Saturday, January 5, 2013

MMBL season in halfway point, San Beda, Chiang Kai Shek lead the way

Familiar names dominate the different divisions of the 30th season of the SeaOil Metro Manila Basketball League (MMBL), led by perennial high school powerhouse San Beda.

The NCAA juniors champions under Britt Reroma own a 6-0 record in Division I-A, while the UAAP juniors champions Far Eastern University is in second place with a 5-2 record, a game ahead of Chiang Kai Shek.

Division I-B is the only division in the MMBL where its teams tote a blemish on their record, with Hope Christian High School and National University share the lead with a 4-1 record. A half-game back is Xavier with a 3-1 record.

Hope Christian High School ended the year toting two trophies that will certainly boost their confidence for the 2nd half of the MMBL season, recently bagging the juniors' division of the Fr. Martin's tournament, as well as winning the first-ever Philippine Secondary Schools Basketball Championship (PSSBC) last month against the San Sebastian College-Recoletos in The Arena in San Juan.

Meanwhile, the B-squads of San Beda, NU and the University of Santo Tomas lord over Division II. The Red Cubs own a 7-0 record, which leads Division II-A, with the Bullpups a game back with a 6-1 record.  The Tiger Cubs lead Division II-B with a 6-0 record, followed by Xavier's B-team with a 3-1 record.

It had been announced late last year that the MMBL's champions for Division II will join the top three teams of Division I as NCR's representatives for the NBTC National High School Championships, or more familiarly known as the Elite League.
Completing the cast of division leaders are College of San Benildo-Rizal (Division III-A), San Beda College-Alabang (Division III-B), National University's Team C (IV-A) and Xavier's Team B (IV-B).

In the inagural girls division, Chiang Kai Shek owns a 7-0 record, with La Salle-Zobel in second with a 5-1 win-loss slate.

The MMBL matches will resume this month at these venues:  San Beda College, International School-Manila, St. Stephen's High School and the PhilSports Arena.

The standings as of January 3, 2013:

Division 1-A

San Beda College-A                                    6-0
Far Eastern University-FERN A                   5-2
Chiang Kai Shek College-A                         4-3
Colegio San Juan de Letran                          3-2
De La Salle Zobel-A                                    3-2
Our Lady of Fatima University                      1-3
University of Santo Tomas A                        1-3-1
Adamson University                                     0-7

Division 1-B

Hope Christian High School                                   4-1
National University                                                4-1
Xavier-A                                                               3-1
Ateneo High School                                               2-2
San Sebastian College Recoletos                           2-3
Malayan Institute of Technology                             1-4
University of the Philippines Integrated School       0-4

Division II-A

San Beda College-B                       7-0
National University-B                      6-1
Faith Academy-A                           3-2
De La Salle Zobel-B                       3-4
Far Eastern University-FERN B      2-4
Arellano University                         1-2-1
Chiang Kai Shek College-B            1-4
Uno High School                             0-5

Division II-B

University of Santo Tomas-B                  6-0
Xavier-B                                                3-1
San Sebastian College Recoletos-B        3-2
Emilio Aguinaldo College                        2-2
St. Stephen’s High School-A                  2-3-1
International School Manila-A                 2-3
Kings Montessori School                        0-6

Division III-A

College of San Benildo-Rizal            7-0
San Beda College-C                        5-1
Escuela de Sofia of Caloocan           4-1
Rich                                                 4-2
St. Jude Catholic School                  2-4-1
Trinity University of Asia                   1-4
Southridge School-A                        1-5
Gymnazo Christian School                0-6

Division III-B

San Beda College Alabang-A          7-0
Colegio de San Agustin-BiƱan         4-1
Reedley International School           4-2
Lourdes School of Mandaluyong     3-2
St. Andrew’s School                       3-3
International School Manila-B         2-4
Southridge School-B                      0-3-2
Australian International School        0-6

Division IV-A

National University-C                     7-0
ESPS                                             5-1
Chiang Kai Shek College-S            4-2
SNCA-B                                       4-2
La Consolacion College-Manila      3-4
Southridge School-C                      2-5
Dominican College Sta. Rosa          1-4-1
St. Stephen’s High School-B           0-7

Division IV-B

Xavier School                                 6-0
La Salle College-Antipolo               5-1
San Beda College-D                       5-1
St. James Academy                        4-2
The Seed Montessori School          2-4
Faith Academy B                            2-5
Our Lady’s Angels School              0-6
Quezon City Science High School   0-5


Chiang Kai Shek College-               7-0
De La Salle Zobel                           5-1
La Salle College-Antipolo               4-2
Uno High School                            3-3
Faith Academy                               2-4
Casimiro Ynares Memorial School  1-3
St. Jude Catholic School                 1-6
Hope Christian High School            0-4

PFF-SMART Club Nationals Round of 16 set next week

On the same day as the press conference for the home leg of the Philippines against Singapore in the AFF Suzuki Cup, the offices of the Philippine Football Federation in Pasig City was the venue for the draw of the PFF-SMART National Club Championship's Round of 16.

Witnessing the drawing of lots were representatives from some of participating teams, as well as SMART Sports executive Epok Quimpo. Cyril Dofitas from the PFF and Richie Gannaban handled the actual draw proper.

The 16 teams who made it this far came from eight different clusters as designated by the PFF (two from Luzon, four from Mindanao and one each for the Visayas and the National Capital Region), each of whom had their own qualification process.

The recently concluded UFL Cup formed the basis of qualification for the NCR Cluster, where the UFL teams that made the quarterfinals secured their berths to the competition, led by recently crowned UFL  Penson Stallion Gilligan's FC and this competition's defending champions and losing UFL Cup finalists Global FC (then competing under the name Teknika). In addition, the two best third place teams from the Group Stage, in Pasargad and Nomads, also secured their spots in the Round of 16, thus bringing the number of UFL sides to eleven.

The eleventh UFL side in the competition is Cebu Queen City United FC, who opted to not participate in the UFL Cup and went through the Visayan leg of the PFF-SMART Nationals instead. The UFL Division II side finished second to Ceres FC. Completing the provincial sides are Flame United FC and Baguio United FC for Luzon, while Romgarjal FC and M'lang FC will represent Mindanao.

Round of 16 rules have mandated that any UFL side drawing a provincial team will be mandated to travel to the base of the provincial team, except for Flame United. The Cavite-based side will play their match at the Rizal Memorial Stadium. The two match-ups involving the NCR cluster by itself will also have their matches at the said venue.

The draw yielded the following matchups:

Negros-based Ceres FC drew Stallion in what arguably could be the most interesting fixture in the Round of 16. The winner would face the winner of the Nomads-Global FC matchup, thus setting up a possible UFL Cup final rematch in the PFF-SMART quarterfinals.

Cebu Queen City United drew Pachanga-Diliman FC for their matchup, a revival of their UFL Division 2 rivalry, with Pachanga earning the promotion into Division 1, now infused by players who played for Diliman that finished second ahead of CQCUFC. The winner of that matchup will face the winner between UFL Cup semifinalists Green Archers United and Romgarjal FC.

The other purely NCR matchup will feature Pasargad and Army, whose winner will face the winner of the matchup between the lone northern Luzon representative Baguio United FC and impressive newcomer General Trias International FC.

The last pairings involve Flame United FC against Singapore Cup semifinalists Loyola Meralco Sparks and M'lang FC against Kaya FC. That M'lang-Kaya matchup will kick off the Round of 16 action as they play on January 9, 3pm at the South Cotabato Sports Complex in Koronodal. The rest of the matches will be played on January 12 or 13, as seen below.

January 12 matches:

General Trias International FC @ Baguio United FC: 3pm kickoff at the Benguet State University in La Trinidad.

Green Archers United FC @ Romgarjal FC: 3pm kickoff at the Jose Rizal Memorial State University in Dapitan.

Pachanga-Diliman FC @ Cebu Queen City United FC: 3pm kickoff at the Aboitiz Field in Cebu

Loyola Meralco Sparks FC @ Flame United FC: 4pm kickoff at Rizal Memorial Stadium

January 13 matches:

Penson Stallion Gilligan's FC @ Ceres FC: 3pm kickoff at Panaad Stadium in Bacolod

Pasargad FC vs Philippine Army FC: 4pm kickoff at Rizal Memorial Stadium

Nomads FC vs Global FC: 630pm kickoff at Rizal Memorial Stadium

The bracketing looks like this:

The lineups for the teams in this competition will be set by January 7.