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Tom Taus, Jennifer Lee headline & lsquo;BRAVE& rsquo; celebration in Batangas

Tom Taus, Jennifer Lee headline & lsquo;BRAVE& rsquo; celebration in Batangas.....»»

Category: entertainmentSource: thestandard thestandardDec 5th, 2018

PVL: Cool Smashers set eyes on first outright semis seat

Crowd favorite Creamline zeroes in on the first outright semifinals seat when the Cool Smashers meet BaliPure-National University Saturday in the Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference Season 2 at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan. The Cool Smashers are on a three-game winning streak for a 4-1 win-loss record at solo top spot but taking that fourth straight victory and officially punching a Final Four ticket won’t be a walk in the park. “’Yan ‘yung maraming energy,” said prized Creamline hitter Alyssa Valdez of the youthful Water Defenders squad, which is composed of the core of the four-time UAAP high school champion NU. Game time is at 2:00 p.m. and will air live on ABS-CBN S+A Channel 23, ABS-CBN S+A HD Channel 166 and via livestream. Valdez, Thai import Kuttika Kaewpin and Serbian Nina Asceric will face off not only with prolific scorer American import Janisa Johnson and imposing compatriot middle blocker Alexis Matthews but also with promising players in Alyssa Solomon, Princess Robles and Faith Nisperos. Creamline’s top setter Jia Morado and veteran libero Mel Gohing will also have their hands full with BaliPure-NU playmaker Joyme Cagande and libero Jennifer Nierva. “Napapanood ko lang sila, siyempre nagi-game viewing din also. Nakikita namin ang potential and the talent of these young kids,” said Valdez, who once donned the Water Defenders colors two years ago. “Excited kami to face the BaliPure Water Defenders, we’re looking forward na maipakita namin and mailabas din namin ang game namin sa kanila,” she added. “Nagtutulungan tayo dito para mas maganda ang game and siyempre hoping for a good match.” The Cool Smashers are coming of a straight sets 25-14, 27-25, 26-24, win over Tacloban in Batangas last week. BaliPure saw its three-game winning streak snapped, 19-25, 25-10, 17-25, 21-25, by defending champion Pocari Sweat-Air Force last Wednesday. The Water Defenders hold a 3-2 slate tied with PayMaya.     ---   Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 2nd, 2018

UAAP Season 81: Eh dun na kami kilala -- Cheng on DLSU swag

Graduating De La Salle University hitter Des Cheng roared as she walked backwards while staring at Ateneo de Manila University’s Kat Tolentino following a monster block in the second set. It was Cheng’s classic swagger that volleyball fans just love to love or hate depending on which side they're on.      But the open spiker cleared that it just came out naturally, especially in this kind of exciting and intense match between two proud schools.    “’Di ko alam kasi siyempre, hello! It’s Ateneo-La Salle. So parang kahit anong sabihin mo may rivalry talaga kahit sabihin mong wala,” said Cheng, who scored 13 points in the defending three-time champion Lady Spikers’ 25-14, 25-17, 16-25, 25-19, victory over the Lady Eagles Sunday in the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball tournament at the MOA Arena. Cheng was very animated during the match smiling, laughing, doing the finger wag and whatever gesture she could think of to celebrate a point.   OH MY, DES CHENG 😱 #UAAPSeason81Volleyball pic.twitter.com/ePvIxjxREe — ABS-CBN Sports (@abscbnsports) February 17, 2019 “Uy, ang hirap kaya kumuha ng puntos kung mapapansin mo. Kaya sabi ko before mag-start ang game sabi ko, ‘Every point ise-celebrate natin. Hindi ‘yung every point makakapuntos ka tapos tatahimik ka tapos parang, ‘Yeheey!’ ganun lang,’” said Cheng, who added 14 receives and nine digs for an all-around performance. The veteran expected that non-DLSU supporters would think that the Lady Spikers went over the top with their on-court reactions but this is what they’re known for and they are not gonna change that. Des Cheng breaks out the finger wag ☝ #UAAPSeason81Volleyball pic.twitter.com/bbVBMIYoGK — ABS-CBN Sports (@abscbnsports) February 17, 2019 “Eh dun na kami kilala bakit kailangang (i-hold back),” said Cheng. “’Dun kami kilala eh. Sabihin nyo na mayabang kami, swag kami, whatever kung ano ang pagka-interpret nyo it’s OK. Eh kasi yun na ang pagkakakilala nyo sa amin eh di dun nyo na kami i-ano talaga. Pero hindi kami mayabang. Ayun lang po talaga.” Even head coach Ramil De Jesus got into the celebration during that second set highlight, exchanging high-fives with Cheng.       The mentor, according to Cheng, actually asked her to be the spark plug and energizer of the team. “Kasi kailangan. Sabi ni coach, ‘Hindi gagalaw ang team mo kapag walang mag-spark.’ Meaning, kailangan may gagalaw para magi-spark sa kanila tapos susunod lang sila. Kaya kapag nakapuntos ako parang kahit hindi nga ako nakapuntos naga-ano ako na ‘Yeheey, yeheey!’ ganun-ganun,” she said. “Kasi kailangan nila yun kasi kapag walang isang tao na ganoon sino ang magli-lead sa kanila.” And to end her night, Cheng finished off Ateneo with an ace... and a finger wag as exclamation point.   Des Cheng. FOR THE WIN. #UAAPSeason81Volleyball pic.twitter.com/KHyg6qECPs — ABS-CBN Sports (@abscbnsports) February 17, 2019     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 17th, 2019

Jordan s weight reaches farther than court in NC

By Steve Aschburner, NBA.com CHARLOTTE -- Unlike Mark Cuban and James Dolan, the host of the 2019 NBA All-Star Game was voted in 14 times to participate and played in 13. Quite different from Micky Arison and Glen Taylor, the team owner whose arena and city will be the center of All-Star 2019 averaged 20.2 points in those 13 All-Star appearances, was named MVP three times and posted the first triple-double in the game’s history (1997). And not at all like Steve Ballmer and Joe Lacob, the guy most often credited with making Charlotte All-Star worthy this weekend ignited the annual Slam Dunk Contest with his takeoff from the foul line in 1988. He also regularly irritated former NBA commissioner David Stern into a series of fines for golfing when he should have been sitting through mandatory Friday media sessions. With a level of celebrity as arguably the game’s greatest player ever, morphed now into an off-radar role as owner of the Charlotte Hornets, Michael Jordan remains as famous, as popular and as successful as any or all the active All-Star participants who’ll cavort at the Spectrum Center in the city’s Uptown business district. Ain’t no other NBA owner who can say that. “You think about all these wealthy, successful owners in our league,” said Hornets president Fred Whitfield, “no one knew who any of them were, really, until they bought their team. Everybody in the world knew who Michael Jordan was before he bought his team.” Jordan’s place in the All-Star galaxy in the coming days is reflective of his unique position among those who oversee the NBA’s 29 other franchises. His impact on the team, on its fans, on their city and on the state in returning to his native North Carolina -- he grew up in coastal Wilmington before attending college in Chapel Hill -- to anchor and lend stability to the Hornets will be on full display, even if he’s hard to spot this weekend. It’s all a reminder, too, of the old movie line from a remarkably blessed character, wondering “What do you do when your real life exceeds your dreams?” Most don’t dare to imagine playing in an All-Star Game, never mind hosting one as the owner of the local team. “No,” Jordan told some Charlotte reporters Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time), coming forward for one of his few appearances of the week. “As a kid growing up here in North Carolina, the first thing [was] playing basketball. And then things evolved from there -- from the University of North Carolina to Chicago. Obviously you know the history from that. “[The] opportunity to represent North Carolina in an All-Star Game from a different seat is truly amazing. It tells the path that I have taken. It gives me great pleasure to give that back to the community. It’s been a long-traveled road.” The celebration of the league’s brightest stars, and the ubiquitous banners and signage devoted to it will make it even harder than usual to visibly spot signs of Jordan’s ownership of the Hornets. For a typical regular season game, you might spy a flag emblazoned with his well-known “Jumpman” logo. Occasionally he’ll watch part of the game, rarely all, from seats at the end of his team’s bench, though he’s as likely to retreat to his suite atop the arena’s lower bowl. An in-game, timeout scoreboard video meant to stoke the crowd includes shots of GM Mitch Kupchak (“Architect of Champions”) and coach James Borrego (“Elite Pedigree”) but ends right about the time you expect some dramatic silhouette of His Airness to appear. It’s as if Jordan is as protective of his brand in running the Hornets as he is in maintaining its exclusivity in the marketplace. Doesn’t matter, though. His fingerprints are all over the franchise, as a basketball team, as a business enterprise and as a member of the community. On court, Jordan trusts his team Jordan’s greatest notoriety as an owner in a basketball setting may have come in December, when he was courtside for a tense game against Detroit. Guard Jeremy Lamb drained a 22-foot jumper with 0.3 seconds left, sending reserves Malik Monk and Bismack Biyombo onto the floor in celebration of what would be a 108-107 home victory. Trouble was, that sliver of time on the clock. Too many men. The Hornets were whistled for a one-shot technical foul and Jordan impulsively smacked Monk lightly, twice, on the back of the head. Any other owner does that, the player’s agent might file a grievance with the players union. Jordan does it and, thanks to his in-the-trenches, in-the-fraternity credibility, it comes across as a goof. “A tap of endearment,” Jordan called it later in a statement. “It was like a big brother and little brother tap. No negative intent. Only love!" Said Monk: “Big, big, big brother. But it was nothing. He was just playing.” The arc of Jordan’s career and his reputation as a stone-cold competitor make it OK if he wants to vent -- or swipe -- when things don’t go the Hornets’ way. Doesn’t matter that Jordan, who will turn 56 on All-Star Sunday, is old enough to be any of his players' dad. He still carries himself like an athlete, and their frame of reference remains, “That’s Mike.” “I’ve seen kids come up through camps,” said Buzz Peterson, Charlotte’s assistant general manager under Kupchak. “You could say Julius Erving, you could say Larry Johnson, Karl Malone, whatever, and the kids’ eyes are like, ‘Who?’ But you say Michael Jordan, they’re gonna know. That’s the separation there.” Peterson is among Jordan’s closest friends -- he beat him out as North Carolina’s prep player of the year in 1981, won an NCAA title with him as a Tar Heels teammate and is described by those who know both as someone who can disagree with the boss while staying comfortably in the inner circle. For Borrego, Charlotte’s first-year coach, interviewing to run Jordan’s team could have been intimidating. “We’re all human beings -- there’s a presence that comes with ‘Michael Jordan’ when he’s around,” Borrego told NBA.com in January. “But it’s healthy. He comes with a competitive spirit that you feel. “Michael was straight with me from Day 1. When I interviewed, he said, ‘I’m going to give you space to do your job. Whatever you need, you come to me. I’ll give you the resources you need.’ He has not tried to interfere one time. I feel his full support. … We’re starting to speak each other’s language, which is pretty healthy for us now.” Jordan keeps the coach apprised of his interactions with players, Borrego said. Other coaches should have such a resource at the ready. Hornets guard and 2019 All-Star starter Kemba Walker probably has benefited most from Jordan’s counsel. They text frequently, a pinch-me arrangement to this day for Walker. “I grew up wearing Jordans, grew up wanting to be like Jordan,” Walker said recently. “So for me to get this opportunity to be on his team means the world to me. He’s the one who believed in me -- I had no idea where I was going to go on draft night and he traded up for me. I’ve always heard the story, he was the one who actually drafted me. So it’s unbelievable. “He’s such a good dude. He understands what it is to be good. His delivery is always good. Only in a positive way, honestly.” Said rookie wing Miles Bridges: “You think there’ll be a lot of pressure having MJ as an owner. I’d seen how he got on his teammates when he played. So I was nervous, thinking if I had a bad game, he’d go at me like, ‘What’re you doing?’ But after meeting him and bonding with him, I feel like he’s the coolest owner out there. I don’t feel any pressure, I feel like he wants the best for us.” Big man Frank Kaminsky typically sits at the end of the bench, which puts him cheek to cheek with Jordan when he’s courtside. “He’s talking about what he’s seeing out on the court. Talking to the refs,” Kaminsky said. “Things other players don’t necessarily see. He still thinks the game. “You see things on the court that he sees. One game, the roll, pocket-pass, skip to the corner was open. He was saying that. We made an adjustment in a timeout, but he saw it a couple plays before that. At the end of that game, we had a big play that was a roll, pocket-pass, into the corner that put the game away. It worked the way he’d seen it.” The Hornets’ struggles during Jordan’s tenure as owner wouldn’t suggest it -- the last time this organization won a playoff series (2002), Jordan still was a player -- but there is a prestige to playing for his team. It’s not unlike being welcomed onto the list of elite athletes who endorse Jordan Brand. “I’m one of the lucky ones who’s in both,” Kaminsky said. “You’re talking about the most iconic player in sports history -- I might be biased because I grew up in Chicago -- but when you have his approval, it means a lot. You have it in the back of your mind that he wants you here.” Head smack or no head smack. Jordan grows as owner, businessman Basketball is a zero-sum game and the NBA is full of stars, even if none shines quite as brightly as Jordan. But business has room for negotiation and compromise, and deals get struck daily that leave both sides happy. There, Jordan has been beyond clutch. Funnel down everything he’s accomplished -- six NBA championships, the league’s highest career scoring average (30.1), five MVP awards, six Finals MVP, 10 scoring titles, nine All-Defensive team nods -- and it invariably ends with clammy hands. The “wow” factor is real and the Hornets are extremely careful about leveraging it. “It gives our organization a certain cachet,” said Whitfield, another longtime friend who goes back more than 35 years with Jordan. “For him to be majority owner, for him to do it in his home state as a local hometown hero, and to be able to come back and not just lead the team and the rebranding from the Bobcats to the Hornets, but his commitment to the community in giving back, it’s something that’s so special.” That’s a lot to unpack. When Jordan initially signed on with the Hornets, he did so as head of its basketball operations in 2006, purchasing a small minority stake in the team. The team was bad, the business was worse and trending down. “Back in ’08-09, the economy was in the tank and I was mandated to ‘displace’ 42 of our executives here on the business side,” Whitfield said. “When Michael bought the team, we were losing $30 million a year.’ Brought back into the league in 2004 two years after the original Hornets (1988-2002) were moved to New Orleans by reviled owner George Shinn, the Charlotte expansion team was owned -- and nicknamed -- by Bob Johnson, a co-founder of the BET television network. The Bobcats excelled only at losing and were 122 games under .500 in their first five seasons. The front office was understaffed, Spectrum Center (then known as Time Warner Cable Arena) needed renovations almost from its inception and there was a real sense that, if a buyer with deep pockets and a commitment to the area weren’t found, the franchise could be moved. In March 2010, Jordan ponied up the cash to become majority owner. But it says something that the deal stands as one of the few, if ever, instances of an NBA franchise being sold at a discount. Johnson paid $300 million for the team; Jordan purchased it for $275 million. Forbes.com recently had Charlotte worth $1.25 billion -- which ranks 28th. And Jordan reportedly has one of the biggest stakes of all NBA owners, with his share estimated at upwards of 90 percent, possibly as high as 98 percent. That’s a lot of success in nine years, despite the basketball team’s mostly middling performance. “With MJ being with the team, you got instant credibility in the marketplace,” said Pete Guelli, the chief operating officer who started on the job about 10 months before Jordan took ownership. “There had been a lot of uncertainty previously, but with his brand and his resources and his commitment, that just dissipated immediately. It was much, much easier to walk in the door and tell people about our vision for this franchise.” Rebranding the team as “Hornets” gave the franchise an existential boost -- it suddenly had a history again, complete with records, archives and true alumni. The arena got a makeover and, per Guelli, is credited for events there that generate an alleged $1 billion in revenues for local businesses. “Fortunately, we’ve been profitable pretty much since [Jordan took over],” Whitfield said. “That’s huge, especially since we haven’t gotten where we want to be on the basketball side.” Closing a new kind of game now It’s hard to overstate Jordan’s added value, not so much as some corporate or financial whiz but as a presence who brought instant motivation and energy to the staff. He imported executives with whom he had developed relationships at Nike or in other ventures and, after taking early criticism for an uncertain level of involvement, has been more diligent in recent years. “I love seeing him sitting at the end of the bench encouraging his players when he attends a game” said Charles F. Bowman, Bank of America’s market president for Charlotte and North Carolina. “And as a business person what impresses me is that he has empowered his management team to focus not only on the court but also on building bridges with the community. “He had a vision for where he was taking the team and a clear plan to get there. He has hired good people, gives them latitude to make decisions and he expects them to perform. Michael is unique -- the best player ever who is determined to keep getting better year over year as an owner.” The NBA has gotten a taste of Jordan’s growth and transition at some pivotal times. This is the legendary voice of the players who, during rancorous negotiations in the 1998 lockout, countered Washington owner Abe Pollin’s gripes about losing money by telling Pollin to sell his team. By the lockout of 2011, Jordan had moved to the other side of the table. But several members of the National Basketball Players Association’s executive committee saw him not as an opponent or turncoat but as a role model: someone who had transformed himself from employee to employer at the game’s highest level. “The players understood, he had been in their shoes,” Whitfield said. “He’s not forgetting what it meant to be a player. He was in the process of learning what it meant to be an owner.” When the current collective bargaining agreement was negotiated with commissioner Adam Silver and union director Michele Roberts leading the talks, Jordan was an active, powerful voice. He is an influential member of the NBA’s labor relations and competition committees. One Charlotte insider spoke to Jordan’s clout with his fellow owners in getting this weekend’s showcase -- jeopardized by a political squabble in 2017 -- back onto the league’s short list. “There’s no All-Star Game here in Charlotte if it’s not for MJ,” the person said. Last summer in Las Vegas, Silver lauded Jordan for his ability to straddle the basketball and business worlds. “He brings unique credibility to the table when we're having discussions [with the players],” he said, “and even just among the owners, he's able to represent a player point of view… Michael can say, 'Well, look, this is how I looked at it when I was a player, and these are the kind of issues we need to address if we're going to convince players that something is in everyone's interest.’ ” Jordan’s powers of persuasion apparently have been even more impressive in Charlotte and North Carolina. The executives are careful about relying on him too often -- Jordan’s most precious commodity, now that his net worth is estimated to be upwards of $1.7 billion -- is his time. But when they need Mariano Rivera to walk in from the bullpen, he is lights out. “We’ve had corporate sponsors at a golf outing, and he’s been there, maybe stayed at one hole to tell off with everybody,” Whitfield said. Or they’ll invite certain corporate sponsors to one of a few games each season in which “Club 23” is up and running at the Spectrum Center, a private club built for such purposes. They get a chance to visit, talk with and pick Jordan’s brain on the Hornets and much more. “We’ve closed all those deals,” Whitfield said. Then there was the time a local CEO wanted to finalize a sizeable sponsorship deal with the team, and had his No. 2 invite Jordan over to their headquarters for the meetings. Whitfield told the tale: “This guy says, 'You have to come to our office. Our CEO is the man in our business.' But we’re like, 'Nah, typically, CEOs come and meet in Michael’s office or in ‘Club 23’ over here.' He said no, that wasn’t going to work for them. “So Pete Guelli said, 'Let’s make a deal: We’ll take your CEO and drop him off in Beijing. And we’ll drop off Michael in Beijing. Then we’ll see who more people gravitate to. Whoever gets the least people, he has to come to the other guy’s office.'” Point made. Point taken. Said Whitfield: “The guy says, ‘You know what, I got it. We’ll be over 10 o’clock Friday morning.’” A community he calls home The Michael Jordan who once seemed determined to float above cultural and political frays as the most prudent way to serve commerce has not held back in recent years from making his presence felt. He has been more philanthropist than activist and, let’s face it, in times of the most dire need, cash beats talk every time. Charity and investing in the community can be good for business, sure. Making that a priority after Guelli’s arrival and Jordan’s purchase helped the Hornets build bridges with fans and merchants that Shinn and the original franchise’s departure had torched. More than that, though, giving back for Jordan and his team at this point in his life was the right thing to do. And do, and do, and do. The list of charitable and civic efforts Jordan and the Hornets have undertaken is long, with few outside the region or state aware of most of it. Among the highlights: - Donating $2 million to relief efforts in the wake of Hurricane Florence, particularly meaningful because of the damage it did in Jordan’s hometown of Wilmington. - Dedicated $7 million in partnership with Novant Health to fund two Michael Jordan Family Clinics, set to open in Charlotte in 2020. - Serving as Make-A-Wish’s Chief Wish Ambassador since 2008, while donating more than $5 million to the organization. His relationship with Make-A-Wish began more than 30 years ago. - Contributing $5 million as a founding donor of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. - Addressing the issue of police shootings and community policing in 2016 by donating $1 million each to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and the International Association of Chiefs of Police. After the hurricane in September devastated so many homes and businesses in and near Jordan’s roots, he wanted to do more than to stroke a fat check. In a meeting covered by The Associated Press, he met with Stephanie Parker and her family, including four young children, after they lost their apartment in two feet of flooding. A call from the director of the Cape Fear chapter of the Red Cross brought them together. The meeting took place at a Lowe’s home improvement store. “I look around the corner, and it’s Michael Jordan. ‘Oh my God!’" Parker said. “I look at my kids, ‘It’s Michael Jordan!’ I’m not going to lie, some tears came in my eyes, because the first thing that went through my mind was when I was younger, his last game when he was on the Chicago Bulls team, and that flashback just came right in my mind.” Afterward, Jordan was coaxed by the Charlotte Observer to talk about why that disaster resonated so deeply for him. “You gotta take care of home,” he said. “Wilmington truly is my home. Kept thinking about all those places I grew up going to … You don’t want to see any of that anywhere, but when it’s home, that’s tough to swallow.” There’s basketball, there’s business and then there’s real life, which sometimes intrudes in the most desperate ways. “We didn’t know how many people in our community were hungry,” Whitfield said. “There are people in dire need, and it’s special to have that hometown hero have in his heart that ‘This is where I can help.’ “It gives not only him as a person but our organization a platform to really speak out. That commitment is what has made him a special owner, and why he’s even more beloved in our community.” Winning title No. 7 drives Jordan now To date, Jordan’s greatest achievements have come elsewhere, at least since his baseline shot as a freshman propelled North Carolina to the 1982 NCAA championship. Those Bulls championships, the “Dream Team” magnificence, his partnership with that sneaker company in Beaverton, Ore., his Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame induction, shooting “Space Jam,” all of it -- his legacy has been crafted with others, for others, mostly far from home. (For the record, Jordan, his wife Yvette and their two daughters own a mansion outside Charlotte and an estate in south Florida). “Look, this has always been home for him,” Whitfield said. “Even though he was drafted by Chicago, WGN became a very popular station. And he just continued to elevate, so people in this state were proud to say, even though he’s a Bull, we love him. When the Bulls would come here and play at the old Coliseum, these fans who were avid Hornets fans were all pulling for Michael Jordan. “He’d score, they’d cheer loudly. The Hornets would score, they’d cheer loudly. North Carolina always felt like he was their native son who went off and achieved greatness.” Coming back first to head the franchise’s basketball operations and then as owner, Jordan’s role -- in light of the modest results on the court -- has been custodial. Yes, the club’s improved financial stability is important. But for this driven winner and NBA owner unlike all others, custodial isn’t going to cut it for long. “He did an interview with Cigar Aficionado magazine a while back,” Peterson said, “and the question was asked, ‘What would you like to do?’ And he said, ‘Win a seventh championship. Win as an owner.’ So for me, every day, I’m thinking, here’s a close friend and you want to make your friends happy, right? So each day I think, do the best you can to reach this goal for him.” Said Hornets wing Nicolas Batum: “I understand. He wants to win. He wants to compete since he was born.” It hasn’t been for lack of trying, although Jordan has made sure to keep fiscal responsibility high on every agenda. The team’s payroll for 2018-19 is approximately $122.3 million, which ranks near the middle of the NBA pack. “That Michael Jordan is one cheap dude,” said an impassioned cab driver on a recent airport run. “He’s only going to spend so much and the players they get shows it.” The Hornets never have spent into the league’s luxury-tax, and if Walker is retained when he hits free agency this summer, he’ll likely become the first Charlotte player to sign a full maximum-salary contract (though the five-year, $120 million deal Batum landed in 2016 came awfully close). Injuries and dubious moves have taken a toll, a situation that Kupchak, Borrego and their staffs have been tasked with fixing. Jordan, by all accounts, is engaged yet patient, with a playoff berth and potentially a record above .500 within reach. “I’m sure he feels like,” Whitfield said, “if he were still 30 years old and could lace ‘em up and get out there, he’d help us get over the hump. I think he would cherish it as much or more than the first six. Because I think he realizes how hard it is to get it done. “But it doesn’t bother us if the fans see his frustration sitting next to our bench. It’s important to us that they see he’s not only invested, he’s vested in what our team is trying to do. They can relate to him because they’re feeling that same frustration.” Jordan is theirs again and that’s what matters. For basketball, for business, for community and in time, just maybe, in championship. Steve Aschburner has written about the NBA since 1980. You can e-mail him here, find his archive here and follow him on Twitter. The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 16th, 2019

UAAP Season 81: Lady Tams not taking Lady Bulldogs lightly

Last year’s runner-up Far Eastern University easily has the advantage in terms of experience against a very young and rebuilding National University team. But the Lady Tamaraws are still wary of the Lady Bulldogs’ bite when they meet on Saturday in the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball tournament. “Wala ‘yan sa mindset namin. Same approach pa rin ang gagawin namin,” said FEU veteran Celine Domingo, who will lead the Lady Tams in their 4:00 p.m. clash with the Lady Bulldogs. “Hindi naman porke’t puro rookies ang NU bababa na namin ang level ng game namin. Siyempre respect na rin ‘yun and siyempre bilog ang bola maraming pwedeng mangyari,” added last year’s Best Blocker award winner. The match will air live on ABS-CBN S+A Channel 23, ABS-CBN S+A HD Channel 166, LIGA SkyCable Channel 86, LIGA HD SkyCable Channel 183, iWant and via livestream. Domingo is expected to step up her game as well as other veterans Jerrili Malabanan, Heather Guino-o, Jeanette Villareal and setter Kyle Negrito after the exit of Bernadeth Pons and the absence of injured Chin-Chin Basas. The Lady Bulldogs, who finished fourth last year, are rebuilding their foundations after the departure of Season 80 Most Valuable Player Jaja Santiago, Aiko Urdas and libero Gayle Valdez. NU is under a different system with new head coach Norman Miguel, who replaced Babes Castillo last December. The Lady Bulldogs’ character will be tested with only a handful of veterans after playmaker Jasmine Nabor, Jorelle Singh and Roma Doromal decided to sit out the season while middle blocker Risa Sato was deemed ineligible to play (academic problems). The leadership role is now at the hands of remaining veterans Audrey Paran, Roselyn Doria and Joni Chavez Rookies Princess Robles, Ivy Lacsina, setter Joyme Cagande and libero Jennifer Nierva, who are all part of NU’s four-peat girls volleyball team, will get their baptism of fire.   ---      Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 15th, 2019

Ginagawa ko po siyang motivation – Lacsina on Ate Jaja

Rookie Ivy Lacsina has big shoes to fill for National University. Expectations are high from the young middle blocker especially that she’s being groomed to fill the void left by last year’s Most Valuable Player Jaja Santiago. Lacsina knows the weight of her responsibility come the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball tournament and the unavoidable comparison between her and the 6-foot-5 former Queen Bulldog. She welcomes it as an inspiration to perform well for the young and rebuilding NU squad.   “Hindi ko po siya tini-take na karibal kasi siyempre si ate Jaja po ‘yun, ang daming uma-idol po dun. Isa na po ako doon. Siguro ginagawa ko po siyang motivation,” said the 6-foot-1 Lacsina, a key player in NU’s four-peat in girls volleyball. “Alam ko po dito nag-start si Ate Jaja, kaya ginagawa ko po siyang motivation para marating ko din po kung ano ang nararating niya.” Aside from being her inspiration, Lacsina reveals that it was Santiago, who is currently playing as an import in the prestigious Japan V. Premier League, who convinced her to stay in NU. “Nagkausap po kami ni Ate Jaja noong nandito pa po siya sa Philippines noong nag-iisip pa ako between NU and UP po,” Lacsina said. “Sinasabi niya na parang dilemma ang nangyari kasi parehong good (schools) pero isipin ko raw po kung saan po ang mas best. Yun ang sinasabi niya and naisip ko po na sa NU. Dito ko po nakikita ang sarili ko and yung system na gusto ko.” “Sobrang nahirapan din po ako pero at the end of the day naman, parang naisip ko rin na nandito talaga ang heart ko sa NU,” added Lacsina, who climbed in the collegiate ranks together with high school teammates Joyme Cagande, Princes Robles and Jennifer Nierva. “Dito ko rin nakilala ang sarili ko at dito ko rin nakita ang totoong team.” The departure of Santiago, who has exhausted all of her five playing years, left a huge hole in the Lady Bulldogs' offense as well as on defense with her intimidating presence at the net. NU lost in Santiago a player who normed 20 points per game last year with an impressive 41.76% attacking accuracy. It didn’t help that NU also lacked the veteran presence of Jasmine Nabor, Jorelle Singh, Roma Doromal and middle blocker Risa Sato, who will sit out the season. “This year po para po sa akin kasi sobrang laking pressure po talaga sa akin lalo na po na rookie pa lang po ako kasi parang ako na yung inaanuhan ng mga coaches na, ‘ganito, dapat alam mo na yung dapat mong gawin kasi isa ka sa inaasahan ng team,’” said Lacsina. “Para po sa akin sobrang laki po ng kawalan ni Ate Jaja po sa amin lalo na po ‘yung ibang seniors na di makakalaro sa amin. Si Ate Risa po sobrang laking kawalan sa gitna namin,” she added. “So this season po siguro ie-enjoy na lang namin siya. Lalaro kami hanggang sa makakaya namin. Alam naman naman namin na kaya namin saka naniniwala po ako sa team namin, sa coaches namin na kakayanin namin this season.”   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 12th, 2019

& lsquo;Elise& rsquo; stars in Araneta Center& rsquo;s Chinese New Year celebration

& lsquo;Elise& rsquo; stars in Araneta Center& rsquo;s Chinese New Year celebration.....»»

Category: entertainmentSource:  thestandardRelated NewsFeb 4th, 2019

UAAP Season 81: NU willing to be patient this time

National University’s management has learned the hard way that it takes years to mold and develop a women’s volleyball team that would yield the results they wanted. The Lady Bulldogs for the past six years gambled with coaching changes that saw the squad play under five different mentors. Yet the outcome were the same: NU season after season came away empty-handed in the UAAP.     When NU approached Norman Miguel and laid out a long-term program, the Lady Bulldogs seemed to be looking at the right direction this time. “Well, actually, when the sports director approached me, nu’ng in-explain niya sa akin ‘yung parang long-term program doon parang medyo na-open ‘yung mind ko na it’s very challenging pero why not accept it,” said Miguel, who was took the reins after former coach Babes Castillo parted ways with NU. Castillo handled the Lady Bulldogs last year as a replacement for Roger Gorayeb, who was with the team for two seasons and a half. Under Castillo, NU made a strong run in the first round of UAAP Season 80 after winning six of their first seven games in 6-foot-5 star Jaja Santiago’s swan song. But their campaign turned sour as the squad managed to win only one game in the second round to land at no. 4 seed in the Final Four and eventually bowed down to grand slam champion De La Salle University.    Overall, NU saw its women’s team switch hands from one coach to another. Francis Vicente steered the Lady Bulldogs to a Final Four stint in Season 75 but received the boot the following year and was replaced by Edjet Mabbayad, whose short stint will be always be remembered as Ateneo de Manila University’s second to the last step before claiming its breakthrough title in Season 76. Dong Dela Cruz took over Mabbayad’s position in Season 77 but was replaced by Gorayeb halfway into the season. Gorayeb left the Lady Bulldogs after NU failed to reach the semis for two straight years. “Alam naman nating lahat na ‘yung NU women’s parang looking forward to you know bag a title sa UAAP kasi hanggang ngayon medyo wala pa talaga,” said Miguel, who handled DLSU’s men’s team last season. “So parang ‘yun yung pumasok sa mind ko na malaking challenge siya pero masarap trabahuhin di ba?” he added. However, Miguel will have a young roster to work with. Rookies Princess Robles, Joyme Cagande, Ivy Lacsina and Jennifer Nierva show a lot of promise. Holdovers Roselyn Doria, Risa Sato and Audrey Paran will return while Rica Diolan is back in the fold after skipping two seasons. Miguel said that the NU management set a realistic goal this season, just one step at a time.     “Naniwala ako doon sa gusto nilang mangyari not this year, probably next year or at the third year parang ganun na kailangan na meron nang mangyari (championship),” he said. There’s no short cut to success and NU this time is willing to take a long drive to the promised land.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 13th, 2019

PVL: How tough love and Kutsinta created special bond among Bundit, Valdez and Morado

BATANGAS CITY –- Tough love and shared success were the things that created a special bond among a Thai coach who barely spoke English, a talented spiker and a heady playmaker. A hard-earned UAAP title brought them to the volleyball limelight five years ago. On Saturday, in front of a huge adoring crowd inside the Batangas City Coliseum here Saturday night, Creamline head coach Tai Bundit, ace hitter Alyssa Valdez and setter Jia Morado parted ways after capturing the Premier Volleyball League Season 2 Open Conference championship.  It was a bitter-sweet moment for the three who shared an incredible journey that captured the hearts of Filipino volleyball fans. From a simple meeting back in September 2013, to the countless hours of Spartan-like training, the triumphs, trials and tribulations to their final farewell inside the volleyball court, the three made colorful memories together. They shared the bond of family. Recalling their fondest memory with the amiable coach, Valdez said that the Bundit made his biggest mark on her with just the smallest of things: a pack of Kutsinta.   “Isa lang talaga ang mamimiss ko sa kanya, whenever we fight talaga, kailangan ko nang sabihin ‘to kasi everyone deserves to know na ganitong klaseng tao siya talaga. Everytime we fight kasi noong college kasi syempre may language barrier so lagi kaming nag-aaway talaga ni Coach Tai, in a good way (kasi) baka akala ng mga tao nang-aaway ako, every time I go out of the dorm, every single day, lagi akong may kutsinta (galing) sa kanya,” Valdez, the PVL Open Conference MVP admitted. “Before going to class lagi akong may pagkain na iniiwan niya sa dorm parang peace offering niya, para hindi daw ako mapagod, may energy daw ako, so I think isa ‘yun sa mga hindi ko makakalimutan sa kanya,” she continued. “Ganoon siyang klaseng tao, very thoughtful and hindi ko talaga ma-imagine ang paglalaro ng volleyball without him kasi siya sa mga naging coach ko na really trusted me, really put me inside the court kahit anong mangyari and iba ang tiwalang binibigay niya sa aming mga players.” For Morado she was just grateful for having Bundit push her beyond her limit to become arguably the best volleyball playmaker in the country.  “‘Yung pinaka-tumatak sa akin kay Coach Tai is how high of a standard he has for me,” said Morado, who won her third Best Setter award in the PVL and earned the Finals Most Valuable Player after the Cool Smashers completed a sweep of Ateneo-Motolite, 25-20, 25-20, 25-15.   “Kahit feeling ko I’m playing at my best na, as in, peak ko na talaga, there is always something na gusto niya i-improve sa akin na sobrang nacha-challenge ako sa kanya parati kasi it’s always so hard for me to get praises from Coach Tai,” she added. “That’s something na nadadaanan ng lahat ng players niya, sobrang taas ng standards niya.” Six days from now, Bundit will formally end half a decade of colorful volleyball coaching in the Philippines with a packed bag and a plane ticket – the same way he started it. He will leave a legacy of ‘happy, happy’ and a heart strong mantra. Morado and Valdez will need to move on with their own careers. But they won’t miss Coach Tai. They have a good reason to say so. “Hindi namin siya mami-miss,” said Valdez. “Pupunta kami ng Thailand.”     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 8th, 2018

PVL: Perlas Spikers near third place repeat

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

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 5th, 2018

PVL: It will be a hard series -- Almadro

Ateneo-Motolite head coach Oliver Almadro expects nothing but an all-out war when the young and energetic Lady Eagles march into battle against veteran-laden, powerhouse team Creamline Wednesday in Game 1 of the best-of-three Premier Volleyball League Season 2 Open Conference at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan. "The Finals series will be tough for us. We are a collegiate team learning towards the UAAP. It will be hard series," said Almadro, whose wards collide with the Cool Smashers at 6:00 p.m. in the match that will air live on LIGA SkyCable Channel 86, LIGA HD SkyCable Channel 183 and via livestream.  The Lady Eagles took then long route to advance into the Finals, needing to complete a comeback from a 0-1 semis series deficit against seasoned but luckless BanKo. Ateneo-Motolite dropped a five-set series opener before shocking the Perlas Spikers with a dominating sweep in Game 2 last Saturday to force a decider. Just a night after their big win, the Lady Eagles went down to a 0-2 match hole before recovering in the third. Ateneo-Motolite survived an extended fourth set and needed to save six match points in the decider to punch the last championship seat ticket. Almadro said that his team, which he considers as a ‘guest team’ in the season-ending conference for clubs has already overachieved with a Finals stint. The mentor knows that they are facing a tough team composed of established stars in Alyssa Valdez, Jema Galanza, Michele Gumabao, Pau Soriano, a very skilled setter in Jia Morado and libero Mel Gohing, but he wants to treat this series as a learning experience for his team.      "We are just happy that we are here and we will give our best. Creamline is a very disciplined and experienced team. So we will learn from them," said Almadro, who will lean on solid middle blockers Maddie Madayag and Bea De Leon, hitter Kat Tolentino, Ponggay Gaston, playmaker Deanna Wong and rookie Vanessa Gandler. The two teams split their series head-to-head with Creamline sweeping the undermanned Ateneo-Motolite, which played without Gaston, Madayag and Tolentino because of academic requirements, in the first round. The Lady Eagles were able to get payback in the second round in Batangas in five sets with the Cool Smashers missing the services of Risa Sato. Game 2 of the series is on Saturday at Batangas City Coliseum while Game 3, if needed, is at the FilOil Flying V Centre on Sunday.       --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 4th, 2018

Racela on Eboña: Grabe yung puso ng batang yun

Barkley Eboña was a force of nature in Far Eastern University's Final Four-clinching win over De La Salle University. Aside from scoring 12 points, it was his rebounding prowess that was on full display all game long. He had a total of 16 rebounds, 10 of those coming from offensive possessions. He was the only player in the game that had  double-digit rebounds.  Plus, in terms of offensive boards, Eboña almost equalled all of La Salle's 11. His effort on both ends did not go unnoticed as coach Olsen Racela singled him out during the post-game press conference. "He just typifies the ‘Be Brave’ spirit ng FEU. The way he goes for those rebounds, the way he defends. He had 10 offensive rebounds. Grabe ‘yung puso ng batang ‘yun. He gave us a lot of extra possessions in this game," said the FEU mentor whose team had 54 rebounds compared to La Salle's 41. Due to his never say die attitude on court, it was just natural for Eboña to feel some physical pain during the match. In the dying minutes of the game, he was seen stretching both of his legs on the bench as he was experiencing severe cramps  from all the jumping and the hustling. But with 4:30 left in the game, Prince Orizu fouled out and Racela had no choice but to field the hurting Eboña back in. Regardless of what the Tamaraw was feeling, he said he could still fight. "Mahirap kasi dalawang paa ko nag-cramps. Inisip ko na lang na wala nang bukas. Bigay ko na lahat. Kung ano man mangyari, wala nang magagawa. Basta at the end of the day, wala akong pinagsisihan,” said Eboña. Practically playing with cramped legs and all heart, Eboña still played like there was no tomorrow. There was a specific sequence in the last few seconds where he was against four Green Archers going for the rebound but, it was the lone Tamaraw that soared above them all for the ball. Eboña's all-heart performance paid off as FEU sealed their spot back in the Final Four. They are set to face the top seeded team Ateneo de Manila University on Sunday for the semifinals. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @the9cruz.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 21st, 2018

UAAP: No celebration after CJ Cansino does another Scottie Thompson impression

A week ago, University of Sto. Tomas super rookie CJ Cansino confessed to being a Ginebra fan. As such, he wants nothing more than to do the things Scottie Thompson is doing – like turning rebounds into highlights. Fast forward to Sunday and Cansino became the first rookie to tally a triple-double since 2003. You know, the same sort of feat that Thompson is a threat to achieve each and every game? Of course, the Gin Kings’ diehard is only glad to do his idol justice. “Masaya kasi si Scottie, ‘Mr. Triple-Double’ tapos nagawa ko rin,” he said post-game. With 20 points, 13 rebounds, and 10 assists, the tantalizing talent helped the Growling Tigers move inside the playoff picture. And he did all that, just a day after turning 19-years-old. “Siyempre, ang saya ko kasi pangarap ko ‘to. Idol na idol ko rin si Russell Westbrook so yung mga triple-double, achievement talaga sa akin,” he said. Yes, Scottie Thompson and Russell Westbrook are his idols – giving us a clearer picture of why he plays that way. Even with the rare accomplishment, however, Cansino said he would not get carried away. As he put it, “Hindi ko ise-celebrate ito. On to the next na kasi may mga lapses din ako kanina so pag-aaralan ko yun. Walang celebration.” To do just that, the swingman vowed to keep heeding the call of his coaches. “Sabi kasi ng coaches nung first round, ‘CJ, you need to have extra passes kasi scouted ka na. Na-scout na yung open court mo kaya pasa-pasa dapat,’” he said. He then continued, “Dahil dun, nag-improve yung playmaking ko.” --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 28th, 2018

PVL: Lady Eagles stomp class over Lady Warriors

IMUS --- Ateneo-Motolite proved that its first round win over Pocari Sweat-Air Force was no fluke as the Lady Eagles crushed the Lady Warriors, 27-25, 25-21, 25-21, Saturday in the Premier Volleyball League Season 2 Open Conference at the Imus Sports Complex here. The trio of Maddie Madayag, Ponggay Gaston and Kat Tolentino returned to action after skipping the Lady Eagles’ end of first round loss to Creamline to help power the Ateneo-Motolite to its sixth win in eight games. Unlike in their first meeting that went to four sets, the Lady Eagles submitted the Lady Warriors in an emphatic fashion to move up at second spot tied with idle BanKo. Ateneo-Motolite came back from a 19-21 deficit with a 4-0 blitz to take a 23-21 advantage in the third set. Bea De Leon pushed the Lady Eagles at match point with a power tip before the Lady Warriors were called for an error that sealed the 92-minute match. “What I’m telling my players, ‘we have to do more of what we did during the first round.’ Sabi ko naman every game is a learning day,” said Ateneo-Motolite head coach Oliver Almadro. “I guess yung ginawa ng team ko is (ipinakita nila) ‘yung resiliency.”        De Leon and Tolentino led the way for the Lady Eagles as the veterans scored 12 each and combining for 18 of the team’s 32 attack points. Madayag, Gaston and rookie Vanessa Gandler added six each for the Katipunan-based squad, which will take on league-leading Creamline on Sunday in Batangas.    Ateneo-Motolite used its morale-boosting comeback in the first set from a 20-22 deficit to dictate the tempo of the game. The Lady Eagles controlled the second frame early to cruise to a 2-0 match lead.     Myla Pablo was the only Lady Warrior in double figures with 15 points while Jeannete Panaga and Del Palomata finished with eight each for Pocari Sweat, which suffered its second straight defeat to slide down to 4-5 mark.         --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 27th, 2018

MAJOR POINT: Has the PBA Solved Its Draft Problem?

Late last week on October 12th, the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) made an announcement that the PBA Board of Governors voted and agreed unanimously that starting 2019, the number 1 overall draft pick can no longer be traded and is exclusively for the worst team in the league to pick who they choose. At first glance, the PBA’s announcement looks like a solution to the draft problem that has gone on for over a decade. If you just read the headline or skimmed through the press release or an article written on the subject maybe you think the PBA has found its solution to the draft problem that caused division in the PBA Board and led to the hiring of a new commissioner after another draft debacle last year. Ever the skeptic, I read more than the headlines. Instead of skimming through the press release and articles, I read the fine print. After my readings and a few discussions with basketball people, do I feel the PBA has found a solution to its draft problem? I’m skeptical. I have questions. But before we get to my questions, lets take a look at how the PBA got itself in a situation where they had to make an actual rule that the worst team in the league CAN’T trade the number one overall pick: 2005: Anthony “Jay” Washington gets drafted number one overall by Air21 Express. Washington gets traded on draft day to the Talk ’N Text Phone Pals. Talk ’N Text was second in wins in the PBA in the three conferences leading up to the 2005 draft. 2008: The Talk ’N Text Phone Pals have picks 2 and 4 in the first round of the draft despite being tied for the most number of wins in the 2006-2007 season. They draft Jared Dillinger and Rob Reyes with those picks. TNT trades Jay Washington to the San Miguel Beermen and acquires the third overall pick, which turns out to be Jayson Castro. 2009: Japeth Aguilar is selected number one overall by the Burger King Whoppers. Aguilar plays one game for the Whoppers, before he is shipped to the Talk N Text Tropang Texters in a three-way trade also involving Barako Bull. Burger King was able to get Barako Bull’s 2010 (previously acquired by Talk ‘N Text) and 2012 first-round picks along with Talk ‘N Text’s 2013 and 2014 first-round picks. 2010: Noy Baclao and Rabeh Al-Hussaini are selected first and second overall by Air21 Express. Midway through their rookie season both Baclao and Al-Hussaini along with Rey Guevarra are traded to Petron Blaze in exchange for Danny Seigle, Dondon Hontiveros, Dorian Peña and Paul Artadi. Baclao and Al-Hussaini help the Petron Blaze win the 2011 PBA Governors’ Cup. Al-Hussaini wins Rookie of the Year. 2012: The Petron Blaze Boosters (from Barako Bull via Air21) select June Mar Fajardo number one overall. 2013: Barangay Ginebra (from Air21) selects Greg Slaughter number one overall. Barako Bull had the fourth, fifth and sixth picks in the first round. Barako Bull decides to trade away all three first round picks. The fifth pick turns out to be Terrence Romeo. 2014: Despite winning the Philippine Cup in a 4-0 sweep, Talk ’N Text lands the second and fourth picks overall and selects Kevin Alas and Matthew Ganuelas-Rosser before the 2014-2015 PBA season begins. Alas & Ganuelas-Rosser help Talk ’N Text win the 2015 Commisioner’s Cup. Kia Sorento with their first pick in franchise history selects Manny Pacquiao 11th overall. 2015: Despite winning the 2015 Commissioner’s Cup, Talk ’N Text has the number one overall pick (from Blackwater). Talk ’N Text selects Moala Tautuaa number one and then two days later trade for the number two overall pick, Troy Rosario (Mahindra). 2016: The “Special” Draft. Gilas players are selected behind closed doors. One Gilas cadet per team, not to be traded for two years. Draft order was never released to the PBA fans/public. 2017: The San Miguel Beerman, despite winning two championships, having the most wins and the best win percentage, select Christian Standhardinger number one overall after a trade from Kia. Losing out on the Standhardinger sweepstakes, TNT blasts Commissioner Narvasa for approving the trade. The PBA divides where seven teams declare they have a “loss of confidence” in Commissioner Narvasa. Five teams support Commissioner Narvasa. After a three-month stalemate, Commissioner Narvasa steps down and the PBA Board appoints a new commissioner, Willie Marcial. As you can see, it is a little more complicated than having the number one overall pick protected from a trade. While the number one overall pick has been traded seven times in the last 13 years, which has to be some kind of record, there have been other issues as well. And that is where my long list of questions begins: -    What’s to stop an already winning team from stacking up multiple first round picks other than the number one overall pick, like in 2008 and 2014? -    This "no trading of the top pick rule" becomes effective in 2019. Why the wait? Why can’t it apply this year? Columbian Dyip has the first pick this season. History says they could likely trade that pick to a championship team. Why do we have to go through this make-believe world another year? -    Hypothetically, how would the PBA handle this situation: Phoenix trades an active player to Rain or Shine for ROS’s 2021 1st round pick. Unfortunately, in 2020, ROS has a variety of injuries and acquires the number one overall pick. What happens then? Who gets the first pick? ROS or Phoenix? -    After the first pick is drafted, when does that player selected first become tradeable? Can it be traded after the draft? If not, for how long? Looking at the draft history of the last 13 years, you have to wonder, what were the objectives of teams like Air21, Barako Bull & Kia? Were those teams in the league to form competitive teams? Were they attempting to build championship teams? Why were those teams trading so many of their top picks? Columbian justified its trading of the number pick last year by saying they were going to play in an “unconventional” way. Their unconventional way has led them to five wins in 31 games so far this season. It has also earned them the number one overall pick for the second year in a row. The PBA Draft is supposed to be fun. It used to be fun. Before 2005, the PBA Draft was a legitimate event. It was something to look forward to. The idea of the draft is still special in theory. It’s a day where dreams come true. Drafted players lives change that day. Many times, the lives of a player's family change forever when their son or husband or father is drafted in the PBA. It's an opportunity for teams who have struggled to get better. It's supposed to give hope to teams drafting high and a challenge to teams drafting low. That is how the draft system is supposed to work. Unfortunately, in the PBA that system has been broke for a long time. I like the idea and the spirit of the draft. However, last year on my podcast, Staying MAJOR, I argued that the PBA should scrap its draft. That made me sad. It made me sad because I feel like the spirit of the PBA Draft has been lost. It's been lost by teams manipulating the system for the improvement of their individual team or their team's objective, but not for the betterment of the league. I’m tired of the PBA Draft getting hijacked every year. And now we have to likely go through it again this year. Even after what happened last year. Not being able to trade the number one pick sounds good. It’s a nice blanket statement. I even think it might be a step in the right direction. But, sometimes when you're bleeding, you need more than a band-aid. Fans aren’t naive. They can figure out what’s going on when year after year the rich get richer and the poor stay poor. Maybe some of my questions will get answered here as the draft approaches? Maybe Columbian Dyip won’t trade their pick again? Maybe that’s just wishful thinking on my part? If there is a silver lining, it is at least the PBA and its Board have acknowledged that there is a problem. At least there was an attempt to fix it. I’d say vetting of new potential franchises, so the PBA doesn’t have members who want to trade their draft picks to already successful teams is the bigger issue, but hopefully this is a start of trying to level the playing field. Wouldn’t it be fun to have teams that haven’t won in a while, keep their picks and build contending teams? Or at least not give them to the already strong teams? Wouldn’t that be fun? Wouldn’t it be fun to celebrate the draft spirit of hope on draft day without trying to figure out how the best teams ended up with the top picks again? The PBA is a professional, competitive, sports league. That’s what it’s supposed to be. The PBA is supposed to be fun too. However, it’s NOT fun or competitive when the top teams keep picking high every year. That’s not real competition to me. So will the PBA’s new rule regarding the number one overall pick change anything? This year, no. Starting next year, maybe. I’d like to be optimistic that there will be change or that this rule will initiate an on-going conversation of how to make the draft better. Unfortunately, we still have a full year of waiting before we find out. Eric Menk played in the PBA from 1999 to 2016. Menk is a four-time PBA champion, three-time PBA Finals MVP and one-time PBA MVP (2005). He will be writing for ABS-CBN Sports weekly. Menk also has his podcast Staying MAJOR as welll as his own YouTube channel ......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 19th, 2018

PVL: Valdez not closing doors on politics

Alyssa Valdez could be looking at running for public position in the future. With the local elections just a few months away and following volleyball legend Leila Barros being elected as a senator in Brazil, Valdez said that she’s ‘not closing her doors’ to politics.      In fact, she and some local volleyball stars are now in the process of conceptualizing a partylist that aim to promote the welfare of Filipino athletes and nation building through sports.     “You know honestly kami talaga nina Ate Cha (Soriano), mga teammates ko from Ateneo, we really wanted to (form) a partylist,” said the Creamline power hitter. “Gusto talaga namin ang ibang tao na mag-support talaga sa sports. ‘Yun pa lang parang may concept na.” A representation in the House of Representatives, according to Valdez, will give athletes a voice in the government.  “We really wanted to help not just volleyball, siyempre we want the support talaga sa lahat ng sports,” added the three-time UAAP Most Valuable Player.  “Lalo na ako na nakikita ko whenever I go out of the country like Asian Games grabe talaga ang support ng bawat country na nakakalaban namin. So I wanted also na ganoon ang mangyari sa Philippines,” added the national team member.  However, the possibility of running for a position could take a few more years to materialize as Valdez is still enjoying her peak in the sport.  "We are trying to conceptualize pa lang naman,” explained Valdez. “We’re serious but as of now marami pa rin naman nangyayari sa amin sa volleyball kung na-settle muna lahat, so why not di ba?”     Barros a hero Barros endeared herself among the Filipino fans when the talented Brazilian opposite spiker strutted her wares during the country’s hosting of the FIVB Grand Prix in the late 90s early 2000s. With her charm, beauty and incredible power and skill, the 5-foot-10 hitter received a rock star status among adoring fans and became a hero among local volleyball players including most of the country’s stars today. One of them is Valdez.      “Leila Barros siguro is one of the heroes of Philippine volleyball. Isa siya sa talagan hinangaan ng lahat ng tao that’s why we’re all here,” said Valdez, who was just eight years old when Barros last saw action in the country during the 2000 World Grand Prix. “As a volleyball player I’m just really proud na may someone na very strong and brave enough to face another chapter of her life,” she added. Valdez herself has been actively doing civic works through her clinics and support to other foundations.  And her following Barros’ footsteps in public service is not far-fetched. "Siguro hindi naman sa ayaw kong magsalita ng tapos, mga councilor muna, hindi just kidding,” she said. “I really want to help not just volleyball in general but siguro sa nakukuha kong responsibility ko ay hindi lang din naman nali-limit sa volleyball. “Siyempre kailangan mo rin namang maka-experience ng mas madami, si Leila Barros nga ilang taon na rin naman then dun lang din nya na-realize na she’s ready to serve,” Valdez continued. “Hindi naman sa hinihintay ko siguro darating naman ang point na may mag-snap dyan na ‘you really have to serve (the country) after na lang ng volleyball siguro." “I’m not closing my doors but im really happy to help anyone din naman so who knows,” she said.       --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 15th, 2018

PVL: De Guzman, Ultra Fast Hitters ready for tough grind against HD Spikers

The last time PLDT Home Fibr team captain John Vic De Guzman faced defending champion Cignal, the prized scorer together with another power-hitter Mark Alfafara held their ground to topple a star-studded Cignal squad. De Guzman and Alfafara, both members of the national team that saw action in the 2017 Southeast Asian Games in Malaysia, displayed their full arsenal to outgun the Marck Espejo-bannered HD Spikers in four sets. The win helped PLDT get the monkey of its back after a disappointing start in the Premier Volleyball League Season 2 Reinforced Conference men’s division. Crossing paths once again and this time with the Finals berth at stake, De Guzman and the Ultra Fast Hitters hope to reassert their mastery over the reigning titlists at the start of their best-of-three series Sunday at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan. Action begins at 10:00 a.m.   PLDT may have scored an upset over Cignal the last time out but their prelims victory won’t matter much in this battle with too much at stake.     “Sa preparation talagang nag-focus kami sa team. Of course pinractice namin kung ano yung mga possible play ng Cignal,” said De Guzman, who had 21 points in PLDT’s 25-20, 26-24, 26-28, 25-23 win over the HD Spikers last May 20 in Batangas. “Well, yes, tinalo namin sila nu’ng semis pero hindi nangangahulugan ‘yon na magiging kampante kami, especially ngayon semifinals, talagang paghahandaan nila kami. Ganon din kami mas pinaghandaan namin at mas nag-double time kami para mas maging maayos ‘yung flow nu’ng team,” added De Guzman, who had plenty of help from Alfafara in their win over Cignal where the former University of Sto. Tomas standout unleashed 29 point with 26 coming off kills. Cignal claimed the outright Final Four berth while PLDT took the long road to advance in the semis. The HD Spikers are coming off a long layoff. The Ultra Fast Hitters won their first two matches in the round robin quarterfinals only to lose in their last outing against Philippine Air Force to land at no. 4 seed. Despite coming off a loss, PLDT remains optimistic of its chances.        “Ang pinaka key lang namin is ‘yung teamwork. We all know na champion team sila at ilang conferences na silang magkakasama sa isang team unlike us talaga na binunot sa iba’t ibang universities but then again hindi naman magiging hadlang yon para mawalan kami ng kumpiyansa,” said De Guzman. “Malaki ang tiwala ko sa PLDT team especially sa coaches, and I know may purpose si God whatever will be the result of the game.” Game 2 of the series is on July 4 while Game 3, if needed, is on July 6.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 30th, 2018

Flood, illness could not stop Robert Bolick from getting his well-deserved trophy

Until the very end, Robert Bolick had to work for his first-ever individual trophy in the collegiate ranks. The undisputed leader of NCAA champion San Beda University was all set to be recognized as the Player of the Year in the 2018 Chooks-to-Go Collegiate Basketball Awards held last Thursday at The Bayleaf Hotel in Intramuros. Three hours before the event organized by the UAAP-NCAA Press Corps, however, he had bad news. As it turns out, Bolick was not feeling well and his stomach flu had him on the verge of going to the hospital. “Masakit talaga. Two days na nga akong hindi nakapag-practice (with San Beda),” his message read. And so, it appeared that the 5-foot-11 lead guard would not be able to hoist his first-ever individual trophy. With that, the air became heavy inside the venue as, aside from Bolick, also absent from the event were four awardees from Ateneo de Manila University, who were in Greece for tuneup games, and two awardees from Lyceum of the Philippines University, who were in Calatagan, Batangas for team-building. The downpour of rain and, of course the sudden flooding it entailed, didn’t help either as several representatives of the awardees were regrettably forced to miss the awards night as well. And then, right in the middle of the heavy rain, Bolick told the UAAP-NCAA Press Corps that he was willing his way to the event. “Sirs, pupunta (na) ako, for sure. Para sa inyo, sirs, kakayanin ko ‘to,” his message read. Not only that, he was going to Intramuros from Sta. Ana in Manila by booking an Angkas. “Sarap pala mag-Angkas no? Traffic lang saka natakot ako sa mga truck,” he shared. And so, until the very end, the now 21-year-old had to work for his first-ever individual trophy in the collegiate ranks. Whatever it was, though, he said that finally holding the Player of the Year was well worth it. “Ang sarap. Meaning lang nito, mahal niyo ako,” he said, joshing with reporters. True to form, however, he was also quick to add, “Pero sa akin wala talaga yung individual. All I want is a championship.” Along with the trophy, event backer Chooks-to-Go also rewarded all of Bolick’s efforts with PhP 15, 000 in cash. In the end, the stomach flu, the heavy rain, and the flood he had to overcome were no match for the well-deserved recognition as well as pocket money to celebrate it. After all, the pride of Ormoc, Leyte had already proven that he could persevere through the longer, harder route just to get to his destination. While he was the hands-down King Lion, coming through when his team needed him the most, he was left out of any individual hardware after being disqualified for the Mythical Team due to a controversial ejection in an elimination round game and after being edged out by teammate Donald Tankoua for Finals MVP. And so, even with two team championships, Bolick was yet to receive individual honors – from his time as a reserve in De La Salle University to his time as main man of San Beda. Not anymore, as the UAAP-NCAA Press Corps set up the stage for, at long last, his one shining moment. And just like he always does, Robert Bolick, finished it all with a flourish. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 22nd, 2018

PVL: Cagande making a name for herself in PVL debut

BaliPure-National University may be the youngest team in the Premier Volleyball League Season 2 Reinforced Conference with its core composed of high school standouts but the Water Defenders are already making their presence felt and could give other established squads a run for their money. After falling short in their debut, BaliPure went on a roll, winning their next three matches to climb to a share of the lead with Creamline and PayMaya. American import Janisa Johnson is scoring consistently since she checked in for BaliPure in their second match while young libero Jennifer Nierva is holding the fort on floor defense. But the recent success of the Water Defenders could also be attributed to the steady game and quick adjustments of setter Joyme Cagande. The incoming Lady Bulldog has been lording over the setting department with an average of 9.1 excellent set per frame.     Known for her superb playmaking for the four-peat UAAP high school champion Nazareth School of NU, Cagande continues to dazzle even in the import-laden commercial league. The reigning UAAP high school Best Setter delivered her best performance yet with 54 excellent sets Wednesday in BaliPure’s 25-22, 25-22, 22-25, 32-30, win over BanKo at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.    Cagande welcomes the challenge of setting up plays to imports Johnson and Alexis Matthews, who are grizzled veterans in international play.      “Challenging siya kasi especially may imports. Iba kasi yung speed ng import, iba yung height ng import so kailangan talaga nandoon ang dedication mo para makuha ang eksaktong set for them,” said Cagande, daughter of a Philippine Star senior photographer Joven. Cagande is particularly comfortable playing with Johnson, making their tandem one of the most dangerous setter-hitter partnerships in the tournament. “Actually po kay Ate Janisa sobrang walang pressure kasi nandoon lang ang support niya lagi,” she said. “Always kapag ang set ko mali nandoon lagi ang feedback niya po kaya hindi gaanong mahirap makipag-work together with her.” Johnson in her previous interview said that she likes her role as mentor and ‘mother’ for the young BaliPure players. Cagande surely is learning a lot from the hitter, who is just coming off two big tournaments in France.  “‘Yung mga adjustments po sa mga mistakes (ang tinuturo niya). Sinasabi niya na OK lang mag-commit ng mistakes basta yung ibibigay nyong solution kaagad nandoon,” Cagande said of one of the things she learned from Johnson. With a 3-1 win-loss record the Water Defenders are in the thick of the battle for the outright semis seats. Expect Cagande to be one of the BaliPure players leading the way.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 23rd, 2018

PBA: Scottie says Japeth knows where to go for that haircut

Japeth Aguilar’s hair is getting bushier and bushier by the day. Again, the Ginebra star isn’t growing his hair because of a higher meaning. That new ‘do was made possible because he hasn’t found time for a haircut. For that problem, though, a teammate of his has the answer. “Paggusto na niya magpagupit, best barbershop is Thompson’s Sports Hair Shop,” Scottie Thompson said on Sunday at the Araneta Coliseum. The Gin King guard owns a chain of barbershops with branches in Batangas, Bulacan, Cagayan Valley, Davao, and Paranaque. He isn’t about to give his teammate any freebies, however. Asked if he will sponsor Aguilar’s haircut, he answered, through chuckles, “Hindi, hindi.” He was also quick to add, however, “Pero depende rin sa kanya.” Will Japeth take up Scottie on his offer? Only time will tell. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 20th, 2018

The five Super Moms behind your favorite athletes

The saying goes “For every great man, there is a great woman.” This holds true in the world of sports, where athletes lean on their moms during their development, through their success, and beyond. Remember when NBA superstar Kevin Durant of the Golden State Warriors received the MVP award for the 2013-2014 season? He offered his award to his mom for her dedication in bringing him up the right way. In the Philippines, our local athletes also cherish their mom as much as they cherish their wins and accolades. Let’s take a look at five super moms who have been caught by S+A’s cameras supporting their children game in and game out.   1.) Mozzy Ravena   But the plan is to show you that i understand. You are appreciated. . . . . . . Happy mother’s day @ravenamozzy ! A post shared by Kiefer Ravena (@kieferravena15) on May 12, 2018 at 4:39pm PDT Mozzy Ravena is always there for her kids. Mozzy Ravena is probably the most prominent sporting mom S+A has caught. Not only is she a former star for the UST Golden Tigresses, she is also the mom of the Ravena siblings who have made a mark in their respective UAAP sports. Kiefer, Thirdy, and Dani Ravena surely have one heck of a super mom that never tire from cheering them on and lecturing them about what it takes to be an ultimate athlete. When Ateneo plays, everyone is sure that Tita Mozzy will be there for her kids.   2.) Lydia De Vega-Mercado Former Filipina super sprinter and national track team mainstay Lydia De Vega-Mercado made sure to support daughter Stephanie's volleyball dream. The former national sprinter, who was considered the fastest woman in Asia during her heydays in the ‘80s, is also the mother of former star DLSU Lady Spiker and current Petro Gazz Angel Stephanie Mercado. While her daughter did not follow in her footsteps and pursued volleyball instead of athletics, it did not stop her from showing up in her Paneng’s games and celebrated her championships as if she just won in a World Championship for the 100m dash.   3.) Susan Teng     Congrats @jeronalvinteng for winning your second championship and being the finals mvp! Great way to end your college career! 👍 A post shared by jeric teng (@tengjeric) on Dec 7, 2016 at 4:21am PST Susan Teng is all out when it comes to supporting her sons during their collegiate careers, never mind that they went to different schools.  When it comes to former UAAP stars and brothers, Jeron and Jeric Teng, their father Alvin is mentioned more being a former professional basketball player. However, as much as the Teng brothers credit their dad for their love and development in the sport, they also heap as much love to their mother Susan, who has been with them every step of the way, starting to when they were still small basketeers.   4.) Pablita Valdez Pablita Valdez made a big decision in letting her precious Alyssa travel to Manila and embark on a journey towards volleyball stardom. Before her daughter even became a national sensation, Pablita, who was a teacher in Batangas, believed that Alyssa was in store for great things when she started playing volleyball. It is that belief that made her decide to bring the younger Valdez to Manila where she can hone her talent and play in tougher situations and competition. That decision has paid off in spades as the volleyball phenom was born and her star’s ascent was meteoric. Every step of the way, Mama Pablita was there for her and we couldn’t thank her enough for giving us an excellent and much-loved star.   5.) Marilyn Mollena It took them 13 years to be together, but for every spike and score, Marilyn Mollena was on the mind of the Lady Beast, Grethcel Soltones.  Mommy Marilyn was the reason why Grethcel Soltones became the “Lady Beast.” Young Grethcel decided to play volleyball during her formative years as she searched for her mom. She thought that it was the easiest avenue to meet her mother after 13 years if she played and got broadcast on TV. She soon got her wish for on her last year with the San Sebastian Lady Stags when Marilyn surprised the Lady Beast during the individual awarding ceremonies and the whole nation even got to witness the touching reunion on TV.    Catch more super moms and also super dads on ABS-CBN S+A as it continues to champion Filipino athletes and sports development through the coverage of sports events and the airing of inspiring features on teams and athletes. For more information and stories, visit ABS-CBN’s sports hub sports.abs-cbn.com and follow us on Facebook and Twitter......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 13th, 2018