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Ginagawa ko po siyang motivation – Lacsina on Ate Jaja

Rookie Ivy Lacsina has big shoes to fill for National University. Expectations are high from the young middle blocker especially that she’s being groomed to fill the void left by last year’s Most Valuable Player Jaja Santiago. Lacsina knows the weight of her responsibility come the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball tournament and the unavoidable comparison between her and the 6-foot-5 former Queen Bulldog. She welcomes it as an inspiration to perform well for the young and rebuilding NU squad.   “Hindi ko po siya tini-take na karibal kasi siyempre si ate Jaja po ‘yun, ang daming uma-idol po dun. Isa na po ako doon. Siguro ginagawa ko po siyang motivation,” said the 6-foot-1 Lacsina, a key player in NU’s four-peat in girls volleyball. “Alam ko po dito nag-start si Ate Jaja, kaya ginagawa ko po siyang motivation para marating ko din po kung ano ang nararating niya.” Aside from being her inspiration, Lacsina reveals that it was Santiago, who is currently playing as an import in the prestigious Japan V. Premier League, who convinced her to stay in NU. “Nagkausap po kami ni Ate Jaja noong nandito pa po siya sa Philippines noong nag-iisip pa ako between NU and UP po,” Lacsina said. “Sinasabi niya na parang dilemma ang nangyari kasi parehong good (schools) pero isipin ko raw po kung saan po ang mas best. Yun ang sinasabi niya and naisip ko po na sa NU. Dito ko po nakikita ang sarili ko and yung system na gusto ko.” “Sobrang nahirapan din po ako pero at the end of the day naman, parang naisip ko rin na nandito talaga ang heart ko sa NU,” added Lacsina, who climbed in the collegiate ranks together with high school teammates Joyme Cagande, Princes Robles and Jennifer Nierva. “Dito ko rin nakilala ang sarili ko at dito ko rin nakita ang totoong team.” The departure of Santiago, who has exhausted all of her five playing years, left a huge hole in the Lady Bulldogs' offense as well as on defense with her intimidating presence at the net. NU lost in Santiago a player who normed 20 points per game last year with an impressive 41.76% attacking accuracy. It didn’t help that NU also lacked the veteran presence of Jasmine Nabor, Jorelle Singh, Roma Doromal and middle blocker Risa Sato, who will sit out the season. “This year po para po sa akin kasi sobrang laking pressure po talaga sa akin lalo na po na rookie pa lang po ako kasi parang ako na yung inaanuhan ng mga coaches na, ‘ganito, dapat alam mo na yung dapat mong gawin kasi isa ka sa inaasahan ng team,’” said Lacsina. “Para po sa akin sobrang laki po ng kawalan ni Ate Jaja po sa amin lalo na po ‘yung ibang seniors na di makakalaro sa amin. Si Ate Risa po sobrang laking kawalan sa gitna namin,” she added. “So this season po siguro ie-enjoy na lang namin siya. Lalaro kami hanggang sa makakaya namin. Alam naman naman namin na kaya namin saka naniniwala po ako sa team namin, sa coaches namin na kakayanin namin this season.”   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles  .....»»

Category: sportsSource: abscbn abscbnFeb 12th, 2019

Daquis returns to old form, Cignal sees bright things ahead

Coming into the 2018 Philippine Superliga Invitational Conference, head coach Edgar Barroga challenged seasoned hitter Rachel Anne Daquis to turn back the hands of time and show that she can still pull the trigger. The open spiker heeded the call and worked doubly hard to bring back the same form that once made Daquis the brightest volleyball star in the country. “Chinallenge ko kasi si Rachel kasi kung titignan niyo medyo pababa na ‘yung laro niya,” Barroga said. “Sabi ko (sa kanya), Chel, sumunod ka lang sa mga gagawin ko, trust ka lang marami akong ipapagawa sayo, icha-challenge ulit kita.” Daquis averaged 15.25 points in the preliminary round and led Cignal to an unbeaten run into the semifinals. A misstep in the knockout Final Four may have spelled doom for the HD Spikers’ back-to-back title journey but it didn’t dampen the fact that Daquis performed well for Cignal.   “Personally syempre nagpakundisyon ako, so talagang ‘yung motivation ko na talagang gustung-gusto ko silang… unang-una syempre mapa-champion. Pero syempre step-by-step ‘yun,” said Daquis, who scored 18 points in Cignal’s 25-15, 22-25, 25-20, 25-18, win over Smart-Army in the battle for third as the HD Spikers salvaged a podium finish. “Patient ako sa process na yun, so ito ibinigay ni Lord ‘yung third place, masayang-masaya kami kasi from seventh nu’ng first time kami hinawakan ni coach naging third,” said Daquis, who gave FEU its last UAAP crown back in 2008 and collected numerous titles in the commercial leagues including five in the PSL. “So happy ako and sobrang cooperative ng teammates ko and ng coaches so yun talaga yung nagdala.” Barroga praised the dedication of Daquis, who, despite her age of 30 and numerous achievements, kept her feet on the ground and was willing to listen and train under his guidance.   “Ayun marami siyang mga ginagawa tapos kung mapapansin niyo puro mabibilis ‘yung play niya tapos tinuturuan ko pa rin siyang mag-dive, mag-roll sa ensayo so sobrang na-challenge siya although may konti siyang nararamdaman,” said Barroga. “Very satisfied (sa performance ni Rachel) lalong lalo na itong (last game),” he added. “Ine-esxpect ko na lalabas ang laro nilang lahat kasi ito na ‘yung pinakahuling laro namin for this season.” Daquis was thankful for the patience and guidance of Barroga. “For coach Edgar kasi, nilabas nya lahat eh. Yung talent mo, lahat ng skills na pwede mo palang gawin. Yung mga nagagawa mo nung college, nagagawa mo ulit ngayon,” she said. “So grabe yung tiwala nya. Ang sarap mag-ensayo kasi magugulat ka, ibabalik nya yung ganitong laro mo, ibabalik nya yung ganitong mga spikes. So sobrang happy ako and thankful kay coach Edgar.” With Daquis back into her dangerous form, Cignal is now looking at a good run come All-Filipino Conference. “Next siguro in preparation para sa All-Filipino, we’ll try to recruit more competitive (players) at saka para makasabay tayo doon sa malalakas na teams,” said Barroga.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 26th, 2018

UAAP VOLLEYBALL: Kailangan ilabas ang tapang -- Dy

After a humbling experience at the hands of National University last Sunday, grand slam-seeking De La Salle University realized what was lacking early in their campaign in the 80th UAAP women’s volleyball tournament. It took the Lady Spikers a painful loss and an extra set of training after that for them to discover an important facet of their game that went missing.      “’You know right after we lost to NU, we went straight back to our gym to fix our mistakes,” said graduating opposite hitter Kim Kianna Dy. “Syempre dun pa lang lumabas yung tapang namin. Sinabi nga ni coach (Ramil De Jesus) bakit hindi kayo matapang nu’ng game, bakit ngayon matapang kayo?” DLSU responded with a 25-18, 25-17, 25-20, drubbing of University of the East Wednesday to get back on the winning track and erase its five-set defeat against the unbeaten Lady Bulldogs three days before. “So ngayon, na-address namin yung kailangan matapos agad, hindi dapat maging complacent na we’re two sets ahead, and then biglang bibitawan lang," said Dy, who had eight points against the Lady Warriors. Desiree Cheng and reigning Most Valuable Player Majoy Baron scored 13 points each while Aduke Ogunsanya finished with 12 as the Lady Spikers improved to 4-1 win-loss record behind NU.  “Well 'yung purpose ng pagbalik namin sa La Salle. Siguro during the game nung Sunday, ni-remind ko lang sila na dapat kilala niyo 'yung sarili niyo, kung sino kayo,” said De Jesus, whose squad went straight to training in DLSU after absorbing a 24-26, 25-19, 25-22, 17-25, 14-16, defeat to NU. It was a sorry loss for the Lady Spikers as they squandered a 12-8 lead in the fifth set. NU took a 14-13 lead in that frame after Jaja Santiago caught fire. Dy saved a match point but the Lady Bulldogs stole the win after a Santiago kill followed by an Aiko Urdas off the block attack.  “’Minsan kasi, nakakalimutan niyo kung sino na kayo’, sabi kong ganoon. Ang dami niyong pinagdaanan, ang dami niyong experience na pinag-daanan. So pagdating sa mga ganyang klase ng game, dapat kilala niyo 'yung sarili niyo, kung ano 'yung aasahan ng team sa inyo. So 'yun lang naman din,” added De Jesus. Dy admitted that they deserved that extra training. “’Pag sinabi na ni coach yun na walang magbibihis, diretso tayo La Salle, alam na namin. We know that we deserved what happened. Yung right after, training. Wala eh, natalo kami so kailangan ayusin yung mga kulang pa namin,” she said. “I think one of the things na super important na natutunan namin right after, yung ginagawa namin after the game, is tapang dapat. Kasi may mga drills na hindi ka... it’s a drill, tapos di ka titigil hangga’t sinabi ni coach. So you have to show your toughness, you have to show na di ka maggi-give up,” Dy added. “So para siyang connected sa game. You shouldn’t give up until 25.”   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 21st, 2018

UAAP Season 81: Lady Tams not taking Lady Bulldogs lightly

Last year’s runner-up Far Eastern University easily has the advantage in terms of experience against a very young and rebuilding National University team. But the Lady Tamaraws are still wary of the Lady Bulldogs’ bite when they meet on Saturday in the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball tournament. “Wala ‘yan sa mindset namin. Same approach pa rin ang gagawin namin,” said FEU veteran Celine Domingo, who will lead the Lady Tams in their 4:00 p.m. clash with the Lady Bulldogs. “Hindi naman porke’t puro rookies ang NU bababa na namin ang level ng game namin. Siyempre respect na rin ‘yun and siyempre bilog ang bola maraming pwedeng mangyari,” added last year’s Best Blocker award winner. The match will air live on ABS-CBN S+A Channel 23, ABS-CBN S+A HD Channel 166, LIGA SkyCable Channel 86, LIGA HD SkyCable Channel 183, iWant and via livestream. Domingo is expected to step up her game as well as other veterans Jerrili Malabanan, Heather Guino-o, Jeanette Villareal and setter Kyle Negrito after the exit of Bernadeth Pons and the absence of injured Chin-Chin Basas. The Lady Bulldogs, who finished fourth last year, are rebuilding their foundations after the departure of Season 80 Most Valuable Player Jaja Santiago, Aiko Urdas and libero Gayle Valdez. NU is under a different system with new head coach Norman Miguel, who replaced Babes Castillo last December. The Lady Bulldogs’ character will be tested with only a handful of veterans after playmaker Jasmine Nabor, Jorelle Singh and Roma Doromal decided to sit out the season while middle blocker Risa Sato was deemed ineligible to play (academic problems). The leadership role is now at the hands of remaining veterans Audrey Paran, Roselyn Doria and Joni Chavez Rookies Princess Robles, Ivy Lacsina, setter Joyme Cagande and libero Jennifer Nierva, who are all part of NU’s four-peat girls volleyball team, will get their baptism of fire.   ---      Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 15th, 2019

UAAP Season 81: One more year to make it right, to end it right – BDL

Bea de Leon didn’t need a lot of convincing to return for her swan song with Ateneo de Manila University in the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball tournament. Yes, it did took a while for her to announce her decision but it gave her enough time to set her mind into her one last dance with the blue and white.    A year ago, De Leon shared the agony and anguish of the Lady Eagles after Far Eastern University ended their six-year run to the Finals. Now back for her final season with the Lady Eagles, De Leon is on a mission to set things right before she bids adieu to a colorful collegiate career. “Well, kasi siyempre I finished (Management Economics). I graduated last year, so I really had a choice not to come back,” said De Leon, who helped the Lady Eagles complete a rare tournament sweep in Season 77 – Ateneo’s last of back-to-back titles. “But 'yun nga, Coach (Oliver Almadro) said talaga we didn't even make the finals last year which was a heartbreaking event for all of us. And just to know that you have one more year to make it right, to end it right, to get the goal and the dream, you know that's really what pushed me,” De Leon continued. After the Lady Eagles fell short of making it to the Finals in head coach Tai Bundit’s last season, De Leon asked for some time to think about her future with Ateneo.   Then, Almadro gave her a ring one day. “Coach O called me one day when he finally knew he's gonna coach, he said, ‘Bea, gusto kitang part ng team ko. I want you to leave a legacy that you want.’ And for me, you know, when someone says that, how could you say no 'di ba?” recalled De Leon. “So, yeah. I came back for my team. I love them so much and I just really, really want one more chance to get it right.” Almadro, the architect of the Blue Eagles’ three-peat from Seasons 77 to 79 and the successor to Tai Bundit, knew that if he wants to make a good run in his first year as Ateneo women’s team coach he must have someone he can trust to lead the squad inside the court.      “Bumalik si Bea to prove something. Bea played her fifth year para ma-prove niya na kaya niya. Kaya niya na mag-lead ng team at kaya niya na umabot sa goal niya last year,” he said. Oliver appointed De Leon and another graduating player, Maddie Madayag, as co-team captains. A role that De Leon welcomed with open arms. “Well, I think my number one role in this team is to really bring the fire and the passion which Coach O also mentioned was one of the biggest reasons why he called me up,” said De Leon. “He always knew that I had, you know, the fire in my eyes. 'Cause he talks like that eh. And the motivation to bring it to the team.” “So, as a game captain, parang kumbaga, ang pinaka-role ko is hawakan sila,” she added. “To really encourage them and make them believe that they're the best volleyball players in the Philippines, or at least, in the UAAP.” With De Leon back in the fold and with other veterans in Madayag, Ponggay Gaston, Kim Gequillana, Kat Tolentino and last year’s Best Setter Deanna Wong with promising rookies Vanessa Gandler and Jaja Maraguinot, Ateneo could be looking at another strong tittle run this season.    With a report from Danine Cruz.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 13th, 2019

ONE Championship: Edward Kelly wants to prove that he can beat Christian Lee

Team Lakay featherweight Edward "The Ferocious" Kelly is coming into his rematch against Singaporean star Christian "The Warrior" Lee at ONE: Eternal Glory in Jakarta, Indonesia with a hightened sense of motivation.  While indeed he was victorious in their first fight back in September of 2018, the win didn't come the way Kelly would have wanted.  After landing a slam that was deemed illegal, Lee was disqualified becase Kelly was unable to continue.  Now, the hard-hitting Pinoy striker wants, more than anything, to prove that he can beat Lee without the help of a disqualification.  "A win is a win, but parang walang tamang closure yung laban namin, so gusto ko ipakita na talagang ako dapat yung nanalo sa laban namin," Kelly told the media a day before his highly-anticipated rematch on Saturday night. "Of course, siya din may gustong patunayan, makikita na lang natin sa Saturday kung mag-eeffect yung good gameplan." While their first encounter lasted just a little over two minutes, Kelly says that he was able to take some things away from what he saw from Lee that night. The 34-year old hopes to be able to use those things in their do-over at the Istora Senayan.  "Yung napansin ko nung unang laban namin is aggressive siya, masyado siyang agresibo, and pasok ng pasok," Kelly explained. "Mabilis nga lang yung laban pero at least may nakuha ako na points sa aking pag-ensayo, sana magamit ko yun para ma-kontra yung pagka-explosive niya tsaka yung speed niya sa laban." The 20-year old Lee, who's a former title contender, is coming into this fight having bounced back with a first roudn win over Kazuki Tokudome. Kelly knows that right now, the kid's confidence is riding high, and is banking on the possibility that it's that same confidence that could lead to Lee's downfall.  "Alam ko naman na sky-high yung confidence niya, and I know na parang kokontrahin ko na lang sa isip ko, and yung confidence niya ay pwedeng magpa-talo sa kanya." While largely regarded as the underdog heading into the bout, Kelly says that he prefers to be in that position. That way, the victory becomes a bit sweeter.  "Mas gusto ko pa nga na underdog, kasi mas maganda yung pagka-panalo, yun yung nasa isip ko. Kailangan ko talaga kunin yung panalo, and gagawin ko lahat sa laban na ‘to," he expressed.    Edward Kelly and Christian Lee face off in a highly-anticipated rematch at ONE: Eternal Glory on Saturday, January 19th, 11:00 PM LIVE on ABS-CBN S+A channel 23! .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 19th, 2019

UAAP Season 81: NU willing to be patient this time

National University’s management has learned the hard way that it takes years to mold and develop a women’s volleyball team that would yield the results they wanted. The Lady Bulldogs for the past six years gambled with coaching changes that saw the squad play under five different mentors. Yet the outcome were the same: NU season after season came away empty-handed in the UAAP.     When NU approached Norman Miguel and laid out a long-term program, the Lady Bulldogs seemed to be looking at the right direction this time. “Well, actually, when the sports director approached me, nu’ng in-explain niya sa akin ‘yung parang long-term program doon parang medyo na-open ‘yung mind ko na it’s very challenging pero why not accept it,” said Miguel, who was took the reins after former coach Babes Castillo parted ways with NU. Castillo handled the Lady Bulldogs last year as a replacement for Roger Gorayeb, who was with the team for two seasons and a half. Under Castillo, NU made a strong run in the first round of UAAP Season 80 after winning six of their first seven games in 6-foot-5 star Jaja Santiago’s swan song. But their campaign turned sour as the squad managed to win only one game in the second round to land at no. 4 seed in the Final Four and eventually bowed down to grand slam champion De La Salle University.    Overall, NU saw its women’s team switch hands from one coach to another. Francis Vicente steered the Lady Bulldogs to a Final Four stint in Season 75 but received the boot the following year and was replaced by Edjet Mabbayad, whose short stint will be always be remembered as Ateneo de Manila University’s second to the last step before claiming its breakthrough title in Season 76. Dong Dela Cruz took over Mabbayad’s position in Season 77 but was replaced by Gorayeb halfway into the season. Gorayeb left the Lady Bulldogs after NU failed to reach the semis for two straight years. “Alam naman nating lahat na ‘yung NU women’s parang looking forward to you know bag a title sa UAAP kasi hanggang ngayon medyo wala pa talaga,” said Miguel, who handled DLSU’s men’s team last season. “So parang ‘yun yung pumasok sa mind ko na malaking challenge siya pero masarap trabahuhin di ba?” he added. However, Miguel will have a young roster to work with. Rookies Princess Robles, Joyme Cagande, Ivy Lacsina and Jennifer Nierva show a lot of promise. Holdovers Roselyn Doria, Risa Sato and Audrey Paran will return while Rica Diolan is back in the fold after skipping two seasons. Miguel said that the NU management set a realistic goal this season, just one step at a time.     “Naniwala ako doon sa gusto nilang mangyari not this year, probably next year or at the third year parang ganun na kailangan na meron nang mangyari (championship),” he said. There’s no short cut to success and NU this time is willing to take a long drive to the promised land.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 13th, 2019

PBA: Rookie Bong Quinto looking to make the most of opportunity given by Meralco

Former do-it-all Letran forward Bong Quinto was definitely the surprise of the 2018 PBA Draft.  Not because he was taken too early, but rather because many believe he was taken way too late.  Quinto was expected to be a top-five pick, or at least in the first round, but instead fell to the second pick of the second round, taken by the Meralco Bolts.  Immediately, analysts and experts already labeling him as the year's draft steal.  While being overlooked by the other teams still stings a bit for the former Knight, now it's all about proving that they made a mistake by passing him up.  "Syempre, kahit ako din minsan, iniisip ko na dapat nasa first round ako, pero kailangan mag-move on talaga doon, tapos ginawa ko na lang siyang motivation para i-prove yung sarili ko na deserving din naman ako sa first round," Quinto shared with ABS-CBN Sports.  The important thing is that now, he's on a PBA team, and as expected, there's a bit of an adjustment period.  "Sobrang laking adjustment talaga, kasi yun nga, dito kailangan speed talaga, kailangan mabilis ka." "Sobrang nag-aadjust pa talaga ako, kasi bagong mga teammates, bagong pakikisama ulit, mga bagong coaches, so medyo naninibago ulit ako sa sistema, kasi sa Letran, basa-basa lang. Dito read, tsaka kailangan mabilis ka talaga," he continued.  Back in college, Quinto was a bruising three that could easily play as a four. Now however, he's in the big leagues, and he'll need to adjust to playing a smaller position.  "Sa ngayon, kinakapa ko pa yung movement, yung mga galaw nila, pinag-aaralan ko pa yung skills nila, kung saan sila malakas, ganun. Ako gusto ko i-improve yung passing and yung dribbling, kasi dito mag-guard na talaga ako eh, tres na yung laro ko dito, hindi na ako pwede mag-big man dito. Yung scoring din, kailangan mo i-prove sa kanila na hindi sila nag-kamali sa pag-pick sa akin." More than anything, Quinto is excited to give back to the Meralco side for giving him the opportunity of realizing a dream by playing in the PBA.  "Sobrang excited ko na kasi dream ‘to eh, pangarap ‘to. Panghahawakan ko lang talaga na wag sayangin yung opportunity na binigay nila." "Sana makatulong ako sa team,sa Meralco, kasi siyempre pangarap ko na makapaglaro sa PBA, and sila yung nakapag-bigay ng opportunity sa akin, so bibigay ko talaga yung best ko para makatulong sa team," he concluded. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 9th, 2019

UAAP: An Ateneo three-peat next year will mean much more for Nieto twins

For the seventh time in the last 11 years, Ateneo de Manila University is the king of the UAAP Seniors. And in the same light, for the third time in the last four years, Nieto twins Mike and Matt are champions. “It’s a very fulfilling experience for me together with my twin brother. Grade school pa lang, pinangarap na namin ni Mike yun,” Matt said in the school’s annual bonfire of champions late last year. “Actually, mag-champion lang, okay na, pero ngayon, winning a back-to-back, it’s ever more special for us." With that, the Nietos can now boast of 2017 and 2018 titles in the UAAP Seniors as well as a 2015 title in the UAAP Juniors. At this point in time, what’s up next for them has just become personal. “We have one more year and pwede na namin lampasan si daddy. We don’t want to end our (collegiate) career na natalo kami so extra motivation na mas galingan namin next year,” Matt said. He then continued through chuckles, “Pero si daddy, feeling ko, ninenerbyos na si daddy.” Yes, alongside keeping the crown in Katipunan and extending Ateneo’s dominance to what would be a dozen years, Mike and Matt want nothing more than to be the winningest Nietos. “Grade school pa lang kami, napag-usapan na namin yan e. Nung ‘di pa kami nananalo sa UAAP Juniors, sabi ni daddy na nanalo siya ng isa so dun na nagsimula,” Mike shared. “So si daddy, dinadala kami sa Blue Eagle Gym kasi nga, nandun yung banners and pinagmamalaki niya yung Seniors niya na 1987 and 1988.” Jet, the patriarch of the Nietos, won one championship in his time as a Blue Eaglet before winning back-to-back as a Blue Eagle. Now, his twin sons now have one last shot at overtaking him in the title tally – and they are not shy in saying that is their personal motivation. As Mike put it, “Gusto talaga namin siyang talunin e. Tie lang kasi namin siya sa high school.” He then continued through chuckles, “Ngayon, tie na namin siya sa college so wala na siyang ipagyayabang. Hopefully, ang gusto talaga namin is talunin siya ang mag-three-peat next year.” Of course, the two made it clear that they know full well that’s easier said than done. “We’ll just keep working hard and keep doing what coach Tab says,” Mike said. That’s exactly why they’re not making any guarantees just yet. “Finals muna and then we’ll see what happens,” Matt said. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 4th, 2019

KAI-vals Series: NU s counter Carl Tamayo

It has become some sort of a cliché now that Kai Sotto is not yet done growing. Indeed, Ateneo de Manila High School’s 7-foot-1, 16-year-old still has three more years, including this one, to tower over the competition in high school. That doesn’t mean, however, that the rest of the competition will just take that lying down. Here, we take a look at the players who are more than capable of challenging Sotto’s dominance – now and even onto the future. --- Carl Tamayo has only played four games in his first year for Nazareth School of National University no thanks to a nagging right ankle sprain. There was one game he wasn’t going to miss no matter what, however – the Bullpups rematch with Ateneo de Manila High School which bested them for last year’s championship. “Yung pagmamahal ko sa team, siyempre, kailangan nila ako so I played through the pain,” he said. Not only did he play through the pain, he actually lived up to the hype of being a match for Kai Sotto, the Blue Eaglets’ 7-foot-1, 16-year-old. Sotto had 23 points, 12 rebounds, four assists, and two steals in their head-to-head matchup, but it was Tamayo who came away with the win on top of a 13-point, 10-rebound double-double. For NU’s own towering teen, though, it wasn’t the prospect of facing off with the Philippines’ biggest hope in basketball that motivated him. Rather, it was being on the floor and doing battle alongside his teammates. “Naging motivation ko, yung teammates ko kasi kailangan nila ako,” he shared afterward. “Kasi nga, malaki si Kai so pag nandun ako, alam kong magiging malaki rin contributions ko.” Indeed, for two years, Sotto is yet to find his match in the UAAP Juniors where only Raven Cortez comes close to his talent and potential. Most of the country’s young prospects have risen over in the NCAA Juniors in the likes of Warren Bonifacio, Aaron Fermin, and Will Gozum. Enter Tamayo, the UAAP Juniors’ Rookie of the Year right before Sotto was hailed as the top newcomer. Tamayo won Rookie of the Year while displaying an inside-outside game that was still quite rare for a big man. Now, he is only continuing to develop the all-around game he already has. This continued development is made even more impressive by the fact that the now 17-year-old has only been playing basketball for around five years. Yes, back in his hometown of Cebu, he was a tall kid, but nobody will find him in basketball courts and instead, he was most often playing billiards. “Hindi pa talaga ako naglalaro (ng basketball) nun. Bilyar talaga ako,” he said, recalling his time as a 12-year-old who already stood 5-foot-10. That was until coach Goldwin Monteverde came over to Cebu and ultimately convinced him to put his height to good use. “Meron kasi kaming kapitbahay, player nina coach Gold dati, tapos kinausap niya yung ball boy na may malaki nga raw siyang kapitbahay. Yung ball boy naman, kinausap si coach Gold tapos timing, pumunta sila sa Cebu, ayun, kinuha nila ako,” he shared. Of course, a little encouragement in the form of a ticket to watch San Miguel and idol June Mar Fajardo played a part in convincing Tamayo to move to Manila. From there, not only did the now 6-foot-8 versatile big man prove to be a prized prospect, he would also turn out to be a big piece for the Bullpups as they try to put a stop to Ateneo’s dynasty in the UAAP Juniors. “Nung una, ‘di ko alam paano maglaro so ensayo lang nang ensayo,” he shared. He then continued, “Kahit papaano, nag-improve naman nang nag-improve.” And now, Tamayo only vows to keep doing what he had always done – get better and better. In particular, he wants nothing more than to weaponize his outside shot to that Sotto and other opposing big men will be forced to go with him to the perimeter, leaving the paint open for slashers such as Gerry Abadiano and Cyril Gonzales to attack. As he put it, “Ang tine-train namin ngayon, to play outside. Magiging malaking tulong sa teammates ko yun kung na-develop ko yun.” --- Tamayo and Sotto will go head-to-head for three seasons, including this one, in the UAAP Juniors. They go at it once more just as NU and Ateneo will go at it once more as the second round of the UAAP 81 Juniors Basketball Tournament begins on January 13 at the Filoil Flying V Centre. And for the first time ever, that matchup will be LIVE and EXCLUSIVE on S+A, S+A HD, LIGA, LIGA HD and via livestream. Tip-off is at 3:00 PM. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 4th, 2019

Pinoy sports most captivating underdog stories of 2018

Who doesn't love a good underdog story? In 2018, we saw another batch of champions get crowned for their extended excellence in their respective leagues and disciplines. We also witnessed squads and personalities who found success despite minimum fanfare. These underdogs didn't let any pre-competition predictions cloud their performances en route inspiring runs that may not have delivered gold, but are primed to be remembered for years to come.  MARGIELYN DIDAL Let's start with arguably the most inspiring entry on this list. Margielyn Didal basically burst onto the scene to bag skateboarding gold in the 2018 Asian Games. The Cebuana's victory is made even more impressive because of her humble roots, the lengths she went through just to compete, and what she's fighting for. The daughter of a carpenter and a sidewalk vendor, Didal also famously had to fend off security personnel in malls, when she was practicing her craft. Still, Didal's rise continued as she became the first Filipino to represent the nation in the 2018 X Games in Minnesota.  Her gold in the Asiad  earned her the distinction as the flag bearer of the Philippine delegation in the continental meet, and has slowly increased awareness for the sport. UP LADY FIGHTING MAROONS Now for another champion. The UP Lady Maroons were far from shoo-ins into the Premier Volleyball League Collegiate Conference Final Four. After a slow start to the elimination round, the Diliman-based squad was able to get things going, securing the fourth seed to face the top-ranked Adamson Lady Falcons in the semis.  Facing a twice-to-beat disdvantage, the Lady Maroons flexed their rediscovered depth, especially after feisty middle Marian Buitre found her touch. Conference MVP and eventual Finals MVP Isa Molde also made a case as a legitimate star as UP stunned Adamson. Facing the UAAP season 80 Finalists FEU Lady Tamaraws, UP leaned on its unparalleled chemistry and communication to defeat FEU in two hard-fought, five-set matches. The Lady Maroons also bagged gold in a rival tournament, beating out another UAAP powerhouse in UST. Come UAAP Season 81, the Lady Maroons are set to prove their preseason victories are no fluke.    NU BULLDOGS With a chip on their shoulder, wanting to regain UAAP men's volleyball supremacy, the NU Bulldogs did everything they could to dethrone reigning three-time defending champs Ateneo Blue Eagles in Season 80. NU waltzed their way through the double round robin elimination round and made quick work of UST in the Final Four to book a ticket to the finals. However, the same road block, the Blue Eagles were there, with five-time MVP Marck Espejo just fresh off from his record-setting 55-point explosion to oust  twice-to-beat FEU in the Final Four.  Using their strong net defense and efficient reception, the Bulldogs swept Ateneo in the best-of-three Finals series. Finals MVP Bryan Bagunas led the offensive attack in the clincher with 22 points, as NU's famed floor defense frustrated the graduating Espejo and hand them their first loss in the championship series in three years.   FEU LADY TAMARAWS The UAAP Season 80 women's volleyball tournament was arguably the most exciting in recent memory. It was open-ended, every game oozed excitement as the unlikliest of results would come out here and there. Two-time defending champs De La Salle Lady Spikers still were the favored ones in the course of the eliminations, but suffered some shocking losses, including a four-set disappointment over Adamson. Being the other Finals contender was a quandary, but the FEU Lady Tamaraws led the charge and rose to the occasion, depriving Ateneo of a Finals appearance. Led by none other than Bernadeth Pons, and excellent play from their frontline, FEU advanced to the Finals for the first time in nine years, ironically also against the Ramil de Jesus-led squad. Many things had changed then, but La Salle showed why they were the reigning Queens of the UAAP, sweeping the Lady Tamaraws in two hard-fought contests.   UP FIGHTING MAROONS After an encouraging run in the UAAP season 80 men's basketball tournament, the UP Fighting Maroons put the league on notice in season 81.  Led by captain Paul Desiderio, super sophomore Juan Gomez de Liano, and Nigerian reinforcement Bright Akhuetie, the Fighting Maroons had to fight through a sluggish start. All things changed when head coach Bo Perasol decided to bring Juan off the bench to inject much-needed energy to the second unit. Juan would lead the league in assists as he guided UP's offense masterfully, carrying them to a historic Final Four return after a 21-year absence. That may already be a victory worth celebrating for UP, but the Fighting Maroons brought the fight in the Final Four as the third-seeded team facing no. 2 Adamson. In what would eventually be one of the most exciting Final Four series in recent UAAP history, UP would upset the Soaring Falcons in two games to book a Finals berth against Ateneo, where the Fighting Maroons bowed out. Still, what a run it was. And UP looks primed to be even more dangerous next season.   ATENEO LADY EAGLES There were uncertainty on how the Ateneo Lady Eagles would fare after coach Tai Bundit left the team in UAAP Season 80.  Blue Eagles mentor Oliver Almadro was tapped to oversee the team after Bundit's reign, with the PVL Open Conference being his first real challenge, calling the shots for Ateneo-Motolite.  Veterans Bea de Leon and Maddie Madayag did the heavy lifting for the team, but rookie sensations Vanessa Gandler, Jaja Maraguinot, Isabela Peralta, Samantha Fanger, and Erika Raagas provided their worth for the team. Almadro's unique style of motivation was also key in providing the spark for his team, providing some quotable lines from his timeouts showed around the world. Qualifying to the Final Four, Ateneo had their hands full against the veteran-laden BanKo-Perlas Spikers, who featured some former Lady Eagles. Down 0-1 in the series and had their backs against the wall in Game 3 down 0-2, the Lady Eagles mounted a massive comeback, stunning the Perlas Spikers in five sets and booking a dream Finals matchup against the Creamline Cool Smashers. However, it was not meant to be as they firepower of the Cool Smashers behind season MVP Alyssa Valdez proved to the difference as Creamline swept the Lady Eagles to clinch the Open Conference plum......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 24th, 2018

PVL: I don’t care –- Almadro on bashers

Ateneo-Motolite head coach Oliver Almadro isn’t bothered with the flak he received from fans on social media after giving Deanna Wong a tongue-lashing Saturday in a straight sets loss to BanKo in the Premier Volleyball League Season 2 Open Conference. “I don’t care!” Almadro quickly answered even before reporters could finish their question about him trending on social media as he entered the pressroom for a post-game interview Sunday. Twitter went abuzz Saturday night following a clip during Ateneo-Motolite’s timeout where the very animated Almadro lashed out at Wong as the Lady Eagles trailed the Perlas Spikers, 7-11, in the third set with BanKo controlling the match, 2-0. Grabe naman. pic.twitter.com/H3CtjifrnI — PINOY BALIBOLISTA (@pinoybalibol) November 10, 2018 Fans went to social media to express their criticisms on Almadro. But the mentor, who steered the Blue Eagles to three straight UAAP titles, just brushed everything off.      “Few people don’t matter for me, what’s important for me is I use them as our strength,” said Almadro, whose squad recovered from a 24-26, 22-25, 16-25 loss to the Perlas Spikers with a 25-23, 16-25, 25-14, 25-20 win over Adamson-Akari. “I use them as a creative criticism for me and of course I don’t put energy in the things I don’t have control rather I put all my energy at things I have control, which is my team so yun ang importante.” Almadro said that even before the game his team was already dealing with off-court issues. “Natatawa ako kasi hindi naman nila alam ‘yung problema namin e, we have internal problems prior to the match medyo pagod kasi kami. Maraming players ang hindi dapat a-attend yesterday because of biglaang ‘Binhi’ it’s a school activity so talaga three players, four players will not come yesterday so everybody’s bothered,” he explained. “So they don’t know Deanna is bothered, everybody’s bothered pero good thing, Ateneo community, Ateneo professors, Binhi for mentors are really supporting the program so they opted to finish the Binhi earlier so nakapunta lahat pero of course bothered.” The mentor admitted that he took some time reading the fans’ reactions but kept firm on his action to discipline the UAAP Season 80 Best Setter.    “I read all of that but what matters for me sabi ko nga I will sacrifice my kindness so that my players will know what is right or wrong because life is cruel if you will just be kind all the time, they will not understand what is right or wrong,” he said. “As a parent sometimes I have to sacrifice kindness because life is cruel in the end because they have to know is right or wrong.” He scolded Wong, Almadro added, so that the playmaker will know her mistakes for her to address it. Wong only had 13 excellent sets out of 64 attempts against BanKo with five markers and seven digs. To make amends for her subpar performance, Wong tallied 28 excellent sets with four markers against the Lady Falcons. “Now Deanna is in the right position now. Deanna is gambling with the set now. We are receiving right today, so ibig sabihin we learned yesterday,” Almadro pointed out. Upon learning about the bashing he received, Wong apologized to Almadro, who then told his ward not to worry about it. “Deanna cried to me ‘coach sorry’. Bakit ka magso-sorry? It's my job,” he said. “And it’s your job to play now what's important is kaya mong bitbitin yun kaya mong dalhin.” “And what did she do now? She played well, it’s because hindi kami nagpapa-bother sa mga nandiyan. What’s important for us are those who believe in us, those who fight for us win or lose,” Almadro added. “I will always reiterate to my players right motivation, right motivation every time because ‘pag pinasukan ng wrong motivation ang utak mawawala sa pwesto, hindi kikilos. It’s because walang meaning sa ginagawa so kailangan talaga right motivation.” Almadro still gave some kind words to his bashers.   “Those who do not support us when we lose, it’s okay with us. We still pray for them,” he said.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 11th, 2018

Iba ang ambience and level -- Espejo on playing in Japan

Marck Espejo is having the best time of his volleyball career playing for Oita Miyoshi in the Japan V. Premier League. Despite falling short in his first two outings, the Ateneo de Manila University product made his presence felt in the top tier league in one of Asia’s volleyball giants.  “Sobrang saya siyempre pero mahirap din, first international club league ko,” said Espejo in an interview coursed through Virtual Playground volleyball talent head Mark Salamat. The five-time UAAP Most Valuable Player and three-time UAAP champion welcomes the big challenge of playing against the best players and teams in Japan.   “Sobrang iba yung ambience and level nu’ng league if i-compare sa Philippines,” said Espejo, who was feted as the first-ever Philippine Sportswriters Association’s Mr. Volleyball. Espejo debuted with 16 points off 12 kills and four kill blocks in the Weisse Adler’s 15-25, 20-25, 19-25, to Toray Arrows last Saturday. Oita Miyoshi dropped its second game the following day to the Nagano Tridents, 25-21, 25-23, 25-21. Playing for a full season abroad, Espejo admitted that it takes a little time for him to fully adjust not only in the level of play but also with the culture. “Sa pag-adjust naman siyempre mahirap sa start pero kung gusto mo naman ginagawa mo makaka-adjust ka naman kaagad di ba?” he said. “Masaya and very approachable ang team.” Back in the Philippines, his former Ateneo head coach Oliver Almadro has nothing but praises to his protégé from Marikina.  “Dumating man sa kanya ‘to, we’re very proud of him. Goosebumps kami sa ginagawa niya,” he said. “Inspiration ng women’s team ko si Marck Espejo,” added Almadro, who is now calling the shot for the Lady Eagles. “We’re watching his highlights, we’re watching his videos.” “Marck you’re doing a good job and we’re proud of you.” Espejo and Oita Miyoshi will march into action on Saturday against the Toyota Gosei Trefuerza, on the same day sisters Jaja Santiago and Dindin Santiago-Manabat will make their debut in the women’s division for Ageo Medics and Toray Arrows, respectively.     ---  Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 30th, 2018

The Future of UST Beach Volleyball Blove Barbon and Jaron Requinton

University of Santo Tomas fielded a super senior-rookie tandem both in the women’s and men’s divisions of the UAAP Season 81 Beach Volleyball Tournament. That decision led to two championships, two MVPs, and two Rookies of the Year. Newbie Blove Barbon partnered up with the graduating Sisi Rondina, who played her fifth and final year on the sands. The rookie was nothing but honored to have partnered up with arguably the G.O.A.T (Greatest of All-Time) of Philippine beach volleyball in her first year playing the sport. She expressed that she was up to the challenge of teaming up with a player as intense as Rondina – an athlete who expects every teammate to go as hard as her. “Tinake ko lang po sya as a motivation kasi yun po yung way ni Ate Si na parang [gumaling] po yung sarili natin. ‘Di naman lahat ng naka-partner ni Ate Si, tumagal sa kanya. Pero para po sa akin, yun po yung ginawa kong motivation para lumaban ng lumaban,” she said after being awarded the Season 81 Rookie of the Year. The bubbly yet shy girl from Bukidnon showed immense improvement from Day 1 to the Finals. Seven game days after, her initial careless errors in the eliminations transformed to mature and smart ball placing. Barbon can’t help but feel regretful that this was her first and last time to play with Rondina. If she were to choose, she would partner with her over and over again. “Syempre, sino ba namang hindi gusto maging ka-partner si Ate Sisi. Diba? Nakita naman natin yung laro niya, di basta basta, siya po yung [pinakamagaling] sa beach volley,” she said with a giddy smile. “Halo halong saya po saka lungkot kasi yun nga po yun na yung last playing year ni Ate Si so next year iba na po makakapartner ko,” she said as she reflected on helping Rondina get the good exit she wanted. As for Rondina, she expressed confidence on leaving UST’s beach volleyball program, an arena she loved so much, to her young yet promising Padawan. “Si Babylove naman sinasabi ko sa kaniya na for her to get these awards, ang naging sangkap sa mga ganito is hard work. Commit kung saan ka naka-commit, wag kang masilaw sa pagiging sikat,” said Rondina. “May potential talaga siya. Sana madala niya 'yung attitude ko towards the game and towards training,” added the four-time MVP. Barbon is shy and still not accustomed to the attention one receives after a championship and a Rookie of the Year award. When reporters got a hold of her, she even joked around asking if someone else can substitute for her. “Pwede bang sub? Sub?” she quipped. With Rondina graduating, Barbon is left with the responsibility of preserving the elite status of UST in beach volleyball. When asked about it, Barbon has this to say. “Sobrang bigat po kasi lahat po kasi baguhan eh. Wala na pong senior na magdadala sa amin. Pero try po namin kung ano yung ginagawa ni Ate Si ngayon,” she said. “Gagawin namin para sa school,” the rookie said. Saying that she will do everything for UST, a sentiment Rondina has always preached, just goes to show that aside from volleyball smarts, she also picked up a rhetoric of her Ate. As for the men’s division, it was Jaron Requinton who had the honor of learning from veteran Krung Arbasto. Just like the women’s, the super senior-rookie tandem brought UST another gold. Requinton’s court presence is beyond his years. For most of the season, opponents always avoid letting the much more experienced Arbasto get the kill. With that, the spiking burden has been mostly on the young Requinton but the rookie was up to the challenge. He held a solid account of himself drilling down balls and blocking attacks as if this was not his first time in the UAAP. To make things more entertaining, he paired his volleyball skills with spunky antics on the sands. This is why no one was surprised when his name was called as the Season 81 Rookie of the Year. “Ito po siguro yung araw na di ko malilimutan as rookie kasi kahit natalo po kami sa eliminations ng FEU, natalo naman po namin sila sa championships. Goal ko po yun. Super salamat po talaga,” said Requinton. In contrast to Barbon’s timidity, Requinton has a confident aura around him. Whether he is playing on the sands or talking to reporters, he always seems to show no hint of intimidation. In his first rivalry game during the eliminations against National University, the lone rookie on the court joined the veterans in the tongue wagging and the arm flexing. Requinton showed all season long that he may be young but he is the real deal. “Siguro po yung hugot ko lang po [para sa confidence ko] ay sa hard training po namin, sa mga pinagdaanan po namin, sa struggles, sa away-bati,” he explained. In the end, just like Barbon, he was able to roll out the red carpet for Arbasto as he exited UAAP beach volleyball.  “Sobrang saya po kasi graduating po si Kuya Krung tapos nabigyan ko po siya ng magandang exit sa beach volley po,” Requinton expressed. Aside from bringing the trophy back to Espana, the rookie is also now responsible of continuing the steady stride of UST’s beach volleyball program. Arbasto expressed full confidence on his apprentice. “Si Jaron, matibay siya. May dedication talaga sya sa beach volley na buong puso naglalaro. Di bumibitaw sa kahit ano mang laban,” said Arbasto who was hailed as the Season 81 MVP. “Kahit na pinapagalitan ko yan, wala, tiyaga pa rin siya,” he added. When asked about the passing of the torch, Requinton embraces the responsibility with open arms. “Ireready ko po sarili ko kasi ayoko po magulat so ready lang po, kasi marami naman po kami. Di ko rin po alam mangyayari sa akin,” he said. This is the inevitable progression of college sports. When great players graduate, programs scramble trying to look for someone to replace them. But as for UST, they can breathe easily knowing that their beach volleyball program is now in the good and promising hands of Barbon and Requinton......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 8th, 2018

UAAP: From MVP to Rookie of the Year? CJ Cansino s making a great case

Safe to say, CJ Cansino has taken the UAAP 81 Men’s Basketball Tournament by storm. With per game counts of 13.4 points and 7.8 rebounds, he has got to be one of the frontrunners for Rookie of the Year. University of Sto. Tomas’ super rookie only built on those on Saturday with a big-time 17-point, 17-rebound double-double on top of four assists. In fact, he already had a double-double late in the second quarter with 10 points and 12 rebounds. Of course, Cansino is only giving his best to prove his worth. “Siyempre, pinapatunayan ko sa lahat na belong din ako rito,” he said. He then continued, “Pinaghirapan ko ‘to, I worked hard on this simula bata ako. Kaya ginagawa ko lang yung best ko and every game, naka-focus talaga ako.” While his numbers are eye-openers for just about everybody watching the UAAP Seniors, the long-limbed swingman has actually been putting up those sort of statistics ever since his days in the UAAP Juniors. In his last season there, he averaged 24.6 points, 12.9 rebounds, and 3.0 assists. Those were more than enough to make him the runaway MVP – a runaway MVP that had an 18-point lead in terms of Statistical Points (SPs) over his closest competitor in Kai Sotto. Yes, Kai Sotto, the 7-foot-1, 16-year-old of Ateneo de Manila High School. That doesn’t mean, however, that slowly but surely, UST is becoming the Cansino’s team. Rather, according to the super rookie himself, they want nothing more than total team effort each and every game. As he put it, “Si coach [Aldin Ayo], wala siyang main man na parang, ito, CJ Cansino, ikaw lang tututukan ko. ‘Di siya ganun.” He then continued, “Lahat kami, equal opportunity. Kung sinong maglaro nang mayos this game, siya talaga maglalaro.” --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 6th, 2018

UST s Ysa Jimenez heeds co-rookie Eya Laure s call

With Eya Laure nursing a shoulder injury, another University of Santo Tomas rookie stepped up for the Tigresses and her name is Ysabel Jimenez. The 18-year-old open spiker powered 13 points in a 46-percent attacking percentage as they faced the College of Saint Benilde, Saturday evening. "Parang [nag-sabi] rin si [Eya] sa akin na 'Ysa ikaw yung kailangan namin ngayon, tulungan mo ko.' Ako naman syempre, 'Oo tutulungan kita, yung team.' Gagawin ko lahat ng makakaya ko, andyan din naman sila ate para tulungan kami at sila coach kasi bigla nga siyang nagka-injury," explained the Univeristy of the East high school alumna. Jimenez heeded the call and came through to book their semi-finals ticket. They also rolled to a perfect 5-0 slate. "Sa amin kasi, itong game na to, walang pressure kasi lagi kaming nireremind ni coach na maging masaaya lang kami sa ginagawa namin and magtiwala sa kung anong kaya naming gawin and makinig lang sa kanila, sa mga instructions nila." Jimenez shared also that donning the UST jersey has always been a dream for her. Now that she is a Golden Tigress, she can't help but beam with pride. "Dream school ko po talaga tong UST. Andito yung mga taong nagpapasaya talaga sa akin. Masaya sa UST, sobrang saya. Hindi ako nagsisi na lumipat ako dito. Gusto ko kasi sila Coach Kung Fu. Ang galing nila mag coach, as in," she said with a big smile. Now with a very impressive spotless record and with a good mix of veterans and rookies bannering the team, Jimenez expressed that UST has lofty goals to achieve this PVL conference. "Gusto ko manalo kami, magchampion kami dito kasi syempre yung line up namin dito puro rookies kami so gusto ko kahit rookie pa lang kami, may mapuntahan agad kami." First it was Laure, now it is Jimenez. This just goes to show that UST has a very promising rookie class for UAAP Season 81.  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 11th, 2018

Robert Bolick now a scholar of the Kiefer Ravena school

Always one to strive for greatness, Robert Bolick was looking at how to improve right after he recorded his career-high a week ago. “Gusto kong matuto nang matuto nang matuto hangga’t kung sino yung pwede dyang makatulong sa game ko. No limit naman yung dreams and expectations mo sa sarili mo e ako, gusto ko, dun sa taas e,” he told reporters after dropping a personal best 24 points last Tuesday. Then, he reached out to PBA star and San Beda alumnus LA Tenorio, who was calling his first game for the S+A panel, for tips. Also, he revealed his plans to get-together with one of basketball’s shining stars. “Mine-message ko rin si Kiefer kasi ‘di naman siya naglalaro this time so may free time siya and pwede niya ako turuan,” he shared. Just two days later, Bolick got what he wanted. As it turns out, Ravena went to Mendiola to work out with him. As much aa we can say about his game, he still works harder than everybody else. Much respect. Ps. Remember when u guarded me during your rookie year? Ha. Psych. 🤣 Goodluck, 👑🦁 pic.twitter.com/ACl2uK1oEB — Kiefer Ravena (@kieferravena) Hulyo 26, 2018 For that, the King Lion is nothing but thankful. “Medyo busy lang talaga siya, pero nagpapasalamat ako na he made time to come to school. Nagpapasalamat lang ako na tinuruan niya ako ng libre at walang bayad,” he said. He then continued, “He’s a big part of my game. Lahat ng mga tinuturo niya sa akin, ginagawa ko rin.” Ravena is not even halfway into his 18-month suspension in the PBA in FIBA and so, he has all the time in the world to help out Bolick. Help out Bolick, Ravena did. “Nakakatulong talaga yung training with him. Marami siyang drills na itinurong bago sakin,” the former said, already feeling like a better player after their training session. The graduating guard is only hoping that would not be their last get-together. “Hopefully, if ever libre siya, magcha-chat naman siya sa akin,” he said. Ball’s on your court now, “Phenom.” “Big Shot Bolick” is just waiting for a follow-up training session. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 31st, 2018

PVL: Lady Bulldogs begin title-retention quest

Defending champion National University opens its journey for a back-to-back on Saturday when the Lady Bulldogs face San Beda University in the Premier Volleyball League Season 2 Collegiate Conference at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan. Opening serve is at 4:00 p.m. and will air live on ABS-CBN S+A Channel 23, ABS-CBN S+A HD Channel 166 and via livestream.   The Lady Bulldogs ruled the inaugural edition of the tournament last year via clean sweep of the conference behind Most Valuable Player Jaja Santiago But this time NU will parade a different lineup following the departure of Santiago and Aiko Urdas and with Jorelle Singh and Jasmine Nabor skipping the tournament.       Head coach Babes Castillo will parade the core of his BaliPure squad composed of a mix of veterans, incoming Lady Bulldogs and Nazareth School-NU high school standouts. “Nine of the 14 players ko mostly mga incoming and future NU players,” said Castillo.    Bannering the squad are incoming rookie setter Joyme Cagande, Ivy Lacsina, libero Jennifer Nierva and Princess Robles. San Beda, the NCAA Season 93 runner-up, will parade a solid and mature core led by Cesca Racraquin and sisters Nieza and Jiezela Viray.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles    .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 20th, 2018

PVL: Lady Bulldogs brace for tough title defense

A young National University squad will march into battle hoping to defend its crown when the Premier Volleyball League Season 2 Collegiate Conference opens shop on July 21. The Lady Bulldogs ruled the inaugural edition of the tournament last year via a clean sweep of the conference behind Most Valuable Player Jaja Santiago. But this time, NU will parade a different lineup following the departure of Santiago and Aiko Urdas, while key players Jorelle Singh and Jasmine Nabor are doubtful to see action.        Head coach Babes Castillo will parade the core of his BaliPure squad composed of a mix of veterans, incoming Lady Bulldogs and Nazareth School-NU high school standouts.     Bannering the squad will be incoming rookie setter Joyme Cagande, Ivy Lacsina, libero Jennifer Nierva, Princes Robles and high school star Faith Nisperos. Eight teams will try to dethrone the Lady Bulldogs led by the returning 2017 runnerup Far Eastern University. Also joining the fray are UAAP teams University of Sto. Tomas, Adamson University and University of the Philippines and NCAA squads College of St. Benilde, University of Perpetual Help, San Sebastian College and San Beda University. Taking a leave of absence are Ateneo de Manila University and NCAA champion Arellano University. Playing in the men’s division are FEU, NU, Adamson, San Beda, Perpetual, De La Salle University, UST, UP and CSB. Defending champion Ateneo will skip the tournament.   ---      Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 12th, 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

UAAP VOLLEYBALL: Santiago speaks out on NU s alarming skid

National University star Jaja Santiago broke her long silence regarding the alarming losing slump of the Lady Bulldogs in the second round of the 80th UAAP women’s volleyball tournament. The Lady Bulldogs came spiraling down after an impressive 6-1 finish in the opening round.  NU dropped four straight matches including a sorry 25-22, 23-25, 21-25, 9-25, loss to University of Sto. Tomas last March 25 before the Holy Week break as the Lady Bulldogs slid to no. 4 spot with a 6-5 win-loss record.   “Nagkaroon lang kami internal problem, I mean, sa amin as individual,” said Santiago Tuesday night after ABS-CBN Sports caught up with the graduating volleybelle in the Philippine Superliga Grand Prix to watch her club team Foton at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan. “Parang nagkakaroon na ng lack of motivation yung bawat isa,” added Santiago, who is averaging 19.8 points per game. “Nagkakaroon din ng parang (doubt sa sarili).” The 6-foot-5 versatile hitter felt that her teammates’ are beginning to doubt themselves as their losses pile up. “Kasi siyempre every game, ikaw ibibigay mo ang 100% mo so parang sa kanila kasi kapag natatalo feeling nila hindi nila naibibigay yung best nila which is naibibigay naman talaga nila,” she said. “Yun ang tingin ko na parang nawawala sila sa sarili nila na parang nago-overthink na sila na para bang, ‘Ano ba ang gagawin ko sa team ko. Ano ba ang kulang? Paano ko maibibigay ang best ko?’” “Minsan kasi sa sobrang eager mo na makuha ang gusto mo minsan nawawala ka sa focus dun talaga sa goal niyo,” added Santiago, who is looking to bring NU back to the Final Four after missing the cut in the last two seasons. During the Holy Week break, head coach Babes Castillo gave his squad a much-needed breather. “Nitong nakaraang Holy Week, binigyan kami ni coach din ng time din na makapag-isip-isip at huminga Sabi niya, ‘Wala naman talaga tayong problema, we are creating a problem talaga sa team natin,’” she said. “Kailangan talagang maging strong ang mental toughness ng bawat isa.” To get distractions out of his players’ minds, Castillo asked his wards to surrender their phones.  “Tinanggal ang mga nakakapagpasagabal sa amin like ‘yung phones ganyan. Pero ok lang naman sa amin kasi nga sabi ni coach kailangan naming mag-start ng day na maganda. Kasi di mo rin maiiwasan na sa phone marami kang makikitang negative. So iwas na muna,” Santiago said. “Sa amin OK lang kasi nakakatulong sa amin. Maaga kaming nakakatulog, maaga kaming nakakapagpahinga.” NU will try to arrest its skid on Wednesday against University of the Philippines and will use the tears they shed when they lost to UST as motivation. "Hindi naman iyak 'yun na parang give up na. Iyak 'yun na nasasaktan kasi siyempre natatalo ka pero yung sakit na yan sabi ko nga sa kanila, ‘Yang sakit na yan ang gawin nating stepping stone para makuha ang goal natin. Yang sakit nay an gagamitin natin para manalo tayo sa susunod na games natin, para maging strong tayo,'" said Santiago.                --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 3rd, 2018