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UAAP Season 81 swimming: MVPs Lacuna, Daos lead Ateneo charge

Reigning MVPs Jessie Khing Lacuna and Chloe Daos set in motion Ateneo de Manila University's bid for a championship double by winning two golds in UAAP Season 81 swimming Thursday at the Rizal Memorial Swimming Pool. Lacuna ruled the men's 800-meter freestyle with 8:33.98 to lead the Blue Eagles 1-2-3 finish in the event and returned later in the afternoon by winning the 100-meter freestyle with 52.18. Season 79 MVP Aldo Batungbacal also bagged a men's gold for Ateneo in the 200-meter individual medley with 2:09.49 to go with his 800-meter freestyle silver (8:46.39). Rookie Ianiko Limfilipino finished second in the 200-meter freestyle behind Batungbacal (2:12.48) and completed the Eagles' podium finishers in the 800-meter freestyle, finishing third with 8:59.31. Daos, who was also last year's women's top rookie, set a new league record in the 800-meter freestyle with 9:24.51, erasing the old mark of 9:26.11 by Kim Uy of the Lady Eagles in 2014. A silver medalist in the 41st Southeast Asian Age Group Swimming Championships last November in Brunei, Daos also emerged triumphant in the women's 100-meter freestyle with 59.62, besting her teammate Andrea Ngui (59.70). De La Salle University swept the opening day men's relay events, capturing the gold in the 200-meter medley (1:48.87) and 800-meter freestyle (8:14.02) University of the Philippines, one of Ateneo's biggest threats for the women's throne, also shone as Nadine Tee Ten ruled the 200-meter individual medley event with 2:31.87, while its 200-meter medley relay (2:06.93) and 800-meter freestyle relay (9:25.18) ruled the roost. The Eagles are gunning for their fifth consecutive men's title while the women's tankers are eyeing to make it two in a row.  .....»»

Category: sportsSource: abscbn abscbnNov 8th, 2018

Lacuna, Dato shine as Ateneo takes lead in UAAP swimming

MANILA, Philippines — Ateneo, stamping its class early, taking the men's and women's division lead with plenty to spare after Day One of the UAAP Season 79 s.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsOct 22nd, 2016

Pinoy sports most captivating underdog stories of 2018

Who doesn't love a good underdog story? In 2018, we saw another batch of champions get crowned for their extended excellence in their respective leagues and disciplines. We also witnessed squads and personalities who found success despite minimum fanfare. These underdogs didn't let any pre-competition predictions cloud their performances en route inspiring runs that may not have delivered gold, but are primed to be remembered for years to come.  MARGIELYN DIDAL Let's start with arguably the most inspiring entry on this list. Margielyn Didal basically burst onto the scene to bag skateboarding gold in the 2018 Asian Games. The Cebuana's victory is made even more impressive because of her humble roots, the lengths she went through just to compete, and what she's fighting for. The daughter of a carpenter and a sidewalk vendor, Didal also famously had to fend off security personnel in malls, when she was practicing her craft. Still, Didal's rise continued as she became the first Filipino to represent the nation in the 2018 X Games in Minnesota.  Her gold in the Asiad  earned her the distinction as the flag bearer of the Philippine delegation in the continental meet, and has slowly increased awareness for the sport. UP LADY FIGHTING MAROONS Now for another champion. The UP Lady Maroons were far from shoo-ins into the Premier Volleyball League Collegiate Conference Final Four. After a slow start to the elimination round, the Diliman-based squad was able to get things going, securing the fourth seed to face the top-ranked Adamson Lady Falcons in the semis.  Facing a twice-to-beat disdvantage, the Lady Maroons flexed their rediscovered depth, especially after feisty middle Marian Buitre found her touch. Conference MVP and eventual Finals MVP Isa Molde also made a case as a legitimate star as UP stunned Adamson. Facing the UAAP season 80 Finalists FEU Lady Tamaraws, UP leaned on its unparalleled chemistry and communication to defeat FEU in two hard-fought, five-set matches. The Lady Maroons also bagged gold in a rival tournament, beating out another UAAP powerhouse in UST. Come UAAP Season 81, the Lady Maroons are set to prove their preseason victories are no fluke.    NU BULLDOGS With a chip on their shoulder, wanting to regain UAAP men's volleyball supremacy, the NU Bulldogs did everything they could to dethrone reigning three-time defending champs Ateneo Blue Eagles in Season 80. NU waltzed their way through the double round robin elimination round and made quick work of UST in the Final Four to book a ticket to the finals. However, the same road block, the Blue Eagles were there, with five-time MVP Marck Espejo just fresh off from his record-setting 55-point explosion to oust  twice-to-beat FEU in the Final Four.  Using their strong net defense and efficient reception, the Bulldogs swept Ateneo in the best-of-three Finals series. Finals MVP Bryan Bagunas led the offensive attack in the clincher with 22 points, as NU's famed floor defense frustrated the graduating Espejo and hand them their first loss in the championship series in three years.   FEU LADY TAMARAWS The UAAP Season 80 women's volleyball tournament was arguably the most exciting in recent memory. It was open-ended, every game oozed excitement as the unlikliest of results would come out here and there. Two-time defending champs De La Salle Lady Spikers still were the favored ones in the course of the eliminations, but suffered some shocking losses, including a four-set disappointment over Adamson. Being the other Finals contender was a quandary, but the FEU Lady Tamaraws led the charge and rose to the occasion, depriving Ateneo of a Finals appearance. Led by none other than Bernadeth Pons, and excellent play from their frontline, FEU advanced to the Finals for the first time in nine years, ironically also against the Ramil de Jesus-led squad. Many things had changed then, but La Salle showed why they were the reigning Queens of the UAAP, sweeping the Lady Tamaraws in two hard-fought contests.   UP FIGHTING MAROONS After an encouraging run in the UAAP season 80 men's basketball tournament, the UP Fighting Maroons put the league on notice in season 81.  Led by captain Paul Desiderio, super sophomore Juan Gomez de Liano, and Nigerian reinforcement Bright Akhuetie, the Fighting Maroons had to fight through a sluggish start. All things changed when head coach Bo Perasol decided to bring Juan off the bench to inject much-needed energy to the second unit. Juan would lead the league in assists as he guided UP's offense masterfully, carrying them to a historic Final Four return after a 21-year absence. That may already be a victory worth celebrating for UP, but the Fighting Maroons brought the fight in the Final Four as the third-seeded team facing no. 2 Adamson. In what would eventually be one of the most exciting Final Four series in recent UAAP history, UP would upset the Soaring Falcons in two games to book a Finals berth against Ateneo, where the Fighting Maroons bowed out. Still, what a run it was. And UP looks primed to be even more dangerous next season.   ATENEO LADY EAGLES There were uncertainty on how the Ateneo Lady Eagles would fare after coach Tai Bundit left the team in UAAP Season 80.  Blue Eagles mentor Oliver Almadro was tapped to oversee the team after Bundit's reign, with the PVL Open Conference being his first real challenge, calling the shots for Ateneo-Motolite.  Veterans Bea de Leon and Maddie Madayag did the heavy lifting for the team, but rookie sensations Vanessa Gandler, Jaja Maraguinot, Isabela Peralta, Samantha Fanger, and Erika Raagas provided their worth for the team. Almadro's unique style of motivation was also key in providing the spark for his team, providing some quotable lines from his timeouts showed around the world. Qualifying to the Final Four, Ateneo had their hands full against the veteran-laden BanKo-Perlas Spikers, who featured some former Lady Eagles. Down 0-1 in the series and had their backs against the wall in Game 3 down 0-2, the Lady Eagles mounted a massive comeback, stunning the Perlas Spikers in five sets and booking a dream Finals matchup against the Creamline Cool Smashers. However, it was not meant to be as they firepower of the Cool Smashers behind season MVP Alyssa Valdez proved to the difference as Creamline swept the Lady Eagles to clinch the Open Conference plum......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 24th, 2018

THROWBACK: Top PBA rookie draft picks through the years

After 33 years, the tradition of PBA teams selecting promising players from the amateur ranks, patterned after the NBA draft process, heralded a balanced influx of talent to even out the league’s competitiveness. But what makes the draft process interesting is the choice of the number 1 pick, who is considered the most in-demand player seen to bolster the chances of the worst performing or a newly established team in the PBA. With Columbian Dyip’s selection of Lyceum stalwart CJ Perez as the number one pick in the 2018 PBA Draft,  let’s look back at the top draft picks through the years, from its beginnings in 1985 to the controversial selection last year, and how they made their mark in the league. 1985 – Sonny Cabatu Sonny Cabatu was the PBA’s first-ever number one draft pick, selected by the expansion club Shell Azodrin Bugbusters, which took over the Crispa Redmanizers franchise. An intense bruiser inside the paint, Cabatu was Shell’s starting center known as “Mr. Quality Minutes.” He would then play for Great Taste, Purefoods, Sarsi, and Ginebra in a respectable career. 1986 – Rey Cuenco A member of the guest Northern Cement Corp. (NCC) team coached by Ron Jacobs that played in the pro league’s 1984 season, Rey Cuenco was picked in the 1986 draft by another new, expansion ballclub Alaska Milkmen to lead their charge.  His pro playing career blossomed from 1989 to 1992 under the tutelage of Ginebra playing coach Robert Jaworski. In 1990, he was adjudged the Most Improved Player and part of the Mythical Second Team. He also became a member of the Big J-coached, first all-Filipino, all-professional “Dream Team” in the 1990 Asian Games in Beijing that won a silver medal for the country with Allan Caidic, Samboy Lim, Benjie Paras and Ramon Fernandez among others. 1987 – Allan Caidic Considered the greatest Filipino basketball marksman ever, Allan Caidic was already a big name before he strutted into the PBA. Having won titles for the UE Red Warriors and among the top players of the Ron Jacobs-mentored national team, the Triggerman was definitely one big prized addition for any team. And Great Taste, having the privilege of selecting first in 1987, made Caidic a hands-down choice. He would later suit up for San Miguel Beer and Ginebra San Miguel in a storied career. He had since become a PBA Hall of Famer and among the Top 25 Greatest Players of All Time. 1988 – Jack Tanuan A vital cog of the FEU Tamaraws and a member of the 1986 Seoul Asian Games squad that took home the bronze, Jack Tanuan was a feared scorer who made a living with his inside game. It was no surprise that new franchise Purefoods selected him as their top pick in 1988, in addition to other direct hires from the amateur ranks that formed their strong core—Alvin Patrimonio, Jerry Codinera, Jojo Lastimosa and Glenn Capacio—on top of having the Franchise, Mon Fernandez, as playing coach. He would later play for the Sarsi, Swift and Pop Cola teams under the RFM franchise, and later on for Sta. Lucia, Mobiline, and Alaska. 1989 – Benjie Paras It was the year of Benjie Paras, a valiant, hardworking center called “The Tower of Power,” who led the UP Maroons to its historic 1986 UAAP title. After being selected by Shell as the number one pick in the 1989 draft, Paras would achieve the impossible of being both the league MVP and Rookie of the Year, while being named to the Mythical Five. Paras along with fellow Hall of Famers Ronnie Magsanoc and long-time import Bobby Ray Parks Sr. became the triumvirate that led Shell to the First Conference championships in 1990 and 1992. And, even with the onset of Fil-foreign players in the PBA, Paras remained dominant and won his second MVP plum in 1999. 1990 – Peter Jao Peter Jao was the first Cebuano player to be drafted as a rookie top pick in the league, selected by Presto Tivoli. He would then become a member of Presto’s champion team in the 1990 All-Filipino conference with Allan Caidic and Gerry Esplana. 1991 – Alex Araneta The former Ateneo Blue Eagle suited up for Alaska Air Force/Milkmen until 1995, after which he was hired in the company as a management trainee, eventually becoming one of Alaska Milk Corp.’s sales managers. Of Alaska’s 14 championships in the league, Araneta was a veteran of 2 of them (1991 Third Conference and 1994 Governors’ Cup). 1992 – Vergel Meneses An ex-seminarian who became among the PBA’s Top 40 Greatest Players, the “Aerial Voyager” was known for his show-stopping moves and is considered among the best one-on-one players. The former JRU Heavy Bomber and 1995 PBA MVP was also a member of the all-pro Centennial Team coached by Tim Cone that won the William Jones Cup in Taipei and placed 3rd in the 1998 Asian Games in Bangkok. 1993 – Zandro Limpot After his years as a King Archer for De La Salle, Zandro Limpot entered the 1993 draft and was chosen first overall by the expansion ballclub Sta. Lucia Realtors.  Limpot was named Rookie Of The Year that season as well as reaping All-Star, Mythical Second Team and All-Defensive Team honors. Limpot won his first and only PBA championship (2006 Philippine Cup) with the Purefoods Chunkee Giants. 1994 – Noli Locsin Another former Green Archer, Noli Locsin was picked by Tondeña 65 as the league’s top draft pick in 1994. He became a 4-time PBA All-Star (1994, 1995, 1996, 1999) in a high-flying career with Ginebra. Bacolod-born Locsin was famous for his barrelling game before the arrival of Filipino-Americans in the PBA. Spent 6 seasons with the Ginebra San Miguel franchise; won the 1997 Commissioner’s Cup with Jaworski as coach. He later suited up for Pop Cola, Tanduay, Red Bull, Talk ‘N Text and Sta. Lucia. 1995 – Dennis Espino After leading the UST Growling Tigers to their monumental four-peat, Dennis Espino would later bring his winning ways to the PBA. Sta. Lucia got the first crack at the 1995 draft and picked him first overall to form a menacing one-two punch with Zandro Limpot, and later with Marlou Aquino. He had a sterling career with Sta. Lucia for 15 years and yielded the following achievements:  4-time PBA All-Star, 2-time All-Defensive Team, 2-time Mythical First Team, 2004-05 Defensive Player of the Year and 2007-08 Philippine Cup Finals MVP. He won the 2001 Governors’ Cup and the 2007-08 Philippine Cup for Sta. Lucia. 1996 – Marlou Aquino Picked by Gordon’s Gin as first overall in the 1996 draft, Marlou Aquino had an exceptional maiden year gave him Rookie of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year, Best Player of the Conference (1996 Governors’ Cup), Mythical First Team, All-Star and All-Defensive Team honors. He also became the second Ginebra player (after Dondon Ampalayo in 1986) to win the Rookie of the Year award.  Aquino then was part of Gordon Gin’s 1997 Commissioner’s Cup and Sta. Lucia Realty’s 2001 Governors’ Cup championship teams.  1997 – Andy Seigle The first Fil-Am top pick, chosen by Mobiline in 1997, Andy Seigle won Rookie of the Year and was part of the 1999 All-Star Game. The Scranton, Pennsylvania native was twice a member of the National Team in the 1998 and 2002 Asian Games and was one of the most dominant and best defensive players in the 1990’s era. 1998 – Danny Ildefonso  Danny Ildefonso was picked by San Miguel Beer first overall in 1998, the year he also won Rookie of the Year. One of only four pro players to win back-to-back MVP awards (2000 and 2001), Ildefonso had a prolific 15-year career with the San Miguel ballclub with 8 championships (1999 and 2000 Commissioner’s Cups;  1999, 2000 and 2011 Governors’ Cups; 2001 All-Filipino; 2005 and 2009 Fiesta Cups). He is among the PBA’s Top 40 Greatest Players. 1999 – Sonny Alvarado Selected by Tanduay as its top pick in the 1999 Draft, Sonny Alvarado was poised to dominate the league as a gritty Fil-Am all-around player. He was however embroiled in the “Fil-Sham” controversy, that revealed that he had filed two alleged birth certificates of his mother when he applied for the draft. This prompted immigration officials to initiate deportation measures against Alvarado because of such failure to directly prove his Filipino parental links. 2000 – Paolo Mendoza Paolo Mendoza was a hot-shooting guard who led the UP Fighting Maroons to two Final Four appearances from 1996-1997. He then applied for the 2000 draft and was chosen the overall first pick by Sta. Lucia Realty. Together with Dennis Espino and Marlou Aquino, Mendoza was one of the main factors behind the 2001 Governor’s Cup title win of the Realtors. 2001 – Willie Miller The diminutive Willie Miller is considered the first player from the PBA’s rival league, Metropolitan Basketball Association, to become the top overall pick in a PBA Rookie Draft, in which he was selected by the Batang Red Bull Thunder. He was part of three teams that copped PBA titles—Red Bull (2001 and 2002 Commissioner’s Cup), Alaska (2007 Fiesta Cup), and Talk ‘N Text (2015 Commissioner’s Cup). His career highlights in his 15 years in the PBA were 2-time MVP (2002 and 2007), 2-time Finals MVP, 9-time All-Star,  3-time Mythical First Team member, and 2014 Sportsmanship Awardee. 2002 – Yancy de Ocampo The “Post-Man” as he is called, Yancy de Ocampo is a shifty, reliable center who delivers the goods at crunch time. He was the number one draft pick in 2002 by the FedEx Express. He was part of several champion teams, namely Talk ‘N Text, BMeg Llamados, San Mig Coffee and eventually San Miguel Beer. 2003 – Mike Cortez The “Cool Cat” Mike Cortez, a former La Salle standout, brought his court savviness to the PBA after Alaska picked him first overall in the 2003 draft by and immediately went to work. Cortez helped the Aces win the Reinforced Conference that year. He would then move on to San Miguel Beer, and was part of a hefty push to win the 2007 and 2009 Fiesta Conferences. A journeyman in his 15-year PNA career, Cortez currently plays for the Blackwater Elite. 2004 – Rich Alvarez The Japan-born and U.S.-raised Rich Alvarez had a blast on his maiden year with Shell, which selected him first overall in the 2004 draft, collecting Rookie of the Year, All-Star, All-Defensive Team and All-Rookie Team honors. Played for 13 seasons in 8 different teams, Rich was successful in winning 4 championships with the TNT Tropang Texters (2010-11, 2011-12, 2012-13 Philippine Cups and 2011 Commissioner’s Cup) 2005 – Anthony "Jay" Washington This Zambales-born journeyman was first chosen by Air21 in the 2005 draft then traded to Talk ‘N Text. But his stint with San Miguel Beer made him flourish with two titles in the 2009 Fiesta Conference and the 2011 Governors Cup. He would return to the TNT Tropang Texters and help the, win the 2015 Commissioner’s Cup. He currently plays for the Rain or Shine Elastopainters. 2006 – Kelly Williams Picked first overall by Sta. Lucia Realty in 2006, Kelly Williams immediately made his presence felt that year bagging Rookie of the Year and All-Rookie Team honors. He first won a championship with Sta. Lucia in the 2007-08 Philippine Cup and would then lead his present ballclub, the TNT Tropang Texters to five championships, notably the three-peat Philippine Cups from 2010 to 2012, and the 2011 and 2015 Commissioners’ Cups. 2007 – Joe Devance While it was Welcoat that originally drafted Joe Devance as the first pick overall in the 2007 draft, he would earn the distinction of being the league’s winningest coach Tim Cone’s most trusted trooper. Devance has won nine championships with Cone as his coach, starting with Alaska (2010 Fiesta Cup), B-Meg/San Mig Coffee (2012 and 2014 Commissioner’s Cup, 2013 and 2014 Governors’ Cup and Philippine Cup); and currently, Ginebra San Miguel (2016 and 2017 Governors’ Cup, and 2018 Commissioners’ Cup).  2008 – Gabe Norwood Chosen by the only team has played for up to now, the Rain or Shine Elastopainters, as its number one draft pick in 2008, Gabe Norwood would then etch a rich career with his ballclub, having won 2 championships (2012 Governors’ Cup, 2016 Commissioner’s Cup). He had also notched numerous awards, including Rookie of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year, and was part of the All Star Game nine times, and the All-Defensive Team six times.  2009 – Japeth Aguilar   “Jumpin’ Japeth” starred for the Ateneo Blue Eagles for two years then moved to the Western Kentucky University Hilltoppers during his university years.  In 2009, Aguilar was selected by Burger King and only played one game with the Whoppers, after which he was traded to Talk `N Text.  Japeth has become a Team Gilas mainstay since the beginning of his pro career, of which the Philippines’ participation in the 2014 FIBA World Cup in Spain became one of his national team career highlights. 2010 – Nonoy Baclao   “Mr. Swat” was among the vital cogs of the Ateneo Blue Eagles’ back-to-back UAAP men’s basketball championships in 2008 and 2009. After college, Baclao led the Philippine Patriots as the inaugural champion of the 2009-10 Asean Basketball League (ABL) season prior to entering the PBA rookie draft. In 2010, Nonoy was selected by Air21 then he was traded to Petron (San Miguel) where he had one championship in his sophomore year in the league.  2011 – JVee Casio  The former De La Salle Green Archer playmaker who was Rookie of the Year (2003), Finals Co-MVP (2007) and Mythical Five member (2007 & 2008) in the UAAP was a Gilas pioneer before deciding to turn pro in 2011. By far Casio “G-Shock” is the shortest among the active PBA players to have been picked first overall by the Powerade Tigers. JVee was traded to Alaska Aces in 2012 and has since then became a mainstay in the team which he helped win the Commissioner’s Cup title in 2013. 2012 – June Mar Fajardo  The burly Cebuano was star center at the University of Cebu of which he steered to back-to-back titles in 2010 and 2011 at the CESAFI league. “The Kraken” has played for only one team throughout his pro career in the Asean Basketball League (ABL) and the PBA – San Miguel. As one big reason to “Fear the Beer,” Fajardo gave San Miguel six championships to date and became the first and only PBA player to win the MVP award in four straight seasons (2014, 2015, 2016, 2017).  2013 – Greg Slaughter  “GregZilla” stomped rivals with his huge presence when he helped lead the Ateneo Blue Eagles to two consecutive UAAP championships in 2011 and 2012 -- completing a five-peat for the Loyola Heights squad. Picked by Barangay Ginebra in 2013, Slaughter got his pro career to a fast start with ROY and All-Rookie Team honors. He won 3 championships under coach Tim Cone (2016 and 2017 Governors’ Cups; 2018 Commissioner’s Cup). He also saw action for the first time with Gilas this year in the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers. 2014 – Stanley Pringle  Drafted by NorthPort Batang Pier, “The Beard” exploded into the local basketball scene with Rookie of the Year and All-Rookie team honors, after stints with Belgium, Poland, Ukraine and Indonesia ballclubs.  A 4-time All-Star (2015, 2016, 2017, 2018), Pringle is considered among the best guards and high scorers in the play-for-pay league, gaining raves from other coaches and close followers of the sport.   2015 – Moala Tautuaa  He applied and went undrafted in the 2012 NBA draft, then moved to Asia to resume his basketball career by playing as an import for the Westsports Malaysia Dragons in the ABL.  After which, the Fil-Tongan made the “Big Mo(ve)” to the Philippines and spent a fruitful season with the D-League, ending up as its 2015 Foundation Cup MVP.  Talk N` Text selected Tautuaa as overall pick of the first round but traded him later on to NorthPort Batang Pier in 2018. 2016 – Raphael Banal  Since the first round of the 2016 PBA draft was dedicated to PBA teams choosing Gilas Pilipinas players to join their ranks, the regular draft started in the second round. Here, the Blackwater Elite chose as its first pick Raphael Banal, a contemporary of Kiefer Ravena and Von Pessumal in the Ateneo Blue Eaglets juniors team who went to the Hope International University-California for college.  His surname rings a bell, being the youngest child of former PBA player and TNT coach (2003 All-Filipino Conference champion) Joel Banal.  Yet “Ael” held his own in the PBA D-League for two conferences with Racal Motors.  2017 – Christian Standhardinger  The American-schooled Fil-German played in the ProA and Basketball Bundesliga tournaments in Germany as well with Hong Kong Eastern in the ABL.  Although he was selected by San Miguel Beer in the overall draft of 2017 in a controversial trade with Kia Picanto, the rightful owner of the number one pick, Standhardinger joined the Beermen in the 2018 Commissioner’s Cup after completing his ABL tour of duty.  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 18th, 2018

UAAP Finals: Ateneo sweeps UP for back-to-back championships

Ateneo de Manila University not only re-asserted its mastery over the University of the Philippines, but also reinforced its reign over all of the UAAP 81 Men’s Basketball Tournament. Thirdy Ravena continued his series-long brilliance, Ange Kouame came up big once more, and the Blue Eagles crashed the coming out party of the Fighting Maroons with a well-earned 99-81 win in Game 2 of the Finals on Wednesday at the Araneta Coliseum. Ravena gave his team his best game yet with a career-high 38 points to go along with six rebounds, six assists, and three steals while Kouame towered above all with yet another monster-double-double of 22 markers and 20 boards. The decision was only in question for the first nine minutes until the defending champions unleashed 10 unanswered points that increased a five-point lead late in the first to a 28-13 advantage early in the second. That charge was sparked by neither Ravena nor Kouame as it was prized recruit SJ Belangel who had four points and two assists to make it all happen. They would never look back from there all the way to their 10th overall men’s basketball title. Most of those trophies have come in the last 11 years where the Blue Eagles have been the kings seven times. In the end, Belangel had six points and two assists while Raffy Verano had 11 markers and six rebounds. Graduating guard Anton Asistio also added six points. For UP, Juan Gomez de Liano fronted the effort with 24 points, seven rebounds, and three assists while team captain Paul Desiderio left it all on the court with 15 markers, seven boards, three dimes, and two steals in his last game in maroon and white. Season MVP Bright Akhuetie pounded in 19 points and eight rebounds just four days after suffering a hyperextended left knee. Even after getting swept in the Finals, the runner-up finish is still their best showing since 1986. BOX SCORES ATENEO 99 – Ravena 38, Kouame 22, Verano 11, Tio 7, Nieto Ma. 6, Asistio 6, Belangel 6, Go 3, Nieto Mi. 0, Mamuyac 0, Mendoza 0, Andrade 0, Black 0, Wong 0, Daves 0, Navarro 0. UP 81 – Gomez de Liaño Ju. 24, Akhuetie 19, Desiderio 15, Gomez de Liaño Ja. 11, Dario 8, Lim 2, Vito 2, Manzo 0, Jaboneta 0, Murrell 0, Spencer 0, Prado 0, Española 0, Longa 0.  QUARTER SCORES: 25-13, 48-37, 70-56, 99-81 --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 5th, 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

Ateneo tankers catch fire

Ateneo de Manila University stayed on course for a golden double as it dominated the second day of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) Season 81 swimming competitions yesterday at the Rizal Memorial Swimming Pool. Three-time men’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) Jessie Lacuna led the Blue Eagles onslaught, topping in the 100-meter butterfly […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsNov 10th, 2018

Two Blue Eagles in Collegiate Basketball Awards Mythical Team

The very best individual performers of collegiate basketball are set to be feted as the UAAP-NCAA Press Corps name the Mythical Team of the 2017 season in the Chooks-to-Go Collegiate Basketball Awards on Thursday at The Bayleaf Hotel in Intramuros. Robert Bolick and Thirdy Ravena, the key cogs behind San Beda and Ateneo’s championship runs, lead the selection as MVPs CJ Perez of Lyceum and Ben Mbala of La Salle join the pair. Floor general Matt Nieto, also of Ateneo, complete the cast selected by sports scribes covering the collegiate beat that will be feted in the awards night sponsored by Chooks-to-Go. After steering the Red Lions to their 21st title in the NCAA, Bolick is a shoo-in to the Mythical Team particularly with how he performed in the Finals against the Pirates. The 6-foot-1 guard out of Leyte missed out on individual accolades in the NCAA after being suspended for a game, but his year-long effort for the Red Lions isn’t about to go unnoticed. Ateneo’s homegrown pair of Ravena and Nieto also made the cut in the awards ceremony also backed by The Bayleaf Intramuros and Cherrylume after steering the Blue Eagles to their first title in five years. The duo showed great improvement from seasons before, not only in the individual aspect of the game, but in being the for the young Ateneo side coached by Tab Baldwin. Wrapping up the selection are the best individual performers of the collegiate season in Perez and Mbala. Perez was the force behind Lyceum’s amazing turnaround from cellar-dwellers to championship contenders, especially following a historic elimination round sweep. Though they fell short in the NCAA, Perez and the Pirates rebounded in winning the Philippine Collegiate Champions League. Mbala, on the other hand, is the least surprising selection following another dominant season for the Green Archers. Though they fell short of winning back to back titles, the 2016 Player of the Year was a man among boys in the UAAP leading to his second straight MVP citation......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 20th, 2018

Daos, Gesmundo lead best in UAAP ’80

Swimmer Kirsten Chloe Daos and baseball player Francis Michael Gesmundo – aces from rivals Ateneo and La Salle, respectively – took home the coveted UAAP Athlete of the Year honors to lead the honor roll during the league’s closing ceremony for Season 80 last night at Far Eastern U Auditorium......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsMay 16th, 2018

UAAP Season 80 Athletes of the Year mark milestone after first MVP plums

MANILA, Philippines – Ateneo's Chloe Daos and De La Salle University's Kiko Gesmundo not only nabbed their first MVP plums, but also bagged the UAAP Season 80's presitigious Athlete of the Year awards.  Just a freshman, Daos already proved to be the new queen of UAAP swimming when she won ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsMay 16th, 2018

Eaglets survive scare from Baby Tams to seize playoff berth

STANDINGS Ateneo 10-0 NU 7-2 UST 5-4 FEU-Diliman 5-5 Adamson 4-5 DLSZ 3-6 UPIS 2-7 UE 1-8 For the first time in the 80th Season of the UAAP Juniors Basketball Tournament, Ateneo de Manila High School’s matchup went down the wire. Far Eastern University-Diliman put up the best fight the undefeated league-leaders have faced thus far, but team captain SJ Belangel and Joaqui Manuel came up big in a 68-65 decision, still in favor of the Blue Eaglets on Saturday at the Filoil Flying V Centre. The three-point margin is the smallest the kids from Katipunan have registered after 10 games. It is also the first and only time their winning margin was not in double-digits. Dominant throughout the tournament, Ateneo was under siege after the first half and was down by eight before their team captain got together with Dave Ildefonso to outscore their opponents in the third, 15-10. Behind that 21-point quarter, they mounted a three-point lead heading into the final frame. There, last year’s Finals MVP L-Jay Gonzales came alive with all but two of his 12 points, but was quickly responded to by Belangel. In the endgame, it was then Manuel who took charge. In all, he had eight of his 12 points in the last seven minutes. He also had a total of 14 rebounds and four assists. Ildefonso chipped in 11 points and eight rebounds while Kai Sotto contributed 16 points, 10 rebounds, and three blocks. While it was their first game that didn’t end in a rout, head coach Joe Silva said the close contest was actually good for them as it showed their character. Indeed, Ateneo is gladly taking the hardfought win as it already guarantees them a spot in the playoffs. At 10-0, they are also four more wins away from an elimination round sweep that automatically advances them into the Finals. On the other hand, the defending champions remain winless up against the three other contenders above of them in the standings in Ateneo, Nazareth School of National University, and University of Sto. Tomas. This, despite a strong showing from RJ Abarrientos who had 16 points, six rebounds, five assists, and three steals. At 5-5, FEU-Diliman is in need to get a win run going as Adamson High School continues to lurk behind them. BOX SCORES FIRST GAME ATENEO 68 – Belangel 20, Sotto 16, Manuel 12, Ildefonso 11, Credo 9, Escalona 0, Chiu 0, Angeles 0, David 0, Jaymalin 0, Lopa 0 FEU-DILIMAN 65 – Abarrientos 16, Alforque 12, Gonzales 12, Torres 12, Sajonia 10, Celzo 0, Ona 1, Boc 0, Tolentino 0, Mariano 0 QUARTER SCORES: 10-20, 25-33, 46-43, 68-65 --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 20th, 2018

Ateneo rules men's, women's swimming

Ateneo de Manila University tankers ruled the 80th UAAP swimming tournament after completing a clean sweep of the men’s and women’s divisions after four days of action at the Rizal Memorial Swimming Pool. The Blue Eagles led by two-time Olympian and Most Valuable Player Jessie Khing Lacuna completed a four-peat Sunday after accumulating 567 points. Trailing far behind Ateneo, which bagged its fifth overall men’s crown, at second place was De La Salle University with 328 points while University of the Philippines completed the podium cast with 191 points. University of Sto. Tomas placed fourth (84) followed by National University (38), University of the East (27) and Adamson University (18). Ateneo’s Miguel Karlo Barlisan snatched the Rookie of the Year recognition. In the distaff side, the Lady Eagles reclaimed the throne they ceded last year to the Lady Maroons after collecting 483 points. UP was close behind with 437 points for a silver medal finish while University of Sto. Tomas finished third with 105 points. DLSU landed at fourth (92) while National University took the last spot (28). Ateneo’s Kirsten Chloe Daos of Ateneo was named Rookie of the Year and MVP.        In the juniors division, UST brought home its second straight boys division title while DLSU completed a repeat in the girls division. UST earned 405 points just six points ahead of closest pursuer and boys second placer DLSU-Zobel (399) while Ateneo bagged third (191) followed by NU (110), UE, (97) and UP (58). Maurice Sacho Ilustre of DLSU was named MVP while UE’s Terrence Delvo bagged Rookie of the Year.  DLSU collected 419 points to beat UST (298). UP (234) took the third spot (234) followed by Ateneo (137), NU (92) and UE (21). Nicole Pamintuan of DLSU captured her second straight girls MVP award while UP Integrated School’s Maria Consuelo Neri, daughter of ABS-CBN S+A director Al Neri and executive producer Malou Neri, was awarded Rookie of the Year.   ---  Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles    .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 15th, 2017

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 News19 hr. 54 min. ago

EYES ON YOU, KID: UAAP 81 Jrs. players to watch

The first round of the UAAP 81 Juniors Basketball Tournament is over and done with. And we can’t wait for the second round to get started just so we could get even more glimpses of the future of Philippine basketball courtesy of these players: KAI SOTTO – Ateneo de Manila High School ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 25.3 points, 62.1 shooting, 12.7 rebounds, 3.3 blocks, 2.7 assists For the first time in his three years in Ateneo, Kai Sotto is, bar none, the most dominant force in the UAAP. In his first year, he took a backseat to Juan Gomez de Liano and SJ Belangel then as a sophomore, he was overtaken by CJ Cansino. Now, however, there is no doubt that the 7-foot-1, 16-year-old is the best player in the league – tops in scoring, rebounding, and blocking. And for good measure, just as he is a sure shot inside the paint, he also has the soft touch to make jumpers. Don’t send him to the line either as he makes good on 70.8 percent of his shots from there. Yes, Sotto is an end-to-end force that nobody could match not only in the UAAP, but in all of high school. RJ ABARRIENTOS – Far Eastern University-Diliman ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 16.4 points, 5.0 assists, 4.1 rebounds RJ Abarrientos had already committed to FEU’s Seniors squad, but later backtracked to use up his last year of eligibility in the UAAP Juniors. Safe to say, FEU-Diliman only welcomed him back with open arms and then proceeded to provide him the stage to shine the brightest he has ever been. A complementary player to the likes of Kenji Roman and L-Jay Gonzales before him, the nephew of Philippine basketball legend Johnny now runs the show for the Baby Tamaraws to the tune of a scoring clip and an assist total both third-best in the league. And even as he is now the primary playmaker for the green and gold, Abarrientos remains a dead shot as the league’s top marksman from three. All in all, the 5-foot-11 stocky guard is the most college-ready player in high school (of course, we’re not counting Kai Sotto who’s not only looks like he's college-ready, but pro-ready as well). CARL TAMAYO – Nazareth School of National University ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 11.5 points, 54.3 percent shooting, 9.3 rebounds, 1.8 blocks Due to various injuries, Carl Tamayo has only seen action in four out of seven games NU has played thus far in the tournament. Each and every time he’s on the court, however, the 6-foot-7 only delivers the goods on offense as a paint presence as well as a threat from the perimeter. At the other end, Tamayo also stands strong inside and outside and is actually third-best in terms of blocks. The Cebuano has all the tools to go toe-to-toe with Kai Sotto, but will need to work on his strength and conditioning so that he may leave the injury bug that has been biting him far behind. MARK NONOY – University of Sto. Tomas ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 18.3 points, 9.1 rebounds, 5.7 assists, 1.7 steals UST looked like it had hit the jackpot in unearthing CJ Cansino and then unveiling him as a dominant force in Season 80. Only, the Tiger Cubs look like they have hit the jackpot again in discovering Mark Nonoy out of Negros Occidental and then developing him into their new all-around shining star in Season 81. In just his first game in the UAAP Juniors, Nonoy dropped 31 points. Just two games later, he tallied a triple-double of 17 points, 16 rebounds, and 12 assists. Now, he is second-best in points and assists and third-best in steals in all of the league. More importantly, with their 5-foot-8 playmaker fronting the effort, UST has stayed in the conversation of playoff hopefuls in the ongoing season. GERRY ABADIANO – Nazareth School of National University ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 13.0 points, 3.6 rebounds, 2.1 assists Nothing about Gerry Abadiano’s game will jump out at anybody. In fact, nobody will be able to find him in the top five of any statistical category. In the same light, however, he also does not have any weaknesses that will jump out at anybody. The 5-foot-9 lead guard just does whatever his team needs from him and he does it well. That is exactly why he has become to be heart and soul of a Bullpup side with championship aspirations. More than that, Abadiano’s biggest contribution will not be seen in any stat sheet as he has turned out to be the leader that the blue and gold deserves. JOEM SABANDAL – Adamson High School ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 14.3 points, 7.9 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 1.3 steals Joem Sabandal can make difficult shots with the best of them – whether that be willing a layup through defenders or willing a jumper in the face of a contest. That ability has thrust him into the role of being the main man for upstart Adamson and into the recognition as the fifth-best scorer in the UAAP Juniors. Make no mistake, however, the 5-foot-11 guard is not a score-first, second, and third player as he also contributes in the rebounds, assists, and steals departments for the Baby Falcons. Just like any young player, shot selection is a point for improvement for Sabandal, but the fact of the matter is, he’s already well on his way into being a dynamic scorer. TERRENCE FORTEA – Nazareth School of National University ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 14.1 points, 3.6 rebounds, 1.9 assists Looks like all Terrences have a scorer’s mentality as NU’s Fortea wants to get buckets just as much as San Miguel’s Romeo. The good news for the Bullpups is that Terrence Romeo is just one of the hopeful trajectories 18-year-old Terrence Fortea’s career can take. Like Romeo, Fortea is a sniper from deep (second-most triple total with 20) and an even better shot from the line (best free throw clip at 82.6 percent). He also has that handy floater that can frustrate defenses that close out on him. Best of all, though, the 5-foot-10 Batang Gilas stalwart is still learning the ropes on being more of a facilitator. And when he masters that, he may very well exceed his namesake. AP MANLAPAZ – Adamson High School ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 10.8 points, 10.3 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 2.0 blocks, 1.3 steals While Joem Sabandal is Adamson’s go-to-guy, it’s actually little-known teammate AP Manlapaz who is in the top five of the MVP race. And with a closer look, there’s every reason for him to be there as he, put simply, stuffs the stat sheet for the Baby Falcons – averaging a points-rebounds double-double to go along with marks from assists, blocks, and steals. Safe to say, long-limbed forward Manlapaz has been anonymous before the season, but without a doubt, will only keep making noise on both ends. BISMARCK LINA – University of Sto. Tomas ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 11.3 points, 12.3 rebounds, 1.0 assist Bismarck Lina is one of only three players to be averaging a double-double in the UAAP Juniors. As their man in the middle, the cousin of school legend Kevin Ferrer sees to it that UST does not get bullied in the interior as whether it be offense or defense, he is a threat at the rim. Most of all, the 6-foot-6 Lina, the second-best rebounder in the league, is always at the right place, at the right time to complete defensive stops or to clean up a teammates’ miss with a rebound. JORDI GOMEZ DE LIAÑO – University of the Philippines Integrated School ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 11.5 points, 4.7 rebounds, 1.0 assist Jordi is the best-shooting Gomez de Liano – or so he says. Of course, numbers do back him up as at just 15-years-old, he already has the third-best triple total in all of the UAAP Juniors. At the same time, however, the younger brother of Javi and Juan has a long ways to go as while he already stands at 6-foot-5, he is also reed thin and can get muscled through by anybody and everybody. More than that, his team is winless in the season. Nonetheless, it’s good to know that both the shooting and the confidence, both GDL trademarks, are already there – and it’s just a matter of time before Jordi grows into his body. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 3rd, 2019

Reasons to watch 2018 slate of NBA X mas day games

By Sekou Smith, NBA.com Bucks vs. Knicks (1am, PHL time) Why you should be watching: Two words; Giannis Antetokounmpo. The most dominant force in the league this season resides in Milwaukee. That’s right, the Greek Freak sits atop the Kia Race to the MVP Ladder heading into the Christmas Day showcase games. And with good reason. The Bucks are riding the wave their dynamic superstar forward has created in his first season in Mike Budenholzer’s system. Open it up and enjoy because … The Bucks are more than a one-man show. Antetokounmpo should be joined on the All-Star team this season by Khris Middleton, who is playing at that level, and point guard Eric Bledsoe is shooting better than he ever has in Budenolzer’s aggressive, shooter-friendly system. Watching the Bucks try and set a record for three-pointers taken and made should be entertaining enough. But the Knicks will offer some entertainment value of their own as they attempt to match the Bucks shot-for-shot with Tim Hardaway Jr. leading the way. The gift we’re hoping for is … The Knicks could use a statement win before a global audience to jump start the post-Christmas portion of their season-long grind. The Bucks have spent most of this season frightening the competition, both in the Eastern Conference and beyond. They’ve got the gift that’ll keep on giving for years in Antetokounmpo, who’ll get another chance to show the basketball public that what they’ve hard about a contender rising in the Central Division is real. Thunder vs. Rockets (4am, PHL time) Why you should be watching: Do we really need anyone to remind us to tune in for every Russell Westbrook-James Harden matchup for the foreseeable future? Didn’t think so. The matchup of the last two Kia MVPs winners is enough of an incentive to lock in on this one. And the fact that the Thunder occupy the space in the standings most thought was reserved for the Rockets only adds to the intrigue. Open it up and enjoy because … The real showstopper in this one isn’t either one of the MVP winners. Thunder swingman Paul George is the player you need to lock in on as he continues his dark horse MVP campaign for a much-improved team (the Thunder are light years away from the group that started the season 0-4). There are few soap operas better right now than the Rockets, who are dealing with yet another injury to All-Star point guard Chris Paul (hamstring) and a failure to play up to expectations that threatens to swallow up their season before Santa’s finished off his cookies and milk. The gift we’re hoping for is … What Westbrook and Harden wear into the building is worth a few moments of your time as these two fashion-forward superstars never fail to make an impression. But it’s the competitive fervor on the court that should provide the ultimate viewing pleasure. The Thunder would love to take over the position the Rockets held last season, as the legitimate threat to the Golden State Warriors’ stranglehold on the Western Conference throne. In the absence of a Christmas tilt against the two-time defending champs, the Rockets make an ideal fill in. Sixers vs. Celtics (6:30am, PHL time) Why you should be watching: The Eastern Conference version of Thunder-Rockets, the schedule makers look pretty good slotting the Sixers and Celtics in this spot. No one relishes an opportunity to take down a projected heavyweight the way the Sixers do (what else would you expect with Jimmy Butler and Joel Embiid leading the charge?). The suddenly chummy Celtics, however, appear to be the team most eager to prove that they are indeed who we all thought they were in the summer, when they were the consensus pick to ascend to the top of the heap in place of Cleveland. Open it up and enjoy because … Kyrie Irving has embraced his role as the leader of this disjointed Celtics bunch in ways that fans in Cleveland have to be enjoying with an eyebrow raised. Kyrie trying to convince his young teammates to follow his lead is rich, given his reluctance to do exactly that when he was in their shoes. As far as rivalries go, this is perhaps the day’s deepest and most volatile. The Sixers are still smarting from that playoff ouster at the hands of the Celtics. And they won’t have ant sympathy for the Celtics as they continue their search for good health and better chemistry. The gift we’re hoping for is … A Ben Simmons-Kyrie point guard duel will make this game shine even brighter than usual. And they’re both more than capable of going off on the big stage. But the real treat here is going to be watching Jimmy Butler and Jayson Tatum match wits in what could be a preview of fireworks to come in a potential playoff matchup. Tatum’s sophomore season has been a bit choppier than expected. And Butler, whose shown a penchant for schooling youngsters (teammates and opponents) is surely betting on himself in this game within the game. Lakers vs. Warriors (9am, PHL time) Why you should be watching: With all of the recent history dripping off of this LeBron James-Warriors rivalry, the inclusion of the Los Angeles Lakers into the mix only serves to take this spectacle to the next level. LeBron insists this isn’t a measuring stick game for the upstart Lakers, not against a Warriors juggernaut that has won three of the last four Larry O’Brien trophies. Yeah, whatever you say big fella. Folks who haven’t watched a minute of NBA basketball season will be tuned into this one. Count on it. Open it up and enjoy because … Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant have moved into that cosmic zone that only the all-time greats are capable of locating (see their work in their Monday, PHL time win over the Los Angeles Clippers for proof). We already know how the superstars respond in a matchup of this nature. The great unknown is how the likes of Kyle Kuzma, Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball will react to the marquee spotlight at Oracle Arena. The Lakers’ youngsters have thrived at times and struggled at others in their first season inside the LeBron bubble. But they haven’t seen anything like what they’ll experience in Oakland on this night. The gift we’re hoping for is … Draymond Green hasn’t had a true breakout game since returning from his extended injury absence. With Lance Stephenson in uniform on the other side, the opportunity for fireworks would appear to be extremely high. We’d settle for some Finals-level intensity from both of the world class agitators in the building. That and vintage performances from LeBron, Steph, KD and Klay Thompson are expected. Anything else beyond that is really gravy on the best basketball meal of the day. Trail Blazers vs. Jazz (11:30am, PHL time) Why you should be watching: We’re dubbing the nightcap of the Christmas Day showcase the “Respect Bowl.” The Trail Blazers are always on the hunt for more respect and the Jazz, one of the trendy summer picks as a team poised to become a contender in the Western Conference this season, could stand to show a little self-respect in the way they tackle the remainder of this season. Open it up and enjoy because … Second-year Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell is suffering from the same sophomore spell that has plagued Jayson Tatum in Boston. It’s one thing to surprise the basketball world as a rookie and another to come back better and even more dangerous the second time around. We’re betting on Spider showing up and showing out for the Christmas Day crowd. Never one to shy away from a challenge, Damian Lillard will not allow someone else to steal the spotlight from him. He warmed up for Mitchell and the Jazz by finishing off Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks Sunday night. You know his swagger travels, so expect to see his competitive best against Mitchell and the Jazz. The gift we’re hoping for is … Joe Ingles stealing the show would make for an ideal end to a day full of some the league’s biggest and brightest superstars. And the sweet-shooting Jazz swingman is one of the league’s criminally underrated stars. It would also be nice to see the rest of that Jazz team we expected to make things interesting this season make an appearance. Christmas Day games have always served as a launching pad/turning point for teams willing to dive in. And the Blazers and Jazz both seem like prime candidates to take advantage of the opportunity. Sekou Smith is a veteran NBA reporter and NBA TV analyst. You can e-mail him here, find his archive here and follow him on Twitter. The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 25th, 2018

2018: The year of collegiate champions and people s champions

From Katipunan to Mendiola, from Intramuros to San Marcelino, and from Morayta to Las Pinas, the year 2018 will be tough to top. That goes for both the NCAA and the UAAP as both leagues learned that it all begins here before experiencing unparalleled heights. Now, it’s high time for look back at the year that was in collegiate basketball. New year, new regime Before we can look back, however, we first need to look ahead as several new eras are already underway even before the year has ended. Over at La Salle, American coach Jermaine Byrd has been tapped with the hopes he can do to the Green Archers what American-Kiwi mentor Tab Baldwin has done for Ateneo. The same task of a turnaround is also what’s expected from the new hires of Mapua in Randy Alcantara, EAC in Oliver Bunyi, and Arellano in Cholo Martin. Immediate impact Alongside talented tacticians, however, teams need talented players. Fortunately for a handful of teams, they got just that from their first-year players. Ateneo won back-to-back championships all while featuring a brand new paint presence in Ivorian tower and Rookie of the Year Ange Kouame. While being a force is already a given for any 6-foot-11 player like Kouame, both CJ Cansino and Dave Ildefonso also exceeded expectations in their rookie seasons for UST and NU, respectively. Over in the NCAA, Filipino-American high-flyer Justin Gutang propelled CSB just right outside the playoffs while Rookie of the Year Larry Muyang helped re-establish Letran as a powerhouse. The Walls of Intramuros are up again Speaking of Letran, it’s nothing but a welcome development to see them contending once more for the first time since their magical season and championship in 2015. Head coach Jeff Napa, at long last, has a team he can call his own and the Knights look like they will be big, big threats for the foreseeable future. Of course, size was never the advantage for neighboring LPU and rather, they have run-and-gunned their way to back-to-back Finals. With new head coach Randy Alcantara, Mapua is nothing but hoping it can finally catch up with its fellow Intramuros occupants. Started from the bottom, now we’re here Just four years ago, Adamson and UP were cellar-dwellers and were fighting over wins that were meaningless in the standings, but meaningful to their morale. Now, the two teams have just figured in classic semifinals series with both games going down the wire. In the end, it was the Fighting Maroons who advanced to the Finals, but the Soaring Falcons have nothing to be ashamed of, especially as they were one of only two teams that had downed champion Ateneo. Controversy, controversy The on-court action in both the NCAA and the UAAP was, without a doubt, intense. The same can be said, however, for the off-court happenings. The NCAA season started with San Sebastian being forced to forfeit a couple of its wins due to RK Ilagan playing in a commercial league, continued with Perpetual also being questioned about having players who suited up in a different commercial league, and ended with LPU main man CJ Perez getting suspended in Game 1 of the Finals. The UAAP had its share of colorful events with Thirdy Ravena getting suspended and therefore, getting disqualified from individual awards as well as FEU being indirectly helped into the playoffs by the untimely injuries to Adamson’s Jerrick Ahanmisi and Sean Manganti. 2 MVPs, 1 alma mater It’s a universally accepted truth that Prince Eze deserved the NCAA MVP and Bright Akhuetie deserved the UAAP MVP. What’s funny is that, at one point in time, those two were actually teammates over at Perpetual. Yes, the Altas had both Nigerian tower Eze and Nigerian powerhouse Akhuetie seeing action for them for two seasons. Even more, they were also teammates with now Ginebra star Scottie Thompson for one year. Of course, the NCAA MVP and the UAAP MVP agreed that they had to go their separate ways so that both of them can spread their wings and fly. Good thing they did. Good thing they did. Just another season in the office for San Beda So much happened in the NCAA season – LPU’s continued contention, Letran and Perpetual’s resurgence, CSB and San Sebastian being darkhorses. In the end, however, San Beda left no doubt that it was still their kingdom by blanking the Pirates in the Finals. With that, the Red Lions extended their league-leading title total to 22 – with half coming in the last 13 years. We can talk about all the teams and all the players we want, but at the end of the day, the NCAA title will still go through Mendiola. Blue Eagle, still the king At the end of the first round of the UAAP season, Ateneo found itself in a three-way tie for the top spot with FEU and Adamson. By virtue of having lost to both the Tamaraws and the Soaring Falcons, the Blue Eagles were actually in third-place entering the second round. From there, however, Ateneo never lost – and was never even threatened – all the way to back-to-back championships. They did that, with court general Matt Nieto injured for most of the second round and do-it-all forward Thirdy Ravena incurring a suspension as well. Come the Finals, however, Ateneo just unleashed both Nieto and Ravena and ultimately, took the fight out of UP. Her-story for Lady Bulldogs These are the most important numbers for the NU Lady Bulldogs at the end of the UAAP season: five straight championships, 80 wins in a row. Yes, NU has not dropped any of its last 80 games dating back to 2014. With that, they not only eclipsed the 72-game winning streak of the Adamson softball squad, once the longest winning streak in league history, but also ran way past it. Oh, that winning streak – and the five-peat, for that matter – is still ongoing. That’s short of saying that the Lady Bulldogs will only continue to make history next year. Indeed, up was where the Fighting Maroons went From 2007 to 2015, UP only won 13 times out of 126 games. Those days have been self-depreciatingly called “the dark days.” In the recently concluded UAAP season, the Fighting Maroons finally found light at the end of the tunnel. First, at 7-6 with one game to go in the elimination round, they already registered their best showing in 14 seasons. Then, at 8-6 to end the elims, they claimed their first Final Four berth since 1997. Then, in discarding Adamson’s twice-to-beat advantage, they won in the playoffs for the first time in 21 years. Then, by doubling down against the Soaring Falcons, they climbed to their first Finals since 1986. In the end, UP’s Cinderella run didn’t get a happy ending at the hands of Ateneo. But maybe, just maybe, the Fighting Maroons actually aren’t Cinderella. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 22nd, 2018

UAAP: Now NU s pillar, Carl Tamayo just wanted to watch June Mar Fajardo before

Last season, Nazareth School of National University just had no answer for Kai Sotto. Ateneo de Manila High School’s towering teen, well, towered above all in the three-game Finals series to lift the Blue Eaglets over the Bullpups and onto the mountaintop of the UAAP Juniors. A year later, it looks like Sotto finally has an equal from the blue and gold. In the rematch between NU and Ateneo last Saturday, the 16-year-old, 7-foot-1 generational talent had 23 points, 12 rebounds, four assists, and two steals for the Blue Eaglets. Only, the Bullpups also had a 17-year-old, 6-foot-8 promising prospect who posted a 13-point, 10-rebound to help lead his side to victory. That 17-year-old, 6-foot-8 promising prospect? Carl Tamayo. While the fact that they finally have an equal for Sotto is a welcome development, NU still had to go through a lot for this to happen. Of course, head coach Goldwin Monteverde first had to transfer from Adamson High School – and bring along many of the tantalizing talents he had already recruited. Tamayo, one of those tantalizing talents, wouldn’t have been found, however, if only the Passerelle wasn’t being held in Cebu a few years back. “Galing po ako sa Cebu tapos nung time na yun, Passerrelle Finals sa Cebu. Dun po ako nahanap at nakausap nina coach Gold,” he shared. As it turns out, however, the Cebuano big man wouldn’t have gone with coach Gold to Manila if not for a definite desire to watch his kababayan. Asked how he was convinced to come, he answered through chuckles, “May kwento yan. ‘Di talaga ako dapat sasama nun, pero sabi kasi nila, papanoorin daw nila ako ng PBA.” He then continued, “E sobrang gusto kong manood ng PBA, gusto kong mapanood si June Mar Fajardo, sumama na ako.” Yes, a ticket to a San Miguel game featuring, of course, man in the middle Fajardo, got Tamayo to say yes to coach Gold. The rest, as they say, is history. “Blessed naman na nakarating din ako kina coach Gold kasi sobrang ganda ng program nila,” he said, looking back at his origin story. Until now, Fajardo is apparently playing a big role in Tamayo’s development. In particular, the NU big man is inspired by how, slowly but surely, the Beermen’s franchise player turned himself from a raw talent into a six-time champion and four-time MVP in the PBA. “Nagsimula rin siya sa hindi pa siya ganun marunong maglaro so iniidolo ko talaga siya. Sa kanya ko talaga ginagaya mga galaw ko,” he said. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 21st, 2018

IN PHOTOS: Ateneo bonfire honors UAAP Season 81 champions

  MANILA, Philippines – The Ateneo community celebrated its achievements in the first semester of UAAP Season 81 by lighting up the bonfire on Saturday night, December 15, at the Ateneo Grade School grounds.  Ateneo copped 5 titles from the men's basketball, men's and women's swimming, women's fencing and women's badminton teams out ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsDec 16th, 2018

Kai Sotto towers above all with 22-point lead in UAAP 81 Jrs. MVP race

Unsurprisingly, Kai Sotto has been putting up the most impressive numbers after the first round of the UAAP 81 Juniors Basketball Tournament. Ateneo de Manila High School’s towering teen has been posting per game counts of 25.3 points, 12.7 rebounds, 3.3 blocks, and 2.7 assists. He is the league’s best scorer, rebounder and blocker. Those numbers have been more than enough to thrust Sotto onto the very top of the MVP leaderboard with 93.3 Statistical Points (SPs). Not only that, he has a 22-point edge over his closest competitor in Mark Nonoy of University of Sto. Tomas who has 70.9 SPs to his name. More impressive, however, is that with the 7-foot-1, 16-year-old fronting the effort, the Blue Eaglets have not skipped a beat as they are in joint second heading into the second round. This, even after losing all of SJ Belangel, Jason Credo, Dave Ildefonso, and Joaqui Manuel. Nonoy is doing his best to chase down Sotto with averages of 18.3 points, 9.1 rebounds, 5.7 assists, and 1.7 steals – nothing short of impressive especially for a first-year player. At third in the MVP race is Ateneo’s Forthsky Padrigao with 70.0 SPs, but his place there is tenuous as he has only suited up for one game in the season. Not counting Padrigao, rounding out the top five are Far Eastern University-Diliman’s do-it-all guard RJ Abarrientos, Adamson High School’s revelation at forward in AP Manlapaz, and Nazareth School of National University’s versatile big man Carl Tamayo. —— Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 15th, 2018

Adamson, FEU keep proving UAAP 81 Jrs. no two-team race

STANDINGS Ateneo 5-1 NU 5-1 Adamson 5-2 FEU-Diliman 5-2 DLSZ 3-4 UST 3-4 UE 1-6 UPIS 0-7 While everybody’s eyes have been focused on last year’s Finalists, Adamson High School and Far Eastern University-Diliman continue sending statements they are contenders as well in the UAAP 81 Juniors Basketball Tournament. Both the Baby Falcons and the Baby Tamaraws finish the first round of eliminations in joint second-place after coming out on top against separate foes on Saturday at the Blue Eagle Gym in Quezon City. In the first game, Adamson made quick work of De La Salle Zobel, 72-57. Workhorse wing Adrian Manlapaz kept opening eyes with a career-high 18 points while Didat Hanapi and Andrey Doria also added 12 and 11 markers, respectively. Top gun Joem Sabandal made his presence felt elsewhere with 11 points, 12 rebounds, six assists, and two steals as the Baby Falcons outscored their opponents 36-18 in the middle periods to come away with a convincing victory. Now at 5-2, they are assured of the league’s second-best record heading into the second round whatever happens in the clash between Ateneo de Manila High School and Nazareth School of National University, both 5-1, later in the day. Also standing on level ground with them is FEU-Diliman which tamed University of Sto. Tomas, 63-37. The Baby Tamaraws charged to a 14-2 start in the first eight minutes and never looked back en route to what was likewise their fifth win in seven games. The Tiger Cubs could only come as close as 11 points in the third quarter only to see RJ Abarrientos take charge and take back control for the green and gold. In the end, Abarrientos did it all once more with 11 points, six rebounds, three assists, and three blocks while Bryan Sajonia chipped in 12 markers. Along with forging a three-way tie for the second spot, both Adamson and FEU-Diliman could boast of big-time wins over last year’s Finalists – the former having downed runner-up NU and the latter having defeated champion Ateneo. Meanwhile, University of the East got its first taste of victory at the expense of the University of the Philippines Integrated School, 74-72. Little-known Leo Almacen dropped a career-high 29 points off the bench while Sean Manaug posted a 20 marker-, 15-rebound double-double in the Junior Warriors’ long-awaited, much-wanted breakthrough win after seven games. For the Junior Maroons, Jordi Gomez de Liano, younger brother of Fighting Maroons Javi and Juan, also scored a career-best 27 points built on seven triples. That was far from enough, however, as they remain winless in the season. BOX SCORES FIRST GAME ADAMSON 72 – Manlapaz 18, Hanapi 12, Doria An 11, Sabandal 11, Doria Ad 5, Prodigo 4, Padilla 3, Barcelona 2, Santos 2, Dominguez 2, Tulabut 2, Engbino 0, Nitura 0, Capulong 0, Berwite 0 DLSZ 57 – Jomalesa 15, Unisa 10, Subido 8, Macasaet 7, Marana 6, Pingol 4, Sevilla 3, Villarin 2, Milan 2, Buncayo 0, Dee 0, Luna 0 QUARTER SCORES: 18-17, 34-25, 54-35, 72-57 SECOND GAME UE 74 – Almacen 29, Manaug 20, Sullano 11, Dichoso 9, Alinsoring 5, Flores 0, Villarta 0, Agbas 0, Dy Tioco 0, Tajonera 0, Escamilla 0, Lima 0 UPIS 72 – Gomez de Liano 27, Torres 12, Tuazon 12, Labao 11, Vergeire 7, Lopez 3, Napalang 0, Armamento 0, Galotera 0, Estrera 0 QUARTER SCORES: 22-18, 51-39, 64-52, 74-72 THIRD GAME FEU-DILIMAN 63 – Sajonia 12, Abarrientos 11, Alforque 11, Ona 8, Tolentino 6, Torres 5, Armendez 4, Bagunu 2, Bautista 2, Sicat 2, Anonuevo 0, Barasi 0, Libago 0 UST 37 – Lina 11, Nonoy 7, Estrella 6, Marzan 3, Sumabat 2, Casingcasing 2, Dolendo 2, Gamboa 2, Barranco 1, Oliva 1, Manabat 0, Dumlao 0, Javier 0, Beliran 0, Amador 0 QUARTER SCORES: 18-7, 34-18, 53-27, 63-37 --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 15th, 2018

CJ Perez, Bolick lead 48 hopefuls to 2018 PBA Rookie Draft

THE cast has been set as a total of 48 hopefuls made themselves available for the 2018 PBA Rookie Draft. The University of the Philippines’ Paul Desiderio and Diego Dario were the last ones to submit their names over the weekend as this year’s applicants surpassed last season’s list of 44. The league’s decision to extend the deadline for local players to submit their applications from December 3 to 10 allowed both Desiderio and Dario to make the list at the last minute after playing for the Fighting Maroons in the UAAP Season 81 men’s basketball finals against eventual champion Ateneo Blue Eagles. Official list of applicants however, won’t be released by the league until Dec. 14 or two days before the draft proceedings to be held at the Robinson’s Place Manila, which formally sets in motion the PBA’s 44th season. All rookie hopefuls will also undergo the traditional Draft Combine scheduled Dec. 12 to 13 at the Hoops Center in Mandaluyong. The trio of CJ Perez, Bobby Ray Parks, and Robert Bolick lead the Class of 2018, with Columbian Dyip owning the right to the year’s no. 1 overall pick. Trevis Jackson, Matt Salem, Bong Quinto, Robbie Manalang, Abu Tratter, John Paul Calvo, Michael Calisaan, Teytey Teodoro, Javee Mocon, and Carlos Isit were among the early players who submitted their applications. Incidentally, three players with the same surname are included in the draft, namely, Kyles Lao of University of the Philippines, Kent Jefferson Lao of University of Santo Tomas, and Edrian Lao of University of the Visayas. Last year, Fil-German Christian Standhardinger was selected by San Miguel as the top rookie pick......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 10th, 2018