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UAAP Cheerdance 2017 a storybook ending for graduating Salinggawi captain

"Surreal." UST Salinggawi Dance Troupe team captain Benjo Gutierrez could hardly catch his breath. "Feeling ko panaginip po ‘to. Hindi ko po inexpect." After falling just a few tenths of a point short for a podium finish in the 2016 UAAP Cheerdance Competition, Gutierrez and the Salinggawi Dance Troupe's tiger-inspired routine earned them a first runner-up finish in the 2017 UAAP Cheerdance Competition, Saturday evening at the Mall of Asia Arena.  For the graduating Gutierrez, who took to the Cheerdance floor one last time for 'Gawi, it was the perfect send off, especially since he wasn't expecting to make it back on the podium this year.  "Indescribable, sobrang hindi ko po ma-describe kasi hindi po kami nag-eexpect, gusto lang namin ng magandang run, pero yung mabalik sa podium, especially for me kasi graduating na ako," "Masarap umalis na nasa podium yung team niyo." Gutierrez added.  While there were a number of notable moments in UST's routine, Gutierrez says that his favorite part of it all wasn't anything that could be seen on TV or by the audience in attendance.  "Yung favorite ko siguro yung hindi nakikita ng mga tao, favorite part ko yung nag-uusap kami sa loob and nabubuo namin yung pyramids kasi yun yung isang sign na buo kaming lahat, nag-cheer kami for UST." Saturday night was the last time for Gutierrez to cheer for UST - in the UAAP CDC at least  - and while he'll be watching from the sidelines next year, the outgoing captain has some words of advice for his younger Salinggawi teammates.  "Keep passionate, trust the process, and trust yourselves.".....»»

Category: sportsSource: abscbn abscbnDec 2nd, 2017

UP Pep: ‘We’re going to work harder now everyone improved’

The UP Pep Squad remains the winningest team in the UAAP Cheerdance Competition. Much of the field is catching up to them, however. With a sixth-place finish in the 2017 edition of the event, State U was unable to add to its medal total of 20. That means that second-running UST Salinggawi Dance Troupe have pulled closer to them – with their silver medal in this year’s competition hiking their total to 17. Meanwhile, first-time champions Adamson Pep Squad have also joined in the gold medal tally. All told, the Fighting Maroons’ return didn’t go exactly as planned – in the official results, at least. For them, however, their comeback performance was all about expressing themselves to their beloved community. “Yun po talaga ang kwento namin sa UP – going through heartbreaks, going through sad and trying times, but at the end of the day, kailangan pa ring lumaban,” co-captain Megan Mendoza Cabrera said. And so, while many people did not get what the UP Pep Squad was going for, co-captain Thea Obanil still said they fulfilled their goal. “Selfish mang pakinggan, pero pinakita lang namin yung kwento namin. Mahirap kasi sa training, pero tuloy pa rin ang laban until the end,” she shared. She then continued, “Kung sinuman yung nasa taas, kung sinuman yung nagpo-podium finish, nandito pa rin kami para sa UP community.” Now they have gotten back a feel of the UAAP Cheerdance Competition, however, the Diliman-based squad said they will only do themselves better in the coming contests. “Siyempre, we’re going to work harder now that we know that everyone improved so much more. Siyempre, sa amin, nakaka-motivate ding makapagsabayan,” Cabrera said. That is even truer as in 2017, their routine was good for 575.50 points – 35 less than fourth and fifth-ranked NU Pep Squad and FEU Cheering Squad, 59 less than third-ranked UE Pep Squad, 63 less than second-ranked UST Salinggawi Dance Troupe, and 88 less than champion Adamson Pep Squad. “Sana next year, mas maganda mapakita namin. We’ll just keep working hard and still be the UP Pep Squad na alam ng mga tao,” their co-captain said. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 2nd, 2017

UP Pep coach: ‘Wala kaming magagawa kundi i-represent ang UP’

Apparently, the UP Pep Squad had a routine ready to go for last year’s UAAP Cheerdance Competition. “Up to the last minute, we still wanted to compete. Ready na talaga kami to compete,” assistant coach Pio Opinaldo said. “But then, things were still not cleared so we just focused on yung ibang competition. Dun na lang namin nagamit yung routine namin.” State U’s pride pulled out of the 2016 iteration of the event as a form of protest. Then, they were still adamant that the results of the 2015 edition of the event “did not genuinely reflect adherence to the competition guidelines and criteria.” In 2015, the NU Pep Squad reigned supreme with a total score of 668. UST then snatched second-place with 651.5 points while the Diliman-based squad ranked third with 610.5 points. “Last year, ‘di sumali yung UP because we were questioning some parts of the rules that were left unanswered. We really wanted an answer not because we wanted to prove something, but because we wanted to clarify things,” Opinaldo said. He then continued, “We wanted to know kung may mali ba sa routine namin. Importante sa amin yun para maging maayos yung routine namin for the next season.” And so, rather than the UAAP, UP Pep instead competed in the Asian Cheerleading and Dancesport Competition. That was a painful decision for the squad. “Personally, masakit yung nangyari kasi maganda talaga yung theme namin. Alam ko, kakayanin namin nun,” Thea Obanil, now the team captain, recalled. Still, it was a painful decision that was shared by each and every member of the squad. “It was a unanimous decision not to join, to make that statement, na manindigan nga. It showed what UP Pep is all about,” Obanil said. Fast forward one year and not much has changed in the competition. Asked about the questions that led to their protest a year ago, Opinaldo answered, “’Di pa rin siya malinaw, pero wala na kaming magagawa kung ‘di masasagot yun.” In that light, the Fighting Maroons are will just lick their wounds and will just rush headfirst back into the UAAP CDC. “It’s our obligation to join the competition. As the official cheerleading team of UP, we are really obliged to join the competition,” the assistant coach. And whether or not their questions will have answers, Opinaldo said they will just fulfill what is expected of them – especially by the Diliman community. “Wala na rin kaming magagawa kundi mag-compete and represent the UP community,” he said. When UP Pep returns to action in the 2017 UAAP CDC on Deember 2 at the MOA Arena, they will be looking at a field that has improved – with the NU Pep Squad dominating, the FEU Cheering Squad and the UST Salinggawi Dance Troupe remaining as threats, and the Adamson Pep Squad opening eyes. For the winningest squad in the tournament, that is only good news. “The competition this time is different from the previous competitions. I’m really happen a sobrang nag-level up lahat,” Opinaldo said. Of course, all of the grace in the 2017 UAAP CDC will be on S+A, S+A HD, and sports.abs-cbn.com/livestream/cdc. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 24th, 2017

DE JESUS: Genius, disciplinarian, champion coach

This story was originally published on May 7, 2017 De La Salle University head coach Ramil De Jesus came inside the press room of the Big Dome for a post-game interview wearing the same smile he had in the past nine times the Lady Spikers closed the UAAP season as champions. The only difference in those championship interviews were the players that accompanied him to answer questions from reporters. From Iris Ortega-Patrona, Desiree Hernandez, Maureen Penetrante, the legendary Manilla Santos, the Big Three of Cha Cruz, Paneng Mercado and Jacq Alarca, to Michel Gumabao and beast-mode-don’t-care Aby Marano to Ara Galang, Mika Reyes, Kim Dy and gem of a setter in Kim Fajaro – all of them stood beside a genius and architect of DLSU’s successful volleyball program. Victory after victory, De Jesus built his reputation as a one of the best women’s volleyball mentors in the country. Last Saturday, De Jesus added another feather to his cap when he steered the Taft-based squad to back-to-back titles in the 79th UAAP women’s volleyball tournament at the expense of archrival Ateneo de Manila. Two decades since his arrival to the school of a different shade of green after playing for Far Eastern University, delivered 10 titles and brought the Lady Spikers to the Finals 17 times.   De Jesus shared the secret of his success. “Siguro, sistema siguro then hard work. And then, well-disciplined ‘yung mga bata. Siguro, ‘yun ‘yung key,” he said. His success earned him the respect of his peers including three-time UAAP men’s volleyball champion Oliver Almadro of Ateneo, who was once one of his lieutenants, and players alike. DLSU embraced him as one of its own. “Natutuwa ako kasi kahit hindi ako alumnus doon niyakap nila ako bilang parang doon na din nag-graduate,” said De Jesus. “Hindi ko naman napapansin ang mga nanyayari sa akin sila lang ang nakakapansin, binigyan nga ako ng award. Happy, very happy (ako).” De Jesus is known to be a no nonsense coach. Strict, straightforward and a disciplinarian – traits he inherited from FEU men’s coach Kid Santos.                He doesn’t like fanfare and as much as possible keeps attention away from him. De Jesus carefully chooses his words but when he gives one, everybody listens. He means business all the time.   Brilliance of De Jesus 246-65. De Jesus knows how to win and his career win-loss record says it all. The main reason why DLSU trusted De Jesus to handle the team for that many years – a rare feat considering that a UAAP coach’s tenure is very volatile.   It was summer 20 years ago when former basketball Olympian and influential DLSU sport personality Ramoncito Campos brought in a young mentor in De Jesus to save the school’s volleyball program, which then had yet to win a title since joining the league in 1986.           He entered the UAAP volleyball scene during the time when powerhouse teams Far Eastern University and University of Sto. Tomas, then mentored by legendary coach August Sta. Maria, were the ones lording over here the competition. Of course the road to glory didn’t come easy but his first tour of duty gave DLSU a chance to feel what it was to be in the Final Four when the Lady Spikers finished fourth a year when after strings of forgettable seasons. Quenching the thirst to salvage some pride in the sport that will eventually be DLSU’s second most valued contest next to basketball, the Lady Spikers began to hunger for the crown – something the school never felt before since winning it all back in 1976 as a member of the NCAA.   De Jesus submitted his team to Spartan-like training and hammering discipline and slowly molded the Lady Spikers to a championship-caliber squad. In Season 61, DLSU challenged FEU for the crown but the Lady Tamaraws’ championship experience prevailed. The loss only fueled De Jesus’ desire to bring the Lady Spikers to the throne even more. With the core of ace hitter Ortega-Patrona, setter Valerie Bautista, Sally Macasaet, Sheryl Magallanes, Demelle Chua, Hollie Reyes and then sophomore Ivy Remulla, De Jesus steered DLSU on the right track for another shot at the crown. Midway in the season Bautista got pregnant. De Jesus, calm and composed, knew what to do. He converted open spiker Reyes into a setter and the gambit worked as DLSU once again punched a ticket to the Finals, this time against UST – a very hungry team looking to reclaim the title. A year removed from the throne, UST was ready for the kill. But the Espana-based squad went against a famished team – DLSU will not leave the sweltering University of the Philippines Human Kinetics Gym without the championship trophy. In front of a crowd - dwarf-sized compared to the multitude of fans that troop bigger venues of today – the Lady Spikers wrote history. DLSU slew a giant in a thrilling five-set game behind the stellar performance of Ortega-Patrona, who won that Season’s Most Valuable Player award – the first of many incredible volleybelles that will bag the highest individual honor under De Jesus’ tutelage.     It was an incredible feat but it won’t see a repeat in the next three years.              Grand Slam After their breakthrough title, the Lady Spikers had three straight bride’s maid finishes behind FEU. Heartbreaks brought by Ortega-Patrona’s falling out with De Jesus over a disciplinary issue in Season 63 and the unstoppable power of FEU's Monica Aleta, who won three straight MVP awards while towing the Lady Tams to a three-peat. Like a chess master, De Jesus learned from his mistakes before pulling off a feat that will cement his name as one of the greatest. With Hernandez, Penetrante and a young Santos as his main pieces, he steered the Lady Spikers to a rare three-peat. DLSU brought into heel FEU, UST and Adamson to complete a grand slam. A four-peat loomed for the celebrated Lady Spikers but fate played a cruel trick on them after UAAP suspended DLSU in Season 69 because the Green Archers' basketball squad fielded two ineligible players the previous year.       When the ban was lifted in Season 70, De Jesus and the Lady Spikers were again under the radar as title contenders together with the defending champion UST, FEU and Adamson. But team was forced to file a leave of absence from the school while the tournament was ongoing because Alarca saw action despite incomplete academic credentials to be eligible to play. All of the team’s won games where Alarca played where forfeited and the Lady Spikers ended up at seventh place. It was a painful setback but it also served as a rallying point for DLSU. With Santos playing her final year and the emergence of enigmatic but then rookie libero Mel Gohing in Season 71, the Lady Spikers denied the then graduating Rachel Anne Daquis and FEU back-to-back crowns. DLSU relinquished the throne to the Angeli Tabaquero and Aiza Maizo-led Tigresses the following year. The Lady Spikers avenged their loss the next season in a rematch with UST behind Alarca, Mercado, Cruz, Gumabao and Gohing in the start of De Jesus’ second three-peat.   DLSU-Ateneo rivalry Nobody really knows when UAAP volleyball picked up the tremendous following it has today. Maybe it needed something for people to get hooked into. A continuous rivalry, perhaps? For six straight years DLSU and Ateneo did just that. The storied rivalry between La Salle and Ateneo spilled from the basketball court to the taraflex mat of volleyball. De Jesus had in his bench the core of veterans Cruz, Gumabao and Marano back and freshmen Galang, Reyes and Demecillo when they met in the Season 74 Finals a young and promising Lady Eagles side – much like the Lady Spikers De Jesus inherited 14 seasons back. Led by Fille Cainglet, Dzi Gervacio and a fresh recruit from University of Sto. Tomas high school Alyssa Valdez, Ateneo gave DLSU a tough challenge for two seasons but the Lady Spikers repelled them both times. Then came Lady Eagles Thai mentor Tai Bundit. For three years in a row, De Jesus’ system bested the rest of the field including that of then Ateneo coach Roger Gorayeb. However, a coach who barely spoke English or Filipino provided him a challenge in Season 76. DLSU with an intact core led by Marano, swept its way straight to the Finals with a thrice-to-beat advantage. Ateneo crawled its way to the championship round through a series of do-or-die games. De Jesus is an old-school type of coach. His system is hinged on well-planned strategies and tactics. He was pitted against Bundit’s Thai-style of play anchored on a heartstrong mantra and a ‘happy, happy’ approach of the game. Bundit dances on the sideline, an animated fellow during the matches. De Jesus is stoic as always. When the two collided for the title for the first time, Bundit shocked De Jesus and DLSU when Ateneo beat them thrice in a four-game series that went the full distance. Bundit and the Valdez-led Lady Eagles did it again the following year, completing a season sweep at the expense of the Lady Spikers, who struggled to pose any form resistance in the Finals after Galang went down with a season-ending ACL tear in the semis. It was a devastating loss to say the least. But De Jesus, a general who fought many battles for the green and white, stuck with the weapon that brought him success – his ability to adjust. Outdueled by Bundit in their last six matches, De Jesus found a way to stop the rampaging Lady Eagles in their first meeting in Season 78. Ateneo equalized in the second round and even took the top spot after the elimination. The Lady Spikers and the Lady Eagles would eventually meet in the Finals for the fifth year in a row. De Jesus was ready for Ateneo. He knew the strengths and weaknesses of the Lady Eagles and used it to his advantage to win the series opener. The then graduating Valdez brought Ateneo back in Game 2 to tie the series, but DLSU completed its long-awaited revenge in the decider and gave Reyes, Demecillo and Galang a fitting sendoff gift.                  Road to back-to-back Losing five veterans including three of their key players heading into Season 79 gave De Jesus one of the toughest challenges he ever faced as a DLSU mentor.  Setter Kim Fajardo returned for her swan song together with fourth year playes Kim Dy, Dawn Macandili and Majoy Baron. Desiree Cheng also came back after a year of absence due to a knee injury, but De Jesus was still left to navigate with a relatively young crew.  “Sa laht nang nai-form kong team, ito yung medyo (up and down) yung performance,” he said. “Sobrang babaw ng bench, wala ka halos (mahugot) pagtingin mo, wala ka makuha.” DLSU struggled early and was on the losing end of two elims matches against Ateneo. “Ateneo nu’ng buong elimination NU lang ang halos tumalo. Sabi ko ano bang meron ang team na ito?” he said. “Pinilit lang naming habulin.” “Kasi alam ko nag-start kami medyo hilaw ang team namin. Early part ng first round natalo kami sa UP sabi ko pukpok pa tayo, habol pa,” De Jesus added. “Ang nakakatuwa sa mga bata, ang determinasyon na humabol nandoon.” When the De Jesus found himself leading the Lady Spikers to a sixth straight title series against Bundit and the Lady Eagles, he knew his squad was ready to defend their crown. And protect it they did in a series sweep capped by a dramatic five-set victory.    “Siguro buong eliminations, nire-review namin ang mga games, nakikita mo yung difference, ‘yung advantage at disadvantage ng team, so siguro doon kami nag-focus, kung saan kami medyo dehado. Concentrate kami sa training,” he said. “Ine-explain ko rin sa players kung ano yung dapat naming gawin, although mahirap. So, tanggapin na lang nila.” In a rare moment, when Ateneo’s Jho Maraguinot sent her attack long that signaled DLSU’s back-to-back championships, De Jesus let his hair down a little. He was jumping, dancing, celebrating the victory and even held his hands up, both his palms wide open as confetti dropped and the deafening roar of the crowd and banging of the drums echoed inside the arena. De Jesus won his tenth title. When the celebration subsided, De Jesus fashioned the same smile he wore in his past nine championships as he was led inside the pressroom of the Big Dome. Only this time around, Fajardo, Cheng and Dy were the ones who followed him from behind.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 20th, 2018

UAAP Softball Finals: No matter when they hit, Adamson scores

For the first time since 2010, Adamson had their backs against the wall against UST. They trailed 1-0 in the UAAP Softball championship series for the first time ever. And long-time head coach Ana Santiago knows that changes had to be made if they want to extend their dynasty, much more stretch the series to even have a remote possibility of that happening. Santiago said she was restless on the night before Game 2 Friday, thinking on how to shake up her batting order, since making such a drastic change in her offense may spell doom for the dynasty. "Hindi talaga ako nakatulog kagabi, pinag-iisipan ko talaga yung batting order ko. Lahat nagbago sa batting order ko, ni-reshuffle ko talaga. Even me na-surprise na ganito yung nangyari," the Blu Girls head coach said after their 8-5 win. One of her most drastic changes was putting senior Riezel Calumbres, who has been the designated top batter for most games, and relegated her to be the eight hitter, which is second to the last. Calumbres wasn't exactly coming off from a good Game 1, as she was 0-4 on hit attempts and was struck out two times. So the veteran did not think twice of accepting her coach's decision of sending her in the bottom of the batting order. "Pero kahit na may changes, tinanggap namin yun," the graduating Calumbres said. "Kahit saan kami mapunta. Basta maglaro tayo. Ilalaban natin to para sa team, hindi para sa sarili lang natin." Calumbres, who was seemingly woken up by her terrible performance the previous game, woke up and drilled three hits, including an RBI single that put the Lady Falcons on the board. The second baseman knows she had to make the Game 2 count, because she would not want her and her four other graduating teammates end their playing careers with a loss. But their collective minds scrambled to a frenzy when UST zoomed to a 3-0 lead from a CJ Roa three-run home run. 'May doubt. Hindi mo talaga masisisi na may doubt, tatlo. Sabi ko, wow, tatlo agad. Sabi ko okay lang isa-isa lang, step-by-step, mahahabol namin sila. Nakikita ko sas bawat teammate ko na 'lalaban kami, babawi kami'." With the game tied a 3 apiece headed to the sixth inning, Adamson knew that they had to score, and score they did. They tallied five runs, blowing the game wide open, sealing the victory for the seven-time defending champions. "Nandoon yung eagerness namin. Bawat. Sa susunod na batter, pumatong ka lang, itutulak kita. Nandoon kami. Yung 6th inning, crucial talaga siya sa amin. Pag naka-score kami, mananalo kami. Yan ang lagi sabi ni coach Ana sa amin." Now that she faces her final game donning the blue on Tuesday, she hopes for storybook ending to her five-year career -- another championship for the Queens of the collegiate softball scene. -- follow this writer on Twitter, @philipptionary......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 16th, 2018

From the lowest of lows, Adamson Pep now on the highest of highs

Before 2017, the Adamson Pep Squad has never placed alone atop the leaderboard in the UAAP Cheerdance Competition. And before 2016, Adamson Pep has only stood on the podium once in the annual event that first took place way back in 1994. So safe to say, their third-place finish in 2016 and championship in 2017 have been the best years for the San Marcelino-based squad. That is even truer as from 2002 to 2014, they have had to settle for five sixth-place finishes, one seventh-place finish, and two last-place finishes. Without a doubt, that 12-year stretch were trying times and current head coach Jeremy Lorenzo knows that full well. “Ang pinaka naging motivation ko ay yung winless na experience ko buong college life ko,” he shared. He then continued, “Kaya given the opportunity na mag-apply (as coach), naging inspiration ko na ibawi yung mga panahong nakaramdam ako ng talo.” Lorenzo was a member of Adamson Pep from 2007 to 2012 – experiencing three finishes at fifth, one finish at sixth, and two finishes at eighth. And so, when he took over as mentor for the Soaring Falcons in 2016, he didn’t waste time in lighting a fire under his wards. That pretty much showed in last year’s UAAP Cheerdance as Adamson was a pleasant surprise for just about everybody. Making it a point to make waves, their fluid and flawless water-themed routine proved to be more than enough for the bronze – their first medal since 2001 Only a year later, Lorenzo and his wards did themselves better, blowing everybody out of the water for their very first title – besting modern-day dynasty NU Pep Squad as well as traditional powerhouses UP Pep Squad, UST Salinggawi Dance Troupe, and FEU Cheering Squad. For the former squad member and now squad mentor, it was a dream come true. “Hindi ko alam kung nanaginip ako. Sana ako na laging UP o UST o NU,” he shared. He then continued, “It was surreal. Sobrang magical ng feeling.” While it was magical, that breakthrough win cemented Adamson Pep’s status as a force to reckon with in UAAP Cheerdance. “Kung mahilera kami sa NU, UP, UST, it’s very flattering and overwhelming,” Lorenzo said. Still, their head coach said they remain well aware that they can only get better. As he put it, “We still have more room for improvement. Bilog ang bola; we got the title so mag-strive pa kami para ma-sustain namin kung anong level yung meron kami ngayon.” --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 4th, 2017

UAAP Finals: Graduating Ikeh and Tolentino write storybook ending to collegiate career

Nothing could have made the final game of Chibueze Ikeh and Vince Tolentino any sweeter than a victory against the De La Salle Green Archers in Game 3 of the UAAP Finals. They just wanted to exact revenge on their crushing Game 2 loss, which saw them give away a 21-point advantage and a delayed chance to win the championship. Recovering from such a brutal fall was a monumental task, but it was a task they were willing to accomplish. “For us, it wasn't over. The motto of this team is always to believe, and even though we didn't finish the job in Game 2 and La Salle gave us a really good fight, we never stopped believing,” Tolentino said after their celebration.  As their coach Tab Baldwin said, the Blue Eagles left their inner demons in the locker room after the Game 2 loss and already moved on. “We were ready come next day to get into the gym and listen to what Coach Tab has to say. Listen to our mistakes, because that's who we are, that's what we're willing to do. We just had the mentality that it's not over.” As for playing for such a seasoned coach as Baldwin, Tolentino could not have picked a better coach in steering their ship, keeping them on track, and made sure that they would not sink, calling the former Gilas Pilipinas coach amazing, and one of his best mentors. Baldwin in return praised the graduating forward for being a voice on the locker room, a thing which Baldwin admitted was an integral part in the team’s “leadership by committee.” “[Tolentino] said to me, ‘Coach, I don’t know if I could be an upfront leader for you but I’ll do everything what you’ll ask me to do and I’ll lead by example.,” Baldwin said. As for Ikeh, who finished wirh 12 points and 13 rebounds, he could only relish the love of the crowd, as they serenaded his last name during the closing minutes of the game, calling the Ateneo community “one of a kind.” In the moment Thirdy Ravena was awarded Finals MVP, the third-year guard shared a moment with his graduating center, calling him during the awarding. “I wasn't expecting that, but he's been one of a kind. For him to share that moment with me, it feels so great. I really appreciate that." ---- follow this writer on Twitter, @philipptionary.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 3rd, 2017

Salinggawi coach not expecting podium finish

MANILA, Philippines - After the dust settled in the 2017 UAAP Cheerdance Competition, two things were clear for the UST Salinggawi Dance Troupe......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsDec 3rd, 2017

Adamson Pep wanted to win hearts and trophies – and they did just that

The Adamson Pep Squad placed for the very first time in the UAAP 80 Cheerdance Group Stunts. “The moment na tinawag kami for Group Stunts, I was already thankful kasi sa tinagal-tagal na may Group Stunts, we never stepped sa podium. We were very thankful na nag-silver kami agad,” coach Jeremy Lorenzo said after the San Marcelino-based squad got the silver medal in the Group Stunts. As it turns out, however, Adamson had much more to be thankful for as not long after, the Adamson Pep Squad also won the UAAP Cheerdance Competition itself for the very first time. “Nung in-announce na gold kami, sabi ko sa sarili ko, ‘Lord, totoo ba ‘to? Gisingin niyo ako!’ I was really speechless,” Lorenzo said after his crew bested all of second-place UST, third-place UE, and traditional powerhouses NU, FEU, and UP. The Soaring Falcons took everybody to the 1980s before taking their first-ever gold medals. And in the end, they scored 663.50 – 25 better than their closest competitor. Lorenzo and the squad should have seen their breakthrough win coming as they wowed the crowd the most of all teams with a perfectly pulled off routine. Asked about it afterward, he answered, “Technically, sobrang mild errors kasi, ‘di naman mawawala sa team yun.” Still, the coach said they weren’t thinking that they were the winners until the announcement itself. As he put it, “At first talaga, after ng performance, sobrang sabaw ko. Nanonood lang ako ng performance ng ibang team.” He then continued, “I was not assessing kung ano ranking namin. Basta natuwa lang kaming maganda ang run namin.” Right then and there, Lorenzo said Adamson Pep was nothing but satisfied with the show they put on. “It’s not (about) how intense or serious the theme is. It’s about how you win hearts of the people,” he said. He then continued, “Yun yung pinaka-motto ng Adamson – to win hearts and trophies.” That, they did, and much of the venue was chanting “Adamson! Adamson! Adamson!” right before the announcement of the champions.   Most of the MOA Arena wanted Adamson to win. Most of the MOA Arena got their wish! #UAAAPCDC2017 pic.twitter.com/WI0kenS546 — Normie Riego (@riegogogo) Disyembre 2, 2017   With that, the Soaring Falcons have reached the mountaintop – just a year after returning to the podium for the first time since 2001. “Last year talaga, sobrang stepping stone nung mag-second runner-up kami,” Lorenzo said. Now, Adamson Pep can say they have the title that had been held at least once by the UP Pep Squad, the UST Salinggawi Dance Troupe, the NU Pep Squad, and the FEU Cheering Squad. “Kung mahilero kami sa mga yun, it’s very flattering and overwhelming. We go the title and mag-strive pa kami para ma-sustain ‘to,” their mentor expressed. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 2nd, 2017

UAAP CDC 2017: New UST Salinggawi coach debuts with a first runner-up finish

Talk about making an immediate impact.  Just seven months after taking over as the new head coach of the UST Salinggawi Dance Troupe, Mark Chaiwalla has already brought a silver medal back to Espanya after their first runner-up finish in the 2017 UAAP Cheerdance Competition, Saturday evening at the Mall of Asia Arena.  "Kanina, I was just praying for the best, sabi ko ano man maging result, tanggapin naming buo," Chaiwalla told the media after the event. "Sabi ko sa team na the fact nag perform kayo with all your heart you had fun, you offered it to the Lord, that’s enough." Chaiwalla is no stranger to the UAAP CDC atmosphere.  A former member of Salinggawi himself, the nursing graduate says that he's experienced the peaks and the valleys of the team. Chaiwalla was part of Salinggawi from 2009 to 2013, and in his final year, 'Gawi finished in seventh place, their lowest in UAAP Cheerdance Competition history.  "I’ve been through the highest and lowest of 'Gawi. Last year ko lowest place ng 'Gawi." In his first year at the helm, Chaiwalla gets a silver finish, the highest he's ever reached as part of the team.  "What matters is ibigay lahat, leave no regrets on the floor, and mag enjoy lang kayo, the place is more than enough to be thankful." If Chaiwalla's debut is any indication of the direction that the UST Salinggawi Dance Troupe is headed, then the Thomasian faithful have a lot to be excited about. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 2nd, 2017

UE Pep Squad earns bronze that glittered like gold

Fifteen years. University of the East Pep Squad waited that long to step on the podium. When their school was called as the bronze medal winners in the 2017 UAAP Cheerdance Competition, the Recto-based squad finally ended a long thirst. It was a bronze finish that glittered like gold. “Syempre naman wala na kaming ibang sasabihin kundi ang saya, sobrang saya,” said UE coach Dico Ili Saturday after his squad bagged third place behind new champion Adamson Pep Squad and second-placers University of Sto. Tomas Salinggawi Dance Troupe at the MOA Arena. “We are hopeful talaga, that’s totally the honest thing na pwede naming sabihin,” he added. “Hopeful kami pero shocked kasi syempre ang tagal naming inantay, 15 years na wala ang UE Pep Squad sa podium kaya ngayon sobrang saya.”      UE finished fifth in the last two editions of the event and it was a decade and a half since the school’s best finish – a runner-up to UST, which then was in its first of historic five-peat.     “Worth it ang lahat ng pagod. Parang mas nakaka-excite na, excited na kami agad for next year,” Ili said. UE tallied 634.50 points – a good 24 points ahead of dethroned four-time champions National University Pep Squad and former two-time winner Far Eastern University. UE, which had a phoenix-themed routine, topped the tosses category and had decent scores in tumbling, stunts, pyramids and dance with only a 5-point deduction.     --- Follow this writer o Twitter, @fromtheriles     .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 2nd, 2017

IN GIFs: Best moments during UAAP Cheerdance Competition 2017

MANILA, Philippines – The Adamson University Pep Squad made history after emerging as champions in the UAAP Cheerdance Competition 2017 held at the Mall of Asia Arena on Saturday, December 2. ( READ: Adamson University is UAAP Season 80 cheerdance champion ) This is Adamson's first-ever cheerdance title in school history.  The University of Santo Tomas Salinggawi Dance Troupe is back ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsDec 2nd, 2017

INFOGRAPHIC: UAAP Cheerdance Competition 2017 Primer

We’re one day away from the most anticipated one-day event in the UAAP season, and social media is ablaze with all the Cheerdance Competition talk. The CDC is not short of storylines to follow as well, with teams either gunning to keep their winning tradition intact, or looking to just break out of a long drought, and everything in between. Check out what UAAP CDC squads will be fighting for this year, with our handy guide:  University of the Philippines Pep Squad (8 titles)  University of Santo Tomas Salinggawi Dance Troupe (8 titles) National University Pep Squad (4 titles) Far Eastern University Cheering Squad (2 titles)  Adamson University Pep Squad University of the East Pep Squad Ateneo de Manila University Blue Babble Battalion De La Salle University Animo Squad   Make sure to catch the UAAP Cheerdance Competition LIVE this Saturday, December 2 at 2:00 P.M. on ABS-CBN S+A channel 23, ABS-CBN S+A HD channel 166, and via livestreaming on sports.abs-cbn.com/livestream/uaap.  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 1st, 2017

NU Pep Squad s plan to make history: start first, end at first

Will there be another fairy tale ending for the NU Pep Squad? The once whipping team of the UAAP Cheerdance Competition has dominated for four straight years. Come Saturday at the expected sold out MO Arena, they shoot for a five-peat and history.     NU is once again out to put on a fantastic show to wow the audience and the judges. With another win in this year's competition, they can finally sit beside the UST Salinggawi Dance Troupe in the elite club of five-peat winners. The Espana-based squad lorded the contest from 2002 to 2006, a feat the Sampaloc-based squad wants to duplicate.      NU will perform first in a complete field of competitors with the return of the UP Pep Squad which took a leave of absence last year. Outdoing themselves  For four straight years and since the implementation of a new judging format, the NU Pep Squad seemed to have mastered how to hit each criteria and earn the necessary points to emerge victorious. The rest of the field, on the other hand, has struggled.   With the NU Pep Squad setting the standard, the challenge of outdoing themselves has been getting harder and harder each year.     “Pinakamahirap ‘yun, to compete with ourselves,” said NU coach Ghicka Bernabe. “Kasi minsan alam mo na ang capacity mo, alam mo na ang weakness mo. Pero may mga times na hindi pa pala yun ang limit namin.” “Sometimes we argue amongst ourselves na, ‘Hanggang dyan na lang ba? Ito na ba ang best?’ Pero kasi dito sa NU walang word na the best. Hindi nagi-exist ang word na ‘best’,” she added. “Kasi sabi nga nila it’s a process of learning. ‘Yung pag-champion mo after that day tapos na ‘yun, hindi ka na champion. ‘Yun lang sa araw na ‘yun.” “Kinakalaban namin ang standard namin in a way na hindi kami pwedeng ma-satisfy kung ano lang ang mayroon kami ngayon. Kailangang mag-exceed kami doon sa limit. Kailangang mag-exceed kami sa imagination and mag-exceed kami sa expectations ng lahat ng supporters namin.” Into the blue NU has been setting the bar higher each year. From Arabian nights, to Pocahontas, to cavemen, and to beyond outer space, NU Pep Squad's themes have left its indelible mark on the audience.   With their concepts turning into hits and putting on a show that always seemed to top their previous performances, one could just imagine the time and effort spent by Bernabe and her coaching staff to concoct something fresh and new.    The mentor admitted that they had sleepless nights deliberating and debating on what concept and theme to use the past four years but not on this one. The coaching staff this time didn’t need to dig deep in their seemingly bottomless bag of tricks for a magical theme. This one has been in their list of options since Day 1 of their dynastic rule of the competition. “Siguro ‘yung concept namin ngayon, every year naming nagiging idea pero hindi natutuloy. Siguro kasi hindi pa niya panahon,” said the former FEU flyer. “So siguro dumating na ang time niya. Ito na ang right timing, ang tamang panahon.” “Kasi for four years na nag-champion kami lagi siyang part ng option pero never siyang nanalo na maging theme namin for that season,” she added. “Ito lang ‘yung year na wala kaming pinagdiskusyunan, we never had any argument or long discussion.” “Nu’ng sinabi namin na, ‘I think chance na nung theme na to na maipakita ng NU’. Ito ang pinaka-shortest na brainstorming ng mga coaches. Yun nga ito na yung tamang panahon para sa concept.” But aside from the extravagant costumes and props that they’ll use in the performance, it’s how they intend to execute the mix of the theme, music and their routines that's Bernabe’s most proud of. “Mahirap siyang i-execute kasi eh,” said the mentor. “Parang lahat kami paano natin ipapakita ang theme? From outer space, another something new. Something under naman tayo ngayon.” Breaking the curse For Cheerdance Competition pundits, no team has ever won the title performing first. NU is looking to break that curse. “May isa ngang nag-comment sa social media na, ‘Wag kayong magpakampante kasi wala pang nag-champion na first performer,’” said Bernabe, who was the one who drew NU’s order of performance during the drawing of lots. NU will open the competition followed by the DLSU Animo Squad, Adamson Pep Squad, FEU Cheering Squad, UE Pep Squad, UP Pep Squad, UST Salinggawi Dance Troupe, and Ateneo Blue Babble Battalion. But even with the odds of the draw going against them, Bernabe is optimistic that their performance won’t be easily forgotten by the judges. “May sumagot nga doon sa nagsabi nu’n (na wala pang nanalo na first performer) na supporter naman ng NU na, ‘Oo ngayon mo pa lang masasaksihan.’ Something na ganoon na ngayon pa lang mangyayari and mayroon namang nagsabi na, ‘Kayo ang magsi-set ng standard, NU.’ So parang positive pa rin naman yun,” Bernabe said. “Pero still ‘di naman kami robot na insensitive, manhid o walang pakiramdam. Nandoon pa rin ang pressure, never mawawala ‘yun. Nandoon din ang kaba, nerbiyos at fear,” added the mentor......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 1st, 2017

UST Salinggawi presses refresh for this year’s UAAP Cheerdance

Despite a coaching overhaul that saw the departure of longtime coach Ramon Pagaduan IV for the DLSU Animo Squad, a rejuvenated UST Salinggawi Dance Troupe is ready to make another leap in this year’s UAAP Cheerdance Competition. Last year’s fourth-placers will now be led by nurse and Salinggawi alumnus Mark Chaiwalla and squad president Benjo Gutierrez said the team has already been reaping in the rewards. “Very refreshed. Parang pinindot ang F5 10 times. Bagong-bago. Bago lahat – bagong latag, bagong piyesa, bago lahat, pero same culture pa rin,” Gutierrez said. Contrary to Pagaduan’s more polished and basic routines, the Salinggawi will now attempt more difficult, “buwis-buhay” stunts that will surely raise the eyebrows of the UST community – and just about everybody. In preparing for the six-minute routine, the graduating Gutierrez said there is no room for error or injury right now since there are no available replacements. Members of the team could only sacrifice their bodies to go for another podium finish – which will be its second in three years. Gutierrez however is not worried since Chaiwalla is a registered nurse and has been working at the UST Hospital before he was appointed last June. As such, he regularly checks in on his crew if they can take the practices physically. Since Chaiwalla’s arrival, there has been no time wasted as the team has already been preparing for the annual event since the third week of July. Although he estimates the team to be 87 percent polished at the time of the interview, he expects the team to be all-out when it’s their turn to present their routine. “Pag one-time, big-time, wala ka nang choice kung hindi ibigay ang lahat eh. Saka may adrenaline din naman sa competition.” Gutierrez said. The journalism major also praised the new coaching staff of Chaiwalla which includes assistant coach Dan Dimaculangan who has had experience working for Disney and is currently taking a vacation just to help out his alma mater. Alongside a new coaching regime, the Salinggawi president has noted that the team is tighter and closer than ever and that only reinforces their renewed sense of purpose for a “people’s coach.” While this will be Chaiwalla’s first coaching stint, the mindset of the team is not to just show up for the competition, but to try and dislodge the NU Pep Squad from the top. If not, at the very least, compete for a podium finish. “Yung routine na mismo namin ang magasasabi kung gaano kalaki ang ipinagbago namin from last year eh,” Gutierrez said......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 28th, 2017

Change has come for much-improved DLSU Animo Squad

After another sixth-place finish in the UAAP Season 79 Cheerdance Competition, it seemed as though something needed to change for the DLSU Animo Squad. True enough, change did come, in the form of a familiar face in comebacking head coach Ramon Pagaduan. A tenured coach with a wealth of experience, Pagaduan was responsible for steering the famed UST Salinggawi Dance Troupe to a runner-up finish in 2015, a third-place finish in 2014, and fourth-place finishes in 2012 and 2017. Now, Pagaduan hopes to be able to bring the same level of success to Taft Avenue. This won’t be his first time at the helm for the Animo Squad as Pagaduan served as their head mentor from 2002 to 2007. “It feels good to be back, and I’m blessed that I was given the opportunity to coach them this year,” Pagaduan told ABS-CBN Sports. He firmly believes that his high-level experience can prove beneficial as the green and white attempts to reclaim lost glory. “It will definitely be a big help, in terms of discipline, choreography, and technique,” he said. Pagaduan immediately implemented his brand of leadership, which starts with the Animo Squad members’ lives outside of cheerdance. “Bumalik yung long hours of training, no to vices such as smoking and drinking and as much as possible dapat student-athlete lang sila. Any other extracurricular activities will not help the squad,” he said. Tough as it may sound, Pagaduan’s methods have worked, and his success with Salinggawi as well as with the four-peat champion St. Paul College Pasig Pep Squad and the Girls’ National Team should be a testament to how effective it is. It’s a new season, a new(-ish) coach, and a new start for the Animo Squad, and already Pagaduan promises that this season’s cheerdance competition will showcase DLSU’s improvement. “Better dance and transitions and clean execution with a pinch of difficulty sa cheer elements,” Pagaduan shared. “Hopefully, healthy lahat during the competition day and ma-hit yung routine accordingly.” And in the 2017 UAAP CDC, Pagaduan and the DLSU Animo Squad will try to get back on track to cheerdance excellence, but it won’t come any easier, as this year will also see the return of powerhouse University of the Philippines. “Good that they’re back.” Pagaduan said. Can the returning Pagaduan finally steer DLSU back to a top-three finish? We’ll find out soon enough......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 26th, 2017

Never Say Die: Paul Zamar’s PBA Dream lives on

It was August 19, 2012. Former University of the East gunner Paul Zamar seemingly fulfilled his life’s dream when his name was announced as the 35th overall pick in the 2012 PBA Draft. Selecting him was the league’s most popular team, Barangay Ginebra San Miguel. But, soon after, that same team that picked him, would let him go, unsigned. This is the predicament that many basketball players in the Philippines face as there are only so many roster spots available in the country’s first professional basketball league. Competition is extremely stiff and the careers of those players who get drafted but are unable to crack the roster usually suffers an early death. But, this has not been the case for Zamar, whose love for the game is deeply rooted. Zamar was born on October 20, 1987 in Mandaluyong. As a youngster, he was immediately exposed to the game because of his father, Boycie, an accomplished coach and basketball great. “I watched my father play in the PBL for Burger Machine where he shot the championship winning free-throws. I thought basketball was the greatest thing to do and that’s where it all began,” recalled the younger Zamar. He made his first varsity team as a freshman in San Beda High School, playing behind the likes of JVee Casio and James Martinez. Zamar would later transfer to the University of the East, where he played in the UAAP Jrs. Basketball tournament from 2003 to 2005 before moving up to the college ranks to play for the Red Warriors, the team of his father’s alma mater. It was in UE where Zamar made a name for himself as one of the league’s deadliest snipers. He also showed his versatility by being able to play point guard and taking on the challenge of defending the opposing team’s primary ball handler. Upon graduating from UE, Zamar would play in the PBA D-League for Blackwater Elite before that fateful day he was drafted. Being left out the roster did not discourage Zamar, as he went on to play an additional four years in the PBA-D-League for Cebuana Lhullier and Café France before deciding to take his talents overseas in 2017. Nowadays, the 5’11” Zamar, who is now 30 years old, has established himself as the starting shooting guard of the Mono Vampire Basketball Club in the ASEAN Basketball League. He is currently averaging 16.1 PPG and is shooting 39% from beyond the arc as the team’s Heritage Import. Although he’s been living in Thailand for over 18 months now, Zamar says it’s all part of being a professional in the world of basketball. “It’s a humbling experience (life in Thailand). First time living and doing everything by myself. Loneliness is always your enemy. I’m far away from my wife and my family. Sometimes, I wake up in the middle of the night thinking about my family in the Philippines,” shared Zamar. For any Filipino, making an impact in a foreign setting is a huge accomplishment. But, somewhere deep inside his heart, Zamar still feels that burning desire to return home and play the game at the place where he first fell in love with it. “I still have in me my PBA dream and it motivates me to just keep on playing. I believe na may purpose si Lord bakit dito niya ako nilagay. And wherever I am, I make sure I always give my best and keep improving myself,” said Zamar. Tonight, at the Sta. Rosa Multi-Purpose Complex in Sta. Rosa, Laguna, Zamar will have another opportunity to show the entire country his worth as his Mono Vampire Basketball Team takes on San Miguel Alab Pilipinas in Game 1 of the best-of-five Finals series in the 2017-18 ABL season. “We will play hard for 40 minutes. We know that we are the underdogs given the fact that we’re playing against ex-PBA and National Team Players and top caliber PBA Imports. But, we will leave everything on the basketball court and give the fans a great series,” promised Zamar. Six years ago, Zamar could’ve just easily given up and kissed basketball goodbye. But, ironically, he lives by the exact same mantra of the PBA team that drafted him: Never Say Die. There’s no telling how much longer Zamar will play professionally. Or if he will ever make it to the PBA. But, right now, his basketball career is very much alive with Mono Vampire.    .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 22nd, 2018

UAAP VOLLEYBALL PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Bernadeth Pons of FEU

Bernadeth Pons is making the most out of her final year with the Far Eastern University Lady Tamaraws in the 80th UAAP women’s volleyball tournament. The graduating hitter towed the Morayta-based squad to a second spot finish after the eliminations and helped the Lady Tamaraws clinch the much-needed twice-to-beat advantage in the Final Four. Her heroics in the last two matches of FEU gave her the thumbs up to claim her second straight UAAP Press Corps Player of the Week honor. Like what she promised last week, Pons was at the helm of FEU’s successful run to bag the semis incentive – the Lady Tams’ first since Season 71. The 21-year old spiker, who hails from Talisay, Negros Occidental, stepped up when it mattered most as FEU closed the elims with a 10-4 win-loss record and most importantly the Lady Tams armed themselves with a twice-to-beat edge over third running Ateneo de Manila University in the semis next week. The do-it-all outside hitter delivered 13 points and added 13 digs and as many as excellent receptions in making a quick work of University of the East, 25-17, 25-15, 25-20, last Wednesday at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan City. She followed it up with a 17-point, 16-reception performance in beating National University, 25-21, 25-22, 16-25, 25-20, to clinch the No.2 spot on Sunday at the Mall of Asia Arena. “Masaya kami na natapos namin yung second round, na naipanalo namin ang last three games namin,” said Pons. “Ang pressure palagi namang nand'yan, palagi naman naming nire-remind ang bawat isa na hindi namin siya dapat i-take as pressure, kasi lalo lang kaming mawawala sa kung ano ang dapat naming gawin.” “So tsina-challenge namin palagi nag sarili namin, kung ano 'yung mga dapat naming gawin, kung ano ang role namin sa team, 'yun,” she added. Pons bested De La Salle’s Kianna Dy and Michelle Cobb, Adamson’s graduating players Mylene Paat and Jema Galanza as well as Tots Carlos of University of the Philippines for the last weekly honor given by sportswriters from broadsheets, tabloids and online websites covering the beat. Pons’ performance in the elims also gave her a good chance to vie for the coveted Most Valuable Player plum. She finished fourth in the scoring race with a total of 215 points, eighth in attacjs with 198 kills on 30.6 percent success rate and third both in digs (208 digs) and receptions (170 receptions on 45.2 % efficiency rate. But Pons is looking at the bigger picture than individual accolades. “‘Yung mga individual awards naman bonus na lang ‘yun. Ako palagi lang akong nagfofocus kung ano ‘yung dapat kong ibigay na maitutulong ko sa team, kung ano ‘yung kailangan ko ma-perform as a team captain and as a senior,” said Pons, who is hoping help end a decade-long title drought of FEU and deliver the school’s 30th crown. “‘Yung target naman namin is ‘yung trophy ng champion. ‘Yun ang pinakagusto naming makuha.”.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 16th, 2018

UAAP Volleyball: Bernadeth Pons: Probinsyana with a Superstar Soul

In a time where gadgets have pretty much taken over the lives of majority of the world’s population, Bernadeth Pons prefers to keep things simple. Instead of swiping her phone for the latest news on Twitter or organizing her feed on Instagram, FEU’s Team Captain and graduate of Financial Management would rather spend time inside the athlete’s dormitory to sleep. While that sounds boring, the 21-year old Pons reasons that she needs all the energy she can get to complete her Master’s degree in Business Administration and perform at the highest level in her final season in the UAAP. The 5’7” open spiker is currently the fourth best scorer in the league averaging 15.2 points per match. She is also ranked third in both digging and receiving. Because of her all-around brilliance, there is a fairly good amount of fans on social media who have been campaigning for Pons to be named MVP of Season 80. But, of course, Pons is oblivious to that. In fact, she didn’t even know that she was included in the 34-player wish list of new National Team Head Coach Ramil de Jesus. It took a text message from her younger sister, Melody, who lives in their hometown of Talisay, Negros Occidental for Pons to learn about the development. “Ha? Saan galing yan?” was her honest reply. To Pons, playing for the national team goes beyond her wildest dreams. And while she feels very much honored to have her name considered for a spot, Pons says her current focus is with FEU. After all, it was the school that provided her with a means to fulfill her goals and make her parents proud. From Softball to Volleyball Pons was born in Malolos, Bulacan where her father, Roberto and mother, Maryjen met. A year after her birth, the family moved to Talisay where Roberto started playing baseball recreationally. When his eldest daughter grew big enough to play, she also took a liking to the sport. Pons would even join the boys play catch during her elementary days at Efigenio-Enrica Lizares Memorial School. Unfortunately, there was no softball team for Pons to try-out for. That’s when her classmate, Allen Joy Esponilia invited her to try-out for the volleyball team. “Nung una, sobrang hirap kasi wala talaga akong alam eh. Kahit dig, dig lang, kung saan-saan pumupunta. Nahihiya ako sa ka-partner ko kasi syempre, alam na niya yung basics ng volleyball. Naiiyak na nga ako kasi palagi nalang tumatalsik,” recalled Pons, who was 10 years old at the time. But, the challenge of excelling at a sport where she had no background in challenged the young Pons. Eventually, she learned how to dig up powerful spikes and became a libero. In the fifth grade, she experienced her first major competition by participating in the Palarong Pambansa held in Palawan and representing Region 6 – Western Visayas where she teamed up with Kim Gequillana and Ayel Estraňero. It was the first of five Palarong Pambansa events she would participate in. In those competitions, Pons played against numerous future UAAP stars like Jia Morado, Desiree Cheng, Majoy Baron, Jhoana Maraguinot and a powerhouse Region 7 – Central Visayas squad that featured Sisi Rondina, Dimdim Pacres, Rica Rivera and CJ Saga. Leap of Faith As she got older, Pons began developing her spiking prowess and caught the eye of the legendary Roger Gorayeb, who wanted to bring her to San Sebastian College-Recoletos. But, she was reluctant to leave home. “Wala akong idea about life dito sa Manila. So, hindi ko alam kung tutuloy ba ako or hindi. Dumating sa point na nag-decide kami ng Papa ko na doon nalang sa amin ako mag college,” explained Pons. During her final year in high school in 2013, then FEU Head Coach Shaq delos Santos went to the Regional Meet in Roxas City, Capiz to recruit the reluctant Pons. Delos Santos was persistent in convincing her to come and be a part of his plan to revive the volleyball program of the university. The free education, food and accessibility to the training facilities finally convinced Pons to take a leap of faith.   “Naisip ko, pag doon ako sa probinsya, mamamasahe ako every day, mabigat din sa parents ko. So, yun talaga yung sabi ko, ‘O-oo na ako’. Nag-decide ako na mag go-go na ako sa Maynila,” recalled Pons. For someone who never imagined leaving her hometown, Pons didn’t have any trouble making her mark in the UAAP as she immediately led the Lady Tamaraws in scoring (11.8 points per match) as a rookie. She would become FEU’s leading scorer in each of her UAAP stints which includes Final Four appearances in the past three seasons. Last Stretch Now that Pons is approaching the last stretch of her collegiate career and with FEU in a good position to attain a twice-to-beat advantage in the post-season for the first time since 2009, she is more focused than ever on the task at hand. Should the Lady Tamaraws beat NU in their last elimination round game on Sunday and if Ateneo loses to La Salle, FEU will enter the Final Four as the number two ranked team. But, Pons knows it won’t be easy as the Lady Bulldogs will be out for redemption. “Kami kasi yung unang tumalo sa kanila sa first round. So, palagi namin rine-remind yung bawat isa na yung NU, pipilitin nilang bumawi sa atin. Tapos sila, nothing to lose kasi kahit ano mangyari, number four na sila. Eh tayo, may hinahabol tayo na number two. Hindi puwedeng magpabaya tayo kasi NU pa rin yan. Lalaban at lalaban yan,” shared Pons. It’s been a decade since FEU last won the UAAP Women’s Volleyball title. While Pons has already achieved her initial goal of earning a college degree, she still has that burning desire to give back to the school that gave her the opportunity to help her family and leave a lasting legacy in the process. “Gusto ko maalala nila ako bilang isa sa mga nakapagbalik ng crown sa FEU. Sobrang tagal nang nawala ang FEU sa championship. Yun yung gusto namin ibalik ulit,” declared Pons. All Pons ever wanted was to ease the burden on her parents by graduating from school. The game of volleyball has given her a means to accomplish that and so much more. She’s become one of the UAAP’s brightest stars and may wear the colors of the Philippine flag one day. But, no matter what happens, she will always be that same humble girl from Talisay, inspiring countless others like her to be brave and go for great. Catch Bernadeth Pons and the FEU Tamaraws take on the NU Bulldogs on April 15, Sunday, 12 noon LIVE on S+A, S+A HD, Liga, Liga HD and via livestream......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 15th, 2018

UAAP VOLLEYBALL: Adamson routs UST to end Season 80

Adamson University made short work of University of Sto. Tomas, 25-6, 25-23, 25-23, Saturday as the Lady Falcons ended their campaign in the 80th UAAP women’s volleyball tournament on a winning note at the Blue Eagle Gym.   The Lady Falcons arrested a three-game losing slump for a 6-8 win-loss record and gave graduating players Jema Galanza, Mylene Paat, setter Fenela Emnas and libero Jellie Tempiatura a graceful exit. Eli Soyud, Galanza and Paat led the way for Adamson, which exacted revenge on its first round tormentor. Soyud finished with 14 points with all but one coming off attacks, Paat added 13 markers while team captain Galanza had 12 for the San Marcelino-based squad. Galanza added 10 digs and eight excellent receptions while Emnas tallied 24 excellent sets and seven markers for Adamson.    The Tigresses struggled the whole match to close their season with a disappointing 4-10 slate. Sisi Rondina got 15 points but was the only UST player in double figures. Caitlin Viray posted six markers while 6-foot-2 Fil-Italian Milena Alessandrini was limted to only five.    ---      Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 14th, 2018

Meet the Malditas: See who’s wearing the Philippines’ colors at the Women’s AFC Asian Cup in Jordan

As the Philippine Women’s National Team begins their quest for a first-ever FIFA Women’s World Cup berth by going through the 2018 AFC Women’s Asian Cup, we thought it would be proper to get to know at least a bit about the 23 ladies that will be representing the country in Amman, Jordan.   Patrice Impelido - Captain/Midfielder Captaining the Malditas will be 30-year old Patrice Impelido. The Sydney, Australia-born midfielder played collegiate football in Western Michigan and had her first call-up to the national squad in 2005, and has appeared in 28 matches for the country.   Tahnai Annis - Co-Captain/Midfielder Tahnai Annis will be sharing captain duties with Impelido as they try to lead the Malditas to a 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup berth. The 28-year old Annis played for the University of Florida in college and played professionally in Iceland for Thor.   Inna Palacios - Goalkeeper A familiar name among UAAP women’s football fans, Inna Palacios was the defensive anchor for the DLSU women’s football team from 2013 to 2017. A two-time UAAP Beast Goalkeeper, Palacios ended her UAAP career on the highest of high notes: with UAAP championship and her lone collegiate goal. GOAL DLSU! Palacios seals the match for La Salle! #UAAPSeason79 pic.twitter.com/vblv7OmaLC — ABS-CBN Sports (@abscbnsports) May 7, 2017 Palacios made her women’s national team debut back in 2012.   Kearra Bastes-Jones - Goalkeeper Kearra Bastes-Jones is a junior out of Bishop Amat High School in California, and was recently named to the 2018 San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Pasadena Star-News, Whittier Daily News Girls Soccer All-Area First Team.   Stacey Cavill - Goalkeeper 24-year old Fil-Aussie Stacey Cavill plays for the Perth-based Beckenham Angels, and played for Northern University in the collegiate ranks. The six-foot-tall keeper has been playing football since the tender age of 5.   Claire Lim - Defender 21-year old Claire Lim is currently a senior in UC Santa Cruz, where she’s also the captain of the Women’s Soccer team. Based in Piedmont, California, Lim was a decorated football player during her time in Piedmont High, before becoming a two-time Defender of the Year in College.   Alesa Dolino - Defender Another homegrown talent from the UAAP ranks, Alesa Dolino is a decorated product of the FEU system, instrumental in helping the Lady Tamaraws to a three-peat. In UAAP Season 77, Dolino capped off a magical season with a championship, an MVP trophy, as well as Best Defender and Best Striker honors.    Krystal De Ramos - Midfielder Also a decorated player during her youth career, US-based Filipina Krystal de Ramos was named to a number of all-tournament teams as well as earning a handful of championships and MVP honors. The 21-year old is currently a member of the Portland State University women’s football team. She made her National Team debut back in 2016 and has appeared in three matches for the Philippines.   Hali Long - Defender   23-year old Hali Long was a pivotal part in the Malditas’ AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers run, scoring four of her five international goals in just two matches. The Missouri-based Fil-American played her college career for the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, playing four seasons with the Trojans.   Morgan Brown - Defender A defensive ace during her high school days, Morgan Brown made her international football debut back in 2013 as part of the 2014 Asian Cup qualifiers squad. The same year, Brown was one of the top women’s football recruits at the Santa Clara University in California.   Cam Rodriguez - Striker A star striker for the Ateneo de Manila Lady Eagles back in her college days, Cam Rodriguez earned Best Striker honors in UAAP Season 77 and Mythical XI honors in her senior year. In 2011, at just 14 years old, Rodriguez made her National Team debut and scored her first goal in the AFF Women’s Championships. In 2017, after taking time off to focus on her education, Rodriguez returned to the National Team in the 2017 Southeast Asian Games.   Marisa Park - Midfielder Wake Forest University product Marisa Park helped lead her Demon Deacons to the ACC Championship in 2010, in the same year that she was named as part of the ACC All-Tournament team. The 26-year old made her Malditas debut back in 2013 for the 2014 AFC Women’s Asian Cup Qualifiers.   Jesse Shugg - Forward Fil-Canadian Jesse Shugg finished her collegiate career in the University of Miami, before making her professional debut for KW United in the USL W-League in Canada. Shugg is currently signed to Icelandic club Fylkir. The 25-year old has appeared for the Philippine Women’s National Team eight times since her international debut back in 2014.   Caitlyn Kreutz - Forward California native Caitlyn Kreutz has left an impact in every level she’s played on. From gathering individual honors in High School to earning All-Tournament teams in her two years with Cal Poly, the 21-year old is now wrapping her collegiate career up at UNLV, where she’s started in all 20 matches she’s played so far. Kreutz made her Malditas debut back in 2016 as part of the AFF Championships squad.   Ryley Bugay - Midfielder Currently a junior at Marquette University, Ryley Bugay led her Golden Eagles Women’s Soccer team in minutes played, also earning Defensive MVP honors on the Marquette Invitational Team. Her younger sister Sammi has also recently signed with Marquette.   Leah Larot - Forward A graduate of Sacramento State University, Leah Larot capped off her senior season with an All-Conference First Team nod, as well as the Golden Boot after scoring ten goals in the season.   Sara Castañeda - Midfielder A UAAP Rookie of the Year, Best Midfielder and UAAP Champion, Sara Castañeda was one of the integral parts of the Lady Archers’ championship run in UAAP Season 79 and established herself as a key player for DLSU in just her sophomore season. The 21-year old has also had stints in the U-16 and U-19 teams before making her senior National Team debut back in 2015.   Alexa Diaz - Defender Washington-based Alexa Diaz played collegiate football for Seattle Pacific University. The 24-year old made her Malditas debut in the 2013 Southeast Asian Games.   Calah Simarago - Defender 22-year old Cali-based Calah Simarago is a senior at UC Santa Barbara, where she plays for the Gauchos Women’s Soccer team.   Quinley Quezada - Midfielder Rosemead, California’s Quinley Quezada is currently a junior at UC Riverside and is coming off a 2017 season that saw her start in 17 of 20 matches played. Quezada becomes the first member of the UC Riverside Women’s Soccer program history to be called up to a senior World Cup Qualifying roster.   Jessica Miclat - Midfielder 19- year old UC Irvine sophomore Jessica Miclat is one of the youngest players on the team, but has a ton of experience under her belt, having been part of the USA U-18 training camp, as well as training stints with the Philippine U-16 and U-19 teams.   Chalise Baysa - Defender The most senior member of the team, 37-year old Chalise Baysa played her collegiate career at the University of Oregon, where she’s in the history books as the third all-time leading scorer with 31 goals. In the professional ranks, Baysa played for the Seattle Sounders Women. She made her Philippine Team debut back in 2013.   Sarina Bolden - Midfielder 22-year old Sarina Bolden is a junior at Loyola Marymount University, where as a sophomore, she was one of five players to start in all 19 matches. The Milipitas native led LMU with six goals in 2016    .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 6th, 2018