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ADB OK’s bigger PHL program

THE ASIAN Development Bank (ADB) said on Thursday that its Board of Directors has approved a $7.8-billion lending pipeline for 2018-2021, ramping up support for transport infrastructure, local governance and social development in line with the Duterte administration’s priorities. The post ADB OK’s bigger PHL program appeared first on BusinessWorld......»»

Category: newsSource: bworldonline bworldonlineSep 20th, 2018

GMA Network increases nationwide TV ratings lead in July

GMA Network increases nationwide TV ratings lead in July Vox Bikol Mon, 08/06/2018 - 17:50 Broadcast leader GMA Network continued to widen its lead over competition in nationwide television ratings based on the latest data from the industry’s widely-trusted ratings service provider, Nielsen TV Audience Measurement. From July 1 to 31 (with July 22 to 31 based on overnight data), GMA posted an average total day people audience share of 41.8 percent in the National Urban Television Audience Measurement (NUTAM), beating ABS-CBN's 36.7 percent. GMA’s solid ratings performance was a result of the Network’s continued leadership across all dayparts. The Kapuso Network strengthened its lead in the morning block, registering 38.6 percent people audience share as against ABS-CBN’s 34.9 percent. GMA likewise posted a bigger margin in the afternoon block with 43.4 percent, while ABS-CBN only managed to get 35.9 percent. In the evening block, GMA was also ahead of competition with an average of 42 percent versus ABS-CBN’s 38 percent. The Kapuso Network continued its dominance in the viewer-rich areas of Urban Luzon and Mega Manila, which respectively account for 72 and 59 percent of all urban viewers in the country. GMA recorded an average total day people audience share of 46.1 percent in Urban Luzon, which toppled ABS-CBN’s 31.3 percent. Similarly in Mega Manila (with official data from July 1 to 21), the Kapuso Network ruled competition with an average total day people audience share of 47.2 percent versus ABS-CBN’s 29.5 percent. More GMA shows also made it to the list of top programs in NUTAM with Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho (KMJS) keeping its spot as the most watched Kapuso program nationwide. The newly-launched Kapuso telefantasya and Alden Richards-starrer Victor Magtanggol immediately entered the list following KMJS. Joining them were Magpakailanman, 24 Oras, Lip Sync Battle Philippines, Pepito Manaloto, Kambal, Karibal, Daig Kayo ng Lola Ko, and The Clash. Completing the top-rating programs list were The Cure, Amazing Earth, Inday Will Always Love You, 24 Oras Weekend, Wowowin, Imbestigador, You’re My Destiny, Tadhana, Sunday Pinasaya, Eat Bulaga, and Contessa. Kapuso programs also dominated the Urban Luzon and Mega Manila lists, respectively taking 23 and 25 spots out of the top 30. More viewers nationwide also preferred GMA Network’s coverage of Manny Pacquiao’s fight last July 15 as well as President Rodrigo Duterte’s third State of the Nation Address (SONA) last July 23. GMA’s coverage of the much-awaited bout between Manny Pacquiao and Lucas Matthysse garnered a people audience share of 49.1 percent in NUTAM which topped ABS-CBN’s 30.8 percent. “SONA 2018: The GMA News Special Coverage” was likewise the most watched with 41.2 percent overnight people audience share in NUTAM versus ABS-CBN’s 32.6 percent. Nielsen data is gathered through a greater number of sampled homes nationwide in comparison to Kantar Media. With approximately 900 more homes surveyed in Total Urban and Rural Philippines compared to Kantar, Nielsen data is statistically considered more representative of the total TV population. In 2018, Nielsen TV Audience Measurement's client pool covers a total of 34 clients/subscribers consisting of 8 local TV networks including ABS-CBN, TV5, Aksyon TV, CNN Philippines, and Viva Communications Inc., among others; 3 regional clients; 2 blocktimers; and 21 agencies (17 media agencies, 3 consulting agencies, 1 digital agency)......»»

Category: newsSource:  voxbikolRelated NewsAug 9th, 2018

Bigger than basketball: Balkman’s foundation extends help to orphans

The famous phrase "Ball is life" gets thrown a lot in basketball circles, but for Renaldo Balkman basketball isn't everything. Despite being in the middle of an electric championship round in the PBA Commissioner's Cup where San Miguel is ahead 2-1, Balkman still found a way to give back to a community that embraced him during his Philippine stay. Balkman's Balkmania Cares Foundation has set up an outreach program for the children of the Alay Pag-asa Christian Foundation where he will donate school supplies and toys through the "Giving Love Back" program. READ:Renaldo Balkman shrugs off 'war wound' to keep Beermen going "It's not about basketball all the time, winning the...Keep on reading: Bigger than basketball: Balkman’s foundation extends help to orphans.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsAug 2nd, 2018

Incentive benefit for OFW’s bigger in 2017

Disbursements under a voluntary provident program for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) saw double-digit growth last year, the Social Security System (SSS) said on Sunday. In a statement, the state-run pension fund said it paid out P17.38 million in Annual Incentive Benefits (AIB) under the Flexi Fund program to more than 47,000 OFW members in 2017, [...] The post Incentive benefit for OFW’s bigger in 2017 appeared first on The Manila Times Online......»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimesRelated NewsJul 8th, 2018

DOC VOLLEYBALL: A Dilemma on Loop?

Flashback to March 2017, the whole volleyball community was abuzz about a newly formed national team set to compete in the Southeast Asian Games of that year as tryouts were held, but certain players, particularly from the Ateneo de Manila University, were allegedly not invited. An apology was then issued and special tryouts were held to accommodate the aforementioned athletes. Flashback to 2015, with a newly formed organization in Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc. (LVPI) taking the reins from the Philippine Volleyball Federation (PVF) as the volleyball authority in the country, the future looked bright as for the first time in recent history, both the men’s and women’s teams were being sent to the Singapore SEA Games as representation of the sport’s resurgence. As with any newly formed roster, the composition was mired in controversy especially with the men’s team, which was composed of predominantly of young players. Flashback to 2014, with the power struggle between the aforementioned LVPI and PVF, the latter formed the infamous Amihan and Bagwis squads as the women’s and men’s national teams, respectively. Backed by then sponsor PLDT, the rosters boasted of the some of the country’s best talents from both divisions with the likes of Alyssa Valdez, Mark Espejo, Ara Galang, Tatan Pantone, Ran Ran Abdilla and Mark Alfafara to name a few. Both teams never saw the light of day outside the country as the PVF eventually lost its accreditation leading to the teams’ eventual disbandment. And the theme went on as the previous years are revisited. Fast forward to present time, 2018, and once again the volley community is abuzz with the formation of yet again a new national team with a familiar scenario in which local favorites did not make the cut. With the volleyball scene at an all time high in local following, it is quite inevitable for varying opinions on who should have been included in the line-up given the wide pool of talents especially in the women’s division. Coupled with a sudden change in coaching staff, the new roster is once again under scrutiny given the process the team as a whole was structured from the beginning. Another New Beginning Without taking anything from the players and coaches of the new women’s national team, the composition is relatively deserving of the spots for the roster. While expected shoe-ins who have performed tremendously well in the local leagues like Myla Pablo, Maika Ortiz, and Tatan Pantone were not afforded a slot in the team, the new line-up is still pretty much capable of representing the country. Middles – Aby Marano is the best fit amongst the middles who made the final cut. With exceptional timing and good lateral movement, Marano is expected to perform in the position well offensively and defensively despite the lack of height for a middle blocker internationally. Her agility and aggressiveness with her net play more than justifies her inclusion and assignment as the team captain. Her DLSU successor Majoy Baron would add much needed support as the second middle as she has proven to have the power and timing of Aby though much work can still be done for her agility in the net. Baron’s aggressive floaters will also be of much benefit on the service line. Lastly, Mika Reyes would provide the height should the need arise especially against foreign teams with bigger size. Left Wing – Alyssa Valdez’ inclusion as left wing hitter is of no question as she continues to prove that she is one of the best open hitters in the local scene. Perhaps working more on her bulk and power is something the coaching staff must consider to ensure that she can carry over her local performance to the international scene. Dindin Santiago-Manabat and Ces Molina likewise have proven themselves much capable of being offensive threats from the left and their decent size will be of much benefit in blocking against slides and opposite attacks from foreign counterparts. It would be beneficial as well if Santiago-Manabat develops mastery of passing and if Molina becomes a significant threat with the pipe in order for both athletes to really excel in the position. Although Cha Cruz is not much of a power hitter as compared to the aforementioned left hitters, she would serve a special position as the service and defense specialist for the team. If in scenarios in which she will serve in for a middle, her floor defense is of much benefit in Zone 5 and with her background as a former setter, she is still capable of setting up a decent play should the setter get the first contact. Right Wing – Though much of her collegiate season has been utilized hitting from the middle, Jaja Santiago is undeniably more fit for the opposite position. Despite her height and power, which could be considered an automatic criteria for the middle, Santiago has much work to be done with lateral motion which is also a crucial component for middle hitters. With her vertical reach and power, she is better off racking up points from the right wing and right back row as the main offensive option for the team. Likewise, Kim Dy is also a shoo-in for the opposite position as evidenced by her consistency in scoring and blocking from the right. With Kim Fajardo calling the plays, Kim Dy would be beneficial in running faster or creative plays should the need arise. Setters – The selection of Fajardo and Jia Morado is not to be questioned as both have proven and continue to prove that they are top-notch setters in the country. Both setters are a shoo-in for the national team as both are equal in consistency with Fajardo showing mastery in working the middles and Morado displaying her skill in making the wings work for her. Not much can be argued really about the selection of the two athletes. A reserve setter in Rhea Dimaculangan would be also beneficial as she has the consistency and creativity as the aforementioned setters as well as the height, which would be important in blocking. Libero – Currently hailed as one of Southeast Asia’s finest, Dawn Macandili is undeniably a good choice for the main libero position. With her agility and speed to pop up digs and impossible saves, her presence on the floor is highly beneficial for the team on transition defense. On the other hand, her counterpart Denise Lazaro has proven to be highly consistent from the receiving end of services making her inclusion as part of the regular roster and not just a reserve undeniably essential. With Lazaro setting up the passing formation and Macandili guarding on transition, their combined specialized efforts will ensure the first step in letting the setters run the play for the team. A Shift in View Given the fact that the talent pool in the women’s division is deep, player selection will always be put on debate as not all favored athletes will be included. Perhaps a good way of viewing the matter is that given the yet again short preparation time for the next international tournament, the coaching staff would best select players who they have already established a good working relationship for a more seamless adaptation of a new system. Rather than put into scrutiny the individual players, handpicked or not, the focus should be put on the system as a whole and how it can be further developed for the improvement of the sport. Yet again, the 2018 roster is proving to be another promising one as it has been almost every year when a new line-up is formed. More than bringing back pride to the country internationally in the tournaments immediately at hand, the bigger challenge for the national team is to prove itself not as yet another band aid solution in the attempt to have a continuous program. How the 2018 Team will prove itself different from its predecessors in past Asian/SEA Games would be the more important matter that should be put under the lens. With the sport currently a major source of livelihood for many athletes, the players are no longer the ones getting the short end of the stick but rather volleyball and its development as a whole should the loop continues. The country has much individual talent deserving of a spot in the team, but for as long as vested interests continue to rear their head in the Philippine Volleyball System, the level of the sport will continue to fall short in justifying its current local popularity.    .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 18th, 2018

Elite 60 Dev’t Camp to serve as start for future Batang Gilas players

The Elite 60 Development Camp strives to be bigger and better now in its second year. And along with providing another avenue for young talent to better themselves, the training program is also providing another avenue for the Philippine national youth basketball team to better itself. “We (have tried) to come up with a program to complement and assist the national team program. That’s why this year, we decided to lower the age group to 16 and under,” camp director Eric Altamirano said in the program’s press conference on Thursday at the Capitol Commons in Pasig. He then continued, “If there’s any player that we can identify, the national team would be able to put them in the pool and have continuous training to hopefully make the national team.” The Elite 60 Development Camp is a training program that scoured the entire country for the best of the best young talent aged 16 and under. It will run from May 10 to 13 at the Colegio de San Agustin Gym in Makati. In its first edition a year ago, it gathered the top Under-18 players such as NCAA Juniors MVP Will Gozum and UAAP Juniors champion RJ Abarrientos. Now, it aims to identify younger talent who may very well serve as the core of Batang Gilas. “After the Elite 60 Camp, the objective is to have the national team coaches to be able to see sino ba ang potential players nila,” Altamirano said. Overseeing the camp alongside Altamirano, will be Rob Beveridge, former head coach of the Australian men’s national basketball team. For Batang Gilas itself, the training program is a much-welcome development. “This will really help us with the identification of talent. We lean on this program to identify the talent that we need,” assistant coach Josh Reyes said. And for that, the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas is also in all-out support of the Elite 60 Development Camp. “Magandang programa ang na-develop nina coach E at coach Alex [Compton] kaya it’s something worth supporting. Hopefully, this thing carries on through more years,” Gilas team manager Butch Antonio said. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 10th, 2018

DE JESUS: Genius, disciplinarian, champion coach

This story was originally published on May 7, 2017 De La Salle University head coach Ramil De Jesus came inside the press room of the Big Dome for a post-game interview wearing the same smile he had in the past nine times the Lady Spikers closed the UAAP season as champions. The only difference in those championship interviews were the players that accompanied him to answer questions from reporters. From Iris Ortega-Patrona, Desiree Hernandez, Maureen Penetrante, the legendary Manilla Santos, the Big Three of Cha Cruz, Paneng Mercado and Jacq Alarca, to Michel Gumabao and beast-mode-don’t-care Aby Marano to Ara Galang, Mika Reyes, Kim Dy and gem of a setter in Kim Fajaro – all of them stood beside a genius and architect of DLSU’s successful volleyball program. Victory after victory, De Jesus built his reputation as a one of the best women’s volleyball mentors in the country. Last Saturday, De Jesus added another feather to his cap when he steered the Taft-based squad to back-to-back titles in the 79th UAAP women’s volleyball tournament at the expense of archrival Ateneo de Manila. Two decades since his arrival to the school of a different shade of green after playing for Far Eastern University, delivered 10 titles and brought the Lady Spikers to the Finals 17 times.   De Jesus shared the secret of his success. “Siguro, sistema siguro then hard work. And then, well-disciplined ‘yung mga bata. Siguro, ‘yun ‘yung key,” he said. His success earned him the respect of his peers including three-time UAAP men’s volleyball champion Oliver Almadro of Ateneo, who was once one of his lieutenants, and players alike. DLSU embraced him as one of its own. “Natutuwa ako kasi kahit hindi ako alumnus doon niyakap nila ako bilang parang doon na din nag-graduate,” said De Jesus. “Hindi ko naman napapansin ang mga nanyayari sa akin sila lang ang nakakapansin, binigyan nga ako ng award. Happy, very happy (ako).” De Jesus is known to be a no nonsense coach. Strict, straightforward and a disciplinarian – traits he inherited from FEU men’s coach Kid Santos.                He doesn’t like fanfare and as much as possible keeps attention away from him. De Jesus carefully chooses his words but when he gives one, everybody listens. He means business all the time.   Brilliance of De Jesus 246-65. De Jesus knows how to win and his career win-loss record says it all. The main reason why DLSU trusted De Jesus to handle the team for that many years – a rare feat considering that a UAAP coach’s tenure is very volatile.   It was summer 20 years ago when former basketball Olympian and influential DLSU sport personality Ramoncito Campos brought in a young mentor in De Jesus to save the school’s volleyball program, which then had yet to win a title since joining the league in 1986.           He entered the UAAP volleyball scene during the time when powerhouse teams Far Eastern University and University of Sto. Tomas, then mentored by legendary coach August Sta. Maria, were the ones lording over here the competition. Of course the road to glory didn’t come easy but his first tour of duty gave DLSU a chance to feel what it was to be in the Final Four when the Lady Spikers finished fourth a year when after strings of forgettable seasons. Quenching the thirst to salvage some pride in the sport that will eventually be DLSU’s second most valued contest next to basketball, the Lady Spikers began to hunger for the crown – something the school never felt before since winning it all back in 1976 as a member of the NCAA.   De Jesus submitted his team to Spartan-like training and hammering discipline and slowly molded the Lady Spikers to a championship-caliber squad. In Season 61, DLSU challenged FEU for the crown but the Lady Tamaraws’ championship experience prevailed. The loss only fueled De Jesus’ desire to bring the Lady Spikers to the throne even more. With the core of ace hitter Ortega-Patrona, setter Valerie Bautista, Sally Macasaet, Sheryl Magallanes, Demelle Chua, Hollie Reyes and then sophomore Ivy Remulla, De Jesus steered DLSU on the right track for another shot at the crown. Midway in the season Bautista got pregnant. De Jesus, calm and composed, knew what to do. He converted open spiker Reyes into a setter and the gambit worked as DLSU once again punched a ticket to the Finals, this time against UST – a very hungry team looking to reclaim the title. A year removed from the throne, UST was ready for the kill. But the Espana-based squad went against a famished team – DLSU will not leave the sweltering University of the Philippines Human Kinetics Gym without the championship trophy. In front of a crowd - dwarf-sized compared to the multitude of fans that troop bigger venues of today – the Lady Spikers wrote history. DLSU slew a giant in a thrilling five-set game behind the stellar performance of Ortega-Patrona, who won that Season’s Most Valuable Player award – the first of many incredible volleybelles that will bag the highest individual honor under De Jesus’ tutelage.     It was an incredible feat but it won’t see a repeat in the next three years.              Grand Slam After their breakthrough title, the Lady Spikers had three straight bride’s maid finishes behind FEU. Heartbreaks brought by Ortega-Patrona’s falling out with De Jesus over a disciplinary issue in Season 63 and the unstoppable power of FEU's Monica Aleta, who won three straight MVP awards while towing the Lady Tams to a three-peat. Like a chess master, De Jesus learned from his mistakes before pulling off a feat that will cement his name as one of the greatest. With Hernandez, Penetrante and a young Santos as his main pieces, he steered the Lady Spikers to a rare three-peat. DLSU brought into heel FEU, UST and Adamson to complete a grand slam. A four-peat loomed for the celebrated Lady Spikers but fate played a cruel trick on them after UAAP suspended DLSU in Season 69 because the Green Archers' basketball squad fielded two ineligible players the previous year.       When the ban was lifted in Season 70, De Jesus and the Lady Spikers were again under the radar as title contenders together with the defending champion UST, FEU and Adamson. But team was forced to file a leave of absence from the school while the tournament was ongoing because Alarca saw action despite incomplete academic credentials to be eligible to play. All of the team’s won games where Alarca played where forfeited and the Lady Spikers ended up at seventh place. It was a painful setback but it also served as a rallying point for DLSU. With Santos playing her final year and the emergence of enigmatic but then rookie libero Mel Gohing in Season 71, the Lady Spikers denied the then graduating Rachel Anne Daquis and FEU back-to-back crowns. DLSU relinquished the throne to the Angeli Tabaquero and Aiza Maizo-led Tigresses the following year. The Lady Spikers avenged their loss the next season in a rematch with UST behind Alarca, Mercado, Cruz, Gumabao and Gohing in the start of De Jesus’ second three-peat.   DLSU-Ateneo rivalry Nobody really knows when UAAP volleyball picked up the tremendous following it has today. Maybe it needed something for people to get hooked into. A continuous rivalry, perhaps? For six straight years DLSU and Ateneo did just that. The storied rivalry between La Salle and Ateneo spilled from the basketball court to the taraflex mat of volleyball. De Jesus had in his bench the core of veterans Cruz, Gumabao and Marano back and freshmen Galang, Reyes and Demecillo when they met in the Season 74 Finals a young and promising Lady Eagles side – much like the Lady Spikers De Jesus inherited 14 seasons back. Led by Fille Cainglet, Dzi Gervacio and a fresh recruit from University of Sto. Tomas high school Alyssa Valdez, Ateneo gave DLSU a tough challenge for two seasons but the Lady Spikers repelled them both times. Then came Lady Eagles Thai mentor Tai Bundit. For three years in a row, De Jesus’ system bested the rest of the field including that of then Ateneo coach Roger Gorayeb. However, a coach who barely spoke English or Filipino provided him a challenge in Season 76. DLSU with an intact core led by Marano, swept its way straight to the Finals with a thrice-to-beat advantage. Ateneo crawled its way to the championship round through a series of do-or-die games. De Jesus is an old-school type of coach. His system is hinged on well-planned strategies and tactics. He was pitted against Bundit’s Thai-style of play anchored on a heartstrong mantra and a ‘happy, happy’ approach of the game. Bundit dances on the sideline, an animated fellow during the matches. De Jesus is stoic as always. When the two collided for the title for the first time, Bundit shocked De Jesus and DLSU when Ateneo beat them thrice in a four-game series that went the full distance. Bundit and the Valdez-led Lady Eagles did it again the following year, completing a season sweep at the expense of the Lady Spikers, who struggled to pose any form resistance in the Finals after Galang went down with a season-ending ACL tear in the semis. It was a devastating loss to say the least. But De Jesus, a general who fought many battles for the green and white, stuck with the weapon that brought him success – his ability to adjust. Outdueled by Bundit in their last six matches, De Jesus found a way to stop the rampaging Lady Eagles in their first meeting in Season 78. Ateneo equalized in the second round and even took the top spot after the elimination. The Lady Spikers and the Lady Eagles would eventually meet in the Finals for the fifth year in a row. De Jesus was ready for Ateneo. He knew the strengths and weaknesses of the Lady Eagles and used it to his advantage to win the series opener. The then graduating Valdez brought Ateneo back in Game 2 to tie the series, but DLSU completed its long-awaited revenge in the decider and gave Reyes, Demecillo and Galang a fitting sendoff gift.                  Road to back-to-back Losing five veterans including three of their key players heading into Season 79 gave De Jesus one of the toughest challenges he ever faced as a DLSU mentor.  Setter Kim Fajardo returned for her swan song together with fourth year playes Kim Dy, Dawn Macandili and Majoy Baron. Desiree Cheng also came back after a year of absence due to a knee injury, but De Jesus was still left to navigate with a relatively young crew.  “Sa laht nang nai-form kong team, ito yung medyo (up and down) yung performance,” he said. “Sobrang babaw ng bench, wala ka halos (mahugot) pagtingin mo, wala ka makuha.” DLSU struggled early and was on the losing end of two elims matches against Ateneo. “Ateneo nu’ng buong elimination NU lang ang halos tumalo. Sabi ko ano bang meron ang team na ito?” he said. “Pinilit lang naming habulin.” “Kasi alam ko nag-start kami medyo hilaw ang team namin. Early part ng first round natalo kami sa UP sabi ko pukpok pa tayo, habol pa,” De Jesus added. “Ang nakakatuwa sa mga bata, ang determinasyon na humabol nandoon.” When the De Jesus found himself leading the Lady Spikers to a sixth straight title series against Bundit and the Lady Eagles, he knew his squad was ready to defend their crown. And protect it they did in a series sweep capped by a dramatic five-set victory.    “Siguro buong eliminations, nire-review namin ang mga games, nakikita mo yung difference, ‘yung advantage at disadvantage ng team, so siguro doon kami nag-focus, kung saan kami medyo dehado. Concentrate kami sa training,” he said. “Ine-explain ko rin sa players kung ano yung dapat naming gawin, although mahirap. So, tanggapin na lang nila.” In a rare moment, when Ateneo’s Jho Maraguinot sent her attack long that signaled DLSU’s back-to-back championships, De Jesus let his hair down a little. He was jumping, dancing, celebrating the victory and even held his hands up, both his palms wide open as confetti dropped and the deafening roar of the crowd and banging of the drums echoed inside the arena. De Jesus won his tenth title. When the celebration subsided, De Jesus fashioned the same smile he wore in his past nine championships as he was led inside the pressroom of the Big Dome. Only this time around, Fajardo, Cheng and Dy were the ones who followed him from behind.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 20th, 2018

Security Bank begins P5-B LTNCD offer

SECURITY BANK Corp. on Tuesday said it started to offer at least P5 billion in long-term negotiable certificates of deposit (LTNCD), part of a bigger fund-raising program. In a disclosure to the stock exchange, Security Bank said it is offering P5 billion in LTNCDs from April 10 to 20, with an oversubscription option. “The bank […] The post Security Bank begins P5-B LTNCD offer appeared first on BusinessWorld......»»

Category: newsSource:  bworldonlineRelated NewsApr 10th, 2018

UE: Rod Roque – The Accidental Coach

“Nakakatawa nga eh. I’ve never played volleyball in my life! Never!” A fact University of East head coach Rod Roque admitted when he talked to sports scribes after his first stint with the Lady Warriors in just the sixth game of the squad in the UAAP Season 80 women’s volleyball tournament. Just two days before, Francis Vicente parted ways with UE after three and a half seasons with a futile 2-45 win-loss record. The Lady Warriors absorbed their 12th straight defeat since Season 79 a day before he resigned. Then they found Roque, the school’s representative to the UAAP Board, a perfect fit. But with a losing record and a team lacking confidence, why would UE hire an interim coach that had no volleyball background? The answer is simple. The school’s management wanted someone that they can trust, a person who has been loyal to the Recto-based university and a tactician that can hold the fort until they can find a proper replacement. Plus, it’s an added bonus that the man they chose for the interim spot made miracles in their boy’s volleyball program. Heck, the man gave UE high school more titles than the other teams’ number of boy’s crowns combined. But Roque is also quick to temper UE management’s expectations. “Siympre mahirap because people might expect a miracle. Sabi ko naman sa management when they told me, sabi ko, ‘Don’t expect a miracle because a miracle doesn’t happen overnight.”   A Twist of Fate Roque may not have the volleyball background like the other UAAP coaches but he excelled in a different kind of sport.      “High school, college, noong estudyante pa ako gymnast ako,” said Roque, a true-blooded Red Warrior with a BS Physical Education degree. He was a member of the national men’s all-around gymnastics team and even represented the country in different international tournaments. “Nakapunta kami sa Asian Youth, sa National games. Di ko lang nalaro yung SEA (Southeast Asian) Games,” he said. After finishing his Masters degree in UE in 1992, Roque grew tired of gymnastics and decided to pursue his love of teaching, working as a PE instructor in the same university. Then fate brought him into coaching high school boy’s volleyball.         “Una ko na-discover sa intramural volleyball. Kumuha kami ng player noong intrams. Nagtayo kami ng team, nananalo naman kami. So yun na yung umpisa,” he said. With the UE boy’s team success, the late athletic director Brenn Perez saw a lot of potential with the Junior Warriors and he decided to field the squad in the UAAP.   “Nakita ng director namin, si Mr. Perez na nagtsa-champion kami sa mga invitational. So nag-propose siya sa UAAP na isama na ‘yung UAAP jrs volleyball. Ayun. Since 1996 nagstart yung UAAP Jrs. volleyball sa (UE),” said Roque. But UE wasn’t as successful as it was in the other tournaments the Junior Warriors joined. De La Salle-Zobel was lording it over since the boy’s tournament started in 1995. The Junior Spikers built a dynasty from Season 57 to 62. Then Roque’s crew got its payback. UE completed a grand slam from 2001 to 2003. DLSU-Zobel snatched a crown in Season 66 but Roque was set to make history. The Junior Warriors reigned supreme for the next 11 years. Under Roque’s tutelage, UE was invincible for more than a decade, dating from 2005 to 2015 - the longest title streak of any team in any UAAP volleyball division. From 1995 to 2016 the Junior Warriors landed 22 straight Final Four appearances. Roque handled the National Capital Region’s boy’s volleyball team for 10 years, earning five Palarong Pambansa gold medals. Out of UE’s 14 titles, Roque had 10 for the Junior Warriors before taking a bigger role as UE’s athletic director after Perez passed away from a heart attack in 2009. “Nag-retire (ako as coach) kasi na-promote ako. Naging assistant director na ako. After that, two years, ginawa na akong director,” he said. “Busy na ‘yung schedule. Hindi ako makapag-ensayo.”   Back as Coach UE has been lumbering at the cellar for years both in the men’s and women’s divisions. While the Junior Warriors were copping titles, the school’s college teams were getting beaten black and blue season after season. Under Vicente’s watch, the Lady Warriors sported a 2-45 win-loss record. The Red Warriors, who named a new coach before Season 80 in national men’s volleyball team coach Sammy Acaylar, didn’t fare any better. Five games into the season, UE decided to part ways with their coaches. Acaylar resigned citing conflict of schedule a he was appointed as Perpetual Help athletic director while Vicente left because of ‘personal reasons’. But sources said that Vicente was sacked a day before Acaylar tended his resignation. While Roque struggled to turn around the campaign of the Red Warriors, his stint with the Lady Warriors was sort of ‘miraculous’. He dropped a four-setter against Far Eastern University in his debut but again became an architect of UE’s historic feat – this time in the women’s division. The Lady Warriors closed the first round with a surprise 25-22, 22-25, 14-25, 25-20, 15-13 shocker over Adamson University that ended their 12-game slide since Season 79. Just three days later, UE stunned University of Sto. Tomas, 25-23, 18-25, 28-26, 26-24, in a historic first win against the traditional powerhouse Tigresses at least since the start of the Final Four format in 1994. It marked the first time since Season 74 that the Lady Warriors won back-to-back games. It opened the eyes of volleyball fans that the Lady Warriors have talented players like Shaya Adorador, Mary Anne Mendrez and libero Kath Arado. “Na-notice kasi namin na takot silang magkamali. Takot silang magkamali kaya lalo silang nagkakamali. Pero para sa akin OK lang magkamali but make sure babawi ka,” said Roque. “Natutuwa naman ako kasi nagkakamali sila pero bumabawi.” The Lady Warriors eventually dropped their next three games after that back-to-back wins but gave Adamson, Ateneo de Manila University and De La Salle University quite a scare before succumbing. But with the change of culture brought by Roque, teams are now wary of the Lady Warriors, which will return to action on April 8 against slumping National University. UE will wrap up its campaign against FEU and University of the Philippines – the last remaining games of Roque before he leaves his post to make way to a new head coach. “This season lang talaga ako,” said Roque. With him on board, the Lady Warriors are playing like a team looking to prove that they are better than just being a win fodder for other squads. Roque made the players respect themselves. He gave UE volleyball the respect it deserves.   ---   Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 31st, 2018

Goldwin Monteverde staying with Bullpups; UE still without a coach

Coming from a loss in the UAAP Juniors Finals to Ateneo de Manila High School, Nazareth School of National University will be back next season bigger, brighter, and better than ever. While Michael Malonzo, Robert Minerva, and Migs Oczon will be graduating, the Bullpups will be welcoming with open arms 23 for ’23 Gilas cadet Carl Tamayo, heady guard Gerry Abadiano, and mobile big Kevin Quiambao. Add to that battle-tested returnees in versatile wing Rhayyan Amsali and scoring dynamo Terrence Fortea. More importantly, however, the boys from Sampaloc will still have the head coach who made it all happen. Asked if he’s staying on with NU Juniors, Goldwin Monteverde answered, “Yes.” He then continued, “Mag-stay ako rito kasi may commitment ako rito. Kailangang tapusin kasi mahirap naman yung biglang aalis.” This is the first time the so-called master recruiter spoke about his job status with the Bullpups. A month ago, reports broke out that Monteverde was leaving and heading to University of the East. The development, and later clarification, was first reported by Reuben Terrado of spin.ph. With this categorical statement, however, the NU faithful can rest assured that their high school program remains in good hands. Monteverde made his name in the high school ranks, leading Chiang Kai Shek to multiple titles as well Adamson High School and NU to contention. Along with his on-court results, he also has an impressive track record in terms of player recruitment and development with the likes of Gerry Abadiano, John Galinato, Migs Oczon, Encho Serrano, Carl Tamayo, and Jonas Tibayan having blossomed under his tutelage. Meanwhile, the development also means that the Red Warriors are still without a head coach. UE has been searching for a new head coach after former mentor Derrick Pumaren handed in his resignation late last year. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 21st, 2018

SKYathon 2018 returns to Boracay

SKYathon Beach Run is back and bigger on its ninth year with the opening of participation to international runners as it aims for greater awareness to raise funds that would help rehabilitate the reefs of Boracay. Organizers of the first destination run in the country are excited with this development. “Among the avid participants of the race are foreigners vacationing in the island. To open this to international delegates will elevate the race not just to a fun run but a race that the running communities around the world will look forward to each year,” said Mr. Delbert Santos, a senior marketing manager from SKY. Set to happen on April 21 at Epic Boracay, it features three categories for runners to choose from; 3K, 5K, and 10K. SKY plays its part in protecting nature by supporting this initiative. A portion of the proceeds from SKYathon will go to the coral reef rehabilitation program. Other than reef rehabilitation there is also a mangrove planting partnership with the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in the area. This year SKYathon introduces #LoveBoracay, a call for a turn towards responsible tourism. Santos said that with the current environmental troubles facing not only the island but also some major tourist spots in the country it’s important for vacationers to keep in mind preserving these natural resources. He said, “This year, besides pushing for the rehabilitation of the coral reefs in Boracay, we’d also like to send out a call to all tourists to take care of the places they are going to. We have to practice responsible tourism so that we can keep the beauty of nature not just for us but most especially for future generations.” Also back this year is Coach Rio de la Cruz’ RunRio, which will organize event. “Since it is RUNRIO’s 4th year in participating the SKYathon run, I am glad that we still continue to organize events like this in Boracay island each year. I believe that because of this event we are not only promoting an active and healthy lifestyle to the people, but also saving Boracay island itself,’ said Rio de la Cruz. Registration is ongoing and can be done online through www.runrio.com or onsite via selected branches of registration partners Rudy Project, Chris Sports, and Olympic Village. The Boracay Foundation Inc. Secretariat in Boracay can also accept registrations.   About ABS-CBN Corporation ABS-CBN Corporation is the Philippines’ leading media and entertainment organization. The Company is primarily involved in television and radio broadcasting, as well as in the production of television and radio programming for domestic and international audiences and other related businesses. ABS-CBN produces a wide variety of engaging world-class entertainment programs in multiple genres and balanced, credible news programs that are aired on free-to-air television. The company is also one of the leading radio broadcasters, operating eighteen radio stations throughout the key cities of the Philippines. ABS-CBN provides news and entertainment programming for eight channels on cable TV and operates the country’s largest cable TV service provider. The Company also owns the leading cinema and music production and distribution outfits in the country. It brings its content to worldwide audiences via cable, satellite, online and mobile.  In addition, ABS-CBN has business interests in merchandising and licensing, mobile and online multimedia services, glossy magazine publishing, video and audio post production, overseas telecommunication services, money remittance, cargo forwarding, TV shopping services, theme park development and management, property management and food and restaurant services, and cinema management, all of which complement and enhance the Company’s strength in content production and distribution. The Company is also the first TV network in the country to broadcast in digital. In 2015, it commercially rolled out its digital TV box, ABS-CBN TVplus, to prepare for the country’s switch to digital TV.   About SKY Cable Corporation SKY Cable Corporation is a leading cable and broadband technology provider in the Philippines, offering an array of innovative and pioneering products with rich content delivered on various platforms. Its products are a showcase of top-of-mind choices among Filipinos: SKYcable, known for its top-notch programming; One SKY, which offers complete entertainment & internet bundle with fiber-boosted broadband, HD Cable TV and mobile internet options; SKYdirect, a direct-to-home television technology that brings superior cable entertainment nationwide;  SKY on Demand, an on-demand video streaming and entertainment service allowing content viewing on any screen; and SKYmobi, a mobile pocket wifi service that offers access to SKYcable’s slew of shows even outside the home. SKY Cable is a subsidiary of ABS-CBN, the Philippines’ leading media and entertainment company......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 26th, 2018

PAL considers acquisition of A350-1000 jet

By Patrizia Paola C. Marcelo, Reporter PHILIPPINE AIRLINES (PAL) is considering the acquisition of the new Airbus A350-1000, amid the flag carrier’s aggressive fleet expansion program. PAL President Jaime J. Bautista on Thursday said the airline can earn savings with the new long-range aircraft, the largest of the Airbus A350 series. “It’s a bigger version […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  bworldonlineRelated NewsFeb 16th, 2018

Koreas combined women s hockey team debuts in friendly

By Kim Tong-Hyung, Associated Press INCHEON, South Korea (AP) — Wearing a powder-blue logo of a map symbolizing peace between the Koreas, the most talked-about team at this year's Olympics finally saw game action Sunday in a friendly that drew thousands of spectators in a country that never previously showed much passion for ice hockey. The North and South Korean women's hockey players, who only began practicing together about a week ago as a combined team, showed plenty of fight in their first competitive test, crashing the boards and throwing their bodies to stop pucks and opponents, but never really threatened in a 3-1 loss to world No. 5 Sweden in Incheon, South Korea. The Koreans will play Sweden again on Feb. 12 during the Olympic tournament. But the outcome didn't seem to matter to the capacity crowd of 3,000 at the Seonhak International Ice Rink. Fans waved miniature white-and-blue flags showing a unified Korean Peninsula — the same mark on the players' uniforms — and chanted "We are one" while screaming whenever the Koreans got on the break. The arena thunderously erupted when South Korean forward Park Jong-ah cut the deficit to 2-1 during the first period. The Korean players stood to the Korean traditional tune of "Arirang" at the start of the game, instead of their respective national anthems, and received warm applause as they left the arena after the contest. "I think that the North Korean players played really well — this is one of the biggest crowds they played in front of," said Sarah Murray, the joint team's Canadian head coach. "Being added 12 days ago and not getting to practice together all that much, they played our system pretty well, so I am proud of them." The team's North Korean coach, Pak Chol Ho, said the Koreas "can do anything if they do things as one." He left the postgame news conference without taking questions. The joint Koreas team highlights a series of conciliatory measures the war-separated rivals took for the Pyeongchang games, which South Korea sees as an opportunity to revive meaningful communication with North Korea following an extended period of animosity and diplomatic stalemate over the North's nuclear program. The Olympics begin Friday, with Pyeongchang, a relatively small South Korean ski resort town, hosting the skiing, snowboarding and sliding events, and Gangneung, a coastal city about an hour's drive away, hosting the hockey, skating and curling events. North Korea plans to send hundreds of people to the games, including athletes, officials, artists and a 230-member cheering group. Skeptics think the country is trying to use the games to weaken U.S.-led sanctions and pressure and buy more time to advance its nuclear weapons and missiles arsenal. The decision to create the joint hockey team, which wasn't reached until January, triggered heated debate in South Korea, where many people thought the South Korean players were being unfairly asked to sacrifice playing time to their North Korean teammates, who are seen as less skilled and experienced. Murray, who coached South Korea before taking over the combined team, had also expressed concerns over team chemistry. Sunday's friendly was Murray's only opportunity to experiment with potential lineups in game situations before the start of the Olympics. She previously said the North Koreans' hard-hitting style would be suited for her fourth line, a group of players asked to provide physical play in short bursts while giving their teammates with greater scoring responsibilities a chance to rest. But after seeing them in practice and now in game action, she sees potentially bigger roles for some of the North Koreans, including Jong Su Hyon, a forward who Murray says has broken onto her second line. "They are eager to learn and get better," Murray said about the North Koreans. "We have been having team meetings with them and they ask so many questions. The meeting's supposed to be 15 minutes, and an hour later we are still talking and we are still watching video." The Korean players, at least on the surface, appear to be getting along. They arrived at the arena Sunday relaxed and playful, stretching and jumping in the hallway to get loose before gathering in a scrum and shouting "Team Korea!" Seven of the players later formed a circle and started kicking around a rubber ball, giggling whenever the ball bounced away from them. Amid a heavy police presence, hundreds of supporters began gathering outside the stadium hours before the game despite the icy weather, including dozens who danced to music in matching white parkas and hoodies with the peninsula logo and shouted "Win, Korea!" "I don't even care about the results, I just want to cheer for them and see them work together and help each other out on the ice," said Kim Hye-ryeon, 42, who brought her two children, 8 and 6, to the game. Kim Won-jin, a 33-year-old who made a several-hour trip to the game with his wife and 3 1/2-year-old son from the city of Daejeon, hoped the Korean players had overcome any uneasiness they may have had over the distribution of playing time. "If we ever get unified again, these young players of the South and North will be able to look back and be proud that what they did contributed to a historic change," he said. Not everyone was happy. Across the street from the arena, dozens of anti-Pyongyang activists glumly waved South Korean and U.S. flags to denounce what they said had become the "Pyongyang Olympics." They roared as one of the protesters ripped the banner of the peninsula logo atop a van......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 5th, 2018

Jr. NBA goes digital as it enters new decade

Jr. NBA is back in business and for 2018, it's about to be bigger than ever. Kicking off a new decade of the youth basketball program, Jr. NBA Philippines has once again teamed up with Alaska to launch the 2018 edition Saturday at Don Bosco Technical Institute in Makati. The Jr. NBA Philippines 2018 will run through May and is expected to hit more than 250,000 participants all over the country. "This year is our 11th year and we wanna make it bigger and better," NBA Philippines Managing Director Carlo Singson told ABS-CBN Sports. "Last year we had about 30,000 players and coaches participating and obviously we want to grow that number but we also want to create new digital, mobile, and social content so that more people can benefit from Jr. NBA," he added. Speaking of the planned move to digital by Jr. NBA, Singson says that their website has been re-launched to accomodate free content. It should allow basketball enthusiasts, even those who cannot directly participate to Jr. NBA events, to access useful tips and drills. "A lot more content geared towards players, coaches, and just fans of the game," Singson said. "So if you're a young basketball coach that has a team and wants new ideas, that will be on our site they can just watch or stream it, potentially even download it. Basically, it's gonna be on 365 days a year. That's the vision for the website, a lot of content is gonna be up. That is one of our key initiatives, to build our presence on the digital side," he added. Following this weekend's tip off, several coaching clinics will run until March while regional selection camps will go until April. Finally, a national training camp will take place in May with the main event slated for May 20 at the SM Mall of Asia. Online registration for Jr. NBA Philippines is now live at www.jrnba.asia/philippines   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 13th, 2018

BEST OF 5 PART 3: Is San Beda the king of college basketball?

Read Part 1 of ABS-CBN Sports’ Best of 5 series on the San Beda Red Lions here. Read Part 2 of ABS-CBN Sports’ Best of 5 series on the San Beda Red Lions here. --- San Beda College is the only undisputed dynasty in all of college basketball in the Philippines. In the UAAP, since Ateneo de Manila University’s five-peat, four different teams have won the championship. In the CESAFI (Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation, Inc.), both Southwestern University and University of Visayas have caught up with University of Cebu. In the NAASCU (National Athletic Association of Schools, Colleges, and Universities), Centro Escolar University had been the standard, but are no longer in the league. Compare that with what the Red Lions have done in dominating the last 12 years of the NCAA? Only twice during that span have they not been crowned as kings there – and even during those two times, they finished close second. EXTENDED EMPIRE Mendiola’s dynasty isn’t contained to their mother league, even. Teaming up with Cignal HD, they won the 2017 PBA D-League Aspirants Cup. There, current players Robert Bolick and Javee Mocon were key cogs, with the former even recognized as Conference MVP. They were also the winners in two of the last three Filoil Flying V Preseason Tournaments as well as the two most recent National Collegiate Championships. Going by championships alone, there is no other collegiate team that could touch San Beda. Present day team manager Jude Roque believes as much. “Right now, it’s fair to say we have the best program in all of college basketball here if only for the number of major championships in the last five years,” he said. VISION-MISSION While all that winning has been, of course, primarily because of all the top-tier talent they have had in the last dozen years, that top-tier talent would not have been Red Lions if not for an aligned team management as well as instrumental mentors in the likes of Koy Banal, Frankie Lim, Ronnie Magsanoc, Boyet Fernandez, and Jamike Jarin. As Roque put it, “It’s a combination of good recruitment, good coaching, and proper team management.” He then continued, “Of the three, recruitment is still the biggest key to success in college basketball. Of course, it helps that we have generous alumni patrons led by boss MVP (Manny V. Pangilinan).” That much was evident right from the very beginning when, now serious about contending, they brought in Nigerian powerhouse Sam Ekwe and also reeled in Borgie Hermida, one of the top talents in Juniors then who just so happened to be a San Beda Red Cub. Ekwe proved to be the first in what is now a long line of impactful reinforcements they have had in Sudan Daniel, Ola Adeogun, and Donald Tankoua. Meanwhile, Hermida was the pioneer in Cubs turned Lions – something Renren Ritualo and LA Tenorio didn’t do before but is now a common sight in the likes of Baser Amer and Javee Mocon. CULTURE CHANGE Add to that how, right from the get-go, the Red Lions were able to mine hidden gems such as Alex Angeles and Yousif Aljamal. In fact, in Banal’s eyes, it was those two who set the tone for what is now the only undisputed dynasty in all of college basketball in the Philippines. “I believe it all starts with leadership and I was just thankful and blessed that I had captain Alex Angeles and co-captain Yousif Aljamal,” he said, looking back at that magical championship run in 2006. He then continued, “I talked to them, sabi ko lahat ‘to magsisimula sa atin. Kayo ang tinitingala ng players kaya kailangan ko ng tulong niyo. I told them na if I’m expecting somebody to finish the drills first, that (would be) you guys. The rest is history.” WINNING IS CONTAGIOUS Indeed, the rest is now history and Mendiola has, time and again, taken in promising players and turned them into championship contributors. That winning tradition has also led to even transferees choosing to go there. Such was the case for Bolick who had already won a championship with De La Salle University, but saw a greater opportunity and a bigger legacy in red and white. “I chose San Beda because of coach Jamike. He told me he will give me a chance to play,” he shared. He then continued, “But that’s just one reason. I really wanted to play in a winning culture. I wanted to win again, yun lang.” Bolick, who hailed from College of St. Benilde-La Salle Greenhills, could have been a Blazer or could have enrolled in a few other schools who had interest in him. However, he ultimately chose San Beda for its winning tradition. WE’RE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER A winning tradition that was seen through from management to coaches to players to community. “Maraming magagandang schools with a solid educational program and a very good basketball program, but dito sa San Beda, everybody works hand-in-hand so we will have a consistent winning tradition year after year,” Fernandez said. A winning tradition that had been witnessed firsthand by Mocon, beginning in high school, that he didn’t even have to think twice about staying. “The unending support of MVP and the excellent support of San Beda are the key factors for this winning tradition. Talent is never wasted in San Beda – there are always results to the time and work you put in,” he said. A winning tradition that gives San Beda the most rightful claim as the only undisputed dynasty in all of college basketball in the Philippines. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 30th, 2017

Reforms to credit information system needed to expand small businesses’ access to capital

FINANCIAL REFORMS are required to improve small-business access to capital, enabling them to expand and participate in bigger projects such as those in the government’s program to radically upgrade Philippine infrastructure. At the 5th Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Financial Infrastructure Development Network forum at the Philippine International Convention Center yesterday, participants backed the establishment […] The post Reforms to credit information system needed to expand small businesses’ access to capital appeared first on BusinessWorld......»»

Category: newsSource:  bworldonlineRelated NewsNov 29th, 2017

Sept. remittances smaller; year-to-date flows up

By Melissa Luz T. Lopez Senior Reporter MONEY SENT HOME by Filipinos abroad dropped in September to a five-month low as Saudi Arabia sent more overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) back home under an extended repatriation program, the central bank reported yesterday, although year-to-date flows were still bigger than a year ago. OFW remittances totalled $2.186 […] The post Sept. remittances smaller; year-to-date flows up appeared first on BusinessWorld......»»

Category: financeSource:  bworldonlineRelated NewsNov 16th, 2017

BEST OF 5 Part 5: No one-and-done for forward-looking LPU

Read Part 1 of ABS-CBN Sports’ Best of 5 series on the LPU Pirates here. Read Part 2 of ABS-CBN Sports’ Best of 5 series on the LPU Pirates here. Read Part 3 of ABS-CBN Sports’ Best of 5 series on the LPU Pirates here. Read Part 4 of ABS-CBN Sports’ Best of 5 series on the LPU Pirates here. --- Lyceum of the Philippines University is so close to the greatest season in the 93-year history of the NCAA that they can taste it. After going undefeated through 18 games in the elimination round, the Pirates need just two more wins to complete the greatest-ever perfect season. Yes, a 20-0 record will put them in a league of their own. The last team to have accomplished a perfect season was San Beda College in 2010, but only had an 18-0 record as there were just nine teams in the league then. While that would be the fitting end to what has been a magical season, the Intramuros-based squad doesn’t want an ending just yet. IT’S THE CLIMB For them, a championship – or a runner-up finish – is just another step they are taking in their journey. As head coach Topex Robinson put it, “Building a culture is not a one-time thing; it’s gonna take a while. I always remind myself na not just because we’re in the Finals, we forget ano ba yung vision namin.” He then continued, “There has to be a constant reminder to myself that setting a culture is a combination of all the seasons that’s about to come.” Robinson has not gotten tired of reminding his boys that all of this, from the underwhelming first two seasons to this magical season, is just a part of their overarching desire to inspire others. And so, for LPU, the championship round up against the defending champion Red Lions is only yet another chance to showcase skills and have a positive effect on all who are watching them. “I always tell them that this is just the tip of the iceberg. Sabi ko nga, the longer we play this season, the longer we could really spread the word,” the always amiable mentor said. He then continued, “At the same time, I always tell them that now they’re in this position, mas malaki yung responsibility. People know who they are so mas marami dapat silang matutulungan." MAKE A MARK Without a doubt, it’s nothing but amazing to watch, or read about, or hear about the Pirates who just joined the first and oldest collegiate league in the country in 2011 and are now knocking on the door of history. All of that, they have done by standing as David to the Goliaths of the land such as San Beda. “The masses could relate to us because we’re not a well-funded program. We don’t have the money like the other big programs have,” Robinson shared. He then continued, “What we have are people who are committed to winning. What we have are players na napulot ko sa tabi-tabi and are just happy to be given a second life.” CHIP ON THE SHOULDER CJ Perez, the MVP frontrunner, went from Pangasinan to San Sebastian College-Recoletos and then transferred to Ateneo de Manila University only to find his home inside the walls of Intramuros. MJ Ayaay, the glue guy, went from the end of the bench to a key reserve and now, team captain. Mike Nzeusseu, the inside presence, is a forgotten name among all foreign student-athletes. Marcelino twins Jaycee and Jayvee found no place in Adamson University. Reymar Caduyac just may be the steadiest player in the league, but gets no props for it. Robinson himself failed to find success in his first coaching gig with alma mater San Sebastian. The list goes on and on and on for all of LPU. Always remembering how they had to claw for every inch just to get to where they are keeps each and every one of them going. “We always go back to saan ba tayo dati? Sila, tinapon sila ng teams nila and now, they have an opportunity to redeem themselves,” their mentor said. He then continued, “Once you touch that part of their lives, they really become more aligned to where I wanna go. That’s where I keep them grounded.” THE BLUEPRINT All season long, the Pirates have said they want nothing more than to inspire others. Now their story is coming to its climax, they hope they have already done just that. “I hope that we could also inspire programs that are not well-funded to really look deep inside their hearts to find a way. Instead of complaining, you can find a way to win,” Robinson said. And so, win or lose in their first-ever Finals, the crew from Intramuros is already on the right track. “Whatever happens in the Finals, our vision is not gonna stop there. We’re not a goal-oriented team; we’re vision-oriented. Goal is you hit a number, it’s done while vision is, it’s way beyond what’s happening now,” the head coach said. He then continued, “We can be contented now – nobody thought we were gonna be 18-0. But again, that’s not what we want. What we want is to be persons who make an impact, who become an inspiration.” THINK BIGGER And watch out, LPU is not just limiting itself to the NCAA, to the sport of basketball, and even to the Philippines. “You know, being part of something bigger than yourself is really important. We’re here to change the world, how good is that,” Robinson mused. He then continued, “We’re talking about the world – not just the LPU community, not just the NCAA, but whoever we could touch. That’s not a guarantee of winning a championship, but it’s always about giving, sharing, and inspiring.” Indeed, you and LPU made us believe, coach. Now, believe us when we say. Win or lose, these LPU Pirates made an impact. Win or lose, these LPU Pirates are here to stay. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 9th, 2017

BEST OF 5 Part 3: For LPU, winning starts inside the classroom

Read Part 1 of ABS-CBN Sports’ Best of 5 series on the LPU Pirates here. Read Part 2 of ABS-CBN Sports’ Best of 5 series on the LPU Pirates here. --- The voyage was underway, but milestone markers were still hard to come by. Topex Robinson won four of 18 games in his debut season as head coach for Lyceum of the Philippines University. He then followed that up with a 6-12 record in his sophomore effort. That sophomore effort concluded with an embarrassing loss to erstwhile winless College of St. Benilde In 2016, the Blazers were well on their way onto a winless season before eking out a 65-61 triumph over the Pirates in their last assignment in the tournament. As such, Robinson’s crew became the 1 in 1-17 which was ultimately the worst record in the history of the league. And so, in his first two years in Intramuros, Robinson went 10-30. SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK Still, the always amiable mentor was upbeat about where they were headed. “Winning games will just be the result of what we wanted to do,” he said. What LPU wanted to do was to be a holistic program. “What’s important is we wanna help the students beyond their basketball career,” Robinson shared. “Ang una naming emphasis is their education – we make them attend class, we make sure they pass their subjects. Dun talaga nagsisimula yun.” Indeed, he was seeing that he and his boys were headed in the right direction – off-court, at the very least. “Actually, I already saw the potential when all of my players passed their grades. Sabi ko nga, ‘Winning starts in the classroom,’” he said. He then continued, “There, I knew how willing they are, how driven they are because they really put emphasis and premium on their studies.” STAY IN SCHOOL For veteran MJ Ayaay, the players themselves whole-heartedly accepted the direction Robinson was taking them towards. “Laging pinapaalala ni coach yung importance ng school kaya pumapasok talaga kami sa klase. Naalala ko nga na kahit gumagawa kami sa team, pero kapag bagsak sa klase, hindi talaga kami pinapag-practice,” he said. He then continued, “Pinapapasok muna kami sa klase hangang sa maayos namin yung grades namin tapos saka lang ulit kami nakaka-practice. Hindi naman kasi panghabang buhay ang player.” And for the head coach, they may not have made the Final Four in his first two years, but they made good on something bigger than basketball. As he put it, “Those were the small wins that I got in the first two years. I always appreciate small wins so when I saw them really focused on attending their classes, that’s when I really saw that they are a special group of guys.” THE PROCESS What’s better is that the Pirates’ faithful has no problem with the fact that the off-court wins are coming before the on-court ones. “It’s hard. It was hard, but what made it easy knowing I got the support of the school to make changes,” he said. He then continued, “Kahit sa games, kahit anong mangyari, kahit saan ka lumingon, may nagchi-cheer, it means a lot. All of this brings the community together – shared adversities and shared successes.” And so, the LPU Pirates had the student part of being a student-athlete down pat. From there, they were nothing but certain that it was only a matter of time for them to also get the athlete down pat. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 7th, 2017

BEST OF 5 Part 2: O captain, my captain, Topex Robinson

Read Part 1 of ABS-CBN Sports’ Best of 5 series on the LPU Pirates here. --- Long before Lyceum of the Philippines University was dominating the NCAA, it was already a force to reckon with in other collegiate leagues. The Pirates were the class of both the National Capital Region Athletic Association (NCRAA) and the Inter-Scholastic Athletic Association (ISAA). Also, they had four Sweet 16 finishes to their name in the Philippine Collegiate Champions League (PCCL). Perennial favorites in the collegiate leagues they competed in, they were, without a doubt, a battleship staking claim to a river. Clearly, the Intramuros-based squad needed a whole damn sea to set sail in. MAKE WAY And so, LPU entered the first and oldest collegiate league in the country as a guest team in 2011. However, they soon realized that they may have had good endings in their prior collegiate leagues, but the NCAA is a whole different story. The Pirates fell far from the .500 mark in their first four years in the NCAA and compiled an overall record of 25-47. “Na-experience ko lahat simula guest team pa lang ang Lyceum. Noon, yung pag-compete namin, kapos na kapos pa,” now graduating Wilson Baltazar recalled of that time. He then continued, “Naalala ko nung mga panahong yun, gustong-gusto naming manalo, pero laging kulang effort namin.” Their battleship was now in the sea, but was also now alongside other battleships – other battleships which were bigger, badder, better. Clearly, change had to come. PARTING WAYS Long before he was the leader of a crew that is now in the championship round, Topex Robinson was already leading a generational group in the Finals. In just his first year as head coach of San Sebastian College-Recoletos in 2011, Robinson made it all the way to the Finals, guiding the famed “Pinatubo Trio” of Calvin Abueva, Ronald Pascual, and Ian Sangalang into yet again challenging dynastic San Beda College. Unfortunately, his first championship wasn’t meant to be as he and his alma mater ultimately bowed down to the Red Lions. The former PBA player would not reach the same heights again in Recto. With a 5-13 record in 2014, both Baste and its alumnus had fallen off the map. Clearly, change had to come. SEE YOU AT THE CROSSROADS And so, LPU saw the resignation of 11-year head coach Bonnie Tan while San Sebastian witnessed Robinson’s second departure from the bench. Not long after, LPU and Robinson then found one another. “It was something I didn’t expect to happen so early because, basically, I had just resigned from San Sebastian. I guess I was just blessed to be given an opportunity,” the always amiable mentor now narrates. Just as the Pirates were more than willing to give the young coaching mind a fresh start, the young coaching mind was also more than willing to give the Pirates a fresh start. “It was just an opportunity for me to grow. I always loved coaching and that’s how I always envisioned myself,” he said. He then continued, “So whatever opportunity there is for me to take my calling, I’m always open to that.” THIS IS DIFFERENT Still, Robinson made it clear that it never crossed his mind that he would end up inside the walls of Intramuros – a place he did not really have any ties to. “I never thought of being LPU coach,” he expressed. In fact, he went on to say that in during those first few practices, he had a tough time getting their team name right. As he put it, “Actually, the first year, I still always said, ‘San Sebastian.’ Yung adjustment from San Sebastian then all of a sudden, I was in LPU, it took me a while bago mag-sink in.” Fortunately for the mentor, he had the all-out support of both the school of the students. “What I appreciate about LPU is the support of the students and the management. Yun yung isang bagay na I was really excited about – knowing na I had the full support of the community,” he said. Of course, that all-out support entailed being given the tallest of tasks. “Sa start pa lang, they told me to change the culture. I pretty much explained to them that it’s not an overnight thing, that it’s gonna take a while,” he said. ROUGH START Robinson’s entry didn’t necessarily turn the tides in LPU’s favor. He won four of 18 games in his debut season and then followed that up with a 6-12 record in his sophomore effort. However, he also wasted no time in effecting change in the habits of players. “Yung iniba ni coach Topex, yung disiplina sa team. Ngayon, willing kaming lahat gawin lahat para manalo,” Baltazar shared, noting the difference between the Pirates of old and the Pirates under Robinson. He then continued, “Sa training talaga, dun mo makikita yung pagkakaiba. Ngayon kasi, lahat nag-sacrifice sa training, lahat nagbibigay ng effort mula sa dulo ng bench hanggang first five.” Baltazar went on to say how their new head coach gave his all to make them understand that they are a team and not just a collection of individuals. “Lahat kami, walang entitled, pantay-pantay lang. Kung anong ginagawa ng isa, ginagawa ng lahat,” he said. And while that understanding didn’t translate onto the standings just yet, Robinson already proved that he was up to the tallest of tasks. That did not get lost on the LPU community which entrusted him with its fledgling program. “What I appreciate from them is LPU is really determined to change what was there and make this program one to be respected,” he then continued. Now, the LPU Pirates had their captain. Now, it was just all about assembling the right crew. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 6th, 2017

Coach Topex: ‘We always try to remember kung saan kami nanggaling’

Lyceum of the Philippines University is in the Finals for the very first time since joining the NCAA in 2011. For head coach Topex Robinson, more than the milestone for their program, their first trip to championship round is just a chance to continue their ultimate goal of inspiring others. “They all know that this is an opportunity for them to really showcase their talent,” he told reporters. Throughout the tournament, the Pirates have preached that they are showcasing their skills to have a positive effect on all who are watching them. And from the beginning of Season 93 to Thursday, when the completed a sweep of the elimination round, they have indeed been doing just that. As their mentor put it, “After games, I would receive messages from coaches that (our boys) are a really fun team to watch. I always tell (our boys) that most of the coaches who text me wish that they had (our boys).” And so, whether or not it turns its first trip to the championship round to its first title, LPU has its sights set on continuing to inspire others. “When you get to meet people na sinasabing maganda ang ginagawa niyo, it gives us more meaning to what we’re doing,” Robinson said. Of course, that is far from the end of it as the Intramuros-based squad is also the heavy favorite to win the title – and even complete a season sweep. Still, Robinson said they are will be keeping their feet on the ground. “The way we’ll manage our egos and our prides will be key for us. We have to always be humble, we have to always know that we’re just here because somebody gave us an opportunity,” the always amiable mentor shared. In doing so, they will also just never fail in making the best out of each and every opportunity. “Even me, I’m here because of somebody gave me an opportunity. Kapag pinabayaan namin ‘to, someone else will get the ball so we want to keep protecting that opportunity,” Robinson said. He then continued, “We always try to remember kung saan kami nanggaling. We always try to remember anong nangyari before kami napunta sa Lyceum.” Indeed, Robinson himself is making the best out of his opportunity after his tenure in San Sebastian College-Recoletos unceremoniously ended. Same goes for CJ Perez whose time in San Sebastian and Ateneo de Manila University didn’t work out, for MJ Ayaay who was a benchwarmer in his first two season, for Mike Nzeusseu who was a forgotten force, and the Marcelino twins who were cast away from Adamson University. That mantra also goes not only on the court, but also off of it. “We’re trying to make sure that these guys are healthy. We’re trying to make sure they attend their classes because it’s very important not to fall in love with basketball,” the head coach said. He then continued, “The reality here is that this is bigger than basketball. ‘Pag hindi sila pumasok (sa klase), hindi sila maglalaro. It’s as simple as that.” Most important of all, Robinson believes that this magical season is only a sign of things to come for the Pirates. “Hopefully, we can continue this culture. Hopefully, winning doesn’t stop us from pursuing this culture,” he expressed. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 19th, 2017