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Whatever happens, Rhayyan Amsali will not play in NCAA Season 94

It’s final – Rhayyan Amsali is not eligible for San Beda High School for the upcoming NCAA Season 94 Juniors Basketball Tournament. The league’s eligibility meeting concluded on Friday and there, it was determined that with one failing grade, Amsali was unable to meet academic requirements. The 6-foot-3 forward, who had just transferred to San Beda from Nazareth School of National University, has been the talk of the town as he and his camp filed a complaint questioning his failing grade. Last Tuesday, the Amsalis, through Atty. Michelle Africa, forwarded a letter to NSNU stating that Rhayyan was belatedly informed that he had failed a subject. For their part, NSNU said that the Amsali camp, through mother Nurisa, had knowledge of the failing grade since early May. Now, the latest update in the issue is that the Department of Education is asking for clarification from NSNU about how “there was no intervention given to prevent Rhayyan from getting a failing grade before the school year ended. Furthermore, no effort was done by the people concerned to inform the parents about the child’s predicament.” (photo courtesy of DepEd) Whatever happens from this point, though, will not change the fact that the NCAA’s eligibility meeting is over and done with and there, Amsali was unable to get into San Beda’s lineup. Nonetheless, the 17-year-old said that he is set to stay in Taytay. “Kahit hindi ako maglalaro, nandito pa rin yung isip ko at yung heart ko sa team na ‘to. Susuportahan ko sila kahit anong mangyari,” he told reporters as he and the Red Cubs, serendipitously, downed the Bullpups in the semifinals of the 2018 Filoil Flying V Preseason Cup. This, even though it would mean that he now only has one playing year left in the NCAA Juniors. “Yung samahan po rito sa San Beda, iba e. Unang pagpunta ko pa lang dito, ang gaan na e,” he shared. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource: abscbn abscbnJun 29th, 2018

Whatever happens, Rhayyan Amsali will not play in NCAA Season 94

It’s final – Rhayyan Amsali is not eligible for San Beda High School for the upcoming NCAA Season 94 Juniors Basketball Tournament. The league’s eligibility meeting concluded on Friday and there, it was determined that with one failing grade, Amsali was unable to meet academic requirements. The 6-foot-3 forward, who had just transferred to San Beda from Nazareth School of National University, has been the talk of the town as he and his camp filed a complaint questioning his failing grade. Last Tuesday, the Amsalis, through Atty. Michelle Africa, forwarded a letter to NSNU stating that Rhayyan was belatedly informed that he had failed a subject. For their part, NSNU said that the Amsali camp, through mother Nurisa, had knowledge of the failing grade since early May. Now, the latest update in the issue is that the Department of Education is asking for clarification from NSNU about how “there was no intervention given to prevent Rhayyan from getting a failing grade before the school year ended. Furthermore, no effort was done by the people concerned to inform the parents about the child’s predicament.” (photo courtesy of DepEd) Whatever happens from this point, though, will not change the fact that the NCAA’s eligibility meeting is over and done with and there, Amsali was unable to get into San Beda’s lineup. Nonetheless, the 17-year-old said that he is set to stay in Taytay. “Kahit hindi ako maglalaro, nandito pa rin yung isip ko at yung heart ko sa team na ‘to. Susuportahan ko sila kahit anong mangyari,” he told reporters as he and the Red Cubs, serendipitously, downed the Bullpups in the semifinals of the 2018 Filoil Flying V Preseason Cup. This, even though it would mean that he now only has one playing year left in the NCAA Juniors. “Yung samahan po rito sa San Beda, iba e. Unang pagpunta ko pa lang dito, ang gaan na e,” he shared. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 29th, 2018

Bullpups bump off Greenies to get back on top of NBTC Division 1

Coming off a heartbreaking loss in the UAAP Juniors Finals just 21 days ago, the Nazareth School of National University Bullpups did not allow themselves to be on the wrong end of the history books once more, surviving a late surge by Joel Cagulangan and the La Salle Greenhills Greenies, 80-78, to claim the 2018 Exped Socks SM-NBTC National Championship, on Friday at the MOA Arena. This is the Bullpups' second national championship in the last three years. Moreover, this is Goldwin Monteverde's first major championship. "Siyempre very challenging talaga yung liga, from 32 teams, mage-end up ka sa number one. Masaya talaga para sa amin," shared Monteverde as the Bullpups had to go through Bacolod Tay Tung High School, Adamson High School, FilAm Sports, and Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu to get to the championship round. But it could not have been possible if it were not for the timely stops the Bullpups made to close out the game. After leading by as much as 13 points in the contest and 11 points with 4:33 left, Joel Cagulangan single-handedly powered the Greenies to an 11-0 run. The rally was capped by a strong drive to the basket by the top high school floor general in the country with 49.5 seconds left to knot the game at 77-all. Gerry Abadiano, though, was able to overpower Makoy Marcos to the rim, drawing a foul and knocking down both free throws to put the Bullpups up 20 seconds later. "As expected naman si Gerry talaga sa ilang beses na nakasama ko siya, even in tough games makikita mo na nagde-deliver siya," Monteverde beamed about Abadiano, who was his player in Adamson two years ago. "Ang maganda both ends of the floor, nakakapag-play siya ng good defense and at the same time, sa offense din." Off a timeout, Cagulangan was able to fish a foul from Paul Manalang. After making the first free throw, however, he muffed the second one. Mark Sangco was there for the offensive rebound, but Cagulangan's attempt was swatted away by Michael Malonzo. A split on the stripe by Rhayyan Amsali still gave LSGH a shot but Sidney Mosqueda struggled to give a good inbound that led to a desperation heave by Inand Fornilos that unfortunately did not go in. "Siguro for one, sometimes may mga bitter lessons din like yung last season namin sa UAAP, it boiled down to last two possessions," Monteverde recalled about Game 3 of the UAAP Juniors Finals that saw them squander a six-point lead late that led to a 58-63 defeat. Abadiano, who was crowned the Final's Most Outstanding Player, had 24 points, six rebounds, and two steals. Cyril Gonzales and Terrence Fortea finished with 12 and 11 markers, respectively. Cagulangan, who was named as the Most Outsanding Player of the tournament, led LSGH with 25 points. Fornilos, on the other hand, filled up the stat sheet with 18 poitns on 8-of-13 shooting to go along with 14 rebounds and four blocks. BOX SCORES NU 80 — Abadiano 24, Gonzales 12, Fortea 11, Amsali 8, Quiambao 8, Coyoca 5, Minerva 4, Tamayo 4, Malonzo 2, Oczon 2, Javillonar 0, Manalang 0. LSGH 78 — Cagulangan 25, Fornilos 18, Marcos 17, Sangco 7, Mosqueda 6, Espinosa 3, Lao 2, Cruz 0, Lapalam 0, Morales 0, Natividad 0. QUARTER SCORES: 23-23, 40-35, 63-54, 80-78......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 23rd, 2018

NCAA Season 94: Pakiramdam namin ayaw na lumaban ng Perpetual -- Ebuen

Arellano University surrendered the opening set of the Finals best-of-three series decider to University of Perpetual Help, but the calm and composed Lady Chiefs knew that their championship experience would come into play when push came to shove. The next three sets proved that as the Lady Chiefs flexed their muscles to silence the feisty Lady Altas, 22-25, 25-15, 25-18, 25-18, Tuesday to complete their grand slam bid in the NCAA Season 94 women’s volleyball competition at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.    Arellano U bagged its third straight title and fourth overall crown in the last five seasons at the expense of the last team to score a three-peat.   “Pakiramdam po namin kanina, sabi po namin ayaw na lumaban ng Perpetual,” said Season Most Valuable Player Necole Ebuen, who punished the defense of the Lady Altas with 11 points all coming off attacks. Arellano U, just like in their four-set win in Game 2 that forced the rubber match, squandered a 14-7 lead to yield the opening frame. The Lady Chiefs were quick to adjust and bounced back mightily in the next three frames, dropping the hammer early to stun the Lady Altas.    Arellano U successfully shut down Perpetual’s main scorer Cindy Imbo as the Lady Altas crumbled under pressure witnessed by a jam-packed crowd. “Siyempre po ‘yung key player nila na si Imbo parang naba-block na rin po, napipigilan na rin po siya kanina,” added Ebuen. “Parang sabi po namin i-grab na po namin yung opportunity na hindi na sila lumalaban. Sabi namin magtuluy-tuloy lang tayo. Tayo ang mananalo.”     The Lady Chiefs smelled blood as early as the second set and when they saw the Lady Chiefs in disarray they knew they already got the crown in the bag. “Sinabi namin noong nag-usap po kami, sabi namin na ‘Ibinibigay na sa atin, heto na kunin na natin,’” said back-to-back Finals MVP Regine Arocha, who fired 16 points and 11 digs. “Tapos noong nakakalamang na kami gaya ng sinabi ng mga coaches po namin na ‘Kapag nakita nyo ng nakadapa wag nyo ng patayuin pa. Tapakan n’yo pa para ‘di na makabangon pa,” she added. This the Lady Chiefs did and the rest is history.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 12th, 2019

NCAA Season 94 volleyball: Perpetual earns Finals berth in thrilling comeback

University of Perpetual Help wanted to make history. The No. 4 seed Lady Altas wrote it Tuesday with a miraculous win. Perpetual came back from a 1-2 match deficit and showed nerves of steel in the closing stretch of the fifth set to escape with a hard-earned 25-17, 27-29, 19-25, 26-24, 16-14, win over top seed College of St. Benilde and clinch the last NCAA Season 94 women’s volleyball Finals berth at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan Tuesday. The Lady Altas showed their big hearts and mental toughness, erasing a 12-22 deficit in the fourth set to force a decider and coming back from a 7-10 down in the fifth to set up a best-of-three Finals series against two-time defending champion Arellano University.   “Mental toughness,” said Lady Altas coach Macky Carino, whose squad defeated the twice-to-beat Lady Blazers in the Final Four opener last week. “Sabi ko sa kanila, ‘Hangga’t di tapos ang game, 'wag titigil na lumaban ng lumaban.”            Graduating hitter Cindy Imbo played her heart out to post a career-high and season-best 32 points to lead the Lady Altas back into the Finals for the first time in last four years. Imbo scattered 29 kills, two aces and one kill block while adding 14 digs and 11 receptions for an all-around performance for Perpetual, which last held the title back in Season 89 and first Finals appearance since finishing runner-up to Arellano U in Season 90. Jenny Gaviola got 10 markers while Hannah Suico and Jhona Rosal posted nine and eight markers, respectively, for the Las Pinas-based squad, which got its women's, men's and juniors team advance in the championship.  Game 1 of the best-of-three championship series opens on Friday. Perpetual saw itself get buried, 12-22, in the fourth frame before mounting an incredible 12-1 scoring spurt capped by Imbo's easy drop off CSB's misreceive to take a 24-23 lead. The two squads traded service errors in the next play before Imbo completed the fourth set comeback with a hit.     The Lady Altas again went down, 7-10, in the fifth frame before Imbo scored five of the next six points of Perpetual for a 13-10 advantage. The Lady Blazers countered to tie it at 14 before Imbo took matters on her own hands with a through the block hit and the championship berth-clinching service ace. Graduating Rachel Austero scored 17 points while Klarisa Abriam had 16 markers for CSB. Chelsea Umali landed seven aces for 14 markers while Felicia Cui got 11 for the Lady Blazers, who missed a return stint into the Finals for the third straight year since the Taft-based squad captured its breakthrough title under Carino in Season 91.      --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 29th, 2019

Fil-Am ABL star Jason Brickman sets sights on the PBA

Fil-Am playmaker and former ABL star Jason Brickman is now setting his sights on joining next year's PBA Rookie Draft. Brickman, who was the floor general of last year's ABL finalists Mono Vampire, is looking to find clearance and be able to play in Asia's first pro basketball league. The 27-year-old guard is eligible to forego a PBA D-League stint by the time he gets drafted next year, following in the footsteps of teammate Paul Zamar, Christian Standhardinger, and Stanley Pringle, who had stints in the inter-country league before joining the PBA. "Just I'm hopeful to get into the PBA. Something I've always wanted to do and right now is the best opportunity to do that so that's another reason why I came out here," Brickman said.  The former Long Island University Brooklyn star led the US NCAA Division I with 8.5 assists per game in his junior year, before increasing it to 10 per contest in his senior season.  He also became only the fourth player in men's Division 1 history in handing out 1,000+ assists for their collegiate career. However, before his possible PBA stint, Brickman will be joining Mighty Sports and represent the country in the 30th Dubai International Basketball Tournament in UAE this Feb. 1-9.  He will help coach Charles Tiu in dictating the offense, and will be supported by imports Lamar Odom, Justin Brownlee and Randolph Morris. Also with the team are PBA D-League Finals MVP Gab Banal, former ABL star Fil-Am Jason Brickman, UAAP standouts Juan Gomez de Liano and Santi Santillan, #23for23 member Troy Rike, Jeremiah Gray, Roosevelt Adams, Angelo Wongchuking and CSB high-flyer Justin Gutang, the latter serving as reserve. In his third stint with the Caesar Wongchuking-sponsored squad, he said that he is very happy that he'll be representing 104 million Filipinos once more in an international tournament. "I think it's a great opportunity to represent the Philippines. We have a lot of good local players. Obviously, good imports," shared Brickman.  "There's gonna be some very good teams there. Great competition as well. I'm looking forward to play and do whatever I can to help the team," he added. Known for his playmaking, he assured that he won't be changing his role for the team that drafts him, for he believes a pass-first mentality is his biggest strength. After the tournament, Brickman will solely focus on preparing for the Rookie Draft, and see where it goes from there. __   Follow this writer on Twitter, @philipptionary. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 28th, 2019

Osaka vs. Kvitova for Australian Open title, No. 1 ranking

By Howard Fendrich, Associated Press MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Naomi Osaka never made it past the fourth round at any of the first 10 Grand Slam tournaments of her career. Now, still just 21, she's suddenly on the verge of a second consecutive major championship. And the No. 1 ranking, too. Osaka moved one victory away from adding the Australian Open trophy to the one she collected 4½ months ago at the U.S. Open, using her smooth power to produce 15 aces and groundstroke winners at will while beating Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 in the semifinals Thursday. "I just told myself to regroup in the third set and just try as hard as I can," said Osaka, who saved four break points in the last set and finished the match with an ace at 115 mph (185 kph). "I was so scared serving second serves. I was like, 'Oh, my God. Please!" Osaka said. "Somehow, I made it. I guess that's experience." A day after erasing four match points and a 5-1 deficit in the third set to stun Serena Williams in the quarterfinals, Pliskova could not produce the same kind of comeback. Instead it is Osaka, the only Japanese woman to win a major singles title, who will face two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova on Saturday. The winner will rise to the top of the WTA rankings for the first time; Osaka is currently No. 4, Kvitova is No. 6. In the men's semifinals, Rafael Nadal continued his relentless roll through the draw by defeating Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-2, 6-4, 6-0 at night. Nadal has not dropped a set as he bids for a second Australian Open title and 18th Grand Slam trophy overall. Osaka's fourth-round finish at Melbourne Park a year ago was her best showing at a major until last year's U.S. Open, where she outplayed Williams in the final. A victory over Kvitova would make Osaka the first woman to win two Slams in a row since Williams claimed four straight across the 2014-15 seasons. Two years ago, Kvitova missed the Australian Open, just weeks after her left hand was stabbed by an intruder at her home in the Czech Republic. Back at her best during what she calls her "second career," Kvitova surged to a 7-6 (2), 6-0 victory against 35th-ranked American Danielle Collins after Rod Laver Arena's retractable roof was closed as the temperature soared toward 105 degrees (40 Celsius). Kvitova reached her first major final since the December 2016 knife attack that led to hours of surgery on the hand she holds her racket with — and first since winning Wimbledon for the second time in 2014. "I didn't know even if I (was) going to play tennis again," Kvitova said. "It's been a long journey." Against Collins, a two-time NCAA champion at the University of Virginia who was 0-5 at Slams until this one, Kvitova was more aggressive throughout, mixing big lefty forehands and well-timed pushes forward to the tune of a 30-9 edge in total winners. But the key to the outcome might very well have been what happened at 4-all after 35 minutes of action: That's when the decision finally was made to close the 15,000-seat stadium's cover, drawing cheers of approval from broiling spectators. Kvitova probably wanted to applaud, too. "I was happier than the fans that the roof closed," she said afterward. "I like to play indoors. It helped me a little bit." She's made clear over the years she is not a huge fan of playing in stifling heat. Not too many people truly are, of course, but Collins is OK with it and thought the roof should have stayed open. "I grew up in Florida and am used to it being really hot all the time. So I kind of embrace that very well," Collins said. "Indoor tennis is a different game. Certainly had its effect." When play resumed after a five-minute delay, it went from being completely even to tilted in Kvitova's favor. She dominated the tiebreaker and the second set to stretch her winning streak to 11 matches. Osaka, meanwhile, extended her Slam run to 13 matches while putting a stop to Pliskova's 10-0 start to the season. Osaka accumulated a 56-20 advantage in winners — and held on when it all could have slipped away. She began the day having won 58 matches in a row after taking the first set, but that seemed in danger when Pliskova broke to end the second and had three break points to go up 2-0 in the third. But Osaka steeled herself there, erasing the first break chance with a huge forehand, the second with a down-the-line backhand winner. On the third, another terrific backhand forced a forehand error into the net by Pliskova, who cracked her racket against the blue court. When Pliskova netted a return of an 83 mph (133 kph) second serve to make it 1-all, Osaka tugged at the brim of her pink visor and let out a big exhale. The match would continue for another 28 minutes, but it basically was done, then and there. That stretch began a nine-point, three-game run for Osaka, and she was on her way. She would face one last break point at 4-3, but saved it with a 108 mph (174 kph) ace......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 24th, 2019

NCAA: New and improved Clint Escamis continues career in Mapua Srs.

Clint Escamis was having for himself a breakout season in last year’s NCAA 94 Juniors. Late in the second round of the tournament, however, he incurred what appeared to be a left knee injury. He then missed the Red Robins’ remaining games in the elimination round before returning to action in the Final Four. It was clear, though, that Escamis wasn’t himself, looking like he had lost his burst even as his shooting stroke was still there. Now nearly two months after Mapua won the championship with him on the sidelines, what was initially diagnosed as a knee sprain actually turned out to be an ACL tear. The good news is that last week, the 5-foot-11 playmaker finally had surgery to repair the ACL tear. Now, he has already begun the process of recovery. And when Escamis finally takes to the court anew, he is only adamant he will be better than ever. “I promise to get back as soon as possible so I can do what I do best which is to play hard and help my team win,” he said. He then continued, “I will not take this second chance for granted and I will make sure I’m always healthy and in the proper mindset when I go out to play.” The 18-year-old has already used up his eligibility in the Juniors and, therefore, will be returning to the action in the collegiate level. For now, however, he is yet to decide where exactly he will be making his return in. “Wala pa po akong decision for college. Focus po muna sa recovery,” he said. What is certain, though, is that he vows to give his all wherever he ends up. As he put it, “After this injury, makikita po ninyo ang new and improved Clint Escamis. Clint Escamis 2.0 po talaga.” According to sources, in the mix for the commitment of Escamis is former mentor Randy Alcantara who is now head coach of the Cardinals. University of the East is also said to have great interest in him. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 21st, 2019

NCAA Season 94 volleyball: San Beda denies Arellano U an outright Finals seat

No sweep. San Beda University denied two-time defending champion Arellano University an outright Finals berth after the Lady Red Spikers snapped the Lady Chiefs’ eight-game winning run, 16-25, 25-17, 25-19, 18-25, 16-14, Tuesday in the NCAA Season 94 women’s volleyball competition at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan. The Lady Red Spikers stopped the Lady Chiefs right on their tracks to close the elimination round in a three-way tie at 8-1 win-loss record with their victims and College of St. Benilde. San Beda’s win put the semifinals in the usual Final Four format with the Lady Blazers and Arellano U taking the top two seeds and twice-to-beat incentives. The Lady Red Spikers will take on the Lady Chiefs in the Final Four starting Tuesday. CSB, which by virtue of superior quotient took the top seed, will still have to wait for its semis opponent between University of Perpetual Help (5-3) and Jose Rizal University (4-4). “Malaki sa amin ito kasi pampa-boost din ng morale para sa mga bata. Nakita namin na yung pinaghihirapan namin may resulta na maganda,” said San Beda coach Nemesio Gavino of the win in the rematch of last year' championship series. The Lady Red Spikers saved a match point off a block by Satrianni Espiritu on Necole Ebuen for a 14-14 tie. Jeziela Viray scored on another kill block before Nieza Viray sealed the crucial Lady Red Spikers win with an off the block. Nieza Viray finished with 17 points with all but 16 coming off attacks and 19 digs while skipper Cesca Racraquin posted 16 markers, 15 digs and 10 excellent receptions for an all-around play for San Beda. The Lady Red Spikers recovered from a 0-3 hole in the fifth set and even took a 13-12 lead off a net touch by Arellano U opposite hitter Regine Arocha. Princess Bello tied it at 13 before Ebuen scored on a crosscourt hit to put the Lady Chiefs at match point.       Ebuen saw her 23-point effort go down the drain while Bello and Arocha got 12 and 10, respectively, for Arellano U. Meanwhile, the Chiefs sealed the third seed in the semifinals after beating the Red Spikers, 17-25, 25-22, 25-16, 25-16, in men’s play. Jesrael Liberato and Christian Segovia finished with 18 and 16 points, respectively, for Arellano U, who finished their elimination round campaign with a 7-2 card. Christian Dela Paz added 11 markers for the Chiefs. Skipper Angelo Torres got 13 markers in his swan song for San Beda, which closed their emotional elims campaign at 2-7 just three days after the passing of Red Spikers head coach Nes Pamilar. In the juniors division, Arellano U defeated San Beda, 25-15, 25-21, 23-25, 25-19, to close the elims in a three-way tie at fourth spot. The Braves sealed their season with a 5-4 record tied with College of St. Benilde-LSGH and Emilio Aguinaldo College. The Brigadiers by virtue of superior quotient occupied the semis no. 4 berth. The Red Cubs finished their campaign winless in nine outings.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 15th, 2019

NCAA Season 94: Letran snaps skid

Letran escaped Mapua University by the skin of its teeth,14-25, 26-24, 23-25, 25-17, 15-13, Thursday to snap a six-game losing slump in the NCAA Season 94 women's volleyball competition at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan. Already out of contention for a semis berth, the Lady Knights salvaged some sense of pride by staving off a determined Lady Cardinals side to notch their second win in eight games. Miracle Mendoza provided the offensive spark for Letran after dropping 21 points built on 18 attacks, two aces and a kill block. Kathleen Dela Cruz backed Mendoza up with 18 points including 16 spikes while Mariel Larioque and Rhosselle Urriza chipped in 11 and 10 markers, respectively. Letran reasserted its mastery over Mapua for the third straight year. The Lady Knights will close their elimination round campaign next week against Lyceum of the Philippines University. The Lady Cardinals slid to 1-7 card. Jan Morano posted 15 points while Angelie Magundayao and Jonina Fernandez had 14 markers each for Mapua, which will close its elims journey on Monday against College of St. Benilde. Meanwhile, the Knights swept the Cardinals, 25-15, 25-22, 25-20, to for a four-way tie with their victims and idle San Beda University and Jose Rizal University with 2-6 cards in the men's division. Mhel Gabuyo finished with 14 points while Christopher Cistina and Angel Canzana added 11 markers each for Letran. Angelbert Navas and Alfredo Pagulong scored 11 and nine markers, respectively, for Mapua. In juniors play, the Squires completed Letran's sweep in all divisions after rolling past the Red Robins, 25-18, 25-19, 25-22. The Squires improved to 6-2 card to join defending champion University of Perpetual Help and Lyceum of the Philippines University in the Final Four. Mapua slid to 2-6 mark.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 10th, 2019

NCAA Season 94 volleyball: Lady Chiefs now a win away from an outright Finals berth

Defending two-time champion Arellano University started out flat and went through some scary moments in the fourth set against a very determined University of Perpetual Help before emerging still unscathed with an 18-25, 25-16, 25-19, 26-24, escape Thursday in the NCAA  Season 94 women’s volleyball competition at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan. The Lady Chiefs claimed their eighth straight win in as many outings to move within a victory away from advancing to the Finals outright. “’Yun talaga yung plano namin this season, talagang kumbaga mas maganda na ‘yung nakatuntong ka na sa Finals at mag-aabang ka na lang kung sino ang makakalaban mo,” said Arellano U coach Obet Javier, whose squad can automatically advance in the best-of-three championship with a win against San Beda University on Tuesday in their rematch of last year’s Finals. The Lady Chiefs' win also gave idle College of St. Benilde (6-1) a free ride into the semifinals. Last season’s rookie of the year Necole Ebuen shined the brightest for Arellano U with 16 points coming off 12 attacks and four kill blocks while Regine Arocha played an all-around game with 11 points, 16 digs and nine excellent receptions. Sarah Verutiao tallied 20 excellent sets to help the Lady Chiefs blast 40 attacks. Arellano U recovered from a set down to take the next two frames but faced a tough challenge from the Lady Altas in the fourth set. The Lady Chiefs squandered a 22-18 lead in the four set as they allowed Perpetual to crawl its way back into the game with a 5-1 rally to tie the frame at 23. Princess Bello, who had nine points, scored on an off the block hit but Jhona Rosal saved a match point for the Lady Altas with a kill block. Rosal committed an error on the next play and Cindy Imbo sent her attack straight to the net in Perpetual’s last of 40 miscues. The Lady Altas dropped to 4-3 mark tied with San Sebastian College. Imbo was the only Perpetual player in double figures with 13. Jenny Gaviola had nine while Jowie Albert Versoza finished with seven for the Lady Altas, who are now in a must-win situation in their last two assignments against SSC-R and Jose Rizal University to keep their semifinals hopes alive. Meanwhile, the Altas came back from a set down to beat the Chiefs, 19-25, 25-14, 25-20, 27-25, and clinch the first Final Four berth in  a rematch of last year's Finals.  Perpetual won its seventh straight win in as many outings to move within two victories away from an outright championship berth. Ronniel Rosales scored 19 points while Season 93 Rookie/Most Valuable Player Joebert Almodiel got 16 markers and 28 excellent receptions to pace the Altas, who sent Arellano U down to 6-2 slate.    --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 10th, 2019

Zambo completes cast of first-ever national 3x3 league

The cast is now complete for the first conference of Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3. The Zamboanga Valientes have committed to join the President's Cup, slated to begin on March 16 at the event center of SM Megamall. "It's an honor and pride for our city to join this league, especially our fans from Zamboanga. They are really looking forward to watch our homegrown players play in a big league," said team owner Junnie Navarro. The Valientes join the Manila Stars, the Go for Gold-San Juan Knights, the Bataan Risers, the Quezon City-Zark's Jawbreakers, the Bacoor Strikers, the Valenzuela Classic, the Marikina Shoemasters, the Bulacan Kuyas, the Vigan Baluarte, and the Cebu-Max 4 Birada in the country's first-ever 3x3 basketball league. Having the opportunity to showcase the talent in Mindanao on a different stage is what made Navarro sign up for the league. "Dito naman tayo nagsimula sa three-on-three. The reason that we are interested because we are passionate about basketball. Rhayyan Amsali showed that Zamboangenos can excel in this discipline," added Navarro. Composing Zamboanga are homegrown talents "Tausug Hero" Das Esa, Jonathan Parreno, and Grevani Rublico. 6-foot-8 Rino Berame and 6-foot-3 Ferdinand Lusdoc join the troika. Navarro is still looking at one more player to complete their roster. The passionate sports patron has also tapped actress Empress Schruck to be their muse for the opening ceremonies on the 16th. For Navarro, his ultimate goal for the first conference is to give more exposure to his players. "Yung players namin now sell out crowds in Zamboanga. Hopefully, we could expose them more in this league.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 9th, 2019

NCAA Season 94 volleyball: CSB continues rampage, wins fifth straight

College of St. Benilde picked up from where it left off last year as the Lady Blazers extended their winning streak to five straight after taking down Lyceum of the Philippines University, 25-20, 18-25, 25-14, 25-18, Friday in the NCAA Season 94 women’s volleyball competition  at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan. Prized rookie setter Jewel Lai displayed another superb game, tallying 35 excellent sets to lead the charge in the Lady Blazers’ fifth win in six outings. Klarisa Abriam and Rachel Austero posted 14 points each and accounted for 23 of CSB’s 47 attack points. Marites Pablo got 12 markers while Lai backed her great playmaking with four points including two kill blocks for the Lady Blazers. But head coach Jerry Yee was far from satisfied especially with his wards' shaky performance in the first two frames.   “Mukha kaming kangkarot sa first two sets, actually. More consistency pa,” said Yee, whose squad’s last three games are against dangerous Jose Rizal University, San Sebastian College and Mapua University. “Trabaho pa rin and then we have our targets up ahead.” After yielding the second set, the Lady Blazers were able get their acts together in the next two frames behind the trio of Abriam, Austero and Pablo. Mikaela Rafael and Cherilyn Sindayen scored 16 and 13 points each in a lost cause for the Lady Pirates, who fell to 2-5 slate and were shown the exit door in the semis race. Meanwhile, the Blazers defeated the Pirates, 25-16, 25-19, 25-23, to improve to 5-1 slate in a tie at second to third spot with idle Arellano University in the men’s division. Joshua De Sequera and skipper Francis Basilan finished with 10 points each for CSB, which handed LPU its fifth loss in seven starts. In juniors’ play, the Junior Pirates prevented an LPU shutout as they survived a marathon 27-25, 21-25, 20-25, 25-23, 17-15, battle over the Greenies. LPU improved to 5-2 slate while CSB-LSGH slid to 2-4 mark.   ---     Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 4th, 2019

10 can’t-miss moments in sports for 2019

2018 is already in the books. Now, we look forward to the next chapters we’re all about to read in 2019. Laban Azkals in AFC Asian Cup – January The Azkals will enter historic grounds as early as January as they play for the first time in the AFC Asian Cup in 2019. Their ticket was booked after crushing Tajikistan in a 2-1 home victory early in 2018. With a world-renowned mentored on their side in Sven-Goran Eriksson and veteran national players, the Azkals will travel to the United Arab Emirates for the continental showdown. The Azkals kick off their 2019 AFC Cup Campaign on January 7th against South Korea, followed by a match against China PR on January 11th, before closing out the Group Stage on January 16th against Kyrgyzstan.  Newest season of the oldest professional league in Asia – January After just roughly a month of break from basketball action, the oldest professional league in Asia is back. The PBA will be kicking off its 44th season on January 13 with San Miguel defending its Philippine Cup title. Aside from that, marquee rookies such as CJ Perez, Robert Bolick, and Paul Desiderio are all set to play their first professional games with their respective teams. Up next on Pacman’s list – January The Filipinos will be treated to quality boxing as early as January 19 when Manny Pacquiao defends his WBA (Regular) Welterweight World Championship against challenger American Adrien Broner. After two years of fighting outside the US, Pacquiao will be back in Las Vegas to defend his title against a tough challenger in Broner. Just like old times, Freddie Roach will be back in Pacquiao's corner, this time serving as a consultant. Fanning the flames for a place in FIBA World Cup 2019 – February For the Philippines to be back in the FIBA World Cup, these are the things that need to happen: we must sweep out last two games then Japan must lose at least one of its last two games – giving us the third spot in Group F. Alternatively, we can pin our hopes on China winding up in the top four of its group – giving Groups E and F four berths apiece. Gilas Pilipinas begins its trek through that long and winding road away from home up against Qatar. All teams are teams-to-beat in UAAP 81 Volleyball – February The exciting and highly entertaining collegiate volleyball league is back on February 16. Things to watch out for? La Salle's bid for their fourth consecutive title, Ateneo's face post-Tai Bundit era, UP's confident aura coming off two major preseason championships, and UST's game-changing rookies. Eaglets-Bullpups Finals rematch or not – March Without a doubt, Ateneo and NU, the very same two teams that battled in the Finals last year, are the favorites to go all the way back to the champipnship round in the ongoing season. After all, the Blue Eaglets still have 7-foot-1, 16-year-old Kai Sotto and the Bullpups boast of the deepest roster in all of high school. After the first round of eliminations, however, it’s also clear that RJ Abarrientos-led FEU-Diliman and Joem Sabandal-fronted Adamson have other plans. For sure, something’s gotta give. Alab Pilipinas’ shot at history – April In the almost decade-long history of the Asean Basketball League, no team has won back-to-back championships. Alab Pilipinas is here to change that with the Puerto Rican pair of Renaldo Balkman and PJ Ramos showing the way alongside two-time Local MVP Ray Parks Jr. No doubt, this is the most talented team in franchise history and as such, nothing but a second straight title will be an acceptable outcome. The NCAA is five years away from its centennial celebration – July The first collegiate league in the country is approaching rarified air. Set to open its milestone mark 95th Season, the same old intensity is to be expected in the NCAA. The protagonists, however, may very well be different as all of last year’s Final Four teams will now be missing their main men – Robert Bolick for San Beda, CJ Perez for LPU, Bong Quinto for Letran, and Prince Eze for Perpetual. Is the UAAP 82 Basketball crown Katipunan’s to keep – September In Season 82, all teams will be seeking to nip the dynasty that the Ateneo Blue Eagles are trying to build. After going for back-two-back last season, all eyes will still be on them as their enter the season with an intact core. However, just like Season 81 it will not be a walk in the park with all contenders striving to match their caliber through massive recruitment, coach changes, and tough training camps. Filipino hospitality in SEA Games 2019 – November For the first time since 2005, the SEA Games will be played in Manila. That means that, at long last, our regional neighbors will yet again experience that world-renowned warmth of the Philippines and its people. Make no mistake, however, the Filipinos are all set to go all-out and dominate the medal tally – whether that be basketball in Manila or athletics and aquatics in Clark......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 31st, 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

Athletes to Watch Out for in 2019

Remember these names because for sure, they will be making the headlines this 2019. Kai Sotto The 7-foot-2 wunderkind of the Ateneo Blue Eaglets will be making major decisions in 2019. With opportunities opening up for him in Europe and USA, the current Grade 10 student of Ateneo High School has the option to leave the UAAP Juniors early to explore bigger stages. Billed as the nation's best bet to be the first Filipino homegrown NBA talent, there will definitely be a lot of eyes following this young man's every move.   Ricci Rivero and Kobe Paras Former De La Salle Green Archer Rivero and former Creighton Blue Jay Paras are both set to make University of the Philippines' #AtinSeason82 bid more promising, as they finish their residency and finally play for the Maroons in the UAAP in 2019. Both players are expected to make immediate impacts in the history-seeking squad given Rivero's championship experience, Paras' athleticism, and both player's Gilas cadets background.   Kiefer Ravena 2018 was a tough year for national team player and NLEX Road Warrior Ravena after he was slapped with an 18-month suspension in FIBA and the PBA for testing positive for banned substances. Due to the suspension, Ravena has diverted his attention to other interests such as golf and volleyball but his days away from the hard court will be over come August 2019. By then, he will be taking the keys again for NLEX either in the PBA Commissioner's or Governor's Cup.   CJ Perez, Bobby Ray Parks Jr., and Robert Bolick The 2018 PBA Rookie Draft was full of quality guards, and these top three draftees are expected to make immediate impacts in their professional teams. Former NCAA superstars Perez and Bolick both already signed lucrative contracts with Columbian Dyip and Northport. On the other hand, after being drafted in the second pick by Blackwater Elite, the former UAAP MVP and ASEAN Basketball League champion and MVP Bobby Ray Parks Jr. is still in the middle of trade talks and negotiations.   Eduard Folayang, Kevin Belingon, Geje Eustaquio, and Joshua Pacio Team Lakay had a magical 2018 after producing four world champions in the Lightweight, Bantamweight, Flyweight, Strawweight divisions. However, as people say, defending a title is always tougher.  By 2019, all fighters will most likely have the tough assignment to keep their belts in Baguio City.   Manny Pacquiao Philippine sports fans will be treated to world-class boxing by as early as the second week of January, when Filipino boxing legend Manny Pacquiao gets back in the ring to defend his WBA (Regular) Welterweight World Championship against American Adrien Broner. Pacquiao's long-time mentor Freddie Roach will also be back in his corner, serving as a consultant. (AP Photo/Isaac Brekken)   Eya Laure University of Santo Tomas' much needed reinforcement is finally here, with incoming rookie Eya Laure. The former star of the UST girls volleyball team will be making her debut in the senior's division in UAAP Season 81 this February 2019. In the preseason activities for the PVL and the PSL, Laure already proved that she will be a reliable scoring option for the Golden Tigresses - a perfect aid for graduating Sisi Rondina.   Michelle Morente Volleyball fans, it's time to get used to the sight of Morente playing in La Salle green. Last September 2018, the former Ateneo Lady Eagle already played for La Salle during the beach volleyball tournament. If she makes Ramil de Jesus' cut, the feisty scorer will bolster the Lady Spikers' title defense in the UAAP Season 81 womne's volleyball tournament.    Kath Arado La Salle's Dawn Macandili set the gold standard of libero greatness in UAAP. However, in 2019, libero extraordinaire Arado of the University of the East has every chance to prove that she might be the next to take the mantle of Philippine collegiate volleyball's best libero. For her UAAP Season 81 preparations, Arado played in two conferences of the Philippine Superliga at the same time - for UE in the Collegiate Grand Slam and for Generika Ayala Lifesaves for the All-Filipino conference. As a proof of her caliber, she swept all libero awards in both conferences.   Kat Tolentino With Jho Maraguinot's decision to not come back for the Ateneo Lady Eagles in UAAP Season 81, Kat Tolentino is expected to make the leap and be the number one scoring option for the blue-and-white. During their preseason preparations in the Premier Volleyball League under Ateneo-Motolite, rookie coach Oliver Almadro praised Tolentino for embracing her new role as the go-to girl. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @the9cruz.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 27th, 2018

NCAA Season 94 volleyball: Lady Chiefs go 6-0

Defending two-time champion Arellano University will close the year with it pristine record intact after another dominating victory in the NCAA Season 94 women’s volleyball competition. It took the Lady Chiefs only 66 minutes to dispose the skidding Letran Lady Knights, 25-13, 25-18, 25-15, Tuesday to remain unbeaten after six outings as the league heads on a long holiday break. Princess Belo barely felt the defense of the Lady Knights at the net as she easily scored 12 of her 13 points off attacks while Carla Donato wreaked havoc at the frontline with 12 markers, half of those coming from kill blocks. Last year’s rookie of the year Necole Ebuen and Regine Arocha posted eight points each to highlight Arellano U’s balance scoring orchestrated by Rhea Ramirez’s great ball distribution that saw her tally 26 excellent sets. The Lady Chiefs will march back into action on January 7 against winless Emilio Aguinaldo College. Letran continued to nosedive after suffering its fourth straight defeat for a 1-5 mark. Miracle Mendoza scored eight points while Mariel Larioque got six for the Intramuros-based squad, who gave away 26 points off errors. The Lady Knights will be looking at another difficult challenge come 2019 as they open the year against second-running San Beda University (5-1) on January 4. Meanwhile, the Chiefs defeated the Knights, 25-13, 25-20, 25-15, to move at solo second spot with a 5-1 card in the men’s division. Jesrael Liberato led the way with 11 points while Christian Dela Paz and Jethro Cabillan finished with 10 markers each for last year’s runners-up. Letran slid to 1-5 slate tied with San Beda. In juniors play, the Squires prevented a shutout for Letran after turning back the Braves, 25-23, 25-23, 23-25, 25-21, for a 4-2 card tied with their victims and Lyceum of the Philippines University. Christian Dela Cruz scored 19 points, Mark Omega had 16 while John Paolo Lorenzo chipped in with 15 for the Squires. Erl Eusebio dropped 21 points with 19 coming off attacks while John Derrick Bautista had 15 in a lost cause for Arellano U.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles         .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 18th, 2018

NCAA Season 94 volleyball: CSB continues win streak, snaps San Beda’s romp

Klarisa Abriam played clutch in the closing stretch of the fourth set to star in College of St. Benilde’s come-from-behind 17-25, 25-22, 25-19, 29-27, win over the erstwhile unbeaten San Beda University in the NCAA Season 94 women’s volleyball tournament Monday at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.   The open hitter scored the Lady Blazers’ last three points of the game to hand CSB its fourth straight win for a 4-1 record while putting a stop on the Lady Red Spikers’ 5-game romp. Abriam scored all but one of her game-high 19 points off attacks while adding 17 digs for CSB. Rookie Michelle Gamit and Maritess Pablo scored 12 each while Jan Daguil had seven markers for the Lady Blazers. “Very big siyempre (ang panalo). If everything goes as planned at least hanggang rank no. 2 ka na. Better ‘yun kaysa sa three or sa four ka magsisimula kung papasok ka (sa Final Four),” said CSB coach Jerry Yee, whose squad will go on a long holiday break before marching back into action on January 4 against Lyceum of the Philippines University. “Every game counts dito, one round lang, mabilis eh. So a’yun nakapakaimportante.” Turning the tables around after recovering from a sluggish first set, the Lady Blazers were able to control the fourth set with an 8-3 blitz for a 20-15 lead. But San Beda behind the efforts of Nieza and Jiezela Viray rallied the Lady Red Spikers in a scorching counterattack to take the lead, 21-20. It was a tight race to the finish for both squads before Gamit put CSB at match point, 24-23, off a soft tip. San Beda made a last stand saving four match points including a crosscourt hit by skipper Cesca Racraquin that tied the frame at 27. Abriam broke the Lady Red Spikers’ defensive wall in the next play before sealing the win with a dink off San Beda overreceive. Jeziela Viray led the Lady Red Spikers with 16 points while Nieza Viray and Racraquin had 13 markers each. Meanwhile, the Blazers swept the Red Spikers, 25-21, 25-21, 25-19, in men’s play. Georgie Juani finished with 14 points, Joshua De Sequera got 12 while Francis Basilan and Roneiy Adviento posted 10 each for CSB, which improved to 4-1 card. San Beda fell to 1-5 mark. In juniors division, CSB-La Salle Greenhills beat San Beda, 22-25, 21-25, 25-18, 26-24, 20-18.     The Greenies improved to 2-3 card while the Red Cubs dropped to 3-3.   ---     Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 17th, 2018

PVL: Panaga accepts new challenge with PetroGazz

New recruit Jeanette Panaga vows to bring to PetroGazz the same intensity and tenacity she displayed with her former club that won her accolades in the past. PetroGazz head coach Jerry Yee and the Angels formally welcomed the three-time Best Blocker winner Sunday during the team’s press conference and thanksgiving event after a very productive debut in the Premier Volleyball League Season 2. “Na-fortify niya ang middle namin,” said Yee, whose squad finished fourth in the recently concluded Open Conference. “What’s expected of her? Siyempre ‘yung award winning talent niya. ‘Yung pagiging Best Blocker niya, ‘yun talaga ang makakatulong.” Panaga played for Pocari Sweat for two years and helped the Lady Warriors capture the 2017 Reinforced Conference crown and a runnerup in last year’s Open Conference. The former College of St. Benilde standout collected three Best Blocker awards in leagues first three conferences. “Hindi ‘yun pressure kasi nu’ng sinabi ni coach yun parang mas natsa-challenge pa ako na panibagong challenge ‘to. Kailangan may gawin ako na something na magi-improve ako and mag-grow ako as a player,” said Panaga. She was released by Pocari Sweat after the Open Conference and after weighing down her options, Panaga decided to join the Angels, whose core are composed of former CSB players. Panaga will be reunited with ex-CSB teammates in Djanel Cheng, Ranya Musa and Rachel Austero - the same core that delivered the Taft-based squad to its breakthrough NCAA title three years ago. Panaga will also get a chance to play alongside another former Pocari Sweat teammate Cai Baloaloa. “Happy naman ako kasi ito na yung reunion namin from Benilde and Pocari and others sila Ate Paneng (Mercado) na magkaka-teammate ulit kami then parang hindi naman ganun na sobrang mahirap mag-adjust kasi naging kasama ko na sila,” said Panaga. PVL will have a five-month break before its third season and PetroGazz hopes to use that time to beef up its rosters and create better team chemistry heading into the Reinforced Conference. The Angels are currently pursuing prospective foreign guest players but requested the media not to divulge the names of the imports as the management is still undergoing negotiations.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 17th, 2018

2018 PBA Draft Baller Breakdown: Bong Quinto

Ever since he was a young boy who grew up playing 3-on-3 streetball in Barangay Pasong Tamo, Quezon City, Kierjohn “Bong” Quinto dreamed about making it to the PBA. Tomorrow, his lifelong dream will finally be realized. The only question is, which team will draft the NCAA’s best small forward? STRENGTHS At 6’1”, Quinto was a match up problem for any team that faced the Letran Knights. Because of his strength, there was nobody in the NCAA who could handle him in the post. Quinto would attack the defense any way he wanted. If the defender was smaller, he would usually back him down and shoot a fadeaway. If the defender was bigger, he would face-up and make a powerful move towards the basket. Either way, it was easy money for Quinto. In his fifth and final season with the Knights, Quinto ranked 8th in scoring averaging 15.1 points a contest. He also averaged 8.1 rebounds and 6.5 assists, solid all-around numbers that earned him a spot in the Mythical Five. Prior to participating in Season 94, Quinto helped the Batangas City Athletics win the inaugural MPBL Championship, proof that he is experienced enough and ready for the physicality of the big boys in the PBA. WEAKNESSES At 6’1”, Quinto might be too small to be a forward in the PBA. Right now, he is labelled as a “tweener”. So, assuming he would have to play shooting guard, there’s a lot of aspects in his game that he has to work on. The first and obvious thing would be his shooting. Quinto only took 22 three-point attempts the entire NCAA season and made seven of them. He also rarely took mid-range jumpers because he didn’t have to. His shooting is a huge question mark as of the moment. In order to be effective in the pros, Quinto will have to show everybody that he has a shot because his “bully ball” style of play will not work on every one at this level. Another thing he will have to improve on is his speed. Although Quinto has shown surprising athleticism at times especially when he would dunk the ball during fast break opportunities where he found himself uncontested, his speed does not blow you away. If he really does makes the transition to the two in the PBA, he might have to shed off some excess pounds to be able to keep up with explosive guards like Chris Newsome or Terrence Romeo.    .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 15th, 2018