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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

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

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

PVL: Ako ang Ate nila – Pablo on young Motolite squad

Battle-tested and well-experienced, Myla Pablo embraces her role not only as newcomer Motolite’s ace hitter, leader and franchise player but also as an older sister of a very young crew in the Premier Volleyball League Season 3 Reinforced Conference. “Ang role ko is as an Ate sa team namin kasi itong mga ‘to first time nilang mag-pro so ako ilang years na rin akong nasa pro so kailangan ako mismo ang magdadala this coming conference,” said Pablo, who will lead a squad composed of the core of Adamson University and University of the Philippines. Pablo transferred to Motolite from Pocari Sweat after last season and is expected to bring her experience and the same intensity of play in Motolite’s maiden campaign under head coach Air Padda.      The squad will pin its hopes on youthful hitters Isa Molde, Tots Carlos, setter Ayel Estranero and middle blockers Marist Layug and Aie Gannaban of UP, which won the 2018 Collegiate Conference title. Also joining the team are Eli Soyud, Thang Ponce, Bernadette Flora, Jellie Tempiatura and Fhen Emnas, who transferred from BanKo.     Known for her scoring prowess as well as superb floor defense, Pablo welcomes the chance of playing alongside younger players. “Ngayon siguro mas magaan din kasi itong mga bata siyempre kumbaga ganado pa silang maglaro. Gutom sa bola, gustong manalo,” said the two-time conference Most Valuable Player. But Pablo knows that her teammates will need her maturity come game time. “Pero ang mga bata ‘di pwedeng pabayaan mo lang sa loob ng court kailangan may magha-handle sa loob ng court,” she said. “Ako kasi nasanay na akong may kasamang beterano sa loob ng court and ngayon ako na ang Ate ng Motolite so I hope madala ko sila.” Pablo will have foreign guest players Bosnian Edina Selimovic and Cuban Gygy Silva to her guide the young Motolite squad. “Siyempre nadyan ang mga imports namin pero kaming mga locals kami yung susuporta kung ano ang dapat naming gawin,” said Pablo. Motolite will open its campaign on June 1 against BaliPure.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 21st, 2019

UST is UAAP double general champion once more in Season 81

The UAAP’s general championships are staying in Espana. University of Sto. Tomas was officially named the General Champions of the Collegiate Division in the Season 81 closing ceremony, Tuesday at MOA Arena. The black and gold wound up with 279 points built on titles in Men’s and Women’s Beach Volleyball, Men’s and Women’s Judo, and Men’s and Women’s Table Tennis. That was more than enough to edge out closest competitor De La Salle University’s 260-point total. Then at joint third are Ateneo de Manila University and the University of the Philippines. This is the third straight year that the Seniors trophy will be coming home to Espana. That is also where the High School Division trophy is headed as the Tiger Cubs were also recognized as General Champions. This is their fifth straight year alone atop the leaderboard in the Juniors. —— Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 21st, 2019

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

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

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 20th, 2019

UAAP Season 81 Finals: UST alumni to fly Rondina and Bicar’s families to Manila for Game 2

Sisi Rondina’s family will get a chance to cheer for the University of Sto. Tomas star in the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball Finals series after all. A group of prominent UST alumni upon learning that Rondina’s family in Cebu has no means of travelling to Manila because of budget constraint after the graduating hitter and breadwinner bought a 2-storey pre-selling house in their hometown in Compostela, decided to shoulder their airfare and accommodation expenses. [Related story: UAAP Season 81 Finals: Hindi na kami makakaranas ng hirap -- Rondina]     “It’s the UST community, we’re a family,” a UST alumnus, who requested anonymity, told ABS-CBN Sports in a message on Sunday.      The Season 81 Most Valuable Player, the first Tigress to capture the highest individual recognition since UST legend Venus Bernal bagged it back in Season 69, led the Espana-based squad to a 25-17, 25-16, 25-20, victory over Ateneo de Manila University in Game 1 of the best-of-three championship at the Big Dome on Saturday. Rondina finished with game-high 23 points as she helped the Tigresses move a win away from reclaiming the throne after a nine-year drought. As a gesture of appreciation for her service to the school and for bringing the UST community together, the UST alumni will fly Rondina’s family to Manila in time for Game 2 on Wednesday. In addition, the group will also bring in the family of Tigresses setter Alina Bicar from Samar. The playmaker was also instrumental in UST’s series-opening romp, tallying 19 excellent sets in a superb ball distribution that helped the Tigresses fire 46 attack points.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 13th, 2019

UAAP Season 81 Finals: UST alumni to fly Rondina and Bicar’s families to Manila for Game 2

Sisi Rondina’s family will get a chance to cheer for the University of Sto. Tomas star in the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball Finals series after all. A group of prominent UST alumni upon learning that Rondina’s family in Cebu has no means of travelling to Manila because of budget constraint after the graduating hitter and breadwinner bought a 2-storey pre-selling house in their hometown in Compostela, decided to shoulder their airfare and accommodation expenses. [Related story: UAAP Season 81 Finals: Hindi na kami makakaranas ng hirap -- Rondina]     “It’s the UST community, we’re a family,” a UST alumnus, who requested anonymity, told ABS-CBN Sports in a message on Sunday.      The Season 81 Most Valuable Player, the first Tigress to capture the highest individual recognition since UST legend Venus Bernal bagged it back in Season 69, led the Espana-based squad to a 25-17, 25-16, 25-20, victory over Ateneo de Manila University in Game 1 of the best-of-three championship at the Big Dome on Saturday. Rondina finished with game-high 23 points as she helped the Tigresses move a win away from reclaiming the throne after a nine-year drought. As a gesture of appreciation for her service to the school and for bringing the UST community together, the UST alumni will fly Rondina’s family to Manila in time for Game 2 on Wednesday. In addition, the group will also bring in the family of Tigresses setter Alina Bicar from Samar. The playmaker was also instrumental in UST’s series-opening romp, tallying 19 excellent sets in a superb ball distribution that helped the Tigresses fire 46 excellent sets.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 12th, 2019

UAAP Season: Rondina wins MVP award, Laure takes RoY

University of Sto. Tomas veteran ace Sisi Rondina added another feather on her cap after copping the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball tournament Most Valuable Player award. The fifth year open spiker had a sensational final season, averaging 17.7 points per game with a 33.38 spiking percentage and 3.98 digs per set, but more importantly, the Cebu native piloted the Tigresses to their first Finals appearance in eight years.       Rondina, who won four beach volleyball titles and four MVP honors, also claimed the Second Best Open spiker and Best Scorer awards. The Queen Tigress became  the second player to win both the indoor and beach volleyball MVP awards in a single season since Wendy Semana of Far Eastern University recorded the feat in Season 70.  UST prized recruit Eya Laure bagged the Rookie of the Year award – the Tigresses second straight citation after Milena Alessandrini won the recognition last year and third in five years after Laure’s sister, EJ, won it in Season 77. It is the first time that the MVP and RoY awards were won by players from the same school since Aby Marano (MVP) and Ara Galang of De La Salle University did the feat in Season 74. Laure averaged 16.4 points per outing and a 35.90% accuracy in attacks. She also won the First Best Open Spiker. Kat Tolentino of Ateneo de Manila University got the Best Opposite Spiker award averaging 14.2 point per game with 30.23% attack accuracy and 0.63 kill blocks per set. National University’s Roselyn Doria was named First Best Blocker while outgoing Lady Eagle Maddie Madayag got the Second Best Blocker honors. University of the East’s Kath Arado was named Best Libero while teammate Lai Bendong bagge the Best Setter award. NU rookie Princess Robles, who averaged 0.48 ace per set, earned the Best Server award.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles         .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 10th, 2019

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

UAAP Season 81 Final Four: Ilalaban ko na ‘to -- Laure on playing in pain

Rookie Eya Laure showed great heart and dedication to help University of Sto. Tomas’ cause, playing through pain in three sets for a heroic outing on Sunday that helped the Tigresses break an eight-year Finals drought. The freshman highlighted her career-game with an inspiring outing to rally the Tigresses to a dramatic 25-19, 25-19, 20-25, 23-25, 15-10, win over dethroned three-time champion De La Salle University in the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball Final Four at the MOA Arena. Laure, who scored a personal-best 25 points including 21 from attacks, hurt her left knee early in the third set after a bad landing following an attack. She was called for a net touch in the said play and was obviously in pain, dragging her left leg and played with diminished explosiveness.             The Lady Spikers took advantage of UST’s struggles in the next two sets to force a decider. With the chance of advancing to the Finals – their first of two tries as the no. 2 seed in the Final Four – hanging in the balance, the top Rookie of the Year candidate ignored the pain and played her heart out.   “’Yun lang naman ang sinabi ni coach (Kungfu Reyes) eh, ‘Mamaya mo na yan iinda laruin mo muna kung kaya mong laruin,’” said Laure. “Sabi ko sa kanya mamaya ka na umaray,” added Reyes during the postgame interview. Reyes said that he tried to sub out Laure in the third frame but the rookie insisted to remain inside the court and fight alongside the Tigresses.    “Sabi ni coach, ‘Mamaya mo na iaray kung nasa dugout ka na. Ngayon kung kaya mong ilaban…’ Paulit-ulit niya akong tinatanong noon kung ‘kaya mo pa ba?’” continued Laure. “Sa loob-loob ko nandito na ako eh, aalis pa ba ako? Malay mo kailangan din ako ng mga teammates ko. Papaano kung be-babyhin ko itong nararamdaman ko, ano ang parang naitulong ko sa kanila?” Laure will not just sit on the bench, she wanted to be in the thick of the action, even in pain. “’Dun na lang ako sa side na ilaban ko na ‘to kaysa naman na lumaban sila, na nakikita ko sila na sila lang ang lumalaban. Siyempre, gusto ko na nakikita ko sila na kasama ako na lumalaban para sa UST, na kasama sila,” she said. Laure, with all the remaining strength in her in an exhausting match that went the full distance, delivered one of her most memorable shining moments. The young gun scored five points in the fifth set and fueled the Tigresses to one last push when DLSU closed in at 11-10. Setter Alina Bicar scored back-to-back points before Laure asked the veteran setter for the ball.    “Hiningi ko na kay Ate Alina ‘yun,” she recalled. “Kasi may instructions sa akin si coach nun na, ‘Paluin mo pero sa dalawang direksyon lang kung down the line o crosscourt.’ So alin dun eh nakikita ko na nu’ng nagbaligtad na ng place ng court, natsi-check na ako sa crosscourt kaya tinry ko na down the line. Kaya puro down the line.” Laure hammered the match point before ending her magical night with the championship berth-clinching down the line hit.      --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 5th, 2019

UAAP Season 81 Final Four: ‘Di ko sinayang ang oras na ‘yun –- Ronquillo

With their season hanging in the balance, Far Eastern University rookie France Ronquillo trooped to the service line with much pressure on her shoulders. The freshman showed grace under pressure as she played an important role in the Lady Tamaraws’ fifth set rally that paved the way for FEU’s 10-25, 25-23, 25-22, 12-25, 15-8, escape on Saturday to force a decider in the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball Final Four at the MOA Arena. Ronquillo was on the service line when FEU sparked the pivotal 6-0 scoring barrage that broke a 7-7 deadlock in the fifth set for a 13-7 lead. “Nu’ng unang pasok ko sa court may kaba pa po,” said the Nueva Ecija-native Ronquillo. “Ang lamig nga ng kamay ko kasi last year pinapanood ko lang sila ate tapos ngayon tutulong na ako sa kanila.” “Di ko sinayang oras na ‘yun para tulungan sila sa kahit anong paraan,” she added. Ronquillo kept a steady hand on her serve, hitting her mark and playing good defense at the back line. She even scored an ace to push FEU’s lead to 12-7.   “Nu’ng nakita ko na tuluy-tuloy na service ko nawala na ang pressure sa akin. Parang mas nag-gain ako ng morale na lumaban pa po,” said Ronquillo, who scored seven points with two coming off aces.   The open spiker came off the bench in the opening set before starting in the next four frames. “Noong mga unang set po kasi hindi ako nakakatulong sa harap. Sinabi ko po kay Ate Gel (Cayuna) na, ‘Kung di ako makatulong sa harap, sa likod ako tutulong’, yun po,” she said. “Kung wala akong maitulong sa harap, sa likod ako tutulong sa service o sa depensa.” Ronquillo and the rest of the Lady Tams will play the Lady Eagles in a winner-take-all match on Wednesday.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 4th, 2019

UP, UE share 2019 s king of recruiting crown

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

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 3rd, 2019

UAAP holds second Ballroom Formation Dance Competition

The University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) shifts its attention to the ballroom as featured playing field this Friday, May 3 as it holds its second Ballroom Formation Dance Competition at the University of Santo Tomas Quadricentennial Pavilion at 1 p.m. The University of Santo Tomas introduced “Ballroom” as a competition event in 2016 when it hosted UAAP Season 79 and made Ballroom Formation as the first featured sport during the UAAP Season LXXIX opening ceremonies. No Ballroom Formation Dance Competition was held in Season 80, but Season 81 host school National University has brought back the sport for the current season. Three universities will take part in this year’s competition, with University of the Philippines, Far Eastern University, and University of Santo Tomas vying for the sport’s top honors in two categories: Standard and Latin Ballroom. The UP Ballroom Formation Team dominated the sport during its debut in Season 79 by winning 1st place in both Standard and Latin Ballroom categories. UST won 2nd place in both categories, while University of the East went home with 3rd place in the Latin category and De La Salle University won 3rd place in the Standard category. Despite having less competing teams this season, all three universities vow to bring their A-game and wow the crowd with their smooth moves on the dance floor. The UAAP Ballroom Formation Dance Competition is still considered a demo sport for Season 81, similar to its debut in Season 79. This means that results will not be included in the final tally for the league’s overall standings.  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 2nd, 2019

UAAP Season 81: Tigresses claw Lady Spikers for twice-to-beat advantage

University of Sto. Tomas head coach Kungfu Reyes said they are ready to face three-time defending champion De La University with or without a twice-to-beat advantage in the Final Four after the Tigresses closed the elimination of UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball tournament. But when the golden chance came for the Tigresses to steal the semifinals incentive, UST grabbed the opportunity to move a win away from a return stint to the championship round for the first time in nine years. The Tigresses demolished the Lady Spikers in the playoff for the no. 2 spot and semis incentive with an emphatic, 25-14, 25-23, 23-25, 25-19 victory on Wednesday at the jam-packed FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan. Graduating hitter Sisi Rondina and rookie Eya Laure caught fire early while the rest of the Tigresses followed suit, playing their roles well to arm UST with a semis advantage for the first time since its runner-up finish in Season 73 behind DLSU. The two teams battled for the twice-to-beat bonus after closing the elims tied at 10-4 win-loss slates.       Rondina had 29 points off 25 attacks, two kill blocks, and two aces for the Espana-based squad. Laure chipped in 17 markers while freshman Ysa Jimenez and Caitlyn Viray got eight and seven markers, respectively for UST. “Maganda ‘yung experience na sa sobrang tagal ng panahon ganoon pala ang experience ng may playoff. Masarap na yung pakiramdam na naglalaro ka pero mas masarap kung nanalo ka doon sa game. Luckily kami ang nanalo. Another history para sa amin,” said Reyes, whose squad fell to twice-to-beat DLSU in the Tigresses last semis stint in Season 79. The Final Four match between UST and DLSU is on Sunday, with the Lady Spikers marching in the semis with a twice-to-win disadvantage for the first time in 11 years. No. 1 seed Ateneo de Manila University and Far Eastern University, which defeated the Lady Spikers at the end of elims that forced a playoff, semis match is on Saturday.          UST broke a 12-12 deadlock in the fourth set with a telling run that saw Rondina send missile after missile for  a 19-13 advantage. The Lady Spikers tried to make a comeback after cutting their deficit to 18-22 but a service error by rookie Jolina Dela Cruz followed by a Rondina ace gave the Tigresses the match point advantage. Lourdes Clemente saved a match point before Laure's game-clinching kill.    The Lady Spikers squandered an early 6-1 lead in the third set as the Tigresses fought back to take a 23-22 lead after an overreaching call on DLSU middle Des Clemente. The transferee from University of Perpetual Help made amend on her error with a kill to tie the frame before Aduke Ogunsanya hammered an attack followed by a Laure mishit as DLSU stole the set.    The Tigresses blasted 10 straight points to turn a 7-5 deficit in the second set to a 15-7 lead capped by a Rondina backrow hit. DLSU answered with a run of its own to cut its deficit to 15-17.    Laure pounded back-to-back hits to put the Tigresses at set point, 24-18, before the Lady Spikers saved five set points capped by a May Luna service ace before Laure put the frame away with a crosscourt hit. UST waxed-hot early in the game, building a comfortable lead in the first frame before cruising to take the set.    Rookie Jolina dela Cruz got 12 points as the only Lady Spiker in double figures while Des Cheng and May Luna finished with nine markers each.    --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 1st, 2019

BVR on Tour: San Beda s Viray twins shine in Lingayen Open

LINGAYEN, Pangasinan – Playing with a lot of pride in front of their provincemates, San Beda University's Nieza and Ella Viray overwhelmed Pangasinan 3's Dada Martin and Jasmin Ocado, 21-7, 21-12, for a winning start in the BVR On Tour: Lingayen Open Tuesday at the Capitol Beachfront here. The Viray twins showcased the stuff that gave their school two NCAA titles to emerge victorious in their Pool A debut. The Virays later secured a spot in the quarterfinals together with Bea Tan and Dij Rodriguez after Perlas, seeking to rebound from last weekend's second place finish in Dumaguete, downed Pangasinan 3, 21-12, 21-3. Pangasinan 2nd District Rep. Leopoldo N. Bataoil took the effort to invite BVR in Lingayen to bring in players from the national level and try playing next to the beautiful beach of Lingayen Gulf. He hopes to hone local talents to be part of this national league while promoting sports tourism in the province. Bataoil and Marlon Domalanta of the province's Sports Development Center, representing Gov. Amado Espino, attended the opening ceremony and delivered the ceremonial serve along with the Viray twins to formally open the two-day spikefest. In the men's division, Air Force 1's Jade Becaldo and Mike Abria found Army 2's Jason Uy and Randy Fallorina a tough nut to crack to nut before carving out a 21-23, 21-19, 15-7 victory. Becaldo and Abria, former two-time Boracay beach volleyball champions who were reunited and placed second in Dumaguete over the weekend, are installed as heavy favorites. Bingle Landicho had a successful return in the sand court for NU Boysen 2 with Kath Epa as the duo turned back Rizal Techonological University's Myla Lim and Hannah Patrocenio, 21-13, 21-11, and so is Kly Orillaneda, who joined forces with Roma Joy Doromal in NU Boysen 1's 21-10, 21-8 conquest of Air Force 2's Mikaela Andres and Angel Antipuesto. Despite the loss, Andres and Antipuesto, who bested Pangasinan 2's Tricia Abalos and Abigail Guzman, 21-12, 21-12, in their opening Pool B match, remain in quarterfinals contention. University of the Philippines' alums Pam Legaspi and Aliyah Ong made quick work of Pangasinan 1's Lyka Aquino and Princess Cabalteja, 21-9, 21-15, in the other women's morning match. Other men's games saw Army 2's Jason Uy and Randy Fallorina defeating FEU's Kevin Hadlocon and Ralph Justin Dablo, 22-20, 21-13, Mapua's Jeremy Santos and Benneth Abellada beating Baguio's Jason Salonga and Paul Pangidian, 21-8, 21-9, and Fury's Greg Utupo and Pemie Bagalay prevailing over RTU's Peter Galvan and Cesar Sebastian, 21-10, 21-13. Action resumes Wednesday with the quarterfinals starting at 7 a.m., with the semis and finals to be played in the afternoon......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 30th, 2019

Graduating Kath Arado eyes UE assistant coach role - Inquirer Sports

MANILA, PhilippinesKath Arado could stay at University of the East even after playing her final game in the UAAP Season 81 womens volleyball tournament, albeit in a different capacity. The Lady Warrio.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philippinetimesRelated NewsApr 28th, 2019

Until now, Yanyan Lariba is breaking barriers for La Salle

Back in 2016, Yanyan Lariba made history as the first-ever Filipino table tennis player to compete in the Olympics. Three years after the fact, the breakthrough remains nothing but impressive - and more than enough for Laroba to deserve her place up there with student-athletes who had their jerseys retired in De La Salle University. “She went to the Olympics… In a sport that the Philippines is never really good at,” De La Salle University table tennis patron Emmanuel Bocaling said in the ceremonies, Saturday in their Manila campus. “Yanyan broke the barrier. That means it can be done.” Indeed, the late Lariba was a trailblazer who is a role model for just about everybody. Now, that is even truer for Lasallian student-athletes not playing the so-called popular sports such as basketball and volleyball. “Her jersey up there, this means this is no longer just restricted to basketball and volleyball,” Emmanuel Bocaling said. “This also gives a chance to other sports.” Lariba’s jersey now hangs alongside the best student-athletes La Salle has produced in basketball’s Kurt Bachmann, Lim Eng Beng, and Renren Ritualo and volleyball’s Illa Santos. More than those four, however, her place up in the rafters is a signal to all student-athletes that they can be immortalized whatever their sport is. “Kasi, popular lang sa atin is basketball and volleyball so even us in the OSD (Office of Sports Development), we are hoping to open the floodgates for all to realize that there are other sports that are exciting,” school athletic director Nong Calanog said. “In this case, Yanyan was able to probe we can be world-class even in table tennis.” And so, until now, Lariba shines bright as an inspiration - not only for Lasallians, but for all student-athletes. “Si Yanyan, isang mabuting halimbawa sa mga atleta. She excelled not only in sports, but also in academics,” table tennis coach Lauro Crisostomo said. —— Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 27th, 2019

Valdez assures LVPI she will attend national team tryouts

Former Ateneo de Manila Queen Eagle Alyssa Valdez promised to join the tryouts set by the Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc, for the national women’s team that will see action in the 29th Kuala Lumpur Southeast Asian Games on August 19 to 31. LVPI vice president Peter Cayco said that Valdez told him Saturday that the three-time UAAP Most Valuable Player will undergo the selection process just like other national squad aspirants. The Manila tryout is on January 28, 29 and 31 with legs in Cebu and Davao set next month. Each aspirant must complete the three-day tryout. The names of the players that will make the 20-woman pool will be announced on the last week of February. Valdez, a two-time UAAP champion who bannered the PHI team in the 2015 Singapore SEA Games, assured LVPI in a meeting with Cayco in the sports association’s office at Arellano-Taft before she flew to Thailand Sunday to join 3BB Nakornnont in the Thai League, that she will return home during the break to join any of the three tryouts. “Nakapag-usap kami noong Saturday ang sabi niya sa akin uuwi siya para sa tryouts,” Cayco said Tuesday during the Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum at the Rizal Memorial Complex Media Center. Valdez will debut in the Thai League on January 29 making her unavailable for the Manila leg. She is expected to show up either in the Cebu or Davao leg.       National team head coach Francis Vicente, who discovered and molded Valdez into a star during her high school days as a University of Sto. Tomas player, pointed out that though Valdez is a cut above the rest with her volleyball skills, leadership and fan base she will still go under the scrutiny of the selection committee. “Alam naman natin na Alyssa Valdez is angat, sikat and sa akin din galing yan pero ayaw ko na kukunin ko na siya na, ‘O halika na rito wag ka na mag-tryout.’ Unfair naman ‘yun sa iba,” said Vicente. “Unfair naman yun kina Myla Pablo kina Grethcel Soltones e magaling din naman sila. Ayokong mabansagan na may kinikilingan. If she really wants to play in the national team kailangan niyang pumunta sa tryouts, no special treatment.”                             LVPI president Joey Romasanta commended the gesture of Valdez, who served as the country’s flag-bearer during the last SEA Games, saying that her willingness to join the tryouts during her break in the Thai League.          “’Yung sinabi ni Alyssa na uuwi siya rito to join the tryout for the national team is very commendable and a manifestation of her being a true athlete and her sincerest desire to serve the country via the national team,” said Roamsanta. “Ako, we are very hopeful that during the breaks in her (Thai League) schedule she will be able to join any of those tryouts.”       --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles             .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 17th, 2017