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Batang Gilas duo shine for NU in UAAP 81 Juniors action

The Nazareth School of National University (NS-NU) Bullpups opened their UAAP Season 81 Juniors' Basketball tournament campaign on a high note after holding off the FEU-Diliman Baby Tamaraws, 78-70, at the Blue Eagle Gym Sunday morning. With the game tied at 57 following a JB Sajonia jumper from 15 feet, NS-NU held off a furious run by the Baby Tams, as Bullpup Terrence Fortea scored six straight points to keep their opponents at bay.  FEU-Diliman's RJ Abarrientos cut the lead to as close as four, 61-65, but NS-NU answered emphatically with the game-deciding 16-3 run, capped off by Harold Alarcon's fastbreak layup. "Medyo nag-start out ng maganda yung defense namin. Na-contain namin yung FEU noong first half. Noong bandang gitna ng third quarter, medyo bumaba na naman. Siguro we have to be more consistent," NS-NU Bullpups head coach Goldwin Monteverde told ABS-CBN Sports. NU tried to pull away initially in the first half, venturing on an 11-1 run bridging the first two quarters to lead 28-16, but the Baby Tamaraws found a way to slowly chip away the lead. Batang Gilas duo Carl Tamayo and Gerry Abadiano had a great debut for the Season 80 runners-up, combining for 28 points. The sharpshooter Fortea meanwhile added 11 markers of his own. Abarrientos top scored for the Baby Tamaraws with 15, while Ron Tolentino added 14. Meanwhile, in the first game, the De La Salle-Santiago Zobel Junior Archers drew their first win of the season in a comeback win against the UE Junior Red Warriors, 66-56. Game tied at 49 in the early goings of the fourth quarter, DLS-Zobel wrestled away the game from UE through a 15-4 run to lead 64-53. Henrie Subido, brother of UST Growling Tiger Renzo led the way with 19 points. Lance Jomalesa, a key cog in the game-sealing run added 17 markers of his own. For UE, Shane Dichoso paced their offese with 20 points and six rebounds, but coughed the ball nine times. Big man Jesse Sullano meanwhile had a double-double performance of 11 points and 10 rebounds. FIRST GAME DLSZ (66) -- Subido 19, Jomalesa 17, Sevilla 13, Macasaet 6, Pingol 4, Villarin 3, Buncayo 2, Milan 2, Cudiamat 0, Luna 0, Marana 0. UE (56) -- Dichoso 20, Sullano 11, Alinsoring 8, Lima 6, Manaug 5, Flores 3, Tajonera 2, Agbas 1, Almacen 0, Villarta 0, Gatdula 0, Escamilla 0. Quarter Scores:  15-17, 35-29, 44-45, 66-56. SECOND GAME NS-NU (78) -- Tamayo 18, Fortea 11, Abadiano 10, Gonzales 8, Alarcon 7, Dayrit 7, Torres 6, Felicilda 5, Quiambao 5, Mailim 1, Vinoya 0, Enriquez 0, Buensalida 0. FEU-Diliman (70) -- Abarrientos 15, Tolentino 14, Alforque 12, Anunuevo 7, Bautista 7, Sajonia 6, Ona 5, Bagunu 2, Torres 2, Libago 0, Barasi 0. Quarter Scores: 20-16, 41-34, 54-52, 78-70.   __     Follow this writer on Twitter, @philipptionary. .....»»

Category: sportsSource: abscbn abscbnNov 11th, 2018

Height, speed are keys for Kai Sotto and Batang Gilas in FIBA Asian Championships

The Philippine youth team bannered by promising big man Kai Sotto,will bank on height and speed for its coming campaign in the FIBA U16 Asian Championships in Foshan, China from April 2-8. The 15-year-old Sotto, who recently led Ateneo to the UAAP juniors basketball championship, serves as the centerpiece of the 12-man team of coach Michael Oliver which also counts on Rafael Go, Raven Cortez, McLaude Guadana, Terrence Fortea, Recaredo Christian Calimag, Rence Padrigao,, and Shaun Geofrrey Chiu – all of whom suited up for the Batang Gilas squad that won the Southeast Asian Basketball Association (SEABA) juniors championship held at the Smart Araneta Coliseum last year. Newcomers include Jerick Kyle Bautista, Joshua Rafael Lazaro, Yukien Andrada, and King Balaga. “We have a combination of height and speed. At least hindi na tayo kawawa sa ilalim unlike before. Hindi na tayo undersized sa mga kalaban natin,” said Oliver. Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) executive director Sonny Barrios, who, was with Oliver and Batang Gilas co-team manager Andrew Teh and Wilbert Loa in Tuesday’s Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum at the Tapa King Restaurant at the Farmers Center in Cubao, said seven Batang Gilas players are above six feet, including Sotto who stands 7-foot-1, Chiu, who is 6-foot-8, and Cortez at 6-foot-7. Chiu and McLaude joined the team together with deputy coach MC Abolucion in the session presented by San Miguel Corp., Tapa King, and the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. The country is bracketed in Group B with powerhouse Australia and Malaysia. The host country leads Group A together with New Zealand and Hong Kong, Group C will have Iran, Chinese Taipei, and Macau, while Group D is composed of Korea, Japan, Lebanon, and India. In all, 13 countries are seeing action in the week-long event. Barrios said the meet was supposed to be held last year shortly after the SEABA meet, but had to be moved to this year as FIBA failed to find a willing host. The top four countries to finish in the meet will represent Asia to the FIBA U17 Basketball World Cup in Argentina next year. As per tournament format, the best placed team in each group will qualify directly to the knockout stage starting with the quarterfinals. The second and third place teams will proceed to the playoff round. It won’t be easy, according to Oliver, since the team didn’t get to practice with a full roster until after the end of the UAAP season. “Naghahabol talaga kami sa training. Daily practices kami as much as possible,” said the Batang Gilas coach......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 20th, 2018

UAAP: Unbeaten Bullpups bury Jr. Warriors in 72-point hole

STANDINGS NU 5-0 Ateneo 4-1 Adamson 3-2 DLSZ 3-2 FEU-Diliman 3-2 UST 2-3 UE 0-5 UPIS 0-5 Nazareth School of National University is far from full strength and yet, it remains the standard of the UAAP 81 Juniors Basketball Tournament. Gerry Abadiano and Terrence Fortea showed the way, but all of the Bullpups played their parts to perfection as they ran hapless University of the East out of the Blue Eagle Gym in Quezon City to the tune of a 72-point obliteration, 115-43, on Saturday. Abadiano and Fortea scored 17 and 16 points, respectively, to lead four other teammates in double-digits as they stayed spotless after five games. “Mas maganda yung movement ng bola namin kanina compared sa ibang games tapos yung defense naman, maganda rin from start to finish,” head coach Goldwin Monteverde said post-game. It was those two who got going right from tip-off and, alongside Reyland Torres and Kevin Quiambao, combined for 28 points in the first half. With just the four of them, NU already outscored all of the Junior Warriors at that point, 28-18. The Bullpups would not take their foot off the pedal the rest of the way even as Abadiano and Fortea rested on the bench for much of the second half. In the end, Torres had 13 points, six rebounds, three assists, and two steals while Quiambao had 10 markers, five boards, and two dimes. Little-known Menard Songcuya and Renzo Abiera also contributed 10 points apiece to help make up for the absence of Batang Gilas big man Carl Tamayo. “Yung process of becoming a team, yung biggest challenge pa rin namin is how to play together,” coach Goldwin said. Shane Dichoso paced still winless UE with nine points. In the day’s other game, Adamson High School topped University of Sto. Tomas in overtime, 77-74. Andrey Doria dropped half of his 14 points in the extra period to go along with a total of seven rebounds while brother Adam also added 18 markers, five boards, and three steals as the Baby Falcons forged a three-way tie for third-place at 3-2. Big man Lorenz Capulong also came up big with a 17-point, 14-rebound to make sure they overcame an off-game by main man Joem Sabandal who only had eight points before leaving the game due to an apparent left leg injury. For the Tiger Cubs, Mark Nonoy stuffed the stat sheet anew with 20 points, 10 rebounds, and eight assists. He also had 10 turnovers, however, and as a team, they saw their 34 turnovers get converted into 21 points to fall to 2-3 in the standings. BOX SCORES THIRD GAME NU 115 – Abadiano 17, Fortea 16, Torres 13, Quiambao 10, Songcuya 10, Abiera 10, Gonzales 7, Alarcon 6, Vinoya 6, Buensalida 5, Javillonar 4, Enriquez 4, Dayrit 4, Felicilda 3, Mailim 0. UE 43 – Dichoso 9, Flores 7, Agbas 6, Almacen 6, Escamilla 5, Sullano 4, Dy Tioco 3, Alinsoring 2, Villarta 1, Tan 0, Lima 0, Gatdula 0, Santos 0, Tajonera 0, Mendoza 0. QUARTER SCORES: 27-10, 57-18, 92-30, 115-43. FOURTH GAME ADAMSON 77 – Ad. Doria 18, Capulong 17, An. Doria 14, Sabandal 8, Prodigo 6, Engbino 5, Santos 4, Hanapi 2, Barcelona 2, Dominguez 1, Nitura 0. UST 74 – Nonoy 20, Marzan 16, Benzonan 14, Casingcasing 12, Lina 10, Sumabat 2, Oliva 0, Manabat 0, Estrella 0, Amador 0, Dumlao 0, Dolendo 0, Gamboa 0. QUARTER SCORES: 25-15, 40-32, 53-43, 66-66, 77-74. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 8th, 2018

NU, Ateneo out to add to woes of UE, UPIS in UAAP Jrs.

Games on Saturday at the Blue Eagle Gym 9:00 AM – FEU-Diliman vs DLSZ 11:00 AM – Ateneo vs UPIS 1:00 PM – NU vs UE 3:00 PM – UST vs Adamson STANDINGS NU 4-0 Ateneo 3-1 FEU-Diliman 3-1 Adamson 2-2 DLSZ 2-2 UST 2-2 UE 0-4 UPIS 0-4 It will be a battle between the top two teams and the bottom two teams in the continuation of the UAAP 81 Juniors Basketball Tournament. League-leading Nazareth School of National University stakes its spotless slate against winless University of the East while defending champion Ateneo de Manila High School shoots for a win run against also luckless University of the Philippines Integrated School on Saturday at the Blue Eagle Gym in Quezon City. The Bullpups (4-0) are pacing the tournament behind Batang Gilas players Carl Tamayo, Terrence Fortea, and Gerry Abadiano and are nothing but determined to keep doing so opposite the 0-4 Junior Warriors at 1:00 PM. Meanwhile, the Blue Eaglets (3-1) are out for back-to-back wins on the shoulders of towering teen Kai Sotto at the expense of the 0-4 Junior Maroons at 11:00 AM There will also be matchups between Far Eastern University-Diliman (3-1) and De La Salle Zobel (2-2) at 9:00 AM and between Adamson High School (2-2) and University of Sto. Tomas (2-2) at 3:00 PM. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 7th, 2018

UAAP: In SJ Belangel, the next man up just keeps coming for Ateneo

SJ Belangel was a one-time champion and two-time Mythical selection when he played for Ateneo de Manila High School in the UAAP Juniors. After a stellar stint in the high school ranks, Belangel only decided to stay and committed to the Ateneo Seniors squad. This, even though Gilas cadet Matt Nieto and one-time Xavier School standout Tyler Tio were well entrenched ahead of him in the depth chart. For the 6-foot court general, it was all about believing that patience is a virtue. “You just have to be ready palagi, yun lang iniisip ko. Kahit ilang minutes ibigay sa akin, everybody just needs to step up,” he said. After nine games, his per game counts have been far from what he has been used to at just 2.4 points in nine minutes of play. With Nieto sitting out his fourth game in a row on Sunday, however, Belangel found an opening to break through. “Kung ano lang matutulong ko sa team, yun lang ipo-produce ko. Kuya Ty needs a backup so ginrab ko lang yung opportunity,” he said. He did just that, turning in much-welcome contributions of a career-high 11 points to go along with three assists, and two rebounds. More than doing it for himself, though, the 19-year-old made it clear that all he did was for his veterans. “Wala si Kuya Matt so kailangan ko talagang mag-double time. Si Kuya Ty, kailangan na ‘di siya napapagod so palagi lang talaga akong ready,” he said. He then continued, “Luckily, I had a chance to get a career-high.” In the end, just as he did it for Nieto and Tio, Belangel’s breakthrough was also helped by those two. Asked what his veterans have been teaching him, he answered, “Be who you are lang. Palagi nilang sinasabi sa akin na laruin mo lang laro mo.” Now, whenever Nieto gets back to action, he will have a Tio who has broken through as well as a Belangel who has broken through backstopping him. Talk about an embarrassment of riches for the defending champions. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 27th, 2018

Tamayo, Abadiano complete ‘strongest’ Batang Gilas ever

The Philippine national basketball team is nothing but positive as it heads to Argentina for the FIBA Under-17 World Cup. “Hindi tayo pupunta dun na ‘di tayo tiwala na kaya nating manalo,” Batang Gilas assistant coach Josh Reyes said in their send-off dinner on Monday in Ortigas. The Filipinos booked a ticket to Worlds after reaching the quarterfinals of the 2018 FIBA Asia Under-16 Championship. That team featured talented tower Kai Sotto, court general Forthsky Padrigao, streaky shooter Terrence Fortea, rim protector Raven Cortez, and scoring guard RC Calimag After that tournament, Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas was nothing but proud that the boys have accomplished their mission. Now, Batang Gilas has also added heady guard Gerry Abadiano and versatile big Carl Tamayo. That is exactly why Batang Gilas is nothing but positive even as it has been grouped with eighth-ranked host Argentina, 10th-ranked Croatia, and seventh-ranked France. “This is the strongest U17 team that the country has produced. We’re very excited kasi ‘di na maliit ang Pilipinas,” Ronald Mascarinas, president of team backer Chooks-to-Go shared. Indeed, the country, ranked 34th in the world, now boasts of five players listed at or higher than 6-foot-5. Of course, fronting the effort is UAAP champion and Finals MVP Sotto. And for him, there is no doubt that the Philippines could go far in the Worlds. “Naniniwala ako sa team ko na kahit anong mangyari, nasa likod ko sila. Ako rin, lagi akong nandito para sa kanila,” he said. Rounding out Batang Gilas are Yukien Andrada, King Balaga, Kyle Bautista, Geo Chiu, Mac Guadana, Rafael Go, and Joshua Lazaro. They will be coached by UAAP Juniors champion coach Mike Oliver alongside Reyes and Gilbert Lao. They fly to Argentina on Thursday for the tournament running from June 30 to July 8. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 18th, 2018

Cebuano Batang Gilas player Steve Nash Enriquez joins NU

Nazareth School of National University is not yet done further stocking up on its already loaded arsenal. Just a week after getting the commitment of Bacolod’s Harold Alarcon, the Bullpups are welcoming another Visayan star in Steve Nash Enriquez from University of Visayas. Enriquez, all 5-foot-7 of him, wowed just about everybody in the Elite 60 Development Camp in early May. There, he showcased the skills of a playmaking point guard. As such, he was recognized as the training program’s Best Camper and was named to the Batang Gilas pool, alongside Alarcon and Filipino-Australian Royce Mantua. Now, Enriquez and Alarcon will also be teammates for an NU side that is heading into the UAAP Juniors season as the heavy favorites to reclaim the crown it last wore in 2016. They will be beefing up a roster that already includes now longest-tenured player Terrence Fortea and incoming studs Gerry Abadiano and Carl Tamayo --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 24th, 2018

Kai is gonna be Kai whether it be Batang Gilas or Gilas cadets

There is no doubt that Kai Sotto is a dominant force in the high school level. But a step higher in terms of competition? We have yet to find out. Good thing then that we all got a glimpse of what the 7-foot-1, 15-year-old could do up against a collegiate team when he and the Gilas cadets took on University of the East last Tuesday. And the young Sotto was, for the most part, his UAAP Juniors champion and Finals MVP self. King Red Warrior Alvin Pasaol learned that the hard way. “Si Kai Sotto, talagang sobrang taas. Kala ko, maiiwan ko na siya e, yun pala, supalpal pa rin,” he told reporters after he and his team surrendered a 61-63 decision to the Gilas cadets who were energized by their towering, tantalizing talent. Indeed, just like he always does, Pasaol was aggressive and went at Sotto a couple of times. Safe to say, Pasaol was unsuccessful and Sotto slammed the door on him in both instances. And it wasn’t just Pasaol who got denied by Sotto, but all of UE as well. The prized prospect of Ateneo de Manila High School just had five points, three rebounds, and two blocks to his name, but it was during his time on the floor when the Gilas cadets went on a 13-0 run that erased an 11-point deficit and that eventually ended as a much-needed two-point win. And don’t forget, he did all that during his debut for the national team. As always, the kid of few words said that he was only doing his job. “Ako naman, kahit sino, gagawin ko lahat nang makakaya ko para matulungan team ko,” he said. That statement only bodes well for both the Gilas cadets and Batang Gilas. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 23rd, 2018

Elite 60 Dev’t Camp to serve as start for future Batang Gilas players

The Elite 60 Development Camp strives to be bigger and better now in its second year. And along with providing another avenue for young talent to better themselves, the training program is also providing another avenue for the Philippine national youth basketball team to better itself. “We (have tried) to come up with a program to complement and assist the national team program. That’s why this year, we decided to lower the age group to 16 and under,” camp director Eric Altamirano said in the program’s press conference on Thursday at the Capitol Commons in Pasig. He then continued, “If there’s any player that we can identify, the national team would be able to put them in the pool and have continuous training to hopefully make the national team.” The Elite 60 Development Camp is a training program that scoured the entire country for the best of the best young talent aged 16 and under. It will run from May 10 to 13 at the Colegio de San Agustin Gym in Makati. In its first edition a year ago, it gathered the top Under-18 players such as NCAA Juniors MVP Will Gozum and UAAP Juniors champion RJ Abarrientos. Now, it aims to identify younger talent who may very well serve as the core of Batang Gilas. “After the Elite 60 Camp, the objective is to have the national team coaches to be able to see sino ba ang potential players nila,” Altamirano said. Overseeing the camp alongside Altamirano, will be Rob Beveridge, former head coach of the Australian men’s national basketball team. For Batang Gilas itself, the training program is a much-welcome development. “This will really help us with the identification of talent. We lean on this program to identify the talent that we need,” assistant coach Josh Reyes said. And for that, the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas is also in all-out support of the Elite 60 Development Camp. “Magandang programa ang na-develop nina coach E at coach Alex [Compton] kaya it’s something worth supporting. Hopefully, this thing carries on through more years,” Gilas team manager Butch Antonio said. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 10th, 2018

Sotto banners Batang Gilas for FIBA U-16 tilt

MANILA, Philippines – Ateneo’s seven-foot center Kai Zachary Sotto, who was recently named UAAP juniors Finals Most Valuable Player, will lead the Philippine.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsMar 20th, 2018

Triple-doubling Kai Sotto reclaims top spot in NBTC 24

After two weeks, Ateneo de Manila High School standout and 23 for 2023 Gilas cadet Kai Sotto has regained the honor as the top high school prospect in Week 7 of the National Basketball Training Center Chooks-to-Go 24. The NBTC Chooks-to-Go 24 is a weekly ranking of high school players taking part in the UAAP, CESAFI-NBTC, MMBL, and FCAAF tournaments as well as the recently concluded NCAA competition. Sotto, who is undoubtedly the top young center in the country, lifted the Blue Eaglets to an 86-70 win over Nazareth School of National University last Friday with a stout statline of 22 points on 9-of-12 shooting, 16 rebounds, and 11 blocks. That was the first triple-double performance in the UAAP Juniors Basketball division since 2003. “I text him, he texts me and he texted me, ‘Coach, abangan niyo. Eto na, makikita niyo yung totoong Kai Sotto.’ True enough, he proved to be a man of his word," shared Ateneo head coach Joe Silva about the top Grade 9 cager in the country today. Blue Eaglets’ floor general SJ Belangel, who had 17 points, seven rebounds, eight assists, and five steals, remained as the top point guard but fell to number two overall. Rounding-up the top five are Joel Cagulangan of La Salle Greenhills, NCAA MVP and 23 for 2023 cadet Will Gozum of Mapua University, and UAAP MVP CJ Cansino of University of Sto. Tomas. After posting better numbers in Game 1, Dave Ildefonso of Ateneo rose to seven, overtaking NU's Rhayann Amsali. Making the biggest leap in the penultimate week of the rankings was NU's Terrence Fortea. Fortea, a member of the Batang Gilas squad that won gold in the 2017 SEABA Championship, rose from 19 to 14 after pacing the Bullpups in Game One with 21 markers. Here is the complete rankings after Week 7: 1. Kai Sotto, ADMU (2) 2. SJ Belangel, ADMU (1) 3. Joel Cagulangan, LSGH (3) 4. Will Gozum, MU (4) 5. CJ Cansino, UST (5) 6. L-Jay Gonzales, FEU (6) 7. Dave Ildefonso, ADMU (8) 8. Rhayann Amsali, NU (7) 9. Aaron Fermin, AU (9) 10. Clint Escamis, MU (10) 11. John Galinato, CKSC (11) 12. Inand Fornilos, LSGH (12) 13. Warren Bonifacio, MU (13) 14. Terrence Fortea, NU (19) 15. RJ Abarrientos, FEU (14) 16. Evan Nelle, SBC (15) 17. Joem Sabandal, ADU (16) 18. Beirn Laurente, UV (17) 19. Raven Cortez, DLSZ (20) 20. Miguel Oczon, NU (24) 21. Alex Visser, SHS-Cebu (18) 22. Mac Guadana, LPU (21) 23. Harvey Pagsanjan, HCHS (23) 24. Joshua Yerro, UV (22) The Juniors stars were ranked using the following criteria: league stats, impact in team, team record, leadership, defense, offense, and level of competition. These rankings will be used to determine the 24 players who will take part in the annual SM-NBTC High School All-Star Game on March at the MOA Arena......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 27th, 2018

EYES ON YOU, KID: UAAP 80 Jrs. players to watch

The first round of the UAAP 80 Juniors Basketball Tournament is over and done with. And we can’t wait for the second round to get started just so we could get even more glimpses of the future of Philippine basketball courtesy of these players: CJ CANSINO – University of Sto. Tomas (yellow jersey with ball) ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 27.6 points, 43.5 percent shooting, 14.6 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 1.7 steals (yellow jersey number 27) CJ Cansino has single-handedly made University of Sto. Tomas matter again – and that’s not an exaggeration. Through his sheer will, the Tiger Cubs find themselves well inside the playoff picture at the end of the first round. The long-limbed forward is an all-around weapon who can get his shots inside the paint, from the perimeter, and even from the charity stripe where he has already scored a mind-boggling 60 points – that’s out of 76 attempts, giving him a 78.9 percent shooting clip from there. It’s not just scoring where he makes an impact, though, as he also can also make plays for teammates like scoring guard Kobe Palencia as well as disrupt plays for opponents. And oh, the six-foot-two graduating player is also tops in the league in rebounding – yes, he has more rebounds than the next kid on our list. The even better news for UST? Cansino wants to stay for college. KAI SOTTO – Ateneo de Manila High School (blue jersey number 11) ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 12.9 points, 52.5 percent shooting, 12.7 rebounds, 4.9 blocks (blue jersey number 11) All eyes have been on Kai Sotto ever since he was discovered in the Jr. NBA. Now in his second season for currently league-leading Ateneo de Manila University, he has given all of us more than enough reason to never take our eyes off of him and all of his now 7-foot 1-inch stature. A legitimate inside presence the likes of which the high school ranks have never seen before, Sotto is unstoppable in getting points near the basket and collaring rebounds from anywhere inside the paint. And yeah, the kid atop our list has more rebounds than him, but nobody in the Juniors can touch the 15-year-old’s rim protecting ability. 34 blocks through seven games? That’s unheard of! The even better news for Ateneo? He’s just in Grade 9, that’s three more seasons of eligibility after this one. SJ BELANGEL – Ateneo de Manila High School (white jersey number 0) ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 16.3 points, 50.6 percent shooting, 5.6 assists, 5.3 rebounds, 1.7 steals (blue jersey number 0) Sotto has been getting all the attention, but just like a year ago, Ateneo has been SJ Belangel’s show to run. The kid who famously scored 99 points back in his hometown of Bacolod is now a complete player. The scoring has always been there for Belangel, but it’s his now pinpoint passing that is the more welcome development for the still undefeated Blue Eaglets. It doesn’t hurt either that the 18-year-old is doing nothing but living up to being a floor leader. L-JAY GONZALES – Far Eastern University-Diliman (yellow jersey number 0) ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 12.6 points, 9.7 rebounds, 6.0 assists, 2.6 steals (yellow jersey number 0) No doubt, the shots have yet to fall for L-Jay Gonzales as he is only shooting 32.4 percent from the field. Just like what he showed in his starmaking stint in last season’s Finals, however, it has again become clear that he doesn’t have to score to make an impact. In all of the league, Far Eastern University-Diliman’s main man is first in steals, second in assists, and fifth in rebounds. And there’s one thing we all learned last season, it’s never to count out the Baby Tamaraws and their do-it-all guard. DAVE ILDEFONSO – Ateneo de Manila High School (white jersey number 10) ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 12.9 points, 42.7 percent shooting, 8.9 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 1.4 steals (white jersey number 10) Dave Ildefonso is not top five in the league in anything – he is well inside the top 10 in many things, though. With Sotto, Belangel, and the rest of Ateneo’s stacked lineup, it’s easy to forget that they have a versatile player who can score from all over the floor while also defending the opposing team’s forwards and guards. And among all of high school, the son of Philippine basketball legend Danny Ildefonso has one of the most college-ready bodies – he can bump with the best of them and he can move with the best of them. That is exactly why make no mistake about it, Dave Ildefonso has been a key cog in the Blue Eaglets’ ascent to the top of the leaderboard. RHAYYAN AMSALI – Nazareth School of National University (blue jersey number 13) ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 13.0 points, 43.2 percent shooting, 8.7 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 2.1 steals As expected, there has been an adjustment period for Nazareth School of National University and new head coach Goldwyn Monteverde. That hasn’t stopped Rhayyan Amsali from producing as expected, though. Already having proven himself as an all-around offensive weapon, the third-year forward is now displaying the development of his defense to the tune of a third-best steals total. RJ ABARRIENTOS – Far Eastern University-Diliman (green jersey number 17) ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 14.0 points, 6.0 rebounds, 5.0 assists, 1.0 steals FEU-Diliman is already fortunate to have somebody like L-Jay Gonzales and yet, they actually have two of that kind of player on their roster. RJ Abarrientos can do the very same things his Finals MVP teammate can, but when focused, has proven himself to be an impactful 3-and-D swingman. The nephew of “Flying A” Johnny Abarrientos will never have the ball in his hands all that much, but when he does, good things happen more often than not. JOEM SABANDAL – Adamson High School (blue jersey number 21) ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 16.3 points, 45.9 percent shooting, 6.7 rebounds, 6.3 assists, 2.2 steals A new day has dawned upon Adamson High School and serving as the brightest ray of light is Joem Sabandal. The heady guard is best in the league in assists, second in steals, and third in points – doing anything and everything in his power to keep his team afloat. The journey back to the heights they once reached is far and long, but the Baby Falcons are nothing but glad that they already have the person to steer them there. AGEM MIRANDA – University of the East (white jersey number 4) ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 17.9 points, 41.1 percent shooting, 8.6 rebounds, 5.4 assists, 2.1 steals University of the East remains winless Round 1, but unlike a year ago, there is reason to watch and there is reason to hope. Agem Miranda has made the most out of his opportunities on a talent-lacking squad and has opened eyes on how his all-around game will translate if given more help. The one-and-done guard will have to find that out on some other team, but at the very least, he has energized the Junior Warriors back on track. RAVEN CORTEZ – De La Salle Zobel (green jersey number 6) ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 12.6 points, 64.2 percent shooting, 10.9 rebounds, 3.3 blocks, 1.1 assists It looks like Boris Aldeguer, the mentor who molded Joshua Webb and Arnold Van Opstal into promising big men, has finally gotten his hands on his next project. There is no doubt that Raven Cortez is raw, even rawer than Ateneo’s Sotto, but his size and skill give him all the potential in the world, much like Ateneo’s Sotto. The Batang Gilas member may not have an outside shot just yet, but he has already put his 6-foot 7-inch frame to good use as the second-best blocker and fourth-best rebounder in the league......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 6th, 2018

Don’t expect to see Terrence Romeo with Globalport this month, with Gilas next month

Terrence Romeo stayed on the court for nearly an hour after Globalport wrapped up its practice on Friday at the Greenmeadows Gym in Pasig. However, that seems to be the most action the Batang Pier star will be seeing anytime soon. Romeo said that remains no timetable for his return and that it is unlikely he will be back on the court this month. “’Di ko pa nakikitang kaya ko this January. Malabo,” he told reporters. The high-scoring guard is recovering from a knee injury and is yet to suit up this season. According to him, his knee is far from a hundred percent. “Tumatakbo ako konti-konti and nararamdaman ko yung pressure (sa tuhod), masakit. Ayokong pilitin,” he said. He also said that it isn’t just his knee that has been affected, but his conditioning as well. As he put it, “Medyo nawala ako sa shape nung nakalipas na buwan kaya kelangan ko rin magpapayat nang konti para pagbalik ko, hindi mapupunta lahat ng pressure sa tuhod ko. “ Along with missing out more than half of Globalport’s elimination round schedule, Romeo’s injury will also sideline him from the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers in February. Gilas will be resuming training on Monday for a looming showdown with fellow undefeated team Australia in its home court on February 22. Romeo said that he has already informed coach Chot Reyes about his status. “Actually, nakausap ko si coach last month and sinabi ko nang kung pwedeng bigyan ako ng chance na makapag-try out ulit, pero after February na,” he said. He then continued, “Si coach Chot naman, ‘di siya nagko-close ng opportunity para sa kahit kaninong tao kaya nung in-open ko yun, sabi niya, of course, open pa rin yung pool.” Of course, the former UAAP MVP said that when that time comes, he knows full well he has to earn a spot. “Siyempre, kelangan ko maging deserving by that time. Kung magiging deserving ako by that time, makikita naman nila yun. Kung di naman ako deserving, maiintindihan ko naman din yun,” he said. He then continued, “Sisiguraduhin kong by (the next window), magiging healthy ako and kundisyon para 100 percent ako na makapag-tryout para sa pool.” --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 5th, 2018

Another five-peat for Ateneo? Isaac Go thinks it’s possible

Before last Sunday, five years ago was the last time Ateneo de Manila University celebrated a championship. That 2012 title capped off a five-peat that saw the Blue Eagles running rougshod in the UAAP. That five-peat featured top-notch talent such as Ryan Buenafe, Kiefer Ravena, Eric Salamat, Greg Slaughter, and Chris Tiu. While this new cast of characters for Ateneo isn’t that renowned, or not yet at least, their belief that they can do great things remains. So much so that Isaac Go, one of the heroes of this most recent championship, believes they are not stopping here. “This band of brothers, we feel we accomplished something, but we want another one,” he told reporters before Ateneo’s bonfire inside campus on Saturday. He then continued, “This is the start of a new five-peat.” The statement drew chuckles from the media present, the Blue Eagles and Go himself. After all, these boys from Katipunan were never ones to make grand claims. Still, a second straight championship isn’t a farfetched idea for this Ateneo team. Aside from team captain Vince Tolentino, Nigerian big man Chibueze Ikeh, and reserve Kris Porter, they will remain mostly intact for a title defense. As for a five-peat? Well, Aaron Black, Nieto twins Matt and Mike, and Thirdy Ravena are only in their third year; Jolo Mendoza and Raffy Verano are only in their second year; and Troy Mallillin, Gian Mamuyac, and Tyler Tio are only in their first year. They also have 6-foot-10 Angelo Kouame, Filipino-Kiwi Patrick Maagdenberg, and former San Beda College Red Lion William Navarro waiting in the wings. And that’s not even including the “wealth of talent” from their high school in the likes of heady point guard SJ Belangel and versatile forwards Jason Credo and Dave Ildefonso, all set to graduate from the Juniors by next year, as well as 7-foot-1 teen Kai Sotto and court general Forthsky Padrigao, both members of Batang Gilas. While he isn’t guaranteeing anything just yet, coach Tab Baldwin said the Blue Eagles will just continue what they have been doing – better themselves each and every day. “We managed to climb the mountain, but when we look up, we see another peak,” he expressed —- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 9th, 2017

Who has blocks on both Steph Curry and Ben Mbala? Only Gian Mamuyac

Gian Mamuyac’s numbers didn’t say much about his skills or contribute much to Ateneo de Manila University’s championship win last Sunday. He only had three points, three rebounds, and nine minutes in that winner-take-all Game 3. He gave us one of the highlights of the game, however.   Ben Mbala will not be denied. #UAAPSeason80Finals pic.twitter.com/8zPdZfuwWN — ABS-CBN Sports (@abscbnsports) Disyembre 3, 2017   Yes, six-foot swingman Mamuyac rejected an inside shot by six-foot-seven and back-to-back MVP Ben Mbala. While it was far from a game-winner or game-sealer or anything of the kind, it was still quite the image for the Blue Eagles’ wonderful season – which saw, through the tournament, a less-heralded group of guys standing up to and then getting the better of Camerooninan powerhouse Mbala and once-defending champion De La Salle University. It was also an image showing how Ateneo consistently got contributions from all over its roster. For reference, Mamuyac only averaged 9.6 minutes of play in the Finals, but made an impact by clamping down on the likes of Aljun Melecio, Ricci Rivero, and yes, Mbala. For those in the know about him and his skills, however, that block is no longer a surprise. Long known as a defensive stopper, the long-limbed Mamuyac has had many gems against the likes of Melecio, John Lloyd Clemente, and Marvin Lee in the UAAP Juniors. And oh, he also has had this defensive gem at the expense of this somebody named Steph Curry.   OMG! Batang Gilas & former Blue Eaglet Gian Mamuyac @mamuinthesea just blocked @StephenCurry30 game winning three! pic.twitter.com/t9YQQtywfE — TJ Manotoc (@tjmanotoc) Setyembre 6, 2016   Yes, Gian Mamuyac now has a resume most of us could only dream of – one-time UAAP Seniors champion, one-time UAAP Juniors champion, and owner of defensive stops on both NBA MVP Steph Curry and back-to-back UAAP MVP Ben Mbala. And the first-year player is only getting started. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 4th, 2017

MVP wants Tab Baldwin to coach Batang Gilas

MANILA, Philippines – Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) chairman emeritus Manuel V. Pangilinan (MVP) revealed that he recommended Tab Baldwin, the two-time UAAP champion coach of the Ateneo Blue Eagles , to head the Batang Gilas program.  "This is my personal view: I think that Tab should be the Batang Gilas coach because ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsDec 8th, 2018

DOC VOLLEYBALL: A Battle of Generations

At long last, perhaps the most anticipated finals match in PVL history has been set. Showing dominance and proving why they are the defending champions despite some minor stumbles, the Creamline Cool Smashers barged their way into the Finals uncontested by dispatching a gritty dark horse in the Petro Gazz Angels. On the other hand, proving that their modern approach to the sport can trump experienced veterans, the Ateneo-Motolite Lady Eagles are proving to be one of the most formidable collegiate teams in the country under the helm of a new head coach. While old and new fans of the Ateneo community will be torn between cheering for the former Queen Eagles Alyssa Valdez, Jia Morado and Fille Cainglet-Cayetano and the current Queen Eagles in Bea De Leon, Maddie Madayag and Ponggay Gaston, it is also of particular interest how Creamline head coach Tai Bundit will defend his trophy from his Ateneo successor Oliver Almadro. While Bundit has laid the foundation for a modern approach to the sport during his stint in Ateneo, Almadro on the other hand has taken it a step further in terms of intricacies in attack strategy. The dream finals match couldn’t be more interesting from a technical point of view as it is an arms race of volleyball modernization stemming from similar schools of thought. Creamline Cool Smashers: The OG New School Ever since coach Tai Bundit took the reins for the Ateneo Lady Eagles, the local volleyball scene has been introduced to numerous innovations that inarguably helped ALE seize a pair of crowns in the UAAP. Modern strategies such as the Setter-Open-Middle rotation, libero getting second ball when setter digs, fast pin plays, to name a few. For a good couple of years, the advancements brought about by Bundit have been a bane even for perennial champion coaches in the collegiate scene. As expected, most teams followed suit in order to adapt and challenge the new system introduced. Though the Bundit riddle has been challenged and conquered in the collegiate scene, Tai’s system still holds an iron grip in the professional scene despite everyone else following suit and that is primarily because of his connection with long time apprentices Alyssa Valdez and Jia Morado coupled with supplementation of astounding players in Jema Galanza, Kyla Atienza and Melissa Gohing to name a few. Despite a surprising upset to start of their PVL Open Conference journey, the Creamline Cool Smashers continued to defy odds in exerting dominance given a handicapped line-up for the most part of the season. Regardless of key players like Michele Gumabao, Risa Sato, and Pau Soriano missing action for a number of games, the trio of Valdez, Morado and Galanza have been sufficient in holding off the competition as shown by the team’s performance in serve, passing, setting, and attack – skill departments that are highly influenced by the aforementioned trio. On the other hand, the absences of Sato, Gumabao and Soriano have definitely influenced their sub-par blocking performance since these three players have the major responsibility of setting up the net defense. It is of no surprise that in order to compensate the block, the Cool Smashers have intensified their serving to at least disrupt opponents' attack strategy. Coupled with exceptional floor defense by Atienza in transition, Morado had little difficulties in setting up counter attacks throughout the tournament.   With a full force line-up coming from the semis into the finals, the Creamline Cool Smashers are at their deadliest and all set to defend their crown. With few attack options on the right side as both middles rarely prove threatening with a slide attack, it is expected that the Creamline offense would still be heavy from the left pins care of Valdez and Galanza. The Lady Eagles would certainly load up their tallest players Madayag, De Leon, and Kat Tolentino to shut down the left pin. As such, the most crucial performance that could spell the difference in the finals series would be from opposite player Gumabao. Though Morado usually opts for combination x-plays in the middle to ease off some burden from the left, the Lady Eagles have proven disciplined enough with their block that combination plays rarely work against them. Should Gumabao exert significant threats from the right and if Bundit can develop her right back row attack in time, the Cool Smashers can circumvent one of Ateneo’s strongest suit which is their block and capitalize on their sub-par floor defense to eventually defend the crown. Ateneo-Motolite Lady Eagles: Paving Their Own Path Just when the future of the Ateneo Lady Eagles went uncertain with the exit of Bundit, Almadro’s takeover proved to be a major step in the right direction as witnessed in their remarkable performance for their first major tournament. For a team with a good mix of veterans and rookies, going toe to toe with top club teams in the country bids a bright future for the team as well as making them a significant contender in the upcoming collegiate league. The match-up against their predecessors, the Creamline Cool Smashers, is not just a treat for the fans but for volleyball analysts as well since it will be highly interesting how Almadro has brought about innovations to the framework established by his predecessor and how he will use it to his advantage. Right off the bat, the best change Almadro implemented upon his succession is relegating Kat Tolentino to the opposite position. The right wing couldn’t be a more perfect position for Tolentino since she can maximize her height and power advantage to rack in the points while minimizing burden on her weakness which is floor footwork and defense. While it’s true that we have seen some players shine in the opposite position in the past, Tolentino’s height, power, and ability to be a significant threat even from the back row makes her a cut above the rest. Almadro’s approach of having a tall, dominant, hitter from the right is a step to a modern approach employed even by top foreign teams. Another noticeable shift in Almadro’s system is the lack of reliance on combination x-plays. While some teams employ such strategy as a bread and butter on offense, the Lady Eagles have moved on from the outdated strategy and have only utilized such attack to break monotony. With a tall, dominant hitter from the right and deadly middles given a good pass, setter Deanna Wong is rarely forced to bunch up the attack in the middle in the hopes of confusing the block when she can separate the defense with fast sets to the pins. Almadro’s inclination towards safe and consistent pin play instead of fancy combination plays proves that he is taking the team to a more modernized approach. While the Ateneo-Motolite Lady Eagles have been stellar in both net defense and attack, a glaring limitation too hard not to notice in the sub-par passing and floor defense. No matter how threatening Madayag and De Leon are from the middle, inconsistent passing would severely limit their output and threat imposed from the middle. With Creamline notably deadly from the service line and having a full force line-up that can finally establish a decent wall on the net, it would be of utmost priority for the Lady Eagles to slow down the serve with high passes and consistent distribution of back row and pipe attacks. In a similar way, the Lady Eagles are pressed to be aggressive with the serve as the main advantage of Creamline is consistency in passing care of Gohing. Ateneo-Motolite cannot afford to be lax or careless with the serve as a good pass almost always converts for a point for Morado and company. Though the Lady Eagles have proven formidable with the block, Valdez is still expected to plow and muscle through with her attacks hence Almadro’s ability to quickly adjust the floor defense pattern would spell the outcome of the game for the Lady Eagles. Catch Game One of the PVL Open Conference Finals on December 5, Wednesday, 6 PM on LIGA, LIGA HD, iWant and via livestream......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 4th, 2018

Foregoing PBA Draft all worth it for UAAP 81 Finals-bound Desiderio

Paul Desiderio is playing his last year for the University of the Philippines in the UAAP Season 81 Men’s Basketball Tournament. A year from now, the top gun of the Fighting Maroons may very well be seeing action in the PBA – as a surefire first round draft pick, no less. That’s not happening just yet, however, as Desiderio has led State U into the Finals with games scheduled for December 1 and December 5 as well as December 8, if necessary. The deadline for applications in the 2018 PBA Draft? December 3. “Wala. ‘Di aabot,” he candidly told reporters after shooting his squad over Adamson on Wednesday and into the championship round. Desiderio isn’t sweating at all, however, as he has no regrets in leading UP in continuing to make history. “Actually, gusto ko nan gang magpa-draft kaso ‘di ako aabot sa deadline,” he said. He then continued, “Okay na okay lang din naman kasi ang tagal-tagal na ‘tong inantay ng UP community.” After all, sacrifice has been the signature of the Fighting Maroons in the season – sacrifice best encapsulated by their new mantra of “16 Strong.” Of course, it was the skipper himself who came up with the mantra. “Sobrang proud ako sa ginawa naming ’16 Strong.’ Ako talaga, sinacrifice ko lahat, pero para sa UP lahat ng sakripisyong ‘to,” he shared. Indeed, throughout the tournament, Desiderio has allowed Nigerian transferee Bright Akhuetie and second-year stud Juan Gomez de Liano to shine under the spotlight. And yet, whenever it matters most for the Fighting Maroons, it’s their graduating captain who has the ball. That’s the way it should be for Desiderio who will live on in history as the player who guaranteed all of this for State U. What did he say then? “Atin ‘to, papasok ‘to.” --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 28th, 2018

Sotto welcomes physicality, ready to fight for slot

Kai Sotto may be the youngest among the 20-man Team Pilipinas pool but the Ateneo de Manila University high school center knows that his ‘kuyas’ won’t go easy on him. The towering 16-year old cager boldly said that he welcomes the challenge of going up against experienced pros. Even if it means absorbing the physical nature of their game. “Sana ibigay nila ang lahat nila,” said the lanky 7-foot-1 Sotto. “Dahil siyempre kaya naman ako nandito para maramdaman ‘yung mga bagay na yun. Para ma-experience din kung paano talaga maglaro ‘yung players sa ganitong klaseng level.”      Sotto was one of the 12 players who attended the first practice session of Team Pilipinas, which is preparing for the two home games against Kazakhstan and Iran in the fifth window of the 2019 World Cup Asia Qualifiers. “Sobrang happy and sobrang excited ko na mag-practice rito and makilala yung mga teammates ko rito and looking forward na maraming matutunan sa kanila,” said Sotto, who already donned the national colors under the Batang Gilas banner. Sotto was joined another young player in University of the Philippines Ricci Rivero. Also in attendance were Talk ‘N Text’s Jayson Castro and Troy Rosario, San Miguel Beer’s June Mar Fajardo, Alex Cabagnot, Marcio Lassiter and Arwind Santos, Rain or Shine’s Beau Belga and Gabe Norwood, Phoenix’s Matthew Wright and Blackwater’s Poy Erram. Included in the pool are Barangay Ginebra’s Greg Slaughter, Japeth Aguilar, LA Tenorio and Scottie Thompson and Magnolia’s Ian Sangalang and Paul Lee. The six though skipped practice with their teams clashing in the PBA Governors’ Cup semifinals Game 2.    SMB’s Christian Standhardinger and NorthPort’s Stanley Pringle have yet to arrive for practice as of posting time. Head coach Yeng Guiao said that Sotto and Rivero have the same equal chance as the pros to secure a spot in the final 12-man lineup. “Meron, meron (chance). Actually, the reason they’re here is they’re one of the guys with the opportunity to fight for a slot in the 12-man lineup,” said Guiao. “So kahit na sabihin natin na ang basic purpose natin is for their development, who knows?” “Hindi natin alam baka magpakita sila,” he added. “So I’m not discounting that possibility. It might be a little bit remote but it’s still a possibility.” For Sotto, getting a call up for the pool is already an honor. Whatever the decision of Guiao come the final cut, the experience will definitely improve Sotto’s game for the future.   “Dream ko na makasama sa talagang team and itong pagsama sa pool. Pero kahit ano man ang kalabasan positive lang ako dahil kahit papaano 16 pa lang naman ako,” said Sotto. “Kahit anong mangyari dito alam ko naman na magandang bagay yun para sa akin. Mag-pray lang ako na kahit anong mangyari magiging successful itong Team Pilipinas.”   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 12th, 2018

23 for 23 Gilas cadets AJ Edu, Remy Martin shine in early US NCAA action

Gilas Pilipinas cadets AJ Edu and Remy Martin showed off their wares in the early goings of the US National Collegiate Athletic Association basketball tournament.  After the first week of action, the Filipino-Nigerian Edu and the Fil-American Martin have each played two solid games for the University of Toledo and Arizona State University, respectively. Edu is norming a respectable 6 points, 5.5 rebounds, in 14.5 minutes off the bench in his first couple of games for the Rockets as a rookie. The 6'10" Edu came off the bench for the Rockets in his debut, scoring three points and grabbing two rebounds in just 10 minutes of action in Toledo's close 87-86 win over the Oakland Golden Grizzlies. In his second game, the 18-year-old big man was more impactful, coming off the bench to flirt with a double-double, going for 9 points and 9 rebounds in 19 minutes in the Rockets' dominant 99-58 win over the Wilberforce Bulldogs. Martin, meanwhile is coming off a successful rookie year with the Sun Devils where he was recognized as the Pac-12 Co-Sixth Man of the Year. The six-foot point guard has been entrusted more minutes in his sophomore season, and he has been producing in Arizona State's first two matches, averaging 7 points, 4 rebounds, and 4 assists per game in a little over 29 minutes of action. Martin came off the bench in the Sun Devils' first game, filling up the stat sheet with 8 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 assists in 31 minutes as Arizona State survived Cal State Fullerton in double overtime, 102-94.  Remy then started for the Sun Devils in their resounding 80-52 win against McNeese State. He dropped 6 points, 5 assists, and grabbed 3 rebounds in 28 minutes. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 12th, 2018

Eight new stars who have risen in UAAP Season 81

It all begins here. That has been the UAAP theme this year and the names you will see on this list have been embracing their new beginnings and are delivering with promise despite all the pressure. The UAAP’s 81st season has been wild right off the bat with teams pulling wins out of nowhere, impressive individual performances, and lit on-court actions, which everyone has caught live on ABS-CBN S+A, S+A HD, LIGA, and LIGA HD every Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday. However, eight names have already shown why they are head and shoulders above everybody else in the season. Let’s take a look at the idols of future ballers and coaches here: 1.) Ange Kouame, Ateneo De Manila University The Ivorian big man is having a great debut with the defending champs in Season 81 and has been announcing his arrival to the league big game after big game, punctuated by his 33-point 27-rebound performance against potential Final Four contender, the FEU Tamaraws. While Thirdy Ravena continues to be the Blue Eagles’ leader on the floor, Kouame is slowly turning himself into a problem on a nightly basis. He’s constantly improving and learning about the college game thanks in part to fellow Ateneo big, who saw his play blossom last year, in Isaac Go.   2.) Sean Manganti, Adamson University Jerrick Ahanmisi is the Falcons’ leading scorer and main attraction. But let it not distract you from the fact that Sean Manganti has improved vastly to be the actual barometer of the team as it continues its stellar season. To prove a point, Manganti has also hit big shots for the Falcons including that game-winning dagger against the UP Fighting Maroons. Part of the reason for his impressive season so far is due to his training with former UAAP MVP Kiefer Ravena, who has been teaching him all the tricks in his bag.   3.) Justine Baltazar, La Salle  Justine Baltazar was a diamond in the rough coming to the Green Archers’ side of the fence after a stellar UAAP Juniors showing for National University. This season, without Ben Mbala up front, people are shocked by the massive improvement of Balti’s game as he has been the Green Archers’ consistent pillar of strength next to Aljun Melecio and Leonard Santillan. Balti is yet to have a bad game this season except when he had to contend with Ateneo’s hulking Ange Kouame, who is way heavier than the lanky center.   4.) Hubert Cani, Far Eastern University What a journey it has been for the former UAAP Juniors Finals MVP Hubert Cani, who went to Ateneo for two years before transferring to FEU and debuting last year. The 5’11” point guard has trimmed down immensely in preparation for Season 81 and it has clearly shown that his deadly Juniors form is back in harness. While FEU has been see-sawing lately in the standings, Cani has been the constant as much as teams prepare to stop FEU’s top scorer Arvin Tolentino.   5.) Juan Gomez De Liano, University of the Philippines Juan’s sophomore year has been anything but a disappointment. The UAAP Season 80 Rookie of the Year recently stopped the UAAP triple double drought when he posted a 15-point, 12-rebound, 12-assist line against the UE Red Warriors last Sunday (October 21). With team captain Paul Desiderio struggling in the start of the season, the former UAAP Juniors MVP stepped up to the plate and show improvement across the board and has become a huge headache for opposing teams alongside prized recruit Bright Akhuetie everytime he steps on the court.    6.) CJ Cansino, University of Sto. Tomas The Growling Tigers rookie is living up to lofty expectations heaped on his shoulders as a UAAP Juniors MVP coming out of the UST Tiger Cubs program. Cansino is already displaying a grown man’s game despite being at the collegiate level. His basketball IQ is off the charts while maximizing the most of his physical tools at hand along with the system new Head Coach Aldin Ayo has put in place. With the keys in his hand, Cansino has responded and what a way for a rookie to, already having an 18-point, 18-rebound game and constantly hovering around a triple-double.   7.) Dave Ildefonso, National University The younger Demolition Brother has been a treat to watch. Along with Cansino, they are both starring for their teams as rookies, leading the way, and leaving fans with jaws on the floor because of the level of talent they are displaying. He has shown great scoring instincts and has been at the forefront of the Bulldogs’ rebuild. 8.) Joe Silva, University of the East We’re giving the last and final spot in the list to UE’s neophyte coach, who’s the driving force behind the rebuilding Red Warriors. Coach Joe maybe younger in terms of age and experience compared to his UAAP counterparts, but he is definitely no pushover with two UAAP Juniors championship under his belt with the Ateneo High School Blue Eaglets. So far, he is off to a good start in building a winning culture in the current UE Red Warriors lineup. This is evident in how feisty his team fights game in and game out despite the talent gap they face. These eight guys are not the only impressive names we should all watch out for as you never know who will suddenly come out of the woodwork and starts pumping impressive game after impressive game. Get to see these stars in action every UAAP Season 81 game day during Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays on ABS-CBN S+A, S+A HD, LIGA, and LIGA HD starting at 2 pm. For more sports news, follow ABS-CBN Sports on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram or visit sports.abs-cbn.com. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 26th, 2018