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Meet the Malditas: See who’s wearing the Philippines’ colors at the Women’s AFC Asian Cup in Jordan

As the Philippine Women’s National Team begins their quest for a first-ever FIFA Women’s World Cup berth by going through the 2018 AFC Women’s Asian Cup, we thought it would be proper to get to know at least a bit about the 23 ladies that will be representing the country in Amman, Jordan.   Patrice Impelido - Captain/Midfielder Captaining the Malditas will be 30-year old Patrice Impelido. The Sydney, Australia-born midfielder played collegiate football in Western Michigan and had her first call-up to the national squad in 2005, and has appeared in 28 matches for the country.   Tahnai Annis - Co-Captain/Midfielder Tahnai Annis will be sharing captain duties with Impelido as they try to lead the Malditas to a 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup berth. The 28-year old Annis played for the University of Florida in college and played professionally in Iceland for Thor.   Inna Palacios - Goalkeeper A familiar name among UAAP women’s football fans, Inna Palacios was the defensive anchor for the DLSU women’s football team from 2013 to 2017. A two-time UAAP Beast Goalkeeper, Palacios ended her UAAP career on the highest of high notes: with UAAP championship and her lone collegiate goal. GOAL DLSU! Palacios seals the match for La Salle! #UAAPSeason79 pic.twitter.com/vblv7OmaLC — ABS-CBN Sports (@abscbnsports) May 7, 2017 Palacios made her women’s national team debut back in 2012.   Kearra Bastes-Jones - Goalkeeper Kearra Bastes-Jones is a junior out of Bishop Amat High School in California, and was recently named to the 2018 San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Pasadena Star-News, Whittier Daily News Girls Soccer All-Area First Team.   Stacey Cavill - Goalkeeper 24-year old Fil-Aussie Stacey Cavill plays for the Perth-based Beckenham Angels, and played for Northern University in the collegiate ranks. The six-foot-tall keeper has been playing football since the tender age of 5.   Claire Lim - Defender 21-year old Claire Lim is currently a senior in UC Santa Cruz, where she’s also the captain of the Women’s Soccer team. Based in Piedmont, California, Lim was a decorated football player during her time in Piedmont High, before becoming a two-time Defender of the Year in College.   Alesa Dolino - Defender Another homegrown talent from the UAAP ranks, Alesa Dolino is a decorated product of the FEU system, instrumental in helping the Lady Tamaraws to a three-peat. In UAAP Season 77, Dolino capped off a magical season with a championship, an MVP trophy, as well as Best Defender and Best Striker honors.    Krystal De Ramos - Midfielder Also a decorated player during her youth career, US-based Filipina Krystal de Ramos was named to a number of all-tournament teams as well as earning a handful of championships and MVP honors. The 21-year old is currently a member of the Portland State University women’s football team. She made her National Team debut back in 2016 and has appeared in three matches for the Philippines.   Hali Long - Defender   23-year old Hali Long was a pivotal part in the Malditas’ AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers run, scoring four of her five international goals in just two matches. The Missouri-based Fil-American played her college career for the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, playing four seasons with the Trojans.   Morgan Brown - Defender A defensive ace during her high school days, Morgan Brown made her international football debut back in 2013 as part of the 2014 Asian Cup qualifiers squad. The same year, Brown was one of the top women’s football recruits at the Santa Clara University in California.   Cam Rodriguez - Striker A star striker for the Ateneo de Manila Lady Eagles back in her college days, Cam Rodriguez earned Best Striker honors in UAAP Season 77 and Mythical XI honors in her senior year. In 2011, at just 14 years old, Rodriguez made her National Team debut and scored her first goal in the AFF Women’s Championships. In 2017, after taking time off to focus on her education, Rodriguez returned to the National Team in the 2017 Southeast Asian Games.   Marisa Park - Midfielder Wake Forest University product Marisa Park helped lead her Demon Deacons to the ACC Championship in 2010, in the same year that she was named as part of the ACC All-Tournament team. The 26-year old made her Malditas debut back in 2013 for the 2014 AFC Women’s Asian Cup Qualifiers.   Jesse Shugg - Forward Fil-Canadian Jesse Shugg finished her collegiate career in the University of Miami, before making her professional debut for KW United in the USL W-League in Canada. Shugg is currently signed to Icelandic club Fylkir. The 25-year old has appeared for the Philippine Women’s National Team eight times since her international debut back in 2014.   Caitlyn Kreutz - Forward California native Caitlyn Kreutz has left an impact in every level she’s played on. From gathering individual honors in High School to earning All-Tournament teams in her two years with Cal Poly, the 21-year old is now wrapping her collegiate career up at UNLV, where she’s started in all 20 matches she’s played so far. Kreutz made her Malditas debut back in 2016 as part of the AFF Championships squad.   Ryley Bugay - Midfielder Currently a junior at Marquette University, Ryley Bugay led her Golden Eagles Women’s Soccer team in minutes played, also earning Defensive MVP honors on the Marquette Invitational Team. Her younger sister Sammi has also recently signed with Marquette.   Leah Larot - Forward A graduate of Sacramento State University, Leah Larot capped off her senior season with an All-Conference First Team nod, as well as the Golden Boot after scoring ten goals in the season.   Sara Castañeda - Midfielder A UAAP Rookie of the Year, Best Midfielder and UAAP Champion, Sara Castañeda was one of the integral parts of the Lady Archers’ championship run in UAAP Season 79 and established herself as a key player for DLSU in just her sophomore season. The 21-year old has also had stints in the U-16 and U-19 teams before making her senior National Team debut back in 2015.   Alexa Diaz - Defender Washington-based Alexa Diaz played collegiate football for Seattle Pacific University. The 24-year old made her Malditas debut in the 2013 Southeast Asian Games.   Calah Simarago - Defender 22-year old Cali-based Calah Simarago is a senior at UC Santa Barbara, where she plays for the Gauchos Women’s Soccer team.   Quinley Quezada - Midfielder Rosemead, California’s Quinley Quezada is currently a junior at UC Riverside and is coming off a 2017 season that saw her start in 17 of 20 matches played. Quezada becomes the first member of the UC Riverside Women’s Soccer program history to be called up to a senior World Cup Qualifying roster.   Jessica Miclat - Midfielder 19- year old UC Irvine sophomore Jessica Miclat is one of the youngest players on the team, but has a ton of experience under her belt, having been part of the USA U-18 training camp, as well as training stints with the Philippine U-16 and U-19 teams.   Chalise Baysa - Defender The most senior member of the team, 37-year old Chalise Baysa played her collegiate career at the University of Oregon, where she’s in the history books as the third all-time leading scorer with 31 goals. In the professional ranks, Baysa played for the Seattle Sounders Women. She made her Philippine Team debut back in 2013.   Sarina Bolden - Midfielder 22-year old Sarina Bolden is a junior at Loyola Marymount University, where as a sophomore, she was one of five players to start in all 19 matches. The Milipitas native led LMU with six goals in 2016    .....»»

Category: sportsSource: abscbn abscbnApr 6th, 2018

Jordan Clarkson to Filipinos: See you all very soon

MANILA, Philippines – Filipino-American NBA player Jordan Clarkson is hyped to don the Philippine colors in the 2018 Asian Games. The Cleveland Cavalier took to his Facebook account to express his gratitude and excitement for the work that has been put in for him to play in the quadrennial meet.  "PUSO! ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsAug 15th, 2018

Philippines stuns Jordan to open 2018 Women s Asian Cup

The Philippine Women's National Football team opened their 2018 AFC Asian Cup campaign in a big way after beating host-nation Jordan, 2-1 at the Amman International Stadium, Saturday morning Manila time.  Sarina Bolden provided the go-ahead-conversion in the 76th minute of action, beating her defender and firing from just inside the box and propelling the Malditas to a rousing tournament-opening victory.  It was the hosts that took control early of the match however, with Maysa Jbarah finishing a well-timed volley in the 15th minute.  The Philippines was to pull even early in the second half, with help from Jordan's Yasmeen Khair after she deflected a Bolden header into her own goal at the 51st minute.  The Malditas pick up the maximum three points on opening day, joining China PR at the top of Group A.  Up next for the Philippines will be China PR at the King Abdullah II Stadium in Amman on Monday evening, Manila time. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 6th, 2018

Will Jordan Clarkson click in the Asian Games?

Finally, after much ado and false starts, Jordan Clarkson will see action today for the Philippine national men's basketball team. The former Tulsa Golden Hurricane, Missouri Tiger, and Los Angeles Laker will finally don our tri-colors in an all-important Asian Games affair against title favorite China. What kind of impact will the Cleveland Cavalier guard have on our hastily-formed national squad, though? Will his inclusion actually work out the way people expect, or will it actually blow up in our faces? Here's why having Jordan Clarkson will work: - He's a bona fide NBA talent who has repeatedly put up solid production since debuting in 2014. Clarkson's career per-game numbers in the NBA: 14.1 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 2.8 assists while shooting 44.3% from the field and 33.9% from beyond the arc. Translate those numbers to the Asian level, and we could be looking at an offensive force of nature for the Philippines. - Clarkson's size, athleticism, and explosiveness will make him a nightmare of a match-up against China, who, despite boasting of two-time CBA MVP Ding Yanyuhang, may have bitten off more than they can chew in trying to stop Clarkson. - Clarkson's versatility enables him to play any of the classic perimeter spots for the Philippines. His size makes him an excellent choice for either the 2 or 3 positions, while his skill-set and experience at the 1 also make him a viable option as the team's floor general. This gives head coach Yeng Guiao a buffet of choices when it comes to guard-wing combinations he can throw at the Chinese. Here's why having Jordan Clarkson will not work: - Clarkson is known for looking for his own shot. That's a big reason why he routinely scores in double-figures, but that's also why he hasn't progressed into more than a mid-level on-the-bubble player in the Association. On paper, he's a point guard, but he is not exactly an outstanding playmaker. Last year, he normed just 3.0 assists per 40 minutes for the Cavs -- a big reason he started 0 games for them. - It's clear that Clarkson's scoring will be his meal ticket here in Jakarta. He can go out and drop 30 on any team here -- even China -- that's how talented he is. But, at the same time, he can miss more than he makes, which can be a really awful net negative for the Philippines against a team as big, deep, and well coached as the Chinese. Also, with two 7-footers protecting China's basket throughout the game, the degree of difficulty may be too much to overcome even for a gifted scorer like Clarkson. He can shoot the Philippines into a big win, but conversely, he can also shoot our chances in the foot. In the end, Clarkson's inclusion makes the Philippines a much more challenging assignment for China. His size at the perimeter and scoring ability are potential difference-makers for the Filipinos, and as long as he stays "efficiently aggressive," then the Philippines will have a good chance of upsetting the Chinese.  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated News20 hr. 34 min. ago

ASIAN GAMES: I’m excited and I’m ready for the games -- Clarkson

NBA player Jordan Clarkson will finally get a chance to don the national colors. Although the Cleveland Cavaliers guard skipped the Philippines’ opening day assignment, Clarkson liked how the ragtag, hastily-formed Gilas Pilipinas played their hearts out against Kazakhstan in the Jakarta Palembang Asian Games. Clarkson, the country’s flag-bearer for the opening ceremonies on Saturday, arrived in Indonesia Thursday morning and went straight to GBK Basketball Hall to watch the game.      “I’m excited and I’m ready for the games. I’m very excited to know that I’m finally getting to do this, being able to play with my team and for the country, it’s definitely something I’ve been looking forward to,” said Clarkson. Despite missing a key piece, national team head coach Yeng Guiao steered the Rain or Shine core and PBA-reinforced Gilas to a convincing 96-59 drubbing of the Kazakhs to set a foot in the quarterfinals. Clarkson was impressed with what he saw. “(The team) is really good, fast, get up and down, shoot threes, fun style of play,” said Clarkson, who for the past three years was in the talks of playing for the national team. The Gilasto Painters, a portmanteau of Gilas and Rain or Shine’s PBA moniker, pounced on the hapless Kazakhs early and bullied their way to a dominating win, which saw all of Guiao’s 11 players contributing on offense.    Clarkson, whose eligibility for the Asiad was filled with drama, will debut on Tuesday against powerhouse team and gold medal favorite China.    “It’s a big game, every game is a big game,” he said. “We try to get the win every time we step on the floor so we just come here to compete and try to win.” Clarkson will now use the lull in action to familiarize with Guiao’s system and jell with the team.    “We got a few days of practice before the next game. I have to get used to how they do things here at least we have four days of practice so that I could get used to,” he said. Here is the full Clarkson interview:    .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 16th, 2018

It’s final: Jordan Clarkson is playing for PH in Asian Games

Getting the final confirmation from the NBA, Cleveland Cavaliers guard Jordan Clarkson is headed to the Asian Games to play for the Philippines. In a post on Twitter, Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas president Al Panlilio confirmed that the Fil-American player has been officially been cleared by the NBA to suit up in the continental meet. The NBA also released a statement Wednesday morning saying Clarkson along with Zhou Qi of the Houston Rockets and Ding Yanyuhang of the Dallas Mavericks, who both play for China, have been given "special exception" to play in the basketball event of the Asiad. The league cleared that while NBA contracts stipulate that its players can only pl...Keep on reading: It’s final: Jordan Clarkson is playing for PH in Asian Games.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsAug 15th, 2018

Clarkson ‘terribly disappointed,’ vows to support PH in ‘heart and spirit’

Filipino-American Jordan Clarkson reaffirmed his commitment to represent the Philippines after failing to get the green light to wear the country’s colors in the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta, I Source link link: Clarkson ‘terribly disappointed,’ vows to support PH in ‘heart and spirit’.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimesRelated NewsAug 14th, 2018

Clarkson terribly disappointed, vows to support PH in heart and spirit

Filipino-American Jordan Clarkson reaffirmed his commitment to represent the Philippines after failing to get the green light to wear the country's colors in the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta, I.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philippinetimesRelated NewsAug 13th, 2018

Jordan Clarkson not allowed to represent PH in Asiad, says NBA

Jordan Clarkson has the green light to play for the Philippines in FIBA—sanctioned games, which unfortunately does not include the Asian Games, said NBA spokesperson Tim Frank in a statement released Sunday morning. The FIlipino-American combo guard for the Cleveland Cavaliers was reserved a spot for the Philippines' final 12 for the continental meet in Indonesia, but was not given the final clearance by his mother league.  Here's the full statement:  BREAKING: Official @NBA statement on the participation of Jordan Clarkson in the 2018 Asian Games pic.twitter.com/R4z2cpBzNi — ABS-CBN Sports (@abscbnsports) August 12, 2018 Clarkson was already given the thumbs up by the Indonesian Asian Games Organizing Committee and the Olympic Council, but without the NBA's approval, the Philippines will have to go on without him. Even without its NBA-talent, however, the Yeng Guiao-led Gilas will try to surpass its seventh-place finish back in the 2014 Incheon Asiad. The current squad is made up of Rain or Shine's core of Chris Tiu, Maverick Ahanmisi, Beau Belga, Raymond Almazan, James Yap, and Gabe Norwood. Completing the team are JP Erram, Christian Standhardinger, Paul Lee, Stanley Pringle, Asi Taulava, and re-taking Jordan Clarkson's place is Don Trollano. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 12th, 2018

SBP makes last-minute appeal

The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas is not giving up on its bid to get Fil-Am NBA player Jordan Clarkson to play with Team Philippines in the Asian Games amid reports that the NBA has reportedly not given him clearance to compete in the quadrennial meet......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsAug 11th, 2018

Cayco elected as LVPI president

Arellano University’s Peter Cayco was elected as the new president of the Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc. Thursday. Cayco, who received unanimous vote for the position, succeeded Joey Romasanta as head of the country’s volleyball association during the election held at the LVPI office in Arellano University-Taft. “We are very fortunate that a very able president is now leading LVPI,” said Romasanta, who was in office for three years. “The first order of the day, as much as we wanted to increase the number of membership before, we opted to have our election first pagkatapos in the first regular board meeting then we ascertain the membership qualifying rules and saka kung ano yung rights and privileges ng mga sasali,” added Romasanta. LVPI, which replaced the Philippine Volleyball Federation in 2015, named Romasanta as the vice president, a position previously held by Cayco. In the past three years, LVPI formed the men’s and women’s national team that saw action in two Southeast Asian Games with the 2015 Singapore edition marking as the country’s return in the biennial meet after a decade. LVPI also fielded a women’s team in the Asian U-23 (2015) and the AVC Asian Senior Women’s Volleyball Championship which the country hosted last year. And after 36 years the Philippines will again see action in the Asian Games under LVPI. Cayco said that he will continue what the LVPI started but also emphasized the association’s focus on its grassroots program with the LVPI-Shakey’s Inter-secondary tournament – a countrywide competition for high school boys and girls teams.   “We’ll buckle down to business continuing lang the program set by Mr. Romasanta. Kung ano ang ginagawa niya itutuloy lang natin,” he said. Philippine Superliga’s Ariel Paredes won as Secretary General, replacing Ricky Palou of the defunct Shakey’s V-League, in the election witnessed by Philippine Olympic Committee observer Robert Bachmann.        Colonel Jeff Tamayo got the position as treasurer while General Benjamin Espiritu was named chairman of the board.   Sitting as board members were Rod Roque, Dr. Ian Laurel and Atty. Mon Malinao.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 2nd, 2018

Reserve setter Dimaculangan gives up national team spot

National team head coach Shaq Delos Santos is not closing the squad’s doors for reserve setter Rhea Dimaculangan after the veteran playmaker decided to give up her slot. Dimaculangan, who was named as one of the two reserves in the 14-woman lineup set to participate in the Jakarta-Palembang Asian Games next month and the AVC Asia Cup in Thailand in September, decided to step down from her spot just a few days ago because of personal reasons.    “Actually bago pa lang mag-opening din ‘tong Invitational, gusto nya talagang makapag-bakasyon. Sobrang as in yung mafe-feel nyang wala muna masyadong iniisip, talagang yun ang gusto nya na makapag-bakasyon,” said Delos Santos of Dimaculangan. “Sabi ko sige i-check natin. Pero sabi ko tingnan mo rin kung ano ba’ng magiging decision mo, which is yun, yun yung naging decision muna nya.” The University of Sto. Tomas product and Petron veteran declined to grant an interview regarding her decision to quit the national squad Saturday after the Blaze Spikers’ 25-9, 25-16, 25-17, victory over University of the Philippines-United Auctioneers in Pool A of the Philippine Superliga Invitational at the FilOil Flying V Centre.    Dimaculangan was a member of the national team that played in the 2015 Singapore and 2017 Kuala Lumpur Southeast Asian Games and the AVC Asian Senior Women’s Volleyball Championship last year held in Manila.    The seasoned playmaker was relegated to a reserve spot alongside libero Denden Lazaro of Cocolife. The other setters in the national team lineup are Jia Morado of Creamline and Kim Fajardo of F2 Logistics. Delos Santos, however, will welcome back Dimaculangan if ever she decides to suit up once again for the tri-colors. “Pero syempre hindi namin isasarado ‘yung position n’ya na ‘yun sa national team. Kasi anytime naman, kailangan din namin ng maraming players para ‘yung iba, ‘yung commitment like that, tapos ‘yung mga club teams din pag may mga commitment din sila,” he said. “Yun din yung reason bakit gusto rin namin na may ibang players din kami na makuha sa pool. Para at least kung maging available o maging okay yung players, may ifi-fit kami na players para dun.” For now, Delos Santos elevated middle Maika Ortiz in the main team.     ---   Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 7th, 2018

SEA Games slots up for grab in Milo Marathon

Aside from the honor of conquering the country's biggest footrace, this year's King and Queen of the 42nd National Milo Marathon will get a chance to don the tri-colors in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games. The 11-leg event in partnership with the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association will honor the men's and women's race champion with a slot in the Philippine team that will compete in the biennial meet to be held in the country November next year.  "Basta kung sinong mananalo dyan yun ang kukunin namin for the SEAG. We’re after the winners on both categories regardless of the time,” said PATAFA president Philip Ella Juico on Thursday during the event's press conference at Conrad Hotel in Pasay City. The kickoff leg will be held in Urdaneta, Pangasinan on July 15 while the culminating National Finals will be in Laoag, Ilocos Norte on December 9. Organizers expect around 150,000 runners participating for the duration of the event with last year's men's champion Joerge Andrade and five-time winner Olympian Mary Joy Tabal looking to extend their reign.  After the opening leg, the race will make a stop in Manila (July 29), Tarlac (August 26), Batangas (September 16), Lucena (September 30), Iloilo (October 7), Cebu (October 14), General Santos (October 21), Butuan (November 11), Cagayan de Oro (November 18) and the finals in Laoag (December 9)......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 7th, 2018

SEA Games: Basketball, volleyball to be held in Manila venues

Popular sports volleyball and basketball will be held in Metro Manila venues when the country hosts the 30th Southeast Asian Games next year. SEA Games Organizing Committee executive director Ramon ‘Tats’ Suzara said Thursday that the two ball games, which are expected to draw big crowds, will be played in three big venues inside the Big City for the biennial meet set from November 30 to December 10. “I think because basketball will have more events that’s why they chose MOA Arena and Cuneta as their backup,” said Suzara. “Of course I’m happy also that volleyball, especially women’s volleyball, will be in Smart Araneta Coliseum, being a big venue also and it’s very close to the general public for transportation.” The PHI has been dominating men’s basketball for the past 12 editions, except in the 2005 Manila SEA Games with the PHI suspended by FIBA and in 2009 Laos edition which was dropped by the host country because of lack of facility. Women’s and men’s volleyball, on the other hand, gained traction among Filipino fans in recent years. The country participated in the in 2015 Singapore SEA Games for the first time after a decade. The Philippines scored a bronze medal in women's play back in 2005.    “These has been the initial agreement, of course, nothing is final but this is the initial agreement that we are putting both popular sports in a big venue. That is the intention of the organizing committee,” added Suzara. The main sports hub will be in New Clark City in Capas, Tarlac while most of the aqua sports will be played in Subic. Other sports to be held in Manila are boxing and gymnastics in SMX Convention Center, bowling in Star mall, billiards at Maakati Cinema Square while polo and equestrian will be in Manila Polo Club.       ---        Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 17th, 2018

DE JESUS: Genius, disciplinarian, champion coach

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

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 20th, 2018

Kung nandoon ako eh di ako na (ang coach) -- De Jesus on possible national team stint

“Kung nandoon ako eh di ako na.” De La Salle University head coach Ramil De Jesus was playful with his answer when reporters tried to get confirmation on rumors circulating that he will be taking the reins as women’s national team mentor. But the 10-time UAAP champion coach admitted that he met with Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc. twice regarding the country’s governing body of the sport to form a national team that will participate in two major international tournaments this year. “Nag-meeting kami, actually nakadalawang meeting eh. Noong una nagpapakita ng interest na gusto akong i-appoint and then ‘yung second pumunta ako doon pero wala naman akong napagtapusan o napirmahang contract wala naman, wala pa sa ganoon,” said De Jesus. LVPI intends to send a squad in the Jakarta Asian Games on August 18 to September 2. The Philippines will also participate in the AVC Asian Cup slated on September in Thailand. De Jesus is not new to handling the national team. He led the Nationals to its last podium finish in the Southeast Asian Games when the Filipinas won bronze in the 2015 edition of the biennial meet held in Manila.        LVPI announced a tryout on April 13 and is set to announce the name of the new national women’s team head coach. The sports association in a statement said the they have invited  players on the ‘wish list’ of the head coach who they will name in a press conference set next week.    “Nag-meeting pero ano ba ‘yun, ah kasi hindi naman ‘to ‘yung tamang oras para pag-usapan ‘yan eh tsaka siguro merong tryouts sa Friday,” De Jesus said. “So kung makita ako sa Friday nandoon ako, ibig sabihin ako ‘yun (national team head coach).”   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 8th, 2018

For the Philippine Women s National Team, the road to the World Cup begins now

As the amazing high from the Philippine Azkals historic win over Tajikistan to book a slot in the 2019 AFC Asian Cup last week slowly simmers, the Philippine Women’s National Team embark on their own journey as the kick off their Women’s AFC Asian Cup campaign later this week. A day after the men took care of business against Tajikistan, the ladies were given a proper send-off as they head to Amman, Jordan with the hopes of also making even more Philippine football history. “I hope by next month, we will have ’The Miracle in Jordan’, where in we will compete in the World Cup,” Philippine Football Federation President Mariano ‘Nonong’ Araneta said during the send-off, referencing the Azkals’ win over Tajikistan being called ‘The Miracle in Manila.’ “I believe that we can do it. The coaches here told me that the team is well-prepared and we can pull some surprises in Jordan. I know that you will fight hard, you will play for the Philippines, and that’s our goal, is for football to be uplifted here in the Philippines, with your help.” Araneta added. In their eight previous appearances in the prestigious Asian tournament, the Filipinas have only managed up until the Group Stages. The last time that the Philippines made it to the tournament was way back in 2003.   How’d They Get There? Before we talk about what’s at stake, let’s first look back at how the Philippine women’s squad made their way into the the 2018 Women’s AFC Asian Cup. Part of a 21-team pool that was drawn in January of 2017, the Philippines found themselves in Group A of the Qualifying Tournament, along with AFC Cup host-nation Jordan, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Tajikistan, and Iraq. The Qualifying Tournament began in April, with the Philippines putting on an impressive outing and finishing with a 3 win - one loss - one draw record, which was good enough for second in Group A, behind Jordan. The second-place finish earned the Philippines a trip to the 2018 AFC Women’s Asian Cup.   Who Else Made It? The Philippines will be competing against seven other teams: JORDAN - Host Nation, 2018 AFC Women’s Asian Cup Qualifiers Group A Winners JAPAN - 2014 AFC Women’s Asian Cup Champions AUSTRALIA - 2014 AFC Women’s Asian Cup Runners-Up PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA - 2014 AFC Women’s Asian Cup Second Runners-Up SOUTH KOREA - 2018 AFC Women’s Asian Cup Qualifiers Group B Winners THAILAND - 2018 AFC Women’s Asian Cup Qualifiers Group C Winners VIETNAM - 2018 AFC Women’s Asian Cup Qualifiers Group D Winners   Of those eight qualified nations, China, Japan, Australia, and Thailand have all gone all the way and won the tournament. China has the most AFC Women’s Asian Cup titles with eight, while Japan, Australia, and Thailand all have one each.   What’s At Stake? A trip to France for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup. That’s the dream, right there. To get there however, won’t be an easy road, as the Philippines will be facing some top-tier talent in their group alone. The eight teams have been split into two groups of four, and the Filipinas have been put in GROUP A, together with Jordan, China PR, and Thailand. To ensure qualification for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, the Philippines will need at least a runner-up finish in the group. The last qualification spot will go to the winner of a fifth-place match between the second runners-up of each group.   The Glory As with any national football team, the ultimate dream is to play in the World Cup. With five teams from the Asian Cup set to earn qualification, this is the biggest chance that the Philippines has of making the premiere tournament for the first time in the nation’s history. For the Philippines, qualification not only puts the Philippines on the map in terms of Asian football, but it also cements their place in the history of the Women’s World Cup.   Schedule The Philippines’ Women’s Asian Cup campaign will be as follows: Philippines vs. Jordan - Saturday, April 7, 1:00 AM Manila Time Philippines vs. China PR - Monday, April 9, 9:45 PM Manila Time Philippines vs. Thailand - Thursday, April 12, 1:00 AM Manila Time.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 3rd, 2018

PFF announces 23-woman lineup for 2018 AFC Women s Asian Cup in Jordan

The Philippine Football Federation announces the final squad that will compete in the AFC Women’s Asian Cup Jordan 2018 which begins on April 6, 2018 in Amman, Jordan. This will be the first time that the Philippines will participate in the Women’s Asian Cup after a qualifying round. Last year, the Philippines clinched a berth to the final round after finishing their group in second place behind host Jordan with 3 wins, 1 draw, and 1 loss. Following their qualification last year, the team had several training camps in the United States, Manila, and Japan in preparation for the competition. The team is led by head coach Rabah Benlarbi and assisted by coaches Joey Hoffman and Joyce Landagan.   The final 23 players are: Inna Kristianne PALACIOS (GK) Claire Elisabeth LIM Alesa DOLINO Krystal Victoria DE RAMOS Hali Moriah LONG Morgan Emmalise BROWN Kathleen Camille RODRIGUEZ Maria Luisa PARK Jesse Anne SHUGG Caitlyn Rose KREUTZ Kristen Ryley BUGAY Kearra Theryse BASTES-JONES (GK) Leah Janessa LAROT Sara Isobel CASTAÑEDA Alexa Nicole DIAZ Stacey Janet Margery CAVILL (GK) Calah Lilinoeokalani SIMARAGO Tahnai Lauren ANNIS Patrice Mae IMPELIDO Quinley Mirielle QUEZADA Jessica Anne MICLAT Chalise BAYSA Sarina Isabel BOLDEN.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 2nd, 2018

Malditas bid for history on

Inspired by the heroics of the men's national side, the women's squad collectively known as the Malditas set out to make history of their own when they vie in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup in Amman, Jordan, starting April 6. The Malditas, who were at Rizal Memorial Stadium to support the Azkals last Tuesday when they clinched an Asian Cup berth for the first time, are targeting a maiden appearance in the Fifa Women's World Cup via the eight-nation Asian Cup. The top two teams from each group will clinch spots to the World Cup in France next year while the third-placed squads will dispute the last spot for the continent. Aside from training camps in the United ...Keep on reading: Malditas bid for history on.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsApr 1st, 2018

LOOK: PH Women’s Football team fixtures

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Women's National Football Team (PWNFT) will begin their campaign  in Group A of the 2018 AFC Women's Asian Cup on Thursday, April 6 (Friday, April 7, Manila time).  The Philippines will be facing Jordan, China PR and Thailand in the Group A of the ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsMar 30th, 2018

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

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

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 31st, 2017