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NCAA: Coach Vergel says JRU should learn a thing or two from Mapua

Jose Rizal University was silenced as it hosted Mapua University on Thursday. Lacking fire from start to finish, the Heavy Bombers were grounded by the Cardinals, 60-72. For head coach Vergel Meneses, though, that is no longer a surprise. “Actually, ine-expect ko na yan e. We’re a new team, we’re rebuilding,” he told reporters post-game. He then continued, “Ang laging sinasabi ko lang sa kanila, mag-hustle lang kayo.” That hustle was lacking for the home team, however, as they were outrebounded, 44-54, and were unable to take advantage of their opponents’ turnovers. To atone for that, Meneses said his boys need not look far. As he put it, “Yung Mapua, hindi naman parang Lyceum o San Beda, pero they keep on working hard. Ang puhunan nila, effort lang.” Indeed, the Cardinals were quicker to the ball and were more determined in every possession. For JRU to do that, their mentor said it has to start with their team captain. And as a challenge to Jed Mendoza, Meneses said, “Siguro, baka hindi pa niya kayang i-handle yung pressure. ‘Di naman ako nagkukulang ng sabi sa kanya na hindi porke you’re the leader, you will not pass the ball.” He then continued, “I hope after this na talo namin, kailangan ma-realize niya yun.” --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource: abscbn abscbnJul 12th, 2018

NCAA: Baste fans flickering playoff hopes thanks to Bulanadi s career-high

Even after all the speed bumps it was forced to go through, San Sebastian College-Recoletos remains in the running in the NCAA 94 Men’s Basketball Tournament. With a career performance, Allyn Bulanadi shot the Golden Stags to their third win in a row, this one coming at the expense of Jose Rizal University, 82-75, on Thursday at the Filoil Flying V Centre. Bulanadi scored 27 points on efficient 11-of-18 shooting to show Baste the way to bettering its record to 4-9. He fired 10 of his output in the first quarter as they got off to a strong 23-9 start. They would never trail and would never be truly threatened the rest of the way. “’Di pa rin kami nawawalan ng pag-asang makapasok sa Final Four,” Bulanadi told reporters post-game, talking about his inspired play. “Kailangan naming makabawi kasi marami pang pwedeng mangyari.” The winning streak is much welcome after all San Sebastian went through in the first round where, due to a disciplinary action on RK Ilagan, it had to forfeit two of its wins. “Good thing about this is naka-move on na kami,” head coach Egay Macaraya said. That development took them out of the thick of things and down to the bottom of the standings. With this current win run, however, the Golden Stags now stand at 4-9 and are have neared to 7-4 Colegio de San Juan de Letran, 7-5 College of St. Benilde, 6-5 University of Perpetual Help, 4-7 Arellano University, and 4-8 Mapua University. On the other hand, the Heavy Bombers are now officially out of contention at 2-11. Darius Estrella topped the scoring column for them with 19 points. BOX SCORES SAN SEBASTIAN 82 – Bulanadi 27, Ilagan 16, Capobres 14, Calisaan 12, Calma 9, dela Cruz 2, Sumoda 2, Are 0, Desoyo 0, Isidro 0, Valdez 0, Villapando 0 JRU 75 – Estrella 19, Mendoza 15, Aguilar 12, Mallari 12, dela Virgen 7, David 6, dela Rosa 2, Esquerra 2, Miranda 0, Padua 0, Silvarez 0 QUARTER SCORES: 23-9; 39-34; 60-51; 82-75 --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 20th, 2018

Player of the Week Tankoua put San Beda on his shoulders vs Letran

In what could be his final San Beda-Letran rivalry game, Donald Tankoua made sure that he and the Red Lions would come out on top. Last Tuesday, San Beda held an imposing 22-point lead, 67-45, on archrival Letran with 6:19 left in the game. The Red Lions forgot one thing, however, and let their guards down and saw the Knights storm back with a 19-0 blast. "If we lost this game, I should probably blame myself for that because I gave everybody a chance to play and the other guys who came in just simply didn’t want to really step up," lamented head coach Boyet Fernandez. "They thought it was already a won game for us." With Robert Bolick fouling out with less than a minute left, San Beda needed someone it could lean on to stop the bleeding. It was Tankoua who heeded the call, knocking down a clutch basket that eventually gave the Red Lions a 74-68 win. Because of his herculean effort that saw him finish with 19 points and nine rebounds, the 6-foot-6 Cameroonian was hailed as the Chooks-to-Go/NCAA Press Corps Player of the Week. Though getting the victory, last season's Finals MVP hopes that this serves as a wake up call for his teammates that they could never sleep on anyone the rest of the way. "What happened happened and I think that we should realize that we really have to work hard in every game," the 23-year-old big man said. Tankoua bested Lyceum's Jaycee Marcelino, Mapua's Laurenz Victoria, and San Sebastian's Michael Calisaan for the weekly citation handed out by print and online sportswriters covering the beat......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 16th, 2018

NCAA: A new tower is on the rise for Red Robins

Mapua High School lost its biggest advantage last year when both Season MVP Will Gozum and Mythical selection moved on up to the Seniors. That twin tower pairing powered the Red Robins to a runner-up finish a season ago. Now, the team is being fronted by versatile swingman Clint Escamis as well as fellow guards Dan Arches and Karl Mariano. That doesn’t mean, however, that Mapua has a donut hole in the middle. In fact, slowly but surely, the void left behind by Gozum and Bonifacio is getting filled by rookie Jonnel Policarpio. The 16-year-old forward is giving his all to make sure the Red Robins do not get outworked and outhustled inside. He turned in his best game yet on Tuesday, posting a 23-point, 16-rebound double-double in their 85-77 victory versus San Sebastian College-Recoletos. For Policarpio, it was all just part of the job. “Ginawa ko lang yung sinasabi ni coach [Randy Alcantara] – rebound, depensa. Yun ako inaasahan ni coach,” he said afterward. For Mapua, though, that is exactly what it needs to be able to match up with the frontlines of fellow contenders College of St. Benilde-La Salle Greenhills (Inand Fornilos, Mark Sangco) and Arellano High School (Aaron Fermin, Resty Fornis). Good thing then that their 6-foot-4 talented rookie is taking inspiration from the non-stop motor that Bonifacio, his fellow Kapampangan, had. “Sabi ni coach lagi na dapat, idolo ko si Warren – masipag, rebound lang nang rebound. Wag ko raw isipin na gagawa ng points, basta rebound nang rebound,” he shared. Even better is he has a good friend, and another kababayan, whose footsteps he could follow. “Katropa ko si Serrano,” he said, referring to now De La Salle University prized ward Encho Serrano. Like Serrano, Policarpio hails from Pampanga. Like Serrano, Policarpio plays with heart and hustle each and every second he’s on the floor. Like Serrano, Policarpio needs to play bigger than his size. And like Serrano, Policarpio is relishing his golden opportunity to see action in the big leagues after years of playing in ligang labas. “Nung 13-years-old ako, nag-ligang labas na ako para makatulong sa pamilya. Ibang-iba yung laro rito,” he said. He then continued, “Masayang-masaya akong makapaglaro rito.” --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 7th, 2018

Morning Tip Q& A: Mohamed Bamba

By David Aldridge, TNT Analyst They have come seemingly all at once -- new, freakish size in the NBA with the ability to put the ball on the floor, shoot from deep and block everything that moves. Kristaps Porzingis begat Joel Embiid, who begat this year’s group of young big men who have grown up facing the basket rather than with their backs to it. Among the most intriguing of the 2018 Draft class is Mo Bamba, the 20-year-old from Texas via Harlem, where he grew up -- fast, as city kids tend to do, learning the game on the hardtops around New York City, while his parents, natives of Ivory Coast, wondered what the increasing fuss was around their son. He, on the other hand, has tended to handle the attention with aplomb and a smile. In a group full of long, tall people, Bamba still stands out, with an insane wingspan of 7'10" that allows for court coverage the likes of which hasn’t been seen. Bamba has been in the spotlight for a while -- the Westtown (Penn.) High School team on which he played featured teammates like Cam Reddish, a blue-chip guard who’ll play for Duke next season -- and played against the likes of the No. 1 pick in 2018, Deandre Ayton. At Texas, he starred for Coach Shaka Smart, himself among the biggest names in the sport. After one season in Austin, where he shattered the school record for blocked shots in a season, Bamba declared for the Draft, assured he’d be a high Lottery pick. But Bamba has also shown a willingness to work on what he doesn’t -- or, at least, didn’t -- do that well. He went to California for weeks with noted player development coach Drew Hanlen, who deconstructed Bamba’s jumper from the ground up. Hanlen lowered Bamba’s shot pocket, adjusted his fingers on the ball and eliminated a hitch Bamba had before shooting. Bamba displayed much improved form before the Draft, but even if he couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn, he was going high -- and, he did, to the Orlando Magic with the sixth pick overall. Desperate to regain relevance in the East, the Magic hired Steve Clifford after he was fired by Charlotte to try and improve their awful defense. At the least, Clifford inherited ridiculous size on his roster, with Bamba joining 6'10" second-year forward Jonathan Isaac and newly re-signed 6'9" forward Aaron Gordon. Bamba must show he can be a killer on the floor like Embiid, and will work to make that happen. The only significant question about him coming into the Draft was the consistency of his motor at Texas. In Las Vegas this week for Summer League with his new team, Bamba is getting his feet wet while keeping them firmly planted to the ground. David Aldridge: I know you’ve spent a lot of time with Drew on the shot. What feels better now? Mo Bamba: Everything. The mechanics are so much cleaner now than they were in college. I think the difference between college and now is just a matter of just repetition, being able to change my jump shot dramatically because of how much I’ve gone in and worked on it. DA: So with time, you can basically improve anything? MB: Yeah, my jump shot is night and day. DA: He also told me that one thing he wanted to keep working with you on after the Draft was, you have a little jump to your left when you shoot? MB: Yeah, that’s a bad tendency that I have. That’s something Drew didn’t want to change. He changed a lot of things, and that’s one of the best things about working with Drew -- he knows boundaries, and he knows how much is too much. That’s one of the things he didn’t want to change right off the bat. But that’s something I’ve been conscious of and something I’ve been working on since he pointed it out. DA: Given where you played high school, was there more pressure on you playing for Westtown or playing for Texas? MB: I’d say there was more pressure playing -- well, actually, it was both, equal. My sophomore year at Westtown, there was a lot of pressure, because I was at a program that had never won a state championship, and had gotten to the finals three or four years in a row. At Texas, I was coming to a team that hadn’t made the NCAA Tournament the year before. So I’d say it was pretty equal. DA: I would imagine playing on a team like that in high school, with Cam and all the others, maybe prepared you not only for college, but playing in the pros. MB: Yeah, Cam can go. He’s a really good basketball player. And I know for a fact I’ll see him here next year. DA: What was Harlem like to grow up in, day by day? MB: It was, when people ask that, I pretty much tell them that you just grow up fast. You’re making decisions at a very young age that most kids don’t even come close to making. I credit a lot of my success to being from Harlem, growing up there. DA: Harlem’s changed a little the last few years. MB: Yeah, gentrification is real. It’s real. DA: What was it like seeing that demographic shift? MB: Well, I was kind of there before gentrification kind of really hit. Obviously there was a bunch of condos that went up and it was pretty cool to see. It was every time I came back home -- I’d see a new development going up. DA: Best advice your parents ever gave you? MB: I wouldn’t say it was direct advice or a quote. I’d say the best thing my parents passed on to me was to let me make my own mistakes and figure out on my age how to kind of see the world on my own. Growing up as the youngest child, one or two years after your siblings, obviously that’s great. You’re learning without truly making the mistakes on your own. But at some point in your life, you’re gonna have to learn on your own. You’re gonna have to fall to rise. DA: Conversely, then, what’s the biggest mistake you’ve made so far? MB: I’d say that the biggest mistake I’ve made so far was not committing to Texas earlier. I think waiting was awesome. I was very methodical about waiting, very strategic about what I wanted in a university. But at the same time, if I could go back, I probably would have committed my junior year, so I could hit the ground running and build the relationships, get to know people. DA: How much freedom did Shaka give you when you were there to try things on the floor that might not necessarily be good for the team, but could be good for you individually down the road? MB: Coach Smart, he’s given me so much freedom to sort of grow into who I was. That’s been a big thing in my life -- my parents and all of my coaches. Coach Smart did a great job of just letting me come to terms with myself, as a basketball player and a person. DA: I saw in one of your interviews before the Draft that you don’t think people really understand you when you say you’re a unicorn. So define that for me as you see it. MB: Well, I mean, people kind of have a concept of what it means. To me, it’s just someone who makes plays that have never been seen before -- a seven-foot big guard, those are all unicorns to me. DA: You played against Ayton and guys like Jarrett Allen (the Nets’ first-round pick in 2017) in high school, and I know how much you’ve looked at Joel Embiid on tape. Are you guys the new normal when it comes to the next generation of bigs? MB: Yeah, I think this is becoming a theme, and you’ll see it more and more with guys coming out of high school. One of the guys you’ll see coming up is James Wiseman (the 6'11" rising senior center currently playing at East High School in Memphis, and who is considered by many to be the top college prospect in the Class of 2019). He’s younger, but he does a lot of the things that I do, that Deandre does, that Jarrett does. It’s refreshing to see so many people that can do what I do. DA: If you were six-feet tall instead of seven, what would you be doing? MB: I’d have to be around the game, like a scout or a GM, something around the game. DA: How did the basketball bug bite you so hard growing up? MB: Honestly, it’s just my competitive nature. It bleeds over into other aspects of my life. But basketball is just something that I really excelled at, and whenever I hit kind of adversity, or whenever I do something that makes me vulnerable enough to get better and to ask for help, I just took this and ran with it. DA: Since you’re a kid, I have to ask you how good you are at Fortnight? MB: I play recreationally. One of my best friends is really good at it, and whenever I play him I get Ws. Longtime NBA reporter, columnist and Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer David Aldridge is an analyst for TNT. You can e-mail him here, find his archive here and follow him on Twitter. The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 9th, 2018

JRU’s coach Vergel admits: ‘Now, we’re rebuilding’

HOW’D THEY DO LAST SEASON? 11-8 overall, third-seed after eliminations, lost in stepladder playoffs to San Sebastian YES, THEY’RE STILL HERE: MJ Dela Virgen, Darius Estrella, Jed Mendoza WELCOME TO THE FAMILY: Ry Dela Rosa, Andrei Dulalia, Agem Miranda GOOD LUCK ON FUTURE ENDEAVORS: Abdul Wahab Abdul Razak, Ervin Grospe, Gio Lasquety, Abdel Poutouochi, Teytey Teodoro WHAT SHOULD WE EXPECT FROM JRU? Truth be told, nobody knows anything at all about JRU. “Now, we’re rebuilding. Parang ang naiwan sa aking players, aapat lang from past season. I’m not expecting too much kasi bago nga yung team namin.” – head coach Vergel Meneses Longtime veterans Ervin Grospe and Gio Lasquety have graduated and NCAA 94 was supposed to be the Teytey Teodoro show. Only, Teodoro departed from Shaw Boulevard due to circumstances yet to be disclosed. Now, Jed Mendoza is the only known commodity for head coach Vergel Meneses and it’s high time for him to take the next step into becoming a go-to-guy. “Ang sabi ko sa kanya, let your teammates get involved. I’m not asking you to shoot every time or score 30 points. You need your teammates para ma-open yung floor for you.” – head coach Vergel Meneses But fear not, Heavy Bombers faithful, a ray hope may very well be found in Darius Estrella, a former NCAA Juniors MVP who was having flashes of brilliance before tearing his ACL a year ago. WHO IS/ARE THE PLAYER/S TO WATCH OUT FOR FROM JRU? Clearly, JRU’s one and only answer to this question is Mendoza who won the Most Improved Player last year and only looks to improve even more. Much also rests on the shoulders of Estrella who has no time to waste in getting back to his old self. Coach Vergel also has promising pieces coming in in the form of former University of the East do-it-all player Agem Miranda and double-double machine Andrei Dulalia as well as ex-San Beda HS’ solid contributor Ry Dela Rosa. For the first time in years, the Heavy Bombers won’t have a foreign student-athlete so expect the locals to go all-out and all-heart. “Ang sinasabi ko sa mga players ko, just keep working hard, just keep fighting. I’m not asking you for a win, na every game, kailangan tayong manalo. Ang hinahanap ko lang sa kanila at magtatrabaho sila every game.” – head coach Vergel Meneses WHY SHOULD WE ROOT FOR JRU? Coach Vergel Meneses is the longest-tenured head coach in the NCAA and he has made the Final Four in all but three of his eight years on the coaching chair. “We’ll be there every game, fighting. Yun lang ang masasabi ko. Sa nakikita ko, yung puso ng mga bata compared to last time, maganda.” – head coach Vergel Meneses If, somehow, some way, he gets the Heavy Bombers to the playoffs once more, could anybody even question his coaching credentials? WHERE WOULD JRU BE AT THE END OF NCAA SEASON 94? Unfortunately, as much as everybody loves them some Vergel Meneses, he and his boys would be watching the Final Four at home or at school. As always, JRU could pull off upsets, but those would be few and far between. WHEN IS JRU’S FIRST GAME IN NCAA SEASON 94? JRU’s first game in the season is a home game in their Shaw Boulevard campus. Visiting them there on July 12 will be Mapua. As always, all of the #GalingNCAA will be on S+A, S+A HD, LIGA, LIGA HD, and livestream. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 30th, 2018

Ateneo s Fab 5: The Fearless Underdogs of UAAP Volleyball

Newly-appointed head coach Roger Gorayeb looked at his line-up heading into UAAP Season 71. A champion mentor of NCAA powerhouse San Sebastian College - Recoletos, Gorayeb had in his hands a gargantuan task of rebuilding Ateneo de Manila University women’s volleyball program. Just a few months before, Ronald Dulay, the mentor before him landed a trio of blue chip recruits who were fresh from a successful stint in the Palarong Pambansa. Angeline "Dzi" Gervacio, Fille Saint Cainglet and Jamenea "Jem" Ferrer just joined the Katipunan-based squad. Gervacio and Cainglet were products of St. Scholastica's College in Manila while Ferrer was a gem from Hope Christian School under girl’s volleyball guru Jerry Yee. Looking at his 15-woman line-up with the season just a few months ahead, Gorayeb knew he needed to do something drastic. The roster just won’t do. Talking to then athletic director Ricky Palou and team manager Tony Boy Liao, the mentor told the team officials that he intended to cut five players from the list. One could just imagine the shock in their faces. “Nakita ko may line-up pero player-playeran lang yung ganoon bang tipo, 15 ata yun. Sabi ko ‘Magtatanggal ako ng lima then magre-recruit ako,’” he said. The three rookies were in. Middle Bea Pascual, Kara Acevedo and libero Steph Gabriel retained their spots. He needed more. “Sa mga tinira kong players, si Kara Acevedo sabi niya, ‘Coach mayroong player ang ICA (Immaculate Conception Academy) na gumraduate naka-exam na rito pasado.’ Sabi ko, ‘Sige papuntahin mo,’” said Gorayeb. It was Gretchen Ho. “Sa akin kasi ang talagang nagyaya sa akin si coach Ron Dulay. Si Kara Acevedo teammate ko and she’s been recruited by Ateneo. So one summer wala akong magawa naki-train lang ako noon tapos nagustuhan nila ang laro ko and then fourth year noong graduate na ako I passed the ACET then niyayaya na nila ako,” she said. “Then nagbago ng coach na si Coach Roger and dun niya ako nakita.”   “Pagdating ko ng March (sa Ateneo) wala na akong way para maka-recruit pa. Ang nangyari yung tatlo accepted na kaagad. Si Gretchen tinanong ko sabi ko, ‘ano ba ang laro mo?’ Sabi niya the usual panggitna, tres,” Gorayeb recalled. “So sinubukan ko pero ang laro niya tres hindi quick. Siya panggitna pero hindi quicker na gusto ko saka yung height niya (maliit). Kaya lang si Gretchen takbo ng takbo, mahilig magtatakbo so sabi ko sige pwede na yan. Wala namang player na during that time. So kinuha ko si Gretchen.” Gorayeb just needed just one more. “Ngayon nagkaroon ng STCAA (Southern Tagalog Calabarzon athletic association) eh kulang pa ako ng isa, wala akong panggitna. Ang gitna ko during that time si Bea lang tapos si Gretchen so wala akong pamalit. So naisipan ko may nakita ako sa STCAA,” he said. He spotted a lanky player from Canossa Academy-Lipa, Aillysse Nacachi. “Sabi ko kay Sir Tony pagtyagaan ko na lang ito kahit hindi naman kalakasan at wala naman na rin akong choice na makapili kasi rush ang pagdating ko dyan. Nakiusap lang sila sa akin na magbuo ako ng team kasi si Ronald nag-resign,” said Gorayeb. Another freshman could’ve had ended up with Ateneo, Hope’s libero Melissa Gohing. But a few obstacles prevented her from fulfilling her promise to join Ferrer in Ateneo. She instead chose to join the ladies in green and white in Taft.    SOMETHING PROMISING December 7, 2008. Far Eastern University Gym. Excitement filled the air. Fans, mostly volleyball purists and some who just came to support their classmates or were just curious to see a new spectacle after the basketball season ended, slowly settled in their seats for the women’s division’s second game. It was Adamson University, the previous year’s runner-up, which just visited the turf of their arch nemesis and defending champion FEU, which was led by that era’s finest and most popular volleybelle Rachel Anne Daquis. Fans wanted to see if the Lady Falcons still had the same firepower they had the previous season with the loss of top setter Janet Serafica and power hitter Sang Laguilles. A rookie-laden Ateneo squad should be easy pickings with Angela Benting, rookie Pau Soriano and libero Lizlee Anne Gata in the roster. Besides the Lady Falcons got the Lady Eagles’ number. Or so they thought. “Naalala ko nu’ng time namin sinasabi sa amin ng seniors namin na, ‘Hay naku ang lakas ng Adamson, never kami nanalo dyan,’” Cainglet, now happily married to film director Lino Cayetano and with three beautiful children, recalled.  But the Lady Eagles stunned Adamson in the opening set. The Lady Falcons took the next two frames. Ateneo stole the fourth.  “Ako naalala ko ano eh, parang alam namin na lahat kasi kami palaban. Nasa amin yun. Tapos binigyan kaming lahat ng chance to be in the first six so parang dream come true,” said Ho, now an ABS-CBN host. “Naalala ko rin na palaban kaming lahat kumbaga nothing to lose eh so ang ano namin, sumasabay kami sa laro and nu’ng nakita na namin na ‘Ay kaya pala natin ‘to guys. Kaya pala naming lumaban.’” Still, Adamson had the upper hand in experience. The Lady Falcons, used to pressure and were steady at crunch time, outlasted Ateneo.           The young Katipunan-based squad fell short, 25-22, 22-25, 15-25, 25-15, 8-15. But for the Fab 5, it was a loss that felt like a resounding victory. “Parang sobrang natutuwa kami and everybody in the crowd, kaya siguro kami natawag na Fab 5 kasi rookies kami pero kahit ganoon palaban kami,” said Ho. “Saka close game. Five sets yun.” However, it was the first of five five-set matches that Ateneo will drop that season including one in the second round against the Manilla Santos-bannered De La Salle University. “Pero ang problema di kami nananalo ng five sets. Parang ilan lang ang naipanalo namin na ganoon. Feeling ko na-overwhelm kami na ‘Uy nananalo tayo.’ May ganoong disbelief ng konti pero alam namin na may ibubuga kami,” said Ho. “Definitely, our rookie season was full of five-set matches. It was tough, we felt like we were so close, but still so far away. At some point, it gave us frustration also. We just couldn't figure out that time what is it that's still lacking because we couldn't win the five-set matches,” according to Nacachi. “People said, it was because the team was still so inexperienced. We still didn't have the tenacity unlike of those more matured teams. But we didn't take it as bad, it was a learning experience for us all at the end. We had to learn how to develop that finishing will to be able to win games like that in the future.” The Fab 5 finished their rookie season with a 6-8 slate at fifth spot.   ‘MAY MEDAL NA TAYO’ Gorayeb remembered on their second year the look on Pascual’s face in their last elimination game match against Adamson. Already wrapping up their first win over the Lady Falcons, Pascual was giddy. “Natatawa nga ako dyan kay Bea kasi papanalo na kami nu’n tapos sumesenyas na siya ng tres. Sabi ko, ‘Hoy anong ginagawa mo?’ Yun pala sobrang saya na niya kasi for the first time in 30 years magkaka-medal na sila,” he said. It was the most important match of the season for the Lady Eagles. With the Fab 5 already in their sophomore year, Ateneo was already making great strides. The Lady Eagles closed that season’s elims with five straight wins capped with a victory over Adamson. Ateneo posted a 10-4 win-loss mark to enter the Final Four legitimately. “Ang nangyari kasi nu’ng time nila Charo (Soriano) kaya sila nakapasok sa semis kasi may nag-squeal na si (Jacq) Alarca di pala naka-enroll nu’n kaya na-forfeit mga laro ng La Salle,” said Gorayeb. The Fab 5 proved that they were not just a bunch of much-hyped up pretty faces. They backed it up with their skills on court. It didn’t matter that Ateneo were swept by eventual champion University of Sto. Tomas in the Final Four.      But the podium finish of Season 72 was short-lived. Adamson got its revenge in the last game of Season 73 elims, bumping off the Lady Eagles in the podium finish. The loss put Ateneo in a collision course with the twice-to-beat DLSU, who could’ve completed an elims sweep if not only for a forfeited match against University of the East after UAAP found out that Carmela Garbin and Clarisse Yeung participated in a ‘ligang labas’ while the season was onoing, in the Final Four. Ateneo gave the Lady Spikers a scare before succumbing in another heartbreaking five-set match. The Lady Eagles finished fourth but that lone semis game gave Ateneo and its maturing Fab 5 enough experience to dream for something big – A ticket into the Finals.      ‘HINOG NA KAYO’ The first three years saw the gradual improvement for Ateneo. But Season 74 proved to be the turning point for the Fab 5. A fresh new recruit from University of Sto. Tomas high school, who just completed a year of residency, came into picture and with the Fab 5 armed with years of experience, the Lady Eagles’ fate will forever be changed. Alyssa Valdez, a highly recruited open spiker just like Gervacio, Cainglet-Cayetano and Ferrer years back, gave renewed excitement for the Ateneo faithful. “Alyssa's joining with Ateneo was a great turning point for us. We needed as much support we can get, and Alyssa's entrance to the team was a great boost to the team's morale,” said Nacachi. “The girl is a powerhouse and we felt like with her presence, the team finally became solid.” “We were able to play around with the positions and the rotations, since we had different versatile open players who can also greatly play other roles,” she added. “We were also able to formulate a lot of plays and attacks because Alyssa can generally do all kinds; open, running, quick, name it all. She gave the team the power and the versatility that we previously lacked from the past seasons.” Social media was just gaining traction then but the Lady Eagles were already on the radar of volleyball purists through online forums. For the first time, Ateneo was considered a legitimate contender.   The Fab 5 proved it by winning 11 games in the elimination round, losing only to UST once and dropping two against the Lady Spikers. Valdez’s arrival gave Ferrer an even broader option on offense. It eased the scoring load off the shoulders of Cainglet and Gervacio, who was then moved to an opposite position. “I guess sakto lang din yung dating niya because by that time Kara Acevedo graduated so someone had to fill in her spot so coach Roger decided for me to move to utility or opposite,” said Gervacio. “And then sakto Alyssa naman could fill in the spot na other open spiker.” “So timing din na we had all the pieces put together at the right time,” she added. With a good performance in the elims despite missing a legit middle in Bea Pascual and the entry of Aerieal Patnongon barred by academic problems, Ateneo finished second and for the first-time was armed with a twice-to-beat advantage in the stepladder semifinals. The Lady Eagles faced an experienced Tigresses side in the last stepladder semis stage. UST just came from a hard-fought four-set do-or-die match against FEU and were banking on their four-set win over Ateneo in the second round to force another sudden death. Ateneo’s date with destiny was sealed with a four-set win over the Tigresses, who then bid goodbye to Maika Ortiz and Judy Anne Caballejo. “Pinu-push na rin kami ni Coach Roger noon eh, ‘Hinog na kayo ngayon. Kasi dalawang taon na lang, kailangan makapasok na kayo sa Finals,’” said Ho. “Somehow senior na rin kami,” added Cainglet.  “Season 74 was really the target season for us to be in the finals and target even to win the championship,” according to Nacachi. “During this time, we were already thinking we could not afford to not go in the finals.” “So it was with our mindset and our level of commitment that we were able to finally reach our goal of reaching the finals,” she added. “We had enough experience that time already, and it was really time for us to show the level of game maturity the team had obtained from the past seasons.” But then they had to face an unbeaten team. Unscathed in 14 games, De La Salle University was poised to complete a perfect season. The Lady Eagles spoiled it. Ferrer outplayed DLSU setter Mika Esperanza, 57-42, in excellent sets as Ateneo handed the Lady Spikers its first loss after 25 straight victories in a come-from-behind 23-25, 28-26, 25-23, 25-17, Finals opener win. Witnessed by 3,002 spectators inside the then The Arena in San Juan, all of the Fab 5 produced points. Cainglet had 19 behind Valdez’s 24, Gervacio scored 12, Ho had 10, Nacachi finished with five while Ferrer had one. Gorayeb made a big gambit and it worked. “Dahil sa wala kong panggitna, yung laro namin ng La Salle, ginawa kong quicker si Alyssa. Kasi si Alyssa nakakapalo. Nagulat si Ramil (de Jesus) dun.” It was a big win. A huge upset. Unfortunately, Ateneo needed to win two more.  DLSU held a thrice-to-beat advantage.   THAT SWAG After Ateneo made a miracle in Game One, fans began to feel a new rivalry born. The attendance spiked. From just 3,000 spectators, the gate attendance more than doubled its size. The interest was there. Fans of traditional powers began to notice the Lady Eagles as a rising team. For the first time, a squad with no previous championship experience except for a title during the Marcos era in a different collegiate league, made a giant jolt. Everybody wanted to see what these girls would do next.    The Lady Eagles, still high on adrenaline after their Game 1 upset, took the opening set in Game 2. But just like in their opener, a well-experienced DLSU squad adjusted to take the next three frames to move a step closer to a repeat crown. With then Rookie of the Year Ara Galang, Season Most Valuable Player Aby Marano, an intimidating Michele Gumabao and a very efficient Finals MVP Cha Cruz teaming up for the kill, the Lady Spikers ripped Ateneo apart in Game 3 in straight sets, 25-16, 25-22, 25-13. “Sabi nga ni Dzi na nadyan na lahat eh. So I guess noong Season 74 nandoon na pero may kulang pa rin,” said Ho. “I guess we we’re able to make it to the Finals pero wala pa kaming championship experience.” Ferrer agreed. "Siguro ang kulang yung championship experience kasi nasa La Salle na ‘yun eh. Ilang years na silang nagpa-finals, nag-champion and for Ateneo doon pa lang namin sinimulan," said the three-time Best Setter. Lacking championship experience is one thing, but Ateneo during that time wasn’t ready for DLSU’s most feared weapon: the Lady Spikers’ swag.  “They have that swag,” said Gervacio. “Everyone knows about it naman. It’s really coach Ramil’s style talaga kasi as I remember when we were first year, four out of six of the players inside the court were rookies and even if we go against the powerhouses UST, FEU, Adamson, hindi sila yung nakikita nyo na kapag championship na rivalry, na swag, angas, stare down. Pero La Salle talaga kahit sino ang kalaban nila they’ll bring that attitude inside the court.” That Finals series cemented a new rivalry that will become one of the most celebrated in the sport. “I think it also helped that Ateneo-La Salle basketball didn’t face also,” said Gervacio. “Siyempre nandoon ang hunger for the rivalry eh and timely din na its been Ateneo-La Salle na rin sa volleyball.”   CLOSING A CHAPTER The Fab 5 were now in their fifth and last year. They wanted to leave a winning legacy. The pieces were already there. Gorayeb had at his disposal five seniors, a rising star in Valdez, a sophomore middle in Amy Ahomiro, a versatile Ella De Jesus, a steady libero in Denden Lazaro and a new kind of weapon – a massive crowd that can turn any venue into a sea of blue.              As expected, the second installment of the Ateneo-DLSU rivalry was set into place. Both sweeping their semis opponents. The Lady Spikers crushed National University while the Lady Eagles shot down Adamson. Game One was a shocker. DLSU heading into the Finals are on a 14-game roll but were stunned in the first two sets with Ateneo stepping on the gas. But a string of miscues, mostly from the service line, did the Lady Eagles in as they allowed the Lady Spikers to force a decider. DLSU, smelling blood, punished Ateneo to eke out a 20-25, 17-25, 25-22, 25-22, 15-6, victory inside the Big Dome witnesses by 17,342-strong gate attendance. Then the series transferred to a newly-built, state-of-the-art Mall of Asia Arena that drew a crowd of 18,799. The first two frames were frustrating for the Lady Eagles.   Ateneo came back to life in the third set to gain a 9-5 lead. But DLSU easily erased it with Ateneo crumbling under pressure. The Lady Spikers were on an onslaught. Sophomore Galang pushed DLSU at matchpoint with a cold-blooded ace that went in a few inches from the baseline. The score, 24-16. It was a tense moment for the Fab 5. A long rally ensued in the next play. Gervacio, with all her might pounded a kill. Her hand making a great contact on the ball off Ferrer’s backset.     Smack! The ball ricocheted off the hands of DLSU’s Wensh Tiu before falling on the same landing area of Gervacio, who tried to dive for a dig together with Lazaro. DLSU swept Ateneo, 25-23, 25-20, 25-16. Game over.          “Kahit hindi kami nanalo alam naming ibinigay namin ang lahat namin, all-out talaga kaya wala kaming pagsisisi,” said Ho. It was the end of the Fab 5 era, but they left more than what any of them could have imagined. "I remember so many people or fans telling me that they started really watching UAAP Volleyball because of our batch. And that is really touching and fulfilling to know. Knowing that you were able to leave an impact like that to people. We were not able to bring even a single championship to our school, Ateneo, but we were able to touch a lot of people's hearts despite that," Nacachi shared. The Fab 5 closed a colorful chapter of Ateneo volleyball in tears. They were there during the Lady Eagles’ birth pains. They labored. They shed tears, blood and sweat. They laid the foundation for something big. The Fab 5 planted the seeds that would eventually bear fruit and would change the course of Ateneo women’s volleyball program forever. Glory didn’t happen during their time. It started in theirs.    Amidst the roar of the crowd, the falling confetti, banging of drums and the echoing chant of ‘Animo La Salle’ from the sea of green, the Fab 5 hugged each other tight. They found comfort in each other. It was their time to say goodbye. For those who remained – Valdez, Lazaro, Ahomiro, De Jesus – the defeat added fuel to their already blazing desire to bring glory for the blue and white. They were the next in line, heirs to unfinished business. WATCH: FAB 5 Reunion Part 1 and Part 2 --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 20th, 2018

Perfect Pirates, Player of the Week Perez making it look easy

As Lyceum of the Philippines University draws nearer to a historic elimination round sweep in the NCAA Season 93, CJ Perez is starting to make it look easy. Perez was once again at the forefront of the Pirates' attack as they siezed win number 16, 81-69, over Colegio de San Juan de Letran on Friday. Perez scored 10 of his 24 points in the final seven minutes of the fourth quarter to repeatedly turn back every rally from the Knights and move his crew two wins away from completing an 18-game elimination round sweep. For his exploits, he once again bagged the Chooks-to-Go NCAA Press Corps Player of the Week Award. Perez' effortless destruction of the Knights earned him the praises of head coach Topex Robinson, but for his longtime mentor it's really the attitude of his prized wingman which truly stands out. 'Conscious siya pag nagkamali siya. He knows na nagkamali siya. One thing I like about him, and I always try to brag about my coaches in Alaska, he will never blame yung kasama,' said Robinson. 'Hindi siya yung, pag hindi pinasahan magagalit. He knows that kumbaga, he knows (he needs) the support of everyone,' he added. It was the second time Perez bagged the weekly award handed out by sports scribes. He was the very first player to be feted the individual recognition this season. To do so, Perez edged out impressive performances from Mapua University's Andoy Estrella, San Beda College's Javee Mocon, Jose Rizal University's Jed Mendoza, and Arellano University's Kent Salado. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 8th, 2017

Bombers ward off Stags to close in on return to playoffs

With its new and improved backcourt showing the way, Jose Rizal University has one foot in the door for a return to the Final Four now in the NCAA 93 Men’s Basketball Tournament. Jed Mendoza poured in six of his 14 points in the final frame, Teytey Teodoro again brought the big baskets, and the Heavy Bombers just had enough to stop oncoming San Sebastian College-Recoletos, 60-58, on Friday at the Filoil Flying V Centre. With the win, Vergel Meneses’ wards are assured of at least a playoff for a Final Four berth. “Yung mga players ko, they want to prove that they belong in this league,” the head coach said after they improved to 10-6 – still solo third-place. Making it happen was Cameroonian Abdel Poutouochi who coolly converted a couple of charities to overturn a one-point deficit into a one-point advantage with 29.5 ticks to go. “Yung composure namin, nandun kanina. They got the lead then we got the basket,” Meneses said. The Golden Stags had a golden opportunity to take back the lead only to see Ryan Costelo split his defenders and shoot a runner that hit the back of the ring. Mendoza’s split from the stripe and Michael Calisaan’s botched reverse layup later and JRU sealed the deal on its third win in a row. “Tapos yung last two (possessions), we had a good stop,” the head coach said. Teodoro wound up with 11 points, including a booming triple that gave his team some separation in the last five minutes. Ervin Grospe also contributed 14 markers of his own. The Heavy Bombers need one more win to officially book a ticket into the playoffs and they try to do just that next Tuesday up against Mapua University. Without a doubt, this is already an improvement from their 9-9 finish from a season ago which had them out of the playoff picture. On the other hand, Baste needs to win out in its remaining three assignments to have a shot at the Final Four. Calisaan was the lone double-digit scorer for them in this one with 15 points to go along with 13 rebounds. BOX SCORES JRU 60 – Grospe 14, Mendoza 14, Teodoro 11, Poutouochi 10, Sawat 6, Dela Virgen 3, Abdul Razak 2, Lasquety 0, David 0 SAN SEBASTIAN 58 – Calisaan 15, Bulanadi 9, Calma 9, Ilagan 8, David 7, Navarro 3, Costelo 2, Baetiong 2, Capobres 2, Mercado 1, Gayosa 0, Are 0 QUARTER SCORES: 22-17, 33-30, 46-45, 60-58 --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 6th, 2017

Player of the Week Quinto is newest Knight in shining armor

Like a Knight in shining armor, Bong Quinto came to heed the call for Colegio de San Juan de Letran, stepping up valiantly in the forefront of their crucial Final Four rally to earn the Chooks-To-Go NCAA Press Corps Player of the Week for the period of August 18 to 24. Quinto normed 21.0 points, 9.0 rebounds, and 2.5 assists in 30 minutes of action as Letran went 2-0 this week to improve to 7-6, tying Jose Rizal University at third place with just five games to go. With the Knights' playoff hopes on the line, the 20-year-old rose to the occasion, racking up 20 points, eight rebounds, and three assists in an all-important 84-73 win over Arellano University last Tuesday which finally ended their three-game slide and pushed them back to semifinal contention. Three days later, the former NCAA Juniors MVP then followed it up with a solid double-double of 20 points and 10 boards to go along two assists in Letran's 88-79 payback against listless Mapua University. The stretch forward Quinto eclipsed teammate Rey Nambatac, San Sebastian College-Recoletos' Renzo Navarro, San Beda College's Javee Mocon, and Lyceum of the Philippines University's CJ Perez for the weekly citation. 'Number 1 (na difference) ay 'yung leadership ng mga veterans namin - sila Rey (Nambatac), JP (Calvo) at si Bong. Good thing they stepped up and the rookies followed na lang,' coach Jeff Napa said on their resurgence. Indeed, with the bonafide Letranite Quinto leading the pack in their last two huge victories, the Knights are now on a more comfortable haven after lingering outside the Final Four just last week. Quinto and the rest of the Knights will try to shrug off the chasing Golden Stags who are just riding on their coattails at 6-6 in a gigantic battle on Tuesday. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 24th, 2017

Dagger Dan Arches wills Mapua to winner-take-all vs LSGH in NCAA 94

Mapua High School and College of St. Benilde-La Salle Greenhills will figure in another winner-take-all matchup now in the NCAA 94 Men’s Basketball Tournament. Dan Arches made sure of that, putting the Red Robins on his back over the defending champion Junior Blazers, 85-76, on Monday at the MOA Arena. The graduating guard scored 19 points, including six straight in the run that effectively turned the tides in favor of his team. “Si Dan naman, siya na talaga magli-lead ngayong wala si Clint,” head coach Randy Alcantara, referring to main man Clint Escamis who did not play still due to his ailing left knee. Mapua trailed, 36-39, late in the second quarter after Lennox Valenzuela drew unsportsmanlike and technical fouls from them. It was at that point, though, that Arches settled down the troops before burning Valenzuela with three baskets in a row to put his squad on top, 42-39, at halftime. That was just the wakeup call that that the Red Robins needed to impose their will in what was a must-win matchup for them following a loss in Game 1. “Sinabi ko lang talaga sa kanila na natalo tayo ng Game 1, pero hindi pa sila champion. Kailangan lang nating makuha ‘tong Game 2 kahit gaano kahirap,” coach Randy said. Briedyn Smith, Jonnel Policarpio, and Paolo Hernanez only joined in on the fun in the third and got together for an 11-3 run that increased their advantage to 70-61 in the middle of the quarter. In the end, Arches had 22 points and five rebounds while Policarpio and Hernandez both had double-doubles with the former having 14 markers and 14 boards and the latter having 13 points and 10 rebounds. Thanks to them, Mapua is now one win away from a second championship in the last three years. Arches and company try to do that in the winner-take-all Game 3 on Thursday. Of course, CSB-LSGH would also be going all-out for what would be their own back-to-back titles. Joel Cagulangan topped the scoring column for them in this one with 17 points, but hard to work for all of those, just shooting 4-of-17. Inand Fornilos also had a 13-point, 12-rebound double-double. They would need much more from Joshua David, however, who had a substandard game with just five points in 1-of-15 shooting. BOX SCORES MAPUA 85 – Arches 22, Policarpio 14, Hernandez 13, Mariano 11, Smith 8, Sarias 6, Lazarte 3, Fransman 3, Quimado 2, Dennison 2, Diaz 1. CSB-LSGH 76 – Cagulangan 17, Fornilos 13, Sangco 13, Valenzuela 13, David 5, Lepalam 4, Palencia 4, Calimag 4, Mosqueda 3, Morales 0, Lao 0. QUARTER SCORES: 20-25, 42-39, 59-56, 85-76. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 12th, 2018

Developing young QBs in NFL a tricky balancing act

By Dennis Waszak Jr., Associated Press NEW YORK (AP) — Start them right away? Ease 'em in? Have them sit a whole season? When it comes to developing young quarterbacks in the NFL, it all depends on who you talk to. Some teams think it's best to throw rookie QBs into the fire to learn on the job. Others prefer to gradually work them into the offense. Some say it's more beneficial to have them grab a cap and clipboard and take it all in from the sideline. "I think every position is the same," Jets offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates said. "If someone can't handle it mentally, then you don't want to put them on the field, because naturally they'll play slower and be thinking instead of reacting." Sam Darnold clearly passed that test for New York, and the No. 3 overall pick in April was under center to start the season. "If a player shows the athletic ability, the talent and has the mental capacity to handle a gameplan and go into a game and be successful," Bates said, "then he's ready to play." That doesn't mean things have necessarily gone smoothly for the former USC star. Darnold's 14 interceptions lead the league and have contributed to the Jets' 3-6 start. So have his 55.0 percent completion rate and 68.3 quarterback rating, which also rank among the worst in the league. Still, some point to these early struggles as crucial building blocks for the future. "I'm going to continue to learn," Darnold said Sunday after a 13-6 loss at Miami in which he threw four INTs. "There's always lessons to be learned." Of the 32 quarterbacks currently listed as starters for their teams, 12 were under center in Week 1 of their first season. On the flipside, some veteran superstar QBs waited a while before they got their chances. Aaron Rodgers was stuck behind Brett Favre in Green Bay before finally starting in his fourth season. Philip Rivers didn't start with the Chargers until his third year, when Drew Brees went to New Orleans. Even Brees didn't get his first NFL start until his second season. Tom Brady, Eli Manning, Ben Roethlisberger and Alex Smith weren't Day 1 starters, either. "In an ideal world, it gets to be like Drew, who had a chance to watch a little, or Tom Brady and Aaron," said former quarterback Rich Gannon, the 2002 NFL MVP and now an analyst for CBS Sports and SiriusXM NFL Radio. Patrick Mahomes sat behind Smith in Kansas City until Week 17 as a rookie last year, and now is a leading MVP candidate as one of the NFL's top gunslinger s with a league-leading 29 TD passes for the 8-1 Chiefs. "We knew that Patrick was very talented, but any time that an NFL team goes with a young quarterback, usually it's a very challenging endeavor," Chiefs owner Clark Hunt said. "Sometimes it takes time, several years, but as we've seen, Andy (Reid) had Patrick ready to go Week 1." Gannon thinks the Chiefs provide the perfect blueprint. "Mahomes had a chance to watch a master of his domain for a year," he said. "Alex Smith knew that system inside and out, has great huddle command and leadership skills. Maybe he doesn't throw it like Mahomes does, but this is a guy who was willing to share and help him for that year, and we're seeing the fruits of it now. "That's the best situation you can have." Again, that depends on who you ask. In the past three drafts, 11 quarterbacks were taken in the first round — including Darnold, Cleveland's Baker Mayfield, Buffalo's Josh Allen, Arizona's Josh Rosen and Baltimore's Lamar Jackson this year. Jackson is the only one to not yet start at least one game. Baltimore has Joe Flacco leading the huddle, but Jackson has still been used in the offense and is the Ravens' second-leading rusher. The Browns wanted to have Mayfield, the No. 1 overall pick this year, sit and learn behind Tyrod Taylor. But like most plans in Cleveland, it backfired. Taylor got hurt in Week 3 and Mayfield was thrust into the lineup, helping the Browns rally to beat the Jets in a nationally televised game and end a 19-game winless streak. Mayfield has shown poise and promise, but lacks playmakers and is dealing with a coaching change after Hue Jackson was fired. In Buffalo, the Bills weren't anticipating Allen starting in the second week. They were taking what coach Sean McDermott called a "calculated" approach. But after AJ McCarron was traded before the season opener and Nathan Peterman bombed in Week 1, McDermott was left with no choice but to turn to Allen. The rookie has been dealing with a sprained right elbow , and is uncertain to play Sunday against the Jets. "When you draft a quarterback like we did, there's a part of it where you have to say, 'Hey, he's going to play either A, B, or C — early, middle, or late or next year.'" McDermott said. "You have to be OK with all of that." The initial plan in Arizona was to have Rosen learn behind Sam Bradford. All that changed when the veteran was ineffective and benched in favor of the No. 10 overall pick. Rosen took his lumps with some turnover-filled performances. Then, Mike McCoy was fired as the Cardinals' offensive coordinator and Bradford was later cut — leaving the job to Rosen. "His demeanor allows him to have success," new offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich said. "Quarterbacking in this league is hard and when things go bad, this kid tends to be fine." But, some say too many adverse situations could end up having long-term deleterious effects on a young player. "When you put them in before they're ready, they also get hurt: Josh Allen, Josh Rosen," Gannon said. "The speed of the game is way too fast for them. ... Or they have a bad experience, like what wound up happening with (the Jets') Mark Sanchez and Geno Smith, or going back to Ryan Leaf (with the Chargers). They play right away before they are physically or mentally ready or maturity-level ready. They get benched and booed and maybe run out of town, the coach gets fired, and then the next thing, they're on their third or fourth team. They think he will be a savior and he's not ready to play. "How is that being responsible from a coach and ownership standpoint? It's doing a tremendous disservice." Tampa Bay's Jameis Winston and Tennessee' Marcus Mariota started right away after being the top two picks in 2015, but the jury's still out on both. For those who preach patience, 25 of the 32 current QBs started a game at some point in their rookie season. And, several held on to the job from there. Quarterbacks such as the Rams' Jared Goff (No. 1 in 2016) and the Bears' Mitchell Trubisky (No. 2 in 2017) started and struggled as rookies, but benefited from changes in coaching staffs and philosophies and took leaps in their second seasons. So, who's right? Well, all of the above. "There's certainly valuable experience when you stand and watch," McDermott said. "But we all know there's no substitute for the experience when you're actually behind the wheel. There's a lot of value to that." ___ AP Pro Football Writer Barry Wilner and AP Sports Writers Bob Baum, David Ginsburg, Dave Skretta, John Wawrow and Tom Withers contributed......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 7th, 2018

NCAA: The grassroots have become greener for LSGH

College of St. Benilde-La Salle Greenhills joined the NCAA in 1998 and didn’t win a championship for two decades. Last year, they finally broke through, triumphing over then defending champion Mapua High School and taking their first-ever title. Now, the Junior Blazers have a golden opportunity for back-to-back championships as they are set to meet the Red Robins once more for all the glory. For head coach Marvin Bienvenida, the past two years have just proven that recruiting tantalizing talents is not the only way to win. “We didn’t really end up having a good set of players. This is all about developing players straight from the grassroots,” he said. Indeed, in the past three years, the boys from Greenhills have not had a shining stars in the mold of Rivero brothers Prince and Ricci. Instead, they have featured hardworking players like Troy Mallillin, Joel Cagulangan, and Inand Fornilos who improved year in and year out. Mallillin worked his way to an MVP just like Cagulangan is en route to working his way to the award for the top individual player. Fornilos’ motor, meanwhile, never stopped chugging and he is well on track to a second straight Mythical selection Even key cogs such as Joshua David, Makoy Marcos, and Unique Naboa came from out of nowhere. And so, the fact that it was Cagulangan and David who showed the way in their knockout bout against Jose Rizal University High School means that they have developed into the leaders that CSB-LSGH needs. “The stats show they played well, but the contributions they give in leadership, camaraderie, experience, yun ang mabigat,” coach Marvin said. With that, the Junior Blazers are nothing but confident they can work their way into another championship. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 5th, 2018

NCAA: Dagger Dan Arches does not let Escamis, Red Robins down

No longer with all of Warren Bonifacio, Mike Enriquez, Will Gozum, the spotlight shone on Clint Escamis to lead Mapua High School in the NCAA 94 Juniors Basketball Tournament. Only, Escamis was not at full strength to lead the Red Robins in their biggest game thus far. Still slowed down by his ailing left leg, the graduating guard was not on the floor as his team was protecting a four-point lead against modern-day rival San Beda High School in their knockout bout last Monday. And so, another player had to step up to shoot Mapua to the Finals. Like he had already proven many, many times in the tournament, Dan Arches was more than up to the challenge. “Wala kasi si Clint e. Kung nandyan siya, siya tumitira nang mga ganun. So kinuha ko na lang kasi nasa game plan pa rin naman siya,” he said. With the shot clock winding down and with bigger Red Cub Tony Ynot right in front of him, Arches squared up and launched a triple try. The ball soared through the air before falling into the net – and ultimately, transformed into a dagger that struck the heart of San Beda. “Yung confidence ko po sa sarili ko, galing po kay coach [Randy Alcantara]. Yung kumpyansa na binibigay niya, ‘di ko talaga sinasayang,” he said after the win for him and the Red Robins. Indeed, the 18-year-old is just giving back to the head coach who discovered him in Roxas City, Capiz and then developed him in Intramuros. “Galing po akong probinsya tapos na-scout at na-recruit ni coach Randy. Tinanggap ko na po kasi sayang yung opportunity,” he shared. He then continued, “Maraming batang gustong maglaro sa Maynila at pinapangarap maglaro sa NCAA.” It wasn’t always this way, however, as in his rookie season a year ago, Arches played sparingly and only had per game counts of 2.2 points and 1.3 rebounds in 7.1 minutes. “Dumating po sa point na na-down ako, pero sabi po ng magulang ko, lumaban lang. Ginawa ko po silang motivation,” he said. From there, he just kept working and working. “Pinapakita ko lang po lagi sa training yung kaya ko kasi alam ko sa sarili ko na may ibubuga ako,” he said. The wait finally came to an end this year as, with the graduation of Bonifacio, Enriquez, and Gozum, Mapua needed new weapons to wield. The 6-foot-1 guard has been just that for them, averaging 17.5 points, 4.4 rebounds, 4.1 assists, and 1.5 steals in a team-high 29.4 minutes. And if not for the even more meteoric rise of Jose Rizal University High School’s John Amores, he may have very well been the league’s Most Improved Player. For now, though, all that matters for Arches is the championship – making sure the Red Robins get back at College of St. Benilde-La Salle Greenhills and making sure that he and good pal Escamis go out on a high. Main man @EscamisClint still not at full strength for Mapua? Dagger Dan Arches gotchu. #NCAASeason94 pic.twitter.com/MkMAJc8rtk — Normie Riego (@riegogogo) Oktubre 29, 2018 Asked about that moment, he answered, “Nagpasalamat lang siya sa akin kasi (last Sunday), sa training, humingi siya ng favor na makapasok ulit ng Finals kasi gusto pa niya maglaro.” And while it’s yet to be determined if Escamis will now be at full strength come Game 1 of the championship round on Tuesday, Mapua need not worry. After all, they still have “Dagger” Dan Arches. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogog......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 31st, 2018

Q& A: Hornets Walker starts season in scoring groove

By Steve Aschburner, NBA.com With the new season underway, and with his game as hot as almost anyone to start, Charlotte Hornets guard Kemba Walker was asked what impressed or surprised him about the first 10 days or so of 2018-19. “Nothing besides my own play,” Walker said, laughing after a shootaround Friday (Saturday, PHL time). “Nothing besides seeing my name near the top of the NBA scoring, which is pretty weird.” Eh, maybe not so weird. Walker, a two-time All-Star, is the Hornets’ all-time leading scorer. At 28, the former ninth overall pick in the 2011 Draft is in his prime as a player. The 41 points he dropped on Milwaukee on opening night and the fact he’s gone for at least 23 every game since (with three more games of 30 or more) seems like the next logical step. It earned him the season’s first Eastern Conference Player of the Week honor and as Week 2 ended, his 31.7 ppg trailed only Golden State’s Stephen Curry (33.9) and Portland’s Damian Lillard (33.8). “It was [gratifying]. Who wouldn’t want it to keep going?” Walker told NBA.com. “I know teams will be gearing up on me and double-teaming me. But I just want to win, man. I want to get back to the playoffs any way possible. I don’t care what I average the rest of the year.” Walker, in the final year of a four-year, $48 million deal he signed in 2014, never has shot the ball so well -- 40.5 percent from the arc, 46.6 percent overall. Neither has he shot it so often and from such range. Walker is averaging 23 shots, including more than 11 3-point attempts. His usage rate of 33.5 trails only Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo (35.1) and his 29.4 PER puts him ahead of Kevin Durant and LeBron James. Is it sustainable? That was one of multiple topics Walker talked about with NBA.com’s Steve Aschburner: *** Steve Aschburner: On Media Day, you made it sound as if you would hit this season hard from the start, and that’s exactly what we’ve seen. How do you explain it? Kemba Walker: I knew I had a good summer. I put in the work and the time and the effort to get better. And I’m healthy -- I haven’t felt healthy like this in a long time. Over the last three summers, I wasn’t healthy, having knee surgeries and ‘scopes. So I was rehabbing. This summer, I had a chance to work on my game. Being able to work on my shooting over a long period of time really helped as well. SA: You took as many 3FGAs last season as you shot your first two seasons combined. Now you’re launching them at a pace (11.3 per game) to break Steph Curry’s single season record (886). Is this a conscious change by you or a reaction to the league’s preferred style? KW: Both. The league definitely has changed from the time I first came in. Everybody’s shooting more threes, no matter their position. Me, I’ve just become more confident. I worked on my shot tremendously to get to this point. I’m comfortable now shooting it, whenever I can get to my spots. SA: What’s your preference -- pull-up threes, spot-up threes or those halfcourt threes like Steph takes? KW: Not at all [laughing]. Steph is a different type of shooter, maybe the best to ever shoot the basketball. But I’m comfortable shooting them however. It doesn’t matter. If I can get ‘em up, I try to make ‘em. But I do love for my teammates to create for me and get me some easy ones. It does take some stress, some pressure, off of me. SA: Your coach, James Borrego, has talked of using you more off the ball. Does that suit you? KW: It really helps. It gets me a little bit of rest, and it opens up a different dynamic in my game. As well as giving other guys a chance to have the ball in their hands and create for others. But the main thing is, it just keeps me fresher, which is huge for me. SA: What’s your take on the Charlotte rookies? KW: Oh, I’m a huge fan. Devonte’ [Graham] really hasn’t gotten a chance to play yet, but I’ve always been a huge fan, even when he was at Kansas. Just love his game, love his poise. And that’s skill -- I don’t think people understand how much of a skill it is to be poised, especially at a young age. It’s something that I didn’t have, something that took me a very long time to get. Miles [Bridges], he’s a hard-playing kid. Smart, always in the right spot on both ends of the floor. I can see him getting more minutes as the season progresses. SA: Malik Monk is a second-year guy who didn’t have the most satisfying rookie season. What do you see from him, and can he become a reliable backcourt mate? KW: Oh yeah, he’s growing. Every single day. His efficiency will come. He needs time to learn, needs time to develop, to figure out where his shots are going to come. He’s getting better already. He’s passing the ball really well, getting other guys involved. He needs to know we need him every night, with him coming off the bench for us. SA: Your rookie season was about as challenging as could be -- delayed by a lockout, rushed through training camp and a quickie preseason, and then a 7-59 experience. Did that set you back as a player? KW: Nah, it wasn’t a setback. It was humbling. I took it as a point in my career where I was going through adversity. It was tough -- nobody likes to lose -- and through my basketball career I felt I had been a winner. But I just stuck to it, just kept working hard. SA: You said you don’t want to talk anymore about your free agency next summer -- and your general manager, Mitch Kupchak, is on record saying, “Our intention is for him to end his career in a Hornet uniform.” Some people wonder what the market might be, though, given how many terrific point guards are out there. So let’s address that another way: what is it like competing with all those rivals? KW: It’s unbelievable, man. Every night. Every single night, somebody is there to … I can’t even explain it. Every team, there’s so many great point guards out there who are just ready to showcase their talents. There are young guys ready to show how good they are. Yeah, it’s a point guard league. SA: We’re seeing more and more teams switching everything defensively. How hard is that on a 6-foot-1 point guard? KW: It’s … tough sometimes. Some matchups, you don’t want to get. But I rely on my teammates to help out as much as possible. The most challenging part probably is boxing guys out. But I’m always up for the challenge. SA: Some players talk or at least play like defense is optional. Your thoughts? KW: Not at all. I’m paid to do it all. It’s not even about being paid -- I’m just competitive. I want to play defense. I want to score. I want to do it all. SA: I’ve often wondered what it’s like to play for the team that Michael Jordan owns. Other teams, the owners aren’t basketball experts. But that’s not the case for the Hornets. Is it intimidating? KW: I wouldn’t say intimidating. I love it. I want my owner to have played. He knows what’s going on, he knows how it feels after losses, after wins. Traveling. Being tired. He’s been through it. He knows what it takes to win games in this league. Even though basketball’s a bit different now from when he played, but still, he knows. I feel like I’m at an advantage because I can go to him, I can ask him things. Or he can just come to me, or text me or call me to let me know things. And let me know how to get past things. No, it’s an honor for us, it’s an honor for me to have him as an owner. SA: How is basketball different from when Jordan played? KW: For me, just the threes. A lot of bigs shooting threes. The bigs are different in general, you know? Back with MJ, I feel like the shooting guards and the forwards were dominant, and it was more of a post-up league. Now it’s a point guard’s league for the most part. And it’s not a post-up league much anymore. There are so many threes up in the air. SA: Do you little guys resent the stretch-fours and stretch-fives coming out onto your turf these days? KW: Yeah, man, it’s crazy. But it’s fun. Just seeing the development and the change. Even from when I first got in the league it wasn’t like that. But guys are so talented nowadays, it’s unbelievable. SA: Tell me about the Big Brothers Big Sisters work you do, mentoring four kids -- two boys and two girls -- in the Charlotte area. KW: Just to be in their lives. I take ‘em out to eat, take ‘em to Dave & Buster’s every now and then. It’s fun. I try to avoid the cameras. It’s not for social media. It’s not for anything but them. The kids are doing great in school. That’s the biggest progress, that’s what you want. They’ve really started to love basketball now -- they come to games sometimes. It’s been fun to see them grow, each and every time I see them. One of the kids, his mom passed away. I know it’s been a struggle for him. For me to be able to help get his mind off of that for a time, just be there for him, that’s definitely rewarding for me but I hope it’s more rewarding for him. SA: You’re in your eighth season, and you’ve played a total of 11 playoff games. What stands out for you about the postseason? KW: I remember every game. We played Miami twice. The first year [2014] was when they had LeBron, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh. They swept us, but I thought we played really well. Obviously it wasn’t enough -- they had three Hall of Famers. I remember the level of intensity those guys played with. I remember telling myself, the next time I get to the playoffs, I’m going to try my best to play like that. The next time [2016], that’s what I did. People thought we might get swept again, but we went to seven games. It was really fun. The whole atmosphere was so intense. I loved it. You have to take your game to a whole ‘nother level. You have to play hard every possession, every second of those games. The competitiveness, the toughness, everything goes up. SA: A problem that team had, it still has -- you’re carrying such a big load offensively. Do you need a second reliable scorer, and is that guy on the roster now? KW: Of course. We need it. I’m not going to have huge games every night. It’s on one of these guys to step up. I think guys are still searching for their roles at this point, especially with a new coach, new system. We’re still learning. But as the season progresses, I think they will. We have guys who are capable of putting points up for us. SA: The All-Star Game this season is in Charlotte. You’ve been selected twice. What would you think of playing in that game in your market? KW: That’d be amazing. To be in Charlotte, the team that drafted me, the team I’ve played with for eight years now, it would be a really special moment. Hopefully I can get there. It’d be fun. A really important and fun moment in my career. Steve Aschburner has written about the NBA since 1980. You can e-mail him here, find his archive here and follow him on Twitter. The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 30th, 2018

NCAA: LSGH wraps up best elims finish in school history

STANDINGS LSGH 16-2 (twice-to-beat) MAPUA 14-4 (twice-to-beat) SAN BEDA 12-6 (Final Four) JRU 11-7 (Final Four) LPU 9-9 (eliminated) PERPETUAL 9-9 (eliminated) ARELLANO 7-11 (eliminated) SAN SEBASTIAN 5-13 (eliminated) LETRAN 4-14 (eliminated) EAC 3-15 (eliminated) For the first time in school history, College of St. Benilde-La Salle Greenhills will be entering the Final Four of the NCAA 94 Juniors Basketball Tournament with a twice-to-beat advantage. More than that, also for the first time in school history, they will be moving on to the next round as the top-seed. The Junior Blazers remained red-hot at the end of the eliminations after burning down Colegio de San Juan de Letran, 65-62, on Tuesday at the Filoil Flying V Centre. Already assured of the top-seed, the defending champions elected to rest key cogs Joel Cagulangan, Joshua David, and Inand Fornilos. In Cagulangan’s stead, it was Jacob Cortez who brought the heroics as his late triple proved to be the difference. With that, CSB-LSGH put the finishing touches on a dominant 16-2 elims campaign – bar none, the most elims wins it has had in school history. Only one team has defeated the Junior Blazers thus far in the tournament, that being second-seed Mapua High School. The next possible matchup between the two teams would be in the Finals. Meanwhile, upstart University of Perpetual Help completed a season sweep of traditional powerhouse San Beda High School, 71-67. Super scorer Emman Galman did his thing with 26 points to shoot the Junior Altas to a 9-9 standing. Shawn Orgo also added 10 markers and eight rebounds to help his team go 2-0 on the traditional powerhouse The Red Cubs, already locked into the third-seed, were paced by Penny Estacio with 14 points. They end the elims at 12-6 and now turn their attention to their modern-day rival Red Robins. In the day’s other game, Arellano High School rallied by San Sebastian College-Recoletos, 75-73. Graduating big man Aaron Fermin remained a force with a 15-point, 21-rebound double-double while fellow seniors Lars Sunga and Rom Junsay contributed 12 and 11 markers, respectively. Coming from as much as 13 points behind, they wrap up what was a disappointing season at 7-11. Their losses dropped the Staglets to 5-13 and the Squires to 4-14. BOX SCORES FIRST GAME ARELLANO 75 – Fermin 15, Recto 13, Sunga 12, Junsay 11, Fornis 9, Espiritu 5, Nepomuceno 3, Javier 3, Tolentino 2, Templonuevo 2, Liangco 0, Sahali 0, Cabili 0. SAN SEBASTIAN 73 – Janao 14, Gomez 14, Balo 11, Pinero 9, Dela Cruz 7, Loristo 6, Perez 4, Are 2, Cruz 2, Timbancaya 2, Cortes 2, Suico 0, Solatorio 0. QUARTER SCORES: 12-18, 30-38, 52-57, 75-73. SECOND GAME PERPETUAL 71 – Galman 26, Ogunsanya 12, Orgo 10, Kawamura 9, Romilla 8, Galoy 4, Duka 1, Nunez 1, Barcuma 0, Defante 0. SAN BEDA 67 – Estacio 14, Ynot 10, Oliva 7, Alcantara 7, Lazaro 5, Andrada 5, Talampas 4, Sanchez 4, Coyoca 4, Pelipel 3, Calibo 2, Valencia 2, Llarena 0. QUARTER SCORES: 16-13, 36-31, 52-59, 71-67. THIRD GAME CSB-LSGH 65 — Morales 12, Cortez 8, Natividad 8, Valenzuela 7, Lepalam 6, Lao 5, Sangco 5, Calimag 5, Mosqueda 4, Palencia 3, Arciaga 2, Lopez 0 LETRAN 62 — Romenez 10, Argente 10, Saure 10, Umali 7, Guarino 5, Santiago 5, Lontok 4, Culanay 3, Omega 3, Tabajen 2, Tolentino 2, Caugiran 1, Cabal 0, Yanes 0 QUARTER SCORES: 11-12, 28-27, 42-51, 65-62 --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 23rd, 2018

Bulls Carter Jr. undergoing NBA big man s trial by fire

By Steve Aschburner, NBA.com CHICAGO – Every August, the NBA holds its rookie transition program to give its newly minted pros an idea of what life in the league is going to be like, from handling their money and dealing with reporters to fending off assorted unsavory outside forces. And then, every October, the young guys begin their real rookie transition. Consider Wendell Carter Jr. of the Chicago Bulls. In a span of five days, he will have gone through a gauntlet of imposing NBA big men that would have some 10-year veterans flinching and wondering if their tendinitis needed a night off. Carter’s on-the-job rigors began Thursday (Friday, PHL time), when he became only the 10th Bulls rookie to start on opening night and was met in his matchup at center with Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid. It continued Saturday (Sunday, PHL time) in Chicago’s home opener against Detroit, with Carter banging at various times against both Andre Drummond and Blake Griffin. Now the 19-year-old will travel to Dallas, where he’ll get his first test against the Mavericks’ salty DeAndre Jordan. And just for the record, in the Bulls’ final preseason game, he had to cope with Denver’s crafty Nikola Jokic. For someone so young, against such a slate of established or eventual All-Stars, Carter’s early lessons have been difficult. There really is no other way. “I’m sure it’s just chaos and confusion right now for him,” Griffin said after leading the Pistons with 33 points, 12 rebounds and five assists in a 118-116 victory at United Center. “He doesn’t look that way, but that’s just how you feel – no matter what – when you’re a rookie. The game is moving so fast.” Carter, the No. 7 pick from Duke in this year's Draft, fell victim to foul trouble early and the Bulls’ need to play catch-up late, which had coach Fred Hoiberg sticking with Jabari Parker at the end. Carter logged less than 18 minutes, finishing with eight points, two rebounds and two blocks. Drummond had foul issues of his own, exiting with his sixth after just 23:33. Still, Drummond and Griffin won the frontcourt battle with 43 points and 25 boards to Carter and Bobby Portis’ combined 14 and 16. It wasn’t the sort of Windy City debut Carter would have scripted. This was, after all, kind of a big deal – he’s the player Chicago landed after an entire 2017-18 season spent gaming the NBA’s Draft lottery system. The Bulls consciously tried to dive deep, won a little too counterproductively in December and January and wound up waiting until after the first six picks were gone. That tortuous process led everyone to Saturday, when 21,289 in the stands got their first official look at the alleged silver lining from last season’s dark cloud. Carter wasn’t happy with either his or his team’s performance afterward, pulling his clothes from the hangers in his locker as he dressed and bemoaning the Bulls’ lack of defensive communication (they’ve given up 245 points in two games). Not to worry, though, Griffin said. “He’s so talented, he’s going to be fine,” the Pistons star said. “It’s just a matter of time for him. I watched him play probably more than any other player in college last year – I really like his game. I’ve known of him since he was in high school. He would be the least of my concerns if I was over there in the front office or on the coaching staff.” Hoiberg and his staff have approached Carter’s trial by fire by starting him in response to the challenges he handled in summer league and in the preseason. He arrived with a maturity, poise and defensive bent some players never achieve – a young Al Horford was a frequent comp – and isn’t about to blow that image, no matter how many lumps he takes. “I appreciate the fact I’m able to play against these very talented bigs early on in my career,” Carter said. “Learn what I’ve got to work on. I’ve got to get stronger, that’s the first thing I recognized. … Just being up against the best, I love the competition. I love going against the best players.” Truth be told, Hoiberg said he talked with Carter on Friday (Saturday, PHL time) about handling the frustrations he’ll surely encounter. He’s a little cranky about the officiating, for example, picking up at least three fouls in all six preseason and regular-season appearances while playing fewer than 23 minutes every time. He’s does the “verticality” thing as if from a textbook and still hears a whistle. “At this point, I just feel like it’s rookie calls. I don’t care what nobody’s saying, that’s how I really feel,” Carter said. “I still have respect for the game, though. I have respect for the referees. If they call it, it’s a foul. I’ve just got to do better, learn from it.” Then there was the chatter from Embiid in Philadelphia, a 19-point Sixers romp. “He was telling me what I should and shouldn’t do,” Carter said. “‘C’mon rookie, you’ve got to do’ something ‘better.’ Carter didn’t chatter back, he said. “Not yet. I’m gonna get there at some point though.” Drummond didn’t pile on, thanks perhaps only to the referees. "If I played more, I think it woulda been more of a schooling,” the Detroit center said. “This is a helluva three games for him.” Drummond, 25, remembers what it was like six years ago, when he was the one absorbing the lessons. His rookie year got dinged 22 games due to a stress fracture in his back, an injury that compounded the basketball education. “I learned my lessons the hard way,” Drummond told NBA.com. “Physically. I started out being hurt. I had to just play and figure it out game by game. Watched films. Learned the guys that I played against. And figured it out.” Drummond wound up averaging 7.9 points, 7.8 rebounds and 1.6 blocks. He had nine double-doubles and earned all-rookie status. But he’s glad to be wiser now in the NBA’s ways, given how few the shortcuts were. “It was more of a sponge season for me,” he said. “Learning the NBA. I mean, I was a young kid. Just tried to have fun with it. It was the game I loved and I was playing it at the highest level, so I just tried to enjoy every moment and take it in.” That’s Carter today, way at the front end of his career. He’s got a notebook, he said, that he scribbles in bullet points, tips and lessons from each game after he’s left the arena, his mind clear. Portis said he’ll share more with Carter as the season goes on – there hasn’t been much time and the Bulls haven’t really hit the road yet – but most of this stuff will be hands-on. “It’s as important a thing as you’re going to face in this league,” Hoiberg said. “When you’ve got a 19-year-old kid out there, it’s human nature I think when you’re playing against an opponent like Wendell has gone against, to hang your head a little bit.” The coach added: “It’s something every player goes through in this league. It’s understanding who you’re playing against. We’re showing him a lot of personnel, film on who he’s going to be going up against.” Until the day, and it will come, when young guys are studying film of Carter, going through gauntlets of their own. Steve Aschburner has written about the NBA since 1980. You can e-mail him here, find his archive here and follow him on Twitter. The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 21st, 2018

NCAA: Atoy Co s stint with Mapua in jeopardy as contract expires

Mapua Cardinals head coach Atoy Co is really not sure whether he'll return to the team as his contract is set to expire in November. The 67-year old Co has coached his alma mater since taking over from Chito Victolero back in 2012 has compiled a 40-72 record, winning 36 percent of his outings. He has also led the Cardinals to two Final Four appearances in back-to-back seasons, in Season 91 and 92. This season, the Fortune Cookie steered Mapua to a respectable 6-12 slate, but is not enough for a post-season berth, finishing sixth out of ten teams in the standings.  "I really don't know yet. I'm (sic) expiring this November. I do not know yet. Actually, ayoko matapos sa ganito," Co said after the game.  He has seen players come and go, including two-time NCAA MVP Allwell Oraeme, who suddenly abandoned the team back in Season 93 and left the Cardinals reeling. "Malaking bagay pag nandun si Allwell, nakakakuha siya ng 20 points, 20 rebounds. Hindi rin nakakalusot yung kalaban. Sad to say na inalisan ako." As the Management Committe barred teams to get more foreign athletes, Co admits that he has one realization in six years with the team. "Sana pala kumuha na ko ng tatlo dati. Isa ako sa hindi pabor sa foreign players. Kailangan din ako ma-develop yung atin," he shared.   __   Follow this writer on Twitter, @philipptionary.  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 16th, 2018

UAAP 81: Ateneo beating fueled La Salle s prep for AdU

After taking a sound beating at the hands of rival Ateneo, De La Salle University spent the whole week contemplating on what they did wrong. The Green Archers spent a whole week trying to pinpoint what went south against the Blue Eagles and they wanted to make sure those lapses were corrected for their game against the Adamson Falcons. Because while the opportunity to learn is always present, there are Final Four spots to win and already in the middle of the UAAP Season 81 men's basketball tournament, there's little room to just only learn. One has to win and the Green Archers did just that Saturday at the MOA Arena to end round one of the elimination round. La Salle forced overtime and took down no. 1 Adamson in extra session, improving to 4-3 and grabbing solo fourth in the standings halfway through the season. "Buong linggo after that loss to Ateneo, what we did was talagang back to basics kami," head coach Louie Gonzalez said. "Learning from the Ateneo game, dapat ma-correct kaagad namin. This is end of the first round, we should be competing already, the learning is there pero nasa gitna na kami, dapat lumalaban na kami talaga," he added. Despite beating Adamson, 79-78, Gonzalez admits that the Green Archers still had their low moments in the game. But he just credited those mistakes to the Falcons' style of play where they will still force errors regardless of your preparation. "Good thing dito sa game na ito nandun hanggang sa huli. Alam ko may glitches pero ayun yung ano pag Adamson kalaban mo eh," Gonzalez said. "They [Falcons] will push you to the limit, they will get to your head. Blink of an eye, kung mawala yung mental toughness mo, babalik at babalik sila sa game. Buti na lang nanalo," he added.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 13th, 2018

NCAA 94: Pirates turn attention to their idols from San Beda

Over the last two NCAA seasons, Lyceum vs. San Beda is always must-see television. However, the upcoming clash between the two powerhouses in NCAA Season 94 will be a little different. For one, no team is going for a sweep. Lyceum's cloak of invincibility has been dashed and the Pirates enter with two regular season losses, which is two more than last season. Second, no team is chasing for a twice-to-beat advantages. Following Thursday's games, both the Pirates and the Red Lions have pretty much clinched their respective playoff bonuses. At least for the Pirates, the upcoming super clash between Lyceum and San Beda is all about pride and an opportunity to learn. "It's going to be a dogfight. But at the end of the day it's gonna be fun because there's so much competition between us and San Beda but there's also so much respect," Lyceum head coach Topex Robinson said. With Lyceum looking to win a breakthrough NCAA title, the Pirates are looking up to the San Beda dynasty on how to actually capture one. The Red Lions of course, have dominated the league for over a decade. San Beda's latest title came at the expense of the Pirates last season. Lyceum entered the Finals of Season 93 as undefeated challengers. "It's big for us as a program, we really look up to them," Robinson said of San Beda. "They were one of our role models on how a team should be run. It's always nice to play against the team that you idolize," he added. The tremendous amount of respect Lyceum has on San Beda also means that the Pirates know how difficult it is to overcome the Red Lions. After the Finals collapse last season, the Pirates know that their road to the title will go through San Beda one way or another. That journey starts next week. "We know how hard it is to beat them," Robinson said of the Red Lions. "We know it's gonna bring the best out of us. Yun ang importante samin, whatever the result, it's always gonna bring the best out of our team," he addded.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 11th, 2018

UE still learning how to be more than just Alvin Pasaol in UAAP 81

University of the East was unable to build on its first win in the UAAP 81 Men’s Basketball Tournament, falling to University of Sto. Tomas on Saturday. Alvin Pasaol gave it his all, as always, for the Red Warriors with 32 points on 9-of-21 shooting and 15 rebounds. Aside from him, however, the rest of the team combined to shoot 10-of 44 from the field as they dropped back to the bottom of the standings. In the eyes of first-year head coach Joe Silva, they failed to follow the system. “Siguro, they’re just so used to looking for Alvin, but I want to change that,” he said. He then continued, “They’re so used to that na ‘di pa consistent yung disiplina namin. So trabaho lang.” As they failed to follow the system, the team that had just defeated playoff hopeful Far Eastern University by 25 points was nowhere to be found. “That’s what I’ve been trying to tell them – consistency is what separates good teams from great teams. Great teams bring it day in and day out, night in and night out,” he said. For that, the rookie mentor took full responsibility. As he put it, “I told the boys when we won against FEU, a little success gets into our head. It’s dangerous kasi ‘di kami sanay manalo kaya we came complacent facing UST.” He then continued, “I take full responsibility kasi ‘di ko sila na-advice, kulang ang advice ko sa kanila.” Pasaol could only agree. “Sobrang confident na kaya namin ang UST, pero later on, stats don’t lie,” he said. Nonetheless, UE’s main man has full faith they will only move forward from this. “Bounce back lang ulit kami. Alam naman naming kayang-kaya namin,” he said. Coach Joe shares the same sentiments. “Goot thing for us is we’re coming off a loss and, at least, we’re going to learn from this. We will watch the tape and we’re going to be better,” he said. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 6th, 2018