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Coach Aldin says DLSU peaking at the right time

De La Salle University will be well-rested and well-prepared when it takes on archrival Ateneo de Manila University in the Finals of the UAAP 80 Men’s Basketball Tournament. Having dispatched of Adamson University last Saturday, the Green Archers have had a whole week to rest and prepare. All this, while watching the Blue Eagles have to go through the eye of the needle against fighting Far Eastern University. Along with the rest and preparation, the Taft-based team believes that momentum is on their side – having rang off eight consecutive victories heading into the Finals. “I think we’re in a very good spot because we’re peaking at the right time. The players have been very, very responsible in terms of their commitment to our goal,” head coach Aldin Ayo said. They last lost on October 8, falling by one point to Ateneo. Since then, however, the defending champions have dominated. Asked about the difference from then to now, Ayo answered, “We’re focused. We’re just focused on the game plan especially on defense.” He then continued, “When we were in the first round, there were lots of distractions. In the second round, they just surrendered to the system so we overcame those distractions.” The head coach went on to mention how he considered Ben Mbala’s stint with the Cameroonian national team and Aljun Melecio’s bout with dengue to be distractions. Now, however, Mbala, Melecio, and all of DLSU are all focused in going back-to-back. With that, they need no more motivation. As Ayo put it, “Wala namang motivation kundi championship e. yun lang.” He then continued, “Wala nang kung ano-anong mga hugot. Championship, yun lang.” --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource: abscbn abscbnNov 24th, 2017

Aldin Ayo breaks silence, confirms departure as DLSU head coach

MANILA, Philippines – After days of unconfirmed reports, Aldin Ayo has confirmed on Twitter on Tuesday, January 2, that he is leaving the De La Salle University (DLSU) Green Archers basketball program. In his first social media post since tweeting “Xroad” (crossroad) on December 8, the 40-year old 2-time collegiate champion ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsJan 3rd, 2018

Will Louie Gonzalez be able to prove himself as head coach with DLSU?

De La Salle University did not waste time in moving forward from champion coach Aldin Ayo. The Green Archers will now have longtime assistant Louie Gonzalez calling the shots. According to fan account Archers’ Clubhouse, he was appointed as head coach of the Taft-based team right before the year 2017 ended. Several sources within the team confirmed the development. The post went on to say that team patron Danding Cojuangco himself appointed Gonzalez. He takes over for Ayo who has transferred from DLSU to University of Sto. Tomas. This brings to an end a longtime partnership between the two starting from Kia in the PBA to Colegio de San Juan de Letran in the NCAA and then onto the Green Archers. Twice in that longtime partnership, Ayo was suspended for one game and Gonzalez was thrust into the role of acting coach – giving us a little taste of his capabilities as shot-caller. Mentoring the Knights in 2015, he lost to Emilio Aguinaldo College, 83-69. That was their first loss in the season following a 7-0 start. Mentoring DLSU in 2016, he won against archrival Ateneo de Manila University, 97-81. That completed a sweep of the first round. For that small sample size, without a doubt, Gonzalez’ appointment didn’t set the world on fire Still, he brings with him years and years of experience that could prove valuable for a Taft-based team looking for much-needed stability with all that has happened recently. As per Reuben Terrado of spin.ph, Gonzalez started his coaching career under the tutelage of then Letran mentor Binky Favis in the ‘90s. From there, he had an assistant coaching stint in Far Eastern University from 2007 to 2010. He was then part of the Globalport bench from 2012 to 2014 and then the Kia staff from 2014 to 2015. It was in 2015 that he, serving as first lietenant, and Ayo led the Knights to a magical championship. A year later, the two guided the Green Archers a dominant title. Also, having had years and years of experience, former colleagues had nothing but good words for Gonzalez. One such former colleague is now FEU athletic director Mark Molina who had this to say:   Congrats to former FEU assistant Louie Gonzales. Louie was a vital part of Glenn Capacio's staff with the Tamaraws then. I'm sure my good friend Tanny Gonzales is smiling in heaven. — Mark Molina (@marqmolina) Enero 1, 2018   However, Gonzalez will still have a tall task ahead of him as he tries to fill the big shoes of two-time collegiate champion coach Ayo. He will also be missing the services of back-to-back MVP Ben Mbala who has elected to take his talents to Mexico. Helping their new head coach with this tall task will now be Mythical Team member Ricci Rivero, team captain Kib Montalbo, and former Rookie of the Year Aljun Melecio. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo,.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 2nd, 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

UAAP Finals: DLSU came alive when captain Kib stood up to Thirdy

De La Salle University was at the wrong end of Ateneo de Manila University’s strong start in Game 2 of the Finals of the UAAP 80 Men’s Basketball Tournament. The Blue Eagles went online right from tip-off and dug a hole as deep as 21 points, 49-28, for the Green Archers in the second quarter. “Kanina, mapapaisip ka na lang talaga na grabe, pasok lahat ha. I just told my teammates to stick to the system ni coach Aldin,” team captain Kib Montalbo said. Indeed, the defending champions, showed heart and clawed their way, little by little, back into the contest. With a 14-2 run to end the first half, they decreased their deficit to only 42-51 at halftime. And right before the two teams headed back to their locker rooms, the Taft-based squad’s skipper proved that they weren’t going away just yet. Going into a defensive stance as Ateneo was inbounding the ball, Montalbo stood as an impediment to Thirdy Ravena. And even though the muscular Ravena bumped into him not once, but twice, five-foot-nine Montalbo stood his ground. Talking about their interaction post-game, he said, “As captain of this team, it all starts with me. If I play tough, they’re gonna play tough. There was no foul; I was just standing there.” He then continued, “It’s just basketball and we needed that, we needed to wake up. Inch by inch, possession by possession, we were going to get back into the game.” That, DLSU did and battled back from a 21-point deficit to come away with a 92-83 win. In the end, Montalbo was nothing but glad that he and DLSU brought the fight just in the nick of time. “We worked for 10 to 11 months for this tapos itatapon lang namin? No way,” he said. He then continued, “We’ll fight to the end.” Game Three of the UAAP Men's Basketball Finals will air on December 3, Sunday LIVE at 3:30 pm on ABS-CBN Channel 2, S+A, S+A HD and via livestream. —- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 29th, 2017

What was Encho Serrano doing in the DLSU locker room?

Still on track for back-to-back championships in the UAAP 80 Men’s Basketball Tournament, De La Salle University may have just shown a glimpse of its still bright future. After rallying by Adamson University all the way back into the Finals on Saturday at the Araneta Coliseum, the Green Archers filed out of their locker room with smiles on their faces. Among the players and the coaches, however, was Encho Serrano. Yes, tantalizing talent Serrano who is currently with National University and formerly of Adamson High School. According to sources in DLSU, the five-foot-11 hyper-athletic swingman is being wooed to come over to Taft Avenue. Sources also went on to say that the interest is mutual. Serrano once starred for the Baby Falcons in the UAAP Juniors before he went with mentor Goldwyn Monteverde to NU. Now, the Pampanga native appears to be looking at other options. For his part, however, Green Archers’ head coach Aldin Ayo said that Serrano’s presence means nothing – not yet, at least. “Nanood lang siya,” he said. Meanwhile, a source in the Bulldogs’ camp said that, as far as they know, Serrano is still with them. ABS-CBN Sports tried to get in contact with Serrano, but is still awaiting a response as of press time. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 18th, 2017

Will Ben Mbala miss the UAAP Finals?

Ben Mbala missed the first two games of De La Salle University in the UAAP 80 Men's Basketball Tournament. There's a chance he may miss miss more. The Cameroonian was named part of his national team's lineup for the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 African Qualifiers scheduled from November 24 to 26. This was not a surprise as the 22-year-old had a starmaking stint in the 2017 FIBA Afrobasket with averages of 21.8 points and 9.3 rebounds through his country's quarterfinals finish. His time wearing the Cameroonian flag caused him to miss the Green Archers' first two assignments up against Far Eastern University and National University. Still, the defending champions took care of business and won without Mbala. This time around, however, things may be different as the UAAP Season 80 will be well approaching its climax by the time of the African Qualifiers. In fact, Game 1 of the Finals is slated for November 25. As it stands, the Green Archers and archrival Ateneo de Manila University are the top two teams in the tournament. ABS-CBN Sports reached out to Mbala and DLSU head coach Aldin Ayo for comment, but have yet to receive a response......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 2nd, 2017

King Maroon Desiderio is hands down Player of the Week

Following a career performance, all Paul Desiderio could say was, “Naglaro lang ako.” University of the Philippines’ main man was never one for talking and just lets his game speak for him. His statement was loud and clear last Saturday as he fired a career-best 30 points on top of six rebounds and five assists to lead the Fighting Maroons to a big-time win over De La Salle University. Scoring the most points by a player from Diliman since 2003 all while proving that State U is serious in its contention, Desiderio was hands down the Chooks-to-Go UAAP Press Corps Player of the Week from September 18 to 24. Even after besting teammate Jun Manzo, Ben Mbala of DLSU, Thirdy Ravena of Ateneo de Manila University, and Papi Sarr of Adamson University for the weekly citation, the 20-year-old was at a loss for words. “Wala akong masabi. Nagpapasalamat lang ako sa mga teammates ko kasi tulong-tulong kami para manalo,” he said. Indeed, UP head coach Bo Perasol said Desiderio’s “excellent performance” was also made possible by the other guys. “His teammates are his unsung heroes. They pass the ball to him, they rebound for him, they set screens for him, they do the little things for him,” he shared. Desiderio started the season slow, averaging 13 points on 26.3 percent shooting, but busted out with 28 points to shoot the Maroons over University of the East a week ago. “Medyo gigil pa ako first two games, pero ngayon, okay na. Nag-relax na ako,” he said. Against the defending champions, the pride of Cebu was even hotter, swishing six of State U’s 16 total triples. While Desiderio was never one for talking, opponents have no choice but to talk about him. Last week, Red Warriors mentor Derrick Pumaren said, “I think Desiderio killed us.” Not long after, Green Archers coach Aldin Ayo said, “Ginawa na rin sa amin ni Desiderio ‘yun before so we prepared ourselves for that, pero our players did not respond.” The Player of the Week will again lead UP as they try for three straight wins against Far Eastern University next Sunday. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 25th, 2017

PBA: After ordeal, Jeron Teng happy to be helping Alaska on the court again

Monday night in their 2018 PBA Commissioner’s Cup semifinals Game 2 loss to San Miguel, Jeron Teng finished with 13 points, three rebounds, and three assists in 21 minutes for the Alaska Aces. And while it was a loss that pushed Alaska to the brink of elimination, head coach Alex Compton saw a bit of a silver lining in Teng’s performance. “I thought he did a great job. It's been a crazy time for Jeron but for him to start to get his timing back and play more, be in better shape, I don't think you would think that Jeron got stabbed a month ago and we'd be worried about his life at the hospital.” A little over a month ago, Teng, along with former DLSU teammates Thomas Torres and Norbert Torres were involved in a scuffle that led to all three getting deep lacerations.  Teng’s perfomance in Game 2 was his best since the unfortunate incident. “If you watched the game and didn't know the situation, you would have never thought that that happened. To be able to play 21 minutes and mix it up, I thought it was great.” Compton added. Indeed, it has been a whirlwind couple of weeks for Teng, but more than anything, he’s just thankful to be on the floor and contributing again. “Well siyempre, after the incident, sarap lang talaga maglaro ng basketball ulit, I’m just happy I’m back again, playing and helping my teammates.” And while he did put up solid numbers, Teng believes that he could do more, especially now that their backs are against the wall. “Next game lang, we just have to play better. I have to play better parin kasi siyempre we lost, may mga points of improvement pa ako from this game, and it’s another experience from me.” As thankful as he was to be back on the court again, Teng also expressed his gratitude to the Alaska organization, who has been with him through all of this. “Siyempre it feels great, with the incident, the whole Alaska organization was behind me talaga, they supported me, they visited me, even si Boss [Wilfred] Uytengsu and yung mga coaches, they visited me in the hospital and they’re really supportive with what happened and the case na on-going, so sobrang thankful ko talaga sa kanila, sa buong Alaska organization.” Now, with the bitter memories of that fateful night in BGC behind him, Teng is just hungry to win and hopefully to help his team to a title. “Ako, gustong-gusto ko talaga maka-abot ng finals eh, mag-champion.” For Teng, a title would help remove the sting of the ordeal. “After ng incident, siguro pag nag-champion kami, makakalimutan ko na yun.” It’s going to be an uphill battle for Teng and the Aces to even come close to a finals berth however, as they’re now down 2-0 in a best-of-five series against the defending champions. Teng and the Aces face San Miguel in Game 3 on Wednesday, July 18th at the Araneta Coliseum......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated News15 hr. 32 min. ago

Maghihintay lang ako dito [for Marck] -- Kianna Dy

We've heard Marck Espejo's side of the question. Now it's Kianna Dy's turn. It's never easy once a couple goes into a long-distance relationship. May it be due to work, travel, immigration, or any other cause, not being physically there for your special someone will take a lot of courage, determination, and of course, love. The UAAP Season 78 women's volleyball Finals MVP said that she is willing to wait for the five-time UAAP MVP as he makes history by joining Oita Miyoshi Weisse Adler, one of the teams of the V1 League, Japan's premier volleyball circuit. "Napag-usapan naman na," Espejo then said about the couple's talk about the move. "Syempre supportive naman siya and alam niya naman na ito talaga yung gusto ko. And alam ko naman na pupuntahan niya ako dun," he added. While we won't be seeing Espejo until a good chunk of 2019 had passed, Dy, who was in the DLSU Lady Spikers' meet-and-greet at the Henry Sy Sr. Hall of the DLSU Taft Campus last Saturday, she said a special message that brought kilig for you and me. "I'm super proud of him, because I think it's the first time that a Filipino is going to play [in the Japanese league], and is considered to be an import. Super proud of him. He's making his mark internationally, so I'll support him and maghihintay lang ako dito," KKD said with a big smile on her face. KKD on Marck Espejo's Japan stint: "I'm super proud." Also: "Maghihintay lang ako dito."@abscbnsports — Philip Martin Matel (@philipptionary) June 9, 2018 Leaving Taft as a three-time champion, Dy also left a message for the incoming and aspiring Lady Spikers, who eventually will be part of the hunt in pursuing the team's 12th title. "Mag-tiyaga lang kayo and you know that it won't be easy. But you have to work hard. Patience lang. Patience sa teammates, patience kay Coach. Makuha nyo rin ang championship." Dy, who came in late due to graduation practice also thanked the hundreds of supporters, who braved the unpleasant weather and came to the campus to show support for their beloved team. KKD gets greeted by rousing greeting from fans who braved terrible weather. Kianna came in late from grad practice. @abscbnsports pic.twitter.com/bWOz4mCHry — Philip Martin Matel (@philipptionary) June 9, 2018 "Sobrang thankful ako kasi pumunta sila [sa Grand Fans' day'] ang sama pa naman ng weather. Ang lakas ng hangin, ang lakas ng ulan, so nag-effort pa talaga noong pumunta sila dito."   __   Follow this writer on Twitter, @philipptionary......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 11th, 2018

RDJ resigned because of conflict of schedule -- Cayco

Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc. cited that conflict of schedule was the main reason of De La Salle University head coach Ramil De Jesus for stepping down from his post as the national women’s team mentor. Shaq Delos Santos was tapped by the country’s volleyball governing body as replacement for De Jesus in forming and handling the Nationals that will see action in two major tournaments this year and in the 2019 Manila Southeast Asian Games.      University of Sto. Tomas coach Kungfu Reyes and Bryan Esquibel of Letran men’s team were appointed as Delos Santos’ assistants. “Apparently, coach Ramil has his own reasons, one of them I think is yung kanyang commitment, yung schedule,” said LVPI vice president Peter Cayco on Tuesday during the national pool meeting held at the Arellano University-Legarda Gym. The 11-time UAAP champion coach is currently calling the shots for DLSU, F2 Logistics and the Baby Spikers – DLSU’s pool of recruits. “Kasi he is now coaching three teams. I respect his decision and we have to move on and I’m very thankful to Shaq na at a short notice,” added Cayco. “Sa selection committee kasi ng LVPI, we met, and it was unanimous na si Coach Shaq. So we got Coach Shaq. We wanted representation from the collegiate so kinuha naming si coach Kungfu from the UAAP and si coach Bryan from the NCAA to be his assistants.” LVPI named De Jesus as head coach last April where he conducted two tryouts for national team hopefuls. But after two months, the mentor, who steered the Filipinas to a bronze medal finish in the Manila SEA Games in 2015, suddenly resigned. “Actually before they left for Hong Kong, I think two weeks ago (siya nagsabi). We met in a party hosted by FilOil for the La Salle team. I told him, “Coach usap tayo” tapos he smiled tapos si Benson Bocboc na ang nag-inform sa amin na pass na muna sila,” Cayco said. “I mean I respect his decision kung yun ang decision nya, mahirap naman na pilitin natin.” “Baka nga mapabayaan niya (ang team) because of his schedule. In fairness naman kay Coach Ramil nagsabi naman siya through I think Mr. (Popoy) Juico. To me personally, hindi but it was relayed to me,” the LVPI official added. LVPI already submitted to the Philippine Sports Commission the names for the 24 slots for the entry by numbers. Delos Santos is expected to give the name of the players in that 24-player list by June 10. From that 24-player list, Delos Santos will choose 12 players who will represent the country in the Jakarta Palembang Asian Games in August and in the AVC Asia Cup the following month.       “We have to move on na kasi we’re short of time na eh. So we met and we decided na si coach Shaq nga so here we are now,” said Cayco.       --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 5th, 2018

Gilas Cadets crush Cardinals for third win

Robert Bolick debuted with a bang as he led the beefed up Gilas Pilipinas Cadets, 97-78, over Mapua University on Monday in Group A of the 12th FilOil Flying V Preseason Cup at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan. The San Beda University star scored 13 points in his first game for the national squad, which won its third game in eight outings. Aside from Bolick, Fil-American Troy Rike and Ateneo stars Matt Nieto and Thirdy Ravena saw action for the Gilas Cadets for the first time. Rike, a recruit from Wake Forest, finished with 11 points and eight rebounds while Nieto and Ravena, who played for the Blue Eagles earlier in a 108-44 blowout win over Emilio Aguinaldo College, chipped in with nine and eight points, respectively, for the Gilas Cadets. Kobe Paras had 12.      “We’re just experimenting on some things. We played three bigs, it’s all experimental. You know it worked. We’re just trying to see how we can make use of all the Cadets players,” said head coach Jong Uichico. The Gilas Cadets went off to a good start to take control of the match early before closing it out with stronger finish. Cedric Pelayo and Eric Jabel scored 14 each while Lawrence Victoria and Daniel Aguirre posted 12 and 11 markers, respectively, for the 3-3 Cardinals. Meanwhile, the Red Lions banked on their crucial defensive stops by Donald Tankoua and the steady hands of Javee Mocon at the foul line in the last 50 seconds of the game to put a dent on De La Salle University's erswhile unbeaten record, 72-70, in the night cap. Mocon finished with 20 points while Tankoua had nine markers for SBU, which improved to 3-2 slate. Mocon broke a 68-68 deadlock with 48.8 seconds remaining with three free throws off a foul from Kira Samuel, who tied the game in the previous play. Tankoua made two defensive stops in the Green Archers' possesion - a block oon Samuel and a steal off an inbound pass.  Tankoua split his free throws with 21.5 ticks left to give the Red Lions a four-point cushion. DLSU saw its six-game winning streak snapped. Andrei Caracut finished with 20 points while Justine Baltazar and Samuel had 13 each for the Green Archers.              Box score: GILAS (97) –- Bolick 13, Paras 12, Rike 11, Nieto 9, Ravena 8, Tuffin 8, Tamayo 6, Alejandro 5, Sotto 5, Gozum 5, Tratter 4, Go 4, Tolentino 4, Mocon 3, Tolentino Vi 0. MAPUA (78) –- Pelayo 14, Jabel 14, Victoria 12, Aguirre 11, Lugo 9, Biteng 6, Bonifacio 5, Bunag 5, Gamboa 2, Nocum 0, Pajarillo 0, Serrano 0. Quarter scores: 25-21, 49-38, 72-64, 97-78.   SAN BEDA (72) -- Mocon 20, Tankoua 9, Eugene 8, Carino 8, Nelle 7, Tongco 6, Bolick 4, Soberano 4, Presbitero 2, Bahio 2, Cuntapay 2, Abuda 0, Doliguez 0, Cabanag 0. DLSU (70) -- Caracut 20, Baltazar 13, Samuel 13, Melecio 8, Santillan 6, Lim 6, Manaytay 2, Corteza 2, Go 0, Bates 0, Tolentino 0, Capacio 0, Dyke 0, Manuel 0. Quarter scores: 14-16, 37-30, 55-55, 72-70.   ---   Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 4th, 2018

PVL: Adamson, Ateneo, DLSU squads hold unexpected reunions in Tuguegarao

The Philippine volleyball community really is just one tight-knit family.  If you need any proof of that claim, just witness the unplanned, yet awesome impromptu reunion that took place after the Premier Volleyball League On Tour in Tuguegarao during the Mother’s Day weekend. After finishing the two-day slugfest away from Manila (in one of the hottest places in the country, right smack in the middle of summer, no less) the volleybelles found a piece of home in each other. Out of the four teams who travelled to the capital of Cagayan, there were three groups that were able to represent their UAAP squads, while having time to catch up before they head back to the city. The Adamson Lady Falcons were well-represented by San Marcelino legends Amanda Villanueva, Lizlee Ann Gata-Pantone, and Pau Soriano, as well as fresh grads Jema Galanza, Fhen Emnas, Joy Dacoron, and Jellie Tempiatura. Too bad Coach Airess Padda wasn’t in attendace.   Generations of Adamson Lady Falcons enjoying their #PVL stint in Tugegarao! @joydacoron @aamandavillanueva @jemagalanza @tatanpantone @fhenfhenlang @tempiaturajellie @pausoriano02 A post shared by UPFRONT (@upfront_official) on May 13, 2018 at 5:50am PDT   Meanwhile, the Ateneo squad is just a nice mixture of past players, coaches, managers and personalities that underline their presence in the sport. And yes, coaches Roger Gorayeb (Now with PayMaya) and Tai Bundit (Creamline) are still going strong.   Former ATENEO players and coaches reunited here at #PVLonABSCBN Tugegarao ! A post shared by UPFRONT (@upfront_official) on May 13, 2018 at 6:06am PDT Last, but definitely not least, the DLSU Lady Spikers group, made up by a small but potent trio of Michele Gumabao, Melissa Gohing, and Ivy Remulla, are now all members of the Creamline Cool Smashers, and are look to bring their winning tradition to the hot pink squad.   From DLSU Lady Spikers to Creamline Coolsmashers @gumabaomichele @gohingmelissa Ivy Remulla A post shared by UPFRONT (@upfront_official) on May 13, 2018 at 6:09am PDT While most of the players who took the challenge of spreading volleyball sacrificed some time to miss Mother’s Day, they were still able to celebrate another kind of togetherness......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 13th, 2018

PVL: Valdez, Creamline begin Reinforced Conference campaign

Star hitter Alyssa Valdez begins her quest to end a three-year title drought when the Creamline Cool Smashers open their campaign in the 2nd Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference against newcomer Petro Gazz Angels at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan on Sunday. Game time is at 4:00 p.m. and will air live on ABS-CBN S+A Channel 23, ABS-CBN S+A HD Channel 166, LIGA and via livestream. Valdez has her eyes on delivering the first-ever title for the beefed up Cool Smashers and to capture her first crown since helping PLDT win the V-League Reinforced Conference title back in 2015. “Oo nga eh (medyo matagal na) pero excited na ako for this conference,” said Valdez. As part of their build up to bag the coveted crown, Creamline tapped the services of former De La Salle University stars and decorated veterans Michelle Gumabao and libero Mel Gohing. Back as Creamline import is Kuttika Kaewpin of Thailand with new partner in solid middle blocker Serbian Nikolina Asceric. Also seeing action for the Cool Smashers are setter Jia Morado, former BaliPure player Risa Sato, Jema Galanza, Pau Soriano and Coleen Bravo, making Creamline as one of the teams to beat in this tournament. “Mas mataas ang pressure kasi we’re on our second year na rin and mas maraming kinuha na iba pang magagaling na players,” Valdez said. “Siguro ang pressure for us is to really give a good fight more than getting the championship kasi if you give good fight naman against the other teams, hopefully, makaabot kami sa dulo.” But the Cool Smashers are sure to find the Angels a tough opening day opponent. Petro Gazz of head coach Jerry Yee is out to spoil Creamline’s party with former DLSU star Paneng Mercado leading the way. Backing her up are Wensh Tiu, Chie Saet, Djanel Cheng, two-time champion Cai Nepomuceno, who was recruited from Pocari Sweat, Rachel Austero and Ranya Musa. The Angels tapped as reinforcements Kadi Kullerkannm of Estonia and Anastasia Trach of Ukraine.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles   .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 5th, 2018

UAAP VOLLEYBALL: Who will replace Macandili?

De La Salle University completed its third three-peat with a clean sweep of an inexperienced Far Eastern University in the UAAP Season 80 women’s volleyball tournament. The Lady Spikers’ might inside the volleyball court is hinged not only on their powerful hitters or menacing middles but also on the precision and efficiency of their floor defense. For half a decade Dawn Macandili manned the floor like her life depended on it. Rolling, diving, twisting in midair and sacrificing her five-foot frame just to prevent the ball from hitting the floor. Her performance throughout her collegiate career put her in the elite list of great and unforgettable liberos in the league. But after the final whistle was blown Wednesday as the Lady Spikers wrapped the season with a 26-24, 25-20, 26-24, win in Game 2 of the best-of-three Finals series, Macandili bowed for the green and white for the last time. Now the question is: Who will fill in the huge shoes left by the Tanauan, Batangas star. The Season 80 Finals Most Valuable Player Macandili gave a few names that could take her spot in Season 81 depending on the decision of course of head coach Ramil De Jesus. “Meron naman, maraming prospects like si CJ (Saga), sina Marionne (Alba), yung mga aakyat galing senior high,” said Macandili, the 2017 AVC Asian Senior Women’s Volleyball Championship 2nd Best Libero. But taking Macandili’s role could be quite a challenge. Saga on her third year barely saw action in a setter spot. “Mahirap sabihin eh kasi si CJ ginagawang setter. Actually mahilig si coach mag-shuffle ng positions kaya mahirap sabihin eh,” said Macandili. “Pero marami namang possible na libero (na papasok).” Alba was recruited by DLSU last year after her great performance in the 2017 Palarong Pambansa but as a hitter. She has been training with the team and performed well in other tournaments as a converted libero but playing in the most celebrated collegiate league is another thing.    However, knowing her long-time mentor, Macandili, who played under De Jesus since her second year high school in DLSU-Zobel, believes that the 11-time UAAP champion coach will be able to find a fine replacement for her spot. “Tiwala naman ako sa program ni coach Ramil and the way he assigns roles to the players na alam niya kung anong ginagawa niya,” Macandili said.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 3rd, 2018

De Jesus glad to see DLSZ players Macandili, Dy graduate with a crown

MANILA, Philippines – After winning his 11th UAAP Women's Volleyball title with De La Salle University (DLSU), head coach Ramil de Jesus feels proud that his long-time players Dawn Macandili and Kim Dy emerged as champions yet again. De Jesus has virtually seen Macandili, the Season 80 Finals MVP, and Dy, DLSU's best scorer, ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsMay 3rd, 2018

UAAP FINALS: Gusto ko ilo-look back nila na, ‘Ah year yun nina Ate Dawn’

De La Salle University libero Dawn Macandili covered her face with her hands and walked backwards while looking up at the scoreboard inside the Big Dome. Game barker Rolly Manlapaz with his familiar voice called out the perfect crosscourt hit by Tin Tiamzon. Amidst the falling confetti, the 5-foot defensive wonder Macandili double-checked the set score. 26-24. Third set. DLSU took the match in straight sets. Macandili in the past two seasons almost simultaneously celebrated with the team after the final whistle confirmed their title win. This time it took longer to sink in. Five years with the green and white and this championship conquest felt extra surreal. Half a decade of playing under the legendary coach Ramil De Jesus and in that moment, all of the memories of her hardships, jubilations, challenges, successes, tears, blood and sweat flashed inside her head. Macandili’s knees buckled.          Her collegiate volleyball journey just ended. “Sobrang naghina na lang ako. Sabi ko, tiningnan ko pa, dinoble check ko pa, 26-24. Tapos na ang career ko sa college and lahat ng pinaghirapan talaga namin bawing-bawi,” said Macandili after the Lady Spikers captured their third grand slam with a 26-24, 25-20, 26-24, sweep of Far Eastern University Wednesday in Game 2 of best-of-three UAAP Season 80 women’s volleyball Finals. Macandili in her final game for DLSU, which annexed its 11th title overall, tallied 21 digs and had eight excellent receptions. This championship series, DLSU and FEU’s first title showdown since Season 71, for Macandili was the most pressure-packed in all her five Finals stints.      “Sobrang iba siya kasi ako na ‘yung last playing year, mas malaki yung pressure,” said Macandili, who averaged 22.5 digs and 10.5 receptions in the Finals series. “Kasi last year we were playing for ate Kimmy (Fajardo) so parang sobrang relax lang,” added the 2017 AVC Asian Senior Women’s Volleyball Championship 2nd Best Libero. “I’m playing without thinking about the consequences kasi may isa pa akong year ganoon. In-all out ko rin kasi ang inspiration ko ay si Ate Kim.” “Then this year parang ang iniisip ko ay ‘yung team,” she said. “(Kung) ano ‘yung gusto kong iwan ko sa team na ilo-look back nila na ‘Ah year ‘yun nina Ate Dawn.’ Thankfully naman nabigay namin sa kanila.” And her last game for DLSU was rewarded not only with the championship but also with the Finals Most Valuable Player honor. “Well ako naman every time na papasok ako sa court iniisip ko lang kung paano ako makakatulong sa team ko and paano sila imo-motivate sa loob kasi siyempre ang role ko is yun nga, as a senior, is to keep the team going,” she said.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 2nd, 2018

UAAP VOLLEYBALL: Final test for DLSU’s Big 3

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

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 1st, 2018

Grateful for La Salle coach s trust, low-key May Luna delivers when it matters

MANILA, Philippines – May Luna peaked at the right time as she flashed her champion potential that helped De La Salle University (DLSU) Lady Spikers edge out Far Eastern University on Saturday, April 28. The outside hitter came off the bench to score 9 crucial points, including back-to-back aces that allowed DLSU to ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsApr 28th, 2018

UAAP FINALS: Hindi madaling kalaban ang FEU –- De Jesus

Two-time defending champion De La Salle University swept past Far Eastern University on Saturday to draw first blood in the UAAP Season 80 women’s volleyball Finals best-of-three series. But it was a deceiving result as the Lady Spikers needed to hang tough in the closing stretch of each set to carve out a 29-27, 25-21, 25-22, win. The Lady Tamaraws gave the Taft-based squad one hell of a fight.   “Well, oo, kasi alam naman natin na, sabi ko nga kanina, noong eliminations, talagang hindi madaling kalaban para sa amin ang FEU,” said DLSU coach Ramil de Jesus, who is looking to steer the Taft-based squad to its 11th title and third grand slam.    The mentor, who nine years ago dethroned the Lady Tams in three games, also pointed out that FEU has a full arsenal of versatile hitters who could defend both at the net and on the floor. “Sila kasi 'yung team na talagang marami ding kayang paikutin na tao eh. So tulad kanina, ginamit nila 'yun. So malaking bagay para sa team nila 'yun,” said De Jesus . The DLSU coach also praised FEU’s heady setter Kyle Negrito for distributing the ball well and keeping his wards guessing on who to defend.   “Kaya nahihirapan din kami dahil magaling din 'yung setter,” he added. “Halos wala kang makitang weak point sa rotation kasi lahat nakaka-block.” The Lady Spikers had to rely on their championship experience and composure in each of the sets just to stave off the rampaging and feisty Lady Tams. Now with three days of preparation, De Jesus is looking to make the necessary adjustments to finish off FEU in Game 2. “Well pipilitin namin na makuha 'yung Game 2, kasi mahirap na pag umabot pa ng Game 3,” he said. “And then kung ano man ang naging performance ng FEU today, pag-aaralan namin kung paano pa namin sila mako-control. Hopefully matapos sa Wednesday.”     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 28th, 2018

UAAP FINALS: Battle of legendary coach Kid Santos’ protégés

It’s just a few days away before the much-anticipated battle for UAAP Season 80 women’s volleyball supremacy between the grand slam-seeking De La Salle University Lady Spikers and the title hungry Far Eastern University Lady Tamaraws. But even before the blazing action of the best-of-three championship series begins, one man is already smiling and probably very proud of the legacy he has left behind. Steering the Lady Spikers in their 10th straight Finals appearance is a multi-titled mentor in Ramil de Jesus. A man who for two decades changed DLSU’s volleyball program and gave the Taft-based school 10 titles. On the other side is George Pascua, a true-blue FEU product who delivered UAAP titles during his playing days and when he mentored the men’s team. Pascua is now looking to bring back the old glory of the Lady Tamaraws.      Both are great disciplinarians. No-nonsense coaches who value character, hard work and dedication more than popularity and fanfare. Coaches whose systems rely on teamwork rather than individual talent, mastering the basics of offense and defense while turning their wards into versatile workers and team players.   True men of the sport.    Characters they inherited and influenced by a man considered as the father of FEU volleyball: the late great Florentino "Kid" Santos. The championship series won’t just be about a present power battling a traditional powerhouse, it will also be a showdown between two students who learned their craft from a treasured Filipino volleyball master.   BROTHERS-IN-ARM Santos, who passed away November last year at the age of 67 due to cardiac arrest, brought FEU to numerous titles as a player and continued to do so as a mentor for the Tams and Lady Tams. He played a big role in the school’s total of 54 championships in both divisions and steered FEU to 19 of its 29 women’s crowns. Santos also handled the national team multiple times. But what made Santos great is the number of players he discovered and molded into stars under his Spartan-like training and strict discipline. That list includes De Jesus and Pascua. “Si Coach Ramil outside hitter siya na napakagaling rumeceive, napakabilis ng bola,” recalled Pascua after the postgame interview moments after twice-to-beat FEU booted out Ateneo de Manila University in the Final Four to for the Lady Tams’ first Finals appearance since Season 71.  “(Ako) middle pero napakagaling ko rumeceive din kasi walang libero noon eh,” he added, drawing laughter inside the press room. “Kaya nga tinitingnan namin noong time namin walang palitan ng libero ang gagaling namin rumeceive.”   Pascua was in his rookie year when he played alongside De Jesus, who was then in his swan song. De Jesus was spectacular, Pascua was a promising talent when they marched together in battle with Santos at the helm. With the two playing together, FEU conquered Season 54 for the Tams' back-to-back titles. “Pumasok ako 91. Eh 92 siya grumaduate. So last playing year niya, first year ako. Pero nagpang-abot kami sa UAAP,” added Pascua, who would eventually win two more. In a light moment during the start of the men’s Final Four at the MOA Arena last Saturday, Pascua and De Jesus were spotted seated together watching the match between FEU and three-time defending champion Blue Eagles. They were talking, laughing and were horsing around while reminiscing their playing days.    🤔 #UAAPSeason80Volleyball pic.twitter.com/88NqdzFmiG — ABS-CBN Sports (@abscbnsports) April 21, 2018 “Puro kalokohan lang 'yun, wala sa volleyball. Nu’ng time namin, nagku-kwentuhan kami, sabi namin, 'Biruin mo 'yung UP (gym) noon, noong naglalaro tayo, halos hindi mapuno, kahit isang layer lang ng ganoon (seats), tapos nanonood pa 'yung nasa lapag lang, sa UP noong time naming,'” said Pascua. “Tapos nakakasilaw, pag umuulan, tumutulo. Pero tingnan mo o, ang dami, libo-libo ang nanonood.” “Sabi namin, ibang klase ang volleyball ngayon. Hindi kami naging part ng ganito karaming ano pero naging part kami,” added Pascua. “Sabi niya, naging part pa rin tayo kaya naging successful ang volleyball. Sabi niya may contribution pa rin tayo. Kasi (ang usapan naming) about volleyball, mga past namin, kung gaano lumaki ang volleyball kumpara noon hanggang ngayon.” De Jesus in his postgame interview, the day after, shared that it was fun chatting and joking around with his former teammate. “Wala naman kaming pinag-uusapan, ine-enjoy lang namin 'yung game,” said De Jesus, whose squad dismantled National University in straight sets on Sunday. “Dumaan kasi accidentally si Sir (Mark) Molina.  Sabi niya dapat bigyan ng t-shirt 'yan si Coach Ramil. So 'yun, kaya kinukulit niya ako, kasi T-shirt ang binibigay, jacket ang kinuha. Sabi ko 'di ako magsusuot ng jacket. 'Yun ata ang kulitan namin na nakunan (ng TV camera).” Unfortunately, they witnessed the twice-to-beat Tams fall in five-sets against the 55-point onslaught of Ateneo ace Marck Espejo. About 24 hours after that, De Jesus set up a Finals date with Pascua’s Lady Tams. They will be after each other’s neck starting April 28 at the Big Dome.     RIVALRY Long after their playing careers have passed, both found a new calling: coaching. Learning under the tutelage of Santos, Pascua and De Jesus passed on to their wards the same discipline they had under the FEU legend and gave new twists to the system used by their former mentor.     De Jesus was tapped by DLSU to help with their women’s volleyball program. He was the messiah the Taft-based squad had been waiting for. Under his watch, the Lady Spikers transformed into a UAAP superpower collecting 10 titles overall. Pascua stayed with FEU, helping the Tams achieve a three-peat in Season 67 to 69 as the head coach. He steered FEU to its last championship in Season 74. Pascua and De Jesus eventually crossed paths as women’s team mentors in the 2014 Philippine Superliga Grand Prix. The younger mentor handled a powerhouse team in Petron Blaze Spikers while De Jesus built Generika behind his DLSU products. Pascua got the better of De Jesus in four sets in the winner-take-all championship round led by American import Alaina Bergsma and Brazilian setter Erica Adachi. He duplicated his feat the following tournament in the All-Filipino Conference as Petron swept De Jesus’ Shopinas.com Clickers in the best-of-three Finals series. Now on their third head-to-head match in four years, Pascua knows that his commercial league successes won’t matter in De Jesus’ turf. “Champion coach si Coach Ramil, ‘yung team niya may championship experience. Napakagaling na coach niya,” he said.      Though working on a team with a disadvantage in terms on experience in the Finals, De Jesus holds high respect on Pascua’s coaching. Being a product of FEU like him, Pascua won’t back out from a fight.     “Matiyagang tao si George, maganda 'yung ginagawa niya ngayon sa team, and siguro ano, kailangan talaga bantayan 'yung FEU kasi alam ko matiyagang tao 'yun,” said De Jesus. In this series, the DLSU mentor is expecting a tough challenge. Both will have their own advantages in their systems and strategies built on the backbone of Santos’ system. “Kasi bawat coach kasi may kanya-kanyang sistema, so maaring may mga part na nakuha niya dun kay Coach Kid, pero siyempre bawat coach, may gustong gawin sa team na hindi niya na dala-dala 'yung ibang sistema ng naging mentor,” said De Jesus. Whatever the result of the series, whichever shade of green will come up on top, one thing is for sure, the great FEU mentor Santos will surely have a hand in it. Santos’ legacy will have an influence on both sides, whether the title goes to Morayta or to Taft.      ---    Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles    .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 24th, 2018