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Alyssa Valdez, Jia Morado eyed for Asian Games squad

Creamline’s Alyssa Valdez and Jia Morado will make the 20-woman, Aby Maraño-skippered national women’s volleyball team hoping to see action in the Asian Games set this August in Palembang and Jakarta, Indonesia......»»

Category: sportsSource: philstar philstarJun 14th, 2018

ASIAN GAMES: Pinay volleybelles face another tough squad in Japan

JAKARTA — After collapsing to powerhouse Thailand in the opener, the Philippines marches to battle anew as it clashes with another super team — Japan — in the preliminaries of the women’s volleyball tournament of the 18th Asian Games Tuesday at the Bulungan Sports Hall here. Action starts at 4:30 p.m. (5:30 p.m. in Manila) with the Filipinas coming in with zero expectations knowing that the Japanese are force to be reckoned with. Japan is a five-time Asian Games champion and a regular fixture in elite tourneys like the World Championships, Volleyball Nations League, World Cup and the Olympics. The squad is marching with chip on its shoulder after Thailand dominated it in the bronze medal match of the previous Asian Games in Incheon in 2014. Seasoned international campaigners Nana Iwasaki, Risa Shinnabe and Yuki Ishii remain as the leaders under the guidance of head coach Kumi Nakada. In the opening-day salvo, the troika did most of the damage as the Japanese clobbered the Indonesians, 25-20, 25-11, 25-19, to join Thailand on top of Pool A. Philippines’ head coach Shaq Delos Santos knows that Japan is nearly indestructible so they would use the match as an opportunity to gauge where they stand against an ultra elite team that had already tested its mettle against the world’s best teams like Olympic champion China, Serbia and the United States. “We will study them and train hard in preparation for our match against these Japanese,” said Delos Santos, who just came from a two-week training in Osaka and Okayama City in Japan where they polished their floor defense and blocking. The Thais gave the Filipinos a rude welcome into the Games after a 36-year absence. They had an impressive start, but collapsed in the final stretch of the first set as rising star Chatchu-on Moksri and Pimpichaya Kokram started to wax hot while veteran Pleumjit Thinkaow and Onuma Sittirak asserted their will over the Filipinos. Jaja Santiago and Alyssa Valdez were the bright spots in the first set, but their luster faded as Delos Santos opted to dig deep into his bench in quest of a spark. “They made us realized that the Asian Games is no picnic,” said Delos Santos following their 22-25, 12-25, 15-25 setback to the 11-time Southeast Asian Games champion. “We still have a lot of catching ups to do. We have to work hard and hope for the best. Hopefully, we can match up well against Japan. We’re looking forward to playing them in a tournament like the Asian Games.” Aside from Santiago and Valdez, also tipped to step up are Mika Reyes, team captain Aby Marano, Kianna Dy, Kim Fajardo and Dawn Macandili. Other members of the team are Denden Lazaro, Majoy Baron, Mylene Paat, Maika Ortiz, Dindin Santiago, Cha Cruz and Julia Morado......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated News21 hr. 5 min. ago

Delos Santos to focus on national team s floor defense, speed in Japan training camp

Emulating the Japanese's floor defense will be the main objective of the Philippine national women's volleyball team when the Filipina bets leave for a two-week training in the land of the rising sun. The nationals will fly to Japan on Sunday to undergo rigid training sessions and tune-up games in Okayama. The Filipinas also trained in the same city last year as part of their preparation for the AVC Asian Seniors Women's Volleyball Championship and in the Kuala Lumpur Southeast Asian Games. Known for their player's agility and quick reflex when in comes to floor defense, head coach Shaq delos Santos wants his team to develop the same mentality as the Japanese. “Definitely kung ma-adapt namin why not?,” said Delos Santos. “Kasi syempre doon sila kilala sa defense.” “Syempre kaya rin kami nagpunta doon not only defense kasi sila meron silang players na maliliit, may players na malalaki pero skills-wise grabe nila ma-maximize,” added Delos Santos. The mentor also wants to develop the team’s speed, agility and communication especially with the limited time on their hand to prepare for the Asiad. “Kung hindi namin makuha lahat, kailangan may ma-absorb kami and kailangan ‘yung speed ng laro nila, the way they play inside the court kasi syempre pag naglalaro iba ang galaw ng Japanese dito sa Pilipinas kaya yun ang isa sa kailangan ng team more on international (exposure),” he said. The team will leave at 7:00 a.m. and will travel for a few more hours by land in their training camp. Led by team captain Aby Marano, the national team including the members of the national pool will return on August 16 before heading to Indonesia for the 2018 Jakarya Palembang Asian Games that will run from August 18 to September 2. "We expect to hone their skills specially in floor defense," said Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc. vice president Peter Cayco. The PHI squad is bracketed in Group A in the quadrennial continental sports meet together with host Indonesia, Japan, Thailand and Hong Kong. Included in the Japan trip are Jaja Santiago, Mika Reyes, Alyssa Valdez, Dindin Santiago-Manabat, Kim Fajardo, Kim Dy, Cha Cruz-Behag, Majoy Baron, Denden Lazaro, Mylene Paat, CJ Rosario, Maika Ortiz, Myla Pablo, Rebecca Rivera, MJ Phillips and setter Jia Morado.  Libero Dawn Macandili, last year’s AVC Asian Senior Women’s Championship second best libero winner, will skip the training camp because of her academic commitments.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 1st, 2018

After non-selection, Myla Pablo still leads call for PH team support

Pocari Sweat-Air Force hitter Myla Pablo wasted no time in proving that she has her fellow Filipina volleybelles' backs. Pablo, a three-time champion for the Lady Warriors in the V-League and the Premier Volleyball League, was cut from the 14-woman national team pool that is set to compete in the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia this August. The former National University Lady Bulldog was part of the initial 20 players considered for the squad but was left off. Volleyball fans quickly jumped on social media to point out what they consider an unfair exclusion from the lineup, but Pablo was also swift in defending her fellow players. Guys support nalang tayo kung sino ang napili 14players for NT wag nalang tayo mambash deserve nilang mapili 🙂 maging masaya nalang tayo or sumuporta sa mga napili na players godbless.. ❤️❤️ — myla pablo (@iamMylaPablo) June 14, 2018 The national volleyball team consists of Aby Maraño, Majoy Baron, Mika Reyes, Jaja Santiago, Jia Morado, Kim Fajardo, Dawn Macandili, Kim Kianna Dy, Dindin Santiago-Manabat, Cha Cruz, Ces Molina, and Alyssa Valdez, while Rhea Dimaculangan and Denden Lazaro are listed as reserve players. The final roster was handpicked by the national team coaches made up of head tactician Shaq Delos Santos and assistants coaches in UST mentor Kungfu Reyes and Bryan Esquibel......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 14th, 2018

Nat’l squad looking to play in both commercial leagues

Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc. looks to enter the national women’s volleyball team as a guest squad in the country’s two commercial leagues as part of its preparation for three major international tournaments. The volleyball association announced Sunday that the yet to be assembled national team will play in the 2018 PSL Invitational set to begin on June 23. LVPI vice president Peter Cayco said that the Nationals, skippered by F2 Logistics star Aby Marano, will participate in the conference as a ‘guest team’.      “Ako ang lumapit sa PSL if pwede nila ma-accommodate ang national team, isali nila sa Invitational Conference parang guest team,” said Cayco. “Pumayag naman sila sa set up na guest team kami (national team) and hindi kasama sa win-loss records ng teams. Parang tune up lang nila kami, no bearing.” Cayco added that he is also looking to talk to the PVL to accommodate the national team in its next conference. The official cited that it was practical to enter the squad in the PSL as the PVL is already in their playoff stage.  “Sa PVL naman, hindi ko na inilapit sa kanila kasi ayaw ko makagulo kasi quarters na sila and going to semis na,” he said. “Nasa importanteng stage na sila ng liga nila so ayaw ko naman makagulo.” “Sa next conference nila, sa kanila naman ako makikiusap na kung pwede, same setup, ma-accommodate rin nila ang national team,” Cayco added. Head coach Shaq Delos Santos is expected to announce the names of the players that will be included in the projected 20-woman pool early this week. From the pool, Delos Santos will pick the 14 players that will compose the final lineup set to participate in the Jakarta Palembang Asian Games in August, the AVC Asia Cup in Thailand in September and in the 2019 Manila Southeast Asian Games. Cayco cleared that the national team players will have an option to play in their respective mother clubs.   “If magkasabay or maging magkalaban ‘yung club team and national team, the player will play sa club team niya because we have 20 players in the pool so OK lang if sa club team maglaro ‘yung player,” he said. “For example, si Aby, if national team versus F2 Logistics, doon siya sa F2.” As for the PVL players who will be included in the national team, Cayco will try to talk to the league to allow them to play. “Now ‘yung PVL players we will ask the PVL, the team owners, sa mother teams nila kung pwede maglaro yung mga players for the national team sa PSL,” said Cayco. “Para sa national team sila maglalaro and not for the PSL.” Creamline’s Alyssa Valdez, Jia Morado and Mel Gohing and Pocari Sweat-Air Force’s Myla Pablo are the PVL players invited by the LVPI to join the national team hopefuls.   ---      Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 10th, 2018

Delos Santos to decide on final pool lineup

National women’s volleyball team head coach Shaq Delos Santos and his coaching staff will deliberate on Thursday the players that will compose the 20-woman pool lineup. Delos Santos conducted the national team hopefuls first training session led by Alyssa Valdez and Jia Morado. Also in attendance were Jaja Santiago, Aby Maraño, Maika Ortiz, Rhea Dimaculangan, CJ Rosario, Denden Lazaro, Mika Reyes, Mylene Paat, Ces Molina, Rebecca Rivera, and Myla Pablo, who left early to train with her club team Pocari Sweat. Delos Santos and his assistants Kungfu Reyes and Bryan Esquibel are expected to come up with a final list on Friday at the latest.   “Di kami makakapagbigay ng final time kung ngayon or bukas (ang lineup). Pero para sa amin kailangan naming pagusapang mabuti,” said Delos Santos, who replaced Ramil De Jesus as head coach after the multi-titled mentor resigned from his post just two months after his appointment. Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc. gave Delos Santos the freehand to choose the number of players that will compose the pool. “Usapan kung papayagan 20 or 18 kung saan kami aabutin,” said Delos Santos, who steered Petron to the 2018 Philippine Superliga Grand Prix title last month.    From the 20-woman pool, Delos Santos will trim it down to 14 (12 regular and two reserves), which will be the country’s official entry to the Jakarta Palembang Asian Games in August.    “Mahirap kung sa mahirap (mamili) kasi ang timeline namin very short,” said Delos Santos. “Pero kahit papaano naman sanay kaming humarap sa mga ganyang situation basta guided kami ng mga boss namin kagaya ni (LVPI vice president) Peter Cayco.” The national squad will also see action in the AVC Asia Cup in Thailand in September and in the 2019 Manila Southeast Asian Games.   ---  Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 7th, 2018

Bago magsalita, tumulong na muna – De Jesus on critics

National women’s volleyball team head coach Ramil De Jesus doesn’t care what bashers and critics say on social media. They can say whatever they want to say. De Jesus doesn’t look at social media platforms anyway. Holding the reins of the national team is an ‘unhealthy and dangerous’ job especially with Filipino volleyball fans not holding back with their opinions on social media. But unlike the past national squad mentors, De Jesus received a relatively positive response from rabid fans when he was formally introduced Friday during the tryout called by Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc. at the Arellano University gym in Legarda.         “Well ako, hindi ako ma-social media na tao,” said De Jesus, a 10-time UAAP women’s volleyball champion coach of the De La Salle Lady Spikers. “So, kung ano ‘yung gusto nilang sabihin, pwede namang sabihin,” he added. “Akin naman, hindi mawawala ang critics, and ‘yan lagi ‘yan.” De Jesus is making a return stint with the PHI team since steering the squad to a bronze medal finish in the 2005 Manila Southeast Asian Games. His first mission as a mentor is to form a team that will see action in the 18th Asian Games in Indonesia in August and in the AVC Asian Cup in Thailand the following month. “Ang punto ko dito naman, ayusin yung national team, and then kung sino gustong tumulong, bago mag-salita, tumulong na muna,” he said. Eighteen of the 34 players De Jesus specifically requested to be invited in the tryout were present led by Alyssa Valdez, Jaja Santiago and Ara Galang. Also in attendance were Dindin Santiago-Manabat, Jia Morado, Kim Fajardo, Aby Marano, Sisi Rondina, CJ Rosario, Mylene Paat, Dawn Macandili, Majoy Baron, Kim Kianna Dy, Mel Gohing, Maika Ortiz, Cha Cruz-Behag, Rebecca Rivera and MJ Phillips. Another tryout is scheduled on Wednesday at the same venue.       ---- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 14th, 2018

Pinay volleybelles feel the pressure of Gilas Asiad pullout

After the pullout of Gilas Pilipinas in the Jakarta Palembang Asian Games, all eyes will be set on the national women’s volleyball team. Though the Nationals themselves are managing their expectations especially with the Filipinas making their first appearance in the quadrennial continental sports meet since 1982, they also know that they are now under the microscope. “Siguro, it’s an advantage and disadvantage for the team also,” said top hitter Alyssa Valdez. “‘Yung pressure nasa amin din pero at the same time we’ll make it na sana ‘yung pressure na ‘yun ma-turn namin into positive talaga,” added Valdez, who will banner the Nationals’ bid for a decent performance in the meet. Samahang Basketbol sa Pilipinas pulled out from participation last week. The women's basketball team was not given a slot to join the Asiad while SBP also scapped the country's 3x3 stint. The National team will fly to Japan on Sunday for a two-week training in Okayama before returning to Manila on August 16. They will leave for Indonesia the next day for the Asiad, which will run from August 18 to September 2.   The PHI squad is bracketed in Group A in the quadrennial continental sports meet together with host Indonesia, Japan, Thailand and Hong Kong. “We will try our very best to perform really well for the national team kasi after (almost) 30 years also it’s the first time that the women’s volleyball team will be back on the Asian Games so hopefully maganda ‘yung mababalik naming,” added Valdez. Head coach Shaq delos Santos braces for a tough fight especially against their well-experienced and powerhouse rivals as well as the pressure of performing well for the Filipino fans. “Ako sa totoo lang, ayaw kong isipin na talagang kami ang mag-aano (aabangan) kasi syempre sa amin first time (in 36 years). Sa amin kasi ilalaban namin hanggang dulo and then ang expectation hindi naman namin makokontrol ang mga tao kung ano ang pwedeng sabihin nila sa amin,” he said. “Pero kami, definitely, kahit anong mangyari gagawin namin ang best namin, 100 percent, ‘yun lang.”   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 1st, 2018

Pangarap ko ito nung college pa lang -- Paat on national team stint

Cignal middle Mylene Paat is looking forward for her first stint with the national team. The former Adamson University star was elevated into the main 14-woman roster that will see action in the Jakarta Palembang Asian Games next month after Petron hitter Ces Molina withdrew due to an injury last Tuesday.      “Na-excite, sobrang excited ko kasi sobrang pangarap ko ‘to nung nasa college pa lang ako,” said Paat, who had 15 points in the HD Spikers’ 25-15, 22-25, 25-20, 25-18, win over Smart-Army Thursday in the Philippine Superliga Invitational battle for third. She added that playing for the tri-colors alongside the country’s best players is a dream come true. “Though, college talaga ako nag-start mag-volleyball sobrang nilu-look up ko ‘yung mga players sa national team,” Paat said. Paat, actually, got a call up for the national squad back in 2015 for the Asian U-23 Championship held in Manila but differences with her college team and the then-newly formed national squad under Roger Gorayeb barred her from suiting up alongside the likes of Alyssa Valdez and Jaja Santiago.     “Naudlot lang kasi nagka-misunderstanding ‘yung Adamson tsaka ‘yung magiging coach ng Under 23 Pool,” she recalled. Given a second chance, Paat was one the most dedicated players that heeded the call of the Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc. She was present in almost all of the scheduled national team tryouts last May. Her talent and sacrifice didn’t go unnoticed as she was named in the 20-woman national pool under head coach Shaq Delos Santos.     “’Yung pagpasok ko sa pool sobrang blessing na ‘yun sa akin parang sabi ko ito na ‘yung umpisa ng paghihirap na ginawa ko, lahat ng pagpupursigeng ginawa ko,” she said. Fate again smiled on Paat. “And then, biglang binalita sa akin na ako nga daw ‘yung papalit kay Ate Ces sabi ko sobrang na-excite ako kasi first time ko mapunta sa pool tapos first time ko rin mapabilang sa Top 14,” said Paat, who was called to replace Molina after the Blaze Spiker suffered a stress fracture on her shin. Now part of the country’s representative to the quadrennial continental sports meet, Paat wants to prove that she deserved her spot. “Kailangan lang talaga mag-focus kasi siyempre yung mga kasabayan ko doon alam naman nating mga star ‘yung nandoon so kailangan ko makipagsabayan sa kung ano mang ability na meron sila,” she said. “Kailangan ko magsipag talaga at magpurisge para makasabay ako kahit papaano.”   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 26th, 2018

We have to be ready sa mga surprises nila -- Valdez on Game 3

Crowd-favorite Creamline braces for a dogfight on Friday when the Cool Smashers march into battle against defending champion Pocari Sweat-Air Force for the last time in Game 3 of the Premier Volleyball League Season 2 Reinforced Conference Final Four. Michele Gumabao played big against her former team as the opposite hitter did most of the damage on offense in the Cool Smashers’ four-set win Wednesday that evened the best-of-three semifinals series to one game apiece. The rubber match is scheduled at 2:00 p.m. and will air live on ABS-CBN S+A Channel 23, ABS-CBN S+A HD Channel 166 and via livestream. Gumabao scored a conference-high 18 points while top hitter Alyssa Valdez had 15 markers, 23 digs and 13 excellent receptions in the Cool Smashers’ 25-16, 26-24, 22-25, 25-17, Game 2 win. But Creamline knows that the wounded Lady Warriors won’t be an easy picking in the series decider. “Pero definitely, Air Force will go back and will fight harder on Friday so we have to be ready also sa mga surprises na ipapakita nila,” said Valdez. Pocari Sweat-Air Force surprised the top seed Cool Smashers in the series opener with an emphatic straight sets 25-23, 25-12, 25-23, win with only Valdez scoring in double figures. “We really talked after the game noong Sunday, so we talked kung ano 'yung technicalities na pagkukulang namin, and ano ang pagkukulang namin as a team,” Valdez said. Backing Valdez and Gumabao up are American import Laura Schaudt, Thai import Kuttika Kaewpin, prized setter Jia Morado, Risa Sato and veteran libero Mel Gohing, who is also a recruit from Pocari Sweat. They will take on a seasoned squad bannered by last year’s Finals Most Valuable Player Myla Pablo, Jeanette Panaga and American reinforcements Maddie Palmer and Ari Love. With the series tied and each team parading a solid line up, the ticket to the best-of-three Finals starting on Sunday will all boil down to who wants it more. “Hindi natin masasabi (na nasa amin ang momentum) kasi sabi nga nila bilog ang bola. Kahit anong mangyari momentum man or even sa games or even sa set, hindi mo makukuha yun eh,” said Valdez. “Kung sino ang mas gustong manalo, yun talaga ang mananalo. Kung sinong pabor ang suwerte yun ang mananalo. It’s anybody’s ballgame on Friday.”   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 5th, 2018

Alyssa Valdez, Jia Morado to tune up with national team in Japan

MANILA, Philippines –  Philippine volleyball team stalwarts Alyssa Valdez and Jia Morado will still get a chance to join the national team's Asian Games buildup despite skipping the tuneup games in the Philippine Superliga (PSL). LVPI president confirmed to Rappler that Valdez and Morado – who are both playing for Creamline ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsJun 21st, 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

Injured Morado, Valdez join national pool training

Creamline stars Alyssa Valdez and Jia Morado joined the 13 national women’s volleyball team hopefuls that attended the first training session conducted by new head coach Shaq Delos Santos at the Arellano University-Legarda gym on Thursday. However, the Cool Smashers duo were nursing minor injuries and had to skip the drills and scrimmage. Valdez suffered a swollen right ankle while Morado sustained a right shoulder tendonitis – a lingering injury she aggravated on Wednesday in Creamline’s win over Iriga-Navy in the Premier Volleyball League Season 2 Reinforced Conference.   “Last night kasi sobrang sumakit ‘yung Achilles (tendon) and then I had it checked this morning tapos namamaga nga,” said Valdez, who has been a regular in the national team since high school and is hoping to earn a spot for the Asian Games in August and the AVC Asia Cup in September.  “Doc Raul Canlas said na baka Achilles tendonitis so he’d rather have me rest muna,” added the Valdez, who last played for the national team last year in the Kuala Lumpur Southeast Asian Games. “Actually wala rin after the game (against Iriga), when I was sleeping talaga biglang sumakit. Siguro something happened during the game or before the game na hindi ko lang napansin.” Morado left Creamline’s last match midway in the second set. The former Ateneo de Manila University star said that she just needs a week of rest to recover. “The doctor said na it's just tendonitis. I just need to fully rest and continue ice therapy for a week,” said Morado. Valdez and Morado skipped Tuesday’s team meeting at the same venue where Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc. introduced Delos Santos as the new mentor after Ramil De Jesus stepped down from his post just two months after accepting the coaching job. Also in attendance were Jaja Santiago,  Aby Maraño, Maika Ortiz, Rhea Dimaculangan, CJ Rosario, Denden Lazaro, Mika Reyes, Mylene Paat, Ces Molina, Rebecca Rivera, and Myla Pablo, who left early to train with her club team Pocari Sweat.   ---  Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 7th, 2018

Nat l women s volleyball team hopefuls take coaching change positively

The coaching change came as a surprise to most of the national women’s volleyball team hopefuls, but the players received the appointment of Shaq Delos Santos as replacement for resigned mentor Ramil De Jesus positively. Delos Santos met with some of the national team candidates on Tuesday at the Arellano University-Legarda Gym together with his assistants Kungfu Reyes and Bryan Esquibel and Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc. vice president Peter Cayco. LVPI appointed the Petron coach to the position after De Jesus, who took the coaching duty last April and conducted two tryouts attended by the country’s top volleybelles, stepped down two weeks ago. Delos Santos is tasked to form and train a team for the Jakarta Palembang Asian Games in September, the AVC Asia Cup in Thailand the following month and the 2019 Manila Southeast Asian Games.      “Nabigla ako na nagpalit ulet ng coach. We're in good hands naman with coach Shaq. He's a good coach, he has a good system. I'm looking forward to working with him,” said Cocolife libero Denden Lazaro, who was with 15 other hopefuls during the pool meeting. “Sa aming mga players kailangan lang naman namin maging open sa lahat kasi there’s no permanent naman talaga and ‘yun nga syempre kami mga players susunod lang kami kung ano papagawa sa amin ng coaches, ng staff,” said Jaja Santiao. “Okay lang naman na may pagbabago kasi si coach Shaq din naman is one of the best coaches din dito sa Pilipinas so go lang.” Petron’s Mika Reyes, the Nationals’ team captain last year during the AVC Asian Senior Women’s Championship and Kuala Lumpur SEA Games, was informed of the changes a few days ago.    “Actually hindi ko alam na nagpalit muna. Ang sabi lang may final tryouts. So okay. And then siguro two to three days ago, dun ko lang nalaman talaga. Mga Sunday ata yun,” she said. “Si coach sabi nya ‘Ye punta ka sa tryout ha.’ Tapos sabi ko okay coach. Tapos may nagsabi sa akin na teammate ko na sya na daw yung coach.” Reyes played for De Jesus for five years in De La Salle, in the Philippine Superliga for Meralco and F2 Logistics. The middle blocker bannered the 2018 PSL Grand Prix champion Petron under Delos Santos.      “Nagulat lang ako syempre coach ko rin before si coach Ramil, akala ko siya na,” she added. “Pero okay lang din naman, at least ito coach namin. Siguro yung advantage lang is alam ko na yung sistema nya.” Aby Marano, who during most of her volleyball career played under De Jesus, said that she was one of the first to know of her F2 Logistics mentor’s plan to step down. According to LVPI, De Jesus decided to quit his post because of conflict of schedule with his duties as coach for DLSU, the Baby Spikers and F2 Logistics. “Positive pa rin kami, whether nagpalit ng coach o hindi. Dapat hindi kami maapektuhan. Sa kanila na 'yun eh, ang kailangan namin mag-focus sa ensayo para magpalakas at magpahusay pa. Okay naman din 'yung set ng coaches na nakilala namin today. I don't think there will be a problem,” said Marano, a veteran internationalist who donned the tri-colors in the past two SEA Games and in the AVC Asian Seniors. “Magulo, siyempre, ganoon 'yung nangyare. Personal na decision 'yun ni coach Ramil eh so we all respect that. Ang laki talaga ng responsibilty niya sa mga teams niya. Wala naman kaming masasabi sa decision ni coach Ramil,” Marano continued. “Siyempre, na-brokenhearted nga kami,” she added. “Ako, personally, hindi naman ako bumabata. Gusto ko, bago ako mag-retire, maging coach ko siya sa National Team. Kung hindi naman papalarin, wala akong magagawa.” Also in attendance during the first meeting with the new set of coaches were Kim Kianna Dy, Dawn Macandili, Majoy Baron, Dindin Santiago-Manabat, Rebecca Rivera, Mylene Paat, Sisi Rondina, Kim Fajardo, Rhea Dimaculangan, Maika Ortiz, CJ Rosario and Ces Molina. Creamline's Alyssa Valdez and Jia Morado were supposed to attend the meeting but were caught in a traffic jam in Katipunan after their training while Myla Pablo was training with Pocari Sweat. Other players in the pool who skipped the meeting were Tots Carlos, Bea De Leon, Kath Arado, Royse Tubino, Lourdes Clemente, Elaine Kasilag, Jasmine Nabor, Maddie Madayag, Cha Cruz-Behag, Ara Galang, Mel Gohing, MJ Phillips, Isa Molde, Jho Maraguinot, Rachel Anne Daquis, Bernadeth Pons and Kyla Atienza.    The pool will start its training on Thursday.    ---   Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 5th, 2018

PVL: Gumabao a perfect fit with the Cool Smashers

Even after delivering her accurate cross-court kills, former De La Salle Lady Spiker Michele Gumabao would land on the floor, trade celebratory high fives with teammates and return to her position head held high and straight-backed. Like the beauty queen that she is. The inclusion of the reigning Miss Philippines Globe to the star-studded Creamline squad has infused more power and a touch of glamour to the Cool Smashers. Known for the patented Lady Spikers’ swagger, Gumabao says her on-court behavior has mellowed not because a beauty queen is expected to show regal ways at all times, but rather, she claims, because setter Jia Morado is very commanding when in play.       “Jia is very commanding when we’re playing and that has mellowed me some,” she disclosed. “Her quiet but forceful presence on the court has rubbed off on me.” Gumabao keeps telling anyone who cares to listen that she tremendously enjoys playing with former Ateneo Lady Eagles Alyssa Valdez and Morado, whose alma mater will always be the arch nemesis of hers. “The two and the rest of the Cool Smashers have welcomed me with so much genuine warmth and sincerity that I feel we’ve been teammates for long.”   She has quickly proven her worth after she was the third best scorer behind Thai reinforcement Kuttika Kaewpkin and Valdez in Creamline’s first three games, contributing nine points against the Petro Gazz Angels, 10 against the Banko Perlas Spikers in a losing cause, and eight against the PayMaya High Flyers.    Fans, particularly those from the provinces, have found the athlete-beauty queen very sweet during the meet-and-greet features of the Premier Volleyball League on Tour matches held in Tuguegarao and Batangas.      There hasn't been a trace of impatience or feigned smiles on her face whenever she has posed for a selfie or signed an autograph during the meet-and-greet sessions. She will oblige any fan who will request her for a photo op with a radiant smile that never fails to reach her eyes. On and off the court, Gumabao has indeed been a perfect fit with the Cool Smashers......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 1st, 2018

UAAP Volleyball: Jho Maraguinot will not return next season

The time has come for Jho Maraguinot.  And the decision is final.  Following the four-set loss against the FEU Lady Tamaraws, which ended a season filled with so many questions, the Alitagtag, Batangas native has called it quits after playing four years with the Lady Eagles, and will forego her fifth year of eligibility. "Yeah, I'm graduating. I have one more, but I think I'm done," the veteran said in their final press conference for the season.  Maraguinot, who averaged 14.5 points and was instrumental in Ateneo's run to the Final Four, ended her UAAP career with 11 markers. She played from Ateneo's tail end of their championship seasons, in Season 77, and led the team alongside Alyssa Valdez in her swan song in Season 78. While talking about their 20-25, 21-25, 25-14, 19-25 loss, she reminisced and said on what she'll miss about the women's collegiate volleyball wars. "Siyempre, sobrang sayang kasi it was do-or-die for us and we died. But, kinulang lang kami, lumaban pa rin naman kami. 'Yung third set namin was grabe, 'yun 'yung mami-miss ko sa UAAP -- 'yung feeling na kita mo na lahat ng teammates mo lumalaban, nagtutulong-tulong. We fought 'til the end." When asked about her experience with the team, Maraguinot calls her stint "life changing", adding that her years with the squad made her a better person.  Maraguinot, who concludes her run with Ateneo alongside coach Tai Bundit, who also announced his exit from the team, says she hopes that the team she had just left can finish the job in the following seasons. She also thanked her Thai mentor, for the countless sacrifices he had made with the team, but understands his plight and only hopes only the best for the coach. "Sobrang laki nang ginawa sa akin ni coach. Kundi dahil sa kanya, di ako ganito maglaro. It's sad na he's gonna leave, pero he has his family back home," Maraguinot mentioned. "Marami na siyang na-sacrifice for us, I guess it's time for him to spend his time back home kasi lumalaki 'yung mga anak niya without him." Now that their season is through, the volleyball acknowledged that is was mission accomplished for the team -- as they only aimed for a spot in the Final Four, a step lower since they had made the Finals in six consecutive seasons, winning twice.  "At the start of the season, goal lang namin was to reach the Final Four. Alam namin 'yung kulang sa team, 'yung capabilities noong start. But then, as the days went, ang laking nang naging improvement. Sobrang laki nang in-improve in just a year. Next year, kaya na nila 'yan. For sure, magi-improve pa 'yan." In talking about her future plans, Maraguinot said that she has not yet decided on playing in the pro leagues, but is looking forward to the national team tryouts, since she was one of the 34 players given an invitation for a crack at making the prestigious roster for the Asian Games. --   Follow this writer on Twitter, @philipptionary.     .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 21st, 2018

HEADS UP: 10 sporting events to watch out for in 2018

2017 has come and gone, and it delivered some exciting sporting moments that has every sports fan clamoring for more. Worry not, though, as 2018 looks primed to satisfy even the most die-hard Pinoy sports aficionado with its bevy of local and international sporting events. Let's welcome the upcoming year with 10 of the most exciting sporting events to watch out for this 2018.   NCAA 93 & UAAP 80 VOLLEYBALL The cagers are out, and the spikers are in. Volleyball season begins this January 4 with NCAA season 93, followed by the 81st season of the UAAP this February. NCAA volleybelles are once again ready to take center court, and the defending women's champion Arellano University Lady Chiefs, led by heavy hitters Jovie Prado and Regine Arocha are banking on their undisputed team play to propel them to another title. Playing inspired volleyball throughout the season, the Lady Chiefs stunned the thrice-to-beat San Sebastian Lady Stags in the Finals last year, ultimately ending Grethcel Soltones' collegiate career with a dud. Rising stars like San Beda's Ces Racraquin, JRU's Karen Montojo also make the upcoming NCAA volleyball season worth waiting for. UAAP volleyball begins a month later the NCAA tournament, but expect the field to be even more tumultuous. With no clear-cut number 2 team to challenge the two-time defending champions DLSU Lady Spikers, it will be a toss-up against basically the other seven schools to step up. Dangerous squads include the much-improved Adamson Lady Falcons, last year's pleasant surprise UST, the dynastic Ateneo Lady Eagles, and the intact NU Lady Bulldogs and FEU Lady Tamaraws. NBA ALL-STAR GAME & 2018 NBA FINALS The annual showcase of the NBA's brightest stars just got a major revamp. That's right, the league has done away with the traditional East-West teams, and will now have a playground-type pool selection of players between its two captains when the exhibition tips off in Los Angeles. This raises a lot of interesting questions: Will the captains pick their teammates or will they go with a more controversial pick and select a rival? Will we able to know the order of the draft? Will this actually work in making the game better? While answers to those questions might not be answered until a few months, one thing's for sure, the NBA Finals, the spectacle that actually counts, will be epic. Will we be treated to Golden State Warriors vs Cleveland Cavaliers Pt. 4? Or will another squad swoop in to spoil the party? The league has indeed improved, with surprising teams like the Milwaukee Bucks, the Indiana Pacers, the Detroit Pistons out in the East already staking claim to playoff spots, and the Wild, Wild, West staying true to its monicker. The Houston Rockets and the perennial powerhouse San Antonio Spurs are still the favorites to pull the rug under the Warriors, while the Oklahoma City Thunder is right behind. Either way, with months of hoops already invested in it, the NBA Finals will surely be another explosive one, as it always is.   HOMECOMING QUEEN Alyssa Valdez spent the majority of 2017 overseas, spreading her wings in Taiwan with volleyball club Attack Line. This 2018 though, The Phenom plans on staying in the Philippines, armed with two year’s worth of international experience to focus on her home club team in the Creamline Cool Smashers.  "Next year, I'm planning to focus sa Creamline. Just this year, I travelled a lot talaga. They supported me throughout, esepcially doon sa National Team stint ko. They sacrificed a lot for me talaga. I think I have to focus sa team ko talaga,” she said last week.Alyssa Valdez just got scarier.   PINOY HOOP DREAMS: REMY MARTIN, KOBE PARAS  Two proudly Pinoy ballers based in the U.S. set out this 2018 to continue shooting for our island nation’s humble hoop dreams. Kobe Paras is still serving residency this 2017-2018 season with the California State University-Northridge Matadors, but his development is sure to be a joy to watch. The 6’6” Pinoy swingman accomplished a tour of duty with Gilas Pilipinas earlier in the year, and many Pinoys saw why we should all be excited about high-flying forward. Remy Martin, a 5’11” point guard dazzled in his first few games with the Arizona State Sun Devils, with his athleticism, explosiveness and feisty defense. The Filipino-American cager is proud of his roots and hopes to represent flag and country with Gilas Pilipinas in the future.   WHO (OR WHAT) IS NEXT FOR MANNY PACQUIAO? The never-ending saga of what’s next for Manny Pacquiao looks like it'll seep into 2018.  Following a rather controversial loss to Australian boxer Jeff Horn, Pacquiao has been “courting” the likes of Floyd Mayweather Jr. for a rematch, even taking to Instagram to ”greet” MMA superstar Conor McGregor before finally admitting that he’s been in talks with the Irish fighter’s camp. Whether he actually retires from boxing for good, or takes on another foe in the squared circle, one thing’s for sure: we’ll all have our eyes on Manny Pacquiao’s next move.   2018 WORLD CUP RUSSIA™ After four years, the best of world football will once again converge, this time in Russia to crown the Kings of the beautiful sport. The stage is set, the groups are finalized, and the 32 squads are promising the best 30-day football extravaganza in the hopes of dethroning defending champions Germany this June. Some group stage clashes to look out for are Germany vs Mexico, England vs Belgium, Portugal vs Spain, to name a few. June couldn’t come soon enough.   CHRISTIAN STANDHARDINGER'S PBA DEBUT No PBA rookie has probably come into the league as pro-ready as the Filipino-German standout Christian Standhardinger. The 6’9” big man was the consensus top overall pick of the 2017 PBA draft, and was also at the center of the controversial trade that sent Kia Picanto’s rights to the number 1 selection to the already-dominant San Miguel. While the trade did go down, so did former commissioner Chito Narvasa. Standhardinger’s entry to the PBA has come at a cost, but San Miguel is more than ready to wait one more conference to bulk up their already stacked squad. Seeing Standharinger play alongside 6’11” center and reigning MVP June Mar Fajardo, versatile forward Arwind Santos, and the Beermen’s bevy of guards in Alex Cabagnot, Marcio Lassiter, and Chris Ross, is definitely a sight to see, just look at how he's tearing it up in the ASEAN Basketball League.    2018 ASIAN GAMES INDONESIA The Philippines’ less than stellar performance at the 2017 Southeast Asian Games was met with widespread flak. Not directed at our athletes however, but aimed at our sports development and governing body for its subpar work in getting our sports representatives ready. While the 2018 Asian Games isn’t so far away, a handful of Pinoy medalists from the SEA Games are going into the continental meet with high hopes. After dominating the SEA Games’ triathlon event, our Filipino endurance athletes, led by gold medalists Kim Mangrobang, and Nikko Huelgas, are once again primed to take home hardware. Marathoner Mary Joy Tabal, and boxers John Marvin, and Eumir Marcial, all gold medalists at Malaysia, are all bright spots that could soon unravel into full-fledged stars come 2018.   GILAS PILIPINAS IN THE FIBA WORLD CUP QUALIFIERS It’s official, basketball is coming home to the Philippines this 2023 by way of the FIBA World Cup, but Gilas Pilipinas will first have to try its luck in the 2019 meet. After dealing with Chinese Taipei and Japan this 2017 for a perfect 2-0 slate in the qualifiers, Gilas Pilipinas still has to face the Japanese anew, and the powerhouse Australian team early in 2018. A good showing against these squads will help Gilas strengthen its bid to international basketball’s biggest stage before we actually host the event in six years’ time.   UAAP 81 BASKETBALL UAAP season 80 just came to an end, but the next season just got way more interesting. Aside from the title defense of the intact Ateneo Blue Eagles and their ongoing rivalry with La Salle, a certain move by a coach has shaken up the league. With Aldin Ayo reportedly accepting the job as the new head coach of the struggling University of Sto. Tomas, we might just be witnesses to the rebirth of the once proud basketball program under the fiery mentor. That, and the way the DLSU Green Archers can adjust from the departure of Ayo and former two-time MVP Ben Mbala, key cogs to their season 79 championship run. The tight race for the MVP award will also be one to watch, with Mbala gone, it’s up to the local stars to step up to the challenge......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 31st, 2017

Six standout local volleybelles of 2017

We’ve seen them shine this year whether in the collegiate stage, in the club leagues or even in the international scene. These six Pinay volleyball players took the sport’s limelight in the year that’s about to end.     DESIREE CHENG Desiree Cheng came into De La Salle University during the time bitter rival Ateneo de Manila University got the Lady Spikers’ number. From Seasons 76 to 77, Cheng saw her team fall prey to the might of the Lady Eagles in the UAAP Finals. Then redemption came in Season 78. Unfortunately, the 5-foot-8 spiker was forced to watch from the sidelines with an ACL tear as her crew reclaimed the crown. A year after, Cheng got her biggest break. DLSU lost most of its veteran core after Season 78 and needed another scoring option. Cheng heeded the call. Though Cheng struggled at the start of the eliminations, the hitter slowly got her groove back and delivered when DLSU needed offense in their sixth straight championship showdown against Ateneo. Cheng was the X-factor for the Ramil De Jesus-mentored squad during the series. Her contributions both on offense and floor defense played a huge part in the Lady Spikers’ series sweep of the Lady Eagles for the school’s 10th title. Cheng also helped F2 Logistics claim the Cargo Movers’ breakthrough Philippine Superliga Grand Prix title and a runner-up finish in the All-Filipino Conference.   ALYSSA VALDEZ Although Alyssa Valdez failed to claim a crown in the Premier Volleyball League this year and a continued title drought since 2016, the Phenom’s magic remains. She can still fill up game venues whenever she takes the court and 2017 proved as the former Queen Eagles’ biggest year in terms of her flourishing volleyball career. Valdez brought her talents abroad, landing a stint with 3BB Nakornnont in the Thai League and in the Thai-Denmark Superleague where her team finished third in both tournaments. After her appearance in Thailand, Valdez donned the Creamline jersey and led the Rebisco franchise to a bronze medal finish both in the PVL Reinforced and Open conferences. Valdez also had another tour of duty, playing for the national team in the AVC Asian Women’s Senior Volleyball Championship and the 29th Southeast Asian Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The 24-year old hitter got another international gig when she was tapped by Attack Line to play in the Chinese-Taipei Volleyball League.          Outside volleyball, Valdez has a blooming relationship with basketball star Kiefer Ravena. If she’s not busy with her volleyball and other commitments, Valdez also drew attention as one of the newest member of the so-called PBA players’ WAGS (wives and girlfriends) cheering for Ravena and the NLEX Road Warriors.      DAWN MACANDILI She may be only 5-foot tall but Dawn Macandili stood alongside Asia’s volleyball giants this year. The De La Salle University libero was the catalyst in the Lady Spikers’ back-to-back UAAP championship run. Her pesky floor defense frustrated DLSU’s rivals while giving her teammates a good first ball to operate their lethal offense.  But her biggest showing was when she landed a spot in the national team that competed in the AVC Asian Senior Women’s Volleyball Championship and in the Kuala Lumpur SEA Games. A first-timer donning the national colors, Macandili did not disappoint as she earned the respect and admiration of Japanese coaches and trainers during the Nationals’ training camp in Japan. She performed even better when the PHI hosted the AVC Asian Seniors. Ms. Everywhere gave teams like Asian powerhouse Vietnam, Kazakhstan, South Korea and Thailand a hard time with her floor defense. All her efforts caught the eyes of the AVC tournament officials and she was rewarded with the historic 2nd Best Libero award. She made the final list of in the national team that participated in the SEA Games. Back in the local scene, Macandili helped F2 Logistics to runner-up finish in the PSL All-Filipino Conference and a breakthrough crown in the Grand Prix.    JAJA SANTIAGO Tall, powerful and versatile, Jaja Santiago is a force to reckon with.  At 6-foot-5, Santiago dominated the Premier Volleyball League Collegiate Conference as she led the National University Lady Bulldogs to a perfect championship run. She also bagged the conference’s Most Valuable Player award. Though NU failed to make it in the Final Four of UAAP for the second straight year, Santiago’s effort for the Lady Bulldogs was rewarded with a third straight Best Attacker award to go with the Best Scorer and Best Blocker recognitions. In the PSL, Santiago was a consistent scorer for the Foton Tornadoes in the All-Filipino Conference and the Grand Prix. Under the tutelage of Serbian import Moro Branislav, Santiago became an even more dangerous and versatile player. Aside from her natural position as a middle blocker, she can now wreak havoc on both wings the puts her height advantage to good use. She made it into the national team that competed in the AVC Asian Seniors and SEA Games and was the Nationals’ scoring ace. Santiago received an offer from Thai powerhouse Bangkok Glass but declined the offer to play in her last year with the Lady Bulldogs.             KIM FAJARDO Setter Kim Fajardo left winning legacy when she played her swan song for DLSU. It took her a few months to decide to play her fifth year with the Lady Spikers. Leading a young crew after the departure of the core of the Season 78 championship squad, Fajardo faced a tough challenge in the Taft-based squad’s title-retention bid. But the Batanguena proved her worth as a leader and the skipper rallied the Lady Spikers back into the Finals in a sixth straight collision against bitter rival Ateneo. Fajardo’s composure carried DLSU in a tough Game 1 match and again in the five-set title-clincher to complete the Lady Spikers’ series sweep of the Lady Eagles. She earned a spot in the national team as a starting setter. Fajardo steered F2 Logistics to its first PSL Grand Prix crown bagged the conference’s Best Setter award. She helped the Cargo Movers to a runner-up finish in the All-Filipino Conference.     JOVIELYN PRADO Silent but deadly. Jovielyn Prado may not be the typical vocal leader but her presence inside the court is enough to rally the Arellano University Lady Chiefs to meet their goals. The outside hitter proved her worth to the Lady Chiefs when she led the Legarda-based squad back on the NCAA women’s volleyball throne. A year removed from the title, Arellano U turned to Prado to provide the spark the Lady Chiefs needed to make another shot at the crown. Consistent, efficient and effective, Prado delivered for the Obet Javier-mentored squad. Arellano U advanced in the stepladder semifinals and dethroned College of St. Benilde to set up a date with thrice-to-beat, three-time Most Valuable Player Grethcel Soltones-led San Sebastian College. Undaunted even with a great series disadvantage, Prado played her best three games of the season to power the Lady Chiefs to an impressive sweep of the Lady Stags. Prado continued her great performance in the PVL Reinforced and Open Conference playing for the Power Smashers. She then bannered the Lady Chiefs to a bronze medal finish in the Collegiate Conference at the expense of UAAP team Adamson University.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles   .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 28th, 2017

Asian Games: Philippines inexperience showed in loss to Thailand, says Valdez

Alyssa Valdez and Jaja Santiago of womens volleyball team of the Philippine celebrated after scoringThailand opponent during their first game in the 18th Asian Games Jakarta Palembang. Photo from P.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philippinetimesRelated NewsAug 20th, 2018

Asian Games: Philippines’ ‘inexperience’ showed in loss to Thailand, says Valdez

JAKARTA---The Philippine women's volleyball team marked its return to Asian Games actionon Sundayafternoon by getting a clinical dismantling from regional power Thailand. The straight sets loss certainly leaves a bad taste in the mouth, considering that people back home are expecting more from this glamorous all-star team to do better, never mind if it hasn't played at this level in the last 36 years. It should, at the very least, dampen the spirits of the members of the team. But not Alyssa Valdez. "The talent is there, you all saw that we can play with them," Valdez told the InquirerSundaynight, referring to a close first set shave the had the Filipinos blowing a 9-2 lead before ...Keep on reading: Asian Games: Philippines’ ‘inexperience’ showed in loss to Thailand, says Valdez.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsAug 20th, 2018

Volleybelles eye wins vs Hong Kong, Indonesia

The Philippine women’s volleyball team is back in the Asian Games after over three decades of absence, and Alyssa Valdez and her teammates hope to pull off a surprise with their 10-day Spartan training in Okagawa, Japan......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsAug 17th, 2018