Advertisements


Ginebra struggles for consistency

The competition is past the halfway mark in the single round-robin eliminations of the PBA Philippine Cup with no team out of contention for the playoffs whe.....»»

Category: sportsSource: philstar philstarFeb 9th, 2018

Cone says struggling Ginebra will rise

Tim Cone. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/ INQUIRER.net Barangay Ginebra head coach Tim Cone remains unfazed amid the Gin Kings' early struggles in the 2018 PBA Commissioner's Cup. Ginebra slid t.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philippinetimesRelated NewsMay 21st, 2018

Cone says struggling Ginebra ‘will rise’

Barangay Ginebra head coach Tim Cone remains unfazed amid the Gin Kings' early struggles in the 2018 PBA Commissioner's Cup. Ginebra slid to 1-3 following another loss on Sunday night as it dropped to ninth in the standings. "As a coach I always believe that the cream rises to the top and I know we're in the cream part of the league, so we will rise," said Tim Cone after the Kings' 103-98 double overtime loss to the Phoenix Fuel Masters at Smart Araneta Coliseum. "We got to make it rise, we're confident that we're going to come back and win a few games." Cone, the league's winningest coach with 20 titles, has experienced every imaginable situation throughout his coaching ...Keep on reading: Cone says struggling Ginebra ‘will rise’.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsMay 21st, 2018

Cone: Winless Ginebra not playing at high level

Ginebra coach Tim Cone knows how much heat import Charles Garcia is getting after his side's 0-2 start this 2018 PBA Commissioner's Cup. But Cone said the Gin Kings' early struggles are not just because of Garcia. "I know all eyes are on our import, but I just feel like it's more than that," Cone said as he tried to look for the right things to say after the Gin Kings' 92-96 defeat to TNT on Sunday. "Our locals are not playing as well either and we 're not just playing at a high level at this point." Garcia has been averaging 17.0 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 5.0 assists so far this conference, and although one could argue that another reinforcement could perform better, the...Keep on reading: Cone: Winless Ginebra not playing at high level.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsMay 6th, 2018

DOC VOLLEYBALL: Breaking Down the UAAP Final Four match-ups

After what has been considered as the most unpredictable elimination round for the women’s division as well as an exciting triple threat fight for dominance over at the men’s side, the Final Four of UAAP Season 80 volleyball has finally arrived. With three out of four teams almost similar for both divisions, fans and supporters of these semifinal teams couldn't be more excited at who will emerge as the final contenders for the crown. Men's Division Final Four Season 80 became witness to a more exciting men's division as the Far Eastern University Tamaraws finally reclaimed its powerhouse status to challenge the perennial rivalry in recent history involving the Ateneo Blue Eagles and the National University Bulldogs. The elimination round became a rock-paper-scissor match-up amongst the three as FEU’s agility, NU’s strength and Ateneo’s skill challenged each other. NU (1) vs. UST (4) The NU Bulldogs are poised to reclaim the crown after edging out their rival Ateneo to secure top seed and twice-to-beat advantage. Fortune favored them once again by dodging a bullet as the team that upset them in round two, the Adamson Soaring Falcons, fell to the UST Golden Tigers in a close decider. NU has proven this season that they can outmuscle the league as their offense greatly compensates for their defense. The Bulldogs are expected to still get output from Bryan Bagunas on all ends while the middles provide stable support. Bryan Bagunas' hit was so strong it ricochets to the announcers' table! #UAAPSeason80Volleyball pic.twitter.com/MqdtjNfgts — ABS-CBN Sports (@abscbnsports) March 14, 2018 Kim Malabunga says N🚫PE to Marck Espejo! #UAAPSeason80Volleyball pic.twitter.com/j3FJxhd2Gj — ABS-CBN Sports (@abscbnsports) April 15, 2018 Not to be discredited, the UST Golden Tigers can significantly challenge the NU defense with continuous assaults from their middles most notably Tyrone Carodan, who has been providing high outputs in the second round. Likewise, the make or break factor for UST would be the consistency of left wing hitter Josh Umandal, whose height is a good match against the NU wall. Should UST be able to disrupt NU’s quick set-up and load up on the wings, they might have a chance at extending their run to a do-or-die encounter.  Josh Umandal WHAT A HIT 😱 #UAAPSeason80Volleyball pic.twitter.com/a9QlDj5Yty — ABS-CBN Sports (@abscbnsports) April 11, 2018   FEU (2) vs. Ateneo (3) After a crucial loss to the Bulldogs for the top spot, the defending champions Ateneo Blue Eagles are in a tight spot as they lost a chance at a twice-to-beat advantage and are now up against their season tormentors, the FEU Tamaraws. In both encounters during the season, the Tamaraws exerted dominance over the defending champions as their bread and butter combination plays were left unchallenged by the Blue Eagle defense. JP Bugaoan taking over for FEU! #UAAPSeason80Volleyball pic.twitter.com/SRkL6wANi7 — ABS-CBN Sports (@abscbnsports) February 4, 2018 FEU’s strength whole season long lies on solid floor passing care of their libero Rikko Marmeto that enables them to run their combinations. They also employ an unusual rotation where middles shift hitting positions in certain rallies in order to confuse opposing defenders. It would still be in the Tamaraws’ best interest to have their libero cover the most passing responsibility to ensure they can run their plays. You know you're hot when even your libero is scoring! What a smart hit by Rikko Marmeto! #UAAPSeason80Volleyball pic.twitter.com/Xa8uaGh4gu — ABS-CBN Sports (@abscbnsports) February 4, 2018 With their crown on the edge of being snatched by a team they haven't beaten all season, the Blue Eagles are hard pressed to rely on their solid passing and serving to at least prevent the Tamaraw assault. The Blue Eagles have proven that their service is the best in the league and it will be the most crucial factor in making the finals. Consistent aggressive serving to key locations would be their best option in mitigating the Tamaraw combination. No second touch needed for Marck Espejo 😳 #UAAPSeason80Volleyball pic.twitter.com/Y7OqGUlAUH — ABS-CBN Sports (@abscbnsports) April 7, 2018   Women's Division Final Four After a highly unpredictable elimination round filled with upsets and the most number of five set matches to date, the top four contenders during the first round were able to hold their ground in their quest for the crown. What's interesting for these Final Four match-ups is that all the teams have beaten each other and that the twice-to-beat advantage is indeed a breath of relief for the top two seeds De La Salle Lady Spikers and Far Eastern University Lady Tamaraws. DLSU (1) vs. NU (4) Securing a twice to beat advantage against an NU team that is yet to recover their groove, the Lady Spikers are in the best position to defend their title in the Finals. Sticking to their guns of excellent serving and passing up until their last elimination game against rival Ateneo, La Salle would be once again expected to capitalize on NU’s passing struggles to prevent the Lady Bulldogs from setting up their offense especially Jaja Santiago from the middle. Aside from that, it can also be expected that the Lady Spikers will load up on another of their best assets which is blocking to capitalize on the lackluster output from the wings of NU recently. Majoy Baron BL🚫CKS Kat Tolentino, AND THEN SOME 😤 #UAAPSeason80Volleyball pic.twitter.com/H55UobHbJO — ABS-CBN Sports (@abscbnsports) April 15, 2018 On the other hand, the NU Lady Bulldogs have proven before that they can challenge the Archer supremacy. The challenge for them would be how to minimize La Salle’s free ball chances through better passing. While it is to be expected that the Lady Spikers will serve aggressively to limit Santiago’s quick attack opportunities, NU’s passers will be hard pressed to bring the ball at least on a settable location so Santiago can still hit a safety high ball. Likewise, output from the wings will be crucial in taking the spotlight off from Santiago. The set by Nabor! The quick by Sato! 💪 #UAAPSeason80Volleyball pic.twitter.com/Qs3hWOGYqW — ABS-CBN Sports (@abscbnsports) March 25, 2018   FEU (2) vs. Ateneo (3) A more exciting match-up would be the battle between the Far Eastern University Lady Tamaraws and the Ateneo Lady Eagles since both teams have cancelled each other out in their elimination encounters. The Lady Tamaraws caught Ateneo off guard in three sets to start the season while the Lady Eagles were able to exact a revenge to FEU in five sets in their second round encounter. FEU, like La Salle, will pretty much utilize their best asset in their service and receive game to take advantage of Ateneo’s passing to limit Maddie Madayag and Bea De Leon from the middle while fortifying the floor to defend the wings. In addition, FEU would ensure that their passing is on point as well so that they can run their usual combinations to circumvent the Eagle’s wall. Bernadeth Pons tears right through the wall for the sharp, sharp kill! #UAAPSeason80Volleyball pic.twitter.com/AHjQ2Pmgqs — ABS-CBN Sports (@abscbnsports) February 4, 2018 On the other hand, the Lady Eagles would be challenged to pass better compared to their most recent game against their rivals. It was highly noticeable that although not a lot of shank passes were made, the quality of the passes were not sufficient enough to at least be set by Deanna Wong to the wings. The Lady Eagles would be hard pressed to do high settable passes to at least drive a hard ball from the wings and extend the transition to involve the middles. Maddie Madayag CLUTCH. #UAAPSeason80Volleyball pic.twitter.com/UTTdUyk0Ns — ABS-CBN Sports (@abscbnsports) March 25, 2018        .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 19th, 2018

DOC VOLLEYBALL: FIVE FOR (FINAL FOUR) FIGHTING

A couple more games in and the elimination round will soon come to a close. Even up to this point, the women’s volleyball tournament of UAAP Season 80 continues to prove to be the most unpredictable year in recent UAAP history. While the top two seeds, the DLSU Lady Spikers and the Ateneo Lady Eagles have already secured spots in the Final Four, it’s still an on-going Battle Royale for the remaining two spots among teams gunning for a chance at either redemption or ascendancy.  With the FEU Lady Tamaraws, NU Lady Bulldogs, Adamson Lady Falcons, UP Lady Maroons, and the UST Golden Tigresses still slugging it out to prove their worth, the last few games of the eliminations couldn’t be more exciting and interesting at the same time. FEU Lady Tamaraws (7 – 4) Numerically speaking, the Lady Tamaraws have the best chances of booking the 3rd spot based on their team’s performance in the different skill departments. Despite being 7th overall in spiking, the Lady Tamaraws have shown consistency in the more crucial departments such as serve (2nd), receive (4th), and setting (3rd). At a relatively more comfortable standing of 7 – 4, FEU just needs one win to seal their Final Four spot or 2 to guarantee at least a 3rd rank finish. In their upcoming game against their 1st round tormentors, the Adamson Lady Falcons, the Lady Tamaraws’ services would definitely be challenged by the resurgent passing and commendable first point conversion of the Lady Falcons. Likewise, FEU would be expected to capitalize on the relatively less aggressive serving of Adamson to run their bread and butter combination plays. A revenge win against Adamson, avoiding an upset against a confident UE Lady Warriors squad and a repeat over skidding NU will enable the Lady Tamaraws to bag the best possible ranking at the end of eliminations. NU Lady Bulldogs (6 – 6) Despite the downward spiral that the Lady Bulldogs have found themselves in this second round, their stellar performance during the first round could still be enough of a cushion for them to keep their Final Four dreams alive. In their recent matchup with the Lady Maroons, Queen Bulldog Jaja Santiago was being maximized with her relatively more unstoppable attack from the right wing and back row. At times that the team was able to go for a high enough dig or pass, despite the location quality, a safety set to Santiago proved to be much needed relief. However, despite this dominance by Santiago, the team still sorely lacks output from the left wing as a much needed support. Had the left wing been more successful in attempt-to-point ratio, the match would have had a different tone. But moving forward, now that the team has had some positional adjustments that ensures libero Gayle Valdez’s stint is fully utilized, a few adjustments in passing formation is needed to ensure that Valdez has the best coverage. With the current struggles in their floor defense, the Lady Bulldogs will benefit more with slowing the rally down will high first balls regardless if on a perfect location just so setter Jasmine Nabor can better shoot to the wings. Adamson Lady Falcons (5 – 6) With a recent commanding win against the NU Lady Bulldogs and an almost statement win versus the Ateneo Lady Eagles, the Adamson Lady Falcons have found a much needed momentum boost amidst a slow second round start. In recent games, the Lady Falcons have seen a resurgence in their receiving prowess which has enabled them to beat powerhouses like DLSU and FEU in the first round. In their recent outings, the Lady Falcons have shown that they have superior side-out game as they have relatively higher first point conversion coming from a serve but have had some struggles in earning points off the transition. In addition, perhaps the most significant limiting factor for Adamson is their serving, which is notably the least aggressive in the league. Though successful in their first encounters against DLSU and FEU, the Lady Falcons’ upcoming rematch against these two teams would be their toughest challenge yet as they would heavily rely in their steady passing against the top two serving teams. To increase their chances of a first round repeat against these two teams, serving adjustments should also be made to ensure that they can limit the DLSU’s Majoy Baron from the middle as well as FEU setter Kyle Negrito from setting up their combination plays. UST Golden Tigresses (4 – 8) Despite a rough and disheartening initial run in this season, the UST Golden Tigresses have started to show what they are seriously capable of achieving. Albeit a too little too late with their current resurgence, a fully intact team is not to be discredited yet. Although much like the UP Lady Maroons in that their fate relies on the succeeding outcome for both NU and Adamson, UST still has a slightly better chance given that they can ensure a win against the Lady Falcons. Able to stretch out the Lady Eagles into a five-set thriller recently is much of a testament that UST is indeed final four material given a fully functioning roster. Much like how Adamson capitalized on Ateneo’s passing, UST proved to be one of the leagues better serving team, but also felt quite short when it came to transition play compared to the Lady Eagles. In line with that, the Golden Tigresses will also have to rely on their serving for their match against the Lady Spikers to ensure easier transition when the middle is eliminated from the attack. Interestingly enough, UST’s situation is mirrored by the Adamson Lady Falcons and their fate relies on each other as both teams are yet to face off against top seed DLSU and are set to face each other for their last elimination match. UP Lady Maroons (4 – 8) Despite a rough start early on in the league that casted some doubts on the inclusion of new coach Godfrey Okumu, the Lady Maroons have slowly found their groove as well as their identity. Though the hopes of a Final Four finish are not as feasible as their fate relies on the further performance of both NU and Adamson, the Lady Maroons are in a good position to prepare for the next season. With all the rotational adjustments Okumu has utilized throughout the season, the current setup is perhaps their best bet to build on. Perhaps the main challenge UP has faced the entire season is that with the short stint under a new coach, the tournament has been more of an unlearning process first before Okumu’s new system, a more scientific one as he claims, is infused. For their upcoming match against the Lady Eagles, the Lady Maroons will find much benefit in aggressive serving to take opportunity of the less threatening passing proficiency of their opponent but at the same time, the challenge is ensuring they convert every possession since the Ateneo has shown much skill in winning the point the longer the transition rally progresses. Final Four Probabilities As with the standings in UAAP History, the elusive 7th win is always the magic number to strive for to get an assurance of a Final Four spot. At this point, FEU is almost guaranteed of that spot given that they just win another game. Should NU finally get out of their slump and manage their first win in the second round, they can guarantee an extension in their stint which would be enough time to at least familiarize their new rotation. Adamson undeniably has the best chances based on numbers as they still have 3 more games but these last elimination games will be relatively challenging as they will have to perform a repeat of their first round win against the top seeded teams FEU and DLSU. Finally, both UP and UST should ensure a win for their last 2 games and hope for upsets against NU and Adamson to at least be within striking distance for the last Final Four spot.  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 5th, 2018

DOC VOLLEYBALL: Breaking Down the Lady Bulldogs Struggles

From a 6 - 1 start in the first round to a current 0-4 record in the second round, the National University Lady Bulldogs are in peril of falling out of the Final Four. Ending the first round on a high note, but eventually struggling in the second round is not exclusive to the Lady Bulldogs in recent UAAP Volleyball history. Downward Spiral I remember quite well our very own journey way back in Season 70 when my team, the Ateneo Blue Eagles, also had what seemed to be a budding collapse after a stellar first round. It was the maiden year of current head coach Oliver Almadro and he had the gargantuan task of bringing a perennial cellar dweller team to the Final Four.   To everybody’s surprise, we steamrolled the first round, ending it at 6-1, second only to the former powerhouse line-up of the UST Growling Tigers. Not only we were gunning for the Final Four spot at this point, but we set up hopes of actually making the podium. The second round quelled those hopes as that 7th win which could assure us a Final Four spot proved too elusive until the latter part of the round. We finished the second round of the eliminations at 2-5, which still qualified us for the semi-finals but eventually bowed out to top-seeded UST, which we could have avoided if not for the second round collapse. Though exactly not the same, our scenario is highly comparable to the NU Lady Bulldogs currently as they struggle to beat the teams they have beaten in dominant fashion during the first round. The difference lies in the fact that NU has still three more games to turn things around while we didn’t make any adjustments during our time. Muffled Bark The Lady Bulldogs were suiting up for a sweep of the first round until they were silenced by the FEU Lady Tamaraws towards the mid-season break. Not only were the Lady Tamaraws responsible for the elimination of the step-ladder possibility, but they exposed one glaring weakness in the Lady Bulldogs as well as started the team’s current downward spiral. From the aforementioned match to the recent meltdown at the hands of the UST Golden Tigresses, one trend is highly noticeable which is the correlation between NU’s passing and scoring output most especially from Queen Bulldog Jaja Santiago. Team Passing Percentage Spiking Percentage (Team) Spiking Percentage (Santiago) FEU 22.35 25.79 27.78 DLSU 17.65 28.57 33.33 ADMU 16.42 25.23 38.24 ADU 38.20 24.48 40.48 UST 34.09 30.77 47.92 Fig 1.1 – NU correlation of Passing and Spiking efficiency Based on the numbers alone, it can easily be deduced that tough serving has been the crucial factor to limit Jaja from making significant output. Being a middle, a team passing efficiency below 30-40% would prove problematic as quick attacks rely heavily on consistent reception. Against the top 3 serving teams (FEU, DLSU, ADMU), it can be deduced that Santiago (and co-middle Rissa Sato) only had less than 20% chance to wind up for a quick attack. In most cases, NU’s middles are relegated to mere decoys which rarely prove threatening to opposing blockers.   Due to low output from middle attacks, an adjustment employed is to leave Santiago attacking from zone 6 at the expense of the utilization of their libero Gayle Valdez. In some instances, Sato also doesn’t get switched out due to her reliable floor defense. Though this adjustment has contributed to Santiago providing output from the pipe attack, her position in the back proves to have more costs than benefits. Since Santiago is not switched out, their best passer (Valdez) is underutilized. In addition, instead of just focusing on the back row attack, Santiago is also burdened with passing responsibilities which significantly hamper her capability to wind up for the perfect approach. In certain instances as well, Santiago takes the second ball during transition coverage instead of just focusing on approaching for the attack. Last Minute Adjustments Going by the numbers alone, perhaps the best adjustment the Lady Bulldogs can utilize is to fully commit Santiago in the opposite position. In terms of passing and digging, this rotation would ensure that Valdez is still fully utilized as a defense specialist at the same time still enabling Santiago to contribute from the back row. In line with that, a shift into the opposite position would eliminate any passing burden for Santiago, letting her just focus on approaching for the attack. With regards to attack, a concern perhaps is if the shift to opposite would still provide the same output for Santiago. With the current disposition in the Lady Bulldogs’ floor efficiency, the shift would definitely be beneficial more than costly. First off, a middle attack relies heavily on several interlinked factors such as the pass consistency, the speed of the toss, the location of the attacker, and the height of the ball. On the other hand, attacks from the right wing, be it from the front or back row, relies less on pass consistency and attacker position. Santiago committing to the right wing would ensure that NU Setter Jasmine Nabor will always have a threatening safety net regardless of the quality of the pass. In addition, attacks from the wings would be easier for Nabor to exploit Santiago’s high attack reach as compared to quick hits. Another concern perhaps would be the trade off for blocking since Santiago would be focused on one area. Going by the numbers once more, the six leading scorers in the league (excluding Santiago) are open hitters. It would definitely prove beneficial to pit the team’s best blocker against the position with the highest scorers in the league. Though it may not guarantee kill blocks all the time, the towering presence of Santiago from the right wing would significantly alter the spiking tendencies of open hitters from other teams. In terms of a replacement blocker to fill in Santiago’s spot, NU need not be concerned with making kill blocks as well. As exemplified by Adamson’s middle Lea Ann Perez, a decent sized middle with good lateral movement can significantly contribute to the rotation through one-touch blocks that slow the ball’s momentum. High Risk High Reward Though the numbers right now logically point to the aforementioned adjustment, a practical application of such strategy is a whole different story. Perhaps the best testament of this strategy would be the masterful risk by Russian men’s volleyball coach Vladimir Alekno in none other than the Gold Medal Match of the 2012 Summer Olympics. Severely struggling in passing and defense against the Brazilian assault, the Russians’ backs were up against the wall 0 sets to 2 as they failed to utilize their strongest asset, the 7’2” giant Dimitriy Muserskiy from the middle. With Muserskiy out of the attacking equation in most cases, Brazil was able to close in on their block to the wings. With what could be considered as the riskiest yet smartest adjustment in volleyball history, Alekno fielded in Muserskiy as the opposite while putting his ace opposite Maxim Mikhaylov in the open position. Russian setter Sergey Grankin just went all out in feeding Muserskiy from the right wing with high and off the net tosses. The switch proved to be a masterstroke as the towering Muserskiy just went all out with height and strength to plow through the Brazilian net and floor defense. In addition, the adjustment did not only alter the defense dynamic of Brazil but the attack as well with Brazilian setter Bruno Rezende setting the right side more to avoid Muserskiy’s wall in the left. The last minute adjustment by the Russians caught the Brazilians off guard as they stretch out the match to a decider and eventually dealt a disheartening loss to their opponents. Going back, with Jaja Santiago inarguably comparable to Muserskiy in terms of capability to attack high from the wings, a shift into the opposite position would be a noteworthy consideration. Not only will it maximize and put more value on Santiago, such a shift can also contribute significantly in the passing woes of the Lady Bulldogs as it will ensure that their best passer will still be fielded in and utilized more. With three more upcoming matches to try out a new strategy, all might not be too late for the Lady Bulldogs to get back on the right path to the crown.  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 29th, 2018

DOC VOLLEYBALL: Halfway to Greatness

UAAP Season 80 women's volleyball continues to prove itself as the most unpredictable season in recent history. With a good mix of key losses as well as additions across the board for all competitors, the league is at an all out rock-paper-scissors slugfest. Though the current standings clearly represent a quintessential Bell Curve, Season 80 maintains its unpredictability as evidenced by teams upsetting each other. In addition, the sheer number of five-set matches so far is an indication how tight the competition is this season. UE Lady Warriors: 1 - 6 Despite initial concerns about the leave of head coach Francis Vicente, the UE Lady Warriors surprised the league with their maiden win at the expense of the season’s Dark Horse, the Adamson Lady Falcons. Under the mentorship of multi-awarded UE High School coach Rod Roque, the Lady Warriors were able to play their best game so far this season. For that particular win against the Lady Falcons, Coach Roque’s game plan was just to encourage the team to play carefree and enjoy as he is just taking over a team he has never handled. It is a given that UE is a team brimming with potential. They have decent size as well as a good number of seasoned veterans in Shaya Adorador and Kat Arado, who have not been maximized unfortunately. The handover to Coach Roque might just be the much-needed break for UE as they have found new confidence moving on to the second round making them more threatening to upset more teams. UST Golden Tigresses: 2 - 5 Considered to be one of the main contenders based on their pre-season performance, the UST Golden Tigresses have fallen short of expectations as a series of early key injuries has prevented the team from playing to full capability. Ending the first round with two successive disheartening losses against the UP Lady Maroons and old time rivals FEU Lady Tamaraws, UST is pressed to turn around their performance to keep their Final Four dreams alive. UST’s offensive threat from the wings cannot be underestimated as they have league top scorer Cherry Rondina from the left and power player Dim Pacres from the right. However, what the team still lacks is the offensive and defensive threats from the middle reminiscent of the days of Mary Jean Balse and Maika Ortiz. As long as the middles are not generating enough points off the quick or slide attack, the team is expected to continue struggling against better blocking teams through the second round as Rondina continues to be in the spotlight. UP Lady Maroons: 2 - 5 All hopes were high for the UP Lady Maroons to finally break in once again to the Final Four this season under new foreign coach Godfrey Okumu. The squad however kicked off season 80 disappointingly far from their stellar 4-0 run last season. Despite setter Ayel Estranero showing more mastery over shoot sets to the wings and Tots Carlos sporting more power in her attacks, the team has struggled with their floor passing to severely limit their offense set up. Much like UST, UP has yet to show breakout performances from the middles as they continue to struggle getting the first pass consistently to the setter. Much to their credit though, Coach Okumu has adjusted to their struggles by utilizing different patterns for their passing system as well as even going for a 6-2 set-up just to tap into Estranero’s floor play. The gamble proved successful with their win over UST and this system might be their solution to bounce back this second round. Adamson Lady Falcons: 3 - 4 The return of veterans Mylene Paat and Fhem Emnas as well as the addition of transferee Eli Soyud were clear indications that the Lady Falcons this season won't be their former pushover status. True enough, the team started the season strong with massive victories against top seeded teams such as FEU and DLSU as well as trouncing UP in straight sets. Given that head coach Air Padda has much more utility with addition of new seasoned players, the team still lacks consistency as evidenced by their poor passing performance in their game against UST and the error-laden upset by UE to end the first round. Technically, Padda’s passing and transition defense patterns are the most efficient but a lack of more aggressive serving (i.e. fast, flat, well-placed floaters) as well as their tendency to commit individual unforced errors limit the team from winning more games they are undeniably capable of. Ateneo Lady Eagles: 4 - 3 After a concerning opening for the second-seeded team, the Ateneo Lady Eagles managed to go on a four-game win streak midway to still maintain a spot in the top four so far. The team’s three losses were notably against the three tough-serving teams: FEU, DLSU, and NU. The glaring inefficiency in the passing department has been the Lady Eagles’ exploited weakness as evidenced by the barrage of aces DLSU let out in their recent match. Relative to other teams, Ateneo’s offense is not composed of power hitters. As such, the team runs fast and well-placed attacks that heavily rely on efficient first ball to circumvent the opposing block and floor defense. Unless the team manages to remedy their passing and defense patterns, setter Deanna Wong would continue to be forced to do bump sets that are not ideal for non-power hitters making it harder for the team to run the offense. FEU Lady Tamaraws: 5 - 2 The FEU Lady Tamaraws continue to live up to pre-season expectations as one of the top contenders this season. Despite early expectations that Queen Tamaraw Bernadette Pons will have the spotlight in the scoring department, the squad has proven that it's not a one- woman show through commendable ball distribution by setter Kyle Negrito. The team has also proven to be dominant in the serving department as evidenced by their dismantling of weaker passing teams NU, Ateneo, and UST. The combination X-play continues to be the team’s bread and butter offense but its reliance on consistent excellent passing might be a concern against better serving teams like La Salle moving forward to the second round. De La Salle Lady Spikers: 5 - 2 The Lady Spikers continue to prove their defending champion status despite the loss to current top seed NU and the upset by league dark horse Adamson. Despite not being considered as crafty as her predecessor Kim Fajardo, setter Michelle Cobb does her job well in running the offensive set-up for basic plays. Perhaps where the setting falls short is the lack of maximization of Queen Spiker Majoy Baron as she has yet to produce outputs comparable to last season. In line with that, the defending champions have yet to be seen utilizing more back row attacks as added offensive options on transition defense since the left wing is almost always their option on a sub-optimal first ball. NU Lady Bulldogs: 6 - 1 The long developmental process of the Lady Bulldogs is coming into fruition under the new mentorship of coach Babes Castillo. With a roster of seasoned veterans and decent size, the Lady Bulldogs have all the artillery to finally claim the crown. Their lone loss under the hands of the Lady Tamaraws could be well attributed to the fact that Queen Bulldog Jaja Santiago could be mitigated in the middle with well placed aggressive serves. The challenge then for NU moving on to the second round is how to be able to still maximize Santiago in the frontline in the onset that she is relegated to mere decoy status due to a sub-optimal first ball.    .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 6th, 2018

DOC VOLLEYBALL: Finding their Fight (An Analysis of the UPWVT)

Four matches into the UAAP Season 80 women’s volleyball tournament and the UP Lady Maroons are nowhere near their spectacular start from last season. With a record of one win and three straight losses, UP is little by little trailing behind the middle of the pack as teams continue to best each other in perhaps the most unpredictable season so far. Despite having only a few key losses in Nicole Tiamzon and Kathy Bersola from last season, the Lady Maroons squad, which is now under new head coach Godfrey Okumu, has yet to find the answers to match last season’s scintillating start that boasted of a 4-0 run, highlighted by an upset over La Salle.   In terms of net play skills such as attacks and blocks, the Season 80 squad of UP is not too different from their former self. Given former Queen Maroon Bersola’s main contributions to the team last year are her blocks and attacks from the middle, the team’s current ranking in blocks is still similar from last year at 6th place overall. Likewise, the dip from 4th to 6th ranking in attacking percentage this season cannot be solely due to Bersola and Tiamzon’s exit, but more of the factors that lead up to a successful attack such as setting and more importantly, the first ball pass. Undoubtedly, the team still possesses a significant threat to the top seeds of the current season given that they can do better executions. What made them a force to be reckoned with early on last Season 79 was their remarkable control of their service and receive aspect in which they were first and second, respectively at the similar juncture of four matches. Season 80 has been a nightmare for UP as they currently rank last for both service and receive overall. Throughout all their losses so far against DLSU, ADU, and FEU, it is glaringly obvious that the lack of efficiency in UP’s passing especially when the seams between passers are targeted. Despite Ayel Estranero showing better mastery of her shoot sets that Tots Carlos can easily hammer down given a good pass, the Lady Maroons however have struggled with their first ball as passes are either too tight into the net or cause poor platform establishment, resulting to a lot of shank passes. In their recent match against the FEU Lady Tamaraws, Coach Godfrey brought back Justine Dorog as libero to man the floor defense. In addition, he used a different passing pattern in which the back row middle passer was further into the attack line than pushed back near the end line resulting to an inverted triangle with its apex towards the net. The adjustment worked for UP early on in the first set as FEU wasn't too aggressive with their serve, most going to exact zones where the passers are positioned. Towards the mid to end game though, the Lady Tamaraws were able to squeeze in a few aces and tough serves when they targeted the seams between passers. FEU coach George Pascua was quick to notice this lapse and readily exploited these targets care of hard floaters from Chin Basas and Kyle Negrito to control the rest of the match. Theoretically, the new passing pattern utilized by coach Godfrey is highly applicable given that the serving pattern by almost all teams in the league are heavy on targeting zone 6 spare for a number of players who can serve consistently hard on zones 1 and 5. UP’s Carlos was actually successful with both her forearm and overhead passes on short zone 6 balls on a few occasions while Justine Dorog chipped in a couple of excellent passes for corner serves. Where the team falls short however is the consistent execution of the pattern as the squad struggles with area designation and awareness. UP had a tough time redirecting the angle of hard driven serves upward causing some overpasses and broken plays. In addition, in the instances that the serve is targeted towards the seams, the UP passers can't seem to determine who’s responsible for the area leading to delayed forearm platform establishment, which again causes either overpasses or shanks. Moving forward, the challenge for the team is undoubtedly just getting their rhythm and consistency with their passing as their digging and setting efficiency is still commendable ranking third and second overall, respectively. Coach Godfrey is definitely right in considering a passing pattern apt for the league’s general serving tendencies, but such pattern requires utmost consistency and discipline in defending the seams. With such a system, the Lady Maroons need to know who is responsible for what balls as well as better tracking of the serve to timely establish their forearm platform. Once the Lady Maroons get their passing groove in the soonest possible time, it wouldn't be too long until setter Estranero gets her middles involved in the pitch, making the team as threatening as their season 79 form.  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 20th, 2018

Castro left dumbfounded as KaTropa face blurry playoff outlook

Don't look now but there's a very real possibility that TNT will miss the Philippine Cup playoffs. Crazy, right? That is the current reality for the KaTropa right now as the flagship MVP franchise dropped to 4-5 in the standings following a terrible loss at the hands of Brgy. Ginebra Sunday at the Big Dome. TNT is currently in eight place and if the playoffs started tomorrow, the KaTropa will barely advance. "Hindi kami sanay nang ganito," star point guard Jayson Castro said. "Siguro yun nga, we need to find ways para makabalik sa winning column. Two straight losses, napaka-bigat na sa amin, especially dikit-dikit yung standings," he added. Asked what's wrong with the KaTropa, Castro gave a very simple answer. "Consistency? Wala kaming ganun eh," the Blur said. "Maganda, pangit, maganda, pangit. Siguro at the same time, yung effort namin within one game kasi bigla na lang nawawala tapos nandoon. Parang yun nga siguro," Castro added.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 11th, 2018

Anthony still makes impact for Batang Pier on off shooting night

Fresh from his career third-best 29-point explosion in the GlobalPort's 97-104 defeat against Ginebra last Sunday, the version Sean Anthony who came to play on Friday had a lot of difficulty putting the ball through the hoop. But rather than mope over his offensive struggles, Anthony put his focus on the dirty work for the Batang Pier. The Fil-Am forward collected a unique assists-rebounds double-double in the win, finishing with 13 boards and 12 dimes, a first since Chris Ross did it in 2010. His role as the stabilizing force allowed GlobalPort to claim the 78-70 breakthrough victory over Rain or Shine in the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup. "Rebounding is always gonna be there ...Keep on reading: Anthony still makes impact for Batang Pier on off shooting night.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJan 12th, 2018

Rice Jr. after crushing Game 1 defeat: It's not one game and lost, it's not the NCAA

Glen Rice Jr. is not losing sleep despite an absolute beating his team received in Game 1 of the Governors' Cup semifinals at the hands of Ginebra. After all the postseason is a marathon, not a sprint. 'It's not one game and lost, it's not the NCAA [Tournament],' Rice Jr. said after the no. 2 KaTropa lost their series opener to the no. 3 Gin Kings, 94-121. TNT also lost its series opener to no. 7 Rain or Shine in the quarterfinals before pulling through to advance. The KaTropa have shown that they can turn things around pretty quickly. Against the Gin Kings, a source of confidence is the fact that its been barely two weeks since TNT blasted the defending Governors' Cup champions, 121-92. 'Even in the first game vs. Rain or Shine, our energy wasn't the best. I think it's something that we need to continue to work on... consistency,' Rice Jr. said. 'We can't have one game when we blow somebody out and in the next game we get blown out,' he added. Despite a lethargic start, the KaTropa still have more than enough time to figure things out. Ginebra's margin of victory still only counts as one win. 'It don't matter how much we lost,' Rice Jr. said. 'We could have lost by a buzzer-beater, we could have lost by 30. It's still a best-of-5 series,' he added.   br /> --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8 .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 3rd, 2017

Fuga islanders stage rare ‘komedya’ in Aparri, Cagayan

Exclusively performed only during barangay fiestas every June and October, locals of Fuga Island in Aparri, Cagayan recently staged their age-old version of the komedya in the Aparri mainland, the first time it was performed outside of the privately owned island located two hours off the coast of Claveria town. The rare two-day affair was held in the town's church grounds on the eve and feast day of patron saint San Pedro Telmo. Fuga folks played excerpts of their "Komedya de Isla Fuga," which would normally last for 24 hours. Also on the eve of the fiesta, Fuga women perform "Plantinos," a religious practice, a form of communal prayer by women enacting their struggles when the...Keep on reading: Fuga islanders stage rare ‘komedya’ in Aparri, Cagayan.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated News53 min. ago

LOOK: 5 women activists highlight injustices, oppression in political procession

  Protesta de Mayo, a political version of the traditional Flores de Mayo religious procession held at the University of the Philippines in Diliman on Saturday, featured five women activists dressed in symbolic gowns to represent "injustices experienced mostly by women" under the Duterte administration. Eleanor de Guzman, daughter of detained National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDF) peace consultant Rafael Baylosis and partner of detained Tondo trade union organizer Marklen Maojo Maga, was the La Reina dela Justicia. Clad in a black-gold gown, De Guzmandecried the hardships and struggles experienced by all political prisoners arrested on trumped-up charges for...Keep on reading: LOOK: 5 women activists highlight injustices, oppression in political procession.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated News13 hr. 26 min. ago

Boston bound: LeBron pushes Cavs to Game 7 vs. Celtics

By Tom Withers, Associated Press CLEVELAND (AP) — LeBron James chose Boston as the place he'll play next. Game 7 is on. And any talk about James' future is on hold. Delivering another performance for the ages, James scored 46 points and preserved his reign atop the Eastern Conference for at least one more game as the Cleveland Cavaliers shook off losing All-Star Kevin Love with a head injury and beat the Celtics 109-99 on Friday night (Saturday, PHL time) to force a decisive climax to this back-and-forth series. James, playing in perhaps his final game for the Cavs in Cleveland, added 11 rebounds and nine assists while playing all but two minutes — to avoid elimination and delay any decisions about where he'll continue his remarkable career next season. "Greatness," Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said. "Championship pedigree. Giving it his all. We needed that, especially when Kevin went down. We had to play 'Bron as many minutes as he had to. He delivered. He was up for the challenge. He carried us home as usual." The king is not dead, and he still has a chance to make his eighth straight NBA Finals. This series, in which home court has meant everything, will have a fitting conclusion Sunday (Monday, PHL time) at TD Garden, where the Celtics are 10-0 this postseason. "It's a Game 7," James said. "It's something that you wish you had when you're done playing, but more than that, it's just basketball for me. I know what I'm capable of doing, and I'm going to trust everything I put into it." George Hill added 20 points, and Jeff Green 14 for the Cavs, who lost Love in the first quarter after he banged heads with Boston rookie Jayson Tatum. Terry Rozier paced the Celtics — now 1-6 on the road — with 28 points, and Jaylen Brown had 27. The Celtics were still within seven in the final three minutes before James made consecutive three-pointers, punctuating the second by pounding his chest with both fists and screaming along with 20,562 others. "The love of the game," James said, explaining his reaction. "It's a feeling you can't explain." Just for good measure, he added a three-point play and then was taken out of the game to a rousing ovation and chants of "Cavs in 7!" Boston's improbable run through the postseason without injured stars Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward will now take the Celtics back home, where they play with more intensity, togetherness and before fans hungry to see an 18th title banner raised to their arena's rafters. "It's not going to be pretty," Celtics guard Marcus Smart said. "We've got to come out ready to get our nose bloody and our mouth bloody. We've got to come out ready to fight. You've got to find a way, whatever it takes." Love went out with a head injury in the first quarter, forcing Lue to juggle his rotations and keep James on the floor longer than he wanted to. The three-time champion played the first 35 minutes without a break and then endured the final eight while nursing a right leg. James didn't know until after the game that teammate Larry Nance Jr. had banged into him. "I felt some pain throughout my entire right side of my ankle into my leg," he said. "I was just hoping for the best, obviously, because I've seen so many different injuries, and watching basketball with that type of injury, someone fall into one's leg standing straight up. Luckily, I was able to finish the game." Hill, who came over in a deadline trade, has been awed by what James has done in this postseason. "I've been in the league for some years and ran across him on the other side and really hated his guts," said Hill, who was on Indiana teams eliminated by James. "But to have him on our side, it kind of lets me take a deep breath of fresh air. It's just something that you really can't explain what he's doing night in, night out. It's just something special." "I thought the best was when he always put us out. But to actually see it when he's on your team, I can't even put it into words." The real possibility that James was playing his last game in Cleveland hung over the game — and this city — in the hours leading to tip-off. Everyone had an opinion on what James will do next and that discussion filled the sports talk radio airwaves, bars and barber shops. The 33-year-old has said several times since coming home in 2014 that he wants to retire with the Cavaliers, but fans are uneasy because he can opt out of his $35.6 million contract this summer and test free agency. And, of course, he left in 2010. James has said he'll sit down after the season ends to decide next move, and he's already being courted in Philadelphia, Los Angeles and New York where fans can only dream of him joining their rosters. For now, he's only going to Boston. NO LOVE The game began ominously for the Cavs as Love was forced to leave following his violent collision with Tatum. Love and Tatum were away from the ball and didn't see each other until it was too late. They banged heads and both immediately dropped to the floor with Love raising his left arm as if to signal he needed help. As Love stayed down, the Cavs huddled around him. He was helped off and walked to the bench unsteadily before heading to the locker room for further treatment and evaluation. His status for Game 7 is uncertain. THE OTHER SIDE Tatum stayed in following his nasty collision with Love. The rookie passed the concussion testing that he was given on the bench. "I didn't see him coming, it was bad," Tatum said. "I have a knot on the back of my head and he didn't return. I wish the best for Kevin Love because he's a great player and it's been a long season." PREGAME MEAL Hill said he's played well after eating tacos with barbacoa and guacamole before games. "I'm for sure going to find a Chipotle in Boston, I'll tell you that," he said. TIP-INS Celtics: Own a 37-0 record when leading a series 2-0. ... Dropped to 1-4 in Game 6s over the last four postseasons. ... Coach Brad Stevens praised James for his consistency, and ability to exceed expectations. "Nobody else has what he has on his shoulders playing the game," he said. "I think that the way in which he's done that and all of the years now that he's made The Finals and gone deep into the playoffs, it's unbelievable." Cavaliers: Improved to 6-2 in elimination game since 2015. James has scored at least 40 in five of those wins. ... James' teams are 5-2 in Game 7s. ... This was the seventh 40-point game for James this postseason. Michael Jordan also had seven, one off Jerry West's record set in 1965. ... James passed Karl Malone (2,062) for sixth place on the career postseason rebounds list......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 26th, 2018

PBA: Maliksi pressured to defend 3-point crown against loaded list of challengers

BATANGAS CITY, Batangas --- The three-point shootout might just steal the show once again in the main leg of the 2018 PBA All-Star Games. Blackwater's Allein Maliksi is set to defend his title against a loaded cast of challengers Friday. Last year in Lucena, Maliksi beat Ginebra's LA Tenorio with the final money ball. This year's joust has the potential to even top that exciting finish as the league's finest shooters go after the title. “Nakakakaba pa rin kasi siyempre gusto mong ma-defend yung crown,” Maliksi said in an earlier statement. “Ever since naman talaga yung dream ko makasali sa three-point shootout simula nung pumasok ako sa PBA. Kasi sa [slam] dunk hindi naman tayo makasali, lalo ngayon hindi na tayo masyadong makatalon, so sa three-point shootout na lang,” he added. Terrence Romeo hopes to regain the title he lost last season and if the TNT star manages to top everyone, it will be his third 3-point championship in four years. Former champion James Yap is also in the mix while Tenorio is back to try and finish last year's job. The rest of the participants are Marcio Lassiter, Paul Lee, Stanley Pringle, Matthew Wright, Larry Fonacier, Ronald Tubid, and Garvo Lanete. Loaded from top to bottom right? The Three-point shootout will be one of the side events at the Batangas City Sports Center here together with the Slam Dunk Contest and the Obstacle challenge. The 2018 PBA All-Star Games are presented by Phoenix Fuel with Phoenix Pulse Technology and backed by Peak Sports Apparel, Molten, PBA Rush-Cignal, Nature's Spring, TAGHeuer, Gatorade, and Rain or Shine.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 24th, 2018

Fil-Am s prize-winning dramedy on millennials of color to open in LA

Playwright Nathan Ramos. STHANLEE MIRADOR. LOS ANGELES -- Nathan Ramos' dramedy about the struggles of millennials of color, 'As We Babble On,' will have its world premiere by East W.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philippinetimesRelated NewsMay 24th, 2018

Devance to miss PBA All-Star; Rosario, Pogoy skip Mindanao, Visayas legs

Ginebra's Joe Devance and Gilas cogs Troy Rosario and Roger Pogoy will be missing some of the 2018 PBA All-Star festivities this week. Devance announced on his Twitter Tuesday night that he is.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philippinetimesRelated NewsMay 24th, 2018

LOOK: Mindanao also beats Gilas in PBA All-Star Game dance showdown

MANILA, Philippines – The Mindanao All-Stars had a double celebration Wednesday night, May 23, as they bested Gilas Pilipinas in both the All-Star Game and the pre-game dance showdown.  Led by Magnolia Hotshots' Jio Jalalon and Barangay Ginebra's Scottie Thompson, the Minnie Mouse headband-clad All-Star team delighted the crowd at ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsMay 23rd, 2018

Fil-Am’s prize-winning dramedy on millennials of color to open in LA

  LOS ANGELES --- Nathan Ramos' dramedy about the struggles of millennials of color, "As We Babble On," will have its world premiere by East West Players (EWP).   The play won first place in EWP's "2042: See Change" national playwriting competition in 2015.   Other Filipino Americans involved in the production include director Alison De La Cruz and actress Jiavani Linayao.   In the play, awkward graphic novelist Benji's career is stalling while those of his half-sister Laura and their friend Sheila (played by Linayao) are blossoming. They all soon grapple with the moral implications of their actions.   The play "explores the pursuit...Keep on reading: Fil-Am’s prize-winning dramedy on millennials of color to open in LA.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsMay 23rd, 2018

Knee injury sidelines Joe Devance in Visayas leg of PBA All-Star Game 2018

MANILA, Philippines – After 4 straight All-Star appearances, Joe Devance will not see action in this year's mid-season festivities.  The Barangay Ginebra forward announced through his Twitter account that he will not suit up for the Visayas All-Star team that will face the national team in Iloilo City on May ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsMay 23rd, 2018