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Perlas, Petro spikers in big q’final victories

BANKO-Perlas and Petro Gazz, bracing for their all-important showdown next week that has a lot of Final Four implications, posted all-important victories in the PVL Reinforced Conference yesterday at the Filoil Flying V Centre. The Perlas Spikers overcame a second set hump to repulse BaliPure-National University, 25-19, 22-25, 25-14, 25-19,….....»»

Category: newsSource: journal journalJun 23rd, 2018

Perlas stays clean

BANKO-Perlas and Petro Gazz, bracing for their all-important showdown next week that has a lot of Final Four implications, posted all-important victories in the PVL Reinforced Conference tripleheader today at the Filoil Flying V Centre. The Perlas Spikers overcame a second set hump to repulse BaliPure-National University, 25-19, 22-25, 25-14,….....»»

Category: newsSource:  journalRelated NewsJun 23rd, 2018

Pinoy sports most captivating underdog stories of 2018

Who doesn't love a good underdog story? In 2018, we saw another batch of champions get crowned for their extended excellence in their respective leagues and disciplines. We also witnessed squads and personalities who found success despite minimum fanfare. These underdogs didn't let any pre-competition predictions cloud their performances en route inspiring runs that may not have delivered gold, but are primed to be remembered for years to come.  MARGIELYN DIDAL Let's start with arguably the most inspiring entry on this list. Margielyn Didal basically burst onto the scene to bag skateboarding gold in the 2018 Asian Games. The Cebuana's victory is made even more impressive because of her humble roots, the lengths she went through just to compete, and what she's fighting for. The daughter of a carpenter and a sidewalk vendor, Didal also famously had to fend off security personnel in malls, when she was practicing her craft. Still, Didal's rise continued as she became the first Filipino to represent the nation in the 2018 X Games in Minnesota.  Her gold in the Asiad  earned her the distinction as the flag bearer of the Philippine delegation in the continental meet, and has slowly increased awareness for the sport. UP LADY FIGHTING MAROONS Now for another champion. The UP Lady Maroons were far from shoo-ins into the Premier Volleyball League Collegiate Conference Final Four. After a slow start to the elimination round, the Diliman-based squad was able to get things going, securing the fourth seed to face the top-ranked Adamson Lady Falcons in the semis.  Facing a twice-to-beat disdvantage, the Lady Maroons flexed their rediscovered depth, especially after feisty middle Marian Buitre found her touch. Conference MVP and eventual Finals MVP Isa Molde also made a case as a legitimate star as UP stunned Adamson. Facing the UAAP season 80 Finalists FEU Lady Tamaraws, UP leaned on its unparalleled chemistry and communication to defeat FEU in two hard-fought, five-set matches. The Lady Maroons also bagged gold in a rival tournament, beating out another UAAP powerhouse in UST. Come UAAP Season 81, the Lady Maroons are set to prove their preseason victories are no fluke.    NU BULLDOGS With a chip on their shoulder, wanting to regain UAAP men's volleyball supremacy, the NU Bulldogs did everything they could to dethrone reigning three-time defending champs Ateneo Blue Eagles in Season 80. NU waltzed their way through the double round robin elimination round and made quick work of UST in the Final Four to book a ticket to the finals. However, the same road block, the Blue Eagles were there, with five-time MVP Marck Espejo just fresh off from his record-setting 55-point explosion to oust  twice-to-beat FEU in the Final Four.  Using their strong net defense and efficient reception, the Bulldogs swept Ateneo in the best-of-three Finals series. Finals MVP Bryan Bagunas led the offensive attack in the clincher with 22 points, as NU's famed floor defense frustrated the graduating Espejo and hand them their first loss in the championship series in three years.   FEU LADY TAMARAWS The UAAP Season 80 women's volleyball tournament was arguably the most exciting in recent memory. It was open-ended, every game oozed excitement as the unlikliest of results would come out here and there. Two-time defending champs De La Salle Lady Spikers still were the favored ones in the course of the eliminations, but suffered some shocking losses, including a four-set disappointment over Adamson. Being the other Finals contender was a quandary, but the FEU Lady Tamaraws led the charge and rose to the occasion, depriving Ateneo of a Finals appearance. Led by none other than Bernadeth Pons, and excellent play from their frontline, FEU advanced to the Finals for the first time in nine years, ironically also against the Ramil de Jesus-led squad. Many things had changed then, but La Salle showed why they were the reigning Queens of the UAAP, sweeping the Lady Tamaraws in two hard-fought contests.   UP FIGHTING MAROONS After an encouraging run in the UAAP season 80 men's basketball tournament, the UP Fighting Maroons put the league on notice in season 81.  Led by captain Paul Desiderio, super sophomore Juan Gomez de Liano, and Nigerian reinforcement Bright Akhuetie, the Fighting Maroons had to fight through a sluggish start. All things changed when head coach Bo Perasol decided to bring Juan off the bench to inject much-needed energy to the second unit. Juan would lead the league in assists as he guided UP's offense masterfully, carrying them to a historic Final Four return after a 21-year absence. That may already be a victory worth celebrating for UP, but the Fighting Maroons brought the fight in the Final Four as the third-seeded team facing no. 2 Adamson. In what would eventually be one of the most exciting Final Four series in recent UAAP history, UP would upset the Soaring Falcons in two games to book a Finals berth against Ateneo, where the Fighting Maroons bowed out. Still, what a run it was. And UP looks primed to be even more dangerous next season.   ATENEO LADY EAGLES There were uncertainty on how the Ateneo Lady Eagles would fare after coach Tai Bundit left the team in UAAP Season 80.  Blue Eagles mentor Oliver Almadro was tapped to oversee the team after Bundit's reign, with the PVL Open Conference being his first real challenge, calling the shots for Ateneo-Motolite.  Veterans Bea de Leon and Maddie Madayag did the heavy lifting for the team, but rookie sensations Vanessa Gandler, Jaja Maraguinot, Isabela Peralta, Samantha Fanger, and Erika Raagas provided their worth for the team. Almadro's unique style of motivation was also key in providing the spark for his team, providing some quotable lines from his timeouts showed around the world. Qualifying to the Final Four, Ateneo had their hands full against the veteran-laden BanKo-Perlas Spikers, who featured some former Lady Eagles. Down 0-1 in the series and had their backs against the wall in Game 3 down 0-2, the Lady Eagles mounted a massive comeback, stunning the Perlas Spikers in five sets and booking a dream Finals matchup against the Creamline Cool Smashers. However, it was not meant to be as they firepower of the Cool Smashers behind season MVP Alyssa Valdez proved to the difference as Creamline swept the Lady Eagles to clinch the Open Conference plum......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 24th, 2018

PVL: Lady Eagles eye first semis seat

Ateneo-Motolite goes for the first Final Four seat in a rematch against first round tormentor Banko on Saturday in the Premier Volleyball League Season 2 Open Conference at the Malolos Sports and Convention Center. The Lady Eagles are on top of the standings with a 9-2 win-loss record and are on a four-game winning streak. Another victory by Ateneo-Motolite in the 6:00 p.m. duel will hand the Lady Eagles a seat in the best-of-three Final Four. The game will air live on LIGA SkyCable Channel 86, LIGA HD SkyCable Channel 183 and via livestream.   Behind the solid games of Kat Tolentino, Maddie Madayag, rookie Vanessa Gandler and Bea De Leon, the Lady Eagles went on a tear in the second round, beating Pocari Sweat-Air Force, Creamline, Tacloban and Iriga-Navy. But Ateneo-Motolite is bracing for a tough challenge against the Perlas Spikers. BanKo beat the Lady Eagles in straight sets in the first round. The Perlas Spikers hold a 7-2 card at second to third place tied with the Cool Smashers and are coming off back-to-back victories. Dzi Gervacio, Nicole Tiamzon, Joy Dacoron and Kathy Bersola will lead the charge BanKo.   ---    Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 9th, 2018

BanKo Perlas: Explosive on and off the court

While BanKo Perlas methodically pounded PayMaya into submission at the start of their Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference semifinals Sunday, its throngs of fans, predominantly newcomers to the sporting scene, were filliing the inside of the Filoil Flying V Centre with their thunderous cheers and screams.     This new breed of fans were already serving strong notice during the Perlas Spikers’ final quarterfinal outing against the Petro Gazz Angels last June 23 also at the San Juan Arena.       Pitting clappers and lungs that would put to shame the nation’s most popular belters against the drum-assisted cheers of the other side, they, numbering only about 50 (see above photo), effortlessly overwhelmed their counterparts by the sheer volume of their collective voices, which could only be described as ear-splitting, to say the least.       To think that they are generally office workers who are supposed to be decorous and prim and proper! How could they shout, scream and shriek that loud?       Following the Perlas Spikers’ merciless 25-19, 25-19, 25-19 thumping of the Angels that gave them a sweep of the six-team quarterfinals and the no. 3 seed in the semifinals, a fanatic member of ALYfinity, Creamline’s Alyssa Valdez’ fiercely loyal fan club, overheard at the exits BanKo fans telling one another that they would fill the Arena in their team’s next games.       This Alyssa fan was also overheard quickly spreading the word around to her fellow ALYfinity members: “Hoy, pupunuin daw ng mga taga BanKo Perlas ang Arena sa susunod nilang laro.”       “Tingnan natin,” replied a disbeliever.       True enough, BanKo Perlas supporters were almost all over the box and ringside sections of the 5,000-seat San Juan Arena at the opening of the semifinal playoffs, 500 of them coming from the BPI head offices on Ayala and the BanKo main office in Greenhills in tees with BanKo Perlas emblazoned across the upper front sides.        They occupied three whole sections of the box seats, sat side by side with or behind or in front of fans of PayMaya and Pocari Sweat, failing to penetrate only the section taken over by ALYfinity.       When they collectively banged clappers against clappers, they produced sounds that rumbled across the playing venue.       Being newbies, they have yet to execute the wave. It will be a sight to behold if they finally do it, said a volleyball aficionado.       Word is around that BanKo Perlas is here to stay in the PVL.       That could only mean the volleyball community would see – and hear -- more of the BanKo Perlas fans......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 4th, 2018

Spikers smother Angels, tow Lady Warriors to semis

BanKo-Perlas kept the momentum of its unbeaten run and blasted Petro Gazz, 25-19, 25-19, 25-19, yesterday to sweep the quarterfinal round and secure the third seeding in the Final Four of the Premier Volleyball League Season 2 Reinforced Conference at the Filoil Flying V Center in San Juan......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJun 27th, 2018

PVL: Perlas Spikers riding on Bright sunshine

BanKo head coach Dong Dela Cruz was all praises for his American import Kia Bright as she played a big role in the Perlas Spikers’ amazing sweep of the Premier Volleyball League Season 2 The reinforcement delivered the firepower needed by BanKo to finally barge in the Final Four after a disappointing inaugural season last year. Bright waxed hot Wednesday when she dropped 21 points to power the Perlas Spikers to a 25-19, 25-19, 25-19, sweep of Petro Gazz to earn the no. 3 seed in the Final Four against PayMaya.  Bright averaged 21.4 points per game in the quarterfinals while providing solid numbers on floor defense. Dela Cruz admitted that it took some time for his team to adjust with Bright. “'Yun ang sinasabi ko, kasi dati hindi namin mahuli 'yung ugali niya,” said Dela Cruz, who was relieved with the win as BanKo avoided a possible playoff against the defending champion Pocari Sweat handled by his ‘kumpare’ Jasper Jimenez for the last semis seat. “Masyado siyang tahimik eh. Hindi siya magsasalita hangga't 'di mo kinakausap.” “So na mi-misinterpret dati ng team 'yung katahimikan niya. Later on, noong nag-usap-usap kami, ganoon pala talaga siya, na gusto niya, tahimik lang kasi gusto niya maglaro ng maayos,” the mentor added. “Pero ngayon, nakikipag-kulitan na siya eh, during training at kanina sa game, medyo ano na siya. Kaya ayun, medyo gumaan na ang takbo ng team namin ngayon.” Bright knew right from the start her role with the team and liked that all of her efforts helped the Perlas Spikers reach the semis.   “Definitely, like I said, coming here I know the role that is expected of me and I embraced that and I know I’m gonna go out there and do my best,” said Bright, who averaged 20.4 points per game in the prelims. “I know I need to play at a certain level at a certain level for my team to be successful. I wanna make the game as easy as possible for them.” Bright is expected to carry BanKo once again in the best-of-three semifinals against a well-rested PayMaya starting on Sunday. “I expect them to go out, work hard and bring their best and I respect them for that,” she said. “Both forces are gonna go up against each other and the best team’s gonna win.”   ---               Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 27th, 2018

Perlas, Petro in vital duel

ON a six-match roll, BanKo-Perlas hopes to continue the streak by winning the game that matters most. The Perlas Spikers play Petro Gazz in a huge match that will determine the two teams’ fates, as well as idle Pocari Sweat-Air Force, for the two remaining Final Four berths today in….....»»

Category: newsSource:  journalRelated NewsJun 26th, 2018

PVL: Final Four scenarios

Only three teams remain in the hunt for the last two Final Four berths in the Premier Volleyball League Season 2 Reinforced Conference. BanKo Perlas, defending champion Pocari Sweat-Air Force and Petro Gazz are all in a good position to join Creamline and PayMaya in the best-of-three semifinals, which will start on Saturday or Sunday. But their semis hopes will depend on the result of the last round robin quarterfinals playdate on Wednesday which will pit the unbeaten Perlas Spikers against the Angels. BanKo sports a perfect 4-0 record on top of the quarters standing followed by the Lady Warriors (4-1) and Petro Gazz (3-1). The Perlas Spikers and Pocari Sweat both secured at least a playoff for a semis seat. If necessary, the semis berth playoff is scheduled on Friday, 4:00 p.m., at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.     SCENARIO 1 BanKo has the hot streak after winning their previous four matches in the quarterfinals and sixth overall since the prelims. Peaking at the right time after a slow start, the Perlas Spikers are now moving as one cohesive unit behind American import Kia Bright and Thai reinforcement Jutarat Montripila. What BanKo needs to do to advance in the semis is to complete a sweep of the quarters against Petro Gazz. A win will give the Perlas Spikers the no. 3 seed in the semis against the well-rested PayMaya. Pocari Sweat will then automatically earn the fourth seed and take on top seed Creamline in the other Final Four pairing.   SCENARIO 2 Petro Gazz has its back against the wall but the Angels could pull off an upset over BanKo if they’ll use the momentum of their three-game winning streak – all in straight sets. A straight or four-set win by Petro Gazz will hand the Jerry Yee-mentored squad the no. 3 seed in the semis. BanKo will then take on Pocari Sweat in a do-or-die match for the no. 4 seat.   SCENARIO 3 Petro Gazz is not out of the woods yet if they win in five sets over BanKo. In this scenario, both the Angels, Perlas Spikers and Pocari Sweat will end up with 4-1 win-loss cards but BanKo will have a higher tiebreak of 12 points. The Perlas Spikers and Lady Warriors currently have 11 points each while the Angels have nine. A three or four set win earns a team three points while a five set win will give the victor two points and the loser a point. A five-set win by Petro Gazz will hand BanKo the no. 3 seed against PayMaya while the Angels will face Pocari Sweat in a playoff for the right to challenge Creamline.   ---       Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 25th, 2018

PVL: Perlas Spikers secure at least a Final Four berth playoff

BanKo American import Kia Bright punished the defense of BaliPure-National University with her blinding attacks as the unbeaten Perlas Spikers secured at least a playoff for a Final Four seat with a 25-19, 22-25, 25-14, 25-19, win Saturday at the FilOil Flying V Centre. The Perlas Spikers claimed their fourth straight win in the quarterfinals and sixth overall since the preliminary round.          Bright exploded with 24 points with all but one coming off attacks for the Perlas Spikers. Thai import Jutarat Montripila finished with 14 points while Amy Ahomiro had nine. "My goal is to try to find ways to motivate them to play their best," said Bright. "No matter how hard I play, or how many points I make, I still need my teammates. I realized that that really pumps them up and fires them up so I try to go the extra mile." BanKo sent the Water Defenders marching towards the exit door that narrowed the semis berth race to three teams. The Perlas Spikers, Petro Gazz and defending champion Pocari Sweat are all in the running for best-of-three Final Four seats to join Creamline and PayMaya. BaliPure dropped to 1-3 slate. American import Alexis Matthews had 17 point while Jannisa Johnson scored 13 for the Water Defenders.    ---    Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 23rd, 2018

VOLLEYBALL IS LIFE: A look back at Philippine volleyball in 2018

Glorious victories, dynasties, historic feats, controversies and memorable moments once again highlighted another fruitful year for Philippine volleyball.   Now, let us take a look back in the year that was in volleyball:   DYNASTY Powerhouse teams continued to thrive in the country’s most popular collegiate leagues. Arellano University muscled its way back into the NCAA Season 93 Finals and met a newcomer in San Beda University. The Lady Chiefs did find the Lady Red Spikers as feisty opponents in their first championship meeting, needing five sets to survive San Beda in Game One. But it didn’t take long for Arellano U to stomp its class over the newbies to capture its second straight title and fourth overall crown in five years. De La Salle University painted UAAP Season 80 green after annexing its third straight title handing legendary head coach Ramil De Jesus his third grand slam in the country’s most popular and competitive collegiate league. Second year setter Michelle Cobb stepped up to the challenge of filling the big shoes left by Kim Fajardo and complemented the depth and firepower of DLSU. Far Eastern University, which advanced into the Finals for the first time after a decade, stood no chance against the onslaught of the Lady Spikers, which swept their way onto throne. University of Perpetual Help completed a four-peat in the NCAA juniors after sweeping Letran. Philippine Air Force snatched the Premier Volleyball League men’s Reinforced Conference crown and the Spikers’ Turf Open Conference title. Sisi Rondina cemented her legacy as the UAAP’s queen of the sands after completing a three-peat in women’s beach volleyball. Rondina wrapped her tour of duty with four titles in five years. The Tigers ruled the men’s division.       YEAR OF THE UNDERDOGS San Beda University made great strides in NCAA Season 93 after earning its first-ever Finals appearance behind the efforts of Cesca Racraquin and twins Nieza and Jiezela Viray. The Lady Red Spikers closed the elims with an 8-1 win-loss record and took down Perpetual in the semis. Languishing at the bottom half of the standings since the return of its women’s volleyball program in 2008, Jose Rizal University made history by advancing into the Final Four. Shola Alvarez capped the Lady Bombers’ remarkable season by pocketing the Most Valuable Player award.   Far Eastern University made it to the UAAP women’s volleyball Finals by booting out crowd-favorite Ateneo de Manila University in the semis.  For the first time in five years, the Blue Eagles found themselves in a very difficult position in the Final Four. With a twice-to-win disadvantage, the Marck Espejo-led Ateneo shocked FEU – a team that beat them twice in the elims – to march to its fifth straight championship appearance.      But the real underdog story belonged to NU. After three years of finishing runner-up to the Blue Eagles, the Bulldogs led by Bryan Bagunas finally got their long-awaited revenge as they swept Ateneo off its three-year reign at the throne.     OFF COURT STORIES, CONTROVERSIES University of the East parted ways with head coach Francis Vicente midway in Season 80 after three and a half seasons with the Lady Warriors. Vicente left for ‘personal reasons’ with a UE coaching record of 2-45 (win-loss). Red Warriors head coach Sammy Acaylar also resigned from his post midway in the season. University of Sto. Tomas hitter EJ Laure after months of speculations to the real reason of her sitting out UAAP Season 80 broke her silence by saying that needed time to recover from her right shoulder injury to end all the rumors circulating including an alleged pregnancy.    Sound bites, videos and clips that show collegiate players’ ‘human side’ made its rounds around social media that drew mixed reactions from fans.  Just like in the previous years, controversy filled the formation of the national women’s volleyball team. Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc. initially named Ramil De Jesus as the national team coach but just two months after his designation, the multi-titled DLSU mentor resigned from his post citing ‘conflict of schedule’. Shaq Delos Santos took over De Jesus’ spot. Netizens went abuzz when the composition of the national team that participated in the Jakarta-Palembang Asian Games was released as fans give their different views on who should and should not be included in the roster.             LVPI named a new president in Peter Cayco of Arellano U to replace Joey Romasanta during the association’s election.   WRITING HISTORY Smart’s Cuban import Gigi Silva carved a world scoring record in the Philippine Superliga after scoring 56 points in a lost cause against Cocolife in the 2018 Grand Prix. Silva pounded 53 kills and had three aces to land her name in the fourth spot in the women’s world scoring record behind Polina Rahimova of Azerbaijan’s 58 points in 2015 while playing in Japan, American Madison Kingdon’s 57 (2017 Korea Volleyball League) and Bulgarian Elitsa Vasileva’s 57 (2013 Korea Volleyball League). Silva also surpassed the 55 points of Americans Nicole Fawcett (2013 KVL) and Alaina Bergsma, who led Petron to the 2014 PSL Grand Prix crown, (2016 KVL).     Not to be outdone, local volleyball star Marck Espejo had a 55-point explosion of his own in the Blue Eagles’ five-set Game 1 UAAP Final Four win over FEU. The five-time MVP pounded 47 attacks, had six kill blocks and two service aces for the Katipunan-based squad. Espejo scored 11 points in the deciding frame including Ateneo’s last four to seal the win in the match that lasted for two hours and 21 minutes. Espejo’s feat fueled Ateneo’s eventual semis series win over the twice-to-beat Tamaraws.  Espejo and DLSU libero Dawn Macandili were named as the Philippine Sportswriters Association’s 2017 Mr. and Miss Volleyball.     The Philippines saw three players make their mark in the international scene this year as Espejo and sisters Jaja Santiago and Dindin Santiago-Manabat were tapped as imports in Japan’s V. Premier League. Espejo is now playing for Oita Miyoshi Weiss Adler while Jaja and Dindin suit up for Saitama Ageo Medics and Toray Arrows, respectively.     After 36 long years, the Philippines sent a women’s volleyball team to participate in the Jakarta-Palembang Asian Games. The squad won against Hong Kong in straight sets in pool play in the country’s first Asian Games victory since defeating India in the 1982 New Delhi Games. The PHI advanced in the quarterfinals but went home empty-handed. The Filipinas ended up at ninth place in the AVC Asian Cup. Sisi Rondina and Dzi Gervacio made waves in the country’s hosting of the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Manila Open after the duo barged in the quarterfinals. The tandem eventually bowed down to eventual champion Japan. The NU Bulldogs brought its bark into the international scene and howled its way to giving honor to country by winning the ASEAN University Games gold medal at the expense of Thailand. Volleyball proved to be the most talked about sport in the country as #UAAPSeason80Volleyball became the most tweeted sports hashtag in 2018.   SMASHING WIN, BLAZING VICTORY Creamline became the most successful club in the Premier Volleyball League this year after winning its breakthrough Reinforced Conference crown before following it up with a title romp in the Open Conference. Alyssa Valdez finally ended a two-year title drought after leading the Cool Smashers to the Reinforced Conference throne.   Creamline’s Michele Gumabao joined Binibining Pilipinas and represented the country im the 2018 Miss Globe in Albania, landing at the top 15.     Petron lorded it over in the PSL after winning the Grand Prix and All-Filipino Conference titles at the expense of archrival F2 Logistics, which ruled the Invitational Conference. University of the Philippines ended a 36-year title drought by claiming the PVL Collegiate Conference championship and followed it up by reigning supreme in the PSL Collegiate Grand Slam The SiPons tandem of Sisi Rondina and Bernadeth Pons of Petron annexed their second straight PSL Challenge Cup beach volleyball title. University of Perpetual Help reclaimed the NCAA men’s title after taking down Arellano University as the Altas bagged it 11th title overall.           National University took back the title it lost last year in the UAAP boys’ tournament while De La Salle-Zobel bagged the girls’ mint. The Beach Volleyball Republic continued its advocacy of propagating the sport throughout the country.   END OF THE ROAD After winning three straight UAAP titles, the Lady Spikers bid goodbye to its Big Three in Kim Kianna Dy, Majoy Baron and Dawn Macandili. Season 80 saw the end of the six-year Ateneo-DLSU Finals rivalry as the Lady Eagles bowed down to FEU in the semis. The Blue Eagles three-year reign ended at the hands of NU as Ateneo gave its farewell to its greatest men’s volleyball star Marck Espejo and prized setter Ish Povorosa.    NU’s four-year domination in the girls’ division was snapped by DLS-Zobel. After a dry 2018 PVL season, Pocari Sweat parted ways with its franchise player Myla Pablo as newcomer Motolite agreed to buyout the hitter’s last three contract years.      Thai coach Tai Bundit after five years and bringing two titles including a rare tournament sweep to the Lady Eagles finally called it quits after Ateneo’s campaign in UAAP Season 80. Creamline gave Bundit a farewell championship trophy in the PVL.      A NEW BEGINNING It was a colorful 2018, indeed, for volleyball but 2019 is another promising year for the sport. Can the Lady Chiefs complete a three-peat in the NCAA? Newcomers are sure to bring more excitement and interest in the UAAP. DLSU will try to extend its reign for another season while NU is looking for a repeat crown in the men’s side. Another season for the PSL and the PVL will open while the national men’s and women’s team will highlight the country’s Southeast Asian Games hosting.        --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 27th, 2018

PVL: Perlas Spikers near third place repeat

BanKo inched closer to a podium finish after taking down PetroGazz, 25-14, 28-26, 10-25, 25-19, Wednesday in Game 1 of the Premier Volleyball League Season 2 Open Conference best-of-three battle for third at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan. Dzi Gervacio paced the Perlas Spikers with all but one of her 20 points coming off kills while playing superb floor defense with 18 digs and nine excellent receptions. Kathy Bersola and Nicole Tiamzon had 11 and nine markers, respectively, for BanKo, which can duplicate its Reinforced Conference third place finish with another win. “‘Yun ang sinabi namin sa mga players kasi emotional talagang medyo down ang team dahil sa nangyari sa semis pero wala nang magagawa doon, we have to move forward. Hindi talaga para sa amin, kaya itong third place pipilitin namin makuha,” said BanKo head coach Dong Dela Cruz, whose squad came off a painful Game 3 loss to Ateneo-Motolite in the Final Four.   Game 2 is on Saturday at the Batangas City Coliseum. The Perlas Spikers started out strong before facing tough resistance in the second. Tied at 24 in the second frame, Sasa Devanadera came off the bench and provided instant offense as she scored on back-to-back quick attacks to close the set. The Angels found renewed energy in the third and took advantage of BanKo’s sluggish game to save a set. But the Perlas Spikers were quick to get their bearing back to finish off PetroGazz. Paneng Mercado had 15 markers while Jonah Sabete got 12 for the Angels. Cherry Nunag and Cai Baloaloa finished with 10 markers each for PetroGazz.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 5th, 2018

PVL: Angels, Perlas Spikers start battle for third

After falling short of making it into the Finals, PetroGazz and BanKo set their eyes on the consolation prize when they meet Wednesday in Game 1 of the Premier Volleyball League Season 2 Open Conference at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan. Action in the best-of-three series opener begins at 4:00 p.m. and will air live on LIGA SkyCable Channel 86, LIGA HD SkyCable Channel 183 and via livestream.  The Angels and Perlas Spikers split their elimination round head-to-head and are coming off contrasting but equally painful defeats in the Final Four. PetroGazz got swept by the title-favorites Creamline Cool Smashers in their best-of-three semis showdown last week. BanKo went a win closer for a breakthrough Finals appearance after taking Game 1 of their Final Four series against Ateneo-Motolite, but the Lady Eagles were quick to recover and knotted the series in Game 2. A night after a stinging loss, the Perlas Spikers went ahead 2-0 in the match and moved just a point away from advancing in the Finals in the fourth set but a costly miscue gave Ateneo-Motolite a chance to force a decider. BanKo had six match point advantages in the fifth frame but another miscue doomed their chance of making it in the title round as the young and energetic Lady Eagles left them in shock with a panful upset.          Both teams’ character will be tested as they battle it out for a podium finish in the season-ending conference. Game 2 of the series is on Saturday at the Batangas City Coliseum.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 4th, 2018

PVL: Dela Cruz hopes BanKo moves on after tough loss

Just a solitary point and BanKo would’ve made a breakthrough Finals stint in the Premier Volleyball League Season 2 Open Conference. The Perlas Spikers came near their goal in the fourth set. Then again, six more times in the fifth. But the elusive winning point never came. “Very disappointing. Nagi-expect kami na pumasok sa Finals,” said BanKo coach Dong dela Cruz after his veteran-laden squad bowed down to a collegiate team, 25-21, 25-23, 17-25, 25-27, 19-21, Sunday in the decider of the best-of-three Final Four series at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan. For the fourth straight conference, the Perlas Spikers came up short of making it into the championship round. And just like in the Reinforced Conference, BanKo will settle to compete for the consolation third place against PetroGazz. “'Yung tournament na to, one point na lang papasok na kami sa Finals. Pero 'yun nga, nandiyan na 'yan. 'Yung third place na lang ang pagtuunan namin ng pansin,” said Dela Cruz. BanKo actually took the series opener for their third straight win over the Lady Eagles in the season-ending conference but were swept by Ateneo-Motolite in Game 2.      After yielding the third set, BanKo was given the chance to seal the series in the fourth after making a telling run to move at match point, 25-24, but a costly service error by Kathy Bersola followed by a Maddie Madayag ace and a Nicole Tiamzon attack error forced a decider. The Perlas Spikers rallied from a 6-11 deficit in the fifth frame to take a 14-11 lead but allowed Ateneo-Motolite to save three straight match points and another three more in the closing stretch before BanKo setter Fhen Emnas committed a setting miscue that doomed their campaign as Lady Eagle Ponggay Gaston hammered the finishing blow.  “Sana maglaro pa rin sila nang mabuti,” Dela Cruz said of his wards. “Professional naman 'yung players ko, kumbaga talo na kami. Focus na kami sa third place.” Just like in Game 2, Dela Cruz pointed at their errors – 31 in total – as the culprit while adding that Ateneo-Motolite killed them with solid net defense that the Lady Eagles converted to 18 kill blocks. “'Yung error ulet namin, ang dami. Mahirap manalo kapag ganoon. Noong fifth set, error ulet ang tumalo sa amin,” he said. “I give it to Ateneo talaga, ang ganda noong blocking nila.”       --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 2nd, 2018

PVL: Lady Eagles overpower Perlas Spikers to take Game 2

Ateneo-Motolite finally snapped its head-to-head losing slump over BanKo in a morale-boosting, 25-21, 25-20, 26-24, win that extended their Premier Volleyball League Season 2 Open Conference best-of-three semifinals showdown to a decider on Saturday at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan. The Lady Eagles tied the series, 1-1, and stopped a three-game bleeding over the veteran-laden Perlas Spikers. Game 3 is on Sunday. Backed by a huge crowd that trooped the venue, Ateneo-Motolite dictated the tempo early with aggressive and fast plays while frustrating BanKo with their good floor defense. The Lady Eagles were patient with their set plays and kept the Perlas Spikers working at the net as they unleashed missiles after missiles to keep BanKo at bay. Tied at 22 in the third set, Ateneo-Motolite got the breaks of the game to move at match point following Nicole Tiamzon's back-to-back errors. Tiamzon and Roma Doromal saved two match points but Perlas Spikers setter Fhen Emnas committed a setting error on the next play before Dzi Gervacio's attack was turned back by the two-man wall of Bea De Leon and Kat Tolentino.   "Ang nakita ko sa team ay being courageous," said Ateneo-Motolite coach Oliver Almadro. "Nakita ko sa kanila ang tapang nila today. You know ang kalaban namin ay beterano, wala ng ibang gagawin kundi they will use yung pagiging veteran nila and experience nila against us." "What Im telling my players, ‘no matter what, kahit sinong kaharap, you just have to be brave and courageous in everything you do. And of course have faith in yourself, have faith in God and trust the team, trust each other," he added. Ponggay Gaston led the Lady Eagles' assault with 11 points - all from kills - laced with 10 excellent receptions and six digs. Tolentino had 10 markers off seven kills and three kill blocks while De Leon got eight for Ateneo-Motolite.  The survivor of the series will take on the winner between Creamline and PetroGazz in the other Final Four pairing in the best-of-three championship series starting Wednesday. Gervacio was the only Perlas Spiker in double figures with 14 points while Sue Roces and Tiamzon combined for 17 markers. Kathy Bersola was limited to only six points for BanKo, which committed 25 errors.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 1st, 2018

PVL: Perlas Spikers hurdle Lady Eagles to snatch semis Game 1

BanKo yielded sets to Ateneo-Motolite for the first time in the Premier Volleyball League Season 2 Open Conference Wednesday night. But it proved to be just a hiccup in the Perlas Spikers’ drive for a spot in the Finals. BanKo relied on their grizzled veterans in the deciding frame to prevail over the gritty Lady Eagles, 25-23, 25-19, 21-25, 19-25, 15-6, and take Game 1 of the best-of-three Final Four at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan. Kathy Bersola, Nicole Tiamzon and Sue Roces powered the Perlas Spikers’ strong start in the deciding frame that saw BanKo create an 11-3 gap. Dzi Gervacio joined the scoring spree, sealing the win with back-to-back kills. “First two sets nandoon ang game plan namin eh, na-execute namin ng mabuti tapos noong third and fourth medyo nagkarga sila ng service saka yung receive nila gumanda kaya na-execute rin nila ang mga plays nila,” said Perlas Spikers coach Dong Dela Cruz. “(Sa fifth) ano lang naman yan, they have to go back kung ano ang ginagawa nila sa first and second sets. Ang instruction ko lang naman ibalik nila kung ano ang dating ginagawa nila and siguro beterano ang mga ito kaya gusto nilang manalo kaya ganoon ang start nila (sa fifth set),” he added. “Against Ateneo hindi sila pwedeng bigyan ng lamang kasi nagkakaroon sila ng kompiyansa.” Tiamzon posted 25 points with 21 coming off attacks, including four in the fifth set, while Gervacio finished with 20 markers built on 17 kills and three aces on top of 16 digs for the Perlas Spikers. Bersola had 16 points, seven off kill blocks, while Roces had 12 for BanKo, which is a win away from a breakthrough Finals appearance after a third place finish in the Reinforced Conference. Game 2 is on Saturday and if needed, Game 3 is on Sunday. Kat Tolentino registered 20 points, Ponggay Gaston had 14 markers while Maddie Madayag and rookie Vanessa Gandler chipped in 12 and 11 points, respectively, against Ateneo-Motolite, which has yet to win a match against the Perlas Spikers.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 28th, 2018

PVL: Bersola, Tiamzon show ‘Atin ‘to’ version in semis win

Nicole Tiamzon and Kathy Bersola need not look far for inspiration in BanKo’s best-of-three Premier Volleyball League Season 2 Open Conference Final Four series opener against Ateneo-Motolite. An hour before their match Wednesday night, the University of the Philippines products repeatedly peeked inside the pressroom of the FilOil Flying V Centre to take a glimpse at then ongoing UAAP basketball match. It was the do-or-die Final Four duel between UP and Adamson for the right to face defending champion Ateneo de Manila University for the crown. With time winding down, Paul Desiderio, the guard best known for coining the now UP mantra of ‘Atin ‘to’, delivered the winning basket in overtime as the Maroons marched into the Finals for the first time in 32 years.          Pity the duo didn’t get a chance to watch that winning moment for their alma mater albeit in the arena’s small and grainy TV set. It was an inspiration, so to say, as the Perlas Spikers veterans made their own version of it in San Juan. The duo played their hearts out especially in the deciding set to power BanKo to a marathon, 25-23, 25-19, 21-25, 19-25, 15-6, victory to move a step closer for the clubs breakthrough championship round stint.   “Siyempre gusto talaga namin kunin ‘to eh. Di pa kami nakakapasok sa Finals before,” said Bersola, who together with Tiamzon tried to downplay the influence of the Maroons historic Finals appearance. “Laro lang talaga. Gusto lang namin maglaro and siyempre manalo talaga not just for ourselves but for the team,” said Tiamzon. Bersola and Tiamzon scored four points each in the BanKo’s blazing 13-5 burst that took the fight out of the Lady Eagles in the fifth set. Tiamzon posted 25 points with 21 coming off attacks, while Bersola had 16 points, seven off kill blocks, to pace the Perlas Spikers, who reasserted their mastery over the Lady Eagles. After a third place finish in the Reinforced Conference, BanKo is now knocking on the door of their first-ever Finals stint. And they will not stop until they get it – may it be on Saturday in Game 2 or on Sunday in the decider, if necessary. “Ito malaking chance namin ngayon, we’re here in this position,” said Bersola. “Kuha lang ng kuha. Laro lang ng laro hanggang sa makarating doon (sa Finals).”     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 28th, 2018

PVL: Perlas Spikers out to extend dominance over Lady Eagles in semis

BanKo will have the psychological advantage over Ateneo-Motolite when the two clash Wednesday to begin their Premier Volleyball League Season 2 Open Conference best-of-three Final Four showdown at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan. Game time is at 6:00 p.m. and it will air live on LIGA SkyCable Channel 86, LIGA HD SkyCable Channel 183 and via livestream. The Perlas Spikers closed the two-round eliminations with an 11-3 win-loss record tied with Creamline. The Cool Smashers took the No. 1 seed via higher tiebreak. Led by former Ateneo star Dzi Gervacio, BanKo destroyed the Lady Eagles in their two elims meetings. The Perlas Spikers silenced Ateneo-Motolite, 27-25, 25-19, 25-11, last Oct. 7 before duplicating it last Nov. 10 with another dominating 26–24, 25-22, 25-16 victory. Aside from Gervacio head coach Dong dela Cruz will also bank on Nicole Tiamzon, Kathy Bersola, Amanda Villanueva, Joy Dacoron, Sue Roces and Sasa Devanadera, who scored her personal conference-high 17 points last Saturday as BanKo waylaid Adamson-Akari in straight sets. Ateneo-Motolite will pin its hopes on Bea De Leon, Maddie Madayag, Kat Tolentino and rookie Vanessa Gandler. Game 2 is on Saturday.   ---   Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 27th, 2018

Creamline targets No. 1 vs Adamson

Creamline primes up for the tough Final Four grind as it faces Adamson-Akari on Saturday hoping to clinch the No. 1 ranking in the Premier Volleyball League Season 2 Open Conference in Batangas City. "We want that extra push going to the Final Four," said Creamline star Alyssa Valdez of the 4 p.m. encounter at Batangas City Coliseum. Tied with BanKo-Perlas for the lead at 10-3, Creamline can clinch the top seeding in the semifinals with a straight-set or four-set victory over winless Adamson-Akari. Even if the Perlas Spikers hurdle the Tacloban Fighting Warays in the other match at 2 p.m., Creamline will still get top seed by virtue of the tiebreak. Creamline coach Tai Bundit is...Keep on reading: Creamline targets No. 1 vs Adamson.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsNov 23rd, 2018

PVL: Cool Smashers, Perlas Spikers clash in battle of heavyweights

Title favorites Creamline and BanKo collide in a battle of heavyweights on Saturday in the Premier Volleyball League Season 2 Open Conference in Cagayan de Oro. Already assured of spots in the best-of-three semifinals, the Cool Smashers and Perlas Spikers are now both looking to build momentum heading into the Final Four. The winner of the 4:00 p.m. rematch will not only get a morale boost but will also strengthen its bid for a good position in the semis. Creamline holds a 9-2 win-loss record in solo second spot behind league-leading Ateneo-Motolite (10-3). Just half a game behind is BanKo, which sports a 9-3 card. The Cool Smashers are eyeing their fourth straight win. Behind top hitter Alyssa Valdez, Creamline easily dismantled Iriga-Navy, 25-12, 25-13, 26-24, last Wednesday to clinch a semis seat. BanKo is also coming off a 27-25, 19-25, 25-16, 25-20, win over Pocari Sweat-Air Force the last time out to advance in the semis. The Perlas Spikers want payback after bowing down in straight sets to Creamline in the first round.   ---     Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 17th, 2018

PVL: Malakas pa rin makakatapat mo, wala kang ligtas -- Valdez on semis

Creamline is through to the semifinals of the Premier Volleyball League Season 2 Open Conference. For Cool Smashers top hitter Alyssa Valdez, the next challenge now is for Creamline to build momentum heading into the best-of-three Final Four. Choosing which team to face in the penultimate stage is out of the question. “Kahit pumili ka rin kasi sa kung saang rank ka, makakatapat mo pa rin ay malalakas na teams. Wala kang ligtas,” said Valdez, whose squad sports a 9-2 win-loss record at the second spot and is on a three-game winning tear. The Cool Smashers occupied the third semifinals seat on Wednesday after sweeping Iriga-Navy, 25-12, 25-13, 26-24, to join other Final Four-bound teams Ateneo-Motolite and BanKo. Only one berth remains and for the three teams that are already in the semis cast, the last four playdates of the two-round eliminations will determine their placing in the Final Four.     But the Cool Smashers would rather concentrate on building their morale than worry about their seeding.   “Ang hirap kasi hindi mo rin alam,” she said. “I think ang goal talaga is to really get wins sa mga future games namin. We have three more games medyo delikado pa. More hard work pa, more push pa.” The Cool Smashers still have BanKo, first round tormentor PetroGazz and upset-conscious Adamson-Akari in their list of assignments.   “I think ang pinakaimportante ngayon to get all the confidence na kailangan namin. Lahat malaman namin ngayon kung ano pa ang kailangan naming i-improve as a team para pagdating ng semifinals kahit sino ang makalaban namin medyo mag-perform kami ng maganda,” she said. And to build that momentum, Creamline will need to bring it’s A-game against the Perlas Spikers on Saturday in Cagayan de Oro.   “We all know BanKo, tough team, very hard to beat and they’re my former teammates so kilalang-kilala nila ako,” said Valdez of the squad that the Cool Smashers swept in the first round.     ---    Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 15th, 2018