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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: abscbn abscbnApr 16th, 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 PRESS CORPS PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Bernadeth Pons of FEU

Far Eastern University’s Bernadeth Pons is determined to make the most out of her final playing year. After another superb all-around performance that allowed the Lady Tamaraws to clinch a Final Four berth in the Season 80 women’s volleyball tournament, Pons has earned the UAAP Player of the Week recognition. She bested National University’s Jaja Santiago, University of the Philippines' Tots Carlos, De La University’s Kim Kianna Dy, and Ateneo de Manila University’s Kat Tolentino for the weekly nod. The FEU skipper, who averages 15.4 points per game, stands out because of her remarkable defensive skills on top of her scoring prowess. She ranks third in receiving (44.88 percent reception efficiency) and digging (3.84 digs per set), edging out all liberos in the league not named Kath Arado and Dawn Macandili.  In the Lady Tamaraws’ five-set victory over the Adamson Lady Falcons last Saturday, Pons finished with stellar triple-double numbers of 22 points, 23 digs, and 24 excellent receptions. “Sobrang laking factor siya para ma-build talaga yung confidence ng team,” she said about the crucial win that secured them a ticket to the semifinals for the fourth year in a row. Despite the guaranteed playoffs entry, the 21-year-old spiker is not yet satisfied with what her team has achieved. Sporting an 8-4 record, FEU currently sits at the third spot behind De La Salle University (10-2) and Ateneo de Manila University (9-4). With two games remaining in the elimination round, the Lady Tamaraws are still in the hunt for a twice-to-beat bonus. “Ang target namin is yung number two, so kailangan ma-straight namin yung natitirang games para makuha namin yung number two spot,” said Pons, ahead of their closing matches against University of the East on Wednesday and National University on Sunday. “Ito na lang yung last chance ko. Gusto talaga namin na makapasok kami ng Finals, pero syempre gusto namin makakuha ng twice-to-beat advantage kasi malaking bagay nga naman siya para sa team,” she added. The graduating hitter hopes to end her collegiate career with a bang, but she knows that focusing on their ultimate goal of reaching the championship can be overwhelming. So instead of keeping their eyes on the prize, she wants her teammates to focus on what they need to do on the court......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 9th, 2018

Pons gets vindication in UST win after futile showing against Ateneo

After a crucial loss, Bernadeth Pons got her vindication against Far Eastern University's all-time rival. In the Lady Tamaraws' shock three-set defeat to Ateneo last week, Pons was held to just five measly points afteraveraging 18.67 points a game in the first round of the UAAP Season 80 women's volleyball tournament. It came like a wake-up call for Pons and vowed to a better player in the Lady Tamaraws' next game as the elimination round enters a crucial stretch. She found retribution when she led FEU to a 25-21, 25-21, 25-23 win over University of Santo Tomas on Wednesday where she finished with 15 points. READ:UAAP Volleyball: Ateneo recovers, stops FEU's winning run ...Keep on reading: Pons gets vindication in UST win after futile showing against Ateneo.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsMar 14th, 2018

UAAP VOLLEYBALL Press Corps POW: Eli Soyud of Adamson U

After an impressive game against her former team La Salle, Adamson University standout Eli Soyud emerged as the UAAP Press Corps Player of the Week. The opposite spiker finished with a game-high 18 points, from 13 kills, three blocks and two service aces, in the Lady Falcons’ four-set victory over the Lady Spikers, 25-18, 15-25, 25-19, 25-22, on Saturday. Soyud’s stellar performance helped Adamson to score its first win over La Salle since the second round of the Season 70. “Bumalik ‘yung trust ko sa sarili ko siyempre ‘yung trust ng coaches sa akin parang naging buo ulit kasi nga mas nakakatulong ako hindi na parang dadalhin pa ako,” she said. Lady Falcons coach Air Padda couldn’t be any prouder of Soyud. “She had a rough start and now a lot of people want to underestimate her but then I never underestimated her. I know what Eli is capable of, she’s capable of a lot and man I’m so proud of her,” said Padda. Soyud, who suited up for La Salle in Seasons 77 and 78, edged NationalUniversity stalwart Jaja Santiago, Ateneo skipper Maddie Madayag, Far Eastern University top hitter Bernadeth Pons and La Salle defense specialist Dawn Macandili......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 27th, 2018

Top sports headliners in the year that was

From the FIFA World Cup to the NBA, the PBA to the UAAP and NCAA, the Asian Games to Manny Pacquiao, volleyball to MMA, the past 12 months truly was a great year for Filipino sports fans.   Here are some of the most memorable sports headliners that bannered the year that was.    San Miguel Corporation dominates PBA San Miguel Corporation owned 2018. For the first time in the history of the Asia’s first professional basketball league one company dominated all three conferences of the PBA. The San Miguel Beermen annexed their fourth straight Philippine Cup title against sister team Magnolia last May, while Ginebra rode on undersized do-it-all forward Justin Brownlee to the Commissioner's Cup title at the expense of San Miguel last August. Then it was Magnolia's time to shine in December. The Hotshots dismantled Alaska in six games to complete SMC’s domination of PBA 2018. Outside of basketball, SMC also made its presence felt in volleyball as Petron bagged the Grand Prix, Challenge Cup (beach volleyball) and the All-Filipino Conference in the Philippine Superliga.   Kai Sotto stands tall as Ateneo takes title vs NU Kai Sotto became a household name in 2018 as the 7'1" wunderkind showed off in the UAAP Season 80 juniors' basketball tournament. The eventual Finals MVP was a beast in Game 1 of the Finals against the NU Bullpups, tallying a triple-double of 22 points, 16 rebounds, and 11 blocks in the 86-70 win, the first of its kind since 2003. Ateneo finished the season almost unscathed at 16-1, with their lone loss in Game 2 of the series, a very chippy one to say the least. In Game 3, Sotto came up clutch, scoring the go-ahead basket, 60-58, with about 30 seconds left as Ateneo came away with the 63-58 win to take the title.  SJ Belangel, Joaqui Manuel, Dave Ildefonso and Jason Credo, and coach Joe Silva all appeared in their last games for the Blue Eaglets.   DLSU completes three-peat; NU dethrones Ateneo  The UAAP Season 80 volleyball tournament was filled with lasting memories that will surely be remembered for a long time. Numerous upsets in the eliminations, great games, and much more were the name of the game for the women's tournament. However, a long-time rivalry was rekindled when two-time defending champs De La Salle Lady Spikers met 29-time title holders FEU Lady Tamaraws for all the marbles last May. Kim Kianna Dy, Majoy Baron, and Dawn Macandili all ended their careers on a high note as they swept graduating Bernadeth Pons and the Lady Tamaraws in two straight games to win their third straight title. Graduating libero Macandili was named Finals MVP for the first and final time in her collegiate career.  Behind their magnificent floor defense and some stellar play from Finals MVP Bryan Bagunas, the NU Bulldogs also swept three-time defending champions Ateneo Blue Eagles to reclaim a title they last enjoyed in Season 76. Espejo, a five-time UAAP MVP, had an awesome performance for the world's record books, scoring a record-55 points to force the FEU Tamaraws to a do-or-die Final Four. The Blue Eagle legend had played his last, and has since suited up for a semi-pro team in Japan's topflight volleyball league.   Alab fends off Mono Vampire to claim ABL title San Miguel-backed Alab Pilipinas were such a glorious sight to see in the eighth season of the Asean Basketball League (ABL) last March. Coached by perennial fan favorite Jimmy Alapag in his very first season, the trio of Renaldo Balkman, Justin Brownlee, and Local and Finals MVP Bobby Ray Parks to their first title in home soil. Alab faced Thailand-based Mono Vampire, who were led by Mike Singletary, towering Sam Deguara, Fil-Am Jason Brickman and Pinoy Paul Zamar. In the very same day as the coronation of the UAAP volleyball championships, Alab took home the crown in a rousing 102-92 victory in Sta. Rosa, much to the delight of the home crowd. Balkman, the league's Defensive Player of the Year led Alab in scoring with 32, while Brownlee added 24 of his own. Parks added 13 markers. The two imports played in the PBA for the Commissioner's Cup, where Balkman (San Miguel) and Brownlee (Ginebra) would face each other in the Finals.   (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio) Warriors send LeBron packing to Los Angeles The Golden St. Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers locked horns in the NBA Finals for the fourth straight season after the two teams were pushed to the brink in the Conference Finals. Both teams were down 3-2 and won Game 7 on the road to win their respective conferences, with both teams banking on experience to forge another bout in the championship series. Game 1 was undoubtedly the most exciting game in the series as LeBron James had an epic performance of 51 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists.  However, JR Smith's blunder at the end of regulation became the lasting image of that game, as he dribbled out the clock with the score tied at 107-all. The defending champions rode the surge and took the opening game, 124-114. Stephen Curry's brillant performance throughout the series was overshadowed by Kevin Durant's dagger in Game 3, a few feet away from the spot where he launched the go-ahead three in Game 3 of the 2017 NBA Finals. Durant was named as the Bill Russell Finals MVP after norming 28.8 ppg, 10.8 rpg, and 7.5 apg in the four-game sweep, demolishing the Cavs 108-85 in the series finale last June. It would also be the last game LeBron James had in a Cleveland Cavaliers uniform, as he bolted for the Los Angeles Lakers almost a month later.   (AP Photo/Martin Meissner) France rules 2018 FIFA World Cup The most-coveted title of the beautiful game returned to France after two decades. The youthful French squad celebrated their conquest soaked in a downpour in Moscow after a 4-2 victory over first-time finalist Croatia in the 2018 FIFA World Cup last July. Teenager Kylian Mbappe stood out in the French team composed of a bunch of 25 and under players. Speed, strength and youth became France’s biggest asset during the quadrennial football spectacle watched by almost 3.5 billion viewers around the world.  The 19-year-old migrant scored one of the four goals in the championship match to become the second teen to score a goal in the Finals after the legendary Pele back in 1958. France defeated Belgium in the semifinal, 1-0, while Croatia outlasted the favored Russians in penalty shootout, 4-3 (2-2). The French team also displayed diversity, with players born of migrant parents including Alphonse Areola, whose parents are both Filipinos working in France.   Pac on top, The Filipino Flash returns The most-celebrated Filipino athlete continued make the headlines this year. Manny Pacquaio stripped Lucas Matthysse of his WBA welterweight world championship belt with a seventh round technical knockout win in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in July. Pacquiao split with long-time trainer Freddie Roach during his build up for the Matthysse bout back in April but confirmed their partnership once again for the 40-year old boxer’s title defense against Adrien Broner next year. Nonito Donaire Jr. announced that he would be going back down to super bantamweight after a loss to Carl Frampton in April for the interim WBO Featherweight belt and would be taking part in the World Boxing Super Series' super bantamweight tournament.  Matched up in the quarterfinal round against Ryan Burnett back in November, Donaire scored what many consider an upset, winning via TKO after the Irishman suffered a back injury to snatch the WBA (Super) Bantamweight World Championship.  Up next for Donaire will be WBO Super Bantamweight World Champion Zolani Tete of South Africa in the semifinals.           Pinay power in the Asian Games   The Philippines participated in the 18th Asian Games held in Jakarta and Palembang, Indonesia that ran from August 18 to September 2. A total of 272 athletes that participated in 31 sports represented the country in the quadrennial meet with Jordan Clarkson of the Cleveland Cavaliers and medalist Margielyn Didal marching as flagbearers in the opening and closing ceremonies, respectively. Rio Olympian Hidilyn Diaz gave the PHI its first gold medal in women’s -53 kg. weightlifting. Five days after Diaz’s victory, the trio of Yuka Saso, Bianca Pagdanganan and Lois Kaye Go accounted for the women’s golf team mint. Saso also bagged the individual gold. In Palembang, Didal rolled her way into winning the women’s street skateboard gold. The celebrated men’s basketball team started out strong after routing Kazakhstan but lost by two-points to China in the group stage. The Gilas Pilipinas squad advanced in the quarterfinals but bowed down to South Korea by nine points eventually settling for a fifth spot in the classification phase after wins over Japan and Syria. The PHI finished with a 4-2-15 gold-silver-bronze haul and landed at 19th spot, three places higher that its 2014 finish in Incheon, South Korea.      Red Lions roar, Blue Eagles soar San Beda University continued its mastery over the NCAA as it annexed its third straight title and 22nd overall. The Red Lions grabbed its 11th crown in 13 years at the expense of Lyceum of the Philippines University. It was one-sided championship series – just like in their Finals meeting last year – with the San Beda ripping the Pirates apart in Game One with LPU playing sans its best player in CJ Perez, who was banned for one game after failing to notify the league of his intention to join the PBA Draft. Perez returned in Game 2 but even his presence didn’t stop the Red Lions from painting the NCAA red once again. In probably one of the most memorable UAAP season in recent years, Ateneo de Manila University won its second straight crown. Ivorian tower and Rookie of the Year 6-foot-11 Ange Kouame made an immediate impact for the Blue Eagles complementing the already stacked Ateneo squad led by Finals MVP Thirdy Ravena. But the glory of Ateneo was overshadowed by the Cinderalla story of the team it vanquished in the Finals. Climbing up from the cellar in the past years, University of the Philippines made history by making it in the Finals for the first time since winning it all in 1986. But before their championship stint, the Fighting Maroons ended a two-decade Final Four drought. UP then shocked twice-to-beat Adamson University with both games decided by game-winners. Ateneo came in the series as the title favorites but overwhelming support from a very hungry UP community and underdogs fans backed the Fighting Maroons. But in the end, it was the Blue Eagles championship experience that prevailed.       Pinoys make wave in MMA Fighters under Team Lakay flexed their muscles in One Championship. Flyweight star Geje Eustaquio opened the year with an interim championship win over former champion Kairat Akhmetov in Manila back in January. Eustaquio then defeated two-time champion Adriano Moraes in Macau last July to become the undisputed ONE Flyweight World Champion.  Joshua Pacio earned the ONE Strawweight World Championship last September after a unanimous decision win over two-time champion Japanese Yoshitaka Naito. Kevin Belingon dropped former world title challenger Andrew Leone with a now-famous spinning back kick in April. He followed it up with a dominating win over then-two division world champion Martin Nguyen to capture the ONE Interim Bantamweight World Champion. Belingon ended the five-year reign and seven-year winning streak of of long-time bantamweight king Brazilian Bibiano Fernandes in November via split decision.  Eduard Folayang outclassed Singaporean contender Amir Khan at ONE: Conquest of Champions in Manila in early December to bag the ONE Lightweight World Championship for the second time in his storied career.  BRAVE Combat Federation Bantamweight World Champion Stephen Loman successfully defended his title twice in 2018.  Reigning ONE Heavyweight World Champion Brandon Vera needed only 64 seconds to knockout hard-hitting Italian challenger Mauro Cerilli in Manila early December to remain the king of the ONE Championship heavyweight kingdom.    Petron, Creamline rule respective club leagues Creamline claimed its breakthrough championship in the Premier Volleyball League by sweeping PayMaya in the Reinforced Conference Finals series last July. Alyssa Valdez finally ended a two-year title drought with the Cool Smashers' victory. Creamline opposite hitter Michele Gumabao was named Miss Globe-Philippines during the Binibining Pilipinas 2018 last March. Gumabao represented the country in the 2018 Miss Globe in Albania last October and won the Miss Social Media and Dream Girl awards while landing a spot in the Top 15.     The Cool Smashers completed a sweep of the PVL’s Season 2 after claiming the Open Conference crown at the expense of Ateneo-Motolite via an emphatic series sweep this month. In the Philippine Superliga, Petron reigned supreme in the Grand Prix after taking down archrival F2 Logistics last May. Petron extended its supremacy in the sands after the tandem of Sisi Rondina and Bernadethn Pons defeated Dhannylaine Demontano and Jackielyn Estoquia of Sta. Lucia in the Challenge Cup final last May. The Cargo Movers got its revenge in the Invitational Cup, toppling the Blaze Spikers in a series sweep last July. Petron wrapped the year with the All-Filipino Conference in its pocket. The Blaze Spikers won its first 14 games before dropping Game 2 of the Finals. Petron swept F2 Logistics in Game 3......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 30th, 2018

VOLLEYBALL IS LIFE: A look back at Philippine volleyball in 2018

Glorious victories, dynasties, historic feats, controversies and memorable moments once again highlighted another fruitful year for Philippine volleyball.   Now, let us take a look back in the year that was in volleyball:   DYNASTY Powerhouse teams continued to thrive in the country’s most popular collegiate leagues. Arellano University muscled its way back into the NCAA Season 93 Finals and met a newcomer in San Beda University. The Lady Chiefs did find the Lady Red Spikers as feisty opponents in their first championship meeting, needing five sets to survive San Beda in Game One. But it didn’t take long for Arellano U to stomp its class over the newbies to capture its second straight title and fourth overall crown in five years. De La Salle University painted UAAP Season 80 green after annexing its third straight title handing legendary head coach Ramil De Jesus his third grand slam in the country’s most popular and competitive collegiate league. Second year setter Michelle Cobb stepped up to the challenge of filling the big shoes left by Kim Fajardo and complemented the depth and firepower of DLSU. Far Eastern University, which advanced into the Finals for the first time after a decade, stood no chance against the onslaught of the Lady Spikers, which swept their way onto throne. University of Perpetual Help completed a four-peat in the NCAA juniors after sweeping Letran. Philippine Air Force snatched the Premier Volleyball League men’s Reinforced Conference crown and the Spikers’ Turf Open Conference title. Sisi Rondina cemented her legacy as the UAAP’s queen of the sands after completing a three-peat in women’s beach volleyball. Rondina wrapped her tour of duty with four titles in five years. The Tigers ruled the men’s division.       YEAR OF THE UNDERDOGS San Beda University made great strides in NCAA Season 93 after earning its first-ever Finals appearance behind the efforts of Cesca Racraquin and twins Nieza and Jiezela Viray. The Lady Red Spikers closed the elims with an 8-1 win-loss record and took down Perpetual in the semis. Languishing at the bottom half of the standings since the return of its women’s volleyball program in 2008, Jose Rizal University made history by advancing into the Final Four. Shola Alvarez capped the Lady Bombers’ remarkable season by pocketing the Most Valuable Player award.   Far Eastern University made it to the UAAP women’s volleyball Finals by booting out crowd-favorite Ateneo de Manila University in the semis.  For the first time in five years, the Blue Eagles found themselves in a very difficult position in the Final Four. With a twice-to-win disadvantage, the Marck Espejo-led Ateneo shocked FEU – a team that beat them twice in the elims – to march to its fifth straight championship appearance.      But the real underdog story belonged to NU. After three years of finishing runner-up to the Blue Eagles, the Bulldogs led by Bryan Bagunas finally got their long-awaited revenge as they swept Ateneo off its three-year reign at the throne.     OFF COURT STORIES, CONTROVERSIES University of the East parted ways with head coach Francis Vicente midway in Season 80 after three and a half seasons with the Lady Warriors. Vicente left for ‘personal reasons’ with a UE coaching record of 2-45 (win-loss). Red Warriors head coach Sammy Acaylar also resigned from his post midway in the season. University of Sto. Tomas hitter EJ Laure after months of speculations to the real reason of her sitting out UAAP Season 80 broke her silence by saying that needed time to recover from her right shoulder injury to end all the rumors circulating including an alleged pregnancy.    Sound bites, videos and clips that show collegiate players’ ‘human side’ made its rounds around social media that drew mixed reactions from fans.  Just like in the previous years, controversy filled the formation of the national women’s volleyball team. Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc. initially named Ramil De Jesus as the national team coach but just two months after his designation, the multi-titled DLSU mentor resigned from his post citing ‘conflict of schedule’. Shaq Delos Santos took over De Jesus’ spot. Netizens went abuzz when the composition of the national team that participated in the Jakarta-Palembang Asian Games was released as fans give their different views on who should and should not be included in the roster.             LVPI named a new president in Peter Cayco of Arellano U to replace Joey Romasanta during the association’s election.   WRITING HISTORY Smart’s Cuban import Gigi Silva carved a world scoring record in the Philippine Superliga after scoring 56 points in a lost cause against Cocolife in the 2018 Grand Prix. Silva pounded 53 kills and had three aces to land her name in the fourth spot in the women’s world scoring record behind Polina Rahimova of Azerbaijan’s 58 points in 2015 while playing in Japan, American Madison Kingdon’s 57 (2017 Korea Volleyball League) and Bulgarian Elitsa Vasileva’s 57 (2013 Korea Volleyball League). Silva also surpassed the 55 points of Americans Nicole Fawcett (2013 KVL) and Alaina Bergsma, who led Petron to the 2014 PSL Grand Prix crown, (2016 KVL).     Not to be outdone, local volleyball star Marck Espejo had a 55-point explosion of his own in the Blue Eagles’ five-set Game 1 UAAP Final Four win over FEU. The five-time MVP pounded 47 attacks, had six kill blocks and two service aces for the Katipunan-based squad. Espejo scored 11 points in the deciding frame including Ateneo’s last four to seal the win in the match that lasted for two hours and 21 minutes. Espejo’s feat fueled Ateneo’s eventual semis series win over the twice-to-beat Tamaraws.  Espejo and DLSU libero Dawn Macandili were named as the Philippine Sportswriters Association’s 2017 Mr. and Miss Volleyball.     The Philippines saw three players make their mark in the international scene this year as Espejo and sisters Jaja Santiago and Dindin Santiago-Manabat were tapped as imports in Japan’s V. Premier League. Espejo is now playing for Oita Miyoshi Weiss Adler while Jaja and Dindin suit up for Saitama Ageo Medics and Toray Arrows, respectively.     After 36 long years, the Philippines sent a women’s volleyball team to participate in the Jakarta-Palembang Asian Games. The squad won against Hong Kong in straight sets in pool play in the country’s first Asian Games victory since defeating India in the 1982 New Delhi Games. The PHI advanced in the quarterfinals but went home empty-handed. The Filipinas ended up at ninth place in the AVC Asian Cup. Sisi Rondina and Dzi Gervacio made waves in the country’s hosting of the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Manila Open after the duo barged in the quarterfinals. The tandem eventually bowed down to eventual champion Japan. The NU Bulldogs brought its bark into the international scene and howled its way to giving honor to country by winning the ASEAN University Games gold medal at the expense of Thailand. Volleyball proved to be the most talked about sport in the country as #UAAPSeason80Volleyball became the most tweeted sports hashtag in 2018.   SMASHING WIN, BLAZING VICTORY Creamline became the most successful club in the Premier Volleyball League this year after winning its breakthrough Reinforced Conference crown before following it up with a title romp in the Open Conference. Alyssa Valdez finally ended a two-year title drought after leading the Cool Smashers to the Reinforced Conference throne.   Creamline’s Michele Gumabao joined Binibining Pilipinas and represented the country im the 2018 Miss Globe in Albania, landing at the top 15.     Petron lorded it over in the PSL after winning the Grand Prix and All-Filipino Conference titles at the expense of archrival F2 Logistics, which ruled the Invitational Conference. University of the Philippines ended a 36-year title drought by claiming the PVL Collegiate Conference championship and followed it up by reigning supreme in the PSL Collegiate Grand Slam The SiPons tandem of Sisi Rondina and Bernadeth Pons of Petron annexed their second straight PSL Challenge Cup beach volleyball title. University of Perpetual Help reclaimed the NCAA men’s title after taking down Arellano University as the Altas bagged it 11th title overall.           National University took back the title it lost last year in the UAAP boys’ tournament while De La Salle-Zobel bagged the girls’ mint. The Beach Volleyball Republic continued its advocacy of propagating the sport throughout the country.   END OF THE ROAD After winning three straight UAAP titles, the Lady Spikers bid goodbye to its Big Three in Kim Kianna Dy, Majoy Baron and Dawn Macandili. Season 80 saw the end of the six-year Ateneo-DLSU Finals rivalry as the Lady Eagles bowed down to FEU in the semis. The Blue Eagles three-year reign ended at the hands of NU as Ateneo gave its farewell to its greatest men’s volleyball star Marck Espejo and prized setter Ish Povorosa.    NU’s four-year domination in the girls’ division was snapped by DLS-Zobel. After a dry 2018 PVL season, Pocari Sweat parted ways with its franchise player Myla Pablo as newcomer Motolite agreed to buyout the hitter’s last three contract years.      Thai coach Tai Bundit after five years and bringing two titles including a rare tournament sweep to the Lady Eagles finally called it quits after Ateneo’s campaign in UAAP Season 80. Creamline gave Bundit a farewell championship trophy in the PVL.      A NEW BEGINNING It was a colorful 2018, indeed, for volleyball but 2019 is another promising year for the sport. Can the Lady Chiefs complete a three-peat in the NCAA? Newcomers are sure to bring more excitement and interest in the UAAP. DLSU will try to extend its reign for another season while NU is looking for a repeat crown in the men’s side. Another season for the PSL and the PVL will open while the national men’s and women’s team will highlight the country’s Southeast Asian Games hosting.        --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 27th, 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

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

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

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

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

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:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 15th, 2018

UAAP VOLLEYBALL: Kailangang trabahuhin ang NU -- Pons

Far Eastern University is already through to the Final Four but the Lady Tamaraws will treat their last 80th UAAP women’s volleyball tournament elimination round game against National University on Sunday as a do-or-die match. At stake in the all-important game is a golden opportunity for FEU to clinch a twice-to-beat advantage in the Final Four against Ateneo de Manila University. FEU defeated University of the East 25-17, 25-15, 25-20, Wednesday at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan to tie the Lady Eagles at 9-4 win-loss record with both teams engaged in a wild race for the semis incentive.       “Sobrang importante pa rin talaga ‘yung NU game namin ‘yun nga sabi nga na nabigyan kami ng opportunity para makuha namin ‘yung no. 2 spot,” said graduating hitter Bernadeth Pons, who had a triple-double performance of 13 points, 13 digs and 13 excellent receptions. “Pero kailangan pa rin namin trabahuin yung natitirang game namin which is yung NU,” she added. “So paghahandaan pa rin namin sila, aaralin namin yung galaw ng kalaban.” The Lady Tamaraws handed the Lady Bulldogs their first loss of the season in four sets. NU bounced back after that loss but FEU’s win exposed the Lady Bulldogs’ weaknesses as the Jaja Santiago-led squad struggled in the second round with five straight losses before bouncing back with a win over the lowly Lady Warriors. “Although bumaba ‘yung standing ng NU ng second round then nakabawi sila ng isa, sa player kasi walang gustong natatalo so andun pa rin yung babawi, magba-bounce back,” Pons stressed. “So kami din ayaw namin na mabawian kami kasi sobrang importante ng game namin so pagtatrabahuan talaga namin.” The Morayta-based squad can clinch the semis advantage with a win over NU and Ateneo loses to the defending two-time champion De La Salle University. In case both the Lady Tams and Lady Eagles drop their last assignments or if FEU falls to NU and Ateneo wins over the Lady Spikers both teams will dispute the semis advantage via playoff.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 11th, 2018

UAAP VOLLEYBALL: FEU secures Final Four berth

Far Eastern University banked on the fifth set heroics of graduating hitter Bernadeth Pons and Heather Guino-o as the Lady Tamaraws secured the third Final Four berth in a come-from-behind 25-22, 25-27, 14-25, 25-22, 15-11, win Saturday over Adamson University in the 80th UAAP women’s volleyball tournament at the MOA Arena. The Lady Tams duo delivered nine points in the fifth frame including the crucial hits in the closing stretch of the match to advance in the semis for the fourth straight year and keep their semis twice-to-beat hopes alive. FEU improved to 8-4 win-loss record while dropping their first round tormentors to 5-7 card. “‘Yun naman talaga ang goal namin na mag-top two kasi hinahabol namin ang twice-to-beat advantage so ‘yun nakuha naming,” said FEU coach George Pascua. The Lady Tams must sweep their last two games against University of the East and National University and hope that either of the grand slam-seeking De La Salle University (9-2) and Ateneo de Manila University (9-3) won't reach 11 wins to force at least a playoff for a semis twice-to-beat.     “Hopefully ‘yung mga susunod na games pa namin mas pagbubutihan namin kasi nabigyan kami ng chance, so ‘yung chance na nabigay sa amin hindi na namin pakakawalan,” said Pascua. Pons had another all-around performance, boosting her stock in for the Most Valuable Player award, scoring 22 points highlighted by 20 attacks while adding 24 excellent receptions and 23 digs for the Morayta-based squad. Celine Domingo dominated the front of the net with six kill blocks in her 18-point explosion while Toni Rose Basas and Guino-o posted 16 and 12 markers, respectively, for FEU.   After clawing their way from a 1-2 match deficit, the  Lady Tam raced to an 8-5 lead capped by Guino-o's hit only to allow the Lady Falcons behind Jema Galanza to overtake them, 10-8, with five straight points. Pons scored four of the Lady Tams' closing 7-1 blitz. Galanza finished with 16 points while Mylene Paat had 15 markers for Adamson. Joy Dacoron and Eli Soyud added 12 and 11 markers, respectively, for the Lady Falcons., who now need to win their last two elims games against two-time defending champion De La Salle and University of Sto. Tomas and hope that National University (6-6) won't reach eight wins to force at least a playoff for the last semis spot.      ---              Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 7th, 2018

Pons, Galanza take breather during Holy Week lull

If there are players in the UAAP Season 80 women's volleyball tournament who opted to train during the Holy Week---cue La Salle and Ateneo---there were also some used the short break to get some much needed breather. Captains of their respective teams, Bernadeth Pons and Jema Galanza chose to use Good Friday and Black Saturday as their own version of a long weekend. Although the two captains will be having their little vacations in the middle of the second round, Galanza and Pons have a different approach on how they will take their breaks. Galanza said she'd be with her family and go to their hometown of Liliw, Laguna where she'd spend the Holy Week the traditional Catholic...Keep on reading: Pons, Galanza take breather during Holy Week lull.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsMar 30th, 2018

UAAP PRESS CORPS PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Kim Kianna Dy

Kim Kianna Dy proved to be the key to the two-time defending champion De La Salle University’s victory over archrivals Ateneo de Manila University Lady Eagles, meriting her the UAAP Press Corps Player of the Week (POW) recognition. Dy exploded with a personal season-high of 21 points off 11 spikes, seven kill blocks and three service aces, aiding the Lady Spikers in snapping the Lady Eagles’ four-game winning streak with a 25-20, 25-17, 24-26, 25-20, win Saturday at the Mall of Asia Arena. The opposite spiker vowed to head coach Ramil de Jesus that she would makeup for her lackluster performance in La Salle’s four-set loss to Adamson a week ago. Her efforts allowed the Lady Spikers to get back on their winning ways for a 5-2 win-loss record at second spot tied with Far Eastern University. "After naming matalo sa Adamson, nag-message sa akin 'yung bata na 'yan. Sabi niya, sorry, nag-sorry and then babawi ako. Eto naman, pinakita naman niya,” said de Jesus. Dy was convinced of the fact that the Lady Spikers needed to bounce back and regain their confidence. “I think, coming from a loss kasi, kailangan talaga naming mag-bounce back. And we need to get that confidence again,” said Dy. Dy was chosen over other POW candidates University of the East’s Shaya Adorador and Kath Arado, Far Easter University captain Bernadeth Pons, National University stalwart Jaja Santiago and University of the Philippines’ leading scorer Tots Carlos......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 5th, 2018

UAAP Volleyball: Pons: Our team still lacks right decision-making

The FEU Lady Tamaraws played three games thus far in the UAAP Season 80 women's volleyball tournament.  So far, they all played five-setters. In their five-setter against the De La Salle Lady Spikers, FEU came up short for the second straight game, and team captain Bernadeth Pons still rues that her team lacks in right decision-making, reiterating her coach George Pascua's sentiments, who said almost the same thing in an interview earlier. 'Siguro kulang 'yung decision-making rin namin, especially pagdating palagi ng fifth set kasi 15 points lang so laging konting focus lang, yung decision-making namin, hindi pa kami ganoon ka-mentally tough pagdating sa fifth set," Pons said after the game. Just like Pascua, Pons is not frustrated on the sets setters Gel Cayuna and Kyle Negrito had been giving, instead putting the blame on herself for not correctly converting the chances given to her in the game. "Frustrated, oo, kasi 'di namin nakuha [ang puntos], pero sa mga sets naman, kahit ano na set, mapaganda or pangit, basta pag na-set na yan, kailangan magawan ng paraan, as a spiker." The hitter added that she does not blame the sets given to her, and mentioned that it is her job to attack correctly, in any form the ball be directed to her. "Hindi ko siya puwede isisi sa setter kasi na-set na yun eh. Kailangan gagawan ko siya ng paraan pero hindi ko nagawa. So yun rin yung isa sa mga naging kulang ko kanina." Pons, who finished with a game-high 21 points lamented that the team could use a more balanced scoring output, so that the team will benefit more. "Sabi ko nga sa amin noon, noong nag-meeting kami noong last na hindi ko naman kailangan pumuntos ng sobrang dami, kailangan na pumuntos ng sobrang dami ni Chin [Basas], kung puwede tig-sampu lang kami, mas madali, mas maganda, kasi lahat nag-cocontribute." Though FEU had already faced such tough games, the 21-year old mentioned that the experience will benefit the team more than harm, since they experience the same intensity in practice. What is the difference, however, is the execution of set plays in crunch time, which the Lady Tamaraws had come up short for the second straight game. "Kailangan kung kukunin lang rin namin, kukunin na talaga namin yung mismong laro na kasi sayang lang rin yung dalawang set na kinuha namin, tapos talo rin pala sa dulo," the skipper said. "So, kailangan yung decision-making namin, parang isang click, alam mo agad yung gagawin mo kasi pagdating sa fifth set kailangan yung player mo mentally tough na so hindi puwede power ng power, at ang sabi ni coach na pagdating sa fifth set, pagod na. Parehas kayong pagod na. Kailangan, yung decision-making yung pinaka-importante. " -- Follow this writer on Twitter, @philipptionary.    .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 14th, 2018

UAAP VOLLEYBALL: FEU wants share of lead, Adamson seeks rebound

Far Eastern University coach George Pascua wants his wards to ride the momentum of their opening day win when they meet an equally dangerous Adamson University side Saturday in the 80th UAAP women’s volleyball tournament at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan. The Lady Tams outlasted Ateneo de Manila University, 19-25, 25-21, 18-25, 25-20, 15-9, for the first time after five seasons last week behind the 14 points each of graduating hitter Bernadeth Pons and Toni Basas.     “Sa amin it’s ano ‘to pampa-high morale sa mga players kasi knowing Ateneo ang tinalo namin,” said Pascua, who will try to lead his team to its second straight win for a share of the lead with idle National University. Game time is at 2:00 p.m. and will air live on ABS-CBN S+A Channel 23, ABS-CBN S+A HD Channel 166, LIGA on SkyCable Channel 86, LIGA HD on SkyCable Channel 183 and via livestream.       The Lady Falcons, on the other hand, are looking to bounce back from a 15-25, 23-25, 25-16, 13-25, defeat at the hands of NU. Returning veteran Mylene Paat and rookie Chiara Permentilla scored in double figures last game, but will need to get more support from Eli Soyud, Joy Dacoron and graduating hitter Jema Galanza. The trio combined for only 22 points the last time out.               --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 9th, 2018