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Marcelino stars as Lyceum advances to PCCL Finals

Jaycee Marcelino showed the way as Lyceum booked a spot in the Philippine Collegiate Champions League Finals with an 82-69 victory over San Sebastian in the crossover semifinals Monday at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan. The reigning NCAA Rookie of the Year finished with 24 points and 10 rebounds to carry the Pirates to another win. Cameroonian slotman Mike Nzeusseu contributed 13 markers and 15 boards, while MJ Ayaay got 12 points for Lyceum, which managed to advance despite playing its sixth game in seven days, including its stint in the PBA D-League under the banner of Zark's Burger. "For us, it's about 'yung perseverance and grit," said Lyceum head coach Topex Robinso...Keep on reading: Marcelino stars as Lyceum advances to PCCL Finals.....»»

Category: newsSource: inquirer inquirerFeb 12th, 2018

Lyceum gets revenge, beats San Beda to take PCCL title

Lyceum avenged its heartbreak in the NCAA Finals and got back at San Beda, 70-66, to take the national title of the Philippine Collegiate Champions League Thursday at Filoil Flying V Centre. The Pirates limited the NCAA champions to just nine points in the fourth quarter while scoring 16 of their own en route to the crown. After San Beda took a 58-57 lead early in the fourth on Javee Mocon's free throw, Lyceum raced to a 9-0 run capped off by two charities from Jaycee Marcelino to take a 66-58 buffer with 4:21 left. The Red Lions managed to cut the deficit to four, 68-62, after Clint Doliguez converted on a three-point play, but Marcelino answered with an elbow jumper and ex...Keep on reading: Lyceum gets revenge, beats San Beda to take PCCL title.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsFeb 15th, 2018

Pirates re-assert mastery over Stags to make PCCL Finals

In the first 20 minutes of the semifinals of the 2018 Philippine Collegiate Champions League (PCCL), Lyceum of the Philippines University scored 35 points. In the next 12 minutes, they scored 33. Jaycee Marcelino starred with 27 points, 10 rebounds, and one steal, and the Pirates imposed their will on San Sebastian College-Recoletos in the second half to come away with an 82-69 decision on Monday at the Filoil Flying V Centre. The Golden Stags were keeping close and only down by five at the half until Marcelino and LPU’s usual suspects went on a 33-17 onslaught to mount a 68-47 edge early in the final frame. Their lead would only rise to as high as 22 from then on. Alongside Marcelino, usual suspects Mike Nzeusseu contributed a 13-point, 13-rebound double-double while MJ Ayaay and CJ Perez chipped in 12 and 11 markers, respectively. With that, the Pirates remain undefeated in four games as they head into a Finals showdown with either NCAA rival san Beda College and UAAP champion Ateneo de Manila University. Ryan Costelo paced Baste with 15 points. BOX SCORES LPU 82 – Marcelino JC 24, Nzeusseu 13, Ayaay 12, Perez 11, Ibanez 10, Tansingco 7, Caduyac 2, Marcelino JV 2, Liwag 1, Cinco 0, Santos 0, Serrano 0 SAN SEBASTIAN 69 – Costelo 15, Capobres 12, Bulanadi 9, David 8, Navarro 6, Ilagan 5, Calisaan 5, Cosari 4, Baytan 3, Baetiong 2, Valdez 0, Mercado 0, Calma 0, Dela Cruz 0 QUARTER SCORES: 19-20, 35-30, 61-47, 82-69 --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 12th, 2018

LPU barges into Finals for first time after besting San Beda in 2OT classic

Lyceum of the Philippines University is not yet done making history in the NCAA 93 Men’s Basketball Tournament. And not even defending champion San Beda College can do anything about it – not right now, at least. CJ Perez’s star shone anew, but Mike Nzeusseu proved to be the difference as the Pirates edged out the Red Lions in a double overtime classic, 107-105, on Thursday at the Filoil Flying V Centre. Perez tallied 20 points, six rebounds, six assists, and four steals while Nzeusseu posted a humongous double-double effort of 27 points and 21 rebounds to go along with two blocks. “Credit goes to the players. They just didn’t wanna give up,” head coach Topex Robinson said post-game. It was also those two who made good on four of six free throws that turned a two-point deficit with under two minutes remaining to a two-point win. Arnaud Noah and Robert Bolick went back-to-back to grant San Beda a 105-103 lead with 1:29 remaining before Perez’s split from the stripe and Nzeusseu’s 2-of-2 trip at the line gave back the lead to the Intramuros-based squad. “San Beda is a strong team. It’s just a testament of working together as a solid group,” their mentor said. Down by one with 12.7 seconds left, the Red Lions gave the ball to Bolick to make something happen, but his try over the outstretched arms of MJ Ayaay and Nzeusseu only hit the front of the ring. Seconds later, another split from the stripe by Perez sealed the deal in LPU’s gritty win. With the gritty win, LPU completes an elimination round sweep last accomplished by San Beda in 2010. With the gritty win, LPU resets the best start to the season in the history of the oldest collegiate league in the country at 18-0. With the gritty win, LPU automatically advances into the championship round – their first trip there since joining the NCAA in 2011. “It’s still a long way to go. There’s still so much that we have to work on,” Robinson said. Birthday boys Jaycee and Jayvee Marcelino also added a combined 13 points, 10 rebounds, six assists, and four steals. The Pirates were already well on their way to a win with Perez granting them a one-point lead with 1.5 ticks to go in the first overtime. The Red Lions were given a break, however, as a controversial call was assessed on Jaycee Marcelino, sending Bolick to the line. The King Lion missed the first before making the second, sending the game to another extra period. There, Bolick still tried his best to take down the league-leaders, but was thwarted by Perez and Nzeusseu. He wound up with 16 points, five rebounds, and three steals. Donald Tankoua was a force with 34 points, 13 rebounds, and two blocks while Javee Mocon chipped in a 14-point, 14-rebound double-double. All of it still weren’t enough to deny LPU’s shot at history. And now, San Beda will have a longer, tougher road to the Finals. With the rule change, they will no longer have any twice-to-beat advantage in the stepladder playoffs despite ending the elimination round at 16-2. BOX SCORES LPU 107 – Nzeusseu 27, Perez 20, Marcelino JC 9, Caduyac 9, Pretta 8, Santos 8, Ayaay 7, Baltazar 6, Serrano 6, Marcelino JV 4, Ibanez 1 SAN BEDA 105 – Tankoua 34, Bolick 16, Mocon 14, Doliguez 13, Abuda 8, Presbitero 6, Soberano 5, Noah 4, Oftana 3, Cabanag 2, Potts 0, Bahio 0, Adamos 0 QUARTER SCORES: 25-22, 56-46, 70-69, 85-85, 97-97 (1OT), 107-105 (2OT) --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 19th, 2017

Pirates, Lions thwart rivals, dispute PCCL crown

Lyceum of the Philippines University broke away from a tight first half duel with a breakaway run in the third period as it trampled San Sebastian, 82-69, yesterday to barge into the finals of the 2018 Philippine Collegiate Champions League at the Filoil Flying V Center in San Juan......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsFeb 14th, 2018

LPU has just won six games in the last eight days

For the first time ever, Lyceum of the Philippines University is into the Finals of the Philippine Collegiate Champions League. Dropping NCAA Final Four team San Sebastian College-Recoletos on Monday, a rematch in the tournament Finals up against San Beda University now awaits them. And even before their heavyweight bout against the Golden Stags, it’s not like the Pirates have gotten it easy. In fact, it was the complete opposite as they had to play four games in four days, and six games in eight days, just to get to where they are. In the PCCL, the Intramuros-based squad had to go through CESAFI champion University of Visayas last Friday, Southern Luzon kings Naga College Foundation last Saturday, and then Ateneo last Sunday just to get to the semifinals. There, they were then pitted against Baste. LPU passed all of them with flying colors. Extending that to the PBA D-League, where they have tied up with Zark’s Burgers, they defeated Wangs-Colegio de San Juan de Letran a week ago and then beat Mila’s Lechon last Thursday. Yes, from Monday to Monday, the Pirates played six games and won each and every one of them. For head coach Topex Robinson, that’s just a testament to all the preparations they have done. “If you’re gonna ask me if (our players) are physically tired, I don’t think they are. Again, that’s (because) of the work we put in,” he said. That work, according to Robinson, all leads back to conditioning coach Gilbert Malabanan. As he put it, “Coach Gilbert has done a great job in making sure we’re in tiptop shape. Ito na yung games na aani ka sa in-invest mon a conditioning.” He then continued, “I guess we’re also blessed to have good character players na they take care of their selves.” --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 12th, 2018

NCAA Finals rematch set as San Beda faces Lyceum for PCCL title

It will be San Beda and Lyceum for all the marbles once again. Sans Robert Bolick, the Red Lions leaned on Javee Mocon to escape Ateneo, 57-52, and advance to the Philippine Collegiate Champions League Finals Monday at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan. Mocon led the way with 21 points and four rebounds to make up for the absence of Bolick, who sat out due to minor knee issues. "I really commend my players for stepping up in the absence of Robert," said San Beda coach Boyet Fernandez, who will face the Pirates in the finals. "It's really a big shoes to fill for us with Robert out." Donald Tankoua scored eight of his 15 markers, including the go-ahead three-point play wit...Keep on reading: NCAA Finals rematch set as San Beda faces Lyceum for PCCL title.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsFeb 12th, 2018

Superteams and superpowers: Basketball in 2017

The common theme in basketball as of late is rather simple: build yourself a superteam and see where it goes. 2017 saw a bunch of superteams take the court in all levels. Some panned out and some did not. Nevertheless, we live in a world of superteams. Either your favorite basketball team is one or it's not.   Warriors World For the 2016-2017 NBA Season, the 73-win Golden State Warriors, a superteam in their own right, added former Most Valuable Player Kevin Durant. Oh my goodness. The Dubs then proceeded to decimate the NBA, winning 67 games in the regular season. Golden State was even better in the playoffs, making a serious play for a postseason sweep before finishing with a 16-1 record and a second title in three seasons.   Seriously, it's a Warriors World that we live in Golden State's success has prompted other teams to try and create their own superteam. Houston snatched Chris Paul away from the Los Angeles Clippers and now the Rockets have a potent backcourt combo that also feature MVP contender James Harden. Oklahoma City completed two incredible trades that made Paul George and Carmelo Anthony members of the Thunder. Oh, OKC also has MVP winner Russell Westbrook running point. The Timberwolves also have something going on in Minnesota as Jimmy Butler joined Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins for a young and intriguing Big 3. The Eastern Conference landscape changed when Cleveland traded Kyrie Irving to Boston. The Celtics previously signed Gordon Hayward and all of a sudden, the winningest NBA franchise is in position to take over the East now and the forseeable future. Speaking of Cleveland, LeBron James is still with the Cavs and they've added Dwyane Wade of all people to join an aging but still scary superteam. The King started this whole superteam craze. Golden State just happened to perfect. We all live in a Warriors World.   Feer the Beer Over in the PBA, the Philippines' premier superteam is still pretty effective despite its stars each playing almost 40 minutes per game. A year removed from the "Beeracle Run," San Miguel made history by being only the second team to capture the Perpetual Trophy following three straight Philippine Cup titles. Then the Beermen, with the top-3 MVP candidates in June Mar Fajardo, Alex Cabagnot, and Chris Ross, plus Arwind Santos and Marcio Lassiter, ended the franchise's 16-year championship drought in the Commissioner's Cup. With the help of import Charles Rhodes of course. San Miguel had legitimate chances to win the Grand Slam of course, but the team ultimately fell short in the Governors' Cup. However, the Beermen did add 6'8" Fil-German Christian Standhardinger to the fold. Superteam.   Return of the Kings It was the perfect set up. Meralco earned the number 1 seed and was rolling all the way to the Finals. Meanwhile, the Gink Kings had to go through yet another emotional and heated series against rival TNT in the semifinals in order to have a chance to properly defend their title. The series before that? The Gin Kings had to end San Miguel's Grand Slam dreams. In the 2017 Governors' Cup Finals, Meralco was in perfect position to take The Rematch and allow the birth of a new PBA rivalry. After seven games, none of that happened and Ginebra won back-to-back titles by virtue of their quote unquote superteam. Greg Slaughter, Japeth Aguilar, Joe Devance, Justin Brownlee, LA Tenorio, Sol Mercado, and Scottie Thompson. How is that not a superteam? The Kangkong jokes sure died a slow death.   Systematic Mayhem Even in college hoops, superteams are the way to go. However, in the amatuers, you just have to recruit your way into building one. La Salle has perfected this method and the Green Archers are certainly the biggest --- and loudest and most aggressive ---- recruiters. The Taft superteam featuring Ben Mbala and co. got the Green Archers to two UAAP Finals and one championship. Only one championship because another superteam, quietly built in Katipunan with surgical, perhaps even robotic, precision, beat them this year. That's right, Big Bad Blue is once again on top of the UAAP as the Ateneo Blue Eagles scored a sensational, near-sweep of UAAP Season 80. Coach Tab Baldwin has a collection of incredible players that may not look like it on first glance but they do certainly qualify for superteam status. Dom't believe it? Maybe you will after they complete a five-peat. It could happen.   Sweep In the other collegiate league, two superteams dominated the NCAA for two separate periods in one season. First, Lyceum, the surprise superteam, made history by completing an 18-game sweep of the elimination round. However, the Pirates ran into the league's decade-old superteam in San Beda and the Red Lions ended up sweeping the Finals for yet another title. Most of the major characters from both squads will return for a new season and if a San Beda-Lyceum rematch does not happen, well, that's just disappointing isn't it?   OVERTIME 2017 also saw the rise and fall and rise of the Gilas Pilipinas program. Well sort of. The Philippines got off to a great star this year by absolutely dominating the SEABA Championships. Then, disaster struck in the 2017 FIBA Asia Cup when Gilas was embarassed by an old foe in South Korea. To end the year, the Philippine national team recovered, albeit in an ugly fashion, to take an early lead in the 2019 World Cup Asian Qualifiers. Gilas is more than capable of forming a Pinoy superteam that could compete, and even beat, the best of Asia. Let's hope we get that in 2018. Finally, 2017 also saw the Civil War PBA edition. It wasn't funny and it wasn't good. Fortunately, it seems that bright and peacuful days are ahead of our beloved league. Let's hope that's the case and let's just leave the bad memories behind this year. Time to move on and forget about that stuff. There are basketball games to be played.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 28th, 2017

For both Zark’s and LPU, it’s time to win in PBA D-League

Lyceum of the Philippines University swept the elimination round of the NCAA 93 Men’s Basketball Tournament only to be swept in the Finals. And so, they remain in search for a crown. Enter the 2018 PBA D-League Aspirants Cup and the Pirates search continues. “Yung hindi namin na-complete nung (NCAA) Season 93, hopefully, ito yung continuation,” head coach Topex Robinson told reporters. He then continued, “We’re excited for this new partnership. Thank you Zark’s for giving us the opportunity.” The Intramuros-based squad will join forces will fellow upstart Zark’s Burger which enters its sophomore season with a new hope. “Hopefully, with this partnership ay mag-improve kami. We’ve learned a lot sa nangyari sa amin before,” team owner Rolandrei Viktor “Commie” Varona said. In its maiden campaign earlier in the year, Varona’s team, then known as the Jawbreakers, only had one win to show in 10 games. In the end, they found themselves dead last. It was only a matter of time before they found a partner who also wanted nothing more but to get better. “Mas maganda na yung samahan ngayon kasi aligned yung vision namin pareho. Same na same yung vision – it’s time to win,” Varona said. He then continued, “They started (sa) NCAA na nasa ilalim sila then umangat kaya naman I believe na parehas kami ng goal na it’s time to win. Ayaw na namin na hanggang dito na lang.” If the Jawbreakers of old were lacking in talent, only Robbie Celiz stood out in the squad, they will now welcome the roster which took last season’s NCAA by storm. That includes Season MVP CJ Perez, skipper MJ Ayaay, Marcelino twins Jaycee and Jayvee, and Raymar Caduyac, among others. Robinson has no doubt that his crew will only come out with much more fire as they take the floor for the first time since getting blanked by eventual champion San Beda College. “We’ll try to get better dito sa D-League. It’s a good opportunity for us as a team and as a school and also for Zark’s Burgers,” he shared. He then continued, “The more opportunity for us to hone our skills, the better for everybody.” Zark’s-LPU will see action in the 2018 PBA D-League Aspirants Cup tipping off on January 18 of next year. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 7th, 2017

It’s Akhuetie-powered UP vs Lumbao-led LPU in Got Skills Finals

UP is continuing to prove that it is now a force to reckon with after barging into the Finals of the 2017 Milcu Got Skills Elite Basketball Showcase. Riding the broad shoulders of Bright Akhuetie, the Fighting Maroons’ edged out Letran, 70-68, a week ago at the Buddha Care Gym in Quezon City. State U’s prized transferee pounded in 14 points, 15 rebounds, and six blocks and was the steadying force in the endgame for his team. Akhuetie proved to be too much for the also promising Knights who were led by Fran Yu and his 14 points, seven rebounds, four assists, and three steals. With the win, UP advances into the championship round where it takes on Lyceum. The Pirates booked a trip to the Finals following their own convincing 89-78 victory versus De Ocampo Memorial College. As always, Carl Lumbao showed the way with 11 points, six assists, and two steals......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 6th, 2017

BEST OF 5 Part 5: No one-and-done for forward-looking LPU

Read Part 1 of ABS-CBN Sports’ Best of 5 series on the LPU Pirates here. Read Part 2 of ABS-CBN Sports’ Best of 5 series on the LPU Pirates here. Read Part 3 of ABS-CBN Sports’ Best of 5 series on the LPU Pirates here. Read Part 4 of ABS-CBN Sports’ Best of 5 series on the LPU Pirates here. --- Lyceum of the Philippines University is so close to the greatest season in the 93-year history of the NCAA that they can taste it. After going undefeated through 18 games in the elimination round, the Pirates need just two more wins to complete the greatest-ever perfect season. Yes, a 20-0 record will put them in a league of their own. The last team to have accomplished a perfect season was San Beda College in 2010, but only had an 18-0 record as there were just nine teams in the league then. While that would be the fitting end to what has been a magical season, the Intramuros-based squad doesn’t want an ending just yet. IT’S THE CLIMB For them, a championship – or a runner-up finish – is just another step they are taking in their journey. As head coach Topex Robinson put it, “Building a culture is not a one-time thing; it’s gonna take a while. I always remind myself na not just because we’re in the Finals, we forget ano ba yung vision namin.” He then continued, “There has to be a constant reminder to myself that setting a culture is a combination of all the seasons that’s about to come.” Robinson has not gotten tired of reminding his boys that all of this, from the underwhelming first two seasons to this magical season, is just a part of their overarching desire to inspire others. And so, for LPU, the championship round up against the defending champion Red Lions is only yet another chance to showcase skills and have a positive effect on all who are watching them. “I always tell them that this is just the tip of the iceberg. Sabi ko nga, the longer we play this season, the longer we could really spread the word,” the always amiable mentor said. He then continued, “At the same time, I always tell them that now they’re in this position, mas malaki yung responsibility. People know who they are so mas marami dapat silang matutulungan." MAKE A MARK Without a doubt, it’s nothing but amazing to watch, or read about, or hear about the Pirates who just joined the first and oldest collegiate league in the country in 2011 and are now knocking on the door of history. All of that, they have done by standing as David to the Goliaths of the land such as San Beda. “The masses could relate to us because we’re not a well-funded program. We don’t have the money like the other big programs have,” Robinson shared. He then continued, “What we have are people who are committed to winning. What we have are players na napulot ko sa tabi-tabi and are just happy to be given a second life.” CHIP ON THE SHOULDER CJ Perez, the MVP frontrunner, went from Pangasinan to San Sebastian College-Recoletos and then transferred to Ateneo de Manila University only to find his home inside the walls of Intramuros. MJ Ayaay, the glue guy, went from the end of the bench to a key reserve and now, team captain. Mike Nzeusseu, the inside presence, is a forgotten name among all foreign student-athletes. Marcelino twins Jaycee and Jayvee found no place in Adamson University. Reymar Caduyac just may be the steadiest player in the league, but gets no props for it. Robinson himself failed to find success in his first coaching gig with alma mater San Sebastian. The list goes on and on and on for all of LPU. Always remembering how they had to claw for every inch just to get to where they are keeps each and every one of them going. “We always go back to saan ba tayo dati? Sila, tinapon sila ng teams nila and now, they have an opportunity to redeem themselves,” their mentor said. He then continued, “Once you touch that part of their lives, they really become more aligned to where I wanna go. That’s where I keep them grounded.” THE BLUEPRINT All season long, the Pirates have said they want nothing more than to inspire others. Now their story is coming to its climax, they hope they have already done just that. “I hope that we could also inspire programs that are not well-funded to really look deep inside their hearts to find a way. Instead of complaining, you can find a way to win,” Robinson said. And so, win or lose in their first-ever Finals, the crew from Intramuros is already on the right track. “Whatever happens in the Finals, our vision is not gonna stop there. We’re not a goal-oriented team; we’re vision-oriented. Goal is you hit a number, it’s done while vision is, it’s way beyond what’s happening now,” the head coach said. He then continued, “We can be contented now – nobody thought we were gonna be 18-0. But again, that’s not what we want. What we want is to be persons who make an impact, who become an inspiration.” THINK BIGGER And watch out, LPU is not just limiting itself to the NCAA, to the sport of basketball, and even to the Philippines. “You know, being part of something bigger than yourself is really important. We’re here to change the world, how good is that,” Robinson mused. He then continued, “We’re talking about the world – not just the LPU community, not just the NCAA, but whoever we could touch. That’s not a guarantee of winning a championship, but it’s always about giving, sharing, and inspiring.” Indeed, you and LPU made us believe, coach. Now, believe us when we say. Win or lose, these LPU Pirates made an impact. Win or lose, these LPU Pirates are here to stay. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 9th, 2017

BEST OF 5 Part 2: O captain, my captain, Topex Robinson

Read Part 1 of ABS-CBN Sports’ Best of 5 series on the LPU Pirates here. --- Long before Lyceum of the Philippines University was dominating the NCAA, it was already a force to reckon with in other collegiate leagues. The Pirates were the class of both the National Capital Region Athletic Association (NCRAA) and the Inter-Scholastic Athletic Association (ISAA). Also, they had four Sweet 16 finishes to their name in the Philippine Collegiate Champions League (PCCL). Perennial favorites in the collegiate leagues they competed in, they were, without a doubt, a battleship staking claim to a river. Clearly, the Intramuros-based squad needed a whole damn sea to set sail in. MAKE WAY And so, LPU entered the first and oldest collegiate league in the country as a guest team in 2011. However, they soon realized that they may have had good endings in their prior collegiate leagues, but the NCAA is a whole different story. The Pirates fell far from the .500 mark in their first four years in the NCAA and compiled an overall record of 25-47. “Na-experience ko lahat simula guest team pa lang ang Lyceum. Noon, yung pag-compete namin, kapos na kapos pa,” now graduating Wilson Baltazar recalled of that time. He then continued, “Naalala ko nung mga panahong yun, gustong-gusto naming manalo, pero laging kulang effort namin.” Their battleship was now in the sea, but was also now alongside other battleships – other battleships which were bigger, badder, better. Clearly, change had to come. PARTING WAYS Long before he was the leader of a crew that is now in the championship round, Topex Robinson was already leading a generational group in the Finals. In just his first year as head coach of San Sebastian College-Recoletos in 2011, Robinson made it all the way to the Finals, guiding the famed “Pinatubo Trio” of Calvin Abueva, Ronald Pascual, and Ian Sangalang into yet again challenging dynastic San Beda College. Unfortunately, his first championship wasn’t meant to be as he and his alma mater ultimately bowed down to the Red Lions. The former PBA player would not reach the same heights again in Recto. With a 5-13 record in 2014, both Baste and its alumnus had fallen off the map. Clearly, change had to come. SEE YOU AT THE CROSSROADS And so, LPU saw the resignation of 11-year head coach Bonnie Tan while San Sebastian witnessed Robinson’s second departure from the bench. Not long after, LPU and Robinson then found one another. “It was something I didn’t expect to happen so early because, basically, I had just resigned from San Sebastian. I guess I was just blessed to be given an opportunity,” the always amiable mentor now narrates. Just as the Pirates were more than willing to give the young coaching mind a fresh start, the young coaching mind was also more than willing to give the Pirates a fresh start. “It was just an opportunity for me to grow. I always loved coaching and that’s how I always envisioned myself,” he said. He then continued, “So whatever opportunity there is for me to take my calling, I’m always open to that.” THIS IS DIFFERENT Still, Robinson made it clear that it never crossed his mind that he would end up inside the walls of Intramuros – a place he did not really have any ties to. “I never thought of being LPU coach,” he expressed. In fact, he went on to say that in during those first few practices, he had a tough time getting their team name right. As he put it, “Actually, the first year, I still always said, ‘San Sebastian.’ Yung adjustment from San Sebastian then all of a sudden, I was in LPU, it took me a while bago mag-sink in.” Fortunately for the mentor, he had the all-out support of both the school of the students. “What I appreciate about LPU is the support of the students and the management. Yun yung isang bagay na I was really excited about – knowing na I had the full support of the community,” he said. Of course, that all-out support entailed being given the tallest of tasks. “Sa start pa lang, they told me to change the culture. I pretty much explained to them that it’s not an overnight thing, that it’s gonna take a while,” he said. ROUGH START Robinson’s entry didn’t necessarily turn the tides in LPU’s favor. He won four of 18 games in his debut season and then followed that up with a 6-12 record in his sophomore effort. However, he also wasted no time in effecting change in the habits of players. “Yung iniba ni coach Topex, yung disiplina sa team. Ngayon, willing kaming lahat gawin lahat para manalo,” Baltazar shared, noting the difference between the Pirates of old and the Pirates under Robinson. He then continued, “Sa training talaga, dun mo makikita yung pagkakaiba. Ngayon kasi, lahat nag-sacrifice sa training, lahat nagbibigay ng effort mula sa dulo ng bench hanggang first five.” Baltazar went on to say how their new head coach gave his all to make them understand that they are a team and not just a collection of individuals. “Lahat kami, walang entitled, pantay-pantay lang. Kung anong ginagawa ng isa, ginagawa ng lahat,” he said. And while that understanding didn’t translate onto the standings just yet, Robinson already proved that he was up to the tallest of tasks. That did not get lost on the LPU community which entrusted him with its fledgling program. “What I appreciate from them is LPU is really determined to change what was there and make this program one to be respected,” he then continued. Now, the LPU Pirates had their captain. Now, it was just all about assembling the right crew. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 6th, 2017

BEST OF 5 Part 1: The LPU Pirates are knocking on the door of history

The best-ever start to the season in the 93-year history of the NCAA belongs to Lyceum of the Philippines University. Yes, that Pirate crew which has been in the league for only six years. That best-ever start, 18 wins in 18 games, has put LPU straight into the Finals. Meaning, not only have they made their first playoffs, they have also made their first championship round. In doing so, the Pirates were also granted the luxury of a three-week break while watching their challengers in Colegio de San Juan de Letran, San Sebastian College-Recoletos, Jose Rizal University, and San Beda College go at it in successive knockout bouts. And for now, their first-ever Finals is far from the minds of the Intramuros-based squad. LOVE. SERVE. CARE. After setting the league on fire through 18 games, their first agenda was to stay true to the three words on the back of their warmup shirts: “Love, Serve, Care.” “We went to White Cross which is a home for kids who were abandoned,” head coach Topex Robinson shared. “It’s a part of letting them know how blessed they are to be in this situation right now.” Last October 26, LPU visited the orphanage in San Juan to spend time with youngsters whom they want to inspire. While that isn’t necessarily the typical preparation for a big game, it does help with the mental aspect of things – specifically, reminding them that they aren’t bigger than anything. “Amongst us, we know how we handle things. They know that our job isn’t done, that we haven’t accomplished anything yet,” Robinson said. “Rather than boast and be proud, we did a lot of community service so again, it’s going back to service. We could be enjoying everything, but it’s always about helping back and giving back.” HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS And so, two-thirds of the Pirates’ three-week break was devoted to both giving back and looking back. According to their mentor, most of the players went back home to their provinces during the Halloween break. “I gave them three days off to go back to their families. Ang reminder ko dun when they went back is to try to remember where they started and how everything has gone for them,” he shared. He then continued, “It’s always about remembering saan sila nanggaling before.” Robinson went on to say how he reminded CJ Perez of how he went from Pangasinan to San Sebastian College-Recoletos and then transferring to Ateneo de Manila University only to find his home inside the Walls of Intramuros. The same goes for Kim Cinco and Ralph Tansingco who floundered in National University and for Marcelino twins Jaycee and Jayvee who found no place in Adamson University. “It’s always about being grateful for where they are now,” the head coach said. READY. SET. GO. All of this means that mentally, LPU is more than prepared as it sees action in its first-ever Finals – which just so happens to also be its first time playing on the floor of the Araneta Coliseum. Now that has been taken care of, they turn their attention to the game itself. “We were pretty much trying to take it lightly because we had three weeks, but we will be playing Alab (Pilipinas) in a tuneup match,” Robinson said. He then continued, “It’s gonna be our first, pretty much, basketball (since October 19).” That is why, on Sunday, the Pirates took on, and closely competed with, Ray Parks Jr.-led and Jimmy Alapag-coached Alab of the Asean Basketball League. After that, they return to practice to re-ignite the flame that had them setting the league on fire for 18 games. Nobody knows exactly what will happen in Game 1 of the NCAA 93 Finals on Friday at the Araneta Coliseum. One thing is for sure, though: the LPU Pirates will cherish their first-ever Finals, their first time at the Araneta Coliseum, and their first chance to officially put their school at the top tier of teams. After all, just six seasons ago, that was all but a dream for them. LPU and whoever wins between San Beda and San Sebastian will wage war in Game 1 of the NCAA 93 Finals. All of the action will be on S+A, S+A HD, and sports.abs-cbn.com/livestream/ncaa. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 5th, 2017

Coach Topex: ‘We always try to remember kung saan kami nanggaling’

Lyceum of the Philippines University is in the Finals for the very first time since joining the NCAA in 2011. For head coach Topex Robinson, more than the milestone for their program, their first trip to championship round is just a chance to continue their ultimate goal of inspiring others. “They all know that this is an opportunity for them to really showcase their talent,” he told reporters. Throughout the tournament, the Pirates have preached that they are showcasing their skills to have a positive effect on all who are watching them. And from the beginning of Season 93 to Thursday, when the completed a sweep of the elimination round, they have indeed been doing just that. As their mentor put it, “After games, I would receive messages from coaches that (our boys) are a really fun team to watch. I always tell (our boys) that most of the coaches who text me wish that they had (our boys).” And so, whether or not it turns its first trip to the championship round to its first title, LPU has its sights set on continuing to inspire others. “When you get to meet people na sinasabing maganda ang ginagawa niyo, it gives us more meaning to what we’re doing,” Robinson said. Of course, that is far from the end of it as the Intramuros-based squad is also the heavy favorite to win the title – and even complete a season sweep. Still, Robinson said they are will be keeping their feet on the ground. “The way we’ll manage our egos and our prides will be key for us. We have to always be humble, we have to always know that we’re just here because somebody gave us an opportunity,” the always amiable mentor shared. In doing so, they will also just never fail in making the best out of each and every opportunity. “Even me, I’m here because of somebody gave me an opportunity. Kapag pinabayaan namin ‘to, someone else will get the ball so we want to keep protecting that opportunity,” Robinson said. He then continued, “We always try to remember kung saan kami nanggaling. We always try to remember anong nangyari before kami napunta sa Lyceum.” Indeed, Robinson himself is making the best out of his opportunity after his tenure in San Sebastian College-Recoletos unceremoniously ended. Same goes for CJ Perez whose time in San Sebastian and Ateneo de Manila University didn’t work out, for MJ Ayaay who was a benchwarmer in his first two season, for Mike Nzeusseu who was a forgotten force, and the Marcelino twins who were cast away from Adamson University. That mantra also goes not only on the court, but also off of it. “We’re trying to make sure that these guys are healthy. We’re trying to make sure they attend their classes because it’s very important not to fall in love with basketball,” the head coach said. He then continued, “The reality here is that this is bigger than basketball. ‘Pag hindi sila pumasok (sa klase), hindi sila maglalaro. It’s as simple as that.” Most important of all, Robinson believes that this magical season is only a sign of things to come for the Pirates. “Hopefully, we can continue this culture. Hopefully, winning doesn’t stop us from pursuing this culture,” he expressed. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 19th, 2017

Perfect Pirates put on a show against Heavy Bombers

Lyceum of the Philippines University was supposedly heading into its toughest stretch in the NCAA 93 Men’s Basketball Tournament. And yet, even up against already playoff-bound Jose Rizal University on Friday at the Filoil Flying V Centre, the Pirates made it look easy. Everybody from CJ Perez to Spencer Pretta was on-point as the league-leaders stamped their class on the once flying high Heavy Bombers, 100-63. The win was LPU’s 17th in as many games, keeping it at the top spot ahead of a much-awaited matchup with defending champion San Beda College. The Pirates imposed their will from the get-go and outscored their opponents for all of the four quarters. “We came to play. We came to honor the game and we will play how we always play,” a beaming head coach Topex Robinson said. It took until the final frame, however, for the match to turn into a mismatch. “You always want to be at your best. Whether we are up by 20 or down by 20, we will always play the same,” Robinson said. In a two-minute sequence that may just perfectly paint a picture of the Intramuros-based squad’s season, they forced four turnovers in a row that led to a Mike Nzeusseu windmill, a CJ Perez slam, and a Spencer Pretta to Perez alley-oop. By then, the score read 76-55. And with 7:50 still remaining, JRU head coach Vergel Meneses already waved the white flag. Perez was the lone player in double-digits with 24 points on top of eight rebounds, four rebounds, and four steals. Pretta and Ralph Tansingco chipped in nine points apiece while Raymar Caduyac, Jaycee Marcelino, Jeffrey Santos, and Edcor Marata all had eight markers. Now at 17-0, LPU goes for an eliminations sweep against the 16-1 Red Lions next Thursday at the same venue. If the league-leaders win, they automatically advance to the Finals with a twice-to-beat advantage. If the defending champions win, they force a playoff for the top-seed. Win or lose, the game had no implications for the Heavy Bombers who are already locked into the third-seed. Lloyd Castor topped the scoring column for them with 12 points as they ended the eliminations at 11-7. BOX SCORES LPU 100 – Perez 24, Pretta 9, Tansingco 9, Caduyac 8, Marcelino JC 8, Santos 8, Marata 8, Marcelino JV 6, Serrano 6, Ayaay 4, Nzeusseu 4, Ibanez 4, Liwa 2, Baltazar 0, Cinco 0 JRU 63 – Castor 12, Teodoro 11, Dela Virgen 10, Poutouochi 8, Mendoza 8, Sibangan 4, Mariano 4, Grospe 4, Abdul Razak 2, Mate 0, Sawat 0, Pontejos 0, Bordon 0, Lasquety 0, David 0 QUARTER SCORES: 24-18, 42-34, 68-53, 100-63 --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 13th, 2017

With LA as backdrop, NBA opens latest ASG chapter

By Shaun Powell, NBA.com LOS ANGELES — There’s a very real chance of seeing it all at the NBA All-Star Game from the world’s greatest players and athletes, who are trained to entertain. And they deliver on that, every year, for the most part. Which brings us to this year’s showpiece: Will we finally see the All-Stars play defense, or not? Simple question. Over the last three years, they game morphed into a blob of uncontested shots and layups with the pace of a NASCAR event and the intensity level of a turtle race. Last year Steph Curry comically dropped to the floor rather than putting his body between Giannis Antetokounmpo and the rim (maybe wisely, but still). That was a flash-point moment. Perhaps because of fear of getting injured, or maybe the body just needs a break after a half-season, players rarely spent much energy trying to stop anyone. That led to wild and repetitious scoring sprees, where the losing team averaged 170 points, and ultimately, new changes designed to encourage players to at least simulate a real game and turn it up two notches. And so, Sunday’s (Monday, PHL time) game at Staples Center will serve as the laboratory rat and perhaps usher a new era for the midseason game. If today’s players treat it the way the old-timers did, then this could be special. If not, this could be 194-187. “I think it’ll be different,” said Curry. The rules committee was alarmed enough by the public backlash of the last two games, where the winning West team came a combined 12 points from hitting the 200-point mark, that the traditional format was scrapped. No longer is it East vs. West, now it’s the leading vote-getter in both conferences choosing their own squad, regardless of conference. Therefore, Team Stephen will tip against Team LeBron with the mixed squads lending some intrigue and could cure the defense and intensity issues. As an added bonus, each member of the winning team will receive $100,000 vs. $25,000 for the losers, although it must be mentioned that the only player in an All-Star uniform making below eight figures is Karl-Anthony Towns. Still, the idea was to raise the incentive level and hoping it raises the fourth-quarter heat. The coach of the LeBron team, Dwane Casey of the Raptors, said he plans to do his part by shuffling the minutes based on who’s trying the hardest. “I went to our players individually and asked two questions: ‘Do you want to put on a show, or do you want to win? Let me know.’ I’d like them to go and compete. I want to win. We owe it to the league and the fans to let them know that the NBA isn’t about rolling the ball out there. There are a lot of fundamental things we can do on the court, and it starts with the All-Star Game, with everyone watching.” It helps that the game will feature a few subplots designed to make it interesting. Such as: LeBron and Kyrie Irving, together again. They had a mysterious split last summer after Irving, two years removed from a championship in Cleveland and with the chance of additional chances to win another, demanded and received a trade. He’s in Boston now, creating a rivalry with Cleveland whereas none existed before the deal. But apparently there was no acrimony generated by the split and the two have remained on decent terms, based on the chatter between them. Nothing personal, in other words. And anyway, LeBron chose Irving for this team. The reunion, says Irving, will be “pretty awesome.” LeBron: “Listen, anytime I get an opportunity to be with a fellow teammate of mine on the same court, and then you add on the fact of what we were able to accomplish in the three years, they just make it special. You automatically start thinking about the moments. There was a time when I was in Miami when I thought about if there was a chance for me to be Kyrie's teammate at All-Star Weekend. I thought about that. I didn't think it would be possible, and then we became teammates. We were on the same All-Star court together as teammates. Those thoughts still go into my head of how great it was to break the drought in our city, over 50-plus years, when the both of us had magical, magical Finals runs. So, it's always special. Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, together again. Well, the two ex-Thunder ‘mates did play for the West squad last season, yet kept their distance, both on and off the court, the entire weekend. Also, they had testy exchanges this season, evidence that if nothing else, the competitive spirit between them remains high. Yet, all seems civil regarding the split two years later, maybe because Westbrook gained a half-measure of revenge when Paul George arrived this season. Curry and James Harden, together. As team captain, Curry selected Harden, and at least for one weekend, the two will put aside some natural conflict. One: They’re among the leading candidates for the MVP award, and those in the Harden camp believe he was robbed of the second MVP won by Curry. Two: The Warriors and Rockets are engaged in a thermal race for top spot in the West, with the Rockets beating Golden State twice this season so far. (Side note: Curry responded “Ha” the other day when asked who should win the MVP this year, him or Harden. Just “ha.”) Joel Embiid. The fun-loving big man makes his All-Star debut and promises to bring his infectious personality to the game and also his astonishing skills, rare for a seven-footer. Look for Embiid to make a strong big for game MVP and doing so apologetically. His competition could come from Antetokounmpo and either winner would signal a victory for a league looking for yet another superstar. But, the game itself. Will it be taken seriously? “We've talked about it.” said Irving. “Like I said, I think it's more individually based in terms of the competitive fire. But I know that we're pretty excited to be out there and compete and go at one another for a little bit and have a little fun.” Last year, Antetokounmpo was playfully chastised by his teammates for going full-tilt and challenging shots and essentially treating it like a playoff game. It was his first All-Star appearance and he was surprised by the mild tone of the pace. Victor Oladipo, a first-timer this year, doesn’t believe that’ll happen to him. “My competitive nature is going to get the best of me,” he said. The unspoken concern, of course, is injury, although there’s no documented case of a player ever pulling up lame in the game. Imagine the outcry, for example, if the intensity soars and someone grabs a body part. The fallout will be steep, and with that in mind, many coaches tell their players to ease off the gas pedal. “I don’t want anyone to get hurt,” said Casey, “but we want to change the narrative about this game and how it’s played. I find that when players do things half-way or go through the motions, that’s when they’re more liable to get hurt.” And so, with that in mind, with a revamped format and a bit more pocket change for the winner and an audience that would like to see some floor burn for a change, the All-Stars just could make this game interesting. That starts with defense. “The challenge is, if you’re going to play to win, you’re going to compete on the defensive end, especially in transition,” said Casey. “That’s where the all-star game kind of deteriorates. You got to start your transition defense, our one on one defense, and put defense in the game because if you don’t, it will be 160, 170 points. I don’t know if we’re going to change it all in one game, but that’s our goal is to try to be more serious on defense, and not trick passes and trick shots and circus mentality. “These guys can entertain and also play defense and give a more competitive game. They are good enough to pull it off. That’s what I hope to see and what fans hope to see.” 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 News3 hr. 56 min. ago

With LA as backdrop, NBA opens latest ASG chapter

By Shaun Powell, NBA.com LOS ANGELES — There’s a very real chance of seeing it all at the NBA All-Star Game from the world’s greatest players and athletes, who are trained to entertain. And they deliver on that, every year, for the most part. Which brings us to this year’s showpiece: Will we finally see the All-Stars play defense, or not? Simple question. Over the last three years, they game morphed into a blob of uncontested shots and layups with the pace of a NASCAR event and the intensity level of a turtle race. Last year Steph Curry comically dropped to the floor rather than putting his body between Giannis Antetokounmpo and the rim (maybe wisely, but still). That was a flash-point moment. Perhaps because of fear of getting injured, or maybe the body just needs a break after a half-season, players rarely spent much energy trying to stop anyone. That led to wild and repetitious scoring sprees, where the losing team averaged 170 points, and ultimately, new changes designed to encourage players to at least simulate a real game and turn it up two notches. And so, Sunday’s (Monday, PHL time) game at Staples Center will serve as the laboratory rat and perhaps usher a new era for the midseason game. If today’s players treat it the way the old-timers did, then this could be special. If not, this could be 194-187. “I think it’ll be different,” said Curry. The rules committee was alarmed enough by the public backlash of the last two games, where the winning West team came a combined 12 points from hitting the 200-point mark, that the traditional format was scrapped. No longer is it East vs. West, now it’s the leading vote-getter in both conferences choosing their own squad, regardless of conference. Therefore, Team Stephen will tip against Team LeBron with the mixed squads lending some intrigue and could cure the defense and intensity issues. As an added bonus, each member of the winning team will receive $100,000 vs. $25,000 for the losers, although it must be mentioned that the only player in an All-Star uniform making below eight figures is Karl-Anthony Towns. Still, the idea was to raise the incentive level and hoping it raises the fourth-quarter heat. The coach of the LeBron team, Dwane Casey of the Raptors, said he plans to do his part by shuffling the minutes based on who’s trying the hardest. “I went to our players individually and asked two questions: ‘Do you want to put on a show, or do you want to win? Let me know.’ I’d like them to go and compete. I want to win. We owe it to the league and the fans to let them know that the NBA isn’t about rolling the ball out there. There are a lot of fundamental things we can do on the court, and it starts with the All-Star Game, with everyone watching.” It helps that the game will feature a few subplots designed to make it interesting. Such as: LeBron and Kyrie Irving, together again. They had a mysterious split last summer after Irving, two years removed from a championship in Cleveland and with the chance of additional chances to win another, demanded and received a trade. He’s in Boston now, creating a rivalry with Cleveland whereas none existed before the deal. But apparently there was no acrimony generated by the split and the two have remained on decent terms, based on the chatter between them. Nothing personal, in other words. And anyway, LeBron chose Irving for this team. The reunion, says Irving, will be “pretty awesome.” LeBron: “Listen, anytime I get an opportunity to be with a fellow teammate of mine on the same court, and then you add on the fact of what we were able to accomplish in the three years, they just make it special. You automatically start thinking about the moments. There was a time when I was in Miami when I thought about if there was a chance for me to be Kyrie's teammate at All-Star Weekend. I thought about that. I didn't think it would be possible, and then we became teammates. We were on the same All-Star court together as teammates. Those thoughts still go into my head of how great it was to break the drought in our city, over 50-plus years, when the both of us had magical, magical Finals runs. So, it's always special. Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, together again. Well, the two ex-Thunder ‘mates did play for the West squad last season, yet kept their distance, both on and off the court, the entire weekend. Also, they had testy exchanges this season, evidence that if nothing else, the competitive spirit between them remains high. Yet, all seems civil regarding the split two years later, maybe because Westbrook gained a half-measure of revenge when Paul George arrived this season. Curry and James Harden, together. As team captain, Curry selected Harden, and at least for one weekend, the two will put aside some natural conflict. One: They’re among the leading candidates for the MVP award, and those in the Harden camp believe he was robbed of the second MVP won by Curry. Two: The Warriors and Rockets are engaged in a thermal race for top spot in the West, with the Rockets beating Golden State twice this season so far. (Side note: Curry responded “Ha” the other day when asked who should win the MVP this year, him or Harden. Just “ha.”) Joel Embiid. The fun-loving big man makes his All-Star debut and promises to bring his infectious personality to the game and also his astonishing skills, rare for a seven-footer. Look for Embiid to make a strong big for game MVP and doing so apologetically. His competition could come from Antetokounmpo and either winner would signal a victory for a league looking for yet another superstar. But, the game itself. Will it be taken seriously? “We've talked about it.” said Irving. “Like I said, I think it's more individually based in terms of the competitive fire. But I know that we're pretty excited to be out there and compete and go at one another for a little bit and have a little fun.” Last year, Antetokounmpo was playfully chastised by his teammates for going full-tilt and challenging shots and essentially treating it like a playoff game. It was his first All-Star appearance and he was surprised by the mild tone of the pace. Victor Oladipo, a first-timer this year, doesn’t believe that’ll happen to him. “My competitive nature is going to get the best of me,” he said. The unspoken concern, of course, is injury, although there’s no documented case of a player ever pulling up lame in the game. Imagine the outcry, for example, if the intensity soars and someone grabs a body part. The fallout will be steep, and with that in mind, many coaches tell their players to ease off the gas pedal. “I don’t want anyone to get hurt,” said Casey, “but we want to change the narrative about this game and how it’s played. I find that when players do things half-way or go through the motions, that’s when they’re more liable to get hurt.” And so, with that in mind, with a revamped format and a bit more pocket change for the winner and an audience that would like to see some floor burn for a change, the All-Stars just could make this game interesting. That starts with defense. “The challenge is, if you’re going to play to win, you’re going to compete on the defensive end, especially in transition,” said Casey. “That’s where the all-star game kind of deteriorates. You got to start your transition defense, our one on one defense, and put defense in the game because if you don’t, it will be 160, 170 points. I don’t know if we’re going to change it all in one game, but that’s our goal is to try to be more serious on defense, and not trick passes and trick shots and circus mentality. “These guys can entertain and also play defense and give a more competitive game. They are good enough to pull it off. That’s what I hope to see and what fans hope to see.” 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 News16 hr. 30 min. ago

Petron begins quest for redemption

Games Saturday: (Ynares Sports Center) 2:00 p.m. -- Generika-Ayala vs Foton 4:00 p.m. –- Sta. Lucia vs Petron   Powerhouse Petron takes the first step back to the crown when it clashes with a souped-up Sta. Lucia Realty squad to fire off the 2018 Chooks to Go-Philippine Superliga (PSL) Grand Prix Saturday at the Ynares Center. Battle starts at 4:00 p.m. with the Blaze Spikers looking to come up with a roaring start in a bid to finally reclaim the elusive title. Foton and Generika-Ayala will also gun for their first victory when they clash in the 2:00 p.m. first game. Although the much-anticipated import-flavored conference already gets underway with its first two matches, it will have the formal opening ceremonies at the Sta. Rosa City Sports Complex on Feb. 24 where all eight teams together with their imports, team captains and head coaches featured in the traditional parade of colors. After losing in the finals for three straight years, the Blaze Spikers will be marching in this year’s Grand Prix with fire in their eyes, hoping to finally conquer the title in what is billed as the most prestigious, most competitive women’s volleyball tourney in the country. American spikers Lindsay Stalzer and Hillary Hurley and  Japanese libero Yuri Fukuda will be back to power the Blaze Spikers, who will parade the same core of Mika Reyes, Aiza Maizo-Pontillas, Frances Molina and Rhea Dimaculangan. The only additions, however, are middle blocker Luth Malaluan, setter Angelica Legacion and libero Pia Gaiser, who will be making her PSL debut after a suffering knee injury in her final playing year for University of the Philippines in the UAAP. “We will do our best to step up this year,” said Delos Santos, whose wards were on the verge of winning the title before completely fading against a tough F2 Logistics side in the best-of-three finals showdown of the Grand Prix last year. “Our goal is to finally win the title this year. We haven’t won the Grand Prix crown since 2014 and I can say that we’re all hungry and ready to win.” But emerging victorious in the first game of the season will not be easy for Petron. The Blaze Spikers will be up against the Lady Realtors, who will be bannered by head coach George Pascua, the architect of Petron’s clean sweep of the All-Filipino Conference in 2015. Pascua, who steered Cignal to the Invitational Conference title before joining Sta. Lucia, will be parading a mix of seasoned campaigners and young guns together with proven imports Marisa Field and Kristen Moncks of Canada and Bohdana Anisova of Ukraine. Veterans Rubie de Leon and Michelle Laborte were tapped to serve as mentors to rising stars Rebecca Rivera, MJ Philips, Pamela Lastimosa and Jonah Sabete. “We are a young team searching for identity. So having these two veterans on the team will surely boost the morale of the young players inside and outside the playing court,” said Pascua, who is coming in as Sta. Lucia’s fourth mentor after Sammy Acaylar, Michael Carino and Jerry Yee.  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 16th, 2018

Pirates tame Lions, claim PCCL crown

MANILA, Philippines — Lyceum of the Philippines U showed the poise lacking in its failed NCAA title bid against San Beda last November as the Pirates eked ou.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsFeb 15th, 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