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Cocolife, Foton target semis berths

Cocolife and Foton shoot for the last two semifinal berths as they tangle with Cignal and Sta. Lucia, respectively, today in the Chooks to Go-Philippine Superliga (PSL) Grand Prix at the Filoil Flying V Center in San Juan......»»

Category: sportsSource: philstar philstarApr 17th, 2018

Cocolife, Foton seek PSL semis today

Games today (Filoil Flying V Centre) 4:15 p.m. – Cocolife vs. Cignal 7 p.m. – Foton vs. Sta. Lucia COCOLIFE and Foton gun for the remaining semifinal berths when they battle separate foes in the quarterfinals of the Chooks to Go-Philippine Superliga (PSL) Grand Prix today at the Filoil Flying….....»»

Category: newsSource:  journalRelated NewsApr 16th, 2018

Blaze Spikers draw first blood in semis

Games tomorrow (Filoil Flying V Centre) 4:15 p.m. -- F2 Logistics vs. Foton 7 p.m. -- Petron vs. Cocolife KATHERINE Bell made a strong first impression in powering Petron to a 25-18, 23-25, 25-16, 25-23 victory over Cocolife in Game 1 of their Chooks to Go-Philippine Superliga (PSL) Grand Prix….....»»

Category: newsSource:  journalRelated NewsApr 24th, 2018

F2-Foton, Petron-Cocolife Superliga semis up

Four teams figure in heated fights for a chance at the crown when the best-of-three semifinals of the Chooks to Go-Philippine Superliga (PSL) Grand Prix fires off Tuesday at the Filoil Flying V Center in San Juan......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsApr 21st, 2018

Cocolife, Foton book last semis seats

Cocolife weathered a furious late rally by an undermanned Cignal squad to eke out a 25-22, 25-21, 28-26 victory in the quarterfinals of the Chooks to Go-Philippine Superliga (PSL) Grand Prix Tuesday at the Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan. Serbian imports Marta Drpa and Sara Klisura were impressive while Erika Alkuino delivered the match-clinching block that sent the Asset Managers to the semifinals. Cocolife will face Petron in the best-of-three semifinal battle next week. Meanwhile, Channon Thompson made her presence felt as she towed Foton to a 25-22, 25-23, 25-19 victory over Sta. Lucia Realty to grab the last remaining semifinal seat in the second game. Thompson, who starred for Trinidad and Tobago national women’s team in various international tournaments, tallied 24 of the Tornadoes’ 46 total attacks to finish with 26 points in a furious battle that lasted for 80 minutes. Dindin Manabat chipped in 11 hits while Elizabeth Wendel and CJ Rosario combined for 14 markers for Foton, which will face reigning champion F2 Logistics in the best-of-three semifinals. “I told the team that we should want it more than them,” said Foton coach Rommel Abella, who paraded two new players in Diana Carlos and Isa Molde. “I commend the ladies for following our game plan. They showed that they are hungrier than Sta. Lucia.” Ukrainian Bohdana Anisova drilled 11 kills and two blocks for 14 points while MJ Philips had eight for the Lady Realtors, who bombed out of contention after making a strong run in the latter stretch of the tourney. Coming in as a replacement for American Taylor Milton, Drpa delivered 11 digs and four of the Asset Managers’ eight total blocks on top of 15 kills to finish with game-high 19 points. Klisura, on the other hand, chipped in 14 kills and two aces for 16 points while providing the defensive muscle down the stretch together with Alkuino, who came up with a booming block off Rachel Anne Daquis that sealed the victory for the Asset Managers. It was such a sorry loss for the HD Spikers, who marched into the battle without injured import Sonja Milanovic and head coach Edgar Barroga, who is calling the shots for the National University boys’ volleyball squad in the ongoing Palarong Pambansa in Vigan City. They also lost spiker Janine Navarro midway through the third set due to injury. Jeane Horton tallied 17 points while Daquis chipped in 12 markers for Cignal, who still managed to come up with a very good fight despite opening its campaign without a handful of players like Jovelyn Gonzaga and Janine Marciano, who crashed with a knee injury last year......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 17th, 2018

F2 Logistics, Petron clinch semis seats

Games Tuesday: (Filoil Flying V Centre) 4:15 p.m. --- Cocolife vs Cignal 7:00 p.m. --- Foton vs Sta. Lucia    GEN. TRIAS CITY --- F2 Logistics survived some scary moments down the stretch to complete a masterful 25-18, 25-18, 27-25 victory over Smart in the quarterfinals of the Chooks to Go-Philippine Superliga (PSL) Grand Prix Saturday at the Gen Trias Sports Center here.  Despite playing in a humid venue, imports Maria Jose Perez and Kennedy Bryan were still impressive as they delivered the crucial blows that broke the hearts of the Giga Hitters. With the win, F2 Logistics would face the survivor between Foton and Sta. Lucia Realty in a best-of-three semifinal series starting next week.  In the second game, Petron clobbered Generika-Ayala, 25-19, 25-20, 25-22, to punch the second semifinal ticket.  American imports Hillary Hurley and Lindsay Stalzer were again impressive as they carried bulk of the offensive load for the Blaze Spikers, who will march to the next round beaming with confidence.  Petron will face the winner between Cocolife and Cignal in the best-of-three semifinals. Hurley talloed 18 hits while Stalzer chipped in 17 markers for Petron, which is gunning for its first Grand Prix crown since winning it in 2014.  Darlene Ramdin delivered 12 points, but she drew very limited support from the rest of the Lifesavers, who kissed the tournament goodbye with three wins in 11 outings. Perez, the reigning Most Valuable Player, delivered 17 hits while Bryan notched 15 kills and a block to finish with 16 points for the Cargo Movers, who effectively stopped Cuban sensation Gyselle Silva despite the absence of ace blocker Aby Marano. Silva, who erupted for a record-breaking 56 points last week, was held to only 25 points while drawing very limited support from Serbian spiker Sanja Trivunovic as well as local hitters like Genie Sabas and LaRainne Fabay. Trivunovic, Sabas and Fabay combined for only 16 hits for the Giga Hitters, who committed 20 turnovers in this match that lasted for one hour and 20 minutes. But it wasn’t an easy victory for the Cargo Movers. Despite erecting an 8-1 lead after the first technical timeout of the third set, the Giga Hitters caught fire to steal the lead, 18-17, thanks to a powerful backrow attack from Silva. Smart managed to hang on in the crucial stretch, 25-25, before veteran Cha Cruz delivered a sharp kill from the open position followed by a service ace that sealed the victory for the defending champion. “The most challenging part of this win was the weather. I find it too hot so I have to save energy all throughout the game. Every time we have an intense rally, we have to breathe and save our energy because it was too hot here,” said Perez, referring to the hot weather that soared up to 36 to 37 degrees. She added that Smart pushed them to the limit, especially in the third set where Silva waxed hot and single-handedly towed the Giga Hitters back in the thick of things. "Smart never gave up,” she said. “They always pushed us whenever we try to take the game away. And I think that’s a good thing for us.” F2 Logistics coach Arnold Laniog, however, said the job isn’t done.  “It’s still far from over,” said Laniog, who will be part of the coaching staff of the national team under the leadership of multi-titled head coach Ramil de Jesus. “We still have to work hard to improve our performance because things will get tougher in the semifinals.” Smart, which was formed only two weeks before the opening ceremonies, closed its campaign without a win in 11 matches......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 14th, 2018

F2 survives Smart, makes PSL semis

Games Tuesday (Filoil Flying V Centre) 4:15 p.m. – Cocolife vs Cignal 7 p.m. – Foton vs Sta. Lucia GEN. TRIAS CITY – F2 Logistics survived some scary moments down the stretch to beat Smart, 25-18, 25-18, 27-25, in the quarterfinals of the Chooks to Go-Philippine Superliga (PSL) Grand Prix….....»»

Category: newsSource:  journalRelated NewsApr 14th, 2018

Cocolife taps Serbian Moro Branislav as new coach

Serbian mentor Moro Branislav found a new home in Cocolife after accepting the offer to coach the Asset Managers in the Philippine Superliga. The veteran coach, whose contract with Foton will expire at the end of the year, signed a two-year deal with Cocolife before he left for Serbia Thursday according to team manager Joshua Ylaya.     Branislav will replace Kungfu Reyes, who has yet to accept the position as assistant coach, as Cocolife builds up for the 2018 Grand Prix starting February. Branislav coached the Tornadoes in four conferences and steered the squad to the 2016 Grand Prix throne. The Asset Managers joined the PSL this year and finished fifth in the six-team field Invitational Conference under head coach Obet Javier. With Reyes holding the reins, the Asset Managers landed again at fifth in the All-Filipino Conference. Cocolife, which joined a pocket tournament in Vietnam as preparation for the Grand Prix, became a dark horse in the import-laden season-ending tournament. Tapping the services of Americans Shar Tai Manu-Olevao and Taylor Milton, the Asset Managers scored a couple of upsets and made a breakthrough Final Four appearance after booting out perennial contender Cignal in the quarterfinals. Cocolife’s run was cut short after getting swept by eventual champion F2 Logistics in the semis before falling prey to powerhouse Foton in the battle for third. With Branislav, who has a thick resume after coaching prominent club leagues in Europe, Middle East and Asia including a stint as mentor of PSL Manila that saw action in the FIVB Women’s Club World Championship last year, at the helm the Asset Managers are expected to pull some surprises next year......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 28th, 2017

Generations collide in F2 Logistics-Cocolife semis match

Games Saturday: (MOA Arena) 4:00 pm – F2 Logistics vs Cocolife 6:00 pm – Petron vs Foton   The top seed F2 Logistics and upset-conscious Cocolife match has an interesting sidebar when the two teams clash in the knockout Final Four of the 2017 Philippine Superliga Grand Prix on Saturday at the MOA Arena. Aside from the two squads looking to punch a ticket to the best-of-three Finals, the sudden death match will also feature the collision of two generations of local volleyball stars. Game time is at 4:00 p.m. On the Cargo Movers side, current national team members setter Kim Fajardo and libero Dawn Macandili banner the Ramil De Jesus-mentored squad. They will take on the duo of veteran playmaker Tina Salak and seasoned libero Denden Lazaro, both looking to prove that they can still pull the trigger to help the Asset Managers score another upset after taking down no. 4 seed Cignal last Thursday. It will be an interesting matchup as Fajardo is considered as the heir apparent of Salak, who led the national team to numerous international battles including the country’s bronze medal finish in the 2005 Manila Southeast Asian Games, with both having superb decision making, leadership and veteran smarts inside the court. Meanwhile, Macandili has been building her reputation as the country’s best defense specialist of late after Lazaro held the distinction a few years back. Fearless and willing to sacrifice their bodies to keep the ball alive, the two liberos share these traits with tenacity and dedication. Though the Cargo Movers boasts of a deep and athletic lineup, De Jesus is still wary of Cocolife, a veteran-laden team composed mostly of former Army players and backed by American imports Taylor Milton and Shar Latai Manu-Olevao.     “Cocolife matagal na magkalilala. Mga players nila mostly magkakasama na sa Army, samahan pa ng mayos na import,” said the F2 Logistics mentor, whose squad easily disposed no. 8 seed Iriga City in their quarterfinals pairing last Tuesday. But De Jesus sees the familiarity and cohesiveness of his team, which composed of the core of back-to-back UAAP champion De La Salle University, as an advantage to make a repeat of their straight sets win over the Asset Managers in the preliminary round.     “Ang advantage namin is siguro mas kilala na nila ang isa’t isa ngayon at mas napapaikot ni Kim ang rotation namin sa opensa,” said De Jesus, who is also banking on reliable imports American Kennedy Bryan and Maria Jose Perez of Venezuela. Cocolife mentor Kungfu Reyes, on the other hand, hopes to use the momentum of their win against Cignal as fuel in their first-ever Final Four stint since joining the league early this year. “Malaking achievement na sa amin itong makapasok sa semifinals,” said Reyes, noting the progress of his team after finishing seventh in the Invitational Conference and fifth in the All-Filipino Conference. “Pero di kami dapat makuntento sa fourth. Dahil nandito na rin kami, gagawin na namin ang lahat para umakyat sa Finals,” he added. The winner of the match will take on the survivor between three-peat-seeking Foton and Petron. Game 1 of the Finals is on Tuesday at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 8th, 2017

Expect fireworks in Foton-Petron semis battle

Games Saturday: (MOA Arena) 4:00 pm – F2 Logistics vs Cocolife 6:00 pm – Petron vs Foton   After figuring in the championship round duriing the past couple of years, defending back-to-back champion Foton and bitter rival Petron will have an early collision for a spot in the 2017 Philippine Superliga Grand Prix Finals. Just like in their previous meetings, expect fireworks when the Tornadoes and Blaze Spikers take center court in the knockout Final Four at the Mall of Asia Arena on Saturday. Game time is at 6:00 p.m. “It’s a tradition to play a good match kontra Petron,” said Serbian coach Moro Branislav, whose wards got the better of the Blaze Spikers in the last two editions of the import-laden conference.    But in their first encounter this year, Petron was able to shut down high-flying Serbian Sara Klisura, Montenegrin Dragana Perunicnic and 2017 All-Filipino Conference Most Valuable Player Jaja Santiago, 25-21, 25-22, 12-25, 25-20. Still, Branislav likes their chances against Petron, which will parade their former reinforcement in American Lindsay Stalzer together with compatriot Hillary Hurley and Japanese libero Yuri Fukuda as well as Frances Molina, Aiza Maizo-Pontillas, Mika Reyes and Rhea Dimaculangan. “Foton likes playing against Petron,” said the Serbian mentor following their 21-25, 25-17, 25-23, 25-17 quarterfinal victory over Sta. Lucia on Thursday.  “This is going to be a very interesting battle. Unlike in the finals that we have three games, in the semifinals, it’s just one match and you’re out. So we have to give our best against Petron if we want to defend our title.” Petron coach Shaq Delos Santos vowed that their semifinal battle against Foton would be more intense and more dramatic than their two previous finals clashes. “We know that Petron and Foton have a little rivalry,” said Delos Santos, adding that Foton’s mastery over them the past two years will serve as motivation to fire up his wards. “But as I’ve said, we’re already in the semifinals. Unlike in the finals, we’re in a situation where we can’t afford to lose. We don’t have the luxury to adjust because one lost and we’re out. We have no choice but to play our hearts out.” The winner of the match will take on the survivor between top seed F2 Logistics and Cocolife. Game 1 of the Finals is on Tuesday at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 8th, 2017

F2 Iin semis

Games tomorrow (Filoil Flying V Centre) 4:15 p.m. -- Foton vs. Sta. Lucia 7 p.m. -- Cignal vs. Cocolife F2 LOGISTICS crushed newcomer Iriga City, 25-19, 25-12, 25-17, as expected last night in the quarterfinals of the Chooks to Go-Philippine Superliga (PSL) Grand Prix at the Filoil Flying V Centre.….....»»

Category: newsSource:  journalRelated NewsDec 5th, 2017

Powerhouse Foton, Petron seek semis

MANILA, Philippines -  Foton and Petron tangle with unfancied rivals today, looking for a pair of victories and the last two semifinal berths in the Philippi.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJun 30th, 2017

Foton, Petron seek Superliga semis berths

Foton, Petron seek Superliga semis berths.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsJun 30th, 2017

Global, Ceres target AFC semis berths

MANILA, Philippines -  Global Cebu FC and Ceres Negros FC gun for places in the AFC Cup zonal semifinals tonight when they close out their respective group s.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsMay 2nd, 2017

Petron downs Foton, barges to PSL semis

Games Saturday: (Mandaluyong Sports Complex) 5 p.m. – Sta. Lucia vs Generika-Ayala 7 p.m. – Cocolife vs Cignal.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsMar 16th, 2017

Cargo Movers, Blaze Spikers try to seal GP finals

Logistics and Petron seek to seal another title clash as they go for the clinchers against Foton and Cocolife, respectively, in Game 2 of the Chooks to Go-Philippine Superliga Grand Prix semifinals today at the Filoil Flying V Center in San Juan......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated News22 hr. 28 min. ago

F2, Petron step up finals drive

F2 Logistics and Petron try to keep the momentum of their imposing run from the elims to the quartres as they take on Foton and Cocolife, respectively, at the start of the Final Four of the Chooks to Go-Philippine Superliga Grand Prix today at the Filoil Flying V Center in San Juan......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsApr 24th, 2018

C-Movers, B-Spikers in return showdown?

Games today: (Filoil Flying V Centre) 4:15 p.m. – Petron vs Cocolife 7 p.m. – F2 Logistics vs Foton Reigning champion F2 Logistics and Petron start their long, difficult trek back to the finals when they clash with separate foes in Game 1 of the best-of-three semifinal series of the….....»»

Category: newsSource:  journalRelated NewsApr 23rd, 2018

Ateneo s Fab 5: The Fearless Underdogs of UAAP Volleyball

Newly-appointed head coach Roger Gorayeb looked at his line-up heading into UAAP Season 71. A champion mentor of NCAA powerhouse San Sebastian College - Recoletos, Gorayeb had in his hands a gargantuan task of rebuilding Ateneo de Manila University women’s volleyball program. Just a few months before, Ronald Dulay, the mentor before him landed a trio of blue chip recruits who were fresh from a successful stint in the Palarong Pambansa. Angeline "Dzi" Gervacio, Fille Saint Cainglet and Jamenea "Jem" Ferrer just joined the Katipunan-based squad. Gervacio and Cainglet were products of St. Scholastica's College in Manila while Ferrer was a gem from Hope Christian School under girl’s volleyball guru Jerry Yee. Looking at his 15-woman line-up with the season just a few months ahead, Gorayeb knew he needed to do something drastic. The roster just won’t do. Talking to then athletic director Ricky Palou and team manager Tony Boy Liao, the mentor told the team officials that he intended to cut five players from the list. One could just imagine the shock in their faces. “Nakita ko may line-up pero player-playeran lang yung ganoon bang tipo, 15 ata yun. Sabi ko ‘Magtatanggal ako ng lima then magre-recruit ako,’” he said. The three rookies were in. Middle Bea Pascual, Kara Acevedo and libero Steph Gabriel retained their spots. He needed more. “Sa mga tinira kong players, si Kara Acevedo sabi niya, ‘Coach mayroong player ang ICA (Immaculate Conception Academy) na gumraduate naka-exam na rito pasado.’ Sabi ko, ‘Sige papuntahin mo,’” said Gorayeb. It was Gretchen Ho. “Sa akin kasi ang talagang nagyaya sa akin si coach Ron Dulay. Si Kara Acevedo teammate ko and she’s been recruited by Ateneo. So one summer wala akong magawa naki-train lang ako noon tapos nagustuhan nila ang laro ko and then fourth year noong graduate na ako I passed the ACET then niyayaya na nila ako,” she said. “Then nagbago ng coach na si Coach Roger and dun niya ako nakita.”   “Pagdating ko ng March (sa Ateneo) wala na akong way para maka-recruit pa. Ang nangyari yung tatlo accepted na kaagad. Si Gretchen tinanong ko sabi ko, ‘ano ba ang laro mo?’ Sabi niya the usual panggitna, tres,” Gorayeb recalled. “So sinubukan ko pero ang laro niya tres hindi quick. Siya panggitna pero hindi quicker na gusto ko saka yung height niya (maliit). Kaya lang si Gretchen takbo ng takbo, mahilig magtatakbo so sabi ko sige pwede na yan. Wala namang player na during that time. So kinuha ko si Gretchen.” Gorayeb just needed just one more. “Ngayon nagkaroon ng STCAA (Southern Tagalog Calabarzon athletic association) eh kulang pa ako ng isa, wala akong panggitna. Ang gitna ko during that time si Bea lang tapos si Gretchen so wala akong pamalit. So naisipan ko may nakita ako sa STCAA,” he said. He spotted a lanky player from Canossa Academy-Lipa, Aillysse Nacachi. “Sabi ko kay Sir Tony pagtyagaan ko na lang ito kahit hindi naman kalakasan at wala naman na rin akong choice na makapili kasi rush ang pagdating ko dyan. Nakiusap lang sila sa akin na magbuo ako ng team kasi si Ronald nag-resign,” said Gorayeb. Another freshman could’ve had ended up with Ateneo, Hope’s libero Melissa Gohing. But a few obstacles prevented her from fulfilling her promise to join Ferrer in Ateneo. She instead chose to join the ladies in green and white in Taft.    SOMETHING PROMISING December 7, 2008. Far Eastern University Gym. Excitement filled the air. Fans, mostly volleyball purists and some who just came to support their classmates or were just curious to see a new spectacle after the basketball season ended, slowly settled in their seats for the women’s division’s second game. It was Adamson University, the previous year’s runner-up, which just visited the turf of their arch nemesis and defending champion FEU, which was led by that era’s finest and most popular volleybelle Rachel Anne Daquis. Fans wanted to see if the Lady Falcons still had the same firepower they had the previous season with the loss of top setter Janet Serafica and power hitter Sang Laguilles. A rookie-laden Ateneo squad should be easy pickings with Angela Benting, rookie Pau Soriano and libero Lizlee Anne Gata in the roster. Besides the Lady Falcons got the Lady Eagles’ number. Or so they thought. “Naalala ko nu’ng time namin sinasabi sa amin ng seniors namin na, ‘Hay naku ang lakas ng Adamson, never kami nanalo dyan,’” Cainglet, now happily married to film director Lino Cayetano and with three beautiful children, recalled.  But the Lady Eagles stunned Adamson in the opening set. The Lady Falcons took the next two frames. Ateneo stole the fourth.  “Ako naalala ko ano eh, parang alam namin na lahat kasi kami palaban. Nasa amin yun. Tapos binigyan kaming lahat ng chance to be in the first six so parang dream come true,” said Ho, now an ABS-CBN host. “Naalala ko rin na palaban kaming lahat kumbaga nothing to lose eh so ang ano namin, sumasabay kami sa laro and nu’ng nakita na namin na ‘Ay kaya pala natin ‘to guys. Kaya pala naming lumaban.’” Still, Adamson had the upper hand in experience. The Lady Falcons, used to pressure and were steady at crunch time, outlasted Ateneo.           The young Katipunan-based squad fell short, 25-22, 22-25, 15-25, 25-15, 8-15. But for the Fab 5, it was a loss that felt like a resounding victory. “Parang sobrang natutuwa kami and everybody in the crowd, kaya siguro kami natawag na Fab 5 kasi rookies kami pero kahit ganoon palaban kami,” said Ho. “Saka close game. Five sets yun.” However, it was the first of five five-set matches that Ateneo will drop that season including one in the second round against the Manilla Santos-bannered De La Salle University. “Pero ang problema di kami nananalo ng five sets. Parang ilan lang ang naipanalo namin na ganoon. Feeling ko na-overwhelm kami na ‘Uy nananalo tayo.’ May ganoong disbelief ng konti pero alam namin na may ibubuga kami,” said Ho. “Definitely, our rookie season was full of five-set matches. It was tough, we felt like we were so close, but still so far away. At some point, it gave us frustration also. We just couldn't figure out that time what is it that's still lacking because we couldn't win the five-set matches,” according to Nacachi. “People said, it was because the team was still so inexperienced. We still didn't have the tenacity unlike of those more matured teams. But we didn't take it as bad, it was a learning experience for us all at the end. We had to learn how to develop that finishing will to be able to win games like that in the future.” The Fab 5 finished their rookie season with a 6-8 slate at fifth spot.   ‘MAY MEDAL NA TAYO’ Gorayeb remembered on their second year the look on Pascual’s face in their last elimination game match against Adamson. Already wrapping up their first win over the Lady Falcons, Pascual was giddy. “Natatawa nga ako dyan kay Bea kasi papanalo na kami nu’n tapos sumesenyas na siya ng tres. Sabi ko, ‘Hoy anong ginagawa mo?’ Yun pala sobrang saya na niya kasi for the first time in 30 years magkaka-medal na sila,” he said. It was the most important match of the season for the Lady Eagles. With the Fab 5 already in their sophomore year, Ateneo was already making great strides. The Lady Eagles closed that season’s elims with five straight wins capped with a victory over Adamson. Ateneo posted a 10-4 win-loss mark to enter the Final Four legitimately. “Ang nangyari kasi nu’ng time nila Charo (Soriano) kaya sila nakapasok sa semis kasi may nag-squeal na si (Jacq) Alarca di pala naka-enroll nu’n kaya na-forfeit mga laro ng La Salle,” said Gorayeb. The Fab 5 proved that they were not just a bunch of much-hyped up pretty faces. They backed it up with their skills on court. It didn’t matter that Ateneo were swept by eventual champion University of Sto. Tomas in the Final Four.      But the podium finish of Season 72 was short-lived. Adamson got its revenge in the last game of Season 73 elims, bumping off the Lady Eagles in the podium finish. The loss put Ateneo in a collision course with the twice-to-beat DLSU, who could’ve completed an elims sweep if not only for a forfeited match against University of the East after UAAP found out that Carmela Garbin and Clarisse Yeung participated in a ‘ligang labas’ while the season was onoing, in the Final Four. Ateneo gave the Lady Spikers a scare before succumbing in another heartbreaking five-set match. The Lady Eagles finished fourth but that lone semis game gave Ateneo and its maturing Fab 5 enough experience to dream for something big – A ticket into the Finals.      ‘HINOG NA KAYO’ The first three years saw the gradual improvement for Ateneo. But Season 74 proved to be the turning point for the Fab 5. A fresh new recruit from University of Sto. Tomas high school, who just completed a year of residency, came into picture and with the Fab 5 armed with years of experience, the Lady Eagles’ fate will forever be changed. Alyssa Valdez, a highly recruited open spiker just like Gervacio, Cainglet-Cayetano and Ferrer years back, gave renewed excitement for the Ateneo faithful. “Alyssa's joining with Ateneo was a great turning point for us. We needed as much support we can get, and Alyssa's entrance to the team was a great boost to the team's morale,” said Nacachi. “The girl is a powerhouse and we felt like with her presence, the team finally became solid.” “We were able to play around with the positions and the rotations, since we had different versatile open players who can also greatly play other roles,” she added. “We were also able to formulate a lot of plays and attacks because Alyssa can generally do all kinds; open, running, quick, name it all. She gave the team the power and the versatility that we previously lacked from the past seasons.” Social media was just gaining traction then but the Lady Eagles were already on the radar of volleyball purists through online forums. For the first time, Ateneo was considered a legitimate contender.   The Fab 5 proved it by winning 11 games in the elimination round, losing only to UST once and dropping two against the Lady Spikers. Valdez’s arrival gave Ferrer an even broader option on offense. It eased the scoring load off the shoulders of Cainglet and Gervacio, who was then moved to an opposite position. “I guess sakto lang din yung dating niya because by that time Kara Acevedo graduated so someone had to fill in her spot so coach Roger decided for me to move to utility or opposite,” said Gervacio. “And then sakto Alyssa naman could fill in the spot na other open spiker.” “So timing din na we had all the pieces put together at the right time,” she added. With a good performance in the elims despite missing a legit middle in Bea Pascual and the entry of Aerieal Patnongon barred by academic problems, Ateneo finished second and for the first-time was armed with a twice-to-beat advantage in the stepladder semifinals. The Lady Eagles faced an experienced Tigresses side in the last stepladder semis stage. UST just came from a hard-fought four-set do-or-die match against FEU and were banking on their four-set win over Ateneo in the second round to force another sudden death. Ateneo’s date with destiny was sealed with a four-set win over the Tigresses, who then bid goodbye to Maika Ortiz and Judy Anne Caballejo. “Pinu-push na rin kami ni Coach Roger noon eh, ‘Hinog na kayo ngayon. Kasi dalawang taon na lang, kailangan makapasok na kayo sa Finals,’” said Ho. “Somehow senior na rin kami,” added Cainglet.  “Season 74 was really the target season for us to be in the finals and target even to win the championship,” according to Nacachi. “During this time, we were already thinking we could not afford to not go in the finals.” “So it was with our mindset and our level of commitment that we were able to finally reach our goal of reaching the finals,” she added. “We had enough experience that time already, and it was really time for us to show the level of game maturity the team had obtained from the past seasons.” But then they had to face an unbeaten team. Unscathed in 14 games, De La Salle University was poised to complete a perfect season. The Lady Eagles spoiled it. Ferrer outplayed DLSU setter Mika Esperanza, 57-42, in excellent sets as Ateneo handed the Lady Spikers its first loss after 25 straight victories in a come-from-behind 23-25, 28-26, 25-23, 25-17, Finals opener win. Witnessed by 3,002 spectators inside the then The Arena in San Juan, all of the Fab 5 produced points. Cainglet had 19 behind Valdez’s 24, Gervacio scored 12, Ho had 10, Nacachi finished with five while Ferrer had one. Gorayeb made a big gambit and it worked. “Dahil sa wala kong panggitna, yung laro namin ng La Salle, ginawa kong quicker si Alyssa. Kasi si Alyssa nakakapalo. Nagulat si Ramil (de Jesus) dun.” It was a big win. A huge upset. Unfortunately, Ateneo needed to win two more.  DLSU held a thrice-to-beat advantage.   THAT SWAG After Ateneo made a miracle in Game One, fans began to feel a new rivalry born. The attendance spiked. From just 3,000 spectators, the gate attendance more than doubled its size. The interest was there. Fans of traditional powers began to notice the Lady Eagles as a rising team. For the first time, a squad with no previous championship experience except for a title during the Marcos era in a different collegiate league, made a giant jolt. Everybody wanted to see what these girls would do next.    The Lady Eagles, still high on adrenaline after their Game 1 upset, took the opening set in Game 2. But just like in their opener, a well-experienced DLSU squad adjusted to take the next three frames to move a step closer to a repeat crown. With then Rookie of the Year Ara Galang, Season Most Valuable Player Aby Marano, an intimidating Michele Gumabao and a very efficient Finals MVP Cha Cruz teaming up for the kill, the Lady Spikers ripped Ateneo apart in Game 3 in straight sets, 25-16, 25-22, 25-13. “Sabi nga ni Dzi na nadyan na lahat eh. So I guess noong Season 74 nandoon na pero may kulang pa rin,” said Ho. “I guess we we’re able to make it to the Finals pero wala pa kaming championship experience.” Ferrer agreed. "Siguro ang kulang yung championship experience kasi nasa La Salle na ‘yun eh. Ilang years na silang nagpa-finals, nag-champion and for Ateneo doon pa lang namin sinimulan," said the three-time Best Setter. Lacking championship experience is one thing, but Ateneo during that time wasn’t ready for DLSU’s most feared weapon: the Lady Spikers’ swag.  “They have that swag,” said Gervacio. “Everyone knows about it naman. It’s really coach Ramil’s style talaga kasi as I remember when we were first year, four out of six of the players inside the court were rookies and even if we go against the powerhouses UST, FEU, Adamson, hindi sila yung nakikita nyo na kapag championship na rivalry, na swag, angas, stare down. Pero La Salle talaga kahit sino ang kalaban nila they’ll bring that attitude inside the court.” That Finals series cemented a new rivalry that will become one of the most celebrated in the sport. “I think it also helped that Ateneo-La Salle basketball didn’t face also,” said Gervacio. “Siyempre nandoon ang hunger for the rivalry eh and timely din na its been Ateneo-La Salle na rin sa volleyball.”   CLOSING A CHAPTER The Fab 5 were now in their fifth and last year. They wanted to leave a winning legacy. The pieces were already there. Gorayeb had at his disposal five seniors, a rising star in Valdez, a sophomore middle in Amy Ahomiro, a versatile Ella De Jesus, a steady libero in Denden Lazaro and a new kind of weapon – a massive crowd that can turn any venue into a sea of blue.              As expected, the second installment of the Ateneo-DLSU rivalry was set into place. Both sweeping their semis opponents. The Lady Spikers crushed National University while the Lady Eagles shot down Adamson. Game One was a shocker. DLSU heading into the Finals are on a 14-game roll but were stunned in the first two sets with Ateneo stepping on the gas. But a string of miscues, mostly from the service line, did the Lady Eagles in as they allowed the Lady Spikers to force a decider. DLSU, smelling blood, punished Ateneo to eke out a 20-25, 17-25, 25-22, 25-22, 15-6, victory inside the Big Dome witnesses by 17,342-strong gate attendance. Then the series transferred to a newly-built, state-of-the-art Mall of Asia Arena that drew a crowd of 18,799. The first two frames were frustrating for the Lady Eagles.   Ateneo came back to life in the third set to gain a 9-5 lead. But DLSU easily erased it with Ateneo crumbling under pressure. The Lady Spikers were on an onslaught. Sophomore Galang pushed DLSU at matchpoint with a cold-blooded ace that went in a few inches from the baseline. The score, 24-16. It was a tense moment for the Fab 5. A long rally ensued in the next play. Gervacio, with all her might pounded a kill. Her hand making a great contact on the ball off Ferrer’s backset.     Smack! The ball ricocheted off the hands of DLSU’s Wensh Tiu before falling on the same landing area of Gervacio, who tried to dive for a dig together with Lazaro. DLSU swept Ateneo, 25-23, 25-20, 25-16. Game over.          “Kahit hindi kami nanalo alam naming ibinigay namin ang lahat namin, all-out talaga kaya wala kaming pagsisisi,” said Ho. It was the end of the Fab 5 era, but they left more than what any of them could have imagined. "I remember so many people or fans telling me that they started really watching UAAP Volleyball because of our batch. And that is really touching and fulfilling to know. Knowing that you were able to leave an impact like that to people. We were not able to bring even a single championship to our school, Ateneo, but we were able to touch a lot of people's hearts despite that," Nacachi shared. The Fab 5 closed a colorful chapter of Ateneo volleyball in tears. They were there during the Lady Eagles’ birth pains. They labored. They shed tears, blood and sweat. They laid the foundation for something big. The Fab 5 planted the seeds that would eventually bear fruit and would change the course of Ateneo women’s volleyball program forever. Glory didn’t happen during their time. It started in theirs.    Amidst the roar of the crowd, the falling confetti, banging of drums and the echoing chant of ‘Animo La Salle’ from the sea of green, the Fab 5 hugged each other tight. They found comfort in each other. It was their time to say goodbye. For those who remained – Valdez, Lazaro, Ahomiro, De Jesus – the defeat added fuel to their already blazing desire to bring glory for the blue and white. They were the next in line, heirs to unfinished business. WATCH: FAB 5 Reunion Part 1 and Part 2 --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 20th, 2018

UAAP VOLLEYBALL PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Bernadeth Pons of FEU

Bernadeth Pons is making the most out of her final year with the Far Eastern University Lady Tamaraws in the 80th UAAP women’s volleyball tournament. The graduating hitter towed the Morayta-based squad to a second spot finish after the eliminations and helped the Lady Tamaraws clinch the much-needed twice-to-beat advantage in the Final Four. Her heroics in the last two matches of FEU gave her the thumbs up to claim her second straight UAAP Press Corps Player of the Week honor. Like what she promised last week, Pons was at the helm of FEU’s successful run to bag the semis incentive – the Lady Tams’ first since Season 71. The 21-year old spiker, who hails from Talisay, Negros Occidental, stepped up when it mattered most as FEU closed the elims with a 10-4 win-loss record and most importantly the Lady Tams armed themselves with a twice-to-beat edge over third running Ateneo de Manila University in the semis next week. The do-it-all outside hitter delivered 13 points and added 13 digs and as many as excellent receptions in making a quick work of University of the East, 25-17, 25-15, 25-20, last Wednesday at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan City. She followed it up with a 17-point, 16-reception performance in beating National University, 25-21, 25-22, 16-25, 25-20, to clinch the No.2 spot on Sunday at the Mall of Asia Arena. “Masaya kami na natapos namin yung second round, na naipanalo namin ang last three games namin,” said Pons. “Ang pressure palagi namang nand'yan, palagi naman naming nire-remind ang bawat isa na hindi namin siya dapat i-take as pressure, kasi lalo lang kaming mawawala sa kung ano ang dapat naming gawin.” “So tsina-challenge namin palagi nag sarili namin, kung ano 'yung mga dapat naming gawin, kung ano ang role namin sa team, 'yun,” she added. Pons bested De La Salle’s Kianna Dy and Michelle Cobb, Adamson’s graduating players Mylene Paat and Jema Galanza as well as Tots Carlos of University of the Philippines for the last weekly honor given by sportswriters from broadsheets, tabloids and online websites covering the beat. Pons’ performance in the elims also gave her a good chance to vie for the coveted Most Valuable Player plum. She finished fourth in the scoring race with a total of 215 points, eighth in attacjs with 198 kills on 30.6 percent success rate and third both in digs (208 digs) and receptions (170 receptions on 45.2 % efficiency rate. But Pons is looking at the bigger picture than individual accolades. “‘Yung mga individual awards naman bonus na lang ‘yun. Ako palagi lang akong nagfofocus kung ano ‘yung dapat kong ibigay na maitutulong ko sa team, kung ano ‘yung kailangan ko ma-perform as a team captain and as a senior,” said Pons, who is hoping help end a decade-long title drought of FEU and deliver the school’s 30th crown. “‘Yung target naman namin is ‘yung trophy ng champion. ‘Yun ang pinakagusto naming makuha.”.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 16th, 2018

Generika-Ayala, SLR clobber foes

Games Saturday: (Gen. Trias Sports Center) 4:00 pm – F2 Logistics vs Smart 6:00 pm – Petron vs Generika-Ayala   Generika-Ayala pounced hard on a crippled Cignal squad to essay a masterful 25-22, 25-20, 25-20 victory to close the 2018 Chooks to Go-Philippine Superliga (PSL) Grand Prix preliminary round Thursday at the Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan. Imports Darlene Ramdin and Symone Hayden carried the fight for the Lifesavers, who went on to seal the seventh spot in the quarterfinals. With that, Generika-Ayala has to beat Petron twice in the next round to advance to the best-of-three semifinals. In the second match, Sta. Lucia Realty closed the classification round on a high note as it clobbered Smart, 25-22, 18-25, 25-17, 25-18. Bohdana Anisova and Marisa Field were impressive on both ends to frustrate the Giga Hitters and their super import in Gyselle Silva, who just came from a league-record 56-point explosion. Anisova chalked 17 attacks to finish with 22 points while Field added 10 kills for 17 markers for Sta. Lucia, which booked a duel with Foton in the quarterfinals next week. The two imports combined for nine of the Lady Realtors’ 12 total blocks to withstand another 33-point performance by Silva. The Giga Hitters, who will face reigning champion F2 Logistics in the next round, closed their classification-round campaign without a win in 10 matches. Meanwhile, third seed Cocolife will tackle sixth seed Cignal; and fourth seed Foton will face fifth seed Sta. Lucia Realty armed with a twice-to-beat edge in the quarterfinals starting Saturday at the Gen. Trias Sports Center in Gen. Trias City in Cavite. A member of the Trinidad and Tobago national team, Ramdin delivered 16 of her team-high 17 points from kills while Hayden chipped in 13 attacks and a block to finish with 14 points for the Lifesavers, who took advantage of the HD Spikers’ erratic attacks after Bosnian import Sonja Milanovic crashed with a right ankle sprain half of the first set. With Milanovic out, American import Jeane Horton picked up the scoring cudgel for the HD Spikers, who faltered in the third set and allowed Ramdin and the Lifesavers to turn a 16-all count into a 23-18 gap. Horton tallied 16 kills, two aces and a block to finish with 19 points while Rachel Ann Daquis had six while Milanovic chipped in five markers before hitting sitting out for good.  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 12th, 2018