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UAAP Season 81: Atin ‘to. Amin ‘to

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

Category: sportsSource: abscbn abscbnFeb 11th, 2019

UAAP: Winning Maroons join rainy UP Lantern Parade

The rain did not bother the UAAP Season 81 men's basketball runners-up as the Fighting Maroons participated in the annual Lantern Parade Friday at the University of the Philippines in Diliman. Seven members of the history-making team namely UAAP Season 81 MVP Bright Akhuetie, Jun Manzo, Javi Gomez de Liano, Janjan Jaboneta, Gelo Vito, Diego Dario, and Will Gozum rode a truck that slowly went around the campus' massive academic oval. During the ride, they took selfies with fans along the road. Happening now: #UAAPSeason81 silver medalists UP MBT participating in the annual Lantern Parade. Players are riding a truck as they take selfies with fans around the academic oval. @abscbnsports pic.twitter.com/cIQ5wXJ3Fr — Danine Cruz (@the9cruz) December 14, 2018 UP MBT's turn to be introduced in the Quezon Hall. Several fans still showed up to witness the team despite the rainy weather. @abscbnsports pic.twitter.com/VuaNR1MjSl — Danine Cruz (@the9cruz) December 14, 2018 It was drizzling the whole afternoon but the players and fans still continued the parade. The crowd chanted 'Atin 'To!' and 'UP Fight' while the drummers kept hitting their signature beats just a few vehicles away from the basketball team's truck. The participation of the team in the yearly tradition of the community is in celebration of the men's basketball program ending a 32-year medal drought in men's basketball. "Sobrang sarap ng feeling. At least for one last time lalo na ngayong Pasko na nakita namin yung buong community, na kahit umuulan andito pa rin para sa amin, todo suporta pa rin. We are really blessed as a team and as individuals to have this opportunity and probably this is the best UP experience for me if you're gonna ask me," said graduating player Gelo Vito. "It's really a blessing, may mga naririnig pa nga ako na may dumayo pa from UP Baguio to be here," added Vito. Akhuetie was thrilled to see the warm reception from UP supporters. "It's awesome. I can't wait to make these guys proud by getting the championship. Look at the hearts these people are pouring out. There is nothing you can do for them that can be too much. Despite the weather, the rain and all, they still showed up." However, Akhuetie expressed that despite the love they have been getting from the community, a bridesmaid finish is not enough. "I just couldn't get it in my head that 'Oh okay, for them to be this happy, I've done enough' I still feel we have to do more so I like it, it's okay but I'm not carried away by it," he said. Aside from the basketball team, the men's track and feld team, which ended a 36-year title drought, also had their own truck to celebrate the achievement. Aside from the UP MBT, the track and field team also has a truck of their own in the Lantern Parade. The team ended a 36 year title drought in the #UAAPSeason81. @abscbnsports pic.twitter.com/Rx2S2noGH0 — Danine Cruz (@the9cruz) December 14, 2018.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 14th, 2018

Disappointment aside, Franz Pumaren proud of Adamson program s turnaround | Inquirer Sports

It was a game that nearly turned atin to! to amin to! In what could easily be the best game of the whole UAAP Season 81 mens basketball tournament, University of the Philippines duked it out with Adam.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philippinetimesRelated NewsNov 30th, 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: Nakikita ko ang team ko na pataas -- Santiago on NU s second round campaign

National University ace Jaja Santiago believes that the Lady Bulldogs won’t fall on the same second round woes they had in the past seasons. The Lady Bulldogs finished the first round on top of the heap after defeating University of the Philippines, 25-23, 25-23, 25-17, Sunday in the 80th UAAP women’s volleyball tournament at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan. With a 6-1 win-loss record, NU is just a win away from tying the number of wins the Lady Bulldogs collected last season. In the past two years, NU fell short of making it to the Final Four all because of struggles in the second half of eliminations.    The graduating Santiago, who saw the Lady Bulldogs’ second round woes, admitted that there is pressure for the team heading into the second round but she’s confident that this time NU will be ready. “Pressure? Siguro meron, pero sa akin kasi, sa nakikita ko sa team namin ngayon, mas malaki 'yung in-improve namin kaysa noong dati,” said Santiago, who scored 17 points with 16 coming off attacks. “'Yung new system ni coach (Babes Castillo) na in-implement sa amin, sobrang nakikita ko na talagang andoon na, nage-engage na talaga 'yung lahat,” she added. “Towards the second round, hindi ko nakikita 'yung team ko na pababa. Mas nakikita ko 'yung team ko na paakyat.” The Lady Bulldogs were impressive in the first round especially down the stretch when NU outlasted two-time defending champion De La Salle University and Ateneo de Manila University both in five sets. But Santiago is bracing for a harder challenge in the second round.   “Actually yung Round 2, back to zero naman talaga 'yan, marami pang magbabago,” she said. “So siyempre expect pa rin, kailangan i-expect pa rin ng team namin na babawi at mas lalakas pa 'yung mga makakalaban namin, at magbabago sila ng strategy.” NU’s end of the round win erased the bitter defeat the Lady Bulldogs suffered at the hands of Far Eastern University on Wednesday. “Actually ang sinabi ko lang naman sa teammates ko eh, 'yung pagkatalo natin, hindi 'yun ang magsasabi sa atin kung ano tayo,” said Santiago. “'Yung pagkatalo nating 'yun, 'yun ang nagsasabi kung paano tayo babawi sa pagkatalo na 'yun. 'Yun ang sinabi ko sa kanila.”   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 4th, 2018

UAAP Season 81: DLSU players impose social media ban

De La Salle University’s signature swagger is definitely back. Haters and bashers can say whatever they want on social media against the Lady Spikers, for all they care. They won’t even see them anyway. DLSU players made a self-imposed rule among themselves to have a social media ban for at least the duration of the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball tournament to avoid distractions and keep their focus on the goal of putting their names on history books with a four-peat championship.   “Wala na, deleted na Twitter namin before mag-start ng season,” said new Queen Spiker Des Cheng, who is in her final year for the green and white. The Lady Spikers opened their title-retention bid with a masterful, 25-14, 25-17, 16-25, 25-19, dismantling of archrival Ateneo de Manila University Sunday at the MOA Arena. “Sa amin lang (nag-impose). Kahit sa mga rookies sinabihan namin kasi ‘yung hype sa Twitter sobrang iba. Sobrang iba talaga,” said Cheng, who scored 13 points. “Ayun shutdown muna ang Twitter namin. Sabi namin. ‘Kahit hindi nyo i-delete ang Twitter basta ‘wag na kayong magsi-search ng whatever na gusto n’yong i-search.’” “’Pabayaan n’yo na lang. Kung gusto n’yong mag-tweet OK lang pero ‘yung magbabasa kayo na maapektuhan kayo ‘wag na kasi makakasira ng talaga ng laro ‘yun’. So um-OK naman sila,” Cheng added. The graduating hitter became the spark plug and energizer of DLSU during the early clash of powerhouse teams with her on-court antics that Lady Spikers’ fans love to watch and their opposing team’s supporters love to hate. Her contagious energy rubbed in to her teammates and even got head coach Ramil De Jesus, who’s known to be a dead-serious mentor during games, animated by exchanging high fives and flaunting his dimpled smile in DLSU’s earned points. It may be too much for others’ taste but Cheng cleared that it was just a way of pumping up the team.         “Siyempre kailangan nga may magsisimula ng spark para sumunod sila. Parang doon nga na lahat kami nabuhayan,” she said.       --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated News7 hr. 58 min. ago

NU bigs on facing Kai: Di pwedeng isiping mas magaling siya

Kai Sotto has found no match in the UAAP 81 Juniors Basketball Tournament. That is, except each and every time he’s up against Nazareth School of National University and its endless supply of bigs to throw at him – from Carl Tamayo to Pao Javillonar, from Kevin Quiambao to Aaron Buensalida, and even from Reyland Torres to Dom Dayrit. In their first meeting, Sotto had 23 points, 12 rebounds, four blocks, and two steals only to be outdone by Tamayo who had his own 13-marker, 10-board double-double all while keying the Bullpups’ win. Come Round 2, Ateneo de Manila High School’s towering teen posted 24 points, 18 rebounds, five assists, and three blocks, but was again bested by Tamayo who only had seven markers to go along with nine boards, but dropped the dagger in the endgame With that, NU completed an elimination round sweep of Sotto and company. Afterward, though, the Season MVP did nothing but will his team into the Finals. Only, waiting for them there were the very same Bullpups. And in the opener of the three-game Finals series, the story was the same. Sotto muscled his way to a 16-point, 15-rebound double-double and had twin tower Geo Chiu, standing at 6-foot-8, backing him up with 12 markers and 11 boards of his own. Tamayo, also at 6-foot-8, and Quiambao, an agile 6-foot-7, went toe-to-toe with them, however, with the former finishing with a 15-point, 12-rebound double-double and the latter ending with 14 markers and 13 boards of his own. In the end, it was the Tamayo-Quiambao connection which got the win at the expense of the Sorto-Chiu pairing. And for those two, matching up with the Blue Eaglets’ talented tower is pretty simple – it’s all in the mind. “‘Di pwedeng isipin naming mas magaling siya sa amin. Ang pinaka-mindset talaga namin is ma-stop siya,” Tamayo said. Quiambao can only agree, noting that NU’s game plan starts with them as Sotto is the end-all and be-all for Ateneo. As he put it, “Ako po, one at a time lang. Iniisip ko lang talagang i-stop si Kai kasi siya ang main scorer nila.” With its bigs having that mindset, NU has time and again proven to be the biggest speed bump thus far in Sotto’s promising career. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated News7 hr. 58 min. ago

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

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

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated News20 hr. 24 min. ago

UAAP Season 81: Dapat ‘wag makuntento ang team -- Diaz

Far Eastern University built huge momentum after crushing defending champion National University in straight sets to open the UAAP Season 81 men’s volleyball tournament. It took the Tamaraws a quick 70-minute workout to dispose the still adjusting Bulldogs, 25-12, 25-18, 25-17, Saturday at the FilOil Flying V Centre, but head coach Rey Diaz warned his wards that the season’s just starting.     “Maganda siyang simula kasi we defeated NU. Alam natin nagbigay sila ng titulo para sa Pilipinas. Pero dapat bantayan kasi mahirap na kalaban sa isang team ay ‘yung overconfidence,” said Diaz after their win over the 2018 ASEAN University Games gold medalists. “‘Dapat ‘wag makuntento ang team. ‘Yun lang ang gagawin ko, na paaalalahanan na wag maging kuntento ang team kasi ang season nagsisimula pa lang. Alam naman natin ang UAAP habang tumatagal mas sumasaya,” Diaz added. FEU played a very disciplined game, picking high percentage attacks behind Owen Suarez’s heady plays and limiting the number of errors committed to only nine compared to NU’s atrocious 32 miscues.   The Tams took advantage of the Bulldogs’ struggles in adjusting to rookie setter Joshua Retamar, who took the starting position after veteran playmaker Kim Dayandante was deemed ineligible for his final season. Skipper Richard Solis and the rest of his FEU crew know that they still have a long way to go in their journey.    “Sa amin, natalo namin ang champion pero ‘wag magre-relax kasi sabi ni coach mahaba pa ang tatahakin, may mga struggle pa kaming haharapin,” said Solis, who had nine points. “Always mag-ensayo ng mabuti para sa mga sususunod pang makakalaban.” FEU will take on University of the Philippines, which suffered a four-set upset loss to University of the East, on Wednesday.   ---     Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles    .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 16th, 2019

UAAP Season 81: They’re not an easy team -- Okumu on UE

University of the Philippines head coach Godfrey Okumu was not surprised when it took his wards five grueling sets to shoot down the pesky University of the East. The mentor, actually, expected that kind of tough match. “No, we’ve always struggled with UE,” said Okumu after the Lady Maroons’ 25-12, 22-25, 23-25, 25-19, 15-12, escape over the Lady Warriors Saturday to open their campaign in the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball tournament at the FilOil Flying V Centre. The sophomore coach recalled the same struggle they had against UE during their pre-season meeting in the Philippine Superliga Collegiate Grand Slam.     “I remember last season I was sitting here the same way we won against them. When we played in the PSL we won 3-1 but it was all struggle,” he said. UP needed to come back from a 1-2 match deficit before hanging tough in the tight fifth set behind the veteran trio of Isa Molde, Tots Carlos and Justine Dorog.   “Siyempre naga-adjust din sila sa amin. And lumakas din naman sila compared last season,” said Molde, who had 23 points with 19 coming off kills. “Lalaban at lalaban din naman sila kasi may iba sa kanila na ga-graduate na eh.” Okumu also stressed that UE’s best asset is its floor defense and the presence of graduating libero Kath Arado. The defense specialist scattered 32 digs and had 18 receptions. Me-Anne Mendrez got 18 digs while Judith Abil posted 21 receives. “They have a good libero, she’s doing a good job. We have to accept that it’s very hard to play against a very strong defense,” he said. “We have to think on how we will execute in spiking. They played well and they are a very good team. They’re not an easy team.” UP hitter Tots Carlos shared the same sentiment. “Iba kasi talaga kapag mayroon kang first ball eh. Sobrang galing ni Kath kaya medyo nahirapan kami kaya medyo nag-lay low din kami sa defense namin so nahirapan kami lalo na laging nagi-struggle ang setter kaya nahihirapan din siyang mag-distribute,” she said. Okumu also rued UP’s atrocious number of errors. The Lady Maroons threw away 42 points off their miscues. “The sets we won we’re very, very up to standard but the sets we lost we gave away balls easily, and we have many unforced errors that we should correct. That’s what we talked about the unforced errors,” he said. “I think in the fifth set the opponent had one unforced error and we have around five or six,” Okumu added. “You can see the difference there and we need to work on that.”     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 16th, 2019

Ginagawa ko po siyang motivation – Lacsina on Ate Jaja

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

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 12th, 2019

UAAP Season 81: Ang nagpabalik ng korona sa Espana -- Rondina on her legacy

Graduating Sisi Rondina would like to be remembered by fans, especially by the true University of Sto. Tomas supporters, for just one thing. “Ang nagpabalik ng korona sa Espana,” Rondina’s bold statement heading into another action-packed and exciting UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball tournament set to open on February 16. The Cebuana hotshot has been lording it over in the beach volleyball tournament, snaring four championships in her five years of service for UST on the sand highlighted by a three-peat this season. Rondina may have enjoyed success in beach volleyball, but the passionate Tigress has yet to bite a mint in the indoor event – the only missing crown in her colorful career. Now in her last dance for the black and gold, Rondina vowed to leave a winning legacy.      “’Yun ang gusto ko, always naman eh, first year pa lang ako. Siyempre ang tagal ng hindi nag-cha-champion ang UST. Goal namin ang maibalik ang korona,” the team captain said. Last season, Rondina averaged a season-best 21.1 points per game with 38.44% success rate in attacks and three digs per frame. Unfortunately, a series of injuries, inconsistency and lack of on-court support for Rondina doomed UST to its worst finish in the Final Four era. The Espana-based squad tallied a disappointing 4-10 win-loss record at seventh place.            'Please cooperate' Rondina knows that UST will need total team effort to win a championship and end a nine-year title drought so the very vocal leader wants just one thing from her teammates. “Before sabihin sa akin ni coach na ako ang captain ball sinabi ko sa kanila na, ‘Please cooperate. If may sasabihin kayo sa akin feel free to approach me. Puwede kayong maglabas ng sama ng loob. Anything. Basta ang gusto ko lang maayos ko kayo and sana ‘yung gusto kong mangyari ay may ganoon din kayong attitude,’” she said. “Kasi siyempre gusto ko rin na ‘yung willingness (na manalo) talaga sa team siyempre hindi yun mabubuo sa sarili namin kung wala kaming ganoon. Sana magsimula sa sarili namin and sana nga mag-cooperate ang mga bata. Kasi mga bata kami ngayon eh. More on rookies.” After singlehandedly carrying UST’s campaign last year, Rondina is expected to get all the help she needs with the return of Milena Alessandrini, who was named Rookie of the Year last season despite missing a couple of games because of a shoulder injury, Dimdim Pacres, Caitlyn Viray, Alina Bicar and Rica Rivera and the arrival of prized rookie Eya Laure.    “Sabi ko sa kanila na, ‘Hindi ko na kayo papakialam sa labas basta sa loob (ng court) mag-perform lang kayo ng maayos. I-commit nyo ang self nyo sa kung saan kayo naka-commit,’” added Rondina. For her part, Rondina promises to play with the same heart and passion she has been displaying all these years while donning the UST jersey. “Same pa rin po na igi-give ang best at masasabi ko na mas igi-give ko pa ang best ko in my final roar for UST,” she said. “Mindset ko talaga ngayon ‘yung gusto naming mangyari (na mag-champion). Everybody wants naman talaga ‘yun. Sa amin sana makuha namin.”   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 9th, 2019

UAAP Season 81: Hindi ako ang magdadala. Kami. -- Arado

Much has been said and written about University of the East libero Kath Arado’s skills and abilities inside the volleyball court. It’s no wonder that coming into the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball tournament, fans and pundits alike are quick to conclude that Arado will be the one to carry the long struggling Lady Warriors on her shoulders in her swan song. But the graduating star from Iligan would beg to disagree.    “Kasi siyempre sasabihin ng ibang tao na last year ko na, ako ang magdadala, which is wrong,” she said. “Kasi siyempre nakikita ko kung paano na-develop ang personality ng bawat isa sa amin. Hindi lang ako ang nagdadala, kaming lahat.” Arado last year won the Best Receiver and Best Digger awards and averaged 6.72 digs per set with an impressive 53.07% reception efficiency.   During the pre-season Arado won the Best Libero honors both in the Philippine Superliga Collegiate Grand Slam and in the PSL All-Filipino Conference while playing for Generika Ayala. UE also captured a third place finish in the PSL CGS, an achievement that the Lady Warriors consider as fuel in their desire to prove their doubters wrong come UAAP. Arado said that the team’s vast improvement in communication and maturity could be the key in achieving their goal this season – a modest target of winning as many games as they can and erase the stigma of being bottom dwellers.    “Ang masasabi ko na most improved sa amin ay ‘yung communication talaga lalo na ang maturity sa loob ng court. Kasi based sa pre-season namin lalo na this year, masasabi ko na hindi man ganoon ang expectations ng tao sa amin or expectations ng management pero nakikita ko kasi lagi kaming magkakasama, nakikita ko kung paano nag-develop ang maturity ng bawat isa,” said Arado. “Hindi lang ako, hindi lang ng mga senior pati ‘yung mga nakasunod sa amin. Sina Me-Anne (Mendrez), sina Seth (Roriguez), ‘yung mga bata, kasi siyempre given na kaming mga seniors kasi kailangan naming maging matured na eh.” “Pero 'yung mga bata nakikita ko sila kung paano mag-isip, paano sosolusytunan ang preblema sa team,” she added. “Hindi lang ang mga seniors ang gumagalaw eh pati na rin sila so nakakatuwa na ang maturity nandoon na talaga.” UE finished Season 80 at the cellar with a 2-12 win-loss record and were plagued by internal problems including the departure of head coach Francis Vicente five games into the season. The Lady Warriors now have a new mentor in former University of Sto. Tomas setter Karl Dimaculangan, who replaced interim coach Rod Roque, and his approach in his first stint as head coach is to utilize every available player in his rotation.     “Ngayong papasok ang season unti-unting binabago ng mga coaches yung ganoon (na umasa lang sa ilan). Kasi siyempre ayaw ng coach na naka-depend ka sa isang tao, dalawang tao, tatlo, gusto niya lahat work as a team kasi team sport ito hindi naman individual. Hindi naman ito pang pair, hindi naman ito tatluhan, so lahat,” Arado said. “Lagi nga niyang sinasabi na kahit yung nasa second stringers magagamit at magagamit yan kasi may mga time naman na hindi kaming first six na perfect. May mga times talaga na kahit anong piga sa amin wala talaga kaming game eh. So nandoon ang second stringers na gampanan ang role ng isa na wala sa focus, wala sa ayos ang pag-iisip.” “So hindi pwedeng sabihin lalo na sa volleyball, hindi pwedeng sabihin na isang tao lang ang gumagawa,” she added. “Kasi hindi ko naman magagampanan ang role ko as libero kung wala ang tulong ng blockers, ng setter, ng mga spikers. Lalo na ang guidance ng mga coaches, hindi ko magagawa 'yung responsibility ko as a libero kung wala sila.”   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 8th, 2019

ATIN TO: Desiderio opens first-ever business in Fairview

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

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 19th, 2019

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

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

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 15th, 2019

UAAP Finals: UP s turning point of the season as told by seniors

The genesis of the historic UAAP Season 81 run of the University of the Philippines was not a promising one. Expectations were extremely high on the Fighting Maroons as they entered the season because of various reasons. Coach Bo Perasol was already in his third year since he took over UP's program. In college basketball language, the third year is when all rebuilding work should come to fruition. Bright Akhuetie, the dominant foreign-student athlete who transferred from NCAA to UAAP, was done with residency and could finally suit up for the luntian at pula. UP's prophetic sharp shooter and team captain Paul Desiderio decided to play his fifth year, choosing to close out his collegiate career over the chance to be immediately drafted into the professional ranks. Juan Gomez de Liano was entering his sophomore year with a Rookie of the Year award under his belt and was expected to improve more as a playmaker. Plus, the Fighting Maroons already had a lot of sponsors and financial support. But after the first round of the eliminations, despite all the supposed advantages that were on their side in the beginning of the season, the so-called Final Four contenders still found themselves in the sixth spot with a disappointing 3-4 record. To open the second round, they were slapped with another loss against the Ateneo de Manila University, relegating them to a 3-5 slate. At that point, graduating players Desiderio, Diego Dario, Jarrell Lim, Gelo Vito, and JJ Espanola decided that they were no longer having any of it. They are not going to leave UP as losers again. So they decided to call a seniors only meeting. "People were already doubting us. So kaming mga seniors, nag lunch kami noon sa Frankie's sa UP Town [Center] to meet," said Lim, referring to a popular chicken wings restaurant in the mall across the Diliman campus. "Nag-meeting kami. Parang anong nangyayari? Hindi ito yung season na ineexpect namin, what is happening?" narrated Dario, "So we went in to the details. We made sure na balanced yung insights namin with Paul's perspective, someone who plays a lot, tapos our perspective na usually from the bench, from the outside, kung ano nakikita namin." The seniors did not only talk about team culture or mindset, but they heavily discussed their plays, rotation, and moves - things that are usually considered by the coaching staff. "Yung mga usapan na walang bench production, hindi nakakapag-pahinga si ganito kasi hindi nagpoproduce si ganyan, or mga plays - to the detail talaga yung mga pinagusapan namin," Vito narrated. "Given all our insights, we decided to talk to our coaches," said Dario. However, talking to the coaches was something the seniors were not sure how to do. They did not want to give the impression that they were undermining the authority of their coaching staff, most especially coach Bo's, but at the same time they knew they had to let their insights out. "Noong una, kinakabahan pa kami kasi baka ma-insult sila, na baka coach Bo will feel disrespected. We were really scared of talking to him," shared Lim. "Baka kasi isipin niya 'You don't trust me?" Dario added. The seniors pressed on and forwarded their concerns to their assistant coaches. Eventually, their insights reached Perasol and he called them in for another seniors only meeting. "Kinabahan na kami! Parang hala, anong sasabihin ni Coach? Nag-text si Coach Mo [Gingerich], 'Coach Bo wants to talk to you, Coach Ricky [Dandan] pitched your ideas and he's really positive with it and he wants to meet you guys before practice,'" narrated Vito. The seniors came in to the meeting feeling scared but they came out of it feeling validated. It was a revelation of Perasol's character as a players' coach. The seniors shared that in the meeting, Perasol listened to them and made them feel that their voice mattered. "Doon mo talaga masasabi how coach Bo is as a coach. Sobrang respectful and talagang he really listens to his players. Dun mo talagang masasabi na Papa Bo mo talaga siya," said Lim, "Not even once did we hear any negative response from coach Bo kaya mahal na mahal talaga namin siya, lalo na kaming mga senior kasi siya talaga yung nag lead sa amin sa pagbabago." "He really is like a dad to us, legit," added Dario. Right after the meeting, the changes they wanted to see in the team were implemented right away. Aside from the tweaks in the plays, the seniors decided to alter the mood in their training as well. As Dario described, "We made sure to set the example in practice so from then, go hard kami sa practice. Nagkakapikunan na nga kami minsan sa sobrang intense." What makes that meeting more monumental is that since then, the Fighting Maroons started collecting wins. It was the turning point of the season. From a 3-5 slate, they finished the eliminations in the third spot with an 8-6 record. "Yun yung naging turning point, yun yung puro wins na kami," said Lim proudly. "Natalo lang kami sa Adamson [sa eliminations] tapos puro panalo na," added Vito. UP made it back in the Final Four after 21 years. For the first time in their season, they were meeting the expectations that were set on them in the beginning. But if we are talking about expectations, apparently UP was not just going to meet them, they went on to exceed them.  In the semifinals, they overcame a twice-to-beat advantage held by Adamson University, which earned them a ticket to the Finals against the Ateneo de Manila University. It was their first time back in the Finals after 32 years. They may have failed to win a single game in the heavily lopsided best-of-three Finals series, but they were able to mount a story that will forever remain a classic. They won't deny that this silver finish still glitters like gold, not only to the team, but to the rest of the UP community. The Fighting Maroons' story this season is a testament that winners are not just made in the hardcourt. Winners are made during meetings over chicken wings, in intense team practices, and with coaches who listen. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @the9cruz.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 7th, 2018

Coach Bo says UAAP Finals Game 1 proved UP can hang with Ateneo

The University of the Philippines’ Cinderella run may very well miss out on the ending it desires. Down 0-1 in the best-of-three Finals to defending champion Ateneo de Manila University, there’s a big chance the Fighting Maroons will have to settle for a runner-up finish in their best season since 1986. However, State U head coach Bo Perasol is still keeping the faith. “Very positive ako. That’s the truth.” Pressed further on the matter, Coach Bo said that despite the Game 1 loss, he and his wards proved they are no pushovers up against the heavily favored Blue Eagles. “Game 1, it gave us yung idea na beatable (yung Ateneo). Before, wala namang nagbigay nang tsansa sa amin e,” he told reporters post-game last Saturday. He then continued, “Dati, parang, ‘Okay, very good, UP,’ pero wala namang nagsasabing tatalunin namin ang Ateneo. Kung meron man, lip service lang yun, pero ito, naramdaman nila na kaya pala.” Indeed, UP kept coming at Ateneo for majority of the match-up, and it took a 14-2 run late in the game for the latter to be able to put away the former. This, even though the Fighting Maroons came into the contest as the biggest underdogs in the Finals in recent history. In fact, majority, if not all, oddsmakers put the Blue Eagles as 10.5-point favorites in Game 1. That is exactly why, somehow, someway, coach Bo believes UP still has a shot at toppling Ateneo. “Before this series, iniisip mo paano tayo mabubugbog dito. Ngayon, ang paniniwala na namin is we can compete with the defending champions if we put our minds into it and we keep doing what we have been doing this season,” he said. After all, they are where they are because they did just that – first, besting De La Salle University in the battle for the third-seed to end the elimination round; second, edging out Adamson University to discard its twice-to-beat advantage in the Final Four; and third, topping the Soaring Falcons again to take a seat in the Finals. “I keep on reminding them that getting into this Finals series is not an accident. They did it themselves,” their mentor said proudly. “Baka isipin nila, mirakulo ito, pero hindi, they did it themselves. It becomes more dangerous na we’re in a knockout game and we need to beat them twice, but I told them, we’ve done this already.” --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 3rd, 2018

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

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

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 2nd, 2018

UAAP Finals: UP Fighting Maroons vow to take Game 2

University of the Philippines point guards Jun Manzo and Diego Dario vowed to bounce back after their Game 1 loss to the Ateneo de Manila University in the UAAP Season 81 Men's Basketball Finals. In the opening game of the series, Manzo tied his career-high with 19 points to go along with four rebounds and three assists. Dario on the other hand provided nine points and two rebounds. He converted three triples in the first half to keep them at pace with the Eagles. However, their efforts went down the drain as they ultimately bowed down to Ateneo, 88-79. UP also had to deal with Bright Akhuetie's absence during the middle of the third quarter to the beginning of the fourth. Akhuetie suffered a strain after he hyperextended his left knee following a contact from Ange Kouame. "Siyempre pag wala si Bright kasi sa court, parang hindi namin makukuha yung rebounds. Nakita naman sa stats na marami silang offensive rebounds nung nawala si Bright. Kaya malaking kawalan talaga pag mawala si Bright sa amin," said Manzo. "Sa game kanina it was a big loss, like a few minutes na wala si Bright that is kind of a big loss, kasi sabi nga ni coach, Bright has a multiplier effect on the team so when Bright's there everyone gets better because all the defense is attracted to him," shared Dario. Looking at the silver lining, despite Akhuetie's absence, UP was able to keep within striking distance of Ateneo. "Yung lead nila parang hindi naman masyadong lumamang [ng todo]," said Manzo. Dario shared that Akhuetie's injury became their rallying point during those Akhuetie-less moments. "Gelo Vito talked to us when Bright got out. Sabi niya, we'll do it for Bright. Do everything to you know win this game to compete with Ateneo so that is what we did and I think we had a good fight against them," added Dario. Unfortunately, despite the gallant stand, Matt Nieto and Thirdy Ravena took charge in the end game, leaving UP with no reply. "[Nagkulang kami sa] end game execution. We had two turnovers I think in the last four minutes so we have to work on that, be more disciplined especially in the end game. When we're tired also syempre heavy minutes din yung iba they have to think and play through the fatigue," said Dario. The loss exposed UP's lack of finals exposure. The Fighting Maroons will just charge this to experience and will get back to the drawing board on Monday. "We just have to make adjustments. I told them to keep their heads up. As a senior I have to lead the team, we'll rest up," said the graduating Dario, "We have two days of rest, we were kinda beat up then so we have to rest tomorrow then we'll go back to training on Monday." "Masasabi ko lang yung team namin gutom kaya hindi namin papakawalan yung chance na binigay sa amin ng Lord. Next game, babawi talaga kami," closed Manzo. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @the9cruz.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 1st, 2018

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

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

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 29th, 2018

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

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

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 28th, 2018