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Ateneo s Ravena flanked by two UP Maroons in 2019 All-Collegiate Team

Four different schools will be represented in this year's All-Collegiate Team. Robert Bolick of NCAA three-peat titlist San Beda and Thirdy Ravena of UAAP back-to-back champion Ateneo are the headliners of the Mythical Five in the 2019 Chooks-to-Go Collegiate Awards presented by SportsVision scheduled for Monday at Amelie Hotel Manila in Malate. Bolick ended his collegiate career with a bang, averaging 16.8 points in 49.1 percent shooting, 5.4 rebounds, and 4.8 assists in the Red Lions' 20-1 romp through the 94th Season of the NCAA. That included a 50-point outburst against Arellano in the elimination round - one of the highest individual marks in the history of the Grand Old League. For his part, Ravena flew the highest he ever has with norms of 14.9 points, 3.1 rebounds, 1.2 steals, and 1.0 blocks as the Blue Eagles' dominated UAAP Season 81 with an overall 15-2 record. He saved his best for last when he imposed his will on UP en route to being hailed as Finals MVP. Completing this year's All-Collegiate Team selected by the Collegiate Press Corps, made up of scribes from print and online outfits covering the NCAA and UAAP, are NCAA 94 MVP Prince Eze of Perpetual and the UP pair of Bright Akhuetie and Paul Desiderio. Eze put the Altas on his back all season long as they barged back into the playoffs. Akhuetie's own MVP campaign as well as Desiderio's heroics were also more than enough to bring the Fighting Maroons to their first Final Four since 1997 and first Finals in 32 years. All five will be honored in the annual event also supported by Amelie Hotel Manila, Rain or Shine, NorthPort, World Balance, Arellano, and AXA Team EDS. They will be alongside fellow awardees in NU Lady Bulldogs who will receive the Award of Excellence, Ateneo's Ange Kouame and San Beda's Javee Mocon who will receive Pivotal Player plums, Adamson's Sean Manganti and Lyceum's CJ Perez who will receive Impact Player citations, Red Lions' mentor Boyet Fernandez and Blue Eagles' tactician Tab Baldwin who will be recognized as Coaches of the Year, and UST's Sisi Rondina and Arellano's Regine Arocha who will make history as the first-ever SportsVision Volleyball Players of the Year. The 2019 Chooks-to-Go Collegiate Press Corps Awards presented by SportsVision will be aired live over Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas and Tiebreaker Times on Facebook......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 25th, 2019

UAAP 81: Ateneo celebrates Volleyball, Football titles in Back on Top Bonfire

Ateneo de Manila University closed out the 81st season of the UAAP with two more championships, after the Men's Football and Women's Volleyball teams both brought UAAP gold back to Katipunan.  The men's football team, led by season MVP Jarvey Gayoso, defeated collegiate rivals De La Salle University, 2-1, last May 16th in a match that needed a 30-minute extension to decide.  The Lady Eagles volleyball team meanwhile, came back from a one-game deficit to defeat the Sisi Rondina-led University of Santo Tomas Golden Tigresses in a best-of-three finals series to reclaim their spot at the top of the UAAP women's volleyball landscape.  Both achievements were celebrated in Ateneo's Back on Top Bonfire, Friday evening at the Ateneo de Manila Grade School Parking grounds in Katipunan.  This was Ateneo's second bonfire celebration for Season 81, with the first taking place back in December of 2018 to celebrate their first-semester triumphs, highlighted by the Blue Eagles men's basketball team's second-straight championship. Ateneo President Fr. Jose Ramon "Jet" Villarin opened the festivities by thanking all the athletes who proudly represented Ateneo's colors thoughout the season as well as speaking about the UAAP as being not only a competition, but a community as well.  "The uaap is community first before its a competition," Villarin stated. "Maybe we're competitors, but we're a community first. We need our rivals for our better selves. We need our competitors to go beyond ourselves. We need passion and transendence, going beyond ourselves, that's a gift."  Blue Eagle Bonfire happening now inside the Ateneo De Manila campus. The bonfire celebrates Ateneo's triumphs during this past #UAAPSeason81 pic.twitter.com/3RZVJVNdMh — Santino Honasan???? (@honasantino) May 24, 2019 The first championship team to grace the stage were the Blue Eagle booters, who after a rough start to the season, managed to turn things around and ultimately finish the elimination round with the top seed. In the semifinals, Gayoso powered the Blue Eagles past Far Eastern University. In the finals, it was Gayoso again, who came up big as his last-minute equalizer forced extra time against DLSU. In the extension, it was graduating team captain Julian Roxas who provided the heroics, scoring the go-ahead header to secure the win and hand Ateneo their second men's football crown in the last two seasons.  #UAAPSeason81 Men's Football Champs now on stage | @abscbnsports pic.twitter.com/mflr5Agbuo — Santino Honasan???? (@honasantino) May 24, 2019 When asked about his game-tying conversion in the first minute of injury time, Gayoso had a pretty simple response. "I think we can all say that it feels good that it was against La Salle," said the fourth-year striker, drawing cheers from the crowd.  Afterwards, it was the Lady Eagles volleyball team's turn to be recognized, as the masses of fans stormed towards the stage to get a closer look at their champion idols.  The Lady Eagles were dominant throughout the women's volleyball season, also finishing at the top of the standings and earning a twice-to-beat advantage in the semifinals. Ateneo faced a lot of adversity in the post-season, as they were pushed to two matches in the semfinals by Far Eastern University, and then again in the finals, losing Game 1 to UST before bouncing back and winning two straight to capture their first women's volleyball title since UAAP Season 77.  Fans storm the stage as the #UAAPSeason81 Women's Volleyball Champion Lady Eagles are introduced | @abscbnsports pic.twitter.com/kBXsFn61Bk — Santino Honasan???? (@honasantino) May 24, 2019 The highlight of the night was the lighting of the celebratory bonfire, which was done by men's football MVP Gayoso and Women's Volleyball Finals MVP Bea De Leon.  #UAAPSeason81 Women's Volleyball Finals MVP @_beadel and Men's Football MVP @JarveyGayoso light the bonfire to close the festivities | @abscbnsports pic.twitter.com/0QANEYebtQ — Santino Honasan???? (@honasantino) May 24, 2019 Also recognized during the bonfire were the Ateneo Juniors Basketball Team and the Ateneo Men's Lawn Tennis Team, both finishing as first runners-up in their respective tournaments.  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 24th, 2019

Fernandez, Baldwin hailed as Collegiate Coaches of the Year yet again

For extending their respective squads' dynasties, two of the best and brightest coaches in the collegiate basketball scene are set to be feted. San Beda Red Lions head mentor Boyet Fernandez and Ateneo Blue Eagles chief tactician Tab Baldwin will be hailed as the Coaches of the Year in the 2019 Chooks-to-Go Collegiate Awards presented by SportsVision on Monday at Amelie Hotel Manila in Malate. Fernandez guided the Red Lions to their 11th title in the last 13 years, their 22nd overall in the NCAA Seniors Basketball Tournament. During the tournament, San Beda only lost once, capping the season with a 14-game winning streak, including a two-game sweep of the Lyceum Pirates in the Finals. This will be Fernandez's fifth Coach of the Year plum, tying him for most in the category with former Ateneo Blue Eagles head coach Norman Black. For his part, Baldwin is set to receive his second straight Coach of the Year trophy in this annual event organized by the Collegiate Press Corps, composed of scribes from print and online outfits covering the NCAA and UAAP. Under Baldwin's watch, the Blue Eagles cruised through the UAAP Season 81 Men's Basketball Tournament to win their second straight championship, the school's 10th overall. The awards night backed by  Amelie Hotel, Rain or Shine, NorthPort, World Balance, Arellano, and AXA Team EDS will also distinguish the UP Fighting Maroons. The Fighting Maroons were the feel-good story of the collegiate season, overcoming a shaky start to get things together late in the UAAP tournament. The team led by Paul Desiderio ended up breaking a 32-year Finals drought to end up with silver - the school's first podium finish in the sport in 32 years as well. Also set to be honored in the event are Sisi Rondina (UAAP Volleyball Player of the Year); Regine Arocha (NCAA Volleyball Player of the Year); the National University Lady Bulldogs (Award of Excellence); Ateneo's Angelo Kouame and San Beda's Javee Mocon (Pivotal Players); Lyceum's CJ Perez and Adamson's Sean Manganti (Impact Players). The 2019 Chooks-to-Go Collegiate Press Corps Awards presented by SportsVision will be aired live over Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas and Tiebreaker Times on Facebook......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 24th, 2019

PVL: May Jia kami – Valdez on Creamline’s advantage

It is fact that Creamline has a really stacked line-up, but prized hitter Alyssa Valdez sees one very important advantage against the competition. Setter Jia Morado. “One of our advantages as a team aside from chemistry is really Jia,” said Valdez as the Cool Smashers gear up to defend their title in the Premier Volleyball League Season 3 Reinforced Conference. Valdez and Morado will be back for the import-laden tournament together with a solid local line-up along with Thai import Kuttika Kaewpin and Venezuelan veteran Aleoscar Blanco.  “Madami kaming players na magagaling na spikers but I think Jia will play a crucial role and a crucial player in our team because she’s gonna run the plays,” said Valdez, who has been teammates with Morado since their UAAP days with Ateneo de Manila University. “She’s the one who would decide kung kanino niya ibibigay ang bola. With Jia, we’re really (going to) be composed. Hopefully ma-achieve namin ang goal namin.” Morado welcomes the beautiful problem of having a vast arsenal of talent to work with. “Oo naman. It’s hard kasi iba-iba sila ng sets pero parang nakikita ko naman and nakikita rin naman ng coach namin how we can utilize ‘yung strengths ng bawat players sa loob ng court,” said Morado. The playmaker will get a lot of scoring options in Valdez, their imports and local stars in Jema Galanza, newcomer Heather Guino-o, Michele Gumabao, Pau Soriano, Rissa Sato, Coleen Bravo, Rizza Mandapat, Fille Cainglet-Cayetano, Rose Vargas and Celine Domingo. Setting up the plays will also be an easy task for Morado with reliable liberos in Mel Gohing and Kyla Atienza while she can get a good rest if needed with another veteran playmaker Kyle Negrito coming off the bench. However, Morado down plays their tag as a ‘super team’.    “I don’t think we’re the super team,” she said. “I think all of the teams are equally strong this year. It just boils down to who jells well with their imports.” “Kasi we’re not only looking at all-Filipino line-ups eh, na-up pa ng level with a couple of imports per team,” the three-time Best Setter added. “So dun ang question kung sino ang aabot ng dulo and kung sino ang kayang i-absorb ng import ang system ng team.” Morado points out that the strength of Creamline is not with the names of their stars, but on the roles they are willing play to help the cause.  “We’re still hoping na balance pa rin ang offense namin na we’re not relying too much on our imports, we’re noyt relying on a couple of locals. We’re relying on a balance scoring offense,” said Morado. The Cool Smashers open their campaign on Sunday against PetroGazz.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 23rd, 2019

UST s Sisi Rondina, AU s Regine Arocha are first-ever Volleyball Players of the Year

Volleyball has made its mark as one the biggest collegiate spectator sports in the country next to basketball. With the sport’s impact and huge following especially in the women’s division, it is just fitting that the best and brightest volleyball student-athletes share the spotlight with the collegiate basketball’s finest.   For the first time, a pair of volleyball stars will be feted in the 2019 Chooks-to-Go Collegiate Press Corps Awards presented by SportsVision to be held at the Amelie Hotel in Malate, Manila on Monday. University of Sto. Tomas’ Sisi Rondina and Regine Arocha of Arellano University will be the recipients of the Volleyball Player of the Year awards in the annual event organized by the Collegiate Press Corps, composed of scribes from print and online outfits covering the NCAA and UAAP. The graduating hitter Rondina wrapped her fifth and last playing year as a Tigress by completing an amazing three-peat in beach volleyball, giving UST its first gold medal in UAAP Season 81. Rondina delivered the Espana-based squad’s fourth sand court crown in five years while bagging for herself four Most Valuable Player awards. The 5-foot-6 Cebuana then turned her focus on indoor volleyball as she led the rookie-laden Tigresses back to the Finals for the first time in eight years in a showdown with a well-experienced Ateneo de Manila University side. UST came a win away from ending a nine-year title drought but eventually bowed down to the Lady Eagles in three exciting games. Nevertheless, Rondina’s heroics all season long earned her the MVP award, UST’s first in 12 years, to become the second person to capture the highest individual recognition in beach and indoor volleyball on the same season since Far Eastern University’s Wendy Semana did the feat 11 years ago.               Meanwhile, Arocha delivered the goods when needed the most for the Lady Chiefs in NCAA Season 94. Arocha played clutch in the Finals, leading Arellano to a thrilling series comeback win over Perpetual Help to complete the Lady Chiefs’ three-peat and winning her second straight Finals MVP award. Rondina and Arocha will be joined by the National University women’s basketball team (Award of Excellence), Ateneo's Angelo Kouame and San Beda's Javee Mocon (Pivotal Players), Lyceum's CJ Perez and Adamson's Sean Manganti (Impact Players) in the awards night supported by Amelie Hotel, Rain or Shine, NorthPort, World Balance, Arellano, and AXA Team EDS. The 2019 Chooks-to-Go Collegiate Press Corps Awards presented by SportsVision will be aired live over Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas and Tiebreaker Times on Facebook......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 23rd, 2019

UAAP 81 Volleyball: Everything was worth the wait for Deanna Wong

Deanna Wong can now call herself a UAAP champion.  The fourth-year playmaker helped the Ateneo Lady Eagles to their first UAAP Women's Volleyball Championship since Season 77 with a 2-1 Finals Series win over the very game University of Santo Tomas Golden Tigresses, led by season MVP Sisi Rondina.  The championship capped off an impressive season for the Lady Eagles, but it was not without its hurdles, as they found themselves in three do-or-die matches throughout course of the semifinals and the finals.  But of course, the victory is made sweeter because of the challenges along the way, and for Wong, the championship made the last four years of hard work and sacrifice all worth it.  "Everything is worth the wait lang talaga," Wong told ABS-CBN Sports. "This has been a very long and very hard journey for me, personally." Wong became Ateneo's lead setter in UAAP Season 80, following the departure of two-time champion and former Best Setter Jia Morado after Season 79.  [RELATED: Morado sees Wong as Lady Eagles' leader in Season 82] While her first season as the Lady Eagles' primary playmaker ended in heartbreak after getting booted out in the semifinals by FEU, Wong and Ateneo bounced back with a vengeance in Season 81, finishing the the best record in the league and ultimately, the title.  "Sa dami ng pinagdaanan ko, sobrang hirap, mahirap talaga, and I think, sobrang overwhelming lang and nakuha namin yung goal namin, and it was my first championship in the UAAP, it’s really great," she continued.  Now, even days after helping steer the Lady Eagles back to the summit of UAAP Women's Volleyball, Wong admits that it has yet to sink in.   "Parang hindi ko parin mapaniwalaan eh, kasi after four years of being in college, ngayon ko lang naranasan talaga," Wong said with a wide smile on her face. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 22nd, 2019

UAAP 81 Volleyball: Alam niya na kaya ko - Ateneo s Deanna Wong on being seen as a leader by Jia Morado

Fourth-year setter Deanna Wong was no doubt an instrumental part in Ateneo de Manila University's UAAP Season 81 Women's Volleyball title run.  Wong and the Lady Eagles bested University of Santo Tomas in three matches to regain the women's title that the program last held back in UAAP Season 77. Part of that Season 77 championship team was none other than Jia Morado, who served as a mentor to Wong during her first two years with the Lady Eagles. Now, both Wong and Morado share the distinction of being the primary setters on an Ateneo championship team. [RELATED: Everything was worth the wait for Deanna Wong] Looking forward to next season, Morado has already pegged Wong as the leader of the Lady Eagles, especially with the departure of seniors such as of Bea De Leon, Maddie Madayag, and Kim Gequillana.  “If you can lead them well, man them well, marami pa ring good weapons si Deanna kasi malalakas ‘yung mga batang papasok next year. So all she has to do is be able to lead them," Morado said in an interview with ABS-CBN Sports.  Wong, for her part, sees Morado's endorsement as a challenge to step up and as a sign of confidence in her abilities.  "What I can say is that she’s just challenging me to become a leader more pa, kasi alam niya na kaya ko, so that’s me taking on that challenge," Wong told ABS-CBN Sports. "We’ll just see na lang what happens." Wong, who will be a graduating senior come UAAP Season 82, knows full well what being the leader of a defending champion team entails, and she knows just what she has to work on.  "I think I need to improve on being more responsible pa, ‘cause I think that’s what a leader has to have and also yung pagiging disciplined din," Wong explained, adding that it was responsibility and leadership that helped the Lady Eagles return to the pinnacle of UAAP women's volleyball.  "That’s what we did to be able to get this championship, it’s that characteristic." .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 22nd, 2019

UST is UAAP double general champion once more in Season 81

The UAAP’s general championships are staying in Espana. University of Sto. Tomas was officially named the General Champions of the Collegiate Division in the Season 81 closing ceremony, Tuesday at MOA Arena. The black and gold wound up with 279 points built on titles in Men’s and Women’s Beach Volleyball, Men’s and Women’s Judo, and Men’s and Women’s Table Tennis. That was more than enough to edge out closest competitor De La Salle University’s 260-point total. Then at joint third are Ateneo de Manila University and the University of the Philippines. This is the third straight year that the Seniors trophy will be coming home to Espana. That is also where the High School Division trophy is headed as the Tiger Cubs were also recognized as General Champions. This is their fifth straight year alone atop the leaderboard in the Juniors. —— Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 21st, 2019

Being away from family among challenges of FEU’s Cebuana volleybelle Shiela Mae Kiseo

Cebu City, Philippines— For some aspiring volleyball players, competing in big leagues in Manila is the ultimate goal. For Cebuana volleyball players, that is made even more enticing with the recent success of Deanna Wong of the Ateneo de Manila University and Sisi Rondina of the University of Santo Tomas (UST) in the UAAP women’s volleyball […] The post Being away from family among challenges of FEU’s Cebuana volleybelle Shiela Mae Kiseo appeared first on Cebu Daily News......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsMay 21st, 2019

UAAP Volleyball: Morado sees Wong as Lady Eagles leader in Season 82

Former Ateneo de Manila University playmaker Jia Morado sees next season as Deanna Wong’s litmus test as the Lady Eagles' new leader when they try to defend their recently reclaimed throne. The Lady Eagles completed a Season 81 Finals series comeback over University of Sto. Tomas last Saturday to end a four-year title drought and capture their third crown overall. But Ateneo also saw the departure of middles Maddie Madayag and Finals Most Valuable Player Bea De Leon along with Kim Gequillana. Top hitter Kat Tolentino, who is still eligible to suit up next season, has not yet committed to play in Season 82. With the departure of Ateneo’s veterans, Wong will pilot a relatively young crew next year – almost the same situation that Morado was in during her last run as a Lady Eagle in Season 79 following the exit of three-time MVP Alyssa Valdez the year before.   “Actually, I think I had seasoned players on my last year. A lot of my spikers, nakasama ko na rin for at least a year or two,” said Morado on Monday during her club team Creamline’s photo shoot for the Premier Volleyball League Season 3 Reinforced Conference at the ABS-CBN Integrated Sports Office.   “But Deanna next year, although nakasama niya rin naman sila this year, hindi sila nabigyan ng time together talaga sa loob ng court so it will be interesting kung paano niya ibi-build ang connection niya with the spikers,” added Morado, who helped the Lady Eagles capture the Season 76 and 77 titles. The Cool Smashers setter said that although Ateneo will miss the services of its reliable veterans, the Lady Eagles and Wong will have the luxury of playing with young and aggressive talents looking to prove themselves in the country’s premier collegiate league.   “Siyempre ‘yung familiarity with her spikers is very important and next year more of rookies ang spikers niya. But the good thing about that you can go really far with young blood lalo na ‘yung mga rookies kasi sila ganado sila,” said Morado. “If you can lead them well, man them well, marami pa ring good weapons si Deanna kasi malalakas ‘yung mga batang papasok next year. So all she has to do is be able to lead them.”   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 20th, 2019

Lady Eagles not content with 2019 golden feat

The Ateneo Lady Eagles took flight under the stewardship of Oliver Almadro and the multi-titled coach said it’s sky’s the limit for the newly minted UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball queens......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsMay 20th, 2019

Ateneo s Kat Tolentino overcomes 3 ACL tears on way to 1st UAAP title - Inquirer Sports

MANILA, PhilippinesKat Tolentino has had a journey unlike any other in Ateneos champion team in the UAAP Season 81 womens volleyball tournament. The Lady Eagles talisman almost didnt make the lineup a.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philippinetimesRelated NewsMay 19th, 2019

WATCH: Ateneo coach lauds UST for tough stand in UAAP volleyball finals

The multi-titled mentor said that the Golden Tigresses pushed his team to be better and commended UST stalwart Sisi Rondina and young gun Eya Laure for their gallant showing......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsMay 19th, 2019

UAAP 81 Volleyball Finals: Yes, returning to Ateneo was right choice for Finals MVP BDL

On April 21, 2018, Bea De Leon said that she may have played her last game for Ateneo de Manila University. "It's a possibility," she answered then when asked if she was forgoing her fifth and final year of eligibility. Three months later, however, De Leon decided that she was coming back to the Lady Eagles because of "unfinished business." And so, it was only nearly a year and a month later that the middle blocker, indeed, played her last game for the blue and white. There, the captain did nothing but take care of "unfinished business," leading her team to their first championship since 2015. In the three matches opposite University of Sto. Tomas, she averaged 7.7 points. More importantly, she was the foundation of a wall that stymied any other Golden Tigress not named Sisi Rondina in Games 2 and 3. At the end of it all, De Leon was celebrating her second championship as well as her first Finals MVP. And at the end of it all, she was proven right to have returned for her fifth and final year. "It's the best decision I've ever made," she beamed to reporters in the post-win interview - the last of her collegiate career. For that decision, the now 22-year-old is nothing but grateful for head coach Oliver Almadro. As she put it, "I'm so happy that Coach O still called me up because he had a choice not to and he had a choice to replace me. Pero he really called me up." He then continued, "I still remember the day when he did. I'm just thankful for Coach O for still wanting me to be part of the team." When it comes down to it, though, De Leon's decision was made easy because of Almadro who has made a name for himself as a coach who brings out the best in his players. "Alam mo namang hindi ka makakahindi kay Coach O. it was really the best decision I've ever made," she shared. She then continued, "We're here and we did it." Indeed, UAAP 81 Finals MVP BDL, you're here and you and your teammates did it. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 19th, 2019

Ateneo, kampyon sa UAAP Season 81 Women’s Volleyball

Manila, Philippines – Hindi umubra ang sakmal ng UST Tigresses sa matayog na lipad at matatalim na strikes ng Ateneo Lady Eagles sa Game 3 ng UAAP Season 81 Women’s Volleyball game. Itinanghal na pinakabagong […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  remateRelated NewsMay 18th, 2019

Live Updates: Ateneo vs UST UAAP Finals Game 3

With the series tied, it's back to square one as both squads vie for UAAP volleyball glory......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsMay 18th, 2019

Ateneo blanks UST to regain UAAP women’s volleyball crown

The Ateneo Lady Eagles are champions once again after defeating the UST Golden Tigresses in sweep fashion, 25-17, 25-22, 25-22, in Game Three of the UAAP women's volleyball finals......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsMay 18th, 2019

Amid setbacks, Ateneo gets last laugh in UAAP 81 volleyball

Despite stumbling on their journey to the top, the Ateneo Lady Eagles come away victorious in the end......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsMay 18th, 2019

UAAP 81 Volleyball Finals: Yes, returning to Ateneo was right choice for Finals MVP BDL

On April 21, 2018, Bea De Leon said that she may have played her last game for Ateneo de Manila University. "It's a possibility," she answered then when asked if she was forgoing her fifth and final year of eligibility. Three months later, however, De Leon decided that she was coming back to the Lady Eagles because of "unfinished business." And so, it was only nearly a year and a month later that the middle blocker, indeed, played her last game for the blue and white. There, the captain did nothing but take care of "unfinished business," leading her team to their first championship since 2015. In the three matches opposite University of Sto. Tomas, she averaged 7.7 points. More importantly, she was the foundation of a wall that stymied any other Golden Tigress not named Sisi Rondina in Games 2 and 3. At the end of it all, De Leon was celebrating her second championship as well as her first Finals MVP. And at the end of it all, she was proven right to have returned for her fifth and final year. "It's the best decision I've ever made," she beamed to reporters in the post-win interview - the last of her collegiate career. For that decision, the now 22-year-old is nothing but grateful for head coach Oliver Almadro. As she put it, "I'm so happy that Coach O still called me up because he had a choice not to and he had a choice to replace me. Pero he really called me up." He then continued, "I still remember the day when he did. I'm just thankful for Coach O for still wanting me to be part of the team." When it comes down to it, though, De Leon's decision was made easy because of Almadro who has made a name for himself as a coach who brings out the best in his players. "Alam mo namang hindi ka makakahindi kay Coach O. it was really the best decision I've ever made," she shared. She then continued, "We're here and we did it." Indeed, UAAP 81 Finals MVP BDL, you're here and you and your teammates did it. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 18th, 2019

UAAP 81 Finals: Coach O to Kat: Wag niya muna kaming paiyakin ngayon

Will Kat Tolentino be back for her fourth and final year for Ateneo de Manila University? "Let's just focus on the championship celebration first," she stated in the Lady Eagles' post-game interview following their championship win in the UAAP 81 Women's Volleyball Tournament. Unlike Bea De Leon, Kim Gequillana, and Maddie Madayag, Tolentino has a choice to come back next year. Whether or not she does is still unknown, however. For today, though, Ateneo indeed just wants to celebrate. "Sabi ko naman kay Kat, wag niya muna kaming paiyakin ngayon. Let's make this day a happy day," head coach Oliver Almadro said. And for today, Coach O said he just hopes she goes for what's best for her. As he put it, "I'm praying for Kat to discern well. Hindi pa kami umaabot sa semifinals, I confessed to Kat na I'm really praying for her na magkakaroon siya ng right discernment." For her part, Tolentino is also hopeful for whatever her mentor is saying. "I'm not sure yet. With what Coach O said, we just have to pray for it, but I don't wanna say anything now," she said. Whatever it is, the Lady Eagles' opposite hitter now has one championship under her belt. "I'm just thankful to God for making the journey hard, but memorable because without those three ACL injuries, I wouldn't have had as much passion. I wouldn't be here today because of that," she said. If and when Tolentino makes her decision, the defending champions will be right behind her. "Irerespeto ko naman kung ano yung desisyon niya," Coach O said. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 18th, 2019