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PVL Finals By The Numbers: Atin ‘To

The University of the Philippines Lady Fighting Maroons made history on a rainy Wednesday evening after capturing their first major title since 1982. The Diliman-based squad survived a wild match and Finals series against a hobbled yet determined Far Eastern University squad to clinch the Premier Volleyball League season 2 Collegiate Conference championship. While the title showdown was epic in itself, the Lady Maroons’ journey to supremacy, and the numbers behind it will speak about their long, hard road to ending an extended drought. As the Diliman volleybelles celebrate their hard-earned title, let’s take a look at some interesting statistics from their championship run. 0-3 The Lady Maroons’ record against UAAP teams in the elimination round. UP was always on the brink of getting kicked off the Final Four race after failing to beat any of its fellow UAAP-based squads. All of their wins came at the expense of NCAA teams, but they were just enough to lift them to the semis, where they eventually showed what the Utak-Puso spirit is all about. 10  Number of sets played in the Finals. UP’s run to the title was nothing short of astounding. All two matches went the distance, and then some. Standing toe-to-toe against FEU, a squad that flee under the radar, all the way to the Finals of the UAAP season 80 volleyball tournament, the Lady Maroons fought tooth-and-nail to the very last point. In the series opener, UP climbed back from down two sets to steal the advantage from the George Pascua-led Lady Tamaraws. In the second game, UP came oh so close to surrendering their two-set advantage after a meltdown of epic proportions caused by FEU’s proven spirit. But the Lady Maroons somehow survived.  8-0 UP’s opening lead in the third set. FEU was in shambles after the Lady Maroons flew to a 2-0 match lead in Game 2. In the third, and what many believed was the final set, UP zoomed to a commanding 8-0 advantage, prompting fans in the arena to already start celebrating. UP fans starting to feel it 👀 #PVLonABSCBN pic.twitter.com/2k0MbNaNLk — ABS-CBN Sports (@abscbnsports) September 12, 2018 But Coach Pascua pleaded to the Lady Tams during a timeout to continue fighting. And they did, eventually erasing UP’s lead late in the set to stay alive. Rejuvenated by that enthralling comeback in Set 3, FEU claimed the fourth frame, and then took a commanding lead in the final set to make the hopes of a rubber match for all the marbles possible. 13-7 FEU’s lead in the fifth and final set. Stunned after giving up two sets, UP was at the wrong end of a historic comeback. Now facing a six-point deficit in a deciding point in the series, UP unloaded a spirited 8-0 run to once again stun FEU, and to snap a 36-year drought for UP volleyball. 6  Combined points for Finals MVP Isa Molde and team captain Ayel Estrañero in that final 8-0 burst. 🏆 Moment for the UP Lady Fighting Maroons!!! #PVLonABSCBN pic.twitter.com/91vPP5TsCG — ABS-CBN Sports (@abscbnsports) September 12, 2018 Once again, the Lady Maroons’ veterans came through. After willing the squad through the Final Four and the Finals, it was Molde who led the fightback with emphatic hits before Estrañero‘s steady serve clinched the championship. 19 Isa Molde’s scoring average in the Finals. MVP ✅ Finals MVP ✅@IsaMolde10, everyone 👏 #PVLonABSCBN pic.twitter.com/EZnfeo6jjD — ABS-CBN Sports (@abscbnsports) September 12, 2018 With everything on the line, UP’s golden girl stepped it up. After earning the MVP award after norming 15.14 points in the elimination round, Molde came through in the championship series, dropping 16 and 22 points respectively to finally deliver a long-awaited volleyball title to Diliman......»»

Category: sportsSource: abscbn abscbnSep 13th, 2018

UAAP: Paul Desiderio, the captain who brought UP back to the Final Four

In University of the Philippines' historic Final Four-clinching victory, Paul Desiderio was lit. Atin ‘To Papasok ‘To pic.twitter.com/LhhwhQGX4M — Mico Halili (@micohalili) November 14, 2018 👀 #AtinToPapasokTo pic.twitter.com/kwwtVFjMce — ABS-CBN Sports (@abscbnsports) November 14, 2018 Funny to think that months before UAAP Season 81, UP almost didn't have this man. After Desiderio's spectacular Season 80 filled with buzzer-beaters and iconic mantras, the temptation of foregoing his fifth year and immediately entering the professional ranks was strong. But then, he sacrificed his good numbers and decided to go for his one last #UPFight. "Nag-sacrifice ako noon sa last year ko. Yun nga pinagisipan ko kung babalik ako o hinde. My personal goal, sinakripisyo ko para sa team," he said referring to his lifelong PBA dream. "Pero worth it naman. Kaya sobrang saya," Desiderio said moments after their 97-81 victory over De La Salle University. The road to Final Four of UP was not a smooth ride. Their first round campaign which ended at a 3-4 slate casted doubts on their chances. "Mayroong doubts din noon, pero yun nga, dapat labanan namin ngayon," said the Cebuano standout. But as the season progressed, the Fighting Maroons peaked. It was a spectacular sight for Desiderio. They were crushing a Final Four contender. Their supporters were abounding. The chants were deafening. During the dying moments of the match, Desiderio can't help but rush to his mentor Coach Bo Perasol. With a huge smile on his face, he hugged Perasol so tightly. "Coach Bo parang tatay ko yan. May times nga na nagaaway kami, di naman nag aaway pero di kami nagkakaintindihan tapos may times na kalagitnaan ng season lagi kami nagusap anong gagawin namin so yun, naging successful yung plano namin," he said. From being part of the team as early as the winless days of Season 76, Desiderio is now the captain of the third-seeded team in Season 81. "Syempre napakasarap na start ako ng 0-14, tapos ngayon Final Four may chance pa mag Finals. May chance pang mag champion kung ganun, so buhay pa kami. Buhay pa ang UP," he said. Truly, Desiderio's decision to stay for UP is worth it. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @the9cruz.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 14th, 2018

PVL Finals By The Numbers: Atin ‘To

The University of the Philippines Lady Fighting Maroons made history on a rainy Wednesday evening after capturing their first major title since 1982. The Diliman-based squad survived a wild match and Finals series against a hobbled yet determined Far Eastern University squad to clinch the Premier Volleyball League season 2 Collegiate Conference championship. While the title showdown was epic in itself, the Lady Maroons’ journey to supremacy, and the numbers behind it will speak about their long, hard road to ending an extended drought. As the Diliman volleybelles celebrate their hard-earned title, let’s take a look at some interesting statistics from their championship run. 0-3 The Lady Maroons’ record against UAAP teams in the elimination round. UP was always on the brink of getting kicked off the Final Four race after failing to beat any of its fellow UAAP-based squads. All of their wins came at the expense of NCAA teams, but they were just enough to lift them to the semis, where they eventually showed what the Utak-Puso spirit is all about. 10  Number of sets played in the Finals. UP’s run to the title was nothing short of astounding. All two matches went the distance, and then some. Standing toe-to-toe against FEU, a squad that flee under the radar, all the way to the Finals of the UAAP season 80 volleyball tournament, the Lady Maroons fought tooth-and-nail to the very last point. In the series opener, UP climbed back from down two sets to steal the advantage from the George Pascua-led Lady Tamaraws. In the second game, UP came oh so close to surrendering their two-set advantage after a meltdown of epic proportions caused by FEU’s proven spirit. But the Lady Maroons somehow survived.  8-0 UP’s opening lead in the third set. FEU was in shambles after the Lady Maroons flew to a 2-0 match lead in Game 2. In the third, and what many believed was the final set, UP zoomed to a commanding 8-0 advantage, prompting fans in the arena to already start celebrating. UP fans starting to feel it 👀 #PVLonABSCBN pic.twitter.com/2k0MbNaNLk — ABS-CBN Sports (@abscbnsports) September 12, 2018 But Coach Pascua pleaded to the Lady Tams during a timeout to continue fighting. And they did, eventually erasing UP’s lead late in the set to stay alive. Rejuvenated by that enthralling comeback in Set 3, FEU claimed the fourth frame, and then took a commanding lead in the final set to make the hopes of a rubber match for all the marbles possible. 13-7 FEU’s lead in the fifth and final set. Stunned after giving up two sets, UP was at the wrong end of a historic comeback. Now facing a six-point deficit in a deciding point in the series, UP unloaded a spirited 8-0 run to once again stun FEU, and to snap a 36-year drought for UP volleyball. 6  Combined points for Finals MVP Isa Molde and team captain Ayel Estrañero in that final 8-0 burst. 🏆 Moment for the UP Lady Fighting Maroons!!! #PVLonABSCBN pic.twitter.com/91vPP5TsCG — ABS-CBN Sports (@abscbnsports) September 12, 2018 Once again, the Lady Maroons’ veterans came through. After willing the squad through the Final Four and the Finals, it was Molde who led the fightback with emphatic hits before Estrañero‘s steady serve clinched the championship. 19 Isa Molde’s scoring average in the Finals. MVP ✅ Finals MVP ✅@IsaMolde10, everyone 👏 #PVLonABSCBN pic.twitter.com/EZnfeo6jjD — ABS-CBN Sports (@abscbnsports) September 12, 2018 With everything on the line, UP’s golden girl stepped it up. After earning the MVP award after norming 15.14 points in the elimination round, Molde came through in the championship series, dropping 16 and 22 points respectively to finally deliver a long-awaited volleyball title to Diliman......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 13th, 2018

NCAA Season 94: Pakiramdam namin ayaw na lumaban ng Perpetual -- Ebuen

Arellano University surrendered the opening set of the Finals best-of-three series decider to University of Perpetual Help, but the calm and composed Lady Chiefs knew that their championship experience would come into play when push came to shove. The next three sets proved that as the Lady Chiefs flexed their muscles to silence the feisty Lady Altas, 22-25, 25-15, 25-18, 25-18, Tuesday to complete their grand slam bid in the NCAA Season 94 women’s volleyball competition at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.    Arellano U bagged its third straight title and fourth overall crown in the last five seasons at the expense of the last team to score a three-peat.   “Pakiramdam po namin kanina, sabi po namin ayaw na lumaban ng Perpetual,” said Season Most Valuable Player Necole Ebuen, who punished the defense of the Lady Altas with 11 points all coming off attacks. Arellano U, just like in their four-set win in Game 2 that forced the rubber match, squandered a 14-7 lead to yield the opening frame. The Lady Chiefs were quick to adjust and bounced back mightily in the next three frames, dropping the hammer early to stun the Lady Altas.    Arellano U successfully shut down Perpetual’s main scorer Cindy Imbo as the Lady Altas crumbled under pressure witnessed by a jam-packed crowd. “Siyempre po ‘yung key player nila na si Imbo parang naba-block na rin po, napipigilan na rin po siya kanina,” added Ebuen. “Parang sabi po namin i-grab na po namin yung opportunity na hindi na sila lumalaban. Sabi namin magtuluy-tuloy lang tayo. Tayo ang mananalo.”     The Lady Chiefs smelled blood as early as the second set and when they saw the Lady Chiefs in disarray they knew they already got the crown in the bag. “Sinabi namin noong nag-usap po kami, sabi namin na ‘Ibinibigay na sa atin, heto na kunin na natin,’” said back-to-back Finals MVP Regine Arocha, who fired 16 points and 11 digs. “Tapos noong nakakalamang na kami gaya ng sinabi ng mga coaches po namin na ‘Kapag nakita nyo ng nakadapa wag nyo ng patayuin pa. Tapakan n’yo pa para ‘di na makabangon pa,” she added. This the Lady Chiefs did and the rest is history.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 12th, 2019

UAAP Season 81: Atin ‘to. Amin ‘to

Ayel Estranero and Tots Carlos knew they’re in for a tough challenge when University of the Philippines men’s basketball team star Paul Desiderio nailed the game-winning jumper in the Final Four against the twice-to-beat Adamson University. That was UP basketball’s ‘Atin ‘to’ moment. Right after the final buzzer sounded that signaled UP’s first Finals appearance in the UAAP’s first semester centerpiece event after 32 years, the Lady Maroons already felt the pressure of high expectations when it’s their time to march inside the court and carry the State University’s pride in women’s volleyball.       “Their journey is totally inspiring,” said Estranero, who is in her fifth and last playing year, of the Fighting Maroons’ runner-up finish in the cagefest. “Pero ‘yun nga noong naka-Finals sila ang sabi namin, “Ay, patay! Magi-expect din ang mga tao this volleyball season naman,’” the setter added. Carlos shared the same sentiment. “’Yun nga ang mga success ng UP motivation sa amin pero at the same time pressure talaga,” said Carlos, who with Isa Molde are expected to deliver the goods for the Godfrey Okumu-mentored squad. “Lagi lang namin nire-remind ang mga tao, sabi nila ‘O basketball tapos na, volleyball naman.’ ‘Yun minsan napag-uusapan namin. Minsan nagti-team talk kami na ‘wag namin isipin ‘yun, isipin namin ang ilalaro namin this season. ‘Wag naming i-cut short to the result of the season. One game at a time.” The UP faithful have all the right to expect high especially with the Lady Maroons making waves of their own during the pre-season. UP reigned supreme in the Premier Volleyball League Collegiate Conference and Philippine Superliga Collegiate Grand Slam. Those twin crowns were UP’s first major titles after ruling the UAAP 36 years ago.  “Of course, it affects how people want us to perform. People also dream big for us. Of course, they’re dreaming for us to be in the Finals and win the championship especially we won two championships in the offseason,” said Estranero. “So high expectations from other people, high expectations from the team but I guess we just have to trust the process and take it game by game.” The playmaker could only hope that the lessons they learned in the offseason will carry them to greater heights in the UAAP.  “I can say that the offseason din naman was a big help in terms of learning how to win and in terms of developing our skills individually but it wasn’t something that will actually define UAAP. Coming into this season it’s a new start for all of us,” she said. “We’re more confident. There’s more pressure but there’s a lot of hope and passion to win a championship,” said Estranero. Now, it's the Lady Maroons’ time to create their own ‘Atin ‘to’ moment.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 11th, 2019

PBA: Bragging rights go to Mocon after first faceoff with Bolick

Lion pride was front and center on Friday at the MOA Arena as Javee Mocon and Robert Bolick went at it for the first time in the PBA. “Ang weird e, weird feeling,” Mocon told reporters afterward. “(Dati), every game, lagi kaming nagtutulungan tapos ngayon, bakbakan na sa loob. It’s all business na talaga when we’re on the court.” The two were the pillars in San Beda University’s three-peat in the NCAA from 2016 to 2018. Now, they find themselves on opposite sides with Bolick reppin’ NorthPort and Mocon suiting up for Rain or Shine. In their first faceoff, Bolick had the better numbers with nine points, six assists, and two rebounds. For his part, Mocon put up two markers, two boards, and a dime. The mark on the win column, however, went to Mocon and the Elasto Painters. For that, Bolick, competitive as always, was not one to reminisce about their good ol’ days as Red Lions. Asked how it felt to go up against Mocon for the first time, he answered, “Wala. Walang feeling kasi talo.” It should be remembered that Bolick is one of the most competitive players out there. When Lyceum of the Philippines University won each and every game in the elimination round in 2017, including two against San Beda, he put it upon himself to make sure they got back at them in the Finals. Even more, he never forgot that his school lost the championship to archrival Colegio de San Juan de Letran back in 2015 – and he was still undergoing residency then. That is exactly why Mocon only understood that his good friend was not in the best of moods after the loss. “Competitive kami parehas. We’re both competitors. Alam ko siya will go all-out and ako rin naman,” he said. He then continued, “Kahit sikuhin ko siya kanina o sikuhin niya ako, wala lang yun.” However, being close pals, Bolick should expect a little something from Mocon sooner than later. “Icha-chat ko siya mamaya. Aasarin ko,” the latter shared through chuckles. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 8th, 2019

PBA: Castro’s takeover vs. SMB earns him Player of the Week

Following back-to-back losses to start the season, veteran combo guard Jayson Castro took it upon himself to take the lead, resulting to TNT’s two straight victories and a Cignal-PBA Press Corps Player of the Week to boot in the 2019 PBA Philippine Cup. Nicknamed the “Blur”, Castro averaged 16.5 points, 4.0 rebounds, 6.5 assists and 2.5 steals for the period of January 21-27 to lead the resurgent TNT to victories over sister team NLEX and four-time Philippine Cup champion San Miguel Beer. Castro actually had a rough night versus NLEX last January 23, hitting just 1-of-9 from the floor and turning the ball over five times in over 35 minutes of action. But the 32-year-old Castro showed why he’s the two-time Best Point Guard in Asia during the critical stage of the final quarter, feeding Roger Pogoy for a three-pointer, before following that up with two pressure-packed free throws to seal TNT’s first victory for the season. The many-time Gilas Pilipinas combo guard went on to finish with a stats line of nine points, three rebounds, two assists and a steal. Four days later, the four-time PBA Best Player of the Conference returned with a vengeance, registering all-around numbers of 24 points, 11 assists, five rebounds and four steals as the surging KaTropa knocked down the Beermen, 104-93 in a king-sized upset. The six-time PBA champion took over in the final quarter, dropping eight points and three key assists that turned a shaky six-point lead into a 104-89 bubble late in the game. Aside from pulling to an even 2-2 record in the standings, Castro’s leadership enabled TNT to end a long, nine-game losing streak to San Miguel dating back to Game 5 of the 2017 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals. Castro beat teammate Troy Rosario and Ryan Reyes, Rain or Shine’s Gabe Norwood and Mark Borboran, along with Phoenix forward Calvin Abueva, Jason Perkins and Matthew Wright for the weekly citation......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 28th, 2019

ATIN TO: Desiderio opens first-ever business in Fairview

Though he was not able to achieve his goal of giving UP a championship, Paul Desiderio was still able to fulfill his promise. With this, Chooks-to-Go still awarded Desiderio his very own branch that will be with him for the rest of his life. The ribbon-cutting ceremony was held after the taping of Desiderio's Maalaala Mo Kaya episode which aired on ABS-CBN on Saturday. "Sa tuwa ko at in behalf of the UP community, maluwag sa loob ko na ibigay kay Paul ang Chooks-to-Go store na ito," said Bounty Agro Ventures Inc. president Ronald Mascariñas. "Bukod sa kikitain niya sa PBA, ngayon may dagdag pa na puhunan ang kanyang pamilya." "Hindi ko ito ine-expect kasi ang sabi nila, magkaka-store ako kapag nanalo kami ng championship," expressed Desiderio. "Laking pasasalamat ko kay Boss Ronald at sa Chooks-to-Go dahil magiging malaking tulong ito sa family ko." Prior to the UAAP Season 81 Men's Basketball Finals, Mascariñas, who is an alumnus of University of the Philippines-Los Banos, dangled a Chooks-to-Go branch to Desiderio if he was to be able to lead the UP Fighting Maroons past the Ateneo Blue Eagles. Unfortunately for Desiderio, the Fighting Maroons were swept in the Finals. Still, Desiderio's journey from Liloan, Cebu to Diliman is a success story that continues to serve as an inspiration, not just to Iskos and Iskas, but also to every Filipino. "Nakita namin yung pangarap ni Paul sa basketball. Among the players, nakita namin na siya yung mas nangangailangan. Kaya kahit wala na yung support namin sa team, we continued supporting Paul," the sports patron added. "Nakita niyo naman nung Finals, hindi siya nag-give up. Lumaban siya para sa UP. And we hope that he can still continue to inspire others, especially the youth, even if he is in the pros." Desiderio chose an existing store in Fairview as it is near UP. "Hindi lang para sa akin itong store na ito, para ito sa UP. Atin 'to!" declared Desiderio......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 19th, 2019

NCAA Season 94 volleyball: Para sa pride natin ito, San Beda tayo -- Racraquin

Even before stepping inside the court of the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan Tuesday against defending two-time champion Arellano University, San Beda University was already in a difficult situation. Win or lose, the Lady Red Spikers were already locked in a handicapped spot at third seed whether the NCAA Season 94 women’s volleyball competition goes on a Final Four or a stepladder semis format. If San Beda wins there will be a Final Four and they will still face the twice-to-beat Lady Chiefs. If Arellano U prevails, the Lady Chiefs will need to win in the first phase of the stepladder semis for the right to take on College of St. Benilde for the last Finals seat. Either way, San Beda was at a disadvantage. “Sa totoo lang sa team namin parang napa-isip kami kung ano bang mas maganda? Pilitin namin manalo or bigay na lang namin ‘yung game kasi parang pareho lang naman,” said skipper Cesca Racraquin. The Lady Red Spikes chose to protect their pride. “Pero sabi namin, hindi, para sa atin din ‘to. Para sa pride natin ‘to, San Beda tayo e,” Racraquin said. San Beda snapped the Lady Chiefs’ eight-game winning streak with a hard-earned 16-25, 25-17, 25-19, 18-25, 16-14, victory that force a three-way tie at 8-1 win-loss record tied with its victim and CSB. The Lady Blazers end up as the top seeds in the Final Four by virtue of superior quotient. San Beda’s win didn’t change the fact that the Mendiola-based squad still need to beat the Lady Chiefs twice in the Final Four. But for the Lady Red Spikers, it was the morale-boost they need to have heading into the semis Tuesday. “Malaki sa amin ito kasi pampa-boost din ng morale para sa mga bata. Nakita namin na yung pinaghihirapan namin may resulta na maganda,” said San Beda coach Nemesio Gavino, whose squad won all of its three five-set games in the elims. The Lady Red Spikers recovered from a 0-3 hole in the fifth set and even took a 13-12 lead off a net touch by Arellano U opposite hitter Regine Arocha. Princess Bello tied it at 13 before Necole Ebuen scored on a crosscourt hit to put the Lady Chiefs at match point.      The Lady Red Spikers saved a match point off a block by Satrianni Espiritu on Ebuen for a 14-14 tie. Jeziela Viray scored on another kill block before Nieza Viray sealed the crucial Lady Red Spikers win with an off the block hit. CSB will face in the semis the winner between Jose Rizal University and University of Perpetual Help on Thursday.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 15th, 2019

Versatile Scottie Thompson aiming to be ‘more aggressive’ on offense

MANILA, Philippines---Scottie Thompson's path to superstardom was solidified when he was named the Finals MVP in the 2018 Commissioner's Cup after an already impressive first two seasons with Barangay Ginebra. The Gin Kings' young point guard then, further upped his trajectory when he was awarded as the league's Most Improved Player for the 2017-18 PBA season in the Leo Awards Sunday at Philippine Arena. Thompson, 25, averaged an all-around game with 9.1 points, 9.0 rebounds, 5.6 assists, and 1.4 steals the prior season and those numbers were a bump from his averages of 8.5 points, 7.8 rebounds, 4.4 assists, and 1.0 steals from 2016-17. With a couple of individual trophies u...Keep on reading: Versatile Scottie Thompson aiming to be ‘more aggressive’ on offense.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJan 14th, 2019

2018: The year of collegiate champions and people s champions

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

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 22nd, 2018

PVL: We drew inspiration from UP –- Bea De Leon

Ateneo-Motolite looked not too far for inspiration in its stirring Game 3 semifinals comeback win that brought them to the biggest stage of the Premier Volleyball League Season 2 Open Conference. The Lady Eagles just embraced the mantra of their Katipunan neighbor. Team captain Bea De Leon and her Ateneo-Motolite crew did their bluest version of the University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons’ battlecry to overcome a 0-2 match hole and string a number of saved match points to down veteran-laden BanKo, 21-25, 22-25, 25-17, 27-25, 21-19, Sunday at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan. “Actually, we drew inspiration from UP, ‘Atin To’. We just said talaga na if you believe it’s ours, it will be given, and true enough (it was given),” said De Leon, who scored 13 points, of their mindset in the series decider. The rousing victory gave Ateneo-Motolite the last best-of-three Finals seat for the right to challenge powerhouse Creamline for the title starting Wednesday.  The Lady Eagles showed their winning character in the last three sets after struggling in the first two frames.   “I think in the first two sets, there was a bit of doubt in our heads. Sa kilos, makikita mo, parang nade-delay kami kasi nga we’re second guessing ourselves,” admitted De Leon. “But in the third set we always reminded ourselves na we had nothing to lose and to (always) believe in each other.” BanKo took the series opener in a hard-fought 25-23, 25-19, 21-25, 19-25, 15-6, decision before the Lady Eagles equalized with a dominating 25-21, 25-20, 26-24, win in Game 2 Saturday. Ateneo-Motolite got into trouble in the fourth frame when BanKo saved a set point and took a 25-24 advantage. A costly service error by Kathy Bersola gave the Lady Eagles a chance to fight back. Maddie Madayag put Ateneo-Motolite back in the lead with a service ace before Nicole Tiamzon committed an attack error that forced a deciding frame. The Lady Eagles were again tested in the fifth after squandering an 11-6 lead and allowing the BanKo to move at matchpoint, 14-11. Ateneo-Motolite saved three straight match points before engaging the Perlas Spikers in a tight wind-up before coming up on top.    “Coach O said in the huddle na, ‘You really have to want it kasi sila din eh gusto rin nila’. So it’s the labanan ng puso at ng gusto talaga and he always remind us to ask the Lord, ‘yun talaga ang nagbigay sa amin ng inspiration,” said Madayag, who got 14 point with seven coming of kill blocks.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 2nd, 2018

IN NUMBERS: Ateneo vs U.P. – 2018 UAAP Finals Game 1

MANILA, Philippines – The UAAP Season 81 Finals series that we've all been waiting for is here as the Ateneo Blue Eagles and University of the Philippines (UP) Fighting Maroons go head-to-head in the  Battle of Katipunan.  Family feuds, meme wars, high emotions are all erupting to hype up this ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsDec 1st, 2018

ATIN TO: 32 Years Of Waiting Is Over

Before watching today’s Game 1 of the Finals, catch a glimpse of UP fans celebrating their first Finals appearance in 32 years! #AtinTo #NowhereToGoButUP The UAAP 81 Men’s Basketball Finals will begin later today at the Mall of Asia Arena between defending champions Ateneo de Manila University and the University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons.… link: ATIN TO: 32 Years Of Waiting Is Over.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilainformerRelated NewsDec 1st, 2018

LOOK: DOST employees tilt TV screen as secret formula to miss shot

Atin 'to, 'DI papasok 'to? It seems employees of the Department of Science and Technology found a new way to bat off a player shooting. No, it's not the trigger press in NBA 2K. Nor the moving bars in the vintage NBA Live games. In what could be a eureka moment for basketball fans around the world, these DOST employees while watching a crucial juncture in the overtime UAAP Final Four game between the Adamson Soaring Falcons and the UP Fighting Maroons, tilted the TV in order to 'jinx' Jonathan Espeleta's free throw attempt with 58.2 seconds left. See it for yourself how these DOST employees immediately got the experiment working. Jerrick Ahanmisi's supposed and-one shot was waived off as referees deemed the foul before the act of shooting. Espeleta bricked the first, leading to jubilation around the office. Had the free throw gone in, things would have been different. UP won in the thriller, 89-87. The Fighting Maroons can thank these people for helping them win.   The UAAP Finals begins on Saturday, Dec. 1st at 3:30 p.m. Catch it LIVE on ABS-CBN channel 2, ABS-CBN S+A channel 23, ABS-CBN S+A HD channel 166, iWant, and on LIVESTREAMING. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 29th, 2018

UAAP: What it feels like to be with 21,000 UP-Adamson fans in the Araneta Coliseum

After the University of the Philippines forced a do-or-die game versus Adamson University last Saturday, Paul Desiderio expressed how much he loved the support of the UP community present at the Mall of Asia Arena. To him, the cheers and the chants pumped him up for every play. When asked if Saturday's crowd was the biggest crowd he has ever played in front of, he had this to say. "Hindi pa ito, mayroon pa sa Wednesday," said the team captain. With his 'Atin 'To' promise from last season came another prophecy fulfilled from Desiderio. Come Wednesday, this time in the Araneta Coliseum, nearly 21,000 fans clad either in blue or maroon filled the coliseum to the brim. The blue side came earlier than the maroon side. At least 45 minutes before the tipoff, a jam-packed Adamson side was already belting out their signature cheers while waving their blue and white balloons. Crowd check at 2:40, around an hour before the tipoff. First photo, Adamson. Second photo, UP. #UAAPFinalFour #UAAPSeason81 pic.twitter.com/MEGxmP1S6R — Danine Cruz (@the9cruz) November 28, 2018 Adamsonians' show of force 45 mins before tipoff. #UAAPSeason80 #UAAPFinalFour pic.twitter.com/dwzTJHmnJ2 — Danine Cruz (@the9cruz) November 28, 2018 It was a powerful show of force from the Adamson community, which exhausted all efforts to show up for the Soaring Falcons. Classes were suspended and bus services were provided. The Adamson supporters consisted mostly of current students and youthful fans. Bright Akhuetie shared hearing those cheers while he was still in the locker room preparing for the match. "When I was in the dugout I actually asked someone if there was a game going on. Seriously, I asked, 'Who's playing out there? Are we playing after that game?' and they were like 'No, nobody's playing,' then I said 'Why are they shouting?," said the Fighting Maroon in between laughs. As the tip-off neared, the UP community composed of students, middle-aged alumni, and even senior citizens caught up and started filling their side of the coliseum. Team captain Paul Desiderio made a quick eye test of their crowd and deduced a funny observation which head coach Bo Perasol revealed after the game. "Sabi ni Paul pagbalik niya, sabi niya 'Coach talo tayo sa crowd.' Sabi ko, 'Bakit?' Sabi niya, 'Matatanda 'yung crowd natin, mga bata 'yung Adamson. Napaka-energetic, sigaw ng sigaw.' 'Eh 'yung atin?' 'Nakatunganga doon, matatanda.' Sabi ko, 'Mga alumni natin 'yan!," said Perasol beside a laughing Desiderio. "[Adamson] got kids and they hyped! They were super hyped but wow," Akhuetie added. When the game started, it was pandemonium. All game long, both jam-packed sides were screaming out loud with their cheers. There was rarely a moment that neither "UP Fight" nor "Unawakanahimo" was heard. One can literally feel the magnitude of every shot courtesy of the fans' jumping in the stands. Desiderio's observation that Adamson's crowd was more youthful can be validated by the fun gimmicks the blue-and-white supporters did during timeouts. There were times that Adamson supporters raised flashlights from their smart phones and there were also times that they would do waves around their half of the venue. The Maroons on the other hand just did the classic variations of their cheers -- the UP Fight callbacks and the U-nibersidad verse complete with actions. The usual trash talk between both sides was also present. The boos, the lutos, the iyakins were all there. The mood of the crowd was telling. Something spectacular was really about to happen. Jun Manzo's spin move and scoop shot in regulation happened. Jerom Lastimosa's game-tying triple to force an overtime happened. Then the crazy back-and-forth extra five minutes happened. Then Desiderio's jumper that provided to be marginal basket happened. The final buzzer sounded and it signalled the end of the Finals drought for the Maroons. After 32 years, UP is back in the biggest stage of the UAAP. It was UP's turn to raise their flashlights. "I saw a lot of maroon. All I saw was flashlights. Everywhere. I was like, 'Oh my God, these people, they came out ready," Akhuetie shared. The supporters who Desiderio referred to as young once screamed and jumped their hearts out. "Eh ngayon naman, tumayo din kahit matanda. Umingay na rin, namaos na rin ang mga alumni namin from the ages," Perasol narrated. Tears of joy and screams of relief were heard from the maroon side while sighs of frustration and exasperation creeped through the blue side. But everyone still went home with a warm heart and a memory of their school cheer sung by the whole coliseum. As per UAAP tradition, the UP Pep Squad Drummers played the A-D-A-M-S-O-N cheer as the whole 360-degrees of the venue joined screaming every letter and syllabication of the name of the school that just gave them the toughest yet sweetest game. UP fans pay tribute to the Adamson University after the do-or-die thriller. #UAAPFinalFour #UAAPSeason81 pic.twitter.com/IUvWQQ6ai8 — Danine Cruz (@the9cruz) November 28, 2018 The Adamson Drummers paid the favor back and hit the U-nibersidad cheer as everyone regardless of color celebrated the victory of a history-seeking team. Adamson University's turn to sing U-nibersidad after the close game. #UAAPFinalFour #UAAPSeason81 pic.twitter.com/vFD73yIvLy — Danine Cruz (@the9cruz) November 28, 2018 It was sportsmanship at its finest.  After the high of that instant classic match, one thing is for sure -- UP and Adamson just gave the fans the most complete UAAP basketball experience. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @the9cruz.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 29th, 2018

Foregoing PBA Draft all worth it for UAAP 81 Finals-bound Desiderio

Paul Desiderio is playing his last year for the University of the Philippines in the UAAP Season 81 Men’s Basketball Tournament. A year from now, the top gun of the Fighting Maroons may very well be seeing action in the PBA – as a surefire first round draft pick, no less. That’s not happening just yet, however, as Desiderio has led State U into the Finals with games scheduled for December 1 and December 5 as well as December 8, if necessary. The deadline for applications in the 2018 PBA Draft? December 3. “Wala. ‘Di aabot,” he candidly told reporters after shooting his squad over Adamson on Wednesday and into the championship round. Desiderio isn’t sweating at all, however, as he has no regrets in leading UP in continuing to make history. “Actually, gusto ko nan gang magpa-draft kaso ‘di ako aabot sa deadline,” he said. He then continued, “Okay na okay lang din naman kasi ang tagal-tagal na ‘tong inantay ng UP community.” After all, sacrifice has been the signature of the Fighting Maroons in the season – sacrifice best encapsulated by their new mantra of “16 Strong.” Of course, it was the skipper himself who came up with the mantra. “Sobrang proud ako sa ginawa naming ’16 Strong.’ Ako talaga, sinacrifice ko lahat, pero para sa UP lahat ng sakripisyong ‘to,” he shared. Indeed, throughout the tournament, Desiderio has allowed Nigerian transferee Bright Akhuetie and second-year stud Juan Gomez de Liano to shine under the spotlight. And yet, whenever it matters most for the Fighting Maroons, it’s their graduating captain who has the ball. That’s the way it should be for Desiderio who will live on in history as the player who guaranteed all of this for State U. What did he say then? “Atin ‘to, papasok ‘to.” --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

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

Siyempre, atin ito : Desiderio rises to the occasion anew for finals-bound UP

Just like before, University of the Philippines found strength from its veteran shooting guard when it needed it most. Source link link: 'Siyempre, atin ito': Desiderio rises to the occasion anew for finals-bound UP.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilainformerRelated NewsNov 28th, 2018

Atin ‘to: Paul Desiderio etches a legacy of swag in UP Maroons’ lore

There's one phrase that will be forever attached to Paul Desiderio's college career. "Atin' to." This is ours. The myth, the legend, grew out of a called game winner last season, when Desiderio told his University of the Philippines teammates "atin 'to" in a huddle before nailing a game-winning triple. He didn't need to repeat the words again, but everyone knew Desiderio would lay claim to the game when everything went down the line in overtime against the Adamson Falcons. "There was no play called, that was all him," said UP coach Bo Perasol in Filipino, moments after a pulsating 89-87 victory Wednesday that propelled the Fighting Maroons to the UAAP Finals for the fi...Keep on reading: Atin ‘to: Paul Desiderio etches a legacy of swag in UP Maroons’ lore.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsNov 28th, 2018

Siyempre, atin ito : Desiderio rises to the occasion anew for finals-bound UP

Just like before, University of the Philippines found strength from its veteran shooting guard when it needed it most......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsNov 28th, 2018