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UAAP 82: NU s Shaun I.: I believe we re gonna make the Final Four

For the second straight game in the UAAP 82 Men's Basketball Tournament, National University lost in heartbreaking fashion. The Bulldogs battled back from a 14-point deficit to snare away a one-point lead, 82-81, late in their game last Wednesday. Still with 28.1 ticks to go, however, Kurt Lojera emerged as the unlikely hero for De La Salle University with a baseline jumper that proved to be the game-winner. And so, National U remained winless in two tries. This, just four days after their hearts were also broken by Lenda Douanga's improbable game-winning three for Adamson University. Coming from that contest, team captain Shaun Ildefonso promised a mighty rebound. "The night after the Adamson game, we couldn't really sleep. Sabi talaga namin sa sarili namin, we hope that never happens again," he said. Ildefonso, without a doubt, did his part and turned in a career game of 26 points on top of five steals against the Green Archers. "To be honest, I didn't really know I would play like this. I think, career-high ko na 'to sa buong buhay ko e," he told reporters through chuckles. As it turns out, however, the third-year forward was only inspired by the inspired play of his younger brother. As he put it, "Ang ganda nung game ni Dave nung first game e so sabi ko, ako naman kaya? Sinasabihan ko sila, 'Pre, pasahan mo lang ako sa labas, bibitaw talaga ako,'" he shared. He then continued, "One thing I lacked the first game was confidence, pero ngayon, no hesitation na. Good thing they were going in." Unfortunately, each of the Ildefonsos' big games eventually ended as heartbreaking losses. Still, kuya Shaun has full faith that the Bulldogs will get going sooner than later. As he put it, "We still have 12 games left. No reason to give up now kasi I really believe we're gonna make the Final Four." He then continued, "Malakas ang paniniwala ko dun kahit dalawang talo na kami ngayon." For that to happen, the NU skipper knows full well he has to build on his big-time outing. "Hopefully, mas maging consistent ako not just in bringing energy to the team, but also helping on offense," he said. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource: abscbn abscbnSep 12th, 2019

UAAP 82: Ateneo captain Mike Nieto: 14-0 doesn t mean a thing without a ring

Ateneo de Manila University has dominated the recent history of the UAAP Men's Basketball Tournament - having won seven of the last 11 championships. The Blue Eagles, however, have yet to sweep the season. The three-peat seeking titlists have a golden opportunity to do just that in Season 82 as they just need two more wins at the expense of dangerous University of Sto. Tomas. "Ang sarap. Ang sarap sa feeling," team captain Mike Nieto said right after they completed a clean sweep of the elimination round last October 30. "Actually, ngayon lang namin nalamang (school) history pala. Akala namin, may nakagawa na before." Make no mistake, though, even with a two-week layoff, Ateneo remains determined. "We're just blessed, but the mission isn't done yet. 14-0 doesn't mean a thing without a ring so we're just hungry for more," Nieto said. After all, the Nietos know a thing or two about falling short of a season sweep. "Of course, it's a fact that we lost Game 1 when we were in high school so ayaw naming maulit yun," twin Matt said. "We're more experienced now than we were in high school so we're gonna learn from those mistakes before." Back in their last season as Blue Eaglets in 2015, the Nieto twins, alongside Gian Mamuyac, Jolo Mendoza, and Shaun Ildefonso, won all of their games in the elimination round. Come Game 1 of the Finals, though, they fell victim to a determined Philip Manalang and Nazareth School of National University. Ultimately, Ateneo's Jrs. team still hoisted the trophy, but fell short of a season sweep. Three years later, it was déjà vu - only this time it happened to SJ Belangel, Jason Credo, Dave Ildefonso, Joaqui Manuel, and Kai Sotto. That fearsome five led the Blue Eaglets to another 14-0 run in the elimination round and then proceeded to win the first game of the championship round. Migs Oczon caught fire in Game 2, however, and claimed it for the Bullpups. Again, Ateneo prevailed in Game 3, but again, fell short of a season sweep. Now, Belangel and Credo are part of a Srs. squad trying to make history - and for the former, complacency is the no. 1 enemy. "Yung complacency, iiwasan talaga dapat yun kasi yun nga, nung Jrs., yun yung natutunan namin e," he shared. "Nung natalo kami, nandun pa si Coach Tab [Baldwin] so sabi niya nung practice kinabukasan, hindi kami naglaro as a team at masyadong relaxed. So nung Game 3, talagang nag-bounce back kami." --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 16th, 2019

UAAP 82: Javi GDL still undecided on fifth and final year for UP

Javi Gomez de Liano was the first big fish Bo Perasol caught in his first year in the University of the Philippines. A star for the Jr. Maroons, Javi GDL was a blue-chip recruit who committed to the Fighting Maroons' then-rebuilding program. Fast forward to now and the 6-foot-5 wing may very well be Diliman's first homegrown talent in a long while to play out his collegiate career in maroon and green. That, however, is yet to be determined. "I'm gonna take the next month to decide," he answered when asked what's next for him. Javi GDL then furthered that, as of right now, he is weighing his options. "I'm still thinking if I'm gonna join the PBA Draft - that's an option. Another option is if I get a good offer in MPBL," he shared. Of course, the option closest to his heart is playing out his fifth and final year for UP. As he put it, "Of course, I can also play my final year in UP - that will always be an option." Whatever his decision will be, he will always cherish his time as a Maroon - most especially these past two seasons wherein he helped his school make history. "I'm really proud of my team. No one really know what we went through in the offseason and even in the season, but this has been the best years of my life," he said. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 13th, 2019

UAAP 82: Chauca on Adamson s sorry loss to UP: This is a heartbreaker

ANTIPOLO - Adamson University was well on its way to finally getting the University of the Philippines monkey off its back in the UAAP 82 Men's Basketball Tournament. In the last seven minutes and with the Fighting Maroons rallying, Sunday at Ynares Center here, however, Val Chauca went missing. Taken out of his game by State U's pressure, the one-and-done star only had two points and turned the ball over three times to see his side fall victim to a 21-5 killer run by their opponents. When the final buzzer sounded, Adamson lost to UP, 77-81. And when the final buzzer sounded, all Chauca could do was look down at the floor and wonder what could have been. "I pretty much worked my whole life to get to this point and this is a heartbreaker," he told reporters. "This one hurt a lot." Once he got to freshen up and change clothes, the Filipino-Peruvian acknowledged that the loss fell on his shoulders. "I just turned the ball over a lot. As a veteran, coach Franz [Pumaren] expects a lot more leadership so this is on me," he said. He then continued, "I take full responsibility. I'm a veteran on this team and I can't make mistakes like that." And so, Chauca vows to only be better moving forward - especially whenever the Soaring Falcons are clinging on to a lead. "Today, in the fourth, I was thinking more of killing the clock instead of playing basketball. When we start doing that, you're gonna make bad decisions," he shared. He then continued, "So I think, I should stay aggressive whether it's the third or fourth quarter. That way, I can make more deliberate decisions." The 5-foot-10 playmaker has no time to lose to do just that as the San Marcelino-based squad is now in a virtual must-win situation if it is to stay alive and kicking. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 20th, 2019

Coach Franz: Adamson s still gonna make it to the UAAP 82 Final Four

Adamson University put up a fight, but ultimately bowed to defending champion Ateneo de Manila University last Wednesday. "I guess it shows there's no substitute for championship experience - Ateneo showed that today," head coach Franz Pumaren told reporters. "That's why they're on top - because they have poise down the stretch." Still, the fact of the matter is that the Soaring Falcons are just the second team to lose only in single-digits to the Blue Eagles. "(Our) effort was great today," their mentor expressed. At the same time, though, that effort was what was missing as of late for the San Marcelino-based squad which has now lost four straight. "If we would have played like that in the past games, I don't think we'd be in this situation," Coach Franz said. Nonetheless, Adamson remains upbeat about its chances - even though they stand at joint sixth in the standings. As their shot-caller put it, "If you look at the scenarios right now in the UAAP, almost all of the teams, except Ateneo, they're on par with each other." That is exactly why Coach Franz only has full faith that he will be guiding the Soaring Falcons in the playoffs for the fourth season in a row. "I think this is expected being a young team, pero I was telling them nga, we don't need to panic. This is just probably a hump that we have to go through," he shared. He then continued, "The way I look at it, we're still gonna make it to the Final Four. I'm confident about that." --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 10th, 2019

UAAP Season 81 Final Four: Lady Tams prove doubters wrong with good season run

Far Eastern University may have fallen short of making it back to the Finals, but the Lady Tamaraws proved all of their doubters, wrong by achieving what many thought was impossible for a team that lost two of its best scorers heading into UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball tournament. “I’m really proud of how far our team has come this season, especially since a lot of people were saying that our team wasn’t gonna make it to the Final Four,” said graduating hitter Jerrili Malabanan, who made her final bow as a Lady Tamaraw on Wednesday. FEU bid farewell to the season after losing to Ateneo de Manila University, 20-25, 25-21, 23-25, 14-25, in the winner-take-all match for the right to face University of Sto. Tomas in the best-of-three Finals.        “I think our team really grew and gained a lot of character over this season from our wins and our losses,” added Malabanan, who finished with 18 points highlighted by 16 attacks. The Lady Tamaraws saw the departure of scoring ace Bernadeth Pons last year after their runner-up finish while veteran Toni Basas was sidelined by a shoulder injury during the offseason, preventing her from suiting up for FEU. It diddn’t help that prized rookie Lycha Ebon suffered a season-ending knee injury at the start of the second round.    “’Yun nga po sobrang saya dahil nakarating po kami kung saan man kami ngayon,” said a sobbing Heather Guino-o, who in her last game with FEU delivered 12 points and 14 digs. “Kasi parang simula parang sobrang dami na nagda-doubt sa amin pero pinakita naming lahat na hindi kami basta-bastang team.” FEU finished the elimination round with a 9-5 win-loss record, good for a fourth spot in the Final Four for a showdown with twice-to-beat Ateneo.    But despite playing short-handed, the Lady Tams pushed the Lady Eagles to the limit, taking the first semis match in five sets to force a rubber match.  “Sobrang proud ako sa narating ng team namin ngayon,” said outgoing setter Kyle Negrito. “Sobrang ipinakita ng teammates ko, ng buong team, na lumaban bawat game. Na walang alinlangan na ilaban nila para sa amin (seniors).” Head coach George Pascua thanked his three graduating seniors for a job well done as Lady Tamaraws. “Ako, very proud ako sa kanila umpisa pa lang nagpapa-‘thank you’ na ko sa kanila,” he said. “Team building pa lang na nadyan sila para sumupport sa team.” “’Yung unfinished business last season gusto namin ma-achieve na unfortunately hindi namin nagawa yun,” he said. Pero siyempre, sobrang proud ako sa kanila bilang Ates ng team. They did well.”   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 8th, 2019

UP, UE share 2019 s king of recruiting crown

Who was our King of Recruiting in 2018? Find out here. --- Last season, the University of the Philippines, at long last, broke through in the UAAP. Behind the leadership of Paul Desiderio and key contributions from Season MVP Bright Akhuetie and Mythical selection Juan Gomez de Liano, the Fighting Maroons made their first Final Four since 1997 and first Finals in 32 years. Now, even without the iconic Desiderio, State U is nothing but confident it could build on its breakthrough. The reason? Well, because two of the brightest young stars in Kobe Paras and Ricci Rivero are now orbiting Diliman. Paras has all the physical tools to take any league by storm and now in maroon and green, he is out to continue the legacy of his father Benjie who delivered the school’s first and only championship. Meanwhile, the Euro-stepping Rivero already knows a thing or two about taking the UAAP by storm, having been chosen for the Mythical Team when he was still playing for De La Salle University in 2017. Add big man J-Boy Gob, another transferee, to that and, indeed, UP is only equipped to keep contending. On the strength of the transfers of Paras and Rivero alone, the Fighting Maroons would have been worthy of the title of 2019 King of Recruiting. Right up there with them, though, in terms of getting a big boost in the offseason is University of the East. Absent from the Final Four in the last decade, the Red Warriors will be heading into the upcoming season with a fully stocked arsenal. Now up front for them – alongside stalwart Philip Manalang, of course – will be 6-foot-9 Senegalese Adama Diakhite, three-time champion and two-time MVP in the CESAFI Rey Suerte, and college-ready Harvey Pagsanjan, the no. 7 high school player in the 2019 NBTC 24. Diakhite is a hulking presence who will prove to be a tough matchup even for the likes of reigning MVP Akhuetie and last year’s Rookie of the year Ange Kouame. Suerte, a gifted scorer from anywhere on the court, fills right into the hole left behind by scoring dynamo Alvin Pasaol while Pagsanjan can continue making all the right plays he had been doing as the longtime beacon of hope for Hope Christian High School. Also flanking them are former Ateneo de Manila University forward John Apacible, defensive stopper Neil Tolentino, Filipino-Kiwi swingman Richie Rodger, and Filipino-Australian point guard Jasper Rentoy. And with that, UP and UE will have joint custody of the crown of the 2019 King of Recruiting. They dethrone National University which claimed the crown a year ago behind a big-time recruiting class that included Ildefonso brothers Dave and Shaun, John Lloyd Clemente, and John Galinato. Just like last year, there remains no doubt that the new Fighting Maroons and Red Warriors will make their respective sides forces to reckon with come UAAP 82. Still, several squads also made it a point to be better in the offseason. In fact, the graduating players in the 2019 NBTC 24 have been spread out among eight different teams. From the 2019 NBTC 24, the annual ranking of the best high school players in the country, 14 are moving on up to the Seniors. Adamson University is the biggest winner in terms of recruits from that ranking, with three of the top 15 players now in San Marcelino. Ninth-ranked Aaron Fermin is a double-double machine in the NCAA Jrs. and is nothing but determined to realize his potential as a two-way force under multi-titled mentor Franz Pumaren. In CESAFI standout Joshua Yerro and UAAP Jrs. Mythical selection Joem Sabandal, coach Franz also has young blood to bolster the backcourt that will no longer have Koko Pingoy. The Soaring Falcons also scored four other former Baby Falcons in big man Lorenz Capulong and wings Adam and Andrey Doria and AP Manlapaz. When it comes to reaping the rewards of its high school program, though, nobody could still touch Mapua University which again got two keep its Jrs. studs in Clint Escamis and Dan Arches, both of whom made it into the top two-thirds of the 2019 NBTC 24. Escamis and Arches are offensive guards who will give much-needed firepower to a promising core comprised of fellow Mapua HS products Warren Bonifacio, Eric Jabel, Noah Lugo, and Laurenz Victoria. Also, the Cardinals are the favorites to land NCAA 94 Jrs. Finals MVP Paolo Hernandez, another Red Robin. Also bagging two prized prospects from the 2019 NBTC 24 is La Salle which is now the place where the talented tandem of Joel Cagulangan and Joshua David get to work. Cagulangan has long been a star in the making and the NCAA 94 Jrs. MVP is, without question, Taft Avenue’s point guard of the future. The even better news is that he will still have wingman David, a tried and tested glue guy, to grow with. Also set to debut for the Green Archers are Filipino-Americans Jordan Bartlett, a speedster guard; Tyrus Hill, a high-flying forward; and Kurt Lojera, a big-bodied swingman. In all, there are six graduates from the top 10 of the 2019 NBTC 24. All of them would be on different teams in the Srs. Two players from 2019 NBTC 24 are yet to commit to any school, but there is no doubt that Red Robin Hernandez and Greenie Inand Fornilos will be able additions to any collegiate team. For the second straight year, Aldin Ayo will be adding a top three recruit out of high school as incoming sophomore CJ Cansino will now join forces with another triple-doubling talent in Mark Nonoy, a rookie who plays way beyond his years. But wait, there’s more as UST also welcomes with open arms its newest foreign student-athlete in Beninese Soulemane Chabi Yo whose speed and skill will make him a problem for the other foreign student-athletes more used to being powerhouses. Sprinkle in stretch four Sherwin Concepcion as well as versatile forwards Rhenz Abando and Brent Paraiso and there’s a reason why the Growling Tigers are now very much a darkhorse contender. L-Jay Gonzales and RJ Abarrientos remain FEU’s backcourt for tomorrow, but in the meantime, the former is poised for a breakout just as the latter is poised to wrap up his K-12 schooling. Yes, Abarrientos is not yet good to go come UAAP 82, but his steady hand is still the perfect pairing for the burst of energy that is Gonzales. Make no mistake, however, the Tamaraws have gotten help in the form of 6-foot-10 Cameroonian Patrick Tchuente as well as former Baby Tams Daniel Celzo and Jack Gloria. Letran is already the biggest it has ever been up front with NCAA 94 Rookie of the Year Larry Muyang alongside Jeo Ambohot, Christian Balagasay, and Christian Fajarito. Now, the Knights have also beefed up at the wings with Allen Mina and Mark Sangalang as well as former Red Warrior and Growling Tiger Jordan Sta. Ana. LPU will have to prove it could continue contending even without NCAA 93 MVP CJ Perez, but the good news is that now backtopping Marcelino twins Jaycee and Jayvee are former San Sebastian College-Recoletos key cogs Alvin Baetiong, Jayson David, and Renzo Navarro. That’s still a pretty solid lineup in our books. Just like last year, the now two-time UAAP champions are mostly intact, only losing team captain Anton Asistio as well as reserve guard Aaron Black. That doesn’t mean, however, that there are no new faces in Ateneo. Geo Chiu, Kai Sotto’s twin tower, decided to stay in Katipunan just as fellow ex-Blue Eaglets RV Berjay and Jason Credo are now seeing minutes in head coach Tab Baldwin’s rotation. And oh, there is a possibility that double-double machine Fornilos, who placed no. 13 in the 2019 NBTC 24, is bound to be a Blue Eaglet. Perps is nothing but determined to build on the triumphant return to the NCAA of head coach Frankie Lim and to do that, they will be leaning on former San Beda University pillar Ben Adamos as well as ex-Adamson HS workhorse Jefner Egan. Count out the Altas at your own risk. JRU is just on the first phase of a grand rebuild, but there is no doubt that things are looking up for Kalentong. In John Amores, they now have an end-to-end force who is all set to make an immediate impact as a rookie. These are the new names to watch for the teams: Baste CSB National U San Beda --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 3rd, 2019

Ravena brothers team up for Gilas in FIBA Asia Cup qualifier

Thirdy Ravena cherishes the opportunity of playing alongside brother Kiefer Ravena for the national team. The Ravena brothers will mark their first time playing for the tricolors in the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers after the two made the cut in the Gilas Final 12 roster. Gilas will face Indonesia on February 23. “Masaya siya pero at the same time malaking responsibility yun, kasi yung kapatid ko para na rin siyang coach,” said the younger Raveba. “Para na rin siyang tatay ko eh kasi kahit on the court tinuturuan niya rin ako.” The Ravenas never got an chance to play together for the national squad.   Thirdy made his senior team debut last year in the FIBA Wolrd Cup Asian qualifiers against Qatar while Kiefer was still serving an 18-month FIBA ban.   “Nabigla ako but it’s a great honor, a great privilege to play for Gilas once again,” said Thirdy, who last played with Kiefer back in the UAAP for Ateneo de Manila University in the UAAP back in 2015. “It’s gonna be fun, ‘yung program na pinlano para sa amin, can’t wait to represent the Philippines once again.” Aside from the Ravenas, other former Blue Eagles in the lineup are Poy Erram, Matt Nieto, Isaac Go and Justin Chua while incoming Ateneo player Dwight Ramos is also in the roster.   Also suiting up for Gilas are CJ Perez, Troy Rosario, RR Pogoy, Abu Tratter and Juan Gomez de Liano. The squad is set to fly to Indonesia on Friday......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 19th, 2020

FIBA: Countdown starts for final Gilas 12 against Indonesia

Gilas Pilipinas should be getting close to figuring out who will make its final 12-man lineup to start the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers. After another practice Saturday, interim head coach Mark Dickel says he and his staff are rounding out the first 15 players for the game against Indonesia next week. "I'm sure we'll go back-and-forth with the coaches tonight on who the 15 are and then start talking about combinations who should start," Dickel said. "I'm really trying to have an open mind about all the players here, let the team pick itself based on how they're performing. I didn't wanna come in here with preconceived ideas because then you don't give guys a real chance to force their way in," he added. At the very latest, Gilas Pilipinas has until the eve of a game to form a 12-man lineup. That gives the national team a full week to decide on the roster against Indonesia. However, Dickel and his coaching staff will have to put together a list very soon which will be subject to approval by FIBA and the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas. "We haven't really thought too much on who's gonna make the 15 or the 12," Dickel said. "Over the next couple of days we gotta release it to FIBA for clearance reasons," he added. — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

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 82: Blue Eagles ready to prove they can win on their own

Last year, Ateneo was clearly in transition. Which was fair really, it was the first year the Blue Eagles were without Marck Espejo, the program's greatest player ever. This year, Ateneo is in transition no more as the Blue Eagles have moved on from their G.O.A.T. "I think we're just excited to show how much we've grown stronger as a team. Especially since last year, it wasn't as much of a rebuild, but 'yun 'yung year na umalis sila Marck, mga powerhouse players talaga namin," Chu Njigha told ABS-CBN Sports. "I think we moved on na. Kahit sinong team naman mawawalan ng player every year so it's a matter of focusing kung sino yung nandiyan," he added. Despite going through life without Espejo and even head coach Oliver Almadro, the Blue Eagles went to the Final Four last year as a no. 3 seed. Naturally, this current group is raring to prove that they can also win on their own. Making it back to the Finals is top priority for the Ateneo. "Ngayon yung cheer namin before games or during huddles is "for the Finals,'" Njigha said. "Yes, we're gonna be gunning for that championship. But of course,  we're gonna take each game as baby steps," he added.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 11th, 2020

UAAP 82: Ate Michelle Cobb confident in talented DLSU rookies

It wasn't’ too long ago that setter Michelle Cobb was one of the fresh faces on a powerhouse De La Salle University Lady Spikers squad.  Life moves fast in the UAAP, however.  In her three years in the league, Cobb went from a back-up to all-time great setter Kim Fajardo, to being the starting setter on a three-peat winning team, to experiencing heartbreak as part of the first Lady Spikers team in a decade to not make the UAAP Finals.  Last season was indeed a bitter pill to swallow for the likes of Cobb and her fellow seniors who had been so used to winning in the UAAP, but it also served as an important learning experience.  “Marami kaming natutunan na lessons from last season, na ginawa namin as main ground kung paano kami magbabago and paano namin aayusin yung mga mali namin last season, so I guess yun yung nag-iba, mayroon kaming parang basis kung ano ba yung dapat idagdag, dapat baguhin, and dapat i-improve,” Cobb told ABS-CBN Sports.  Last season’s shortcomings, including their losses to University of the Philippines in the eliminations and their losses to University of Santo Tomas in the post-season, Cobb adds, are also what give them the hunger to compete this season.  “Of course, it’s what pushes us, it’s what makes us hungrier, I guess, yung ganung mga experiences, doon kami humuhugot ng, ‘Gusto namin talunin kayong lahat’ parang ganun,” Cobb said with a laugh. “I guess healthy naman ang ganung mindset.” Heading into the UAAP Season 82 Women’s Volleyball Tournament, Cobb - now in her fourth season - has transformed into one of the team’s big sisters, so to speak.  So far, she’s liking what she’s seeing from the new crop of Lady Spikers.  “Very fresh, very talented yung rookies, may potential yung rookies, so I guess good start yun for them, and also siyempre, it’s not gonna be hard for us kasi since apat na lang kaming natira na starter, it’s more of mas easy yung transition since all of them are really talented,” Cobb stated.  Cobb pinpointed rookies like Thea Gagate, Leila Cruz, Justine Jazareno, and Fifi Sharma as ones to watch out for.  More than just the talent, Cobb also spoke about the relationship between the seniors and the rookies, saying that they have become like ‘ates’ to the younger players.  “Yung relationship ng team ngayon is very healthy, yung relationship namin sa mga bata very healthy kasi kumbaga, yung pagka-ate namin na-aapply namin sa kanila, if they go to us for advice, and not just that, in a way, they ask us kung paano yung dynamics inside the court, not just that, but like also, as a sister din, yung sisterhood mas napa-practice namin.” With a new season comes a clean slate, and the Lady Spikers are determined on getting back to the heights that they’re used to. For ten consecutive seasons, DLSU was in the finals, and in seven of those ten, they took home the title.  This season’s goal is clear: get the title back.  “Siyempre to bring back what we’ve lost, and to regain what we’ve lost and apply all the lessons we’ve learned,” Cobb said. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 11th, 2020

UAAP 82: Umandal confident to lead UST post-SEA Games

Jau Umandal is about to get a much bigger role for UST in the UAAP Season 82 men's volleyball tournament. As the Tiger Spikers look to make a return to the Final Four following a one-year absence, Umandal's development after a stint with the Philippine national team could prove crucial. Umandal was part of the Philippine team that won silver in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games. "Sobrang laki ng confidence ko, and sobrang laki ng role ko para sa team," Umandal told ABS-CBN Sports. "Kasi galing ako sa national team sa SEA Games, yung nanalo tayo sa Thailand sobrang laking confidence sakin na maglaro sa UAAP dahil sa experience na nakuha ko," he added. Before the SEA Games, the Philippines had a a two-week camp in Japan, which proved to be worth it as the national team took down five-peat seeking Thailand in the semifinals before bagging a historic silver medal. As great as that is though, not all players have the privilege to play for tha national team and Umandal is taking the responsibility to guide the Tiger Spikers using his national team experience. "Ituturo ko sa kanila yung mga natutunan ko, mga mechanics na natutunan ko sa Japan, kung paano gawin mga bagay na mapapadali lang," he said. "Tinuturo ko yun sa kanila sa training, gina-guide ko sila lagi lalo na yung mga bata kasi sa program namin, iba na set up namin mas mabilis. Ni-level up na namin," Umandal added. — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 9th, 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

Carlos, Molde, UP veterans return for final UAAP women s volleyball season

After failing to make it to the semis in Season 81, Carlos, Molde and more UP veterans will take one last shot to push the Diliman squad into Final Four this coming February......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJan 24th, 2020

Fortea catches fire as Bullpups capture first playoff berth in UAAP 82

STANDINGS Bullpups 9-0 Baby Tamaraws 8-1 Tiger Cubs 5-4 Baby Falcons 4-5 Blue Eaglets 4-5 Jr. Archers 3-6 Jr. Warriors 3-6 Jr. Maroons 0-9 It was just a matter of time before Terrence Fortea got into his groove in the UAAP 82 Boys Basketball Tournament. That time came, Sunday at Filoil Flying V Centre, as Fortea scorched the nets for 25 points and shot Nazareth School of National University over very game Adamson High School, 94-79. The gunslinging guard got all but four of his output from beyond the arc to give the defending champions their ninth win in as many games and the first playoff berth in the tournament. "Si Terrence naman, kahit naging ganun yung first round, nandun pa rin yung trust namin," head coach Goldwin Monteverde said. It was also Fortea who fired two backbreaking bombs in the 12-2 run that re-increased National U’s lead from three points to 81-68 inside the last five minutes. He was flanked by Carl Tamayo and Reyland Torres in the timely response that repulsed the Baby Falcons who pulled to within three, 66-69, early in the final frame on the back of Jake Figueroa. Tamayo wound up with 18 points, seven rebounds, and two blocks while Torres had 15 markers, eight boards, two assists, and two steals of his own. "Alam naman naming lalaban ang Adamson, pero buti nung fourth, nakuha ng bigs namin yung rhythm nila," coach Gold said. Kevin Quiambao was also a force with 16 points, seven rebounds, four assists, and two steals to make sure the Bullpups overcame an all-around 16-point, nine-rebound, six-assist, and three-steal outing from MVP leader Figueroa. John Erolon also added 13 points, five steals, four assists, and two rebounds, but Adamson just fell short of matching their opponents' firepower to fall for the third time in a row and fifth time overall in nine games. Still not that far behind National U is Far Eastern University-Diliman which charged through Ateneo de Manila High School in the final frame for what eventually ended as a convincing 67-57 victory. Chiolo Anonuevo and Jorick Bautista came through for the Baby Tamaraws in their eighth consecutive victory following a season-opening loss. On the other hand, the Blue Eaglets dropped to 4-5 - tied with the Baby Falcons for the fourth spot. With those losses by Adamson and Ateneo, University of Sto. Tomas rose to solo third courtesy of an 87-63 rout of still winless University of the Philippines Integrated School. Bismarck Lina turned in his best game of the season with a 20-point, 11-rebound double-double while James Maliwat and Jacob Cortez chimed in 17 and 12 markers, respectively for the Tiger Cubs who improved to 5-4. In the day's other game, University of the East climbed up the leaderboard by jumping on De La Salle Zobel, 81-68. Vhoris Marasigan busted out with a dominant double-double of 21 points and 12 rebounds as the Jr. Warriors now stand on even ground with the Jr. Archers at 3-6......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 19th, 2020

Ildefonsos part ways with National U after UAAP 82

Dave Ildefonso's strong start to his collegiate career will be put on hold. Ildefonso will be moving on from National University and will continue his collegiate career elsewhere. No less than brand new Bulldogs head coach Goldwin Monteverde confirmed the development, Sunday. A week ago, the 6-foot-3 swingman was already reported to have talked with officials from the Sampaloc-based school about transferring. Coach Gold affirmed the reports and added that "most probably," Ildefonso will be heading back to Ateneo de Manila University. The now-20-year-old made a name for himself as a versatile wing for the Blue Eaglets' contending teams in the Jrs. From there, he committed to National U where he averaged 16.2 points, 2.3 rebounds, and 2.5 assists in two seasons. If Ildefonso does make his way back to Katipunan, he will first have to sit out a season before reuniting with former teammates SJ Belangel and Jason Credo and then joining forces with the likes of Ivorian tower Ange Kouame and Ramos brothers Dwight and Eli. Asked about his impending homecoming, however, the former Batang Gilas standout gave neither a confirmation nor a denial. What's certain, he said, is that he will be announcing his next step within the week. The second of the siblings is not the only family member leaving National U as patriarch Danny Ildefonso is also no longer part of the coaching staff. The PBA great and school legend had spent the last three years as an assistant for former coach Jamike Jarin. Meanwhile, Shaun Ildefonso is staying put in blue and gold. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 12th, 2020

20 for 20: Pinoy Sports Personalities to Watch in 2020

As we enter a new decade, ABS-CBN Sports takes a look at 20 Pinoy sports personalities destined to shine in 2020.    Kiefer Ravena After an 18-month wait, Kiefer Ravena is finally back in basketball. Despite only playing in the PBA’s third conference, his impact was immediate, leading NLEX to the number 1 seed in the Governors’ Cup. The Road Warriors didn’t advance sure, but if Kiefer can impact a team that way in limited time, wait until you see what he can do with a full offseason.   Alex Eala At just 14 years old, Filipina tennister Alex Eala is already turning heads, and she’s yet to turn pro. With a runner-up finish at the ITF Mayor’s Cup in Osaka, Japan and her first ITF Juniors title in Cape Town, South Africa, Alex has had quite the fruitful year, leading to a career-best 11th-place ranking in the ITF Juniors table to finish the year.  Heading into 2020, Eala now has her sights set on turning pro as she plans to join more professional tournaments to raise her ranking even more. Expect the young tennis star to make even more headlines in the coming year.     Bryan Bagunas A vital cog in the national team’s silver medal finish in the 30th Southeast Asian Games, Bagunas is considered as one of the best Filipino volleyball players in this generation. Eyes will be on his blossoming international career playing as an import in the Japan V. Premier League.         Margielyn Didal While already a household name in Philippine skateboarding due to her success in the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta, Margielyn Didal made even more waves in 2019. The 20-year old Cebuana reached the semifinals of the 2019 SLS World Championships in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and captured gold in the 2019 National Championships and the 2019 Southeast Asian Games.  Didal is currently looking to qualify for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, and if she can do so, it’s highly likely that the Pinay skater can become an even bigger star in the industry.    Marck Espejo After his spectacular collegiate career with the Ateneo Blue Eagles, Marck Espejo's colorful career as part of the men's national volleyball team and in the club league continues to blossom. Just like Bryan Bagunas, Espejo will be showing his skills internationally with a stint in Thailand following a historic silver medal finish at the 30th SEA Games.   Yuka Saso After a decorated amateur career that saw her  participate in major tournaments such as the Ladies’ European Tour, the Summer Youth Olympics and claim top honors in the 2018 Asian Games, 2018 and 2019 Philippine Ladies Open, and the 2019 Girls’ Junior PGA Championship, 18-year old Pinay golfer Yuka Saso finally made the jump to pro in November of 2019.  With even more competitions in store plus a 2020 Tokyo Olympics berth in her crosshairs, it’s quite likely that we hear more about Saso in the coming months.  Carlos Yulo Perhaps no other young athlete in the Philippines shot to stardom faster than gymnastics phenomenon Carlos Edriel Yulo. After a gold medal finish in the floor exercise at the 2019 World Championships in Stuttgart, Yulo hauled in even more hardware in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games, taking home two more gold medals and five silvers.  Yulo’s spectacular 2019 earned him a spot in the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, and if his SEA Games and World Championships performances are any indication, Caloy is bound for another podium finish on the biggest stage there is.   Eya Laure Last UAAP season’s rookie of the year will return as the heir apparent of Season 81 MVP Sisi Rondina. With her national team stint, all eyes will be on the younger Laure as she reunites with older sister EJ as they try to bring University of Sto. Tomas back in the Finals after falling short last year. Hidilyn Diaz 2019 was another big year for Olympic silver medalist weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz, highlighted by her first ever gold medal in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games. Diaz also finished with silver medals in the 2019 Asian Championships and a bronze in the 2019 World Championships.  All those podium finishes are crucial in Diaz’s quest for another Olympics berth in 2020. Should the 28-year lock up another spot in the Summer Games in Tokyo, we could see another Olympic medal coming home.    Kat Tolentino  After initially announcing that she would not come back for her final season in the UAAP, Kat Tolentino changed her decision and will suit up for the Ateneo Lady Eagles once last time, providing a great morale-booster in their bid for back-to-back titles. Tolentino’s leadership will be tested as she will be leading a young team.      Joshua Pacio 23-year old Joshua “The Passion” Pacio proved to be the brightest spot for Philippine MMA stable Team Lakay in 2019. After opening the year with a questionnable decision loss to Yosuke Saruta, Pacio silenced any doubts in the rematch and regained the ONE Strawweight World Championship with a highlight-reel headkick knockout. Pacio would follow that up with another masterful performance, this time with a second-round submission win over top contender Rene Catalan before the end of the year.  2020 is shaping up to become another banner year for the rising Pinoy star, as he’s scheduled for another title defense on January 31st in Manila, this time against former champ Alex Silva of Brazil. A win for Pacio will solidify his claim of being the best strawweight ever in ONE Championship history.     Louie Romero The Adamson University freshman displayed great potential during the pre-season when she piloted the Lady Falcons to title win in the PVL Season 3 Collegiate Conference. Romero is expected to be a gem of a setter for the young Adamson squad hoping make a return in the UAAP Final Four. Manny Pacquiao While eight-division world champion Manny Pacquiao is certainly in the twilight of his professional boxing career, 2019 showed that he is still one of the best around. A successful title defense over Adrien Broner followed by an impressive dismantling of the previously-undefeated Keith Thurman to capture the WBA’s primary world title proved that even at 40, Manny Pacquiao is still a big name in the sport.  With Pacquiao targeting an early return in 2020, more big names are lined up to fight “the People’s Champ”, including names like Danny Garcia, Shawn Porter, and even a title-unification bout against Errol Spence. Still, the biggest fight that is out there proves to be a rematch against Floyd Mayweather Jr, granted that “Money” finally bites.    Faith Nisperos A key addition for the repeat-seeking Ateneo de Manila University. The highly-touted rookie hitter will add height and firepower for the Lady Eagles in UAAP Season 82 women’s volleyball. In the previous PVL Collegiate Conference, Nisperos flashed her scoring prowess, exploding for 35 points in one outing.   Robert Bolick The two best rookies of 2019 were CJ Perez and Robert Bolick. We know what we can expect from CJ, but Bolick is an interesting case as 2020 will be his return from knee injury. Bolick could still win Rookie of the Year, but even if he doesn’t, his return to Northport could push the reloaded Batang Pier from a Cinderella team to full-on PBA title contender.   Joshua Retamar His playmaking skills as well as his efficiency on net defense during the national team’s silver medal finish in the 30th Southeast Asian Games makes him a setter to watch out for come UAAP. Retamar is an asset for National University’s three-peat bid.       Kai Sotto The Philippines' 7-foot-2, 17-year-old is opening eyes as he suits up for Atlanta-based The Skills Factory - so much so that he has already gotten interest from quite a few US NCAA schools. Before Sotto continues breaking the glass ceiling for Filipinos, though, he will go home for a while to wear the flag with Mighty Sports-Pilipinas in the 2020 Dubai International Basketball Tournament.   Jema Galanza Coming off a great outing to close the PVL Season 3 highlighted by copping the Open Conference MVP award, expectations are high for Jema Galanza as Creamline aims to reclaim the PVL Reinforced Conference crown and complete an Open Conference three-peat.      Kobe Paras Many questioned just what the 6-foot-6 tantalizing talent would bring to the table for UP - but more often than not, he had all the answers as he led the Fighting Maroons to their second straight Final Four. In the end, Paras was actually the steadying force State U needed in what was a hyped up season. They may not have made it back to the Finals, but they still got much more motivation as they run it back for next year.   Pat Aquino What's next for the most decorated mentor in women's basketball? Pat Aquino followed up a six-peat for National U with the Philippines' first-ever gold medal in women's basketball in the SEA Games. Without a doubt, he will only continue steering the sport forward especially as the likes of UST and FEU are already gearing up to put up greater challenges in the new year.   Isaac Go Isaac Go is technically not the no. 1 pick of the 2019 PBA Draft but he is without a doubt, the no. 1 prospect of the year. His top selection from the special Gilas Pilipinas Draft is proof of that. Gilas Pilipinas has the FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers on deck in 2020 and as a new era dawns on the national team, all eyes will be on the biggest piece for the future that’s already drafted into the new Philippine squad......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 1st, 2020

EYES ON YOU, KID: UAAP 82 Jrs. players to watch

The first round of the UAAP 82 Juniors Basketball Tournament is over and done with. And we can’t wait for the second round to get started just so we could get even more glimpses of the future of Philippine basketball courtesy of these players: CARL TAMAYO and KEVIN QUIAMBAO – Nazareth School of National University TAMAYO’S ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 12.7 points, 52.3 percent shooting, 8.3 rebounds, 1.3 assists QUIAMBAO’S ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 12.7 points, 51.4 percent shooting, 10.7 rebounds, 1.7 blocks, 1.7 assists 7-foot-2, 17-year-old Kai Sotto was, hands down, the top individual talent last year in UAAP Jrs. – but even he was no match for National U’s twin towers who stood as the pillars in their dominant championship. A year later, Carl Tamayo and Kevin Quiambao have only been better all while the Bullpups have breezed to a clean sweep of Round 1. The 6-foot-7 Tamayo is yet to explode, but is still posting per game counts that any team would want their big man to have. The 6-foot-8 Quiambao, on the other hand, has had for himself a couple of powerful performances and finds himself in the league’s top five in rebounds and blocks. Either of them would have no problem whatsoever making this list on their own, but together, National U’s twin towers, well, tower over all the competition. LEBRON LOPEZ and JOSH LAZARO – Ateneo de Manila University LOPEZ’S ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 16.3 points, 10.1 rebounds, 2.1 blocks, 1.1 steals LAZARO’S ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 13.7 points, 12.6 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 1.3 blocks, 1.1 steals What National U has in imposing big men, Ateneo has in versatile forwards. Lebron Lopez and Josh Lazaro are long-limbed, athletic, and agile and it is when they share the floor together that the Blue Eagles do the most damage. Lopez, standing at 6-foot-5, has the higher ceiling between the two and is now already in the league’s top five in blocks and rebounds, but he remains in the process of putting it all together after having a tough time seeing the court when he was still in La Salle Green Hills. The 6-foot-4 Lazaro, meanwhile, has always been solid even when he was reppin’ San Beda and has only translated that, as well as a more well-rounded game, now in blue and white. Katipunan may have lost Sotto, but its future remains secure with these talented transferees who have done nothing but make an immediate impact. GERRY ABADIANO – Nazareth School of National University ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 11.7 points, 3.2 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 1.5 steals Other guards have the highlights and the numbers, but in terms of being a court general, Gerry Abadiano is still the standard. National U has the most loaded team in all of high school, but its engine remains in good condition with much thanks to the leadership of Abadiano. The Bullpups’ boat just could not be rocked with the 5-foot-11 guard’s hands at the wheel as everybody from Carl Tamayo to Echo Laure and from Terrence Fortea to Steve Nash Enriquez heeds the call of their captain. And when the blue and gold needs a shot all of a sudden? All of us could count on Abadiano to hit his patented midrange jumper. Now that’s a leader. FORTHSKY PADRIGAO – Ateneo de Manila University ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 19.4 points, 19 total threes, 4.4 rebounds, 4.0 steals, 3.9 assists No doubt about it, Ateneo is now Forthsky Padrigao’s show to run for the foreseeable future. With his running mate in Sotto having taken his talents to the US, Padrigao has been thrust into the spotlight by his lonesome – and he has done nothing but shine. The playmaking is still there as the 5-foot-11 guard is tops in the league in assists, but he has now also unleashed his scoring skills to the tune of 19.4 points per game – second-best among all players. The shooting percentages have a long ways to go, but it’s just a matter of time before Padrigao truly makes himself into Katipunan’s next great point guard. PENNY ESTACIO – Far Eastern University-Diliman ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 17.1 points, 16 total threes, 6.1 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 2.7 steals There’s a reason FEU-Diliman went all-out in securing the services of Penny Estacio – and he has wasted no time repaying their full faith. A year after showing promise at the point of the attack for San Beda, Estacio has now blossomed into a primetime playmaker for the Baby Tamaraws. The 5-foot-11 guard could make plays for his teammates, of course, but as of right now, his capabilities and confidence are all about making plays for himself all the way to the top five in scoring. And make no mistake, Estacio is no points guard – he also uses his long limbs to good use by harassing opposing guards into turnovers he quickly converts into scoring opportunities for the green and gold. TERRENCE FORTEA – Nazareth School of National University ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 12.6 points, 19 total threes, 2.1 rebounds, 2.0 assists To be honest, Terrence Fortea has not had a good season – for his high standards, at the very least. The shooting percentages have not been kind to Fortea thus far as he is yet to hit the mark, especially from beyond the arc. Still, the 5-foot-10 scoring guard remains a frightening sight for opponents with the ball in his hands and with his uber-quick release always threatening. Terrence gonna Terrence and shooters gonna shoot – and all of the league is not at all looking forward to the game where the shots finally fall and fall and fall for Fortea. JOHN EROLON – Adamson High School ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 14.6 points, 25 total threes, 3.6 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.1 steals There’s a new marksman in town – and he is wearing the colors of Adamson. John Erolon, the Baby Falcons’ prized recruit from Dumaguete’s St. Louis of Don Bosco, has only proven that his shooting touch in the 2019 National Basketball Training Centre was no mirage as he has scorched the UAAP Jrs. nets for the second-most total threes after the first round. The other facets of his game have much room for improvement, of course, but there is no doubt that the rookie already has an elite skill on lock. KEAN BACLAAN – De La Salle Zobel ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 17.1 points, 7.6 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 1.1 steals DLSZ has not had its day under the sun since the days of Aljun Melecio, but with the entry of talented transferee Kean Baclaan, it hoped its time would come again. Thus far, Baclaan has held up his end of the bargain with his super scoring already making its way to the UAAP Jrs. all while doing a little bit of everything else. Now, all that’s left for the 5-foot-8 playmaker to do is to energize the rest of his teammates so that the Jr. Archers could finally put an end to their three-year playoff drought. SEAN TORCULAS – University of the Philippines Integrated School ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 10.6 points, 17.0 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 2.3 steals, 2.4 blocks Yes, UPIS remains winless. Yes, head coach Paolo Mendoza’s eight-man rotation plays somewhere between 15 to 34 minutes per game. Yes, statistics never tell the true story. Still, being first in rebounds, first in blocks, second in assists, and third in steals in a league filled to the brim with talent is nothing to brush aside – especially if you are an undersized forward. That’s exactly what Sean Torculas has done after Round 1, though, and it is, without a doubt, all because his motor never stops working. That’s exactly what a rebuilding team wants and needs from its building block. JACOB CORTEZ – University of Sto. Tomas ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 16.1 points, 6.0 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 1.0 steals UST has its own talented transferee who has, thus far, flown under the radar, in Jacob Cortez. Nonetheless, the son of ex-pro Mike Cortez has begun to open eyes as he has the ability to score from all over the floor. With “Cool Cat” genes in him, the 5-foot-9 has only made sure that the Tiger Cubs remain a threat in the post-Mark Nonoy era. HONORABLE MENTIONS Jorick Bautista – Far Eastern University-Diliman John Dalisay – De La Salle Zobel --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 28th, 2019

SEA Games: Gilas women hope double gold leads to more support

MANILA — With two shiny gold medals from the 2019 Southeast Asian Games, everybody has no choice but to pay attention to Gilas Pilipinas women and women’s basketball in general in the Philippines. At least that’s the hope now. Gilas women made history in the SEA Games, first winning the 3x3 basketball tournament. A week later, the Philippine national women’s team won the country’s first ever gold medal in 5x5 basketball. In both Finals, Gilas women beat Thailand. “We’ve been dreaming of that since day 1 na we handled the national team, na sana we make it great for women,” head coach Pat Aquino said.  “Sana, lagi na lang puro kami sana. And now that we’re here. We achieved the goals that we were supposed to do,” he added. It’s been a struggle to get attention and support for women’s basketball in the Philippines. After the UAAP, Filipina players have nowhere else to go, aside from actually making the national team. Obviously, Gilas women can’t accomodate all the players coming up. Coach Pat is hoping that their double gold can pave the way for a proper women’s league here. “That’s the dream na gusto ko. Now that I’m the sports director or the program director for Women’s Basketball, I really wanted women’s basketball to grow,” he said. “Hopefully sponsors would come in next year and help us out to have a league of their own for the women’s basketball. And I think they’ll be proud of it. These girls really worked hard. Walang mga prima donna. And they’re gonna play as hard as they can,” Aquino added. For the meantime, Gilas Pilipinas women will take a short break before they set their sights on a bigger goal like FIBA Asia. The SEA Games double gold is certainly not going to be their peak, it’s just the start. “Let’s not just let this pass by. Everybody, pagtapos nito syempre wala na naman. We will focus with other things. But sana we could achieve more by you know, supporting us,” Aquino said. “Sana we continue more and improve. Next stop, FIBA Asia naman. So hopefully, yun naman yung target,” Coach Pat added.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 11th, 2019