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Lady Warriors advance to Finals despite bench-clearing brawl

The UE Lady Warriors advance to the UAAP Season 80 Women’s Basketball tournament for the first time as they came back and downed the UST Tigresses, 69-62 at the Mall of Asia Arena Saturday afternoon.  With the game at hand for UE, UST's Larosa threw a punch at Love Sto. Domingo after the former split her charities, leading to a bench-clearing brawl which resulted in the ejection of Larosa and for UE players Marieny Requiron, Erica Ebeza, and Princess Pedregosa.  UE head coach Aileen Lebornio also was assessed a technical foul for letting her players enter the court during the scrum. The Lady Warriors had erased a nine-point UST lead at the beginning of the payoff period with an 11-0 blitz capped by a Joyce Francisco corner triple with 5:56 left. UST responded with a Kikay Gandalla three to regain the lead, 59-58, however UE banked in on their stifling defense to force errant turnovers and timely free throws to erect a 64-59 lead with 1:30 left in the game. The Tigresses had control for much of the three quarters, even leading by as much as 14 points early in the first half 26-12, and were led by Anjel Anies’ 16 first-half points. Anies however did not score for UST in the final 20 minutes. Jhenn Angeles, in her final game for UST, had an all-around game of seven points, eight rebounds and seven assists. Also playing their final games donning the gold are Anies, Tata Jerez, Bettina Peñaflor, and Marielle Isanan. Larosa also scored 15 for UST and grabbed eight boards. Sto. Domingo paced UE’s offense with 18 points and 12 rebounds, while Eunique Chan added 16 markers and 12 boards.  UE had a big advantage at the foul line with 35 free throw attempts to UST’s 19. The Lady Warriors may miss the services of Pedregosa, Requiron, and Ebeza as they will face idle NU, who hold a 62-game win streak on Wednesday, Nov. 29, for Game 1 of the best-of-three finals starting Wednesday at the Araneta Coliseum. "Doon ko nakita ‘yung five years na pinaghirapan namin. Sabi ko sa kanila nga noong natalo kami against UST noong Game 1 namin, sabi ko, masakit pero kailangan nating bumangon, isipin natin ‘yung goal natin kasi limang taon na tayo magkakasama tayo dito, hindi tayo pwedeng paatras, kailangan ang Warriors puro pasulong," UE head coach Aileen Lebornio said after the game. UST head coach Haydee Ong meanwhile was very much happy with their overachieving season, though was critical of the way how their season ended. "May mga fouls na hinahatak na yung mga player ko, hinahawakan yung jersey and they were not calling pero sa amin manipis. Kumbaga sa ano, kinontrol ng referee yung game," Ong said. "Kung pinaglaro lang kami ng mga referees dito, sana it would be a different outcome." The scores: UE (69) – Sto. Domingo 18, Chan 16, Francisco 14, Tacula 8, Cortizano 7, Ramos 4, Requiron 2, Gayacao 0, Antonio 0, Nama 0. UST (62) – Anies 16, Larosa 16, Gandalla 9, Angeles 9, Rivera 7, Peñaflor 3, Jerez 3, Sanggalang 2, Isanan 2, Aujero 2, Portillo 0, Manuel 0, Magat 0, Valera 0. Quarter Scores: 10-16, 27-35, 47-56, 69-62......»»

Category: sportsSource: abscbn abscbnNov 25th, 2017

UE turns back UST in fight-marred game to advance to UAAP women s finals

MANILA, Philippines – Four players were ejected in a bench-clearing altercation that marred the University of the East Lady Warriors’ finals-clinching 69-62 win over the UST Growling Tigresses during the do-or-die semifinals of the UAAP Season 80 women’s basketball semifinals at the Mall of Asia Arena Saturday, November 25. The ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsNov 25th, 2017

Warriors re-introduce themselves in rout of Spurs

By Shaun Powell, NBA.com OAKLAND, CALIF. — It is generally accepted that the Warriors will perspire some, feel a degree of burn in their lungs, receive an urgency slap in the face and get pushed toward the edge of their defending championship throne once they play a team from Texas. Just not this team from Texas. No, not the Spurs, at least that’s what the hunch and the outset of this first-round playoff series says. Common sense, too, wants to chime in and declare the Spurs without Kawhi Leonard are just standing in the way, albeit proudly, of the Warriors’ path to greater things in the post-season. And so, the long and antsy wait for the anticipated and projected Warriors vs. Houston Rockets showdown in the West began in earnest Saturday (Sunday, PHL time) when the Warriors breezed from jump ball to buzzer against San Antonio, and also torpedoed the notion that they’re somehow vulnerable (at least for now). The playoff tipoff was all about the Warriors re-establishing their muscle flex and their defense and most importantly, their aura, even with Steph Curry still out and ailing, because the rest of the NBA was watching. That’s what a 113-92 wipeout Game 1 win at Oracle Arena accomplished, if nothing else. The combination of the Spurs being overmatched and the Warriors needing to put on a more menacing face than what they showed the last month of the regular season delivered the predictable result: A smackdown. Or, as Spurs coach Gregg Popovich put it: “Got our ass kicked.” Too much Kevin Durant, the sneaky elevation of Andre Iguodala to the starting point guard spot, a JaVale McGee sighting and Klay Thompson getting swishy was exactly what the Warriors needed and received. Seriously, though: Anything less would’ve been a big surprise. The Warriors couldn’t afford to stay locked into the season-ending fog that turned coach Steve Kerr’s hair a lighter shade of gray and created the perception of a fat, too-satisfied winner of two championships in three years. Most likely, they were merely victims of human nature: While going 7-10 down the stretch, the Warriors simply grew bored with the meaningless late season, especially once Curry hurt his knee on March 23 (Mar. 24, PHL time). Seriously, what was left to accomplish, other than to stay healthy? This team was created and molded for the sole purpose of winning in June, not for placing importance on, say, drop-kicking the Sacramento Kings on April Fools. “We’re a championship ballclub and we know what it takes to win this time of year,” said Draymond Green, applying the perspective. “You heard, 'The Warriors lost it, they’re not together, they’re not the same team without Steph, blase, blase, blase, blah blah blah.' Well, we know what we’re capable of. There have been series where we’ve won without Kevin, without myself, without our head coach. A lot of people forgot.” In case you’re one of the people Draymond was referring to, here’s a refresher course, courtesy of Game 1: Durant is very long and tough to defend, Thompson usually doesn’t miss when he has three feet of separation from his defender, Iggy always earns his fat paycheck in springtime, and as for McGee? “He’s very tall,” said Kerr. Actually, Kerr wasn’t purposely trying to troll his starting center, just stating the obvious when it comes to defending Spurs leading scorer LaMarcus Aldridge. McGee brings four more inches and therefore made it tough for Aldridge, who managed only 14 points and was mainly a ghost. With Aldridge on lockdown, the Warriors’ D had accomplished its main mission, because the Spurs lack a secondary source of punch. What, is Rudy Gay going to turn back the clock? Manu Ginobili? Tony Parker? Because that’s what needs to happen for San Antonio. Without it, well, unfortunately for the Spurs, Kawhi isn’t limping through that door. What irritated Kerr was how the Warriors dialed down their defensive intensity in the weeks leading into the playoffs. They spotted 126 points each to the Pelicans and Pacers, and in the season finale did a complete no-show, getting spanked by 40 courtesy of Utah. Remember, the Warriors constantly ranked among the better defensive teams during their multiple runs to the NBA Finals. As coaches tend to do in these matters, Kerr jeopardized his vocal chords a few times while trying to get the message across in the disinterested locker room. But deep down, did anyone buy the notion of the Warriors suddenly forgetting how to play defense? With the second-best record in the West secured, and first place conceded to Houston, weren’t they just tapping their toes until the first round? Is that such a crime? Wouldn’t that be understandable, and wise on some levels, given the risk of something bad happening to a hamstring? Anyway, Kerr barely uncrossed his legs on the bench Saturday (Sunday, PHL time); no need to scold a team that held the Spurs to 40 percent shooting and claimed the rebounding edge by 21 and never felt threatened. “We finally got back to defending,” said Kerr. He made sure of that, by inserting Iguodala, his best all-around defender, into the starting lineup and also using McGee extensively instead of Zaza Pachulia. Iggy spread his limbs all over the floor, guarding bigs and smalls, switching on the screen and generally being a pest to the other team, as he generally is this time of year. “I just wanted to put our best defensive lineup on the floor from the beginning,” he explained. “The last month or so our defense had been subpar. You can’t win in this league unless you defend. You could feel the intensity right from the start. We set a good tone.” To be fair, the awakening of the Warriors’ defense will receive a more accurate measure if and when they advance beyond the Spurs and face, for example, the Blazers with Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum and of course the turbocharged Rockets with James Harden and Chris Paul and all those three-point slingers. But until then, wrapping up the Spurs will serve as necessary preparation. Less worry was the Warriors on the other end of the floor, where Durant assumed the lead and took 17 shots, scoring 24 points. More efficient was Thompson, who missed only twice in 13 shots and finished with 27 points. All of this was necessary with Curry not expected back for the first round; he just received the green light to press the accelerator during rehab and begin lateral movements. If the Warriors, a top-10 team in both offensive and defensive efficiency, continue to get this kind of killer balance, there’ll be some long nights upcoming for the Spurs and a quick series as well. “We were not as ready to face a team like them,” said Ginobili. “They were much better than us. Klay got away from us many times. Overall, they were so much better in every aspect that we had no shot. We’ve got to regroup, feel hurt and desperate, got to be smarter … We understand we’re not favorites. We’re underdogs. To get a win here we’ve got to overachieve. We got to do better than we can.” It’s too bad that the Kawhi Situation continues to follow the Spurs like a dark cloud. He remains stymied by a quad injury that apparently hasn’t healed enough for his liking. The Spurs with Kawhi and the Warriors without Curry would tip the scales in this series toward being somewhat level, or at least invite some suspense. Without Kawhi, the Spurs are shooting spitballs at a tank. Guts and hard work and good coaching can only go so far against the suddenly-refocused and playoff-locked Warriors. So, yes, the Warriors set out to re-introduce themselves and did so Saturday (Sunday, PHL time). “We want to make a statement in Game 2 as well,” said Thompson. “We hobbled to the playoffs but we know how good we are and what it takes in the post season to win. When our intensity and focus are high, we’re tough to beat.” Well, tough for one team in Texas. We’ll see about the other soon enough. Veteran NBA writer Shaun Powell has worked for newspapers and other publications for more than 25 years. You can e-mail him here or follow him on Twitter. The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 15th, 2018

MVP Ladder: Davis shrugs off pain, makes case for MVP

By Sekou Smith, NBA.com You’ll have to forgive New Orleans Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry for not feeling the need to mount some coordinated public campaign for Anthony Davis for Kia MVP. Gentry figures the voters have eyes, so they've seen the same jaw-dropping things from the superstar big man that he sees every night. “He’s great, man. Just an absolutely great player in every aspect,” Gentry said in a hallway at the Smoothie King Center after Davis and the Pelicans came up short in a critical game against the Portland Trail Blazers. “You want to know what kind of guy he is? He’s in there beating himself up saying he should have done more. What more could he have done? He got 36 and 14 with three guys handing on him all night. Come on, man, he’s just a great, great player.” Davis finished with 36 points, 14 rebounds, six blocks and played the final 17 minutes in pain after injuring his left ankle late in the third quarter. He took a minute to shake it off and finished the game favoring the ankle, that required treatment after the game. These are the sorts of performances he’s turned in routinely this season, particularly since the Pelicans’ other All-Star big man, DeMarcus Cousins, went down with a season-ending Achilles injury Jan. 26 (Jan. 27, PHL time). He and Cousins were on pace to become the first pair of teammates in NBA history to each average better than 25 points and 10 rebounds. Davis is averaging 31.1 points, 12.3  rebounds and 3.6 blocks since the All-Star break, after averaging 27.4, 10.7 and 2.1 in the 51 games before the break. So the “M-V-P” chants he heard in those final minutes against the Trail Blazers were well warranted for a player with range and versatility as a two-way performer that might be unrivaled in the league. “I can only think of a couple guys in this league who can impact a game the way he can from end to end. It’s AD and … ” Gentry said, before a reporter blurted out the name of the other player he was thinking of, “yeah, LeBron. I mean, these guys can guard from the three-point line to the rim and can score from those same spaces on anybody. Guys like that, wth that ability and those talents, they are just very rare.” James and Davis (who occupy the No. 2 and 3 spots, respectively, in this week’s Kia Race to the MVP Ladder) will square off today at Quicken Loans Arena. It’ll be another chance for Davis to be measured against the league’s standard-bearer in regards to the MVP conversation. James has four MVPs in his war chest, and could (and probably should) have a couple more. Meanwhile, Davis is still searching for his first. At 33, James has shown a durability and staying power that Davis, 25, is also still searching for. If there is a knock on his game, it’s that he’s struggled with injuries, bumps and bruises to a degree that’s greater than you’d expect from a player as physically gifted as the 6'11", 253-pound dynamo. Tuesday night’s (Wednesday, PHL time) spill against the Trail Blazers marked the 11th time this season Davis has had to exit a game because of an injury. The reaction of the crowd, a collective hush as Davis writhed in pain under the basket, was followed by wild cheers when he got to his feet and limped to the bench. Davis refused to go to the locker room, choosing instead to take a moment to gather himself and return to the game, knowing the severity of his injury was overshadowed by the weight of the Pelicans’ current predicament. They need every single game to reach the postseason for just the second time in his career, the same postseason he suggested the Pelicans would have dominated had Cousins not gotten injured. That’s why he’ll play through whatever lingering discomfort he has to against the Cavaliers tonight. The gravity of the Pelicans’ situation demands that he fight through the pain, dust himself off and get back on the floor the same way he did Tuesday night (Wednesday, PHL time). “Just knowing the type of situation we’re in,” Davis told reporters in New Orleans Thursday (Friday, PHL time), “I just wanted to be on the floor. I felt I couldn't leave that game, even though it was bothering me. I just tried to tough it out and just play through it.” * * * The top five in the Week 24 edition of the 2017-18 Kia Race to the MVP Ladder: * * * 1. James Harden, Houston Rockets Last week: No. 1 Season stats: 30.7 points, 8.7 assists, 5.4 rebounds Harden took a rare night off Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time) and the Rockets still rolled over the Chicago Bulls. The Rockets are good enough to go on auto-pilot the way they’re playing. They’ve already set the franchise record for wins in a season and secured the Western Conference's No. 1 seed ... all with seven games to go in their season. Harden’s work from the start of training camp has been the catalyst for this special season for the Rockets. He worked to integrate the new additions to the lineup, but did so without sacrificing any of the things that made him the strong MVP candidate he was last season. Topping his performance from last season should be more than enough to secure his first Kia MVP. The official word will come on June 25 (June 26, PHL time) at the NBA Awards show. But with the way the Rockets have played down the stretch of this season with Harden leading the way, the suspense in this MVP chase has evaporated. 2. LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers Last week: No. 2 Season stats: 27.6 points, 9.1 assists, 8.6 rebounds You have to appreciate LeBron’s admission that he would indeed vote for himself if he had a say in the race for the Kia MVP. And it’s hard to argue with his logic. Given all that the Cavaliers have endured since Kyrie Irving’s trade request was made public, it’s truly remarkable that he’s been able to compartmentalize the way he has and continue to play at an otherworldly level. If not for James Harden, LeBron would be clearing space on his mantle for his fifth Maurice Podoloff Trophy. Instead, he’ll have to settle for another season of milestones and his continued assault on nearly every career statistic the league has to offer. Not to mention he's still on track to play all 82 games for the first time in his career. And if you were wondering how the old man (relatively speaking, of course) bounces back after tough night (18 points in their Wednesday, PHL time, loss to Miami), catch the highlights from his 41-point, 10-rebound, eight-assist masterpiece in Charlotte on the second night of a back-to-back set. 3. Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans Last week: No. 4 Season stats: 28.3 points, 11.1 rebounds, 2.5 blocks Back-to-back losses at Houston and at home to Portland have put Davis and the Pelicans in a familiar position in the Western Conference playoff chase. Every game until the finish is a must-win affair, with today’s tilt against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers serving as the ideal showcase for Davis. He’s been an absolute monster of late (29.6 points, 11.5 rebounds, 3.8 blocks and 2.4 assists in his last 10 games). He knows what it will take to push the Pelicans into the playoff mix without DeMarcus Cousins, as that is something Davis had to do three years ago to secure his lone playoff voyage. It took a home win over San Antonio on the final night of the regular season to clinch a spot and it might take the same this time around -- Davis and the Pelicans finish up the regular season April 11 (April 12, PHL time) with a home game against the Spurs. 4. DeMar DeRozan, Toronto Raptors Last week: No. 3 Season stats: 23.3 points, 5.2 assists, 3.9 rebounds Saturday’s trip game in Boston (Sunday, PHL time) couldn't have come at a better time for DeRozan and the Raptors, who still have some work to do secure the top spot in the Eastern Conference. Their lead over the Celtics is down to three games. Given Toronto's recent losses to the Cavs and LA Clippers, a statement win on the road against the surging Celtics would go a long way towards resetting the Raptors' collective confidence. DeRozan’s continued evolution as a playmaker has remained on full display (15 assists in his last two games) and will be crucial to the Raptors’ offensive effectiveness in the playoffs. That's assuming coach Dwane Casey does indeed plan to keep his rotation as deep in the playoffs as he has all season. But the scoring prowess that has propelled DeRozan to All-Star status the past four seasons will be just as important, if not more so, given the relative inexperience of several of the Raptors’ role players. Both DeRozan and fellow All-Star Kyle Lowry know how vital it will be for them to be in a good rhythm for the postseason. 5. Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers Last week: No. 5 Season stats: 26.8 points, 6.5 assists, 4.5 rebounds Lillard was spectacular in a critical road win in New Orleans Tuesday night, finishing with a game-high 41 points (and nine rebounds, six assists and four steals). He did all that while out-dueling fellow MVP candidate Davis in what was a thrilling, must-see fourth quarter. It didn’t matter who was guarding Lillard -- sometimes it was Davis and other times it was Pelicans defensive wiz Jrue Holiday. Lillard was locked in and on absolute fire in a playoff atmosphere. His importance to the Trail Blazers, though, was even more evident a night later when he was missing from a deflating road loss to in Memphis. Lillard missed the game for a good reason: the birth of his son. But it should be clear by now that these Trail Blazers will go only as far as the mercurial Lillard can take them in the postseason. C.J. McCollum is as good a No. 2 option as you’ll find and Terry Stotts has done Coach of the Year-caliber in developing the roster. It’s Lillard’s scoring and playmaking, however, that takes them from a solid team to a top-three seed in the Western Conference. The next five: 6. Kevin Durant, Golden State Warriors 7. Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder 8. Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors 9. Kyrie Irving, Boston Celtics 10. Karl-Anthony Towns, Minnesota Timberwolves And five more ... LaMarcus Aldridge, San Antonio Spurs; Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks; Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers; Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets; Victor Oladipo, Indiana Pacers Next up? An inside look at LaMarcus Aldridge from an Western Conference advance scout: “I would love to know exactly what was said in the conversation he had with [Spurs coach Gregg] Pop[ovich] after last season, from both sides. Because whatever it was, it’s produced the best season I’ve seen from LA since he’s been in the league. And I’m dating that back to his best years in Portland. The Spurs aren't close to the team they are with all of the heavy lifting he’s done this season. He’s been more physical and much more active on the defensive end than he was last season and obviously, with Kawhi Leonard missing from the lineup for basically the entire season, his responsibilities as the No. 1 option for them offensively has been tremendous. He’s always been a skilled, face-up big. Working from the L and on the baseline extended, he’s as tough a cover as you’ll find at that position. "He embraced the other stuff, though, and perhaps at Pop’s urging. He’s made himself a more physical presence around the basket and at the rim. When he’s working in space against opposing [centers], that’s when he really has an advantage, because he’ll abuse guys his size and bigger who aren’t as mobile, guys who cannot match his quickness. He’s not an above the rim guy or a rim protector that causes you any concern, but he’s stronger than he looks and this season, he’s mixed it up more when necessary. He’s been more physical than usual. I’d suggest that’s a direct result of what Pop was trying to convey to him. Without Kawhi out there, someone had to play that role as their offensive catalyst and to do that LaMarcus was going to have to toughen up and show more fire than he did last season. I give him credit for stepping up to that challenge. I’ll admit, I was a bit of a skeptic when he was the hot free agent name a couple summers back. It’s easy to forget that. He was the player everybody wanted and the Spurs got him. And it seems like he’s finally comfortable there now in the role he’s playing leading that team right now. I’ve gained a lot of respect for him and his game with the way he’s played this season.” Sekou Smith is a veteran NBA reporter and NBA TV analyst. You can e-mail him here, find his archive here and follow him on Twitter. The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 31st, 2018

These volleyball-playing sisters prove great things come in pairs

With the rise of volleyball in the Philippines, 2017 saw an even bigger growth among the youth who'll end up loving the sport even more as the years go by. And as a kid with humble volleyball dreams, what's better than having a sister you can play with? Aside from being each other's closest buddy on and off the court, these sets of spiking siblings prove that great things come in pairs. Kim and Candice Gequillana   happy birthday manang! sml 💕 A post shared by cacee ❁ (@caceegequillana) on Jul 7, 2017 at 7:56pm PDT Kim Gequillana has long been the Ateneo Lady Eagles' "Magic Bunot", providing much-needed contributions be it with her timely service aces or her wide smile beaming from the bench. Kim's sister Candice, or Cacee, as she is fondly called, is a newcomer for the Heartstrong team, and beside her ate, she's expected to have that signature Gequillana energy to help keep the Lady Eagles in form after a number of veteran departures.   Desiree and Djanel Cheng   Proud of you achi 💚❤️ A post shared by Desiree Wynea Cheng (@chengcherengcheng) on Jan 29, 2016 at 10:26pm PST Des Cheng's renaissance season came last year, when she was a key part of the DLSU Lady Spikers' repeat championship. Coming from an injury, Des showed incredible heart in bouncing back, even leading the Lady Spikers as the season 79 Finals MVP in their win against Ateneo. On another collegiate league, Djanel has been a steady presence for another Green team. She was a part of the College of St. Benilde's historic NCAA volleyball title back in season 91.  They've been a great part of each others' success, and they're a great example to sisters and athlete-siblings, everywhere.    Myla and Marites Pablo Sister 👭👭👭 pic.twitter.com/41w77d57Ec — myla pablo (@iamMylaPablo) January 23, 2016   Myla Pablo needs no introduction. She's been a constant in Philippine volleyball since her days as a National University Lady Bulldog, up to her current stint with the Pocari Sweat Lady Warriors. Her younger sister Marites, a former Lady Bulldog herself, has transfered to Benilde in the hopes of making a name for herself. With a mentor like Myla, Marites would have no problems doing so.   Therese and Ponggay Gaston Therese may not be playing for Ateneo anymore, but the Gaston lineage in the Lady Eagles continues through the bubbly and athletic Ponggay. Daughters of former PBA player Fritz Gaston, they've always had sports in their genes, but more than that, their dad instilled a sense of competitiveness on the siblings early in their lives. "So, high school pa lang, we were very dedicated to volleyball and it was very serious for us," Therse shared in an interview with ABS-CBN Sports last 2016.   Jaja and Dindin Santiago   Nice outfit, Nice Bagsss... #kambal #twintowers #nikebagpack #nikeslingbag #dress #passion haha. A post shared by Alyja Daphne Santiago (@alyjasantiago3) on Jun 20, 2014 at 4:19am PDT National University's twin towers have been tearing it up since their UAAP days. From bright prospects as high school players back in UST, to their collegiate careers as towering players at the net, able to deliver lethal hits, or thunderous blocks. With Jaja standing at 6'6", and older sister Dindin reaching a still-impressive 6'2", it's safe to say that the Santiago sisters are strong by themselves. But together? Unstoppable.  Dindin may be nursing an injury at the moment, but Jaja is proudly representing the Santiago clan with her stellar outing as a member of the Philippine team for the AVC and SEA Games, and now back in NU in the Premier Volleyball League.   Jiezela and Nieza Viray From one set of "twins", to a legit pair, Jiezela and Nieza Viray are both currently playing for San Beda College. From Pangasinan to Mendiola, the Viray twins' exploints aren't limited to indoor volleyball.  They also compete regulary in the NCAA beach volleyball tournament, and in the Beach Volleyball Republic. As you would expect from twins, Jiezela and Nieza are dangerous weapons for the Lady Red Spikers with their high-flying hits and a connection that has been going strong since Day 1.    EJ and Eya Laure Daughters of former PBA player Eddie Laure, Ennajie or EJ, and Ejiya or Eya, definitely carry the stamp of their father. From their athleticism to their first name, which both start with the letter "E", and they're certainly making waves for UST as a formidable duo seen in the previous V-League season. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 26th, 2017

Fight breaks out as Lady Warriors beat Tigresses for last finals slot

University of the East punched the final ticket to the UAAP Season 80 women's basketball Finals after edging University of Santo Tomas, 69-62, in their stepladder semifinals tiffSaturdayat Mall of Asia Arena. Love Sto. Domingo caught fire in the fourth quarter, where she poured nine of his 18 points while Eunique Chan scattered 16 markers, 11 boards, and two dimes to help the Lady Warriors advance to the championship round. Sto. Domingo also grabbed 12 rebounds and three assists Joyce Francisco also added 14 points, six rebounds, and three assists, while Ruthlaine Tacula did all the dirty work and finished eight markers, eight dimes, and six boards. UE fought back from a 47-56 defici...Keep on reading: Fight breaks out as Lady Warriors beat Tigresses for last finals slot.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsNov 25th, 2017

UAAP VOLLEYBALL: FEU coach Pascua already preparing for DLSU

May it be a slip of the tongue or just an honest mistake, it seemed that Far Eastern University head coach George Pascua is already preparing for the 80th UAAP women’s volleyball championship against grand slam-seeking De La Salle University. Still high with euphoria after quenching a nine-year thirst for a Finals appearance, Pascua may have forgotten that the twice-to-beat Lady Spikers still need to hurdle National University on Sunday in their Final Four pairing.   Pascua was joined by graduating hitter Bernadeth Pons, Kyla Atienza and Toni Rose Basas during the postgame interview moments after FEU defeated Ateneo de Manila University, 25-20, 25-21, 14-25, 25-19, Saturday at the MOA Arena.      “Sabi ko sa kanila, the door is open. Ngayon, siyempre pag pasok mo, hindi mo alam kung ano 'yung papasukin mo muna eh. So kailangan mo planuhin,” said the first year Lady Tams mentor and former four-time champion coach of FEU’s men’s team. “Hindi ka basta papasok sa isang ano. Ibig sabihin, paplanuhin muna namin ng maayos,” he continued. “And then, ang kalaban namin is La Salle, defending champion.” That’s when Pons gave his mentor a little nudge before whispering that DLSU has yet to defeat the Lady Bulldogs to forge a best-of-three championship. “Uhmmmm, Sana. Either or, kahit sino, NU or La Salle,” Pascua said as the pressroom burst into soft chuckle with the mentor’s mistake. “Ready kami, ready kami.” FEU will have to wait for their opponent in the Finals, which will start on April 28. The Lady Tams are looking to end a decade-long title drought. In case DLSU does advance in the championship, the Lady Tams-Lady Spikers match will be the first time the two teams will clash for the title since Season 71 when the Taft-based squad dethroned FEU.     “Kasi talagang gusto naming makuha, ibalik sa Morayta ang trophy ulit na pinahiram ng FEU before,” said Pascua.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 21st, 2018

FEU ends nine-year UAAP Finals drought, ousts Ateneo

Far Eastern University ended a nine-year finals drought after eliminating Ateneo, 25-20, 25-21, 14-25, 25-19, to advance to the UAAP Season 80 women's volleyball Finals Saturday at Mall of Asia Arena. The Lady Tamaraws, who are in contention for their 30th title, also halted the Lady Eagles' streak of six straight appearances in the championship round. Despite dropping the third set against the rejuvenated Lady Eagles, the Lady Tamaraws charged head on in the fourth and mounted an instrumental 8-1 run with the quiet Toni Rose Basas making her presence felt. Basas managed to change Jhoana Maraguinot's attempt with the Lady Eagle hitting the ball straight to the net for FEU's ...Keep on reading: FEU ends nine-year UAAP Finals drought, ousts Ateneo.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsApr 21st, 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

PVL Team Preview: Pocari Sweat-Air Force

Star hitter Myla Pablo and a rebuilding Pocari Sweat are sure to have a tough challenge as the Lady Warriors begin their title defense in the 2nd Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference starting May 6. Pocari Sweat will be parading the core of Philippine Air Force after the departure of their key players following their campaign in the inaugural edition of the league. Only Pablo, Elaine Kasilag and Jeannette Panaga retained their spots in the team. The Lady Warriors lost starting setter Gyzelle Sy, top libero Michelle Gohing, Desiree Dadang, Fille Cainglet-Cayetano, Jessey De Leon and Cai Nepumoceno, who transferred to Petro Gazz, to name a few.     But Pocari Sweat landed a versatile player in Cesca Racraquin, who played for Creamline last year and brought San Beda University to a historic first Finals stint in the NCAA a few months back. Joining the Lady Warriors are veterans Wendy Semana, Gena Andaya, Mary Ann Balmaceda, Mary Ann Pantino, Iari Yongco, Angel Antipuesto, Mae Crisostomo and middle blocker Dell Palomata. Jasper Jimenez will call the shot for Pocari Sweat-Air Force. The Lady Warriors are yet to name their imports. PVL teams are given at least a month before the start of the season to finalize their respective rosters and clear their imports’ international transfer certificates (ITCs).     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 27th, 2018

UAAP VOLLEYBALL: Gusto namin makuha ang twice-to-beat (sa semis) -- Pons

Far Eastern University top hitter Bernadeth Pons is not just looking at bringing the Lady Tamaraws back in the Final Four. She and the rest of her FEU crew want to claim a semifinals twice-to-beat advantages in the 80th UAAP women’s volleyball tournament. The Lady Tams moved a couple of wins away from formalizing their entry to their fourth straight Final Four appearance after conquering University of the Philippines, 21-25, 25-16, 25-20, 25-22, Saturday at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan. With a 7-4 win-loss record at solo third spot, the Morayta-based squad is on the right track for the remaining three semifinals spots after grand slam-seeking De La Salle University booked the first seat.        FEU still has Adamson, University of the East and National University in its list of assignments. “Meron pa kaming three remaining games and kailangan namin maipanalo ‘yun kasi gusto namin makuha ‘yung pangalawang spot, first or second na spot para mas may advantage kami pagdating ng semis,” said Pons, who had 15 points, 20 digs and 18 excellent receptions. Since Season 77, FEU came up short of advancing to the Finals after falling victim to teams with semis incentives. “Mas malaki ang advantage kapag twice-to-beat ka eh so ‘yun gusto namin makuha ang spot na ‘yun para mas may advantage na kami padating sa semis,” said Pons, who is on her last playing year. “Kasi noong mga past years palagi kami sa baba, ‘yung kalaban namin hindi namin natatalo so hindi kami nakakaakyat. Kahit ano naman pero mas gusto namin na may advantage kami sa semis.” The Lady Tams have yet to advance to the Finals since the then Rachel Anne Daquis-led FEU fell victim to the Manilla Santos-bannered De La Salle University in Season 71. “Sabi na ni coach (George Pascua) marami pa kaming trabaho eh so sisimulan pa rin namin sa training, pag-aaralan namin every team na makakalaban namin and kailangan tyagain and trabahuhin talaga namin every team na makakalaro naming,” Pons said.   (To be updated) ---       Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles    .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 24th, 2018

Injured Warriors play short, don t have enough against Kings

By Janie McCauley, Associated PRess OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Buddy Hield made three free throws over the final 27.5 seconds, Willie Cauley-Stein had a late dunk and the Sacramento Kings won for the second time this season on Golden State's home floor, beating a Warriors team missing its top three scorers 98-93 on Friday night (Saturday, PHL time). Hield finished with 22 points off the bench. He also had seven assists and seven rebounds. Quinn Cook scored a career-high 25 points on 10-for-13 shooting for Golden State, making his initial seven shots and also hitting a career-best five three-pointers after Kevin Durant was lost to a broken rib in a discouraging pregame announcement for the defending champions. Draymond Green returned from a one-game injury absence to produce 14 points, 10 rebounds, seven assists, four steals and two blocked shots. Hield made one free throw with 27.5 seconds left and then two more with 13.2 seconds remaining as the Kings withstood a frantic final minute after the teams entered the final quarter tied at 75. Sacramento also won at Oracle Arena on Nov. 27 (Nov. 28, PHL time). Before the game, NBA Finals MVP Durant became the latest Warriors star to go down. Then Golden State lost reserve Omri Casspi to an ankle injury early in the game. Durant will miss at least two weeks with a fractured rib on the right side, joining fellow All-Stars Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson on the injury list for the Warriors. An MRI exam Friday (Saturday, PHL time) revealed Durant's injury and he will be re-evaluated in two weeks. Durant said there's still time for the team to heal and get ready for the playoffs. He missed 18 games in 2017 before returning for the final two contests of the regular season. "No concern. I've got a couple weeks and I'm just trying to get healthy, and I'm just trying to make sure I'm out there being able to be me on the court," Durant said. "That's the most important thing. It's not great timing-wise, obviously. It's all about just feeling better when I'm out there playing." Cook scored 13 in the first quarter as the Warriors jumped out to a nice lead, but they held just a 59-57 edge at halftime. Both teams played the first of back-to-back games. TIP-INS Kings: The Kings shot 14-for-31 from three-point range and held a 47-40 rebounding advantage. ... Kosta Koufos, who had 12 rebounds, was hit with a technical early in the second. Warriors: Casspi limped off at the nine-minute mark of the second with a sprained right ankle. ... Curry missed his fourth straight game after re-injuring his troublesome right ankle. He will be re-evaluated Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time), while Thompson has a fractured right thumb and will be examined again next Thursday (Friday, PHL time). ... Green became the eighth player in franchise history with 500 or more blocked shots. A CHAMP'S NIGHT In a sweet pregame moment, Steve Kerr brought up Champ Pederson on Warriors special needs night to help with the pregame media session before Pederson announced the starting lineups. Champ is 30 and has Down syndrome. He has worked part-time as a finance assistant for the Warriors since last fall and is the big brother of Dodgers outfielder Joc Pederson. "He could be in the lineup," Kerr joked. "I could be," Pederson said, grinning, "for Steph Curry." UP NEXT Kings: At Utah on Saturday (Sunday, PHL time). Warriors: At Phoenix on Saturday (Sunday, PHL time)......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 17th, 2018

UAAP VOLLEYBALL: Hanggang sa pagtanda namin dala namin to -- Reyes on loss to UE

The current University of Sto. Tomas crew will carry their painful loss to University of the East for a long time. Head coach Kungfu Reyes even during his college years never saw the Tigresses fall against the Lady Warriors. On Wednesday, he and the rest of his UST wards saw themselves on the wrong side of history when UE scored a huge upset, 25-23, 18-25, 28-26, 26-24 in the 80th UAAP women’s volleyball tournament at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan. “Actually noong naglaro ako never heard na nanalo (ang UE sa UST) that’s why I told them kanina gawin niyo na lang para sa eskwelahan. ‘Pag natalo tayo dito gagawa kayo ng history hanggang sa pagtanda niyo dala natin ‘to, sama-sama,” he said. The Tigresses were a point away from taking both the third and fourth sets but UST just couldn’t close those frames. The loss pushed the Espana-based squad on the brink of missing the cut in the Final Four race as the Tigresses slid to a 2-6 win-loss record, tied with their tormentors, who won their first back-to-back games in six years after lumbering in the cellar for years.    It marked the first time the Lady Warriors prevailed over the Tigresses in the Final Four era that started in 1994. “So history happened ngayon,” said Reyes, who played for UST's men's team from 1998 to 2002 winning three titles and a couple of runner up finishes. “Maging aral sa amin, sa mga bata, na protektahan syempre ‘yung pride ng eskwelahan and good naman para sa University of the East na overcome nila ang ano. Good season sila ngayon, nakadalawa na sila.” UE’s win against UST came following its five-set upset over Adamson University last Sunday at the close of the first round.   “Daig pa kami ng Adamson, buti pa sila naka-fifth set. Pero buti naka-apat pa kami,” said Reyes, whose wards need to win their remaining six games to advance to the Final Four. “So ‘yun nga sabi nga nila weather weather lang, so panahon nila, kami ‘yung medyo na out compose pagdating sa dulo,” he added. “So ano pa ba ang pwede naming gawin kundi magtyaga pa ulit at paghirapan ulit ang mga susunod pang training para sa mga susunod pang laban.”   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 7th, 2018

New era, new challenges emerge for Warriors

By David Aldridge, TNT Analyst "It’s the lack of faith that makes people afraid of meeting challenges, and I believe in myself. He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life. I figured that if I said it enough, I would convince the world that I really was the greatest." -- Muhammad Ali Ali defended his heavyweight championship 20 times, during two eras: when he was young and unstoppable, after beating Sonny Liston in Miami in 1964, and when he was old and vulnerable, after beating George Foreman in Zaire in 1974. He was the fastest heavyweight ever in the first era; he was smart and could take a punch in the second. A generation later, the Golden State Warriors are defending their NBA title for a second time, in three years. But they, too, are doing so in two eras. In 2014, no one had seen anything like what Golden State did on a basketball court, and how Stephen Curry’s and Klay Thompson’s shooting range changed the geometry of NBA defenses. They stretched to the breaking point trying to get out to Curry and Thompson. They couldn’t figure out how to handle the Warriors’ five-man switching defenses. They couldn’t stand up under Golden State’s withering pace. There is no need to hold a telethon yet for the Warriors, three years later. They are 49-14 today, with four All-Stars among their five starters, including Kia MVP candidate Kevin Durant, in the prime of his career, who wasn’t there when the Warriors first beat the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2015 Finals. They are still first in the league in Offensive Rating, first in True Shooting Percentage, first in Effective Field Goal Percentage. They still are unsolvable to most opponents. But maybe not all, not anymore. The margin of separation between Golden State and the rest of the league is still there, most of the time. But there are tiny signs of slippage. Tiny. You recall what Warriors assistant coach Bruce Frasier said in the preseason, when no one is injured and everyone thinks they’re going 82-0. “Teams are starting to figure us out a little bit,” he said then. “We’re talented, so that sometimes overrides strategy. But I feel like teams are figuring certain things out to do to counter what they’ve seen. Year one, it was really hard, because it was all new. The pieces have changed a little bit, but I feel like our challenge will be to see if we can layer on some of the offense, our fluid movement, and counters, and change things up, and execute better. Defense is always big, too, so I wouldn’t go into the complacent (problem). I think it’s going to be more execution, and how smart can we really be, and can we keep that energy up through this year?” In each of their previous three seasons, the Warriors led the league in margin of victory -- 10.1 points in 2014-15, 10.8 points in 2015-16 and 11.6 points last season. This year, though, they’ve fallen to third, behind the Houston Rockets and Toronto Raptors -- and their win margin is down to 8.5 points per game. Two years ago, the Warriors were fourth in the league in Defensive Rating (100.9). Last season, Golden State was second (101.1). This season, the Warriors are fifth, at 103.4. In 2014-15, they were 14th in the league in points allowed in the paint; this year, they’re 24th (to be fair, they were 23rd last year, when they won it all anyway). Are they bored? Tired? Aging? Is their bench inconsistency this year the result of vets saving themselves for the playoffs, or guys just getting old? And will it matter against anyone other than Houston? “Once you start getting a little older, it’s harder and harder,” guard Shaun Livingston said last week. “We definitely need the youth, we definitely need the health. We’ve got to be healthy. We’ve got to be healthy. Sometimes you see teams that maybe are over the hill -- they have the experience, but maybe not (the ability). It’s human nature. Obviously, I don’t think we’re there yet. We’ve got guys that are still in their prime. It’s mental now.” In the Jean-Pierre Coopman phase of their latest title defense (oh, how one misses spectacles like Ali fighting Coopman, the “Lion of Flanders” -- with Pat Summerall and Tom Brookshier on the call!), the Warriors came to Washington last week. There was no White House visit on the docket, only time with D.C. area kids and a trip to the African-American History Museum, with owner Joe Lacob and GM Bob Myers on the trip as well. They have been in the public eye for five years now, back to Mark Jackson’s last season as coach, when the Splash Brothers exploded into the national consciousness. That’s a long time for one NBA team to have all that light and heat on it. For a minute, the Warriors tried to convince themselves that there was a backlash building against them nationally, that people had grown tired of their 3-pointers and video game point totals. It was, of course, a ridiculous posit -- Golden State and its players are more popular than ever, the love for Curry such that he felt perfectly comfortable posting a photo of the glass table he accidentally smashed in his hotel room on Instagram, any criticism surely to be muted amid America’s love for the two-time MVP.   when you feel like you’re on the @pgatour so you gotta get some swings going in the hotel room 😂😂😂 #idiot A post shared by Wardell Curry (@stephencurry30) on Mar 1, 2018 at 1:33pm PST “There was a little guy who was probably eight years old, and he came up and introduced himself,” Steve Kerr said. “His name was Ryan, and I’m talking to him, and he goes ’oh, my God, there’s Quinn Cook!’ And he ran over to Quinn Cook. Not Steph, not me -- he loved Quinn Cook. That was cool.” Throughout the Warriors’ run, they’ve faced down different challengers in the Western Conference -- the first iteration of the Rockets with Harden, a hybrid inside-out attack where Houston unhappily and unsuccessfully tried to meld Harden and Dwight Howard in the post. The Durant/Russell Westbrook one-two combo in Oklahoma City. The Spurs, morphing from the Tim Duncan/Tony Parker-led team to the Kawhi Leonard-dominant one. The “Lob City” Clippers, followed by the Chris Paul/Blake Griffin halfcourt version. But this season’s Rockets, with Paul at the point, may be the most unique and dangerous threat to the Warriors. They are much more than a team that just rains 3-pointers on you -- though they most certainly do that, and do it historically well. They’re also an outstanding defensive team, with the additions of P.J. Tucker and Luc Mbah a Moute giving them a grit they haven’t had in past seasons to pair with the shot blocking and rim presence of Clint Capela. The numbers are stark: Houston is 32-1 this season when Paul, Harden and Capela all play, including two wins over the Warriors The Rockets have no obvious weakness. They have no fear of Golden State, either, having won two of the three meetings with the Warriors this season. It’s not just that they’re good, it’s how they’re good that makes them look like the greatest challenge yet to Golden State’s hegemony in the West. “I mean, yes, because they do it a different way, I guess,” Curry said last week. “They adopted the power of the three ball and try to use it as a main weapon, and obviously with James and CP together. Honestly, we know that they’re playing well. We’re chasing that number one seed and keeping tabs on how they’re playing and whatnot. But at the end of the day, we’ve got a lot of time left before we have to face them again. We know they’re serious. But so are we.” The Warriors have had to deal with great adversity during their run, to be sure. The biggest challenge came about this time last year, when a collision between teammates -- Zaza Pachulia and Durant, in D.C., ironically -- culminated in a Grade 2 MCL sprain and bone bruise for Durant, taking him out of the lineup at the worst possible part of the season. Golden State had just ripped off wins in 23 of its previous 27 games since a lamentable Christmas Day loss to the Cavs. Curry had started to figure out how to play with KD, and vice versa. They were in the middle of a brutal stretch of seven road games in eight overall, with the one brief return home to play the Celtics. When Durant went down, the initial fear was that he’d torn his ACL and would be out for the season. The Warriors’ locker room was funeral after the Wizards game. “Obviously, we were trying to figure out if he was like ’done-done’ for the year, or whether or not there was going to be a chance he’d return,” forward David West said. “We were, at the time he got hurt, we were just starting to figure out the sort of roles, everybody was getting comfortable with roles. We basically had to reset., change some of the functions we were doing. We lost a few games  trying to literaly just figure out and recalibrate and re-balance. That was one of those periods where we were just looking at each other, trying to start this thing -- we lost this huge, huge piece.” Yet the Warriors figured it out on the fly. And how they responded then provides a big clue to how they might respond to the challenge the Rockets present to them now. “It took us, I think we needed to get home before we were able to stablize,” Kerr said. “I want to say we lost three of the last four on the trip or something  (they did lose three of four, but one of the three losses was at Oracle in that one home game with the Celtics). We got home and righted the ship and got going. But sometimes (an injury is) a galvanizing force when a guy gets hurt, and you have to do certain things. Like, for us, when Kevin got hurt, we talked about it and we said we have to be the best defensive team in the league. We don’t have that luxury of throwing the ball to Kevin and saying ’get us 30 points tonight.'” During that stretch without Durant (March 2, 2017 to April 5, 2017), who returned just before the start of the playoffs, the Warriors led the league in the league in Defensive Rating (100.0, just head of San Antonio’s 100.2), first in opponent field goal percentage (.429), tied for second in opponent 3-point percentage (.316) and fourth in opponent points allowed per game (100.9). And once Durant returned for good, the Warriors again flexed. They tore through the West, winning all but one game en route to a third straight NBA Finals. And they took the Cavaliers apart in five games for their second title in three years. “You could see Draymond, Klay, Andre, Shaun, those guys, even Loon (Kevin Looney), were like, ’we didn’t have KD last year,’ ” West said. “For someone like myself, I just followed their lead. Klay got a little more aggressive. Draymond sort of settled everybody defensively. And we started winning.” That muscle memory will come in handy this year. Durant and Curry have missed time with injuries, and Golden State hasn’t figured out things at center just yet. (Would it shock me if rookie Jordan Bell played a big role there down the stretch? No, it would not.) But the Warriors still are smoking people in the second halves of games; per teamrankings.com, the Warriors lead the lead in third-quarter scoring margin at 5.3 points per game, more than double the margin of the second-place Denver Nuggets. Whether it’s adjustments or something else (“mainly, fiery halftime speeches, Knute Rockne style,” Kerr opines), they have again put a lot of opponents away with 12 minutes to spare. Since the All-Star break, they’re fourth in the league in opponent field goal percentage (.433) and Defensive Rating (100.3). “This year, obviously, knock on wood, we want to stay healthy,” Curry said. “We want to continue to push in the right direction. Every year’s different. That’s the fun part about this league. No matter how much success you’ve had and what your expectations are, it’s a different journey every year. We’re right in the middle of that right now. We have an amazing record, considering how we’ve played. I think we’d all say we haven’t lived up to our own expectations. That’s okay. We have an opportunity to build the right habits and the right momentum going into the playoffs this year and do it, all 15 guys.” Longtime NBA reporter, columnist and Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer David Aldridge is an analyst for TNT. You can e-mail him here, find his archive here and follow him on Twitter. The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 6th, 2018

Tigresses win, give Lady Eagles automatic spot in UAAP 80 Tennis Finals

The University of Santo Tomas shut the door of University of the Philippines, 4-1, giving Ateneo a free ride into the women's Finals of the UAAP Season 80 lawn tennis tournament Sunday at the Rizal Memorial Tennis Center. The Lady Eagles blew their chance of making it right away after De La Salle University scored a 3-2 victory in the morning tie, needing some help from the Tigresses to formalize their entry. UST extended its unbeaten run to five ties, while Ateneo now holds a 3-2 record. The Tigresses, last season's runner-up, will secure the twice-to-beat advantage in the championship tie if they beat the Lady Eagles in the final day of eliminations at 8 a.m. on Sunday at the same Malate venue. A victory by Ateneo over UST will make the Finals a best-of-three series. The Lady Maroons and the Lady Netters fell at 1-4 and will face off for third place at 12 noon on Sunday. In the men's division, defending champion University of the East remained undefeated in seven ties as it trounced UP, 4-1. The Red Warriors go for the twice-to-beat incentive against the Blue Eagles in a Finals preview at 8 a.m. on Sunday. Ateneo, which has a 5-2 record, is eyeing for a victory to make the championship tie a best-of-three showdown. De La Salle University turned back UST, 3-2, to secure third place, ending its men's division stint with a 4-4 slate.  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 5th, 2018

UAAP VOLLEYBALL: Kapag minaliit mo ang isang team, doon lalabas ang laro nila -- Adorador

Adamson University head coach Air Padda decided to bench three of her most talented players the whole first set for skipping training and to give her other wards a chance to see action. University of the East felt that the Lady Falcons weren’t taking them seriously. Coming off a big win against two-time defending champion De La Salle University last week, Adamson came in the game as heavy favorite against a team that dropped all of its first six games and in a 13-game slump since last year. Facing a team without Jema Galanza, Eli Soyud and rookie sensation Chiara Permentilla at the start of the match fueled the Lady Warriors’ determination to snap their skid. UE built its momentum with a shocking first set win and took advantage of Adamson’s error-prone outing to run away with a stunning 25-22, 22-25, 14-25, 25-20, 15-13, victory at the end of the first round Sunday in the 80th UAAP women’s volleyball tournament at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.      “Naramdaman po namin yun (na iba ang starters ng Adamson),” said UE graduating hitter Shaya Adorador, who punished the Lady Falcons with her heady off speed hits in the fifth set including the match-clinching soft tip. “Noong na sa loob kami ng court, sabi namin: ‘di ata yung si Galanza tsaka si Permentilla na nasa loob ah,’” added Adorador, who had 11 points including seven in the fifth frame. “So nag-usap kami, hindi ‘yung outside hitters nila yung mga pinasok. So bawat isa sa amin, talaga nag-step up.” Libero Kat Arado finished with 32 excellent receptions and 24 digs and admitted that it was that first set rotation of Adamson that fired her up.   “’Yun lang ‘yung mas tumulak sa akin na kunin lahat ng bola. Walang lalapag na bola kasi iniisip ko rin talaga yung paghihirap namin sa past training naming,” said the Season 77 Rookie of the Year. “So sa isip ko, babalewalain ko lang ba yung paghihirap ng bawat kasama ko kung hindi namin ipapanalo yung game na ito.” The Lady Falcons also shot themselves on the foot for throwing away 52 points off errors. With their win, the Lady Warriors made a solid statement. “Walang team talaga na mamaliitin talaga. Walang ganon,” said Adorador. “Kasi once na minaliit mo yan, doon lalabas yung laro ng isang team talaga.”     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 4th, 2018

UE and UST still undefeated in UAAP Season 80 lawn tennis

Defending men's champion University of the East and last year's women's runner-up University of Santo Tomas remained unbeaten in the UAAP Season 80 lawn tennis tournament at the Rizal Memorial Tennis Center Sunday. The Red Warriors maintain their perfect record following a 4-1 romp of the Growling Tigers in a rematch of last season's Finals. The Tigresses assured themselves of a Finals slot by nipping De La Salle, 3-2. UE banked on reigning MVP AJ Lim, Josshua Kinaadman, Dolfo Barquin and doubles specialists Rogelio Estaño and RJ Saga to improve at 5-0. KT Malinis, Monica Cruz and the doubles pair of Precian Rivera and Ingrid Gonzales shone for UST to stretch its undefeated run to four ties. The men's and women's teams of Ateneo have solidified their hold of second spot in the standings, and more importantly, bolster their bids for a spot in the championship ties. The Blue Eagles edged De La Salle, 3-2, to raise their men's record at 4-2, while the Lady Eagles overwhelmed University of the Philippines, 4-1, to improve at 3-1 in the distaff side.  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 27th, 2018

Where the Eastern Conference stands after the All-Star break

With roughly a third of the regular season left to play in the NBA, here's where the Eastern Conference teams stand at the All-Star break. GOING TO THE LOTTERY #10 Charlotte Hornets 24-33 WL record (4-6 in last 10 games), 5.5 games back of #8 #11 New York Knicks 23-36 WL record (2-8 in last 10 games), 7.5 games back of #8 #12 Chicago Bulls 20-37 WL record (2-8 in last 10 games), 9.5 games back of #8 #13 Brooklyn Nets 19-40 WL record (1-9 in last 10 games), 11.5 games back of #8 The Nets of course, don't own their 2018 first-round pick. That's going to the Cleveland Cavaliers, who were able to improve their roster at the trade deadline while hanging on to that asset. Right now the pick is slotted in at #7, but there's just one game separating them and the two last-place teams, the Phoenix Suns and the Hawks. Of course, unlike those teams, Brooklyn is not incentivized to lose games and improve their draft position, and so where this selection winds up could still fluctuate wildly. #14 Orlando Magic 18-39 WL record (4-6 in last 10 games), 11.5 games back of #8 #15 Atlanta Hawks 18-41 WL record (4-6 in last 10 games), 12.5 games back of #8 ON THE CUSP OF THE PLAYOFFS #9 Detroit Pistons 28-29 WL record (6-4 in last 10 games), 1.5 games back of #8 The Pistons got a big boost from the Blake Griffin trade, helping them win the latter four games of a 5-0 stretch. After that though, they lost three in a row, including to trade partners the Clippers, before entering the break with a win over the Hawks. The biggest variable for the Pistons is point guard Reggie Jackson, who hasn't played since December 27 (PHL time) due to a right ankle sprain. He's projected to return in March, and how he fits in with Griffin and All-Star Andre Drummond will likely decide whether or not the Pistons go to the postseason. PRECARIOUS POSITION #8 Miami Heat 30-28 WL record (3-7 in last 10 games), 1.5 game cushion over #9 #7 Philadelphia 76ers 30-25 WL record (6-4 in last 10 games), 3 game cushion over #9 Two teams going in opposite directions right now. Miami had a red-hot January, winning 10 games out of 15, but have just one victory in February, versus 6 losses. In contrast, Philly has overcome a stretch where they were 3-5 spanning the last two months, and won five straight entering the break. And oh yes, the two teams played each other twice in February, with the 76ers winning both match-ups. It'll be interesting to see how Miami continues to use Dwyane Wade, whom they acquired at the trade deadline. In three games back in South Beach, Wade is averaging 7.0 points, 5.3 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 1.0 steals, and 1.0 blocks in 22 minutes. However, he's also norming a whopping 4.0 turnovers. For the 76ers, it'll obviously be on Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons to carry the load, but improved play from Robert Covington would be a great boost. His three-point shooting has decreased each month, from 46.7 percent in November, to now just 27.9 percent in February. LOOKING FOR HOMECOURT #6 Milwaukee Bucks 32-25 WL record (7-3 in last 10 games), 4 game cushion over #9 #5 Indiana Pacers 33-25 WL record (7-3 in last 10 games), 4.5 game cushion over #9 #4 Washington Wizards 33-24 WL record (7-3 in last 10 games), 5 game cushion over #9 These three squads are Playoffs-bound, but the question is which of them will snag #4 and get home court advantage in round one. Right now, the team with the most upside has to be the Washington Wizards, who have so far done well without superstar John Wall, going 7-2 while he recovers from knee surgery. If they can continue to weather the storm until he returns in mid-to-late March, they should lock up #4. HERE THEY COME... #3 Cleveland Cavaliers 34-22 WL record (7-3 in last 10 games), 6.5 games back of #1 No doubt, it's a small sample size, one game sans traded pieces but before the new acquisitions were medically cleared, and then two with their four new players, but the Cavs were rolling entering the break, and LeBron James looks locked in anew. We'll need more games to see if James indeed has better chemistry with Jordan Clarkson, Rodney Hood, Larry Nance Jr., and George Hill, and one more factor to consider is the impending return of Kevin Love from his broken hand, which will obviously necessitate changes to the amount of shots everyone gets. Right now though, the King seems to have the necessary type of players that he needs to return to the Finals anew. REGRESSING TO THE MEAN? #2 Boston Celtics 40-19 WL record (5-5 in last 10 games), 2 games back of #1 Boston has slipped from the top spot of the East in recent games, their defense suddenly giving up a ton of points to opponents. After a stretch of seven straight wins early in January, they're now just 6-9 in their last 15 outings. We'll need to see if the rest over the All-Star break gives them a boost, or if this is just the Celtics coming back down to Earth. Remember, in the aftermath of the Gordon Hayward injury, nobody expected them to play this well. That they did, and are now seeing a mini-slump, might just mean we need to adjust our expectations anew of how good this Boston team is. TORONTO ON TOP #1 Toronto Raptors 41-16 WL record (9-1 in last 10 games) Not only does Toronto have the best record in the East, they have the best home record too, dropping just four of their 28 games in Canada. In contrast, West #1 Houston Rockets have four losses, while defending champs Golden State Warriors have seven. Toronto's biggest boon, aside from DeMar DeRozan finally embracing the three-pointer, has been their bench. Right now, the five-man group of CJ Miles, Jakob Poeltl, Pascal Siakam, Fred VanVleet, and Delon Wright is their second-most used lineup, and it's +34.6. Their best quintet is the previously mentioned one, but with DeRozan in place of Miles (+82.5). There are still questions about how Toronto will look come the postseason. Over the past few years, DeRozan and Kyle Lowry have struggled mightily with their shot in the playoffs. Should they get there though with the #1 seed in the East, things might turn out differently. They have two more games each against Boston and Cleveland, and so the opportunity to get home court through the Eastern Conference Finals is definitely in play. The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or ABS-CBN Sports......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 21st, 2018

Cross Court: Basketball-volleyball power couples

Aside from titles won, awards garnered and lessons learned this year, a handful of Filipino athletes have found, and nurtured love between another fellow sports star. One could just imagine how two hearts meet in the harsh battlefield of sports especially coming from different fronts. Fate led some of the stars from the country’s top two sports – basketball and volleyball – to cross paths and develop a blooming romance. Here are some of the power couples coming from the said sports.   Bong and Mozzy Ravena The perfect example in this list. Bong was a successful basketball star during his UAAP days with University of the East, the PBA and MBA while Mozzy donned the University of Sto. Tomas jersey as a volleyball varsity player. The union produced three kids who followed their footsteps. Kiefer and Thirdy are making their own mark as basketball standouts while their sister Dani has a budding career as a rookie setter for Ateneo de Manila University.         Kiefer Ravena and Alyssa Valdez What is a King Phenom without a Queen Phenom? Arguably, the most popular sports couple of this generation, former Ateneo de Manila University King Eagle Kiefer Ravena and ex-Queen Eagle Alyssa Valdez are the equivalent of the country’s best teleserye loveteams.       LA Revilla and Denden Lazaro   I love you past the moon and beyond the stars, baby ❤️ Happy Valentine's Day! ❤️ . @larevilla A post shared by Dennise Lazaro (@denniselazaro) on Feb 14, 2017 at 4:05am PST Whoever said that blue and green won’t mix has been living under a rock. Say that to this sweet couple of ex-De La Salle University and current Kia guard LA Revilla and former Ateneo de Manila University and current Cocolife libero Denden Lazaro.   Philip Manalang and Cesca Racraquin   Walo ❤️ A post shared by Cesca Racraquin (@cescarac) on Aug 25, 2017 at 11:17pm PDT Red is the color of love. Well, at least for this couple Cesca Racraquin of San Beda College Lady Red Spikers and University of the East Red Warrior Philip Manalang.   Alfren Gayosa and Grethcel Soltones Home 🏡 bound with this one ❤🌹👑💏💍👣 @ladybeast05 💪🏻 pic.twitter.com/Kq0un7HjkM — Alfren Gayosa (@eeeeerjordan15) June 24, 2017 Fun, bubbly, sweet and chill. San Sebastian College cager Alfren Gayosa and former Lady Stags spiker and three-time NCAA MVP Grethcel Soltones’ relationship is simply described that way.   Myla Pablo and Patrick Aquino As the old saying goes, in love ‘age doesn’t matter.’ National University women’s basketball team coach Patrick Aquino and former Lady Bulldogs spiker Myla Pablo proved that. Some say that it is a May-December love affair but hey who are we to judge? Oh by the way, we’ll be hearing wedding bells soon.   Aby Marano and Robert Bolick The last time Aby Marano visited ABS-CBN Sports’ Down the Line, the former De La Salle University middle readily answered that if her boyfriend Robert Bolick of San Beda College asks her hand right that very moment, without second thought, she’ll say ‘yes’.   Kib Montalbo and Desiree Cheng   ❤️ A post shared by Kib Montalbo (@kibmontalbo) on Aug 20, 2017 at 6:12am PDT KibRee is definitely real. The De La Salle University Green Archers’ ‘man of steal’ has captured the heart of Lady Spiker and UAAP Season 79 Finals MVP Desiree Cheng, and they have been seen cheering and supporting each other through wins and losses.   Arvin Tolentino and Brandy Kramer   There's no place I'd rather be A post shared by Arvin Tolentino (@arvintolentino5) on Jul 5, 2017 at 3:43am PDT Three years and counting. Judging from this picture, there’s no letting go between Far Eastern University cager Arvin Tolentino and former San Beda College Lady Red Spiker Brandy Kramer, who is the younger sister of cager Doug.   Chico Manabat and Dindin Santiago - Manabat   First!🤗🤣 A post shared by Dindin Santiago Manabat (@dindinquickermanabat) on Aug 14, 2017 at 8:41am PDT Two years of marriage and an adorable daughter, National University Bullpups assistant coach Chico Manabat and Foton middle Dindin are a picture of a happy family.     Junemar Fajardo and Aeriael Patnongon Saturdate ❤️ pic.twitter.com/pniFpWnEC2 — Aerieal Patnongon (@iamaeriealituh) April 8, 2017 San Miguel Beer center Junemar Fajaro is one big, tall and tough man. Only Creamline middle Aerieal Patnongon can make this big, tall and tough man’s heart skip a beat.   Jan-Jan Jaboneta and Isa Molde Maroon pride runs deep for Isko and Iska power couple Jan-Jan Jaboneta and Isa Molde. Jaboneta, a sparkplug off the bench for the rising UP Fighting Maroons and Molde, one of the Lady Fighting Maroons' go-to scorers have hit it off, and are probably each others' biggest fans when gametime comes......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 14th, 2018

Queen Bomber Alvarez seals swan song with MVP award

Shola Alvarez sealed her swan song with Jose Rizal University by bagging the Most Valuable Player award in the 93rd NCAA women’s volleyball competition. In her fifth year with the Lady Bombers, Alvarez led the team to a historic first-ever Final Four appearance. Though JRU short against a well-experienced and grizzled veteran-laden defending champion Arellano University in the semis, Alvarez’s effort brought the once cellar-dwelling squad into an unchartered territory. The Queen Bomber averaged 21.3 points per game during the elimination round and she also led the team in floor defense with her digs and reception. “Isa siya sa nasa top sa stats and very deserving siya roon sa MVP,” said JRU coach Mia Tioseco. “Sobrang proud kami sa kanya dahil dumating siya sa amin after five minutes ayaw na mag-jog kasi hinihingal na, hinihika. Now look where she is right now, as one of the top players sa NCAA. So we’re really proud of her.” Alvarez is set to receive her award on Friday before the women’s Finals between Arellano U and San Beda College at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan. Jovielyn Prado of the Lady Chiefs was named 1st Best Outside Spiker while Dolly Versoza of JRU pocketed the 2nd Best Outside Spiker award. Wrapping up the women’s awardees were Lourdes Clemente of University of Perpetual Help (1st Best Middle Blocker), Joyce Sta. Rita (2nd Best Middle Blocker), Alyssa Eroa (Best Libero) and Vira Guillema (Best Setter) of San Sebastian College and Regine Arocha (Best Opposite Hitter) of Arellano U. Lady Chiefs freshman Necole Ebuen was named Rookie of the Year. In men’s division, Jobert Almodiel of Perpetual scooped three awards including the Rookie of the Year and MVP recognitions. Almodiel, also the 1st Best Outside Hitter, led the Altas to an elimination round sweep to advance outright into the best-of-three Finals against the Chiefs. Christian Dela Paz of Arellano U took the 2nd Best Outside Spiker award while teammate Kevin Liberato got 1st Best Middle Blocker diadem. Perpetual Help’s Jack Kalingking (Best Libero) and Warren Catipay (Best Setter) and San Beda’s Limuel Patenio (2nd Best Middle Blocker) and Mark Enciso (Best Opposite Hitter) round up the list of awardees. Kirth Rosos of defending juniors champion Perpetual earned the MVP honor while teammate Noel Kampton bagged the 1st Best Open Spiker. Rounding up the awardees were Juvic Colonia (2nd Best Outside Spiker) of Lyceum, Raliuz Cantos (1st Best Middle Blocker) and Arnel Aguilar (Rookie of the Year) of CSB-LSGH, Gideon Guadalupe (2nd Best Middle Blocker) of Arellano U, Letran’s Raxel Catris (Best Libero) and John Paulo Lorenzo (Best Opposite Spiker) and Michael Imperial (Best Setter) of Emilio Aguinaldo College.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles      .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 14th, 2018

Adamson nears first round sweep of UAAP Season 80 softball

Jeanette Rusia homered as Adamson University shut out University of the Philippines, 5-0, to move closer in completing a first round sweep Monday in the UAAP Season 80 softball tournament at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium. The Lady Falcons got their bearing in the fourth inning, as Rusia belted a two-run homerun - her second this season - to give the reigning seven-time champions a 2-0 lead. Adamson University will shoot its six-game sweep of the first round against University of the East at 11 a.m. on Thursday at the same Malate venue. National University rallied past University of Santo Tomas, 3-2, in the other game.  The Lady Bulldogs joined the Tigresses, who also lost to the Lady Falcons in a rematch of last year's Finals Saturday, and the Lady Warriors in second place at 3-2. The Lady Maroons absorbed to their third successive loss after a 2-0 start. De La Salle University needed a strong showing in the fourth inning to beat Ateneo, 8-1, for its second win in five contests and tie UP in fifth spot. Baseball action Sunday saw De La Salle outslugging NU, 17-5, to grab the solo lead at 3-0. In other games, Adamson University stunned defending champion Ateneo, 7-3, while UST downed UP, 9-5.       The Falcons and the Growling Tigers forced a three-way tie in second place along with the Blue Eagles at 2-1.    .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 12th, 2018