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UAAP Volleyball: Bernadeth Pons: Probinsyana with a Superstar Soul

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

Category: sportsSource: abscbn abscbnApr 15th, 2018

UAAP Season 81: Morente cherishes first and last Finals

The journey may be an uphill climb but De La Salle University’s Michelle Morente will definitely cherish the experience of vying for the crown in the UAAP Season 81 women’s beach volleyball tournament. It doesn’t matter if she and partner Tin Tiamzon will take on an unbeaten and three-peat favorite University of Sto. Tomas. What matters for Morente is the fact that she’ll be able to step in the biggest stage of the competition in her first and last stint at the sands as a Lady Spiker. “It will be my first and last. Super excited kasi hindi namin ini-expect na makapasok na kami sa Finals and first time ko pumasok sa finals ng beach volley,” said Morente on Saturday after the Taft-based squad hurdled University of the Philippines’ Justine Dorog and Isa Molde, 21-16, 24-26, 15-9, in the last phase of the stepladder semifinals at the Sands SM by the Bay.    The Lady Spikers clinched a spot in the best-of-three championship on Sunday against the Tigresses pair of three-time Most Valuable Player Sisi Rondina and Blove Barbon. Morente last played in UAAP beach volleyball back in Season 79 for Ateneo de Manila University before transferring to DLSU last year. Morente played alongside Kim Gequillana then while Tiamzon's partner that season was Kim Fajardo. “It’s something new talaga na hopefully, Lord please, ibigay sa amin ni Lord ito,” said Morente, who is also hoping to make the cut in the Lady Spikers indoor volleyball team. Morente and Tiamzon dropped their elims meeting with Rondina and Barbon, 14-21, 14-21. Winning the title which DLSU last held in Season 78 delivered by Fajardo and Cyd Demecillo seemed to be a tall order but Morente hopes that luck will be on their side to duplicate that feat. Fajardo and Demecillo three seasons ago won the crown by beating the Bernadeth Pons and Kyla Atienza Far Eastern University pair, which then also advanced in the Finals outright by going undefeated in the elims.   “Siguro i-try namin i-keep ‘yung composure naming. Nothing to lose naman kasi talagang winork hard namin ito. Ipu-push pa rin namin yung sarili namin we’ll give them a good fight,” said Morente......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 6th, 2018

Eight breakout players who wowed in PVL s Collegiate Conference

Collegiate volleyball won’t be around until the second semester but the recently-concluded Premier Volleyball League (PVL) Collegiate Conference on ABS-CBN S+A gave us a glimpse of what the girls may be raring to give us once their tournament in their respective leagues finally open. Some girls came out of nowhere to really provide the fireworks in the conference and came away with new fans and admirers thanks to their impressive play on the floor. As the PVL’s Open Conference is about to part its curtains, let’s take a look at the eight collegiate volleybelles who totally captured our hearts thanks to their display of heart and skill.   1.) Tonnie Rose Ponce, Adamson University (Tonnie Rose Ponce (libero) made a mark in the last PVL Collegiate Conference when she bagged a Mythical Six award) Adamson head coach Air Padda is proud of Ponce, her team’s libero, for being the best cheerleader of her teammates on the floor. Even with her small stature, she plays big with a fighting spirit that has endeared her to the fans. It still came as a surprise, however, to the dimunitive Ponce, to be named as one of the Mythical Six and the conference’s Best Libero. Maybe not for Padda, who has always seen the leadership potential of her squad’s cheerleader.   2.) Rosie Rosier, University of the Philippines (The sophomore Lady Fighting Maroon was instrumental in ending the school's 36 year major title drought in the PVL Collegiate Conference) Rosier was instrumental in breaking the UP Lady Fighting Maroons’ 36-year championship drought as the sophomore carried the team on her back in a thrilling five-set Game 1 match with the FEU Lady Tamaraws. She pumped in 15 points via 13 attacks to have probably one of her best birthday celebrations to date, and followed it up with a 10-point output in Game 2 to help her squad bring home the Collegiate Conference crown.   3.) Milena Alessandrini, University of Santo Tomas (Second year Golden Tigress Milena Alessandrini powered the Thomasians in the FInal FOur ddespite nursing a shoulder injury) UST’s Fil-Italian tower introduced herself to Filipino volleyball fans when she won Rookie of the Year in UAAP Season 80. While it’s not easy to be on a different land where everyone speaks a different language, Alessandrini has been quick to adapt to what the coach wants done on the floor based on her performance in PVL. Her best game happened in the Battle for Third against Adamson where she broke out with a 31-point outing, a sign of things to come for the Golden Tigresses’ campaign in the coming UAAP wars.   4.) Celine Domingo, Far Eastern University (Celine Domingo followed up her stellar UAAP season 80 campaign with a masterful PVL Collegiate Conference under Coach George Pascua) Veteran setter Kyle Negrito is FEU’s top player and Jerrili Malabanan is their main weapon, no doubt, but Domingo is poised to take over the team as she continues to make an impact in the net in the recently-concluded PVL Collegiate Conference. The conference’s First Best Middle Blocker has been one of Coach George Pascual’s reliable players that are expected to carry the scoring duties now that super senior Bernadeth Pons’ career with the school is over. Too bad she was set back by a knee injury in Game One of the Finals against UP, which also sidelined her in Game Two.   5.) Jan Daguil, College of Saint Benilde (Jan Daguil (16) was one of the surprises for CSB in the PVL Collegiate Conference) With their MVP, Jeanette Panaga, moving on from her school career, the College of St. Benilde Lady Blazers are hard-pressed to find a replacement. So far, Marites Pablo has emerged as the biggest candidate, but not too far behind is Daguil, who has come up big for them when they needed the points the most. During their battle for a Final Four spot in the recently-concluded PVL Collegiate Conference, Daguil led her team with 15 points, all on kills, to turn back the San Sebastian College-Recoletos Lady Stags.   6.) Joyce Sta. Rita, San Sebastian College-Recoletos (Joyce Sta. Rita is the only holdover remaining for the Lady Stags but she is determined to be their main pillar) Sta. Rita is the only holdover from Coach Roger Gorayeb’s compact 7-woman squad from a year ago in NCAA Season 93, where she was named Second Best Middle Blocker. That did not stop her from being an example to her new teammates as she fought in each set and match to keep the young Lady Stags competitive even if they failed to notch a single win.   7.) Satrianni Espiritu, San Beda University (Satrianni Espiritu (10) looks to be the final piece of the puzzle for the SBU Lady Red Spikers) Everyone talks about SBU stars Cesca Racraquin and the Viray twins. But another player that should be acknowledged is Espiritu, who consistently chipped in to keep the Red Lionesses in contention with her consistent showing game in and game out. If her PVL Collegiate Conference showing translates to the incoming NCAA wars, the other ladies better be shaking in their shoes as the Red Lionesses will be a mighty force to be reckoned with. 8.) Cindy Imbo, University of Perpetual Help System Dalta (With Bianca Tripoli out of commission, Cindy Imbo stepped up in the last PVL Collegiate Conference) Bianca Tripoli is the main pillar of strength for the Lady Altas. It was a shame that she had to limp off the PVL Collegiate Conference due to a mild tear in her quadriceps. Carrying the load for her during her absence is Imbo, who displayed her scoring abilities while their captain was injured. In a crucial game against favorite FEU Lady Tamaraws, Imbo fired away 15 points to lead the team. While they did not win the match, it showed her capability to step up when needed. Watch for these ladies when the 2018 seasons of the NCAA and UAAP women’s volleyball tournaments begin. Meanwhile, stay tuned for more scintillating volleyball action once the PVL resumes with their Open Conference this Saturday (September 22) on S+A, S+A HD, and via livestream......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 19th, 2018

PVL: Guino-o steps up for FEU this time in win over UP

Far Eastern University is slowly moving on into a new era without the talismanic Bernadeth Pons and the Lady Tamaraws have found their platform in the Premier Volleyball League Collegiate Conference. The offseason tournament has become some sort of testing ground for the teams before the start of the UAAP season and the Lady Tamaraws have used that opportunity to work on their system. No one player has stood out as its undisputed leader for FEU, just what Pons has done in the past, but the team saw several players don the leader's cap almost every game. Celine Domingo had that distinction in FEU's previous five-set win when she had 18 points over University of Perpetual Help...Keep on reading: PVL: Guino-o steps up for FEU this time in win over UP.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsAug 18th, 2018

PVL: Domingo steps up to the challenge

With Far Eastern University missing the services of Toni Rose Basas and the departure of top hitter Bernadeth Pons after last UAAP season, the Lady Tamaraws needed someone to step up on offense. Celine Domingo embraced that role with her recent performance for FEU in the Premier Volleyball League Season 2 Collegiate Conference said it all. The UAAP Season 80 Best Blocker averaged 18 points per game as she led the Lady Tams to an early share of the lead with University of Sto. Tomas with back-to-back wins to open their campaign. However, instead of feeling pressured on her new role, Domingo treats it as a challenge.     “Nararamdaman ko naman (ang pressure), pero hindi ganoon totally kabigat. Hindi ko siya tine-take as pressure, kasi 'di naman kami pine-pressure ni coach eh,” she said. Domingo had her scoring prowess in full display Wednesday when she led FEU to a 25-16, 21-25, 25-19, 25-22, win over San Beda University. The incoming sophomore, a transferee from University of the East, posted a personal conference-best 22 points built on 15 attacks, four kill blocks and three aces.     Domingo was the main weapon of the Lady Tams with her quick kills as they dismantle the Lady Red Spikers, who gave FEU a scare after taking the second frame.  “Siguro part kasi 'yun ng game plan namin na i-feed muna sa quickers, para pag binato sa open, magiging madali na para sa spiker na paluin,” said Domingo. Playing with na slew of newcomers, Domingo provided the maturity and composure as FEU dodged another upset-scare since escaping College of St. Benilde in five sets in their conference opener last Sunday. “Siguro isa na ding factor 'yung kailangan mag-step up din kami, tapos isa na rin ako sa nakakatanda, ayun po,” added Domingo. Still, Domingo admitted that she still has a lot to improve on as she prepares for UAAP Season 81. “Siguro 'yun ano pa rin, 'yung blockings. Siyempre may puhunan na ako doon, kailangan ko lang i-continue and mas mag-improve pa,” she said. “Big thing din 'yun, pag na-block na, wala ng kailangang gawin eh. So 'yun, kailangan ko pa i-improve 'yun.”   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 25th, 2018

Rondina, Pons rule the sands anew

Petron XCS dug deep into its well of experience as it clobbered Sta. Lucia Realty A, 21-8, 21-11, to clinch the the Philippine Superliga (PSL) Beach Volleyball Challenge Cup title Sunday at the Sands By the Bay in Mall of Asia. Sisi Rondina and Bernadeth Pons displayed their deadly form early on to frustrate Jackie Estoquia and DM Demontano en route to defending their crown. Earlier, Generika-Ayala A crushed F2 Logistics 21-7, 21-14, to clinch the bronze medal of this battle. Also emerging victorious was Lemuel Arbastro and Kris Roy Guzman of Foton, who shocked erstwhile-undefeated Bryan Bagunas and James Natividad of SM By the Bay, 21-15, 21-15, to bag the gold medal in the men’s division. It was a sweet revenge for the nephew and uncle duo from University of Santo Tomas, which lost to Bagunas and Natividad of National University in the UAAP Season 80 men’s beach volleyball tournament. "It’s a big deal for me and KR after they defeated us in the UAAP,” said Arbasto. “When we heard that they will be competing, we were motivated to meet them again in the finals and, this time, to win against them.”  "In our first meeting (during the preliminary round), they defeated us in straight sets, that’s why my uncle, KR, told me that we should adjust and target their weakness, which was long balls and smart hits at the back,” added Arbasto. Philip Bagalay and Gregory Utupo of Smart, meanwhile, grabbed the bronze medal in men’s play following a 21-16, 22-20 win over Jessie Lopez and Mike Abria of Cignal. But all eyes were on the tandem of Rondina and Pons. After blowing hot and cold in their first couple of matches, the prized pair showed up with fire in its eyes as it shattered the match wide open after turning a slim 6-5 advantage into a 20-8 lead in the first set. The Lady Realtors tried to pump life into their golden hopes as they opened the second set trailing by a slim margin, 10-13, but they committed three consecutive errors while Rondina and Pons stepped on the gas to capture the championship point, 20-11. “We had a hard time because all the opponents were very competitive,” said Pons, adding that they were at their best from start to finish despite very limited time to train due to their respective UAAP commitments. “We just simply wanted to win. We wanted to beat all of our opponents and this is the result.” A down the line attack by Rondina formally gave the Blaze Spikers their back-to-back beach volleyball title. “We’re glad to survive another tough tourney,” said Rondina. “I want to say thank you to (Pons). At least our connection is still there.”.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 27th, 2018

Rondina-Pons tandem sizzles in beach volleyball opener

Powerhouse Petron XCS kicked off its title-retention campaign on a sizzling note as it torched Generika-Ayala A and Cocolife A in the opening salvo of the Philippine Superliga (PSL) Beach Volleyball Challenge Cup Wednesday at the Sands By the Bay in Mall of Asia. Sisi Rondina and Bernadeth Pons crawled back from a set down to pull off a 19-21, 21-14, 15-8 victory over Fiola Ceballos and Patty Orendain of Generika-Ayala, the same pair they crushed in the thrilling finals showdown last year. The tandem then demolished Danika Gendrauli and Nene Bautista of Cocolife A, 21-19, 21-10, to give Petron an early lead in Pool A. But against the Lifesavers, the Blaze Spikers started on a wrong foot. “Hindi kami naka-training dito kaya medyo nagkakapaan pa kami,” said Rondina, who had to wrap up her UAAP and FIVB World Tour stints before she could formally buckle down to training with Pons. Pons, whose season in the UAAP went the distance after Far Eastern University qualified in the finals, agreed with her partner. “Nahirapn kami sa simula. Mabuti naka-adjust sa second and third sets,” she said. Also emerging victorious was Cignal A, which recovered from a sluggish second set en route to a 21-19, 5-21, 16-14 over Generika-Ayala B. The pair of Mylene Paat and Rap Aguilar pounced on Bang Pineda's and Sheeka Espinosa’s blunders at the service box down the stretch to eke out the win in Pool B. Also in Pool B action, Dhannylaine Demontano and Jackie Estoquia of Sta. Lucia A won over Cignal A, 14-21, 21-19, 15-5. Foton’s Nieza and Jeziela Viray defeated Cherry May Vivas and Janine Navarro of Cignal-B, 21-16, 21-17, in Pool C while in Pool D, Jonah Sabete and Bianca Lizares of Sta. Lucia-B downed Marge Tejada and Alex Tan of Cocolife-B, 22-20, 21-16. In the men’s play, Sands overcame UST A, 21-15, 21-17, and Foton, 21-19, 21-15. Foton, however stormed back and clobbered Cocolife, 21-5, 21-7, to improve to 1-1 in Pool A. In Pool B, Cignal overcame TVM, 16-21, 21-14, 15-9; Smart denied Navy, 21-19, 14-21, 15-10; and TVM dominated Navy, 21-17, 21-18......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 23rd, 2018

PSL beach volleyball kicks off Wednesday

Reigning champion Sisi Rondina and Bernadeth Pons of Petron XCS will be up against a tough competition when the Philippine Superliga (PSL) Beach Volleyball Challenge Cup unwraps Wednesday at Sands By the Bay in Mall of Asia. Rondina and Pons are billed as two of the best beach volley players in the country. But the road to the title will never be easy as they are up against a solid group of competitors in this prestigious summer spectacle. Rondina and Pons landed in tough Pool A together with powerhouse Cocolife-A of veterans Danika Gendrauli and Nene Bautista and last year’s runner-up Generika-Ayala-A of Fiola Ceballos and Patty Oredain. “We started training after UAAP because we’re trying to make up for the lost time,” said Pons, who joined Rondina in representing the country in the 29th Southeast Asian Beach Volleyball Championship in Singapore last year. “I believe this is going to be a competitive tourney because most of the players are now playing beach volley. We really have to be mentally and physically prepared for this.” Also seeing action are Mylene Paat and Rap-Rap Aguilar of Cignal-A; Bang Pineda and Sheeka Espinosa of Generika-Ayala-B; and Dhannylaine Demontano and Jackie Estoquia of Sta. Lucia A are in Pool B. Pool C is composed of NCAA beach volley champion Nieza and Jeziela Viray of Foton; Cherry May Vivas and Janine Navarro of Cignal-B; and Cecilia Bangad and Caitlyn Viray of Smart. In Group D are Fritz Gallenero and Mitch Morente of F2 Logistics, Marge Tejada and Alex Tan of Cocolife-B; and Jonah Sabete and Bianca Lizares of Sta. Lucia-B. “All teams are competitive,” Pons said. “That’s why we did our best to prepare hard for this tournament.” In the men’s division, Josh Ylaya and JP Pareja of Cocolife, Ian Lester Yee and Romnick Rico of UST, Kris Roy Guzman and Lemuel Arbasto of Foton and Bryan Bagunas and James Natividad of Sands By the Bay will be in Pool A. Alsali Pajiji and Milover Parcon of Navy, Philip Michael Bagalay and Gregory Utupo of Smart, Mika Abria and Jessie Lopez of Cignal and Joven Camaganakan and Joseph Tipay of Team Volleyball Manila compose Pool B. Meanwhile, PSL ambassador Aby Maraño, Jheck Dionela, Mitch del Carmen, Will Devaugn, Amanda Fernandez and Abby Poblador will also see action in the celebrity matches. Men's action starts at 8 am while women's battles are set at 2:15 pm......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 22nd, 2018

Rondina exits FIVB with lessons from new partner Gervacio

Whenever Cherry Rondina played in the sand courts outside of the UAAP, she always had her buddy Bernadeth Pons as her trusted partner. That partnership of Rondina and Pons has resulted in success, with the two winning the2017 Philippine SuperLiga Beach Volleyball Challenge Cup with Petron and representing the Philippines in the 29th Southeast Asian Beach Volleyball Championships in Singapore. Yet in the biggest sand tournament of Rondina's young career, she didn't have her trusty partner with her but she still got a solid ally in the more experienced Dzi Gervacio for the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Manila Open. Although they started practicing just two weeks before the ...Keep on reading: Rondina exits FIVB with lessons from new partner Gervacio.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsMay 5th, 2018

DOC VOLLEYBALL: An Unpredictably Exciting Season

And it finally comes to a close. Season 80 of the UAAP volleyball, from its opening game up to the very last point of the season, will be remembered as the most unexpected and exciting year for Philippine Collegiate Volleyball. While most other competitors had a good share of ups and downs, the emerging champions NU Bulldogs and DLSU Lady Spikers proved to be just a cut above the rest in exerting volleyball dominance. Bulldogs’ Bite Tired of a three-peat runner-up finish, the National Univeristy Bulldogs finally claimed the glory by snatching the crown from perennial rivals, the Ateneo Blue Eagles. With both teams having a shared rivalry once as cellar dwellers and now as championship contenders, the rivalry between NU and Ateneo in men's volleyball has been a wonder to see evolve. For Season 80, the Bulldogs finally left a mark by serving up height, athleticism, and cohesion to dominate the men's division. In their finals match against the Blue Eagles, the Bulldogs showed exemplary net play in terms of offense led by eventual Finals MVP Bryan Bagunas. With King Blue Eagle Marco Espejo relegated to the opposite position, NU coach Dante Alinsunurin’s choice to field in Madzlan Gampong proved to be beneficial in checking Ateneo’s offensive behemoth. Though still capable of producing his usual output, Espejo was closed down on key situations, giving confidence boosters to the NU wall as well as compensating for their floor defense, which was relatively their disadvantage. Perhaps the other contributing factor in NU’s victory was how the Blue Eagles were not able to maximize on their skill advantages such as service and blocking. In both finals matches, Ateneo was not able to capitalize on the passing of NU with aggressive serving leading to clean execution of offensive plays from the latter. In instances where the Blue Eagles were making a rally and even obtaining a Game 2 set, it was highly evident that their blocking was significantly altering the hitting tendencies of NU, but Ateneo was not able to stay consistent with such tactic. Archers’ Aim Over in the ladies division, the finals match-up of the two powerhouse squads, the De La Salle Lady Spikers and the FEU Lady Tamaraws, was highly consistent with the theme of the encounters throughout the season. With the two best serving and passing teams in the league, it was expected that both teams would bring out the best in each other and that was just what both teams did in the Finals series. In both encounters during the elimination season, the Lady Tamaraws were able to challenge the passing efficiency of the Lady Spikers by giving them a taste of their own medicine which was aggressive serving. In the instances that FEU was able to subdue La Salle in their encounters, it was because of well placed heavy serves that negate the threat of middles Majoy Baron and Aduke Ogunsanya. In similar fashion, Season 80 Best Blocker Celine Domingo was also able to pose a significant defensive threat in the net due to the team’s ability to disrupt oponent attack patterns through aggresive serving. Coming into the Finals series, it can be considered that both FEU and DLSU are the most balanced teams in the league. With starters who are notable in producing points in every rotation, the biggest factor for both teams would be the ability of the middles to execute as Baron was capable of racking up the points left unchecked and Domingo was essential in running FEU’s bread and butter combination plays. As such, the main determining factor in the outcome of the finals series was who could out-serve who given both team's proficiency in both serving and passing. True enough, the Lady Spikers proved that they were the better serving team as they were able to establish a tight wall defense to check The Lady Tamaraws’ offense. Consistent with their elimination round encounters, FEU’s inability to execute the set given a substantial lead combined with La Salle’s tenacity to thrive under pressure eventually won the Lady Spikers the crown. Beyond 80 The exit of big names such as Dy, Baron, Bernadeth Pons, Dawn Macandili, Jaja Santiago, Jho Maraguinot, Jema Galanza, Mylene Paat and Shaya Adorador to name a few would spell some concern for their respective teams ,but would serve as a challenge and inspiration for newcomers to reach the achievements of their predecessors. In similar fashion, teams left with solid line-ups like UST and UP would have better chances to dominate albeit higher expectations. In line with that, familiarization with more foreign coaching ideologies from the likes of Air Padda and Gody Okumu will further elevate the level of the sport in the women's division. On the other hand, an intact champion in the NU Bulldogs as well as contender FEU Tamaraws will ensure dominance for both. As such,the exit of inarguably one of the best tandems in UAAP history, that of Ish Polvorosa and Espejo, would entail a tough challenge for Ateneo to produce new outstanding inclusions in order to maintain their place in the upper echelons of the league.    .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 4th, 2018

Rondina, Gervacio down American foes in FIVB beach volleyball Manila Open

Filipina bets Sisi Rondina and Dzi Gervacio were on fire under the scorching heat of the sun to take down the much taller and more experienced American foes, 21-12, 21-16, Friday in the main draw of the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Manila Open at the Sands SM By The Bay. In front of their home crowd, Rondina and Gervacio outwitted Lindsey Fuller and Kaley Melville with good ball placements and heady attacks to neutralize the height advantage of their America opponents. "Nilaro lang namin. Ako, honestly, hindi ako sila pinuri na, 'Uy ang lalaki nila, ang tatangkad nila.' Parang shino-showcase ko na lang kung ano ang kaya kong gawin na kayang ipagmalaki ng mga Pilipinong nanonood sa amin," said Rondina, a three-time UAAP beach volleyball champion and member of the national squad that saw action in the 29th Southeast Asian Beach Volleyball Championships in Singapore with Bernadeth Pons. The Pinays opened with 13-8 lead in the opening set before the Americans rallied to close the gap, 15-11. But the Filipinas countered with another explosive scoring blitz to frustrate their rivals. Fuller and Melville regrouped in the second frame to take an early lead but the home pair clawed back with another blistering scoring spurt to take control of the frame, 17-10. The Americans got a whiff of second wind to creep closer, 19-15, before the PHI moved at match point. Gervacio gave up a point on a long attack but Melville surrendered the match on an overcooked service. Rondina and Gervacio will take on the Spanish pair of Paula Soria Guttierez and Maria Belen Caro, who demolished South Africa's Simone Sittig and Luciana Pierangeli, 21-8, 21-9, in the afternoon. Rondina and Gervacio's win gave the PHI its first win in the $10,000, one-star tournament after three other Pinay tandems fell in their respective matches. Pinay wildcard entries DM Demontaño and Jackie Estoquia bowed down to the top seed duo of Paraguay's Michelle Amarilla and Erika Bobadilla, 19-21, 13-21. Beach Volleyball Republic founders Charo Soriano and Bea Tan were easily brushed off by the Japanese tandem of Ayumi Kusano and Takemi Nishibori, 10-21, 9-21 while the two-time BVR national champions Karen Quilario and Lot Catubag came up short against Malaysia Open silver medalists Katja Stamand Julia Wouters of the Netherlands, 14-21, 11-21......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 4th, 2018

UAAP 80 Women s Volleyball: Pons, Atienza being tapped for FEU coaching roles?

When asked what was next for Bernadeth Pons, the graduating Lady Tamaraw hinted at assuming a role on the sidelines for Far Eastern University. “Di ko pa alam, basta nandiyan lang ako, tutulong ako pero hindi ko alam kung magiging part pa ako ng coaching staff.” Pons said after their UAAP Season 80 Women’s Volleyball Finals game two loss to champions De La Salle University, Wednesday afternoon at the Araneta Coliseum. Later on during the media scrum, first-year FEU Head Coach George Pascua took the liberty of saying that he wanted to have Pons on the Lady Tamaraws’ coaching staff next season. “Ina-announce ko na, kukunin ko syang coaching staff sa FEU. Promise yun. Sa coaching kasi, kailangan mo ng matinding motivation sa mga players lalo na ngayon sa nangyari, second kami, pero syempre yung responsibility nyan hindi ganung kadali.” Pascua added that Pons’ leadership played a vital part in FEU’s Season 80 Finals run, and having her on the sidelines is a way to preserve that success and hopefully someday bring home another title to Morayta. “Hindi pwedeng galing ka dito, pababa. Mas tataas ka dapat. Hindi siya ganung kadali para trabahuhin. Syempre kailangan namin ng isang Pons.” Pascua then mentioned that graduating libero Kyla Atienza was also being tapped to be part of the coaching staff for the FEU juniors volleyball team. While Pons and Atienza maintained that they have yet to commit to the offered coaching roles, the two are honored to be given the trust to be part of the coaching staff. “Nakaka-overwhelm kasi ‘yun nga may tiwala si coach sa amin na para ilagay kami sa coaching staff pero sabi ko nga hindi talaga ako sure kung magcocommit ako pero tutulong pa ako sa FEU, pero hindi ako sure kung magcocommit ako pero ang sure ko is tutulong talaga ako.” said Pons. “Nakaka-overwhelm na [kahit] hindi na kami part ng team, bibigyan kami ng tiwala ng management pati ng mga coach na makatulong,” added Atienza. Pascua continued that tapping Pons and Atienza for possible coaching positions is a way to keep the two part of the success that they aspire to achieve, taking off from Season 80’s success. “Sa akin kasi, gusto namin ma-involve, ma-feel din nila, kasi next year syempre ang next target namin mag-champion. Para hindi man sila nag-champion as a player, matikman nila as a coaching staff. Ibig sabihin part pa rin sila ng team na trinabaho nila, na inumpisahan nila, hindi man as a player pero as a coach.”.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 2nd, 2018

Rondina, Gervacio banner Pinays in FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour

The Philippines will be pinning its hopes on four women's pairs including that of high-flying University of Sto. Tomas standout Sisi Rondina and Dzi Gervacio in the main draw of the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Manila Open set to open later this week at the Sands SM By The Bay.  Leading the charge for the host team is Rondina, a three-time UAAP beach volleyball champion and a member of the national squad that saw action in the 29th Southeast Asian Beach Volleyball Championships in Singapore with Bernadeth Pons. Other Filipinas competing are sand court veterans Charo Soriano and Bea Tan, two-time BVR national champions Karen Quilario and Lot Catubag, and wildcard entries DM Demontaño and Jackie Estoquia. A slew of talented international players vying for tournament points are arriving Thursday.        Paraguay's Michelle Amarilla, who with Gabriela Filippo battled with the legendary United States pair of April Ross and Kerri Walsh Jennings in the first knock-out round of the 2015 Beach Volleyball World Championships, will banner the 16-pair women's cast.       The highest rated team in the field, Amarilla will have Erika Bobadilla as her partner in the competition which the Philippines is making its hosting debut. The Paraguayans hope to bounce back in Manila after the duo failed to make it to the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Malaysia Open semifinals in Langkawi last Sunday.      Ayumi Kusano, who played for Japan that won the Spike for Peace beach volleyball crown in 2015 at the Philsports Arena with Akiko Hasegawa, will return for another run at glory, this time with her partner Takemi Nishibori.      The young Netherlands pair of Katja Stam and Julia Wouters, who lost to Russia’s Ksenia Dabizha and Daria Mastikova in the women’s gold medal match of the Malaysia Open last Sunday, will also be worth-watching in the $10,000, one-star tournament.      Another player to watch out in the Manila Open is Lindsey Fuller, the 2014 US NVL Most Improved Player who will be paired with Kaley Melville for United States.      In the men's division, Austria’s Simon Fruhbauer and Jorg Wutzl, who earned their first FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour gold medal at the Malaysia Open last Sunday at the expense Russia’s Petr Bakhnar and Taras Myskiv, will be the tandem to watch out.      The Austrian pair has been playing together since 2016.      Silver medalists Bakhnar and Myskiv will also be here in Manila along with Germany's Paul Becker and Eric Stadie, who lost to Thailand's I. Nuttanon and P. Sedtawat in the bronze medal match in Langkawi Open last weekend.      The highest-rated team in the men's division is Sweden's Martin Apprelgen and Simon Boman, who placed ninth in Langkawi.         Among those early arrivals is Israel, which split its four tune-up sets with Filipinos James Pecaña and KR Guzman, and Ranran Abdilla and Edwin Tolentino Monday night.  Israel is among the 16 teams vying for four men's slots in the main draw.             BVR national champions Jade Becaldo and Calvin Sarte and Kevin Juban and Raphy Abanto complete the men's cast.      The competition will commence with the men's division qualifiers on Thursday and before moving into the main draw for women and men on Friday. The round of 12 and the quarterfinals are scheduled on Saturday with the semifinals and finals on Sunday. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 1st, 2018

UAAP VOLLEYBALL: Akala ko si Pons ang MVP -- Santiago

Jaja Santiago on her last playing year tried to bring National University back into UAAP women’s volleyball radar. Although the Lady Bulldogs failed to live up to the preseason hype, falling short in their return in the Final Four for the first time in three years following a sloppy second round after a good start, Santiago’s performance earned her the most coveted individual award. The 6-foot-5 versatile hitter bagged the Season 80 Most Valuable Player award as a parting gift for her five colorful years with NU.     But despite a well-deserved recognition, Santiago thought that the honor belonged to another graduating player in Far Eastern University hotshot Bernadeth Pons. “Akala ko si Pons talaga ‘yung magiging MVP,” said Santiago, who also won the Best Spiker award. Santiago averaged 20 points per game in the elimination round and had a 41.76% attacking efficiency. Pons, on the other, normed with 15.3 points per outing and the best non-libero in the reception category with a 45.16% efficiency rate.   “Ang MVP award na ‘yun bonus na lang sa akin ngayong UAAP Season 80 kasi sabi ko hindi ko naman ine-expect na mage-MVP ako,” said Santiago. “Kasi ngayong season na ‘to sobrang nagfa-flactuate talaga ang mga teams eh. Hindi mo alam sino magcha-champion, sino papasok sa Final Four. Parang performance din namin taas-baba and maraming nagi-improve na players lalo na si Pons.” “Sabi ko nga special mention ko siya kasi nakita naman natin nadala niya ang team niya sa Finals and sobrang laki ng contribution niya at ‘yung effort niya para sa team niya. (Kaya) sabi ko talaga di ko in-expect na MVP ako,” added Santiago, whose squad was swept by Pons’ Lady Tamaraws this season. The towering hitter credited her teammates for helping her claim the recognition. “It’s a great honor na maging MVP ako this end of the season namin sa UAAP. Hindi man kami pinalad na mag-champion or umabot sa Finals itong award na ito ang nag-prove na ginawa namin ang best namin (as a team),” she said. “Kasi sabi ko nga hindi ko makukuha ‘tong award na ‘to kung ‘di dahil sa teammates ko so it shows pa rin na nabigay namin ‘yung best namin kahit ‘di kami umabot sa Finals.” Santiago and the rest of the individual award winners will be feted on Wednesday before the Finals Game 2 between De La Salle University and FEU at the Big Dome. Catch Game 2 of the UAAP Season 80 Women's Volleyball Finals LIVE on S+A, S+A HD, Liga on SkyCable channel 83, Liga HD on SkyCable channel 186 and via livestream. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 1st, 2018

Pons admits jitters affected Lady Tamaraws in Game 1 loss

Bernadeth Pons has become one of the premier players in the UAAP women's volleyball tournament, but all her battles in the last five years still didn't fully prepare her for the intensity of a finals series. Pons and Far Eastern University, despite playing a total of 10 sets against the La Salle in the eliminations, couldn't muster a set against the defending champion in Game 1 of the Season 80 Finals on Saturday. She admitted that nerves may have gotten to the Lady Tamaraws, whose best finish in the last decade--while La Salle established itself as a powerhouse--was a Final Four stint, in their championship appearance. "Maybe we played nervously because this was our first a...Keep on reading: Pons admits jitters affected Lady Tamaraws in Game 1 loss.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsApr 28th, 2018

UAAP Finals: After sub-par Game 1, Pons and Basas vow to bounce back

FEU Lady Tamaraws veterans Bernadeth Pons and Toni Rose Basas both promise to bounce back in Game 2 of the UAAP Season 80 Women's Volleyball Finals Wednesday after displaying a sub-par performance in Game 1. The known double-digit scoring duo combined for only 15 points in the best-of-three affair, a big factor in FEU's 27-29, 21-25, 22-25 loss in their biggest game in nine years. Even though the first set showed promise in a 29-27 finish, FEU's inexperience came out, with the Lady Tamaraws committing 17 errors in the set. Both players admitted that jitters had come their way, and conceded that there is overwhelming experience from the two-time defending champions. "Siguro meron kasi first appearance namin sa Finals. Pero na-overcome naman namin iyon kasi alam naman namin yung magiging laban ngayon na sobrang dikdikan, mga long rallies. Ayun. Mas lumamang lang talaga mga errors noon," the Lady Tams team captain said. Basas also added that a new and raucous atmosphere to her like what Game 1 showed intimidated her, which added to the many things she was thinking of during the game. "Kasi sobrang daming tao. Tapos parang marami ang iniisip ko, 'Ganito ba talaga pag Finals?' Ang ingay. Parang di ko maano." The fourth-year player also confessed that her numerous errors in the error-plagued first set was a by-product of the pressure from the game. "Para sa akin. Kasi sa akin, parang puro service ko. Parang takot din ako magkamali sa service. Sa kaba na iyon." As for bouncing back for a do-or-die Game 2, both hitters guarantee that their performance next game will be much better, as the girls from Morayta hope to extend it to a winner-take-all Game 3. "Syempre, opo. Wala nang takot. Kahit block-blockin kami, basta di kami susuko," Basas assured. For the top scorer of FEU in the past five seasons, Pons hopes that her mental toughness will show in what could be her final game donning the green and gold. "Kailangan kong mag-charge ulit. Kailangan pang mas maging ma-utak ako sa Game 2 kasi malalaki sila eh. Bantay talaga ako kanina eh. Kailangan bumawi talaga ako sa Game 2. Kailangan ko ma-lead ang team ko."    --   Follow this writer on Twitter, @philipptionary......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 28th, 2018

Pons eyes revenge against La Salle in FEU title bid

The finals series of the UAAP Season 80 women's volleyball tournament isn't just about the matchup between defending champion De La Salle and the league's winningest team in Far Eastern University. On a larger scale this would pit two of the most successful schools in a finals rematch that waited 10 years to happen, but on the micro level there is another narrative that had brewed in a matter of months. La Salle, a 10-time champion, beat 29-time champion FEU twice in the eliminations and those losses have lit a fire inside Bernadeth Pons that the skipper of the Lady Tamaraws plan on unleashing in the finals. "I'm excited to get back at La Salle," said Pons in Filipino Wednes...Keep on reading: Pons eyes revenge against La Salle in FEU title bid.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsApr 25th, 2018

UAAP VOLLEYBALL: FEU coach Pascua already preparing for DLSU

May it be a slip of the tongue or just an honest mistake, it seemed that Far Eastern University head coach George Pascua is already preparing for the 80th UAAP women’s volleyball championship against grand slam-seeking De La Salle University. Still high with euphoria after quenching a nine-year thirst for a Finals appearance, Pascua may have forgotten that the twice-to-beat Lady Spikers still need to hurdle National University on Sunday in their Final Four pairing.   Pascua was joined by graduating hitter Bernadeth Pons, Kyla Atienza and Toni Rose Basas during the postgame interview moments after FEU defeated Ateneo de Manila University, 25-20, 25-21, 14-25, 25-19, Saturday at the MOA Arena.      “Sabi ko sa kanila, the door is open. Ngayon, siyempre pag pasok mo, hindi mo alam kung ano 'yung papasukin mo muna eh. So kailangan mo planuhin,” said the first year Lady Tams mentor and former four-time champion coach of FEU’s men’s team. “Hindi ka basta papasok sa isang ano. Ibig sabihin, paplanuhin muna namin ng maayos,” he continued. “And then, ang kalaban namin is La Salle, defending champion.” That’s when Pons gave his mentor a little nudge before whispering that DLSU has yet to defeat the Lady Bulldogs to forge a best-of-three championship. “Uhmmmm, Sana. Either or, kahit sino, NU or La Salle,” Pascua said as the pressroom burst into soft chuckle with the mentor’s mistake. “Ready kami, ready kami.” FEU will have to wait for their opponent in the Finals, which will start on April 28. The Lady Tams are looking to end a decade-long title drought. In case DLSU does advance in the championship, the Lady Tams-Lady Spikers match will be the first time the two teams will clash for the title since Season 71 when the Taft-based squad dethroned FEU.     “Kasi talagang gusto naming makuha, ibalik sa Morayta ang trophy ulit na pinahiram ng FEU before,” said Pascua.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 21st, 2018

DOC VOLLEYBALL: Breaking Down the UAAP Final Four match-ups

After what has been considered as the most unpredictable elimination round for the women’s division as well as an exciting triple threat fight for dominance over at the men’s side, the Final Four of UAAP Season 80 volleyball has finally arrived. With three out of four teams almost similar for both divisions, fans and supporters of these semifinal teams couldn't be more excited at who will emerge as the final contenders for the crown. Men's Division Final Four Season 80 became witness to a more exciting men's division as the Far Eastern University Tamaraws finally reclaimed its powerhouse status to challenge the perennial rivalry in recent history involving the Ateneo Blue Eagles and the National University Bulldogs. The elimination round became a rock-paper-scissor match-up amongst the three as FEU’s agility, NU’s strength and Ateneo’s skill challenged each other. NU (1) vs. UST (4) The NU Bulldogs are poised to reclaim the crown after edging out their rival Ateneo to secure top seed and twice-to-beat advantage. Fortune favored them once again by dodging a bullet as the team that upset them in round two, the Adamson Soaring Falcons, fell to the UST Golden Tigers in a close decider. NU has proven this season that they can outmuscle the league as their offense greatly compensates for their defense. The Bulldogs are expected to still get output from Bryan Bagunas on all ends while the middles provide stable support. Bryan Bagunas' hit was so strong it ricochets to the announcers' table! #UAAPSeason80Volleyball pic.twitter.com/MqdtjNfgts — ABS-CBN Sports (@abscbnsports) March 14, 2018 Kim Malabunga says N🚫PE to Marck Espejo! #UAAPSeason80Volleyball pic.twitter.com/j3FJxhd2Gj — ABS-CBN Sports (@abscbnsports) April 15, 2018 Not to be discredited, the UST Golden Tigers can significantly challenge the NU defense with continuous assaults from their middles most notably Tyrone Carodan, who has been providing high outputs in the second round. Likewise, the make or break factor for UST would be the consistency of left wing hitter Josh Umandal, whose height is a good match against the NU wall. Should UST be able to disrupt NU’s quick set-up and load up on the wings, they might have a chance at extending their run to a do-or-die encounter.  Josh Umandal WHAT A HIT 😱 #UAAPSeason80Volleyball pic.twitter.com/a9QlDj5Yty — ABS-CBN Sports (@abscbnsports) April 11, 2018   FEU (2) vs. Ateneo (3) After a crucial loss to the Bulldogs for the top spot, the defending champions Ateneo Blue Eagles are in a tight spot as they lost a chance at a twice-to-beat advantage and are now up against their season tormentors, the FEU Tamaraws. In both encounters during the season, the Tamaraws exerted dominance over the defending champions as their bread and butter combination plays were left unchallenged by the Blue Eagle defense. JP Bugaoan taking over for FEU! #UAAPSeason80Volleyball pic.twitter.com/SRkL6wANi7 — ABS-CBN Sports (@abscbnsports) February 4, 2018 FEU’s strength whole season long lies on solid floor passing care of their libero Rikko Marmeto that enables them to run their combinations. They also employ an unusual rotation where middles shift hitting positions in certain rallies in order to confuse opposing defenders. It would still be in the Tamaraws’ best interest to have their libero cover the most passing responsibility to ensure they can run their plays. You know you're hot when even your libero is scoring! What a smart hit by Rikko Marmeto! #UAAPSeason80Volleyball pic.twitter.com/Xa8uaGh4gu — ABS-CBN Sports (@abscbnsports) February 4, 2018 With their crown on the edge of being snatched by a team they haven't beaten all season, the Blue Eagles are hard pressed to rely on their solid passing and serving to at least prevent the Tamaraw assault. The Blue Eagles have proven that their service is the best in the league and it will be the most crucial factor in making the finals. Consistent aggressive serving to key locations would be their best option in mitigating the Tamaraw combination. No second touch needed for Marck Espejo 😳 #UAAPSeason80Volleyball pic.twitter.com/Y7OqGUlAUH — ABS-CBN Sports (@abscbnsports) April 7, 2018   Women's Division Final Four After a highly unpredictable elimination round filled with upsets and the most number of five set matches to date, the top four contenders during the first round were able to hold their ground in their quest for the crown. What's interesting for these Final Four match-ups is that all the teams have beaten each other and that the twice-to-beat advantage is indeed a breath of relief for the top two seeds De La Salle Lady Spikers and Far Eastern University Lady Tamaraws. DLSU (1) vs. NU (4) Securing a twice to beat advantage against an NU team that is yet to recover their groove, the Lady Spikers are in the best position to defend their title in the Finals. Sticking to their guns of excellent serving and passing up until their last elimination game against rival Ateneo, La Salle would be once again expected to capitalize on NU’s passing struggles to prevent the Lady Bulldogs from setting up their offense especially Jaja Santiago from the middle. Aside from that, it can also be expected that the Lady Spikers will load up on another of their best assets which is blocking to capitalize on the lackluster output from the wings of NU recently. Majoy Baron BL🚫CKS Kat Tolentino, AND THEN SOME 😤 #UAAPSeason80Volleyball pic.twitter.com/H55UobHbJO — ABS-CBN Sports (@abscbnsports) April 15, 2018 On the other hand, the NU Lady Bulldogs have proven before that they can challenge the Archer supremacy. The challenge for them would be how to minimize La Salle’s free ball chances through better passing. While it is to be expected that the Lady Spikers will serve aggressively to limit Santiago’s quick attack opportunities, NU’s passers will be hard pressed to bring the ball at least on a settable location so Santiago can still hit a safety high ball. Likewise, output from the wings will be crucial in taking the spotlight off from Santiago. The set by Nabor! The quick by Sato! 💪 #UAAPSeason80Volleyball pic.twitter.com/Qs3hWOGYqW — ABS-CBN Sports (@abscbnsports) March 25, 2018   FEU (2) vs. Ateneo (3) A more exciting match-up would be the battle between the Far Eastern University Lady Tamaraws and the Ateneo Lady Eagles since both teams have cancelled each other out in their elimination encounters. The Lady Tamaraws caught Ateneo off guard in three sets to start the season while the Lady Eagles were able to exact a revenge to FEU in five sets in their second round encounter. FEU, like La Salle, will pretty much utilize their best asset in their service and receive game to take advantage of Ateneo’s passing to limit Maddie Madayag and Bea De Leon from the middle while fortifying the floor to defend the wings. In addition, FEU would ensure that their passing is on point as well so that they can run their usual combinations to circumvent the Eagle’s wall. Bernadeth Pons tears right through the wall for the sharp, sharp kill! #UAAPSeason80Volleyball pic.twitter.com/AHjQ2Pmgqs — ABS-CBN Sports (@abscbnsports) February 4, 2018 On the other hand, the Lady Eagles would be challenged to pass better compared to their most recent game against their rivals. It was highly noticeable that although not a lot of shank passes were made, the quality of the passes were not sufficient enough to at least be set by Deanna Wong to the wings. The Lady Eagles would be hard pressed to do high settable passes to at least drive a hard ball from the wings and extend the transition to involve the middles. Maddie Madayag CLUTCH. #UAAPSeason80Volleyball pic.twitter.com/UTTdUyk0Ns — ABS-CBN Sports (@abscbnsports) March 25, 2018        .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 19th, 2018

UAAP VOLLEYBALL PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Bernadeth Pons of FEU

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

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 16th, 2018

UAAP VOLLEYBALL: Top performers after the elims (women s)

University of Sto. Tomas’ explosive hitter Sisi Rodina and graduating player Jaja Santiago of National University topped the statistics race on offense while University of the East libero Kath Arado dominated the rest of the field in floor defense after the elimination round of the 80th UAAP women’s volleyball tournament. The 5-foot-5 Rondina led the league in scoring with a total of 296 points she accumulated from 271 spikes, 17 service aces and eight kill blocks, edging Santiago by 16 points. Santiago finished at second with 280 points (223 kills, 36 kill blocks, 21 aces) followed by Tots Carlos of University of the Philippines’ 274 (235 kills, 17 kill blocks, 22 aces), Far Eastern University’s Bernadeth Pons’ 215 markers (198 kills, 7 kill blocks, 10 aces) and Jema Galanza of Adamson University’s 207 points (183 kills, 10 kill blocks, 14 aces). But the 6-foot-5 Santiago was the most efficient attacker during the elims with a 41.76% success rate followed by Rondina (38.44%), Adamson’s Mylene Paat (34.84%), Jho Maraguinot of Ateneo (33.15%) and Carlos (32.73). On defense, Arado, the Season 77 Rookie of the Year, bested De La Salle University’s Dawn Macandili in both digs and reception. The fourth year libero averaged 6.72 digs per set ahead of Macandili (6.34), Pons (3.71), Isa Molde of UP (3.10) and Rondina (3.00). Arado also showed her efficiency in reception with a 53.07% success rate to eclipse Macandili (52.31%), Pons (45.16%), Kyla Atienza of FEU (42.47%) and Galanza (39.13%). Meanwhile, FEU’s Celine Domingo topped the blocking department as she collected 41 kill blocks overall and averaged 0.73 kill blocks per set. Santiago landed at second with 0.68 kill blocks per set followed by Majoy Baron of DLSU (0.66), Paat (0.63) and Roselyn Doria of NU (0.60). La Salle’s Desiree Cheng was the most dangerous player on the service line after she landed a total of 35 aces or 0.66 service winners per set followed by teammate Michelle Cobb (31, 0.58 per set), Toni Basas of FEU (32, 0.57 per set), Ateneo’s Kat Tolentino (26, 0.46 per set) and Kyle Negrito of FEU (25, 0.45 per set). Deanna Wong of Ateneo took the no. 1 spot in setting with an average of 8.54 excellent sets per frame ahead of NU’s Jasmine Nabor (8.32), Cobb (8.26), Fenela Emnas of Adamson (7.67) and Negrito (6.79).   ---   Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 16th, 2018