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Veteran Musa left to hold the fort for the Lady Blazers

Still winless in three outings in the 12-team, two-group Premier Volleyball League Collegiate Conference, College of St. Benilde is still far from the form that gave the Lady Blazers their first ever NCAA title then under coach Michael Carino. Each of those losses must have been quite painful for Ranya Musa. Being the most senior on the team, much is expected of her. The bright side is that, says Carino, the Lady Blazers are getting the exposure they badly need in their preparation for the upcoming NCAA volleyball war late this year. Carino is one of the few of the young coaches hereabouts who have already had some championships tucked under their belts. Before his departure from Cignal this year, he had already steered the HD Spikers to both the Reinforced and Open Conference titles in the now defunct Spikers’ Turf. In between came the prized NCAA crown. At five-foot-11, Musa, a resident of Las Pinas, is the last of the trio of towering ladies remaining on the CSB squad, left with a gaping hole by the graduation of the towering pair of Janine Navarro and Jeanette Panaga in that order following the Lady Blazers’ historic ascent to NCAA supremacy. During training and actual games, Musa says she makes it a point to share her experience with her younger teammates. “To lead the team and share my experience with them fall under my responsibilities.” Marites Pablo, a younger sister of the exceptionally talented Myla Pablo of Pocari Sweat is among the three rookies in the Benilde lineup. The others are Klarissa Abriam and Felicia Cui. “Ate Myla says she will support me in whatever I choose to do in my volleyball career,” says the younger Pablo.  strong>The St. Benilde lineup: /strong> Angela Enginco, Marites Pablo, Rachel Austero, Diane Ventura, Chelsie Umali, Melanie Torres, Pauline Cardiente, Claire Sarmiento, Christine Lim, Ellaine Dolorito, Klarissa Abriam, Ariane Daguil, Ranya Musa, and Felicia Cui. Michael Carino, head coach; Alvin Dumalaog, assistant coach; Santiago Edlarin, trainer; and Milet Bunyi, trainer/therapist. .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: Sports3 hr. 58 min. ago Related News

With 3 goals in 5 minutes, Napoli shows off its potential

em>By Andrew Dampf, Associated Press /em> ROME (AP) — With a three-goal burst in the space of five minutes, Napoli showed why many believe the southern club has the potential to win its first Serie A title in nearly three decades. Overturning an early deficit, Kalidou Koulibaly, Jose Callejon and Dries Mertens scored early in the second half of a 4-1 win over Lazio on Wednesday to extend Napoli's perfect record. While six-time defending champion Juventus also remained perfect with an unimpressive 1-0 win over 10-man Fiorentina, Napoli tops the table on goal difference. Ciro Immobile set up Stefan de Vrij for Lazio's opener as Napoli appeared in difficulty at the Stadio Olimpico. But one defensive lapse was all the visitors needed to level. Raul Albiol was left unmarked at the far post for a corner and while his shot was parried by Lazio goalkeeper Thomas Strakosha, Koulibaly put in the rebound. Callejon then found the target with an angled shot from inside the area and Mertens rounded out the rapid-fire scoring with a long-distance lob after Strakosha was drawn out of position. Lorenzo Insigne nearly added another, but his effort hit the post a few minutes later. Jorginho added a penalty for Napoli in added time. 'I wasn't worried at halftime. The team was doing well, but so was Lazio and they went ahead on one of the few chances conceded,' Napoli coach Maurizio Sarri said. 'The lads did well in the second half. We turned things around. 'This is a big win, because they had beaten Juventus (in the Italian Super Cup) and AC Milan. This was a high-risk match,' Sarri added. It's the third time Napoli has relied on a second-half burst this season, having also scored three goals after the break in a 3-1 win over Atalanta and again in a 3-0 victory over Bologna. The results have Napoli fans dreaming of its first 'scudetto' since Diego Maradona led the club to its only two Serie A titles in 1987 and 1990. ___ strong>ANGRY ALLEGRI /strong> Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri stormed off the pitch at the final whistle in the Bianconeri's victory over Fiorentina. The visitors were reduced to 10 men after Mario Mandzukic's goal early in the second half but Juventus wasted a series of chances to extend its lead. Juan Cuadrado put in a strong performance on the right flank and provided the cross for Mandzukic to crouch down and score with a header. Fiorentina midfielder Milan Badelj picked up his second yellow card for a foul on Blaise Matuidi. The referee initially called for a penalty but changed his mind after consulting the video assistant referee. ___ strong>DZEKO DOMINATES /strong> Edin Dzeko was in top form as Roma comfortably won 4-0 at promoted Benevento. Dzeko scored twice, his presence led to two own goals, plus he hit both the post and crossbar. Dzeko put Roma ahead with a tap-in midway through the first half following solid work on the flank and an accurate cross from Aleksandar Kolarov. He then hit the post at the half-hour mark, before being in position to redirect a cross from Bruno Peres when defender Fabio Lucioni knocked the ball into his own net. Shortly after the break, Dzeko — who led Serie A with 29 goals last season — scored his fifth of this campaign with a shot from just outside the area. In the 74th, a cross from Kolarov was turned into Benevento's net by defender Lorenzo Venuti with Dzeko again well positioned to score. Dzeko then hit the crossbar. Benevento, which is making its top-division debut, is the only team in the league without a point. It's been a difficult stretch for the southern club, which was routed 6-0 by regional rival Napoli on Sunday. ___ strong>MILAN PENALTIES /strong> AC Milan beat promoted Spal 2-0 with penalties from Ricardo Rodriguez and Frank Kessie. Also, it was: Atalanta 5, Crotone 1; Cagliari 0, Sassuolo 1; Genoa 1, Chievo Verona 1; Hellas Verona 0, Sampdoria 0; and Udinese 2, Torino 3.   .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: Sports5 hr. 10 min. ago Related News

Watt dealing with broken finger as Texans prepare for Pats

em>By Kristie Rieken, Associated Press /em> HOUSTON (AP) — J.J. Watt brushed off the fact that he'll be playing against the New England Patriots on Sunday with a broken left ring finger. 'It's not going to bother me too much. It's broken but not bad,' he said wiggling the bandaged digit. 'It's just a finger, if it was anything else it would be a problem.' Some might cringe at the thought of playing football with a broken finger, but after missing 13 games last season following his second back surgery, this injury doesn't seem as if it's a big deal to Houston's star defensive end. He noted that the break hasn't really made that much of a difference because he already had a problem with that finger before he broke it in Houston's season-opening loss to Jacksonville. '(It) actually doesn't bother me a whole lot because I haven't had use of that finger for a long time because I tore a tendon on it a few years back on it,' he said. 'So it wasn't very useful anyway. I don't really need it that much so it doesn't bother me.' Watt and the Texans (1-1) are looking to end a six-game skid against the Patriots and get their first win against New England since 2010 on Sunday. The Patriots beat Houston twice last season with a 27-0 win in the regular season and a 34-16 victory in the divisional round of the playoffs. The regular-season game against the Patriots in 2016 was Watt's last before landing on injured reserve for the first time in his career. He said returning to Gillette Stadium won't mean anything extra even though it was where his season ended last year. 'Until you guys just brought it up I honestly hadn't thought about it ... I'm so far beyond all that stuff,' he said. 'I'm so far beyond the injury and comeback and all of that stuff. I'm just playing football. I'm just enjoying it and loving it and having fun. I just enjoy being an athlete again, not having to worry about any of that.' Watt, a three-time Defensive Player of the Year, said his first game this season was a bit of a struggle, but that he felt more like himself in a win over the Bengals on Thursday night. 'I settled in more,' he said. 'In that first game there were a lot of emotions and trying to do so much and trying to win the game on every, single play instead of just settling down and doing my job and executing the way I know how to execute. So I think that's what it was. Like: 'OK take a deep breath, you know how to play this game.'' New England coach Bill Belichick raved about Watt and knows his team will have its hands full dealing with him on Sunday. 'Just a tremendous player,' he said. 'There's a reason why he's been the player of the year in this league multiple times and very deserving of it. He's a force out there. He's one of the best players in the league, one of the best players I've ever coached against.' Watt looks to be returning to form as the Texans prepare for their third game, and coach Bill O'Brien and his teammates have been complimentary of his play. However, there has been something missing for the man who led the NFL in sacks in 2012 and 2015 and has 76 in his career. Watt has seven tackles and two quarterback hits, but has yet to record a sack in 2017. 'It's more important for me to feel like myself than it is to get stats,' he said. 'As long as we win I don't really care. And especially the last game on Thursday night I felt like myself. So as long as I play like that and go out there the sacks will come.' .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: Sports5 hr. 10 min. ago Related News

Madrid stunned by Betis at home, loses ground to Barcelona

em>By Tales Azzoni, Associated Press /em> MADRID (AP) — Real Madrid's faltering start to the Spanish league season continued on Wednesday with a shock 1-0 defeat at home to Real Betis. A day after league leader Barcelona routed Eibar 6-1 with four goals by Lionel Messi for its fifth win in a row, Madrid conceded an injury-time goal to remain winless in its three league games so far at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium. Paraguayan striker Antoino Sanabria scored the winner with a header from close range to give Betis its first win against Madrid at the Bernabeu since 1998. The result ended Madrid's streak of 73 consecutive games scoring at least one goal, keeping it from surpassing the record scoring run established by Brazilian club Santos starring Pele in 1963. Madrid, which was coming off home draws against Valencia and Levante, is seven points behind Barcelona after five games. It trails Betis by one point. 'This gap to the lead won't change the way we do things,' Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane said. 'We will keep fighting. It's a long championship.' Second-place Sevilla moved within two points of Barcelona by beating Las Palmas 1-0 for its fourth consecutive league victory. Third-place Atletico won 2-1 at Athletic Bilbao. ___ strong>FRAIL HOME /strong> Real Betis players celebrated as if they had won a title after the stunning win over Madrid at the Bernabeu. 'We knew we were coming to play in a complicated stadium, but the team put in a great effort and got rewarded with the late goal,' Sanabria said. Betis took advantage of a great performance by goalkeeper Antonio Adan and a bad night by Madrid's forwards, including Cristiano Ronaldo, who was making his league debut after serving a five-game suspension for shoving a referee in the Spanish Super Cup final last month. 'It was bad luck after all the chances that we created,' Madrid midfielder Casemiro said. Ronaldo had played only three other matches with Madrid this season, including against APOEL in the team's Champions League debut, when he scored twice. 'This is not the start we wanted after three games at home,' Zidane said. 'We didn't expect this.' ___ strong>KEY WIN /strong> Atletico Madrid moved closer to the lead by earning a hard-fought 2-1 away victory against Athletic Bilbao. Atletico goalkeeper Jan Oblak stopped Aritz Aduriz's penalty kick before halftime and Angel Correa and Yannick Carrasco scored second-half goals to leave the Madrid side within four points of leader Barcelona. It was the second consecutive win for Atletico, which remains unbeaten after five rounds. 'To win in this stadium you need to play a great match and I think we did that,' Atletico coach Diego Simeone said. 'We controlled the game and were very effective. It's a very important triumph for us.' Correa opened the scoring from inside the area after a cross by Jorge 'Koke' Resurreccion in the 55th minute, and Carrasco added to the lead with a low shot into the far corner after a well-placed pass by Antoine Griezmann in the 73rd. Griezmann had also helped set up the first goal with a pass to Koke. 'It was Griezmann's best match so far this season,' Simeone said. Raul Garcia netted an injury-time goal for Athletic, which has now lost two in a row after an unbeaten start. ___ strong>WINNING STREAK /strong> Sevilla kept its momentum thanks to Jesus Navas' 83rd-minute winner at the Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan. He scored from a difficult angle to give the hosts their fourth consecutive win to start the league. The match marked the return of striker Victor 'Vitolo' Machin, who left Sevilla in the offseason to join Atletico Madrid but is playing on a loan with Las Palmas until January. He was constantly jeered by Sevilla fans. ___ strong>ROUGH START /strong> Deportivo La Coruna handed Alaves its fifth straight loss with a 1-0 victory at the Riazor Stadium. Luisinho scored in first-half injury time to give the hosts their first win after three losses in the first four matches. Malaga is the only other team to have lost all of its matches so far. It was routed 5-0 at Valencia on Tuesday. ___ strong>NO GOALS /strong> Leganes and Girona failed to take their chances in a goalless first meeting in the top flight. Both teams created clear scoring opportunities but Leganes, playing in the Liga for the second season, had to settle for a point with promoted Girona. Leganes stayed in the top half of the standings, in eighth place, while Girona was 14th.   .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: Sports5 hr. 10 min. ago Related News

Goals flow for England's top clubs in League Cup

em>By Steve Douglas, Associated Press /em> England's top clubs showcased their strength in depth in the League Cup on Wednesday, with Chelsea, Manchester United, Manchester City, Arsenal and Everton all advancing to the last 16 despite fielding virtual second-string lineups. Back-up forwards had a particularly fruitful time on an evening when the yawning gap between the Premier League and the lower leagues was highlighted. Michy Batshuayi netted a hat trick for Chelsea in a 5-1 win over Nottingham Forest, while Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial were paired up front for Manchester United and both scored in a 4-1 win over Burton Albion. In other Premier League vs. League Championship matchups, Everton beat Sunderland 3-0 thanks to a double from young striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Arsenal overcame Doncaster 1-0 courtesy of a first-half goal from Theo Walcott. Leroy Sane scored in each half for Manchester City in a 2-1 win at West Bromwich Albion, with the result soured for the visitors by the sight of Ilkay Gundogan going off injured in the midfielder's first start in nine months after a cruciate knee ligament injury. A closer look at the Wednesday's five third-round games: ___ strong>CHELSEA STROLL /strong> Batshuayi is facing another season as the reserve striker at Chelsea after Alvaro Morata was signed in the offseason as a replacement for Diego Costa, who doesn't figure in coach Antonio Conte's plans. The Belgium international took his chance to impress with Morata having the night off, scoring in the 19th, 53rd and 86th minutes at Stamford Bridge. Kenedy and Charly Musonda also scored for the English champions, for whom Ethan Ampadu became the first Chelsea player born this millennium — a week after his 17th birthday. Eden Hazard impressed on his first start of the season after a broken ankle. ___ strong>UNITED BEGINS TITLE DEFENSE /strong> Two goals in the opening 17 minutes by Rashford set Man United on its way to an easy win in the first game of its title defense. Jesse Lingard and Martial added more goals for Jose Mourinho's side, which has also scored four goals in three of its first five games in the Premier League. 'We look happy playing football in this moment,' said Mourinho, who didn't even include top scorer Romelu Lukaku in the squad for the match. ___ strong>SANE'S DOUBLE /strong> It was a contrasting evening for Man City's two Germany internationals at West Brom. While Sane was scoring in each half — including the winning goal at the end of a rapid counter-attack in the 77th minute — Gundogan lasted just 59 minutes before being substituted with an apparent knee injury following a heavy tackle from Claudio Yacob. Yacob went on to equalize for West Brom. 'He has a small issue with his knee, but not like before,' City manager Pep Guardiola said of Gundogan, 'and I don't think it will be anything serious.' ___ strong>RESPITE FOR KOEMAN /strong> Everton ended a run of four straight losses, when the team didn't score a goal, to provide some relief for manager Ronald Koeman. Without Romelu Lukaku, who was sold to Man United in the offseason, Everton lacks a prolific striker this season but two forwards were on the scoresheet against Sunderland. The 20-year-old Calvert-Lewin scored in the 38th and 51st minutes, while Senegal international Oumar Niasse grabbed the third — his first goal for Everton in his first appearance for the club since May 2016. ___ em> strong>The draw for the last 16: /strong> /em> Tottenham vs. West Ham Bristol City vs. Crystal Palace Swansea vs. Manchester United Arsenal vs. Norwich Chelsea vs. Everton Manchester City vs. Wolverhampton Wanderers Leicester vs. Leeds Bournemouth vs. Middlesbrough .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: Sports5 hr. 10 min. ago Related News

Federer, Nadal happy to play doubles, Borg to decide

em>By Karel Janicek, Associated Press /em> PRAGUE (AP) — With Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal at the Laver Cup team tennis tournament, expectations are running high about the chance of seeing the two as doubles partners. The three-day competition at the O2 Arena in Prague starts Friday, pitting a team of the best six European players against the top six from the rest of the world. No ATP rankings points will be awarded. Alexander Zverev, Marin Cilic, Dominic Thiem and Tomas Berdych are also on the European team to face Sam Querrey, John Isner, Nick Kyrgios, Jack Sock, Denis Shapovalov and Frances Tiafoe. The tournament is to honor Rod Laver, an 11-time major champion who won two calendar-year Grand Slams. It will include three singles and one doubles match every day. Bjorn Bjorg captains Europe while John McEnroe does the same for the opponents. Federer and Nadal were clear about their choice of a possible partner. 'I've played a lot against Rafa on so many occasions, in big matches,' Federer said at Prague's picturesque Old Town Square. 'I think in nine Grand Slam finals. Finally, to have him on my side it's a joy. We talked about playing doubles a long, long time ago. It never happened. Of course, I would love to share the side of the net this time around. We have to see how practice goes and then at the end Bjorn will take the ultimate decision.' Nadal concurred. 'Of course, I would love (to play with Federer),' Nadal said. 'It will be amazing if that happens. We've talked about that years ago to play in some tournament together. It didn't happen yet. We're looking forward to playing here, hopefully. Let's see if the captain allows us to play.' Borg has yet to decide how to form pairs for doubles, but suggested 'there's a very good chance' for Federer and Nadal. 'He's the captain, he's the boss here now,' Nadal said. 'I am just here to try my best, every time the captain wants me on court, I am just here to try to help the team to win the Laver Cup.' Federer warned a victory was not a given even though the two are currently ranked No. 1 (Nadal) and No. 2 (Federer). 'There's a lot of expectations and everybody thinks we're going to win and play together then we bomb out,' Federer said. 'So, we better make sure we focus on just playing good doubles and if it works together at the same time, that'd be great. 'I'm sure that the crowd would go absolutely crazy.' .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: Sports5 hr. 10 min. ago Related News

2017 NBA offseason moves: Atlantic Division

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TALBOG!: Marian, game ‘makipagbugbugan’ kay Dingdong

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MANILA, Philippines —  Grandmaster Wesley So failed to translate a slight positional edge into a winning attack and settled for a fighting 47-move draw of a.....»»

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ATLANTA –  World number two Jordan Spieth says he will be targeting victory at the season-ending Tour Championship this week as he bids to pocket another mul.....»»

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