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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

2018: The year of collegiate champions and people s champions

From Katipunan to Mendiola, from Intramuros to San Marcelino, and from Morayta to Las Pinas, the year 2018 will be tough to top. That goes for both the NCAA and the UAAP as both leagues learned that it all begins here before experiencing unparalleled heights. Now, it’s high time for look back at the year that was in collegiate basketball. New year, new regime Before we can look back, however, we first need to look ahead as several new eras are already underway even before the year has ended. Over at La Salle, American coach Jermaine Byrd has been tapped with the hopes he can do to the Green Archers what American-Kiwi mentor Tab Baldwin has done for Ateneo. The same task of a turnaround is also what’s expected from the new hires of Mapua in Randy Alcantara, EAC in Oliver Bunyi, and Arellano in Cholo Martin. Immediate impact Alongside talented tacticians, however, teams need talented players. Fortunately for a handful of teams, they got just that from their first-year players. Ateneo won back-to-back championships all while featuring a brand new paint presence in Ivorian tower and Rookie of the Year Ange Kouame. While being a force is already a given for any 6-foot-11 player like Kouame, both CJ Cansino and Dave Ildefonso also exceeded expectations in their rookie seasons for UST and NU, respectively. Over in the NCAA, Filipino-American high-flyer Justin Gutang propelled CSB just right outside the playoffs while Rookie of the Year Larry Muyang helped re-establish Letran as a powerhouse. The Walls of Intramuros are up again Speaking of Letran, it’s nothing but a welcome development to see them contending once more for the first time since their magical season and championship in 2015. Head coach Jeff Napa, at long last, has a team he can call his own and the Knights look like they will be big, big threats for the foreseeable future. Of course, size was never the advantage for neighboring LPU and rather, they have run-and-gunned their way to back-to-back Finals. With new head coach Randy Alcantara, Mapua is nothing but hoping it can finally catch up with its fellow Intramuros occupants. Started from the bottom, now we’re here Just four years ago, Adamson and UP were cellar-dwellers and were fighting over wins that were meaningless in the standings, but meaningful to their morale. Now, the two teams have just figured in classic semifinals series with both games going down the wire. In the end, it was the Fighting Maroons who advanced to the Finals, but the Soaring Falcons have nothing to be ashamed of, especially as they were one of only two teams that had downed champion Ateneo. Controversy, controversy The on-court action in both the NCAA and the UAAP was, without a doubt, intense. The same can be said, however, for the off-court happenings. The NCAA season started with San Sebastian being forced to forfeit a couple of its wins due to RK Ilagan playing in a commercial league, continued with Perpetual also being questioned about having players who suited up in a different commercial league, and ended with LPU main man CJ Perez getting suspended in Game 1 of the Finals. The UAAP had its share of colorful events with Thirdy Ravena getting suspended and therefore, getting disqualified from individual awards as well as FEU being indirectly helped into the playoffs by the untimely injuries to Adamson’s Jerrick Ahanmisi and Sean Manganti. 2 MVPs, 1 alma mater It’s a universally accepted truth that Prince Eze deserved the NCAA MVP and Bright Akhuetie deserved the UAAP MVP. What’s funny is that, at one point in time, those two were actually teammates over at Perpetual. Yes, the Altas had both Nigerian tower Eze and Nigerian powerhouse Akhuetie seeing action for them for two seasons. Even more, they were also teammates with now Ginebra star Scottie Thompson for one year. Of course, the NCAA MVP and the UAAP MVP agreed that they had to go their separate ways so that both of them can spread their wings and fly. Good thing they did. Good thing they did. Just another season in the office for San Beda So much happened in the NCAA season – LPU’s continued contention, Letran and Perpetual’s resurgence, CSB and San Sebastian being darkhorses. In the end, however, San Beda left no doubt that it was still their kingdom by blanking the Pirates in the Finals. With that, the Red Lions extended their league-leading title total to 22 – with half coming in the last 13 years. We can talk about all the teams and all the players we want, but at the end of the day, the NCAA title will still go through Mendiola. Blue Eagle, still the king At the end of the first round of the UAAP season, Ateneo found itself in a three-way tie for the top spot with FEU and Adamson. By virtue of having lost to both the Tamaraws and the Soaring Falcons, the Blue Eagles were actually in third-place entering the second round. From there, however, Ateneo never lost – and was never even threatened – all the way to back-to-back championships. They did that, with court general Matt Nieto injured for most of the second round and do-it-all forward Thirdy Ravena incurring a suspension as well. Come the Finals, however, Ateneo just unleashed both Nieto and Ravena and ultimately, took the fight out of UP. Her-story for Lady Bulldogs These are the most important numbers for the NU Lady Bulldogs at the end of the UAAP season: five straight championships, 80 wins in a row. Yes, NU has not dropped any of its last 80 games dating back to 2014. With that, they not only eclipsed the 72-game winning streak of the Adamson softball squad, once the longest winning streak in league history, but also ran way past it. Oh, that winning streak – and the five-peat, for that matter – is still ongoing. That’s short of saying that the Lady Bulldogs will only continue to make history next year. Indeed, up was where the Fighting Maroons went From 2007 to 2015, UP only won 13 times out of 126 games. Those days have been self-depreciatingly called “the dark days.” In the recently concluded UAAP season, the Fighting Maroons finally found light at the end of the tunnel. First, at 7-6 with one game to go in the elimination round, they already registered their best showing in 14 seasons. Then, at 8-6 to end the elims, they claimed their first Final Four berth since 1997. Then, in discarding Adamson’s twice-to-beat advantage, they won in the playoffs for the first time in 21 years. Then, by doubling down against the Soaring Falcons, they climbed to their first Finals since 1986. In the end, UP’s Cinderella run didn’t get a happy ending at the hands of Ateneo. But maybe, just maybe, the Fighting Maroons actually aren’t Cinderella. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 22nd, 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

NCAA: New and improved Clint Escamis continues career in Mapua Srs.

Clint Escamis was having for himself a breakout season in last year’s NCAA 94 Juniors. Late in the second round of the tournament, however, he incurred what appeared to be a left knee injury. He then missed the Red Robins’ remaining games in the elimination round before returning to action in the Final Four. It was clear, though, that Escamis wasn’t himself, looking like he had lost his burst even as his shooting stroke was still there. Now nearly two months after Mapua won the championship with him on the sidelines, what was initially diagnosed as a knee sprain actually turned out to be an ACL tear. The good news is that last week, the 5-foot-11 playmaker finally had surgery to repair the ACL tear. Now, he has already begun the process of recovery. And when Escamis finally takes to the court anew, he is only adamant he will be better than ever. “I promise to get back as soon as possible so I can do what I do best which is to play hard and help my team win,” he said. He then continued, “I will not take this second chance for granted and I will make sure I’m always healthy and in the proper mindset when I go out to play.” The 18-year-old has already used up his eligibility in the Juniors and, therefore, will be returning to the action in the collegiate level. For now, however, he is yet to decide where exactly he will be making his return in. “Wala pa po akong decision for college. Focus po muna sa recovery,” he said. What is certain, though, is that he vows to give his all wherever he ends up. As he put it, “After this injury, makikita po ninyo ang new and improved Clint Escamis. Clint Escamis 2.0 po talaga.” According to sources, in the mix for the commitment of Escamis is former mentor Randy Alcantara who is now head coach of the Cardinals. University of the East is also said to have great interest in him. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 21st, 2019

NCAA Season 94: Lady Blazers collect seventh straight win

Before the start of NCAA Season 94 women's volleyball competition, College of St. Benilde head coach Jerry Yee laid out the team's goals and expectations. The Lady Blazers responded with one of the best seasons for the Taft-based squad since its title romp three years ago. CSB collected its seventh straight win in eight outings Friday at the expense of skidding San Sebastian College, 25-17, 25-16, 25-14, at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan. The Lady Blazers moved up to a share of the second to third spot with idle San Beda University behind unbeaten defending two-time champion Arellano University (8-0). "Nag-usap kami ng mabuti. Yung expectations, nai-set natin, yung goals natin ni-lay natin sa table, kung anong kailangan kung kaya nila o hindi. Willing naman yung mga bata to sacrifice. So far it's working. Pero marami pang tatabrahuin like consistency," said Yee, whose squad will close the elimination round on Monday against Mapua University. Rachel Austero scored 13 points anchored on 10 attacks, two kill blocks and an ace to lead the Lady Blazers. Klarissa Abriam had 11 markers while Chelsea Umali posted eight points for CSB. The Lady Blazers are very much in the running for the no. 2 spot and a twice-to-beat advantage in a Final Four format.  In case Arellano U completes an elims sweep against San Beda coupled by CSBs win over Mapua, the Lady Blazers will occupy the no. 2 spot and will await the survivor between the no. 3 and no. 4 seeds in the knockout stepladder semifinals. The Lady Stags, on the other hand, were pushed on the brink of missing the semis for the second straight year after absorbing their third straight defeat. SSC-R fell to 4-4 card at fifth to sixth spot tied with Jose Rizal University.  Maryrhose Dapol and Joyce Sta. Rita scored eight points each for the Lady Stags, who will need to win against University of Perpetual Help on Monday and hope that the Lady Altas lose to the Lady Bombers on Thursday to force a playoff for the last semis seat. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 11th, 2019

NCAA Season 94 volleyball: San Beda out to prevent stepladder semis

With its primary goal of making it back in the Final Four accomplished, San Beda University now sets its sights on another pressing matter: prevent archrival Arellano University from sweeping the elimination round of the NCAA Season 94 women’s volleyball competition. The Lady Red Spikers joined unbeaten defending two-time champion Lady Chiefs in the semifinals after claiming their seventh win in eight games. Arellano U will face University of Perpetual Help on Thursday and if the Lady Chiefs hurdle the Lady Altas, it will now be up to San Beda to stop the grand slam-seeking squad from advancing outright into the Finals and prevent a dangerous knockout stepladder semifinals. The Season 93 Finals rematch is set on January 15.      “Para sa amin importante (na matalo namin ang Arellano U) kasi mahirap na dadaan ka sa stepladder kung ma-sweep nila ang elimination, said San Beda coach Nemesio Gavino, who steered the Mendiola-based squad to its third straight semis appearance. If the Lady Chiefs succeed in sweeping the elims, the no. 2 team will take on the survivor between the no. 3 and no. 4 teams in the knockout stepladder semis format. A loss by San Beda to Arellano U will also put the Lady Red Spikers in a precarious position especially with College of St. Benilde very much in the running for the no. 2 spot. The Lady Blazers currently hold a 6-1 slate and are in a six-game winning romp. CSB’s last two assignments are against struggling San Sebastian College and also-ran Mapua University.   “Mas maraming pagod ang pagdadaanan mo at mas maraming challenge (sa stepladder) kaya dapat maipanalo namin ang game against Arellano,” said Gavino. If San Beda beats Arellano U coupled by CSB dropping a match, the Lady Red Spikers will claim the Final Four twice-to-beat advantage. But in case of a tie at the no. 2 spot, there will be a playoff to determine who will be equipped with the last semis twice-to-beat advantage.      “Sa susunod na game iisipin namin kung ano ang pwedeng mangyari kasi may natitira pang games sa mga kalaban ganoon din sa amin,” said Gavino. “Para sa amin ang goal namin ay matalo muna ang Arellano.”   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 9th, 2019

NCAA Season 94 volleyball: Gusto naming makasiguro na sa Finals -- Lady Chiefs coach Javier

Only two teams stand in the way of defending two-time champion Arellano University's drive to claim an outright Finals berth in the NCAA Season 94 women’s volleyball competition. On Thursday, the unbeaten Lady Chiefs will take on the first of their last two elimination round assignments in University of Perpetual Help at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan. Game time is at 2:00 p.m. and will air via livestream. Arellano U sports a 7-0 win-loss record and are two wins away from securing the first best-of-three championship berth.  "Pipilitin namin. Siyempre, gusto naming makasiguro na, yun sa Finals nga. Pipilitin naming manalo sa dalawang games na natitira,” said head coach Obet Javier, whose squad will close the elims against San Beda University in a rematch of last year’s Finals on Tuesday. “Kailangan sa game namin sa Perpetual, manalo kami, at lalong-lalo na 'yung sa San Beda. Pipilitin namin 'yung (elims) sweep na makamit," added Javier. The Lady Chiefs crushed Emilio Aguinaldo College, 25-19, 25-11, 25-8, the last time out to continue their winning romp. But it won’t be an easy match this time as Arellano U will contend against a team which is making its final push to clinch one of the last two semifinals berths. The Lady Altas are riding on the crest of their three-game winning streak and are carrying a 4-2 slate. Arellano U and San Beda University (7-1) occupied the first two Final Four seats. In case the Lady Chiefs, who will face San Beda on Tuesday, complete an elimination round sweep, Arellano will automatically advance in the Finals while the next three teams will battle in a knockout stepladder semis. Meanwhile, eliminated teams Letran (1-6) and Mapua (1-6) battle at 12:00 noon.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 9th, 2019

Paul Lee reflects on career, bares the secret to success in the PBA

When Paul Lee was drafted by Rain or Shine as the second overall pick in the 2011 PBA Draft, he had no time to celebrate. Right after getting selected, the 6'0" shooter out of UE recalled the moment the late Roehl Nadurata, the then-top deputy of Rain or Shine, tapped him and immediately asked: "Condition ka ba?" The question was immediately followed up by a stern command. "Oh, bukas shooting na tayo ha." Lee, of course, obliged. But he was left asking himself "Wala ba kong time na makapagcelebrate muna sa family ko naman?"  The 29-year-old guard from Tondo reflected on his PBA career, and his journey so far during an interview with Mico Halili in The Score. Now entering his eighth season in the PBA, Lee looked back at that conversation and the lessons it carried as one of the defining moments in his career.   "Sobrang laking bagay na nakuha ako ng Rain or Shine tsaka yung nahandle ako ni Coach Yeng [Guiao] at Coach Roehl Nadurata so doon ko natutunan lahat ng sinasabi nilang hard work," he said. Seven years and three championships later, Lee is just thankful for being taught the secret to playing the game within the game, the right way.  "Blessed din ako na umabot ako sa point na nakapag seven years ako sa PBA, then still kicking pa rin habang nasa gitna ng career natin, just continue to work hard, 'yun lang naman sikreto dun," he said. Lee also bared that skill alone cannot guarantee a long and successful career. "Stay humble lang, then marunong kang makisama sa mga teammates mo, coaching staff at sa management. Kasi hindi enough yung magaling ka lang eh," he said. With all of his accomplishments, including that sensational 2018 PBA Governors' Cup championship run with the Magnolia Hotshots and the conference's Best Player award, Lee has one more thing to learn.  "Sana marami pa kong matutunan kila kuya Ping and PJ, kung pano makarating sa ganun kahaba yung career talaga," he said. Check out more from Paul Lee's insightful interview:   .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 5th, 2019

NCAA Season 94 volleyball: CSB continues rampage, wins fifth straight

College of St. Benilde picked up from where it left off last year as the Lady Blazers extended their winning streak to five straight after taking down Lyceum of the Philippines University, 25-20, 18-25, 25-14, 25-18, Friday in the NCAA Season 94 women’s volleyball competition  at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan. Prized rookie setter Jewel Lai displayed another superb game, tallying 35 excellent sets to lead the charge in the Lady Blazers’ fifth win in six outings. Klarisa Abriam and Rachel Austero posted 14 points each and accounted for 23 of CSB’s 47 attack points. Marites Pablo got 12 markers while Lai backed her great playmaking with four points including two kill blocks for the Lady Blazers. But head coach Jerry Yee was far from satisfied especially with his wards' shaky performance in the first two frames.   “Mukha kaming kangkarot sa first two sets, actually. More consistency pa,” said Yee, whose squad’s last three games are against dangerous Jose Rizal University, San Sebastian College and Mapua University. “Trabaho pa rin and then we have our targets up ahead.” After yielding the second set, the Lady Blazers were able get their acts together in the next two frames behind the trio of Abriam, Austero and Pablo. Mikaela Rafael and Cherilyn Sindayen scored 16 and 13 points each in a lost cause for the Lady Pirates, who fell to 2-5 slate and were shown the exit door in the semis race. Meanwhile, the Blazers defeated the Pirates, 25-16, 25-19, 25-23, to improve to 5-1 slate in a tie at second to third spot with idle Arellano University in the men’s division. Joshua De Sequera and skipper Francis Basilan finished with 10 points each for CSB, which handed LPU its fifth loss in seven starts. In juniors’ play, the Junior Pirates prevented an LPU shutout as they survived a marathon 27-25, 21-25, 20-25, 25-23, 17-15, battle over the Greenies. LPU improved to 5-2 slate while CSB-LSGH slid to 2-4 mark.   ---     Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 4th, 2019

UAAP: What s next for Juan GDL? Be Desiderio-like leader for UP

In just his second season in the University of the Philippines, Juan Gomez de Liano already turned himself into a worthy selection to the Mythical Team. To do so, he posted per game counts of 16.2 points, 6.6 rebounds, and 5.5 assists all while serving as the table-setter in the Fighting Maroons’ feel-good run to the Finals. And oh, the 19-year-old also became the first player to tally a triple-double in the UAAP since 2006. So what’s next for Juan GDL in his third year? As it turns out, nobody will see it in any statistics or any awards. “They told me it’s my turn to lead the team. I hope I’ll live up to it,” he said, “they” referring to graduated players like Diego Dario and Gelo Vito. Indeed, with the exit of Dario, Vito, Jarrell Lim, and, most importantly, team captain Paul Desiderio, a big void of leadership has been left behind in Diliman. And just as expectations for UP are at an all-time high, the need for a leader for the Fighting Maroons is likewise at a fever pitch. Of course, Season MVP Bright Akhuetie and now-stalwart Jun Manzo are also only ready and raring to step up in that sense. At the same time, though, Juan GDL is nothing but determined to prove he can also carry the burden of being a team leader – especially with high-profile names such as former De La Salle University star Ricci Rivero and ex-US NCAA player Kobe Paras also joining the fold. “With Ricci and Kobe, the most important thing we gotta to is jell together,” he said. In that light, the 6-foot-2 playmaker can learn a thing or two from State U’s pride in Desiderio. In his time in maroon and white, the Cebuano had to find his voice after the graduation of Jett Manuel and with the entries of prized prospects such as Akhuetie and Juan GDL. “Siyempre, hindi talaga naging madali kasi dati, ako yung unang option, pero nung dumating si Juan, dumating si Bright, ibababa mo pride mo para yung team ang umasenso,” he said. And once he did, Desiderio led UP to its first Final Four in 21 years and its first Finals in 32 years. “Yun talaga ang ginawa ko – nagpababa ako ng pride kaya nakarating kami rito,” he said. The good news for the Fighting Maroons is that Juan GDL is confident, as he always is, that he will do just that. As he put it, “I gotta live up to that legacy so, for sure, I’m gonna give my 100 percent as a leader.” --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 3rd, 2019

2018 PBA Draft Baller Breakdown: Javee Mocon

At the age of 23, Javee Mocon has one of the biggest collection of trophies among all draftees. In the last seven years, Mocon has won two Juniors titles and four Seniors titles. Why wouldn’t you pass up an opportunity to acquire a certified winner for your ball club?   STRENGTHS When you’re so used to winning, it becomes second nature. Mocon is the type of player who is easy to coach because he is willing to do whatever it takes to win. His attitude and work ethic is admirable. He will willingly take on any role given to him and make sure that no matter what it is, his presence will be felt. In his first two seasons with the Red Lions, he came off the bench to back up Art dela Cruz and provided much-needed energy and swagger to sustain the efforts of the first group. As a starter for San Beda in the last three years, Mocon became the premier power forward in the NCAA. At 6’4”, Mocon was at his best operating inside the arc. He possesses a reliable mid-range jumper and can finish in the paint effectively as well. In Game 2 of the Season 94 Finals, Mocon’s last collegiate game ever, he unveiled a new weapon that he will surely need in the next level: the three-point shot. Mocon shot four out of eight from beyond the arc, letting the world know that he has been working on his game in preparation for the PBA. AREAS FOR IMPROVEMENT Although he looked confident taking threes in his final game for San Beda, will he still be that confident letting it fly in the pros? That remains to be seen. One thing we never saw from Mocon as a student-athlete was dribbling ability. Right now, his skill when it comes to handling the basketball is very basic. I have never seen Mocon dribble the ball coast-to-coast all the way to the basket. But, then again, he never had to because he was so obedient and strictly played within the boundaries of his position. Perhaps another thing he should work on his passing. Not that he didn’t pass the ball in college (2.3 assists per game), it’s just something he wasn’t known for and an aspect of his game he could unlock. Imagine Mocon pump-faking from the three-point line before making a move towards the basket with the option to kick the ball out to shooters or making a drop pass to the big men in the paint? That’s a tough cover.      .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 15th, 2018

Vince Carter enjoying his decision to go to Atlanta

By Tim Reynolds, Associated Press Vince Carter could have gone anywhere. To a contender, to chase a ring. To retirement, because he has nothing left to prove. To television, which seems like it will be his next vocation whenever his playing days end. Instead, he chose Atlanta — a young team, a rebuilding team, a team that probably has minimal chance of making the playoffs. And he’s happy. “I’m with a great bunch of guys,” Carter said. “I enjoy helping young guys who want to learn, who are willing to be coached and let you coach them and ask questions. It’s a small thing, but it’s a major thing — because if you’re asking questions, that means you’re trying to learn and grow. And these guys are all great.” He’s the NBA’s oldest active player, someone who turns 42 next month. When he was drafted in June 1998, neither Trae Young nor Kevin Huerter had been born yet. And they’re the starting backcourt for the Hawks this season, Carter’s 21st in the league, with Atlanta being the eighth team he’s played with. Carter talked with Dwyane Wade during the offseason about their options; Wade was considering retirement, and Carter was deciding where to play next. Wade said Carter doesn’t need a ring to complete any sort of legacy, and applauded the decision to go to Atlanta. “It’s very cool,” Wade said. “I think everybody on the outside has what they think someone should do. I was like, ‘Man, it’d be cool if he went back to Toronto.’ I had my story for him. But he decided to continue to do things the way that he’s done it, and I think it’s him understanding the importance of what he has to offer to the game and young players, and an organization that wanted him to come in and give that.” There are no regrets. Barring a change of address or another season — which is possible — Carter’s career will end with him getting to the conference finals only once, and never appearing in the NBA Finals. The closest he got was with Orlando in 2010, when the Magic lost the Eastern Conference finals to Boston in six games. “It’s easy to go sit on the bench and watch your team win and not really contribute,” Carter said. “Yeah, with my voice, I could contribute. But I want to do both.” So Carter is hanging with the kids. “It’s good for me,” Carter said. “Keeps me young.” RAPTORS RISING Toronto is off to the best start in the NBA at 20-4, four games clear of Milwaukee in the Eastern Conference already (and four games in the loss column ahead of Philadelphia as well). The scary thing is, it could have been better. It’s been forgotten, but the Raptors’ season also includes a three-game losing streak — all in a five-day span last month. They lost by 16 against New Orleans to fall to 12-2, then wasted a 19-point lead and lost to Detroit, then watched Kawhi Leonard miss late in regulation in what became an overtime loss to Boston. They’re 8-0 since, and first-year coach Nick Nurse has his team rolling. “Nick has done a really good job with this team and the way they play,” New Orleans coach Alvin Gentry said. THE WEEK AHEAD A game per day to check out this week: Oklahoma City at Detroit, Monday (Tuesday, PHL time): Former teammates Russell Westbrook and Reggie Jackson seem to like going head-to-head. San Antonio at Utah, Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time): The Spurs struggled with the Jazz last season, and this opens a tough road back-to-back. Philadelphia at Toronto, Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time): The Raptors have opened up a sizable lead in the East, and face a good test here. New York at Boston, Thursday (Friday, PHL time): After a sluggish start, the Celtics are starting to look like the team many envisioned. Golden State at Milwaukee, Friday (Saturday, PHL time): Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and Giannis Antetokounmpo on the same floor is must-watch. Miami at L.A. Clippers, Saturday (Sunday, PHL time): Wade is eager for this — his wife and their newborn daughter are currently staying in Los Angeles. Milwaukee at Toronto, Sunday (next Monday, PHL time): A matchup of two of the East’s best teams, and it’s never too early to think about positioning. HISTORIC WARRIORS Not even two months into the season, and the Golden State Warriors have already done something that no team in more than 50 years has accomplished. The Warriors are the second team in NBA history, joining the 1961-62 Los Angeles Lakers, to have three different players with a 50-point game in the same regular season. Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson have reached 50 already this season. The 1961-62 Lakers’ trio to do so: Jerry West, Elgin Baylor and Rudy LaRusso. Could Golden State get a fourth into the 50-point column? Who knows, but remember, DeMarcus Cousins — who hasn’t played yet this season — has a pair of 50-point games in on his career resume......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 3rd, 2018

NCAA Season 94 volleyball: Lady Stags go 2-0

Rookie-laden San Sebastian College moved up for a share of the lead after trouncing Mapua University, 25-23, 25-15, 14-25, 25-23, Friday in the NCAA Season 94 women's volleyball competition at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan. Nikka Dalisay, one of only three veterans left in head coach Roger Gorayeb's lineup, posted 17 points built on 14 kills, two kill blocks and an ace for the Lady Stags, who improved to 2-0 win-loss record tied with defending two-time champion Arellano University and San Beda University. SSC-R had a scare in the fourth set with the Lady Cardinals threatening to send the game into a decider after gaining momentum in a strong third frame showing, but the Lady Stags were quick to recover to quell Mapua's uprising and seal the one-hour, 35-minute duel. Ashtara Sarmiento scored 11 points while Joyce Sta. Rita had nine markers for SSC-R, which pulled through despite its atrocious 44 errors. "Ang hirap kasi nago-on and off ang laro. Wala eh, lumalabas yung pagkabata," said Gorayeb. "Ang bilis nilang ma-distract. Ang bilis nilang mawalan ng loob." Angelie Mangundayao finished with nine points to pace Mapua, which dropped its second straight game in the season and continued its win drought since 2016. Meanwhile, the Cardinals outlasted the Stags, 19-25, 25-21, 25-20, 24-26, 17-15 to tie their victim at 1-1 card with Jose Rizal University, Emilio Aguinaldo College and San Beda University. Angelbert Navas and Alfredo Pagulong hamered a combined 34 attacks in Mapua's 54 kills to finish with 21 points each. Robbie Pamittan and Nathalian Bunsuan scored 22 and 21 points, respectively, in a lost cause for SSC-R. In juniors play, the Red Robins bested the Staglets, 16-25, 25-20, 25-19, 25-23, for a 1-1 card while dealing SSC-R its second straight defeat.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 30th, 2018