For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. It’s too early to present Duterte’s ‘legacy’ – Lacson Kiss-and-tell matinee idol’s conquests: True stories or tall tales? Guard: Juan Gomez de LiañoJuan Gomez de Liaño. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netDesiderio isn’t the only one who likes to score for the Fighting Maroons.Rookie Juan Gomez de Liaño does too.In the two games UP played this week, Gomez de Liaño breached 20 points twice and averaged 21.5 points with 9.5 rebounds.Honorable mentionsSteve Akomo (University of Santo Tomas Growling Tigers)Steve Akomo. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netUniversity of Santo Tomas won its lone game of Season 80 thanks in large part to its starting big man.Steve Akomo is the owner of this year’s highest single-game rebounding total of 20 boards, and he did that once more in UST’s 88-85 win over University of the East while also scoring 18 points and blocking six shots.And Akomo’s mark of six blocks is tied with Mbala and Issa Gaye’s record for most in one game. Ricci Rivero (De La Salle Green Archers) Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Margot Robbie talks about filming ‘Bombshell’s’ disturbing sexual harassment scene In the two games Far Eastern University played this week, Tolentino was the unquestioned offensive focal point as he averaged 17.5 points and a respectable 7.5 rebounds.Forward: J-Jay Alejandro (National University Bulldogs)Jay Alejandro. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netJ-Jay Alejandro played his last two games in the UAAP, and walked off the collegiate league leaving stellar numbers.NU’s heart and soul did what he does best in his final week with the Bulldogs and that is by filling up the stat sheets. Alejandro averaged 16.5 points, five rebounds, three offensive rebounds, and 8.5 assists on his way out of NU.Paul Desiderio (University of the Philippines) Paul Desiderio. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netPaul Desiderio likes to score, and that statement is indisputable.And he did that in UP’s last week in Season 80.Desiderio matched his career-high of 30 points on Saturday when he lit NU up in the Fighting Maroons’ 106-81 win.And for his weekly average, Desiderio scored 23 points a game. Ateneo suffered its first defeat after going undefeated in its first 13 outings while University of Santo Tomas finally won a game after a 0-13 start.And with all that out of the way, here are the top players by position in the final week of eliminations.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’SPORTSFederer blasts lack of communication on Australian Open smogCenter: Ben Mbala (De La Salle Green Archers)Ben Mbala. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/ INQUIRER.netBig Ben Mbala exacted revenge on Ateneo in the final game of the elimination and he did it the only way a Ben Mbala does and that was to dominate. The Final Four is complete with Ateneo, De La Salle, Adamson University, and Far Eastern University heading to the playoffs.That, however, wasn’t the only thing to happen at the end of the UAAP Season 80 men’s basketball tournament. ADVERTISEMENT With a second straight MVP in the bag, the La Salle center went crazy and dismantled Ateneo in every statistical category.Mbala registered 28 points, 19 rebounds, six steals, six blocks, and a big defensive stop down the stretch to preserve the Green Archers 79-76 win over the Blue Eagles.Forward: Arvin Tolentino (Far Eastern University Tamaraws)Arvin Tolentino. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netArvin Tolentino has often been an unassuming player, to the point of being lackadaisical that his head coach Olsen Racela repeatedly challenged him to give more effort. Well Tolentino may be lackadaisical, but his numbers aren’t.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES Redemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie Thompson Jo Koy: My brain always wants to think funny View comments Jake says relationship with Shaina ‘goes beyond physical attraction’ Jake says relationship with Shaina ‘goes beyond physical attraction’ OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacson Elite rookie Jose vows to work hard after signing 3-year max deal Coco’s house rules on ‘Probinsyano’ set Ricci Rivero. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netIt seems La Salle has settled with Ricci Rivero as its secondary offensive option.And although Mbala’s 20 field goal attempts against Ateneo were almost 30 percent of La Salle’s total output, Rivero still had plenty for him as he put up 13 and making seven of those. Rivero also got to the line for his fair share of charities as he went 5-of-7 from the stripe. Overall, Rivero finished with 21 points, five rebounds, and two steals. 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Northern Health is encouraging quitters through its “True North Strong and Smoke-Free” campaign.The Authority is offering up to $250 in individual grants to community organizations and schools to help decrease tobacco use.- Advertisement -Interested organizations can submit project proposals by Dec. 1. Projects can focus on various aspects of reducing tobacco usage such as tobacco hazard awareness or the issues surrounding second-hand smoke.Officials say past projects have included youth forums for discussing tobacco issues, multimedia displays and smoke-free promotions for public and private facilities. The Authority has given out more than $65,000 towards these projects over the past seven years.Applications can be found at www.northernhealth.ca/YourHealth/EnvironmentalHealth/TobaccoReduction.aspx
‘The Ninja’ is not Roma’s midfield enforcer. No, that honour has been bestowed upon either Daniele De Rossi or Seydou Keita, but his energy and tenacity means he is the perfect box-to-box midfielder to replace Gerrard.Of all Roma regulars, only Jose Holebas with 2.9 is averaging more tackles per league game than Nainggolan’s 2.8. Excellent at harassing the opposition further up the pitch, the dogged Belgian is capable of winning possession for his side and instigating attacks in dangerous positions.With the likes of Sterling, Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho, among others, at Rodgers’ disposal, should Nainggolan indeed win the ball in advanced areas, the movement of the attacking stars could wreak havoc on defences.The main concern, however, is how Rodgers accommodates both Pjanic and Nainggolan in his starting XI, should Liverpool pursue their reported interest in the duo.Both players are perfectly suited to the 4-3-3 formation Rudi Garcia currently uses at the Stadio Olimpico. Rodgers, who has favoured a 3-4-3 system of late, also has ample depth in midfield in the form of Henderson, Joe Allen, Lucas Leiva and, when needed, Emre Can.Pjanic, though, is capable of playing in that offensive trio and with Nainggolan added to the midfield, the Reds would have a squad capable of launching a Premier League title assault.A double transfer will cost a pretty penny, with Pjanic alone supposedly valued at around £40m by the Roma hierarchy. But if Liverpool harbour serious title aspirations, they will need to splash the cash this summer in order to establish themselves as England’s best once more and the capture of both Pjanic and Nainggolan would go a long way to seeing that dream become a reality.You can follow all the scores, statistics and live player and team ratings with the new free-to-download WhoScored iOS app 2 Miralem Pjanic is a very creative midfielder 2 Liverpool have been linked with a massive double swoop for Roma midfielders Miralem Pjanic and Radja Nainggolan. Here, WhoScored.com provide analysis on the pair’s suitability for Anfield, and you can check out loads of Liverpool facts and figures on WhoScored.com.Steven Gerrard may not have been a part of Liverpool’s FA Cup win at Crystal Palace on Saturday, but their 2-1 victory at Selhurst Park improved the midfielder’s chances of bowing out on a high.Should the Reds reach the 2015 FA Cup final on 30 May, which happens to fall on Gerrard’s 35th birthday, it is likely to be his last competitive match in a Liverpool shirt before he jets off to Hollywood to end his career with LA Galaxy.The task ahead for manager Brendan Rodgers is how to go about replacing the iconic captain.A host of midfielders have been linked with the job, the latest of which is Roma pair Miralem Pjanic and Radja Nainggolan. They rank among the Italian side’s top rated players according to WhoScored.com, with Nainggolan (7.26 rating) and Pjanic (7.24) impressing for the Serie A title challengers.The latter is widely regarded as one of Europe’s most inventive players and while the 24-year-old has perhaps failed to reach the heights of last season, there is no denying Pjanic has the creative quality to pull the strings from midfield.An average of two key passes per league match is an impressive return for a player in Serie A, where more focus is put on defensive organisation. He has the vision and ability to open up opposition defences in the blink of an eye and it’s this quality that has reportedly attracted the interest of Liverpool.Compared to the Reds’ current crop of players, only Raheem Sterling is averaging more per key passes per league game (2.3) than Pjanic.Rodgers has a good range of attacking personnel available to him and those players would thrive with a player of Pjanic’s ilk behind them, providing the ammunition. Compared to Liverpool players, only Jordan Henderson has registered more league assists than Pjanic, with his six trumping the Bosnian’s five this season.Given that Roma boss Rudi Garcia is opting to field the experienced Francesco Totti as a deep-lying central striker, Pjanic would undoubtedly improve his assist tally in a side with Daniel Sturridge leading the attack.There is the concern, though, that the midfielder’s slight frame means he may struggle to adjust to the rigours of the Premier League, but his technical ability would render his physical deficiencies meaningless.Meanwhile, it’s also no surprise the Reds have shown an interest in team-mate Nainggolan (pictured below).