NCAA Season 94 Junior Basketball Game Review: The LSGH Greenies and the best games of RC Calimag (part 1)

DSC_9774(RC Calimag (right) helps out in defense while teammate Mark Sangco (with ball) tries to evade the Malayan Red Robins’ zone defense).

(Notes: The La Salle Greenhills Greenies had another great season in the 94th National Collegiate Athletic Association junior basketball tournament. They made it back to the finals. Many factors made their campaign memorable. And one of them is Batang Gilas cager RC Calimag).

06 Sept. 2018,


FilOil-Flying V Arena,

San JuanDSC_9776(Joel Cagulangan in action).

The La Salle Greenhills Greenies are now on their way to a finals showdown with the Malayan High School Red Robins.

They are blessed to have a talented new face in the team.

And that’s RC Calimag, a member of the Batang Gilas Under 16 team.

DSC_9821(Inand Fornilos receives a pass from a teammate while Malayan cagers Van Tagal (11) and Dan Archers (99) get ready to defend).For 18 games, Calimag had an average of 19.1 minutes on the floor, to go with 11.4 points and 5 rebounds per game.

A transferee from the La Salle Zobel Junior Archers, Calimag showed he has managed to fit into coach Marvin Bienvenida’s system.

On Sept. 6, 2018, Calimag played one of his best games with the Greenies.DSC_9772(Mark Sangco reaches out for a rebound while RC Calimag (14) assists him).

That day, the Greenies pulled off a 96-82 beating of the University of Perpetual Help Junior Altas at the FilOil-Flying V Sports Center in San Juan.

Here, the 18-year old Calimag drilled in 23 points and seven rebounds in leading the Greenies to their seventh consecutive win since losing to the Malayan High School Red Robins.


This put the Greenies as among the top teams that are in contention for the Final Four semifinals of the 94th National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) junior basketball wars.

At that time, the Junior Altas were holding to a slim lead, 29-27, following a penetration from Rey Barcuma.

Calimag unleashed a triple, and touched off a 10-2 blast.

When it was over in the last four minutes, the Greenies were up, 37-31, and they took control of the game.




NCAA Season 94 junior basketball game review: The San Beda Red Cubs and Art Oliva’s big game

04 Sept 2018


FilOil-Flying V Sports Center,

San Juan

Meet Art Oliva, one of the newest point guards of the San Beda Red Cubs,

The 18 years old Oliva, is seen as the replacement of Evan Nelle.

For many years, Nelle has helped the Red Cubs make it to the finals.Oct16Oliva2

(Art Oliva (left) of the San Beda Red Cubs had just evaded two JRU Light Bomber defenders , Vince Icban (29) and John de los Santos (22)).

And thats before he moved up to the ranks of the Red Lions to this year.

The 5’10 Oliva is more of a combo guard, since he can shoot or do other things.

As season 94 of the National Collegiate Athletic Association junior basketball wars progressed, Art made efforts to work on his shooting accuracy.


(Justine Sanchez(20) and Jade Talampas (10) prepares to screen their JRU opponents Marwin Dionisio (12) and Ronald Bucoy (15)).

Oliva feels that something was at the start of the season.

That was when the Red Cubs lost two straight games in the start of the first round.

“0-2 and Red Cubs. Masama tingnan. Sakit sa pride. Yun ang naging motivation ko para iboost ang team, sarili,” said Oliva.


(Joshua Lazaro (16) of the San Beda Red Cubs prepares to shoot a free throw while teammates Zach Estacio (11) looks on with JRU’s Gab Fortuna (14) beside him).

Oliva talked about his game last September 4, 2018 when the Red Cubs finally won their seventh game in 10 matches.

And this was at the expense of the Jose Rizal University Light Bombers, 62-56, at the FilOil-Flying V Sports Center.

In this game, Oliva showed what he can do help his team win, and that’s in the final minute of the game.


(Zach Estacio (11) getting ready to heave a free throwm with JRU’s Gab Fortuna (14) behind him).

Topscoring for 15 points, Oliva came into the picture moments after the Red Cubs blew an eight poiunt lead in the final minute.

Ahead, 59-51, the Red Cubs lost their edge following a charity shot from Thomas Vasquez, and a drive from Marwin Dionisio following Vasquez’s assist, 54-59.

In the remaining 6 seconds, Oliva converted three of four charity attempts to preserve the win for the Red Cubs.


(Cyrus Llarena (12) goes for a layup past JRU’s Ronald Bucoy (15), while JRU teammate John de los Santos (22) and Thomas Vasquez (16) sprints to assist).

This kept the Red Cubs’ hopes alive, that they will continue climbing up in the standings, and make it to the Final Four semifinals again.

“Para maiangat ang team sa standings. Lalo na nasa 3rd na sila. Hopefully, angat ang team before end of the second round,” said Red Cubs coach JB Sison.

For Sison, JRU is a different team this season.Oct16Amores

(Jade Talampas (10) with Joshua Lazaro (16) of the San Beda Red Cubs, in a rebound battle with JRU cagers Ronald Bucoy (15) and John Amores (13).  Josiah Alcantara(9) of the Red Cubs watches from afar).

“They’re a tough team. Medyo mahirap kalaban. Ma-hustle, physical, pero sarap kalaban,”

He feels that their encounter has brought out the best in the Red Cubs.

Coach JB said Art’s A-game came at the right moment.

“Kinailangan ng offense. Kasi, its a defensive game. Nakaka-break down ng play. Kaya nakaka-steal siya,” said JB Sison on their fourth consecutive win.

The Red Cubs are still far from a Final Four seat at this stage.

According to the stats, and the individual rankings, Joshua Lazaro is no. 7 with 8.6 rebounds.

Marwin Dionisio of JRU is no. 8 in rebounds with, 9.1 rebounds.

Teammate John de los Santos is no. 2 with 2.6 steals.

The Red Cubs have no dominant player except for Kent Pelipel.

At the end of the first quarter, the Light Bombers took charge, 19-16, after Gab Fortuna triple.

Dionisio struck twice in the start of the second period, giving JRU a 24-16 edge.

But, two triples from Oliva allowed the Red Cubs to get back the lead, 26-25.

They moved away, 30-25, off Llarena’s putback, at the end of the second period.

NCAA Season 94 junior basketball game review (Part 1)The San Beda Red Cubs and their amazing four-game winning streak.

(Notes: The Red Cubs winning streak has already increased to four after their 62-56 win over the Jose Rizal University Light Bombers. The Mapua Red Robins stopped their winning streak with a 91-59 triumph on Sept. 7. Then, they got back on the winning track on Sept. 11 with a 61-60 beating of the Letran Squires.  With their 8-4 win-loss record, the Red Cubs are closing in on a two-to-beat incentive in the Final Four).

28 Aug. 2018


12:30 p.m.

FilOil-Flying V Sports Center,

San Juan


Jade Talampas

The San Beda Red Cubs are back on the winning track.

They are on a roll after posting their third straight win at the end of the first round of the 94th National Collegiate Athletic Association junior basketball wars.

Top scorer Zach Estacio was able to establish a two-point lead with his steal off Cadell Buno and drive in the last 49 seconds.


Red Cubs cager Zach Estacio (11) moves into position during a defensive play.

As they went on protect their slim advantage, the Red Cubs experienced a lot of hair raising moments in the remaining time.

The second chance the Light Bombers had to win the game, or force an overtime came in the last 13 seconds when Estacio missed a basket that could have won the game in the last 13 seconds.

But Gab Baluyot could not convert a final basket, and turned the ball over to Red Cubs Art Oliva, who grabbed the rebound in the end.


(Justine Sanchez (no. 20) is action (right).

As the game ended, Estacio still emerged as the top performer of the after eight games with his average of 28.6 minutes per game, along with 11.9 points, 2.1 rebounds and 2.9 assists.

As for Oliva, he is ranked sixth in the Red Cubs roster with his averages of 24.8 minutes, 6.4 points, 3.9 rebounds and 2.4 assists.

For coach JB Sison, this is among the wins that they needs since their bitter loss to the San Sebastian Staglets a fews back.


(Art Oliva (8) at left.).

“Sana, magdagdagan ang panalo namin sa last 2 games (first round),” said Sison after their 65-63 win over the Jose Rizal University Light Bombers last Aug. 28.

In the Red Cubs rotation, they also have Kent Pelipel and Justine Sanchez, whose among the go-to guys.

Pelipel averages 10.6 points and 20 rebounds, while Sanchez is good for 7.6 points and 6.2 rebounds.


(Cyrus Llarena (12) in a defensive play right).

NCAA Junior Basketball Flashbacks: Neil Guariño and the best games of the Letran Squires (part 2)

(Notes: Neil Guariño and Kurt Reyson both had a great season with other team members who played with them last year. That was before many of their teammates graduated, and were absorbed in team of the Letran Knights in season 94 of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) men’s basketball tournament. Guariño, now 18, is coming out of an injury when they played against the San Beda Red Cubs. That’s when he got smacked in the lips. He is set to return to action again sometime soon in season 94. Reyson, on the other hand, is in Team B of the Knights).


Neil Guarino of the Letran Squires.

15 Aug. 2018, 


FilOil-Flying V Sports Center,

San Juan

Averaging 16.5 minutes, 7.3 points and 2.5 rebounds, Guariño got noticed when the Letran Squires went into overtime beat the San Sebastian Staglets, 85-74.

And so did Reyson, who was norming 12.2 minutes, 7.5 points and 1.6 rebounds.

This gave the Squires their fourth win in eight games when the game was finished on Aug. 15, 2017, at the FilOil-Flying V Sports Center in San Juan.


Kurt Reyson(8) of the Squires get involved in a possession battle with the Staglets.

Guariño went on to finish with 23 points, and the Squires stayed in fourth place in the junior division of the 93rd National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) junior basketball tournament.

On the other hand, Reyson was good for 21 points.

Their game against the Staglets was tight that day.


Neil Tolentino in action.

The Squires were counting on their three-point shooting, both in regulation and overtime, to escape a tough Staglets squad.

In regulation, the Staglets were fighting to protect at 62-59 lead which they got after Neil Villapando drove following a defensive rebound from Romel Calahat.

The Raymund Valenzona-coached Squires forced an overtime when Reyson, getting the ball of a defensive rebound from Laksmann Ganapathy, scored in the last six seconds.




Stephen Tamayo of the Letran Squires signals a play.

In the extra period, Stephen Tamayo led the assault, knocking in a pair of buckets off assists from Reyson and Guarino.
Their baskets in the beginning of extra time triggered an 8-0 run, which ended with Enoch Valdez’s putback and a technical charity shot from Reyson.
They then enjoyed a nine-point lead off Neil Tolentino’s trey in final 2:22.

Enoch Valdez (2) gets screened by Baste players Ameer Aguilar (left) and Damie Cuntapay(right).

When the game was over, the 17 year old Guarino recalled that his three-point shots were usually off.

Dati, off ang three-points shots ko. Pero, nakuha ko na ang kumpiyansa ko. At tsaka, dahil din sa teammates ko,” said the 11th grader.

Coach Valenzona, as he remembered that game, said he asked members of the team to set up Guarino for baskets.

Shooter namin siya. Malaking shooter. Sabi ka sa mga teammates niya na hanapin Guarino,” said Valenzona.

NCAA Junior Basketball Flashbacks: The best games of the Letran Squires (part 1)

DSC_4042(Neil Tolentino (10) of the Letran Squires prepares to go for a rebound following an attempt by Perpetual Help’s Kim Siege).

(Notes: The Letran Squires are not known as a team with dominant players. Over the last two years, they have players who provide leadership in some games, and in some other games. In season 93, it was Enoch Valdez’s time to shine for the Squires. And in season 94, only one player stands out for the Squires early in the tournament, and that’s little known Shawn Umali when it comes to rebounds, now that Valdez is now playing for the Lyceum Pirates in the senior division).

11 Aug. 2017

8:30 p.m.


FilOil-Flying V Arena,

San Juan

The Letran Squires’ top player Enoch Valdez stayed in the sidelines when they took on and waylaid the University of Perpetual Help Junior Altas, 78-68.

Three teammates, mostly second unit players, took charge for the Squires as they eked out their third win in seven in games in the first round of the 92nd National Collegiate Athletic Association junior basketball wars.

Kurt Reyson, Laksman Ganapathy, Russell Aniban, Louis Montes were providing key plays in the last minute of the first quarter, and in the start of the second period.

DSC_4080(Letran Squires cager Russelle Aniban goes for a basket while Junior Altas cager John Umali(7)).

Reyson started the Squires’ breakaway with a triple, before Ganapathy, a Singaporean transferee, came up with two blocks, came up a layup and an assist to Aniban.

The Squires were slightly ahead, 13-12, and when the three were finished, Letran took a six-point edge, 20-12, in the last 52 seconds.

Ganapathy came through with another rebound, and set up Aniban for a basket in the start of the second period.


Kurt Reyson (8) of the Letran Squires dribbles in front three Junior Altas defenders.

Montes then struck twice in the last 6:04, and the Squires pulled away, 29-14.

Coach Raymund Valenzona, speaking on the Squires’ third win in seven games, said the performance of team speaks well of the Squires.

“Maganda ito. Kasi, paakyat ang standings namin. Kahit 2-4, nadagdagan. Ngayon, 3-4 na,” said Valenzona.


As Russelle Aniban (5) makes an attempt past Junior Altas player Errol Bongay, Kobe Monje (16) prepares to assist.

After their seventh game in first round of season, Neil Tolentino led scoring with 12 points, and averages 11.3 points and 6.8 rebounds in the 28.1 minutes that he is on the floor.

Valdez leads the Knights with 11.3 points and 10. rebounds, to go with his 21.9 minutes of playing time.

Keifer Cordero is the Knights’ third most productive with 18.3 minutes, 8.1 points and 4.8 rebounds.


Keith Peralta (5) of the Letran Squires makes a drive with Errol Bingay in front of him.

He is followed by two other starters Kobe Monje and Neil Guarino.

NCAA Junior Basketball Flashbacks: The Lyceum Junior Pirates and the Best Games of John Barba (Part 1).


John Barba dribbles his way towards their Lyceum Junior Pirates side of the court.

(Notes: In season 94, John Barba is considered one of the pillars of the Lyceum Junior Pirates’ game. The 18-year old Barba proved how important his contribution is to the team when he led the Juniors to a resounding 88-87 win last July 20, 2018. It was his charity shot in the last 11.2 seconds that won the game of the Junior Pirates. How his game matured, we have look back in season 93 to understand Barba better).

10 Aug. 2017


Emilio Aguinaldo College gym

Ermita, Manila


Junior PiratesMarj de Leon, with Lee Ian Salazar (14, left)

The Lyceum Junior Pirates, at this point in the first round, are in the running for a Final Four semifinals slot in season 93 of the National Collegiate Athletic Association junior basketball wars.

Barba led the way with 24 points and six rebounds as the Junior Pirates stopped the EAC-ICA Brigadiers, 111-77, at their own home court.

His leadership helped send the Junior Pirates to their fourth win in seven games, and with still three encounters to in the first round.


Sean Sandoval(9) covers the left wing of the Lyceum Junior Pirates, while a teammate makes an attempt.

Hitting 15 points in the first quarter, Barba’s output provided the spark that allowed the Junior Pirates to move away, 34-21, after 10 minutes.

Teammates Marj de Leon and Sean Sandoval backed him up with double digit outputs as well, with de Leon making 12 and 11 points.

Maui Cruz had 26 points for the Brigadiers, who suffered their sixth straight loss.


Junior Pirates Mclaude Guadana (16) and Lee Ian Salazar (14) play defense.

At that time in the season, the La Salle Greenhills Greenies have won six straight games, and the Malayan High School Red Robins are trailing at 5-1.

The San Beda Red Cubs have a 4-2 slate with the Arellano Braves and the Junior Pirates are contention with their 4-3 card.

The games of John Barba has made the Junior Pirates’ games in the first round something to remember.

The Games of NCAA Season 93 Junior Basketball: More on the best games of Kobe Camacho and the Arellano University Braves (part 3)

(Notes: With season 94 already going on, the Arellano Braves will banner new faces and veterans who will try to make their experience in the National Collegiate Athletic Association Junior Basketball wars a memorable one. We were supposed  to see how the Braves are as a team this season when they start their campaign against the University of Perpetual Help Junior Altas in an 8 a.m. game today (July 17). But heavy rains brought by Typhoon Henry wiped out their scheculed encounter. This is the second time that we missed a game of the Braves because of bad weather.  As for season 93, one of their games in the first round was a memorable one. On Aug. 08 2017, Kobe Camacho and Aaron Fermin came up with exceptional games).


The Arellano Braves playing defense with Kobe Camacho (16) guarding the left flank. He is with teammates like Resty Fornis(10), Marlon Espiritu(13), Jericho Liangco (6) and Roy Velasco (19).

08 Aug. 2017


FilOil-Flying V Arena,

San Juan

The Arellano University Braves fought to survive and stay in contention for their best finish on this day, and early in the first round.

Camacho, one of their top shooters, and Fermin, one of the season’s top rebounders, were fighting hard in their game against the Emilio Aguinaldo College-Immaculate Conception Academy Brigadiers.

The 5’11 Camacho fired 16 points while Fermin shot15 points and had 17 rebounds when they rolled back the Brigadiers, 83-65.


The Braves, led by Aaron Fermin (11) at right, try to get past the EAC-ICA Brigadiers in their offense.

“Stick lang kami sa game plan. Kahit na lumamang sila, tinuloy pa rin namin ang plano namin sa training,” said Camacho, who was not in the groove with his shooting the first half.

At first, the Brigadiers were leading, 26-24, in the closing minutes of the second period, and that’s off a three-pointer from Rey de Quiros in the last 2:25.

Then, Fermin came into the picture with a putback with 1:26 to go for a 26-all deadlock.


Braves big man Resty Fornis defends at the right wing while teammate Marlon Espiritu (13) passes left.

Fred Segura’s trey, and Fermin’s charities allowed the Braves to finish the first half with a 30-26 lead.

Stepping up in the second half, Rey Domingo’s putback and charity in the last 6:56, saw the Braves moving away by seven, 38-31.

Next, Camacho struck following three turnovers, and after scoring repeatedly, the Braves were comfortably ahead, 45-31, with 5:26 remaining in the third.

DSC_3416Arellano Braves cager Roy Velasco attempts a free throw while teammates Marlon Espiritu (13) looks on with Resty Fornis (10).


The Braves eventually bloated their lead to 25 points, 70-45, off Camacho’s incursion in the last 1:34.

When it was over the Braves picked up their fourth win in six games.

“Laro lang. Preparation ito para sa mga darating na games,” said Braves coach Tylon Darjuan.


Marlon Espiritu of the Arellanoa Braves look for an open man. Looking on is coach Tylon Darjuan, and other teammates and coaching staff.

The Braves are tied with San Beda Red Cubs with the same record.

Because of this, they are in contention for Final Four berth.

Camacho’s six-game average was was 23.8 minutes, 17.8 points and 3.2 rebounds.


Braves cager Jericho Liangco (6) prepares to get the loose ball while teammate Roy Velasco (19) gets entangled in a rebound play with EAC-ICA cagers.

He and Fermin were the top performing Braves with Fermin norming 27.3 minutes, 16 points, 16.7 rebounds and 1.7 blocks.