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UAAP Season 81 Finals: Heartstrong, mental toughness keys in Ateneo’s quest for the crown

Ateneo de Manila University will cling on to one aspect of its game that brought the Lady Eagles to glory before: their heartstrong mantra. The Katipunan-based squad was pushed to the brink of missing the Finals but Ateneo rallied to boot out Far Eastern University in the semifinals do-or-die match for a chance to reclaim the crown it last held in Season 77 in the last of the squad’s back-to-back reign. Now, the Lady Eagles are just two wins away from realizing their ultimate goal when they face University of Sto. Tomas in the best-of-three UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball Finals at the Big Dome on Saturday. Game 1 is slated at 4:00 p.m. and will air live on ABS-CBN S+A Channel 23, ABS-CBN S+A HD Channel 166, LIGA SkyCable Channel 86, LIGA HD SkyCable Channel 183, iWant and via livestream. The top-seeded Lady Eagles came back from a five-set loss in the Final Four opener against the Lady Tamaraws that forced them to use their twice-to-beat advantage. Seniors Maddie Madayag, Bea De Leon and Kat Tolentino conspired in the rubber match for the last championship seat last Wednesday to bring Ateneo back on the biggest stage of the season after losing to FEU in the Season 80 semis. That crucial Final Four stretch according to head coach Oliver Almadro sharpened his wards heading into the Finals.   “’Yung toughness namin, heart and will medyo tumibay because nandun na kami sa edge ng mawala ‘yung advantage namin,” he said. “’Yun sigurong mentality namin yung heart and will (ang key) lalo na sa Finals. The Lady Eagles will have the psychological advantage against the Tigresses as Ateneo swept UST in their elims head-to-head. The Lady Eagles have a 14-game winning streak over the Tigresses dating back from the semis of Season 74. Aside from the trio of Tolentino, Madayag and De Leon, Almadro will also pin his hopes on Jules Samonte, Ponggay Gaston and setter Deanna Wong.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles     .....»»

Category: sportsSource: abscbn abscbnMay 10th, 2019

20 for 20: Pinoy Sports Personalities to Watch in 2020

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

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 1st, 2020

PVL: UST, Adamson begin title showdown

The race to the Premier Volleyball League Season 3 Collegiate Conference throne begins on Wednesday for hungry teams University of Sto. Tomas and Adamson University in Game 1 of the best-of-three series at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan. Tagged as favorites after sweeping their respective groups in the elimination round and showing composure and grit to survive their grueling semifinals series, both squads march into their first Finals appearance in the tournament in a showdown that promises an action-packed affair. Game time is at 11:00 a.m. and will air live on LIGA SkyCable Channel 86, LIGA HD SkyCable Channel 183, iWant and via livestream. The Tigresses clinched a Finals ticket after edging out UAAP Season 81 championship tormentor Ateneo de Manila University in a thrilling, 20-25, 25-20, 25-16, 19-25, 16-14, Game 3 win on Sunday. Sisters EJ and Eya Laure will lead the charge of UST with rookies Imee Hernandez and Janna Torres, Rachelle Roldan, Kecelyn Galdones and setter Maji Mangulabnan backing them up. League-leading scorer Trisha Genesis, on the other hand, was the catalyst in the Lady Falcons’ first-ever championship stint as Adamson surpassed its third place finish last year. The sophomore Genesis starred in the Lady Falcons’ 25-18, 14-25, 25-17, 25-15, victory over College of St. Benilde in Game 3 of the semis to set up an all-UAAP team title clash. Ceasa Pinar, Lorene Toring, Rizza Cruz and promising rookie playmaker Louie Romero will back Genesis in Adamson’s quest for a crown. Meanwhile, the best-of-three battle for third between Ateneo and CSB is set at 9:00 a.m. Game 2 of the battle for third and Finals series is on Saturday.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles      .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 8th, 2019

UAAP Season 81 Finals: Eyes on the prize na tayo -- UST coach Reyes

University of Sto. Tomas is throwing away all the statistics and results of all of its previous games. Even the seven-year losing skid against Ateneo de Manila University. What matters now is winning two all-important games to bring the Tigresses back into the throne after a nine-year wait. UST begins its journey back to glory road on Saturday in Game 1 of the best-of-three UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball Finals series at the Big Dome. The Tigresses are on a six-game winning streak and are coming off a morale-boosting win over the dethroned three-time champion De La Salle University in the Final Four on Sunday.    UST will bring that momentum in the 4:00 p.m. clash against the only team that the Tigresses have not beaten this season – or in 14 straight matches overall since Season 74 semifinals. The match will air live on ABS-CBN S+A Channel 23, ABS-CBN S+A HD Channel 166, LIGA SkyCable Channel 86, LIGA HD SkyCable Channel 183, iWant and via livestream. “Extra motivation rin pero aside from that, ang pinaghuhugutan kasi ngayon ay ‘Di pa tayo nananalo sa kanila ulit’. Di na ‘yun ang tinitignan natin. Eyes on the prize tayo,” said UST coach. “Ano na yan, parang hitting two birds with one stone. Parang ganoon na yung sinasabi natin. Ganoon na nakataya ngayon.” Leading the Tigresses, who are looking to end a nine-year title drought, is Season Most Valuable Player Sisi Rondina, who herself has yet to win against the Lady Eagles.  “Natuto naman kami nu’n and sana malabas namin sa championship namin,” said Rondina referring to UST’s losses to Ateneo in the elims including a sorry five-set loss in the second round.  Rookie of the Year winner Eya Laure, Caitlyn Viray, setter Alina Bicar, libero Rica Rivera and freshmen Kecelyn Galdones and Ysa Jimenez will back Rondina in UST’s quest for the crown.   ---      Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 10th, 2019

2019 Monthly Memorable Sports Moments (Part 2)

The year 2019 was a rollercoaster ride for Filipino athletes and Pinoy sports fans. We saw the highs and the lows, basked in the glory of triumph and felt the agony of defeat. We witnessed history unfold and experienced the best and the worst of Philippine sports. Here’s a look back at the sports news that made the headlines that made the end of the decade a memorable one.   JULY Eight-division champion Manny Pacquiao defeated Keith Thurman via decision to claim the WBA (Super) Welterweight World Championship belt. Abraham ‘Bambol’ Tolentino won as Philippine Olympic Committee president in a special election after the resignation of Ricky Vargas.   AUGUST John Riel Casimero knocked out Mexican Cesar Ramirez in the tenth round to retain the Interim WBO Bantamweight World Championship belt. San Miguel Beer captured the 2019 PBA Commissioner’s Cup championship. F2 Logistics won the 2019 PSL All-Filipino Conference title.   SEPTEMBER Pole vaulter Ernest John Obiena earned a ticket to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics after clearing 5.81 meters in the Salto Con L'asta meet in Piazza Chiari, Italy. Gilas ended the horror trip to China with a 0-5 record in the 2019 FIBA World Cup. Japanese-Filipino sumo wrestler Hisashi Mitakeumi captured his second top-division title after defeating Takakeisho in a playoff to win the Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament. Pedro Taduran needed only four rounds to dispatch Samuel Salva to become the new IBF Minimumweight World Champion. Kiefer Ravena saw action in the PBA after an 18-month ban.   OCTOBER Caloy Yulo won a historic gold medal in the 49th FIG Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Stuttgart, Germany and also earned a spot in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Nesthy Petecio won the gold medal in women’s featherweight of the 2019 AIBA Women's World Boxing Championship in Ulan-Ude, Russia. Brandon Vera fell short against Aung La N Sang in their ONE light heavyweight bout in Tokyo while Kevin Belingon was submitted by Bibiano Fernandes in their bantamweight title clash. Adamson University won the PVL Collegiate Conference title. F2 Logistics ruled the PSL Invitational Conference.   NOVEMBER Ateneo de Manila University won its third straight title in UAAP Season 82 men’s basketball via tournament sweep while National University completed a six-peat with its 96th straight win in women's basketball. Letran dethroned San Beda University in the NCAA Season 95 men’s basketball tournament. Creamline retained its PVL Season 3 Open Conference crown. Reigning IBF Super Flyweight World Champion Jerwin "Pretty Boy" Ancajas' scheduled world title defense against Mexico's Jonathan Javier Rodriguez was cancelled because the challenger’s visa issues.  Nonito Donaire Jr. lost to Japanese KO artist Naoya Inoue via unanimous decision in the finals of the World Boxing Super Series Bantamweight Tournament. Joshua Pacio retained the ONE Strawweight World Championship with a masterful submission win over fellow Filipino Rene Catalan. The Philippines began its fourth hosting of the Southeast Asian Games. Businessman, sports patron and University of the East head coach Bong Tan passed away after collapsing during a basketball game. He was 53.   DECEMBER Pinoy boxer Johnriel Casimero knocked South African Zolani Tete out in the third round to capture the WBO Bantamweight World Championship. Reigning IBF Super Flyweight World Champion Jerwin “Pretty Boy” Ancajas retained his belt after needing just six rounds to dispose of Chilean challenger Miguel Gonzales. Team Philippines won the overall championship in the SEA Games after copping 149 gold medals. Barangay Ginebra and Meralco forged a Finals encounter in the 2019 PBA Governors’ Cup.    .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 30th, 2019

2019 Monthly Memorable Sports Moments (Part 1)

The year 2019 was a rollercoaster ride for Filipino athletes and Pinoy sports fans. We saw the highs and the lows, basked in the glory of triumph and felt the agony of defeat. We witnessed history unfold and experienced the best and the worst of Philippine sports. Here’s a look back at the sports news that made the headlines that made the end of the decade a memorable one.   JANUARY Eight-division champion Manny Pacquiao opened the year on a high note and retained his WBA welterweight title after a 12-round unanimous decision win over Adrien Broner. The Philippine volleyball community mourned the passing of head coach Nes Pamilar. He was 52. Joshua Pacio lost his One straw weight title belt to Japanese Yosuke Saruta via split decision while Geje Eustaquio also parted ways with his flyweight belt. The 44th season of the PBA opened.   Jett Manuel of Barangay Ginebra announced his retirement in the PBA after one season while Chris Tiu hanged his jersey after six seasons with Rain or Shine. Gilas Pilipinas began its preparation for the sixth and final qualifying window for the 2019 FIBA World Cup. The Azkals finished its historic AFC Asian Cup debut winless after bowing to South Korea, China and Kyrgyzstan.    FEBRUARY Gilas Pilipinas clinched a golden ticket to the 2019 FIBA World Cup in China after back-to-back wins to close out the qualifiers. Aston Palicte beat erstwhile unbeaten Puerto Rican Jose Martinez via TKO in their WBO Superflyweight world championship eliminator while Vic Saludar retained his WBO minimum weight world title. Arellano University completed a three-peat in the NCAA Season 94 women’s volleyball while Perpetual Help won back-to-back titles in the men’s division and five straight in the juniors play. Seventeen year-old Filipino wakeboarder Raphael Trinidad clinched a silver medal in the open category of the IWWF World Cable Wakeboard & Wakeskate Championships at Pampa Wake Park, Buenos Aires. The Philippine Sportswriters Association feted the finest Filipino athletes  for the year 2018 in its annual awards night.    MARCH Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas announced the composition of the men’s and women’s seniors national team and women’s U-23 squad. Gilas Pilipinas landed in Group D in the FIBA World Cup with Serbia, Italy and Angola after the draw. San Beda University won its second straight NCAA Season 94 beach volleyball title while Emilio Aguinaldo College completed a men’s division repeat. Kevin Belingon lost his One bantwamweight title to Brazilian Bibiano Fernandes to disqualification from illegal blows while Eduard Folayang surrendered his lightweight belt to Shinya Aoki in a submission loss.   APRIL Hidilyn Diaz pocketed three silver medals in the Asian Weightlifting Championship. EJ Obiena ended the country’s decade-long gold medal drought in the Asian Athletics Championships after ruling the men’s pole vault in record fashion in Doha, Qatar. Nonito Donaire Jr. knocked out Stephon Young in the sixth round to retain his WBA superbantamweight belt and advance to the WBSS bantamweight tournament finals wile John Riel Casimero claimed the WBO interim bantamweight title. The San Juan Knights captured the MPBL Datu Cup in a winner-take-all Game 5 over Davao Occidental Tigers. Team Philippines recorded its best gold haul in Arafura Games in Australia. Marathon star Rafael Poliquit died of complications from subdural empyema. He was 30.   MAY Ateneo de Manila University won the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball title while National University bagged its second straight men’s crown. San Miguel Beer captured its fifth straight Philippine Cup championship at the expense of Magnolia. Petron defeated F2 Logistics in three games to retain its Philippine Superliga Grand Prix throne. Jerwin Ancajas scored a 7th round TKO win over Japanese Ryuichi Funai to keep his IBF super flyweight belt. The UAAP and NCAA collegiate press corps feted the best student-athletes in basketball and for the first time in women’s volleyball. Some athletes and sports personalities tried their luck in the 2019 mid-term elections.   JUNE   Philippine Olympic Committee president Ricky Vargas stepped down from his post after just 18 months in office. Cignal-Ateneo won the PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup title.   (To be continued).....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 29th, 2019

UAAP 82: Tolentino back for last flight as a Lady Eagle

Kat Tolentino has decided to play her final year for the Ateneo de Manila University. It may have taken the power-hitter some time to think it over but Tolentino will definitely don the blue and white uniform for her fourth and last season as the Lady Eagles bid for back-to-back titles in the UAAP Season 82 women’s volleyball tournament starting February next year. The 6-foot-3 Filipino-Canadian on Thursday officially announced her return for the Oliver Almadro-mentored squad. “As much as I love playing for the commercial league I found that playing for the UAAP is a whole different experience,” said Tolentino, who during the off-season played for ChocoMucho in the Premier Volleyball League. "There is something so unique about the competitiveness of the UAAP that I feel is hard to recreate.  The rivalry between schools is not just about playing for pride but for something bigger than yourself. Its also about playing for your teammates and for all those who’ve supported you." Her return will give the Lady Eagles the much-needed veteran presence along with Ponggay Gaston, playmaker Deanna Wong, Jules Samonte and libero Dani Ravena. “I’ve been following the current Ateneo team especially during the PVL collegiate conference and I am proud to see how strong they are already. There's still a few more months to prepare and I look forward to being back with them and contributing in any way I can,” said Tolentino. Tolentino led Ateneo in a dramatic come-from-behind best-of-three Finals series win over the Sisi Rondina-led University of Sto. Tomas for the Lady Eagles' first title since winning it all in back in 2014 and 2015. After claiming her first crown, Tolentino gave an emotional speech during the team’s thanksgiving Mass at the Church of Gesu inside the Ateneo campus.     She talked about her three ACL injuries and unforgettable championship season before saying, “This is Kat Tolentino, No. 10, signing off” back in May this year. But it's a good thing she changed her mind with the guidance of her management, Virtual Playground. "Well, initially I thought that because I graduated college and won the championship it was time for me to move on to the next chapter of my life. I have been in college for a while and have played volleyball for well over 10 years," Tolentino explained. "So I just felt like I wanted to experience something different and start to play in the commercial league to make the most out of my volleyball career." Tolentino will play a bigger role this season not just as the team’s top scoring option but also the young Lady Eagles’ leader after the departure of Maddie Madayag and Bea De Leon. She will pilot a squad that will have promising rising stars in Faith Nisperos and Joan Narit, sophomore setter Jaja Maraguinot and Vannie Gandler.     "Our goal will always be the UAAP championship. But coming into this season I feel like I will try to bring more skills and experience from what I learned in playing for Choco Mucho in PVL," Tolentino said.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles    .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 28th, 2019

UAAP Season 82 Finals: Teams that Aldin coaches, they don’t ever back down – Baldwin

Ateneo de Manila University head coach Tab Baldwin knew very well what to expect when University of Sto. Tomas clinched the remaining Finals berth in the UAAP Season 82 men’s basketball tournament. He expected the Blue Eagles to face a big challenge. “The one thing that we’ve been talking about since we knew UST was our opponent was that teams that Aldin (Ayo) coaches they don’t ever quit, they don’t ever back down,” said Baldwin, who is on his third championship series face-off against an Ayo-mentored team in the last four years.    Baldwin knew Ayo very well with his rival tactician winning a title against him in Season 79 in 2016 while calling the shots for De La Salle University. The two battled for the crown the following year with Baldwin delivering the first of Ateneo’s back-to-back championships.      The final score may signify a dominating win for the still unbeaten grand slam-seeking Blue Eagles, 91-77, in Game 1 of the best-of-three series on Saturday but the way UST pushed the Blue Eagles made Baldwin respect Ayo and his no. 4 seeded Growling Tigers even more.          “I think UST was so persistent. You saw that. You saw how hard they keep coming at us,” said Baldwin, whose wards won their 15th straight game of the season to inch a closer to a historic 16-game season sweep. In fact, the Growling Tigers behind Mark Nonoy, who had 26 markers, gave Ateneo quite a scare when UST cut a 19-point deficit to only three, 38-41, off his triple with 2:25 left in the second quarter. But the Blue Eagles’ firepower proved too much for the Espana-based squad. “It was a hard game. The energy was pretty extraordinary out there by both teams,” said Baldwin. “Mark Nonoy is obviously a problem for us not them. He played a tremendous game. He ran himself right into the ground. He was dead at the end of the game. That’s very courageous. I have a lot of respect for that.” “Our team has a lot of respect for all of their players and their coaching staff,” he added. Proving yet again that he was right about how Ayo build his team’s character, Baldwin expects nothing but another explosive fight from the Growling Tigers in Game 2.    “We know we are in for another tough game on Wednesday,” he said.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 16th, 2019

UAAP Season 82: We haven t achieved anything yet -- Ayo

It was okay for University of Sto. Tomas head coach Aldin Ayo to see his wards celebrate the big upset over University of the Philippines in the UAAP Season 82 men’s basketball stepladder semifinals Wednesday. In fact, who was he to stop the jubilation of the Tigers and the UST faithful in a sea of yellow inside the packed MOA Arena. He allowed them to enjoy the moment. When it subsided, he reminded them that the semis battle may be won but the war is far from over.     “Wala pa kaming naa-achieve. We haven't achieved anything yet,” said Ayo after the Tigers ousted the twice-to-beat Fighting Maroons, 68-65, to advance to the Finals. The Espana-based squad will have a few days to prepare to face a gargantuan task of toppling grand slam-seeking and unbeaten Ateneo de Manila University.   “That's why I told the players after the game, well, they were celebrating and right now sabi ko kay Renzo... Renzo was apologizing because nagce-celebrate, sabi ko sa kanya okay lang, let it all out, tao lang naman eh,” said Ayo, who is in his fourth collegiate championship stint after steering Letran to the NCAA throne four years ago, De La Salle University to a crown in 2016 and another Finals stint the following year. But he was quick to snap his boys out of their euphoria to see that yet to be done task at hand. “Pero I told them to refocus because hindi pa tapos eh. Hindi pa tapos,” said the mentor. Ayo quite frankly didn’t want his No. 4 seed team to be contented with what they had achieved so far. “Nakita ko lang yung celebration. Ako medyo nag-worry ako ng konti kasi ayaw ko makita ng ganung celebration na mukhang silang nakukunteto eh,” he said. “And some of the coaching staff were crying, even my wife was crying, but I told her. Sabi ko, ‘Mommy wala pa tayo naa-achieve eh.’ “So we have to refocus and prepare for our next game,” Ayo said Game 1 of the Finals is on Saturday.     ---    Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 13th, 2019

UAAP 82: UST downs DLSU to complete four-peat in Women s Beach Volleyball

University of Santo Tomas' Babylove Barbon and Gen Eslapor withstood the tough De La Salle pair of Tin Tiamzon and Justine Jazareno in the Finals to complete another perfect season and a women's four-peat Sunday in the UAAP Beach Volleyball Tournament at Sands SM By The Bay. UST claimed its seventh women's championship and the first in the post-Sisi Rondina era. Barbon, who had to fill a huge void left by Rondina to cement the Tigresses' dynasty, was named the MVP. "Sobrang saya kasi yung goal namin ay ma-defend ang crown. Nagawa po namin siya. Inalay po namin yung game sa UST, sa mga taong naniniwala sa amin at lalong lalo na kay ate Sisi," said Barbon. "Ilang din years siyang nag-champion kaya ayaw naming mabigo siya. Iniwan niya ang team na laging nagtsa-champion kaya kailangan naming ituloy na laging champion," the Quezon, Bukidnon native added. The Tigresses needed to outlast the Lady Spikers 21-14, 20-22, 15-12, in the Finals opener. UST survived a gallant De La Salle stand in the extended opening set and withstood its foes late second frame uprising to fashion out a 28-26, 21-18 victory to emerge as queens once more. "Sobrang galing din nila po," said Barbon of the Lady Spikers, who finished bridesmaids for the second straight year. No doubt, Barbon and Eslapor's connection worked wonders for the Tigresses, who extended their winning run to 29 games dating back from 2016. "May chemistry talaga po kami kasi ilang off-season leagues kami na sinasalihan. Doon kami kumukuha ng idea kung paano maglaro dito sa UAAP," said Barbon. Roma Mae Doromal, who with Ponggay Gaston powered Ateneo to third place, took the Rookie of the Year honors......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 6th, 2019

UAAP 82: UST opens double championship defense

University of Sto. Tomas opens quest for another golden double in the UAAP Season 82 Beach Volleyball tournament Sunday at Sands SM By The Bay. Ushering the post-Sisi Rondina era, the Tigresses will set in motion their bid for a fourth consecutive crown against University of the Philippines at 10:40 a.m. UST begins its back-to-back men's title bid against National University in an early showdown of favorites at 8 a.m., before returning in the afternoon session with a 1:20 p.m. duel with University of the East. Babylove Barbon, last season's top rookie who is more than ready to carry the Tigresses torch in the years to come, will have Gen Eslapor as her new partner. Setting its sights for a record seventh championship overall, UST will have to do it without Rondina, who has already completed her checkered collegiate career in the sand court. In her five years with the Tigresses, four-time MVP Rondina gave her school four titles. A perennial contender in the highly-popular Beach Volleyball Republic On Tour and were among the Philippine representatives in the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Boracay Open 1-Star last May, Barbon and Eslapor are looking good to continue UST's dominance in the sport.  Derie Virtusio will be the third player. Jaron Requinton, who with Krung Arbasto put the Growling Tigers back in the throne last year, will have Efraem Dimaculangan as his partner. De La Salle hopes to give UST a run for its money behind Tin Tiamzon and rookie Justine Jazareno. The Lady Spikers will play their season opener versus the Lady Bulldogs at 11:20 a.m. Together with Michelle Morente, Tiamzon led De La Salle to a runner-up finish last year. The Lady Maroons will have a brand new set of players, with Rosie Rosier, Euricka Eslapor and alternate Noreen Estrellanes hoping to sustain their podium finishes that Isa Molde, Justin Dorog and Tots Carlos gave in the last two years. In other season-opening matches, Ateneo, with Ponggay Gaston and rookie Roma Mae Doromal in tow, goes up against Far Eastern University at 12 noon, before Adamson University and UE caps first day of women's action at 12:40 p.m. Seeking to rebound from last year's third place finish, the Bulldogs will bank on James Natividad and James Buytrago. Incidentally, UST and NU are tied for the most number of men's titles with four. The Bulldogs' other opening day opponent will be Ateneo at 2:40 p.m. FEU's Jude Garcia and Doy Barrica will be one of the Tigers' biggest threats for the crown as the last season's second placers tackle Adamson University at 8:40 a.m. and UP at 2 p.m. Other men's morning matches are UE-Ateneo at 9:20 a.m. and UP-De La Salle at 10 a.m., while Adamson University-De La Salle will round up opening day action at 3:20 p.m......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 21st, 2019

UAAP 81: Ateneo celebrates Volleyball, Football titles in Back on Top Bonfire

Ateneo de Manila University closed out the 81st season of the UAAP with two more championships, after the Men's Football and Women's Volleyball teams both brought UAAP gold back to Katipunan.  The men's football team, led by season MVP Jarvey Gayoso, defeated collegiate rivals De La Salle University, 2-1, last May 16th in a match that needed a 30-minute extension to decide.  The Lady Eagles volleyball team meanwhile, came back from a one-game deficit to defeat the Sisi Rondina-led University of Santo Tomas Golden Tigresses in a best-of-three finals series to reclaim their spot at the top of the UAAP women's volleyball landscape.  Both achievements were celebrated in Ateneo's Back on Top Bonfire, Friday evening at the Ateneo de Manila Grade School Parking grounds in Katipunan.  This was Ateneo's second bonfire celebration for Season 81, with the first taking place back in December of 2018 to celebrate their first-semester triumphs, highlighted by the Blue Eagles men's basketball team's second-straight championship. Ateneo President Fr. Jose Ramon "Jet" Villarin opened the festivities by thanking all the athletes who proudly represented Ateneo's colors thoughout the season as well as speaking about the UAAP as being not only a competition, but a community as well.  "The uaap is community first before its a competition," Villarin stated. "Maybe we're competitors, but we're a community first. We need our rivals for our better selves. We need our competitors to go beyond ourselves. We need passion and transendence, going beyond ourselves, that's a gift."  Blue Eagle Bonfire happening now inside the Ateneo De Manila campus. The bonfire celebrates Ateneo's triumphs during this past #UAAPSeason81 pic.twitter.com/3RZVJVNdMh — Santino Honasan???? (@honasantino) May 24, 2019 The first championship team to grace the stage were the Blue Eagle booters, who after a rough start to the season, managed to turn things around and ultimately finish the elimination round with the top seed. In the semifinals, Gayoso powered the Blue Eagles past Far Eastern University. In the finals, it was Gayoso again, who came up big as his last-minute equalizer forced extra time against DLSU. In the extension, it was graduating team captain Julian Roxas who provided the heroics, scoring the go-ahead header to secure the win and hand Ateneo their second men's football crown in the last two seasons.  #UAAPSeason81 Men's Football Champs now on stage | @abscbnsports pic.twitter.com/mflr5Agbuo — Santino Honasan???? (@honasantino) May 24, 2019 When asked about his game-tying conversion in the first minute of injury time, Gayoso had a pretty simple response. "I think we can all say that it feels good that it was against La Salle," said the fourth-year striker, drawing cheers from the crowd.  Afterwards, it was the Lady Eagles volleyball team's turn to be recognized, as the masses of fans stormed towards the stage to get a closer look at their champion idols.  The Lady Eagles were dominant throughout the women's volleyball season, also finishing at the top of the standings and earning a twice-to-beat advantage in the semifinals. Ateneo faced a lot of adversity in the post-season, as they were pushed to two matches in the semfinals by Far Eastern University, and then again in the finals, losing Game 1 to UST before bouncing back and winning two straight to capture their first women's volleyball title since UAAP Season 77.  Fans storm the stage as the #UAAPSeason81 Women's Volleyball Champion Lady Eagles are introduced | @abscbnsports pic.twitter.com/kBXsFn61Bk — Santino Honasan???? (@honasantino) May 24, 2019 The highlight of the night was the lighting of the celebratory bonfire, which was done by men's football MVP Gayoso and Women's Volleyball Finals MVP Bea De Leon.  #UAAPSeason81 Women's Volleyball Finals MVP @_beadel and Men's Football MVP @JarveyGayoso light the bonfire to close the festivities | @abscbnsports pic.twitter.com/0QANEYebtQ — Santino Honasan???? (@honasantino) May 24, 2019 Also recognized during the bonfire were the Ateneo Juniors Basketball Team and the Ateneo Men's Lawn Tennis Team, both finishing as first runners-up in their respective tournaments.  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 24th, 2019

UST s Sisi Rondina, AU s Regine Arocha are first-ever Volleyball Players of the Year

Volleyball has made its mark as one the biggest collegiate spectator sports in the country next to basketball. With the sport’s impact and huge following especially in the women’s division, it is just fitting that the best and brightest volleyball student-athletes share the spotlight with the collegiate basketball’s finest.   For the first time, a pair of volleyball stars will be feted in the 2019 Chooks-to-Go Collegiate Press Corps Awards presented by SportsVision to be held at the Amelie Hotel in Malate, Manila on Monday. University of Sto. Tomas’ Sisi Rondina and Regine Arocha of Arellano University will be the recipients of the Volleyball Player of the Year awards in the annual event organized by the Collegiate Press Corps, composed of scribes from print and online outfits covering the NCAA and UAAP. The graduating hitter Rondina wrapped her fifth and last playing year as a Tigress by completing an amazing three-peat in beach volleyball, giving UST its first gold medal in UAAP Season 81. Rondina delivered the Espana-based squad’s fourth sand court crown in five years while bagging for herself four Most Valuable Player awards. The 5-foot-6 Cebuana then turned her focus on indoor volleyball as she led the rookie-laden Tigresses back to the Finals for the first time in eight years in a showdown with a well-experienced Ateneo de Manila University side. UST came a win away from ending a nine-year title drought but eventually bowed down to the Lady Eagles in three exciting games. Nevertheless, Rondina’s heroics all season long earned her the MVP award, UST’s first in 12 years, to become the second person to capture the highest individual recognition in beach and indoor volleyball on the same season since Far Eastern University’s Wendy Semana did the feat 11 years ago.               Meanwhile, Arocha delivered the goods when needed the most for the Lady Chiefs in NCAA Season 94. Arocha played clutch in the Finals, leading Arellano to a thrilling series comeback win over Perpetual Help to complete the Lady Chiefs’ three-peat and winning her second straight Finals MVP award. Rondina and Arocha will be joined by the National University women’s basketball team (Award of Excellence), Ateneo's Angelo Kouame and San Beda's Javee Mocon (Pivotal Players), Lyceum's CJ Perez and Adamson's Sean Manganti (Impact Players) in the awards night supported by Amelie Hotel, Rain or Shine, NorthPort, World Balance, Arellano, and AXA Team EDS. The 2019 Chooks-to-Go Collegiate Press Corps Awards presented by SportsVision will be aired live over Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas and Tiebreaker Times on Facebook......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 23rd, 2019

UAAP Volleyball: Morado sees Wong as Lady Eagles leader in Season 82

Former Ateneo de Manila University playmaker Jia Morado sees next season as Deanna Wong’s litmus test as the Lady Eagles' new leader when they try to defend their recently reclaimed throne. The Lady Eagles completed a Season 81 Finals series comeback over University of Sto. Tomas last Saturday to end a four-year title drought and capture their third crown overall. But Ateneo also saw the departure of middles Maddie Madayag and Finals Most Valuable Player Bea De Leon along with Kim Gequillana. Top hitter Kat Tolentino, who is still eligible to suit up next season, has not yet committed to play in Season 82. With the departure of Ateneo’s veterans, Wong will pilot a relatively young crew next year – almost the same situation that Morado was in during her last run as a Lady Eagle in Season 79 following the exit of three-time MVP Alyssa Valdez the year before.   “Actually, I think I had seasoned players on my last year. A lot of my spikers, nakasama ko na rin for at least a year or two,” said Morado on Monday during her club team Creamline’s photo shoot for the Premier Volleyball League Season 3 Reinforced Conference at the ABS-CBN Integrated Sports Office.   “But Deanna next year, although nakasama niya rin naman sila this year, hindi sila nabigyan ng time together talaga sa loob ng court so it will be interesting kung paano niya ibi-build ang connection niya with the spikers,” added Morado, who helped the Lady Eagles capture the Season 76 and 77 titles. The Cool Smashers setter said that although Ateneo will miss the services of its reliable veterans, the Lady Eagles and Wong will have the luxury of playing with young and aggressive talents looking to prove themselves in the country’s premier collegiate league.   “Siyempre ‘yung familiarity with her spikers is very important and next year more of rookies ang spikers niya. But the good thing about that you can go really far with young blood lalo na ‘yung mga rookies kasi sila ganado sila,” said Morado. “If you can lead them well, man them well, marami pa ring good weapons si Deanna kasi malalakas ‘yung mga batang papasok next year. So all she has to do is be able to lead them.”   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 20th, 2019

UAAP Season 81 Finals: Masaya ang mga dilawan -- UST coach Reyes

No political reference here. University of Sto. Tomas head coach Kungfu Reyes was just too happy not only for his Tigresses, who moved just a win away from the coveted crown, but also for the community that supported their squad. Yup, for those yellow-clad supporters of the Espana-based squad.       “Masaya ang mga dilawan ngayon kasi panahon ng UST,” said Reyes during the live postgame interview with S+A panel Anton Roxas and Noreen Go after the Tigresses swept Ateneo de Manila University, 25-17, 25-16-, 25-20, on Saturday in Game 1 of the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball best-of-three Finals series at the Big Dome.        “No, no! Kaya dilaw kasi UST naman kami mga dilaw naman kami,” added Reyes as the press room burst into laughter. The Tigresses stepped closer to reclaiming the throne it last held back in Season 72. Game 2 of the Finals is on Wednesday at the MOA Arena. “Di lang naman kaming mga coaches at players pero pati UST community naging masaya sa outcome ng laro,” said Reyes. UST came in well-prepared, as they found a way to pry open the vaunted net defense of the much taller Lady Eagles. The Tigresses behind Season Most Valuable Player Sisi Rondina and Rookie of the Year Eya Laure found their mark as Ateneo crumbled on their feet. “Pinag-aralan namin kung saan kami pwedeng lumusot kay Ateneo kasi considering na sila ‘yung no. 1 blocking team sa tournament natin,” said Reyes. “Gumagawa lang rin kami ng paraan para, ano naman din siguro kakayanin naman namin kasi kami naman ang No. 1 scoring team dun sa league.” The Espana-based squad, who before the match was on a 15-game losing streak to the Lady Eagles since Season 74 semis, rained down 46 attack points, outgunning Ateneo’s 24.   “I have the first two best spikers sa league so malaking bagay,” said Reyes referring to Rondina and Laure, who scored 23 and 11 points, respectively. Reyes also praised his teams har work to follow their game plan to the tee. “Kung paano na lang namin ika-counter yung atake namin sa kanila dahil yung depensa nila dun kami nagbibigay din ng extra time para ma-counter namin kung gaano sila kagaling mag-block, kung paano kami makakakuha ng second chance point,” he said. Truly the ‘dilawans’ were happy on Saturday. The Tigresses now look forward to make the sea of yellow happier.           --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 11th, 2019

UAAP Season 81 Finals: Yes Ate Ging, tayo naman -- Rondina

Prized hitter Sisi Rondina woke up on Saturday with a message coming from one of her volleyball inspirations. University of Sto. Tomas legend Ging Balse-Pabayo gave the graduating skipper a few words of advice as Rondina prepared for Game 1 of the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball best-of-three Finals.    “Umaga pa lang nag-message na sa akin si Ate Ging sabi nya, ‘Lagyan lang talaga ng puso, effort lahat ng gagawin nyo,’” Rondina said. A member of UST’s Season 69 champion team, Rondina just felt overwhelmed that a Tigresses legend took time to give wish her well.    “Sabi n’ya, proud na proud siya sa amin. Sabi ko sa kanya, ‘Yes Ate Ging. Sana makita namin kayo mamaya. Tayo naman,’” continued the Season Most Valuable Player. “Nag-reply siya na, ‘Oo, tayo naman.’” Inspired by words of encouragement from a former Queen Tigress, Rondina played like a woman possessed, wowing the crowd with her explosiveness as UST swept Ateneo de Manila University, 25-17, 25-16, 25-20, to draw first blood in their Finals showdown.      The Cebuana-native finished with 23 points with 20 coming off attacks added 12 digs for the Tigresses, who moved a win away from reclaiming the crown it last held in nine years ago in Season 72. Balse-Pabayo witnessed UST’s impressive stand as she was joined by another UST legend in Venus Bernal, the last Tigresses Most Valuable Player award winner (Season 69) before Rondina.   “Ang sarap sa feeling na isa sa mga beterana nagbigay ng tiwala sa amin na kaya namin and naniniwala na makukuha at makukuha namin,” she said. From one queen to another, Rondina stayed true to her word. Now, only one win separates her from fulfilling her promise.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 11th, 2019

UAAP Season 81 Finals: Bulldogs start title defense

National University braces for a tough battle as the Bulldogs begin their title defense against a very hungry and determined Far Eastern University side on Saturday in Game 1 of the UAAP Season 81 men’s volleyball tournament at the Big Dome. Game time is at 12:00 noon and it will air live on ABS-CBN S+A Channel 23, ABS-CBN S+A HD Channel 166, LIGA SkyCable Channel 86, LIGA HD SkyCable Channel 183, iWant and via livestream. The Bulldogs are making their seventh straight Finals appearance but will take on a different opponent after the Tamaraws booted out Ateneo de Manila University in the Final Four thus ending the five-year NU-Ateneo title rivalry. NU head coach Dante Alinsunurin knows that this is going to be a challenging series as both teams are equal in firepower. “Siguro nagkakatalo na kami ngayon kung sino ang makaka-receive talaga. Halos pantay naman ang team ngayon sa skills at sa experience,” said Alinsunurin, who last faced FEU in the Finals back in Season 75 when he steered the Bulldogs to the first of three titles. NU and FEU split their elimination round head-to-head with the Tams dealing the Bulldogs a straight sets beating in the season-opener. NU returned the favor in their rematch. The Bulldogs will come into the match carrying the momentum of a 14-game winning streak, including a straight sets domination of Adamson University in the Final Four. Alinsunurin will pin his hopes on his solid and battle-tested line-up led by Season MVP Bryan Bagunas, Rookie of the Year Angelo Almendras, James Natividad, Francis Saura and Kim Malabunga. But FEU is no easy opponent. The Tams are coming into the game hungry for the crown that eluded them since winning it all back in Season 74. “Yun naman lagi ang mindset namin from coaching staff, yung mga advicer namin, yung mga supporters namin. Talagang ang laging naka-mindset kami na uhaw, na gusto naming makuha (ang kampeonato). Sinimulan na natin dapat walang titigil,” said FEU coach Rei Diaz. Leading the charge of the Tams are Jude Garcia, Richard Solis, JP Bugaoan, Redijohn Paler, Peter Quiel and setter Owen Suarez.       --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 10th, 2019

UAAP Season 81 Final Four: De Jesus wishes UST, Reyes good luck in title quest

University of Sto. Tomas head coach Kungfu Reyes has high respect and admiration for legendary De La Salle University mentor Ramil De Jesus. The fourth year Tigresses tactician considered De Jesus as one of the best coaches in the country with an impressive resume in his 21-year career with the Lady Spikers. As a volleyball player himself during his days as member of the Tigers, Reyes saw how De Jesus turned DLSU into one of the most successful volleyball programs in the UAAP for the past two decades, producing 11 titles. “Kasi syempre living legend na natin sa Philippine volleyball ‘yan, sa generation nila na ito,” said Reyes. So it’s not surprising for Reyes to feel overwhelmed when one of his coaching inspirations wished him good luck in the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball Finals. “Ganoon pala ang pakiramdam kapag ginu-good luck ka ni Coach Ramil,” said Reyes following the Tigresses’ 25-19, 25-19, 20-25, 23-25, 15-10 victory over the dethroned Lady Spikers in the Final Four on Sunday that ended the Espana-based squad’s eight-year wait for a championship berth. Gracious in defeat, De Jesus shook the hands of Reyes, accepting the ill-fated third try of the Lady Spikers for a historic four-peat.     “Ngayon lang nagsi-sink in sa akin ‘yung ano [usapan] namin kanina, marami man siyang gustong sabihin talagang medyo maingay na,” Reyes said, who then dropped another of his usual postgame jokes, “Gusto ko man yakapin siya baka sabihin nagro-romance na kaming dalawa kanina.” The Tigresses ended DLSU’s three-year reign as they made their first Finals appearance since finishing second to the Lady Spikers in Season 73.   “So ‘yun lang, ‘yung mga natutunan ko kay Coach Ramil during magkalaban kami malaking bagay tapos malaking pagkakataon sa akin na ‘yung champion coach, ako ang ginu-good luck para sa taon na to, para sa Finals,” said Reyes, who will try to steer UST back to the throne since winning it all back in Season 72.     “Pero ‘yun nga, ‘yung sabihan ka ni Coach Ramil ng good luck na dati sila ang nandoon [sa finals], iba rin ang pakiramdam,” added Reyes. The Tigresses will face the winner between Ateneo de Manila University and Far Eastern University in the best-of-three championship series. Game 1 of the Finals is on Saturday.         --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 5th, 2019

UP, UE share 2019 s king of recruiting crown

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

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 3rd, 2019

V-LEAGUE: Successful 13th season

Huge crowds, high TV ratings from the country's largest network, a two-title romp by Pocari Sweat and a National University repeat highlighted another banner year for the V-League, which continued to pack wallops, deliver top-notch matches and stay on top of the heap. With all matches shown live over ABS-CBN S+A and via livestrean through sports.abs-cbn.com/livestrean/vleague, the league had a very successful 13th season and reached broader audience nationwide and even abroad.    It was also a season of firsts and comebacks with Iriga City Mayor Madeleine Alfelor-Gazmen playing an actual game in the Open Conference and the Summer Spikers making their return after a one-year absence, shuttling from Baguio and Manila and back during games. Veering away from its regular opening conference fare, the league, where it all started, actually marked its 13th season with a fans’ day where they played with their favorite stars in a variety of game-related skills challenge and ended up mingling with their idols for photo-ops and autograph signing sessions during the All-Star. The league, in partnership with ABS-CBN, held its All-Star Game, along with that of the Spikers’ Turf, as part of its social commitment with proceeds, amounting to P200,000 going to the typhoon Lawin victims through ABS CBN Foundation. The All-Star was also staged to give something back to the league’s ever-loyal fans through the backing of Shakey’s, Mikasa, Accel, Pocari Sweat, BaliPure, the Philippine Sports Commission and ABS-CBN Sports + Action. Bannered by veterans Michele Gumabao, Melissa Gohing, Myla Pablo and Desiree Dadang, Pocari Sweat made sure to mark its maiden stint in the country’s premier volley league with a victory – grounding the Air Force Lady Jet Spikers in sudden death to snare the Open Conference crown before a huge crowd. Pocari Sweat also came into the season-ending Reinforced Conference armed to the teeth, tapping a pair of talented imports in Andrea Kacsits and Breanna Mackie and sweeping another Alyssa Valdez-led team, this time, the Bureau of Customs Transformers in the finals to complete the Lady Warriors’ remarkable two-title sweep before another banner crowd. Most marquee matches were beamed live over ABS-CBN Sports + Action Channel 23 with the championships aired on primetime, further adding to the popularity and following of the league which turned a once-dormant sport in 2004 into what it is today. Customs also toughened up in a bid to claim a V-League championship on its very first try, luring not only the high-flying, power-hitting Valdez but also tapping Thai imports Nic Jaisaen and Kanjana Kuthaisong, while BaliPure, raring to atone for its failed bid in the Open, also came in with reinforcements Kaylee Manns and Kate Morell. But both fell short against the Lady Warriors, so did the five other teams which showed up with an all-local crew with UST and UP dishing out solid games while underscoring their readiness for the UAAP wars. The Lady Bulldogs also proved they’re more than ready for the UAAP battle, beating the Ateneo Lady Eagles in a pair of five-setters to repeat as champions of the mid-season Collegiate Conference. MVP Jaja Santiago and former utility spiker-turned-setter Jasmine Nabor took charge for the Bustillos-based school, which actually notched its third V-League title, including its breakthrough in Season 10, also against Ateneo. Over in the men’s side, the second season of Spikers’ Turf also proved to be a big success with the Air Force Jet Spikers dispatching the Cignal HD Spikers in both the Open and Reinforced Conference finals. Air Force’s season-ending conference victory also served as a revenge of sorts as Cignal edged it in three matches to clinch last year’s Reinforced crown. Ateneo, on the other hand, got back at NU as the Eagles kept the Collegiate Championship for the second straight season. Both squads have figured in the last three UAAP finals as well as the first two V-League Collegiate Conference championships with the Katipunan-based squad lording it over NU, 4-1, in their head-to-head duel. With Sports Vision lining up a number of innovations to make the league more interesting and at the same time compete for media attention in mainstream sports, there’s no other way for Season 14 to go but up.     .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 31st, 2016

The Next Phase for the UAAP Season 82 Graduates

UAAP Season 82 gave us one hell of a basketball season. And now that it’s over, some of the players we’ve been rooting for over the years are now moving on to the next phase of their lives. So, what’s next for these athletes? Let’s take a look at some of the guys we’ll be missing on the UAAP court come next season. Isaac Go Isaac Go ended his UAAP career with three championships under his belt. Now, he’s the first overall pick in the Gilas round of the 2019 PBA Draft. “Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine to be in this position. I’m just grateful and excited at this point,” said the PBA’s top rookie. And while Go has always said that he wanted to immediately take his talents from college basketball to the pros, Isaac now has to take a detour for yet another huge hoops opportunity—to don the blue and white for the national team. Isaac isn’t doing too bad for an athlete who was once referred to as a “big, fat kid.”   Rey Suerte Rey Suerte only spent one season in the UAAP, but he certainly made it count by averaging these numbers: 17.6 points, 6.8 rebounds, 3.9 assists, and 1.2 steals per game. He seems to have left a lasting impression, as Suerte is now a member of Blackwater after being selected as the second overall pick in the Gilas round of the 2019 PBA Draft. Some may say that luck is a factor in such accolades, but it’s hard work that put Suerte in this position.   Renzo Subido Renzo Subido made sure that his name won’t soon be forgotten in UAAP lore when he nailed the shot of his life right in front of UP’s Bright Akhuetie. This dagger sent UST to the UAAP Finals, giving the Tigers the chance to dethrone the Ateneo Blue Eagles. And while it didn’t end the way he wanted, Subido remains grateful for all the opportunities, especially now that he’s a member of NorthPort Batang Pier.   Thirdy Ravena One major name was conspicuously missing from the 2019 PBA Draft—Thirdy Ravena. The three-time Finals MVP decided to skip it altogether to focus on training overseas and possibly competing in international leagues. This is the same route his brother Kiefer Ravena took when he graduated from UAAP competition. The elder Ravena trained for a year in the US and had a short stint in the NBA G-League before joining the PBA. Regardless of what Thirdy does, the future seems bright for Ateneo’s former top star. The UAAP memories will live on, but these athletes are now moving on. While you may not be an athlete, you may relate to their story if you’re looking to make the leap to the next phase of your career, too. Jobstreet can help you do that and #FindTheJobYouLove. As one of the leading employment marketplaces in the Philippines, Jobstreet has aided thousands in transitioning to the next phase of their lives. Let Jobstreet do the same for you by clicking here.   Thank you Isaac, Rey, Renzo, Thirdy, and all the athletes who’ll be moving on from the UAAP. We’ll always be grateful......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 7th, 2020