on the discussion with fellow passionate sports aficionados.

Romeo, San Miguel trip Shenzhen Aviators after catching fire in 4th quarter

Dennis Rodman on matchmaking Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un

Even without June Mar Fajardo, Alex Cabagnot, and Marcio Lassiter, the San Miguel Beermen still managed to turn back China’s Shenzhen Aviators, 90-76, in the 2019 East Asia Super League Terrific 12 at the Tap Seac Multisport Pavilion in Macau on Tuesday.

New import Dez Wells dazzled in his Beermen debut scoring 29 big points, to go along withs seven rebounds, four assists, and five steals, while locals Terrence Romeo and Chris Ross added 17 and 11, respectively.

Wells led SMB’s early attack and displayed his smooth perimeter stroke early in the game. The G-League veteran outscored the entire Chinese team in the first quarter, 13-11 and gave SMB a 10 point lead after one.

The Beermen doubled that margin after a breakaway lay-up from Ross at the 7:44 mark of the second. But the Aviators’ own shifty guard Pierre Jackson took over and kept the game close, pacing his team with 18 points, nine boards, and three dimes.

The towering Aviators cut the deficit to just two early in the fourth period, up until the Beermen found their groove from distance at just the right time. Arwind Santos and Von Pessumal started the barrage with their own triples at the six-minute mark, while Romeo caught fire late and drained back-to-back makes to push San Miguel’s lead back to 13 with 4:21 remaining in regulation.

The Beermen will have a day to rest before plunging back to action on Thursday, September 19, versus the Ryukyu Golden Kings of Japan.

(Image from EASL)

ALSO READ — SK Knights bring down the hammer on Parks-less Blackwater

————
Can’t get enough of the latest sports action in the local and international scene? Join our Facebook Group Tagay Sports and hop in on the discussion with fellow passionate sports aficionados.

SK Knights bring down the hammer on Parks-less Blackwater

Dennis Rodman on matchmaking Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un

The Blackwater Elite opened their 2019 East Asia Super League Terrific 12 campaign on a losing note, falling 93-77 against to the Seoul SK Knights inside the Tap Seac Multisport Pavilion in Macau on Tuesday.

Alex Stepheson led the Elite with a strong double-double of 22 points and 22 boards, while Marqus Blakely added 14 points, five rebounds, and five assists before fouling out. Paul Desiderio also finished in double-figures with 12 points on 2-for-4 shooting from downtown.

After a close first quarter, the two-time Korean Basketball League Champions took advantage of Marqus Blakely’s early foul trouble and used an 11-0 run in the second to build a commanding 17-point margin.

The Aris Dimaunahan-mentored Elite, however, made a run for it started by a breakaway two-handed jam by Stephenson off a nice handoff from Gelo Alolino at the 3:25 mark of the second.

They closed the half strong and managed to bring the lead down to single digits after Paul Desiderio’s buzzer-beating jumper trimmed the deficit to 44-36 at the half.

The Elite carried the same momentum after the break and tied the ball game at at 44 apiece after a blistering 8-0 start. But the experienced South Korean side stayed composed and finished the quarter on a 22-7 run to once again mount a comfortable double-digit lead, which they preserved in the final 10 minutes of regulation.

Import Jameel Warney paced the Knights with 26 points, 12 rebounds, eight dimes, and three steals, while Kim Minsoo and Aaron Haynes had 16 apiece.

Blackwater’s main scorer Ray Parks Jr. sat out due to a bruised achilles, while resident shooter Mike DiGregorio also missed the game after going down with the flu.

The Elite will look to bounce back on Wednesday, September 18, when they face Japan’s Chiba Jets in their final game in Group A.

(Image from EASL)

ALSO READ — Romeo, San Miguel catch fire in 4th quarter to trip Shenzhen Aviators

 

————
Can’t get enough of the latest sports action in the local and international scene? Join our Facebook Group Tagay Sports and hop in on the discussion with fellow passionate sports aficionados.

‘Blessed’ to have 3rd chance in college basketball, Kobe Paras makes the most of UAAP debut

Dennis Rodman on matchmaking Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un

Kobe Paras’ UAAP career is off to a good start, as he led the UP Fighting Maroon’s to a 83-82 overtime win over the Adamson Soaring Falcons on Sunday at the Mall of Asia Arena.

After sitting out the Maroon’s first two games with a sore ankle, the highly-touted Paras finally suited up for the Maroons and he did not disappoint. The 21-year-old high-flyer had quite an impact across the board, tallying 20 points on top of six rebounds and two blocks.

Speaking post-game, a grateful Paras shared how thrilled he was to finally be able to don the maroon and white in an official UAAP game.

“I’m happy, I’m really happy. As everyone knows here, this is my fourth college so I’m just thankful for coach Bo and the whole UP community for giving me basically a third chance not just in basketball but in life,” he said.

“Before the first game, I got injured, sprained the inside of my ankle. So it was really tough but I just thought about it as adversity. My whole life, I’ve been facing adversities so I’m just really glad that I’m back on the court and I’m just here to represent UP.”

UP had to dig deep to get the W against Adamson’s relentless attacks, as they found themselves  staring down an 82-75 hole in the closing minutes of the match. Coach Bo Perasol, however, managed to rally his troops and finish the game on a scintillating 8-0 run to come away with a one-point victory.

Apart from dazzling the crowd with his acrobatic lay-ups, Paras was key for UP down the stretch as he located a wide open Javi Gomez de Liano for an overtime-forcing trey.

“This win just helps us to build our chemistry. You guys know that this is a new team. A lot of people think it’s easy to just have a group of players come in and produce but it’s hard. Not like Ateneo, their players have been with each other ever since. So that’s their advantage in this league — the chemistry. I’m just glad we have games like this because it brings us together. Also, I’m thankful for everyone who’s here,” Paras added.

The Maroons return to action on Wednesday, September 18, against the winless National University Bulldogs. After his impressive debut, the 6’6 forward understands that there will be higher expectations for him to perform even better in UP’s upcoming games.

I don’t really see pressure as pressure. Just like what I tell people in my past interviews, I use pressure as motivation because there are a lot of people out there who would die to be given my opportunity,” he said.

“I’m just really blessed I’m given a third chance in college basketball and that’s rare. For a lot of these student-athletes, they know how it feels. Some of them know how it feels to try and try and try and not get the chance. I’m just blessed. Even though this is just my plan B, this plan B is everyone’s dream. So I’m still grateful for everything.”

ALSO READ — Rising star Rhenz Abando credits UST’s system for his stellar play

————
Can’t get enough of the latest sports action in the local and international scene? Join our Facebook Group Tagay Sports and hop in on the discussion with fellow passionate sports aficionados.