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Ateneo s Fab 5: The Fearless Underdogs of UAAP Volleyball

Newly-appointed head coach Roger Gorayeb looked at his line-up heading into UAAP Season 71. A champion mentor of NCAA powerhouse San Sebastian College - Recoletos, Gorayeb had in his hands a gargantuan task of rebuilding Ateneo de Manila University women’s volleyball program. Just a few months before, Ronald Dulay, the mentor before him landed a trio of blue chip recruits who were fresh from a successful stint in the Palarong Pambansa. Angeline "Dzi" Gervacio, Fille Saint Cainglet and Jamenea "Jem" Ferrer just joined the Katipunan-based squad. Gervacio and Cainglet were products of St. Scholastica's College in Manila while Ferrer was a gem from Hope Christian School under girl’s volleyball guru Jerry Yee. Looking at his 15-woman line-up with the season just a few months ahead, Gorayeb knew he needed to do something drastic. The roster just won’t do. Talking to then athletic director Ricky Palou and team manager Tony Boy Liao, the mentor told the team officials that he intended to cut five players from the list. One could just imagine the shock in their faces. “Nakita ko may line-up pero player-playeran lang yung ganoon bang tipo, 15 ata yun. Sabi ko ‘Magtatanggal ako ng lima then magre-recruit ako,’” he said. The three rookies were in. Middle Bea Pascual, Kara Acevedo and libero Steph Gabriel retained their spots. He needed more. “Sa mga tinira kong players, si Kara Acevedo sabi niya, ‘Coach mayroong player ang ICA (Immaculate Conception Academy) na gumraduate naka-exam na rito pasado.’ Sabi ko, ‘Sige papuntahin mo,’” said Gorayeb. It was Gretchen Ho. “Sa akin kasi ang talagang nagyaya sa akin si coach Ron Dulay. Si Kara Acevedo teammate ko and she’s been recruited by Ateneo. So one summer wala akong magawa naki-train lang ako noon tapos nagustuhan nila ang laro ko and then fourth year noong graduate na ako I passed the ACET then niyayaya na nila ako,” she said. “Then nagbago ng coach na si Coach Roger and dun niya ako nakita.”   “Pagdating ko ng March (sa Ateneo) wala na akong way para maka-recruit pa. Ang nangyari yung tatlo accepted na kaagad. Si Gretchen tinanong ko sabi ko, ‘ano ba ang laro mo?’ Sabi niya the usual panggitna, tres,” Gorayeb recalled. “So sinubukan ko pero ang laro niya tres hindi quick. Siya panggitna pero hindi quicker na gusto ko saka yung height niya (maliit). Kaya lang si Gretchen takbo ng takbo, mahilig magtatakbo so sabi ko sige pwede na yan. Wala namang player na during that time. So kinuha ko si Gretchen.” Gorayeb just needed just one more. “Ngayon nagkaroon ng STCAA (Southern Tagalog Calabarzon athletic association) eh kulang pa ako ng isa, wala akong panggitna. Ang gitna ko during that time si Bea lang tapos si Gretchen so wala akong pamalit. So naisipan ko may nakita ako sa STCAA,” he said. He spotted a lanky player from Canossa Academy-Lipa, Aillysse Nacachi. “Sabi ko kay Sir Tony pagtyagaan ko na lang ito kahit hindi naman kalakasan at wala naman na rin akong choice na makapili kasi rush ang pagdating ko dyan. Nakiusap lang sila sa akin na magbuo ako ng team kasi si Ronald nag-resign,” said Gorayeb. Another freshman could’ve had ended up with Ateneo, Hope’s libero Melissa Gohing. But a few obstacles prevented her from fulfilling her promise to join Ferrer in Ateneo. She instead chose to join the ladies in green and white in Taft.    SOMETHING PROMISING December 7, 2008. Far Eastern University Gym. Excitement filled the air. Fans, mostly volleyball purists and some who just came to support their classmates or were just curious to see a new spectacle after the basketball season ended, slowly settled in their seats for the women’s division’s second game. It was Adamson University, the previous year’s runner-up, which just visited the turf of their arch nemesis and defending champion FEU, which was led by that era’s finest and most popular volleybelle Rachel Anne Daquis. Fans wanted to see if the Lady Falcons still had the same firepower they had the previous season with the loss of top setter Janet Serafica and power hitter Sang Laguilles. A rookie-laden Ateneo squad should be easy pickings with Angela Benting, rookie Pau Soriano and libero Lizlee Anne Gata in the roster. Besides the Lady Falcons got the Lady Eagles’ number. Or so they thought. “Naalala ko nu’ng time namin sinasabi sa amin ng seniors namin na, ‘Hay naku ang lakas ng Adamson, never kami nanalo dyan,’” Cainglet, now happily married to film director Lino Cayetano and with three beautiful children, recalled.  But the Lady Eagles stunned Adamson in the opening set. The Lady Falcons took the next two frames. Ateneo stole the fourth.  “Ako naalala ko ano eh, parang alam namin na lahat kasi kami palaban. Nasa amin yun. Tapos binigyan kaming lahat ng chance to be in the first six so parang dream come true,” said Ho, now an ABS-CBN host. “Naalala ko rin na palaban kaming lahat kumbaga nothing to lose eh so ang ano namin, sumasabay kami sa laro and nu’ng nakita na namin na ‘Ay kaya pala natin ‘to guys. Kaya pala naming lumaban.’” Still, Adamson had the upper hand in experience. The Lady Falcons, used to pressure and were steady at crunch time, outlasted Ateneo.           The young Katipunan-based squad fell short, 25-22, 22-25, 15-25, 25-15, 8-15. But for the Fab 5, it was a loss that felt like a resounding victory. “Parang sobrang natutuwa kami and everybody in the crowd, kaya siguro kami natawag na Fab 5 kasi rookies kami pero kahit ganoon palaban kami,” said Ho. “Saka close game. Five sets yun.” However, it was the first of five five-set matches that Ateneo will drop that season including one in the second round against the Manilla Santos-bannered De La Salle University. “Pero ang problema di kami nananalo ng five sets. Parang ilan lang ang naipanalo namin na ganoon. Feeling ko na-overwhelm kami na ‘Uy nananalo tayo.’ May ganoong disbelief ng konti pero alam namin na may ibubuga kami,” said Ho. “Definitely, our rookie season was full of five-set matches. It was tough, we felt like we were so close, but still so far away. At some point, it gave us frustration also. We just couldn't figure out that time what is it that's still lacking because we couldn't win the five-set matches,” according to Nacachi. “People said, it was because the team was still so inexperienced. We still didn't have the tenacity unlike of those more matured teams. But we didn't take it as bad, it was a learning experience for us all at the end. We had to learn how to develop that finishing will to be able to win games like that in the future.” The Fab 5 finished their rookie season with a 6-8 slate at fifth spot.   ‘MAY MEDAL NA TAYO’ Gorayeb remembered on their second year the look on Pascual’s face in their last elimination game match against Adamson. Already wrapping up their first win over the Lady Falcons, Pascual was giddy. “Natatawa nga ako dyan kay Bea kasi papanalo na kami nu’n tapos sumesenyas na siya ng tres. Sabi ko, ‘Hoy anong ginagawa mo?’ Yun pala sobrang saya na niya kasi for the first time in 30 years magkaka-medal na sila,” he said. It was the most important match of the season for the Lady Eagles. With the Fab 5 already in their sophomore year, Ateneo was already making great strides. The Lady Eagles closed that season’s elims with five straight wins capped with a victory over Adamson. Ateneo posted a 10-4 win-loss mark to enter the Final Four legitimately. “Ang nangyari kasi nu’ng time nila Charo (Soriano) kaya sila nakapasok sa semis kasi may nag-squeal na si (Jacq) Alarca di pala naka-enroll nu’n kaya na-forfeit mga laro ng La Salle,” said Gorayeb. The Fab 5 proved that they were not just a bunch of much-hyped up pretty faces. They backed it up with their skills on court. It didn’t matter that Ateneo were swept by eventual champion University of Sto. Tomas in the Final Four.      But the podium finish of Season 72 was short-lived. Adamson got its revenge in the last game of Season 73 elims, bumping off the Lady Eagles in the podium finish. The loss put Ateneo in a collision course with the twice-to-beat DLSU, who could’ve completed an elims sweep if not only for a forfeited match against University of the East after UAAP found out that Carmela Garbin and Clarisse Yeung participated in a ‘ligang labas’ while the season was onoing, in the Final Four. Ateneo gave the Lady Spikers a scare before succumbing in another heartbreaking five-set match. The Lady Eagles finished fourth but that lone semis game gave Ateneo and its maturing Fab 5 enough experience to dream for something big – A ticket into the Finals.      ‘HINOG NA KAYO’ The first three years saw the gradual improvement for Ateneo. But Season 74 proved to be the turning point for the Fab 5. A fresh new recruit from University of Sto. Tomas high school, who just completed a year of residency, came into picture and with the Fab 5 armed with years of experience, the Lady Eagles’ fate will forever be changed. Alyssa Valdez, a highly recruited open spiker just like Gervacio, Cainglet-Cayetano and Ferrer years back, gave renewed excitement for the Ateneo faithful. “Alyssa's joining with Ateneo was a great turning point for us. We needed as much support we can get, and Alyssa's entrance to the team was a great boost to the team's morale,” said Nacachi. “The girl is a powerhouse and we felt like with her presence, the team finally became solid.” “We were able to play around with the positions and the rotations, since we had different versatile open players who can also greatly play other roles,” she added. “We were also able to formulate a lot of plays and attacks because Alyssa can generally do all kinds; open, running, quick, name it all. She gave the team the power and the versatility that we previously lacked from the past seasons.” Social media was just gaining traction then but the Lady Eagles were already on the radar of volleyball purists through online forums. For the first time, Ateneo was considered a legitimate contender.   The Fab 5 proved it by winning 11 games in the elimination round, losing only to UST once and dropping two against the Lady Spikers. Valdez’s arrival gave Ferrer an even broader option on offense. It eased the scoring load off the shoulders of Cainglet and Gervacio, who was then moved to an opposite position. “I guess sakto lang din yung dating niya because by that time Kara Acevedo graduated so someone had to fill in her spot so coach Roger decided for me to move to utility or opposite,” said Gervacio. “And then sakto Alyssa naman could fill in the spot na other open spiker.” “So timing din na we had all the pieces put together at the right time,” she added. With a good performance in the elims despite missing a legit middle in Bea Pascual and the entry of Aerieal Patnongon barred by academic problems, Ateneo finished second and for the first-time was armed with a twice-to-beat advantage in the stepladder semifinals. The Lady Eagles faced an experienced Tigresses side in the last stepladder semis stage. UST just came from a hard-fought four-set do-or-die match against FEU and were banking on their four-set win over Ateneo in the second round to force another sudden death. Ateneo’s date with destiny was sealed with a four-set win over the Tigresses, who then bid goodbye to Maika Ortiz and Judy Anne Caballejo. “Pinu-push na rin kami ni Coach Roger noon eh, ‘Hinog na kayo ngayon. Kasi dalawang taon na lang, kailangan makapasok na kayo sa Finals,’” said Ho. “Somehow senior na rin kami,” added Cainglet.  “Season 74 was really the target season for us to be in the finals and target even to win the championship,” according to Nacachi. “During this time, we were already thinking we could not afford to not go in the finals.” “So it was with our mindset and our level of commitment that we were able to finally reach our goal of reaching the finals,” she added. “We had enough experience that time already, and it was really time for us to show the level of game maturity the team had obtained from the past seasons.” But then they had to face an unbeaten team. Unscathed in 14 games, De La Salle University was poised to complete a perfect season. The Lady Eagles spoiled it. Ferrer outplayed DLSU setter Mika Esperanza, 57-42, in excellent sets as Ateneo handed the Lady Spikers its first loss after 25 straight victories in a come-from-behind 23-25, 28-26, 25-23, 25-17, Finals opener win. Witnessed by 3,002 spectators inside the then The Arena in San Juan, all of the Fab 5 produced points. Cainglet had 19 behind Valdez’s 24, Gervacio scored 12, Ho had 10, Nacachi finished with five while Ferrer had one. Gorayeb made a big gambit and it worked. “Dahil sa wala kong panggitna, yung laro namin ng La Salle, ginawa kong quicker si Alyssa. Kasi si Alyssa nakakapalo. Nagulat si Ramil (de Jesus) dun.” It was a big win. A huge upset. Unfortunately, Ateneo needed to win two more.  DLSU held a thrice-to-beat advantage.   THAT SWAG After Ateneo made a miracle in Game One, fans began to feel a new rivalry born. The attendance spiked. From just 3,000 spectators, the gate attendance more than doubled its size. The interest was there. Fans of traditional powers began to notice the Lady Eagles as a rising team. For the first time, a squad with no previous championship experience except for a title during the Marcos era in a different collegiate league, made a giant jolt. Everybody wanted to see what these girls would do next.    The Lady Eagles, still high on adrenaline after their Game 1 upset, took the opening set in Game 2. But just like in their opener, a well-experienced DLSU squad adjusted to take the next three frames to move a step closer to a repeat crown. With then Rookie of the Year Ara Galang, Season Most Valuable Player Aby Marano, an intimidating Michele Gumabao and a very efficient Finals MVP Cha Cruz teaming up for the kill, the Lady Spikers ripped Ateneo apart in Game 3 in straight sets, 25-16, 25-22, 25-13. “Sabi nga ni Dzi na nadyan na lahat eh. So I guess noong Season 74 nandoon na pero may kulang pa rin,” said Ho. “I guess we we’re able to make it to the Finals pero wala pa kaming championship experience.” Ferrer agreed. "Siguro ang kulang yung championship experience kasi nasa La Salle na ‘yun eh. Ilang years na silang nagpa-finals, nag-champion and for Ateneo doon pa lang namin sinimulan," said the three-time Best Setter. Lacking championship experience is one thing, but Ateneo during that time wasn’t ready for DLSU’s most feared weapon: the Lady Spikers’ swag.  “They have that swag,” said Gervacio. “Everyone knows about it naman. It’s really coach Ramil’s style talaga kasi as I remember when we were first year, four out of six of the players inside the court were rookies and even if we go against the powerhouses UST, FEU, Adamson, hindi sila yung nakikita nyo na kapag championship na rivalry, na swag, angas, stare down. Pero La Salle talaga kahit sino ang kalaban nila they’ll bring that attitude inside the court.” That Finals series cemented a new rivalry that will become one of the most celebrated in the sport. “I think it also helped that Ateneo-La Salle basketball didn’t face also,” said Gervacio. “Siyempre nandoon ang hunger for the rivalry eh and timely din na its been Ateneo-La Salle na rin sa volleyball.”   CLOSING A CHAPTER The Fab 5 were now in their fifth and last year. They wanted to leave a winning legacy. The pieces were already there. Gorayeb had at his disposal five seniors, a rising star in Valdez, a sophomore middle in Amy Ahomiro, a versatile Ella De Jesus, a steady libero in Denden Lazaro and a new kind of weapon – a massive crowd that can turn any venue into a sea of blue.              As expected, the second installment of the Ateneo-DLSU rivalry was set into place. Both sweeping their semis opponents. The Lady Spikers crushed National University while the Lady Eagles shot down Adamson. Game One was a shocker. DLSU heading into the Finals are on a 14-game roll but were stunned in the first two sets with Ateneo stepping on the gas. But a string of miscues, mostly from the service line, did the Lady Eagles in as they allowed the Lady Spikers to force a decider. DLSU, smelling blood, punished Ateneo to eke out a 20-25, 17-25, 25-22, 25-22, 15-6, victory inside the Big Dome witnesses by 17,342-strong gate attendance. Then the series transferred to a newly-built, state-of-the-art Mall of Asia Arena that drew a crowd of 18,799. The first two frames were frustrating for the Lady Eagles.   Ateneo came back to life in the third set to gain a 9-5 lead. But DLSU easily erased it with Ateneo crumbling under pressure. The Lady Spikers were on an onslaught. Sophomore Galang pushed DLSU at matchpoint with a cold-blooded ace that went in a few inches from the baseline. The score, 24-16. It was a tense moment for the Fab 5. A long rally ensued in the next play. Gervacio, with all her might pounded a kill. Her hand making a great contact on the ball off Ferrer’s backset.     Smack! The ball ricocheted off the hands of DLSU’s Wensh Tiu before falling on the same landing area of Gervacio, who tried to dive for a dig together with Lazaro. DLSU swept Ateneo, 25-23, 25-20, 25-16. Game over.          “Kahit hindi kami nanalo alam naming ibinigay namin ang lahat namin, all-out talaga kaya wala kaming pagsisisi,” said Ho. It was the end of the Fab 5 era, but they left more than what any of them could have imagined. "I remember so many people or fans telling me that they started really watching UAAP Volleyball because of our batch. And that is really touching and fulfilling to know. Knowing that you were able to leave an impact like that to people. We were not able to bring even a single championship to our school, Ateneo, but we were able to touch a lot of people's hearts despite that," Nacachi shared. The Fab 5 closed a colorful chapter of Ateneo volleyball in tears. They were there during the Lady Eagles’ birth pains. They labored. They shed tears, blood and sweat. They laid the foundation for something big. The Fab 5 planted the seeds that would eventually bear fruit and would change the course of Ateneo women’s volleyball program forever. Glory didn’t happen during their time. It started in theirs.    Amidst the roar of the crowd, the falling confetti, banging of drums and the echoing chant of ‘Animo La Salle’ from the sea of green, the Fab 5 hugged each other tight. They found comfort in each other. It was their time to say goodbye. For those who remained – Valdez, Lazaro, Ahomiro, De Jesus – the defeat added fuel to their already blazing desire to bring glory for the blue and white. They were the next in line, heirs to unfinished business. WATCH: FAB 5 Reunion Part 1 and Part 2 --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource: abscbn abscbnApr 20th, 2018

In Focus: Former Ateneo Queen Eagle Shares Her UAAP Fearless Forecast

Find out which basketball teams will make it to the Final 4 according to Danica Jose!.....»»

Category: lifestyleSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 16th, 2018

PVL: I don’t care –- Almadro on bashers

Ateneo-Motolite head coach Oliver Almadro isn’t bothered with the flak he received from fans on social media after giving Deanna Wong a tongue-lashing Saturday in a straight sets loss to BanKo in the Premier Volleyball League Season 2 Open Conference. “I don’t care!” Almadro quickly answered even before reporters could finish their question about him trending on social media as he entered the pressroom for a post-game interview Sunday. Twitter went abuzz Saturday night following a clip during Ateneo-Motolite’s timeout where the very animated Almadro lashed out at Wong as the Lady Eagles trailed the Perlas Spikers, 7-11, in the third set with BanKo controlling the match, 2-0. Grabe naman. pic.twitter.com/H3CtjifrnI — PINOY BALIBOLISTA (@pinoybalibol) November 10, 2018 Fans went to social media to express their criticisms on Almadro. But the mentor, who steered the Blue Eagles to three straight UAAP titles, just brushed everything off.      “Few people don’t matter for me, what’s important for me is I use them as our strength,” said Almadro, whose squad recovered from a 24-26, 22-25, 16-25 loss to the Perlas Spikers with a 25-23, 16-25, 25-14, 25-20 win over Adamson-Akari. “I use them as a creative criticism for me and of course I don’t put energy in the things I don’t have control rather I put all my energy at things I have control, which is my team so yun ang importante.” Almadro said that even before the game his team was already dealing with off-court issues. “Natatawa ako kasi hindi naman nila alam ‘yung problema namin e, we have internal problems prior to the match medyo pagod kasi kami. Maraming players ang hindi dapat a-attend yesterday because of biglaang ‘Binhi’ it’s a school activity so talaga three players, four players will not come yesterday so everybody’s bothered,” he explained. “So they don’t know Deanna is bothered, everybody’s bothered pero good thing, Ateneo community, Ateneo professors, Binhi for mentors are really supporting the program so they opted to finish the Binhi earlier so nakapunta lahat pero of course bothered.” The mentor admitted that he took some time reading the fans’ reactions but kept firm on his action to discipline the UAAP Season 80 Best Setter.    “I read all of that but what matters for me sabi ko nga I will sacrifice my kindness so that my players will know what is right or wrong because life is cruel if you will just be kind all the time, they will not understand what is right or wrong,” he said. “As a parent sometimes I have to sacrifice kindness because life is cruel in the end because they have to know is right or wrong.” He scolded Wong, Almadro added, so that the playmaker will know her mistakes for her to address it. Wong only had 13 excellent sets out of 64 attempts against BanKo with five markers and seven digs. To make amends for her subpar performance, Wong tallied 28 excellent sets with four markers against the Lady Falcons. “Now Deanna is in the right position now. Deanna is gambling with the set now. We are receiving right today, so ibig sabihin we learned yesterday,” Almadro pointed out. Upon learning about the bashing he received, Wong apologized to Almadro, who then told his ward not to worry about it. “Deanna cried to me ‘coach sorry’. Bakit ka magso-sorry? It's my job,” he said. “And it’s your job to play now what's important is kaya mong bitbitin yun kaya mong dalhin.” “And what did she do now? She played well, it’s because hindi kami nagpapa-bother sa mga nandiyan. What’s important for us are those who believe in us, those who fight for us win or lose,” Almadro added. “I will always reiterate to my players right motivation, right motivation every time because ‘pag pinasukan ng wrong motivation ang utak mawawala sa pwesto, hindi kikilos. It’s because walang meaning sa ginagawa so kailangan talaga right motivation.” Almadro still gave some kind words to his bashers.   “Those who do not support us when we lose, it’s okay with us. We still pray for them,” he said.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 11th, 2018

Iba ang ambience and level -- Espejo on playing in Japan

Marck Espejo is having the best time of his volleyball career playing for Oita Miyoshi in the Japan V. Premier League. Despite falling short in his first two outings, the Ateneo de Manila University product made his presence felt in the top tier league in one of Asia’s volleyball giants.  “Sobrang saya siyempre pero mahirap din, first international club league ko,” said Espejo in an interview coursed through Virtual Playground volleyball talent head Mark Salamat. The five-time UAAP Most Valuable Player and three-time UAAP champion welcomes the big challenge of playing against the best players and teams in Japan.   “Sobrang iba yung ambience and level nu’ng league if i-compare sa Philippines,” said Espejo, who was feted as the first-ever Philippine Sportswriters Association’s Mr. Volleyball. Espejo debuted with 16 points off 12 kills and four kill blocks in the Weisse Adler’s 15-25, 20-25, 19-25, to Toray Arrows last Saturday. Oita Miyoshi dropped its second game the following day to the Nagano Tridents, 25-21, 25-23, 25-21. Playing for a full season abroad, Espejo admitted that it takes a little time for him to fully adjust not only in the level of play but also with the culture. “Sa pag-adjust naman siyempre mahirap sa start pero kung gusto mo naman ginagawa mo makaka-adjust ka naman kaagad di ba?” he said. “Masaya and very approachable ang team.” Back in the Philippines, his former Ateneo head coach Oliver Almadro has nothing but praises to his protégé from Marikina.  “Dumating man sa kanya ‘to, we’re very proud of him. Goosebumps kami sa ginagawa niya,” he said. “Inspiration ng women’s team ko si Marck Espejo,” added Almadro, who is now calling the shot for the Lady Eagles. “We’re watching his highlights, we’re watching his videos.” “Marck you’re doing a good job and we’re proud of you.” Espejo and Oita Miyoshi will march into action on Saturday against the Toyota Gosei Trefuerza, on the same day sisters Jaja Santiago and Dindin Santiago-Manabat will make their debut in the women’s division for Ageo Medics and Toray Arrows, respectively.     ---  Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 30th, 2018

PVL: I feel old –- Valdez on facing new breed of Lady Eagles

Alyssa Valdez got her first shot at taking on her former college team when Creamline faced Ateneo-Motolite on Sunday. The former Queen Eagle taught the new breed of Lady Eagles a thing or two when she led the Cool Smashers to a straight sets win in the Premier Volleyball League Season 2 Open Conference at the Baliwag Star Arena here.     Going up against new faces except for Bea De Leon, Deanna Wong and Kim Gequillana in the college team that she led to back-to-back UAAP titles in Seasons 76 and 77 before graduating the following season, Valdez felt that like it has been a long time since she left the Katipunan-based squad. “I feel old. Hahaha!” joked Valdez after scoring 19 points in the Cool Smashers’ 25-23, 25-17, 25-14, victory that pushed Creamline’s winning run to six for a 6-1 win-loss slate at solo lead.    Valdez last played for Ateneo back in 2015 together with De Leon, Gequillana, Maddie Madayag and Ponggay Gaston. Kat Tolentino was supposed to debut in Valdez’s last playing year but was sidelined with a knee injury before the start of the season. The three-time UAAP MVP became the face of Ateneo volleyball and the players in the current lineup of the Lady Eagles look up to her. “Well, nakaka-pressure din in a way kasi you have to live na sa mga pressure and sa mga expectations ng mga tao pero that pressure kasi would make you push yourself pa and nai-inspire ka rin sa mga bata,” said Valdez. The Creamline star didn’t hold back against the younger Lady Eagles, scoring all of her points on attacks while showcasing great floor defense with 11 digs.    “Siyempre mga bata ‘yan, iba ‘yung laro ng mga bata, mas mataas ‘yung laro ng mga bata, mas kundisyon sila so ako as mas ate sa kanila will try my best para may mas matutunan pa sila sa akin,” she added. Valdez and the Cool Smashers drew first blood in their first elims meeting but the Creamline open spiker knows that Ateneo-Motolite will surely try to bounce back in their early rematch next week with Tolentino, Madayag and Gaston back for the Lady Eagles. The trio skipped Ateneo-Motolite’s for a community immersion as part of their academic requirement. “Well not naman complete Ateneo team so definitely they’ll gonna bounce back,” said Valdez. “So I guess the real battle will be on Sunday ‘cause everyone’s gonna be there.”       --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 21st, 2018

PVL: Pacres out to prove her worth

Dimdim Pacres is out to prove that she’s still a vital cog for the University of Sto. Tomas. When Tacloban head coach Nes Pamilar asked Tigresses mentor Kungfu Reyes for the services of Pacres, the Cebuana native saw it as an opportunity to make up for her less than stellar performance in the last season of the UAAP.  In just two games with the Fighting Warays in the Premier Volleyball League Season 2 Open Conference, the opposite hitter has been showing her brilliance on offense averaging 19.5 points per outing. On Saturday, Pacres dropped 21 points including 18 from attacks in the Fighting Warays’ 18-25, 25-20, 25-22, 20-25, 15-9, win over Pocari Sweat-Air Force to snap a three-game losing slump to end the first round elimination.  “Malaking opportunity siya kasi doon ko lang ma-prove ulit ‘yung self ko kasi ang panget nga ng pinakita ko nu’ng (UAAP) season,” said Pacres, who joined Tacloban last week together with Jeannie Delos Reyes. The hitter was considered as one of UST’s top hitters heading into Season 80 together with Sisi Rondina and then rookie Fil-Italian Milena Alessandrini especially with EJ Laure sitting out because of a shoulder injury after a great run in Season 79 and in pre-season tournaments. But Pacres admitted that she underperformed in the last UAAP tournament and this is a chance for her to bring back her dangerous form especially with newcomers vying for position in the Tigresses' lineup which include top rookie opposite hitter Eya Laure.     “Kailangan ko talaga i-prove sa kanila at ibalik ko ‘yung sarili ko kung paano ako maglaro sa loob,” said Pacres, who also played in the Philippine Superliga Invitational for Smart. Pacres is one of Pamilar’s replacements for Judith Abil and Seth Rodriguez, who were recalled by the University of the East. “Nakipag-tune up kami sa UST sakto naman na nakausap ko si coach Kungfu at Rev. Fr. (Jannel) Abogado. Nagpaalam ako kay Father so maganda naman ‘yung tanggap niya sabi niya, ‘sige kung kailangan mo na paglaruin mo na,’" said Pamilar. “Actually dalawa ‘yan ‘yung isa (Alina Bicar) naglalaro pa sa Unigames siguro pagbalik ng isa mas magiging buo kami.” Pacres debuted last Wednesday, scoring 18 points in a five-set loss to Ateneo-Motolite. “Kasi naubos ako,” she said of her last outing." Kakabalik ko lang kasi ng laro kasi ang tagal ko nakapahinga kasi simula sa PSL pa ko huling naglaro, sa ust training-training tapos tuneup, pahinga. So kakabalik ko lang talaga as in sa animan.” Against Pocari Sweat, Pacres pounded 18 kills and had three kill blocks including the intangibles on floor defense that helped Tacloban escape with the win. Now steadily jelling with her team, expect Pacres to be at the forefront of the Fighting Warays’ drive for a Final Four spot.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 20th, 2018

PVL: Valdez not closing doors on politics

Alyssa Valdez could be looking at running for public position in the future. With the local elections just a few months away and following volleyball legend Leila Barros being elected as a senator in Brazil, Valdez said that she’s ‘not closing her doors’ to politics.      In fact, she and some local volleyball stars are now in the process of conceptualizing a partylist that aim to promote the welfare of Filipino athletes and nation building through sports.     “You know honestly kami talaga nina Ate Cha (Soriano), mga teammates ko from Ateneo, we really wanted to (form) a partylist,” said the Creamline power hitter. “Gusto talaga namin ang ibang tao na mag-support talaga sa sports. ‘Yun pa lang parang may concept na.” A representation in the House of Representatives, according to Valdez, will give athletes a voice in the government.  “We really wanted to help not just volleyball, siyempre we want the support talaga sa lahat ng sports,” added the three-time UAAP Most Valuable Player.  “Lalo na ako na nakikita ko whenever I go out of the country like Asian Games grabe talaga ang support ng bawat country na nakakalaban namin. So I wanted also na ganoon ang mangyari sa Philippines,” added the national team member.  However, the possibility of running for a position could take a few more years to materialize as Valdez is still enjoying her peak in the sport.  "We are trying to conceptualize pa lang naman,” explained Valdez. “We’re serious but as of now marami pa rin naman nangyayari sa amin sa volleyball kung na-settle muna lahat, so why not di ba?”     Barros a hero Barros endeared herself among the Filipino fans when the talented Brazilian opposite spiker strutted her wares during the country’s hosting of the FIVB Grand Prix in the late 90s early 2000s. With her charm, beauty and incredible power and skill, the 5-foot-10 hitter received a rock star status among adoring fans and became a hero among local volleyball players including most of the country’s stars today. One of them is Valdez.      “Leila Barros siguro is one of the heroes of Philippine volleyball. Isa siya sa talagan hinangaan ng lahat ng tao that’s why we’re all here,” said Valdez, who was just eight years old when Barros last saw action in the country during the 2000 World Grand Prix. “As a volleyball player I’m just really proud na may someone na very strong and brave enough to face another chapter of her life,” she added. Valdez herself has been actively doing civic works through her clinics and support to other foundations.  And her following Barros’ footsteps in public service is not far-fetched. "Siguro hindi naman sa ayaw kong magsalita ng tapos, mga councilor muna, hindi just kidding,” she said. “I really want to help not just volleyball in general but siguro sa nakukuha kong responsibility ko ay hindi lang din naman nali-limit sa volleyball. “Siyempre kailangan mo rin namang maka-experience ng mas madami, si Leila Barros nga ilang taon na rin naman then dun lang din nya na-realize na she’s ready to serve,” Valdez continued. “Hindi naman sa hinihintay ko siguro darating naman ang point na may mag-snap dyan na ‘you really have to serve (the country) after na lang ng volleyball siguro." “I’m not closing my doors but im really happy to help anyone din naman so who knows,” she said.       --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 15th, 2018

UAAP Season 81: Morente cherishes first and last Finals

The journey may be an uphill climb but De La Salle University’s Michelle Morente will definitely cherish the experience of vying for the crown in the UAAP Season 81 women’s beach volleyball tournament. It doesn’t matter if she and partner Tin Tiamzon will take on an unbeaten and three-peat favorite University of Sto. Tomas. What matters for Morente is the fact that she’ll be able to step in the biggest stage of the competition in her first and last stint at the sands as a Lady Spiker. “It will be my first and last. Super excited kasi hindi namin ini-expect na makapasok na kami sa Finals and first time ko pumasok sa finals ng beach volley,” said Morente on Saturday after the Taft-based squad hurdled University of the Philippines’ Justine Dorog and Isa Molde, 21-16, 24-26, 15-9, in the last phase of the stepladder semifinals at the Sands SM by the Bay.    The Lady Spikers clinched a spot in the best-of-three championship on Sunday against the Tigresses pair of three-time Most Valuable Player Sisi Rondina and Blove Barbon. Morente last played in UAAP beach volleyball back in Season 79 for Ateneo de Manila University before transferring to DLSU last year. Morente played alongside Kim Gequillana then while Tiamzon's partner that season was Kim Fajardo. “It’s something new talaga na hopefully, Lord please, ibigay sa amin ni Lord ito,” said Morente, who is also hoping to make the cut in the Lady Spikers indoor volleyball team. Morente and Tiamzon dropped their elims meeting with Rondina and Barbon, 14-21, 14-21. Winning the title which DLSU last held in Season 78 delivered by Fajardo and Cyd Demecillo seemed to be a tall order but Morente hopes that luck will be on their side to duplicate that feat. Fajardo and Demecillo three seasons ago won the crown by beating the Bernadeth Pons and Kyla Atienza Far Eastern University pair, which then also advanced in the Finals outright by going undefeated in the elims.   “Siguro i-try namin i-keep ‘yung composure naming. Nothing to lose naman kasi talagang winork hard namin ito. Ipu-push pa rin namin yung sarili namin we’ll give them a good fight,” said Morente......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 6th, 2018

UAAP Season 81 beach volleyball: Tams march to the Finals outright

Far Eastern University capped its dominance in the elimination round with an emphatic win to advance outright in the Finals while University of Sto. Tomas clinched a twice-to-beat advantage in the stepladder semis of the UAAP Season 81 men’s beach volleyball tournament. The Tamaraws pair of Jude Garcia and Kevin Hadlocon manhandled the Ateneo de Manila University duo of Abail Llenos and Kurt Aguilar, 21-3, 21-5, to complete a seven-game sweep of the elims Friday at the Sands SM by the Bay.  “Pinaghirapan namin ‘tong dalawa makuha, kaya pagdating sa championship pag-iigihan pa namin ng mabuti,” said Garcia, who is looking to complete an unfinished business after falling short of winning the crown in Season 79. “Pangalawang pagkakataon na rin po naming makapasok ng championship ito.” FEU will get a one-day rest before the best-of-three Finals on Sunday. Meanwhile, the Tigers duo Jaron Requiton and Krung Arbasto outlasted the defending champion National University pair of Bryan Bagunas and James Natividad in a come-from-behind, 30-32, 21-12, 15-13, victory under the sweltering heat of the midday sun to secure an advantage in the semis that will start Saturday. The Tigers closed the elims with a 6-1 win-loss record and will take on the survivor between the Bulldogs (5-2) and Adamson University’s Paolo Pablico and Jesus Valdez (4-3), which defeated De La Salle University’s Geraint Bacon and Raphael Sumalinog, 21-18, 21-18. UST broke a 7-7 deadlock with a 5-2 blitz for a three-point lead. NU saved two match points to move within one, 14-13, before Bagunas gave the match away with a service error.       In other result, University of the Philippines’ Nico Consuelo and Mark Millete beat Clifford Inoferio and Alven Aljas of University of the East, 21-15, 21-17. Ateneo, UP and UE finished the season with 2-5 marks while DLSU failed to win a single game.   ---   Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 5th, 2018

UAAP Season 81 beach volleyball: Tigresses halt Lady Bulldogs to near sweep

Defending champion University of Santo Tomas moved on the cusp of completing a seven-match sweep Tuesday in the UAAP Season 81 beach volleyball tournament at Sands SM By The Bay. Sisi Rondina and Babylove Barbon made quick work of National University's Klymince Orillaneda and Antonette Landicho, 21-12, 21-7, before returning in the afternoon with a swift 21-7, 21-11 conquest of Adamson University's Hannah Nicole Infante and Gracelchen Ave. Aside from holding a perfect 6-0 card, the Tigresses have yet to drop a set this season. UST shoots for an outright passage in the best-of-three championship series with a victory over Far Eastern University at 10:40 a.m. on Friday. De La Salle University's Tin Tiamzon and Michelle Morente, meanwhile, overpowered University of the East's Lyen Shan Ritual and Donna Nebrea, 21-4, 21-5.   The Lady Spikers tied the Lady Bulldogs at 4-1, as the two teams were battling for the second Final Four spot as of presstime. In the men's division, FEU's Jude Garcia and Kevin Hadlocon humbled De La Salle's Geraint Bacon and Paul Serrano, 21-11, 21-10, to moved within a win of securing an outright Finals berth. Reigning champions Bryan Bagunas and James Natividad of NU swept Clifford Inoferio and Alven Aljas of UE, 21-16, 21-15, while Krung Arbasto and Jaron Requinton of UST downed Pao Pablico and Jesus Valdez of Adamson University, 23-21, 21-15, to chalk up their fifth wins in six games.   The Bulldogs and the Growling Tigers clash for the twice-to-beat Final Four bonus on Friday. Ateneo's Kurt Aguilar and Abai Llenos toppled  UP's Nico Consuelo and Mac Millete, 21-16, 21-15, to keep its slim semis hopes alive at 2-4.  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 2nd, 2018

UAAP Season 81 beach volleyball: Tams secure a semis spot

Far Eastern University dropped a set for the first time Friday in the UAAP Season 81 men’s beach volleyball tournament. But even the gritty resistance from Adamson University couldn’t stop the Tamaraws pair of Jude Garcia and Kevin Hadlocon as they repulsed the Falcons duo of Paolo Pablico and Jesus Valdez, 21-19, 18-21, 15-6, to clinch a semifinals seat at the Sands SM by the Bay. FEU extended its winning streak to five straight to remain the only unbeaten team in the contest. After a second set meltdown the Tams regrouped in the deciding frame to move within two wins to advance outright in the Finals. “Nag-usap lang kami na mag-focus at bumalik sa dating galaw namin. Dapat 'yung composure namin nandoon pa rin na willing kami manalo,” said Garcia. “Dapat ipakita namin sa kanila na angat 'yung laro namin kesa sa kanila. “'Yung third set po, 'yun talaga ang game namin. Kaso 'yung unang dalawang set medyo nagkumpiyansa kami,” he added. FEU opened its day with a 21-13, 21-13 demolition of University of the East’s Clifford Inoferio and Alven Aljas.   The Falcons slid to 3-2 card after failing to sustain their momentum following a 21-15, 21-18, sweep of Abail Llenos and Kurt Aguilar of Ateneo de Manila University. Meanwhile, reigning champions Bryan Bagunas and James Natividad of National University improved to 4-1 slate in a twin kill over University of the Philippines’ Nico Consuelo and Mark Millete, 21-13, 21-13, and the De La Salle University pair of Geraint Bacon and Raphael Sumalinog, 21-15, 21-17. University of Sto. Tomas’ Jaron Requiton and Krung Arbasto tied NU with 4-1 card after defeating UP, 21-16, 21-7, and UE, 21-9, 21-9. Ateneo finally barge in the win column after taking down listless DLSU, 21-11, 21-19. UE dropped its third straight game for a 2-3 card, UP and Ateneo are tied at 1-4 mark while DLSU remained winless in five outings.   ---      Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 28th, 2018

PVL: Lady Warriors notch first win

MALOLOS, Bulacan --- Pocari Sweat-Air Force needed five sets to carve out its first win in the Premier Volleyball League Season 2 Open Conference. Myla Pablo led the way as the Lady Warriors outlasted gritty PetroGazz in a bounce back, 25-20, 29-31, 25-15, 17-25, 15-5, win Wednesday at the Malolos Sports and Convention Center here. Pablo finished with 22 points with 19 coming off attacks for last year’s runner-up, which recovered from a sorry four-set loss to Ateneo de Manila University last Sunday. Pocari Sweat tied Tacloban at 1-1 win-loss card. The Lady Warriors built a huge 9-1 lead in the fifth set to set the tone of the frame and eventually hand the Angels their second straight defeat in three outings. "Siguro nag-mature na sila pagdating sa fifth set dahil alam ko namang kayang-kaya nila kaso breaks of the game," said Pocari Sweat coach Jasper Jimenez, who admitted that his squad looked physically and mentally exhausted for playing in the PVL and the ongoing AFP Olympics. Jozza Cabalza pushed the Lady Warriors at match point, 14-3, off back-to-back aces before sending his service short in the next play. Pocari Sweat was flagged with a rotation error before May Ann Pantino sealed the win with an attack. Jeanette Panaga finished with 11 points while Del Palomata and Pantino added 10 and nine markers, respectively, for the Lady Warriors. Jonah Sabete was the lone PetroGazz player in double figures with 17 markers while Paneng Mercado and Marites Pablo, who faced sisted Myla for the first time after playing together with National University in the UAAP three years ago, combined for 14 points.     ---- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 26th, 2018

PVL: Nakaka-proud siya -- Myla Pablo on sister Marites

Pocari Sweat-Air Force top hitter Myla Pablo has nothing but praises for her sister PetroGazz new recruit Marites after the siblings’ first encounter in the Premier Volleyball League Season 2 Open Conference. “Nakaka-proud, sobra kasi first time ko siya makalaban sa PVL, professional league nga,” said Pablo of her young sister Wednesday night as the Lady Warriors notched its first win in two matches in the season-ending tournament at the Malolos Sports and Convention Center here.     “Nakitaan ko siya ng potential sa loob ng court, medyo parang isa siya sa mga senior na din na nagsasalita na napapansin ko,” added Pablo. “Binibigay naman niya ‘yung best niya kaya sobrang happy ako na kahit papaano nakakatulong siya sa team niya.” But it was the two-time conference Most Valuable Player and the Lady Warriors who walked away with a hard-fought 25-20, 29-31, 25-15, 17-25, 15-5 victory. Myla Pablo registered a game-high 22 points to carry her team into the win column after a four-set defeat at the hands of Ateneo de Manila University.  The Pablo sisters last played together back in 2016 in Myla’s last year with National University in the UAAP. The following year Marites transferred to College of St. Benilde and is set to see action wearing the Lady Blazers jersey this NCAA Season 94. While Myla is vocal with her praises for her sister, Marites shares how her ‘ate’ helps her develop into a better volleyball player.  “First of all po, I always look up to her kasi magaling talaga siya tapos sobrang bait niya as a sister,” said the younger Pablo, who scored six markers. “Tapos lagi niya po akong ina-advice and ‘yung mga talagang words of wisdom niya shine-share niya sa akin.” “I’m so proud of her and sobrang exciting yung game kasi first time talaga namin naglaro na magkalaban,” added the 21-year old Marites. Myla is always generous with her advices for her sister.   “Minsan ‘pag may mga tune up games siya sinasabi niya sa akin, ‘Ate ang panget ng laro ko. Anong gagawin ko?’Tinuturuan ko naman siya na parang unang-una ‘wag siyang sisimangot sa loob ng court and then ‘yun nga bigay lang niya ‘yung best niya sa team, alam kong kailangan siya ng coach niya,” she said. “Isa siya sa mga ha-handle ng team niya so ayun sabi ko lang ibigay mo yung best mo na hanggat kaya mo.” The Pablo sisters will again meet at the court in Pocari Sweat and PetroGazz’s elimination round rematch on Nov. 7 at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 26th, 2018

UAAP: Tigresses, Lady Bulldogs still spotless in beach volleyball

The University of Santo Tomas and National University stayed perfect by sweeping two matches Tuesday in women's division of the UAAP Season 81 beach volleyball tournament at Sands SM By The Bay. Reigning MVP Sisi Rondina and Babylove Barbon bested Ateneo's Ponggay Gaston and Jules Samonte, 21-9, 21-15, before returning in the afternoon session with a 21-14, 21-14 conquest of De La Salle's Tin Tiamzon and Michelle Morente to extend the defending two-time women's champions' undefeated run to three games. Rookies Klymince Orilleneda and Antonnete Landicho topped University of the Philippines' Isa Molde and Justine Dorog, of 21-19, 21-10, and University of the East's Rhea Manalo and Lyen Shan Ritual, 21-15, 21-15, for NU's third consecutive win. In the men's division, Far Eastern University became the only undefeated team, as Jude Garcia and Kevin Hadlocon repulsed UST's Krung Arbasto and Jaron Requinton, 21-19, 21-18, for a 3-0 card. Reigning titlist National University continued its rise from a shock opening day loss, with MVP Bryan Bagunas and James Natividad scoring a 21-12, 21-15 victory over Ateneo's Kurt Aguilar and Abai Llenos for a 2-1 card. The Lady Spikers raced to a 7-4 lead in the second set before the Tigresses regained control with the cat-quick pair of Rondina and Barbon making adjustments in their game to produce another straight sets conquest in front of a highly-appreciative crowd. Tiamzon and Morente, who dominated Adamson University's Hannah Nicole Infante and Gracelchen Ave, 21-10, 21-5, in the morning session, fell to 2-1. Meanwhile, the Lady Maroons and the Lady Eagles entered the win column after two straight losses. Molde and Dorog topped FEU's Ivana Agudo and Marianne Calinawan, 21-18, 21-11, while Gaston and Samonte, turned back Adamson University's Ave and Infante, 21-14, 21-14. In other men's matches, Adamson University's Pao Pablico and Jesus Valdez bested UE's Clifford Inoferio and Alven Aljas, 21-15, 22-24, 16-14, while UP's Nico Consuelo and Mac Millete outlasted De La Salle's Geraint Bacon and Paul Serrano, 23-21, 19-21, 15-12. The tournament resumes on Friday with eight men's and four women's matches beginning at 8 a.m. at the same Mall of Asia Complex sand court.  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 25th, 2018

UAAP Beach Volleyball: NU rookies dazzle in debut

National University rookies Antonette Landicho and Kly Orillaneda were not supposed to be the ones representing the Lady Bulldogs for the UAAP Season 80 Beach Volleyball Tournament. But due to conflicts with the indoor volleyball team, the 18-year-olds were called up late in August to play on the sand court. "Hindi din po kami dapat ‘yung maglalaro. Sila Ate Roma [Doromal] po [dapat] kaso nagkaconflict po sa indoor," said Landicho who hails from Balayan, Batangas. Despite the late call-up, the duo has been giving an impressive account of themselves after defeating all of their three opponents so far. First, it was the Ateneo Lady Eagles, 21-11, 21-14. Second, was the UP Lady Maroons, 21-19, 21-10. And their latest victim, the University of the East, 21-16, 21-15. "Masaya kasi unexpected po na kami maglalaro tapos naka 3-0 pa din," shared Landicho. Interestingly, this is also Landicho's and Orillaneda's first time to play beach volleyball on a competitive level. "Si [Antonette] first time, ako po paminsan-minsan sa Cebu," shared Orillaneda. However, first time jitters were not obvious among these girls. With their apparent chemistry and smart ball placing on the sands, both girls played as if they have been playing together for a long time already. When asked about it, they said it was all about good communication. "Usap lang po kasi lagi kaming naguusap kung san namin lalagay yung bola like sa dulo dulo, dito, dito," said Landicho. So far, the only unbeaten teams in the league after three games are NU and defending champions University of Santo Tomas. By Tuesday, October 2, the rookie Lady Bulldogs will face the Tigresses. "Okay lang po laban lang naman. Tao din naman si Ate Sisi. May skills din naman po siya na wala [siya pero mayroon] sa amin tapos yun na lang yung papakita namin," said the bubbly Orillaneda. In addition to UST, they will also have to face De La Salle University and Far Eastern University. Regardless of how tough their itinerary is, Orillaneda has this to say. "Nothing to lose, everything to gain ganun lang iniisip namin," shared the rookie......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 25th, 2018

Easy opening-day victories for Santo Tomas spikers

University of Santo Tomas' Sisi Rondina and Babylove Barbon handily beat University of the Philippines' Isa Molde and Justine Dorog, 21-12, 21-12, at the start of UAAP Season 81 beach volleyball tournament on Monday at Sands SM By The Bay in Pasay City. Rondina, the three-time Most Valuable Player in her final year, and new partner Barbon are eyeing to give the Tigresses a third straight crown and a sixth title in eight seasons. It was a double victory for UST as its men's pair of Krung Arbasto and Jaron Requinton also beat Ateneo's Kurt Aguilar and Abai Llenos, 21-11, 21-14. Reigning men's champion National University, however, wasn't as fortunate as Bryan Bagunas and James Nat...Keep on reading: Easy opening-day victories for Santo Tomas spikers.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsSep 24th, 2018

UAAP: Michelle Morente is now a full-fledged Lady Spiker

Following a year of residency at De La Salle University, former Ateneo Lady Eagle Michelle Morente is now a full-fledged Lady Spiker after displaying her volleyball prowess once again in the sand court on Monday afternoon. Morente was ruled out of Ateneo de Manila University in June 2017 after not meeting academic requirements. By September of the same year, paths led her to De La Salle University. "Sobrang hindi ako makapaniwala kasi alam mo ‘yung I almost gave up on myself but then a lot of people na nasa likod ko sobrang sumusupport sa akin na ‘Mich kaya mo ‘yan andito lang kami para sayo,’" she said as she reflected on playing her first game representing La Salle. Because of her transfer, she had to wait another year before she could suit up for the Lady Spikers for indoor volleyball and that is if the coaching staff chooses for her to play. For now, she is doing her best in the beach volleyball tournament. "They said naman I’m cleared na for UAAP so hopefully sa indoor din cleared na rin ako. Up to the coaches, siyempre sabi nila pagpatuloy ko lang ‘yung grades ko and stuff like that ayun," said Morente, who is now an AB Psychology major. Morente, with her partner Tin Tiamzon, bagged their first win of the tournament over Far Eastern University in three sets, 21-14, 20-22, 15-10. "Siyempre first game jitters," she said referring to their second set meltdown, "Sinasabi ko nga parang rookie ulit ako ganung level kahit last playing year ko na pero alam mo yun it’s good to be back." "At first we were shaky. It’s a good thing that we won na pinaghirapan talaga namin ni Tin ito sa training and buti naman lumabas yung mga pinaghirapan namin," Morente added. If Morente is chosen to play for indoor volleyball for a one-and-done, her services will very much amp up La Salle's campaign especially since the opposite spiker position was vacated by Kianna Dy. Ironically, "Animo La Salle" were cheers she used to tune out when she was a Lady Eagle. But now donning green-and-white, those exact same cheers are Morente's motivation. But for her, regardless of what she color she is wearing, she is all here for the love of volleyball. "I think it’s the sport eh, the passion for the sport. Parang ako, sige I’m doing this for the sport, you know. Dahil La Salle na ako of course I’m gonna Animo La Salle," she said as she chuckled. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @the9cruz.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 24th, 2018

UAAP beach volleyball: Tigresses open 3-peat bid with rout of Lady Maroons

University of Santo Tomas' Sisi Rondina and Babylove Barbon handily beat University of the Philippines' Isa Molde and Justine Dorog, 21-12, 21-12, at the start of the UAAP Season 81 beach volleyball tournaments Monday at Sands SM By The Bay. Rondina, the three-time MVP who is in her final year, worked hand in glove with her new partner Barbon to open the Tigresses' bid for a third consecutive crown on a winning note. It was a double victory for UST with its pair of Krung Arbasto and Jaron Requinton also making work of Ateneo's Kurt Aguilar and Abai Llenos, 21-11, 21-14, in the men's division. The reigning men's champion National University, however, wasn't as fortunate as Bryan Baguna...Keep on reading: UAAP beach volleyball: Tigresses open 3-peat bid with rout of Lady Maroons.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsSep 24th, 2018

PVL: Almadro to Dani Ravena: Walang duwag na Ravena

If you are not familiar with Oliver Almadro, he was the highly emotional and animated coach of the Ateneo Men's Volleyball Team known for motivational speeches during timeouts and expressive sideline antics. Now, with Almadro taking the head coaching job for the Ateneo Lady Eagles, it's time for women's volleyball to experience the Almadro-brand of motivation. In Ateneo-Motolite's debut match in the PVL Open Conference Sunday afternoon, second year libero Dani Ravena received just that.   "Ravena ka. Walang duwag na Ravena." Coach O tries to inspire Dani mid-game. 🙌 #PVLonABSCBN pic.twitter.com/jNptTxaHM3 — ABS-CBN Sports (@abscbnsports) September 23, 2018   After consecutive misreceptions by Ravena in the third set versus Pocari-Air Force, Almadro singled her out in this inspirational timeout. "Ravena ka. Walang duwag na Ravena," said Almadro, "You're doing good, believe me." He said this to the youngest of the Ravena siblings who came from a family of athletes. From her father Bong, who was a former UAAP and PBA player and now the head coach of Talk N' Text to her mother Mozzy, who is a former volleyball player and current TV analyst, down to his tremendous baller brothers Kiefer and Thirdy, a lot is expected from Dani. True enough, after that, Ravena and the rest of the Lady Eagles bounced back to take home the match at the fourth set. After the thrilling game, Almadro expressed to reporters that that kind of motivation is something that he is sure to always offer to the Lady Eagles because after all, that is his thing. "Siguro [gumana], kasi nakabalik eh," he said with a chuckle, "Siguro nakatulong yon. Sana mga ganun ko, alam niyo naman hyper ako eh, sana yung mga ganun ko mag click sa utak nila." "Wala naman talagang Ravenang duwag eh, tama naman," he added. Fans on Twitter also took delight in that moment of Almadro and Ravena. For a while, that timeout trended.   “Ravena ka! Walang duwag na Ravena!” - Coach Oliver to Dani Ravena#LabanAteneo — Team Ateneo (@AteneOBF) September 23, 2018   Gusto kong maiyak sa pa-pep talk ni Kowcho kay Dani. “You’re good! Believe in yourself! Ravena ka, walang Ravena na duwag!” — Les Niere (@cluelesster) September 23, 2018   coach o to dani: "Don't doubt yourself, magaling ka. Ravena ka. Walang duwag na Ravena. You're doing good!" 😭💙 — 🔅 (@the_phenoms) September 23, 2018 Don't worry fans of the Ateneo Lady Eagles, all of you are bound to see more of Almadro's motivational goodness in the next games......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 23rd, 2018

PVL Open Conference: Lady Eagles on acid test

A new-look Ateneo de Manila University Lady Eagles squad will get their first test before the UAAP wars when they take on seasoned club teams in the Premier Volleyball League Season 2 Open Conference. New head coach Oliver Almadro, who replaced resigned Tai Bundit after UAAP Season 80, will get his baptism of fire handling arguably the country’s most popular college team in the tournament slated to begin on September 22. After missing out on the UAAP Finals for the first time after six straight appearances, Almadro will begin the Lady Eagles’ rebuilding process together with holdovers from last season’s team. Graduating veteran Bea de Leon and seasoned middle blocker Maddie Madayag are back to lead Ateneo. Kim Gequillana is also back after sitting out the last UAAP season due to an ACL injury. New recruits setter Jaja Maraguinot, sister of former Ateneo open spiker Jho, and Vanessa Gandler will also be put under the microscope as they try to live up to the hype and expectations of Lady Eagles fans. Ateneo skipped the Collegiate Conference ruled by University of the Philippines.   Here is the full Ateneo lineup: Dani Ravena Deanna Wong Jules Samonte Vanessa Gandler Jaja Maraguinot Maddie Madayag Bela Peralta Ponnggay Gaston Kat Tolentino Bea De Leon Kim Gequillana.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 14th, 2018

PVL: Tigresses keep eyes focused on Finals seat

Already on the cusp of its breakthrough championship stint, University of Sto. Tomas is keen on sustaining its momentum and not give Far Eastern University a chance to recover. The Tigresses are now a win away from advancing to the best-of-three Finals of the Premier Volleyball League Season 2 Collegiate Conference after drawing first blood, 16-25, 26-24, 25-18, 25-23, in their semis showdown against old UAAP rival Lady Tamaraws. UST can seal the series on Saturday. To keep their focus on their ultimate goal, assistant coach Yani Fernandez, who is taking over coaching duties with head mentor Kungfu Reyes joining the national women’s volleyball team’s campaign in the Jakarta Palembang Asian Games, reminded his wards that there is still much work to be done.   “We’ll take it as parang 0-0 pa rin para yung hunger at kagustuhan ng mga bata nandoon pa rin,” said Fernandez, who is looking to steer UST to its first Finals appearance in a Sports Vision organized tournament since 2012. The then Maika Ortiz, Maru Banaticla and Rhea Dimaculangan-led Tigresses fell short against Ateneo de Manila University in the championship of the defunct V-League Season 9 1st Conference. UST also repeated over FEU after the Tigresses outlasted the Lady Tams in five sets at the end of the elimination round last week in Cagayan de Oro. Fernandez is hoping to ride the crest of their mastery over FEU in their last two meetings to finish off the Lady Tams. “At least ‘yung good momentum na sinasabi ko nga sa mga bata kahit papaano nasa amin. Yun lang ang advantage, ang sinasabing good momentum. But the game itself hindi pa naman,” he said. Game 3, if necessary, is on Sunday.   ---   Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 30th, 2018