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UAAP Softball Finals: Adamson overpowers UST to force do-or-die

Seven-time defending champions Adamson Lady Falcons showed why they have the vise grip over the tournament with an 8-5 victory over the UST Tigresses in Game 2 of the UAAP Season 80 Softball Finals at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium Friday morning. With the win, they force a do-or-die Game 3 against UST, whom they have faced for the third straight season. The Lady Falcons used an explosive sixth inning, scoring five runs with two outs, to break the tie against a UST team that drew first blood. Krisha Cantor broke the deadlock as she was sent by Leslie Benabaye with an RBI single. Riezel Calumbres and Benabaye then both completed the diamond courtesy of a Delyrose Covarrubias 2-RBI-double. Covarrubias and Edna Severino then added fuel to the fire that was Adamson's offense, from an 2-RBI-double by Flor Pabiania to extend the lead to five runs, 8-5, a far cry from their five hits in Game 1. Blu Girls and Adamson head coach Ana Santiago knew that the sixth inning was to be their biggest possession, and encouraged her wards to score, no matter the circumstance. "Yun yung sinasabi ko sa kanila, pag naka-score tayo sa six innings, panalo tayo. Naging inspiration nila yung sinabi ko. Si Rusia kanina, back-to-back strikeout. Sabi ko sa kanya, 'kailan ka lalaban?' Sinagot niya, 'Ngayon na, coach'. Inasahan ko yun at nag-deliver siya." UST actually was in the driver seat in the opening moments of the game, with CJ Roa nailing a 3-run homer that put UST ahead in the bottom of the first inning, 3-0. The defending champions then were able to slowly chip off the Tigresses' lead, with runs from Jeanette Rusia and Cantor, sent home by Calumbres and Benabaye, respectively. UST then tried to trim the lead with two runs in the bottom of the seventh inning, but it was all but over for them. Santiago admits that her team was rattled after the home run, but motivated her players by using their minds and focus on the bigger picture. "Isipin mo sa ganitong level ng play papaluan ka ng ganun tapos yung kalaban namin yung pitcher na hindi namin mapaluan. Pero yung mga bata hindi pumayag na hindi kami lalaban. Gusto talaga nila na mag-square one kami," the multi-titled coach said. "Nung naramdaman ko yun, kahit mag-score sila ng three runs, naniwala sila na kanila ito. Walang imposible, yun yung power of mind." Game 3 for all the marbles will be on Tuesday, 9 a.m., at the same venue. Team 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th R H E Adamson 0 2 1 0 0 5 0 8 11 2 UST 3 0 0 0 0 0 2 5 4 1 -- Follow this writer on Twitter, @philipptionary  .....»»

Category: sportsSource: abscbn abscbnMar 16th, 2018

Rondina, Gervacio set for collision course in BVR Manila Open

Everything is all set for the Beach Volleyball Republic on Tour Manila Open which fires off Friday at Sands SM By The Bay. All eyes will be on new partnership of Sisi Rondina and rising star Babylove Barbon in the three-day, double gender tournament which will start at 8 a.m. Rondina and Barbon, who will be at the forefront of University of Santo Tomas' quest for a third consecutive UAAP beach volleyball crown next month, will be among the 16 women's pairs that will vie for the P20,000 top prize. The Perlas tandem of Dzi Gervacio and Bea Tan are also tipped to contend for the gold. Incidentally, Rondina and Gervacio were teammates in the FIVB Beach World Tour 1-Star Manila Open last May, as the two sand court veterans made it to the quarterfinals, the highest among the four Philippine pairs.        Other entries in the women's division are National University's Klymince Orilleneda and Antonnete Landicho, UST 2's Gen Eslapor and MJ Ebro, Far Eastern University's Ivana Agudo and Marianne Calinawan, Smart's Grethcel Soltones and Alyssa Eroa, University of Perpetual Help System Dalta's Princess Deana Estanislao and Janine Padue, University of the East's Manalo and Ritual, College of Saint Benilde's Felicia Cui and Kaila Mendoza, Air Force's Anna Abanto and Jennifer Manzano, University of the Philippines' Jessma Ramos and Justine Dorog, and UP 2's Abi Goc and Mikee Osorio. Completing the cast are Rizal Technological University's Macie Candido and Jona Mae De Lima, Kempal's Roma Doromal and Jasmine Nabor, Adamson's Hannah Nicole Infante and Gracelchen Ave, and Ateneo's Jules Samonte and Ponggay Gaston.  The 16-team competition will be divided into four brackets, where the top two teams in each groups after the single-round preliminaries advance in the knockout quarterfinals. The semifinals and finals are also one-match affairs. There are also 16 pairs competing in the men's division led by Bryan Bagunas and James Natividad of reigning UAAP champions NU, and Krung Arbasto and Jaron Requinton of UST. Also in the chase are James Buytrago and Pol Salvador of NU, Ranran Abdilla and Jessie Lopez of Air Force, Ian Yee and Rangel Varga of UST 2, Jeriel Apelar and AJ Pareja of BVR, KR Guzman and Efraim Dimaculangan of Tigers, Philip Bagalay and Greg Utupo of BVR 1, Jude Garcia and Kevin Hadlocon of FEU, Joshua Barrica and Joel Villonson of Army, and Clifford Inoferio and Alven Aljas of UE. Russel Garcia and Reiven Kyle Velera of St. Benilde, Jayjay Solamillo and Gilbert Balmores of Perpetual Help, EJ Ramos and Edmar Bonono of Cignal, Keneth Revilla and Jubith Calio of RTU, Richard Solis and Ralph Dablo of FEU 2 are also joining in the men's division.  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated News15 hr. 52 min. ago

Oh, how big have the Letran Knights become

HOW’D THEY DO LAST SEASON? 10-10 overall, fifth, lost to San Sebastian in battle for fourth-seed YES, THEY’RE STILL HERE: Jeo Ambohot, Jerrick Balanza, JP Calvo, Bong Quinto WELCOME TO THE FAMILY: EJ Agbong, Bonbon Batiller, Christian Fajarito, Larry Muyang, Fran Yu GOOD LUCK ON FUTURE ENDEAVORS: Rey Nambatac WHAT SHOULD WE EXPECT FROM LETRAN? Even before CSB opened eyes and became the trendy pick as the darkhorse in the oncoming NCAA Season 94, Letran was the league’s most underrated team since last year. With strong showings in several preseason leagues this year ranging from championships and playoff appearances, though, the Knights have already proven themselves to be more than a darkhorse. “’Di na kami pwede biruin ng teams na makakalaban namin.” – head coach Jeff Napa Letran will bank on the same core that got it one win short of the playoffs a season ago – only now, that same core is better than ever. Bong Quinto is the prototype point forward for modern basketball, JP Calvo is as steady and as reliable as they come, Jerrick Balanza looks like he has matured, and Jeo Ambohot has gone from two-way force to, well, Gilas cadet. “Yung mga leaders namin, nandyan pa rin like si Jerrick, si Bong, si JP, at si Ambohot.” – head coach Jeff Napa Yes, Letran lifer Rey Nambatac is no longer here, but replacing him will be a couple of capable wings in former University of the East stud Bonbon Batiller and ex-Adamson High School and Chiang Kai Shek do-it-all player EJ Agbong. However, the biggest – and we mean that literally – change for the Knights is their big, big frontline now composed of Ambohot, Larry Muyang, Christian Fajarito, and Christian Balagasay. None of those big men are shorter than 6-foot-4 and with the four of them taking turns manning the post, Letran’s size problem is now a thing of the past. “Last year talaga, masyaong nag-rely ako sa veterans e. Ngayon, ‘di na kailangang ganun masyado kasi yung mga bago namin, nagko-compliment sa kanila.” – head coach Jeff Napa WHO IS/ARE THE PLAYER/S TO WATCH OUT FOR FROM LETRAN? We can no longer call Letran a darkhorse, but what we can do is call Quinto a darkhorse for MVP. Mark my words, the graduating forward will be right there alongside CJ Perez and Prince Eze in putting up numbers for his team. Aside from Quinto, we will see that the Knights are now truly Jeff Napa’s team – meaning a team built on interior dominance and physical defense. Napa built up a UAAP Juniors dynasty in Nazareth School of National University by discovering and then developing bigs such as Mark Dyke and Justine Baltazar. In Quinto, Ambohot, and the rest of that big, big Letran frontline, he has the materials to do that in the NCAA Seniors. WHY SHOULD WE ROOT FOR LETRAN? It wasn’t that too long ago when Letran made a magical run all the way to a championship. In fact, that was just in 2015. That magical run can happen again for Intramuros, but only this time, the Knights will not be using size as their advantage instead of speed. WHERE WOULD LETRAN BE AT THE END OF NCAA SEASON 94? Book a playoff return for Letran. Book it. There’s even a possibility that they can creep into the Finals – if somehow, some way, they figure out either San Beda or LPU. “Very confident ako ngayon kasi last year, kulang talaga kami sa tao. Ngayon, naging maganda na yung composition ng team. That’s why magiging maganda ang performance namin ngayong taon.” – head coach Jeff Napa What’s certain is that the Knights complete the three surefire contenders for NCAA Season 94. WHEN IS LETRAN’S FIRST GAME IN NCAA SEASON 94? Letran unleashes its big bad lineup to the rest of the NCAA on July 10 at the Filoil Flying V Centre. First up for them will be rebuilding Emilio Aguinaldo College. As always, all of the #GalingNCAA will be on S+A, S+A HD, LIGA, LIGA HD, and livestream. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 1st, 2018

Ateneo s Fab 5: The Fearless Underdogs of UAAP Volleyball

Newly-appointed head coach Roger Gorayeb looked at his line-up heading into UAAP Season 71. A champion mentor of NCAA powerhouse San Sebastian College - Recoletos, Gorayeb had in his hands a gargantuan task of rebuilding Ateneo de Manila University women’s volleyball program. Just a few months before, Ronald Dulay, the mentor before him landed a trio of blue chip recruits who were fresh from a successful stint in the Palarong Pambansa. Angeline "Dzi" Gervacio, Fille Saint Cainglet and Jamenea "Jem" Ferrer just joined the Katipunan-based squad. Gervacio and Cainglet were products of St. Scholastica's College in Manila while Ferrer was a gem from Hope Christian School under girl’s volleyball guru Jerry Yee. Looking at his 15-woman line-up with the season just a few months ahead, Gorayeb knew he needed to do something drastic. The roster just won’t do. Talking to then athletic director Ricky Palou and team manager Tony Boy Liao, the mentor told the team officials that he intended to cut five players from the list. One could just imagine the shock in their faces. “Nakita ko may line-up pero player-playeran lang yung ganoon bang tipo, 15 ata yun. Sabi ko ‘Magtatanggal ako ng lima then magre-recruit ako,’” he said. The three rookies were in. Middle Bea Pascual, Kara Acevedo and libero Steph Gabriel retained their spots. He needed more. “Sa mga tinira kong players, si Kara Acevedo sabi niya, ‘Coach mayroong player ang ICA (Immaculate Conception Academy) na gumraduate naka-exam na rito pasado.’ Sabi ko, ‘Sige papuntahin mo,’” said Gorayeb. It was Gretchen Ho. “Sa akin kasi ang talagang nagyaya sa akin si coach Ron Dulay. Si Kara Acevedo teammate ko and she’s been recruited by Ateneo. So one summer wala akong magawa naki-train lang ako noon tapos nagustuhan nila ang laro ko and then fourth year noong graduate na ako I passed the ACET then niyayaya na nila ako,” she said. “Then nagbago ng coach na si Coach Roger and dun niya ako nakita.”   “Pagdating ko ng March (sa Ateneo) wala na akong way para maka-recruit pa. Ang nangyari yung tatlo accepted na kaagad. Si Gretchen tinanong ko sabi ko, ‘ano ba ang laro mo?’ Sabi niya the usual panggitna, tres,” Gorayeb recalled. “So sinubukan ko pero ang laro niya tres hindi quick. Siya panggitna pero hindi quicker na gusto ko saka yung height niya (maliit). Kaya lang si Gretchen takbo ng takbo, mahilig magtatakbo so sabi ko sige pwede na yan. Wala namang player na during that time. So kinuha ko si Gretchen.” Gorayeb just needed just one more. “Ngayon nagkaroon ng STCAA (Southern Tagalog Calabarzon athletic association) eh kulang pa ako ng isa, wala akong panggitna. Ang gitna ko during that time si Bea lang tapos si Gretchen so wala akong pamalit. So naisipan ko may nakita ako sa STCAA,” he said. He spotted a lanky player from Canossa Academy-Lipa, Aillysse Nacachi. “Sabi ko kay Sir Tony pagtyagaan ko na lang ito kahit hindi naman kalakasan at wala naman na rin akong choice na makapili kasi rush ang pagdating ko dyan. Nakiusap lang sila sa akin na magbuo ako ng team kasi si Ronald nag-resign,” said Gorayeb. Another freshman could’ve had ended up with Ateneo, Hope’s libero Melissa Gohing. But a few obstacles prevented her from fulfilling her promise to join Ferrer in Ateneo. She instead chose to join the ladies in green and white in Taft.    SOMETHING PROMISING December 7, 2008. Far Eastern University Gym. Excitement filled the air. Fans, mostly volleyball purists and some who just came to support their classmates or were just curious to see a new spectacle after the basketball season ended, slowly settled in their seats for the women’s division’s second game. It was Adamson University, the previous year’s runner-up, which just visited the turf of their arch nemesis and defending champion FEU, which was led by that era’s finest and most popular volleybelle Rachel Anne Daquis. Fans wanted to see if the Lady Falcons still had the same firepower they had the previous season with the loss of top setter Janet Serafica and power hitter Sang Laguilles. A rookie-laden Ateneo squad should be easy pickings with Angela Benting, rookie Pau Soriano and libero Lizlee Anne Gata in the roster. Besides the Lady Falcons got the Lady Eagles’ number. Or so they thought. “Naalala ko nu’ng time namin sinasabi sa amin ng seniors namin na, ‘Hay naku ang lakas ng Adamson, never kami nanalo dyan,’” Cainglet, now happily married to film director Lino Cayetano and with three beautiful children, recalled.  But the Lady Eagles stunned Adamson in the opening set. The Lady Falcons took the next two frames. Ateneo stole the fourth.  “Ako naalala ko ano eh, parang alam namin na lahat kasi kami palaban. Nasa amin yun. Tapos binigyan kaming lahat ng chance to be in the first six so parang dream come true,” said Ho, now an ABS-CBN host. “Naalala ko rin na palaban kaming lahat kumbaga nothing to lose eh so ang ano namin, sumasabay kami sa laro and nu’ng nakita na namin na ‘Ay kaya pala natin ‘to guys. Kaya pala naming lumaban.’” Still, Adamson had the upper hand in experience. The Lady Falcons, used to pressure and were steady at crunch time, outlasted Ateneo.           The young Katipunan-based squad fell short, 25-22, 22-25, 15-25, 25-15, 8-15. But for the Fab 5, it was a loss that felt like a resounding victory. “Parang sobrang natutuwa kami and everybody in the crowd, kaya siguro kami natawag na Fab 5 kasi rookies kami pero kahit ganoon palaban kami,” said Ho. “Saka close game. Five sets yun.” However, it was the first of five five-set matches that Ateneo will drop that season including one in the second round against the Manilla Santos-bannered De La Salle University. “Pero ang problema di kami nananalo ng five sets. Parang ilan lang ang naipanalo namin na ganoon. Feeling ko na-overwhelm kami na ‘Uy nananalo tayo.’ May ganoong disbelief ng konti pero alam namin na may ibubuga kami,” said Ho. “Definitely, our rookie season was full of five-set matches. It was tough, we felt like we were so close, but still so far away. At some point, it gave us frustration also. We just couldn't figure out that time what is it that's still lacking because we couldn't win the five-set matches,” according to Nacachi. “People said, it was because the team was still so inexperienced. We still didn't have the tenacity unlike of those more matured teams. But we didn't take it as bad, it was a learning experience for us all at the end. We had to learn how to develop that finishing will to be able to win games like that in the future.” The Fab 5 finished their rookie season with a 6-8 slate at fifth spot.   ‘MAY MEDAL NA TAYO’ Gorayeb remembered on their second year the look on Pascual’s face in their last elimination game match against Adamson. Already wrapping up their first win over the Lady Falcons, Pascual was giddy. “Natatawa nga ako dyan kay Bea kasi papanalo na kami nu’n tapos sumesenyas na siya ng tres. Sabi ko, ‘Hoy anong ginagawa mo?’ Yun pala sobrang saya na niya kasi for the first time in 30 years magkaka-medal na sila,” he said. It was the most important match of the season for the Lady Eagles. With the Fab 5 already in their sophomore year, Ateneo was already making great strides. The Lady Eagles closed that season’s elims with five straight wins capped with a victory over Adamson. Ateneo posted a 10-4 win-loss mark to enter the Final Four legitimately. “Ang nangyari kasi nu’ng time nila Charo (Soriano) kaya sila nakapasok sa semis kasi may nag-squeal na si (Jacq) Alarca di pala naka-enroll nu’n kaya na-forfeit mga laro ng La Salle,” said Gorayeb. The Fab 5 proved that they were not just a bunch of much-hyped up pretty faces. They backed it up with their skills on court. It didn’t matter that Ateneo were swept by eventual champion University of Sto. Tomas in the Final Four.      But the podium finish of Season 72 was short-lived. Adamson got its revenge in the last game of Season 73 elims, bumping off the Lady Eagles in the podium finish. The loss put Ateneo in a collision course with the twice-to-beat DLSU, who could’ve completed an elims sweep if not only for a forfeited match against University of the East after UAAP found out that Carmela Garbin and Clarisse Yeung participated in a ‘ligang labas’ while the season was onoing, in the Final Four. Ateneo gave the Lady Spikers a scare before succumbing in another heartbreaking five-set match. The Lady Eagles finished fourth but that lone semis game gave Ateneo and its maturing Fab 5 enough experience to dream for something big – A ticket into the Finals.      ‘HINOG NA KAYO’ The first three years saw the gradual improvement for Ateneo. But Season 74 proved to be the turning point for the Fab 5. A fresh new recruit from University of Sto. Tomas high school, who just completed a year of residency, came into picture and with the Fab 5 armed with years of experience, the Lady Eagles’ fate will forever be changed. Alyssa Valdez, a highly recruited open spiker just like Gervacio, Cainglet-Cayetano and Ferrer years back, gave renewed excitement for the Ateneo faithful. “Alyssa's joining with Ateneo was a great turning point for us. We needed as much support we can get, and Alyssa's entrance to the team was a great boost to the team's morale,” said Nacachi. “The girl is a powerhouse and we felt like with her presence, the team finally became solid.” “We were able to play around with the positions and the rotations, since we had different versatile open players who can also greatly play other roles,” she added. “We were also able to formulate a lot of plays and attacks because Alyssa can generally do all kinds; open, running, quick, name it all. She gave the team the power and the versatility that we previously lacked from the past seasons.” Social media was just gaining traction then but the Lady Eagles were already on the radar of volleyball purists through online forums. For the first time, Ateneo was considered a legitimate contender.   The Fab 5 proved it by winning 11 games in the elimination round, losing only to UST once and dropping two against the Lady Spikers. Valdez’s arrival gave Ferrer an even broader option on offense. It eased the scoring load off the shoulders of Cainglet and Gervacio, who was then moved to an opposite position. “I guess sakto lang din yung dating niya because by that time Kara Acevedo graduated so someone had to fill in her spot so coach Roger decided for me to move to utility or opposite,” said Gervacio. “And then sakto Alyssa naman could fill in the spot na other open spiker.” “So timing din na we had all the pieces put together at the right time,” she added. With a good performance in the elims despite missing a legit middle in Bea Pascual and the entry of Aerieal Patnongon barred by academic problems, Ateneo finished second and for the first-time was armed with a twice-to-beat advantage in the stepladder semifinals. The Lady Eagles faced an experienced Tigresses side in the last stepladder semis stage. UST just came from a hard-fought four-set do-or-die match against FEU and were banking on their four-set win over Ateneo in the second round to force another sudden death. Ateneo’s date with destiny was sealed with a four-set win over the Tigresses, who then bid goodbye to Maika Ortiz and Judy Anne Caballejo. “Pinu-push na rin kami ni Coach Roger noon eh, ‘Hinog na kayo ngayon. Kasi dalawang taon na lang, kailangan makapasok na kayo sa Finals,’” said Ho. “Somehow senior na rin kami,” added Cainglet.  “Season 74 was really the target season for us to be in the finals and target even to win the championship,” according to Nacachi. “During this time, we were already thinking we could not afford to not go in the finals.” “So it was with our mindset and our level of commitment that we were able to finally reach our goal of reaching the finals,” she added. “We had enough experience that time already, and it was really time for us to show the level of game maturity the team had obtained from the past seasons.” But then they had to face an unbeaten team. Unscathed in 14 games, De La Salle University was poised to complete a perfect season. The Lady Eagles spoiled it. Ferrer outplayed DLSU setter Mika Esperanza, 57-42, in excellent sets as Ateneo handed the Lady Spikers its first loss after 25 straight victories in a come-from-behind 23-25, 28-26, 25-23, 25-17, Finals opener win. Witnessed by 3,002 spectators inside the then The Arena in San Juan, all of the Fab 5 produced points. Cainglet had 19 behind Valdez’s 24, Gervacio scored 12, Ho had 10, Nacachi finished with five while Ferrer had one. Gorayeb made a big gambit and it worked. “Dahil sa wala kong panggitna, yung laro namin ng La Salle, ginawa kong quicker si Alyssa. Kasi si Alyssa nakakapalo. Nagulat si Ramil (de Jesus) dun.” It was a big win. A huge upset. Unfortunately, Ateneo needed to win two more.  DLSU held a thrice-to-beat advantage.   THAT SWAG After Ateneo made a miracle in Game One, fans began to feel a new rivalry born. The attendance spiked. From just 3,000 spectators, the gate attendance more than doubled its size. The interest was there. Fans of traditional powers began to notice the Lady Eagles as a rising team. For the first time, a squad with no previous championship experience except for a title during the Marcos era in a different collegiate league, made a giant jolt. Everybody wanted to see what these girls would do next.    The Lady Eagles, still high on adrenaline after their Game 1 upset, took the opening set in Game 2. But just like in their opener, a well-experienced DLSU squad adjusted to take the next three frames to move a step closer to a repeat crown. With then Rookie of the Year Ara Galang, Season Most Valuable Player Aby Marano, an intimidating Michele Gumabao and a very efficient Finals MVP Cha Cruz teaming up for the kill, the Lady Spikers ripped Ateneo apart in Game 3 in straight sets, 25-16, 25-22, 25-13. “Sabi nga ni Dzi na nadyan na lahat eh. So I guess noong Season 74 nandoon na pero may kulang pa rin,” said Ho. “I guess we we’re able to make it to the Finals pero wala pa kaming championship experience.” Ferrer agreed. "Siguro ang kulang yung championship experience kasi nasa La Salle na ‘yun eh. Ilang years na silang nagpa-finals, nag-champion and for Ateneo doon pa lang namin sinimulan," said the three-time Best Setter. Lacking championship experience is one thing, but Ateneo during that time wasn’t ready for DLSU’s most feared weapon: the Lady Spikers’ swag.  “They have that swag,” said Gervacio. “Everyone knows about it naman. It’s really coach Ramil’s style talaga kasi as I remember when we were first year, four out of six of the players inside the court were rookies and even if we go against the powerhouses UST, FEU, Adamson, hindi sila yung nakikita nyo na kapag championship na rivalry, na swag, angas, stare down. Pero La Salle talaga kahit sino ang kalaban nila they’ll bring that attitude inside the court.” That Finals series cemented a new rivalry that will become one of the most celebrated in the sport. “I think it also helped that Ateneo-La Salle basketball didn’t face also,” said Gervacio. “Siyempre nandoon ang hunger for the rivalry eh and timely din na its been Ateneo-La Salle na rin sa volleyball.”   CLOSING A CHAPTER The Fab 5 were now in their fifth and last year. They wanted to leave a winning legacy. The pieces were already there. Gorayeb had at his disposal five seniors, a rising star in Valdez, a sophomore middle in Amy Ahomiro, a versatile Ella De Jesus, a steady libero in Denden Lazaro and a new kind of weapon – a massive crowd that can turn any venue into a sea of blue.              As expected, the second installment of the Ateneo-DLSU rivalry was set into place. Both sweeping their semis opponents. The Lady Spikers crushed National University while the Lady Eagles shot down Adamson. Game One was a shocker. DLSU heading into the Finals are on a 14-game roll but were stunned in the first two sets with Ateneo stepping on the gas. But a string of miscues, mostly from the service line, did the Lady Eagles in as they allowed the Lady Spikers to force a decider. DLSU, smelling blood, punished Ateneo to eke out a 20-25, 17-25, 25-22, 25-22, 15-6, victory inside the Big Dome witnesses by 17,342-strong gate attendance. Then the series transferred to a newly-built, state-of-the-art Mall of Asia Arena that drew a crowd of 18,799. The first two frames were frustrating for the Lady Eagles.   Ateneo came back to life in the third set to gain a 9-5 lead. But DLSU easily erased it with Ateneo crumbling under pressure. The Lady Spikers were on an onslaught. Sophomore Galang pushed DLSU at matchpoint with a cold-blooded ace that went in a few inches from the baseline. The score, 24-16. It was a tense moment for the Fab 5. A long rally ensued in the next play. Gervacio, with all her might pounded a kill. Her hand making a great contact on the ball off Ferrer’s backset.     Smack! The ball ricocheted off the hands of DLSU’s Wensh Tiu before falling on the same landing area of Gervacio, who tried to dive for a dig together with Lazaro. DLSU swept Ateneo, 25-23, 25-20, 25-16. Game over.          “Kahit hindi kami nanalo alam naming ibinigay namin ang lahat namin, all-out talaga kaya wala kaming pagsisisi,” said Ho. It was the end of the Fab 5 era, but they left more than what any of them could have imagined. "I remember so many people or fans telling me that they started really watching UAAP Volleyball because of our batch. And that is really touching and fulfilling to know. Knowing that you were able to leave an impact like that to people. We were not able to bring even a single championship to our school, Ateneo, but we were able to touch a lot of people's hearts despite that," Nacachi shared. The Fab 5 closed a colorful chapter of Ateneo volleyball in tears. They were there during the Lady Eagles’ birth pains. They labored. They shed tears, blood and sweat. They laid the foundation for something big. The Fab 5 planted the seeds that would eventually bear fruit and would change the course of Ateneo women’s volleyball program forever. Glory didn’t happen during their time. It started in theirs.    Amidst the roar of the crowd, the falling confetti, banging of drums and the echoing chant of ‘Animo La Salle’ from the sea of green, the Fab 5 hugged each other tight. They found comfort in each other. It was their time to say goodbye. For those who remained – Valdez, Lazaro, Ahomiro, De Jesus – the defeat added fuel to their already blazing desire to bring glory for the blue and white. They were the next in line, heirs to unfinished business. WATCH: FAB 5 Reunion Part 1 and Part 2 --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 20th, 2018

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

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

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 16th, 2018

UAAP Softball Finals: Antolihao wants to settle unfinished business

UST star pitcher Ann Antolihao said that she will do her best to follow the same game plan for Game 2 of the UAAP Season 80 Softball finals as the Tigresses are on the cusp of ending Adamson's seven-year reign over the tournament. Antolihao, who was named as the best pitcher in the Asian Softball Championship last November, delivered again for her team, throwing seven strikeouts for the Tigresses, holding their opponents scoreless in the final four innings and just five hits in the entire seven-inning contest. "Kung gaano po sila ka-relaxed, kung gaano kami ka-relaxed kanina, sana ganoon pa rin kami sa Friday para pareho lang yung performance namin. Sana rin ma-immprove pa ang paluan kasi di pa talaga nagka-connect kami," Antolihao said after the game. Even though she committed blunders for the two-time runner ups, allowing two home runs, the 20-year old did not allow the powerhouse to pounce on the game-swinging momentum. "Hindi porket nag-home run sila ay di ako babangon. Hindi naman nagba-base doon ang pagiging magaling na pitcher pag na-home run ka eh. Hindi naman ibig sabihin mahina ka eh. Ipakita mo sa kanila na kahit naka-home run sila, na makakabangon ka ulit at kaya ibawi ang game." As Adamson and UST face each other for the third straight time in the championship series, Antolihao hopes she could break her misfortunes, for she was not on the lucky end in the past two seasons. The graduating pitcher had an eye injury in their three-game thriller in Season 78, while her dominant defensive season was cut short when she tore her ACL in Season 79. The Cebuana added that she was restless before facing Adamson, however it was not because she was afraid of her opponents, instead she was spooked for her own wellness on the mound. "Nandoon na naman ang takot na kung baka ano ang mangyari this season. Kasi pagdating sa gitna [sa mound], sarili mo lang ang magiging kalaban mo, hindi na yung Adamson. Sarili mo na lang iisipin mo." Even Blu Girls and Adamson head coach Ana Santiago was in awe of the Tigress, praising Antolihao for her prolific performance. "Pero talagang kudos to Antolihao. Talagang gustong gusto niyang maipanalo yung laro na ito para sa kanila. Sobrang controlled ng pitches niya." On the event her team wins their first title since 2010 on Friday or Game 3 next Tuesday, Antolihao will try to enjoy every second of it, for it will be a championship three seasons in the making. "Sobrang special po kasi last year ko na po eh. As in sobrang special, willing ko na ibuhos lahat kasi nga eto nga yung last year ko. Gusto ko na sa last year ko makuha naman sana namin ang championship." -- Follow this writer on Twitter, @philipptionary.  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 13th, 2018

Adamson nears first round sweep of UAAP Season 80 softball

Jeanette Rusia homered as Adamson University shut out University of the Philippines, 5-0, to move closer in completing a first round sweep Monday in the UAAP Season 80 softball tournament at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium. The Lady Falcons got their bearing in the fourth inning, as Rusia belted a two-run homerun - her second this season - to give the reigning seven-time champions a 2-0 lead. Adamson University will shoot its six-game sweep of the first round against University of the East at 11 a.m. on Thursday at the same Malate venue. National University rallied past University of Santo Tomas, 3-2, in the other game.  The Lady Bulldogs joined the Tigresses, who also lost to the Lady Falcons in a rematch of last year's Finals Saturday, and the Lady Warriors in second place at 3-2. The Lady Maroons absorbed to their third successive loss after a 2-0 start. De La Salle University needed a strong showing in the fourth inning to beat Ateneo, 8-1, for its second win in five contests and tie UP in fifth spot. Baseball action Sunday saw De La Salle outslugging NU, 17-5, to grab the solo lead at 3-0. In other games, Adamson University stunned defending champion Ateneo, 7-3, while UST downed UP, 9-5.       The Falcons and the Growling Tigers forced a three-way tie in second place along with the Blue Eagles at 2-1.    .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 12th, 2018

UAAP Season 80 softball: Antolihao s eleven strikeouts lifts UST past Ateneo

Ace pitcher Ann Antolihao had a successful return as last year's runner-up University of Santo Tomas whipped Ateneo, 7-0, in abbreviated fashion, Thursday in the UAAP Season 80 softball tournament at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium. Antolihao struck out 11 batters as the Tigresses opened their campaign on a high note by whipping the Lady Eagles in only five innings. UST placed second to Adamson University last year as it lost Antolihao in last season's Finals opener due to an ACL injury. Fully recovered, Antolihao showed everyone her readiness to help the Tigresses stay as one of the elite teams in the league. In other games, University of the East stunned last season's third placer National University, 4-3,while University of the Philippines topped De La Salle, 8-4, in the match lasted for three hours and 20 minutes. Charlene Quintos nailed the winning hit, sending Princess Huesca home as the Lady Warriors rallied from three runs down to pull off an early reversal. The Lady Falcons drew an bye and will open its bid for a eighth consecutive crown against the Lady Bulldogs at 11 a.m. tomorrow. Baseball action will commence on Sunday at the same Malate mound, as Ateneo sets in motion its back-to-back title bid against UP in the final game of a triple-header. In other games that will start at 7 a.m., De La Salle plays Adamson, to be followed by the UST-NU match......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 1st, 2018

Six standout local volleybelles of 2017

We’ve seen them shine this year whether in the collegiate stage, in the club leagues or even in the international scene. These six Pinay volleyball players took the sport’s limelight in the year that’s about to end.     DESIREE CHENG Desiree Cheng came into De La Salle University during the time bitter rival Ateneo de Manila University got the Lady Spikers’ number. From Seasons 76 to 77, Cheng saw her team fall prey to the might of the Lady Eagles in the UAAP Finals. Then redemption came in Season 78. Unfortunately, the 5-foot-8 spiker was forced to watch from the sidelines with an ACL tear as her crew reclaimed the crown. A year after, Cheng got her biggest break. DLSU lost most of its veteran core after Season 78 and needed another scoring option. Cheng heeded the call. Though Cheng struggled at the start of the eliminations, the hitter slowly got her groove back and delivered when DLSU needed offense in their sixth straight championship showdown against Ateneo. Cheng was the X-factor for the Ramil De Jesus-mentored squad during the series. Her contributions both on offense and floor defense played a huge part in the Lady Spikers’ series sweep of the Lady Eagles for the school’s 10th title. Cheng also helped F2 Logistics claim the Cargo Movers’ breakthrough Philippine Superliga Grand Prix title and a runner-up finish in the All-Filipino Conference.   ALYSSA VALDEZ Although Alyssa Valdez failed to claim a crown in the Premier Volleyball League this year and a continued title drought since 2016, the Phenom’s magic remains. She can still fill up game venues whenever she takes the court and 2017 proved as the former Queen Eagles’ biggest year in terms of her flourishing volleyball career. Valdez brought her talents abroad, landing a stint with 3BB Nakornnont in the Thai League and in the Thai-Denmark Superleague where her team finished third in both tournaments. After her appearance in Thailand, Valdez donned the Creamline jersey and led the Rebisco franchise to a bronze medal finish both in the PVL Reinforced and Open conferences. Valdez also had another tour of duty, playing for the national team in the AVC Asian Women’s Senior Volleyball Championship and the 29th Southeast Asian Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The 24-year old hitter got another international gig when she was tapped by Attack Line to play in the Chinese-Taipei Volleyball League.          Outside volleyball, Valdez has a blooming relationship with basketball star Kiefer Ravena. If she’s not busy with her volleyball and other commitments, Valdez also drew attention as one of the newest member of the so-called PBA players’ WAGS (wives and girlfriends) cheering for Ravena and the NLEX Road Warriors.      DAWN MACANDILI She may be only 5-foot tall but Dawn Macandili stood alongside Asia’s volleyball giants this year. The De La Salle University libero was the catalyst in the Lady Spikers’ back-to-back UAAP championship run. Her pesky floor defense frustrated DLSU’s rivals while giving her teammates a good first ball to operate their lethal offense.  But her biggest showing was when she landed a spot in the national team that competed in the AVC Asian Senior Women’s Volleyball Championship and in the Kuala Lumpur SEA Games. A first-timer donning the national colors, Macandili did not disappoint as she earned the respect and admiration of Japanese coaches and trainers during the Nationals’ training camp in Japan. She performed even better when the PHI hosted the AVC Asian Seniors. Ms. Everywhere gave teams like Asian powerhouse Vietnam, Kazakhstan, South Korea and Thailand a hard time with her floor defense. All her efforts caught the eyes of the AVC tournament officials and she was rewarded with the historic 2nd Best Libero award. She made the final list of in the national team that participated in the SEA Games. Back in the local scene, Macandili helped F2 Logistics to runner-up finish in the PSL All-Filipino Conference and a breakthrough crown in the Grand Prix.    JAJA SANTIAGO Tall, powerful and versatile, Jaja Santiago is a force to reckon with.  At 6-foot-5, Santiago dominated the Premier Volleyball League Collegiate Conference as she led the National University Lady Bulldogs to a perfect championship run. She also bagged the conference’s Most Valuable Player award. Though NU failed to make it in the Final Four of UAAP for the second straight year, Santiago’s effort for the Lady Bulldogs was rewarded with a third straight Best Attacker award to go with the Best Scorer and Best Blocker recognitions. In the PSL, Santiago was a consistent scorer for the Foton Tornadoes in the All-Filipino Conference and the Grand Prix. Under the tutelage of Serbian import Moro Branislav, Santiago became an even more dangerous and versatile player. Aside from her natural position as a middle blocker, she can now wreak havoc on both wings the puts her height advantage to good use. She made it into the national team that competed in the AVC Asian Seniors and SEA Games and was the Nationals’ scoring ace. Santiago received an offer from Thai powerhouse Bangkok Glass but declined the offer to play in her last year with the Lady Bulldogs.             KIM FAJARDO Setter Kim Fajardo left winning legacy when she played her swan song for DLSU. It took her a few months to decide to play her fifth year with the Lady Spikers. Leading a young crew after the departure of the core of the Season 78 championship squad, Fajardo faced a tough challenge in the Taft-based squad’s title-retention bid. But the Batanguena proved her worth as a leader and the skipper rallied the Lady Spikers back into the Finals in a sixth straight collision against bitter rival Ateneo. Fajardo’s composure carried DLSU in a tough Game 1 match and again in the five-set title-clincher to complete the Lady Spikers’ series sweep of the Lady Eagles. She earned a spot in the national team as a starting setter. Fajardo steered F2 Logistics to its first PSL Grand Prix crown bagged the conference’s Best Setter award. She helped the Cargo Movers to a runner-up finish in the All-Filipino Conference.     JOVIELYN PRADO Silent but deadly. Jovielyn Prado may not be the typical vocal leader but her presence inside the court is enough to rally the Arellano University Lady Chiefs to meet their goals. The outside hitter proved her worth to the Lady Chiefs when she led the Legarda-based squad back on the NCAA women’s volleyball throne. A year removed from the title, Arellano U turned to Prado to provide the spark the Lady Chiefs needed to make another shot at the crown. Consistent, efficient and effective, Prado delivered for the Obet Javier-mentored squad. Arellano U advanced in the stepladder semifinals and dethroned College of St. Benilde to set up a date with thrice-to-beat, three-time Most Valuable Player Grethcel Soltones-led San Sebastian College. Undaunted even with a great series disadvantage, Prado played her best three games of the season to power the Lady Chiefs to an impressive sweep of the Lady Stags. Prado continued her great performance in the PVL Reinforced and Open Conference playing for the Power Smashers. She then bannered the Lady Chiefs to a bronze medal finish in the Collegiate Conference at the expense of UAAP team Adamson University.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles   .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 28th, 2017

UAAP By the Numbers: Final Four weekend

UAAP Season 80 Final Four weekend sure was interesting to say the least. Both games had their fair share of intriguing storylines, storylines that could even carry on beyond this season and into the next. However, those are for a different article and here, we just enjoy numbers, numbers, and oh yes, more numbers. It's UAAP By the Numbers for a reason. Okay let's just do this.   9032 Total number of points scored in UAAP Season 80 through the first two rounds of play. For comparison, the total number of points scored in Season 79 was 7,959 points. In Season 78, it was 7,915 points.   8 Number of UAAP teams that scored 1,000 points or more this season, first since at least 2003. Defending champion La Salle scored the most points at 1,291 while UP ended up last with 1,041 points.   39 and 12 Number of free throw attempts and number of fouls for La Salle during the Green Archers' Final Four showdown against the Adamson Falcons. Down by as many as 15, the champs would turn the game around with free throws to take the win and advance to yet another Finals.   5 and 33 Number of free throw attempts and number of fouls for Adamson during the Falcons' Final Four showdown against the Green Archers. Throughout the game and immediately afterwards, the Adamson staff were fuming mad about the supposed biased officiating that went down in their Final Four loss to La Salle, which was their second in as many seasons. While those sort of things almost never get proven, the numbers tell quite a telling story. It's up to you how to look at it.   1 Number of Final Four series this season that will go to sudden death, and it's the same one as last year. FEU turned the table on Ateneo this weekend as the no. 4 Tamaraws stunned the no. 1 Bue Eagles to force a do-or-die. The Tams came alive in the second half to hand Ateneo one big L, the Blue Eagles' second straight after winning 13 conseuctive games.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 20th, 2017

Lady Tams, Tigresses unscathed heading into marquee match

Reigning women's champion University of Sto. Tomas and Far Eastern University, warming up for this Thursday’s rivalry game, easily prevailed against their respective foes late Sunday in the 80th UAAP women’s beach volleyball tournament at the Sands SM By The Bay.      The Tigresses’ Cherry Rondina and Caitlyn Viray overwhelmed University of the East’s Judith Abil and Angelica Dacaymat, 21-7, 21-9, while the Lady Tamaraws’ Bernadeth Pons and Kyla Atienza scored a quick 21-2, 21-7 win over National University’s Roma Doromal and Audrey Paran.      Both undefeated in six contests, UST and FEU will clash for an outright berth in the best-of-three championship at 3 p.m. on Thursday at the same Pasay venue.  The loser will drop at No. 2 and will hold the twice-to-beat bonus in the stepladder semifinals.      University of the Philippines clinched its first semis appearance in five years as Diana Carlos and Ayel Estrañero beat DeLa Salle’s Tin Tiamzon and May Luna, 21-17, 21-17, for a 4-2 card.      Ateneo's Bea de Leon and Jules Samonte overcame Adamson University’s Bern Flora and Chrislyn Uy, 21-12, 23-21, to keep its semis hopes afloat.      The Lady Eagles booked their second win in six matches, a game behind the Lady Spikers, who are in fourth place with a 3-3 record.      De La Salle and Ateneo collide at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, with the Lady Spikers gunning for the last semis berth. A win by the Lady Eagles will force a playoff against their fierce rivals for the No. 4 slot in the stepladder semifinals.      In the men’s division, the Bulldogs’ Bryan Bagunas and James Natividad are a win away of gaining an outright passage to the best-of-three Finals.      NU turned back Ateneo, 21-19, 21-16, and De La Salle, 21-17, 21-10, to raise its record at 6-0.  The Bustillos-based duo will go for the championship slot against UP on Thursday.      UST and FEU are in joint second with 5-1 record after sweeping their two Day 4 matches.   The Growling Tigers and the Tamaraws clash for the No. 2 ranking in the semifinals on Thursday.  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 9th, 2017

AS GOOD AS GOLD: Lady Bulldogs win 50th in a row

National University and head coach Pat Aquino have added yet another feather to their cap now in the 80th Season of the UAAP Women’s Basketball Tournament. Turning the rematch of last year’s Finals into a mismatch on Saturday at the Araneta Coliseum, the Lady Bulldogs had their way against De La Salle University, 77-56, for their 50th consecutive victory dating back to 2014. Rhena Itesi posted a 21-point, 15-rebound double-double, but it was Ria Nabalan who spearheaded the pivotal push that effectively put the game out of reach. With the Lady Archers mounting some sort of a fightback and trimming their deficit to 49-59 at the end of the third, Nabalan scored six of her 18 points in the 13-0 run that re-established a 72-49 edge for the three-time defending champions. Nabalan also added seven rebounds, four steals, and three assists to make sure their mentor retains his undefeated streak now into a fourth season. The last time NU lost was in the championship round of Season 76 in 2014. Since then, they have dominated UAAP Women’s Basketball with the likes of Afril Bernardino and Gemma Miranda and now, with Congolese Itese and fellow frontcourt player Nabalan. Aquino, however, remained modest as always about his monumental feat. “I never expected in my entire coaching career that I’ll get 50 straight wins, but again, I’ll downplay it. I told my girls not to think about it,” he said. With a 2-0 record, Aquino’s girls find themselves in a three-way tie for first with Ateneo de Manila University and University of Sto. Tomas. He then continued, “I told them that this is a new season so let’s take it one game at a time again.” The Lady Bulldogs imposed what has become their trademark bully basketball on DLSU, dominating inside points, 36-18 as well as rebounds, 56-34. “Siyempre, one factor is our defense,” Aquino said. Jack Daniel Animam was a big part of that with a total of nine points, 21 rebounds, and two blocks. For the Lady Archers, Angelika Figueroa topped the scoring column with 15 points. Without all of ace scorer Camille Claro and bigs Susan Al-Mohamen and Benette Revillosa, however, they just did not have enough to put up a fight against dynastic NU. Runner-up last season, the Taft-based team is yet to win through two games. Meanwhile, together with NU atop the leaderboard are the Tigresses who clawed Adamson University, 75-66. First-year player Jem Angeles had for herself a breakout game with 22 points, seven rebounds, four steals, and two assists and was backstopped by Sai Larosa who was a force with a 16-point, 17-rebound double-double. Behind those two, UST waltzed its way into back-to-back wins to start the season. On the other hand, the Lady Falcons suffered a second straight setback. Jamie Alcoy led them with 14 points and eight rebounds. BOX SCORES FIRST GAME NU 77 – Itesi 21, Nabalan 19, Antiquera 11, Animam 9, Sison 5, Del Carmen 4, Harada 4, Camelo 2, Ano-Os 2, Ceno, Tanesa. DLSU 56 – Figueroa 15, Castillo 11, Torres 6, Javier 5, Jimenez 4, Vergara 4, Paraiso 3, Nunez 3, Del Campo 3, Arciga 2, Dagdagan 0. QUARTER SCORES: 22-10, 33-25, 55-36, 77-54 SECOND GAME UST 75 – Angeles 22, Larosa 16, Rivera 11, Anies 8, Isanan 8, Capilit 6, Penaflor 4, Gandalla 0, Aujero 0, Jerez 0, Sanggalang 0 ADAMSON 66 – Alcoy 14, Camacho 13, Prado 11, Villanueva 7, Araja 6, Rosario 4, Cacho 2, Cabug 1, Razalo 0, Aciro 0, Tacitac 0 QUARTER SCORES: 11-12, 34-30, 54-44, 75-66 --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 16th, 2017

BVR: UAAP champs test mettle in Manila Open

Defending UAAP champions James Natividad and Bryan Bagunas of National University get a chance to gauge their level of play heading into the collegiate season as they vie for the crown in the Beach Volleyball Republic on Tour Manila Open happening this weekend. The Bulldogs and 15 other men’s squads together with 16 women’s entries converge at the Sands SM by the Bay for three days of beach volleyball action starting Friday where a total purse of P60,000 will be at stake. Bagunas and Natividad ruled the UAAP men’s beach volleyball tournament last year at the expense of University of Sto. Tomas and their participation will serve as their final prep up for their UAAP title defense next month. The 16 teams will be divided into four groups that will play in a single round robin format, the top two winners of each pool will advance in the knockout quarterfinals. Playing in the men’s field are James Buytrago and Pol Salvador (NU 2), Ranran Abdilla and Jessie Lopez (Air Force), Krung Arbasto and Jaron Requinton (UST 1), Ian Lee and Rangel Vergara (UST 2), Jeriel Aperal and AJ Pareja, KR De Guzman and Efraim Dimaculangan, Pemie Bagalay and Greg Utupo, Jude Garcia and Richard Solis (FEU), Joshua Barrica and Joel Villonson (Army), Jayson Ramos and Henry Pecana (PLDT), Clifford Inoferio Alven Ajas (UE), Russel Garcia and Reiven Velera, Jayjay Solamillo and Gilbert Balmores (Perpetual), EJ Ramos and Edmar Bonono (Cignal) and Kenneth Revilla and Judith Calio (RTU). BVR founders Dzi Gervacio and Bea Tan lead the women’s field with reigning UAAP back-to-back champion Sisi Rondina and new partner Belove Barbo, Klymince Orilleneda and Antonette Landicho of NU, MJ Ebro and Glen Eslapor (UST 2), Ivana Agudo and Marianne Calinawan (FEU 1), Sheena Gallentes and Jamaica Pascua (FEU 2) and Perpetual’s Princess Estanislao and Janine Padue. Rounding up the women’s field are Manalo and Ritual for UE, Ariane Daguil and Melanie Torres for CSB, Coyah Abanto and Jen Manzano for Air Force, Jessma Ramos and Justine Dorog for UP, Abi Goc and Mikee Osorio for UP 2, Macie Candido and Jona De Lima for RTU, Joy Doromal and Jasmine Nabor for Kempal, Hannah Infante and Gracelchen Ave for Adamson and Ponggay Gaston and Jules Samonte for Ateneo.     ---               Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 14th, 2018

UE’s Alvin Pasaol headlines competition in first-ever UAAP 1-on-1

Alvin Pasaol is the brightest star set to take the stage in the first-ever UAAP Last One Standing 1-on-1 Hoop Challenge. University of the East’s main man, who famously scored 49 points a season ago, has all the tools to dominate the competition scheduled on Friday at the SM Mall of Asia Atrium. Challenging him will be Ateneo de Manila University’s QJ Banzon, De La Salle University’s Jordan Bartlett, Far Eastern University’s Cade Flores, National University’s Robert Minerva, University of the Philippines’ Joe Gomez de Liano, and University of Sto. Tomas’ Zachy Huang. Adamson University has yet to submit the name of its entry in the men's 1-on-1 tournament as of press time. The women’s 1-on-1 tournament will be comprised by Adamson’s Nathalia Prado, Ateneo’s Jhazmin Joson, La Salle’s Rossini Espinas, FEU’s Princess Jumuad, NU’s Ria Nabalan, UE’s Cristine Cortizano, UP’s Noella Cruz, and UST’s Elondra Rivera. As always, all of the action will be on livestream and on YouTube Live starting at 10:00 AM. The tournament will have a single round robin format with the top two players in each group advancing to the semifinals. The winners there will then move on to the Finals where the Last One Standing will be determined. “Last One Standing is going to be fun and exciting. 1-on-1 is the best showcase for a player’s skills and smarts,” event director Eric Altamirano said. Meanwhile, Adamson's top gun Jerrick Ahanmisi is the odds-on favorite for the Three-Point Shootout. Competing with him are Blue Eagle Jolo Mendoza, Green Archer Aaron Waban, Tamaraw Travis Mantua, Bulldog Daniel Atienza, Red Warrior Jason Varilla, Fighting Maroon Allan Madrigal, and Growling Tiger Ken Zamora. A Slam Dunk Contest will also be a highlight of the day with high-flying Tyrus Hill (La Salle) pitted against Ivan Maata (Adamson), Matthew Daves (Ateneo), Aaron Davis (FEU), Daniel Chatman (NU), Soulemane Chabi Yo (UST), and Joe GDL (UP). There will be no UE player in the contest. The Skills Challenge will then be disputed by Soaring Falcon Jerom Lastimosa, Blue Eagle Migs Fortuna, Green Archer Donn Lim, Tamaraw James Tempra, Bulldog Migs Oczon, Red Warrior Mark Maloles, Fighting Maroon Enzo Battad, and Growling Tiger Brent Paraiso. This is the first time that the league will have a preseason event of the sort courtesy of the efforts of host school NU in partnership with SM Supermalls. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 13th, 2018

Cargo Movers draw first blood in Invitational Finals

F2 Logistics showed nerves of steel in the cliffhanger fifth set to outlast archrival Petron, 18-25, 25-23, 20-25, 29-27, 16-14, Thursday in Game 1 of the best-of-three Philippine Superliga Invitational Conference Finals at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan. Majoy Baron delivered the crushing blows to seal the Cargo Movers’ victory that pushed them closer to their third title. With the Blaze Spikers threatening to steal the match after erasing a 14-12 deficit in a thrilling rally to force a deuce, Baron stepped up and played the hero’s role with a crucial running attack to give the lead back to F2 Logistics. Baron then buried the dagger to the hearts of Petron and its faithful that trooped the arena with a service winner that went past Blaze Spikers Aiza Maizo-Pontillas and libero Buding Duremdes. Baron finished with 15 points highlighted by four blocks including the denial against Petron’s fireball Sisi Rondina in the extended fourth set that forced the decider. The UAAP Season 79 MVP had eight attacks and three aces. “Well ah, sabi ko nga sa inyo, ‘yung team ng Petron mahirap mahanapan ng butas kasi madalang ‘yung unforced errors hindi basta-basta dumadating. Unlike noong mga first set namin and third set sobrang ang daming unforced errors lalo na ‘yung service and isang naging factor siguro medyo nahirapan kaming pumasa noong first set and third set,” said F2 Logistics coach Ramil de Jesus, who rued his squad’s 39 errors. Ara Galang led F2 Logistics’ offense with 18 points built on 13 attacks while Aby Marano scored nine of her 10 points on kills for the Cargo Movers, who are looking to end the series on Saturday at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.    F2 Logistics took control of the fifth set after rallying from a 7-6 deficit to take a 10-7 lead. The Cargo Movers moved at match point, 14-12, only to see Petron tie it after Desiree Cheng’s service error and a kill block by Blaze Spiker setter Rhea Dimaculangan. Then, Baron took over. Mika Reyes and Bernadeth Pons posted 14 points each, Maizo-Pontillas had 13 while Rondina and Ces Molina got 12 apiece for Petron, who gave away 12 points to the Cargo Movers from the service line.           --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 26th, 2018

Blue Eagle SJ Belangel ok after surgery on right cheek

There will be no stopping SJ Belangel from flying to the UAAP Seniors. Not even a surgery that put titanium in his face. Belangel had surgery to repair an OZM (Orbital-Zygomatic-Maxillary) fracture he sustained in the Blue Eagles’ Finals matchup against Adamson University in the 2018 Breakdown Basketball Invitationals (BBI) two weeks ago. In the third quarter of that game, Ateneo’s prized rookie, as he is wont to do, fearlessly drove into the lane to make a play for his team. Unfortunately, the right side of his face collided with the left knee of Soaring Falcons big man Papi Sarr. “Pag-drive ko po, nag-fake ako na mag-shoot tapos nag-drop pass. E si Papi Sarr tumalon tapos yung tuhod niya, sapul sa cheeks ko,” he shared. He then continued, “Kaya ayun, OZM fracture.” After that game, Belangel had to wait more than two weeks for the doctor who would perform the surgery. The Blue Eagles and their faithful need not worry anymore, though, as the surgery done last Monday was a success. Thank you all for the unending support that you all have given me.. especially for the prayers during my surgery... I cannot put into words how much thankful I am for everyone.. The operation was a success!! Thank you once again and God bless! 😊 pic.twitter.com/EW1wrTszJ9 — Sj Belangel (@sjbelangel) Hulyo 23, 2018 Meaning, the first-year floor leader will be good to go by UAAP Season 81 in September. Asked if he will be back in time to make his rookie debut in the season opener, he said, full of confidence, “Yes po. Yes po.” Also making the healing a lot easier for Belangel is the fact that Ateneo dedicated to him its strong showing in the recently concluded 2018 William Jones Cup. As Matt Nieto put it, “Alam namin na gusto niyang sumama rito kaso kinailangan siyang i-surgery. Kaya naglaro kami para sa kanya kasi part ng family si SJ.” He then continued, “Ilalaro namin para sa kanya talaga yun.” --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @rieogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 26th, 2018

PVL: Bulldogs, Falcons share lead

Madzlan Gampong took over the scoring role as top hitter Bryan Bagunas took a backseat in National University’s 25-16, 25-22, 25-22, sweep of College of St. Benilde in the Premier Volleyball League Season 2 Collegiate Conference men’s division at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan on Wednesday.       Gampong scored 18 points coming off 16 kills and two kill blocks to lead the Bulldogs to their second straight win in as many outings. The graduating player added eight digs and stepped up for NU as Bagunas saw limited action. Meanwhile, Adamson University joined NU in the lead after a four-set 25-21, 25-16, 22-25, 25-20, win over De La Salle University. Skipper Paolo Pablico showed the way with 17 points while George Labang and Geoffrey Alicando finished with 14 markers each for the Falcons. Bagunas, who scored 24 points in their opener, played only in the third set, producing five markers. Bagunas, the PVL Reinforced Conference Finals MVP, and James Natividad, who sat out the match, are already preparing for the coming UAAP Season 81 beach volleyball competition where they will try to defend their crown. Rookie Angelo Almendres had 10 points while Kim Malabunga and Banjo Mondero combined for eight markers for the reigning UAAP champions. The Blazers dropped to 1-1 slate while the Green Spikers slid to 0-2.              Ruvince Abrot scored nine points for CSB. Kiefer Reyes had 15 points while Cris Dumago and Ashberry Aquino finished with 14 and 10 markers, respectively, for DLSU.     ---    Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 25th, 2018

Blue Eagles dedicate Jones Cup run to injured rookie SJ Belangel

MANILA, Philippines – One name that got lost within the Ateneo Blue Eagles 2018 William Jones Cup lineup was UAAP Juniors Mythical 5 selection SJ Belangel, who sat out due to an orbital bone fracture suffered against Adamson University (AdU) at the Breakdown Basketball Invitationals Finals. After representing the Philippines well ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsJul 24th, 2018

PVL: UP transferee at the forefront of AU’s offensive might

As at it was in the last season NCAA finals between Arellano University and eventual champion University of Perpetual Help, Christian dela Paz, 20, is again leading the offensive drive of the Chiefs in the Premier Volleyball League Season 2 Collegiate Conference.      The 20-year-old former UP Fighting Maroon sizzled with 24 points in Arellano’s debut in the PVL Saturday against Adamson University to underscore the leading role he is to take again on his third year with the Chiefs.    To set the record straight, the soft-spoken hotel & restaurant management student from Parang, Marikina, Rizal, said he left the UP squad because of differences with the coach, not because of the lack of playing time. Standing five-foot-nine, dela Paz, one of superstar Marck Espejo’s teammates in Sta. Elena High School in Marikina, leaps so high he can outsmart the taller blockers on the other side of the court whether he is near or far from the net.   Stories to tell     Dela Paz takes understandable pride in Espejo’s phenomenal rise and singular achievements in the sport being products of the same town. He relishes telling and retelling how dominant a player the multi-awarded former Ateneo Blue Eagle was as early as then and where their high school team was competing.  Middle blocker Christian Segovia, 24, Demmy Lapuz, 19, and Kim Tan, 18, who help ease dela Paz’s scoring load, also have interesting stories to share.       Segovia, born and bred in Tondo and studying HRM as well, says in Filipino: “I should have been playing for FEU, not with Arellano. I was already listed on the FEU team barely a week before the UAAP opened. My mother, already frustrated with my poor grades, got wind of it and immediately pulled me out of the team.       “I was transferred to Arellano where I earned good grades that pleased my mother. I got back into volleyball and showed her I could balance sport and studies this time around. Now, my mother, grandmother and three siblings are always watching my games.”     Yolanda survivor    Lapuz says he had an auspicious beginning with the Chiefs. He was already a starter on his rookie year when Arellano reached the finals against Perpetual last year.      This Tacloban City native was in third year high school when Typhoon Yolanda battered his place of birth in November 2013.       He recalls the ordeal in Filipino, “We were lucky to be living in a subdivision on a mountain slope. The roof of the house was blown away but we survived. The great destruction and the stench of death all around us was one experience everyone should not be subjected to.”       Learning and enjoying volleyball in his physical education classes in UDM had, according to Tan, weaned him away from basketball. The same school gave him his first training in volleyball; he became competent at it.       Higher tuition fees drove his family to seek other schools for him. He enrolled in NU and stayed there without playing volleyball for three years until his barkada in Arellano convinced him to try out for a spot on their varsity team.       He tried out and was taken in. Only a rookie, he started for the Chiefs in their first PVL game, making him a shoo-in for Arellano’s NCAA squad next season.       The other members of the Arellano Chiefs are Roi Domingo, setter Edmark Meneses, Adrian Villados, Tonell Arellano, Jethro Cabillan, Joshua Esguerra, Junnel Cacam, Jesrael Liberato and Evo Rinon        .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 23rd, 2018

LOOK: PVL Collegiate Conference schedule

Adamson University and University of Perpetual Help will open the Premier Volleyball League Season 2 Collegiate Conference action on Saturday at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan. The promising UAAP squad Lady Falcons face last year’s NCAA semifinalist Lady Altas at 2:00 p.m. UAAP Season 80 Finalist Far Eastern University will take on College of St. Benilde at 4:00 p.m. All opening day matches will air live on ABS-CBN S+A Channel 23, ABS-CBN S+A HD Channel 166 and via livestream. The rest of the elimination matches will be available via livestream while live TV broadcast will resume in the Finals. Crowd-favorite Ateneo de Manila University and NCAA champion Arellano University skipped this year’s edition.   Here’s the complete elimination round schedule:    .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 17th, 2018

CJ Perez -- Baby Beast, or The Blur 2.0?

With a monicker such as "Baby Beast", this versatile swingman from Lyceum of the Philippines University conjures images of a young Calvin Abueva, the triple-double machine that was the heart and soul of the daunted Baste-triumvirate several years back. Abueva was an unstoppable force on both ends of the floor, chasing after loose balls and rebounds and dominating the game despite his generously listed 6’3” frame. CJ Perez, who is just a shade under 6’3”, affects the game very similarly as Abueva on both ends of the floor, but at his age, is a more polished scorer, and plays at a more controlled pace, whether it is because of the system run by Coach Topex Robinson, or because of his experience playing internationally at a younger age. His journey to Lyceum was not without its twists and turns. After suiting up for San Sebastian for two seasons in the NCAA, Perez transferred to Ateneo where he was supposed to play for the Blue Eagles in Season 79 of the UAAP. However, academic issues forced him to rekindle his playing career back in the NCAA, where, after another year of residency, he was finally able to debut for the Pirates in Season 93 of the NCAA tourney. There he made up immensely for lost time, bagging the NCAA’s season MVP award, with averages of 19.3 points on 45 percent shooting from the field, 6.5 rebounds, 3.6 assists, and 1.9 steals a contest while leading the Pirates to a stellar 18-0 sweep of the elimination round. Their 0-2 defeat in the Finals at the hands of defending champion San Beda did little to tarnish the achievements of Perez, who many now consider as the best collegiate player in the country today, and a sure top three pick in the next PBA draft. Let’s break down his attributes as a basketball player and see just how good Baby Beast (or some may even conjecture The Blur 2.0), really is. STRENGTH AND ATHLETICISM Pound for pound, CJ Perez is as good as it gets in college basketball, athletically and talent-wise. A natural scorer and slasher, he’s a tremendous leaper, and his ability to get rebounds (great positioning and leaping ability) is what allowed Lyceum to play him at the four spot in their pressing line-up. He has wiry strength and an explosive first step. This allows him to get past defenders without the need for any fancy dribbling. His solid upper body also allows him to muscle his way in traffic, create enough separation for a jumper, or more often than not, finish strong with either hand. "UMUPO SA ERE!" CJ Perez edition #NCAAStrong pic.twitter.com/Haf8oXmAqs — ABS-CBN Sports (@abscbnsports) October 19, 2017   SLASHING AND SHOOTING While slashing is his primary scoring option, he’s also developed a respectable outside shot. Though he’s not a volume 3-pt shooter, he has throughout the season taken and made open threes, even of the step-back variety. And while his mechanics are not like those of a pure shooter (feet and shoulders are not perfectly square, has a habit of fading back on jumpers), his confidence and determination to make them have allowed him to shoot at a 45% clip from the field. Tough jumper for CJ Perez! #NCAASeason93 #NCAAStrong pic.twitter.com/9quJAhsazz — ABS-CBN Sports (@abscbnsports) July 14, 2017 NO GO-TO MOVE? In terms of offensive moves, he has yet to show that he can regularly attack with his back to the basket, as he prefers starting from outside. We’ve not seen him regularly post up smaller defenders or use his athleticism to score on turnaround fadeaway jumpers. Another move he may have to master would be a mid-range floater, as he has not really had to play against much bigger opponents in the college ranks. This, together with a dangerous euro-step would definitely serve him well against bigger, more athletic competition. COURT VISION AND PASSING ABILITY Another positive is his willingness to make the extra pass. Because defenses are always keyed in on him, Perez has shown good court vision and an innate passing ability, many times hitting an open teammate, whether with a forward pass that leads to a fast break or an interior pass leading to an easy score under the basket. And while he is still prone to taking difficult and at times ill-advised shots because of his athleticism, his passing ability is something he can definitely capitalize on. ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT ON DEFENSE On the defensive end, CJ Perez knows how to make full use of his God-given talents. He is terrific at playing the passing lanes, in fact most of his steals are from reading the passing lanes and picking off cross court passes from their full court trap. Those are almost automatic transition baskets. His on-ball defense needs a little more improvement however, as one gets the sense that he relies more on his athleticism rather than solid defensive fundamentals, as seen when guys less athletic are still able to beat him off the dribble from time to time. Something that he’ll have to eliminate if he wants to excel in the next level. CJ Perez getting it done on both ends of the floor! #NCAASeason93 #NCAAStrong pic.twitter.com/RQVGAPnNtL — ABS-CBN Sports (@abscbnsports) November 16, 2017 VERSATILITY In terms of intangibles, there is not much more to ask for. Perez has the motor of a Calvin Abueva, and his impact is felt on both ends of the floor. He can play all positions except center, bring the ball up like a point guard, slash like a wing, and rebound like a power forward. While his ballhandling still needs to be improved on (he’s shown to be vulnerable crossing over against smaller guards), there is little doubt that with his work ethic and attitude it’s only a matter of time before he tightens up those handles. Most importantly, he doesn’t showboat, but just goes about his business on the court -- a proven winner who still plays with a chip on his shoulder. #NCAASeason93 MVP CJ Perez's all-around brilliance was all the difference for the stunning Lyceum Pirates! pic.twitter.com/BH9uBYDwVl — ABS-CBN Sports (@abscbnsports) December 19, 2017 An official from one PBA team thinks that if developed properly, CJ Perez could actually be the next Jayson Castro instead of a Calvin Abueva. That’s a scary thought; but what’s even scarier is that it’s actually not that farfetched to consider......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 28th, 2018