DLSU, DLSU Green Archers, Jeron Teng, La Salle

MAYHEM! La Salle dominates Ateneo, 97-81 to sweep the 1st round!

MAYHEM! La Salle dominates Ateneo, 97-81 to sweep the 1st round

COMPLETE AND TOTAL DOMINATION!

After a close first quarter, La Salle took control of the second quarter and never looked back, as the De La Salle Green Archers dominated the Ateneo De Manila Blue Eagles, 97-81 in front of a mammoth 16,000 strong-crowd at the Mall of Asia Arena yesterday.

The game started close, as the first quarter ended at 20 all. The Eagles even took a 26-20 lead during the early parts of the second quarter. But then, Mayhem took over! La Salle unleashed a 21-3 run and with that, the game was pretty much over by halftime. And it was more of the same during the second half, as La Salle led by as much as 27 points. DLSU was never really threatened during the second half.

Big Ben Mbala played perhaps his best game of the season so far, as he finished with 28 points, 13 rebounds and 5 steals. He had a couple of highlight-worthy dunks, including an alley-oop play from Thomas Torres; that led the green side of MOA to go absolutely insane! With the absence of top local Jeron Teng due to an injury, the other players stepped up. Andrei Caracut once again had a good game, as he finished with 14 points. Abu Tratter added 10 points while Thomas Torres, Ricci Rivero and Kib Montalbo also chipped in 8 points a-piece.

The Archers had 16 steals compared to only 4 steals of Ateneo. La Salle had 21 fast break points compared to only 2 of the Blue Eagles. La Salle pretty much dominated just about every statistical category for this game. No Ayo, No Jeron, No Problem!

La Salle swept the first round of the elimination round for the first time since 2002. But it should be noted that La Salle went 13-0 that season, before losing the final game of elimination round game against Ateneo. Ateneo eventually won the finals in 3 games against La Salle. So the lesson here is nothing is cast in stone. The Golden State Warriors had the greatest regular season record in NBA history with 73-9, but lost in the finals. Nothing is for sure. Yes, we are the heavy favorites, but it doesn’t mean that we can rest on our laurels. The level of Mayhem should be intensified in the second round all the way to the finals! ANIMO LA SALLE!

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WWE

WWE Cruiserweight Classic Recap

 

WWE Cruiserweight Classic Recap

I have been watching the WWE Cruiserweight Classic on the WWE Network since its first week. It is one of those shows that really got my attention, from the opening match all the way to the finale. All, and I mean all, of the matches were good, and a lot of them were great as well. To watch every single match of the tournament, to be emotionally invested with guys who doesn’t necessarily fit the mold of the typical WWE Main Event level talent, is something only die-hard fans could understand.

To see veterans like The Brian Kendrick and Tajiri get back to the limelight. HHH basically giving a contract to Cedric Alexander after an amazing, the exploits of Jack Gallagher, Gran Metalik’s surprise run to the finals and many more!

Everybody thought that it would be Kota Ibushi vs Zack Sabre Jr in the finals, with Kota winning at all. But the WWE threw a curveball; perhaps because Kota and Zack didn’t sign with the company and eventually, the tournament was for the belt. My mind said Kota over Zack in the finals, but my heart said TJ Perkins. And damn, even though it caused me so much pain in the past, I decided to follow my heart once again, and this time, it was the right decision.

Congratulations TJ Perkins! The winner of the 1st WWE Cruiserweight Classic! The New WWE Cruiserweight champion of the World! And what a speech by him afterwards, where he shared his trials, how he overcame it, and how he shared his success to everyone in the CWC, how he shared it to the other 31 competitors, truly, a champion we can all be proud of! And I love what HHH said to him during the Championship photo shoot. HHH jokingly asked him if he has plans during Monday Nights. Perkins said, no, wrestling is my life. What a great answer by the face of the Cruiserweight Division of the New Era. Laban Pilpinas! Puso!

 

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DLSU, DLSU Green Archers, Jeron Teng, La Salle

My DLSU-UST post-game article for Sports Gateway PH

Mayhem! La Salle dominates UST, 100-62 to go up to 3-0.

La Salle just showed the entire league what Mayhem Basketball is all about, as the De La Salle Green Archers just flat out dominated the UST Growling Tigers, 100-62. It was a close game for most of the first half, until La Salle used a late 2nd quarter run to grab a 44-35 lead to end the first half. But it was all over during the third quarter, as the Archers outscored the Tigers, 29-14 during the third period. La Salle showed no mercy during the fourth quarter, as they showed the killer instinct that is expected from the heavy favorites of this UAAP tournament.

Ben Mbala once again led the way for the Archers, as he scored 18 points and grabbed 16 rebounds. Other double-digit scorers for the Archers are Jeron Teng with 13, Thomas Torres with 11 and Abu Tratter with 10. The rookies also had their time to shine during this game. Ricci Rivero threw down a phenomenal reverse dunk during garbage time, much to the delight of the Green and White crowd. While Justine Baltazar played quality minutes, as he had 5 blocks in just 12 minutes. Renzo Subido once again top scored for the Tigers, as he scored 18 points. Jamil Sheriff chipped in 11 points, but the rest of the Tigers struggled during this game. The Mayhem defense of the Archers also forced UST to 40 turnovers. La Salle goes up to 3-0 while UST falls to 1-2.

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DLSU, DLSU Green Archers, Jeron Teng, La Salle

Preview: DLSU vs UST

Preview: De La Salle Green Archers vs UST Growling Tigers

La Salle tries to go up to 3-0 as the DLSU Green Archers takes on the dangerous UST Growling Tigers. DLSU has been impressive so far, winning a close game against an always-competitive FEU Tamaraws during its opening game; then La Salle dominated UP over the weekend. After losing to Ateneo during the opening weekend, UST bounced back with a close win against the UE Red Warriors. It was the breakout game for former DLSZ Junior Archer Renzo Subido.

UST swept the season series against La Salle last year. The Archers just had no answer for the eventual runner-ups last season. But this year is a different story. No more Kevin Ferrer, Ed Daquioag and (finally!!!!) Karim Abdul for the black and gold. Hopefully, La Salle can turn the tables against UST for this season.

We have two superstars for this season, and they have been playing like superstars so far. Jeron had 28 big points during the opener, including a couple of clutch baskets to seal the deal for the Green and White. Mbala had 23 huge rebounds and 4 blocks during debut, but he “only” had 13 points. So during the game against UP, it was Mbala’s turn to show his offensive prowess. Mbala scored 30 points against UP, and he grabbed 14 rebounds and had 2 blocks as well. Jeron “only” had 12 points against UP. So expect Mbala and Jeron to combine for around 40 points per game for this season. They might take turns in having a huge scoring game, but it would be great to see them both having a huge scoring game on the same game. With no more Abdul manning the paint for Team Espana, Mbala just might have field day once again. Expect the Archers to feed the kid from Cameroon down low, and we might get a couple of “YouTube worthy” plays as well.

Despite the early season success so far, the La Salle fans are not yet satisfied. Many expected a blowout against FEU and even though La Salle won over UP by 18 points, Mbala had to play during the latter part of the 4th to seal the win, as UP trimmed the lead to low-double digits during the middle to latter part of the fourth quarter. La Salle needs a big win against UST to give the fans some assurance that this team has the killer instinct that is needed to win the championship. Every team will try their very best against La Salle, and the Archers needs to play their best in every single game, in every single possession, to show the league that it means business.

La Salle and UST had countless classics over the years. The older fans can never forget the bridesmaid years during the early to mid 90’s, when UST dominated the league, beating La Salle in several championship battles. There was the unforgettable Dino Aldeguer 3 back in 1999 during the 2nd of the eventual 4-peat of the Archers. Joseph Yeo had his breakout game against UST during 2002 in Rizal, hitting a huge 3 to force overtime and eventually retain the then perfect record. There was the Maui Villanueva tip-in back in 2008. And of course, there was the battle of the Teng brothers from 2012-2013. There was electricity in the air during their first ever UAAP meeting back in 2012, which Jeric won, and during the second round, Jeron hit a game winning shot. And of course, there was the classic 3-game finals series back in 2013, when Jeron led us to the championship. Will we see another #DLSUST classic this Wednesday? The thing is, Lasallians wants a blowout this time around! Let’s show them what Mayhem basketball is all about! Animo La Salle!

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WWE

WWE Live in Manila Results and Analysis

WWE Live in Manila Results and Analysis

Finally! After 7 years, the WWE finally had a Manila House show! Last decade, the WWE had 5 Araneta House Shows. The first 4 were pretty much jampacked. The last one; was not, and perhaps that affected why it took a while for them to return. But judging b the huge crowd that filled the first ever WWE in MOA event, the WWE just might go back soon.

Cesaro defeated Sheamus via submission

Prediction: Correct

The England house show a few days prior was part of the best of 7 series, but this match was not. It was a very good opening match. Cesaro was very much over with the crowd and Sheamus played a solid heel. In the end, Sheamus tapped out to the sharpshooter, making the Philippines chapter of the Cesaro section happy.

Braun Strowmann defeated Goldust

Prediction: Correct

This was not the usual quick jobber match that Braun got used to the last couple of RAW’s since the brand extension of the New Era. Braun was forced to compete, learn and improve, which is the idea of the house shows anyways especially for the newer, greener guys. Goldust can still go, and I believe putting him in house shows like this, to elevate the performance of the newer guys, is best for business.

Neville defeated Curtis Axel (with Bo Dallas)

Prediction: I did predict a Neville win

This was supposed to be against Bo but there was a change of plans, perhaps they just want to reserve Bo for the China card the day after the Manila card. Which was fine by me, at least I heard Axel’s music, which is a remix of his dad, Mr. Perfect’s music. That Neville finisher was a thing of beauty! You need mid-carders like Neville, who can put up an entertaining match, especially for RAW which is a 3-hour show.

WWE Tag Team Champions The New Day defeated The Club and The Shining Stars in a Triple-Threat match to retain the title

The New Day came out and the crowd exploded! They were very over with the crowd. They worked they usual magic. Not much reaction from the Puerto Ricans, but the New Japan guys got a huge reaction as well, as the crowd made too sweet signs and chanted Bullet Club. It was a pretty good match, but it could have been better if instead of the Shining Stars, we had Enzo and Cass instead.

John Cena defeated Big Show

Prediction: Correct

The champ is here! The face that runs the place made his much anticipated Manila return. I was surprised they put this on midcard, I was expecting this to be the co-main event. The crowd got excited when the Big Show’s music glared in the arena, knowing what the next match is. And I had goosebumps when Cena came out! The crowd was chanting John Cena sucks, Let’s go Cena and Cena sucks! Of course, that match will always be remembered for the Big Show destroying the middle ropes, which cause an intermission after their match. But being veterans, they know what to do. Seeing Cena AA Show live is a sight indeed!

WWE Women’s Champion Charlotte defeated Sasha Banks to retain her title

Prediction: Correct

They aired vignettes through the night to hype this title match. It was still a pretty good match, but the standards had been set so high from the 4-horsewomen. Charlotte needed the ropes to get a dirty pin. Both Women were so over with the crowd, and I love how Charlotte used one of her dad’s signature exaggerated bumps.

Roman Reigns defeated Chris Jericho

Prediction: Correct

The crowd roared when Y2J’s music exploded, then the crowd got so excited when he grabbed. And boy did Jericho delivered as always. He is the greatest gago of all time! And that duterte chant was magic! He played the master heel in this match. This was a very good match, a very good house show co-main event match. Thank you Y2J for giving us the gift of Jericho, Manila drank it in!

WWE Universal Champion Kevin Owens defeated Seth Rollins and Sami Zayn to retain his title

Prediction: Correct

What a main event! What a great match, the Championship of the Universe defended in Manila! Seth Rollins went out first, and I stood up to applaud the best wrestler in the world today. The crowd went nuts for the architect! Then Zayn went out, and the crowd hummed along to his hymn. Then finally, for the first time ever, Manila saw the Championship of the Universe. Three former NXT Champions, fighting for the Universal title, in Manila, what a time to be alive! The first offense of the match is a beautiful dive by Seth towards Owens, who was outside. This was an outstanding match. After Owens pinned his rival Zayn, he tried to beat him up more. But Rollins saved the day and delivered the pedigree. Rollins and Zayn shook hands and the nigh ended with Zayn saying goodbye to the crowd. It was surreal to see Rollins play the good guy baby face role, it would be interesting how character develops in the actual storyline.

Overall, this was a great show. And the crowd had a great time. Thank you WWE!

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WWE

WWE Backlash predictions

WWE Backlash Predictions

It is the first brand specific PPV of the New Era, as SmackDown presents Backlash. All Smackdown titles are on the line, including the inaugural Smackdown Women’s and Tag team championships.

Smackdown Tag Team Championship Semi-Finals

The Usos vs The Hype Bros

Winner: The Usos

With the then heavily favored American Alpha suffered an injury, this match became a replacement semi-final match. With the Uso’s turning heel, I believe they will win this match, because the team that is already in the finals is a face team.

Finals of the Smackdown tag team championship tournament

Heath Slater and Rhyno will win the tag team championship

The stage is set. They are over with the crowd; Heath is over with the crowd. Heath and Rhyno will win the title and Heath will get the contract!

6-pack Challenge for the Women’s championship

Winner: Eva Marie

Hear me out. What if, they lift the suspension; insert Eva in the match, then wins the title, just to get heel heat? That would be a great storyline!

Intercontinental Championship Match

Champion The Miz vs Dolph Ziggler

Winner: The Miz

The never-ending #MayForever Intercontinental championship tour continues for the Miz. I think Dolph will eventually snap and turn heel, he needs to reboot his character, the “Mid-carder that the IWC thinks should be a main eventer but slowly the IWC is turning” that is both a gimmick and a reality, might be in need of a reshape.

Randy Orton vs Bray Wyatt

Winner: Randy Orton

Once again, Bray is in a position where he will job to a bigger star. They can’t afford Orton to lose again after losing to Lesnar last Summerslam (and Orton will lose again in a house show, yes, a house show, to Lesnar soon).

WWE World Championship Match

Champion Dean Ambrose vs AJ Styles

Winner: AJ Styles and new WWE World Champion

After beating John Cena clean and winning that feud (for now), it is time for AJ to finally win his 1st World title in the WWE. All the years of being the big fish in several small ponds, it is time for Styles to be the big fish in the biggest ocean of them all. Can he swim with the sharks? Can he prove that he can hang with the big boys? Can he prove what the IWC has been harping about him for the past 15 years, that he is the best, period. Only one way to find out!

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DLSU, DLSU Green Archers, Jeron Teng, La Salle

Pre-game: DLSU vs UP

Pre-Game: De La Salle Green Archers vs UP Fighting Maroons

La Salle will try to go up to 2-0 as the De La Salle Green Archers takes on the UP Fighting Maroons this Saturday, 4p,m at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum. DLSU defeated FEU, 83-78 during their first game last Wednesday while UP lost to Adamson in a blowout during the opening weekend.

The teams split their season series from last year. UP defeated La Salle in the first round, in what was considered an upset during that time. In the second round, DLSU defeated UP in a close game to keep their Final Four dreams alive, but we all know how that one turned out. The La Salle faithful are hoping that there would be no more upset for this season against UP.

La Salle should show the killer instinct that is needed from a championship team for this game. If La Salle can blow the game wide open by the third period, Jeron Teng and Ben Mbala might get some rest in the fourth quarter, and it would allow the other players to get some playing time and build their confidence. Maybe rookies such as Mark Dyke and Brent Paraiso can finally play this season. Maybe Justine Baltazar can get more playing time and show his stuff. It is a learning process and this game is an opportunity for the younger guys to show their worth.

Of course, there is no such thing as a sure win. Upsets can happen. DLSU was over-confident during the opening game against FEU, almost blowing a 16-point lead and allowing FEU to make runs. DLSU should play hard from the beginning of this game and not allow the Maroons to gain confidence. The Mayhem basketball should be unleashed in this game!

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