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Alejandro responds to the challenge in Go for Gold win

Too turnover-prone, and too lax on defense. That's how Go for Gold coach Charles Tiu described J-Jay Alejandro, who didn't look like himself amid the team's two-game skid in the 2018 PBA D-League Aspirants' Cup. But with the 6-foot guard struggling, Tiu knew he only needed to give the 22-year-old a few words to get the former National University star to get back on track. And on Tuesday, the shifty guard played his best game to date, pouring in 23 points to go along with five rebounds, and four assists in the Scratchers' 81-69 win over Perpetual Help. "This is the first game that I'm actually happy with the way he played," said Tiu. "We talked a bit and it came from him t...Keep on reading: Alejandro responds to the challenge in Go for Gold win.....»»

Category: newsSource: inquirer inquirerFeb 13th, 2018

ONE Championship: Surrounded by champions, Edward Kelly looking to get gold of his own

Filipino featherweight Edward "The Ferocious" Kelly is looking to begin his own path to gold this 2019.  After all, the 34-year old striker was witness to four of his Team Lakay teammates winning ONE World Championship gold in 2018, and he says that it's been nothing but a source of inspiration and motivation.  More so that at featherweight, Kelly is the lone warrior representing the La Trinidad, Benguet-based stable.  "Talagang nasa akin yun, kasi pine-pressure na nila ako na [featherweight na lang yung kulang]," Kelly shared with a chuckle.  "Tine-take ko as inspiration yun, talagang well-motivated ako na sige, ipapakita ko, gusto kong patunayan sa sarili ko, hoping na maipapakita ko lahat sa laban ko sa Sabado," he added.  Kelly's first challenge on the journey is none other than former title contender Christian Lee, who's hungry to get a win over Kelly after getting disqualified in their first encounter back in 2018. The Filipino believes that a win over Lee, one of the division's top contenders, would definitely put him in the conversation as well.  Adding even more motivation will be the fact that reigning ONE Strawweight World Champion Martin "The Situ-Asian" Nguyen is expected to be at the Istora Senayan in Jakarta to catch the Kelly-Lee rematch in person.  "Sumagi na rin yun sa isip ko, kasi pagkaka-alam ko, manonood si Martin Nguyen ng live sa laban namin, and if i win over Christian Lee, alam naman natin na siya yung bini-build up para lumaban sa championship," Kelly explained. "Kung matalo ko [siya], andun na rin ako, mga one to two fights, si Nguyen na." Before thinking about a title shot however, Kelly will need to get past Lee first, and it won't be an easy task.  While Lee has stated publicly that he's gunning for a knockout in the first round, Kelly maintains that it won't be as simple as the 20-year old Singaporean makes it out to be.  "Siyempre yun yung opinion niya as a fighter, pero siyempre hindi naman yun basta-basta. Tayo rin naman nag-ensayo, and willing akong ipakita kung ano yung pinag-ensayuhan ko." Kelly adds that he sees the fight going the distance, unless he can find a way to finish it earlier.  "Basa ko, aabot ng three rounds, kung hindi ko siya ma-knockout, kung hindi ko siya ma-tiempohan," he stated.    Edward Kelly and Christian Lee face off in a highly-anticipated rematch at ONE: Eternal Glory on Saturday, January 19th, 11:00 PM LIVE on ABS-CBN S+A channel 23! .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 19th, 2019

WATCH: Liza Soberano responds to sinigang memes with taste test challenge

MANILA, Philippines --- Liza Soberano received criticisms last year about her not being Filipino enough for her character in Philippine mythology-based drama fantasy series "Bagani." "And who says we're not pinoy? My Father is full Filipino. I was raised by two Filipinos since the age of 4. I looooove sinigang i think that/s as pinoy as pinoy can get," she wrote in a tweet back in February 2018. READ:Liza Soberano asserts her being 'full Filipino' for her 'Bagani' role This tweet led netizens to create memes about loving sinigang as proof of becoming a real Filipino. Nearly a year since, Soberano appeared to have embraced the association of sinigang with her as she took on a taste te...Keep on reading: WATCH: Liza Soberano responds to sinigang memes with taste test challenge.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJan 18th, 2019

ONE Championship: Honorio Banario looks to showcase skills in ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix

Former ONE Featherweight World Champion Honorio "The Rock" Banario is ready to make a huge splash in ONE Championship's stacked lightweight division this 2019.   Banario went on a five-bout unbeaten streak for two years before it was snapped by Singaporean sensation Amir Khan at ONE: BEYOND THE HORIZON last September when he lost by way of first-round submission.   "The Rock" ultimately concluded 2018 on a winning note, picking up a unanimous decision win over Rahul Raju at ONE: CONQUEST OF CHAMPIONS this past November.   Banario aims to muster all the lessons and experiences that he has had thus far and utilize it in his upcoming bouts.   "I learned a lot in 2018, and I’m hoping to learn a lot more and grow more this 2019. I think the biggest lesson for me is to continue to stay hungry to learn, and to achieve more," he said.   "The loss to Amir once again humbled me, and I was sent back on a path of learning. Improving my skills and getting in prime condition, as well as staying active and on my toes, is important to keep my edge.   "You can’t relax in this game, because things change rapidly all the time. It’s always evolving."   Banario is also keen on proving his worth in the highly-anticipated ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix, which will be participated by the best athletes that the world and his division have to offer.   With the eagerness to test his mettle in the eight-man tourney, the 29-year-old native of Mankayan, Benguet is confident that he will leave a lasting impression.   "I plan to show that I am one of the best lightweights in the promotion. There is a lot of buzz surrounding our division because of the tournament, and because of the new crop of athletes who joined ONE. There is a lot of pressure to perform," Banario stated.   "I would be happy to put on a show for the fans against anyone ONE puts me in the cage with. It doesn’t matter to me. I am confident in myself and in my team. Through hard work, we will achieve great things."   The tournament winner would a guarantee a shot at the intricately-crafted ONE Lightweight World Title that is currently held by Banario's teammate Eduard Folayang.   However, Banario cites that the goal is not to come after Folayang's gold-plated strap, but to challenge himself and find out who's the second best in the talent-filled lightweight division.   "It is a great way to really see who is the best in the division, apart from my brother Eduard Folayang, who is the world champion," he stressed. "I am definitely aiming to be the Grand Prix tournament champion. That’s my number one goal next year.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 2nd, 2019

Top sports headliners in the year that was

From the FIFA World Cup to the NBA, the PBA to the UAAP and NCAA, the Asian Games to Manny Pacquiao, volleyball to MMA, the past 12 months truly was a great year for Filipino sports fans.   Here are some of the most memorable sports headliners that bannered the year that was.    San Miguel Corporation dominates PBA San Miguel Corporation owned 2018. For the first time in the history of the Asia’s first professional basketball league one company dominated all three conferences of the PBA. The San Miguel Beermen annexed their fourth straight Philippine Cup title against sister team Magnolia last May, while Ginebra rode on undersized do-it-all forward Justin Brownlee to the Commissioner's Cup title at the expense of San Miguel last August. Then it was Magnolia's time to shine in December. The Hotshots dismantled Alaska in six games to complete SMC’s domination of PBA 2018. Outside of basketball, SMC also made its presence felt in volleyball as Petron bagged the Grand Prix, Challenge Cup (beach volleyball) and the All-Filipino Conference in the Philippine Superliga.   Kai Sotto stands tall as Ateneo takes title vs NU Kai Sotto became a household name in 2018 as the 7'1" wunderkind showed off in the UAAP Season 80 juniors' basketball tournament. The eventual Finals MVP was a beast in Game 1 of the Finals against the NU Bullpups, tallying a triple-double of 22 points, 16 rebounds, and 11 blocks in the 86-70 win, the first of its kind since 2003. Ateneo finished the season almost unscathed at 16-1, with their lone loss in Game 2 of the series, a very chippy one to say the least. In Game 3, Sotto came up clutch, scoring the go-ahead basket, 60-58, with about 30 seconds left as Ateneo came away with the 63-58 win to take the title.  SJ Belangel, Joaqui Manuel, Dave Ildefonso and Jason Credo, and coach Joe Silva all appeared in their last games for the Blue Eaglets.   DLSU completes three-peat; NU dethrones Ateneo  The UAAP Season 80 volleyball tournament was filled with lasting memories that will surely be remembered for a long time. Numerous upsets in the eliminations, great games, and much more were the name of the game for the women's tournament. However, a long-time rivalry was rekindled when two-time defending champs De La Salle Lady Spikers met 29-time title holders FEU Lady Tamaraws for all the marbles last May. Kim Kianna Dy, Majoy Baron, and Dawn Macandili all ended their careers on a high note as they swept graduating Bernadeth Pons and the Lady Tamaraws in two straight games to win their third straight title. Graduating libero Macandili was named Finals MVP for the first and final time in her collegiate career.  Behind their magnificent floor defense and some stellar play from Finals MVP Bryan Bagunas, the NU Bulldogs also swept three-time defending champions Ateneo Blue Eagles to reclaim a title they last enjoyed in Season 76. Espejo, a five-time UAAP MVP, had an awesome performance for the world's record books, scoring a record-55 points to force the FEU Tamaraws to a do-or-die Final Four. The Blue Eagle legend had played his last, and has since suited up for a semi-pro team in Japan's topflight volleyball league.   Alab fends off Mono Vampire to claim ABL title San Miguel-backed Alab Pilipinas were such a glorious sight to see in the eighth season of the Asean Basketball League (ABL) last March. Coached by perennial fan favorite Jimmy Alapag in his very first season, the trio of Renaldo Balkman, Justin Brownlee, and Local and Finals MVP Bobby Ray Parks to their first title in home soil. Alab faced Thailand-based Mono Vampire, who were led by Mike Singletary, towering Sam Deguara, Fil-Am Jason Brickman and Pinoy Paul Zamar. In the very same day as the coronation of the UAAP volleyball championships, Alab took home the crown in a rousing 102-92 victory in Sta. Rosa, much to the delight of the home crowd. Balkman, the league's Defensive Player of the Year led Alab in scoring with 32, while Brownlee added 24 of his own. Parks added 13 markers. The two imports played in the PBA for the Commissioner's Cup, where Balkman (San Miguel) and Brownlee (Ginebra) would face each other in the Finals.   (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio) Warriors send LeBron packing to Los Angeles The Golden St. Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers locked horns in the NBA Finals for the fourth straight season after the two teams were pushed to the brink in the Conference Finals. Both teams were down 3-2 and won Game 7 on the road to win their respective conferences, with both teams banking on experience to forge another bout in the championship series. Game 1 was undoubtedly the most exciting game in the series as LeBron James had an epic performance of 51 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists.  However, JR Smith's blunder at the end of regulation became the lasting image of that game, as he dribbled out the clock with the score tied at 107-all. The defending champions rode the surge and took the opening game, 124-114. Stephen Curry's brillant performance throughout the series was overshadowed by Kevin Durant's dagger in Game 3, a few feet away from the spot where he launched the go-ahead three in Game 3 of the 2017 NBA Finals. Durant was named as the Bill Russell Finals MVP after norming 28.8 ppg, 10.8 rpg, and 7.5 apg in the four-game sweep, demolishing the Cavs 108-85 in the series finale last June. It would also be the last game LeBron James had in a Cleveland Cavaliers uniform, as he bolted for the Los Angeles Lakers almost a month later.   (AP Photo/Martin Meissner) France rules 2018 FIFA World Cup The most-coveted title of the beautiful game returned to France after two decades. The youthful French squad celebrated their conquest soaked in a downpour in Moscow after a 4-2 victory over first-time finalist Croatia in the 2018 FIFA World Cup last July. Teenager Kylian Mbappe stood out in the French team composed of a bunch of 25 and under players. Speed, strength and youth became France’s biggest asset during the quadrennial football spectacle watched by almost 3.5 billion viewers around the world.  The 19-year-old migrant scored one of the four goals in the championship match to become the second teen to score a goal in the Finals after the legendary Pele back in 1958. France defeated Belgium in the semifinal, 1-0, while Croatia outlasted the favored Russians in penalty shootout, 4-3 (2-2). The French team also displayed diversity, with players born of migrant parents including Alphonse Areola, whose parents are both Filipinos working in France.   Pac on top, The Filipino Flash returns The most-celebrated Filipino athlete continued make the headlines this year. Manny Pacquaio stripped Lucas Matthysse of his WBA welterweight world championship belt with a seventh round technical knockout win in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in July. Pacquiao split with long-time trainer Freddie Roach during his build up for the Matthysse bout back in April but confirmed their partnership once again for the 40-year old boxer’s title defense against Adrien Broner next year. Nonito Donaire Jr. announced that he would be going back down to super bantamweight after a loss to Carl Frampton in April for the interim WBO Featherweight belt and would be taking part in the World Boxing Super Series' super bantamweight tournament.  Matched up in the quarterfinal round against Ryan Burnett back in November, Donaire scored what many consider an upset, winning via TKO after the Irishman suffered a back injury to snatch the WBA (Super) Bantamweight World Championship.  Up next for Donaire will be WBO Super Bantamweight World Champion Zolani Tete of South Africa in the semifinals.           Pinay power in the Asian Games   The Philippines participated in the 18th Asian Games held in Jakarta and Palembang, Indonesia that ran from August 18 to September 2. A total of 272 athletes that participated in 31 sports represented the country in the quadrennial meet with Jordan Clarkson of the Cleveland Cavaliers and medalist Margielyn Didal marching as flagbearers in the opening and closing ceremonies, respectively. Rio Olympian Hidilyn Diaz gave the PHI its first gold medal in women’s -53 kg. weightlifting. Five days after Diaz’s victory, the trio of Yuka Saso, Bianca Pagdanganan and Lois Kaye Go accounted for the women’s golf team mint. Saso also bagged the individual gold. In Palembang, Didal rolled her way into winning the women’s street skateboard gold. The celebrated men’s basketball team started out strong after routing Kazakhstan but lost by two-points to China in the group stage. The Gilas Pilipinas squad advanced in the quarterfinals but bowed down to South Korea by nine points eventually settling for a fifth spot in the classification phase after wins over Japan and Syria. The PHI finished with a 4-2-15 gold-silver-bronze haul and landed at 19th spot, three places higher that its 2014 finish in Incheon, South Korea.      Red Lions roar, Blue Eagles soar San Beda University continued its mastery over the NCAA as it annexed its third straight title and 22nd overall. The Red Lions grabbed its 11th crown in 13 years at the expense of Lyceum of the Philippines University. It was one-sided championship series – just like in their Finals meeting last year – with the San Beda ripping the Pirates apart in Game One with LPU playing sans its best player in CJ Perez, who was banned for one game after failing to notify the league of his intention to join the PBA Draft. Perez returned in Game 2 but even his presence didn’t stop the Red Lions from painting the NCAA red once again. In probably one of the most memorable UAAP season in recent years, Ateneo de Manila University won its second straight crown. Ivorian tower and Rookie of the Year 6-foot-11 Ange Kouame made an immediate impact for the Blue Eagles complementing the already stacked Ateneo squad led by Finals MVP Thirdy Ravena. But the glory of Ateneo was overshadowed by the Cinderalla story of the team it vanquished in the Finals. Climbing up from the cellar in the past years, University of the Philippines made history by making it in the Finals for the first time since winning it all in 1986. But before their championship stint, the Fighting Maroons ended a two-decade Final Four drought. UP then shocked twice-to-beat Adamson University with both games decided by game-winners. Ateneo came in the series as the title favorites but overwhelming support from a very hungry UP community and underdogs fans backed the Fighting Maroons. But in the end, it was the Blue Eagles championship experience that prevailed.       Pinoys make wave in MMA Fighters under Team Lakay flexed their muscles in One Championship. Flyweight star Geje Eustaquio opened the year with an interim championship win over former champion Kairat Akhmetov in Manila back in January. Eustaquio then defeated two-time champion Adriano Moraes in Macau last July to become the undisputed ONE Flyweight World Champion.  Joshua Pacio earned the ONE Strawweight World Championship last September after a unanimous decision win over two-time champion Japanese Yoshitaka Naito. Kevin Belingon dropped former world title challenger Andrew Leone with a now-famous spinning back kick in April. He followed it up with a dominating win over then-two division world champion Martin Nguyen to capture the ONE Interim Bantamweight World Champion. Belingon ended the five-year reign and seven-year winning streak of of long-time bantamweight king Brazilian Bibiano Fernandes in November via split decision.  Eduard Folayang outclassed Singaporean contender Amir Khan at ONE: Conquest of Champions in Manila in early December to bag the ONE Lightweight World Championship for the second time in his storied career.  BRAVE Combat Federation Bantamweight World Champion Stephen Loman successfully defended his title twice in 2018.  Reigning ONE Heavyweight World Champion Brandon Vera needed only 64 seconds to knockout hard-hitting Italian challenger Mauro Cerilli in Manila early December to remain the king of the ONE Championship heavyweight kingdom.    Petron, Creamline rule respective club leagues Creamline claimed its breakthrough championship in the Premier Volleyball League by sweeping PayMaya in the Reinforced Conference Finals series last July. Alyssa Valdez finally ended a two-year title drought with the Cool Smashers' victory. Creamline opposite hitter Michele Gumabao was named Miss Globe-Philippines during the Binibining Pilipinas 2018 last March. Gumabao represented the country in the 2018 Miss Globe in Albania last October and won the Miss Social Media and Dream Girl awards while landing a spot in the Top 15.     The Cool Smashers completed a sweep of the PVL’s Season 2 after claiming the Open Conference crown at the expense of Ateneo-Motolite via an emphatic series sweep this month. In the Philippine Superliga, Petron reigned supreme in the Grand Prix after taking down archrival F2 Logistics last May. Petron extended its supremacy in the sands after the tandem of Sisi Rondina and Bernadethn Pons defeated Dhannylaine Demontano and Jackielyn Estoquia of Sta. Lucia in the Challenge Cup final last May. The Cargo Movers got its revenge in the Invitational Cup, toppling the Blaze Spikers in a series sweep last July. Petron wrapped the year with the All-Filipino Conference in its pocket. The Blaze Spikers won its first 14 games before dropping Game 2 of the Finals. Petron swept F2 Logistics in Game 3......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 30th, 2018

Balance of power in L.A. to be decided in July

By Shaun Powell, NBA.com The Friday (Saturday, PHL time) game at Staples Center is one of 82, in a sense. The two L.A. teams who share the building will meet for the first time this season. The young Lakers will be without their superstar leader -- LeBron James, still nursing a strained groin -- and the Clippers bring a scrappy group that’s resourceful without a true star. Those are the credentials that give each a measure of pride; the Lakers are suddenly vibrant again since LeBron’s arrival while the Clippers’ nearly identical record gives them a sense of satisfaction and pride for doing more with less. Their first “contest,” however, must wait until next summer, when victory will go deeper than the standings. The Lakers and Clippers will each have massive room under the salary cap and, therefore, ample chances to chase A-list free agents in what will be a limited market for superstars, surely pitting one team against the other in most if not all cases. Lakers vs. Clippers? Is this the one-sided arm wrestle that it appears to be strictly from a historical standpoint, or will the Clippers make this more suspenseful than anyone would’ve imagined? Yes, a decade ago in such a situation, the only glance that a franchise player would shoot in the direction of the Clippers would be a side-eye. Former Clipper Ron Harper once joked that whenever strangers asked which team he played for, he’d answer “Los Angeles,” which meant he wasn’t lying, and also meant he probably wouldn’t be heckled. But those Clippers, long the butt of jokes, constantly mismanaged, perpetually dealing with doses of bad luck and ruled by the one and only Donald Sterling, are six feet under. Whether they’re still dealing with the ghosts of the past and outdated images of buffoonery will be determined by their skill in free agency. In fact, the case could be made that the franchise is in better shape, from an all-around standpoint, than at any time in their history. Yes, that’s quite a statement, considering the Clippers had Chris Paul, DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin all in their prime and for over half a decade, and that crew was coached by Doc Rivers, who’s still at the helm. But those Clippers, mayors of Lob City, mainly teased. They never went anywhere special (no conference finals, no NBA Finals) and arguably underachieved from a bottom-line standpoint. Entertaining and interesting? Sure. Box office? Yes. Successful from October through April? Absolutely. Yet, in the end, duds. Plus, with all due respect to Rivers, who also handled the personnel duties until two summers ago, the Clippers never pulled off a franchise-changing move to supplement their All-Star core and give them a leg up on the competition. These Clippers are in good shape on the court and great shape on the salary cap, which is bringing the flexibility of a gold medal gymnast. They don’t have LeBron to entice free agents, and maybe that’s not such a bad thing. Maybe that actually works to their advantage. Clippers to A-lister: Why play next to LeBron when you can be our LeBron and help put your own team together? The Clippers have enough room to sign two lead singers if they rescind their "Bird rights" on leading scorer Tobias Harris, who's only 26: For example, imagine Kevin Durant and Kawhi Leonard to get the conversation started. And what’s best is they wouldn’t have to gut the team. They have enough players either on team-friendly contracts or rookie contracts to stick around: Montrezl Harrell, a worker bee who’s improved; Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, a wise point guard at age 20; and Lou Williams, a scorer who’s comfortable coming off the bench. They could also exceed the cap to re-sign Harris. To recap, the Clippers have money, Rivers as coach, good players to surround a star, a loaded owner in Steve Ballmer, all the LA perks enjoyed by the Lakers. Everything except tradition and Jack Nicholson. Is that necessarily a deal breaker? And wouldn’t the Clippers qualify as a bolder challenge for a superstar than riding shotgun with LeBron for a franchise already with 16 titles? You could picture someone like Durant, searching for a team to call his own, anxious to add something special to his legacy, taking the bait. Maybe Leonard, too, who’s from the Pasadena area. And also Jimmy Butler, who spends his offseasons in LA. However, the Lakers’ footprint in LA is so massive that it must be respected. Hard to say no to Magic Johnson and LeBron, a pair of certified winners and all-timers. LeBron is the most unselfish scorer the game has ever seen. He dominates the ball but doesn’t overwhelm it. Every major co-star, from Dwyane Wade to Chris Bosh to Kyrie Irving, won championships next to LeBron. And in this late stage of his career, he’d probably be more willing than ever to share the ball, the wealth, the load, whatever, just to grab another ring before walking out the door for good. Plus, the Lakers have assets on rookie deals: Kyle Kuzma and Lonzo Ball. Brandon Ingram’s contract comes up for renewal next summer, so that’s trickier. No matter; point is, any incoming free agent will have help besides LeBron. The wild card is Anthony Davis and whether he forces his way out of New Orleans next summer by refusing to extend his current deal, which runs through 2019-20, with a player option for 2020-21. The Pelicans would either keep Davis until the contract is up, hoping his changes his mind in the process, or trade him. Short of squeezing the Pelicans for Davis, the Lakers will be anxious to add help because LeBron, who turns 34 in a few days, is on the clock even though it doesn’t reflect in his play right now. So those are the choices for the impatient free agent star looking for a change of scenery and wanting to relocate to Los Angeles. It’s Lakers or Clippers, the chance to be next to LeBron or be away from his shadow, start a new legacy for a franchise or add to a franchise that’s already rich. Two Los Angeles teams meet Friday in a game, months before the “contest” that will dictate their future and direction. Next year’s first game between these two will tell us how their summer went. Veteran NBA writer Shaun Powell has worked for newspapers and other publications for more than 25 years. You can e-mail him here or follow him on Twitter. The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 29th, 2018

VOLLEYBALL IS LIFE: A look back at Philippine volleyball in 2018

Glorious victories, dynasties, historic feats, controversies and memorable moments once again highlighted another fruitful year for Philippine volleyball.   Now, let us take a look back in the year that was in volleyball:   DYNASTY Powerhouse teams continued to thrive in the country’s most popular collegiate leagues. Arellano University muscled its way back into the NCAA Season 93 Finals and met a newcomer in San Beda University. The Lady Chiefs did find the Lady Red Spikers as feisty opponents in their first championship meeting, needing five sets to survive San Beda in Game One. But it didn’t take long for Arellano U to stomp its class over the newbies to capture its second straight title and fourth overall crown in five years. De La Salle University painted UAAP Season 80 green after annexing its third straight title handing legendary head coach Ramil De Jesus his third grand slam in the country’s most popular and competitive collegiate league. Second year setter Michelle Cobb stepped up to the challenge of filling the big shoes left by Kim Fajardo and complemented the depth and firepower of DLSU. Far Eastern University, which advanced into the Finals for the first time after a decade, stood no chance against the onslaught of the Lady Spikers, which swept their way onto throne. University of Perpetual Help completed a four-peat in the NCAA juniors after sweeping Letran. Philippine Air Force snatched the Premier Volleyball League men’s Reinforced Conference crown and the Spikers’ Turf Open Conference title. Sisi Rondina cemented her legacy as the UAAP’s queen of the sands after completing a three-peat in women’s beach volleyball. Rondina wrapped her tour of duty with four titles in five years. The Tigers ruled the men’s division.       YEAR OF THE UNDERDOGS San Beda University made great strides in NCAA Season 93 after earning its first-ever Finals appearance behind the efforts of Cesca Racraquin and twins Nieza and Jiezela Viray. The Lady Red Spikers closed the elims with an 8-1 win-loss record and took down Perpetual in the semis. Languishing at the bottom half of the standings since the return of its women’s volleyball program in 2008, Jose Rizal University made history by advancing into the Final Four. Shola Alvarez capped the Lady Bombers’ remarkable season by pocketing the Most Valuable Player award.   Far Eastern University made it to the UAAP women’s volleyball Finals by booting out crowd-favorite Ateneo de Manila University in the semis.  For the first time in five years, the Blue Eagles found themselves in a very difficult position in the Final Four. With a twice-to-win disadvantage, the Marck Espejo-led Ateneo shocked FEU – a team that beat them twice in the elims – to march to its fifth straight championship appearance.      But the real underdog story belonged to NU. After three years of finishing runner-up to the Blue Eagles, the Bulldogs led by Bryan Bagunas finally got their long-awaited revenge as they swept Ateneo off its three-year reign at the throne.     OFF COURT STORIES, CONTROVERSIES University of the East parted ways with head coach Francis Vicente midway in Season 80 after three and a half seasons with the Lady Warriors. Vicente left for ‘personal reasons’ with a UE coaching record of 2-45 (win-loss). Red Warriors head coach Sammy Acaylar also resigned from his post midway in the season. University of Sto. Tomas hitter EJ Laure after months of speculations to the real reason of her sitting out UAAP Season 80 broke her silence by saying that needed time to recover from her right shoulder injury to end all the rumors circulating including an alleged pregnancy.    Sound bites, videos and clips that show collegiate players’ ‘human side’ made its rounds around social media that drew mixed reactions from fans.  Just like in the previous years, controversy filled the formation of the national women’s volleyball team. Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc. initially named Ramil De Jesus as the national team coach but just two months after his designation, the multi-titled DLSU mentor resigned from his post citing ‘conflict of schedule’. Shaq Delos Santos took over De Jesus’ spot. Netizens went abuzz when the composition of the national team that participated in the Jakarta-Palembang Asian Games was released as fans give their different views on who should and should not be included in the roster.             LVPI named a new president in Peter Cayco of Arellano U to replace Joey Romasanta during the association’s election.   WRITING HISTORY Smart’s Cuban import Gigi Silva carved a world scoring record in the Philippine Superliga after scoring 56 points in a lost cause against Cocolife in the 2018 Grand Prix. Silva pounded 53 kills and had three aces to land her name in the fourth spot in the women’s world scoring record behind Polina Rahimova of Azerbaijan’s 58 points in 2015 while playing in Japan, American Madison Kingdon’s 57 (2017 Korea Volleyball League) and Bulgarian Elitsa Vasileva’s 57 (2013 Korea Volleyball League). Silva also surpassed the 55 points of Americans Nicole Fawcett (2013 KVL) and Alaina Bergsma, who led Petron to the 2014 PSL Grand Prix crown, (2016 KVL).     Not to be outdone, local volleyball star Marck Espejo had a 55-point explosion of his own in the Blue Eagles’ five-set Game 1 UAAP Final Four win over FEU. The five-time MVP pounded 47 attacks, had six kill blocks and two service aces for the Katipunan-based squad. Espejo scored 11 points in the deciding frame including Ateneo’s last four to seal the win in the match that lasted for two hours and 21 minutes. Espejo’s feat fueled Ateneo’s eventual semis series win over the twice-to-beat Tamaraws.  Espejo and DLSU libero Dawn Macandili were named as the Philippine Sportswriters Association’s 2017 Mr. and Miss Volleyball.     The Philippines saw three players make their mark in the international scene this year as Espejo and sisters Jaja Santiago and Dindin Santiago-Manabat were tapped as imports in Japan’s V. Premier League. Espejo is now playing for Oita Miyoshi Weiss Adler while Jaja and Dindin suit up for Saitama Ageo Medics and Toray Arrows, respectively.     After 36 long years, the Philippines sent a women’s volleyball team to participate in the Jakarta-Palembang Asian Games. The squad won against Hong Kong in straight sets in pool play in the country’s first Asian Games victory since defeating India in the 1982 New Delhi Games. The PHI advanced in the quarterfinals but went home empty-handed. The Filipinas ended up at ninth place in the AVC Asian Cup. Sisi Rondina and Dzi Gervacio made waves in the country’s hosting of the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Manila Open after the duo barged in the quarterfinals. The tandem eventually bowed down to eventual champion Japan. The NU Bulldogs brought its bark into the international scene and howled its way to giving honor to country by winning the ASEAN University Games gold medal at the expense of Thailand. Volleyball proved to be the most talked about sport in the country as #UAAPSeason80Volleyball became the most tweeted sports hashtag in 2018.   SMASHING WIN, BLAZING VICTORY Creamline became the most successful club in the Premier Volleyball League this year after winning its breakthrough Reinforced Conference crown before following it up with a title romp in the Open Conference. Alyssa Valdez finally ended a two-year title drought after leading the Cool Smashers to the Reinforced Conference throne.   Creamline’s Michele Gumabao joined Binibining Pilipinas and represented the country im the 2018 Miss Globe in Albania, landing at the top 15.     Petron lorded it over in the PSL after winning the Grand Prix and All-Filipino Conference titles at the expense of archrival F2 Logistics, which ruled the Invitational Conference. University of the Philippines ended a 36-year title drought by claiming the PVL Collegiate Conference championship and followed it up by reigning supreme in the PSL Collegiate Grand Slam The SiPons tandem of Sisi Rondina and Bernadeth Pons of Petron annexed their second straight PSL Challenge Cup beach volleyball title. University of Perpetual Help reclaimed the NCAA men’s title after taking down Arellano University as the Altas bagged it 11th title overall.           National University took back the title it lost last year in the UAAP boys’ tournament while De La Salle-Zobel bagged the girls’ mint. The Beach Volleyball Republic continued its advocacy of propagating the sport throughout the country.   END OF THE ROAD After winning three straight UAAP titles, the Lady Spikers bid goodbye to its Big Three in Kim Kianna Dy, Majoy Baron and Dawn Macandili. Season 80 saw the end of the six-year Ateneo-DLSU Finals rivalry as the Lady Eagles bowed down to FEU in the semis. The Blue Eagles three-year reign ended at the hands of NU as Ateneo gave its farewell to its greatest men’s volleyball star Marck Espejo and prized setter Ish Povorosa.    NU’s four-year domination in the girls’ division was snapped by DLS-Zobel. After a dry 2018 PVL season, Pocari Sweat parted ways with its franchise player Myla Pablo as newcomer Motolite agreed to buyout the hitter’s last three contract years.      Thai coach Tai Bundit after five years and bringing two titles including a rare tournament sweep to the Lady Eagles finally called it quits after Ateneo’s campaign in UAAP Season 80. Creamline gave Bundit a farewell championship trophy in the PVL.      A NEW BEGINNING It was a colorful 2018, indeed, for volleyball but 2019 is another promising year for the sport. Can the Lady Chiefs complete a three-peat in the NCAA? Newcomers are sure to bring more excitement and interest in the UAAP. DLSU will try to extend its reign for another season while NU is looking for a repeat crown in the men’s side. Another season for the PSL and the PVL will open while the national men’s and women’s team will highlight the country’s Southeast Asian Games hosting.        --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 27th, 2018

2018 s most memorable bits of boxing

The sweet science is always a source of headlines in the sporting world, especially in a country that's full of fight fans like the Philippines. Over the last twelve months, we've seen comebacks, championships, and even a little controversy.  Here are some of the best bits of boxing from 2018!    PAC BACK ON TOP 2018 saw Filipino boxing icon Manny Pacquiao once again claim world championship gold following a bitter and controversial loss to Jeff Horn in 2017.  Fighting in Asia for the first time since 2014, Pacquiao challenged reigning WBA (Regular) Welterweight World Champion Lucas "La Maquina" Matthysse in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia back in July.  Billed as a durable, heavy-hitting brawler, Matthysse was supposed to be the one to threaten Pacquiao with a KO finish.  Instead, looking like the Pacquiao of old, it was the Filipino star who came out aggressive, landing bombs until finally scoring a seventh-round TKO finish, his first since 2009.  Just months shy of his 40th birthday, Pacquiao was a world champion for the eleventh time in his storied career.    THE BREAKUP Prior to Pacquiao's win over Matthysse, the Filipino boxer made headlines the world over after a split from long-time trainer and head coach Freddie Roach.  In April, months before Pacquiao's return to the ring against Matthysse, reports surfaced that Pacquiao, for the first time in over 15 years and 34 bouts, would not be working with the Hall of Fame trainer. According to various sources, the split stemmed from a disagreement between Pacquiao and Roach following the loss to Jeff Horn back in 2017.  Taking Roach's place as head trainer was Pacquiao's best friend, Buboy Fernandez, and judging from the result of the Matthysse bout, it paid dividends.  Still, the split didn't last too long.  Soon after Pacquiao's first WBA title defense against Adrien Broner was announced, both Pacquiao and Roach have confirmed that they will be working together once again.  This time however, Roach will be serving more of a consultant role, guiding Fernandez who remains as Pacquiao's head trainer.    CONTROVERSY SURROUNDS CANELO-GGG 2 In 2017, middleweight stars Gennady Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez went to an exciting 12-round draw that warranted a rematch in 2018.  In January, it was announced that the two warriors would square off once again in a Cinco de Mayo rematch. The rematch was put in jeopardy however, when Canelo tested positive for a banned substance in March. By April, the fight was off after the Mexican star decided to withdraw from the highly-anticipated rematch.  The fight eventually pushed through in September, with Alvarez picking up the majority decision win to hand Golovkin his first career loss, and more importantly claim the WBA (Super) and WBC Middleweight World Championships.  Three months later, Canelo would stop British boxer Rocky Fielding in the third round to capture the WBA (Regular) Middleweight World Championship as well.    ALL-FILIPINO For the first time in 92 years, two Filipino boxers faced off for a world championship when reigning IBF Super Flyweight World Champion Jerwin "Pretty Boy" Ancajas defended his title against Jonas "Zorro" Sultan in California.  In the historic meeting, it was Ancajas who emerged victorious, defeating Sultan via unanimous decision as the reigning IBF 115-pound champ continued his run of dominance with five successful title defenses. Four months later, Ancajas would retain his world championship once again, but this time after figuring in a split draw against Mexican Alejandro Santiago.    DONNIE NIETES MAKES THE JUMP Speaking of all-Filipino bouts and going to a draw, Donnie Nietes and Aston Palicte experienced both in just one bout.  Following a spectacular albiet short-lived run at Flyweight, which saw him capture and retain the IBF's 112-pound title, Nietes made the decision to move up to the 115-pound super flyweight division, where he'll be in the same pool as the big names like Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, Juan Francisco Estrada, and compatriot Jerwin Ancajas.  Nietes' debut bout at 115 however, would be against fellow Negrense in Palicte, and it would be for the vacant WBO Super Flyweight World Championship in September.  In what many believed as a win for Nietes, the 12-round bout went to a controversial split draw, that denied Nietes of the distinction of joining Manny Pacquiao and Nonito Donaire Jr. as the only Filipinos to capture four world titles in as many divisions.  Nietes still has the chance to do that before the end of 2018 however, as he gets another shot at the title on New Year's Eve when he meets Japan's Kazuto Ioka in Macau.    BUD MOVES UP Following years of dominance at junior welterweight, Terence "Bud" Crawford also made the jump up to a heavier weight class, and immediately made a splash.  Facing off against WBO Welterweight World Champion Jeff Horn, Crawford announced his arrival at 140-pounds with a dominant TKO win over the Australian in June.  Four months later, Crawford successfully defended the title against Jose Benavidez Jr. with a 12th-round TKO victory.    FLASH FORWARD Nonito Donaire Jr's 2018 didn't start off as well as he would have wanted.  The Filipino Flash lost his April bout to Carl Frampton for the WBO Interim Featherweight World Championship, prompting questions regarding the former four-division world champion's future.  In a surprising move however, Donaire announced that he would be going back down to super bantamweight and would be taking part in the World Boxing Super Series' super bantamweight tournament.  Matched up in the quarterfinal round against Ryan Burnett back in November, Donaire scored what many consider an upset, winning via TKO after the Irishman suffered a back injury. As a result, Donaire advanced into the next round of the tournament with the WBA (Super) Bantamweight World Championship around his waist.  Up next for Donaire will be WBO Super Bantamweight World Champion Zolani Tete of South Africa in the semifinals.    WILDER AND FURY GO TO WAR In one of the most talked-about heavyweight bouts in recent history, WBC Heavyweight World Champion Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury put on a 12-round war that ended in...surprise, surprise, a split draw. Fury used his movement and technique to dictate the pace over Wilder throughout the 12-round bout, but the reigning champion dropped the British challenger in the final round that led to the draw decision, setting up what could be another highly-anticipated rematch in the future. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 26th, 2018

Pinoy sports most captivating underdog stories of 2018

Who doesn't love a good underdog story? In 2018, we saw another batch of champions get crowned for their extended excellence in their respective leagues and disciplines. We also witnessed squads and personalities who found success despite minimum fanfare. These underdogs didn't let any pre-competition predictions cloud their performances en route inspiring runs that may not have delivered gold, but are primed to be remembered for years to come.  MARGIELYN DIDAL Let's start with arguably the most inspiring entry on this list. Margielyn Didal basically burst onto the scene to bag skateboarding gold in the 2018 Asian Games. The Cebuana's victory is made even more impressive because of her humble roots, the lengths she went through just to compete, and what she's fighting for. The daughter of a carpenter and a sidewalk vendor, Didal also famously had to fend off security personnel in malls, when she was practicing her craft. Still, Didal's rise continued as she became the first Filipino to represent the nation in the 2018 X Games in Minnesota.  Her gold in the Asiad  earned her the distinction as the flag bearer of the Philippine delegation in the continental meet, and has slowly increased awareness for the sport. UP LADY FIGHTING MAROONS Now for another champion. The UP Lady Maroons were far from shoo-ins into the Premier Volleyball League Collegiate Conference Final Four. After a slow start to the elimination round, the Diliman-based squad was able to get things going, securing the fourth seed to face the top-ranked Adamson Lady Falcons in the semis.  Facing a twice-to-beat disdvantage, the Lady Maroons flexed their rediscovered depth, especially after feisty middle Marian Buitre found her touch. Conference MVP and eventual Finals MVP Isa Molde also made a case as a legitimate star as UP stunned Adamson. Facing the UAAP season 80 Finalists FEU Lady Tamaraws, UP leaned on its unparalleled chemistry and communication to defeat FEU in two hard-fought, five-set matches. The Lady Maroons also bagged gold in a rival tournament, beating out another UAAP powerhouse in UST. Come UAAP Season 81, the Lady Maroons are set to prove their preseason victories are no fluke.    NU BULLDOGS With a chip on their shoulder, wanting to regain UAAP men's volleyball supremacy, the NU Bulldogs did everything they could to dethrone reigning three-time defending champs Ateneo Blue Eagles in Season 80. NU waltzed their way through the double round robin elimination round and made quick work of UST in the Final Four to book a ticket to the finals. However, the same road block, the Blue Eagles were there, with five-time MVP Marck Espejo just fresh off from his record-setting 55-point explosion to oust  twice-to-beat FEU in the Final Four.  Using their strong net defense and efficient reception, the Bulldogs swept Ateneo in the best-of-three Finals series. Finals MVP Bryan Bagunas led the offensive attack in the clincher with 22 points, as NU's famed floor defense frustrated the graduating Espejo and hand them their first loss in the championship series in three years.   FEU LADY TAMARAWS The UAAP Season 80 women's volleyball tournament was arguably the most exciting in recent memory. It was open-ended, every game oozed excitement as the unlikliest of results would come out here and there. Two-time defending champs De La Salle Lady Spikers still were the favored ones in the course of the eliminations, but suffered some shocking losses, including a four-set disappointment over Adamson. Being the other Finals contender was a quandary, but the FEU Lady Tamaraws led the charge and rose to the occasion, depriving Ateneo of a Finals appearance. Led by none other than Bernadeth Pons, and excellent play from their frontline, FEU advanced to the Finals for the first time in nine years, ironically also against the Ramil de Jesus-led squad. Many things had changed then, but La Salle showed why they were the reigning Queens of the UAAP, sweeping the Lady Tamaraws in two hard-fought contests.   UP FIGHTING MAROONS After an encouraging run in the UAAP season 80 men's basketball tournament, the UP Fighting Maroons put the league on notice in season 81.  Led by captain Paul Desiderio, super sophomore Juan Gomez de Liano, and Nigerian reinforcement Bright Akhuetie, the Fighting Maroons had to fight through a sluggish start. All things changed when head coach Bo Perasol decided to bring Juan off the bench to inject much-needed energy to the second unit. Juan would lead the league in assists as he guided UP's offense masterfully, carrying them to a historic Final Four return after a 21-year absence. That may already be a victory worth celebrating for UP, but the Fighting Maroons brought the fight in the Final Four as the third-seeded team facing no. 2 Adamson. In what would eventually be one of the most exciting Final Four series in recent UAAP history, UP would upset the Soaring Falcons in two games to book a Finals berth against Ateneo, where the Fighting Maroons bowed out. Still, what a run it was. And UP looks primed to be even more dangerous next season.   ATENEO LADY EAGLES There were uncertainty on how the Ateneo Lady Eagles would fare after coach Tai Bundit left the team in UAAP Season 80.  Blue Eagles mentor Oliver Almadro was tapped to oversee the team after Bundit's reign, with the PVL Open Conference being his first real challenge, calling the shots for Ateneo-Motolite.  Veterans Bea de Leon and Maddie Madayag did the heavy lifting for the team, but rookie sensations Vanessa Gandler, Jaja Maraguinot, Isabela Peralta, Samantha Fanger, and Erika Raagas provided their worth for the team. Almadro's unique style of motivation was also key in providing the spark for his team, providing some quotable lines from his timeouts showed around the world. Qualifying to the Final Four, Ateneo had their hands full against the veteran-laden BanKo-Perlas Spikers, who featured some former Lady Eagles. Down 0-1 in the series and had their backs against the wall in Game 3 down 0-2, the Lady Eagles mounted a massive comeback, stunning the Perlas Spikers in five sets and booking a dream Finals matchup against the Creamline Cool Smashers. However, it was not meant to be as they firepower of the Cool Smashers behind season MVP Alyssa Valdez proved to the difference as Creamline swept the Lady Eagles to clinch the Open Conference plum......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 24th, 2018

With 2 good shoulders, Lomachenko seeks 2 lightweight titles

By Brian Mahoney, Associated Press NEW YORK (AP) — Vasiliy Lomachenko is back and ready to show what he can do with two healthy shoulders. Injured while winning one lightweight belt, Lomachenko while try to add a second in his return from surgery when he faces Jose Pedraza on Saturday night in the Theater at Madison Square Garden. Lomachenko (11-1, 9 KOs) is already a champion in three weight classes, but this is the first time he can unify belts within a division. "It's the next step for my dream," Lomachenko said. "It's the next step for my goal, and after this fight I think my dreams come a little bit closer to me." That could include a 135-pound showdown with unbeaten Mikey Garcia but seemingly won't include a fight with Manny Pacquiao, because Lomachenko, whose career is going along just fine, doesn't believe he needs to enhance it by beating what he said is an "old legend" about to turn 40. "There are a lot of good fighters to fight who are comparable to me," Lomachenko said. "He's old. I think his career is done. I don't want to become a legend in boxing because of him." But he can do it by unifying titles, and this is the two-time Olympic gold medalist from Ukraine's first chance to do it. He moved up in weight and won the WBA title from Jorge Linares in May despite tearing the labrum in his right shoulder in the second round. Lomachenko got up from a sixth-round knockdown to stop Linares in the 10th, then underwent surgery. While Lomachenko was recovering, Pedraza (25-1, 12 KOs) won the WBO title from Ray Beltran to secure the fight with Lomachenko, who has eight straight victories by stoppage. "We know that he's a great fighter. He's a complete fighter," Pedraza said through a translator. Pedraza was out for 14 months after his lone loss, when Gervonta Davis took his junior lightweight title by stoppage in January 2017, but has come back strong by winning three fights this year. The victory over Beltran made him the second Puerto Rican man to win titles at 130 and 135 pounds, and an upset of Lomachenko would bring even more pride to his homeland that's still recovering from disaster. "It will be the first Christmas after what happened with Hurricane Maria, so definitely me winning on Saturday would bring a lot of joy and blessing to the island," Pedraza said. The undercard of the fight, to be televised by ESPN, includes 2016 Olympian Teofimo Lopez (10-0, 8 KOs) facing Mason Menard (34-3, 24 KOs) in a lightweight bout, and Isaac Dogboe (20-0, 14 KOs) defending his WBO junior featherweight title against Mexican Emanuel Navarrete (25-1, 22 KOs). Then Lomachenko fights for the third straight time at Madison Square Garden and expects no problems with his shoulder. He said he's been able to use all his punches in sparring and may have benefited from the break for the injury, which delayed a planned August fight. He had nearly 400 fights as an amateur and has been on a quest to quickly accumulate as many titles as possible as a pro. A fight with Garcia could provide him a chance for another, but the WBC's 135-pound champion is moving up two divisions to challenge welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. in March. Lomachenko has no plans to move up any further for now after beginning his career at 126 pounds, but he thinks a matchup with Garcia will happen, assuming he comes back down. "I think this fight will happen," Lomachenko said. "Then, I don't know."  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 8th, 2018

Olympic referendum: Shall it be ‘Taiwan’ or ‘Chinese Taipei’

Athletes from Taiwan compete at the Olympics under the name of a make-believe country: Chinese Taipei. They march behind an imaginary national flag and, if they win a gold medal, hear an "alternate national anthem" being played. Imagine if France or Australia had to use an assumed name at the Olympics, or the United States and Japan were banned from flying their flags. A referendum to challenge this will be held in Taiwan on Saturday. It asks if the self-governing island should compete in international sports events --- including the 2020 Tokyo Olympics --- as "Taiwan" instead of "Chinese Taipei." "We are the sole IOC member banned from using our own country's name," said ...Keep on reading: Olympic referendum: Shall it be ‘Taiwan’ or ‘Chinese Taipei’.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsNov 22nd, 2018

2nd placer FEU embraces challenge to be on same level as NU in UAAP Cheerdance

It's clear that National University is the current superpower in the UAAP Cheerdance Competition even though it's only the second winningest school with five titles in the event. University of Santo Tomas and University of the Philippines hold the most titles in the competition with eight apiece but the Salinggawi Dance Troupe's hasn't won the gold since 2006 and the UP Pep Squad last won the trophy in 2012. NU has since taken the throne after the two original powers vacated their rule and the NU Pep Squad has owned the competition for five of the past six years. Far Eastern University, which won two titles in between the several reigns of UST and UP, is still considered as ...Keep on reading: 2nd placer FEU embraces challenge to be on same level as NU in UAAP Cheerdance.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsNov 18th, 2018

The Future of UST Beach Volleyball Blove Barbon and Jaron Requinton

University of Santo Tomas fielded a super senior-rookie tandem both in the women’s and men’s divisions of the UAAP Season 81 Beach Volleyball Tournament. That decision led to two championships, two MVPs, and two Rookies of the Year. Newbie Blove Barbon partnered up with the graduating Sisi Rondina, who played her fifth and final year on the sands. The rookie was nothing but honored to have partnered up with arguably the G.O.A.T (Greatest of All-Time) of Philippine beach volleyball in her first year playing the sport. She expressed that she was up to the challenge of teaming up with a player as intense as Rondina – an athlete who expects every teammate to go as hard as her. “Tinake ko lang po sya as a motivation kasi yun po yung way ni Ate Si na parang [gumaling] po yung sarili natin. ‘Di naman lahat ng naka-partner ni Ate Si, tumagal sa kanya. Pero para po sa akin, yun po yung ginawa kong motivation para lumaban ng lumaban,” she said after being awarded the Season 81 Rookie of the Year. The bubbly yet shy girl from Bukidnon showed immense improvement from Day 1 to the Finals. Seven game days after, her initial careless errors in the eliminations transformed to mature and smart ball placing. Barbon can’t help but feel regretful that this was her first and last time to play with Rondina. If she were to choose, she would partner with her over and over again. “Syempre, sino ba namang hindi gusto maging ka-partner si Ate Sisi. Diba? Nakita naman natin yung laro niya, di basta basta, siya po yung [pinakamagaling] sa beach volley,” she said with a giddy smile. “Halo halong saya po saka lungkot kasi yun nga po yun na yung last playing year ni Ate Si so next year iba na po makakapartner ko,” she said as she reflected on helping Rondina get the good exit she wanted. As for Rondina, she expressed confidence on leaving UST’s beach volleyball program, an arena she loved so much, to her young yet promising Padawan. “Si Babylove naman sinasabi ko sa kaniya na for her to get these awards, ang naging sangkap sa mga ganito is hard work. Commit kung saan ka naka-commit, wag kang masilaw sa pagiging sikat,” said Rondina. “May potential talaga siya. Sana madala niya 'yung attitude ko towards the game and towards training,” added the four-time MVP. Barbon is shy and still not accustomed to the attention one receives after a championship and a Rookie of the Year award. When reporters got a hold of her, she even joked around asking if someone else can substitute for her. “Pwede bang sub? Sub?” she quipped. With Rondina graduating, Barbon is left with the responsibility of preserving the elite status of UST in beach volleyball. When asked about it, Barbon has this to say. “Sobrang bigat po kasi lahat po kasi baguhan eh. Wala na pong senior na magdadala sa amin. Pero try po namin kung ano yung ginagawa ni Ate Si ngayon,” she said. “Gagawin namin para sa school,” the rookie said. Saying that she will do everything for UST, a sentiment Rondina has always preached, just goes to show that aside from volleyball smarts, she also picked up a rhetoric of her Ate. As for the men’s division, it was Jaron Requinton who had the honor of learning from veteran Krung Arbasto. Just like the women’s, the super senior-rookie tandem brought UST another gold. Requinton’s court presence is beyond his years. For most of the season, opponents always avoid letting the much more experienced Arbasto get the kill. With that, the spiking burden has been mostly on the young Requinton but the rookie was up to the challenge. He held a solid account of himself drilling down balls and blocking attacks as if this was not his first time in the UAAP. To make things more entertaining, he paired his volleyball skills with spunky antics on the sands. This is why no one was surprised when his name was called as the Season 81 Rookie of the Year. “Ito po siguro yung araw na di ko malilimutan as rookie kasi kahit natalo po kami sa eliminations ng FEU, natalo naman po namin sila sa championships. Goal ko po yun. Super salamat po talaga,” said Requinton. In contrast to Barbon’s timidity, Requinton has a confident aura around him. Whether he is playing on the sands or talking to reporters, he always seems to show no hint of intimidation. In his first rivalry game during the eliminations against National University, the lone rookie on the court joined the veterans in the tongue wagging and the arm flexing. Requinton showed all season long that he may be young but he is the real deal. “Siguro po yung hugot ko lang po [para sa confidence ko] ay sa hard training po namin, sa mga pinagdaanan po namin, sa struggles, sa away-bati,” he explained. In the end, just like Barbon, he was able to roll out the red carpet for Arbasto as he exited UAAP beach volleyball.  “Sobrang saya po kasi graduating po si Kuya Krung tapos nabigyan ko po siya ng magandang exit sa beach volley po,” Requinton expressed. Aside from bringing the trophy back to Espana, the rookie is also now responsible of continuing the steady stride of UST’s beach volleyball program. Arbasto expressed full confidence on his apprentice. “Si Jaron, matibay siya. May dedication talaga sya sa beach volley na buong puso naglalaro. Di bumibitaw sa kahit ano mang laban,” said Arbasto who was hailed as the Season 81 MVP. “Kahit na pinapagalitan ko yan, wala, tiyaga pa rin siya,” he added. When asked about the passing of the torch, Requinton embraces the responsibility with open arms. “Ireready ko po sarili ko kasi ayoko po magulat so ready lang po, kasi marami naman po kami. Di ko rin po alam mangyayari sa akin,” he said. This is the inevitable progression of college sports. When great players graduate, programs scramble trying to look for someone to replace them. But as for UST, they can breathe easily knowing that their beach volleyball program is now in the good and promising hands of Barbon and Requinton......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 8th, 2018

Liz Cambage emotional after win over Spain

By Doug Feinberg, Associated Press SAN CRISTOBAL DE LA LAGUNA, Spain (AP) — Liz Cambage teared up as the final seconds ran off the clock and Australia was set to advance to the gold medal game of the Women's Basketball World Cup for the first time since 2006. Getting this far, she finally feels validated. "This is the furthest I've been at this level. I've never played a gold medal game at this level," Cambage said choking up. "I've also carried a little bit of a weight on my shoulders for eight years. My first world, we didn't even medal. It was the worst the Opals had done. The next Olympics we got bronze, the girls had never done it before. I felt I was bad luck for the Australia team. It's not a nice feeling. This is the furthest I've been at this level. I'm proud of myself and proud of these girls." Cambage was the biggest reason why they've reached the gold medal game. She had 33 points and 15 rebounds to lead Australia to a 72-66 win over Spain on Saturday. Trailing 58-50 to start the fourth quarter, Australia scored the first nine points of the period, including six by Cambage to take a 59-58 lead. The teams went back and forth over the next few minutes. Spain led 64-61 with 4:01 left before Cambage converted a three-point play to tie the game. That started an 11-2 run to close the game. As the clock wound down, Australia was celebrating. Australia will play the U.S. trying to win its second gold medal ever. The Opals won the gold in 2006 — the last time the Americans didn't win. "What we're chasing, you dream of as little girls," Cambage said. "I watched Penny Taylor and Lauren Jackson win that medal (in 2006). It's been a battle for all these years. We have such a strong group. Anyone can win on any given day." It will take a tremendous effort by the Australians to knock off the U.S. Australia is 0-17 against the U.S. in the World Cup and Olympics, including going 0-10 in the worlds. "It is a big challenge, one we're looking forward to," Australia coach Sandy Brondello said. "I believe in this team. One game, anyone can beat anyone. We have to play at our best. We need all 12 players playing at our best. USA is the favorites and we'll give it our best shot, hopefully that's good enough." The Australians will need another huge game from Cambage, who is the leading scorer in the tournament. She might not have the Spanish crowd to fire her up in the gold medal game. The 6-foot-8 center was enemy No. 1 of the Spanish fans in their semifinal on Saturday night — a role she relished. After getting a foul in the first half, she cupped her hand to her ear to get them to jeer louder. When she blocked a shot in the fourth quarter, Cambage pounded her chest to the fans on the baseline which drew an unsportsmanlike foul call from the officials. "I got to do my thing. I got to play the bad guy tonight," Cambage said smiling. "I always said Kanye's line 'scream from the haters' has a nice ring to it. I loved being booed I don't know if I need to see a psychologist about that. Having the crowd against me is something that has always picked me up. I don't know what it is. I've been getting it since I was a kid.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 30th, 2018

Jerwin Ancajas retains IBF title after Split Draw

Filipino IBF Super Flyweight World Champion Jerwin "Pretty Boy" Ancajas holds on to his title after figuring in a Split Draw against Mexican Alejandro Santiago Barrios at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, Friday evening (Saturday morning, Manila time).  A back-forth-battle throughout the course of twelve rounds, the usually-methodic Ancajas found it difficult to impose his will against the shifty Barrios.  The smaller challenger brought the fight to the defending champion, challenging Ancajas more than anyone has during the Pinoy's title reign.  At the end of the action-packed affair, one judge saw it in 116-112 in favor of the champion, while another saw it 118-110 in favor of the challenger.  The third judge scored it a 114-114 draw.  This is the second Filipino fighter to battle to a draw in the last month, with Donnie Nietes and Aston Palicte battling to a Split Draw in their WBO Super Flyweight title contest back in early September.  Earlier in the card, former world title challenge Genesis Servania made quick work of Mexican opponent Carlos Carlson via third round KO. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 29th, 2018

ONE Championship: Rene Catalan still won t fight a fellow Filipino, not even for a championship

Veteran martial artist and ONE Championship strawweight contender Rene Catalan is standing his ground with regards to his statement about not wanting to fight a fellow Filipino.  In an interview with ONE Championship back in August, the former Asian Games Gold Medalist in Wushu stated that he'd rather not fight a fellow Filipino, regardless of the stakes.  Back then, Catalan and fellow pinoy strawweight contender Joshua Pacio were thought to be on a collision course, with both having put together respective winning streaks.  "I’d rather not face a fellow Filipino.” said Catalan. “Since 2003, I’ve been representing for the Philippines, and until now, I try to avoid having to compete against one of my countrymen.”  Both Catalan and Pacio were coming off impressive wins in Manila, but it was Pacio who was rewared the opportunity for the championship. The Team Lakay strawweight standout will challenge reigning ONE Championship Strawweight World Champion Yoshitaka Naito at ONE: Conquest of Heroes in Jakarta, Indonesia.  When asked about the possiblity of having to face Pacio with a world title on the line, Catalan's answer didn't change.  "Ibibigay ko na siguro kay Joshua 'yun," the 39-year old said. "Kung manalo siya, maraming foreigner na mag-hahabol sa kanya at sa belt. Andiyan si Hayato Suzuki, si Alex Silva, marami."  Catalan is also in Jakarta, cornering prized pupil Jomary Torres as she takes on Indonesia's own Priscilla Hertati Lumban Gaol.  "Naniniwala ako na may time din ako." he added.  Catalan even hinted at playing gatekeeper for Pacio, should the Baguio-based fighter pull off a victory on Saturday night.  "Pwedeng ako yung kalabanin nung mga ibang challenger, pero hindi talaga natin kakalabanin yung kababayan natin."  "Yung kapwa natin Pilipino, tutulungan dapat natin." he added.  Catalan was slated to meet Japanese submission specialist Hayato Suzuki at ONE's return to Bangkok in October, but had to pull out due to an ankle injury.  Taking Catalan's place against Suzuki will be his younger brother Robin.  Before anything else of course, Pacio will have to take care of business against Naito.  Saturday's main event will be a rematch of their 2016 title bout which saw Naito defeat Pacio in the third round via submission.    Catch ONE Championship: Conquest of Heroes on Saturday, September 22nd at 10:30 PM LIVE on ABS-CBN S+A channel 23! .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 20th, 2018

NU has all the pieces, but can they put them all together?

HOW’D THEY DO LAST SEASON? 5-9, sixth YES, THEY’RE STILL HERE: Issa Gaye, Enzo Joson, Jonas Tibayan, Dave Wilson Yu WELCOME TO THE FAMILY: John Lloyd Clemente, John Galinato, Dave Ildefonso, Shaun Ildefonso, JV Gallego (returning), Joshua Sinclair (returning) GOOD LUCK ON FUTURE ENDEAVORS: J-Jay Alejandro, Jordan Bartlett, Matt Salem, Chino Mosqueda (injured) WHAT SHOULD WE EXPECT FROM NU? National University is not messing around as it tries to put an end to its three-year playoff drought. Even though they lost longtime starters J-Jay Alejandro and Matt Salem, the Bulldogs are all set to welcome blue-chip recruits in the form of Ildefonso brothers Shaun and Dave, John Lloyd Clemente, and John Galinato. “Right now, we’re excited that we got a very talented team, but it’s a very young team.” – head coach Jamike Jarin We named NU the 2018 king of recruiting because of that – and so, nothing less than immediate impact is expected from the Ildefonsos, JLC, and Galinato. “Of course, it’s make or break for everybody – for the entire school, for the entire team.” – head coach Jamike Jarin If all goes well, the new blood will fully fill in the holes beside Senegalese tower Issa Gaye, second-year playmaker Enzo Joson, and stalwart Dave Wilson Yu. More than the rookies, however, head coach Jamike Jarin wants and needs all his holdovers to take another step forward for the Bulldogs to live up to the hype. “We’re so young and the experience that we have is not enough. It has to be a combined effort to make us competitive.” – head coach Jamike Jarin WHO IS/ARE THE PLAYER/S TO WATCH OUT FOR FROM NU? Gaye has a chance to claim the vacant spot of best foreign student-athlete – only if the tall and long-limbed Senegalese tower plays up to his potential. At the wings, NU is brimming with talent in veteran DWY, returning JV Gallego and Joshua Sinclair, and first-year players Shaun and Dave Ildefonso, JLC, and Galinato. “JLC, Dave Ildefonso, Josh Sinclair, those are the guys that you will see in the long run.” – head coach Jamike Jarin The issue that persists, however, is at point guard – as it always has been since Gelo Alolino left. Rev Diputado is as steady as they come and Joson can turn into a problem for opponents as a big guard, but both of them have no time to waste and have to become masterful generals for all the weapons the Bulldogs have. WHY SHOULD WE ROOT FOR NU? NU is, hands down, the 2018 king of recruiting. That means that most of the top talent from this year’s recruitment class will be donning blue and gold. The youth movement is well underway and, coupling that with head coach Jamike Jarin’s uptempo attack, there is no doubt that the Bulldogs will be nothing but fun to watch. Get ready for a lot of running and gunning when the NU Bulldogs will be let out. WHERE WOULD NU BE AT THE END OF UAAP SEASON 81? NU will be fighting for a playoff berth – make no mistake about it. “We’re gonna play with a lot of heart. We’re gonna give a scare to the entire UAAP.” – head coach Jamike Jarin Unlike the likes of favored Ateneo, intact Adamson and FEU, reloaded La Salle, and primed UP, all of whom we know what we’re going to get, we’re still not sure how the Bulldogs look like when they finally play together in the UAAP. When the veterans and the new blood perfectly co-exist, then look out for the Bulldogs. Otherwise, however, add one more year to that playoff drought. WHEN IS NU’S FIRST GAME IN UAAP SEASON 81? NU trots out its stacked lineup up against rebuilding UST and coach Jamike will be matched up once more opposite coach Aldin Ayo on September 7. Of course, It All Begins Here on S+A, S+A HD, LIGA, LIGA HD, and livestream. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 2nd, 2018

Roque responds to Trillanes& apos; IQ challenge: Take a & apos;psych test& apos; first - CNN Philippines

Roque responds to Trillanes' IQ challenge: Take a 'psych test' first - CNN Philippines.....»»

Category: newsSource:  googlenewsRelated NewsAug 28th, 2018

ASIAN GAMES: Philippines looks to end 24-year medal drought in athletics

JAKARTA — If Eric Shawn Cray can just make a repeat performance of his semifinal running in the 400m hurdles of the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympics, there is a big chance he might win the gold in the 18th Asian Games. Cray, whose pet event was originally set on Monday, will try to qualify first in the re-scheduled 400m hurdles at 11 a.m. on Sunday and hope to take it from there in an effort to win the Philippines’ first medal in the Asian Games in 24 years. The 29-year-old Cray ran the 400m hurdles of the Rio Olympics in a blistering 49.37 seconds, which if he did during the 2014 Incheon Asian Games, would have easily dislodged the 49.71 of gold medal winner, Bahrain’s Ali Khamis, who is defending his title here. And from the looks of it, the Filipino-American is in tip-top shape. The two-time 400m hurdles champion of the SEA Games (Myanmar and Singapore) is coming off a gold medal in the 400M hurdles of the 2017 Asian Athletics Championships. He was also the silver medalist in the 60M Run of the 2017 Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games. “If everything goes right, many of our athletes can spring some surprises,” said Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association president Dr. Philip Ella Juico. Cray, who finished sixth with a 51.47 in the Incheon edition of the games, has improved since that performance. He had 50.04 in the World Championships in Beijing, China in 2015, before submitting a 49.07 during the 2016 World Challenge in Kawasaki, Japan, where he earned a silver. In the same World Challenge, this time in Madrid, Spain, also in 2016, Cray ran a scorching 48.98, his personal best, to likewise earn the silver, before his title-clinching 49.57 in the Asian Championships in Bhubaneswar, only last year. The last time the Philippines bagged an athletics’ medal of any color in the Asian Games was during the 1994 Hiroshima Asiad, courtesy of Elma Muros, whose 6.41-meter leap in the long jump competitions was worth a bronze. Aside from Cray, three more from the athletics’ team here plunge into action as marathoner Mary Joy Tabal, hurdler Clinton Bautista and long jumper Marestella Torres-Sunang get going. Tabal, the marathon queen of the 2017 Kuala Lumpur  SEA Games, starts the PH campaign for the day with the marathon at 6 a.m. “This is a special opportunity for Tabal to prove herself against the North Koreans, Japan, China and some of these middle eastern countries,” said Juico, “I don’t think she will be wanting in spirit. According to the report I got, she’s ready, she’s well-conditioned, she spent most of her time in Tuscany, Italy (training). We are hoping for the best as usual.” After Tabal, Bautista, the bronze medalist in the same Malaysia SEA Games, takes his turn as he tries to qualify in the 110M hurdles at 10 a.m. A four-time SEA Games long jump queen whose reign began in the Manila edition of the meet in 2005, Torres-Sunang makes what could be her last hurrah in these games as attempts to advance in the finals of the long jump competitions starting at 10:30 a.m. Meanwhile, SEA Games decathlon gold medalist Aries Toledo began his bid on a bright note as he placed second in the first event of his discipline, clocking 10.84 in the 100M behind Saudi Arabia’s AL QAREE Mohammed Jasem Al Qaree (10.77). He later ranked 4th in the high jump and eighth in the shotput. Newcomer Kristina Knott was scheduled in the 100M heats later in the day.  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 25th, 2018

Homeward-bound Schooling set for next phase at Asian Games

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — The hardest lap for any swimmer is usually the one coming home. That's when they have to try their hardest, giving it everything they have to get to the finish. Singapore's Olympic gold medalist Joseph Schooling is about to discover what that means when he's not in the competition pool. After spending the last nine years in relative anonymity in the United States, the 23-year-old Schooling is getting ready for the second half of his sporting career back in southeast Asia, knowing he probably won't be able to walk down the street or go for dinner without being noticed. "It's everywhere but it shows that they support you and they're excited to see you, and so you can't complain," Schooling said. "You can never brush aside your fans. You've always got to reciprocate so I'm completely fine with it." Schooling is competing this week at the Asian Games in Indonesia, where he has entered in the 50- and 100-meter butterfly races, three relays and the 50 freestyle. He will bid to defend his title in the 100 butterfly on Wednesday. Despite leaving Singapore in his teens to chase his dream of winning an Olympic gold medal, the island-state has always been in Schooling's heart. But so too has Texas, where he has been studying at University and training under the watchful eye of Eddie Reese. Schooling will complete his economics degree later this year before returning to Singapore, but will take back two permanent reminders of his time in the U.S. that changed his life. One is the tattoo on his left shoulder of the University of Texas mascot, the Longhorn. The other, inked after he won Rio, is the Olympic rings on his right bicep. The Longhorns won the NCAA national title four years in a row while Schooling was on the team and he credits his time there for helping him win the ultimate prize when he beat American great Michael Phelps for the Olympic title in the 100 fly. "It's great, it's a different atmosphere, great teammates," Schooling said. "I feel like it's the perfect environment for high performance." Schooling wants to keep swimming through to the 2024 Olympics in Paris and, although he hasn't made a final decision on his training plans, he has spent the past few months practicing with Singapore's new high-performance unit and likes what he sees. Australia's Stephan Widmer, who helped Libby Lenton and Leisel Jones win Olympic titles, has been appointed performance director at the institute while Gary Tan is the national head coach and Sonya Porter, who has extensive experience coaching in the U.S., is the technical director. Schooling's biggest challenge could be how to deal with his celebrity status but after he held off Phelps on the biggest final lap of his life to date, he's confident he can manage. "It takes some getting used to but at the end of the day if you focus on what you're doing and you don't care about outside distractions it's ok," he said. "I like being in that position and I don't see it as a burden at all.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 21st, 2018

Bhutan: No medals yet in the Asian Games, but still happy

By STEPHEN WADE,  AP Sports Writer JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — The Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan has never won a medal of any kind at the Asian Games, much less the Olympics. The country's fame, instead, comes from its billing as one of the happiest places on earth. In fact, the government promotes a concept it terms "Gross National Happiness" as a way to measure success. "People at home are not unhappy we have not won," Younten Tshedup, a reporter for the national newspaper Kuensel, told the Associated Press at the Asian Games. "Everyone is happy, even with no medals. But medals this time would be icing on the cake." By comparison, Bhutan's giant neighbor China has won more than 3,000 medals — about 1,500 gold — in Asian Games competitions. "We are hoping to change it this time," Younten added. Bhutan, with a population of only 750,000, has 24 athletes entered in sports including archery, taekwondo, boxing and — believe it or not — golf. Karma Karma, who competed two years ago at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, could break through in archery, which is Bhutan's national sport. She was also the flagbearer in Saturday's opening ceremony in Jakarta. Soccer and cricket are also popular in Bhutan, but competition is amateur. Archery has many participants, but the disciplines practiced at home are different than those on the Asian Games and Olympic sports programs. "We'd be happy with any medal," Nim Dorji, the head of the delegation, told The AP. Several athletes in taekwondo could break through. They talked up their chances — but were realistic, too — on Monday while seated around a table eating lunch and decked out in their distinctive red and yellow uniforms with the dragon crest on the chest. "Bhutan is a very small country," taekwondo athlete Tenzin Dorji explained. "We don't have the facilities. Maybe that's why we are not winning. In Bhutan we (athletes) are all students and we only practice for four hours. In other countries they are almost practicing for a whole day." Part of the challenge has been Bhutan's isolation, trapped between China and India in the Himalayas. It has just recently begun to open up with television and social media pushing quick change, and the natural beauty also is a lure that attracts outsiders. Nim, the head of the delegation, said the Bhutan government was getting more involved and offering incentives. "We are a small country known for our culture and traditions," taekwondo athlete Kinzang Choden said. "But sports are not our careers. Education is given more importance than sports by the government." Bhutan has sent athletes to every Asian Games since 1990, according the country's profile on the Asian Games website. The closest it has come to winning a medal was in 1998 in Bangkok, when its men's archery team lost a bronze-medal match against China. Bhutan is not alone in Asia in its medal struggles. East Timor, Indonesia's neighbor on the eastern border, is also yet to win a medal at the Asian Games, a quadrennial event that has attracted more than 11,000 athletes from 45 countries and territories competing in 40 sports. The website for the Olympic Council of Asia — the governing body of regional sports — shows six other nations that have won medals, but never a gold medal: Afghanistan, Brunei, Laos, Nepal, Palestine, and Yemen. "Everyone here is expecting a medal," Younten, the Bhutanese reporter said. "We are expecting a few, but we're not very sure about which disciplines."    .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 20th, 2018