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UAAP 82: Ahanmisi takes Franz’s challenge personal and delivers best game of the year

Jerrick Ahanmisi scored a combined 17 points in Adamson’s first two games of the UAAP Season 82 men’s basketball tournament. In the win against UE Wednesday however, Ahanmisi exploded for 28 points, connecting on seven triples to power Adamson to victory. As Jerrick has regained his touch, it’s no coincidence that the Falcons are on the first winning streak of the year with their best victory of the season so far. “He wants to make it to the PBA,” head coach Franz Pumaren said of his top guard’s scoring outburst. “I told him the way he’s playing, I don’t think he’ll make the next level. He probably adjusted his level,” he added, before laughing at Ahanmisi who was sitting right next to him. Jerrick agreed with his coach though, saying him stepping up was needed. Coach Franz’s challenge was pretty much answered by Ahanmisi with the win against the Red Warriors. “Before we went out, he kinda told me that I had to step up my game a little bit. I kinda took it a little personal,” Ahanmisi said. “So I went out there and tried to do what I was capable of doing,” he added.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource: abscbn abscbnSep 11th, 2019

Ateneo takes fight out of UST to stay spotless in PCCL

SJ Belangel brought the big guns for the second straight game in the 2020 Philippine Collegiate Champions League NCAA-UAAP Challenge while Ange Kouame brought the finishing kick as Ateneo de Manila University triumphed over University of Sto. Tomas, 82-71, in a tight tiff in the middle of the Filoil Flying V Centre on Sunday. Belangel dropped 26 points built on six triples, all while showing the Blue Eagles the way to yet another convincing victory versus the Growling Tigers whom they downed int eh Finals of last year's UAAP Men's Basketball Tournament. The third-year guard was on-point from the get-go and already had seven points in their 12-3 start that eventually became a 27-10 edge. When UST threatened in the final frame, however, it was Kouame who imposed his will and had four points in Ateneo's 11-0 run that re-increased a three-point lead into an 82-68 advantage inside the last two minutes. "Tough game. Rough game. I think it's two pretty good teams out there who are not in midseason form," Coach Tab Baldwin said as the game became more intense as it went along and in the end, saw a total of 64 fouls called. In the end, the Ivorian tower tallied 15 points, 13 rebounds, and five blocks to help lift his team to the first slot in the PCCL Final Four. The Blue Eagles also got much-welcome contributions from Troy Mallillin and Geo Chiu with the former finishing with seven points and six rebounds in just 14 minutes and the latter ending with five markers and seven boards in 11 minutes. On the other hand, the Growling Tigers were fronted by Deo Cuajao and Rhenz Abando who scored 14 points apiece. With UAAP MVP Soulemane Chabi Yo limited to only five points and six rebounds, however, they suffer their first setback in two tries. BOX SCORES ATENEO 82 - Belangel 26, Kouame 15, D. Ramos 8, Daves 7, Mallillin 6, Chiu 5, Tio 4, Navarro 4, E. Ramos 4, Mamuyac 1, P. Maagdenberg 1, E. Maagdenberg 1, Credo 0. UST 71 - Cuajao 14, Abando 14, Cansino 10, Nonoy 9, Concepcion 8, Chabi Yo 5, Manalang 3, Ando 2, Manaytay 2, Paraiso 2, Bataller 2, Garing 0. QUARTER SCORES: 29-15, 48-38, 66-65, 82-71. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 9th, 2020

Juan GDL turns attention to Gilas, takes step back from UP in UAAP 83

The University of the Philippines will be without one of its proudest products for this year's UAAP Men's Basketball Tournament. Juan Gomez de Liano has decided to take time away from the Fighting Maroons in pursuit of personal development in other leagues. The 6-foot-1 playmaker shared that he has set his sights on a stint in the next season of the MPBL. In turn, that will keep him away from the Fighting Maroons who are already in the process of preparing for Season 83. Juan GDL put up per game counts of 8.0 points, 5.4 rebounds, 2.3 assists, and 1.1 steals in State U's run to the second-seed last year. Now, he hopes to showcase his skills in higher level of competition. “I’m not used to sitting out even just for a year, but I think this is the best decision like me and my family talked about,” he said. At the same time, the former Rookie of the Year and Mythical selection said he wants to completely commit himself to the Gilas Pilipinas pool. “I will now have for time for Gilas. When you get that chance, that’s a no-brainer,” he said. There, he will join big brother Javi who had also decided to sit out next season. Nonetheless, Juan GDL made it a point to say that playing for UP yet again is always an option. “I’m not closing my doors on Season 84. UP has been my home for seven years,” he said. Indeed, he is just 20-years-old and has the next four to five years to use his last two seasons of eligibility. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 6th, 2020

UAAP Season 82: Tigresses dedicate season to injured Alessandrini

The University of Sto. Tomas Tigresses are using the absence of Fil-Italian Milena Alessandrini as fuel for their burning desire to finish the job of reclaiming the throne. Instead of treating the loss of a reliable scorer in 6-foot-2 Alessandrini as a setback, the Tigresses see it as a challenge for those who will see action in the UAAP Season 82 women’s volleyball tournament to step up.  The hitter is still recovering from a partial anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear and grade 3 sprain of the MCL (medial collateral ligament) and LCL (lateral collateral ligament) she sustained March last year. “Since nu’ng training camp pa lang nu’ng nalaman namin na di na makakalaro si Ate Amiga sobrang nagdo-double time lahat ng outside namin, kaming mga outside, para punan ang slot na naiwan ni Ate Amiga,” said incoming sophomore Eya Laure. Alessandrini, who averaged 15.6 points per game last year, remains very positive as she takes her time to fully recover and get back in tiptop shape according to Laure. “Si Ate Amiga naman nu’ng nakausap ko siya, positive naman siya na makakabalik siya,” she said. “Nandoon pa rin naman siya sa progress ng pag-recover niya and sabi ko naman sa kanya hihintayin ko siya, wag lang siya ma-frustrate or something na negative na ikahihila niya pababa.” “Nandito pa rin kaming team and UST to help her and support her na makabalik ulit siya sa playing form niya for next season,” added Laure. Laure, last season’s Rookie of the Year, compares this unexpected setback to UST’s situation last year when they lost middle Tin Francisco to a knee injury while building up for Season 81. “Actually parang similar lang last year. Si Ate Tin, nu’ng na-ACL [injury] din siya unexpected din yun,” she recalled. “Sobra kaming nalungkot pero more on mas na-motivate kami kung paano pupunan ang naiwan niyang slot dun.”  Aside from missing the services of Francisco, the Tigresses last year also suffered a huge setback with Alessandrini down with a knee injury but UST behind Laure and then senior Sisi Rondina rallied to a runner-up finish in the Espana-based squad's first Finals appearance after eight years.    “Kahit papaano naman nag-step up ang lahat. Gumawa ng paraan ang lahat kumbaga team effort kasi ‘yung nangyari last year din and hopefully ngayong year team effort pa rin,” said Laure. The Tigresses are confident that their holdovers from last year, key recruits and the much-awaited return of Season 77 Rookie of the Year EJ Laure will be enough to fill the void left by Alessandrini, now graduate Rondina and Dimdim Pacres, who decided to forego her last playing year.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 30th, 2020

UAAP 82: Worry not, Adamson, Jerrick Ahanmisi isn t going anywhere

Adamson University will not be playing in the Final Four of the UAAP 82 Men's Basketball Tournament - that's a first in the four years with head coach Franz Pumaren at the helm. That's the worse news, Wednesday at Araneta Coliseum, after the bad news that had the Soaring Falcons bowing to Far Eastern University. Still, there's good news - Jerrick Ahanmisi will be playing out his fifth and final year. "I'm playing my final year and however the outcome goes, I'm just gonna give it my all next year," he told reporters. What started as a promising campaign for Ahanmisi and teammates instead became a sorry season as in its last seven games, Adamson has only won once. And admittedly, the Filipino-Nigerian guard was a big reason why that was so. "I didn't perform as well as I was supposed you. It cost us, as you guys saw, in the losses we had," he said as he is, through 12 games, averaging only 14.2 points in 36 percent shooting from the field to go along with 3.8 rebounds. This, after his best season a year ago wherein he posted per game counts of 17.5 points on 42 percent shooting from the field on top of 4.0 rebounds. Still, even though they have already been eliminated from contention, Ahanmisi vowed that he and the Soaring Falcons will continue going all-out in their last two games. "The season didn't go as planned, but we still got two games left and we just gotta finish the season out strong," he said. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 23rd, 2019

San Beda, Adamson set up semis date in Filoil Preseason

Three-time NCAA champion San Beda University has forged a 2019 Filoil Flying V Preseason Tournament semifinals showdown with UAAP powerhouse Adamson University after the two teams won out in their respective games, Monday at Filoil Flying V Centre. The Red Lions had the 1-2 punch of sophomore studs Evan Nelle and James Canlas knock out fighting Far Eastern University, 60-52. Nelle starred with 16 points to go along with four assists, four rebounds, and two assists. He fired six of his output in a four minute spurt that re-increased the three-time NCAA champions' lead from two, 44-42, to eight, 54-46. Canlas shone bright himself with 13 markers, seven boards, two dimes, and one steal that snuffed out the Tamaraws' last try at a comeback inside the last two minutes. "I'm happy about their development," head coach Boyet Fernandez said post-game, nothing but satisfied with his second-year stars. "Sabi ko nga nung sa PBA D-League, bata pa mga players ko, pero yung development nila, you'll see the maturity of these two now." Donald Tankoua also chimed in 12 points and five rebounds for San Beda which remains undefeated after eight games. Earlier, the Soaring Falcons took the seat opposite the Red Lions by routing shorthanded San Sebastian College-Recoletos, 81-61. Congolese center Lenda Douanga posted a 17-point, 15-rebound double-double all while leading four other teammates in double-digit scoring. "Today, we just had to take care of business because we know very well San Sebastian is shorthanded," head coach Franz Pumaren said. That is exactly what Adamson did as Simon Camacho made his presence felt everywhere with 11 points, 10 rebounds, seven assists, and one block while the backcourt of Jerom Lastimosa and Jerrick Ahanmisi merged for 24 markers, five boards, and four dimes. That total team effort was more than enough to put away the Golden Stags who were without ailing Allyn Bulanadi and then lost RK Ilagan to an apparent leg injury early in the game. The showdown between Adamson and San Beda is the main event for the preseason tournament's semifinals on Thursday still at the same venue. Meanwhile, Lyceum of the Philippines University made headway into the other semifinals pairing after taking the sting out of Centro Escolar University, 76-69. Alvin Baetiong and Reymar Caduyac showed the Pirates the way to the Final Four as the former finished with 13 points and five rebounds and the latter ended with 10 markers, three assists, and two boards. It was also those two who connived to quell the Scorpions' late-game rally and made sure their team overcame an apparent nose injury to top gun Jaycee Marcelino. LPU now await the winner between De La Salle University and Colegio de San Juan de Letran in their ongoing matchup. For nine-man CEU, Senegalese Maodo Malick Diouf fronted the effort with 17 points, 19 rebounds, seven assists, five blocks, and one steal. BOX SCORES FIRST GAME ADAMSON 81 - Douanga 17, Lastimosa 14, Camacho 11, Manlapaz 11, Ahanmisi 10, Sabandal 9, Zaldivar 4, Yerro 3, Magbuhos 2, Fermin 0, Bernardo 0, Doria 0, Maata 0 SAN SEBASTIAN 61 - Sumoda 12, Desoyo 12, Are 10, Capobres 8, Villapando 7, Calma 7, Altamirano 3, Calahat 2, Loristo 0, Ilagan 0, Tero 0, Dela Cruz 0 QUARTER SCORES: 15-17, 38-31, 62-47, 81-61 SECOND GAME LPU 76 - Baetiong 13, Caduyac 10, Marcelino JC 9, Ibanez 8, Marcelino JV 6, Santos 6, Yong 6, David 4, Remulla 4, Valdez 4, Tansingco 2, Navarro 2, Laurente 2, Gaviola 0 CEU 69 - Diouf 17, Guinitaran 16, Santos 12, Diaz 8, Caballero 5, Sunga 4, Abastillas 4, Bernabe 3, Pamaran 0 QUARTER SCORES: 22-21, 47-33, 58-50, 76-69 THIRD GAME SAN BEDA 60 - Nelle 16, Canlas 13, Tankoua 12, Oftana 6, Bahio 4, Cuntapay 4, Doliguez 3, Noah 2, Penuela 0, Alfaro 0, Abuda 0, Soberano 0, Carino 0, Etrata 0 FEU 52 - Ebona 8, Tuffin 7, Comboy 7, Tchuente 5, Bienes 5, Nunag 5, Stockton 3, Gonzales 3, Alforque 3, Celzo 3, Cani 3, Torres 0 QUARTER SCORES: 19-12, 25-21, 42-42, 60-52 --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 17th, 2019

Celtics ready to take best charge by Giannis, Bucks

By Steve Aschburner, NBA.com MILWAUKEE -- Giannis Antetokounmpo and his Milwaukee Bucks teammates are eager to get going in the Eastern Conference semifinals, as bottled up as they’ve felt in waiting six days between playoff games. A perfect offensive start to Game 1 of their best-of-seven series against Boston would look something like Giannis grabbing the basketball, racing downcourt with one of his breathtaking, three-dribble, end-to-end run-outs and attacking the rim with the ferocity and scowl with which he’s played all season. [Watch the Playoffs on NBA League Pass for 30% less with this limited time offer! Select Annual package and use code SAVE30 at checkout to redeem] Perfect, that is, until Jaylen Brown slides over to plant himself between Antetokounmpo and the restricted area. Whoops! Pancaked Jaylen gets the whistle, while chastened Giannis picks up his first foul and turnover of the Sunday matinee (early Monday, PHL time). It's a strategy out of judo or jiu-jitsu, using your opponent’s power and aggression to your advantage, and it’s one the Celtics likely will deploy against the Bucks’ star and Kia MVP candidate. Getting between Antetokounmpo and the rim isn’t the most comfortable way to defend the against the Greek Freak’s drives into the lane, his maddening Euro Step and his ability to reach up, over and beyond with arms fit for a crane. He’s all elbows and knees, muscles and bones, and at 6'11" and 242 pounds, he’s been giving as much physical punishment as he takes this season. A defender has to absorb that and then sell the move, too, falling backward to the floor. No fun. But it might be one of the few effective ways to slow – if not stop – Antetokounmpo on a Bucks possession, with the added benefits of killing momentum, planting some doubt and ticking up his personal fouls count closer toward an all-critical sixth. Brown and Celtics teammate Terry Rozier both suggested Antetokounmpo could be slowed by such a maneuver. Celtics coach Brad Stevens, in a conference call with reporters Saturday (Sunday, PHL time), wasn’t so sure. “The bottom line is, if you go downhill with the force and speed that he does, there are going to be moments where he charges,” Stevens said. “There also are moments where he draws blocking fouls and scores 'and-ones.' He does that a lot more than he charges. “So you’d better not let him get that head of steam very often.” Easier said than done. Antetokounmpo has become one of the most ferocious rim attackers in the league. He was seemingly unstoppable inside this season, shooting 72.6 percent from five feet or less per NBA.com stats. With 583 field goals from that range, Antetokounmpo had nearly 100 more than the league’s No. 2, Detroit center Andre Drummond (486). Oh, and counting the games against the Pistons in the first round, Antetokounmpo has successfully dunked the ball 289 times – 119 of which have come without assists, meaning either put-backs or throwdowns in which he brought the ball in there with him. Here’s where the 24-year-old’s attack mode can be used against him: He also committed 68 offensive fouls this season – tied for most in the NBA with Minnesota’s Karl-Anthony Towns. Certainly he got fouled with the ball way more than he fouled – Antetokounmpo shot 686 free throws, second only to James Harden’s 858. Nearly seven of his 27.7 points per game came from the line. But foul trouble can slow Antetokounmpo’s roll, as with anybody. If it’s early enough or severe enough, it can take him off the floor completely, and for long stretches. At the least, it might make him a bit less assertive, a wee more passive the next time he might otherwise barrel downcourt. “I definitely keep it in my mind,” Antetokounmpo said Friday (Saturday, PHL time), asked about the charge/block challenge he might face against the Celtics. “It’s not just them. A lot of teams try to stop me by taking charges. “But that’s the fun part about it. They’re not thinking about how they’re going to defend me; they’re thinking about how they’re going to try to take charges. If I can be under control and be at my own pace and try to be smart with not taking charges, if I get to my spot it’s going to be tough.” Here’s a breakdown of Antetokounmpo’s impact with and without nagging foul concerns: In the 31 games in which he was called for four fouls or more (including two disqualifications with six), the Bucks star averaged 25.7 points and eight times logged fewer than 30 minutes. Milwaukee’s record: 23-8 (.742). In the 41 games Antetokounmpo finished with three fouls or fewer, he averaged 29.2 points. He played at least 30 minutes in 34 of the 41, and the Bucks went 33-8 (.805). Boston has defenders willing to give up their bodies, including three of the NBA’s top 20 in charges drawn: Aron Baynes (18), Marcus Smart (15) and Kyrie Irving (13). Smart, still out with a left oblique tear, won’t play in at least the first two games of the series. But Semi Ojeleye is a physical forward who drew Antetokounmpo as an assignment at times in the three regular season meetings – he started twice – and took three charges this season. In the three games, Antetokounmpo was called for a total of seven fouls, including three charges. (For the record, Milwaukee’s Ersan Ilyasova led the NBA in that defensive category with 50, despite playing only 1,231 minutes in 67 games.) Several Celtics will try standing in or stepping in, depending how the referees call it, against Antetokounmpo. It will take timing, footwork, physical sacrifice … and some good fortune. “It’s one of those things that’s easier said than done,” said Milwaukee coach Mike Budenholzer. “Luckily for us, it’s nothing that he hasn’t seen or nothing new.” Said Stevens: “The No. 1 thing [Giannis] has always been is exceptional downhill, exceptional in transition. And when I say ‘exceptional’ I mean one of very few to ever have played the game. “I just think, ultimately, you have to be able to move your feet. You have to be able to guard with pride. You have to be able to do all that, but nobody can do that by themselves against him.” 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 NewsApr 28th, 2019

Cool Cat son Jacob Cortez walking his own way as Tiger Cub

"The Cool Cat" is raising a tiger cub. Mike Cortez has been out of action in the PBA for more than a year now, but that hasn't taken him away from basketball at all. In fact, all that freed up time has let him do something personal - watch each and every one of his son's games live. Yes, "The Cool Cat" has been present in all of University of Sto. Tomas' games in UAAP 82 - a season that saw the squad surprisingly vie for a place in the playoffs. And for Jacob Cortez himself, the presence of the two-time UAAP champion is nothing but welcome. "I think him being there is big because some of my teammates, their parents can't even watch. Me, he's always there to support," he said. Along with moral support, the son, of course, has been getting much-needed words of wisdom from his dad. "I'm always learning from him. After games, nagvu-viewing kami and he tells me what I should have done," he shared. He then continued, "And siyempre, I learned a lot from what he did on the court when he played." At the same time, however, the 17-year-old said he wants to chart a new course for himself. "I'm blazing my own path here in UST," he said. That is why he traded in the green and white, his dad's school colors, for the UST black and gold this season. Without a doubt, the transfer has been a step forward as in his last year as a Greenie, Cortez averaged 10.2 points in 39.2 percent shooting, 1.9 rebounds, and 1.0 assists and then broke out in his first season as a Tiger Cub with norms of 15.9 points in 46.2 percent shooting, 5.7 rebounds, 3.1 assists, and 1.0 steals. That doesn't mean, however, that the 5-foot-10 guard doesn't share something with his old man. Both Cortezes are slick with the ball and are threats anywhere and everywhere on offense. What Mike boasts in quickness, however, Jacob more than makes up for his maximization of his big body. Still, the son wants everybody to know he is his own person. "Of course, there was some pressure (from being his son) before, pero now, I'm kind of used to it na. I'm just going to play my own game," he said. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 18th, 2020

Rondina reaping the fruits of her hard work

Sisi Rondina had a memorable and inspiring 2019. Capping a banner year by helping the Philippines to its first Southeast Asian Games women's beach volleyball podium finish since 2005, Rondina will be feted as Ms. Volleyball in the SMC-Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Annual Awards Night on March 6. Not only that, Rondina is also a 37th SMB-SAC All-Cebu Sports Awardee, where she will receive the award on Feb. 29 in Cebu City.  A native of Compostela, Cebu, the 23-year-old Rondina, who is now with the newly-formed Creamline beach volleyball club, joins the ranks of Alyssa Valdez, Aby Marano, Mika Reyes, Dawn Macandili and Jaja Santiago who were previously bestowed with the prestigious PSA honor. "For me, blessed sobra di ko naman din po inakala na ganito po ang ibabalik sa akin. Minahal ko lang talaga mga committments ko and syempre putting efforts sa lahat ng mga ginagawa ko lalo sa paglalaro po," said Rondina.  Prior to winning the SEA Games bronze medal, Rondina joined forces with her long-time partner Bernadeth Pons in steering the Philippines to a quarterfinals finish in the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour 1-Star Boracay Open last May. In the same month, Rondina was scintillating in the taraflex floor, winning MVP honors for University of Santo Tomas, and leading the Tigresses to their first UAAP women's volleyball finals appearance in eight years. In her last season on the sand courts, Rondina paired with Babylove Barbon to cement UST's status as the most successful women's beach volleyball program while claiming her fourth MVP plum. Rondina takes pride of her roots in Cebu. "Wow, people are treating me like that po pero di ko iniisip yang mga ganyan kasi everyone can be a pride of their town but thankful kasi isa ako sa mga nabiyayaan," said Rondina.  "Sana in some way maging tool ito to inspire young ones and syempre for those player na katulad ko kahit ano ka pa sino ka man pag may pangarap ka walang imposible," she added. Together with Pons, Dzi Gervacio and Dij Rodriguez, Rondina spearheaded the country’s beach volleyball campaign in the SEA Games. Rondina didn't fail the adoring fans who trooped the Subic Tennis Courts by ending the Philippines’ 14-year medal drought in the sport. As Rondina is trying to continue to grow the game of beach volleyball locally and internationally, she is determined to inspire further young and aspiring players, especially those from the province. "Ako honestly, didnt expect na ganitong biyaya ang binigay saken pero ang alam ko pinagdadasal ko lahat para sa pamilya ko at para sa mga taong naniniwala sa akin. Actually para saken wala lang to kasi ang mas timbang sa akin kung ano yung mga behind ng awards ko mga tulong at mga napasaya ko or sa amin yun ang nag ma-matter sa akin," said Rondina.  "And siyempre huwag na wag nilang kalimutan ang nasa Itaas, disiplina sa sarili at wag na wag makalimot sa mga taong tumulong sayo. Lastly huwag na huwag susuko sa mga pangarap na minimithi. Kahit sino at ano ka pa maging totoo ka lang at maipakita mo kung ano ang kaya mong gawin yun na yun," she added......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 15th, 2020

UAAP Season 82: No time to relax for repeat-seeking Ateneo Lady Eagles

All teams will be after Ateneo de Manila University as the Lady Eagles march into UAAP Season 82 with a huge target mark on their chests. But instead of taking it as pressure in its attempt to keep the title perched in Katipunan, Ateneo embraces it. A constant reminder for the Lady Eagles to be on their toes at all times and always keep their guards up. “Since defending champs kami, everyone wants to beat us,” said incoming third year libero Dani Ravena. “Added pressure ‘yun, but at the same time, it's motivation for us not to be satisfied with one game,” added Ravena. “Everyone wants to beat us so the next game will be tougher than the last one.” Ateneo lost three vital cogs in Maddie Madayag, Bea De Leon and Kim Gequillana after its title conquest last year in a dramatic come-from-behind Finals series win over University of Sto. Tomas, but still remains a powerhouse squad with key returnees and the addition of blue chip recruits. The biggest boost in the Lady Eagles’ title-retention bid is the presence of prolific scorer and court leader Kat Tolentino, who decided to make one final tour of duty. Joining Tolentino are seasoned players Jho Maraguinot and setter Jamie Lavitoria, who are making their return after skipping a year to pursue careers in the commercial league.   Ateneo will miss the services of heady playmaker Deanna Wong, who is still recovering from a shin injury, but will still have most of their championship core in Ravena, Ponggay Gaston, Jules Samonte, Vanessa Gandler, Erika Raagas and setter Jaja Maraguinot.   “Malaking factor ang pagbalik ng mga seniors sa amin and ‘yung improvement ng mga rookies and sophomores isang malaking bagay para sa amin,” said Ateneo head coach Oliver Almadro. Giving the Lady Eagles an even deeper arsenal this season is the integration of promising rookies led by scorer Faith Nisperos and middle Joan Narit. While the good mix of veterans and rookies combined with championship experience and support of legions of fans make the Lady Eagles a serious title contender, Almadro constantly reminds his team that a repeat won’t be given to them for free.     “Mahirap maging complacent,” he said. “Mahirap mag-settle down na nakabalik na si ganito, nakabalik na si ganyan. I’m always telling my players, it’s not about how strong you are, it’s not about being strong lang eh.” “’Di sapat sa akin yung magaling lang eh. Kailanngan talaga nandoon ang teamwork, nandoon ang effort, nandoon ang sacrifices for the team and the school,” Almadro stressed.   EYES ON YOU: Ateneo will see this season the final flight of Kat Tolentino for the blue and white as well as the debut of its prized recruit Faith Nisperos. All eyes will be on the duo as they try to bring the Lady Eagles their second straight title and fourth overall.       Nisperos showed a glimpse of what to expect from her during the pre-season as she led Ateneo to a third place finish in the PVL Collegiate Conference. The National University-Nazareth School product, who averaged 12.4 points per game with 41.46% success rate in attacks in the PVL, embraces the challenge of playing for one of the best teams in the league in the past decade.    “I just wanna do my best,” she said. “I won't pressure myself in trying to push myself too hard. Ang goal ko lang naman is gampanan ‘yung role ko sa team.” For Tolentino, who during the pre-season played for ChocoMucho in the PVL Open Conference, she will be playing a bigger role as the leader of the Lady Eagles. “My main goal for this year is to find that leadership role and show my character,” said Tolentino. “I wanna help the team using my experience the last four years. I wanna encourage my teammates to push for that same goal.”   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 14th, 2020

UAAP Season 82: UST Tigresses keeping the fire burning post-Sisi Rondina era

Sisi Rondina is incomparable. However, University of Sto. Tomas is not looking for the next Rondina. What Tigresses head coach Kungfu Reyes wants this UAAP Season 82 is a new leader who will step up to bear the torch left by the reigning Most Valuable Player. “Wala namang pwedeng pumalit kay Sisi,” said Reyes of the heart and soul of UST’s runner-up run last year. “Pero yung spot na pwedeng mag-take over, kung sino namang maga-act as a leader [ang hanap namin].” This is the challenge of Reyes to his wards as they prepare for another shot at the throne that has been elusive to the Espana-based squad since the Tigresses won it all a decade ago. But the mentor is confident that the holdovers and even the incoming Tigresses share the same ferocity, passion and dedication of Rondina. So it won’t be hard finding the next UST leader.       “‘Yung team namin last year is very young ngayon yung naiwan ni Sisi, nahawaan niya yung mga bata ganun din ‘yung mga seniors namin ngayon,” said Reyes, who is also the national women’s volleyball team assistant coach. Ready to prove that they can sustain if not surpass their achievements last year are key holdovers Season 81 Rookie of the Year and go-to-player Eya Laure, team captain Alina Bicar, Caitlyn Viray, Kecelyn Galdones and Ysa Jimenez. Eya Laure, who suited up for the national team in the 30th Southeast Asian Games, will reunite with sister EJ, who is back after a two-year hiatus. The elder Laure’s presence added another scoring option for the Tigresses with 6-foot-2 Fil-Italian Milena Alessandrini still recovering from a knee injury she sustained last year.    Also a welcome addition for UST is rookie Imee Hernandez, who showed a lot of promise in the Tigresses’ runner-up finish in the Premier Volleyball League Collegiate Conference. As part of their preparation, UST held training camps in Baguio and Taiwan that yielded favorable results. But having experienced what it was to play in the biggest stage of the tournament, according to Reyes, is their biggest advantage this year and he is confident that this time UST is fully equipped for another shot at the championship. “Hindi namin kaya ituro ‘yung nangyari last year in front of 21,000 spectators, [yung] spotlight, camera sa training,” he said. “’Yung experience na ‘yung madadala namin as a motivation.” “Isang malaking bagay para sa mga bata towards [Season] 82 medyo naka-experience na kahit papaano,” added Reyes.   EYES ON YOU: After a stellar rookie season that saw her average 16.4 points per game and become the most efficient hitter with 35.90% success rate in attacks, Eya Laure’s second run for the black and gold puts her on the spotlight as the face of UST. Her resume which include valuable experience playing for the tricolors in different international tournaments and work on improving her craft will be her biggest advantage – and pressure – as she tries to lead the Tigresses to follow to their impressive run last season. “Ang mindset ko this coming season ay matulangan ang teammates ko, matulungan ang team na ilabas nila ang best performance nila every game,” said Laure. “Maglalaro ako ng best ko.” But Eya stresses that this season is not just about her but about how the Tigresses will work as one to complete an unfinished business last season.          “Naniniwala kasi kami sa team effort. Hindi kakayanin ng isa, dalawa o kahit tatlo nga eh. Yung nagdala sa amin sa Finals is yung team effort,” said Laure.    --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 12th, 2020

San Beda gets payback on Letran for first win in PCCL

Calvin Oftana came through in a must-win game in the 2020 Philippine Collegiate Champions League NCAA-UAAP Challenge as San Beda University cut archrival Colegio de San Juan de Letran down to size for a convincing 76-53 victory, Sunday at Filoil Flying V Centre. Oftana topped the scoring column with 17 points and took charge elsewhere also with nine rebounds, six assists, four steals, and three blocks to make sure the Red Lions got some sort of payback on the Knights who dethroned them in last year's NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament. Ralph Penuela also turned in 16 points while Peter Alfaro had his own 12 markers as the red and white's speed trumped the NCAA champions' size this time around. "I'm just happy that the whole team is really playing as a team," he said. In all, San Beda totaled 19 points in transition compared to its opponent's two. That pace took Letran out of its game and boosted the Red Lions into evening its record to 1-1. Despite the convincing victory, however, coach Boyet knew full well they haven't seen the best of their archrivals yet. "Well, they're not really in shape right now. We all know they will be a very good team come NCAA," he said. Still, the Knights remained winless in two tries in this tournament. Jeo Ambohot paced them in this one with 13 points and seven rebounds. BOX SCORES SAN BEDA 76 - Oftana 17, Penuela 16, Alfaro 12, Carino 7, Cuntapay 6, Canlas 5, Villejo 5, Bahio 4, Etrata 4, Abuda 0, Fornis 0, Visser 0, Ratuiste 0, Tagala 0. LETRAN 53 - Ambohot 13, Muyang 10, Fajarito 8, Yu 6, Ular 6, Pambid 5, Brutas 3, Mina 2, Javillonar 0, Reyson 0, Rocacurva 0, Vacaro 0, Guarino 0. QUARTER SCORES: 21-16, 37-29, 57-45, 76-53. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 9th, 2020

Tiger Cubs continued contending in UAAP 82 on the back of Bismarck Lina

Bismarck Lina, put simply, dominated in his last seven games for University of Sto. Tomas High School. There, the 6-foot-4 forward posted per game counts of 19.3 points, 12.4 rebounds, and 2.6 assists as the Tiger Cubs stayed alive for the playoffs until the very last game day of elimination. Here are Lina’s last seven games in #UAAPSeason82 (points-rebounds-assists): 13-12-3. 20-11-2. 24-10-1. 14-14-3. 14-12-1. 25-12-4. 25-16-4. His averages in the second round? 1??9??.3?? points, 1??2??.4?? rebounds. 2??.6?? assists. ???? — Normie Riego (@riegogogo) February 5, 2020 Yes, that's definitely a double-double average for the second round - and not only that, he posted a double-double in each and every game. Ultimately, unfortunately, it was all for naught as he and the black and gold fell just one win shy of the playoffs. Of course, Lina would have wanted his last year in high school to have had a different ending - especially as there was a chance, however slim as it may have been, that his very presence could have spelled the difference in their first four games. "Sayang 'di ako nakalaro nung simula kasi kailangan kong i-therapy yung tuhod ko," he said, talking about his bothersome right knee that sidelined him in the earlygoing. He then continued, "'Di ko natulungan agad yung team ko. Bilang captain, iba rin sana yung may leader sila sa loob nun." Once he finally got the green light for a return, however, the 18-year-old wasted no time making his presence felt. That was especially true in Round 2 where, on his back, UST went 4-3 - with all of its losses coming at the hands of the league' last three champions. "Kinailangan ko lang bumawi sa team. Ginusto ko lang makatulong sa team," he said. He then continued, "Na-short lang kami, pero alam ko sa sarili kong binigay ko yung best ko." With that, whatever step he takes next, Lina has full faith he can make something happen. "Sobra-sobrang nagbigay po ng kumpyansa sa akin itong season na 'to," he said. That doesn't man, though, that the cousin of Kevin Ferrer is about to rest on his laurels. "Ngayon po, kailangan kong i-work yung perimeter game ko kasi sa college, mahihirapan na ako kasi mas malalaki at mas malalakas na sa akin yung mga nandun," he shared. Whether or not he keeps at it in Espana remains to be seen, but without a doubt, in his three-year stint there, he has already made the school and the community proud. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 8th, 2020

UAAP 82: Aldous Torculas is foundation of future UPIS is trying to build

After 400 days, the University of the Philippines Integrated School is a winner again. The Jr. Maroons won for the first time in 20 games last Wednesday and just narrowly missed the ax of a winless season. State U was actually on the verge of a massive meltdown until Aldous Torculas saved the day. Torres ?? Torculas ?? THREEE! 85-81 UPIS, 20.0 to go! #UAAPSeason82 pic.twitter.com/Fcp4ycTECx — Normie Riego (@riegogogo) February 5, 2020 Torculas, a 6-foot-4 workhorse forward, isn't really known for his outside shot, but as he has done all year long, just gave whatever UP needed from him. "Hindi po yun yung play. Inikot lang namin yung bola tapos nag-screen po ako," he shared through chuckles while recalling his pleasant surprise of a win-sealing three. He then continued, "Pinasa pabalik sa akin ni Ray (Allen Torres) tapos tinira ko lang po with confidence." The ball kissed the ring before falling down through the net and not long after, the Jr. Maroons were celebrating the end to a 19-game losing streak dating back to last season. "Rookie year ko po ngayon. Ayokong mag-end ang rookie year ko na walang panalo," Torculas said. While the maroon and green is, of course, far out of the playoff picture, that big shot may very well not be the last image everybody will have of the 16-year-old this season. After stuffing the stat sheet for per game counts of 11.6 points, 15.2 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 2.3 steals and 2.3 blocks, Torculas remains a strong candidate for the Mythical Team - as he already ranked fourth at the end of the first round. Whatever qualms there may be about a player from a one-win team getting recognized as one of the five best, UP's impact rookie says he pays them no mind. "'Di ko po sila papakialaman. Kung ganun man maisip, wala sa akin kasi I just play my game," he shared. He then continued, "Kung may award man, para lang din sa team namin yun." Without a doubt, Torculas is confident about all the work he has put in. "Lahat po ng ginagawa ko, wino-work ko po. Ako po kasi, lagi kong china-challenge sarili ko," he said. After all, Torculas is just making sure to make the most of his golden opportunity in the big leagues. "Malaking achievement po ito lahat para sa akin. Nag-start lang po ako sa kalye-kalye sa Malabon tapos ngayon, ganito na," he said. Even better for the Jr. Maroons, their do-it-all weapon says this is only the beginning. "Babalik po kami next season na mas malakas. Kumpleto po kami kaya lalaban po kami lalo," the current Grade 10 student said. Indeed, with Torculas, Torres, and Jordi Gomez de Liano back for more a year from now, State U will be a squad to watch. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 6th, 2020

Ateneo football star Jarvey Gayoso wraps up legendary UAAP career

Ateneo football star Jarvey Gayoso announced that he will be foregoing his fifth and final playing year in the UAAP to prepare for a professional club stint overseas.  In a lengthy, heartfelt post on Instagram, Gayoso announced that he would not be returning to the Ateneo Men's Football Team this year, just days before the start of the UAAP Football tournaments.  "After much thought and deliberation, and with the guidance of Ateneo de Manila University and the AMFT, I have decided not to return to the UAAP this year," Gayoso wrote. " Although this was a tough decision to make, ultimately I had to choose what I believe would be what’s best for me and my future." The opportunity, Gayoso detailed, came following his most recent National Team call-up during the 2019 Southeast Asian Games here in the Philippines.  "After my stint at this year’s South East Asian games, God blessed me with an opportunity to play professional football overseas. Thus, in preparation for this huge task, I have made the decision to join a local professional team." The 22-year old added that he will continue to finish schooling in the Ateneo, as this was a 'lifelong dream.'          View this post on Instagram                   After much thought and deliberation, and with the guidance of Ateneo de Manila University and the AMFT, I have decided not to return to the UAAP this year. Although this was a tough decision to make, ultimately I had to choose what I believe would be what’s best for me and my future. After my stint at this year’s South East Asian games, God blessed me with an opportunity to play professional football overseas. Thus, in preparation for this huge task, I have made the decision to join a local professional team. I will, however, continue to pursue my college degree at the Ateneo, as this has also been a lifelong goal. I have played my heart out for the Ateneo for 8 wonderful years. 8 years that have brought me trials, triumph, and memories I will keep with me forever. As a student, my biggest task was to balance my academics and my love for the sport and along with this, came setbacks that tested my ambition. Being an athlete, I was given the opportunity to compete in football and track and field which strengthened my athleticism and versatility. As a football player, I have suffered devastating losses which helped build my character. And taking on the responsibility of representing my country and my alma mater showed my heart and my passion for the beautiful game. So to my dear Ateneo, I’d like to thank you for giving me the opportunity to strive for an Ateneo education, while proudly representing the blue and white. Playing for the Ateneo has improved every aspect of my life and opened numerous doors for me and I could never thank you enough. Choosing the Ateneo was and will always be one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. To the 12th men, thank you for your continuous support and love for the game and for cheering us on through every minute. Thank you for all your sacrifices - for coming to watch our games under the heat of the sun, taking the time off your busy schedules to watch us do what we’re most passionate about, and for crying, celebrating, and fighting with us. (1/2) A post shared by Jarvey Gayoso (@jarveygayoso) on Feb 5, 2020 at 7:11am PST           View this post on Instagram                   To my teammates, thank you for being a part of my journey as a player. You have all taught me many important things in football and constantly pushed me to be the best that I can be for the team. Thank you all for giving your one big fight whenever we’d face the most difficult situations. We have gone through painful losses, celebrated championship highs, some players have been with me since high school, while others were new faces, but one thing was constant throughout, we were a brotherhood, a wolf pack. It has been an honor playing alongside each and every one of you. To the coaching staff, managers and coach JP Merida, thank you for guiding me to become who I am today. Thank you for pushing me to work my hardest and trusting me to give my all for the team. You have always been like a father to me, coach. I’m thankful that we were able to achieve championships together. I believed in your system and coaching style and it has led, not only me, but the entire football program to greater heights. I know I carry a big part of your legacy and I will continue to keep it as my inspiration wherever my passion takes me. To my family, I thank you for your undying support. Thank you for keeping me grounded and guiding me through situations I couldn’t deal with on my own. I stand proud representing the Ocampo-Gayoso name across my jersey knowing I have such wonderful people in my life cheering me on. You’ve all inspired me to continue carrying the torch Lolo Ed and Lolo Poch once carried. It’s a scary step I’m about to take but knowing that you will all be there for me makes this journey a whole lot more exciting. The Ateneo and the Ateneo Men’s football team have prepared me well enough for my next step. I know the team will continue to represent the Ateneo name with the highest honor. As I continue on with my journey, know that my heart will ALWAYS BLEED BLUE. I will continuously strive to leave a legacy in this beloved school and I will always carry the Jesuit values instilled in me. You have all been a blessing in my journey and I hope to continue to make all of you proud. This is Jarvey Ocampo Gayoso, number 11 signing off! (2/2) A post shared by Jarvey Gayoso (@jarveygayoso) on Feb 5, 2020 at 7:11am PST A third-generation sports star, Jarvey is the son of PBA veteran Jayvee Gayoso and the grandson of Filipino sporting great Ed Ocampo, and the nephew of De La Salle coach and former National Team member Alvin Ocampo.  In his four seasons in the UAAP, Gayoso was nothing but impressive as he was able to lead the Blue Eagles to two UAAP Men's Football Championships (Season 79, Season 81) and a Runner-Up finish in Season 78, while also claiming two Most Valuable Player Honors and a remarkable four Best Striker nods. During his time in the UAAP, the Blue Eagles never missed a final four appearance. Gayoso will likely go down in UAAP and Ateneo history as one of the best to ever lace up a pair of football cleats. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 6th, 2020

UAAP 82: Lebron Lopez takes flight after taking talents to Ateneo

Francis Lopez decided to leave behind greener pastures. And interestingly enough, that turned out to be the right decision. Not even a year after transferring from La Salle Green Hills to Ateneo de Manila High School, Lopez is already making a name for himself as one of the most promising prospects in the Philippines. Putting up per game counts of 16.6 points, 10.4 rebounds, and 2.7 blocks, all while lengthening his highlight reel, the 6-foot-4 big-bodied forward is the undisputed breakout star of the UAAP 82 Boys Basketball Tournament. Along with that, he is proving to be only worthy of being "Lebron" - a nickname he himself coined, apparently. "I just thought about it kasi mga dunks ko during practice, look like LeBron's," he shared. He then continued, "He's my favorite player, for sure." All of this, after a lost year as a Junior Blazer where he averaged 2.3 points and 1.3 rebounds in 3.4 minutes. More than that, he only saw action in 10 of their 22 games in all. Not long after that season, Lopez chose to move forward. "That summer, Coach Ford [Arao] recruited me. He told me na sayang na bench lang ako and kung dito sa Ateneo, we're gonna use you," he said. He then continued, "Sabi rin niya, maganda future mo rito not only in basketball, but academics din." As it turns out, all he needed to turn it on was a little faith. And Ateneo head coach Reggie Varilla and Coach Ford were nothing but happy to give not just a little, but their full faith. "Si Coach Reggie and Coach Ford, kinausap ako nung una pa lang na kahit 'di ako masyado nagamit sa GH, they believe in me," he said. "Dito, sa practice pa lang, sinasabi nilang go hard na dapat kasi magiging ganun din sa game." In turn, the Filipino-Angolan has done nothing but return their trust - joining forces with fellow transferee Josh Lazaro and floor leader Forthsky Padrigao to make sure the Blue Eaglets continued their contention even without 7-foot-2, 17-year-old Kai Sotto. And without a doubt, Lopez has come far from his days suiting up for Augustinian Abbey School in Las Pinas and from his days sitting at the end of the LSGH bench. "Honestly, I was really down that time kasi during practice, I was giving everything I got, pero pagdating sa game, wala talaga," he said. He then continued, "Very thankful ako sa nangyari ngayon. Sa Ateneo, hindi lang naman basketball habol ko rito, but also academics because I'm also thinking about my future." At the same time, while he's already making waves, the 16-year-old is also well aware that he still has a long way to go. As he put it, "I really wanna show everything I got. I hope to keep doing that." --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 26th, 2020

Jack Santiago introduced as brand new UE head coach for UAAP 83

Yet another new day has dawned in University of the East - and this time, the light has shone on veteran mentor Jack Santiago. Santiago, who has long been known as first lieutenant to Franz Pumaren, has been officially appointed as head coach for the Red Warriors beginning in UAAP Season 83. UE Red Warriors Meet New Head Coach Jack Santiago The UE Red Warriors Men’s Basketball Team has landed a new Head Coach in Mr. Gerardo “Jack” Santiago, who met with the team’s players this Monday, January 20, 2020, at Gym 5 in UE Manila. pic.twitter.com/oUe9HjyTAa — UE Univ. of the East (@Official_UE) January 20, 2020 The veteran mentor had won five UAAP championships in more than two decades with coach Franz. He takes over for Lawrence Chongson whose one year in the post followed Joe Silva's own one-season stint. UE has long been searching for the shot-caller who would finally put a stop to its 11-year Final Four absence......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 20th, 2020

PBA Finals: He’s up to the challenge – Tenorio on Pringle

LA Tenorio is looking forward to a great championship series run with new backcourt partner Stanley Pringle when Barangay Ginebra takes on Meralco in the 2019 PBA Governors’ Cup Finals starting Tuesday at the Big Dome. The veteran guard sees the presence of Pringle as a big factor in the Gin Kings’ bid to reclaim the throne they lost in 2018 in a botched three-peat attempt in the season-ending conference. “Well, wala naman kaming kailangang sabihin sa kanya. We're just happy that nadala namin si Stanley, or nadala niya 'yung team dito sa Finals,” said Tenorio. “That was really our goal, to go to the Finals and win the championship for Stanley. He's very excited, no doubt. He's very up to the challenge.” At 32, Pringle, who was acquired from NorthPort in a trade in the middle of last year, will make his championship debut since getting picked no. 1 overall in the 2014 draft. Pringle has been very vocal with his excitement to show his wares in the biggest stage of the PBA. But as much as Tenorio loves the enthusiasm of Pringle, he is always quick to remind the explosive guard to keep his focus on the team’s goal.   “Kasi, sinabi ko sa kanya one time na, 'Don't be too excited.' But he's very vocal about it, he's raring to go. Parang natatagalan nga siya sa Game 1 eh,” said Tenorio. “But that's why we're here, for Stanley, we're a team. Every time na he's doing things na hindi naman kailangan gawin na sobra na, we're here to support him and to remind him to relax a little bit and just do the game plan,” Tenorio added. Tenorio knows that the Bolts, who the Gin Kings beat in the 2016 and 2017 editions, will go at them hard in their attempt to win their first title but he is confident Ginebra will emerge on top once again with Pringle by his side.   “I think he's ready and he's up to the challenge, and he's really ready to go and get his first ring, his first championship dito sa PBA,” said Tenorio. “That is gonna be special for us, the whole team, for me also, seeing Stanley getting that first championship.”     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 6th, 2020

Must-see sports events for 2020

The sports and the action never stop. That will only continue as we usher in a new year. PBA in January The 44th season of the PBA is far from over as Ginebra and new-age rival Meralco are all-set to go at it for all the glory in the Governors’ Cup Finals. The first and oldest professional league in Asia will then take a two-month break before tipping off its next season in March. There, rookies like Roosevelt Adams and Mike Ayonayon will make their much-anticipated debuts during the Philippine Cup Dubai International Basketball Tournament in January Javi and Juan Gomez de Liano. Kai Sotto. Dave Ildefonso. Jamie Malonzo. Andray Blatche. That is the core Mighty Sports-Pilipinas has come up with for the 2020 Dubai International Basketball Tournament. That young and talented lineup is sure to go all-out as it tries to improve on its third-place finish in the invitational tourney a year ago. NCAA volleyball in January Arellano will protect its throne from several oncomers in the brand new season of NCAA women’s volleyball while Perpetual hopes to do the same over at the men’s side. The Lady Chiefs will follow the lead of Regine Arocha, as always, as they set out for a fourth consecutive championship. UAAP volleyball in February Ateneo ended La Salle’s three-year reign last season and now, the archrivals remain in championship contention in UAAP women’s volleyball alongside UST and FEU. National U is also out to extend its rule in the men’s tournament even as the likes of FEU and Ateneo are ready and raring to put up a new challenge. Gilas Pilipinas in February The Olympic dream is yet to turn into reality for Gilas Pilipinas, but the Philippine national team remains primed for more international action in the first-ever FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers. There, the Filipinos will fight over the right for an automatic advance into the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup. NBTC in March The best of the best young talent in the Philippines come together anew in the latest National Basketball Training Centre League National Finals. There, NCAA king San Beda and UAAP title favorite National U are poised to wage war with the other champions from all over the country. And of course, the All-Star game is and will always be a must-watch. NCAA basketball in July For the first time in quite a while, it’s not San Beda that has a target on its back in NCAA basketball. Instead, it will be Letran which will have to fend off the hungrier Red Lions as well as determined LPU, San Sebastian, and Mapua. Tokyo Olympics in July The Olympics are upon us once more and this time, it is closer than ever to home as Japan hosts the world meet in Tokyo. Already headed there while wearing the flag are EJ Obiena for men’s pole vault as well as Carlos Yulo for artistic gymnastics. UAAP basketball in September Ateneo remains on top of UAAP men’s basketball, but will now defend its title without the championship core of Thirdy Ravena, Isaac Go, Adrian Wong, and Nieto twins Mike and Matt. In Women’s action, National U is still the standard, but teams such as UST and FEU keep coming closer and closer. ABL is ongoing A new champion will be crowned in ABL 10 and as of right now, San Miguel Alab Pilipinas is at the head of the pack. MPBL is ongoing The Philippines’ only regional league is only getting bigger and better in its third tournament, the Lakan Season, which continues to roll along......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 1st, 2020

The King reigns: LeBron James is AP’s male athlete of decade

By Tim Reynolds, Associated Press He left Cleveland for Miami, finally became a champion, went back to his beloved northeast Ohio, delivered on another title promise, then left for the Los Angeles Lakers and the next challenge. He played in eight straight finals. No NBA player won more games or more MVP awards over the last 10 years than he did. He started a school. He married his high school sweetheart. “That’s all?” LeBron James asked, feigning disbelief. No, that’s not all. Those were just some highlights of the last 10 years. There were many more, as the man called “King” spent the last decade reigning over all others — with no signs of slowing down. James is The Associated Press male athlete of the decade, adding his name to a list that includes Tiger Woods, Wayne Gretzky and Arnold Palmer. He was a runaway winner in a vote of AP member sports editors and AP beat writers, easily outpacing runner-up Tom Brady of the New England Patriots. “You add another 10 years of learning and adversity, pitfalls, good, great, bad, and any smart person who wants to grow will learn from all those experiences,” James, who turns 35 Monday, told the AP. “A decade ago, I just turned 25. I’m about to be 35 and I’m just in a better (place) in my life and have a better understanding of what I want to get out of life.” Usain Bolt of Jamaica was third for dominating the sprints at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics, soccer superstar Lionel Messi was fourth and Michael Phelps — the U.S. swimmer who retired as history’s most decorated Olympian with 28 medals, 23 gold — was fifth. James was revealed as the winner Sunday, one day after Serena Williams was announced as the AP’s female athlete of the decade. In his 17th season, he’s on pace to lead the league in assists for the first time while remaining among the NBA’s scoring leaders. “When LeBron James is involved,” Denver coach Michael Malone said, “I’m never surprised.” Including playoffs, no one in the NBA scored more points than James in the last 10 years. He started the decade 124th on the league’s all-time scoring list. He’s now about to pass Kobe Bryant for No. 3. No. 2 Karl Malone and No. 1 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar are within reach. Is Abdul-Jabbar in his sights? Is catching him the new decade’s goal? “I would be lying if I said I don’t see it,” James said. “Obviously I’m not trying to say, ‘OK, well if I play this amount of time, if I average this’ ... I’m not doing that because I’ve never done that with my career. I’ve always just kind of let it happen. Whatever happens, happens. But I see it. I do see it.” His work ethic, even now, makes even those closest to him marvel. Here’s a typical day this past summer for James, who remains obsessed with working even though fame and fortune found him long ago: He’d wake up at 3 a.m. and be at the Warner Bros. lot by 3:45 — where a weight room and court, built just for him, were waiting. He’d be lifting by 4 a.m., getting shots up by 5:30 and be ready to start another day of shooting the remake of “Space Jam” that he has been planning for years by 7 a.m. “That’s who he is,” said Mike Mancias, one of the longest-tenured and most trusted members of James’ inner circle, tasked for more than 15 years with keeping James fit. “He does whatever it takes when it comes to fulfilling his commitments to everything — especially his game and his craft.” The 2010s for James started with “The Decision,” the widely criticized televised announcement of his choice to leave Cleveland for Miami. (Lost in the hubbub: The show raised more than $2.5 million for charity.) He was with the Heat for four years, went to the NBA Finals all four times with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, finally won the title in 2012 — “it’s about damn time,” he said at the trophy celebration — and led the way in a Game 7 win over San Antonio to go back-to-back the following year. “He grew immensely here as a leader,” Miami coach Erik Spoelstra said. “He impacted winning as much as with his leadership as he did with his talent. I think that was the most important thing he learned with us. And he’s been able to take that to different franchises and continue using that as a template.” Cleveland was devastated when he left. It forgave him. James returned home in 2014, took Cleveland to four consecutive finals, then led the Cavaliers to the 2016 title and came up with one of the biggest plays of his life by pulling off a chase-down block of Golden State’s Andre Iguodala in the final seconds of Game 7 of that series. And in 2018, he was off to LA. Going Hollywood made so much sense — he’s making movies, has a production company, has a program called “The Shop” as part of his ‘Uninterrupted’ platform featuring an array of guests from Drake to California Gov. Gavin Newsom, who signed a bill on the show that will allow college athletes to get paid for the use of their likeness and sign endorsement deals. “There’s a lot of moments from this decade that would be up there, winning the two Miami championships, winning a championship in Cleveland, the chase-down block,” James said. “But the best moment? Definitely marrying Savannah. That would be No. 1.” James and longtime partner Savannah Brinson got married six years ago. They already had two sons — both are very good basketball players already — and added a daughter in 2014. James also spent most of the last decade as a lightning rod for critics. He used his voice often on social matters, speaking out after the killing of unarmed Florida teenager Trayvon Martin and campaigning for Hillary Clinton. He supported Colin Kaepernick’s methods of protesting police brutality and racial injustice. Most recently, he was criticized by many — including top U.S. lawmakers — for his remarks after Houston general manager Daryl Morey sparked a massive rift between the NBA and China by sending out a tweet supporting pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong. “I don’t live in regret,” James said. “There’s no moment in this last decade that I wish I could have back. If a situation was bad or you feel like you could have done better, then I learned from it.” He doesn’t know how much longer he’ll play. He laments missing time with his children. His “I Promise” school that opened in 2018 in his hometown of Akron, Ohio, has been an immediate success story, and he wants to see that enterprise continue growing. Some love him. Some don’t. He doesn’t mind. “When you believe in your calling or you believe in yourself, then it doesn’t matter what other people say or how other people feel,” James said. “And if you allow that to stop you or deter you from your mission, then you don’t get anywhere.” And in the 2010s, nothing deterred James......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 30th, 2019

LeBron James keeping Father Time at bay in LA

By Shaun Powell, NBA.com The bearded man in a robe who walks with a slight hunch and carries an hourglass always lurks in the shadows, almost out of view. Nobody is paying him much mind or cares what he has to say -- at least not initially. He’s not on anyone’s radar until he appears and applies a gentle tap on the shoulder (or a violent shove in the back) of the unsuspecting. And that’s when they realize they’ve been paid a visit by someone whom Charles Barkley always says is undefeated. Yes, it is “Father Time,” the mythical creation of the ancient Greeks whose clock is more pronounced than any made in Switzerland. He is, by every metric, always on time, although that seems to vary, depending on his mood. He is gracious and respectful in some cases, unforgiving in others. Ultimately, he and only he decides when your time in sports is up. And so, it’s a matter of when, not if, he’ll throw LeBron James in reverse. But where other stars became role players or transformed into shells of their former selves, LeBron is playing at a high level. He turns 35 later this month and because he’s delivering Kia MVP-quality results here in his 17th NBA season, he is winning against time, and therefore, he is … cheating time. He’s almost at 57,000 minutes played in the regular season and playoffs combined, which ranks fourth behind Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Karl Malone and Kobe Bryant. He should pass Kobe for No. 3 in career scoring (33,643 points) by the All-Star break. The all-time scoring mark and a high ranking on the all-time assists list are in sight, too. Ask him why and how he’s doing it and LeBron is playfully coy and quick to say “fine wine.” He’ll also often credit the extra motivation he acquired last summer, when he watched the playoffs from his sofa, not far removed from a groin injury and a dreadful first season with the Lakers. Those things caused him grief and fueled his desire to reclaim his place. "I put in the work and I trust everything that I’ve done, especially this offseason," James said. "I’ve come in with a great mindset, with a healthy mindset and a healthy body." Considering his middle age, LeBron is putting together a masterful season (25.6 ppg, 7.1 rpg) while excelling as a volume 3-point shooter. His 10.8 apg leads the NBA and his effort defensively -- which was laughable last season -- is laudable now. Nobody at 35 has assembled such numbers in league history. “He’s LeBron James,” said Clippers coach Doc Rivers. “Until he isn’t.” What’s age got to do with it? Well, nothing right now. LeBron is still capable of unleashing a facial dunk, as he did with a smirk against the Kings’ Nemanja Bjelica, who perhaps wisely never bothered to challenge it. He also covers all the court rather than, as some aging players are wont to do, play between the free throw lines. It’s true that soon enough he will wear longer shorts than anyone in the game -- not from faulty tailoring, but from constant pulling and tugging. And while the ball is in play, he will someday hear squeaking on the court and suddenly notice that sound is coming from his joints. “Nobody knows when it’ll happen to him because he’s still playing in the air,” said Hall of Famer Dominique Wilkins. “And even when that goes, his basketball IQ will allow him to stay great on the ground. I mean, who gets triple doubles at his age? Only he knows when his time is up.” When that day arrives -- and assuming he doesn’t first quit while he’s ahead -- how big of a decline will it be for LeBron (and, by extension, for us) to witness? Will he fall prey to nagging injuries, get torched nightly by previously inferior players, or quit playing defense? Here’s how “Father Time” diminished six greats who came before LeBron: 1. Michael Jordan: When he retired for the second time, after his last season with the Bulls, Jordan was still very much a physical marvel and the reigning MVP and Finals MVP (he won five MVPs and six Finals MVPs). He was certifiably great for 13 of his 15 seasons and could’ve been longer if not for three years of college ball, an injury-shortened 1985-86 season and 1.5 missed seasons due to baseball. His body only began to betray him when he un-retired in 2001 to play for the Wizards. At 38, Jordan rarely dunked, wasn’t as sharp defensively and knee issues limited him to 60 games in 2001-02. 2. Jerry West: “The Logo” never had a down year in his 14-year career. He was First-Team All-Defense in 1972-73 as a 34-year-old and was solid in his final season (20.3 ppg, 6.6 apg, 2.6 spg). But he wasn’t at his peak of the late 1960s and opted to quit over pride (and money, when Lakers owner Jack Kent Cooke refused to renegotiate his contract). 3. Bill Russell: His career ended mainly because he ran out of psychological fuel. Russell lost his passion to play at 35, even after winning championship No. 11 in his final season (1968-69). That season, he played 46.1 mpg in the playoffs, averaging 10.8 ppg, 20.5 rpg and 5.4 apg. While those numbers are perhaps skewed by the way the game was played back then, they’re still remarkable. 4. Wilt Chamberlain: A man of astonishing stats, Chamberlain averaged a league-leading 18.6 rpg and shot 72.7% overall in his final season (1972-73). Knee issues had long forced Wilt into being a statue in the paint and a third option on offense. After that final NBA season, he jumped from the Lakers to the ABA for money. San Diego offered him $600,000 to be a player-coach, but his Lakers contract prevented him from playing. Wilt coached instead, doing so with disinterest, often not showing up for games or practice. He quit basketball completely after that season. 5. Kobe Bryant: Those roundtrip flights to Germany to get oil for his knees managed to delay the obvious for a few years, but a torn Achilles in 2013 at 35 was the killer. Kobe, much like Jordan and LeBron, was elite into his 30s. And he’ll always have that 60-point send-off. 6. Karl Malone: He won his final MVP at 35 and was built for durability, never suffering a serious injury. He averaged 20.6 ppg in his final season with Utah (2002-03) as he approached 40. By then, he had morphed into a jump shooter and lost his instincts for offensive rebounding. He bowed out as a ring-chasing role player with the Lakers in ‘03-04. Larry Bird was ruined by debilitating back issues at 32. Abdul-Jabbar often only jogged downcourt his last six seasons. Tim Duncan became a secondary option in his last four seasons while Dirk Nowitzki averaged more than 20 ppg once over his final five seasons. Vince Carter is 42 and proudly still playing, but clearly is 10 years beyond his prime. Allen Iverson was the last to know his quickness was gone. “For me, it was Year 12 when it hit me,” said Lakers great James Worthy, who had knee issues. “My patented move was taking off from somewhere inside the free throw line. I found myself halfway there once and I started to descend before I got close to the rim. I had to do a George Gervin flip instead of a dunk. “It’s different now, with this generation of players. I was eating Burger King before games and working out on Nautilus machines. I went to college with Lawrence Taylor and I remember him telling me, ‘I don’t wanna get hit anymore.’ And he’s a reckless guy. LeBron will wake up one day and he won’t have that drive. He’ll be tired and while physically he’s in such great shape, something will go away, either a move or speed.” LeBron seems determined to be the outlier. He spends, by various estimations, more than $1 million on his body for round the clock therapy and a personal trainer. Last summer, he refused to allow the shooting schedule for the movie “Space Jam 2” to interfere with his schedule, rising at 3:30 a.m. to train before heading to the set. He has more than once fantasized about staying in the league long enough to possibly play against or alongside his son, Bronny (now a high school freshman). “LeBron is not only a great player but a physical marvel,” said Warriors coach Steve Kerr. “Probably the best athlete to ever walk this planet. I’ve never seen anybody in my lifetime in any sport whom I would consider a better athlete. It’s one of his best attributes and the one that goes the least noticed. You just take it for granted that he’s out there every night and still doing his things.” LeBron exchanged playful tweets with Tom Brady last month, with LeBron saying the two are “one in the same.” Brady is a tame comparison to LeBron. Brady doesn’t run 94 feet and back for nine months (playoffs included) and when tired can simply hand off to the running back. Same for NFL legend Joe Montana, who made the Pro Bowl at 37. MLB legend Nolan Ryan threw once every four or five days. Maybe tennis star Roger Federer, who won Wimbledon at 36 and still reaches finals at 38, comes closest. “It wouldn’t shock me if LeBron played until he was 40,” West said. “He’s such a great athlete and knows enough about his body that he’ll probably leave before he declines.” After watching Robert Parish waste away on the Bulls’ bench, Jordan said he’d never allow himself to stay in the game that long. His pride and unwillingness to be seen as hanging on meant he’d walk away first. LeBron doesn’t think of the twilight and given how he’s playing now, that doesn’t appear to be in the future, anyway. “I was with the Nuggets late in my career and the funny thing is I was leading the league in assists,” said Mark Jackson, fourth on the all-time assists list. “There was a loose ball, a deflection, and it’s right here, and I can go get it. I made the move to go get it, and before I could get anywhere near it, a kid out of nowhere, and in a blur, snatched it. Gets the ball, by the time I get to the spot where the ball is, he’d already dunked it. Young kid by the name of Allen Iverson. I knew it would never be the same.” Jackson says LeBron is so multi-gifted that he can endure decline in one area and still flourish in another. “He also has the knowledge, pace and understanding that he’ll still be able to be effective even when he slows down,” Jackson said. “I don’t think it’ll be drastic. He can average a triple-double for the next five years.” LeBron is taking great satisfaction in fighting age while tweaking skeptics, both real and imagined, who wondered if decline was imminent. He cites that “Washed King” nickname -- did somebody actually call him that? -- as motivation. “It’s the personal pressure I put on myself,” LeBron said. Eventually, like everyone, he’ll take the L from “Father Time.” Until then, LeBron is making us wonder if that mythical man exists. Shaun Powell has covered the NBA for more than 25 years. 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 NewsDec 5th, 2019