Advertisements


Beermen rally against TNT to keep perfect start in All-Filipino

San Miguel once again gets the better of rival TNT. The Beermen used a fourth-quarter outburt to defuse the KaTropa, 88-76, Saturday in the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup at Iloilo City's University of San Agustin Gym. Down right from the start, the reigning three-time All-Filipino champions turned the heat up in the final period, doubling up on their fellow Perpetual champions, 30-15, to secure their third win in as many games. Holding on to a four-point lead, Alex Cabagnot hit a booming three with 2:04 to go to push San Miguel's lead to seven, 81-74. Arwind Santos then added another three and a slam dunk as the Beermen completed a 24-point turnaround to take over solo first early in the season. Four-time MVP June Mar Fajardo led the champs in scoring with 20 points while Santos, San Miguel's other MVP, finished with 15 points and 11 rebounds. Marcio Lassiter fired 15 and Cabagnot also had a double-double for the Beermen, going for 11 points on top of 12 boards. For the KaTropa, Troy Rosario was the high man with 15 points and 13 rebounds but it wasn't enough to sustain his team's hot start in the game. With the loss, TNT dropped to 1-2 in the standings   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource: abscbn abscbnJan 13th, 2018

Six standout local volleybelles of 2017

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

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 28th, 2017

Beermen pass Meralco test to gain share of lead in the All-Filipino

ANTIPOLO, Rizal --- If Meralco is San Miguel's first major test in the 2018 Philippine Cup, then the Beermen passed that test with flying colors. The three-time defending champions came through for a big 103-97 win Wednesday at the Ynares Arena here to improve to a 2-0 record to end 2017. San Miguel joined NLEX on top of the standings this early in the All-Filipino. Losing a 22-point lead in the second half, the Beermen had to stand tough in the fourth to avoid yet another meltdown against Meralco similar to their last encounter in the 2017 Governors' Cup. Last season, San Miguel lost a 17-point lead to the Bolts. The repercussions of that defeat were crucial for the Beermen as they missed out on a top-2 seed in the playoffs. The next game, San Miguel lost to Ginebra in the quarterfinals and the team's Grand Slam hopes evaporated into thin air. No such collapse happened thos time as the Beermen knew what to do late in the game and that was to feed their reigning four-time league MV June Mar Fajardo. The Kraken dropped 13 of his 26 points in the fourth quarter as San Miguel managed to hold on despite Meralco's furious rally.  "I'm so thankful that we ended the year with a bang. With this win, I think this will motivate us to play better next time," head coach Leo Austria said. "I told the boys na from the start, we should have a good start ano. I know Meralco, even though they are down 17 or 20 points, I know they will come back ano dahil we lost in our last game against Meralco when we're leading by 17 points that's why I'm very aware of that lead," he added. San Miguel raced to an 18-point lead inthe first half behind the hot shooting of Alex Cabagnot and Marcio Lassiter. Cabagnot fired 12 of his 29 points in the second quarter while Marcio started the game with 10 quick points before finishing with 18. However, the Bolts turned to Mike Tolomia to make it a game in the second half as the second-year guard led a Meralco to a 32-22 third-quarter run where he scored 15 points. He ended up wit ha team-high 21 points off the bench. After Tolomia, KG Canaleta once again proved his spot with Meralco by addinf another 17 points while Reynel Hugnatan was good for 16. Meralco dropped to 1-1 after the loss.   The Scores: SAN MIGUEL 103 — Cabagnot 29, Fajardo 26, Lassiter 18, Pessumal 11, Ross 9, Santos 8, Mamaril 2, Lanete 0, Heruela 0, Ganuelas-Rosser 0. MERALCO 97 — Tolomia 21, Canaleta 17, Hugnatan 16, Newsome 13, Lanete 10, Bono 8, Amer 7, Baracael 2, Ballesteros 2, Caram 1, Faundo 0, Sedurifa 0, Salva 0.  Quarters: 30-18, 59-41, 81-73, 103-97.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 27th, 2017

1-10 record lights fire under Blackwater in surprise unbeaten start

    Blackwater finished at the bottom of the standings the last conference with only one win to show. And that horrible stint is also what's fueling the Elite's surprise start early in the Governors' Cup. "That 1-10 is our motivation," said center JP Erram in Filipino Wednesday night. Determined to bounce back, the Elite have found themselves atop the standings at 2-0 after pulling off a stunning win over the San Miguel Beermen. "It's a big win. We needed to come out with a big win because obviously, the long break," guard Mike DiGregorio said. "I think we got a two-week break coming up and we didn't want to go into that break with a sour taste in our mouth." Erram...Keep on reading: 1-10 record lights fire under Blackwater in surprise unbeaten start.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsSep 5th, 2018

SUPER 8: Inside the Asia League s grand basketball plans for the region

MACAU --- The Summer Super 8 is just the beginning. The Asia League may only have eight teams, including two Pinoy teams, in its tournaments now with the Super 8, but the FIBA-recognized offseason competition platform for club basketball is targeting bigger and better things. All for the continued development of basketball, particularly in this part of Asia. Matt Beyer, CEO of the Asia League, noticed a couple of years back that there's pretty much no international club-to-club basketball competitions in Asia so he made some things happen. While football has tournaments like the UEFA Champions League, basketball has no such thing. There's the FIBA Champions Cup, but that includes all of Asia. What the Asia League tries to focus on is the East Asia and Southeast Asian territory, where top teams from China, Korea, Japan, and the Philippines can go after each other in high-level tournaments. "I just think there's a huge lack in international club-to-club basketball competition in Asia," Beyer said. "And if you look at China, Japan, Korea, the Philippines, Chinese Taipei, if you add the population of these geographies, it's over 2 billion people. So there's a lot of fans but no high level club-to-club competition. That's the reason this was created," he added. For Beyer, Macau seems to be the perfect setting to stage such tournaments and for the Summer Super 8, he's looking at it as something that could become Asia's version of the NBA's Las Vegas Summer League. Asia League has eight teams competing for the Super 8 this year with two teams each from China, Korea, and the Philippines plus one each from Japan and Taipei. Next year, the Super 8 may no longer be as the plan is to have 16 teams see action. "What we're aiming for is to become the East Asian version of the Las Vegas summer league," Beyer said. "Our July events, we will expand the scale of the teams. The eight teams this year, I wanna have 16 next year and that means more PBA teams if that's logistically possible," he added. Speaking of the PBA, the Asia League is aggressive is trying to work with getting Filipino teams to its events. Why? Pinoy teams attract crowds and they generally perform well with these kind of tournaments. For the ongoing Super 8, both NLEX and Blackwater ended up with identical 2-1 records. The Road Warriors are in the semifinals and the Elite missed the playoffs by one basket and ended up with an inferior quotient. And despite group play being played on weekdays, a decent Filipino crowd have showed up to watch the action at the East Asian Games Dome. "We started the dialogue with the PBA and Commissioner Willie (Marcial)," Beyer said. "We're trying to coordinate being able to make things work with the schedule and have teams released for the tournaments or just fit into the windows where they're available. I think we can work it out long term and I think this is good for the PBA and to the teams to play against different types of teams for a technical perspective and it should help to get the news out about PBA teams in other markets," he added. Aside from the Super 8 this year, the Asia League also has the Terrific 12 coming up in September. More than the number of teams involved, that tournament should be fiercer with club teams being allowed to have imports. Beyer ideally wants to have the PBA participate in that as well but with the Governors' Cup ongoing at that time, it might be difficult at least for this year. Still, the Asia League wants Pinoy teams, but not just any Pinoy teams. That's why Alab Pilipinas has been in consideration to compete in September though it's yet to be seen if Jimmy Alapag's crew can join. Ultimately, Beyer's goal is to have the Asia League be a hub for teams across Asia to compete with one another in such a way that their own mother leagues aren't being disrupted. The Asia League wants its July event to be the premier offseason joust. "The ideal situation that I look at is the July event be the summer league and expand it to 32 teams in three years. And that becomes the premier offseason forum just like the Las Vegas summer league is in the West," Beyers said. "September, we can't expand it above 12, that might be a little too big but let's see how it goes. That's gonna be the biggest preseason party for teams. We're gonna have the best rosters, tons of media, and broadcast on over 30 platforms all over the world," he added. That seems grand enough for the Asia League but there's more. Soon enough, full integration is going to be Beyer's target. "What we want starting the 2019-2020 season is to have integration into the seasons. What I look at is a pilot project where we take teams that are on the region and put them into two small groups that play home and way through the season, maybe one game per month to start," Beyer said. "And then we do a Final Four event, probably here in Macau to start. And then maybe that Final Four event can be like Euroleague Final Four before it moves around the region at an annual basis. That would be what I like to see. That would require a deep partnership with FIBA and the associations like the PBA," he added. Ultimately, the Asia League would like to stay true its mission to raise the standard of basketball in the region through greater collaboration with different leagues. It helps that for the current Super 8, teams are in it to win it and are taking things seriously. There should be more to come. "This isn't a one off tournament. We want to have a series of events. FIBA's mandate is a little different than ours but I think the goal is the same, we want to develop basketball and make the level of competition better in the region," Beyers said.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 21st, 2018

Beermen rally past Aces, lead series, 2-0

San Miguel Beer struggled at the start but recovered their bearing in the second half as they hacked out a come-from-behind 105-94 victory over Alaska Milk to move in the threshold of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals at the Smart Araneta Coliseum last night......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJul 17th, 2018

PBA: Beermen erase 23-point deficit to frustrate TNT in series opener

San Miguel was down 23 to TNT to start the 2018 PBA Commissioner's Cup playoffs. The Beermen still won. The defending champions took Game 1 of the best-of-3 quarterfinals in comeback fashion, scoring a 121-110 victory Monday at the Big Dome. Led by the potent twin tower combo of June Mar Fajardo and import Renaldo Balkman, San Miguel completed the rally in the fourth, frustrating the rival KaTropa to take crucial 1-0 lead in the short series. Still down three, 103-106, the Beermen closed with a 16-0 run inside the last five minutes to fully take control of the game, 119-106. San Miguel only took its first lead in the fourth as well, 100-99, following two Balkman free throws. "Well ano that game is really scary. Really scary, we never thought na makakabalik pa kami from that big deficit, and then makikita natin na ang outside shooting nila was very sharp," head coach Leo Austria said. "I have to give credit to my players, naka-focus pa rin sila, ang composure nila andoon and hindi sila nag-give up. Sabi nila let's cut it down to 14 or 15 after the first half, and it happened. Maybe because of the experience of this team, alam nila how to get back from that kind of deficit," he added......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 9th, 2018

PBA: Blackwater achieving goals despite losses, says Bong Ramos

It has not been a great Commissioner's Cup for Blackwater. They had fired long-time coach Leo Isaac at the start of the conference, the only coach they had known since they had entered the league in 2014, and replaced him with Bong Ramos. Since the firing last May, Ramos has incurred a 1-5 record, including an upset win over Magnolia last Wednesday. Despite the record, believe it or not, Blackwater has slowly been achieving goals, says Ramos. The newly-installed coach cited having an 11-point lead versus top-seeded Rain or Shine, before collapsing and eventually giving the game away. "Actually, mahirap talaga talunin ang Rain or Shine, malaki e. Although yung game plan naman namin ok naman di lang talaga masustain. Ang importante sa akin dun na meron pa kaming naachieve na goal. Kung tatanungin ninyo, siyempre building up character," the mentor said after the game. Losing import Henry Walker to a shoulder injury in the first quarter, the Elite banked on an All-Filipino lineup, and almost completed the upset against the top-seeded team of the conference.  But Chris Tiu happened. "Nasunod naman. Kaya nga naka-control kami. Kaya lang, siyempre, sabi ko nga pagdating sa endgame, pag naka-dikit kami may tsamba kami. But na-hit kami ni Chris Tiu ng apat or limang three points, kung talagang titignan mo meron sana kaming tsansa." "Pero ok lang, part of building the character yan e. Pero nakikita ko na nagiging balanse na kami. Yun kasi ang una kong ginawa binalanse ko yung lineup eh." Now eliminated from playoff contention with a 1-8 slate, Ramos could only hope his team shows the same amount of grit against the San Miguel Beermen and the Meralco Bolts to bring end their campaign with a bang in the mid-season tournament. "At least, hindi sa umpisa umaayaw na so hopefully against Meralco and San Miguel next sana lalaban pa din kami. Pag lumaban pa rin kami dun sa dalawang yun kahit na di kami manalo basta lumaban yung team na yan, that means we're on the right track." __   Follow this writer on Twitter, @philipptionary. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 8th, 2018

Hotshots face Elite; Beermen target No. 3

Fifth-running Magnolia tries to keep its spot right behind the league leaders while titleholder San Miguel Beer seeks to sustain its rally from a poor 0-3 start as they take on embattled foes in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum tonight......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJun 5th, 2018

Resurgent Beermen aim to keep momentum going

Fifth-running Magnolia tries to keep spot right behind the league leaders while titleholder San Miguel Beer seeks to sustain its rally from a poor 0-3 start as they take on embattled foe......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJun 5th, 2018

Tall order

A 0-2 start is always a cause for alarm, even for a powerhouse like San Miguel Beer. The Beermen bowed to the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters, 123-119, in overtime on Sunday in a game where the defending champions lost a 17-point lead and import Troy Gillenwater in the first half. Gillenwater bumped a referee after contesting a foul, a move that means automatic ejection from the game. The loss was the second straight for San Miguel following an 85-93 defeat to Meralco on May 9. Arwind Santos is naturally concerned over the Beermen's dismal start in the PBA Commissioner's Cup. "I'm alarmed," Santos said in Filipino. "It's just a short conference and every win matters." "We...Keep on reading: Tall order.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsMay 15th, 2018

PBA: After unimpressive start, is Gillenwater in trouble?

Troy Gillenwater might be in trouble. After two largely unimpressive games with San Miguel, the second one ending with a first-half ejection, Gillenwater is officially on the hot seat as the Beermen are starting to weigh their options for import in the 2018 PBA Commissioner's Cup. Gillenwater is averaging 15 points in two games so far but Sunday against Rain or Shine, he was ejected in the first half for initiating contact on a game official. To make matters worse not only for him but for San Miguel in general, the Beermen have lost both games. "Import namin, we'll have to think about it," head coach Leo Austria said. "We have to evaluate. Kahit sinong player, kahit anong team naman, we have to evaluate kung helpful o hindi," he added. Initial evaluation on Gillenwater is not good though. The eye test and the stats prove it. While the Beermen can afford not to get a world destroyer as an import, they can certainly appreciate if Gillenwater can at least match up to the opposition. "Compared to the other imports, we're not impressed. Pero yung first quarter niya, very impressive. First quarter lang," Austria said. "He should last at least 40 minutes per game but nakikita natin, he's so frustrated. What they experience right now is a different ball game. Ina-underestimate yata nila ang PBA eh. We are in a different level. The only lacking in Filipino basketball is the height, but the skills in terms of talent, technical know-how, were at par sa big leagues. Thats why nasu-surprise sila. Yung physicality na sometimes nirereklamo nila, but we have to live up to the kind of basketball kasi dito tayo masaya eh," he added. With Gillenwater underperforming, the clamor to get a replacement has grown exponentially particularly from the team's most loyal supporters. Obviously, San Miguel has options, particularly Charles Rhodes and Renaldo Balkman. Rhodes led the team to the championship last season and Balkman was San Miguel's previously controversial import that has been recently allowed back to the PBA after receiving a lifetime ban. Of the two, Balkman is readily available right now after wrapping up his championship season with San Miguel-Alab Pilipinas in the ABL. But the San Miguel team of the PBA would rather not make a decision right now. "Right now, we don't have any decision, especially in this kind of situation," Austria said. "It should be a collective decision, that's why we came out late and pinagu-usapan namin, not only the import but everything, what went wrong sa game namin," he added.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 14th, 2018

PBA: Coach Norman says San Miguel still the favorite

Meralco turned out the lights on what was supposed to be a welcome party for Christian Standhardinger in San Miguel. The Bolts had a rude welcome prepared for the Beermen’s first game in the 2018 PBA Commissioner’s Cup and the Filipino-German’s league debut. They did nothing but execute it to perfection, dispatching of the defending champions, 93-85. “It’s always a big win if you beat San Miguel,” a satisfied head coach Norman Black told reporters post-game on Wednesday at the MOA Arena. Of course, Black was the first to acknowledge that a lot had to go right for them to do what they just did. “We were hoping to catch them early and catch them rusty because once they get their rhythm and they start finding out their rotations, they’re going to be a very difficult team to beat,” he said. Indeed, it was evident that Meralco was the better team – for tonight, at least – as they outworked San Miguel for majority of the matchup. Even with what could be considered an upset win, though, the multi-titled mentor was the first to admit that the fully-loaded Beermen remain the team to beat in the tournament. As he put it, “They’ll still be the favorites even though they lost tonight.” He then continued, “They were already the best team in the league and now, they’ve gotten even stronger.” Without a doubt, there is nowhere but up for Standhardinger and the core of four-time MVP June Mar Fajardo, Alex Cabagnot, Chris Ross, and Arwind Santos have long proven their worth. The good news for the Bolts is that they could only build on their big-time win – especially as their schedule doesn’t get any easier. “Beating San Miguel is a challenge that’s so, so big so for us to accomplish it, this is a big win for us,” Black said. And the even better news is that returning reinforcement Arinze Onuaku is just getting started. “You can see the difference of having a center like Arinze on our team because he helps us control the middle. Even though he didn’t score a lot of points tonight, he did a very good job of getting his teammates involved at both ends,” the head coach said......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 9th, 2018

UAAP VOLLEYBALL: Final test for DLSU’s Big 3

It was Game 4 of the UAAP Season 76 Women's Volleyball Finals. A monstrous 21,314-strong crowd filled the Mall of Asia Arena, rocking the three-year-old state-of-the art venue in Pasay City. A do-or-die match for the four-peat-seeking De La Salle University, which a few weeks ago was the favorite to go all the way, make a flawless title run in the women’s volleyball tournament following a 14-0 sweep of the elimination round. They only needed two wins. The Lady Spikers held a thrice-to-beat advantage. They could’ve had won it all the game before. But a young and hungrier Ateneo de Manila University led by a third-year hitter in Alyssa Valdez and piloted by a newly-appointed Thai coach spoiled their run late in the fifth set. Then it all came to one final battle for the crown. Graduating Aby Marano, a feisty and vocal leader, tried to rally her teammates. DLSU was down two sets to none. Rookie Kim Kianna Dy was deployed for the first time in the series as a substitute. With her was another rookie, libero Dawn Macandili, her high school teammate at De La Salle Zobel. On the bench, freshman middle Majoy Baron, a recruit from Baguio City National High School, looked at her teammates as the Lady Eagles reached their 25th point. Tears fell almost simultaneously as the final whistle blew. DLSU lost their three-year throne. It was second stringer Baron, reserve libero Macandili and benchwarmer Dy’s first taste of the championship round. It was bitter. It was painful. They vowed for revenge the following season. But the aftertaste of that defeat lingered up until Season 77.      CHANGE OF FORTUNE   The trio under the guidance of head coach Ramil De Jesus were molded into legit stars in just three years. They finally earned the trust of the mentor, the architect of DLSU’s success the past two decades. Before Season 78, the Lady Spikers joined the Philippine Superliga under the Meralco banner during the off-season. There they became the whipping girls of the tournament, finishing fifth in the six-team field. But it was De Jesus’ way to strengthen the Lady Spikers’ minds and develop their skills. In order to build a strong team, he had to make them feel defeat. The trio of Macandili, Baron and Dy benefited from all of these. They had the weapons this time around against Ateneo in the bitter rivals’ fourth straight championship installment. Macandili’s floor defense was superb, Baron was a solid net defender alongside a graduating Mika Reyes. And Dy, the opposite who only saw action on borrowed playing time in Season 76, made her presence felt in the most important three games of the season. Dy brought down on its knees the mighty Ateneo with an average of 17 points per game in the Finals that went the full distance and earned the Finals Most Valuable Player award. Macandili won the Best Receiver and Best Digger honors while Baron was named Best Blocker. They gave the ‘Big Three of Reyes’, Ara Galang and Cyd Demecillo a fitting farewell gift. As they bid adieu to the trio, it was the time for Macandili, Baron and Dy to fit in to the shoes of DLSU’s new ‘Big Three’. SHINING MOMENT Season 79 became the litmus test for the three. DLSU lost most of its veterans save for graduating setter Kim Fajardo while hitter Desiree Cheng just came back from an ACL tear injury. The trio needed to step up. Most of the pressure was on Macandili’s shoulder. Before the start of the season, the five-foot Tanuan, Batangas defense specialist was named PSL All-Filipino Conference MVP as the DLSU-backed F2 Logistics ruled the tournament on June 2016. However, the Lady Spikers encountered a bumpy road in the UAAP, losing three games in the elims. Two against Ateneo. But it didn’t deter the three volleybelles from doing their part to carry the team back into the Finals against the Lady Eagles. It was the trio’s shining moment. Bringing in the experience, confidence and the signature swag, the Lady Spikers steamrolled past the Ateneo in two games to cap a successful season that saw Baron win the coveted Season MVP plum for her undeniable efficiency the whole tournament long. Baron was the first DLSU player to win the highest individual honor since Marano and Galang shared the award in Season 75. FINAL TEST “Iba ’yung pressure na kailangan mong buhatin ang team kasi last playing year mo na.” This was how Macandili described Season 80. Now playing on her last year, Macandili, like the rest of the ‘Big Three’ wanted to leave a winning legacy. “Siyempre gusto mong maging maganda ang exit mo and para sa team din na ma-achieve ang goal naming,” added Macandili, who a few months back was awarded as Asia’s Second Best libero during the AVC Asian Senior Women’s Volleyball Championship. “Nandoon din ang takot na last playing year mo na and hindi mo na mababalikan ‘to. Ayoko namang mag-exit na may regrets.”   The Lady Spikers advanced to the Finals for the tenth straight year and are on the brink of handing De Jesus his third career grand slam and DLSU’s 11th overall crown after taking down Far Eastern University in straight sets in Game 1. “Siguro this is our chance to bring back the three-peat and siyempre lahat ng sacrifices namin, lahat ng pinaghirapan namin, ito na 'yung final test namin,” said Dy. One last push to return the trust and confidence given by de Jesus. “We want to show coach na sa five years naman dito, these are the players that you produced. We want to honor him,” added Dy. Baron, for her part, wanted to fulfill a promise she made before the start of the season. To keep DLSU’s winning tradition. “Ayaw kong masira 'yung record ni coach. Kaya as much as possible, parang sobrang nabilib din ako sa sistema niya at mga seniors ko before, parang ayaw ko na puputulin ko 'yung history na ginagawa nila sa time ko ngayon,” she said. “Personally, 'yun ang motivation ko.” On Wednesday, Macandili, Baron and Dy could be playing their last games as Lady Spikers. The Big Three could be making their final bow. A last chance to join their teammates in forming a circle, kneeling and posing with an arm stretched while the other bent imitating an archer ready to release a flaming final arrow.   Three more DLSU players will be leaving the lair of the Lady Spikers. A trio that gave everything they got for five fruitful and colorful years. People, for sure, will be talking about their stints for the green and white for years. The stories of their ups and downs. The glory that they made together.   But for Baron, Macandili and Dy, it was the honor of playing for La Salle under the great Ramil De Jesus that will be their most cherished college memories.     ---   Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 1st, 2018

Austria lauds Standhardinger in first SMB practice

Prized rookie Christian Standhardinger finally joined San Miguel Beer for the first time since being picked first overall in the 2017 PBA Draft six months ago. The Beermen had waited long enough for Standhardinger but felt his new recruit had been with the team since the start of the season. "He's very approachable and he's very accommodating and he's trying his best to adjust that he even wants to learn how to speak Tagalog," Austria told INQUIRER.net in Filipino on Saturday. The latest Standhardinger could've joined San Miguel was the first week of May but Hongkong Eastern lost to Alab in the Asean Basketball League semifinals on April 15 allowing the 6-foot-8 Filipino-German ...Keep on reading: Austria lauds Standhardinger in first SMB practice.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsApr 21st, 2018

Arwind and his best 'Swakwords of the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup

Arwind Santos is a lot of things. Champion basketball star, most valuable player, fashion icon, recording artist, Feng Shui believer, and self-proclaimed DJ, Arwind is a pretty impressive fellow. Arwind is also pretty articulate. His #Swakwords have become legendary on Twitter. His #Swakwords in person are just as great, if not even better. When scribes ask for "two minutes" from a certain player, it's for one specific topic most of the time. If you're lucky, you get two topics. But when it comes to Arwind, a two-minute interview can give birth to five separate stories. Sometimes you don't even have to ask. He'll tell you himself Whether it's funny, controversial, or both, Arwind will give you something. Sometimes they make perfect sense, sometimes you'll ask yourself, "Ano daw?" That's Arwind Santos for you. He's the gift that keeps on giving. And in the Philippine Cup, Santos was on fire all conference long. These are the very best of Arwind's #Swakwords in the 2018 All-Filipino.   "San Miguel Beermen, ang pinaka-masarap sa lahat." In an explanation that only begged for more questions instead of giving out answers, Arwind uttered this brilliant line after the San Miguel Beermen won a fourth straight Philippine Cup title. Clarifying his earlier statements regarding rubbing alcohol, Arwind just... he didn't exactly make sense here. "Siguro yung alcohol na yun, walang iba kundi San Miguel Beermen, ang pinaka-masarap sa lahat," he said. Speaking of that rubbing alcohol...   "Ang tagal na naming di nakakatikim ng alcohol. Rubbing alcohol." Up 3-1 in the Finals, Arwind really, really wanted to celebrate already that's why he wanted to finish things off by Game 5. He might have slipped in his comment, probably he wanted a more PG answer. However, rubbing alcohol? Really? He didn't exactly make sense here again. But it's Arwind, this counts as gold.   "Gusto na naming mag-puyat." In the most childish motivation ever, Arwind uttered this line before the rubbing alcohol comment. By the way, all of this happened in the same interview. Again, up 3-1 in the Finals, Santos really, really, wanted to finish things off by Game 5. Why? Because he wants to stay up all night already, that's why. "Kami, gusto na namin mag-celebrate ng Friday. Gusto na naming mag-puyat," Arwind said as the Beermen took a commanding 3-1 lead in the Finals against Magnolia.   "May mga shadow eh. Parang yung lima nagiging walo." Frustrated after losing a game to Ginebra in the semifinals, Arwind Santos post-game rant was equal parts creative and hilarious. Implying that the Gin Kings once again got the better of the calls.... actually, the only thing he didn't actually say was the the referees favored Ginebra. That's what he was trying to say and he got fined P25,000 for it. "May mga shadow eh. Parang may mga shadow yung mga players kanina eh. Parang yung lima nagiging walo," Arwind said, obviously referring to the officiating. "Parang ganun eh, kaya nahihirapan kami bantayan kasi lima yung kalaban pero nagiging walo. Ewan ko kung sobrang bilis kaya may shadow?" he added, wondering on the mysteries of life.   "Siguro yung brief ko na lang ang magiging green, at least hindi na bawal yun kasi hindi nakikita." Technically, he said this last season but this line came from Arwind's undying love for anything green. However, the San Miguel Beermen's uniform don't match with the color green so if the PBA, for some reason, implemented a rule regarding acceptable color combinations, Santos says he's going to follow it for sure. Well... "Kung sakaling mangyari yun, susunod ako sa rules. Siguro yung brief ko na lang ang magiging green, at least hindi na bawal yun kasi hindi nakikita. May mga paraan naman sa mga ganung bagay," Arwind said. Feng Shui says green is Arwind's lucky color so...   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 9th, 2018

PBA Finals Game 5 By the Numbers: Next challengers, please

The latest challenger has fallen. San Miguel Beer extended its All-Filipino dynasty Friday, beating the Magnolia Hotshots in a double-overtime classic foe Game 5 of the Philippine Cup Finals. The Beermen won the series, 4-1. And before we move on to the inevitable Grand Slam talks again, let's take cues from the Beermen themselves and celebrate this title first. And by celebrate, we mean another round of By the Numbers.   4 Number of Philippine Cups won by San Miguel Beer in four years. Literally no team has ever done that before so yes, that's another historic achievement for the Beermen.   25 Total championships for San Miguel, the most in PBA history. No one even comes close to the Beermen. The team's tradition of winning is incredible.   6 Number of titles for San Miguel in the past 10 conferences. This current San Miguel dynasty started when head coach Leo Austria took over, the guy is a perfect 6 out of 6 in the PBA Finals. There's no end in sight for this amazing run for the Beermen.   42 Total points for Finals MVP June Mar Fajardo in Game 5. The Kraken was unstoppable as the Beermen rallied for the win, scoring 14 points in the fourth quarter and another 12 in overtime, including eight in the second extra session. 42 points is also June Mar's playoff career high and most points scored by a local in the Finals since Jayson Castro scored 44 three years ago.   2 Number of steals needed by Chris Ross to complete the first quadruple-double in PBA history. Ross narrowly missed the mark, finishing with 13 points, 11 rebounds, 11 assists, and eight steals.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 7th, 2018

Coach Leo s Finals magic is still effective

Leo Austria strikes again. The reigning three-time PBA Coach of the Year extended his streak in the PBA Finals Friday after winning a fourth straight Philippine Cup title. Not only did Austria win a fourth All-Filipino crown, he maintained his perfect Finals streak, going six out of six so far. He's also a perfect 10 out of 10 when it comes to a best-of-7 series. All coach Leo does is win. "I'm planning to extend it eh," he even said. "I'm so lucky dahil hindi pa ako natatalo and I hope na hindi pa dumating yung pagkakataon na yun," Austria added. After a failed Grand Slam bid last year, everyone is looking at San Miguel for another shot at a triple crown this year after the Beermen bagged the All-Filipino again. But coach Leo is not getting too far ahead of himself. "We're not thinking of any Grand Slam. Dahil for us, every game is just like a championship game," he said. "Dahil there's no easy game for us because if you're on top, every team is trying to beat you eh," Austria added.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 6th, 2018

DOC VOLLEYBALL: FIVE FOR (FINAL FOUR) FIGHTING

A couple more games in and the elimination round will soon come to a close. Even up to this point, the women’s volleyball tournament of UAAP Season 80 continues to prove to be the most unpredictable year in recent UAAP history. While the top two seeds, the DLSU Lady Spikers and the Ateneo Lady Eagles have already secured spots in the Final Four, it’s still an on-going Battle Royale for the remaining two spots among teams gunning for a chance at either redemption or ascendancy.  With the FEU Lady Tamaraws, NU Lady Bulldogs, Adamson Lady Falcons, UP Lady Maroons, and the UST Golden Tigresses still slugging it out to prove their worth, the last few games of the eliminations couldn’t be more exciting and interesting at the same time. FEU Lady Tamaraws (7 – 4) Numerically speaking, the Lady Tamaraws have the best chances of booking the 3rd spot based on their team’s performance in the different skill departments. Despite being 7th overall in spiking, the Lady Tamaraws have shown consistency in the more crucial departments such as serve (2nd), receive (4th), and setting (3rd). At a relatively more comfortable standing of 7 – 4, FEU just needs one win to seal their Final Four spot or 2 to guarantee at least a 3rd rank finish. In their upcoming game against their 1st round tormentors, the Adamson Lady Falcons, the Lady Tamaraws’ services would definitely be challenged by the resurgent passing and commendable first point conversion of the Lady Falcons. Likewise, FEU would be expected to capitalize on the relatively less aggressive serving of Adamson to run their bread and butter combination plays. A revenge win against Adamson, avoiding an upset against a confident UE Lady Warriors squad and a repeat over skidding NU will enable the Lady Tamaraws to bag the best possible ranking at the end of eliminations. NU Lady Bulldogs (6 – 6) Despite the downward spiral that the Lady Bulldogs have found themselves in this second round, their stellar performance during the first round could still be enough of a cushion for them to keep their Final Four dreams alive. In their recent matchup with the Lady Maroons, Queen Bulldog Jaja Santiago was being maximized with her relatively more unstoppable attack from the right wing and back row. At times that the team was able to go for a high enough dig or pass, despite the location quality, a safety set to Santiago proved to be much needed relief. However, despite this dominance by Santiago, the team still sorely lacks output from the left wing as a much needed support. Had the left wing been more successful in attempt-to-point ratio, the match would have had a different tone. But moving forward, now that the team has had some positional adjustments that ensures libero Gayle Valdez’s stint is fully utilized, a few adjustments in passing formation is needed to ensure that Valdez has the best coverage. With the current struggles in their floor defense, the Lady Bulldogs will benefit more with slowing the rally down will high first balls regardless if on a perfect location just so setter Jasmine Nabor can better shoot to the wings. Adamson Lady Falcons (5 – 6) With a recent commanding win against the NU Lady Bulldogs and an almost statement win versus the Ateneo Lady Eagles, the Adamson Lady Falcons have found a much needed momentum boost amidst a slow second round start. In recent games, the Lady Falcons have seen a resurgence in their receiving prowess which has enabled them to beat powerhouses like DLSU and FEU in the first round. In their recent outings, the Lady Falcons have shown that they have superior side-out game as they have relatively higher first point conversion coming from a serve but have had some struggles in earning points off the transition. In addition, perhaps the most significant limiting factor for Adamson is their serving, which is notably the least aggressive in the league. Though successful in their first encounters against DLSU and FEU, the Lady Falcons’ upcoming rematch against these two teams would be their toughest challenge yet as they would heavily rely in their steady passing against the top two serving teams. To increase their chances of a first round repeat against these two teams, serving adjustments should also be made to ensure that they can limit the DLSU’s Majoy Baron from the middle as well as FEU setter Kyle Negrito from setting up their combination plays. UST Golden Tigresses (4 – 8) Despite a rough and disheartening initial run in this season, the UST Golden Tigresses have started to show what they are seriously capable of achieving. Albeit a too little too late with their current resurgence, a fully intact team is not to be discredited yet. Although much like the UP Lady Maroons in that their fate relies on the succeeding outcome for both NU and Adamson, UST still has a slightly better chance given that they can ensure a win against the Lady Falcons. Able to stretch out the Lady Eagles into a five-set thriller recently is much of a testament that UST is indeed final four material given a fully functioning roster. Much like how Adamson capitalized on Ateneo’s passing, UST proved to be one of the leagues better serving team, but also felt quite short when it came to transition play compared to the Lady Eagles. In line with that, the Golden Tigresses will also have to rely on their serving for their match against the Lady Spikers to ensure easier transition when the middle is eliminated from the attack. Interestingly enough, UST’s situation is mirrored by the Adamson Lady Falcons and their fate relies on each other as both teams are yet to face off against top seed DLSU and are set to face each other for their last elimination match. UP Lady Maroons (4 – 8) Despite a rough start early on in the league that casted some doubts on the inclusion of new coach Godfrey Okumu, the Lady Maroons have slowly found their groove as well as their identity. Though the hopes of a Final Four finish are not as feasible as their fate relies on the further performance of both NU and Adamson, the Lady Maroons are in a good position to prepare for the next season. With all the rotational adjustments Okumu has utilized throughout the season, the current setup is perhaps their best bet to build on. Perhaps the main challenge UP has faced the entire season is that with the short stint under a new coach, the tournament has been more of an unlearning process first before Okumu’s new system, a more scientific one as he claims, is infused. For their upcoming match against the Lady Eagles, the Lady Maroons will find much benefit in aggressive serving to take opportunity of the less threatening passing proficiency of their opponent but at the same time, the challenge is ensuring they convert every possession since the Ateneo has shown much skill in winning the point the longer the transition rally progresses. Final Four Probabilities As with the standings in UAAP History, the elusive 7th win is always the magic number to strive for to get an assurance of a Final Four spot. At this point, FEU is almost guaranteed of that spot given that they just win another game. Should NU finally get out of their slump and manage their first win in the second round, they can guarantee an extension in their stint which would be enough time to at least familiarize their new rotation. Adamson undeniably has the best chances based on numbers as they still have 3 more games but these last elimination games will be relatively challenging as they will have to perform a repeat of their first round win against the top seeded teams FEU and DLSU. Finally, both UP and UST should ensure a win for their last 2 games and hope for upsets against NU and Adamson to at least be within striking distance for the last Final Four spot.  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 5th, 2018

PBA Finals Game 3 By the Numbers: Super effort for San Miguel

The 2018 PBA Philippine Cup Finals is starting to turn into a demonstration just how powerful San Miguel is and how the rest of the league can just submit themselves to an already-ongoing Beermen dynasty. For about three quarters, it appeared that Magnolia has solved its Finals woes and was ready to give the Beermen an actual fight. And then the fourth quarter happened. San Miguel just smashed Magnolia anew, registering yet another dominant win. To make matters worse for the Hotshots, more than half of the Beermen's vaunted starting 5 sat out the fourth quarter, including four-time league MVP June Mar Fajardo. Before we move on to a pivotal Game 4, let's take a quick look back at the numbers that defined Game 3 and how San Miguel might be on its way to a fourth straight All-Filipino title if Magnolia can't figure thins out.   24 Largest lead of the game for San Miguel Beer and the final margin of victory. The Beermen led by as many as 20 in Game 1. The Beermen led by as many as 21 in Game 2. The Beermen led by as many as 24 in Game 3. Do we really need to say more?   3 Number of quarters played by June Mar Fajardo in Game 3. Despite sitting out the fourth period, the Kraken was good for 21 points and 17 rebounds. Is Magnolia in trouble in these Finals? Yes, yes they are.   17 Point difference in the fourth quarter. Magnolia was in it to win it in Game 3 for three quarters. But then the Beermen just flipped the switch in the fourth, unloading a 17-3 run to start led by Marcio Lassiter and Brian Heruela to put the game away early. San Miguel took the fourth, 36-19, and they also took the lead in the series, 2-1.   33 Number of bench points for the Beermen. The key for San Miguel turning this series around has been the play of its second group. After the bench registered only one point in Game 1, which was actually courtesy of Chris Ross, the Beermen reserves have come alive since with Game 3 being their best performance so far. Heruela (11 points) continues to be a spark for the champs while Gabby Espinas (9 points) has joined the party as well.   37 percent Magnolia shot just 37 percent from the field in Game 3. With the Hotshots' defense crumbling anew, allowing 111 points for the Beermen on 50 percent shooting, Magnolia just can't afford to have its offense struggle as well. Paul Lee talked about the Hotshots wanting to give themselves a chance in these Finals. You have zero chance if you shoot 37 percent against San Miguel.   ---- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 2nd, 2018

June Mar bags PBA Player of the Week honors

Four-time league MVP June Mar Fajardo’s size, skills and experience worked beautifully for San Miguel Beer, which went on to complete a 4-1 semifinal series win over Barangay Ginebra to march to its fourth straight Philippine Cup Finals stint Saturday night. The 6-10 Fajardo averaged 20.67 points and 12.67 rebounds to earn the PBA Press Corps Player of Week for the period of March 13-18, keying the Beermen’s victories in Games 4 and 5 to keep their All-Filipino conference “four-peat” bid alive. Stung by Ginebra’s 95-87 win in Game 3 last Tuesday, the Cebuano big man finished with a double-double stats line of 14 points and 13 rebounds, engineering SMB’s blazing start as the Beermen hammered the Gin Kings, 102-81 two days later. San Miguel, then finished off Ginebra’s Finals aspirations as the 28-year-old Fajardo barrelled his way in for 25 points on 11-of-18 shooting from the floor, along with 9 rebounds, 3 assists and a block in 100-94 win in Game 5. While Marcio Lassiter, Arwind Santos and Alex Cabagnot also dished off excellent performances in San Miguel’s sensational back-to-back wins, Fajardo earned the nod for the weekly citation. With a league-best 24 PBA titles at hand, San Miguel Beer looks to extend its domination of the Philippine Cup since reigning supreme in the season-opening conference from 2015 to 2017. The 2017 Philippine Cup conquest in fact, gave SMB the Perpetual Jun Bernardino trophy. San Miguel now awaits the winner of the other semifinal series between sister team Magnolia and NLEX. The Hotshots took Game 5 Sunday night, 87-78 to gain the driver’s seat, 3-2. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 19th, 2018