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In Focus: 8 Of Our Fave UAAP Volleybelles–Where Are They Now?

This is what life looks like for these beauties after their college heydays......»»

Category: lifestyleSource: abscbn abscbnJul 17th, 2018

DE JESUS: Genius, disciplinarian, champion coach

This story was originally published on May 7, 2017 De La Salle University head coach Ramil De Jesus came inside the press room of the Big Dome for a post-game interview wearing the same smile he had in the past nine times the Lady Spikers closed the UAAP season as champions. The only difference in those championship interviews were the players that accompanied him to answer questions from reporters. From Iris Ortega-Patrona, Desiree Hernandez, Maureen Penetrante, the legendary Manilla Santos, the Big Three of Cha Cruz, Paneng Mercado and Jacq Alarca, to Michel Gumabao and beast-mode-don’t-care Aby Marano to Ara Galang, Mika Reyes, Kim Dy and gem of a setter in Kim Fajaro – all of them stood beside a genius and architect of DLSU’s successful volleyball program. Victory after victory, De Jesus built his reputation as a one of the best women’s volleyball mentors in the country. Last Saturday, De Jesus added another feather to his cap when he steered the Taft-based squad to back-to-back titles in the 79th UAAP women’s volleyball tournament at the expense of archrival Ateneo de Manila. Two decades since his arrival to the school of a different shade of green after playing for Far Eastern University, delivered 10 titles and brought the Lady Spikers to the Finals 17 times.   De Jesus shared the secret of his success. “Siguro, sistema siguro then hard work. And then, well-disciplined ‘yung mga bata. Siguro, ‘yun ‘yung key,” he said. His success earned him the respect of his peers including three-time UAAP men’s volleyball champion Oliver Almadro of Ateneo, who was once one of his lieutenants, and players alike. DLSU embraced him as one of its own. “Natutuwa ako kasi kahit hindi ako alumnus doon niyakap nila ako bilang parang doon na din nag-graduate,” said De Jesus. “Hindi ko naman napapansin ang mga nanyayari sa akin sila lang ang nakakapansin, binigyan nga ako ng award. Happy, very happy (ako).” De Jesus is known to be a no nonsense coach. Strict, straightforward and a disciplinarian – traits he inherited from FEU men’s coach Kid Santos.                He doesn’t like fanfare and as much as possible keeps attention away from him. De Jesus carefully chooses his words but when he gives one, everybody listens. He means business all the time.   Brilliance of De Jesus 246-65. De Jesus knows how to win and his career win-loss record says it all. The main reason why DLSU trusted De Jesus to handle the team for that many years – a rare feat considering that a UAAP coach’s tenure is very volatile.   It was summer 20 years ago when former basketball Olympian and influential DLSU sport personality Ramoncito Campos brought in a young mentor in De Jesus to save the school’s volleyball program, which then had yet to win a title since joining the league in 1986.           He entered the UAAP volleyball scene during the time when powerhouse teams Far Eastern University and University of Sto. Tomas, then mentored by legendary coach August Sta. Maria, were the ones lording over here the competition. Of course the road to glory didn’t come easy but his first tour of duty gave DLSU a chance to feel what it was to be in the Final Four when the Lady Spikers finished fourth a year when after strings of forgettable seasons. Quenching the thirst to salvage some pride in the sport that will eventually be DLSU’s second most valued contest next to basketball, the Lady Spikers began to hunger for the crown – something the school never felt before since winning it all back in 1976 as a member of the NCAA.   De Jesus submitted his team to Spartan-like training and hammering discipline and slowly molded the Lady Spikers to a championship-caliber squad. In Season 61, DLSU challenged FEU for the crown but the Lady Tamaraws’ championship experience prevailed. The loss only fueled De Jesus’ desire to bring the Lady Spikers to the throne even more. With the core of ace hitter Ortega-Patrona, setter Valerie Bautista, Sally Macasaet, Sheryl Magallanes, Demelle Chua, Hollie Reyes and then sophomore Ivy Remulla, De Jesus steered DLSU on the right track for another shot at the crown. Midway in the season Bautista got pregnant. De Jesus, calm and composed, knew what to do. He converted open spiker Reyes into a setter and the gambit worked as DLSU once again punched a ticket to the Finals, this time against UST – a very hungry team looking to reclaim the title. A year removed from the throne, UST was ready for the kill. But the Espana-based squad went against a famished team – DLSU will not leave the sweltering University of the Philippines Human Kinetics Gym without the championship trophy. In front of a crowd - dwarf-sized compared to the multitude of fans that troop bigger venues of today – the Lady Spikers wrote history. DLSU slew a giant in a thrilling five-set game behind the stellar performance of Ortega-Patrona, who won that Season’s Most Valuable Player award – the first of many incredible volleybelles that will bag the highest individual honor under De Jesus’ tutelage.     It was an incredible feat but it won’t see a repeat in the next three years.              Grand Slam After their breakthrough title, the Lady Spikers had three straight bride’s maid finishes behind FEU. Heartbreaks brought by Ortega-Patrona’s falling out with De Jesus over a disciplinary issue in Season 63 and the unstoppable power of FEU's Monica Aleta, who won three straight MVP awards while towing the Lady Tams to a three-peat. Like a chess master, De Jesus learned from his mistakes before pulling off a feat that will cement his name as one of the greatest. With Hernandez, Penetrante and a young Santos as his main pieces, he steered the Lady Spikers to a rare three-peat. DLSU brought into heel FEU, UST and Adamson to complete a grand slam. A four-peat loomed for the celebrated Lady Spikers but fate played a cruel trick on them after UAAP suspended DLSU in Season 69 because the Green Archers' basketball squad fielded two ineligible players the previous year.       When the ban was lifted in Season 70, De Jesus and the Lady Spikers were again under the radar as title contenders together with the defending champion UST, FEU and Adamson. But team was forced to file a leave of absence from the school while the tournament was ongoing because Alarca saw action despite incomplete academic credentials to be eligible to play. All of the team’s won games where Alarca played where forfeited and the Lady Spikers ended up at seventh place. It was a painful setback but it also served as a rallying point for DLSU. With Santos playing her final year and the emergence of enigmatic but then rookie libero Mel Gohing in Season 71, the Lady Spikers denied the then graduating Rachel Anne Daquis and FEU back-to-back crowns. DLSU relinquished the throne to the Angeli Tabaquero and Aiza Maizo-led Tigresses the following year. The Lady Spikers avenged their loss the next season in a rematch with UST behind Alarca, Mercado, Cruz, Gumabao and Gohing in the start of De Jesus’ second three-peat.   DLSU-Ateneo rivalry Nobody really knows when UAAP volleyball picked up the tremendous following it has today. Maybe it needed something for people to get hooked into. A continuous rivalry, perhaps? For six straight years DLSU and Ateneo did just that. The storied rivalry between La Salle and Ateneo spilled from the basketball court to the taraflex mat of volleyball. De Jesus had in his bench the core of veterans Cruz, Gumabao and Marano back and freshmen Galang, Reyes and Demecillo when they met in the Season 74 Finals a young and promising Lady Eagles side – much like the Lady Spikers De Jesus inherited 14 seasons back. Led by Fille Cainglet, Dzi Gervacio and a fresh recruit from University of Sto. Tomas high school Alyssa Valdez, Ateneo gave DLSU a tough challenge for two seasons but the Lady Spikers repelled them both times. Then came Lady Eagles Thai mentor Tai Bundit. For three years in a row, De Jesus’ system bested the rest of the field including that of then Ateneo coach Roger Gorayeb. However, a coach who barely spoke English or Filipino provided him a challenge in Season 76. DLSU with an intact core led by Marano, swept its way straight to the Finals with a thrice-to-beat advantage. Ateneo crawled its way to the championship round through a series of do-or-die games. De Jesus is an old-school type of coach. His system is hinged on well-planned strategies and tactics. He was pitted against Bundit’s Thai-style of play anchored on a heartstrong mantra and a ‘happy, happy’ approach of the game. Bundit dances on the sideline, an animated fellow during the matches. De Jesus is stoic as always. When the two collided for the title for the first time, Bundit shocked De Jesus and DLSU when Ateneo beat them thrice in a four-game series that went the full distance. Bundit and the Valdez-led Lady Eagles did it again the following year, completing a season sweep at the expense of the Lady Spikers, who struggled to pose any form resistance in the Finals after Galang went down with a season-ending ACL tear in the semis. It was a devastating loss to say the least. But De Jesus, a general who fought many battles for the green and white, stuck with the weapon that brought him success – his ability to adjust. Outdueled by Bundit in their last six matches, De Jesus found a way to stop the rampaging Lady Eagles in their first meeting in Season 78. Ateneo equalized in the second round and even took the top spot after the elimination. The Lady Spikers and the Lady Eagles would eventually meet in the Finals for the fifth year in a row. De Jesus was ready for Ateneo. He knew the strengths and weaknesses of the Lady Eagles and used it to his advantage to win the series opener. The then graduating Valdez brought Ateneo back in Game 2 to tie the series, but DLSU completed its long-awaited revenge in the decider and gave Reyes, Demecillo and Galang a fitting sendoff gift.                  Road to back-to-back Losing five veterans including three of their key players heading into Season 79 gave De Jesus one of the toughest challenges he ever faced as a DLSU mentor.  Setter Kim Fajardo returned for her swan song together with fourth year playes Kim Dy, Dawn Macandili and Majoy Baron. Desiree Cheng also came back after a year of absence due to a knee injury, but De Jesus was still left to navigate with a relatively young crew.  “Sa laht nang nai-form kong team, ito yung medyo (up and down) yung performance,” he said. “Sobrang babaw ng bench, wala ka halos (mahugot) pagtingin mo, wala ka makuha.” DLSU struggled early and was on the losing end of two elims matches against Ateneo. “Ateneo nu’ng buong elimination NU lang ang halos tumalo. Sabi ko ano bang meron ang team na ito?” he said. “Pinilit lang naming habulin.” “Kasi alam ko nag-start kami medyo hilaw ang team namin. Early part ng first round natalo kami sa UP sabi ko pukpok pa tayo, habol pa,” De Jesus added. “Ang nakakatuwa sa mga bata, ang determinasyon na humabol nandoon.” When the De Jesus found himself leading the Lady Spikers to a sixth straight title series against Bundit and the Lady Eagles, he knew his squad was ready to defend their crown. And protect it they did in a series sweep capped by a dramatic five-set victory.    “Siguro buong eliminations, nire-review namin ang mga games, nakikita mo yung difference, ‘yung advantage at disadvantage ng team, so siguro doon kami nag-focus, kung saan kami medyo dehado. Concentrate kami sa training,” he said. “Ine-explain ko rin sa players kung ano yung dapat naming gawin, although mahirap. So, tanggapin na lang nila.” In a rare moment, when Ateneo’s Jho Maraguinot sent her attack long that signaled DLSU’s back-to-back championships, De Jesus let his hair down a little. He was jumping, dancing, celebrating the victory and even held his hands up, both his palms wide open as confetti dropped and the deafening roar of the crowd and banging of the drums echoed inside the arena. De Jesus won his tenth title. When the celebration subsided, De Jesus fashioned the same smile he wore in his past nine championships as he was led inside the pressroom of the Big Dome. Only this time around, Fajardo, Cheng and Dy were the ones who followed him from behind.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 20th, 2018

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

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

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 31st, 2017

Ateneo s Kai Sotto towers above all as UAAP 81 Jrs. MVP

Kai Sotto is now a champion as well as an MVP. Ateneo de Manila High School’s towering teen is the undisputed best player in the UAAP 81 Juniors Basketball Tournament after registering 97 Statistical Points (SPs). With that, the MVP race ended with him way ahead of his closest competitor – 15 SPs in front, to be exact. Sotto did all this by posting per game counts of 25.1 points, 13.9 rebounds, 3.4 assists, and 2.6 blocks and powering his team to a 11-3 record at the elimination round as well as the second-seed in the Final Four. He also did heavier lifting in terms of leadership, making sure the defending champions did not skip a beat even after the graduation of all of SJ Belangel, Jason Credo, Dave Ildefonso, and Joaqui Manuel. While he’s already assured of his first MVP, the 7-foot-1, 16-year-old will still go all-out as Ateneo tries for back-to-back championships. “Ang main goal ko at ng team is mag-champion ulit. Dun lang ako nagfo-focus,” he said. Asked if another title means more than his first MVP, he answered, “Siyempre.” --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 11th, 2019

I believe we would be in the Final Four -- Okumu

The University of the Philippines showed what it could do during the pre-season after collecting titles in the Premier Volleyball League and the Philippine Superliga. It is but natural for Lady Maroons fans to expect more from the Godfrey Okumu-mentored squad come UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball tournament. Their pre-season romp, according to Okumu, is a morale boost, but at the same time it created pressure for his wards to live up to expectations. “The excitement is there but also the stress, the pressure. We cannot count that out,” said Okumu, who has done wonders to the squad in just his second year as mentor. “The fans are excited, we are excited, the players are excited as well because most of them believe that it's a time for them to show themselves to the UAAP community.” Okumu’s first year with the squad was a period of adjustment and the Lady Maroons struggled to adapt to the new system and ended up at fifth to sixth spot tied with Adamson University, tallying six wins in 14 games. For the second straight year UP missed the Final Four.     “The last season was quite challenging, Season 80. I barely had enough time to prepare the team the way I wanted,” he said. During the offseason, the Lady Maroons were able to fully grasp Okumu’s system and it paid dividends.       UP made history by capturing the PVL Collegiate Conference award, the Diliman-based team’s first major women’s volleyball crown since winning it all in UAAP Season 45 back in 1982, despite playing without injured spiker Tots Carlos. The Lady Maroons followed it up with another championship run in the PSL Collegiate Grand Slam without Isa Molde, who was rested following her stint in the UAAP beach volleyball tournament. UP’s PSL win also earned them an all-expense paid training camp in Thailand, where they got a chance to play against club team Supreme Chonburi led by Thai national team stars Pleumjit Thinkaow and Wilavan Apinyapong.   “They never had a pre-season like this. Playing together as a team. This was a good opportunity for them to test themselves. They were tested well and they've land their position but this were just preseason tournament,” said Okumu. But for Okumu, the real battle will start come February 16 in the UAAP wars. “I expect them to give their best, I expect them to play like this is their last tournament of their lives,” said the mentor, who will parade a battle-tested core led by Molde, Carlos and graduating setter Ayel Estranero. “That's what I say every time they play, ‘Make it look like it's your last. Don't play thinking that oh we still have another game. Don't serve that ball thinking that oh I still have another serve to six rotations. Always make it look like it's your last so give it your best everything you do and also have disciplining, know your court, respect your opponents and respect the game that you're playing and you'll get your returns.’” Also back in the fold are veterans Marist Layug, Justine Dorog, Jessma Ramos and Marian Buitre, giving UP a mature and experienced core.     “What I expect is for them to go hard, they came from far, some of them four years ago, some of them five, like Ayel, she's coming, five years, playing and training to win. I think some of them in their first years that was when they were in the Final Four,” said Okumu. “Last season they thought they were gonna be in the Final Four but it was bad luck that that we didn't make it. I think this time we should start strong, and finish strong.” With the Lady Maroons pre-season showing, Okumu is confident that his team will make it to the Final Four this time and even beyond if they stick to their game plan, focus and work hard to achieve their goals. “This season, 81, I think I believe we would be in the Final Four based on how we played. That is my strong belief,” he said. “Like every other team, we have a chance of winning like all the strong teams. We have a chance and we wanna go out there and take that chance because as I said before, it's not gonna be easy.” “We have to go there hard, nobody is gonna give it to us. We have to go out and take it so that's what we are trying to do. Go out there and take it because everybody else is trying to take the same so we tread carefully, very politely, and with a lot of discipline towards our goal,” Okumu added. “As I said before, it's not gonna be easy because everybody wants the same thing.”   ---   Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 11th, 2019

UAAP SEASON 81: I don’t want them to focus on the end goal -- Air Padda

Entering her third season as coach of the Adamson University Lady Falcons, Air Padda shifts to a different approach for her team in the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball tournament. Padda in her first two years tried to inject a winning culture to a struggling squad but now with five rookies coming in and with the Lady Falcons on a rebuilding stage, the mentor wants to ease the pressure on her wards by just setting up a modest goal taking it one game at a time. “You know, this season, I don't want them to focus on the end goal so much,” said Padda, who lost some key players from last season after Mylene Paat, starting setter Fhen Emnas and top hitter Jema Galanza exhausted all their playing years. “I don't want them to get ahead of themselves. It's really taking one game at a time. Baby steps,” she added. “And controlling the things we have control over. There's never a way that we control what the other team is gonna do, but we control our effort.” “We can focus on how tough we play, how hard we play, masipag, and family. Staying, sticking together as a family no matter what,” said Padda. “So those have been the three things that I've been kinda feeding into their heads.” Expectations were high for Adamson last year with the return of Paat and Emnas after sitting out Season 79 but the weight of that pressure to return to the Final Four took its toll on the team. The Lady Falcons ended up at fifth to sixth place tied with University of the Philippines, winning six games while dropping eight and missing the semis for the fourth straight year. “Oh man. Last season was really difficult for us. It felt like we really had a really strong team, and I think, it's safe to say that everyone knew we had a strong team,” Padda recalled. “But it was disappointing not to make it to the Final Four.” Taking the lessons she learned from last UAAP season and the pre-season, Padda knows that setting up an end goal too early might be counterproductive considering the lineup she has at hand. Though veterans from last year’s core in graduating Eli Soyud, Joy Dacoron, libero Thang Ponce, Chiara Permentilla and Bernadette Flora are making their return, the Lady Falcons also have rookies in its lineup with a couple filling up the starting positions. The new faces in Adamson’s roster are Trisha Genesis, Krich Macaslang, Nikka Yandoc, Chen Ave, Nina Balang and Hannah Infante.      “You know, some players can't handle that. That's a lot of pressure,” said Padda. “And with my lineup, there's five rookies in my lineup. And two of those might be starting spots. That's a lot of pressure for an 18-year old girl to come into and think she has to do something magical.” “You don't have to do anything magical to get to the Final Four but what we do need to do is focus on coming in here every day and taking one game at a time. You know what I mean? And then, hopefully, we'll be in a position to be in the Final Four.” As part of their build up for the season, Adamson joined the Premier Volleyball League Collegiate Conference, finishing third, and competed in the PVL Open Conference despite losing Genesis and Soyud for most of the tournament due to injuries.   Adamson’s pre-season stints also bore fruit with players Soyud, Flora, setter MJ Igao, Ponce and Dacoron, as part of BanKo, getting individual recognitions in the PVL. Using these as motivations, Adamson could be on the right track of making it into the Final Four… one small step at a time.               --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 10th, 2019

UAAP Season 81: Hindi ako ang magdadala. Kami. -- Arado

Much has been said and written about University of the East libero Kath Arado’s skills and abilities inside the volleyball court. It’s no wonder that coming into the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball tournament, fans and pundits alike are quick to conclude that Arado will be the one to carry the long struggling Lady Warriors on her shoulders in her swan song. But the graduating star from Iligan would beg to disagree.    “Kasi siyempre sasabihin ng ibang tao na last year ko na, ako ang magdadala, which is wrong,” she said. “Kasi siyempre nakikita ko kung paano na-develop ang personality ng bawat isa sa amin. Hindi lang ako ang nagdadala, kaming lahat.” Arado last year won the Best Receiver and Best Digger awards and averaged 6.72 digs per set with an impressive 53.07% reception efficiency.   During the pre-season Arado won the Best Libero honors both in the Philippine Superliga Collegiate Grand Slam and in the PSL All-Filipino Conference while playing for Generika Ayala. UE also captured a third place finish in the PSL CGS, an achievement that the Lady Warriors consider as fuel in their desire to prove their doubters wrong come UAAP. Arado said that the team’s vast improvement in communication and maturity could be the key in achieving their goal this season – a modest target of winning as many games as they can and erase the stigma of being bottom dwellers.    “Ang masasabi ko na most improved sa amin ay ‘yung communication talaga lalo na ang maturity sa loob ng court. Kasi based sa pre-season namin lalo na this year, masasabi ko na hindi man ganoon ang expectations ng tao sa amin or expectations ng management pero nakikita ko kasi lagi kaming magkakasama, nakikita ko kung paano nag-develop ang maturity ng bawat isa,” said Arado. “Hindi lang ako, hindi lang ng mga senior pati ‘yung mga nakasunod sa amin. Sina Me-Anne (Mendrez), sina Seth (Roriguez), ‘yung mga bata, kasi siyempre given na kaming mga seniors kasi kailangan naming maging matured na eh.” “Pero 'yung mga bata nakikita ko sila kung paano mag-isip, paano sosolusytunan ang preblema sa team,” she added. “Hindi lang ang mga seniors ang gumagalaw eh pati na rin sila so nakakatuwa na ang maturity nandoon na talaga.” UE finished Season 80 at the cellar with a 2-12 win-loss record and were plagued by internal problems including the departure of head coach Francis Vicente five games into the season. The Lady Warriors now have a new mentor in former University of Sto. Tomas setter Karl Dimaculangan, who replaced interim coach Rod Roque, and his approach in his first stint as head coach is to utilize every available player in his rotation.     “Ngayong papasok ang season unti-unting binabago ng mga coaches yung ganoon (na umasa lang sa ilan). Kasi siyempre ayaw ng coach na naka-depend ka sa isang tao, dalawang tao, tatlo, gusto niya lahat work as a team kasi team sport ito hindi naman individual. Hindi naman ito pang pair, hindi naman ito tatluhan, so lahat,” Arado said. “Lagi nga niyang sinasabi na kahit yung nasa second stringers magagamit at magagamit yan kasi may mga time naman na hindi kaming first six na perfect. May mga times talaga na kahit anong piga sa amin wala talaga kaming game eh. So nandoon ang second stringers na gampanan ang role ng isa na wala sa focus, wala sa ayos ang pag-iisip.” “So hindi pwedeng sabihin lalo na sa volleyball, hindi pwedeng sabihin na isang tao lang ang gumagawa,” she added. “Kasi hindi ko naman magagampanan ang role ko as libero kung wala ang tulong ng blockers, ng setter, ng mga spikers. Lalo na ang guidance ng mga coaches, hindi ko magagawa 'yung responsibility ko as a libero kung wala sila.”   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 8th, 2019

In Focus: Our Fave Reel-To-Real Moments From Couple Camila Mendes and Charles Melton

These 'Riverdale' stars are even more captivating off-screen!.....»»

Category: lifestyleSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 4th, 2019

Fil-Am ABL star Jason Brickman sets sights on the PBA

Fil-Am playmaker and former ABL star Jason Brickman is now setting his sights on joining next year's PBA Rookie Draft. Brickman, who was the floor general of last year's ABL finalists Mono Vampire, is looking to find clearance and be able to play in Asia's first pro basketball league. The 27-year-old guard is eligible to forego a PBA D-League stint by the time he gets drafted next year, following in the footsteps of teammate Paul Zamar, Christian Standhardinger, and Stanley Pringle, who had stints in the inter-country league before joining the PBA. "Just I'm hopeful to get into the PBA. Something I've always wanted to do and right now is the best opportunity to do that so that's another reason why I came out here," Brickman said.  The former Long Island University Brooklyn star led the US NCAA Division I with 8.5 assists per game in his junior year, before increasing it to 10 per contest in his senior season.  He also became only the fourth player in men's Division 1 history in handing out 1,000+ assists for their collegiate career. However, before his possible PBA stint, Brickman will be joining Mighty Sports and represent the country in the 30th Dubai International Basketball Tournament in UAE this Feb. 1-9.  He will help coach Charles Tiu in dictating the offense, and will be supported by imports Lamar Odom, Justin Brownlee and Randolph Morris. Also with the team are PBA D-League Finals MVP Gab Banal, former ABL star Fil-Am Jason Brickman, UAAP standouts Juan Gomez de Liano and Santi Santillan, #23for23 member Troy Rike, Jeremiah Gray, Roosevelt Adams, Angelo Wongchuking and CSB high-flyer Justin Gutang, the latter serving as reserve. In his third stint with the Caesar Wongchuking-sponsored squad, he said that he is very happy that he'll be representing 104 million Filipinos once more in an international tournament. "I think it's a great opportunity to represent the Philippines. We have a lot of good local players. Obviously, good imports," shared Brickman.  "There's gonna be some very good teams there. Great competition as well. I'm looking forward to play and do whatever I can to help the team," he added. Known for his playmaking, he assured that he won't be changing his role for the team that drafts him, for he believes a pass-first mentality is his biggest strength. After the tournament, Brickman will solely focus on preparing for the Rookie Draft, and see where it goes from there. __   Follow this writer on Twitter, @philipptionary. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 28th, 2019

Canino, Laure lead young bloods in national pool tryout

Promising young talents Angel Canino of UAAP high school champion De La Salle-Zobel and Eya Laure of University of Sto. Tomas led a good turnout of national women’s volleyball team hopefuls Thursday in the first day of tryouts at the Arellano University gym in Taft Avenue.    A total of 39 volleybelles heeded the call of the Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc. for a two-day expansion tryouts for the national women’s senior and U-23 pool. Canino and Laure were among the young bloods who tried their luck to land a spot in the national squad that will participate in a number of major international competitions including the Asian U-23 Championships in Hanoi, Vietnam in July and the Southeast Asian Games that the country will host in November.   “Magiging maganda ang tryout kasi maraming mga batang dumating na competitive. Isa sa target namin dito ay sa U-23 yung mga magfi-fit doon and then mayroon din kaming nakikitang mga bata na pwedeng maging future sa national team,” said national team coach Shaq Delos Santos. Canino, the reigning UAAP Girls MVP, will try her luck to represent the country for the first time while Laure hopes to make the cut for another tour of duty after suiting up for the juniors team. Present in the tryouts were seniors mainstays Alyssa Valdez, Aby Marano, Mika Reyes, Jia Morado, Denden Lazaro, Risa Sato, Jema Galanza, Majoy Baron, Dawn Macandili, Remy Palma, Mylene Paat, Kim Kianna Dy, Cha Cruz, Ces Molina, Kim Fajardo and Aiza Maizo-Pontillas. Also in attendance were Kyla Atienza, Kalei Mau, Ria Meneses, Jannine Navarro, Jerrili Malabanan, Celine Domingo, Heather Guino-o, Me-Anne Mendrez, Judith Abil, Kat Arado, Buding Duremdes and Thea Malaluan.   (To be updated).....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 24th, 2019
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UAAP: Gerry Abadiano is the leader the NU Bullpups deserve

The match-up between Nazareth School of National University and Ateneo de Manila High School last Saturday was heated, to say the least. The rematch between last year’s Finalists featured a total of 77 fouls and 101 free throws. That number of calls led the contest into lasting for two and a half hours. All throughout, though, it was the Bullpups who seemed to be in complete control and ultimately, they tallied a 78-62 takedown of the Blue Eaglets. In the face of the gravity of the match-up, the physicality of both teams, and the difficulty with how the game was called, one NU player proved consistent in making sure his team towed the line. Of course, that player was none other than Gerry Abadiano – a veteran in the UAAP Juniors as well as a stalwart of Batang Gilas. “’Di kami sumuko kahit ganun yung tawag ng mga referee. Kahit naman kasi sa Ateneo, pangit tawag e, pero kami, composed lang kami sa game,” he said afterward. For leading the Bullpups to victory, head coach Goldwin Monteverde was nothing but satisfied with his team captain. “Okay naman ang leadership niya. They were really tested kanina, pero ang maganda, hindi sila nag-give up dahil he kept encouraging his teammates,” he said. Indeed, with all the firepower they have in their arsenal, Coach Gold needs a floor general to see to it that their game plan is followed. And that’s just what Abadiano does. “Matagal na akong kasama ni Coach Gold kaya alam ko na kung anong gusto niya. Lagi ko talagang sinasabi sa mga teammate ko kung anong kailangan nilang gawin,” he shared. That is exactly why the 17-year-old lead guard doesn’t have to be the team’s best scorer, that’s Terrence Fortea, or their best two-way presence, that’s Carl Tamayo. What he has to be is the team leader that makes sure Fortea, Tamayo, and the rest of NU are on their game. “Habang nandito ako, lagi ko silang iga-guide, lagi kong ipapaalala sa kanila to focus lang sa game at maglaro lang nang laro namin,” he said. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 20th, 2018

Kobe Paras: It ll be fun to face Ateneo in the Finals

Incoming Fighting Maroon Kobe Paras said that it would be fun to see the University of the Philippines and Ateneo de Manila University clash once again in the championship series of the UAAP. However, Paras then added that the Blue Eagles should open their doors, close the main thoroughfare and declare the bonfire on Saturday as a bond between the adjacent higher institutions of learning.  "Ateneo, sama mo naman kaming mga Iskolar ng Bayan. Because basketball brings us together. So why don't just have a bonfire of UP and Ateneo together? Sa lahat ng Fathers ng Ateneo, mahal ko kayo. #OneBigFight #UPFight. Sarado natin yung buong Katipunan. Throw a big party," the 21-year old said in an interview with Mico Halili on 'The Score'. Kidding aside, Paras admitted that it 'pissed him off' that he was not able to play for the Maroons this year, who made a surprise run to the UAAP Season 81 Finals. However, he says he looks forward to playing with UAAP Season 80 Mythical Five member Ricci Rivero in leading the squad perhaps back to the Finals once again, and make sure to make the Iskolar ng Bayan proud of their exploits. "I didn't really have to be a part of [the magical season]. But something inside me that people were talking about is why UP was going to the Final Four is because of me and Ricci," he shared. "Everytime people say that to me, I tell them, don't focus on me, focus on the present. Focus on Season 81. My guys really did some big things and I'm proud of them. Not have one, but Ateneo deserved the championship this year." Paras also talked about his haters and how he deals with them everyday. "You just got to live your life. Whatever you do, people are going to respond in a negative or positive way. Do something that makes you happy." See the rest of the interview below:.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 13th, 2018

UAAP Season 81 volleyball: Mag-La Salle na sila all the way -– Macandili on DLS-Z volleybelles

Top libero Dawn Macandili watched intensely as De La Salle-Zobel inched closer to ending a long high school girls’ volleyball title drought. When the Junior Lady Spikers nailed the last point to topple the four-year reign National University and rule the UAAP Season 81 tournament, Macandili together with the DLS-Z supporters inside the FilOil Flying V Centre on a breezy Sunday afternoon celebrated the triumph that took the Alabang-based squad six years to achieve. From her red leather seat in the courtside section, Macandili, with a big smile on her face cheered loudly for the new generation of Junior Lady Spikers.           “Sobrang nakaka-proud kasi siyempre part din ako ng alumni ng Zobel and nakita ko na gusto ring manalo ng girls and nagawa nila yun,” said Macandili after DLS-Z completed a best-of-three finals series sweep of the Bullpups with a hard-earned, 25-21, 25-23, 15-25, 16-25, 15-8, Game 2 win. Macandili together with F2 Logistics teammate Kim Kianna Dy and Ateneo de Manila University’s Jules Samonte were part of the DLS-Z squad that ruled UAAP Season 75 before the school’s five-year title drought. The defense specialist, who was named 2nd Best Libero in the 2017 Asian Women’s Senior Championship, couldn’t help but admire the Junior Lady Spikers’ composure and determination in the series.   “Sobrang nakaka-stress pala na nanonood lang instead of playing inside the court. Pero bilb na bilib ako sa kanila kasi nandoon ‘yung composure although sobrang bata pa nila. Pero iba na talaga ang level ng volleyball (sa Pilipinas) kahit sa high school pa lang,” she said. Macandili added that if given a chance she’d like to see the core of the squad play together up until college for a team known for its championship culture. “Sobrang prospects sila ng mga college teams. Ngayon pa lang ang gagaling na nila and I look forward to when they’re playing in college na… for La Salle, yes!” she said. “Ituloy na nila, mag-La Salle na sila all the way,” exclaimed Macandili, who joined the DLSU Lady Spikers together with Dy after graduating in high school. The duo helped the Lady Spikers’ complete a three-peat from Season 78 to 80.     Macandili was impressed with skills of towering Alleiah Malaluan and season MVP Angel Canino. She also saw a lot of potential with DLS-Z starting libero Lyka De Leon. “Lahat naman tayo nagi-start somewhere and I can see myself in her na nag-start na ganoon ang level pero nandoon naman yung talent niya and I can see that’s she’s gonna go far,” said Macandili.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 10th, 2018

PVL: Bundit proud of his award-winning players

BATANGAS CITY -- Aside from winning the championship in his farewell coaching stint in the Philippines, Creamline head coach Tai Bundit was doubly proud of the individual awards received by his players at the close of the Premier Volleyball League Season 2 Open Conference. Five volleybelles who played under the tutelage of the Thai mentor with the Cool Smashers and those playing on the Ateneo-Motolite side, had their names called for seven categories including the conference and Finals Most Valuable Player awards. “Today, I’m super happy because five of my players became best players (individual awards winners) in the PVL,” said Bundit after the Cool Smashers completed a best-of-three Finals sweep of the Lady Eagles, 25-20, 25-20, 25-15, Saturday at the Batangas City Coliseum here.    Creamline star Alyssa Valdez won the tournament MVP and 1st Best Outside Spiker honors while teammate Jia Morado collected her third straight Best Setter award and was named Finals MVP. Valdez and Morado were also the key players of Bundit during their stint with Ateneo in the UAAP where the three delivered the Katipunan-based squad’s breakthrough crown in Season 76 before following it up with a rare tournament sweep in Season 77.       Jema Galanza of Creamline bagged the 2nd Best Outside Hitter award while Ateneo- Motolite’s Kat Tolentino and Maddie Madayag received the Best Opposite Hitter and 1st Best Middle Blocker awards, respectively. Madayag was part of the Lady Eagles squad that won the UAAP Season 77 crown while Tolentino played in Bundit’s last two years with Ateneo in Seasons 79 and 80. "I’m really happy because I trained them and they improved so much,” said Bundit, who is set to fly back in Thailand to be with his family after five fruitful years in the country.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 8th, 2018

In Focus: The Katipunan Camaraderie Wins At The UP-Ateneo UAAP Finals

Trash talks aside, this season was all about the heart of both teams......»»

Category: lifestyleSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 7th, 2018

In Focus: Campus Couples Who Gave UAAP S81 A Dose Of Kilig

The flame of competition may be on a break, but these couples are still lighting a fire in our hearts!.....»»

Category: lifestyleSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 7th, 2018

In Focus: Campus Couples Who Gave UAAP S81 A Dose Of Kilig

The flame of competition may be on a break, but these couples are still lighting a fire in our hearts!.....»»

Category: lifestyleSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 7th, 2018

In Focus: UP Track and Field Athlete Jaime Mejia On Making UAAP History

This season, the UP Track and Field team ended 36 years of drought......»»

Category: lifestyleSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 4th, 2018
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