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Prado takes backseat in scoring in stacked Arellano roster

Jovielyn Prado’s scoring average in Arellano University’s first three games in the 93rd NCAA women’s volleyball competition is far from her production norm last year. In three outings, Prado’s average is only 8.6 points per game. She had double-digit norms last year.   But the Lady Chiefs’ prized hitter is not worried. In fact, she likes that somehow she’s able take a backseat in scoring with the repeat-seeking Arellano U stacked with other offensive options this year. “Mas okay po para sa akin ‘yun kasi mas nakikita ko na ‘yung improvement ng teammates ko,” said Prado on Friday after the Lady Chiefs’ 25-17, 25-17, 25-12, win over Letran at the FilOil Flying V Centre for their third win in as many games and 15th straight win since last season.  Prado only had seven markers in the match, her second single-digit scoring this season after finishing with 12 in a straight-set win over Emilio Aguinaldo College last Sunday.   The graduating player also scored seven in their season-opening sweep of Mapua University. Rookie Necole Ebuen is Arellano U’s leading scorer, currently averaging 10.6 points per outing while Regine Arocha is chipping in almost 10 markers per game. Skipper Anne Esguerra is averaging six points per game while middle Andrea Marzan has a 5.6-point norm per outing for the Lady Chiefs.   Prado sees their well-balanced scoring as an advantage as they go deep into the season. “’Pagdating sa crucial games masasabi ko po na may ibubuga ‘yung bawat isa sa amin,” she said. “And mas OK din po yun para hindi lang isa o dalawang tao lang yung babantayan samin at hindi po mababasa yung play namin.”   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource: abscbn abscbnJan 12th, 2018

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

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

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 31st, 2017

Six standout local volleybelles of 2017

We’ve seen them shine this year whether in the collegiate stage, in the club leagues or even in the international scene. These six Pinay volleyball players took the sport’s limelight in the year that’s about to end.     DESIREE CHENG Desiree Cheng came into De La Salle University during the time bitter rival Ateneo de Manila University got the Lady Spikers’ number. From Seasons 76 to 77, Cheng saw her team fall prey to the might of the Lady Eagles in the UAAP Finals. Then redemption came in Season 78. Unfortunately, the 5-foot-8 spiker was forced to watch from the sidelines with an ACL tear as her crew reclaimed the crown. A year after, Cheng got her biggest break. DLSU lost most of its veteran core after Season 78 and needed another scoring option. Cheng heeded the call. Though Cheng struggled at the start of the eliminations, the hitter slowly got her groove back and delivered when DLSU needed offense in their sixth straight championship showdown against Ateneo. Cheng was the X-factor for the Ramil De Jesus-mentored squad during the series. Her contributions both on offense and floor defense played a huge part in the Lady Spikers’ series sweep of the Lady Eagles for the school’s 10th title. Cheng also helped F2 Logistics claim the Cargo Movers’ breakthrough Philippine Superliga Grand Prix title and a runner-up finish in the All-Filipino Conference.   ALYSSA VALDEZ Although Alyssa Valdez failed to claim a crown in the Premier Volleyball League this year and a continued title drought since 2016, the Phenom’s magic remains. She can still fill up game venues whenever she takes the court and 2017 proved as the former Queen Eagles’ biggest year in terms of her flourishing volleyball career. Valdez brought her talents abroad, landing a stint with 3BB Nakornnont in the Thai League and in the Thai-Denmark Superleague where her team finished third in both tournaments. After her appearance in Thailand, Valdez donned the Creamline jersey and led the Rebisco franchise to a bronze medal finish both in the PVL Reinforced and Open conferences. Valdez also had another tour of duty, playing for the national team in the AVC Asian Women’s Senior Volleyball Championship and the 29th Southeast Asian Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The 24-year old hitter got another international gig when she was tapped by Attack Line to play in the Chinese-Taipei Volleyball League.          Outside volleyball, Valdez has a blooming relationship with basketball star Kiefer Ravena. If she’s not busy with her volleyball and other commitments, Valdez also drew attention as one of the newest member of the so-called PBA players’ WAGS (wives and girlfriends) cheering for Ravena and the NLEX Road Warriors.      DAWN MACANDILI She may be only 5-foot tall but Dawn Macandili stood alongside Asia’s volleyball giants this year. The De La Salle University libero was the catalyst in the Lady Spikers’ back-to-back UAAP championship run. Her pesky floor defense frustrated DLSU’s rivals while giving her teammates a good first ball to operate their lethal offense.  But her biggest showing was when she landed a spot in the national team that competed in the AVC Asian Senior Women’s Volleyball Championship and in the Kuala Lumpur SEA Games. A first-timer donning the national colors, Macandili did not disappoint as she earned the respect and admiration of Japanese coaches and trainers during the Nationals’ training camp in Japan. She performed even better when the PHI hosted the AVC Asian Seniors. Ms. Everywhere gave teams like Asian powerhouse Vietnam, Kazakhstan, South Korea and Thailand a hard time with her floor defense. All her efforts caught the eyes of the AVC tournament officials and she was rewarded with the historic 2nd Best Libero award. She made the final list of in the national team that participated in the SEA Games. Back in the local scene, Macandili helped F2 Logistics to runner-up finish in the PSL All-Filipino Conference and a breakthrough crown in the Grand Prix.    JAJA SANTIAGO Tall, powerful and versatile, Jaja Santiago is a force to reckon with.  At 6-foot-5, Santiago dominated the Premier Volleyball League Collegiate Conference as she led the National University Lady Bulldogs to a perfect championship run. She also bagged the conference’s Most Valuable Player award. Though NU failed to make it in the Final Four of UAAP for the second straight year, Santiago’s effort for the Lady Bulldogs was rewarded with a third straight Best Attacker award to go with the Best Scorer and Best Blocker recognitions. In the PSL, Santiago was a consistent scorer for the Foton Tornadoes in the All-Filipino Conference and the Grand Prix. Under the tutelage of Serbian import Moro Branislav, Santiago became an even more dangerous and versatile player. Aside from her natural position as a middle blocker, she can now wreak havoc on both wings the puts her height advantage to good use. She made it into the national team that competed in the AVC Asian Seniors and SEA Games and was the Nationals’ scoring ace. Santiago received an offer from Thai powerhouse Bangkok Glass but declined the offer to play in her last year with the Lady Bulldogs.             KIM FAJARDO Setter Kim Fajardo left winning legacy when she played her swan song for DLSU. It took her a few months to decide to play her fifth year with the Lady Spikers. Leading a young crew after the departure of the core of the Season 78 championship squad, Fajardo faced a tough challenge in the Taft-based squad’s title-retention bid. But the Batanguena proved her worth as a leader and the skipper rallied the Lady Spikers back into the Finals in a sixth straight collision against bitter rival Ateneo. Fajardo’s composure carried DLSU in a tough Game 1 match and again in the five-set title-clincher to complete the Lady Spikers’ series sweep of the Lady Eagles. She earned a spot in the national team as a starting setter. Fajardo steered F2 Logistics to its first PSL Grand Prix crown bagged the conference’s Best Setter award. She helped the Cargo Movers to a runner-up finish in the All-Filipino Conference.     JOVIELYN PRADO Silent but deadly. Jovielyn Prado may not be the typical vocal leader but her presence inside the court is enough to rally the Arellano University Lady Chiefs to meet their goals. The outside hitter proved her worth to the Lady Chiefs when she led the Legarda-based squad back on the NCAA women’s volleyball throne. A year removed from the title, Arellano U turned to Prado to provide the spark the Lady Chiefs needed to make another shot at the crown. Consistent, efficient and effective, Prado delivered for the Obet Javier-mentored squad. Arellano U advanced in the stepladder semifinals and dethroned College of St. Benilde to set up a date with thrice-to-beat, three-time Most Valuable Player Grethcel Soltones-led San Sebastian College. Undaunted even with a great series disadvantage, Prado played her best three games of the season to power the Lady Chiefs to an impressive sweep of the Lady Stags. Prado continued her great performance in the PVL Reinforced and Open Conference playing for the Power Smashers. She then bannered the Lady Chiefs to a bronze medal finish in the Collegiate Conference at the expense of UAAP team Adamson University.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles   .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 28th, 2017

LOOK: NCAA Season 93 team rosters

Defending champion Arellano University will parade a veteran core when the Lady Chiefs begin their quest for a repeat title in the 93rd NCAA women’s volleyball tournament starting January 4 at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan. With key returnees in top hitter Jovielyn Prado, Regine Arocha, Mary Anne Esguerra and reliable middle Andrea Marzan, the Obet Javier-mentored squad remains to be a force to reckon with even after the departure of Rialen Saet and libero Eunice Galang. Arellano U will open its campaign on Jan. 4 against Mapua University at 1:30 p.m. after the San Sebastian College and Emilio Aguinaldo College tussle at 12:00 noon. The Lady Chiefs closed Season 92 with an 11-game winning streak including three in a row in the Finals against thrice-to-beat SSC-R to claim their second crown in three years. The Lady Stags of head coach Roger Gorayeb lost two scoring aces in three-time Most Valuable Player Grethcel Soltones and Kat Villegas, who both exhausted all their playing years, and will field the least number of players this season with only nine in their roster. Here’s the complete team rosters in the women’s and men’s divisions: WOMEN’S       MEN’S         --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 27th, 2017

Arellano U stakes unbeaten record vs. dangerous JRU

Games Tuesday: (FilOil Flying V Centre, San Juan) 9:30 a.m. -- AU vs. JRU (m) 11:00 a.m. –- AU vs. JRU (w) 12:30 p.m. –- SBC vs. CSB (w) 2:00 p.m. –- SBC vs. CSB (m) 3:30 p.m. –- SBC vs. CSB (jrs)   Defending champion Arellano University stakes its unbeaten record and hold of the solo lead against the surging Jose Rizal University Tuesday in the 93rd NCAA women’s volleyball competition at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan. Game time is at 11:00 a.m. before the clash of other unbeaten teams San Beda College and College of St. Benilde at 12:30 p.m. The Lady Chiefs are on a roll after three games in a share of the top spot with the Lady Red Spikers and Lady Blazers. Arellano U is coming off a quick work of Letran, 25-17, 25-17, 25-12, last Friday for their third win in a row and 15th straight since last year. Rookie Necole Ebuen has been solid in her debut season, averaging 10.6 points per game and adding depth to an already stacked lineup of head coach Obet Javier. Veterans Regine Arocha, Jovielyn Prado, Andrea Marzan and skipper Mary Ann Esguerra are also expected to provide firepower for the Lady Chiefs with setter Sarah Verutiao orchestrating the flow of offense. But Arellano U is facing a team looking to ride the momentum of its two-game winnings streak. The Lady Bombers defeated Emilio Aguinaldo College, 25-20, 25-16, 25-16, last Friday behind league-leading scorer Shola Alvarez’s 24 points. Alvarez is averaging 23 points per game for JRU, which sport a 2-1 slate tied with University of Perpetual Help. But aside from Alvarez, the Lady Bombers also have reliable scorers in Dolly Versoza and Karen Montojo. Meanwhile, San Beda College is fresh from a 28-26, 25-18, 29-27, win over Perpetual while CSB survived a five-set showdown against Lyceum of the Philippines University last Thursday. In men’s division, Arellano U (2-0) challenges JRU (0-3) at 9:00 a.m. while repeat-seeking CSB (2-0) meets SBC (1-1) at 2:00 p.m.   ---          Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 15th, 2018

EYES ON YOU, KID: UAAP 80 Jrs. players to watch

The first round of the UAAP 80 Juniors Basketball Tournament is over and done with. And we can’t wait for the second round to get started just so we could get even more glimpses of the future of Philippine basketball courtesy of these players: CJ CANSINO – University of Sto. Tomas (yellow jersey with ball) ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 27.6 points, 43.5 percent shooting, 14.6 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 1.7 steals (yellow jersey number 27) CJ Cansino has single-handedly made University of Sto. Tomas matter again – and that’s not an exaggeration. Through his sheer will, the Tiger Cubs find themselves well inside the playoff picture at the end of the first round. The long-limbed forward is an all-around weapon who can get his shots inside the paint, from the perimeter, and even from the charity stripe where he has already scored a mind-boggling 60 points – that’s out of 76 attempts, giving him a 78.9 percent shooting clip from there. It’s not just scoring where he makes an impact, though, as he also can also make plays for teammates like scoring guard Kobe Palencia as well as disrupt plays for opponents. And oh, the six-foot-two graduating player is also tops in the league in rebounding – yes, he has more rebounds than the next kid on our list. The even better news for UST? Cansino wants to stay for college. KAI SOTTO – Ateneo de Manila High School (blue jersey number 11) ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 12.9 points, 52.5 percent shooting, 12.7 rebounds, 4.9 blocks (blue jersey number 11) All eyes have been on Kai Sotto ever since he was discovered in the Jr. NBA. Now in his second season for currently league-leading Ateneo de Manila University, he has given all of us more than enough reason to never take our eyes off of him and all of his now 7-foot 1-inch stature. A legitimate inside presence the likes of which the high school ranks have never seen before, Sotto is unstoppable in getting points near the basket and collaring rebounds from anywhere inside the paint. And yeah, the kid atop our list has more rebounds than him, but nobody in the Juniors can touch the 15-year-old’s rim protecting ability. 34 blocks through seven games? That’s unheard of! The even better news for Ateneo? He’s just in Grade 9, that’s three more seasons of eligibility after this one. SJ BELANGEL – Ateneo de Manila High School (white jersey number 0) ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 16.3 points, 50.6 percent shooting, 5.6 assists, 5.3 rebounds, 1.7 steals (blue jersey number 0) Sotto has been getting all the attention, but just like a year ago, Ateneo has been SJ Belangel’s show to run. The kid who famously scored 99 points back in his hometown of Bacolod is now a complete player. The scoring has always been there for Belangel, but it’s his now pinpoint passing that is the more welcome development for the still undefeated Blue Eaglets. It doesn’t hurt either that the 18-year-old is doing nothing but living up to being a floor leader. L-JAY GONZALES – Far Eastern University-Diliman (yellow jersey number 0) ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 12.6 points, 9.7 rebounds, 6.0 assists, 2.6 steals (yellow jersey number 0) No doubt, the shots have yet to fall for L-Jay Gonzales as he is only shooting 32.4 percent from the field. Just like what he showed in his starmaking stint in last season’s Finals, however, it has again become clear that he doesn’t have to score to make an impact. In all of the league, Far Eastern University-Diliman’s main man is first in steals, second in assists, and fifth in rebounds. And there’s one thing we all learned last season, it’s never to count out the Baby Tamaraws and their do-it-all guard. DAVE ILDEFONSO – Ateneo de Manila High School (white jersey number 10) ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 12.9 points, 42.7 percent shooting, 8.9 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 1.4 steals (white jersey number 10) Dave Ildefonso is not top five in the league in anything – he is well inside the top 10 in many things, though. With Sotto, Belangel, and the rest of Ateneo’s stacked lineup, it’s easy to forget that they have a versatile player who can score from all over the floor while also defending the opposing team’s forwards and guards. And among all of high school, the son of Philippine basketball legend Danny Ildefonso has one of the most college-ready bodies – he can bump with the best of them and he can move with the best of them. That is exactly why make no mistake about it, Dave Ildefonso has been a key cog in the Blue Eaglets’ ascent to the top of the leaderboard. RHAYYAN AMSALI – Nazareth School of National University (blue jersey number 13) ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 13.0 points, 43.2 percent shooting, 8.7 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 2.1 steals As expected, there has been an adjustment period for Nazareth School of National University and new head coach Goldwyn Monteverde. That hasn’t stopped Rhayyan Amsali from producing as expected, though. Already having proven himself as an all-around offensive weapon, the third-year forward is now displaying the development of his defense to the tune of a third-best steals total. RJ ABARRIENTOS – Far Eastern University-Diliman (green jersey number 17) ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 14.0 points, 6.0 rebounds, 5.0 assists, 1.0 steals FEU-Diliman is already fortunate to have somebody like L-Jay Gonzales and yet, they actually have two of that kind of player on their roster. RJ Abarrientos can do the very same things his Finals MVP teammate can, but when focused, has proven himself to be an impactful 3-and-D swingman. The nephew of “Flying A” Johnny Abarrientos will never have the ball in his hands all that much, but when he does, good things happen more often than not. JOEM SABANDAL – Adamson High School (blue jersey number 21) ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 16.3 points, 45.9 percent shooting, 6.7 rebounds, 6.3 assists, 2.2 steals A new day has dawned upon Adamson High School and serving as the brightest ray of light is Joem Sabandal. The heady guard is best in the league in assists, second in steals, and third in points – doing anything and everything in his power to keep his team afloat. The journey back to the heights they once reached is far and long, but the Baby Falcons are nothing but glad that they already have the person to steer them there. AGEM MIRANDA – University of the East (white jersey number 4) ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 17.9 points, 41.1 percent shooting, 8.6 rebounds, 5.4 assists, 2.1 steals University of the East remains winless Round 1, but unlike a year ago, there is reason to watch and there is reason to hope. Agem Miranda has made the most out of his opportunities on a talent-lacking squad and has opened eyes on how his all-around game will translate if given more help. The one-and-done guard will have to find that out on some other team, but at the very least, he has energized the Junior Warriors back on track. RAVEN CORTEZ – De La Salle Zobel (green jersey number 6) ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 12.6 points, 64.2 percent shooting, 10.9 rebounds, 3.3 blocks, 1.1 assists It looks like Boris Aldeguer, the mentor who molded Joshua Webb and Arnold Van Opstal into promising big men, has finally gotten his hands on his next project. There is no doubt that Raven Cortez is raw, even rawer than Ateneo’s Sotto, but his size and skill give him all the potential in the world, much like Ateneo’s Sotto. The Batang Gilas member may not have an outside shot just yet, but he has already put his 6-foot 7-inch frame to good use as the second-best blocker and fourth-best rebounder in the league......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 6th, 2018

Arellano U eyes solo lead; Perpetual, LPU begin quest

Games Sunday: (FilOil Flying V Centre, San Juan) 8:00 a.m. –- LPU vs. Perpetual (jrs) 9:30 a.m. -- LPU vs. Perpetual (m) 11 a.m. –- LPU vs. Perpetual (w) 12:30 p.m. -- EAC vs. Arellano (w) 2:00 p.m. -- EAC vs Arellano (m) 3:30 p.m. – EAC vs. Arellano (jrs)   After a dominating win to open its title-retention bid, Arellano University looks to take an early solo lead on Sunday when the Lady Chiefs take on Emilio Aguinaldo College in the 93rd NCAA women’s volleyball competition. Game time is at 12:30 p.m. at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan. Behind Regine Arocha’s 12-point outing and superb debut of transferee setter Sarah Verutiao, the Lady Chiefs easily hurdled Mapua University, 25-10, 25-17, 25-13, Thursday that extended Arellano U’s winning streak to 13 since their championship run last season.    Although the Lady Chiefs are heavily favored to prevail over the Lady Generals, who lost to an eight-woman San Sebastian College, 16-25, 19-25, 16-25, in the season-opener, head coach Obet Javier is not taking EAC lightly. “Sa EAC ganoon din bago ang coach nakita ko medyo may konting adjustments sila. Kasi nakita ko noong liga namin sa Founder’s Cup, nakita ko na rin ang position ng player,” said Javier, who steered Arellano to its second title in three years last season in a Finals sweep of the thrice-to-beat Grethcel Soltones-led Lady Stags. “Nakita ko kanina (against San Sebastian College) na mayroon silang kaunting adjustments ng player so sinabi ko sa team na kailangang paghandaan namin,” he added. Verutiao, who had 28 excellent sets as backup to injured playmaker Rhea Ramirez, is expected to deliver the same numbers to utilize the firepower of Arocha, Jovelyn Prado, Mary Anne Esguerra and middle Andrea Marzan. The Lady Generals will pin their hopes on Ladeisheen Magbanua, Jaylene Lumbo and Yvette Tongco. Meanwhile, Perpetual Help will try to give new coach Macky Carino a good welcome gift when the Lady Altas clash with Lyceum of the Philippines University at 11:00 a.m. Carino, who resigned from his post as College of St. Benilde coach a few months back, will bank on Lourdes Clemente, Cindy Imbo and setter Necelle Gual. The Lady Pirates will have to look for other scoring options with top hitter Cherilyn Sindayen skipping this season because of academics.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 6th, 2018

Lady Chiefs respond well to Javier's 5th set instruction

Arellano University head coach Obet Javier gave his team a short and simple instruction heading into the make or break fifth set against University of the Philippines. Give everything you got, he said. His wards responded with a dramatic win that catapulted the Lady Chiefs into the semifinals Saturday in Group B of the inaugural Premier Volleyball League Collegiate Conference at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan. Huffing and puffing after an extended fourth set, the reigning NCAA titlists pushed themselves to the limit to topple one of UAAP’s top contenders. “Sinabi ko lang sa mga players ko na huwag ng magtipid at ibigay na ang dapat na ibigay,” said Javier, who was just coming off an operation to remove his gallstones two weeks ago. The Lady Chiefs came out firing on all cylinders and buried the Lady Maroons early to escape with a 22-25, 25-10, 25-19, 32-34, 15-3, win and a ticket to the best-of-three Final Four together with Adamson University. Jovielyn Prado and Regine Arocha exploded with 20-plus scoring outbursts to lead two more Arellano players in double figures while setter Rhea Ramirez had a superb 55-excellent set outing to welcome Javier back with an all-important victory. Javier was glad to see his team showing the kind of fighting spirit that brought them to the NCAA throne. “Kanina sa huddle namin sa dugout, sinabi ko na i-treat nila ang game na ito as a championship at pinaka-last na game na ng buhay nila. Kaya talagang ibigay na ang dapat ibigay. Wala ng relax-relax,” he said. “Sabi ko  naman na kung matatalo ayos lang kasi ang pag-join sa PVL puro gain ito sa aming lahat kasi bago ang team ko ngayon,” he added. “Malaking factor ang pag-join namin dito lalo na’t binigyan kami ng napakagandang laban ng UP, gagamitin namin yun para mas lalong umangat ang level ng performance ng team ko.” The Lady Chiefs will await their semis opponent in Group A. National University, Ateneo de Manila and Far Eastern University are still in contention for a semis slot in their bracket. Arellano U is the only NCAA team to advance in the semifinals, and Javier admitted that he loves that challenge of carrying their collegiate league’s pride.  “Paghahandaan namin (ang semis). Lalo ngayon na siguradong dalawang UAAP teams ang makakapasok sa kabila tapos dalawa kami ng Adamson,” he said. “Kung sino ang matatapat sa amin panibagong challenge na naman ito. Kami naman kapag may dumating na hamon, laban lang ng laban.”   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 30th, 2017

CSB beats Arellano on penalties to end NCAA men s football title drought

College of Saint Benilde once again bested Arellano University on penalties, 3-2, Wednesday evening at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium to win the NCAA Season 93 Men's Football Championship.  Riding the momentum from their match two win, CSB struck first, with Miguel Artillera scoring in the 38th minute.  Roberto Corsame Jr. gave Arellano life in the second half, as he connected on an equalizer in the 49th minute.  As with their previous two finals meetings, the 90-minute regulation time wasn't enough to decide a winner, and for the third time in as many games, Saint Benilde and Arellano went to extra time.  With fatigue kicking in, the additional thirty minutes saw no conversions from either side, and once again, a penalty shootout was needed.  In the shootout, Arellano got out to an early 2-1 lead, with Earl Laguerta's attempt getting denied by Arellano keeper Jericho Desalisa.  It would all go downhill for Arellano from there, as they would miss their next two attempts, allowing CSB to take the driver's seat and lead 3 to 2 following Major Dean Ebarle's attempt.  The make-or-break attempt for Arellano went to Corsame, and with a chance to keep the Chiefs afloat, fired his shot but was denied by Blazers keeper Jake Vicen to seal the win.  For the first time since the 2009-2010 NCAA season, the CSB Blazers are once again kings of NCAA football.  They secure just their third men's football title in school history. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 17th, 2018

Lee stars as Magnolia routs NLEX

MANILA, Philippines — Magnolia flashed its usual dominant form this time against the stacked NLEX side, scoring a wire-to-wire .....»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJan 14th, 2018

San Beda downs LSGH, moves closer to juniors football title repeat

Defending NCAA juniors football champions San Beda College used an early second-half blitz to come back and defeat CSB-LSGH, 2-1, Friday afternoon at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium. LSGH was getting the better chances early in the match, and came very close to getting a quick 1-0 lead after San Beda committed a foul inside the penalty box. Loyd Soco was tasked to take the Penalty Kick, but missed out on scoring after sending it straight to Red Cubs keeper Jessie Semblante’s mitts. The Greenies ended up getting on the board first anyway, after striker Vin Dela Cruz found the back of the net in the 33rd minute. It was all San Beda in the second half however, as the defending champs turned the match around in a matter of seven minutes. Jimmar Castillo scored the equalizer in the 47th minute, and then doubled up in the 54th minute to give the Red Cubs a 2-1 advantage. The Taft-based side pushed hard to pull even, but couldn’t manage an equalizer of their own as the Red Cubs held on for the win. San Beda finds themselves one game away from back-to-back juniors titles, while LSGH will look to even things up. Match two takes place on Monday, January 15th, at 4:00 PM, also at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 12th, 2018

Gumabao announces official transfer to Creamline

Michele Gumabao officially announced her commitment with Creamline on her Instagram post Thursday evening.   2018 just got a whole lot sweeter ♥️ playing for Creamline Cool Smashers, plus reunited with lil mg once again! Happy New Year everybody!!! @gohingmelissa @coolsmashers_ A post shared by Michele Gumabao (@gumabaomichele) on Jan 11, 2018 at 4:41am PST The opposite spiker’s post came hours after the Rebisco franchise revealed on their Facebook page the addition of Gumabao and another De La Salle University product libero Melissa Gohing as the Cool Smashers shore up their roster to capture the elusive Premier Volleyball League crown. This will mark the return of Gumabao, a three-time UAAP champion, to the Sports Vision-organized volleyball league after bolting out of Pocari Sweat following the Lady Warriors’ victorious campaign in the V-League that saw them capture the Open and Reinforced conferences back in 2016. She transferred to Cocolife in the Philippine Superliga the following year before deciding to return in the PVL under the Creamline banner. Gumabao, who is also a 2018 Binibining Pilipinas aspirant, joined a stacked Cool Smashers lineup where she will team up for the first time in a commercial squad with Alyssa Valdez and Jia Morado. Creamline settled for bronze medal finishes in the Open and Reinforced conferences of PVL's inaugural season last year. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 11th, 2018

Arellano U out to extend win streak to 3, hold of solo lead

Games Friday: (FilOil Flying V Centre, San Juan) 8:00 a.m. –- AU vs Letran (jrs) 9:30 a.m. -- AU vs. Letran (m) 11:00 a.m. –- AU vs. Letran (w) 12:30 p.m. -- EAC vs. JRU (w) 2:00 p.m. -- EAC vs. JRU (m)   Repeat-seeking Arellano University guns for a hold of the solo lead against Letran in the 93rd NCAA women’s volleyball competition at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan on Friday. The duel will start at 11:00 a.m. to be followed by the showdown between Jose Rizal University and winless Emilio Aguinaldo College. The Lady Chiefs share the early lead with San Beda College and College of St. Benilde after two outings. Arellano U swept the EAC Lady Generals, 25-19, 25-12, 25-11, last Sunday for its second win this season and 14th straight victory since Season 92. Transferee Necole Ebuen finished with 15 points against the Lady Generals and is expected to deliver the same firepower when she faces her former school. Ebuen was with Letran’s Team B last year before deciding to transfer to the Legarda-based squad. Aside from Ebue, head coach Obet Javier will also bank on his veteran crew led by Jovielyn Prado, Regine Arocha, Mary Anne Esguerra and Andrea Marzan. The Lady Knights is coming off a morale-boosting 25-22, 25-17, 25-19, win over hapless Mapua University Lady Cardinals last Monday for a 1-1 win-loss slate tied with San Sebastian College, University of Perpetual Help and the Lady Bombers. Meanwhile, JRU shoots for its second straight win to move up the standings. Shola Alvarez finished with career-high 28 points in the Lady Bombers’ historic 27-25, 25-23, 22-25, 16-25, 15-12, victory over SSC-R last Monday. The Lady Generals are still looking for their first win. EAC is winless in two games alongside Mapua and Lyceum of the Philippines University.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 11th, 2018

Perpetual, San Beda dispute share of early lead

Games Thursday: (FilOil Flying V Centre, San Juan) 8:00 a.m. – LPU vs CSB (jrs) 9:30 a.m. -- LPU vs. CSB (m) 11:00 a.m. –- LPU vs. CSB (w) 12:30 p.m. -- Perpetual vs. San Beda (w) 2:00 p.m. -- Perpetual vs. San Beda (m) 3:30 p.m. –- Perpetual vs. San Beda (jrs)   University of Perpetual Help and San Beda College clash for a share of the lead in the 93rd NCAA women’s volleyball tournament at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan Thursday. Coming off contrasting seasoning-opening victories in their respective debuts, the Lady Altas and Lady Red Spikers look to join defending champion Arellano University (2-0) on top of the standings. Game time is at 12:30 p.m. after the 11:00 a.m. match between College of St. Benilde and Lyceum of the Philippines University. Perpetual, which is looking to make a comeback in the Final Four after falling short last year, drubbed LPU, 25-21, 25-17, 25-22, Sunday with fourth year player Lourdes Clemente tallying 14 points to lead the Lady Altas. Cindy Imbo and Bianca Tripoli added 13 and 10 markers each for the Las Pinas-based squad.    “Sa susunod na game namin, kung ano ‘yung na-showcase na talent ng mga players ngayon sa first game, siguro pagdating sa second game mas magiging iba kami sa kung paano namin pinaghandaan ang first game namin,” said Perpetual coach Macky Carino. “Mas lalong mataas ang desire naming manalo.” The Lady Red Spikers, on the other hand, needed to comeback from a 2-1 match deficit to escape Jose Rizal University’s upset attempt, 23-25, 25-19, 13-25, 25-19, 15-9, last Friday. San Beda will bank on Cesca Racraquin, Sattriani Espiritu and Viray sisters Nieza and Jiezela. CSB is also eyeing to join the Lady Chiefs at the lead. The Season 91 champions Lady Blazers made short work of Letran, 25-22, 25-11, 25-20, last Friday. Veterans Ranya Musa and Rachel Austero and new recruits Marites Pablo and Klarissa Abriam will carry the fight for the Arnold Laniog-mentored squad against the Lady Pirates led by Christine Miralles, Bien Juanillo and Monica Sevilla. In men’s play, the repeat-seeking Blazers and Season 91 champion Altas face separate foes as they shoot for a share of the lead with the Chiefs. Perpetual takes on the Lions, who also won in their opening day assignment, at 2:00 p.m. while the Blazers square off with the Pirates at 9:00 a.m.   ---        Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 10th, 2018

Let Sisi Rondina give you 10 explosive reasons to get hyped for UAAP 80

UST hitter Cherry "Sisi" Rondina has a Herculean task ahead of her in the upcoming UAAP season 80 women's volleyball tournament. Aside from having the responsibility to lead a relatively young, yet hardened Golden Tigress squad to the wars, she'll have to do it without running mate EJ Laure who was sidelined due to a lingering shoulder injury. With one half of the Espana hitters gone, Rondina's workload will be doubled.  Last season, the two spikers both placed high on the scoring list, with Laure finishing 3rd (192 points), and Sisi immediately behind at 4th (191 points). Still, it's not all bad for UST, because it means more room for the other Tigresses to develop, and of course, more touches for the incoming fourth-year player Rondina. As one of the most electrifying scorers in the league, the diminutive 5'6" hitter stands tall every time she takes off for a kill, and with an increased number of touches, Rondina can wreak havoc on the court. Ahead of season 80, let's take a look back at the Cherry Bomb's 10 most explosive hits from last season. UST hitter Sisi Rondina cherry-bombed her way to 191 points this season! Here are 10 of her most explosive hits in #UAAPSeason79! 🍒💣 pic.twitter.com/TlTGf0OueV — ABS-CBN Sports (@abscbnsports) April 21, 2017.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 9th, 2018

Curry goes off again, Warriors top Nuggets for 5th straight

By Janie McCauley, Associated Press OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - Stephen Curry scored 32 points and dished out nine assists in another superb performance during his sensational recent stretch, and the Golden State Warriors beat the Nuggets 124-114 on Monday night (Tuesday, PHL time) to avenge an ugly home loss to Denver in late December. Nikola Jokic had his first triple-double of the season with 22 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists as four players scored 20 points or more for the Nuggets, who were coming off a 106-98 loss at Sacramento on Saturday (Sunday, PHL time). Klay Thompson scored 19 on his bobbblehead night while Draymond Green added a season-high 23 points and 10 assists in the defending NBA champions' fifth straight victory on a night when Kevin Durant sat out his third consecutive game with a strained right calf. In his 12th 30-point game of the season, Curry hit a long three-pointer with 56.1 seconds left in the third and the Warriors led 93-81 going into the final quarter after the Nuggets had fought back to tie it midway through the period. The two-time MVP has scored 29 or more points in seven straight games. In four games before Monday (Tuesday, PHL time), he was averaging 36 points, six rebounds, 4.8 assists and 1.3 steals in 31.8 minutes since returning from an 11-game absence with a sprained right ankle. The Western Conference Player of the Week for last week, Curry strained his left knee in the first half, headed to the locker room to have it taped and then returned. Golden State's David West contributed 10 points, scoring in double figures for a third straight game to go with six rebounds and four assists while becoming the 127th player in NBA history to play in 1,000 regular-season games. Thompson made his initial four shots and Green scored eight quick points, connecting on his first three field goal attempts. He dished out five assists as Golden State raced ahead 27-20 -- a far cry from the Warriors' previous performance in a 96-81 loss to Denver at Oracle Arena on Dec. 23 (Dec. 24, PHL time). The Warriors shot 3-for-27 in that game from three-point range but topped that with four three's in the first quarter Monday (Tuesday, PHL time) and finished 13-for-30 from deep. Thompson's three-pointer with 4:10 left in the third made it 78-71 after Denver had tied the game 89-all at the 6:57 mark of the period. The Nuggets held the Warriors to a season-low scoring performance here last time that snapped their 11-game winning streak. Golden State has won 7-of-8 since. Denver got 22 points from Gary Harris, and 21 apiece from Jamal Murray and Trey Lyles. DURANT UPDATE Kerr said Durant "didn't feel quite right" after going through shootaround earlier in the day. "We're all on the same page that until he feels right, he's not going to play," Kerr said. "Hopefully the next couple of days he'll clear that hurdle and be ready to go." GREEN FINED Green was fined $25,000 by the NBA for publicly criticizing the league's officiating in comments after Golden State's 121-105 win against the Clippers on Saturday (Sunday, PHL time). CURRY THE OWNER? Curry has people helping him explore options to buy into the NFL's Carolina Panthers. Jerry Richardson announced he plans to sell the franchise while he is under investigation for sexual and racial misconduct in the workplace. "It's a pretty interesting opportunity," Curry said after Monday's (Tuesday, PHL time) shootaround. "I've had conversations with plenty of people about the right way to go about it and kind of the different approaches I could personally take. Obviously I have a day job, but I've got people that are plugged in and trying to see how to make that happen. I've had nothing really to say about it besides that I'm very interested and very willing to do what it takes to make that happen." TIP-INS Nuggets: Denver limited its turnovers to 11 after committing a season-high 26 at Sacramento two days earlier that led to 40 Kings points. ... Denver is 3-11 on the road vs. Western Conference teams. Warriors: Andre Iguodala hit his first three-pointer in nine games he's played since Dec. 18 (Dec. 19, PHL time), snapping an 0-for-12 funk from deep when he made one in the first. ... Golden State rookie Jordan Bell took a hard fall in the second quarter and moved gingerly afterward. ... Newly crowned U.S. figure skating national champion and Olympian Nathan Chen attended the game, watched Curry's warmup, and was set to meet him afterward. UP NEXT Nuggets: Host the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time). Warriors: Host the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time) seeking a 13th consecutive victory in the rivalry......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 9th, 2018

SSC-R Lady Stags gun for a share of lead

Games Monday: (FilOil Flying V Centre, San Juan) 9:30 a.m. -- Letran vs. Mapua (m) 11:00 a.m. –- Letran vs. Mapua (w) 12:30 p.m. -- JRU vs. SSC-R (w) 2:00 p.m. -- JRU vs SSC-R (m)   San Sebastian College looks to join defending champion Arellano University on top of the standings in a clash with Jose Rizal University Monday in the 93rd NCAA women’s volleyball competition at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan. Game time is at 12:30 p.m. after the 11:00 a.m. tussle between Mapua University and Letran. The Lady Stags hurdled Emilio Aguinaldo College Lady Generals in straight sets 25-16, 25-19, 25-16, despite fielding only seven players in a short nine-woman roster. SSC-R is in a four-team logjam with other opening day winners University of Perpetual Help, College of St. Benilde and San Beda College behind the Lady Chiefs, who sport a 2-0 win-loss slate. Veterans Joyce Sta. Rita, Dangie Encarnacion, Nikka Dalisay and Daurene Santos all scored 13 points each in the Lady Stags debut. Despite starting their campaign on a sour note, the Lady Bombers gave San Beda, considered as one of the top Final Four contenders, quite a scare last Friday. JRU showed grit in a 25-23, 19-25, 25-13, 19-25, 9-15, loss to the Lady Red Spikers. The Lady Bombers will pin their hopes on Dolly Versoza and Shola Alvarez, who scored 18 and 17, respectively, to collect their first win. Meanwhile, the Lady Cardinals and Lady Knights collide to bounce back fro their respective opening day setbacks. Mapua dropped its 10th straight defeat since last season with a 10-25, 17-25, 13-25, loss to Arellano U while Letran tasted a 22-25, 11-25, 20-25, beating at the hands of CSB Friday.   ---       Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 7th, 2018

Ebuen catches fire in Arellano U s second straight win

Games Monday: (FilOil Flying V Centre, San Juan) 9:30 a.m. -- Letran vs. Mapua (jrs) 11 a.m. –- Letran vs. Mapua (w) 12:30 p.m. -- JRU vs. SSC-R (w) 2:00 p.m. -- JRU vs SSC-R (m)   Rookie Necole Ebuen waxed-hot as she led the repeat-seeking Arellano University to a 25-19, 25-12, 25-11, demolition of Emilio Aguinaldo College for the solo lead Sunday in the 93rd NCAA women’s volleyball competition at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan. The opposite hitter, who joined the Lady Chiefs last year after spending three months in Letran's Team B, finished with game-high 15 points anchored on 11 attacks, two aces and a kill block. “As much as possible talagang pinipilit kong itimbang ang iginagalaw ng team. Ayaw ko kasing umaasa sa iisang tao lang,” said Arellano U coach Obet Javier, who parades an almost intact championship core. Jovielyn Prado scored 12 points with all but one coming off kills while Regine Arocha and Andrea Marzan combined for 12 markers for the Legarda-based squad, which stretched its winning streak to 14 straight since last season. Javier again sat out ace playmaker Rhea Ramirez (sore shoulder). Setter Sarah Verutiao, a transferee from University of Sto. Tomas, continued with her superb performance after tallying 32 excellent sets. The Lady Chiefs needed some time to heat up after a sluggish start in the opening set but were unstoppable in the next two frames as Arellano rained down 41 attack points and committing only 13 errors the whole match. EAC absorbed its second straight defeat in as many outings. Aira Binondo got eight points while Yvette Tongco finished with five for the Lady Generals.   --- Follow  this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 7th, 2018

Falcons show playoff poise in 26-13 win over upstart LA Rams

By Greg Beacham, Associated Press LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Atlanta Falcons jumped to an early 13-point lead before the Rams mounted two swift scoring drives. Los Angeles went to the Coliseum locker room at halftime with just a three-point deficit amid raucous cheers from a home crowd thirsty for playoff success. And then Matt Ryan and the tough, tested Falcons showed the upstart Rams what postseason poise is all about. Ryan passed for 218 yards and hit Julio Jones for an 8-yard touchdown with 5:48 to play, and the defending NFC champion Falcons advanced from the wild-card round with a 26-13 victory over the Rams on Saturday night. Devonta Freeman rushed for an early score and Matt Bryant kicked four field goals for the Falcons (11-6), who spoiled the Rams' first playoff game in 13 years with a methodical performance derived from hard-earned experience. Atlanta's journey to the Super Bowl last season ended infamously with that blown 28-3 lead against New England. In their first playoff game since, the Falcons allowed no surprises from the NFC West champion Rams (11-6). "We knew it was a situation we've been through before," Atlanta defensive tackle Dontari Poe said. "We just had to keep playing and use what we've learned." Jones caught nine passes for 94 yards for Atlanta, which never trailed while winning playoff games in consecutive seasons for the first time in franchise history. Against an opponent that had just six players on its roster with prior postseason appearances, the Falcons' experience showed through. "I think having gone through these situations, understanding what it's like, the atmosphere, those kinds of things, knowing that it's going to be tough, all those things kind of carry forward," Ryan said. "But at the end of the day, experience or no experience, you've got to execute." The Falcons advanced to face the top-seeded Eagles on Jan. 13 in Philadelphia. "Doesn't matter where we're going, we're going," Ryan said. "And that's the most exciting part." A raucous crowd of 74,300 packed the Coliseum on a crisp evening for the first NFL playoff game in the nation's second-largest city since early 1994. Los Angeles went 21 years without pro football before the Rams returned last season, and the franchise emphatically ended a 13-year streak of non-winning seasons this fall with an inspiring run to the Rams' first division title since 2003. But the Falcons have been here before, and they showed it. The Falcons jumped to their early lead by capitalizing on two mistakes by Pharoh Cooper, the Rams' Pro Bowl kick returner. Atlanta's offense then chewed up the clock and field position, with the first drive after halftime consuming 8:15. "To end with a time of possession over 37 minutes, that's hard to do in our league," Atlanta coach Dan Quinn said. "There was a nine-minute drive to start the second half, and I thought that really set the tone." The Falcons' defense did more than enough to slow down the NFL's highest-scoring offense, harassing Jared Goff into a 24-for-45 performance in his playoff debut. "They did a real nice job there moving the ball up the field and keeping us on the sideline," Goff said. "That can sure get you out of your rhythm." Robert Woods caught nine passes for 142 yards for the Rams, but rookie Cooper Kupp scored their only touchdown late in the first half. Atlanta held MVP candidate Todd Gurley to 101 yards rushing — just 43 in the first three quarters — and four receptions for a mere 10 yards. The Falcons ruined a celebratory night for the Rams, who rebounded from a rough homecoming season in 2016 with an outstanding debut year under 31-year-old Sean McVay, the youngest head coach to reach the playoffs in NFL history. "You see why the Falcons are the defending NFC champs," McVay said. "Certainly this is a humbling game. ... This is an experience that we can learn from. But I don't think this game was too big for our guys." The Rams' offense finally figured it out late in the first half: Goff made several sharp throws on a 79-yard drive ending in Kupp's TD catch, and Sam Ficken's first field goal trimmed the halftime deficit to 13-10. But the Rams' defense simply couldn't get off the field in the third quarter, whether due to missed tackles or clever play-calling by the Falcons. Los Angeles trimmed the lead to 19-13 with 10:49 to play, but the Falcons made another drive highlighted by a beautiful 52-yard screen pass from a blitz-avoiding Bryant to Mohamed Sanu. Jones then caught the sixth playoff TD pass of his career. Goff drove the Rams deep into Falcons territory, but LA turned it over on down at the Atlanta 5 with 2:05 to play. The Falcons stopped the Rams again on downs at midfield with 1:08 left. SARK'S RETURN Although the Falcons' offense took a step back in production this season, Atlanta chipped away at the Rams' defense throughout the Coliseum return of offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian, who coached USC here until 2015. Ryan was methodical under relentless pressure from All-Pro lineman Aaron Donald, repeatedly avoiding trouble and making big throws. Freeman rushed for 66 yards, and Sanu had that key 52-yard gain on a screen pass. "Great call by Sark," Ryan said. COOPER'S MISTAKES Cooper is headed to the Pro Bowl after his outstanding regular season as a kick returner, but the second-year pro's misadventures in his playoff debut cost the Rams dearly. He muffed a punt that bounced off teammate Blake Countess in the first quarter, and Bryant subsequently hit the Falcons' first field goal. After Bryant's second field goal later in the quarter, Cooper got stripped by Damontae Kazee during a kickoff return at the Rams 32, and the Falcons drove for Freeman's short TD run. UP NEXT After the Falcons' defensive performance against Goff, they look like a potential problem for the powerful Eagles without quarterback Carson Wentz in the early Saturday divisional playoff game......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 7th, 2018

NCAA volleyball opens today

LOCAL collegiate volleyball action takes center stage beginning today with the start of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Season 93 women’s tournament. Defending champions Arellano University Lady Chiefs kick off their title defense, taking on the Mapua University Lady Cardinals in the main game set for 1:30 p.m. at the FilOil Flying V Centre […] The post NCAA volleyball opens today appeared first on BusinessWorld......»»

Category: financeSource:  bworldonlineRelated NewsJan 3rd, 2018

Arellano U jumpstarts repeat bid

Games Thursday: (FilOil Flying V Arena) 8:00 a.m. -- SSC-R vs EAC (jrs) 9:30 a.m. -- SSC-R vs EAC (m) 11 a.m. -- Opening Ceremony 12 noon -- SSC-R vs EAC (w) 1:30 p.m. -- AU vs MU (w) 3:00 p.m. -- AU vs MU (m)   Arellano University begins its repeat bid Thursday when the Lady Chiefs cross paths with Mapua University in the 93rd NCAA women’s volleyball tournament at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan. The reigning champion Lady Chiefs will parade an almost intact lineup and will have the advantage of firepower with their veterans against the Lady Cardinals, who went winless last season. Game time is at 1:30 p.m. after the San Sebastian College and Emilio Aguinaldo College tussle at 12:00 noon. The women’s games will air live on ABS-CBN S+A Channel 23, ABS-CBN S+A HD Channel 166 and via livestream. The opening ceremony is scheduled at 11:00 p.m. after the juniors game between SSC-R and EAC at 8:00 a.m. and their men’s teams’ showdown at 9:30 a.m. Arellano U closed Season 92 with 12 straight wins including the shocking Finals sweep against the thrice-to-beat and then Grethcel Soltones-led Lady Stags to claim its second title since winning it all back in Season 91. The Lady Chiefs lost Rialen Sante and libero Eunice Galang after they graduated last season but the Obet Javierp-mentored squad will still have a lethal crew with the return of Jovielyn Prado, Mary Anne Esguerra, seasoned setter Rhea Ramirez, Andrea Marza and Regine Arocha. Arellano U will also try to ride the momentum of their breakthrough third place finish in the Premier Volleyball League Collegiate Conference a couple of months back to open its title-retention bid on a high note. While the Lady Chiefs are enjoying the luxury of a solid lineup, SSC-R is looking at a rough road ahead after the departure of three-time Most Valuable Player Soltones and another veteran Kat Villegas. The Lady Stags have the shortest rotation in the field with only nine players. Head coach Roger Gorayeb will rely heavily on his veteran holdovers Joyce Sta. Rita, libero Alyssa Eroa, Vira Guillema and Nikka Dalisay to carry the fight for the Lady Stags.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 3rd, 2018