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AU ladies are volley chiefs cop NCAA women’s volley title a 3rd time

Arellano University spoiled University of Perpetual Help’s grand slam aspirations, 22-25, 25-15, 25-18, 25-18, imposing its supremacy for the third straight year in the NCAA season 94 women’s volleyball in the last of their best-of-three clash for the crown......»»

Category: newsSource: philstar philstarFeb 12th, 2019

PSL beach volleyball kicks off Wednesday

Reigning champion Sisi Rondina and Bernadeth Pons of Petron XCS will be up against a tough competition when the Philippine Superliga (PSL) Beach Volleyball Challenge Cup unwraps Wednesday at Sands By the Bay in Mall of Asia. Rondina and Pons are billed as two of the best beach volley players in the country. But the road to the title will never be easy as they are up against a solid group of competitors in this prestigious summer spectacle. Rondina and Pons landed in tough Pool A together with powerhouse Cocolife-A of veterans Danika Gendrauli and Nene Bautista and last year’s runner-up Generika-Ayala-A of Fiola Ceballos and Patty Oredain. “We started training after UAAP because we’re trying to make up for the lost time,” said Pons, who joined Rondina in representing the country in the 29th Southeast Asian Beach Volleyball Championship in Singapore last year. “I believe this is going to be a competitive tourney because most of the players are now playing beach volley. We really have to be mentally and physically prepared for this.” Also seeing action are Mylene Paat and Rap-Rap Aguilar of Cignal-A; Bang Pineda and Sheeka Espinosa of Generika-Ayala-B; and Dhannylaine Demontano and Jackie Estoquia of Sta. Lucia A are in Pool B. Pool C is composed of NCAA beach volley champion Nieza and Jeziela Viray of Foton; Cherry May Vivas and Janine Navarro of Cignal-B; and Cecilia Bangad and Caitlyn Viray of Smart. In Group D are Fritz Gallenero and Mitch Morente of F2 Logistics, Marge Tejada and Alex Tan of Cocolife-B; and Jonah Sabete and Bianca Lizares of Sta. Lucia-B. “All teams are competitive,” Pons said. “That’s why we did our best to prepare hard for this tournament.” In the men’s division, Josh Ylaya and JP Pareja of Cocolife, Ian Lester Yee and Romnick Rico of UST, Kris Roy Guzman and Lemuel Arbasto of Foton and Bryan Bagunas and James Natividad of Sands By the Bay will be in Pool A. Alsali Pajiji and Milover Parcon of Navy, Philip Michael Bagalay and Gregory Utupo of Smart, Mika Abria and Jessie Lopez of Cignal and Joven Camaganakan and Joseph Tipay of Team Volleyball Manila compose Pool B. Meanwhile, PSL ambassador Aby Maraño, Jheck Dionela, Mitch del Carmen, Will Devaugn, Amanda Fernandez and Abby Poblador will also see action in the celebrity matches. Men's action starts at 8 am while women's battles are set at 2:15 pm......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 22nd, 2018

NCAA Season 94: Lady Chiefs complete three-peat

Three-peat. Arellano University extended its reign to three straight years after the Lady Chiefs completed a dramatic best-of-three series comeback with a 22-25, 25-15, 25-18, 25-18, win over University of Perpetual Help Tuesday in the NCAA Season 94 women’s volleyball Finals decider at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan. The Lady Chiefs recovered from an 11-13 deficit in the fourth set with a blistering rally to claim their fourth title in five years and third in a row against the last team to mark a three-peat five seasons ago.          Arellano U squandered an 8-3 lead in the fourth set but regrouped just in time to score 11 straight points for a 22-13 lead over the shocked Lady Altas. Perpetual tried to fight back but an overcooked serve by Jenny Gaviola ended the Lady Altas’ failed mission to bring the title back to Las Pinas. "Kung titingnan natin yung Perpetual talagang mataas ang respeto ko sa kanila. Talagang sinukat nila kami, pinilit nilang ilabas ang dapat naming ilabas eh so nagpapasalamat kami doon. 'Yun talo namin sa kanila noong Game 1 malaking bagay talaga 'yun," said Arellano U head coach Obet Javier. "Dahil doon natuto kaming bumangon.Na-realize namin ang dapat naming gawin."     The Lady Chiefs also spoiled Perpetual's attempt of a triple crown after its men's and juniors teams ruled their respective divisions.  Back-to-back Finals Most Valuable Player Regine Arocha finished with game-high 16 points including five aces while adding 11 excellent receptions for Arellano U. Princess Bello got 10 markers while Season MVP Necole Ebuen and Carla Donato delivered 11 points each for the Lady Chiefs, who received 36 points off Perpetual's errors.     Perpetual drew first blood two weeks ago in a shocking 21-25, 25-17, 25-21, 25-20, win before Arellano U forced a decider with a 23-25, 25-9, 25-18, 22-25, 15-12, victory in Game 2.  The Lady Chiefs started out firing on all cylinders and built a 14-7 lead in the opening frame. Arellano U held a 20-17 lead heading into the closing stretch of the first set only to see the determined Lady Altas make six unanswered points to take the driver’s seat, 23-20. An error by Shyra Umandal stopped Perpetual’s rally before Cindy Imbo put the Lady Altas at set point. Arellano U saved a set point before Gaviola sealed the frame.  The Lady Chiefs dominated the second and third sets.  Graduating hitter Cindy Imbo posted 12 points - all from kills - and added 13 digs in her swan song while Umandal and Gaviola scored 10 markers eac.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 12th, 2019

NCAA Season 94: Pinasukan ng takot -- Carino on Lady Altas’ loss

University of Perpetual Help head mentor Macky Carino saw in the eyes of his players what coaches fear the most. “Takot,” Carino pointed out moments after the Lady Altas bowed down to defending two-time champion Arellano University, 25-23, 9-25, 18-25, 25-22, 12-15, in Game 2 of the best-of-three NCAA Season 94 women’s volleyball Finals at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan. “'Yung sinasabi ko nga sa players ko every time sa training, na kapag pinasukan niyo na takot 'yung ginagawa niyo, dalawa lang 'yung pupuntahan noon: either magkamali ka or 'di mo magagawa 'yung task na binigay sa'yo,’” added Carino. The Lady Chiefs tied the series, 1-1, and forced a winner-take-all match on Tuesday. Perpetual recovered from 1-2 match deficit with a huge comeback in the fourth set after trailing, 17-20. The Lady Altas kept the fifth set close before crumbling in the closing stretch. “Wala kasing positibo sa ganoon, kung sa utak mo pa lang negative na. Kung di sana kami natakot, kung wala sana kaming doubt sa ginagawa namin, pagdating noong dulo nanalo pa kami,” said Carino, who is trying to deliver the Perpetual’s first title since its three-peat five years ago. The mentor, who steered College of St. Benilde to its breakthrough title in Season 91 at the expense of thrice-to-beat San Sebastian College led by three-time Most Valuable Player Grethcel Soltones, felt that Arellano U was able to utilize their championship experience at crunch time.   “Lahat ng players ko wala pang championship experience. Sila meron. 'Yung team na 'yan, 'di basta-basta magpapatalo 'yan kasi champion 'yan,” said Cariño. “Sabi ko, ‘Hindi nila ibibigay sa amin 'yan nang madalian. Ang kailangan natin gawin is laruin natin 'yung game natin and pakita natin 'yung kagustuhan manalo.’” “Doon siguro kami nagkulang. Noong third set ang dami naming errors. 'Yung second set was our worst, sobrang worst. From nanalo ng set, sobrang worst. Doon nagsimula tapos sinamahan pa ng crowd ng Arellano. Siguro mas experienced sila sa amin,” he added. Carino also rued his squad’s second set meltdown which saw Perpetual score only two hits, two aces and a kill block in the frame. “Wala 'yung utak namin sa set na 'yun. Takot na 'yun. 'Yung mga ginagawa ng spiker ko, na-deplete. Noong fifth set, kinapos lang. Marami 'ring breaks of the game,” he said. “Wala kaming ibang gagawin kundi panoorin 'yung game na 'to. Kailangan every rotation, wise kami.”   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 8th, 2019

NCAA Season 94: Lady Altas shock Lady Chiefs to take series opener

University of Perpetual Help started out cold. The Lady Altas needed a little time to heat up but when they got their game going, Perpetual completed a come-from-behind 21-25, 25-17, 25-21, 25-20, win over two-time defending champion Arellano University in Game 1 of the NCAA Season 94 women’s volleyball best-of-three Finals at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan Friday.    Perpetual, which won their fifth straight game, recovered from a slow start to move a step closer to claiming its first title since winning it all in Season 89.     Game 2 is on February 8. Graduating hitter Cindy Imbo punched in 16 attacks in her 18-point outing while adding 16 excellent receptions for the Lady Altas. Jhona Rosal had 12 markers, 10 coming off attacks, while Hannah Suico and Shyra Umandal got 10 points each for Perpetual, which landed 49 kill points behind graduating setter Necelle Gual's 23 excellent sets. The Lady Altas got their rhythm going early in the second set to control the frame. With momentum on its side, Perpetual dictated the tone in the next two sets.  The Lady Altas opened a 17-11 lead in the fourth set before staving off the Lady Chiefs comeback attempt.            "Siyempre gusto kong bumawi sila agad. Sinabi ko hindi magiging madali yun kung di natin aayusin ang mga pagkukulang natin. 'Yun nga sa kanila nyo na narinig na maganda ang respond ng mga bata pagdating sa usapan namin," said Perpetual coach Macky Carino, who is looking to steer the Lady Altas to their fourth title overall.   "Then sabi ko one set at a time. Galing tayo sa talo so yung second set kailangan makuha muna natin then yung mg succeeding sets natin ilaro talaga natin ang pinaka-best natin and ayun nagawa naman nila," added Carino, whose squad survived four do-or-die games starting from the last two elims games before booting out twice-to-beat College of St. Benilde in the Final Four.     The Las Pinas-based squad also won in the men’s and juniors division Finals opening games and inched closer to completing a rare triple crown.   Regine Arocha was the only player in double figures for Arellano U with 17 points while Carla Donato and Mikaela Juanich had nine and eight markers, respectively.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 1st, 2019

Lady Chiefs blast Red Spikers, advance to NCAA volley final

Arellano University made sure it will not be denied a finals berth for the second time as it downed nemesis San Beda and hacked out a vengeful 25-18, 25-21, 25-23 victory yesterday to claim a spot in the championship round in the women’s division of the 94th NCAA volleyball tournament at the Filoil Flying V Center in San Juan......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJan 22nd, 2019

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

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

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 27th, 2018

Altas, Chiefs open volley title defense

Perpetual Help and Arellano University start their title defense, with the former playing opposite San Beda in the men’s division and the latter facing Jose Rizal in the women’s side at the start of the 94th NCAA volleyball tournament at the Filoil Flying V Center in San Juan today......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsNov 23rd, 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

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:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 20th, 2018

BACK-TO-BACK: Arellano U sweeps San Beda in Finals series

Defending champion Arellano University took the fight out of San Beda University with an amazing comeback in the second frame that set the tone to an empathic 25-13, 29-27, 25-15, win to complete a sweep of the 93rd NCAA women’s volleyball Finals at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan Monday. Best Opposite Hitter and Finals Most Valuable Player winner Regine Arocha was on fire the whole match and effectively provided the much-needed points at crunch time as the Lady Chiefs claimed their second straight title and third overall crown in four seasons. Arocha scored all but one of her 15 points off attacks while adding 12 digs while graduating player Jovielyn Prado submitted 15 markers on her last year with Arellano U Andrea Marzan added eight points while skipper Mary Anne Esguerra ended her collegiate career with seven markers including the championship-clinching swipe towards the unprotected Zone 1 of the Lady Red Spikers.    “Kasi sa practice namin kahapon, kahit sa huddle namin kanina, sinabi namin na sa araw na ito, dapat tapusin na natin," said Arellano U coach Obet Javier. "Sinagot ako ng mga player ko sa pamamagitan ng ganoong klaseng laro." The Legarda-based squad saved four set points in the second set with Arocha firing the last two points off sharp crosscourt hits to take the frame.   With the Lady Chiefs holding the momentum, San Beda, a newbie in the Finals, melted down in the third as it went down to a 0-8 hole. The Lady Red Spikers saved five match points after going down 10-24 before Esguerra sealed the win with her signature swipe off theLady Red Spikers' two-woman wall.  Arellano U carved out a 25-15, 25-16, 15-25, 22-25, 15-6, win in the series opener Friday. Cesca Racraquin was the only player in double-figures with 13 points while Nieza Viray and Satrianni Espiritu combined for 14 markers for the Mendiola-based squad.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 19th, 2018

Parang binigay na po nila sa amin (ang championship) -- Arocha on San Beda s meltdown in the third set

After stealing the second set in a dramatic come-from-behind fashion, Arellano University hitter Regine Arocha knew the title was already theirs for the taking. The Lady Chiefs smelled blood when they went on the first technical timeout of the third set with a comfortable cushion and with the first-time finalists San Beda University Lady Red Spikers scoreless and in disarray. It didn’t take long for Arellano U to complete a cold-blooded 25-13, 29-27, 25-15, sweep of San Beda in Game 2 of the 93rd NCAA women’s volleyball Finals as the Lady Chiefs captured their first back-to-back titles Monday at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan. An 8-0 lead to open the third frame and with the Lady Red Spikers’ body language already showing signs of defeat for Arocha, the season’s Best Opposite Hitter, seemed like San Beda’s signal of raising the white flag.   “Opo, parang binigay na po nila sa amin, parang umayaw na po sila,” said Arocha, who broke the hearts of the Lady Red Spikers when she hit consecutive crosscourt hits to complete Arellano U’s comeback in the second frame. “Parang first five points pa lang po (sa third set), nararamdaman na po namin na sa amin na po (ang panalo),” added Arocha, who scored 14 of her 15 points off attacks and was later named as Finals Most Valuable Player. Arellano U took the fight out of San Beda in the second set after saving four set points. Arocha took advantage of the Lady Red Spikers’ error from the service line that tied the set at 27, pounding a crosscourt attack off the two-woman block of San Beda to put Arellano U at set point advantage, 28-27. She ended the comeback with another kill. San Beda never recovered from there and the Lady Chiefs grabbed the opportunity to extinguish the Lady Red Spikers’ will to fight as they built an 8-0 advantage that ballooned to 24-10. The Mendiola-based squad saved five match points but the championship was already in the bag for Arellano U that Lady Chiefs head coach Obet Javier didn’t even bother to call time.    Outgoing team captain Mary Anne Esguerra took the honor of burying the final nail to San Beda’s coffin with a swipe off the Lady Red Spikers’ two-woman block. The win also validated a tweet posted by Arocha on her Twitter account that last Sunday’s practice was Arellano U’s last for the season.   “Kahapon po, sobrang kinlaim na namin na last training na namin yun, na last game na namin ngayon,” she said. “Kaya po 'yun, pinagtrabahuhan talaga namin.”   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 19th, 2018

Arellano U moves closer to back-to-back titles

Defending champion Arellano University went through the wringer before eking out a thrilling 25-15, 25-16, 15-25, 22-25, 15-6, win over upset-conscious San Beda University in Game 1 of the best-of-three 93rd NCAA women’s volleyball competition Finals series Friday at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan. The Lady Chiefs woke up just in time after squandering a two-set lead, blasting a 9-0 run to break a 6-6 deadlock in the fifth set capped by a heady drop by Sarah Verutiao towards an unmarked spot in the Lady Spikers’ front row for the win. Regine Arocha finished with 14 points with 10 coming off kills including the hit that pushed the Lady Chiefs at match point. Jovielyn Prado had an all-around game with 13 markers and a good defensive effort of 13 digs and eight excellent receptions for Arellano U, which closed in on claiming its third title in the last four years. Andrea Marzan had 11 points while Rookie of the Year Necole Ebuen and skipper Mary Anne Esguerra chipped in with 10 markers each for the Lady Chiefs.      Game 2 is on Monday. After struggling to get its rhythm going in the first two sets, San Beda breathed new life in their rematch against the same squad that swept them in the elims in the third. The Lady Red Spikers controlled the frame to extend the match. San Beda forced a decider after Season 92 Rookie of the Year Cesca Racraquin sparked the Lady Spikers’ 3-point blitz to break a 21-21 tie in the fourth frame off a service ace. Nieza Viray committed an error on the next play before San Beda put the match into a sudden death. Racraquin got 21 points on 16 attacks, four aces and a kill block while adding 23 excellent receptions and 21 digs for the Mendiola-based squad, who are on its first finals appearance.  Viray and Trisha Paras registered 14 and 11 markers, respectively, for the Lady Red Spikers.    --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 16th, 2018

Arellano U begins title defense against hungry San Beda

Games Friday: (FilOil Flying V Centre, San Juan) 10:00 a.m. –- Letran vs. EAC (jrs. semis) 1:30 p.m. –- Arellano U vs Perpetual (m) 3:30 p.m. –- awarding ceremonies 4:00 p.m. –- Arellano U vs. San Beda (w)   Experience versus hunger, dynasty against destiny. Reigning champion Arellano University begins its title defense on Friday when the Lady Chiefs clash with first-time finalist San Beda University in Game 1 of the best-of-three 93rd NCAA women’s volleyball tournament at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan. Game time is at 4:00 p.m. after the individual awards rites at 3:30 p.m. The match will air live on ABS-CBN S+A Channel 23, ABS-CBN S+A HD Channel 166, LIGA on SkyCable Channel 86, LIGA HD on SkyCable Channel 183 and via livestream. Arellano U is on its third Finals appearance after stints in Season 90 and 92. The Lady Chiefs went on to win it all on both championship trips. The Legarda-based squad closed the eliminations with an 8-1 win-loss record tied with the Lady Red Spikers. Arellano U swept first-time semifinalists and Season Most Valuable Player Shola Alvarez-led Jose Rizal University, 25-13, 25-20, 25-17, in their sixth Final Four appearance. “Ni-remind ko lang sa mga players ko na ibigay na natin ang dapat nating ibigay pagdating sa Finals kasi ito na ‘yun eh, dumaan na tayo sa mahirap na mahirap na sitwasyon ‘wag na natin bigyan ng pagkakataon na maisahan tayo ng kalaban,” said Lady Chiefs coach Obet Javier. Arellano U will parade a solid roster led by graduating hitter Jovielyn Prado, Regine Arocha, Mary Anne Esguerra, Andrea Marzan and Rookie of the Year winner Necole Ebuen. The Lady Chiefs dominated San Beda in their elimination round meeting, 25-17, 25-10, 25-17, on Jan. 26 with Lady Red Spikers top hitter Cesca Racraquin limited to a season-low six points. But San Beda, which made history with a historic first championship appearance, is playing with nothing to lose and believes that the pressure is on the Lady Chiefs side as they try to avoid an upset against an upstart team. The Lady Red Spikers downed the Perpetual Help Lady Altas, 25-21, 25-15, 25-23, to book a championship berth. “I think kasi sa amin no pressure naman kasi ano pa lang naman kami, kami ang challenger,” said Racraquin. “So kailangan laruin lang namin (ang laro namin), relax lang kami and then sila nasa kanila ang pressure kasi sila gusto nila mag-back-to-back.” “Basta ‘yun lang relax lang kami, play our game and si God na ang bahala,” added Racraquin, who will be backed by the Viray twins Nieza and Jiezela, setter Rebecca Cuevas and Satrianni Espiritu. Game 2 is on Monday. Meanwhile, the unbeaten Altas begin their campaign to regain the crown they lost last year at the hands of College of St. Benilde in a best-of-three Finals showdown with the Chiefs. Perpetual, in search of its 11th title, swept the nine-game elims and earned an outright Finals berth while Arellano U dethroned the Blazers, 25-22, 28-26, 25-23, in the stepladder semis Tuesday. In juniors play, Emilio Aguinaldo College and Letran dispute the last Finals berth to challenge four-peat-seeking Perpetual Help at 10:00 a.m.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 15th, 2018

Trouble brewing at Arellano?

Defending champion Arellano finished the elimination round with a near-flawless campaign, going 8-1 to earn a twice-to-beat advantage in the Final Four. However, if the playoffs started tomorrow, there's a big chance that the Lady Chiefs will not advance. That is according to their head coach, who was in no mood to celebrate even as the champs dropped San Sebastian in Finals rematch Thursday in the NCAA Season 93 women's volleyball tournament. "Hindi ko na kasi nakikita yung gustong manalo eh, yung gusto talaga magback-to-back," head coach Obet Javier said. "Yun yung nakakatakot. Kasi syempre kung gusto mo talaga, ikaw dapat yung gustong-gusto gumalaw, gumawa ng maganda. Pero nangyayari sami yung mga simpleng bola, nababagsakan kami eh. Nakita ko, kung ganito performance namin sa semis, mukhang mahihirapan kami umusad." he added. With Arellano sitting pretty with a playoff bonus, Javier says the Lady Chiefs have to turn it around fast. The champs lost to CSB earlier in the week, ending a 19-game winning streak. And despite ultimately winning against the Lady Stags, the Lady Chiefs lost the opening set and had to work double time in the second, 36-34, just to tie things u. "Hindi maganda sa isang nagde-defend ng title yung ganung laro," Javier said. "Kailangan sana magkaroon ulit ng paraan para maibalik yun, maibalik ulit yung apoy na nakita natin last year para ma-retain namin yung trophy," he added.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 1st, 2018

Arellano U eyes solo lead; Perpetual, LPU begin quest

Games Sunday: (FilOil Flying V Centre, San Juan) 8:00 a.m. –- LPU vs. Perpetual (jrs) 9:30 a.m. -- LPU vs. Perpetual (m) 11 a.m. –- LPU vs. Perpetual (w) 12:30 p.m. -- EAC vs. Arellano (w) 2:00 p.m. -- EAC vs Arellano (m) 3:30 p.m. – EAC vs. Arellano (jrs)   After a dominating win to open its title-retention bid, Arellano University looks to take an early solo lead on Sunday when the Lady Chiefs take on Emilio Aguinaldo College in the 93rd NCAA women’s volleyball competition. Game time is at 12:30 p.m. at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan. Behind Regine Arocha’s 12-point outing and superb debut of transferee setter Sarah Verutiao, the Lady Chiefs easily hurdled Mapua University, 25-10, 25-17, 25-13, Thursday that extended Arellano U’s winning streak to 13 since their championship run last season.    Although the Lady Chiefs are heavily favored to prevail over the Lady Generals, who lost to an eight-woman San Sebastian College, 16-25, 19-25, 16-25, in the season-opener, head coach Obet Javier is not taking EAC lightly. “Sa EAC ganoon din bago ang coach nakita ko medyo may konting adjustments sila. Kasi nakita ko noong liga namin sa Founder’s Cup, nakita ko na rin ang position ng player,” said Javier, who steered Arellano to its second title in three years last season in a Finals sweep of the thrice-to-beat Grethcel Soltones-led Lady Stags. “Nakita ko kanina (against San Sebastian College) na mayroon silang kaunting adjustments ng player so sinabi ko sa team na kailangang paghandaan namin,” he added. Verutiao, who had 28 excellent sets as backup to injured playmaker Rhea Ramirez, is expected to deliver the same numbers to utilize the firepower of Arocha, Jovelyn Prado, Mary Anne Esguerra and middle Andrea Marzan. The Lady Generals will pin their hopes on Ladeisheen Magbanua, Jaylene Lumbo and Yvette Tongco. Meanwhile, Perpetual Help will try to give new coach Macky Carino a good welcome gift when the Lady Altas clash with Lyceum of the Philippines University at 11:00 a.m. Carino, who resigned from his post as College of St. Benilde coach a few months back, will bank on Lourdes Clemente, Cindy Imbo and setter Necelle Gual. The Lady Pirates will have to look for other scoring options with top hitter Cherilyn Sindayen skipping this season because of academics.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 6th, 2018

Arellano U jumpstarts repeat bid

Games Thursday: (FilOil Flying V Arena) 8:00 a.m. -- SSC-R vs EAC (jrs) 9:30 a.m. -- SSC-R vs EAC (m) 11 a.m. -- Opening Ceremony 12 noon -- SSC-R vs EAC (w) 1:30 p.m. -- AU vs MU (w) 3:00 p.m. -- AU vs MU (m)   Arellano University begins its repeat bid Thursday when the Lady Chiefs cross paths with Mapua University in the 93rd NCAA women’s volleyball tournament at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan. The reigning champion Lady Chiefs will parade an almost intact lineup and will have the advantage of firepower with their veterans against the Lady Cardinals, who went winless last season. Game time is at 1:30 p.m. after the San Sebastian College and Emilio Aguinaldo College tussle at 12:00 noon. The women’s games will air live on ABS-CBN S+A Channel 23, ABS-CBN S+A HD Channel 166 and via livestream. The opening ceremony is scheduled at 11:00 p.m. after the juniors game between SSC-R and EAC at 8:00 a.m. and their men’s teams’ showdown at 9:30 a.m. Arellano U closed Season 92 with 12 straight wins including the shocking Finals sweep against the thrice-to-beat and then Grethcel Soltones-led Lady Stags to claim its second title since winning it all back in Season 91. The Lady Chiefs lost Rialen Sante and libero Eunice Galang after they graduated last season but the Obet Javierp-mentored squad will still have a lethal crew with the return of Jovielyn Prado, Mary Anne Esguerra, seasoned setter Rhea Ramirez, Andrea Marza and Regine Arocha. Arellano U will also try to ride the momentum of their breakthrough third place finish in the Premier Volleyball League Collegiate Conference a couple of months back to open its title-retention bid on a high note. While the Lady Chiefs are enjoying the luxury of a solid lineup, SSC-R is looking at a rough road ahead after the departure of three-time Most Valuable Player Soltones and another veteran Kat Villegas. The Lady Stags have the shortest rotation in the field with only nine players. Head coach Roger Gorayeb will rely heavily on his veteran holdovers Joyce Sta. Rita, libero Alyssa Eroa, Vira Guillema and Nikka Dalisay to carry the fight for the Lady Stags.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 3rd, 2018

NCAA Season 93: women s volleyball preview

Exciting volleyball action starts early this year as NCAA opens its 93rd season on Thursday at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan. Arellano University will try to retain its women’s crown against a field filled with squad’s raring to sit on the throne. Let’s take a quick peek at the competing teams.   MAPUA UNIVERSITY LADY CARDINALS   Winless last year, can Mapua University finally put a stop on their skid?  Season 92 record: 0-9 Titles: none  Key players: Danielle Ramilo, Shaira Hermano, Katrina Racelis, Dianne Latayan This team has nowhere to go but up after a forgettable season last year. The Lady Cardinals lost four of their games in straight sets, three in four frames and a couple of matches in five. Mapua’s last victory was against Letran in five sets back in Season 91 (January 7, 2016).   EMILIO AGUINALDO COLLEGE LADY GENERALS   Emilio Aguinaldo College needs to be consistent to add more Ws in their record this season.  Season 92 record: 1-8 Titles: none Players to watch: Iona Yongco and Yvette Tongco EAC’s lone win last season came at the expense of Mapua in straight sets before closing their campaign with a five-set loss against Letran.   LETRAN LADY KNIGHTS   Can Letran contend for a spot in the Final Four this year? Season 92 record: 2-7 Titles: 8 (last title: 1999) Players to watch: Glayssa Faith Torres and Jaymeleene Parin Letran finished at eighth spot last year. They won only two games, against Mapua and EAC, but gave Lyceum, College of St. Benilde and San Sebastian College a scare before bowing down to these powerhouse teams in five sets.   JOSE RIZAL U LADY BOMBERS   Shola Alvarez is expected to carry Jose Rizal University on her shoulders but will need to get support from her teammates. Season 92 record: 3-6 Titles: none Players to watch: Shola Alvarez, Dolly Versoza, Karen Montojo (Season 92 Best Opposite Spiker) JRU is a young and vertically challenged team, mostly banking on Shola Alvarez for point production. The Lady Bombers joined the PVL’s Collegiate Conference during the offseason but lost all of their five matches.    LYCEUM OF THE PHILIPPINES U LADY PIRATES   Lyeum of the Philippines University is considered as a darkhorse this season.  Season 92 record: 5-4 Titles: none Players to watch: Cherilyn Sindayen, Christine Miralles, Bien Juanillo An intact and veteran-laden team. But will the Lady Pirates’ exposure in the PVL Collegiate Conference be enough for them to contend for a spot in the Final Four?     UNIVERSITY OF PERPETUAL HELP LADY ALTAS   Veteran Lourdes Clemente will be one of Perpetual Help's vital cogs in their campaign to reclaim the throne.   Season 92 record: 5-4 Titles: 3 (last title: 2014) Players to watch: Lourdes Clemente, Necelle Gual, Marijo Medalla Former CSB coach Macky Carino replaced long-time mentor Sammy Acaylar but the Lady Altas lost a solid middle in Coleen Bravo and hitter Jamela Suyat. After its three-peat (2012-14), Perpetual has yet to return to the Finals.     SAN BEDA COLLEGE LADY RED SPIKERS   All eyes will be on Cesca Racraquin when San Beda College makes a run for the crown. Season 92 record: 6-3 Titles: none Players to watch: Cesca Racraquin, Satrianni Espiritu, Nieza and Jiezela Viray Season 92 Rookie of the Year Cesca Racraquin will be the go-to guy of the Lady Red Spikers, who made it into the stepladder semis last year. SBC participated in the PVL Collegiate Conference while Racraquin had good stints in the PVL Reinforced and Open conferences for Creamline.      COLLEGE OF ST. BENILDE LADY BLAZERS   Ranya Musa (left) and Rachel Austero are the players to watch for a beefed up College of St. Benilde. Season 92 record: 6-3 Titles: 1 (2016) Players to watch: Ranya Musa, Rachel Austero, Maritess Pablo, Felicia Cui Expectations are high for this team with the arrival of transferees Maritess Pablo (NU) and Felicia Cui (Ateneo) to help Rachel Austero and graduating player Ranya Musa.     Leadership will be a tough challenge for this team after the departure of ace scorer Jeanette Panaga as well as adapting to a new system under interim head coach Arnold Laniog, who replaced Macky Carino.     SAN SEBASTIAN COLLEGE LADY STAGS   San Sebastian College is looking at a rough and bumpy road ahead this season. Season 92 record: 9-0 elims, defeated thrice in the Finals Titles: 23 (last title: 2011) Players to watch: Joyce Sta. Rita, Alyssa Eroa, Nikka Dalisay The most-decorated volleyball program in the NCAA will be facing its toughest season yet. If losing scorers three-time Most Valuable Player Grethcel Soltones and Kat Villegas weren’t enough, head coach Roger Goreyab will have at his disposal a very short rotation on nine players. But his available players could even go down entering the season after Julie Anne Tiangco suffered a knee injury recently. Scarcity of players even forced SSC-R to field a swimmer to fill in the required minimun of nine players to be able to participate in the tournament.       ARELLANO UNIVERSITY LADY CHIEFS   Who will stop Arellano University from its back-to-back bid? Season 92 record: 8-1, won thrice in a row in the Finals Titles: 2 (last title: 2017) Players to watch: Jovielyn Prado, Regine Arocha, Andrea Marzan The Lady Chiefs lost Rialen Sante and veteran libero Eunice Galang, who both graduated, after last season but will still parade a grizzled core. Fueled by their stints in the PVL including a third place finish in the Collegiate League at the expense of UAAP team Adamson University, Arellano U is expected to make a return trip into the Finals. With SSC-R, the only team to defeat the Obet Javier-mentored squad last year, weakened after the departure of Soltones, the only question now is who will stop the Lady Chiefs’ impending rampage?       --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 1st, 2018

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

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

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 31st, 2017

Chiefs flaunt tough roster

  Defending champion Arellano University fields a solid roster as it opens defense of its NCAA women's volleyball crown against Mapua on Jan. 4 at Filoil Flying V Centre. San Sebastian will take on Emilio Aguinaldo in the other opening-day match. The Lady Chiefs will have the core of last year's champion team---although they lost captain Ria Sante to graduation. San Sebastian, meanwhile, begins life without star Grethcel Soltones, the league's three-time MVP, who finished her collegiate career without winning a title. ---MARC ANTHONY REYES...Keep on reading: Chiefs flaunt tough roster.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsDec 29th, 2017

Six standout local volleybelles of 2017

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

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 28th, 2017