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UAAP Season 81 Final Four: Lady Tams prove doubters wrong with good season run

Far Eastern University may have fallen short of making it back to the Finals, but the Lady Tamaraws proved all of their doubters, wrong by achieving what many thought was impossible for a team that lost two of its best scorers heading into UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball tournament. “I’m really proud of how far our team has come this season, especially since a lot of people were saying that our team wasn’t gonna make it to the Final Four,” said graduating hitter Jerrili Malabanan, who made her final bow as a Lady Tamaraw on Wednesday. FEU bid farewell to the season after losing to Ateneo de Manila University, 20-25, 25-21, 23-25, 14-25, in the winner-take-all match for the right to face University of Sto. Tomas in the best-of-three Finals.        “I think our team really grew and gained a lot of character over this season from our wins and our losses,” added Malabanan, who finished with 18 points highlighted by 16 attacks. The Lady Tamaraws saw the departure of scoring ace Bernadeth Pons last year after their runner-up finish while veteran Toni Basas was sidelined by a shoulder injury during the offseason, preventing her from suiting up for FEU. It diddn’t help that prized rookie Lycha Ebon suffered a season-ending knee injury at the start of the second round.    “’Yun nga po sobrang saya dahil nakarating po kami kung saan man kami ngayon,” said a sobbing Heather Guino-o, who in her last game with FEU delivered 12 points and 14 digs. “Kasi parang simula parang sobrang dami na nagda-doubt sa amin pero pinakita naming lahat na hindi kami basta-bastang team.” FEU finished the elimination round with a 9-5 win-loss record, good for a fourth spot in the Final Four for a showdown with twice-to-beat Ateneo.    But despite playing short-handed, the Lady Tams pushed the Lady Eagles to the limit, taking the first semis match in five sets to force a rubber match.  “Sobrang proud ako sa narating ng team namin ngayon,” said outgoing setter Kyle Negrito. “Sobrang ipinakita ng teammates ko, ng buong team, na lumaban bawat game. Na walang alinlangan na ilaban nila para sa amin (seniors).” Head coach George Pascua thanked his three graduating seniors for a job well done as Lady Tamaraws. “Ako, very proud ako sa kanila umpisa pa lang nagpapa-‘thank you’ na ko sa kanila,” he said. “Team building pa lang na nadyan sila para sumupport sa team.” “’Yung unfinished business last season gusto namin ma-achieve na unfortunately hindi namin nagawa yun,” he said. Pero siyempre, sobrang proud ako sa kanila bilang Ates ng team. They did well.”   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 8th, 2019

SIYA NAMAN: UST pride Sisi Rondina is UAAP 81 Athlete of the Year

Sisi Rondina has capped off a career year in the UAAP with yet another award. University of Sto. Tomas’ heart and soul was hailed as the Season 81 Athlete of the Year for Collegiate Team Sports in the closing ceremony, Tuesday at the Mall of Asia Arena. Rondina won the MVP awards for both beach and then indoor women’s volleyball. She led the Golden Tigresses to the championship on the sand and then to a runner-up finish on the taraflex. Now, she adds the Athlete of the Year trophy to the collection she has amassed in her last year in the UAAP. “Blessed. ‘Di ko rin in-expect na sa akin mapupunta,” she said after receiving the award. She then continued, “Para rin ‘to sa teammates ko kasi ‘di ko rin ‘to makukuha kung ‘di sa kanila.” The pride of UST is the first volleyball player since Alyssa Valdez to be recognized as UAAP Athlete of the Year. —— Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 21st, 2019

Local teams face tall order

Rondina, who is coming off a finals stint with University of Santo Tomas in UAAP indoor volleyball, is partnering with Pons, a former Far Eastern University standout, in the week-long event......»»

Category: newsSource:  tempoRelated NewsMay 20th, 2019

For Love of Game: Valdez takes lower paycheck to play in Thailand

Local volleyball superstar Alyssa Valdez will be receiving less than what a club in the Philippines can offer her as salary playing for 3BB Nakornnont but the experience of playing and carrying the country’s pride in the Thai League is more than enough compensation. The two-time UAAP champion is more focused on learning from her stint and going back to spread the knowledge and experience she gained at home. “I think this is really big (playing abroad). It’s well known na here sa Philippines yung volley. I think we need to level up and I think one way of getting it is for players going to different countries to play and go back here and share everything,” said the 23-year-old open hitter in an earlier interview. “’Yun naman din ang goal and para maging inspiration din sa mga bata na aspiring volleyball players.”    The former Ateneo de Manila Queen Eagle was formally welcomed by the Thai squad by presenting her the team’s jersey where she will wear the no. 9 uniform – the same jersey number she wore while playing and winning three titles for University of Sto. Tomas high school in the UAAP. As for the specifics of her contract, a source from Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc., which processed her release paper to play abroad, Valdez will earn 30,000 Baht (P42,000) as monthly salary while playing for the club in the Thai League and the Thai-Denmark Super League.                 Valdez’s monthly paycheck will be way below what she had earned with her last local team Bureau of Customs during the V-League Reinforced Conference few months back. The three-time UAAP Most Valuable Player reportedly received a six-digit contract from the Transformers for the two-month tournament. Valdez flew to Thailand last Sunday and will stay there until early April. She’ll debut for 3BB Nakornnont on January 29 against King-Bangkok. Valdez also vowed to return next month to join either the Cebu or Davao tryouts for the national team that will see action in the 29th Kuala Lumpur Southeast Asian Games.     The local volleyball phenom was a part of the national squad during the Singapore edition of the biennial meet where she was also chosen as Team Philippines flag-bearer during the traditional parade of nations.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles     .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 18th, 2017

Valdez spreads wings, begins Thailand journey

Alyssa Valdez’s international club league career started Sunday when the Filipina volleyball superstar flew to Thailand to join 3BB Nakornnont.   The former UAAP three-time Most Valuable Player will start training with the club as 3BB Nakornnont prepares for the second round of the Thai League. Valdez will debut for 3BB on January 29 against King-Bangkok. “Siguro hindi ko rin ma-explain kung gaano ako ka-excited at kung gaano ako kinakabahan kasi it’s a different challenge,” said the 23-year-old Valdez in an interview with ABS-CBN Sports. “Kasi mag-isa lang ako, 'yung lahat ng mga external factors nandoon na rin.” Valdez, who was given the green light by the Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc. to play abroad Saturday, will join her former Bureau of Customs teammates Kanjana Kuthaisong and Nattanicha Jaisaen. “At least naging teammates ko naman ang few players doon,’ she said. Valdez will stay in Thailand until early April as the team will also play in the Thai-Denmark Suepr League. But what excites Valdez, who bannered the national women’s volleyball team in its return to the Southeast Asian Games two years ago in Singapore, the most is the chance to go up against Thai superstar and Southeast Asia’s most popular player Pleumjit Thinkaow.   “Di ko ba nakakalaban sina Pleumjit and 'yung mga senior (players ng mga) teams,” said the Team Philippines flag-bearer during the 2015 SEA Games. “Noong SEA Games naman kasi last time hindi natin sila ka-bracket. I’m really excited.” “I’m really looking forward na makalaban talaga sila o makaharapan lang sila di ba?” she added. “Iba 'yung excitement kasi makakalaban mo ‘yung mga experienced teams tapos ‘yung team namin sobrang bata rin. Feeling ko matututo ako sa mga kids at the same time sa mga veteran ng Thailand also para ma-help pa kung ano 'yung mga kailangan kong i-improve as a player and as an individual also.”     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles       .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 15th, 2017

Former, current Tigresses reunite in Petron

Foton’s loss is Petron’s gain. The Tornadoes may have asserted its mastery over the Tri-Activ Spikers twice in the Philippine Superliga Grand Prix in the past couple of years but Petron surely scored a big knockout punch in the recruitment war. Former Foton players Cherry Rondina and seasoned playmaker Rhea Dimaculangan bolted out of their former squad to join Petron. The Tri-Activ Spikers also landed Marivic Meneses while Carmela Tunay is also expected to sign a deal with Petron in a reunion of former and current University of Sto. Tomas players. The Tigresses will join former UST star Aiza Maizo-Pontillas, who led the Espana-based squad to its last UAAP crown seven years ago. Aside from the players, Petron also retained former Tigresses coach Shaq Delos Santos and ex-Foton assistant coach Ian Fernandez.      Tunay will only play in the Invitational Conference and will share the court with Petron’s biggest acquisition and fellow Virtual Playground talent Mika Reyes, who signed a two-year deal with the San Miguel Corporation club Wednesday after leaving F2 Logistics.         Rondina and Meneses would be coming in the All-Filipino Conference together with Far Eastern University stars Bernadeth Pons and Remy Palma, who already suited up for Petron last year, after their campaign in the UAAP. Petron’s recruitment coup sends a serious warning that the Tri-Activ Spikers desire to bring back their glory days when they won the 2014 PSL Grand Prix and 2015 All-Filipino Conference highlighted by a clean sweep of the tournament. Foton dethroned Petron in the 2015 Grand Prix in a dramatic three-game upset before sweeping the Tri-Activ Spikers in their conference finals rematch a month ago. The severely depleted Tornadoes lost seven players with Angeli Araneta, Patty Orendain, Carol Cerveza, Bia General, Kara Acevedo, Dimaculangan and Rondina making a mass exodus. In the Invitational Conference, only Dindin Santiago-Manabat, Maika Ortiz and Ivy Perez are the available holdovers with EJ Laure of UST and Jaja Santiago of National University playing in the UAAP. Foton is now recruiting players and holding tryouts to fill their roster.       --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles           .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 14th, 2017

Valdez promises to return to V-League after Thailand stint

Filipina volleyball superstar Alyssa Valdez will be away for four months to play overseas but promised to still see action in the next season of the V-League. Valdez is set to leave for Thailand on January 15 to join 3BB Nakornnont for the second round of the Thai League and for the Thai-Denmark Super League which will run until the second week of April. But the former Ateneo de Manila Queen Eagle said that she’ll return after her stint in Thailand to play in the 14th season of the V-League.    “Yun nga din. Well I think naiintindihan din naman nila (V-League) ang schedule so I guess if aabot or may team din na willing tanggapin ako kahit may mga ganoong circumstances OK naman ‘yun sa akin. Pero then again if wala naman Ok lang din sa akin,” said the three-time UAAP Most Valuable Player. The V-League will open in March with the staging of the Reinforced Conference. If a V-League team taps Valdez, the open hitter won’t be available until midway in the conference. “Basta no matter what kung aabot ako o hindi ako aabot. Kung may willing magpalaro sa akin, basta kung kaya lalaro naman talaga ako here,” added the 23-year-old two-time UAAP champion. Valdez last played for Bureau of Customs in the V-League Reinforced Conference, leading the young team to a runner-up finish after absorbing a Finals series sweep against powerhouse Pocari Sweat in the import-laden season-ending tournament.   But the pride of San Juan, Batangas’ contract with BoC has expired after the conference and she is open to entertain other interested clubs. Valdez played for BaliPure in the Open Conference before transferring to BoC. “Wala akong (contract sa BoC) kasi di ba new season, new year na din? So I think it’s a brand new discussion and brand new (contract) na rin,” said Valdez. Valdez debuts for 3BB Nakornnont, where she will be reunited with BoC teammates Kanjana Kuthaisong and Nattanicha Jaisaen, on January 29.         --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 10th, 2017

Thumbs up rate for Valdez's hosting debut

Volleyball superstar Alyssa Valdez received two thumbs up from Nikko Ramos and Gretchen Fulido after her first stint as a host in the 2016 UAAP Cheerdance competition Saturday at the Big Dome. “Alyssa was great,” said the experienc.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 19th, 2016

Valdez tapped as post-performance host in UAAP CDC

Philippine volleyball superstar Alyssa Valdez will try a new hat this coming weekend. She’ll be putting aside her usual volleyball kit and knee pads in exchange for a microphone, an earpiece and a camera crew. Valdez debuts as .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 17th, 2016

La Salle survives scare

Defending women’s champion De La Salle, behind the tandem of Desiree Cheng and Tin Tiamzon, overcame a first set loss to beat Far Eastern’s Bernadeth Pons and Kyla Atienza, 19-21, 21-15, 15-11, in yesterday’s UAAP Season 79 beach voll.....»»

Category: newsSource:  tempoRelated NewsOct 3rd, 2016

Lady Spikers edge Lady Tams in beach volley

Defending women's champion De La Salle, behind the new tandem of Desiree Cheng and Tin Tiamzon, overcame a first set loss to nose out Far Eastern University's Bernadeth Pons and Kyla Atienza, 19-21, 21-15, 15-11, in Saturday's UAAP Season 79 beach volle.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 1st, 2016

After impressive stint, Rondina, Pons bow out of FIVB Beach Volleyball Boracay Open

The country matched its best Beach World Tour finish of fifth place in the Manila Open 1-star last year with Rondina and Dzi Gervacio......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated News3 hr. 52 min. ago

Thirdy Ravena flies high as 2019 Collegiate Player of the Year

In a season of excellent individual performers, Ateneo’s Thirdy Ravena was second to none. After bannering the Blue Eagles to their second-straight UAAP title, Ravena is set to be named the Collegiate Player of the Year in the 2019 Chooks-To-Go Collegiate Press Corps Awards Night presented by SportsVision on Monday at Amelie Hotel Manila in Ermita. By snagging the top individual plum given by the reporters covering the beat, Ravena joined the likes of his brother Kiefer, Mac Belo, Jeron Teng, Robert Bolick and Ben Mbala in the list of the players who have taken home the coveted award. The second-generation star particularly put up a finals series to remember, averaging 29.5 points, eight rebounds, and 7.5 assists as the Blue Eagles waylaid the University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons - an affair which looked more like a coronation for the newest King Eagle. Ravena will be joined by San Beda’s Robert Bolick, Perpetual’s Prince Eze, and the UP pair of Bright Akhuetie and Paul Desiderio in this year’s All-Collegiate team. Ravena’s coach, Tab Baldwin will also be named the UAAP Coach of the Year while San Beda’s Boyet Fernandez will be named the NCAA Coach of the Year for the record-tying fifth time in the annual festivities also supported by Amelie Hotel Manila, Rain or Shine, NorthPort, World Balance, Arellano University and AXA Team Eds. For the first time in history, the Collegiate Press Corps will also be giving out the SportsVision Volleyball Players of the Year award to the standout performers of the UAAP and the NCAA. University of Santo Tomas’ Sisi Rondina will get the distinction as the first-ever UAAP Volleyball Player of the Year for willing the Golden Tigresses to the Finals. Arellano’s Regine Arocha, on the other hand, will be named the NCAA Volleyball Player of the Year after winning back the trophy for the Lady Chiefs. The 2019 Chooks-to-Go Collegiate Press Corps Awards presented by SportsVision will be aired live over the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas and Tiebreaker Times Facebook accounts......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated News10 hr. 52 min. ago

Ateneo s Ravena flanked by two UP Maroons in 2019 All-Collegiate Team

Four different schools will be represented in this year's All-Collegiate Team. Robert Bolick of NCAA three-peat titlist San Beda and Thirdy Ravena of UAAP back-to-back champion Ateneo are the headliners of the Mythical Five in the 2019 Chooks-to-Go Collegiate Awards presented by SportsVision scheduled for Monday at Amelie Hotel Manila in Malate. Bolick ended his collegiate career with a bang, averaging 16.8 points in 49.1 percent shooting, 5.4 rebounds, and 4.8 assists in the Red Lions' 20-1 romp through the 94th Season of the NCAA. That included a 50-point outburst against Arellano in the elimination round - one of the highest individual marks in the history of the Grand Old League. For his part, Ravena flew the highest he ever has with norms of 14.9 points, 3.1 rebounds, 1.2 steals, and 1.0 blocks as the Blue Eagles' dominated UAAP Season 81 with an overall 15-2 record. He saved his best for last when he imposed his will on UP en route to being hailed as Finals MVP. Completing this year's All-Collegiate Team selected by the Collegiate Press Corps, made up of scribes from print and online outfits covering the NCAA and UAAP, are NCAA 94 MVP Prince Eze of Perpetual and the UP pair of Bright Akhuetie and Paul Desiderio. Eze put the Altas on his back all season long as they barged back into the playoffs. Akhuetie's own MVP campaign as well as Desiderio's heroics were also more than enough to bring the Fighting Maroons to their first Final Four since 1997 and first Finals in 32 years. All five will be honored in the annual event also supported by Amelie Hotel Manila, Rain or Shine, NorthPort, World Balance, Arellano, and AXA Team EDS. They will be alongside fellow awardees in NU Lady Bulldogs who will receive the Award of Excellence, Ateneo's Ange Kouame and San Beda's Javee Mocon who will receive Pivotal Player plums, Adamson's Sean Manganti and Lyceum's CJ Perez who will receive Impact Player citations, Red Lions' mentor Boyet Fernandez and Blue Eagles' tactician Tab Baldwin who will be recognized as Coaches of the Year, and UST's Sisi Rondina and Arellano's Regine Arocha who will make history as the first-ever SportsVision Volleyball Players of the Year. The 2019 Chooks-to-Go Collegiate Press Corps Awards presented by SportsVision will be aired live over Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas and Tiebreaker Times on Facebook......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 25th, 2019

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

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

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 24th, 2019

Fernandez, Baldwin hailed as Collegiate Coaches of the Year yet again

For extending their respective squads' dynasties, two of the best and brightest coaches in the collegiate basketball scene are set to be feted. San Beda Red Lions head mentor Boyet Fernandez and Ateneo Blue Eagles chief tactician Tab Baldwin will be hailed as the Coaches of the Year in the 2019 Chooks-to-Go Collegiate Awards presented by SportsVision on Monday at Amelie Hotel Manila in Malate. Fernandez guided the Red Lions to their 11th title in the last 13 years, their 22nd overall in the NCAA Seniors Basketball Tournament. During the tournament, San Beda only lost once, capping the season with a 14-game winning streak, including a two-game sweep of the Lyceum Pirates in the Finals. This will be Fernandez's fifth Coach of the Year plum, tying him for most in the category with former Ateneo Blue Eagles head coach Norman Black. For his part, Baldwin is set to receive his second straight Coach of the Year trophy in this annual event organized by the Collegiate Press Corps, composed of scribes from print and online outfits covering the NCAA and UAAP. Under Baldwin's watch, the Blue Eagles cruised through the UAAP Season 81 Men's Basketball Tournament to win their second straight championship, the school's 10th overall. The awards night backed by  Amelie Hotel, Rain or Shine, NorthPort, World Balance, Arellano, and AXA Team EDS will also distinguish the UP Fighting Maroons. The Fighting Maroons were the feel-good story of the collegiate season, overcoming a shaky start to get things together late in the UAAP tournament. The team led by Paul Desiderio ended up breaking a 32-year Finals drought to end up with silver - the school's first podium finish in the sport in 32 years as well. Also set to be honored in the event are Sisi Rondina (UAAP Volleyball Player of the Year); Regine Arocha (NCAA Volleyball Player of the Year); the National University Lady Bulldogs (Award of Excellence); Ateneo's Angelo Kouame and San Beda's Javee Mocon (Pivotal Players); Lyceum's CJ Perez and Adamson's Sean Manganti (Impact Players). The 2019 Chooks-to-Go Collegiate Press Corps Awards presented by SportsVision will be aired live over Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas and Tiebreaker Times on Facebook......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 24th, 2019

World beach volleyball sizzles in Boracay

Reunited in the sand court, Rondina and Pons are going all-out to improve the country's best finish of fifth place in the Manila Open last year despite the tremendous odds......»»

Category: newsSource:  tempoRelated NewsMay 23rd, 2019

PVL: May Jia kami – Valdez on Creamline’s advantage

It is fact that Creamline has a really stacked line-up, but prized hitter Alyssa Valdez sees one very important advantage against the competition. Setter Jia Morado. “One of our advantages as a team aside from chemistry is really Jia,” said Valdez as the Cool Smashers gear up to defend their title in the Premier Volleyball League Season 3 Reinforced Conference. Valdez and Morado will be back for the import-laden tournament together with a solid local line-up along with Thai import Kuttika Kaewpin and Venezuelan veteran Aleoscar Blanco.  “Madami kaming players na magagaling na spikers but I think Jia will play a crucial role and a crucial player in our team because she’s gonna run the plays,” said Valdez, who has been teammates with Morado since their UAAP days with Ateneo de Manila University. “She’s the one who would decide kung kanino niya ibibigay ang bola. With Jia, we’re really (going to) be composed. Hopefully ma-achieve namin ang goal namin.” Morado welcomes the beautiful problem of having a vast arsenal of talent to work with. “Oo naman. It’s hard kasi iba-iba sila ng sets pero parang nakikita ko naman and nakikita rin naman ng coach namin how we can utilize ‘yung strengths ng bawat players sa loob ng court,” said Morado. The playmaker will get a lot of scoring options in Valdez, their imports and local stars in Jema Galanza, newcomer Heather Guino-o, Michele Gumabao, Pau Soriano, Rissa Sato, Coleen Bravo, Rizza Mandapat, Fille Cainglet-Cayetano, Rose Vargas and Celine Domingo. Setting up the plays will also be an easy task for Morado with reliable liberos in Mel Gohing and Kyla Atienza while she can get a good rest if needed with another veteran playmaker Kyle Negrito coming off the bench. However, Morado down plays their tag as a ‘super team’.    “I don’t think we’re the super team,” she said. “I think all of the teams are equally strong this year. It just boils down to who jells well with their imports.” “Kasi we’re not only looking at all-Filipino line-ups eh, na-up pa ng level with a couple of imports per team,” the three-time Best Setter added. “So dun ang question kung sino ang aabot ng dulo and kung sino ang kayang i-absorb ng import ang system ng team.” Morado points out that the strength of Creamline is not with the names of their stars, but on the roles they are willing play to help the cause.  “We’re still hoping na balance pa rin ang offense namin na we’re not relying too much on our imports, we’re noyt relying on a couple of locals. We’re relying on a balance scoring offense,” said Morado. The Cool Smashers open their campaign on Sunday against PetroGazz.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 23rd, 2019

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

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

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 23rd, 2019

UAAP 81 Volleyball: Everything was worth the wait for Deanna Wong

Deanna Wong can now call herself a UAAP champion.  The fourth-year playmaker helped the Ateneo Lady Eagles to their first UAAP Women's Volleyball Championship since Season 77 with a 2-1 Finals Series win over the very game University of Santo Tomas Golden Tigresses, led by season MVP Sisi Rondina.  The championship capped off an impressive season for the Lady Eagles, but it was not without its hurdles, as they found themselves in three do-or-die matches throughout course of the semifinals and the finals.  But of course, the victory is made sweeter because of the challenges along the way, and for Wong, the championship made the last four years of hard work and sacrifice all worth it.  "Everything is worth the wait lang talaga," Wong told ABS-CBN Sports. "This has been a very long and very hard journey for me, personally." Wong became Ateneo's lead setter in UAAP Season 80, following the departure of two-time champion and former Best Setter Jia Morado after Season 79.  [RELATED: Morado sees Wong as Lady Eagles' leader in Season 82] While her first season as the Lady Eagles' primary playmaker ended in heartbreak after getting booted out in the semifinals by FEU, Wong and Ateneo bounced back with a vengeance in Season 81, finishing the the best record in the league and ultimately, the title.  "Sa dami ng pinagdaanan ko, sobrang hirap, mahirap talaga, and I think, sobrang overwhelming lang and nakuha namin yung goal namin, and it was my first championship in the UAAP, it’s really great," she continued.  Now, even days after helping steer the Lady Eagles back to the summit of UAAP Women's Volleyball, Wong admits that it has yet to sink in.   "Parang hindi ko parin mapaniwalaan eh, kasi after four years of being in college, ngayon ko lang naranasan talaga," Wong said with a wide smile on her face. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 22nd, 2019