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Silence, mourning since fatal crash turn to hope at Chapeco

MAURICIO SAVARESE, AP Sports Writer   CHAPECO, Brazil (AP) — Silence and mourning are slowly being replaced by boisterous fans and hope. As the Chapecoense club rebuilds after the air crash that killed 19 players and nearly all members of the staff and board of directors, so is the town of 200,000. Like many in Brazil, football is the oxygen for everything: gossip, community pride and heated debate. On Saturday, Chapecoense's 20,000-capacity Arena Conda will host the team's first match since the tragedy almost two months ago. Lines outside are filled with fans excited about the club's and the city's restart. Fifty coffins lined the same field in November, where this time Chape's reconstructed team will play Brazilian champion Palmeiras in a friendly match. 'I bet I won't be able to sleep Friday night,' 19-year-old fan Marcelo Ribeiro said as he walked to the stadium. 'Since the accident the city is dead. The festivities were mostly canceled at the end of the year, and all most people are thinking about is the rebirth. I want to see what the rebirth looks like.' At the Hotel Bertaso, where most of Chape's players and coaching staff have traditionally lodged, the first signs of that rebirth are obvious. The second floor, which was home to many of the victims, including coach Caio Junior, is once again full. 'I can't help feeling a lot of hope for the future now,' said receptionist Gelson Mangone, who lost several friends in that crash on an Andean mountain side near Medellin, Colombia, on Nov.28. 'It has been a lot of work to settle all these new signings here, they are also learning their way here,' the receptionist said. 'But it does feel like a brand new start.' New coach Vagner Mancini is one of the hotel's new residents. He said the job makes him 'a better human being, but it's the most challenging to face.' 'We have to build a team, a coaching staff and a club infrastructure in a season in which Chape will be in demand,' Mancini told The Associated Press. 'I understand now that the city was so affected because the club and the city are run like a family,' he added. 'The players we brought are cut from that cloth, but we have to reach a higher level now.' After the crash, Colombian club Atletico Nacional, which was to face Chape in the Copa Sudamericana final in Medellin, awarded the victory to the small Brazilian team. That means that Chape qualified for South America's No. 1 tournament for the first time, the competitive Copa Libertadores. The team will also try to defend its title in the Santa Catarina state championship, try to stay up in Brazil's top-flight competition, and play in a pile of fundraisers, including one against Barcelona. 'We have to assemble a competitive team at the same time we need to hire someone to handle passports, contracts,' Mancini said. 'The club used to handle this well, but like a family run business. Now we are at a different moment.' Chapecoense had almost nothing left after the crash: six players that did not travel on the ill-fated flight, two physiotherapists, one goalkeeping coach, one doctor, one data analyst, one nurse and a few club officials. New chairman and club co-founder Plinio David de Nes Filho, a wealthy local businessman known as Maninho, is leading the charge to bolster club finances. Former players like Nivaldo Constante, who played as a goalkeeper until the tragedy struck, are approaching players that can help. And Chapeco Mayor Luciano Buligon is working as a kind of ambassador for the club and the city. 'Our weekends were about three things: family, church and Chapecoense,' Buligon said. 'It has been hard to get the city back on track because the wounds are still very open. But we are slowly moving on. On Saturday we will start getting a part of our weekends back.' Not everyone is happy. Rosangela Loureiro, widow of crash victim Cleber Santana, said she is upset because his belongings still have not been returned to the family. 'I feel sadness and rage. No one is doing anything to bring their belongings back. I plead with them to soften our pain and make us get the memories that we will hold dear for the rest of our lives,' she said on Instagram last week. Other widows have complained about damages not yet being paid by the club. Chapecoense directors say they are doing the best they can as they try to rebuild. There are even complaints at the joyous Hotel Bertaso. 'These new players love to make a mess in their rooms,' said a cleaner, who declined to offer her name. 'The other ones were older, more mature and the new ones seem to be more infantile. I hope they are up for the task. The city really needs that now.' .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 20th, 2017

Lionesses eye Final Four spot playoff

strong>Games Friday: /strong> (The Arena, San Juan) 9:00 a.m. --- San Beda vs. Mapua (m) 10:30 a.m. --- San Beda vs. Mapua(w) 12:00 noon --- Perpetual vs JRU (w) 1:30 p.m. --- Perpetual vs JRU (m)   San Beda College hunts to secure a playoff for a semifinals berth Friday when the Lionesses take on the listless Mapua Lady Cardinals to close their elimination round campaign in the 92nd NCAA women’s volleyball competition at The Arena in San Juan. Totting a 5-3 win-loss record at fourth to fifth spot tied with idle Lyceum of the Philippines University, San Beda puts its season on the line at the 10:30 a.m. clash with the Cardinals, who remain winless in eight games. A win by the Lionesses will not only give the Mendiola-based squad a playoff for a semifinals slot in case of a tie at 6-3 card but will also put San Beda in a good position to advance in the next round with Perpetual Help and LPU facing tough opponents in their remaining assignments. If San Beda hurdles Mapua and the Lady Altas and Lady Pirates absorbing their fourth loss, the Lionesses will get the last semis spot.   In case the Lionesses lose, SBC will have to wish that LPU drops its last game against San Sebastian College and for Perpetual to at least lose one of its last two remaining games for tie at 5-4 that will also force sa playoff for the last semis seat. Unbeaten SSC-R  (7-1) and Season 90 champion Arellano University secured the first two Final Four berths while defending champion College of St. Benilde (6-2) is assured of at least a semis seat playoff. San Beda is coming off a painful straight sets loss at the hands of the Lady Blazers, 25-12, 17-25, 23-25, 19-25, last week and is looking for a bounce back against the Lady Cardinals, who were swept by Emilio Aguinaldo College 18-25, 13-25, 24-26, last Friday. Meanwhile, the Lady Altas fight for survival when they face upset-conscious Jose Rizal University at 12:00 noon. With a 4-3 card, Perpetual can still make it to the Final Four if the Las Pinas-based squad completes a sweep of its last two games starting with the Lady Bombers. The Lady Altas will end the elims on January 25 against Arellano University. Perpetual survived its first test last week with a sweep of LPU, 25-21, 29-27, 25-23. JRU is out of contention with a 3-5 slate but is looking to play the spoiler’s role. In men’s play, San Beda (6-2) attempts to formally advance in the semis to join CSB (7-1) in a clash against Mapua (5-3) at 9:00 a.m. while defending champion Perpetual (6-1) also seeks a Final Four berth in a faceoff with JRU (1-7) at 1:30 p.m.       --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles    .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 19th, 2017

Lady Pirates set sight on at least a semis berth playoff

strong>Games Friday: /strong> (The Arena, San Juan) 8:30 a.m. --- EAC vs. MIT (m) 10:00 a.m. --- EAC vs. MIT (w) 11:30 a.m. --- LPU vs. Perpetual (w) 1:00 p.m. --- LPU vs Perpetual (m) 2:30 p.m. --- LPU vs Perpetual (jrs)   With unbeaten San Sebastian College clinching the first Final Four seat, Lyceum of the Philippines University attempts to draw closer to one of the remaining three berths Friday in a showdown with the desperate Perpetual Help Lady Altas in the 92nd NCAA women’s volleyball competition. Riding the crest of a three-game winning run, the Lady Pirates face the Lady Altas in the scheduled 11:30 a.m. clash to secure at least a playoff for a semis spot at The Arena in San Juan. Coming off a straight-set, 25-20, 25-23, 25-20, demolition of listless Emilio Aguinaldo College last week, the Intramuros-based squad parades a 5-1 win-loss slate and is on the right track for its bid to advance in the next round for the first time since 2011. LPU is on a high with its winning streak sparked by a huge upset of College of St. Benilde and head coach Emil Lontoc is confident the Lady Pirates can take one against Perpetual. “Sa tingin ko kaya naming silang tapatan gaya nu’ng laro namin sa Benilde kasi halos pareho ang laro ng dalawang ‘yan eh,” he said. “Kapag gumanda ang receive namin, gumanda ang atake lalaban kami sa kanila. Saka ang Perpetual hindi na rin ganoon (kaganda) ang laro.” But the Lady Altas will surely show a different form after sliding to 3-3 slate. The Las Pinas-based squad suffered a 22-25, 13-25, 13-25, beating at the hands of SSC-R last Wednesday, putting Perpetual in a dangerous spot of missing the cut for a Final Four seat. Another loss will eliminate Perpetual from the semis race. In the non-bearing game, tied at 0-7 slates EAC and Mapua collide to barge in the win column in their scheduled 10:00 a.m. match. Meanwhile, the Generals (0-7) faceoff with the Cardinals (4-3) at 8:30 a.m. while LPU (3-3) meets Perpetual (4-1) in the 1:00 p.m. match in the men’s division. The lone juniors play is between unbeaten LPU (4-0) and defending champion Perpetual (4-0) at 2:30 p.m.   ---   Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles   .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 12th, 2017

SSC-R targets at least a semis playoff

strong>Games Wednesday: /strong> (The Arena, San Juan) 8:30 a.m. --- AU vs. CSB (jrs) 10:00 a.m. --- AU vs. CSB (m) 11:30 a.m. --- AU vs. CSB (w) 12:30 p.m. --- Perpetual vs. SSC-R (w) 2:00 p.m. --- Perpetual vs. SSC-R (m) 3:30 p.m. --- Perpetual vs. SSC-R (jrs)     Unbeaten San Sebastian College goes for at least a playoff for a semifinals spot on Wednesday when the Lady Stags return to action in the 92 sund /su NCAA women’s volleyball competition at The Arena in San Juan. Carrying an immaculate 6-0 win-loss record, SSC-R looks to remain on top of the standings and plant a foot to the next round when it takes on a dangerous Perpetual Help side in the scheduled 12:30 p.m. clash. Behind reigning back-to-back Most Valuable Player winner Grethcel Soltones, who is averaging 16.16 points per game, the Lady Stags won its first six games including a straight sets victory over the Emilio Aguinaldo College Lady Generals last December 6 before the long holiday break. SSC-R is just three wins away from sweeping the elimination round that will propel them straight to the Finals with a thrice-to-beat advantage. In this scenario, the top three teams after the elims will play in a stepladder semis format with the no. 2 team enjoying a twice-to-beat advantage.    But Lady Stags head coach Roger Gorayeb is concerned with the mentality of his team heading into the crucial stretch of the elims with Perpetual, Lyceum of the Philippines and defending champion College of St. Benilde standing in their way.    “’Yung kasing kilos nila kung oobserbahan ko ngayon, ‘yang kilos nilang ‘yan hindi yan pang-straight (elims sweep) na panalo,” said Gorayeb. “Wala, ang dami pa nilang butas.” The mentor added that facing Perpetual will serve as an acid test for his wards. “Ang iniisip ko ngayon ay yung laro ng team ko at hindi yung laro ng iba,” he said. “Masusubukan kami sa huling tatlong laro namin.” The Lady Altas after a sluggish start won three games in a row for a 3-2 slate with Lourdes Clemente, who is averaging 10.6 points per outing, leading the way. Perpetual is coming off a 29-27, 25-15, 25-21 win over Letran last December 7. Meanwhile, CSB is also gunning for a semis spot playoff against streaking Arellano University at 11:30 a.m. The Lady Blazers sit a solo second with 6-1 slate ahead of the Lady Chiefs and idle LPU, who are tied at third and fourth spots with identical 5-1 cards. In men’s play, the league-leading Blazers (6-1) and Chiefs (5-1) face off at 10:00 a.m. while the Altas (4-1) and Stags’ showdown is slate at 2:00 p.m. In the juniors play, AU (3-2) and CSB (0-4) clash in the 8:00 a.m. opener while Perpetual (3-1) and SSC-R (0-4) collide in the 3:30 p.m. match.     ---       Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles        .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 10th, 2017

LeBron, Irving and Love all questionable as Cavs face Bulls

em>By Tom Withers, Associated Press /em> CLEVELAND (AP) — LeBron James stayed home from shootaround and is one of three Cleveland stars questionable for Wednesday night's (Thursday, PHL time) game against Chicago. James has been fighting a cold but played Monday night (Tuesday, PHL time) in a win over New Orleans. The team advised him to skip the morning workout to get some extra rest. Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love are also questionable to face the Bulls. Irving has missed the past two games with a hamstring issue, and Love continues to recover from food poisoning. Coach Tyronn Lue said Monday (Tuesday, PHL time) that Love lost 10 pounds while he was sick. The Cavs have won 13 straight games with James in the lineup. After facing Chicago, the defending NBA champions will leave for a six-game road trip, which will conclude with a Jan. 16 (Jan. 17, PHL time) matchup at Golden State. Chicago's Dwyane Wade is a game-time decision with a swollen left knee. He missed Monday's (Tuesday, PHL time) game against Charlotte. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 4th, 2017

Suns shine, beat short-handed Heat

em>By Bob Baum, Associated Press /em> PHOENIX (AP) — Devin Booker scored 27 points — 18 in the second half — and rookie Marquese Chriss added a career-best 18 as the Phoenix Suns handed the severely short-handed Miami Heat their sixth consecutive loss, 99-90 on Tuesday night (Wednesday, PHL time). The Suns snapped a 12-game losing streak against Miami. Phoenix hadn't beaten the Heat since Nov. 3, 2009. Goran Dragic scored 22 of his 24 points in the first half for the Heat, who had just eight available players in the opener of a six-game road trip. Willie Reed had 22 points and 18 rebounds, both career highs, for Miami. Eric Bledsoe added 17 points for the Suns, who stretched a four-point halftime lead to 19 in the second half. The Heat led by nine early and were up 42-37 on Dragic's inside basket with 8:34 left in the first half, but Bledsoe and Chriss sank consecutive three’s in a 9-0 spurt that put Phoenix up 46-42 when Booker made one of two free throws 3:13 before the break. Dragic cut the lead to 54-52 with a left-handed driving layup with 9.3 seconds left before Bledsoe's two free throws with 4.2 seconds remaining put the Suns up 56-52 at the break. The Suns opened the second half with an 11-3 run and were up 79-62 when Booker sank a 28-foot three-pointer with 1:59 left in the third quarter. Phoenix led 83-66 entering the fourth. Wayne Ellington's triple cut the Suns' lead to 85-74 with 8:13 to play, but Booker sank a three-pointer with 6:36 to go to boost the lead back to 14. Miami cut the lead to eight in the final two minutes but got no closer. strong>LONG LIST /strong> The list of missing Miami players was long: James Johnson (food poisoning), Tyler Johnson (migraine), Dion Waiters (pectineus tear), Hassan Whiteside (right retinal contusion), Justise Winslow (right shoulder), Josh McRoberts (left foot stress fracture). That doesn't include Chris Bosh, who has not played all season. strong>TIP-INS /strong> em> strong>Heat: /strong> /em>Miami last lost to the Suns in Phoenix on Jan. 5, 2007. Heat players not named Dragic were 13-of-34 shooting in the first half. Reed's previous career highs were 14 points and 11 rebounds. em> strong>Suns: /strong> /em>G Brandon Knight was out with a sprained right wrist. Phoenix is 8-4 against Eastern Conference foes, 7-2 at home. Phoenix improved to 3-4 on the second night of back-to-back games. strong>UP NEXT /strong> em> strong>Heat: /strong> /em> Miami plays at Sacramento on Wednesday night (Thursday, PHL time) in the second stop of a six-game road trip. em> strong>Suns: /strong> /em> Phoenix travels to Dallas to face the Mavericks on Thursday night (Friday, PHL time). .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 4th, 2017

Arellano, LPU seek a share of the second spot

strong>Games Wednesday: /strong> (The Arena, San Juan) 8:30 a.m. --- EAC vs LPU (jrs) 10:00 a.m. --- EAC vs. LPU (m) 11:30 a.m. --- EAC vs LPU (w) 1:00 p.m. --- Arellano vs JRU (w) 2:30 p.m. --- Arellano vs JRU (m)   Action in the 92nd NCAA volleyball competition resumes on Wednesday at The Arena in San Juan. Arellano University looks to extend its winning streak to five when the Lady Chiefs take on the struggling Jose Rizal University in the women’s play at 1:00 p.m. Behind the steady games of Jovielyn Prado and Rialen Sante, the Lady Chiefs won four straight after dropping its opening game against unbeaten San Sebastian College. Arellano is coming off a straight sets win over San Beda Lionesses, 25-22, 25-22, 25-14, almost a month ago for a 4-1 win-loss record tied with Lyceum of the Philippines University Lady Pirates, who will open 2017 with a clash with listless Emilio Aguinaldo College Lady Generals in the scheduled 11:30 a.m. match. A win by the Lady Chiefs and the Lady Pirates will move them at second place tied with defending champion College of St. Benilde (5-1) behind league-leading Lady Stags (6-0). The Lady Bombers, on the other hand, are on a three-game skid for a 2-4 slate and are on the brink of elimination in the race for a semis spot. JRU absorbed a 15-25, 10-25, 23-25, beating at the hands of SSC-R last December 12. Meanwhile, LPU is on a two-game roll after a big five-set upset over the Lady Blazers and a straight sets dismantling of Mapua to end 2016. The WNCAA multi-titled squad, which joined the league five seasons ago, is just a few steps closer to breaking into its first-ever Final Four appearance. The Intramuros-based Lady Pirates will bank on Cherilyn Sindayen, who is averaging 14.8 points per game, Czarina Orros and La Rainne Fabay against the Lady Generals, who are winless in six games. EAC is at the cellar with other eliminated teams Mapua (0-6) and Letran (0-5). In the men's game LPU takes on EAC at 10:00 a.m while Arellano U face-off with JRU. In the lone juniors game the Brigadiers collide with the Junior Pirates at 8:30 a.m.        ---  Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles          .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 3rd, 2017

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