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San Beda hunts for sixth straight win, semis spot insurance

Games Wednesday: (FilOil Flying V Centre, San Juan) 9:30 a.m. –- CSB vs. JRU (m) 11:00 a.m. –- CSB vs. JRU (w) 12:30 p.m. –- LPU vs. San Beda (w) 2:00 p.m. –- LPU vs. San Beda (m) 3:30 p.m. –- LPU vs. San Beda (jrs)   Undefeated San Beda College is out to secure at least a playoff for semifinals berth against the struggling Lyceum of the Philippines University in the 93rd NCAA women’s volleyball competition at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan on Wednesday.   The Lady Red Spikers are at solo second spot with a 5-0 win-loss record behind the repeat-seeking Arellano University (6-0). A win in their 12:30 p.m. duel will put SBC in a good position to advance in the Final Four and will break the Mendiola-based squad’s best start back in 2013 when the Janine Marciano and Ces Molina-led Lady Red Spikers won five straight to open their season. SBC is coming off a character-building 17-25, 25-15, 25-16, 27-29, 15-12, win against Letran on Monday with Cesca Racraquin and Nieza Viray leading the way. The Lady Red Spikers are heavily favored against the Lady Pirates, who are on a two-game skid with a 1-4 card, but SBC coach Nemesio Gavino is not taking LPU lightly.  “Every game naman nirerespeto namin yung aming mga nakakalaban,” said Gavino of their rivals, which absorbed a straight sets loss to the Lady Chiefs the last time out. Meanwhile, College of St. Benilde and Jose Rizal University clash at 11:00 a.m. The Lady Blazers sport a 3-2 mark tied with San Sebastian College while the Lady Bombers hold a 2-3 slate alongside Letran. Meanwhile, the Blazers (4-1) and Bombers (0-5) collide at 9:30 a.m. while the Pirates (1-4) and Red Spikers (4-1) meet at 2:00 p.m. in men’s action. In the lone juniors match, the Junior Pirates cross paths with the Red Cubs at 3:30 p.m.   ---  Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 23rd, 2018

Arellano U stakes unbeaten record vs. dangerous JRU

Games Tuesday: (FilOil Flying V Centre, San Juan) 9:30 a.m. -- AU vs. JRU (m) 11:00 a.m. –- AU vs. JRU (w) 12:30 p.m. –- SBC vs. CSB (w) 2:00 p.m. –- SBC vs. CSB (m) 3:30 p.m. –- SBC vs. CSB (jrs)   Defending champion Arellano University stakes its unbeaten record and hold of the solo lead against the surging Jose Rizal University Tuesday in the 93rd NCAA women’s volleyball competition at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan. Game time is at 11:00 a.m. before the clash of other unbeaten teams San Beda College and College of St. Benilde at 12:30 p.m. The Lady Chiefs are on a roll after three games in a share of the top spot with the Lady Red Spikers and Lady Blazers. Arellano U is coming off a quick work of Letran, 25-17, 25-17, 25-12, last Friday for their third win in a row and 15th straight since last year. Rookie Necole Ebuen has been solid in her debut season, averaging 10.6 points per game and adding depth to an already stacked lineup of head coach Obet Javier. Veterans Regine Arocha, Jovielyn Prado, Andrea Marzan and skipper Mary Ann Esguerra are also expected to provide firepower for the Lady Chiefs with setter Sarah Verutiao orchestrating the flow of offense. But Arellano U is facing a team looking to ride the momentum of its two-game winnings streak. The Lady Bombers defeated Emilio Aguinaldo College, 25-20, 25-16, 25-16, last Friday behind league-leading scorer Shola Alvarez’s 24 points. Alvarez is averaging 23 points per game for JRU, which sport a 2-1 slate tied with University of Perpetual Help. But aside from Alvarez, the Lady Bombers also have reliable scorers in Dolly Versoza and Karen Montojo. Meanwhile, San Beda College is fresh from a 28-26, 25-18, 29-27, win over Perpetual while CSB survived a five-set showdown against Lyceum of the Philippines University last Thursday. In men’s division, Arellano U (2-0) challenges JRU (0-3) at 9:00 a.m. while repeat-seeking CSB (2-0) meets SBC (1-1) at 2:00 p.m.   ---          Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 15th, 2018

Prado takes backseat in scoring in stacked Arellano roster

Jovielyn Prado’s scoring average in Arellano University’s first three games in the 93rd NCAA women’s volleyball competition is far from her production norm last year. In three outings, Prado’s average is only 8.6 points per game. She had double-digit norms last year.   But the Lady Chiefs’ prized hitter is not worried. In fact, she likes that somehow she’s able take a backseat in scoring with the repeat-seeking Arellano U stacked with other offensive options this year. “Mas okay po para sa akin ‘yun kasi mas nakikita ko na ‘yung improvement ng teammates ko,” said Prado on Friday after the Lady Chiefs’ 25-17, 25-17, 25-12, win over Letran at the FilOil Flying V Centre for their third win in as many games and 15th straight win since last season.  Prado only had seven markers in the match, her second single-digit scoring this season after finishing with 12 in a straight-set win over Emilio Aguinaldo College last Sunday.   The graduating player also scored seven in their season-opening sweep of Mapua University. Rookie Necole Ebuen is Arellano U’s leading scorer, currently averaging 10.6 points per outing while Regine Arocha is chipping in almost 10 markers per game. Skipper Anne Esguerra is averaging six points per game while middle Andrea Marzan has a 5.6-point norm per outing for the Lady Chiefs.   Prado sees their well-balanced scoring as an advantage as they go deep into the season. “’Pagdating sa crucial games masasabi ko po na may ibubuga ‘yung bawat isa sa amin,” she said. “And mas OK din po yun para hindi lang isa o dalawang tao lang yung babantayan samin at hindi po mababasa yung play namin.”   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 12th, 2018

Arellano U out to extend win streak to 3, hold of solo lead

Games Friday: (FilOil Flying V Centre, San Juan) 8:00 a.m. –- AU vs Letran (jrs) 9:30 a.m. -- AU vs. Letran (m) 11:00 a.m. –- AU vs. Letran (w) 12:30 p.m. -- EAC vs. JRU (w) 2:00 p.m. -- EAC vs. JRU (m)   Repeat-seeking Arellano University guns for a hold of the solo lead against Letran in the 93rd NCAA women’s volleyball competition at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan on Friday. The duel will start at 11:00 a.m. to be followed by the showdown between Jose Rizal University and winless Emilio Aguinaldo College. The Lady Chiefs share the early lead with San Beda College and College of St. Benilde after two outings. Arellano U swept the EAC Lady Generals, 25-19, 25-12, 25-11, last Sunday for its second win this season and 14th straight victory since Season 92. Transferee Necole Ebuen finished with 15 points against the Lady Generals and is expected to deliver the same firepower when she faces her former school. Ebuen was with Letran’s Team B last year before deciding to transfer to the Legarda-based squad. Aside from Ebue, head coach Obet Javier will also bank on his veteran crew led by Jovielyn Prado, Regine Arocha, Mary Anne Esguerra and Andrea Marzan. The Lady Knights is coming off a morale-boosting 25-22, 25-17, 25-19, win over hapless Mapua University Lady Cardinals last Monday for a 1-1 win-loss slate tied with San Sebastian College, University of Perpetual Help and the Lady Bombers. Meanwhile, JRU shoots for its second straight win to move up the standings. Shola Alvarez finished with career-high 28 points in the Lady Bombers’ historic 27-25, 25-23, 22-25, 16-25, 15-12, victory over SSC-R last Monday. The Lady Generals are still looking for their first win. EAC is winless in two games alongside Mapua and Lyceum of the Philippines University.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 11th, 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

Red Cubs sniffing top seed as Mapua, CSB-LSGH get tripped

strong>STANDINGS /strong> br /> Mapua 13-4 br /> San Beda 12-5 br /> CSB-LSGH 11-6 br /> Letran 10-7 br /> San Sebastian 10-7 br /> Arellano 7-10 br /> LPU 7-9 br /> Perpetual 6-10 br /> JRU 6-11 br /> EAC 2-15 For a while there, it looked like San Beda High School was losing its touch in the NCAA 93 Juniors Basketball Tournament. That has all been put to rest as here come the Red Cubs, once again knocking on the door of the top spot after besting archrival Colegio de San Juan de Letran, 63-60, on Friday at the Filoil Flying V Centre. Luke Sese top-scored with 13 points, but it was total team effort which fueled San Beda’s ascent to 12-5. Evan Nelle and Ain Obenza were the ones who showed the way in the final frame and had all the answers for the Squires’ charges. The former ended with seven points, five rebounds, and five assists while the latter finished with five markers under his belt. The boys from Taytay started the second round by dropping three games in a row which, in turn, dropped them to as low as fourth-place. With their fifth consecutive victory, however, this one completing an elimination round sweep of their archrivals, they have strengthened their stranglehold on solo second. More than that, they also stand within striking distance of league-leading Mapua University. The Red Robins yet again left a window open for the top spot they’re currently occupying after being at the wrong end of an upset by San Sebastian College-Recoletos, 80-81. Alex Desoyo caught fire in the final frame by scoring 14 of his 25 points to front the Staglets’ comeback from as much as 19 points behind. Baste was down by 16 at the half before flipping the switch and outscoring their opponents, 53-36, in the last two quarters. With the big-time comeback, they entangle themselves for the fourth spot with also 10-7 Letran. San Sebastian ends the eliminations against dangerous University of Perpetual Help (6-10) while the Squires match up with struggling College of St. Benilde-La Salle Greenhills (11-6) On the other hand, now 13-4 Mapua needs to take care of business against already eliminated Arellano High School to avoid any complications regarding the top-seed. Last Thursday, the Junior Blazers were the victims of the biggest upset of the season, downed by lowly Emilio Aguinaldo High School, 77-81. Lester Castillo and Maui Cruz fired 29 and 28 points, respectively, to lift the Brigadiers to only their second win in 17 games. Conversely, the upset was CSB-LSGH’s fourth loss in the last five games. Once the frontrunners in the tournament, they now find themselves at third-place at 11-6 and with Letran and Baste both breathing down their necks. In other results, the Junior Altas frustrated the Braves, 88-81. BOX SCORES FIRST GAME, FRIDAY SAN SEBASTIAN 81 – Desoyo 25, Cuntapay 12, Rodriguez 10, Pasamante 9, Timbancaya 8, Villapando 7, Calahat 5, Sumoda 5, Aguilar 0, Are 0, Magbanua 0, Umayao 0, Pelias 0 MAPUA 80 – Escamis 16, Jabel 13, Lacap 11, Garcia 11, Gozum 9, Bonifacio 6, Enriquez 5, Ramos 5, Dennison 2, Socias 2, Sarias 0 QUARTER SCORES:17-22, 28-44, 53-60, 81-80 SECOND GAME, FRIDAY SAN BEDA 63 – Sese 13, Alfaro 10, Nayve 9, Tagala 7, Nelle 7, Etrata 7, Obenza 5, Velasquez 2, Mahinay 2, Abu Hijleh 1, Garcia 0, Lagumen 0 LETRAN 60 – Tolentino 14, Cordero 10, Aniban 8, Tamayo 7, Labrador 7, Peralta 5, Ganapathy 4, Guarino 2, Montes 2, Monje 1, Reyson 0, Fuentes 0, Culanay 0 QUARTER SCORES: 14-14, 29-23, 43-43, 63-60 FIRST GAME, THURSDAY PERPETUAL 88 – Razon 28, Gallano 16, Bongay 15, Inliwan 13, Rocero 10, Umali 6, Siegue 0, Cuevas 0, De Leon 0, Duka 0, Maneze 0 ARELLANO 81 – Segura 24, Fermin 15, Camacho 8, Bataller 7, Tamayo 7, Camarillo 7, Velasco 6, Espiritu 4, Fornis 3, Codinera 0, Domingo 0, Camilosa 0, Liangco 0, De Leon 0 QUARTER SCORES: 19-22, 43-38, 65-62, 88-81 SECOND GAME, THURSDAY EAC 81 – Castillo 29, Cruz 28, Satillian 12, Boado 8, Mananquil 2, Matilde 1, Ligot 1, Mostoles 0, Baliquig 0, Oriondo 0, Diaz 0 CSB-LSGH 77 – Marcos 16, Cagulangan 14, David 13, Fornilos 11, Mosqueda 7, Pedrosa 6, Sangco 4, Lao 3, Cruz 2, Lepalam 1, Belgica 0, Perez 0, Dela Cruz 0, Morales 0 QUARTER SCORES: 14-15, 33-34, 57-56, 81-77 --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 13th, 2017

San Beda outworks Letran for a shot at top-seed

Robert Bolick and Javee Mocon let San Beda College continue to be dominant in the NCAA 93 Men’s Basketball Tournament, but it’s the contributions of guys like Franz Abuda and Clint Doliguez who let them be downright scary. That much was evident on Friday at the Filoil Flying V Centre as Abuda and Doliguez turned the tides in favor of the Red Lions as they upended their archrival Colegio de San Juan de Letran for a 73-68 decision. Abuda and Doliguez only scored six and five points, respectively, but it was their hustle and defense that proved to be the key to the defending champions’ 15th consecutive victory. “Clint and Franz made me look good today,” a more than satisfied head coach Boyet Fernandez said. The Knights took control in the third quarter and still led, 63-61, inside the last five minutes before Bolick willed a layup through the outstretched arms of Jeo Ambohot. “I will not take this game away from Letran. They really needed to win this game to make it to the Final Four, but we also had to win this game to prepare us for our next game,” Fernandez said. That tying basket was then followed up with back-to-back hits off offensive rebounds for Abuda and Doliguez. “Our glue guys really played good defense. It was defense and hustle that won us the game,” their mentor said. With those seven unanswered points, San Beda mounted a 63-63 lead with 2:24 remaining. The cushion would hold for the remainder of the game. In the end, Bolick had 13 points and six assists while Donald Tankoua pounded in 15 markers and eight rebounds of his own. Little-known Calvin Oftana also had much welcome contributions with 13 points, seven in the first quarter, to go along with five rebounds. Along with completing a season sweep of their archrivals, the Red Lions also remained in the running for the top-seed with a 16-1 standing. They will try for that when they wage war against league-leading Lyceum of the Philippines University next Thursday in the same venue. On the other hand, the loss drags down Letran onto a three-way tie for the fourth and final playoff berth along with also 8-9 Arellano University and San Sebastian College-Recoletos. Bong Quinto posted an 18-point, 10-rebound double-double to lead them in the losing effort. That the three-way tie stays until the end of eliminations is a possibility as the Chiefs’ final assignment is up against 10th-running Mapua University, the Knights’ last opponent is ninth-running College of St. Benilde, and the Chiefs still have eighth-running University of Perpetual Help left on their schedule. BOX SCORES SAN BEDA 73 – Tankoua 15, Bolick 13, Oftana 13, Mocon 8, Soberano 6, Abuda 6, Doliguez 5, Potts 3, Noah 2, Bahio 2, Adamos 0, Cabanag 0 LETRAN 68 – Quinto 18, Balanza 16, Calvo 12, Nambatac 8, Ambohot 7, Taladua 4, Vacaro 3, Balagasay 0, Gedaria 0, Mandreza 0 QUARTER SCORES: 21-14, 33-31, 52-53, 73-68 --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 13th, 2017

Red Cubs move into two-way tie for second spot

strong>STANDINGS /strong> br /> Malayan 12-3 br /> CSB-LSGH 11-5 br /> San Beda 11-5 br /> Letran 9-6 br /> San Sebastian 8-7 br /> Arellano 7-8 br /> LPU 7-8 br /> JRU 6-10 br /> Perpetual 5-10 br /> EAC 1-15 After an untimely three-game slide, here comes San Beda High School with a head full of steam now in the stretch run of the 93rd Season of the NCAA Juniors Basketball Tournament. Evan Nelle stroked the nets and the other Red Cubs just followed suit in their 35-point rout, 91-56, of Emilio Aguinaldo High School on Friday at the Filoil Flying V Centre. A three-game slide to start the second round dragged down the boys from Taytay to as low as fourth-place. Now, however, they have bounced back big-time with four consecutive victories and an 11-5 record – good for joint possession of the second spot with suddenly struggling College of St. Benilde-La Salle Greenhills. Nelle scored eight of his 21 points as San Beda raced to a hot start, 26-4, in the opening period. They would never look back from that point all the way to a momentum-building win ahead of critical contests against fellow playoff hopefuls Colegio de San Juan de Letran and Lyceum of the Philippines University. Sam Abu Hijleh also added a 10-point, 12-rebound double-double and seven other Red Cubs also contributed at least six points. Getting pulled back in the playoff race is San Sebastian College-Recoletos which was upset by also-ran Jose Rizal High School, 76-84. Toby Agustin was a man on a mission and had 26 points, nine rebounds, and three assists as the Light Bombers took down another playoff hopeful. Their list now includes San Beda, Malayan High School of Science, Arellano High School, and now, San Sebastian. That is quite the list for a team that is no longer in contention with a 6-10 record. On the other hand, it was an unwelcome loss for the Staglets who, now at 8-7, take a step back from the top four teams. As such, they need to win their remaining three assignments just to have a shot at a playoff berth. Damie Cuntapay led them in the losing effort with a 13-point, 21-rebound double-double. Their loss dropped the Brigadiers to 1-15. BOX SCORES FIRST GAME SAN BEDA 91 – Nelle 21, Abu Hijleh 10, Velasquez 8, Etrata 8, Nayve 8, Obenza 7, Mahinay 7, Tagala 6, Sese 6, Dela Rosa 4, Alfaro 2, Lagumen 2, Oliva 2, Garcia 0 EAC 56 – Cruz 23, Castillo 15, Dulatre 8, Boado 3, Oriondo 3, Satillian 2, Tapales 2, Mananquil 0, Mostoles 0, Matilde 0, Suniga 0, Diaz 0, Ligot 0 QUARTER SCORES: 26-4, 53-22, 76-37, 91-56 SECOND GAME JRU 84 – Agustin 26, Camua 15, Caballero 11, Serrano 10, Dionisio 7, Tolentino 7, Sicat 3, Buno 3, Delos Santos 2, Buazon 0, Amores 0, Sabado 0 SAN SEBASTIAN 76 – Calahat 15, Desoyo 14, Cuntapay 13, Pelias 10, Villapando 9, Umayao 5, Pasamante 4, Sumoda 4, Aguilar 2, Timbancaya 0, Are 0, Magbanua 0, Rodriguez 0, Suico 0 QUARTER SCORES: 17-21, 50-38, 65-54, 84-76 --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 6th, 2017

Squires keep streaking with sixth straight, keep Braves reeling

strong>STANDINGS /strong> br /> CSB-LSGH 10-2 br /> Malayan 10-2 br /> Letran 8-4 br /> San Beda 7-5 br /> San Sebastian 5-6 br /> Arellano 5-7 br /> LPU 5-7 br /> Perpetual 4-7 br /> JRU 4-8 br /> EAC 1-1 It has been more than a month since Colegio de San Juan de Letran last lost in the NCAA 93 Juniors Basketball Tournament. Niel Tolentino and Lakksman Ganapathy made sure that wasn’t changing on Tuesday at the Filoil Flying V Centre, showing the way for the Squires as they successfully defended their winning steak against determined Arellano High School via a 65-58 victory. The Intramuros-based squad last lost on August 4 for a 2-4 standing. Since then, they have rang off six consecutive victories to grab and then keep hold of solo third. “Nakuha na nila yung sistema e. Naintindihan na nila kung anong kailangan namin,” head coach Raymond Valenzona said. This is a marked improvement for a team which won just seven of 18 games a season ago. “Pero ang Final Four pa rin ang goal namin, siyempre,” Valenzona said. The better showing was yet again in display in this one as Valenzona’s boys took charge right from the get-go and never trailed. Of course, the Braves slowly but surely crept back to within 55-60 inside the last two minutes only to see Niel Tolentino’s layup right through the defense of MVP leader Aaron Fermin spark Letran’s 5-2 charge to close the contest. In the end, Tolentino had 13 points, seven rebounds, and two assists while Lakksman Ganapathy provided the backup with a 13-point, 12-rebound double-double.. With the win, the Squires gained more separation from archrival San Beda High School which stands at solo fourth with a 7-5 record. They also remain within striking distance of the top two spots occupied by both 10-2 Malayan High School of Science and College of St. Benilde-La Salle Greenhills. On the other hand, Arellano is now essentially in a must-win situation after dropping its third in a row. At 5-7, they are tied for the sixth spot with Lyceum of the Philippine University. Fred Segura led them in the losing effort with 25 points while Fermin tallied 11 points, 16 rebounds, and seven blocks. Meanwhile, Jose Rizal High School finally took down a non-contender, dispatching Emilio Aguinaldo College, 92-85. Toby Agustin topped the scoring column with 26 points as the Light Bombers registered their fourth win in 12 games. This adds to their upsets of San Beda, Malayan, and Arellano. The loss dropped the Brigadiers to 1-11. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 19th, 2017

Atletico finishes strong after poor start to season

By Tales Azzoni, Associated Press MADRID (AP) — It all turned out just fine for Atletico Madrid. After enduring a poor start to the season, Atletico ended it on a very high note. Diego Simeone's team is celebrating the Europa League title and still has a chance to finish second in the Spanish league, a feat it hasn't achieved since 2014. "We're very happy. We've been doing well year after year," Simeone said. "We've always said the best way to start winning again was to always keep trying." It was the sixth title for Simeone since he arrived in 2012 to revamp Atletico and make it into perennial title contender. He is now tied with Luis Aragones for the most titles with the club. "It's about more than a trophy," Simeone said. "It represents the value of hard work, a steady hand and consistency, values to be successful in life." Life poured onto the streets of the Spanish capital late Wednesday to celebrate Atletico winning a third Europa League trophy after beating Marseille 3-0 in the final in Lyon. It was a good way to end a season which began with very high expectations for Atletico but mostly disappointed until the last few weeks. The main goal was to make it back to the Champions League final after coming very close to winning the title in recent seasons, But it couldn't even get past the group stage. Atletico easily made it to the knockout stages in the last four seasons, losing the final to Real Madrid in 2014 and 2016, and being a semifinalist last season and a quarterfinalist in 2015. "We came very close in two Champions League finals, and in the semifinals last season," Simeone said. "We lost one (final) with two minutes left, and another on penalties. But we got ourselves back up." Atletico lost to Sevilla in the quarterfinals of the Copa del Rey to see another title opportunity slip by, and in the Spanish league it stayed near the top throughout the season but was never really able to mount a title challenge against Barcelona. Not helpful was a FIFA transfer ban which wasn't lifted until January, when Atletico could finally sign striker Diego Costa. Atletico needs a draw at home against Eibar on Sunday to hold on to second place ahead of Real Madrid and secure its best finish since it won the league in 2014. Atletico finished third behind either Barcelona or Madrid in all the other years since 2012-13, which was the team's first full season under Simeone. A draw or a loss by Real Madrid at Villarreal on Saturday will also be enough for Atletico, which is three points ahead of the city rival with one match to play. The teams are even in the head-to-head tiebreaker — they drew 0-0 and 1-1 — but Atletico trails on overall goal difference. Sunday's Liga game will also mark the end of Fernando Torres' career with Atletico. The former Spain striker earlier announced he will leave the club at the end of the season......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 18th, 2018

Celtics take Game 1 of East finals, beat Cavaliers 108-83

By Jimmy Golen, Associated Press BOSTON (AP) — Jaylen Brown had 23 points and eight rebounds, Marcus Morris added 21 points and 10 boards, and the Boston Celtics opened a 21-point, first-quarter lead and scorched the Cleveland Cavaliers 108-83 on Sunday (Monday, PHL time) in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals. Al Horford scored 20 points for the Celtics, who ran off 17 consecutive points in the first quarter and never allowed the Cavaliers within single digits again. Boston led by 28 when Cleveland coach Tyronn Lue pulled LeBron James for good with 7:09 left. Game 2 is Tuesday night (Wednesday, PHL time). Kevin Love had 17 points and eight rebounds, and James finished with 15 points, nine assists and seven boards. The Cavaliers missed their first 14 three-point attempts of the game and shot just 32 percent in the first half. By that time, Boston led 61-35 — the biggest halftime playoff deficit in James’ career. With injured stars Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving on the bench in street clothes, the Celtics continued their stunning run this season with what may have been the most surprising turn of events yet. A year after dropping the first two games at home against Cleveland in a five-game East final, the Celtics pounced on James, and the favored Cavaliers were never really in it. The Celtics took the floor to a hype video that began with the broadcast of Hayward’s injury in the first quarter of the first game, at Cleveland. A variety of commentators predicted the team’s demise, including Hall of Famer Charles Barkley saying: “Their season’s over.” As more players went down to injury, the prophesies grew even gloomier. But there the Celtics were, back in the Eastern Conference finals against the Cavaliers for the second year in a row — with Hayward, Irving, Daniel Theis and Shane Larkin all injured and coach Brad Stevens down to an eight-man rotation. It was more than they needed. Morris, starting in place of Aron Baynes, backed up his boast that he could cover James better than anyone except Kawhi Leonard and helped pester James into seven of Cleveland’s nine turnovers. (James had eight in the entire four-game, second-round sweep of the Raptors.) Horford made his first seven shots of the game and scored 10, including eight straight, during the 17-0 run that turned a three-point deficit into a 21-7 lead. After James wiggled his way to a layup — Cleveland’s first points in 4 minutes, 43 seconds — Boston ran off eight more points in a row; Brown had six of them, and he finished the quarter with 13 points and five rebounds. Cleveland scored seven straight points early in the third and finished the quarter with six in a row to make it 78-64. But Boston made the first three baskets in the fourth and, after running off nine in a row to make it 96-68 with 7:09 left, the Cavs conceded. TIP-INS Cavaliers: Kyle Korver’s three-pointer with nine minutes left in the third period was their first after missing 14 in a row. It cut the deficit from 28 points to 65-40. ... Tristan Thompson had eight points and 11 rebounds. Celtics: The Celtics improved to 8-0 at home this postseason. They do not have to win on the road to reach the NBA Finals. ... Boston’s 36-18 lead at the end of one quarter was the second-largest in a playoff game in franchise history. UP NEXT Game 2 is Tuesday night (Wednesday, PHL time), Boston......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 13th, 2018

PBA: Castro wills TNT past Ginebra to maintain perfect start

Jayson Castro is still TNT's one true alpha. That got proven again Sunday as the Blur led TNT to a big 96-92 victory over Brgy. Ginebra in the 2018 PBA Commissioner's Cup at the MOA Arena. Castro was the star of the KaTropa offense and TNT maintained its perfect start in the mid-season joust, gaining a share of first place with a 3-0 record. The Blur was brilliant all throughout, scoring a game-high 27 points as he basically took over with his import and his new star runningmate both struggling offensively. Jeremy Tyler only scored two points and Terrence Romeo was no better, finishing with only three markers. Still, Castro's effort was more than enough, with his final two triples in the fourth ending up as crucial baskets that allowed the KaTropa to hold off the Gin Kings. "I think at this point, the nice thing having depth in the guard rotation, when some guys struggle, we could use some of the others," head coach Nash Racela said. After Castro, RR Pogot scored 15 for TNT while Troy Rosario added 14. For the Gin Kings, who now drop to 0-2, Japeth Aguilar and Joe Devance led the team with 19 points each. Import Charles Garcia scored 15.   The Scores:   TNT 96 — Castro 27, Pogoy 15, Rosario 14, Trollano 11, Semerad 7, Taha 6, Cruz 5, Paredes 4, Romeo 3, Carey 2, Tyler 2, Garcia 0, Reyes 0. GINEBRA 92 — J. Aguilar 19, Devance 19, Garcia 15, Tenorio 13, Mercado 8, Caperal 7, Thompson 5, Caguioa 2, Ferrer 2, Mariano 2.   Quarters: 27-22, 51-51, 73-69, 96-92.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 6th, 2018

DOC VOLLEYBALL: An Unpredictably Exciting Season

And it finally comes to a close. Season 80 of the UAAP volleyball, from its opening game up to the very last point of the season, will be remembered as the most unexpected and exciting year for Philippine Collegiate Volleyball. While most other competitors had a good share of ups and downs, the emerging champions NU Bulldogs and DLSU Lady Spikers proved to be just a cut above the rest in exerting volleyball dominance. Bulldogs’ Bite Tired of a three-peat runner-up finish, the National Univeristy Bulldogs finally claimed the glory by snatching the crown from perennial rivals, the Ateneo Blue Eagles. With both teams having a shared rivalry once as cellar dwellers and now as championship contenders, the rivalry between NU and Ateneo in men's volleyball has been a wonder to see evolve. For Season 80, the Bulldogs finally left a mark by serving up height, athleticism, and cohesion to dominate the men's division. In their finals match against the Blue Eagles, the Bulldogs showed exemplary net play in terms of offense led by eventual Finals MVP Bryan Bagunas. With King Blue Eagle Marco Espejo relegated to the opposite position, NU coach Dante Alinsunurin’s choice to field in Madzlan Gampong proved to be beneficial in checking Ateneo’s offensive behemoth. Though still capable of producing his usual output, Espejo was closed down on key situations, giving confidence boosters to the NU wall as well as compensating for their floor defense, which was relatively their disadvantage. Perhaps the other contributing factor in NU’s victory was how the Blue Eagles were not able to maximize on their skill advantages such as service and blocking. In both finals matches, Ateneo was not able to capitalize on the passing of NU with aggressive serving leading to clean execution of offensive plays from the latter. In instances where the Blue Eagles were making a rally and even obtaining a Game 2 set, it was highly evident that their blocking was significantly altering the hitting tendencies of NU, but Ateneo was not able to stay consistent with such tactic. Archers’ Aim Over in the ladies division, the finals match-up of the two powerhouse squads, the De La Salle Lady Spikers and the FEU Lady Tamaraws, was highly consistent with the theme of the encounters throughout the season. With the two best serving and passing teams in the league, it was expected that both teams would bring out the best in each other and that was just what both teams did in the Finals series. In both encounters during the elimination season, the Lady Tamaraws were able to challenge the passing efficiency of the Lady Spikers by giving them a taste of their own medicine which was aggressive serving. In the instances that FEU was able to subdue La Salle in their encounters, it was because of well placed heavy serves that negate the threat of middles Majoy Baron and Aduke Ogunsanya. In similar fashion, Season 80 Best Blocker Celine Domingo was also able to pose a significant defensive threat in the net due to the team’s ability to disrupt oponent attack patterns through aggresive serving. Coming into the Finals series, it can be considered that both FEU and DLSU are the most balanced teams in the league. With starters who are notable in producing points in every rotation, the biggest factor for both teams would be the ability of the middles to execute as Baron was capable of racking up the points left unchecked and Domingo was essential in running FEU’s bread and butter combination plays. As such, the main determining factor in the outcome of the finals series was who could out-serve who given both team's proficiency in both serving and passing. True enough, the Lady Spikers proved that they were the better serving team as they were able to establish a tight wall defense to check The Lady Tamaraws’ offense. Consistent with their elimination round encounters, FEU’s inability to execute the set given a substantial lead combined with La Salle’s tenacity to thrive under pressure eventually won the Lady Spikers the crown. Beyond 80 The exit of big names such as Dy, Baron, Bernadeth Pons, Dawn Macandili, Jaja Santiago, Jho Maraguinot, Jema Galanza, Mylene Paat and Shaya Adorador to name a few would spell some concern for their respective teams ,but would serve as a challenge and inspiration for newcomers to reach the achievements of their predecessors. In similar fashion, teams left with solid line-ups like UST and UP would have better chances to dominate albeit higher expectations. In line with that, familiarization with more foreign coaching ideologies from the likes of Air Padda and Gody Okumu will further elevate the level of the sport in the women's division. On the other hand, an intact champion in the NU Bulldogs as well as contender FEU Tamaraws will ensure dominance for both. As such,the exit of inarguably one of the best tandems in UAAP history, that of Ish Polvorosa and Espejo, would entail a tough challenge for Ateneo to produce new outstanding inclusions in order to maintain their place in the upper echelons of the league.    .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 4th, 2018

The curse of the Western Conference '4 seed

Here's a reminder for the Western Conference teams next season when they start jockeying for playoff seeding: Avoid the fourth seed at all costs. Sure you'll get home court advantage against the fifth seed, but that hasn't meant anything since the 2012 Playoffs. For the past seven years, all fourth seeds have lost to the fifth seeds, with the latest victims being the Oklahoma City Thunder, who were ousted in six games by the Utah Jazz. Is it sheer coincidence? A hardwood hex? A sign of parity? We'll run through the aforementioned seven series and let you decide for yourself. 2012 Playoffs - #5 LA Clippers (40-26) defeat #4 Memphis Grizzlies (41-25) in seven games The setup: It feels appropriate that this "curse" began during the lockout-shortened 2011-12 season. The Clippers were in year one of Lob City, having acquired Chris Paul during the offseason, while the Grizzlies were looking to build on their epic #8 vs #1 upset of the San Antonio Spurs from the previous postseason. What happened: The Grizzlies began this series in the worst possible way. In game one, they led by as much as 27 points, and were up 95-71 with 9:13 left to play. But then Nick Young happened. Swaggy P came off the Clippers bench and buried three straight triples, helping LA win game one, and build a 3-1 series lead. The Grizzlies won the next two though, sending things back to Bluff City for a game seven. Ultimately though, home court didn't help, as the Clippers broke the game wide open in the fourth, outscoring the Grizzlies 27-16, for an 82-72 victory. "That guy was on the team?": Reggie Evan led the Clippers in rebounding with 8.7 a night, while Gilbert Arenas played in six out of the seven games, totaling 23 minutes and four points for the Grizzlies. What next?: The Spurs swept the Clippers in the semis. 2013 Playoffs - #5 Memphis Grizzlies (56-26) defeat #4 LA Clippers (56-26) in six games The setup: The Clippers won their division for the VERY FIRST TIME in franchise history, while the Grizzlies were in full Grit 'N Grind mode, with Marc Gasol winning Defensive Player of the Year that season. What happened: Things started off well, with the Clippers winning the first two games in LA. However, the Grizzlies stood firm at home, knotting the series at 2-all. Things turned dire for LAC when star forward Blake Griffin suffered an ankle sprain during practice, limiting him to just 19:34 minutes in game five, which they lost. With their season on the line in the City of Angels for game six, Griffin could only play 13:56, and not even a career postseason-best 30 points by Matt Barnes could save the Clips. To add insult to injury, Chris Paul was ejected with 2:29 left, before the game ended with a 118-105 score. "That guy was on the team?": Tayshaun Prince was Memphis' starting small forward, while Grant Hill and Lamar Odom, both with the Clips, played their last NBA seasons. What next?: The Grizzlies dispatched the OKC Thunder in five games in the conference finals, before losing to the Spurs via a sweep in the West Finals. 2014 Playoffs - #5 Portland Trail Blazers (54-28) defeat #4 Houston Rockets (54-28) in six games The setup: The Houston Rockets added Dwight Howard to a roster that already had James Harden, Jeremy Lin, and Chandler Parsons, making them one of the top teams in the West. The Portland Trail Blazers meanwhile built on Damian Lillard's 2013 Rookie of the Year campaign and snapped a two-year postseason drought. What happened: While things were tightly contested, three of the first four games went to overtime, the Blazers seemingly had the Rockets' number, winning two of those OT games, en route to a 3-1 series lead. The Rockets managed to stave off elimination at home in game five, but in game six, Lillard truly made a name for himself, by canning a series-winning shot, allowing Rip City to advance for the first time in 14 years. "That guy was on the team?": Mo Williams was Portland's sixth man (8.2 ppg, 1.8 rpg, 1.8 apg), while Omer Asik teamed up with Howard in the Houston frontcourt. What next?: The Blazers managed to take one game from the Spurs, before bowing out in the conference semifinals. 2015 Playoffs - #5 Memphis Grizzlies (55-27) defeat #4 Portland Trail Blazers (51-31) in five games The setup: The Blazers won the Northwest Division, but the next two teams in the standings, the Grizzlies and the Spurs, both had notched 55 wins, four more than them. Portland's main problem though was swingman Wesley Matthews tearing an achilles tendon early in March, a season-ending injury. What happened: Portland struggled to find someone who could take the starting SG spot on their roster with Matthews out, cycling through CJ McCollum, Allen Crabbe, and Arron Afflalo. That trio, as starters, combined to shoot 4-of-22 for 10 points over five games, allowing the Memphis D to concentrate on Lillard and LaMarcus Aldridge. The Grizzlies won the first three games, before picking up the clincher in game five, despite starting point guard Mike Conley suffering a facial fracture in game three and missing the rest of the series. "That guy was on the team?": Nick Calathes wound up assuming the point guard duties for the Grizzlies, in what turned out to be his final NBA stint (he went back to playing in Greece after the season). What next?: The Grizzlies lost in six games in the next round to the Golden State Warriors, after the Dubs made their famous adjustment to use Andrew Bogut to guard Tony Allen. 2016 Playoffs - #5 Portland Trail Blazers (44-38) defeat #4 LA Clippers (53-29) in six games The setup: The LA Clippers came really close to losing center DeAndre Jordan to the Dallas Mavericks in the offseason, but you all know what happened instead. As for the Portland Trail Blazers, the team rebuilt after losing LaMarcus Aldridge and Nic Batum, among others, pairing Lillard with Most Improved Player winner CJ McCollum in the backcourt. What happened: The Paul-Griffin-Jordan trio looked splendid early on, going up 2-0 after games in LA. The Blazers struck back and won game three, but then disaster waylaid LA in game four, with BOTH Paul (broken hand) and Griffin (quad) exiting the game and the series. That paved the way for the Blazers to complete their run and advance. "That guy was on the team?": It was Chris Kaman's final NBA season, and he spent it as a locker room guy for the Blazers. It was also Clippers guard Pablo Prigioni's last stint in the NBA (not counting several preseason games with the Rockets the next season, before he got cut and returned to Europe). What next?: The Blazers advanced to the West semis, where they lost in five games to the Warriors, despite Stephen Curry missing the first three matches. 2017 Playoffs - #5 Utah Jazz (51-31) defeat #4 LA Clippers (51-31) in seven games The setup: It was a battle between two teams looking to go far in the postseason in the hopes of enticing their future free agents to re-up. For the Jazz, Gordon Hayward was the player in question, while for the Clippers, both Chris Paul and Blake Griffin had the ability to depart in the offseason. What happened: Iso-Joe Johnson did Iso-Joe things, stealing game one for the Jazz on the Clippers' home court. Undeterred, the Clippers proceeded to win the next two, for a 2-1 advantage, but game three turned out to be costly. The team the next day announced that Blake Griffin was out for the rest of the season due to a toe injury. Still, things went to a game seven, in LA, but the Clippers did not have the firepower to win out, and the Jazz were able to get the victory and advance. What next?: The Jazz got swept by the Warriors in the West semis. And ironically, both Hayward and Paul wound up departing their respective teams. In addition, Griffin did sign an extension with the Clippers, but they wound up trading him mid-way through the 2017-18 campaign. 2018 Playoffs - #5 Utah Jazz (48-34) defeat #4 Oklahoma City Thunder (48-34) in six games The setup: The Jazz equaled their postseason rank from last season, thanks to the brilliance of rookie Donovan Mitchell, while the Thunder formed a "Big Three" comprising Russell Westbrook, Paul George, and Carmelo Anthony. What happened: Paul George sizzled for 36 points to help the Thunder win game one, but Ricky Rubio and Donovan Mitchell teamed up to help the Jazz win the next three. On the brink of elimination, Russell Westbrook led a dominant third quarter effort in OKC to force a game six, but in Salt Lake City, the Jazz managed to hold on, and earn the series victory. What next?: The Jazz will now test themselves against the top-seeded Houston Rockets. Should be a good one. The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or ABS-CBN Sports......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 29th, 2018

Champions League back in Chelsea s sights as rivals stumble

LONDON (AP) — Chelsea could squeeze into the Champions League after all. In the space of 20 days, Antonio Conte's side has reduced Tottenham's hold on fourth place in the English Premier League from 10 to two points. Cesc Fabregas was set up by Eden Hazard to secure a 1-0 victory over Swansea that gave Chelsea a third successive victory to take advantage of Tottenham's stumbles on Saturday. After Tottenham plays Watford on Monday, the north London club and Chelsea will have three games remaining. Adding further intrigue to the hunt for the three places below newly crowned champion Manchester City was Liverpool slipping to a third draw in four matches. With Mohamed Salah failing to score a 44th goal of the season, Liverpool was held by Stoke to 0-0. Juergen Klopp's priority is protecting a 5-2 advantage over Roma in the Champions League semifinals when it travels to Italy for the second leg on Wednesday. But if the five-time European champions aren't careful they might need to lift the cup again to secure a route back into the Champions League next season. Liverpool is only six points ahead of Chelsea having played a game more than the deposed champion it meets next Sunday at Stamford Bridge. Manchester United, which is two points ahead of Liverpool in second place, has four games remaining, starting on Sunday at home to sixth-place Arsenal. RELEGATION SCRAP The three teams in the bottom three staved off relegation, for now. West Bromwich Albion has mounted an improbable recovery under caretaker manager Darren Moore. Matt Phillips sealed a 1-0 victory at Newcastle — Moore's second success in a four-game unbeaten stint — to nudge the last-place team five points from safety. That's where Swansea is, a place and a point above the drop zone. Stoke is sandwiched between Southampton and West Brom, separated by two points from both fellow strugglers. Dusan Tadic scored twice to give Southampton its first home win since November, 2-1 over Bournemouth. Huddersfield isn't out of danger yet, sitting three points above Southampton after being beaten 2-0 by Everton, whose goals came from Cenk Tosun and Idrissa Gueye. PALACE MAJESTIC Cyrstal Palace looked doomed after losing its opening seven games without scoring. The south London club climbed to 11th place — six points clear of the bottom three — after beating Leicester 5-0. Wilfried Zaha again excelled and scored the opening goal and James McArthur doubled the lead before gaining a man advantage in the 55th minute. Marc Albrighton was sent off for bringing down Zaha. The goal flurry came in the last 10 minutes when Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Patrick van Aanholt netted and Christian Benteke struck a penalty. Leicester, the surprise 2016 champion, is six points ahead of Palace in ninth place. BURNLEY FOR EUROPE Burnley can start to dream of playing in Europe after a 51-year absence, with seventh place virtual assured after drawing with Brighton 0-0. The northwest England club is six points clear of eighth-place Everton with two games remaining and a superior goal difference. Brighton moved five points clear of the relegation zone with nine points to play for. PROMOTION PUSH Cardiff has the edge to join Wolverhampton in returning to the Premier League. Cardiff beat Hull 2-0 to reclaim second place in the second-tier League Championship, a point ahead of Fulham heading into the final round......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 29th, 2018

Cavs guard Hill to miss Game 5 vs. Pacers with back spasms

By Tom Withers, Associated Press CLEVELAND (AP) — Cavaliers starting point guard George Hill will miss Game 5 against Indiana with lingering back spasms. Hill also sat out Game 4, but the Cavs were able to hold on to a second-half lead and beat the Pacers to even the series. Hill has been bothered by a bad back since he was drilled from behind by Indiana’s Trevor Booker in the series opener. Jose Calderon will start in place of Hill, who came to the Cavs in February via trade from Sacramento. The 31-year-old Hill is averaging 8.7 points and 1.7 assists in the postseason. Cavs coach Tyronn Lue did not provide any details on Hill’s injury or his status going forward in the series. Hill received four injections in an attempt to play in Game 4. Calderon has been in and out of Cleveland’s lineup all season. He’s averaging 3.3 points and 14 minutes in the series......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 25th, 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

DE JESUS: Genius, disciplinarian, champion coach

This story was originally published on May 7, 2017 De La Salle University head coach Ramil De Jesus came inside the press room of the Big Dome for a post-game interview wearing the same smile he had in the past nine times the Lady Spikers closed the UAAP season as champions. The only difference in those championship interviews were the players that accompanied him to answer questions from reporters. From Iris Ortega-Patrona, Desiree Hernandez, Maureen Penetrante, the legendary Manilla Santos, the Big Three of Cha Cruz, Paneng Mercado and Jacq Alarca, to Michel Gumabao and beast-mode-don’t-care Aby Marano to Ara Galang, Mika Reyes, Kim Dy and gem of a setter in Kim Fajaro – all of them stood beside a genius and architect of DLSU’s successful volleyball program. Victory after victory, De Jesus built his reputation as a one of the best women’s volleyball mentors in the country. Last Saturday, De Jesus added another feather to his cap when he steered the Taft-based squad to back-to-back titles in the 79th UAAP women’s volleyball tournament at the expense of archrival Ateneo de Manila. Two decades since his arrival to the school of a different shade of green after playing for Far Eastern University, delivered 10 titles and brought the Lady Spikers to the Finals 17 times.   De Jesus shared the secret of his success. “Siguro, sistema siguro then hard work. And then, well-disciplined ‘yung mga bata. Siguro, ‘yun ‘yung key,” he said. His success earned him the respect of his peers including three-time UAAP men’s volleyball champion Oliver Almadro of Ateneo, who was once one of his lieutenants, and players alike. DLSU embraced him as one of its own. “Natutuwa ako kasi kahit hindi ako alumnus doon niyakap nila ako bilang parang doon na din nag-graduate,” said De Jesus. “Hindi ko naman napapansin ang mga nanyayari sa akin sila lang ang nakakapansin, binigyan nga ako ng award. Happy, very happy (ako).” De Jesus is known to be a no nonsense coach. Strict, straightforward and a disciplinarian – traits he inherited from FEU men’s coach Kid Santos.                He doesn’t like fanfare and as much as possible keeps attention away from him. De Jesus carefully chooses his words but when he gives one, everybody listens. He means business all the time.   Brilliance of De Jesus 246-65. De Jesus knows how to win and his career win-loss record says it all. The main reason why DLSU trusted De Jesus to handle the team for that many years – a rare feat considering that a UAAP coach’s tenure is very volatile.   It was summer 20 years ago when former basketball Olympian and influential DLSU sport personality Ramoncito Campos brought in a young mentor in De Jesus to save the school’s volleyball program, which then had yet to win a title since joining the league in 1986.           He entered the UAAP volleyball scene during the time when powerhouse teams Far Eastern University and University of Sto. Tomas, then mentored by legendary coach August Sta. Maria, were the ones lording over here the competition. Of course the road to glory didn’t come easy but his first tour of duty gave DLSU a chance to feel what it was to be in the Final Four when the Lady Spikers finished fourth a year when after strings of forgettable seasons. Quenching the thirst to salvage some pride in the sport that will eventually be DLSU’s second most valued contest next to basketball, the Lady Spikers began to hunger for the crown – something the school never felt before since winning it all back in 1976 as a member of the NCAA.   De Jesus submitted his team to Spartan-like training and hammering discipline and slowly molded the Lady Spikers to a championship-caliber squad. In Season 61, DLSU challenged FEU for the crown but the Lady Tamaraws’ championship experience prevailed. The loss only fueled De Jesus’ desire to bring the Lady Spikers to the throne even more. With the core of ace hitter Ortega-Patrona, setter Valerie Bautista, Sally Macasaet, Sheryl Magallanes, Demelle Chua, Hollie Reyes and then sophomore Ivy Remulla, De Jesus steered DLSU on the right track for another shot at the crown. Midway in the season Bautista got pregnant. De Jesus, calm and composed, knew what to do. He converted open spiker Reyes into a setter and the gambit worked as DLSU once again punched a ticket to the Finals, this time against UST – a very hungry team looking to reclaim the title. A year removed from the throne, UST was ready for the kill. But the Espana-based squad went against a famished team – DLSU will not leave the sweltering University of the Philippines Human Kinetics Gym without the championship trophy. In front of a crowd - dwarf-sized compared to the multitude of fans that troop bigger venues of today – the Lady Spikers wrote history. DLSU slew a giant in a thrilling five-set game behind the stellar performance of Ortega-Patrona, who won that Season’s Most Valuable Player award – the first of many incredible volleybelles that will bag the highest individual honor under De Jesus’ tutelage.     It was an incredible feat but it won’t see a repeat in the next three years.              Grand Slam After their breakthrough title, the Lady Spikers had three straight bride’s maid finishes behind FEU. Heartbreaks brought by Ortega-Patrona’s falling out with De Jesus over a disciplinary issue in Season 63 and the unstoppable power of FEU's Monica Aleta, who won three straight MVP awards while towing the Lady Tams to a three-peat. Like a chess master, De Jesus learned from his mistakes before pulling off a feat that will cement his name as one of the greatest. With Hernandez, Penetrante and a young Santos as his main pieces, he steered the Lady Spikers to a rare three-peat. DLSU brought into heel FEU, UST and Adamson to complete a grand slam. A four-peat loomed for the celebrated Lady Spikers but fate played a cruel trick on them after UAAP suspended DLSU in Season 69 because the Green Archers' basketball squad fielded two ineligible players the previous year.       When the ban was lifted in Season 70, De Jesus and the Lady Spikers were again under the radar as title contenders together with the defending champion UST, FEU and Adamson. But team was forced to file a leave of absence from the school while the tournament was ongoing because Alarca saw action despite incomplete academic credentials to be eligible to play. All of the team’s won games where Alarca played where forfeited and the Lady Spikers ended up at seventh place. It was a painful setback but it also served as a rallying point for DLSU. With Santos playing her final year and the emergence of enigmatic but then rookie libero Mel Gohing in Season 71, the Lady Spikers denied the then graduating Rachel Anne Daquis and FEU back-to-back crowns. DLSU relinquished the throne to the Angeli Tabaquero and Aiza Maizo-led Tigresses the following year. The Lady Spikers avenged their loss the next season in a rematch with UST behind Alarca, Mercado, Cruz, Gumabao and Gohing in the start of De Jesus’ second three-peat.   DLSU-Ateneo rivalry Nobody really knows when UAAP volleyball picked up the tremendous following it has today. Maybe it needed something for people to get hooked into. A continuous rivalry, perhaps? For six straight years DLSU and Ateneo did just that. The storied rivalry between La Salle and Ateneo spilled from the basketball court to the taraflex mat of volleyball. De Jesus had in his bench the core of veterans Cruz, Gumabao and Marano back and freshmen Galang, Reyes and Demecillo when they met in the Season 74 Finals a young and promising Lady Eagles side – much like the Lady Spikers De Jesus inherited 14 seasons back. Led by Fille Cainglet, Dzi Gervacio and a fresh recruit from University of Sto. Tomas high school Alyssa Valdez, Ateneo gave DLSU a tough challenge for two seasons but the Lady Spikers repelled them both times. Then came Lady Eagles Thai mentor Tai Bundit. For three years in a row, De Jesus’ system bested the rest of the field including that of then Ateneo coach Roger Gorayeb. However, a coach who barely spoke English or Filipino provided him a challenge in Season 76. DLSU with an intact core led by Marano, swept its way straight to the Finals with a thrice-to-beat advantage. Ateneo crawled its way to the championship round through a series of do-or-die games. De Jesus is an old-school type of coach. His system is hinged on well-planned strategies and tactics. He was pitted against Bundit’s Thai-style of play anchored on a heartstrong mantra and a ‘happy, happy’ approach of the game. Bundit dances on the sideline, an animated fellow during the matches. De Jesus is stoic as always. When the two collided for the title for the first time, Bundit shocked De Jesus and DLSU when Ateneo beat them thrice in a four-game series that went the full distance. Bundit and the Valdez-led Lady Eagles did it again the following year, completing a season sweep at the expense of the Lady Spikers, who struggled to pose any form resistance in the Finals after Galang went down with a season-ending ACL tear in the semis. It was a devastating loss to say the least. But De Jesus, a general who fought many battles for the green and white, stuck with the weapon that brought him success – his ability to adjust. Outdueled by Bundit in their last six matches, De Jesus found a way to stop the rampaging Lady Eagles in their first meeting in Season 78. Ateneo equalized in the second round and even took the top spot after the elimination. The Lady Spikers and the Lady Eagles would eventually meet in the Finals for the fifth year in a row. De Jesus was ready for Ateneo. He knew the strengths and weaknesses of the Lady Eagles and used it to his advantage to win the series opener. The then graduating Valdez brought Ateneo back in Game 2 to tie the series, but DLSU completed its long-awaited revenge in the decider and gave Reyes, Demecillo and Galang a fitting sendoff gift.                  Road to back-to-back Losing five veterans including three of their key players heading into Season 79 gave De Jesus one of the toughest challenges he ever faced as a DLSU mentor.  Setter Kim Fajardo returned for her swan song together with fourth year playes Kim Dy, Dawn Macandili and Majoy Baron. Desiree Cheng also came back after a year of absence due to a knee injury, but De Jesus was still left to navigate with a relatively young crew.  “Sa laht nang nai-form kong team, ito yung medyo (up and down) yung performance,” he said. “Sobrang babaw ng bench, wala ka halos (mahugot) pagtingin mo, wala ka makuha.” DLSU struggled early and was on the losing end of two elims matches against Ateneo. “Ateneo nu’ng buong elimination NU lang ang halos tumalo. Sabi ko ano bang meron ang team na ito?” he said. “Pinilit lang naming habulin.” “Kasi alam ko nag-start kami medyo hilaw ang team namin. Early part ng first round natalo kami sa UP sabi ko pukpok pa tayo, habol pa,” De Jesus added. “Ang nakakatuwa sa mga bata, ang determinasyon na humabol nandoon.” When the De Jesus found himself leading the Lady Spikers to a sixth straight title series against Bundit and the Lady Eagles, he knew his squad was ready to defend their crown. And protect it they did in a series sweep capped by a dramatic five-set victory.    “Siguro buong eliminations, nire-review namin ang mga games, nakikita mo yung difference, ‘yung advantage at disadvantage ng team, so siguro doon kami nag-focus, kung saan kami medyo dehado. Concentrate kami sa training,” he said. “Ine-explain ko rin sa players kung ano yung dapat naming gawin, although mahirap. So, tanggapin na lang nila.” In a rare moment, when Ateneo’s Jho Maraguinot sent her attack long that signaled DLSU’s back-to-back championships, De Jesus let his hair down a little. He was jumping, dancing, celebrating the victory and even held his hands up, both his palms wide open as confetti dropped and the deafening roar of the crowd and banging of the drums echoed inside the arena. De Jesus won his tenth title. When the celebration subsided, De Jesus fashioned the same smile he wore in his past nine championships as he was led inside the pressroom of the Big Dome. Only this time around, Fajardo, Cheng and Dy were the ones who followed him from behind.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 20th, 2018

UAAP VOLLEYBALL: Tapos na kami sa Ateneo, so it s about time na mag-focus kami sa susunod na game -- De Jesus

Done with their elimination round assignment, two-time defending champion De La Salle University head coach Ramil de Jesus is now looking at the bigger picture – steering the Lady Spikers to their 18th championship appearance. DLSU made quick work of archrival Ateneo de Manila University, 26-24, 25-17, 25-19, Sunday to complete a sweep of the second round elimination of the 80th UAAP women’s volleyball tournament at the MOA Arena. The Lady Spikers closed the elims with a 12-2 win-loss record and collected their eighth straight win, building momentum heading into the Final Four against National University where the Taft-based squad enjoys a twice-to-beat advantage.           “Well, sabi ko nga, one game at a time. Tapos na kami sa Ateneo, so it's about time na mag-focus kami sa susunod na game, which is 'yung semis against NU,” said De Jesus, whose squad completed an elims sweep of the Lady Eagles for the first time in four years. DLSU disposed Ateneo in an emphatic fashion compared to its four-set win over the Lady Eagles in the first round.      But De Jesus, who is looking for his 11th title and third grand slam, reminded his wards that the much-hyped up match between two of the most popular teams in the league were just a couple of games in the elimination round. What is important, he said, are the remaining postseason season matches that will determine their place in history.     “Sabi ko sa kanila, at lagi kong sinasabi sa kanila, itong buong eliminations, hindi importante ito,” said the mentor. “Ang pinaka-importanteng game ay pagdating ng semis at tsaka ng Finals, kung aabutin ng Finals. So 'yun lang ang motivation. 'Yung importanteng game, kailangan paghandaan.”       --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 15th, 2018

SLR scores huge upset over erstwhile unbeaten Petron

Games Saturday: (Batangas Sports and Convention Center) 4:00 p.m. -- Foton vs Generika-Ayala 6:00 p.m. -- Cocolife vs Smart   Sta. Lucia Realty carved out the biggest upset so far in the 2018 Chooks to Go-Philippine Superliga (PSL) Grand Prix when the Lady Realtors put Petron’s eight-game winning streak to a screeching halt, 25-18, 25-21, 25-17, Thursday at the Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan. The Lady Spikers pounced hard on the cold and sluggish Blaze Spikers from start to finish en route to a massive conquest. With the win, the Lady Realtors now fashion a 4-5 win-loss card, giving it a slight chance of stealing one of the four twice-to-beat incentives in the quarterfinal round. Sta. Lucia, however, has to beat winless Smart while hoping that Cocolife (5-3) would drop its next two matches in the classification phase. “Whatever happens, this win is a huge morale-booster for us,” said Pascua, who is very familiar with the Blaze Spikers after guiding them to a sweep of the All-Filipino Conference in 2015. Ukrainian reinforcement Dana Anisova delivered 13 kills and an ace to finish with 14 points while MJ Philips and Marisa Field chipped in 13 and 10 markers, respectively, for the Lady Realtors, who marched to the battlefield in with fire in their eyes knowing that the Blaze Spikers have yet to lose in their first eight games. Meanwhile, F2 Logistics recovered from a cold start to clobber Cignal, 23-25, 27-25, 25-16, in the second game. Imports Kennedy Bryan and Maria Jose Perez spearheaded the balanced attack to tow the Cargo Movers to a win away from sweeping the second round. It was the eighth win of the Cargo Movers in nine matches, forging a tie with Petron, which suffered its first loss after falling prey to Sta. Lucia Realty in the first match, 25-18, 25-21, 25-17.   With that, F2 Logistics has a golden chance to steal the top seed in the quarterfinals pending the outcome of its final match in the classification phase. Bryan delivered 13 kills, two blocks and an ace for 16 points while Perez chipped in 14 markers for the Cargo Movers, who banked on their solid blocking as well as the steady offensive performance of Ara Galang and Aby Marano. Serbian import Sonja Milanovic delivered 27 markers while American Jeane Horton had 23 points for the HD Spikers, who fell to sixth place after absorbing their sixth loss in nine matches. The Lady Realtors played their hearts out, especially in the third set where they entered the second technical timeout with a huge 16-7 lead. Anisova, Philips and Jonah Sabete continued the rout to put the Lady Realtors at match point, 24-14. Although Lindsay Stalzer tried to pump life into their flickering chances, Field connected a strong hit from the middle to essay the victory. American imports Lindsay Stalzer and Hillary Hurley tallied 19 and 15 markers, respectively, for the Blaze Spikers, who struggled all game long due to misreceptions and turnovers. They tallied 28 errors while the presence of Japanese libero Yuri Fukuda was hardly felt, giving the Lady Realtors a golden chance to become the first team to tarnish their sterling record in just 77 minutes of action......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 5th, 2018