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Champions Ateneo, San Beda to be feted in 2018 Collegiate Basketball Awards

Before the collegiate wars commence anew, the UAAP-NCAA Press Corps is set to honor the heroes of the past season in the 2018 Chooks-to-Go Collegiate Basketball Awards. The group, made up of scribes from print and online outfits covering the beat, are set to distinguish the best players from last year when they hold the annual awards night on Thursday at The Bayleaf Hotel in Intramuros. Set to be awarded are standouts from the championship teams of San Beda University in the NCAA and Ateneo de Manila University in the UAAP. But the trophies aren’t just limited to them as the group will also hand out special awards to the breakout performers of this past season in the event sponsored by Chooks-to-Go and The Bayleaf Intramuros. The Red Lions, led by Robert Bolick and coached by Boyet Fernandez, were crowned as the NCAA Season 93 champion in 2017, copping the league’s crown for the 10th time over the last 12 seasons. The Blue Eagles, coached by Tab Baldwin, captured the UAAP Season 80 title last year after beating La Salle in a thrilling championship series with Thirdy Ravena capturing the Finals MVP. Both teams are also expected to figure prominently in the title chase for the coming season of their mother leagues......»»

Category: sportsSource: abscbn abscbnJun 17th, 2018

Two Blue Eagles in Collegiate Basketball Awards Mythical Team

The very best individual performers of collegiate basketball are set to be feted as the UAAP-NCAA Press Corps name the Mythical Team of the 2017 season in the Chooks-to-Go Collegiate Basketball Awards on Thursday at The Bayleaf Hotel in Intramuros. Robert Bolick and Thirdy Ravena, the key cogs behind San Beda and Ateneo’s championship runs, lead the selection as MVPs CJ Perez of Lyceum and Ben Mbala of La Salle join the pair. Floor general Matt Nieto, also of Ateneo, complete the cast selected by sports scribes covering the collegiate beat that will be feted in the awards night sponsored by Chooks-to-Go. After steering the Red Lions to their 21st title in the NCAA, Bolick is a shoo-in to the Mythical Team particularly with how he performed in the Finals against the Pirates. The 6-foot-1 guard out of Leyte missed out on individual accolades in the NCAA after being suspended for a game, but his year-long effort for the Red Lions isn’t about to go unnoticed. Ateneo’s homegrown pair of Ravena and Nieto also made the cut in the awards ceremony also backed by The Bayleaf Intramuros and Cherrylume after steering the Blue Eagles to their first title in five years. The duo showed great improvement from seasons before, not only in the individual aspect of the game, but in being the for the young Ateneo side coached by Tab Baldwin. Wrapping up the selection are the best individual performers of the collegiate season in Perez and Mbala. Perez was the force behind Lyceum’s amazing turnaround from cellar-dwellers to championship contenders, especially following a historic elimination round sweep. Though they fell short in the NCAA, Perez and the Pirates rebounded in winning the Philippine Collegiate Champions League. Mbala, on the other hand, is the least surprising selection following another dominant season for the Green Archers. Though they fell short of winning back to back titles, the 2016 Player of the Year was a man among boys in the UAAP leading to his second straight MVP citation......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 20th, 2018

Afril Bernardino is first woman awardee in Collegiate Basketball Awards

Honoring the heroes of season’s past, the 2018 Chooks-to-Go Collegiate Basketball Awards is set to distinguish three outstanding performers in college basketball on Thursday at The Bayleaf Intramuros, Manila. Alvin Pasaol, the Lyceum Pirates, and Afril Bernardino will be the recipients of special awards in the ceremony organized by the UAAP-NCAA Press Corps and supported by Chooks-to-Go and The Bayleaf Intramuros. The Breakout Player award will be given to Pasaol for his exceptional rise as one of the most prolific scorers in the collegiate ranks for University of the East, highlighted by his 49-point explosion in a single game. The Lyceum Pirates, meanwhile, are set to accept a Special Citation for their record-setting 18-0 run in the NCAA Season 93 eliminations, making the inspiring turnaround from league cellar-dwellers to legitimate title contenders. The Pirates of head coach Topex Robinson also ruled the Philippine Collegiate Champions League earlier this year for the first time in school history, stamping their mark as one of the top college basketball programs in the country. Bernardino, a former member of the National University Lady Bulldogs, will also be recognized as she will be receiving the Award of Excellence for her contributions to women’s college basketball. Already a legend as a three-time UAAP MVP, Bernardino also became a pioneer in her sport, winning the inaugural UAAP 3X3 tournament in Season 80. Now, she will be making history as the event's first-ever woman awardee. Pasaol, LPU, and Bernardino join Isaac Go of Ateneo and Donald Tankoua of San Beda, who are also set to receive the Pivotal Player awards during the awards nights before the collegiate basketball season resumes next month with the NCAA wars......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 19th, 2018

Pivotal Players Isaac Go, Donald Tankoua to stand tall in Collegiate Basketball Awards

Coming up big for their respective teams in last season’s Finals, Isaac Go and Donald Tankoua are set to be feted in the 2018 Chooks-to-Go Collegiate Basketball Awards on Thursday night at The Bayleaf Hotel in Intramuros. The two big men are set to receive this year’s Pivotal Player awards, which honors distinguished individuals who were crucial in their team’s drive to the championship, in the ceremony supported by Chooks-to-Go and The Bayleaf Intramuros. The unassuming Go showed his fangs when it mattered most for Ateneo, hitting the big shots which paved the way for the Blue Eagles to win the UAAP Season 80 crown and end their five-year title drought. Meanwhile, Cameroonian Tankoua was a force to be reckoned with for San Beda as his dominating presence inside the paint secured for the Red Lions their back-to-back titles this past NCAA Season 93. Also to be handed out in the night of glitz and glamour hosted by the UAAP-NCAA Press Corps are the Player of the Year, Mythical Five, and Breakout Player......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 18th, 2018

Back on top: Beda s Bolick still looks up to 3 Ateneo players

MANILA, Philippines – To say that Robert Bolick is one of the most successful collegiate basketball players in the country today can be an understatement.  He has won championships in the NCAA, UAAP, PBA D-League, Filoil Preseason Cup, and recently, bagged the 2018 Collegiate Basketball Awards' Collegiate Player of ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsJun 22nd, 2018

Flood, illness could not stop Robert Bolick from getting his well-deserved trophy

Until the very end, Robert Bolick had to work for his first-ever individual trophy in the collegiate ranks. The undisputed leader of NCAA champion San Beda University was all set to be recognized as the Player of the Year in the 2018 Chooks-to-Go Collegiate Basketball Awards held last Thursday at The Bayleaf Hotel in Intramuros. Three hours before the event organized by the UAAP-NCAA Press Corps, however, he had bad news. As it turns out, Bolick was not feeling well and his stomach flu had him on the verge of going to the hospital. “Masakit talaga. Two days na nga akong hindi nakapag-practice (with San Beda),” his message read. And so, it appeared that the 5-foot-11 lead guard would not be able to hoist his first-ever individual trophy. With that, the air became heavy inside the venue as, aside from Bolick, also absent from the event were four awardees from Ateneo de Manila University, who were in Greece for tuneup games, and two awardees from Lyceum of the Philippines University, who were in Calatagan, Batangas for team-building. The downpour of rain and, of course the sudden flooding it entailed, didn’t help either as several representatives of the awardees were regrettably forced to miss the awards night as well. And then, right in the middle of the heavy rain, Bolick told the UAAP-NCAA Press Corps that he was willing his way to the event. “Sirs, pupunta (na) ako, for sure. Para sa inyo, sirs, kakayanin ko ‘to,” his message read. Not only that, he was going to Intramuros from Sta. Ana in Manila by booking an Angkas. “Sarap pala mag-Angkas no? Traffic lang saka natakot ako sa mga truck,” he shared. And so, until the very end, the now 21-year-old had to work for his first-ever individual trophy in the collegiate ranks. Whatever it was, though, he said that finally holding the Player of the Year was well worth it. “Ang sarap. Meaning lang nito, mahal niyo ako,” he said, joshing with reporters. True to form, however, he was also quick to add, “Pero sa akin wala talaga yung individual. All I want is a championship.” Along with the trophy, event backer Chooks-to-Go also rewarded all of Bolick’s efforts with PhP 15, 000 in cash. In the end, the stomach flu, the heavy rain, and the flood he had to overcome were no match for the well-deserved recognition as well as pocket money to celebrate it. After all, the pride of Ormoc, Leyte had already proven that he could persevere through the longer, harder route just to get to his destination. While he was the hands-down King Lion, coming through when his team needed him the most, he was left out of any individual hardware after being disqualified for the Mythical Team due to a controversial ejection in an elimination round game and after being edged out by teammate Donald Tankoua for Finals MVP. And so, even with two team championships, Bolick was yet to receive individual honors – from his time as a reserve in De La Salle University to his time as main man of San Beda. Not anymore, as the UAAP-NCAA Press Corps set up the stage for, at long last, his one shining moment. And just like he always does, Robert Bolick, finished it all with a flourish. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 22nd, 2018

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

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

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 31st, 2017

CHAMPIONS AT LONG LAST: Reliving UP’s successful 1986 UAAP revolt

It was the year of People Power, a revolution like no other. And, who would think that such an “uprising” has spilled onto collegiate basketball the same year as the stronghold of the UE Red Warriors was overran? What other ball club can best depict this EDSA Spirit than the 1986 UP Fighting Maroons? Its putsch in the UAAP was carefully plotted since legendary coach Joe Lipa took over the coaching reigns in 1981. This began fierce onslaught only a year later when the Maroons made a rare march into the UAAP Finals against the UE, which boasted a fearsome shooter named Allan Caidic. Title contender Led by the high leaper, Vincent Albino, the Maroons made that shocking feat, yet succumbed to the Warriors’ fiery offensive and lost. But, UP showed nevertheless they had what it takes to be a title contender. And the rebuilding continued in 1983 when UP successfully recruited two big names in the NCAA--Ronnie Magsanoc and Eric Altamirano, stalwarts of the 1982 juniors champs San Beda Red Cubs. With Magsanoc directing plays and Altamirano scorching hot from all angles, UP further advanced in its ferocious plan of taking over the UAAP. But Glenn Capacio and Harmon Codinera of FEU frustrated the upstarts and dealt UP a painful loss in the Finals after being so close to winning the championship. Missing link Their frustration became deeply rooted as the Maroons stumbled the next couple of years finding that “missing link” to glory. And months after a dictatorship was toppled, UP’s powerful missing piece to its years of rebuilding came walking into the Maroon bench—the sensational 6’4” center Benjie Paras, also a hotshot alumnus of San Beda. Paras became the answered prayer since the Maroons had players with an average height of 6’1” at the time, surely a no-match against the burly inside operators of other UAAP teams. Now with a dominating center manning the paint, UP was set to finally chase that dream. And also they had an answer to the best big man of that era, Jerry Codinera, who had puzzled opponents with his shiftiness, defensive prowess (called the Defense Minister in the PBA), exceptional perimeter shooting, and versatility. Best starting five Also, UP has the best starting five in the league, all of them from that sensational Red Cubs basketball program concocted by coach Ato Badolato—Paras, Magsanoc, Altamirano, Joey Mendoza and Duane Salvatierra—with the sweet-shooting sixth man Joey Guanio, a rookie from La Salle Greenhills, providing added artillery and standout Ramil Cruz bringing in his outstanding all-around play. Despite this, however, their title shot wasn’t smooth sailing. Codinera and the Warriors defeated them twice in the eliminations and UE came close to a sweep that would automatically serve them the trophy. But a loss to rival FEU in the last game in the eliminations paved the way for UP, who landed second place after winning a knockout match against the Tamaraws, for that hard-earned slot in the finals. They were however saddled with a twice-to-win disadvantage. Title hungry This didn’t matter to the Maroons, as their hunger for the title brought out the best in them. With thousands of UP supporters trooping to the ULTRA in October 1986, the Maroons were unstoppable. Using a merciless zone, the Maroons were able to stifle Codinera from doing his thing in the paint. This led to UP’s emphatic decisive win in Game 1, 86-75, that arranged a winner take-all championship match three days later. And, in that rubber match, with the whole venue filled with UP students and alumni, from students, faculty, administrators to virtually the entire political spectrum to even former Diliman Commune leaders in the 1970s all coming in droves to cheer them on, how can the Maroons fail them? Altamirano’s true worth From the first time the buzzer sounded, the Maroons never allowed the Warriors to even move an inch, with its prolific scorer Altamirano showing his true worth. After subbing for a fouled out Magsanoc with a good four minutes left to play in the match, Altamirano shone with his playmaking skills and blazing marksmanship with his 27 points leaving the Warriors with no room to breathe. He ended up the tournament MVP that year. Paras likewise prevailed in his giant duel with Codinera with 19 points and 10 rebounds. With an insurmountable lead going into the final seconds, and coach Lipa reaching to the sky in triumph, the buzzer sounded with UP winning by nine points, 98-89. More than a dream come true And their first UAAP title in 47 years is now in their hands, more than a dream come true for the national cage mentor and the UP community he served. It brought a startling “revolution” into fruition, with UP taking over the reigns of the UAAP. Unfortunately, however, the celebration was short-lived, with the Ateneo, La Salle, and UST dynastic runs succeeding their memorable feat. Now 32 seasons later, UP has a chance to finally taste that sweet, scintillating victory again......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 29th, 2018

UAAP: Defending champ Ateneo doesn t care about all your expectations

HOW’D THEY DO LAST SEASON? 13-1 after eliminations, 1-1 in Final Four, 2-1 in Finals, champion YES, THEY’RE STILL HERE: Anton Asistio, Isaac Go, Gian Mamuyac, Matt Nieto, Mike Nieto, Thirdy Ravena WELCOME TO THE FAMILY: SJ Belangel, Matthew Daves, Angelo Kouame, William Navarro, Adrian Wong (returning) GOOD LUCK ON FUTURE ENDEAVORS: Chibueze Ikeh, Vince Tolentino WHAT SHOULD WE EXPECT FROM ATENEO? As it should be, defending champion Ateneo de Manila University is the favorite to repeat. “We recognize the quality of the opposition. Anytime you have a successful season, you not only have to fight your own complacency, but you also have to fight the elevated determination that kind of season creates on your opponents.” – head coach Tab Baldwin While the Blue Eagles’ championship team lost big man Chibueze Ikeh and glue guy Vince Tolentino, they are installing in their places 6-foot-10 Ivorian tower Angelo Kouame, Filipino-Canadian high-flyer Matthew Daves, and former San Beda University sweet-shooter William Navarro And oh, they now also have SJ Belangel of UAAP Juniors champion Ateneo high as well as returning swingman Adrian Wong. Safe to say, the defending champions only got better – and that much was evident in their strong showing in the 2018 William Jones Cup. “We try to make sure that we see each animal distinctly. The summer leagues, each of them was different, but there’s no doubt as to what we really exist for and that’s the UAAP. All of these things are in preparation for the UAAP.” – head coach Tab Baldwin Still, Ateneo is tuning out all the noise from all over and instead, as always, have decided to focus on themselves. “Expectations are irrelevant to us. We have our own expectations and we believe in ourselves. I don’t feel like I have anything to prove, but that doesn’t mean I would accept losing.” – head coach Tab Baldwin WHO IS/ARE THE PLAYER/S TO WATCH OUT FOR FROM ATENEO? Thirdy Ravena has been runner-up to MVP Ben Mbala for two seasons running. Now that Mbala is in Korea, it’s not that farfetched to see Ravena finally hoisting the trophy for top individual player. Matt Nieto and Isaac Go are also still here and even better than ever – especially after gaining valuable experience as Gilas cadets. All eyes are on Kouame who wowed in the Jones Cup as well as the Filoil Preseason. He is as raw as they come right now, but likewise has the potential to be the best foreign student-athlete the school has ever had. “Angelo has very little background in basketball and there are some complexities to our system, but he’s an intelligent kid. He’s very hungry and incredibly willing to do what’s asked of him. We believe in him and his future – both short-term and long-term. I think he has a big upside.” – head coach Tab Baldwin When it all comes down to it, however, Ateneo is still Ateneo and they don’t really have players to watch – just a team to watch. That means that what we can only expect is that there will be different top scorers, different top rebounders, and different top assist-men in each and every game. WHY SHOULD WE ROOT FOR ATENEO? Ateneo is the defending champion and the heavy favorite, but remains grounded on team play, selflessness, and brotherhood. That same balanced offense and disciplined defense is still here – and perhaps, even better than ever. “We just try to continue to grow. There’s so much to learn for these young players in the game of basketball and there’s so much development for them to achieve. We don’t get bored because tomorrow is another day to grow and improve.” – head coach Tab Baldwin And so the Blue Eagles are the team-to-beat for opponents, but also remain the team-to-love for fans. WHERE WOULD ATENEO BE AT THE END OF UAAP SEASON 81? Ateneo will be in the Finals once more – living up to its billing as favorite to repeat. A season sweep also isn’t out of the question, but even the Blue Eagles know that doing such thing is more difficult than winning the title or going back-to-back. WHEN IS ATENEO’S FIRST GAME IN UAAP SEASON 81? Ateneo’s first test in the tournament will be courtesy of another championship contender in Adamson University on September 9. Of course, It All Begins Here on S+A, S+A HD, LIGA, LIGA HD, and livestream. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 7th, 2018

JONES CUP: Ateneo has begun ‘repairing reputation’ of PH ball

Ateneo de Manila University only knew they were going to be the Philippines’ representatives one week before the 2018 William Jones Cup. The Gilas cadets were supposed to be wearing the flag, but after the free-for-all that erupted between Gilas Pilipinas and Australia during a FIBA World Cup Qualifier, those plans were put on hold. Enter the Blue Eagles – the first-ever collegiate team tasked to represent the country in the regional tournament. And in Taiwan, the young UAAP champions only made the country proud. “The fact that we had success there, I think that’s important,” head coach Tab Baldwin said in their homecoming lunch on Tuesday in Ortigas. He then continued, “There were very strong teams and basketball programs in that tournament so to pit ourselves against that level of competition and to be standing at the end, I think that speaks positively about this team.” Indeed, Ateneo had to settle for a fourth-place finish with a 5-3 record at the end of the tournament, but also showed just what Filipino basketball is all about throughout. “Parang, ang expectation nung una was just for the Philippines to participate, pero for them to go this far, I never expected it,” Ronald Mascarinas, president of team backer Chooks-to-go, said. He then continued, “Ateneo did not win the championship nor did they make a podium finish, but the fourth-place shone more brightly than gold.” And more than the standing and the statistics, the Blue Eagles proved that, when it comes down to it, Filipinos are full of sportsmanship. In one particular instance during their matchup against Korea, Thirdy Ravena and Matt Nieto proved as such by helping a floored opponent get back up on his feet and get to his team’s bench. That act became etched in the mind of the team’s backer – so much so that the two kids from Katipunan were recognized and rewarded once they returned home. “We are recognizing Thirdy and Matt for their supreme act of sportsmanship so we are giving them a token of appreciation,” Mascarinas said. For that, Ravena and Nieto collectively received a cash prize of PhP 100, 000. That act, and the general sportsmanship Ateneo showed all throughout, is a welcome development for all of Philippine basketball – especially on the heels of the free-for-all between Gilas and Australia. As Mascarinas put it, “It’s a redeeming grace for us that they were really excellent goodwill ambassadors for the country. Somehow, they’ve started the process of repairing the reputation of the Philippines.” He then continued, “Ateneo earned the respect of all the other teams. Itong collegiate team pa yung nakagawa nun para sa atin.” —— Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 24th, 2018

LPU is still here to contend and, more importantly, to inspire

HOW’D THEY DO LAST SEASON? 18-2 overall, top-seed after eliminations, runner-up YES, THEY’RE STILL HERE: MJ Ayaay, Jaycee Marcelino, Jayvee Marcelino, Mike Nzeusseu, CJ Perez WELCOME TO THE FAMILY: Germy Mahinay, Casper Pericas, Ranzhelle Yong GOOD LUCK ON FUTURE ENDEAVORS: Wilson Baltazar, Pipoy Marata WHAT SHOULD WE EXPECT FROM LPU? LPU, the first-ever team in the history of the country’s first and oldest league, to go 18-0 in the elimination round, did not lose a player of note as it tries again to capture its first-ever championship. Only veteran sniper Wilson Baltazar and heady guard Pipoy Marata have used up their eligibility and replacing them will be two among Team B standouts Casper Pericas and Ranzhelle Yong or former San Beda High big Germy Mahinay. That means that the core, the truly terrifying fivesome of Season MVP CJ Perez, Cameroonian powerhouse Mike Nzeusseu, team leader MJ Ayaay, and two-way twins Jaycee and Jayvee Marcelino, is very well intact. Not only that, that truly terrifying fivesome is a year older, a year wiser and they have championship winning experience in both the Philippine Collegiate Champions League and the PBA D-League. Moreover, Pericas, a scoring guard who has been lighting up preseason leagues, and Yong, a do-it-all forward who had transferred from San Sebastian and Letran, wouldn’t be bad additions – so, as they say, the rich could only get richer. “There’s so much potential in this team. I think the lessons that we’ve learned just made us a better group. After that season, we won championships also and it’s just a testament to the fact that you have to stick to what works for you.” – head coach Topex Robinson WHO IS/ARE THE PLAYER/S TO WATCH OUT FOR FROM LPU? CJ Perez has been NCAA Season MVP and PBA D-League Conference MVP. While he is not one to say he wants another individual award, the mere fact that he could only improve will put him back in front of the pack in the MVP race. Alongside Perez, MJ Ayaay will also be showcased as head coach Topex Robinson has not shied away from saying that he and his staff would do all they could to help their graduating players get to the next level. “As much as possible, we want to build that tradition that we in LPU, we’re not just using you for our benefit. Our vision is to help you even after your college years. Again, it’s about giving back.” – head coach Topex Robinson But eyes, however, should be fixed on Jaycee Marcelino who, at times in the PBA D-League, looked like the team’s primary offensive threat. With that, he could very well ascend to the top of the list of the league’s best point guards. WHY SHOULD WE ROOT FOR LPU? LPU was THE feel-good story in all of college a season ago. “Our mindset is to make sure that we’re doing the right things. It’s not gonna be a guarantee na it’s gonna be a historic season for us and it’s not even a guarantee na we’re gonna be in the Finals, but what’s important for us is we continue what we started – building a program that will help these players in the future.” – head coach Topex Robinson The Pirates are now, no doubt, a powerhouse, but that doesn’t change the fact that they are yet to win the big one in their mother league. That makes them, at the end of the day, the underdog to defending champion and dynastic San Beda. “We don’t just want to follow Ateneo or La Salle which have successful basketball programs, but we want Ateneo and La Salle to also look at what we do.” – head coach Topex Robinson WHERE WOULD LPU BE AT THE END OF NCAA SEASON 94? It will be a rematch of San Beda-LPU in the Finals. The top two teams from last season are both intact and they will meet again for all the marbles in the championship round of this season. WHEN IS LPU’S FIRST GAME IN NCAA SEASON 94? LPU battles emerging rival San Sebastian on July 7 at the MOA Arena. You already know the story – Pirates mentor Topex Robinson is an alumnus and was a former head coach of the Golden Stags. As always, all of the #GalingNCAA will be on S+A, S+A HD, LIGA, LIGA HD, and livestream. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 28th, 2018

GALLERY: Best in UAAP, NCAA feted in 2018 Collegiate Basketball Awards

The best of the best in past UAAP and NCAA season were recognized for their outstanding efforts during the 2018 Chooks-to-Go Collegiate Basketball Awards on Thursday at Bayleaf Hotel in Manila. ........»»

Category: newsSource:  philippinetimesRelated NewsJun 22nd, 2018

No upsets as Ateneo, other top teams advance in NBTC Sweet 16

All the higher seeds in the First Round of the 2018 Exped Socks National Basketball Training Centre National Finals advanced to the Sweet 16, Monday evening. Behind the towering Kai Sotto, UAAP champions Ateneo Blue Eaglets dominated the New Ormoc City Eagles, 98-47. The UAAP Season 80 Finals Most Valuable Player had 15 points on 70 percent shooting to go along with six rebounds and three blocks in just 16 minutes of game time. The Blue Eaglets will face the 16th seeded Australia Pinoy Selection as AusPinoy was able to eke out an 86-79 win over Aussumption Montessori of Cagayan de Oro. It was also a smooth sailing first round for the other top seeded teams. Second-ranked La Salle Green Hills Greenies walloped Jesus the Loving Sheperd of Naga, 85-46, while the third-seeded Chiang Kai Shek College pounced on St. Columban College of Pagadian, 68-44. Reigning CESAFI champions University of Visayas Baby Lancers routed the University of Luzon of Dagupan, 100-73. UAAP runners-up NU Bullpups survived an early scare before blasting the Tay Tung High School of Bacolod, 81-63. The team B of the number 7 San Beda Red Cubs scored the biggest blowout of the day, notching a 105-40 victory over the St. Louis-Don Bosco of Dumaguete. One of the top performers of the day was Harvey Pagsanjan of Hope Christian High School. After dropping 33 markers during the first eight showdown on Sunday, the gunslinging guard rallied Hope from 15 down to pick up an 84-77 win over St. Benilde International School of Calamba.  Pagsanjan finished the game with 35 big points on 13-of-26 shooting Outside of Camp David of New Zealand, as they lost to the Lyceum-Cavite Junior Pirates 85-59, the three other international teams made it to the next round. Number 11 Durham Crossover of Canada escaped University of Baguio 80-75; number 13 FilAm Sports pounded De La Salle-Lipa, 92-59;and number 16 AusPinoy triumphed over Assumption-Cagayan de Oro, 86-79. Completing the Sweet 16 are #6 Mapua Red Robins, #8 Sacred Heart Magis Eagles, #10 San Sebastian Staglets, #12 Adamson Baby Falcons, #14 Letran Squires......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 19th, 2018

SM-NBTC hoops action continues

Last year’s runner-up Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu beat University of Assumption-San Fernando 82-36 to enter the Division 1 Sweet 16 of the 2018 SM-National Basketball Training Center (NBTC) National Finals on Monday at the Palm Coast Marina in Parañaque. The Magis Eagles lost to eventual champions the San Beda Red Cubs in last year’s… link: SM-NBTC hoops action continues.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilainformerRelated NewsMar 19th, 2018

Pirates re-assert mastery over Stags to make PCCL Finals

In the first 20 minutes of the semifinals of the 2018 Philippine Collegiate Champions League (PCCL), Lyceum of the Philippines University scored 35 points. In the next 12 minutes, they scored 33. Jaycee Marcelino starred with 27 points, 10 rebounds, and one steal, and the Pirates imposed their will on San Sebastian College-Recoletos in the second half to come away with an 82-69 decision on Monday at the Filoil Flying V Centre. The Golden Stags were keeping close and only down by five at the half until Marcelino and LPU’s usual suspects went on a 33-17 onslaught to mount a 68-47 edge early in the final frame. Their lead would only rise to as high as 22 from then on. Alongside Marcelino, usual suspects Mike Nzeusseu contributed a 13-point, 13-rebound double-double while MJ Ayaay and CJ Perez chipped in 12 and 11 markers, respectively. With that, the Pirates remain undefeated in four games as they head into a Finals showdown with either NCAA rival san Beda College and UAAP champion Ateneo de Manila University. Ryan Costelo paced Baste with 15 points. BOX SCORES LPU 82 – Marcelino JC 24, Nzeusseu 13, Ayaay 12, Perez 11, Ibanez 10, Tansingco 7, Caduyac 2, Marcelino JV 2, Liwag 1, Cinco 0, Santos 0, Serrano 0 SAN SEBASTIAN 69 – Costelo 15, Capobres 12, Bulanadi 9, David 8, Navarro 6, Ilagan 5, Calisaan 5, Cosari 4, Baytan 3, Baetiong 2, Valdez 0, Mercado 0, Calma 0, Dela Cruz 0 QUARTER SCORES: 19-20, 35-30, 61-47, 82-69 --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 12th, 2018

Mocon, Tankoua set up Finals date between San Beda and LPU

San Beda University was without Robert Bolick for the 2018 Philippine Collegiate Champions League Semifinals. Still, they had NCAA Mythical selection Javee Mocon and Finals MVP Donald Tankoua. Mocon was brilliant all game long while Tankoua was big in the endgame as the Red Lions bested UAAP titlist Ateneo de Manila University, 57-52, on Monday at the FIloil Flying V Centre. The Mythical selection wound up with 22 points, four rebounds, an assist, a steal, and a block while the Finals MVP had 17-point, 13-rebound double-double on top of the win-sealing block to help their side remain unscathed in the tournament. With their fourth win in a row, they now advance to the Finals where they face off anew with rival Lyceum of the Philippines University. The boys from Mendiola had to dig deep to make it happen as team leader Bolick was ruled out due to a knee injury he sustained last Sunday. And so, San Beda found itself chasing down a five-point deficit early in the final frame until Mocon took over with seven straight points to grant his team a 46-44 edge. The Blue Eagles didn’t quit and tied the tally at 52-all inside the last 90 seconds before Matt Nieto bobbled the ball and saw Tankoua gather it and go all the way for a fastbreak layup. After defensive stops for the two teams, Mocon was then sent to the line and made good on two free throws for a 56-52 lead. Still with 19.0 ticks to make something happen, Ateneo coach Tab Baldwin designed a beautiful play to find Thirdy Ravena with a good look underneath the basket. However, Tankoua was also there to deny the attempt and shut the door once and for all. Not long after, the NCAA champions were celebrating a victory versus the UAAP champions. They are not done yet, however, and now turn their attention to the Pirates who are nothing but determined to get back at them. For the Blue Eagles, Ravena topped the scoring column with 11 points. BOX SCORES SAN BEDA 57 – Mocon 21, Tankoua 15, Soberano 6, Cabanag 4, Carino 4, Abuda 3, Doliguez 2, Ejercito 2, Presbitero 0, Tongco 0, Noah 0, Oftana 0, Bahio 0 ATENEO 52 – Ravena 11, Verano 8, Nieto Ma 7, Maagdenberg 7, White 3, Asistio 3, Tio 3, Go 2, Mamuyac 2, Mallillin 2, Nieto Mi 2, Mendoza 2, Andrade 0 QUARTER SCORES: 12-9, 27-20, 37-37, 57-52 --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 12th, 2018

Ateneo, LPU, Baste complete cast for PCCL semifinals

UAAP champion Ateneo de Manila University and NCAA powers Lyceum of the Philippines University and San Sebastian College-Recoletos are still in contention to be called the best collegiate team in the country. The three teams all won their assignments on Saturday at the Ynares Arena in Pasig to assure themselves of a top two finish in their respective groups in the Elite Eight of the 2018 Philippine Collegiate Champions League (PCCL). The Blue Eagles were under siege by the University of Visayas before Gian Mamuyac came through to fuel their fightback which eventually ended as a 91-81 win. Mamuyac scored 15 points in 67 percent shooting on top of two rebounds and one steal as the UAAP champions rode a 31-point third quarter all the way to a 2-0 record in the group stages. Tying them in the standings are the Pirates who stamped their class on Southern Luzon champion Naga College Foundation, 92-84. CJ Perez did his thing and collected 16 points, four rebounds, three assists, and two steals and was backstopped by Ralph Tansingco who had 17 markers of his own. LPU and Ateneo are both undefeated through two games, but will meet one other on Sunday as they close out their assignments in the group stages. Whoever wins there will become the top-seed for Group A while the loser will become the two-seed. The two seeds from Group A will then move onto a crossover knockout matchup with the two seeds from Group B. The top-seed from the other group is NCAA king San Beda College while the two-seed belongs to the Golden Stags who made quick work of Holy Trinity College of General Santos, 93-75. Allyn Bulanadi erupted for 31 points and waxed hot from start to finish to lead Baste to a second consecutive victory following a loss to open the group stages. They finish this round with a 2-1 record. The 2-0 Red Lions still have one more assignment against De La Salle University Team B, but that game will no longer have any bearing as they are already locked into the top-seed of Group B by virtue of their triumph over San Sebastian last Friday. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 10th, 2018

San Beda defends PCCL crown vs Ateneo, DLSU, five others

After getting extra time for preparation, San Beda College is all set to defend its crown in the Philippine Collegiate Champions League. The NCAA titlists will be pitted against rival Lyceum of the Philippines University, UAAP king Ateneo de Manila University and runner-up De La Salle University, and CESAFI champion University of Visayas in the revived tournament tipping off on Thursday at Pasig’s Ynares Sports Arena. Southern Luzon’s top team Naga College Foundation, Mindanao leader Holy Trinity College, and NCR qualifier San Sebastian College-Recoletos will also be there to take a stand. The PCCL was last held in late 2015 before taking a two-year hiatus. Then, the Red Lions won it all. Due to unforeseen circumstances, however, they shared the crown with a “co-champion” in Far Eastern University. Now, the league is back and better than ever as it refocuses on its vision. “The PCCL wants to provide recognition to school teams in the provinces and to give opportunities for local talents to be exposed on the national stage,” chairman Rey Gamboa said. The tournament’s Elite Eight has been divided into Group A (Ateneo, LPU, NCF, and UV) and Group B (DLSU, Holy Trinity, San Beda, San Sebastian). The two groups will duke it out in crossover contests. The top four teams from there will move on to the one-game semifinals and then the one-game championship round. A matchup between DLSU and Holy Trinity kicks off the 2018 PCCL Elite Eight at 1:00 PM which will be followed by a showdown between San Beda and Baste at 3:00 PM and then a clash between Ateneo and NCF at 5:00 PM. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 6th, 2018

Superteams and superpowers: Basketball in 2017

The common theme in basketball as of late is rather simple: build yourself a superteam and see where it goes. 2017 saw a bunch of superteams take the court in all levels. Some panned out and some did not. Nevertheless, we live in a world of superteams. Either your favorite basketball team is one or it's not.   Warriors World For the 2016-2017 NBA Season, the 73-win Golden State Warriors, a superteam in their own right, added former Most Valuable Player Kevin Durant. Oh my goodness. The Dubs then proceeded to decimate the NBA, winning 67 games in the regular season. Golden State was even better in the playoffs, making a serious play for a postseason sweep before finishing with a 16-1 record and a second title in three seasons.   Seriously, it's a Warriors World that we live in Golden State's success has prompted other teams to try and create their own superteam. Houston snatched Chris Paul away from the Los Angeles Clippers and now the Rockets have a potent backcourt combo that also feature MVP contender James Harden. Oklahoma City completed two incredible trades that made Paul George and Carmelo Anthony members of the Thunder. Oh, OKC also has MVP winner Russell Westbrook running point. The Timberwolves also have something going on in Minnesota as Jimmy Butler joined Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins for a young and intriguing Big 3. The Eastern Conference landscape changed when Cleveland traded Kyrie Irving to Boston. The Celtics previously signed Gordon Hayward and all of a sudden, the winningest NBA franchise is in position to take over the East now and the forseeable future. Speaking of Cleveland, LeBron James is still with the Cavs and they've added Dwyane Wade of all people to join an aging but still scary superteam. The King started this whole superteam craze. Golden State just happened to perfect. We all live in a Warriors World.   Feer the Beer Over in the PBA, the Philippines' premier superteam is still pretty effective despite its stars each playing almost 40 minutes per game. A year removed from the "Beeracle Run," San Miguel made history by being only the second team to capture the Perpetual Trophy following three straight Philippine Cup titles. Then the Beermen, with the top-3 MVP candidates in June Mar Fajardo, Alex Cabagnot, and Chris Ross, plus Arwind Santos and Marcio Lassiter, ended the franchise's 16-year championship drought in the Commissioner's Cup. With the help of import Charles Rhodes of course. San Miguel had legitimate chances to win the Grand Slam of course, but the team ultimately fell short in the Governors' Cup. However, the Beermen did add 6'8" Fil-German Christian Standhardinger to the fold. Superteam.   Return of the Kings It was the perfect set up. Meralco earned the number 1 seed and was rolling all the way to the Finals. Meanwhile, the Gink Kings had to go through yet another emotional and heated series against rival TNT in the semifinals in order to have a chance to properly defend their title. The series before that? The Gin Kings had to end San Miguel's Grand Slam dreams. In the 2017 Governors' Cup Finals, Meralco was in perfect position to take The Rematch and allow the birth of a new PBA rivalry. After seven games, none of that happened and Ginebra won back-to-back titles by virtue of their quote unquote superteam. Greg Slaughter, Japeth Aguilar, Joe Devance, Justin Brownlee, LA Tenorio, Sol Mercado, and Scottie Thompson. How is that not a superteam? The Kangkong jokes sure died a slow death.   Systematic Mayhem Even in college hoops, superteams are the way to go. However, in the amatuers, you just have to recruit your way into building one. La Salle has perfected this method and the Green Archers are certainly the biggest --- and loudest and most aggressive ---- recruiters. The Taft superteam featuring Ben Mbala and co. got the Green Archers to two UAAP Finals and one championship. Only one championship because another superteam, quietly built in Katipunan with surgical, perhaps even robotic, precision, beat them this year. That's right, Big Bad Blue is once again on top of the UAAP as the Ateneo Blue Eagles scored a sensational, near-sweep of UAAP Season 80. Coach Tab Baldwin has a collection of incredible players that may not look like it on first glance but they do certainly qualify for superteam status. Dom't believe it? Maybe you will after they complete a five-peat. It could happen.   Sweep In the other collegiate league, two superteams dominated the NCAA for two separate periods in one season. First, Lyceum, the surprise superteam, made history by completing an 18-game sweep of the elimination round. However, the Pirates ran into the league's decade-old superteam in San Beda and the Red Lions ended up sweeping the Finals for yet another title. Most of the major characters from both squads will return for a new season and if a San Beda-Lyceum rematch does not happen, well, that's just disappointing isn't it?   OVERTIME 2017 also saw the rise and fall and rise of the Gilas Pilipinas program. Well sort of. The Philippines got off to a great star this year by absolutely dominating the SEABA Championships. Then, disaster struck in the 2017 FIBA Asia Cup when Gilas was embarassed by an old foe in South Korea. To end the year, the Philippine national team recovered, albeit in an ugly fashion, to take an early lead in the 2019 World Cup Asian Qualifiers. Gilas is more than capable of forming a Pinoy superteam that could compete, and even beat, the best of Asia. Let's hope we get that in 2018. Finally, 2017 also saw the Civil War PBA edition. It wasn't funny and it wasn't good. Fortunately, it seems that bright and peacuful days are ahead of our beloved league. Let's hope that's the case and let's just leave the bad memories behind this year. Time to move on and forget about that stuff. There are basketball games to be played.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 28th, 2017

2018 PBA Draft Baller Breakdown: Javee Mocon

At the age of 23, Javee Mocon has one of the biggest collection of trophies among all draftees. In the last seven years, Mocon has won two Juniors titles and four Seniors titles. Why wouldn’t you pass up an opportunity to acquire a certified winner for your ball club?   STRENGTHS When you’re so used to winning, it becomes second nature. Mocon is the type of player who is easy to coach because he is willing to do whatever it takes to win. His attitude and work ethic is admirable. He will willingly take on any role given to him and make sure that no matter what it is, his presence will be felt. In his first two seasons with the Red Lions, he came off the bench to back up Art dela Cruz and provided much-needed energy and swagger to sustain the efforts of the first group. As a starter for San Beda in the last three years, Mocon became the premier power forward in the NCAA. At 6’4”, Mocon was at his best operating inside the arc. He possesses a reliable mid-range jumper and can finish in the paint effectively as well. In Game 2 of the Season 94 Finals, Mocon’s last collegiate game ever, he unveiled a new weapon that he will surely need in the next level: the three-point shot. Mocon shot four out of eight from beyond the arc, letting the world know that he has been working on his game in preparation for the PBA. AREAS FOR IMPROVEMENT Although he looked confident taking threes in his final game for San Beda, will he still be that confident letting it fly in the pros? That remains to be seen. One thing we never saw from Mocon as a student-athlete was dribbling ability. Right now, his skill when it comes to handling the basketball is very basic. I have never seen Mocon dribble the ball coast-to-coast all the way to the basket. But, then again, he never had to because he was so obedient and strictly played within the boundaries of his position. Perhaps another thing he should work on his passing. Not that he didn’t pass the ball in college (2.3 assists per game), it’s just something he wasn’t known for and an aspect of his game he could unlock. Imagine Mocon pump-faking from the three-point line before making a move towards the basket with the option to kick the ball out to shooters or making a drop pass to the big men in the paint? That’s a tough cover.      .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated News16 hr. 7 min. ago

Ange Kouame’s birthday candle is Ateneo’s big bonfire

Ateneo de Manila University celebrated its annual bonfire on Saturday inside their Katipunan campus. And so, the Blue Eagles feted their champions from five different sports in the Seniors. As if the occasion needed to be even more special, December 15 just so happens to also be the birthday of Ange Kouame. You know, the Ange Kouame who just so happened to take the league by storm in hus first year en route to a recognition as Rookie of the Year. Seeing as it is his birthday, the Ateneo crowd, along with his teammates, serenaded him with a birthday song. Katipunan sings #UAAPSeason81 Rookie of the Year @kouameangelo1 a happy, happy birthday! His candle? Ateneo’s bonfire! pic.twitter.com/pmZCT3PTjT — Normie Riego (@riegogogo) December 15, 2018 Afterwards, he was asked for his birthday wish. “I hope next year, it’s gonna be the same,” he answered. Of course, as expected from a team coaches by Tab Baldwin, the now 20-year-old Ivorian reinforcement clarified that he’s not guaranteeing anything just yet. “I’m not promising anything, but I’m sure they’re ready for that, and I’m ready for that,” he said. What a way to celebrate his birthday, don’t you think? —— Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated News16 hr. 7 min. ago