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Belangel dislodges Ateneo teammate Sotto out of top spot in NBTC 24

The UAAP Season 80 Juniors Basketball Tournament closed out its elimination round with a bang, but as the day ended, one student-athlete stood head and shoulders above the rest of the competition. Ateneo de Manila High School's senior floor general SJ Belangel dropped a whopping 31 points against Nazareth School of National University, leading the Blue Eaglets to an immaculate 14-0 record en route to an automatic Finals berth. With this outing and the consistency he showed during the preliminaries, Belangel took over the top spot as the best high school prospect in Week 5 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. Ateneo big man and 23 for 2023 cadet Kai Sotto dropped to second after sitting atop the ladder for the last four weeks. Rounding out the top five are La Salle Greenhills' Joel Cagulangan, Mapua University's Will Gozum, and Far Eastern University-Diliman's L-Jay Gonzales. For dragging University of Sto. Tomas to a playoff match against Adamson High School, CJ Cansino, who is bound to win the UAAP Jrs. MVP, went up to seven.  On the other hand, Baby Falcons ace Joem Sabandal also rose in the weekly rankings, going up to 16. Making the biggest leap this week is CESAFI MVP Alex Visser. Visser rose to 17th, four spots higher than a week ago.  The biggest loser this week is Baby Tamaraws off-guard RJ Abarrientos. The FEU-commit was a non-factor during his team's loss to the Tiger Cubs last Sunday resulting to a drop from eighth to 14th. Here is the complete rankings after Week 5: 1. SJ Belangel, ADMU (2) 2. Kai Sotto, ADMU (1) 3. Joel Cagulangan, LSGH (3) 4. Will Gozum, MU (4) 5. L-Jay Gonzales, FEU (5) 6. Rhayann Amsali, NU (6) 7. CJ Cansino, UST (9) 8. Dave Ildefonso, ADMU (7) 9. Aaron Fermin, AU (10) 10. Clint Escamis, MU (11) 11. John Galinato, CKSC (12) 12. Inand Fornilos, LSGH (13) 13. Warren Bonifacio, MU (14) 14. RJ Abarrientos, FEU (8) 15. Evan Nelle, SBC (15) 16. Joem Sabandal, ADU (17) 17. Alex Visser, SHS Cebu (21) 18. Terrence Fortea, NU (16) 19. Raven Cortez, DLSZ (18) 20. Beirn Laurente, UV (20) 21. Mac Guadana, LPU (22) 22. Joaqui Manuel, ADMU (19) 23. Harvey Pagsanjan, HCHS (23) 24. Maui Cruz, EAC (24) 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: abscbn abscbnFeb 13th, 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

SJ Belangel joins Ateneo teammate Kai Sotto in top three of NBTC 24

Ateneo de Manila High School's towering teen Kai Sotto and La Salle Greenhills' court general Joel Cagulangan remained the top two high school players in the NBTC Chooks-to-Go 24, but there was a lot of movement this week, including the rise of SJ Belangel. 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. Belangel, the Blue Eaglets' graduating floor leader had a sensational week, helping steer his squad to an unblemished 10-0 record. With his exploits, he was the consensus third-ranked player of the week, leapfrogging NCAA MVP Will Gozum of Mapua University. Far Eastern University-Diliman do-it-all guard L-Jay Gonzales and Katipunan swingman Dave Ildefonso also moved up the ladder while University of Sto. Tomas ace CJ Cansino dropped to eighth after finishing fourth last week. Besides movement at the top, there were also a lot of debutatants in this week's list. Ateneo double-double machine Joaqui Manuel's workhorse type of game paid off as he was ranked 21st this week. After firing 51 markers last weekend, Bacolod Tay Tung High School's Harold Alarcon was named as the 22nd top prospect. Joshua Yerro of University of Visayas then rounded out the list. NBTC Chooks-to-Go 24 End of Week 2 1. Kai Sotto, Ateneo Last wk rank: 1 2. Joel Cagulangan, CSB-LSGH Last wk rank: 2 3. SJ Belangel, Ateneo Last wk rank: 5 4. Will Gozum, Mapua Last wk rank: 3 5. L-Jay Gonzales, FEU-Diliman Last wk rank: 6 6. Dave Ildefonso, Ateneo Last wk rank: 8 7. Rhayann Amsali, NU Last wk rank: 7 8. CJ Cansino, UST Last wk rank: 4 9. Clint Escamis, Mapua Last wk rank: 9 10. Aaron Fermin, Arellano Last wk rank: 9 11. Terrence Fortea, NU Last wk rank: 16 12. RJ Abarientos, FEU-Diliman Last wk rank: 15 13. Inand Fornilos, CSB-LSGH Last wk rank: 11 14. Evan Nelle, San Beda Last wk rank: 12 15. Warren Bonifacio, Mapua Last wk rank: 13 16. John Galinato, CKSC Last wk rank: 14 17. Mac Guadana, LPU Last wk rank: 18 18. Raven Cortez, DLSZ Last wk rank: 19 19. Harvey Pagsanjan, Hope Christian Last wk rank: 20 20. Maui Cruz, EAC Last wk rank: 23 21. Joaqui Manuel, Ateneo Last wk rank: N/A 22. Harold Alarcon, Bacolod Tay Tung Last wk rank: N/A 23. Jancork Cabahug, UV Last wk rank: 17 24. Joshua Yerro, UV Last wk rank: N/A 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 NewsJan 22nd, 2018

EYES ON YOU, KID: UAAP 81 Jrs. players to watch

The first round of the UAAP 81 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: KAI SOTTO – Ateneo de Manila High School ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 25.3 points, 62.1 shooting, 12.7 rebounds, 3.3 blocks, 2.7 assists For the first time in his three years in Ateneo, Kai Sotto is, bar none, the most dominant force in the UAAP. In his first year, he took a backseat to Juan Gomez de Liano and SJ Belangel then as a sophomore, he was overtaken by CJ Cansino. Now, however, there is no doubt that the 7-foot-1, 16-year-old is the best player in the league – tops in scoring, rebounding, and blocking. And for good measure, just as he is a sure shot inside the paint, he also has the soft touch to make jumpers. Don’t send him to the line either as he makes good on 70.8 percent of his shots from there. Yes, Sotto is an end-to-end force that nobody could match not only in the UAAP, but in all of high school. RJ ABARRIENTOS – Far Eastern University-Diliman ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 16.4 points, 5.0 assists, 4.1 rebounds RJ Abarrientos had already committed to FEU’s Seniors squad, but later backtracked to use up his last year of eligibility in the UAAP Juniors. Safe to say, FEU-Diliman only welcomed him back with open arms and then proceeded to provide him the stage to shine the brightest he has ever been. A complementary player to the likes of Kenji Roman and L-Jay Gonzales before him, the nephew of Philippine basketball legend Johnny now runs the show for the Baby Tamaraws to the tune of a scoring clip and an assist total both third-best in the league. And even as he is now the primary playmaker for the green and gold, Abarrientos remains a dead shot as the league’s top marksman from three. All in all, the 5-foot-11 stocky guard is the most college-ready player in high school (of course, we’re not counting Kai Sotto who’s not only looks like he's college-ready, but pro-ready as well). CARL TAMAYO – Nazareth School of National University ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 11.5 points, 54.3 percent shooting, 9.3 rebounds, 1.8 blocks Due to various injuries, Carl Tamayo has only seen action in four out of seven games NU has played thus far in the tournament. Each and every time he’s on the court, however, the 6-foot-7 only delivers the goods on offense as a paint presence as well as a threat from the perimeter. At the other end, Tamayo also stands strong inside and outside and is actually third-best in terms of blocks. The Cebuano has all the tools to go toe-to-toe with Kai Sotto, but will need to work on his strength and conditioning so that he may leave the injury bug that has been biting him far behind. MARK NONOY – University of Sto. Tomas ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 18.3 points, 9.1 rebounds, 5.7 assists, 1.7 steals UST looked like it had hit the jackpot in unearthing CJ Cansino and then unveiling him as a dominant force in Season 80. Only, the Tiger Cubs look like they have hit the jackpot again in discovering Mark Nonoy out of Negros Occidental and then developing him into their new all-around shining star in Season 81. In just his first game in the UAAP Juniors, Nonoy dropped 31 points. Just two games later, he tallied a triple-double of 17 points, 16 rebounds, and 12 assists. Now, he is second-best in points and assists and third-best in steals in all of the league. More importantly, with their 5-foot-8 playmaker fronting the effort, UST has stayed in the conversation of playoff hopefuls in the ongoing season. GERRY ABADIANO – Nazareth School of National University ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 13.0 points, 3.6 rebounds, 2.1 assists Nothing about Gerry Abadiano’s game will jump out at anybody. In fact, nobody will be able to find him in the top five of any statistical category. In the same light, however, he also does not have any weaknesses that will jump out at anybody. The 5-foot-9 lead guard just does whatever his team needs from him and he does it well. That is exactly why he has become to be heart and soul of a Bullpup side with championship aspirations. More than that, Abadiano’s biggest contribution will not be seen in any stat sheet as he has turned out to be the leader that the blue and gold deserves. JOEM SABANDAL – Adamson High School ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 14.3 points, 7.9 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 1.3 steals Joem Sabandal can make difficult shots with the best of them – whether that be willing a layup through defenders or willing a jumper in the face of a contest. That ability has thrust him into the role of being the main man for upstart Adamson and into the recognition as the fifth-best scorer in the UAAP Juniors. Make no mistake, however, the 5-foot-11 guard is not a score-first, second, and third player as he also contributes in the rebounds, assists, and steals departments for the Baby Falcons. Just like any young player, shot selection is a point for improvement for Sabandal, but the fact of the matter is, he’s already well on his way into being a dynamic scorer. TERRENCE FORTEA – Nazareth School of National University ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 14.1 points, 3.6 rebounds, 1.9 assists Looks like all Terrences have a scorer’s mentality as NU’s Fortea wants to get buckets just as much as San Miguel’s Romeo. The good news for the Bullpups is that Terrence Romeo is just one of the hopeful trajectories 18-year-old Terrence Fortea’s career can take. Like Romeo, Fortea is a sniper from deep (second-most triple total with 20) and an even better shot from the line (best free throw clip at 82.6 percent). He also has that handy floater that can frustrate defenses that close out on him. Best of all, though, the 5-foot-10 Batang Gilas stalwart is still learning the ropes on being more of a facilitator. And when he masters that, he may very well exceed his namesake. AP MANLAPAZ – Adamson High School ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 10.8 points, 10.3 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 2.0 blocks, 1.3 steals While Joem Sabandal is Adamson’s go-to-guy, it’s actually little-known teammate AP Manlapaz who is in the top five of the MVP race. And with a closer look, there’s every reason for him to be there as he, put simply, stuffs the stat sheet for the Baby Falcons – averaging a points-rebounds double-double to go along with marks from assists, blocks, and steals. Safe to say, long-limbed forward Manlapaz has been anonymous before the season, but without a doubt, will only keep making noise on both ends. BISMARCK LINA – University of Sto. Tomas ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 11.3 points, 12.3 rebounds, 1.0 assist Bismarck Lina is one of only three players to be averaging a double-double in the UAAP Juniors. As their man in the middle, the cousin of school legend Kevin Ferrer sees to it that UST does not get bullied in the interior as whether it be offense or defense, he is a threat at the rim. Most of all, the 6-foot-6 Lina, the second-best rebounder in the league, is always at the right place, at the right time to complete defensive stops or to clean up a teammates’ miss with a rebound. JORDI GOMEZ DE LIAÑO – University of the Philippines Integrated School ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 11.5 points, 4.7 rebounds, 1.0 assist Jordi is the best-shooting Gomez de Liano – or so he says. Of course, numbers do back him up as at just 15-years-old, he already has the third-best triple total in all of the UAAP Juniors. At the same time, however, the younger brother of Javi and Juan has a long ways to go as while he already stands at 6-foot-5, he is also reed thin and can get muscled through by anybody and everybody. More than that, his team is winless in the season. Nonetheless, it’s good to know that both the shooting and the confidence, both GDL trademarks, are already there – and it’s just a matter of time before Jordi grows into his body. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 3rd, 2019

Top sports headliners in the year that was

From the FIFA World Cup to the NBA, the PBA to the UAAP and NCAA, the Asian Games to Manny Pacquiao, volleyball to MMA, the past 12 months truly was a great year for Filipino sports fans.   Here are some of the most memorable sports headliners that bannered the year that was.    San Miguel Corporation dominates PBA San Miguel Corporation owned 2018. For the first time in the history of the Asia’s first professional basketball league one company dominated all three conferences of the PBA. The San Miguel Beermen annexed their fourth straight Philippine Cup title against sister team Magnolia last May, while Ginebra rode on undersized do-it-all forward Justin Brownlee to the Commissioner's Cup title at the expense of San Miguel last August. Then it was Magnolia's time to shine in December. The Hotshots dismantled Alaska in six games to complete SMC’s domination of PBA 2018. Outside of basketball, SMC also made its presence felt in volleyball as Petron bagged the Grand Prix, Challenge Cup (beach volleyball) and the All-Filipino Conference in the Philippine Superliga.   Kai Sotto stands tall as Ateneo takes title vs NU Kai Sotto became a household name in 2018 as the 7'1" wunderkind showed off in the UAAP Season 80 juniors' basketball tournament. The eventual Finals MVP was a beast in Game 1 of the Finals against the NU Bullpups, tallying a triple-double of 22 points, 16 rebounds, and 11 blocks in the 86-70 win, the first of its kind since 2003. Ateneo finished the season almost unscathed at 16-1, with their lone loss in Game 2 of the series, a very chippy one to say the least. In Game 3, Sotto came up clutch, scoring the go-ahead basket, 60-58, with about 30 seconds left as Ateneo came away with the 63-58 win to take the title.  SJ Belangel, Joaqui Manuel, Dave Ildefonso and Jason Credo, and coach Joe Silva all appeared in their last games for the Blue Eaglets.   DLSU completes three-peat; NU dethrones Ateneo  The UAAP Season 80 volleyball tournament was filled with lasting memories that will surely be remembered for a long time. Numerous upsets in the eliminations, great games, and much more were the name of the game for the women's tournament. However, a long-time rivalry was rekindled when two-time defending champs De La Salle Lady Spikers met 29-time title holders FEU Lady Tamaraws for all the marbles last May. Kim Kianna Dy, Majoy Baron, and Dawn Macandili all ended their careers on a high note as they swept graduating Bernadeth Pons and the Lady Tamaraws in two straight games to win their third straight title. Graduating libero Macandili was named Finals MVP for the first and final time in her collegiate career.  Behind their magnificent floor defense and some stellar play from Finals MVP Bryan Bagunas, the NU Bulldogs also swept three-time defending champions Ateneo Blue Eagles to reclaim a title they last enjoyed in Season 76. Espejo, a five-time UAAP MVP, had an awesome performance for the world's record books, scoring a record-55 points to force the FEU Tamaraws to a do-or-die Final Four. The Blue Eagle legend had played his last, and has since suited up for a semi-pro team in Japan's topflight volleyball league.   Alab fends off Mono Vampire to claim ABL title San Miguel-backed Alab Pilipinas were such a glorious sight to see in the eighth season of the Asean Basketball League (ABL) last March. Coached by perennial fan favorite Jimmy Alapag in his very first season, the trio of Renaldo Balkman, Justin Brownlee, and Local and Finals MVP Bobby Ray Parks to their first title in home soil. Alab faced Thailand-based Mono Vampire, who were led by Mike Singletary, towering Sam Deguara, Fil-Am Jason Brickman and Pinoy Paul Zamar. In the very same day as the coronation of the UAAP volleyball championships, Alab took home the crown in a rousing 102-92 victory in Sta. Rosa, much to the delight of the home crowd. Balkman, the league's Defensive Player of the Year led Alab in scoring with 32, while Brownlee added 24 of his own. Parks added 13 markers. The two imports played in the PBA for the Commissioner's Cup, where Balkman (San Miguel) and Brownlee (Ginebra) would face each other in the Finals.   (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio) Warriors send LeBron packing to Los Angeles The Golden St. Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers locked horns in the NBA Finals for the fourth straight season after the two teams were pushed to the brink in the Conference Finals. Both teams were down 3-2 and won Game 7 on the road to win their respective conferences, with both teams banking on experience to forge another bout in the championship series. Game 1 was undoubtedly the most exciting game in the series as LeBron James had an epic performance of 51 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists.  However, JR Smith's blunder at the end of regulation became the lasting image of that game, as he dribbled out the clock with the score tied at 107-all. The defending champions rode the surge and took the opening game, 124-114. Stephen Curry's brillant performance throughout the series was overshadowed by Kevin Durant's dagger in Game 3, a few feet away from the spot where he launched the go-ahead three in Game 3 of the 2017 NBA Finals. Durant was named as the Bill Russell Finals MVP after norming 28.8 ppg, 10.8 rpg, and 7.5 apg in the four-game sweep, demolishing the Cavs 108-85 in the series finale last June. It would also be the last game LeBron James had in a Cleveland Cavaliers uniform, as he bolted for the Los Angeles Lakers almost a month later.   (AP Photo/Martin Meissner) France rules 2018 FIFA World Cup The most-coveted title of the beautiful game returned to France after two decades. The youthful French squad celebrated their conquest soaked in a downpour in Moscow after a 4-2 victory over first-time finalist Croatia in the 2018 FIFA World Cup last July. Teenager Kylian Mbappe stood out in the French team composed of a bunch of 25 and under players. Speed, strength and youth became France’s biggest asset during the quadrennial football spectacle watched by almost 3.5 billion viewers around the world.  The 19-year-old migrant scored one of the four goals in the championship match to become the second teen to score a goal in the Finals after the legendary Pele back in 1958. France defeated Belgium in the semifinal, 1-0, while Croatia outlasted the favored Russians in penalty shootout, 4-3 (2-2). The French team also displayed diversity, with players born of migrant parents including Alphonse Areola, whose parents are both Filipinos working in France.   Pac on top, The Filipino Flash returns The most-celebrated Filipino athlete continued make the headlines this year. Manny Pacquaio stripped Lucas Matthysse of his WBA welterweight world championship belt with a seventh round technical knockout win in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in July. Pacquiao split with long-time trainer Freddie Roach during his build up for the Matthysse bout back in April but confirmed their partnership once again for the 40-year old boxer’s title defense against Adrien Broner next year. Nonito Donaire Jr. announced that he would be going back down to super bantamweight after a loss to Carl Frampton in April for the interim WBO Featherweight belt and would be taking part in the World Boxing Super Series' super bantamweight tournament.  Matched up in the quarterfinal round against Ryan Burnett back in November, Donaire scored what many consider an upset, winning via TKO after the Irishman suffered a back injury to snatch the WBA (Super) Bantamweight World Championship.  Up next for Donaire will be WBO Super Bantamweight World Champion Zolani Tete of South Africa in the semifinals.           Pinay power in the Asian Games   The Philippines participated in the 18th Asian Games held in Jakarta and Palembang, Indonesia that ran from August 18 to September 2. A total of 272 athletes that participated in 31 sports represented the country in the quadrennial meet with Jordan Clarkson of the Cleveland Cavaliers and medalist Margielyn Didal marching as flagbearers in the opening and closing ceremonies, respectively. Rio Olympian Hidilyn Diaz gave the PHI its first gold medal in women’s -53 kg. weightlifting. Five days after Diaz’s victory, the trio of Yuka Saso, Bianca Pagdanganan and Lois Kaye Go accounted for the women’s golf team mint. Saso also bagged the individual gold. In Palembang, Didal rolled her way into winning the women’s street skateboard gold. The celebrated men’s basketball team started out strong after routing Kazakhstan but lost by two-points to China in the group stage. The Gilas Pilipinas squad advanced in the quarterfinals but bowed down to South Korea by nine points eventually settling for a fifth spot in the classification phase after wins over Japan and Syria. The PHI finished with a 4-2-15 gold-silver-bronze haul and landed at 19th spot, three places higher that its 2014 finish in Incheon, South Korea.      Red Lions roar, Blue Eagles soar San Beda University continued its mastery over the NCAA as it annexed its third straight title and 22nd overall. The Red Lions grabbed its 11th crown in 13 years at the expense of Lyceum of the Philippines University. It was one-sided championship series – just like in their Finals meeting last year – with the San Beda ripping the Pirates apart in Game One with LPU playing sans its best player in CJ Perez, who was banned for one game after failing to notify the league of his intention to join the PBA Draft. Perez returned in Game 2 but even his presence didn’t stop the Red Lions from painting the NCAA red once again. In probably one of the most memorable UAAP season in recent years, Ateneo de Manila University won its second straight crown. Ivorian tower and Rookie of the Year 6-foot-11 Ange Kouame made an immediate impact for the Blue Eagles complementing the already stacked Ateneo squad led by Finals MVP Thirdy Ravena. But the glory of Ateneo was overshadowed by the Cinderalla story of the team it vanquished in the Finals. Climbing up from the cellar in the past years, University of the Philippines made history by making it in the Finals for the first time since winning it all in 1986. But before their championship stint, the Fighting Maroons ended a two-decade Final Four drought. UP then shocked twice-to-beat Adamson University with both games decided by game-winners. Ateneo came in the series as the title favorites but overwhelming support from a very hungry UP community and underdogs fans backed the Fighting Maroons. But in the end, it was the Blue Eagles championship experience that prevailed.       Pinoys make wave in MMA Fighters under Team Lakay flexed their muscles in One Championship. Flyweight star Geje Eustaquio opened the year with an interim championship win over former champion Kairat Akhmetov in Manila back in January. Eustaquio then defeated two-time champion Adriano Moraes in Macau last July to become the undisputed ONE Flyweight World Champion.  Joshua Pacio earned the ONE Strawweight World Championship last September after a unanimous decision win over two-time champion Japanese Yoshitaka Naito. Kevin Belingon dropped former world title challenger Andrew Leone with a now-famous spinning back kick in April. He followed it up with a dominating win over then-two division world champion Martin Nguyen to capture the ONE Interim Bantamweight World Champion. Belingon ended the five-year reign and seven-year winning streak of of long-time bantamweight king Brazilian Bibiano Fernandes in November via split decision.  Eduard Folayang outclassed Singaporean contender Amir Khan at ONE: Conquest of Champions in Manila in early December to bag the ONE Lightweight World Championship for the second time in his storied career.  BRAVE Combat Federation Bantamweight World Champion Stephen Loman successfully defended his title twice in 2018.  Reigning ONE Heavyweight World Champion Brandon Vera needed only 64 seconds to knockout hard-hitting Italian challenger Mauro Cerilli in Manila early December to remain the king of the ONE Championship heavyweight kingdom.    Petron, Creamline rule respective club leagues Creamline claimed its breakthrough championship in the Premier Volleyball League by sweeping PayMaya in the Reinforced Conference Finals series last July. Alyssa Valdez finally ended a two-year title drought with the Cool Smashers' victory. Creamline opposite hitter Michele Gumabao was named Miss Globe-Philippines during the Binibining Pilipinas 2018 last March. Gumabao represented the country in the 2018 Miss Globe in Albania last October and won the Miss Social Media and Dream Girl awards while landing a spot in the Top 15.     The Cool Smashers completed a sweep of the PVL’s Season 2 after claiming the Open Conference crown at the expense of Ateneo-Motolite via an emphatic series sweep this month. In the Philippine Superliga, Petron reigned supreme in the Grand Prix after taking down archrival F2 Logistics last May. Petron extended its supremacy in the sands after the tandem of Sisi Rondina and Bernadethn Pons defeated Dhannylaine Demontano and Jackielyn Estoquia of Sta. Lucia in the Challenge Cup final last May. The Cargo Movers got its revenge in the Invitational Cup, toppling the Blaze Spikers in a series sweep last July. Petron wrapped the year with the All-Filipino Conference in its pocket. The Blaze Spikers won its first 14 games before dropping Game 2 of the Finals. Petron swept F2 Logistics in Game 3......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 30th, 2018

NCAA: Why wasn t Joel Cagulangan ever in Batang Gilas?

Joel Cagulangan was ranked the top point guard in all of high school in the NBTC 24 a year ago. There, he stood alongside the likes of Kai Sotto, SJ Belangel, and Will Gozum. Unlike those three, however, Cagulangan has never worn the flag in international competition. Just why is that? The 18-year-old said he himself doesn’t know – because he has never been contacted by Batang Gilas. “Wala naman po akong narinig na ni-contact nila ako o sila coach,” he shared. He then continued, “Gusto ko po sana (mag-Batang Gilas) kaso mas gusto ko mag-focus sa NCAA.” Cagulangan has been doing just that in the ongoing Season 94, leading College of St. Benilde-La Salle Greenhills to the top spot in the standings in its title defense. And on Friday, he turned in a 38-point masterpiece, a career-best in scoring to go along with nine rebounds and seven assists. Through it all, the graduating guard reminded everybody that he is a scary sniper as all but two of his points came from behind the arc. “Sabi kasi ng coaches na off lagi ang shooting ko so after (ng talo namin) sa Mapua (last Tuesday), shooting lang nang shooting. Buti, nagkakumpyansa ulit,” he shared. Indeed, Cagulangan took that loss, just their second of the season, to heart and did his all to make sure his team bounced back. And more than his career performance, he was happy to see total team effort. “Mas magandang feeling talaga na buong team yung nag-contribute,” he expressed. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 21st, 2018

SJ Belangel overtakes Kai Sotto as best HS player in NBTC rankings

MANILA, Philippines – A Blue Eaglet soared to top of the NBTC-Chooks To Go High School Power Rankings but it is not the towering Kai Sotto. SJ Belangel overtook teammate Sotto, who lorded over his class for the first 4 weeks, in Week 5 of the rankings as he ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsFeb 13th, 2018

NBTC 24 Week 2: Eaglet SJ Belangel catapults to top 3

MANILA, Philippines – Ateneo Blue Eaglets big man Kai Sotto and La Salle Junior Blazers point guard Joel Cagulangan continue to banner the Chooks-to-Go/National Basketball Training Center (NBTC) 24.  Ateneo's senior point guard SJ Belangel dropped 20 points that helped steer the Blue Eaglets to an unblemished 10-0 record. With ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsJan 22nd, 2018

Eaglets survive scare from Baby Tams to seize playoff berth

STANDINGS Ateneo 10-0 NU 7-2 UST 5-4 FEU-Diliman 5-5 Adamson 4-5 DLSZ 3-6 UPIS 2-7 UE 1-8 For the first time in the 80th Season of the UAAP Juniors Basketball Tournament, Ateneo de Manila High School’s matchup went down the wire. Far Eastern University-Diliman put up the best fight the undefeated league-leaders have faced thus far, but team captain SJ Belangel and Joaqui Manuel came up big in a 68-65 decision, still in favor of the Blue Eaglets on Saturday at the Filoil Flying V Centre. The three-point margin is the smallest the kids from Katipunan have registered after 10 games. It is also the first and only time their winning margin was not in double-digits. Dominant throughout the tournament, Ateneo was under siege after the first half and was down by eight before their team captain got together with Dave Ildefonso to outscore their opponents in the third, 15-10. Behind that 21-point quarter, they mounted a three-point lead heading into the final frame. There, last year’s Finals MVP L-Jay Gonzales came alive with all but two of his 12 points, but was quickly responded to by Belangel. In the endgame, it was then Manuel who took charge. In all, he had eight of his 12 points in the last seven minutes. He also had a total of 14 rebounds and four assists. Ildefonso chipped in 11 points and eight rebounds while Kai Sotto contributed 16 points, 10 rebounds, and three blocks. While it was their first game that didn’t end in a rout, head coach Joe Silva said the close contest was actually good for them as it showed their character. Indeed, Ateneo is gladly taking the hardfought win as it already guarantees them a spot in the playoffs. At 10-0, they are also four more wins away from an elimination round sweep that automatically advances them into the Finals. On the other hand, the defending champions remain winless up against the three other contenders above of them in the standings in Ateneo, Nazareth School of National University, and University of Sto. Tomas. This, despite a strong showing from RJ Abarrientos who had 16 points, six rebounds, five assists, and three steals. At 5-5, FEU-Diliman is in need to get a win run going as Adamson High School continues to lurk behind them. BOX SCORES FIRST GAME ATENEO 68 – Belangel 20, Sotto 16, Manuel 12, Ildefonso 11, Credo 9, Escalona 0, Chiu 0, Angeles 0, David 0, Jaymalin 0, Lopa 0 FEU-DILIMAN 65 – Abarrientos 16, Alforque 12, Gonzales 12, Torres 12, Sajonia 10, Celzo 0, Ona 1, Boc 0, Tolentino 0, Mariano 0 QUARTER SCORES: 10-20, 25-33, 46-43, 68-65 --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 20th, 2018

Ateneo coach Silva on 3 Eaglets in NBTC 24: ‘They deserve to be there’

Ateneo de Manila High School is undefeated in the UAAP 80 Juniors Basketball Tournament. And with a lineup as talented and as deep as they have, the Blue Eaglets are expected to go all the way to the Finals – and even get the championship. Led by three players in the top five in terms of Statistical Points (SPs) in the UAAP in second-running Kai Sotto, third-running SJ Belangel, and fourth-running Dave Ildefonso, indeed, no team is as talented and as deep as the kids from Katipunan. For head coach Joe Silva, those three are only worthy of being mentioned as top talent not only in the UAAP, but also the entire Philippines. “The three of them really are blue-chip talents sa high school,” he said. The first-ever NBTC Chooks-to-Go 24 high school player rankings seems to agree with him as in the initial list revealed last Monday, Sotto was deemed the top talent among all players taking part in the NCAA, UAAP, CESAFI (Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation, Inc.), MMBL (Metro Manila Basketball League), and FCAAF (Filipino-Chinese Amateur Athletic Federation). The NBTC Chooks-to-Go 24 is a weekly ranking of high school players which will ultimately be used to select the participants in the annual SM-NBTC High School All-Star Game at the MOA Arena. There, Belangel was ranked fifth while Ildefonso was eighth. That means that Ateneo has three players in the top eight in all of the Philippines. In Silva’s eyes, there is no doubt that his three prized prospects are nothing but deserving of their ranks. “They deserve to be there,” he said. That statement is even truer for Sotto, the towering teen who has long had scouts drooling about his potential. “If you put him in another team, he’d dominate, double-double yan easily. We’re not about individual stuff, but it’s not a surprise that Kai’s number one,” he said. The 7-foot-1, 15-year-old has per game counts of 12.6 points in 53.7 percent shooting, 12.6 rebounds, and 4.9 blocks in just 23.2 minutes of play. Silva was quick to remind Sotto, Belangel, and Ildefonso, however, “Good for them, pero they shouldn’t settle. They should work harder, stay humble, and focus on their studies.” The Blue Eaglets mentor, though, would also like to see two more names of his players on the NBTC Chooks-to-Go 24. “For me, Jason Credo and Joaqui Manuel should be there. Maybe they’re being overshadowed kasi medyo malakas yung team namin kaya they don’t get their numbers,” he said. He then continued, “Pero versatility-wise, value to the team, I believe they should be there.” Manuel has been their breakout player with averages of 11.1 points, 9.0 rebounds, and 1.6 assists while Credo has been their glue guy with norms of 10.0 points, 5.9 rebounds, 3.6 assists, and 1.6 steals. Manuel and Credo’s next chance to get on the list will be next Monday when the new rankings will be released. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 18th, 2018

NBTC to release weekly rankings of 24 best high school players in PH

Spicing up the seventh edition of the High School All-Star Game, the SM-National Basketball Training Center (NBTC) is introducing a new innovation to determine who are the best high school players in the country. The official grassroots arm of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) will release weekly power rankings naming the top 24 high school players from the UAAP, NCAA, CESAFI, MMBL, and FCAAF tournaments in the buildup for the much-anticipated All-Star exposition this March. Every week, a selection committee made up of reputable sportswriters, coaches, and a statisticians will convene to make the list. Ateneo's Kai Sotto and SJ Belangel, UST's CJ Cansino, and NCAA MV...Keep on reading: NBTC to release weekly rankings of 24 best high school players in PH.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJan 8th, 2018

Kai Sotto, Will Gozum, high school standouts to be ranked in NBTC 24

The SM-National Basketball Training Center (NBTC) is already gearing up for the seventh High School All-Star Game this coming March. In doing so, the SM-NBTC will release weekly rankings for high school players taking part in the UAAP, CESAFI-NBTC, MMBL, and FCAAF tournaments as well as the recently concluded NCAA competition.   Every week, a selection committee composed of several reputable sportswriters covering the various high school tourneys including two coaches and one statistician will meet to rank the top 24 players around the country. As such, for the first time ever, players like Ateneo de Manila High School’s SJ Belangel and Kai Sotto, Mapua University’s Will Gozum, La Salle Greenhills’ Joel Cagulangan, and University of Sto. Tomas’ CJ Cansino will be ranked on a weekly leaderboard that may or may not change based on their performance. Criteria for judging includes the following: offense, defense, team record, statisics, impact on team, and level of competition. The eighth and final of these rankings will then 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.   For program director Eric Altamirano, this is nothing but a step forward for all of Philippine basketball. “SM-NBTC believes that these rankings will make the race to be part of the top 24 high school players more exciting while also making more of people aware of the abundance of talent that’s at hand in the high school level,” he said. The SM-NBTC 24 will be announced every Monday from January 15 to March 5......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 8th, 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

10 can’t-miss moments in sports for 2019

2018 is already in the books. Now, we look forward to the next chapters we’re all about to read in 2019. Laban Azkals in AFC Asian Cup – January The Azkals will enter historic grounds as early as January as they play for the first time in the AFC Asian Cup in 2019. Their ticket was booked after crushing Tajikistan in a 2-1 home victory early in 2018. With a world-renowned mentored on their side in Sven-Goran Eriksson and veteran national players, the Azkals will travel to the United Arab Emirates for the continental showdown. The Azkals kick off their 2019 AFC Cup Campaign on January 7th against South Korea, followed by a match against China PR on January 11th, before closing out the Group Stage on January 16th against Kyrgyzstan.  Newest season of the oldest professional league in Asia – January After just roughly a month of break from basketball action, the oldest professional league in Asia is back. The PBA will be kicking off its 44th season on January 13 with San Miguel defending its Philippine Cup title. Aside from that, marquee rookies such as CJ Perez, Robert Bolick, and Paul Desiderio are all set to play their first professional games with their respective teams. Up next on Pacman’s list – January The Filipinos will be treated to quality boxing as early as January 19 when Manny Pacquiao defends his WBA (Regular) Welterweight World Championship against challenger American Adrien Broner. After two years of fighting outside the US, Pacquiao will be back in Las Vegas to defend his title against a tough challenger in Broner. Just like old times, Freddie Roach will be back in Pacquiao's corner, this time serving as a consultant. Fanning the flames for a place in FIBA World Cup 2019 – February For the Philippines to be back in the FIBA World Cup, these are the things that need to happen: we must sweep out last two games then Japan must lose at least one of its last two games – giving us the third spot in Group F. Alternatively, we can pin our hopes on China winding up in the top four of its group – giving Groups E and F four berths apiece. Gilas Pilipinas begins its trek through that long and winding road away from home up against Qatar. All teams are teams-to-beat in UAAP 81 Volleyball – February The exciting and highly entertaining collegiate volleyball league is back on February 16. Things to watch out for? La Salle's bid for their fourth consecutive title, Ateneo's face post-Tai Bundit era, UP's confident aura coming off two major preseason championships, and UST's game-changing rookies. Eaglets-Bullpups Finals rematch or not – March Without a doubt, Ateneo and NU, the very same two teams that battled in the Finals last year, are the favorites to go all the way back to the champipnship round in the ongoing season. After all, the Blue Eaglets still have 7-foot-1, 16-year-old Kai Sotto and the Bullpups boast of the deepest roster in all of high school. After the first round of eliminations, however, it’s also clear that RJ Abarrientos-led FEU-Diliman and Joem Sabandal-fronted Adamson have other plans. For sure, something’s gotta give. Alab Pilipinas’ shot at history – April In the almost decade-long history of the Asean Basketball League, no team has won back-to-back championships. Alab Pilipinas is here to change that with the Puerto Rican pair of Renaldo Balkman and PJ Ramos showing the way alongside two-time Local MVP Ray Parks Jr. No doubt, this is the most talented team in franchise history and as such, nothing but a second straight title will be an acceptable outcome. The NCAA is five years away from its centennial celebration – July The first collegiate league in the country is approaching rarified air. Set to open its milestone mark 95th Season, the same old intensity is to be expected in the NCAA. The protagonists, however, may very well be different as all of last year’s Final Four teams will now be missing their main men – Robert Bolick for San Beda, CJ Perez for LPU, Bong Quinto for Letran, and Prince Eze for Perpetual. Is the UAAP 82 Basketball crown Katipunan’s to keep – September In Season 82, all teams will be seeking to nip the dynasty that the Ateneo Blue Eagles are trying to build. After going for back-two-back last season, all eyes will still be on them as their enter the season with an intact core. However, just like Season 81 it will not be a walk in the park with all contenders striving to match their caliber through massive recruitment, coach changes, and tough training camps. Filipino hospitality in SEA Games 2019 – November For the first time since 2005, the SEA Games will be played in Manila. That means that, at long last, our regional neighbors will yet again experience that world-renowned warmth of the Philippines and its people. Make no mistake, however, the Filipinos are all set to go all-out and dominate the medal tally – whether that be basketball in Manila or athletics and aquatics in Clark......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 31st, 2018

Kai Sotto towers above all with 22-point lead in UAAP 81 Jrs. MVP race

Unsurprisingly, Kai Sotto has been putting up the most impressive numbers after the first round of the UAAP 81 Juniors Basketball Tournament. Ateneo de Manila High School’s towering teen has been posting per game counts of 25.3 points, 12.7 rebounds, 3.3 blocks, and 2.7 assists. He is the league’s best scorer, rebounder and blocker. Those numbers have been more than enough to thrust Sotto onto the very top of the MVP leaderboard with 93.3 Statistical Points (SPs). Not only that, he has a 22-point edge over his closest competitor in Mark Nonoy of University of Sto. Tomas who has 70.9 SPs to his name. More impressive, however, is that with the 7-foot-1, 16-year-old fronting the effort, the Blue Eaglets have not skipped a beat as they are in joint second heading into the second round. This, even after losing all of SJ Belangel, Jason Credo, Dave Ildefonso, and Joaqui Manuel. Nonoy is doing his best to chase down Sotto with averages of 18.3 points, 9.1 rebounds, 5.7 assists, and 1.7 steals – nothing short of impressive especially for a first-year player. At third in the MVP race is Ateneo’s Forthsky Padrigao with 70.0 SPs, but his place there is tenuous as he has only suited up for one game in the season. Not counting Padrigao, rounding out the top five are Far Eastern University-Diliman’s do-it-all guard RJ Abarrientos, Adamson High School’s revelation at forward in AP Manlapaz, and Nazareth School of National University’s versatile big man Carl Tamayo. —— Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 15th, 2018

Eaglets-Bullpups clash ends Round 1 of UAAP Jrs.

Games on Saturday at the Blue Eagle Gym 9:00 AM – Adamson vs DLSZ 11:00 AM – UPIS vs UE 1:00 PM – UST vs FEU-Diliman 3:00 PM – Ateneo vs NU At long last, the most anticipated matchup in the UAAP 81 Juniors Basketball Tournament is upon us. Defending champion Ateneo de Manila High School and last year’s runner-up Nazareth School of National University will finally wage war this season at the middle of the Blue Eagle Gym in Quezon City on Saturday. The top spot it up for grabs in the duel between the Blue Eaglets and the Bullpups, both at 5-1, beginning at 3:00 PM. Last season, Ateneo topped NU is a competitive three-game Finals. Now, Kai Sotto will once more try to lift the Blue Eaglets over the Bullpups who will once more lean on the backcourt duo of Gerry Abadiano and Terrence Fortea. Meanwhile, a slot right behind whoever seizes the top spot is for the taking for Adamson High School and Far Eastern University-Diliman up against separate foes. The Baby Falcons (4-2) are out to build on their big-time takedown of NU this time opposite daring De La Salle Zobel (3-3) at 9:00 AM while the Baby Tamaraws (4-2) are out to keep charging at the expense of dangerous University of Sto. Tomas (3-3) at 11:00 AM. There will also be a crucial contest between winless teams University of the Philippines Integrated School and University of the East at 11:00 AM. —— Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 14th, 2018

UV s Joshua Yerro has highest ceiling in NBTC CESAFI 24

Do-it-all forward Joshua Yerro was named as the best player from the south as he grabbed the top spot in the final rankings of the Chooks-to-Go/NBTC CESAFI 24. The merit was consolation for the pride of Ormoc, whose University of Visayas was upset by University of Cebu in the recently-concluded CESAFI Finals. The 6-foot-2 forward was somehow denied of a spot in the Mythical Five in spite of averages of 18 points, 15 rebounds, four assists, and three steals, but there was no doubt that he was the best from the field this year. Two more Baby Lancers earned their way in the top three with shifty guard Gabriel Cometa at second and CESAFI slam dunk champion Popoy Actub at third. Baby Webmaster Jerick Jan Ranido, who was named the Finals MVP, settled for fourth while Kendrick Abarquez of the University of San Jose-Recoletos rounded out the top five. Completing the top 10 are Rojan Montemayor of the University of Southern Philippines Foundation, Koko Tuadles of Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu, Justin Mondares of UC, UV’s Beirn Laurente, and then Isaiah Blanco-Hontiveros from UC yet again. Here's the final rankings of the Chooks-to-Go/NBTC CESAFI 24: 1.            Joshua Yerro (UV) 2.            Gabriel Cometa (UV) 3.            Popoy Actub (UV) 4.            Jerick Jan Ranido (UC) 5.            Kendrick Abarquez (USJ-R) 6.            Rojan Montemayor (USPF) 7.            Koko Tuadles (Ateneo de Cebu) 8.            Justin Mondares (UC) 9.            Biern Laurente (UV) 10.          Isaiah Blanco-Hontiveros (UC) 11.          James Incio (UC) 12.          Matthew Paras (USJ-R) 13.          Keith Co (USJ-R) 14.          Neon Chavez (USPF) 15.          Khadshein Tagalog (USC) 16.          Joshua Canoy (Don Bosco) 17.          Jasper Pacana (UC) 18.          Clint Octaviano (USC) 19.          Vernald Almacin (CEC) 20.          Michael Cutamora (Ateneo de Cebu) 21.          LA Casinillo (Ateneo de Cebu) 22.          Matthew Flores (SWU-PHINMA) 23.          Andre Gabutero (CEC) 24.          Matthew Prince Carin (CIT-U) This year, there are three separate editions of the NBTC 24 – one for the NCAA, one for the UAAP, and one for the CESAFI – to accommodate the Juniors calendar for the whole year. After all three editions have been completed, a final list composing the top 24 players nationwide will then be chosen to participate in the annual NBTC All-Star Game in March......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 20th, 2018

Kai Sotto forgoes Gilas practice and tune-up game for exam week

Citing academics, Kai Sotto won't be attending Gilas Pilipinas' tune-up game against Jordan at the Meralco Gym Monday evening. Sotto says he will be undergoing exams this week at Ateneo High School, thus not being able to devote his time fully to the rigors of national team training. "Hindi ako pupunta sa practice. Exams namin sa Ateneo. Hindi ako lalaro bukas," the 7 foot 1 center said. Even though he won't be able to attend training for Gilas, Sotto had a show in their 75-59 win against the Adamson Baby Falcons at the Blue Eagle Gym Sunday morning. The slot man had 27 points and 20 rebounds in the victory, with 17 of those markers coming from the free throw line. Even so, new Blue Eaglet coach Reggie Varilla was proud of his boys of towing themselves to the win, days after floor general Forthsky Padrigao underwent an appendectomy and will be out the remainder of the first round. Sotto even dedicated the victory to his recovering teammate who he is proud to be called as his best friend. "Si Forthsky talaga, best friend ko yan. Sobrang ka-close ko yan. Alam ko yung nararamdaman niya na yung parang comeback season niya tapos naputol pa." About his 25 attempts from the line, Sotto expected the swarming Adamson defense to give no inch to him, and took every opportunity to take advantage of the tactic. "Yun talaga gagawin lagi ng depensa. Expected na lagi. Marami rin akong namintis so sayang." __   Follow this writer on Twitter, @philipptionary......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 18th, 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

FIBA WORLD CUP: Guiao wants to test 'big boy' Kai against Gilas 'old boys'

In a loaded 20-man Gilas Pilipinas pool for the new FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers window, one name stood out the most. Young Kai Sotto was easily the most surprising name in head coach Yeng Guiao's lineup announced Tuesday and while the 7'2" high school phenom is a long shot to make the final 12, it wouldn't hurt for him to be included in the senior team as early as now. Former head coach Chot Reyes actually teased about the possibility of Kai joining the senior team as early as 2017 but this year, it's no longer just a possibility. [Related: Chot considered including Kai Sotto to Gilas' SEA Games lineup] It's happening. "With Kai kasi, we have nothing to lose [and] we have everything to gain," Guiao said on why he included Sotto in his new pool that also includes June Mar Fajardo, Greg Slaughter, Christian Standhardinger, and Japeth Aguilar. "I'd like to see him play against the big boys and be able to accelerate his development. Who knows? Baka gulatin tao, baka makakuha siya ng spot sa top 12," he added. As the undisputed future of Philippine basketball, many are clamoring for Kai to improve his competition. The junior ranks in the Philippines are not exactly challenging for Sotto. At 7'2" and still growing, no one can match up to Kai's size and improving skill set. [Related: FIBA WORLD CUP: Castro and Tenorio make Gilas return in new 20-man pool] With plans to train abroad shelved for the moment, joining the senior team of Gilas Pilipinas is the next best thing for the Ateneo star. "I think Kai is our future, and we're just trying to make use of the opportunity for him to be developed and be able to upgrade the competition he's been playing in kasi dominado niya masyado yung high school, dominado niya rin yung Under-18, so now maybe it's time for him to try the big boys," Guiao said of Kai. "Or the old bots kasi big boy din siya," he added.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 8th, 2018

UAAP: Who is UST super rookie CJ Cansino?

Get to know just who UST super rookie CJ Cansino is by looking back at these stories: Good news for UST? Tiger Cub star CJ Cansino wants to stay HIGH SCHOOL MIXTAPE: UST’s CJ Cansino UST’s CJ Cansino leads Ateneo’s Kai Sotto by 26 points in MVP race Jrs. MVP leader Cansino already in touch with new UST coach Ayo UST coach Cantonjos says Cansino, not Sotto, should have topped NBTC 24 CJ Cansino is UST’s first UAAP Jrs. MVP since Kevin Ferrer Should MVP CJ Cansino of UST be in the top five of the NBTC 24? UST still frontrunner for MVP Cansino; three other schools also interested It’s Sotto-Cagulangan vs Gozum-Cansino in SLAM Rising Stars UST gets to keep UAAP Jrs. MVP CJ Cansino.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 31st, 2018