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15 lady mayors, eight VMS To bring women issues up

Win some, lose some. Boholano women lost two valuable and strategic key seats in local governance, sliding back from the 17 mayoralty seats they were able to win in 2016 to only 15 in the recent midterm national and local elections, data from the local Commission on Elections bare. The 15, which comprise some 31.25% […].....»»

Category: newsSource: boholnewsdaily boholnewsdailyJun 10th, 2019

DLSU s volleyball program continuously evolves under De Jesus

From Iris Ortega-Patrona to legendary star Manilla Santos-Ng to Aby Marano, Ara Galang, Mika Reyes, Michele Gumabao, Majoy Baron and Kim Dy to the current crop of players in Jolina Dela Cruz to Thea Gagate, much can be said about the successful women’s volleyball program of De La Salle University. But it won’t be complete without mentioning the name of head coach Ramil de Jesus, who turned a struggling team into a perennial title contender for the past two decades. Eleven championships in 18 Finals appearances since taking the post as mentor of the Lady Spikers in 1997 with an impressive winning record, De Jesus truly is the genius behind DLSU’s powerhouse status. But what really put De Jesus a cut above the rest, Santos-Ng said, is his ability to adapt, utilize the pieces he has on hand and the way his system evolves. “The evolution of DLSU volleyball lies not only from the great players, but mainly because of the way Coach Ramil adjusts and adapts on the current situation,” said Santos-Ng in an interview on Volleyball DNA. She mentioned that during her time, De Jesus focused on making DLSU a powerhitting team. When the likes of Marano and Gumabao came, the mentor concentrated on making the Lady Spikers the strongest team in terms of blocking. The batch of Dy, Kim Fajardo, Baron and libero Dawn Macandili was known for its all-around play. What brought DLSU its success is the fact that De Jesus was quick to adapt to situations.    Of course, glory didn’t come overnight. It took De Jesus a lot of work to bring the Lady Spikers on top. De Jesus delivered DLSU’s first title in Season 62 in the Lady Spikers' second attempt at the crown. The Taft-based squad managed to advance to the Finals the next three seasons but fell short at the hands of Far Eastern University each time.   “Nu’ng pumunta ako ng La Salle, sa pagkakaalam ko hindi pa kami malakas na team eh,” said Santos-Ng “So talagang si Coach Ramil dahan-dahan n’ya talagang winorkout ang mga players and the program,” she added. “Dun mo makikita na si Coach Ramil talaga is very dedicated and committed kapag mayroon siyang goal.” After three bridesmaid finishes, DLSU, on Santos-Ng’s second year, exacted revenge on FEU to get back to the throne. DLSU won two more times for its first of three three-peats. Santos-Ng said that De Jesus during that time made his players stay in a dorm for the first time not only to monitor their conditioning but to develop a deeper team chemistry. “‘Yung time na yun gusto nya kaming maging well-bonded. Di lang strong team but well-bonded,” said Santos-Ng. “Kasi you can easily create a strong team eh. Pagsasamahin mo mga malalakas na players from this school. But strong team plus well-bonded team makes a big difference.” The ChocoMucho hitter also added that De Jesus will always look for ways to the unleash the full potential of his players. “Si Coach Ramil hindi siya nauubusan ng idea kung paano kami palakasin. Kung ano ang nakikita niya sa player na kulang talagang magpo-focus siya dun. Di siya magdya-jump kaagad sa ibang gagawin. May pagka-perfectionist siya eh,” she said. Like all of De Jesus’ players Santos-Ng had her share of rough moments while training under his watchful eyes. “Umiiyak din ako sa kanya. Pero makikita mo at the end of the day ‘yung result ng team kung paano kami gumalaw as one sa loob ng court,” she said. De Jesus according to Santos-Ng is also very strict when it comes to discipline.     “Coach Ramil is very consistent on how he manages to protect ‘yung mga players. Ayaw niyang nawawala sa focus,” said Santos-Ng. “Lagi niyang sinasabi na, Hindi ito modeling, hindi ito para magpaganda o magpa-cute. Volleyball itong pinasok nyo.’” “He always reminds us para lang talaga hindi kami mawala dun sa focus na maglaro lang talaga kami ng volleyball,” she added. More than a decade since Santos-Ng finished her tour of duty for the green and white, the Lady Spikers continue to evolve and keep up with the times yet maintain their consistency as one of the finest volleyball program in the collegiate ranks. All thanks to De Jesus.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 28th, 2020

Ateneo s Fab 5: The Fearless Underdogs of UAAP Volleyball

(This story was originally published on April 20, 2018) Newly-appointed head coach Roger Gorayeb looked at his line-up heading into UAAP Season 71. A champion mentor of NCAA powerhouse San Sebastian College - Recoletos, Gorayeb had in his hands a gargantuan task of rebuilding the Ateneo de Manila University women’s volleyball program. Just a few months before, Ronald Dulay, the mentor before him, landed a trio of blue chip recruits who were fresh from a successful stint in the Palarong Pambansa. Angeline "Dzi" Gervacio, Fille Saint Cainglet and Jamenea "Jem" Ferrer just joined the Katipunan-based squad. Gervacio and Cainglet were products of St. Scholastica's College in Manila while Ferrer was a gem from Hope Christian School under girl’s volleyball guru Jerry Yee. Looking at his 15-woman line-up with the season just a few months ahead, Gorayeb knew he needed to do something drastic. The roster just won’t do. Talking to then athletic director Ricky Palou and team manager Tony Boy Liao, the mentor told the team officials that he intended to cut five players from the list. One could just imagine the shock in their faces. “Nakita ko may line-up pero player-playeran lang yung ganoon bang tipo, 15 ata yun. Sabi ko ‘Magtatanggal ako ng lima then magre-recruit ako,’” he said. The three rookies were in. Middle Bea Pascual, Kara Acevedo and libero Steph Gabriel retained their spots. He needed more. “Sa mga tinira kong players, si Kara Acevedo sabi niya, ‘Coach mayroong player ang ICA (Immaculate Conception Academy) na gumraduate naka-exam na rito pasado.’ Sabi ko, ‘Sige papuntahin mo,’” said Gorayeb. It was Gretchen Ho. “Sa akin kasi ang talagang nagyaya sa akin si Coach Ron Dulay. Si Kara Acevedo teammate ko and she’s been recruited by Ateneo. So one summer wala akong magawa naki-train lang ako noon tapos nagustuhan nila ang laro ko and then fourth year noong graduate na ako I passed the ACET then niyayaya na nila ako,” Ho said. “Then nagbago ng coach na si Coach Roger and dun niya ako nakita.”   “Pagdating ko ng March (sa Ateneo) wala na akong way para maka-recruit pa. Ang nangyari yung tatlo accepted na kaagad. Si Gretchen tinanong ko sabi ko, ‘ano ba ang laro mo?’ Sabi niya the usual panggitna, tres,” Gorayeb recalled. “So sinubukan ko pero ang laro niya tres hindi quick. Siya panggitna pero hindi quicker na gusto ko saka yung height niya (maliit). Kaya lang si Gretchen takbo ng takbo, mahilig magtatakbo so sabi ko sige pwede na yan. Wala namang player na during that time. So kinuha ko si Gretchen.” Gorayeb just needed just one more. “Ngayon nagkaroon ng STCAA (Southern Tagalog Calabarzon athletic association) eh kulang pa ako ng isa, wala akong panggitna. Ang gitna ko during that time si Bea lang tapos si Gretchen so wala akong pamalit. So naisipan ko may nakita ako sa STCAA,” he said. He spotted a lanky player from Canossa Academy-Lipa, Aillysse Nacachi. “Sabi ko kay Sir Tony pagtyagaan ko na lang ito kahit hindi naman kalakasan at wala naman na rin akong choice na makapili kasi rush ang pagdating ko dyan. Nakiusap lang sila sa akin na magbuo ako ng team kasi si Ronald nag-resign,” said Gorayeb. Another freshman could’ve had ended up with Ateneo, Hope’s libero Melissa Gohing. But a few obstacles prevented her from fulfilling her promise to join Ferrer in Ateneo. She instead chose to join the ladies in green and white in Taft.    SOMETHING PROMISING December 7, 2008. Far Eastern University Gym. Excitement filled the air. Fans, mostly volleyball purists and some who just came to support their classmates or were just curious to see a new spectacle after the basketball season ended, slowly settled in their seats for the women’s division’s second game. It was Adamson University, the previous year’s runner-up, which just visited the turf of their arch nemesis and defending champion FEU, which was led by that era’s finest and most popular volleybelle Rachel Anne Daquis. Fans wanted to see if the Lady Falcons still had the same firepower they had the previous season with the loss of top setter Janet Serafica and power hitter Sang Laguilles. A rookie-laden Ateneo squad should be easy pickings with Angela Benting, rookie Pau Soriano and libero Lizlee Anne Gata in the roster. Besides the Lady Falcons got the Lady Eagles’ number. Or so they thought. “Naalala ko nu’ng time namin sinasabi sa amin ng seniors namin na, ‘Hay naku ang lakas ng Adamson, never kami nanalo dyan,’” Cainglet, now happily married to Taguig mayor Lino Cayetano and with three beautiful children, recalled.  But the Lady Eagles stunned Adamson in the opening set. The Lady Falcons took the next two frames. Ateneo stole the fourth.  “Ako naalala ko ano eh, parang alam namin na lahat kasi kami palaban. Nasa amin yun. Tapos binigyan kaming lahat ng chance to be in the first six so parang dream come true,” said Ho, now an ABS-CBN host. “Naalala ko rin na palaban kaming lahat kumbaga nothing to lose eh so ang ano namin, sumasabay kami sa laro and nu’ng nakita na namin na ‘Ay kaya pala natin ‘to guys. Kaya pala naming lumaban.’” Still, Adamson had the upper hand in experience. The Lady Falcons, used to pressure and were steady at crunch time, outlasted Ateneo.           The young Katipunan-based squad fell short, 25-22, 22-25, 15-25, 25-15, 8-15. But for the Fab 5, it was a loss that felt like a resounding victory. “Parang sobrang natutuwa kami and everybody in the crowd, kaya siguro kami natawag na Fab 5 kasi rookies kami pero kahit ganoon palaban kami,” said Ho. “Saka close game. Five sets yun.” However, it was the first of five five-set matches that Ateneo will drop that season including one in the second round against the Manilla Santos-bannered De La Salle University. “Pero ang problema di kami nananalo ng five sets. Parang ilan lang ang naipanalo namin na ganoon. Feeling ko na-overwhelm kami na ‘Uy nananalo tayo.’ May ganoong disbelief ng konti pero alam namin na may ibubuga kami,” said Ho. “Definitely, our rookie season was full of five-set matches. It was tough, we felt like we were so close, but still so far away. At some point, it gave us frustration also. We just couldn't figure out that time what is it that's still lacking because we couldn't win the five-set matches,” according to Nacachi. “People said, it was because the team was still so inexperienced. We still didn't have the tenacity unlike of those more matured teams. But we didn't take it as bad, it was a learning experience for us all at the end. We had to learn how to develop that finishing will to be able to win games like that in the future.” The Fab 5 finished their rookie season with a 6-8 slate at fifth spot.   ‘MAY MEDAL NA TAYO’ Gorayeb remembered on their second year the look on Pascual’s face in their last elimination game match against Adamson. Already wrapping up their first win over the Lady Falcons, Pascual was giddy. “Natatawa nga ako dyan kay Bea kasi papanalo na kami nu’n tapos sumesenyas na siya ng tres. Sabi ko, ‘Hoy anong ginagawa mo?’ Yun pala sobrang saya na niya kasi for the first time in 30 years magkaka-medal na sila,” he said. It was the most important match of the season for the Lady Eagles. With the Fab 5 already in their sophomore year, Ateneo was already making great strides. The Lady Eagles closed that season’s elims with five straight wins capped off with a victory over Adamson. Ateneo posted a 10-4 win-loss mark to enter the Final Four legitimately. “Ang nangyari kasi nu’ng time nila Charo (Soriano) kaya sila nakapasok sa semis kasi may nag-squeal na si (Jacq) Alarca di pala naka-enroll nu’n kaya na-forfeit mga laro ng La Salle,” said Gorayeb. The Fab 5 proved that they were not just a bunch of much-hyped up pretty faces. They backed it up with their skills on court. It didn’t matter that Ateneo were swept by eventual champion University of Sto. Tomas in the Final Four.      But the podium finish of Season 72 was short-lived. Adamson got its revenge in the last game of Season 73 elims, bumping off the Lady Eagles for a podium finish. The loss put Ateneo in a collision course with the twice-to-beat DLSU, who could’ve completed an elims sweep if not only for a forfeited match against University of the East after UAAP found out that Carmela Garbin and Clarisse Yeung participated in a ‘ligang labas’ while the season was onoing, in the Final Four. Ateneo gave the Lady Spikers a scare before succumbing in another heartbreaking five-set match. The Lady Eagles finished fourth but that lone semis game gave Ateneo and its maturing Fab 5 enough experience to dream for something big – A ticket into the Finals.      ‘HINOG NA KAYO’ The first three years saw the gradual improvement for Ateneo. But Season 74 proved to be the turning point for the Fab 5. A fresh new recruit from University of Sto. Tomas high school, who just completed a year of residency, came into picture and with the Fab 5 armed with years of experience, the Lady Eagles’ fate will forever be changed. Alyssa Valdez, a highly recruited open spiker just like Gervacio, Cainglet-Cayetano and Ferrer years back, gave renewed excitement for the Ateneo faithful. “Alyssa's joining with Ateneo was a great turning point for us. We needed as much support we can get, and Alyssa's entrance to the team was a great boost to the team's morale,” said Nacachi. “The girl is a powerhouse and we felt like with her presence, the team finally became solid.” “We were able to play around with the positions and the rotations, since we had different versatile open players who can also greatly play other roles,” she added. “We were also able to formulate a lot of plays and attacks because Alyssa can generally do all kinds; open, running, quick, name it all. She gave the team the power and the versatility that we previously lacked from the past seasons.” Social media was just gaining traction then but the Lady Eagles were already on the radar of volleyball purists through online forums. For the first time, Ateneo was considered a legitimate contender.   The Fab 5 proved it by winning 11 games in the elimination round, losing only to UST once and dropping two against the Lady Spikers. Valdez’s arrival gave Ferrer an even broader option on offense. It eased the scoring load off the shoulders of Cainglet and Gervacio, who was then moved to an opposite position. “I guess sakto lang din yung dating niya because by that time Kara Acevedo graduated so someone had to fill in her spot so coach Roger decided for me to move to utility or opposite,” said Gervacio. “And then sakto Alyssa naman could fill in the spot na other open spiker.” “So timing din na we had all the pieces put together at the right time,” she added. With a good performance in the elims despite missing a legit middle in Bea Pascual and the entry of Aerieal Patnongon barred by academic problems, Ateneo finished second and for the first-time was armed with a twice-to-beat advantage in the stepladder semifinals. The Lady Eagles faced an experienced Tigresses side in the last stepladder semis stage. UST just came from a hard-fought four-set do-or-die match against FEU and were banking on their four-set win over Ateneo in the second round to force another sudden death. Ateneo’s date with destiny was sealed with a four-set win over the Tigresses, who then bid goodbye to Maika Ortiz and Judy Anne Caballejo. “Pinu-push na rin kami ni Coach Roger noon eh, ‘Hinog na kayo ngayon. Kasi dalawang taon na lang, kailangan makapasok na kayo sa Finals,’” said Ho. “Somehow senior na rin kami,” added Cainglet.  “Season 74 was really the target season for us to be in the finals and target even to win the championship,” according to Nacachi. “During this time, we were already thinking we could not afford to not go in the finals.” “So it was with our mindset and our level of commitment that we were able to finally reach our goal of reaching the finals,” she added. “We had enough experience that time already, and it was really time for us to show the level of game maturity the team had obtained from the past seasons.” But then they had to face an unbeaten team. Unscathed in 14 games, De La Salle University was poised to complete a perfect season. The Lady Eagles spoiled it. Ferrer outplayed DLSU setter Mika Esperanza, 57-42, in excellent sets as Ateneo handed the Lady Spikers its first loss after 25 straight victories in a come-from-behind 23-25, 28-26, 25-23, 25-17, Finals opener win. Witnessed by 3,002 spectators inside the then The Arena in San Juan, all of the Fab 5 produced points. Cainglet had 19 behind Valdez’s 24, Gervacio scored 12, Ho had 10, Nacachi finished with five while Ferrer had one. Gorayeb made a big gambit and it worked. “Dahil sa wala kong panggitna, yung laro namin ng La Salle, ginawa kong quicker si Alyssa. Kasi si Alyssa nakakapalo. Nagulat si Ramil (de Jesus) dun.” It was a big win. A huge upset. Unfortunately, Ateneo needed to win two more.  DLSU held a thrice-to-beat advantage.   THAT SWAG After Ateneo made a miracle in Game One, fans began to feel a new rivalry born. The attendance spiked. From just 3,000 spectators, the gate attendance more than doubled its size. The interest was there. Fans of traditional powers began to notice the Lady Eagles as a rising team. For the first time, a squad with no previous championship experience except for a title during the Marcos era in a different collegiate league, made a giant jolt. Everybody wanted to see what these girls would do next.    The Lady Eagles, still high on adrenaline after their Game 1 upset, took the opening set in Game 2. But just like in their opener, a well-experienced DLSU squad adjusted to take the next three frames to move a step closer to a repeat crown. With then Rookie of the Year Ara Galang, Season Most Valuable Player Aby Marano, an intimidating Michele Gumabao and a very efficient Finals MVP Cha Cruz teaming up for the kill, the Lady Spikers ripped Ateneo apart in Game 3 in straight sets, 25-16, 25-22, 25-13. “Sabi nga ni Dzi na nadyan na lahat eh. So I guess noong Season 74 nandoon na pero may kulang pa rin,” said Ho. “I guess we we’re able to make it to the Finals pero wala pa kaming championship experience.” Ferrer agreed. "Siguro ang kulang yung championship experience kasi nasa La Salle na ‘yun eh. Ilang years na silang nagpa-finals, nag-champion and for Ateneo doon pa lang namin sinimulan," said the three-time Best Setter. Lacking championship experience is one thing, but Ateneo during that time wasn’t ready for DLSU’s most feared weapon: the Lady Spikers’ swag.  “They have that swag,” said Gervacio. “Everyone knows about it naman. It’s really Coach Ramil’s style talaga kasi as I remember when we were first year, four out of six of the players inside the court were rookies and even if we go against the powerhouses UST, FEU, Adamson, hindi sila yung nakikita nyo na kapag championship na rivalry, na swag, angas, stare down. Pero La Salle talaga kahit sino ang kalaban nila they’ll bring that attitude inside the court.” That Finals series cemented a new rivalry that will become one of the most celebrated in the sport. “I think it also helped that Ateneo-La Salle basketball didn’t face also,” said Gervacio. “Siyempre nandoon ang hunger for the rivalry eh and timely din na its been Ateneo-La Salle na rin sa volleyball.”   CLOSING A CHAPTER The Fab 5 were now in their fifth and last year. They wanted to leave a winning legacy. The pieces were already there. Gorayeb had at his disposal five seniors, a rising star in Valdez, a sophomore middle in Amy Ahomiro, a versatile Ella De Jesus, a steady libero in Denden Lazaro and a new kind of weapon – a massive crowd that can turn any venue into a sea of blue.              As expected, the second installment of the Ateneo-DLSU rivalry was set into place. Both sweeping their semis opponents. The Lady Spikers crushed National University while the Lady Eagles shot down Adamson. Game One was a shocker. DLSU heading into the Finals are on a 14-game roll but were stunned in the first two sets with Ateneo stepping on the gas. But a string of miscues, mostly from the service line, did the Lady Eagles in as they allowed the Lady Spikers to force a decider. DLSU, smelling blood, punished Ateneo to eke out a 20-25, 17-25, 25-22, 25-22, 15-6, victory inside the Big Dome witnesses by 17,342-strong gate attendance. Then the series transferred to a newly-built, state-of-the-art Mall of Asia Arena that drew a crowd of 18,799. The first two frames were frustrating for the Lady Eagles.   Ateneo came back to life in the third set to gain a 9-5 lead. But DLSU easily erased it with Ateneo crumbling under pressure. The Lady Spikers were on an onslaught. Sophomore Galang pushed DLSU at matchpoint with a cold-blooded ace that went in a few inches from the baseline. The score, 24-16. It was a tense moment for the Fab 5. A long rally ensued in the next play. Gervacio, with all her might pounded a kill. Her hand making a great contact on the ball off Ferrer’s backset.     Smack! The ball ricocheted off the hands of DLSU’s Wensh Tiu before falling on the same landing area of Gervacio, who tried to dive for a dig together with Lazaro. DLSU swept Ateneo, 25-23, 25-20, 25-16. Game over.          “Kahit hindi kami nanalo alam naming ibinigay namin ang lahat namin, all-out talaga kaya wala kaming pagsisisi,” said Ho. It was the end of the Fab 5 era, but they left more than what any of them could have imagined. "I remember so many people or fans telling me that they started really watching UAAP Volleyball because of our batch. And that is really touching and fulfilling to know. Knowing that you were able to leave an impact like that to people. We were not able to bring even a single championship to our school, Ateneo, but we were able to touch a lot of people's hearts despite that," Nacachi shared. The Fab 5 closed a colorful chapter of Ateneo volleyball in tears. They were there during the Lady Eagles’ birth pains. They labored. They shed tears, blood and sweat. They laid the foundation for something big. The Fab 5 planted the seeds that would eventually bear fruit and would change the course of Ateneo women’s volleyball program forever. Glory didn’t happen during their time. It started in theirs.    Amidst the roar of the crowd, the falling confetti, banging of drums and the echoing chant of ‘Animo La Salle’ from the sea of green, the Fab 5 hugged each other tight. They found comfort in each other. It was their time to say goodbye. For those who remained – Valdez, Lazaro, Ahomiro, De Jesus – the defeat added fuel to their already blazing desire to bring glory for the blue and white. They were the next in line, heirs to an unfinished business. WATCH: FAB 5 Reunion Part 1 and Part 2 --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 24th, 2020

CAMPEONE: Year of the Tiger (2010)

(This story was originally published on May 09, 2019) University of Sto. Tomas head coach Shaq delos Santos looked at his squad inside the dugout of The Arena in San Juan one last time. It was a cool Saturday afternoon. He took a glimpse at his graduating hitter Angge Tabaquero, who was all pumped up, but was feeling under the weather and could barely speak because of a sore throat. Delos Santos then shifted his eyes towards fourth-year team captain Aiza Maizo, Maika Ortiz, libero Jessica Curato, then to his prized rookies Dindin Santiago and Maru Banaticla. From their closed locker room, the Tigresses could hear the drums outside and felt the vibration that followed. The weekend crowd packed the venue in a sea of yellow and green. Excitement filled the air. It was electric. Less than an hour before, coach Emil Lontoc celebrated the Tigers’ conquest of Far Eastern University to complete a three-peat in the men's division. With his eyes closed, Delos Santos murmured one last prayer. Then there was a soft tap on their dugout door. It was time to march to the court for the official warm-up for Game 2 of the UAAP Season 72 women’s volleyball tournament.   THE YOUNG AND THE BOLD Delos Santos knew that they’re in for ride in Season 72.   They prided themselves with three pre-season titles, but those conquests meant nothing when it comes to their mother league. “Before mag-start (ang season), for me, hindi ko napi-feel na magtsa-champion agad kami,” said Delos Santos. “Kasi ang adjustment kailangan makita mo muna ang lahat ng naglalaro. So depende pa rin sa nilalaro ng every team na makakalaban mo.” And besides, the mentor will be navigating with a young crew, mostly in their early collegiate careers save for Maizo and returning Tabaquero, two of the remaining heroes of UST’s Season 69 championship run. Maizo was named team captain while Tabaquero, who skipped Season 71 for personal reasons, brought in the needed veteran presence to guide the squad. “Ako personally ang mindset ko sobrang hungry lang rin ako personally and I think si Aiza rin kasi halos pa-exit na rin siya nun,” said Tabaquero. “Ako sobrang gusto ko lang for myself na maka-graduate sa UAAP on a high note.” “On a high lang ako nun kumbaga, ‘Last playing year ko na ‘to wala na akong balikan pa, ibubuhos ko na lahat,’ she added. “Plus the fact na hindi ako nakapaglaro noong Season 71 dagdag gutom sa akin ‘yun.” But then again, the Tigresses remained relatively young. Dimaculangan was just in her third year, her first two saw the bitter memory of losing the title in the semifinals at the hands of the Rachel Anne Daquis-led Far Eastern University and then another Final Four heartache against the same tormentors the following year. Ortiz, Hannah Mance and Curato barely had enough experience on them so did Judy Ann Caballejo.   Then there were the young bloods. UST got a pair of blue-chip recruits in a small but high-flying power-hitter in Banaticla and a lanky 6-footer Santiago.   The Tigresses were parading a decent squad, but not a super team that they had before with Mary Jean Balse and Venus Bernal.       “Nagkaroon kami ng mga rookies noon,” said Dimaculangan. “Nu’ng time na ‘yun kumpiyansa naman ako sa team kasi bakit ka pa maghahanap ng mga wala o bakit ka pa hahanap ng mga naka-graduate na? So kung ano na lang ang meron kami siguro doon na lang.” Delos Santos, himself, was just on his second year as head coach after taking the reins from legendary mentor August Sta. Maria, who suffered a stroke in 2008. Expectations were high from the UST faithful. For the Tigresses, they just have to deliver.   STRUGGLE WITHIN The Tigresses began the season with an early litmus test. Their first game: against the defending champions De La Salle University Lady Spikers. UST faced a squad assembled to build a dynasty. DLSU was denied of a four-peat three years ago when the league suspended the school in Season 69 because of an eligibility issue with its men’s basketball team. In Season 70, the Lady Spikers were forced to forfeit games because of another eligibility issue with Jacq Alarca. The following year, in Manilla Santos’ final year, DLSU reclaimed the throne. Now, looking to for a repeat, the Lady Spikers just need to break the will of one of their threats. DLSU paraded a formidable team centered on its ‘Big Three’ in Alarca, skipper Paneng Mercado, daughter of Asia’s Sprint Queen Lydia De Vega-Mercado, and versatile hitter Cha Cruz. Then there’s the great wall of Michele Gumabao and rookies Aby Marano and Joanne Siy, who would eventually win the Rookie of the Year and Best Blocker awards. UST was facing a nightmare. But the Tigresses were undaunted. They clung on the confidence of bringing down the same giant they slew in the UniGames championship before the start of the season. With guns blazing and adrenaline in their veins, the Tigresses were able to control the match as they led, 2-1. Then comes their Achilles’ heel. UST was a determined team, but the Lady Spikers had in them the championship experience, the veteran composure of a battle-tested squad. The Tigresses had no answer to that. DLSU walked away with a 20-25, 25-20, 22-25, 25-22, 15-11, victory to start its amazing elimination round winning streak. UST recovered in the next three games, walking past University of the Philippines, a rebuilding FEU, and cellar-dwellers National University. Then came another big challenge. The Tigresses collided with a feisty young team in Ateneo de Manila University bannered by a hyped Fab Five of sophomores Gretchen Ho, Dzi Gervacio, Fille Cainglet, setter Jem Ferrer and A Nacachi. The result was a shocker: the Lady Eagles upset the Tigresses. It may not show inside the court, but the Tigresses were struggling from the inside.   Delos Santos admitted that being a Tigress under his watch was not for the faint of heart. His relationship with the players was not smooth. He was a blacksmith trying to sharpen a deadly weapon. He needed to put his players into the blazing fire of his Spartan-like training, hammer them into shape and sharpen them into a weapon ready for brutal war.       “Napaka-strict ko kaya medyo ano sila sa akin pero at the end of the day na-realize rin nila na ang lahat ng sinasalihan naming tournament, lahat ng paghihirap namin, kapag naglalaro kami talagang quality,” he said. “’Yung pinaghirapan namin talagang nilalabas namin sa game.” Dimaculangan recalled that that season was marred with conflicts within the team. “’Yung year na 'yun ang dami talagang pinagdaanan. Ang daming naging issues,” she said declining to divulge what the problems were. “Lahat kami takot sa kanya (Delos Santos). Tapos my time din na feeling namin nabe-burnout na kami.” “Baliktad nga eh kasi kung kailan ang dami naming issue doon pa namin nasabi na ‘Ay kailangan nating mag-champion.’ Ganoon ang feeling namin,” Dimaculangan added. Tabaquero would simply describe that Tigresses team as ‘shaky’. “On the rocks ang team and noon may internal issues din,” she revealed. “Medyo magulo siya pero as players, ‘Kung may mangyari man dyan, labas na sa volleyball ‘yan. Kung ano ang pini-perform natin maglaro tayo ng maayos.’ Siguro yun na lang ang tumatakbo sa isip namin.” Whatever the issues were inside their team, the Tigresses were able to put them aside as they made an amazing run to close the eliminations. “Nagulat kami kasi sobrang nakasabay ang mga bata,” said Tabaquero. “Kami ni Aiza halos ang nag-lead sa team na ‘yun pero kasi experienced na ang mga bata na ‘yun kasi coming from UST program sila eh.” “So medyo kumbaga ang pinanggalingan nilang team mataas din so I guess doon na lang din sila humugot from their experience sa high school. Nadala na lang din siguro pagdating nila,” she added.   ENTERING THE END GAME Valentine’s Day. With most of the country looking forward to celebrate that special Sunday, the Tigresses were preparing for something bigger. It was their most-awaited rematch with the Lady Spikers, who heading into that game were already ravaging the league with 13 straight victories. One win and DLSU will enter the Finals outright armed with a thrice-to-beat advantage.   The Tigresses didn’t allow that. UST prevented a Lady Spikers elims sweep by slipping past DLSU in a thrilling five-setter. The Tigresses avoided a stepladder semifinals. UST ended the elims with a nine-game winning streak and second-best 12-2 win-loss record. From there everything changed. “Kasi nakuha nila (ang panalo) sa first round then February 14 tinalo namin sila so dun tumaas ang kumpiyansa namin na ‘Ah kaya namin itong La Salle,’” said Tabaquero. The Tigresses came in the Final Four armed with a twice-to-beat advantage against Ateneo. They split their elims head-to-head but now UST wanted to settle an old score. It was Maizo and Tabaquero who did most of the damage in the Final Four as the Tigresses crushed the Lady Eagles, 25-12, 25-23, 25-20, all while playing without starting libero Curato, who was out because of typhoid fever. “I guess kung ikaw mayroon kang chance na makapasok sa championship siguro ibibigay mo ang lahat. Laban kung laban,” said Tabaquero. “’Yun talaga ang mentalidad namin nu’ng time na yun. ‘Yun ang nag-push sa amin na, ‘For championship ito, ibibigay namin ang lahat 110%.’” Earlier that playdate, the Lady Spikers took the other Finals berth after booting out Adamson University, 16-25, 25-16, 25-22, 25-22.         "EH ANO NGAYON KUNG DEFENDING CHAMPION KAYO?" Maizo and Tabaquero were UST’s contrasting leaders. They're yin and yang. Maizo was a silent operator. She would rather let her work do the talking. Tabaquero was from a different world. She will get under your skin, play with your head and she was just plain nasty. “Season 69 pa lang salbahe na ako maglaro,” she admitted. “Dun lumabas ‘yung moniker ko na ‘Pamewang Queen’. Sobrang intense lang din ng game namin ng FEU nun. Parang sobrang thrashtalkan. Hindi mo man makita on-cam pero doon pa lang talagang may verbal.” She’s no different in Season 72. “Hindi naman sa mayabang ako pero nasa utak ko nu’ng time na yun, ‘Ay kaya namin kayo kasi tinalo namin kayo nu’ng eliminations,’” Tabaquero continued.  “Doon ako humugot ng lakas na, ‘hindi tayo papatalo rito.’ Sobrang inspired lang din siguro akong maglaro noon kasi ang daming tao nun. Grabe puno itong San Juan Arena,” she recalled.    Facing DLSU, Tabaquero knew they can rip the crown off the Lady Spikers’ heads. “Ako personally, ‘Eh ano ngayon kung defending champion kayo?” she said. It was 2010 and UST just needed to look at the Chinese calendar for an inspiration.    “Year of the Tiger yun, sumakto,” said Dimaculangan. “Iba ang kompiyansa namin na parang amin ‘to.” The Tigresses could see the stars aligning for them, the opportunity was there. Then came the best-of-three series opener. Delos Santos was not new to the Finals. He worked as Sta. Maria’s deputy before. But this was his biggest challenge. His shining moment. Looking back, he felt that Sta. Maria molded him for this situation. “Before nakakuha rin kami ng isa pang championship eh. Sina Bernal, Balse pero si Coach August ang head coach pa nun that time,” he said. “Ang ginawa niya that time sobrang gusto niyang mag-grow ako. Noong Finals namin against FEU, umalis siya. Hindi siya nagpunta ng game tapos nung mag-start na ang game hinahanap ko siya,” Delos Santos continued. “Tinawagan ko siya, sabi ko, ‘Boss nasaan ka?’ Nasa norte siya eh parteng norte." "Sabi ko, ‘boss nasaan ka?’ Sabi niya, ‘kayang-kaya mo na ‘yan. Ikaw ng bahala dyan,’” he said. “’Yung time na yun doon ko na-feel na grabe ang tiwala niya sa akin.” Against a taller Lady Spikers side, Delos Santos needed just one key to success: speed. “I think that time sobrang lucky ko rin kasi ang mga players ko. Yun nga sina Rhea na, sina Tabaquero, sina Aiza. So that time yung system na gusto naming mangyari, more on lalo na kailangang maging speedy kami. Mabilis kami, nakuha namin that time. Siguro yun ang naging key,” he said. “Kasi knowing La Salle ang no. 1 weapon nila is blocking eh. Bukod dun sa service nila na napakabigat, yung blocking. Mayroon silang malalaking players and ang ganda lagi ng line-up nila,” Delos Santos said. As the battle ensued, Delos Santos felt that they had the upper hand. “I think nu’ng time na ‘yun medyo na-feel ko na makukuha namin,” he said. “That time na naglaro na kami sabi ko, sa galawan na nangyayari nakuha namin yung magandang diskarte.” And that strategy was to exploit the height disadvantage of DLSU setter Kaye Martinez. For Delos Santos the best way to stop the Lady Spikers’ deadly arrows was to break their bow.  “That time malalaki sila pero meron silang maliit na setter. Maliit ang setter nila so more on dun kami nagsi-set play ng nagsi-set play,” he said. “Nagkaroon din kami ng magandang receive and then si Rhea nabibigay niya ng maayos sa mga spikers.”  It was shocker. UST recovered from a set down to beat DLSU, 24-26, 25-23, 25-16, 25-21.   For the first time in Season 72, the Taft-based squad got its back against the wall.   SHAQ THE WORLD The Tigresses were on a high as they arrived at the game venue in the last weekend of February just three days after shocking the Lady Spikers in the series opener.     Entering the venue, the Tigresses were greeted by a huge crowd of UST faithful, all hoping for the clincher.  Tabaquero was feeling ill that day. “Naalala ko may sakit ako nu’ng Game 2. Wala akong boses nun,” said the senior, who skipped Thursday’s practice to rest. But Tabaquero was determined to play one last time, give her team the firepower and angst it needed, to finish her collegiate career on top.   “Wala ng sakit-sakit, di pwedeng may sakit. Di ko na siya nararamdaman. Minsan napapagod pero wala kailangang magsakripisyo. Saka yung adrenaline ko sobrang taas nun,” said Tabaquero. As the Tigresses trooped to the court for the warm-up, they were showered by loud cheers from the UST fans. “Go USTe! Go USTe!” echoed inside the arena like a rolling thunder signaling the arrival of a storm. A serenade for conquering heroes. There was a huge banner that read: ‘Kami po ang University of Sto. Tomas.’ It added fuel to the Tigresses’ burning desire to reclaim the throne. The squad came into the venue brimming with confidence but with their supporters egging them on even before the opening serve, the Tigresses felt invincible. They were. UST dismantled the confused Lady Spikers in the first two sets, dominating DLSU with sharp angled attacks and frustrating its blockers. Defensively, the Tigresses were punishing DLSU’s attackers. “Dumipensa lang talaga kami noon saka nagkaroon kami ng first ball. ‘Yun talaga ang edge namin nun,” said Dimaculangan. “Kumbaga parang hindi ako masyadong nahirapang dumiskarte kasi alam kong darating sa akin ang bola.” The Lady Spikers’ defense was also in disarray. Even DLSU’s celebrated libero Mel Gohing, the rookie of the year the season before, was already struggling to keep up with the Lady Spikers’ net defense collapsing. “Yung mga spikers ko ang gagaling din dumiskarte and alam din nila kung ano ang gagawin nila sa bolang ibinibigay ko sa kanila,” added Dimaculangan. The Tigresses were already smelling blood.   But the Lady Spikers regrouped in the third as hitters Cruz and Mercado’s hits found their mark. Gumabao, Siy and Maarano were holding their own. DLSU took the third frame in dominating fashion. It may have turned the tides around for the Lady Spikers. It didn’t.      DLSU built an early five-point cushion in the fourth frame, but the Tigresses raced to a 16-11 lead before Gumabao stopped the bleeding with a crosscourt hit.  Maizo then landed an off speed hit over blockers Siy and Martinez, then the lefty again scored another heady off speed this time over Alarca for an 18-12 lead. Then came the deluge of errors by DLSU. The Lady Spikers crowd went quiet in the pivotal run of the Tigresses. A kill block by Ortiz put UST at championship point, 24-13, as the DLSU faithful froze, seemingly awaiting an inevitable defeat. “Parang pa-last point pa lang ata naiiyak na kaming lahat,” said Dimaculangan. An overexcited Tabaquero sent her serve long then Maizo’s attack was turned back. Two match points saved by DLSU. The Lady Spikers tried to hold on. But it was too late. Nerves got the best of Emeli Zuno as she made contact with the ball at the service line.       It sailed long. Pandemonium broke out. “Nagtatalon na kami nu’ng moment na yun, na ‘Heto na ang pinaghirapan natin.’ Ang sarap sa feeling na mag-champion ulit,” said Tabaquero after the final whistle of the season was called with UST completing the sweep with a 25-18, 25-14, 16-25, 25-15, victory.   For Delos Santos that championship was the fruit of their hard labor. “Sobrang happy kasi siyempre nagkaroon kami ng championship sa UST,” said Delos Santos of his only title for the Tigresses as head coach. “Sobrang memorable. Marami rin kaming pinagdaanan (bago makuha),” he added. UST accomplished a double-crown feat in volleyball that year, its fifth since the 1976-77, 1985-86 at 1987-88 and 1992-1993 seasons. As a reward the Tigresses earned a trip to Hong Kong. But even that trip had some good anecdotes for Delos Santos, Dimaculangan and Tabaquero. “Nag-trip to Hong Kong kami for two to three days sa Disneyland at Ocean Park,” said Delos Santos. “Sila lang mahilig mag-rides eh. Ako may phobia ako sa heights. Nung sumakay kami ng cable car para akong mahuhulog na ewan dun sa cable car.” Dimaculangan remembered vividly their flight. “Nag-Hong Kong kami noon tapos sakto pa na bumabagyo noong umalis kami noon. Buti nga natuloy kami noon eh,” she said. As for Tabaquero, unfortunately, she had to skip the trip. “Nagpunta sila ng Hong Kong pero ako di ako nakasama kasi late yung Hong Kong trip. Di ako nakasama kasi na-ACL (left injury) na ako nun sa Shakey’s V-League, yung sa championship ng San Sebastian,” she said. “Naka-schedule na ako ng surgery nun sa UST hospital kaya di ako nakasama.” “May incentive naman ako nun kahit di ako nakasama nun,” Tabaquero cleared. Ten years ago, UST ruled Season 72. It was the year of the Tiger. The year of the mighty, mighty Tigers.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 26th, 2020

Coaches hope for extension on senior players

Coaches are looking forward to the possibility of giving seniors whose swan songs were cut short because of the cancellation of the UAAP Season 82 volleyball tournament an extension.  The UAAP Board last week decided to scrap the remainder of the season following the extension of the enhanced community quarantine in Luzon to April 30 amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. UAAP volleyball ran for only a week or a total of four playdates. With the abrupt and unexpected end of the season, there is clamor for the league to consider giving the seniors another year to play. The UAAP in its statement regarding the cancellation said that ‘all other issues will be resolved at the proper time.’      “Talking of another season, it is very disappointing for many seniors not only in UP,” said University of the Philippines mentor Godfrey Okumu, who has key seniors who were supposed to play their last year for the Fighting Maroons. According to the existing UAAP rules, only those who are under 25 years old before the eligibility deadline will be allowed to play.     If given an extension, UP seniors Tots Carlos, Isa Molde, Jessma Ramos, Marist Layug, Rem Cailing and Justine Dorog, are still eligible at least under the age requirement. “Most of my seniors are only 21 years old, so if their eligibility is extended, it is my sincere hope that they may choose to play,” added Okumu, whose squad had a 1-1 win-loss record before the cancellation. “But I will not want us to cross that bridge now, until we get to it.” Coach Oliver Almadro of women’s defending champion Ateneo de Manila University is just waiting for the UAAP Board’s decision on the matter. Seniors Kat Tolentino turned 25 last January, Jamie Lavitoria will be 26 this year while Jho Maraguinot is just 24.     “I haven’t talked to my graduating seniors what’s the next step,” said Almadro. “We just have to wait and see what the UAAP Board’s decision on eligibility, etc.” National University coach Norman Miguel has two key seniors in his Season 82 lineup in returning Risa Sato and Audrey Paran. Sato will turn 26 in October while Paran will turn 23 in December.   “I remember one time, we have brought this up to the team that there may be a possibility na ma-extend ang playing years ng mga seniors like Risa and Audrey,” said Miguel, whose Lady Bulldogs won all of their two outings. “Pero wala pa akong nakuhang sagot sa kanila that time, and since magkakalayo pa kami ngayon.” On the other hand, Far Eastern University men’s team mentor Rei Diaz is not pressuring his seniors JP Bugaoan, Peter Quiel, Jude Garcia, Owen Suarez and Kris Silang to stay in case of an extension.  “Siyempre may kanya-kanyang plano din sila pagka-graduate nila. Sa ngayon support muna tayo sa plan nila kung anumang maging desisyon nila rerespetuhin natin,” he said. “Although some of them nagsabi na tutulong pa rin sila sa team at kung may pagkakataon eh lalaruin nila. ‘Yung iba pinag-iisipan pa nila.” The UAAP Board is set to meet after the lifting of the ECQ.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 16th, 2020

Single game scoring sensations in UAAP women’s volleyball (Final Four era)

Scorers are aplenty in UAAP women’s volleyball. All teams have players who can bring in the numbers on the offensive end. Powerful wingers can pound missile after missile while middles can wreak havoc at the net either on quick attacks or kill blocks. Setters, if lucky, can put in points on top of their playmaking. But there are those who showed their great offensive prowess and carved their names in the record books.      Here are the players who scored 30 or more points in a single game in the UAAP women's volleyball tournament in during the past two decades.   ANGELA BENTING, ADAMSON UNIVERSITY She may not be the tallest of players on the Adamson University Lady Falcons side but Angela Benting can soar and score at any given time. Eleven years ago, Benting displayed her best scoring performance for the Lady Falcons in an epic match against an equally dangerous University of Sto. Tomas side. In UAAP Season 71, the Benting-led Lady Falcons faced the Tigresses in an all-important match at the close of the elimination round. The Lady Falcons needed a win to secure the no. 3 spot in the Final Four. Adamson with Benting at the helm drew first blood. But the Tigresses rallied in the succeeding sets just as Benting was then pouring on the points for Adamson. The Lady Falcon eventually ended up with then a league-best 33 points, but all of Benting's efforts went down the drain as the Tigresses walked away with a 22-25, 25-16, 27-25, 25-23 win. While Benting was doing her thing for Adamson, Aiza Maizo was working on hers for the Tigresses as the lefty unleashed 30 points in an exciting scoring showdown that Valentine’s Day in 2009 at The Arena in San Juan.    It was a heartbreaking loss for the Lady Falcons as they closed the elims tied with UST at 9-5 slate and were dragged to a playoff for Final Four place. The Tigresses eventually won the rematch for no. 3 spot. Unfortunately, neither team advanced to the Finals as then Rachel Anne Daquis-led defending champion Far Eastern University and Manilla Santos-bannered De La Salle University, who was coming off a scandalous forfeiture of games the year before, figured in the battle for the crown.     AIZA MAIZO, UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS Aiza Maizo eventually reset her UAAP personal-best two seasons later after a memorable showing against Adamson University by opening Season 73 with a bang. Pitted against Ateneo de Manila University’s Fab Five, Maizo uncorked a 32-point explosion to lead UST to victory in a five-set thriller, 25-13, 18-25, 19-25, 26-24, 15-13, on No. 27, 2010. Maizo shouldered the scoring chores for the then reigning champions Tigresses as she fired 29 off 83 attacks with three kill blocks in the match that lasted for two hours and 20 minutes. Maizo started in all sets. The Queen Tigress, whose closest back-up in points was Maru Banaticla with 12 markers, also played an all-around game with 11 digs and seven excellent receptions.   However, UST eventually lost its hold of the throne that season when DLSU reclaimed the title.     ALYSSA VALDEZ, ATENEO DE MANILA UNIVERSITY     Angela Benting’s four-year scoring record was broken by a then-sophomore Alyssa Valdez of Ateneo. The 1,784-strong crowd inside the The Arena in San Juan witnessed history unfold as Valdez exploded for 35 points in match against Adamson U. Out of her 35 points, Valdez hammered down 31 off attacks in 80 attempts. She added three kill blocks of the Lady Eagles’ 10 denials and landed an ace. Valdez also had six digs. But her feat wasn’t enough to save Ateneo as the Lady Falcons walked away with a five-set 22-25, 21-25, 25-19, 25-16, 10-15, in their Season 75 start of second round eliminations meeting last January 20, 2013. However, Valdez’s scoring record would remain as the women’s benchmark in production to this day. The Queen Eagle would again breach the 30-point mark as she finished a point shy of the duplicating her personal and UAAP record in a five-set win over archrival DLSU in Season 78 Finals Game 2 that forced a series decider. The then graduating Valdez, with their three-peat bid at stake, poured 34 points to breathe new life to Ateneo, which survived 18-25, 26-28, 25-17, 25-16, 15-11, in a grueling two-hour, eight-minute encounter witnessed by 20,126 people inside the MOA Arena on April 27, 2016.      Valdez pounded 32 attack points off 76 attempts in a heroic stand for the Lady Eagles, who unfortunately surrendered the crown in Game 3. Valdez would eventually break her career-high with 39 points in an 18-25, 27-25, 21-25, 25-21, 15-9 win over the Laoag Power Smashers while playing for Bureau of Customs in the defunct V-League on Oct. 5, 2016.   SISI RONDINA, UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS Sisi Rondina never got the chance to display her full potential in her first year with UST, taking a back seat in indoor volleyball behind another freshman in EJ Laure in Season 77. She finally got her chance to shine under then new head coach Kungfu Reyes in Season 78 as a starter for the Tigresses. Rondina reintroduced herself with an inspired performance as she fired 30 points in UST’s season-opener on Febuary 3, 2016. The Cebu pride displayed crisp attacking with 25 kills off 55 attempts and added three aces and a pair of kill blocks. But it wasn’t enough as UST bowed to Adamson U, 22-25, 21-25, 25-20, 30-28, 14-16, and came two points short of tying Aiza Maizo’s team record in points. Lady Falcon Jema Galanza was two points shy of reaching the 30-point mark. Three years after her 30-point game, Rondina surpassed her career-best and became the Tigresses’ top scorer in a single game when she pumped in a league-best-tying 35 points in a five-set game against Ateneo on March 20, 2019. Rondina pounded away as she scattered 30 kills in 102 tries and had three kill blocks and a pair of aces in a sorry 25-19, 25-22, 27-25, 25-22, 15-11, defeat. While Rondina equaled Valdez’s scoring record, Lady Eagle Maddie Madayag wrote a new standard in kill blocks with 11 erasing the nine denials established by DLSU’s Celine Hernandez in 2008.   TOTS CARLOS, UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES Power-hitter Tots Carlos tied Aiza Maizo’s scoring feat when the University of the Philippines star dropped 32 points against the Sisi Rondina-led Tigresses. With the then Lady Maroons struggling to climb the ladder in the first round of Season 80 and limping from a four-game slide, Carlos took matters into her own hands. The then third year player blasted 27 attack points off 64 tries and added three kill blocks and landed two aces in UP’s 31-33, 25-23, 25-16, 25-12, win over UST on February 28, 2018. The win stopped the Lady Maroons’ bleeding but UP for the second straight year eventually bowed out of the race for a Final Four slot. However, Carlos’ career-high production put her on top of UP’s single-game scoring list.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 6th, 2020

UAAP 82: Ate Michelle Cobb confident in talented DLSU rookies

It wasn't’ too long ago that setter Michelle Cobb was one of the fresh faces on a powerhouse De La Salle University Lady Spikers squad.  Life moves fast in the UAAP, however.  In her three years in the league, Cobb went from a back-up to all-time great setter Kim Fajardo, to being the starting setter on a three-peat winning team, to experiencing heartbreak as part of the first Lady Spikers team in a decade to not make the UAAP Finals.  Last season was indeed a bitter pill to swallow for the likes of Cobb and her fellow seniors who had been so used to winning in the UAAP, but it also served as an important learning experience.  “Marami kaming natutunan na lessons from last season, na ginawa namin as main ground kung paano kami magbabago and paano namin aayusin yung mga mali namin last season, so I guess yun yung nag-iba, mayroon kaming parang basis kung ano ba yung dapat idagdag, dapat baguhin, and dapat i-improve,” Cobb told ABS-CBN Sports.  Last season’s shortcomings, including their losses to University of the Philippines in the eliminations and their losses to University of Santo Tomas in the post-season, Cobb adds, are also what give them the hunger to compete this season.  “Of course, it’s what pushes us, it’s what makes us hungrier, I guess, yung ganung mga experiences, doon kami humuhugot ng, ‘Gusto namin talunin kayong lahat’ parang ganun,” Cobb said with a laugh. “I guess healthy naman ang ganung mindset.” Heading into the UAAP Season 82 Women’s Volleyball Tournament, Cobb - now in her fourth season - has transformed into one of the team’s big sisters, so to speak.  So far, she’s liking what she’s seeing from the new crop of Lady Spikers.  “Very fresh, very talented yung rookies, may potential yung rookies, so I guess good start yun for them, and also siyempre, it’s not gonna be hard for us kasi since apat na lang kaming natira na starter, it’s more of mas easy yung transition since all of them are really talented,” Cobb stated.  Cobb pinpointed rookies like Thea Gagate, Leila Cruz, Justine Jazareno, and Fifi Sharma as ones to watch out for.  More than just the talent, Cobb also spoke about the relationship between the seniors and the rookies, saying that they have become like ‘ates’ to the younger players.  “Yung relationship ng team ngayon is very healthy, yung relationship namin sa mga bata very healthy kasi kumbaga, yung pagka-ate namin na-aapply namin sa kanila, if they go to us for advice, and not just that, in a way, they ask us kung paano yung dynamics inside the court, not just that, but like also, as a sister din, yung sisterhood mas napa-practice namin.” With a new season comes a clean slate, and the Lady Spikers are determined on getting back to the heights that they’re used to. For ten consecutive seasons, DLSU was in the finals, and in seven of those ten, they took home the title.  This season’s goal is clear: get the title back.  “Siyempre to bring back what we’ve lost, and to regain what we’ve lost and apply all the lessons we’ve learned,” Cobb said. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 11th, 2020

UAAP Season 82: Lacsina following Santiago’s footsteps

Sophomore Ivy Lacsina looks at Jaja Santiago, who is arguably the best volleyball player to come out of National University, as an inspiration when the Lady Bulldogs plunge into action in the UAAP Season 82 women’s volleyball tournament. Taking over the spot left by Santiago two years ago, the 6-foot-2 Lacsina hopes to emulate the same hard work and discipline of the former Queen Lady Bulldog, who is now enjoying success as an import in the Japan V. Premier League playing for the Saitama Ageo Medics. “Sobrang nakaka-proud po yun and nakaka-motivate na ganun na si Ate Jaja ngayon, dati nakakausap ko lang yan. Iba na ang narating niya ngayon,” said Lacsina of the 6-foot-5 Santiago, who recently helped the Ageo Medics win its first-ever third place trophy. “Naisip ko na grabe yun pala ang kaya mong marating kung mag-hardwork ka and nag-focus ka sa dapat mong i-focus.” Lacsina seems to be following the same path taken by Santiago, who at her size plays at the wing in Japan. From her natural position as a middle, Lacsina was converted to open spiker for the short-handed Lady Bulldogs last season. Averaging almost 13 points per game in her debut season as a winger, Lacsina indeed could be the next big star for NU. But the soft-spoken player knows that she still has a lot to improve on starting with discipline.    “Kinukwento ng iba naming teammates na naranasang maging senior si [Ate Jaja], iba po ang disiplina niya sa sarili niya,” said Lacsina, who considers Santiago as a big influence why she decided to stay with NU after graduating from NU-Nazareth School. “Yun po ang naisip ko na, ‘Ay kailangan ito ang disiplina ko para someday makuha ko rin ang pwede kong makuha.’” “Hindi ko kailangan maging Ate Jaja,” she added. “Kailangan kong maging ako at gawin ko siyang motivation.”   Lacsina will be NU’s rock on defense at the net after making an impact last year. Despite the departure of last Season 81 1st Best Middle Blocker Roselyn Doria, the Lady Bulldogs still have a solid frontline with Lacsina and returning veteran Risa Sato, who missed last year’s action because of academic issues.   Lacsina cherishes the chance of playing alongside a seasoned player in Sato. “Malaki po ang epekto niya kasi po iba ang laro niya, iba po ang pagiging jolly niya, iba po ang pagi-enjoy niya, pag-iingay nya sobrang nadadala kami,” said Lacsina. “Saka ‘yung standard niya. Ang taas kasi talaga ng standard niya which is good.” With hopes of improving from last year’s 4-10 record, the Lady Bulldogs are banking on Lacsina to level up her game just like what the former Most Valuable Player Santiago did during her heydays with NU......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 8th, 2020

NU sophomores Robles, Cagande to miss UAAP Season 82

National University will miss the services of leading scorer Princess Robles and setter Joyme Cagande but the Lady Bulldogs remain in high spirits for their campaign in the UAAP Season 82 women’s volleyball tournament. Robles failed to meet the eligibility requirement in what should be her second year with NU while Cagande sustained a knee injury last month during a tune-up match. “Nu’ng una talagang siyempre nalungkot kasi ang mindset namin nandoon na papasok na si Joyme ulit. Si Princess, siyempre talagang siya ang nagko-contribute sa team last season,” said incoming sophomore libero Jen Nierva on Wednesday. “Pero ganoon talaga sa team mayroon talagang nangyayari na mga ganoon na unexpected. Yun lang kailangang ready,” added Nierva. Robles, who was the sixth leading scorer last year with an average of 13.5 points per game and Season 81 Best Server is still training with the team but will not be able to suit up because of eligibility issues. “Nagti-training na po siya sa amin,” said Nierva. “For eligibility [hindi siya naka-enroll] but for now enrolled na po siya.” Meanwhile, Cagande, whose debut was cut short last year because of a left anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear, was supposed to return this year but she unfortunately suffered another knee injury, this time on her right knee, while playing in a tune-up game against College of St. Benilde.      “Pero ang good thing naman po ang right nya stronger than her left,” said Nierva. “Nu’ng first injury kasi nya, yung left nya ‘di na siya nakakatayo after ng surgery and after n’ya ma-injure. ‘Yung right nakalakad pa siya, ganoon ang sabi ng doctor niya.” But despite these early setbacks, NU keeps a positive disposition as the Lady Bulldogs look forward to a better showing this time after just four wins last year.     “After namin nalaman na hindi sila pwedeng maglaro, move forward kaagad,” said Nierva. “[Inisip namin] kung ano ang next? Ano ang gagawin namin? Ano ang adjustments? After that happy ako na ang coaches namin they know what to do. Kung papaano mapupunan ang wala na mas better pa.” Making her return is veteran Risa Sato, who missed last season’s action because of academic issues. Sato’s experience will complement promising young middle Ivy Lacsina for a solid Lady Bulldogs frontline. NU will also introduce Congolese 6-foot-2 open spiker Margot Mutshima Kabasu and new starting setter rookie Renee Mabilangan. The Lady Bulldogs finished in sixth place last season with a 4 - 10 card.  --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 29th, 2020

NCAA Season 95: San Beda’s challenge fuels Arellano

Arellano University coach Obet Javier let his Lady Chiefs know during practice that San Beda University wanted to bring them down. The mentor lit a fire that served as three-time defending champion Arellano U’s motivation in the NCAA Season 95 women’s volleyball competition on Monday. The Lady Chiefs got word that the Lady Red Spikers’ court leader Cesca Racraquin, looking to fire up her team, and San Beda were all looking forward for the marquee duel – a rematch of last year’s Final Four - between two unbeaten teams. “’Yung sa sinabi sa amin ni Cesca po inaantay nya po kami na makalaban. Parang gustong-gusto nya po kaming talunin,” said reigning Most Valuable Player Necole Ebuen. Arellano U accepted San Beda’s challenge and responded with a dominating performance to preserve their perfect record for the solo lead.    Ebuen and Regine Arocha, who saw action despite feeling under the weather, came through with an inspired game to lead the Lady Chiefs to a 25-20, 25-21, 25-22 win over the same team that denied them a chance of an outright Finals berth last year. “Nung training po namin kahapon, siyempre po si Ate Regine, nawala sa training namin. Yun mga natira po nag-focus po talaga sa amin si Coach Obet na, ‘mag-focus kayo na kailangang talunin nyo yung gustong talunin kayo,’” said Ebuen. “Parang gigil na gigil po sa amin. Kumbaga kami po di naman kami nanggigil sa kanila, hinayaan lang po namin sila na manggigil sila sa amin.” The Lady Red Spikers gave a decent fight with Racraquin and Nieza Viray at the helm but their efforts weren’t enough to save San Beda from having its three-game winning snapped. Javier’s post-practice pep talk did wonders for the Lady Chiefs, who before taking on San Beda allowed winless San Sebastian College to steal a set from them last Saturday. “So maganda rin naman yun para malaman din ng team ko na, ‘Uy, tsina-challenge tayo ng opponent so i-grab natin. Bigyan natin ng magandang laban ang kalaban natin,’” Javier said. The Lady Chiefs will face streaking University of Perpetual Help on Wednesday in a rematch of last year’s championship series.     ---    Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 27th, 2020

NCAA Season 95: Racraquin displays maturity in latest San Beda conquest

Cesca Racraquin knows too well that any team can bite back if taken lightly. So when San Beda University’s intensity dipped midway in the third set of the Lady Red Spikers’ match against San Sebastian College, she had to pull her team together and set her teammates’ minds back at the task at hand.     “Nag-relax na parang akala namin panalo na eh,” said the Season 92 Rookie of the Year and now San Beda skipper. The Lady Spikers saw its early lead in the third set evaporate and even trailed the Lady Stags by one before waking up from sudden slump with a five-point spurt to regain control of the frame on their way to a 25-13, 25-9, 25-21, win Tuesday for back-to-back wins in the NCAA Season 95 women’s volleyball competition. Racraquin needed to bark at her teammates in the closing stretch of the third set to bring San Beda back to order. “Nagagalit na ako sa loob. Pinapagalitan ko na sila kasi parang yung galaw nila parang ‘OK para matapos na lang’. Hindi na aggressive katulad noong first and second sets, yun ang nangyari kaya humabol sila at nalamangan na kami,” said Racraquin, who led all scorers with 19 points off 13 kills and six aces with three excellent receptions. Her teammates responded with a five-point barrage to turn a 17-18 deficit in the third to a 22-18 lead. “Pinagalitan ko na sila na, ‘Bakit ganyan ang galawan ninyo? Panalo na ba tayo? Hindi pa tayo panalo,’” Racraquin said. “Umayos naman sila. Parang nag-reel in sila na parang ‘Ok hindi pa panalo. Tapusin na lang muna namin hanggang 25 saka na lang kami magre-relax.’” Racraquin pushed San Beda to match point, 24-21, before Kim Manzano finished off the Lady Stags with a quick kill to close the one-hour, 27-minute encounter. The win pushed San Beda, which barely escaped Jose Rizal University in a five-set decision last Saturday, to a two-way tie with defending three-time champion Arellano University. The Lady Red Spikers’ last two games gave them a valuable lesson heading into their next assignments. “Kailangan lang namin ma-realize na hindi lang kami ang team na kayang gawin ang mga ‘to. Lahat kami nagti-training lahat ng mga kalaban namin nagti-training din araw-araw. Kailangan di lumaki ang ulo namin na, ‘Mas mataas naman ang skills natin, kaya natin.’ Di naman namin kayang idaan lang dun,” said Racraquin. “Kailangan naming i-mindset na, ‘O pareho tayo ng training. Makikita lang natin sa game ang difference kung sino ang mas gusto manalo. Kung sino ang mas willing na ibigay ang 100% niya para makuha ang panalo (siya ang mananalo),’” she added.     ---    Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 21st, 2020

20 for 20: Pinoy Sports Personalities to Watch in 2020

As we enter a new decade, ABS-CBN Sports takes a look at 20 Pinoy sports personalities destined to shine in 2020.    Kiefer Ravena After an 18-month wait, Kiefer Ravena is finally back in basketball. Despite only playing in the PBA’s third conference, his impact was immediate, leading NLEX to the number 1 seed in the Governors’ Cup. The Road Warriors didn’t advance sure, but if Kiefer can impact a team that way in limited time, wait until you see what he can do with a full offseason.   Alex Eala At just 14 years old, Filipina tennister Alex Eala is already turning heads, and she’s yet to turn pro. With a runner-up finish at the ITF Mayor’s Cup in Osaka, Japan and her first ITF Juniors title in Cape Town, South Africa, Alex has had quite the fruitful year, leading to a career-best 11th-place ranking in the ITF Juniors table to finish the year.  Heading into 2020, Eala now has her sights set on turning pro as she plans to join more professional tournaments to raise her ranking even more. Expect the young tennis star to make even more headlines in the coming year.     Bryan Bagunas A vital cog in the national team’s silver medal finish in the 30th Southeast Asian Games, Bagunas is considered as one of the best Filipino volleyball players in this generation. Eyes will be on his blossoming international career playing as an import in the Japan V. Premier League.         Margielyn Didal While already a household name in Philippine skateboarding due to her success in the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta, Margielyn Didal made even more waves in 2019. The 20-year old Cebuana reached the semifinals of the 2019 SLS World Championships in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and captured gold in the 2019 National Championships and the 2019 Southeast Asian Games.  Didal is currently looking to qualify for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, and if she can do so, it’s highly likely that the Pinay skater can become an even bigger star in the industry.    Marck Espejo After his spectacular collegiate career with the Ateneo Blue Eagles, Marck Espejo's colorful career as part of the men's national volleyball team and in the club league continues to blossom. Just like Bryan Bagunas, Espejo will be showing his skills internationally with a stint in Thailand following a historic silver medal finish at the 30th SEA Games.   Yuka Saso After a decorated amateur career that saw her  participate in major tournaments such as the Ladies’ European Tour, the Summer Youth Olympics and claim top honors in the 2018 Asian Games, 2018 and 2019 Philippine Ladies Open, and the 2019 Girls’ Junior PGA Championship, 18-year old Pinay golfer Yuka Saso finally made the jump to pro in November of 2019.  With even more competitions in store plus a 2020 Tokyo Olympics berth in her crosshairs, it’s quite likely that we hear more about Saso in the coming months.  Carlos Yulo Perhaps no other young athlete in the Philippines shot to stardom faster than gymnastics phenomenon Carlos Edriel Yulo. After a gold medal finish in the floor exercise at the 2019 World Championships in Stuttgart, Yulo hauled in even more hardware in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games, taking home two more gold medals and five silvers.  Yulo’s spectacular 2019 earned him a spot in the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, and if his SEA Games and World Championships performances are any indication, Caloy is bound for another podium finish on the biggest stage there is.   Eya Laure Last UAAP season’s rookie of the year will return as the heir apparent of Season 81 MVP Sisi Rondina. With her national team stint, all eyes will be on the younger Laure as she reunites with older sister EJ as they try to bring University of Sto. Tomas back in the Finals after falling short last year. Hidilyn Diaz 2019 was another big year for Olympic silver medalist weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz, highlighted by her first ever gold medal in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games. Diaz also finished with silver medals in the 2019 Asian Championships and a bronze in the 2019 World Championships.  All those podium finishes are crucial in Diaz’s quest for another Olympics berth in 2020. Should the 28-year lock up another spot in the Summer Games in Tokyo, we could see another Olympic medal coming home.    Kat Tolentino  After initially announcing that she would not come back for her final season in the UAAP, Kat Tolentino changed her decision and will suit up for the Ateneo Lady Eagles once last time, providing a great morale-booster in their bid for back-to-back titles. Tolentino’s leadership will be tested as she will be leading a young team.      Joshua Pacio 23-year old Joshua “The Passion” Pacio proved to be the brightest spot for Philippine MMA stable Team Lakay in 2019. After opening the year with a questionnable decision loss to Yosuke Saruta, Pacio silenced any doubts in the rematch and regained the ONE Strawweight World Championship with a highlight-reel headkick knockout. Pacio would follow that up with another masterful performance, this time with a second-round submission win over top contender Rene Catalan before the end of the year.  2020 is shaping up to become another banner year for the rising Pinoy star, as he’s scheduled for another title defense on January 31st in Manila, this time against former champ Alex Silva of Brazil. A win for Pacio will solidify his claim of being the best strawweight ever in ONE Championship history.     Louie Romero The Adamson University freshman displayed great potential during the pre-season when she piloted the Lady Falcons to title win in the PVL Season 3 Collegiate Conference. Romero is expected to be a gem of a setter for the young Adamson squad hoping make a return in the UAAP Final Four. Manny Pacquiao While eight-division world champion Manny Pacquiao is certainly in the twilight of his professional boxing career, 2019 showed that he is still one of the best around. A successful title defense over Adrien Broner followed by an impressive dismantling of the previously-undefeated Keith Thurman to capture the WBA’s primary world title proved that even at 40, Manny Pacquiao is still a big name in the sport.  With Pacquiao targeting an early return in 2020, more big names are lined up to fight “the People’s Champ”, including names like Danny Garcia, Shawn Porter, and even a title-unification bout against Errol Spence. Still, the biggest fight that is out there proves to be a rematch against Floyd Mayweather Jr, granted that “Money” finally bites.    Faith Nisperos A key addition for the repeat-seeking Ateneo de Manila University. The highly-touted rookie hitter will add height and firepower for the Lady Eagles in UAAP Season 82 women’s volleyball. In the previous PVL Collegiate Conference, Nisperos flashed her scoring prowess, exploding for 35 points in one outing.   Robert Bolick The two best rookies of 2019 were CJ Perez and Robert Bolick. We know what we can expect from CJ, but Bolick is an interesting case as 2020 will be his return from knee injury. Bolick could still win Rookie of the Year, but even if he doesn’t, his return to Northport could push the reloaded Batang Pier from a Cinderella team to full-on PBA title contender.   Joshua Retamar His playmaking skills as well as his efficiency on net defense during the national team’s silver medal finish in the 30th Southeast Asian Games makes him a setter to watch out for come UAAP. Retamar is an asset for National University’s three-peat bid.       Kai Sotto The Philippines' 7-foot-2, 17-year-old is opening eyes as he suits up for Atlanta-based The Skills Factory - so much so that he has already gotten interest from quite a few US NCAA schools. Before Sotto continues breaking the glass ceiling for Filipinos, though, he will go home for a while to wear the flag with Mighty Sports-Pilipinas in the 2020 Dubai International Basketball Tournament.   Jema Galanza Coming off a great outing to close the PVL Season 3 highlighted by copping the Open Conference MVP award, expectations are high for Jema Galanza as Creamline aims to reclaim the PVL Reinforced Conference crown and complete an Open Conference three-peat.      Kobe Paras Many questioned just what the 6-foot-6 tantalizing talent would bring to the table for UP - but more often than not, he had all the answers as he led the Fighting Maroons to their second straight Final Four. In the end, Paras was actually the steadying force State U needed in what was a hyped up season. They may not have made it back to the Finals, but they still got much more motivation as they run it back for next year.   Pat Aquino What's next for the most decorated mentor in women's basketball? Pat Aquino followed up a six-peat for National U with the Philippines' first-ever gold medal in women's basketball in the SEA Games. Without a doubt, he will only continue steering the sport forward especially as the likes of UST and FEU are already gearing up to put up greater challenges in the new year.   Isaac Go Isaac Go is technically not the no. 1 pick of the 2019 PBA Draft but he is without a doubt, the no. 1 prospect of the year. His top selection from the special Gilas Pilipinas Draft is proof of that. Gilas Pilipinas has the FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers on deck in 2020 and as a new era dawns on the national team, all eyes will be on the biggest piece for the future that’s already drafted into the new Philippine squad......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 1st, 2020

UAAP 82: Tolentino back for last flight as a Lady Eagle

Kat Tolentino has decided to play her final year for the Ateneo de Manila University. It may have taken the power-hitter some time to think it over but Tolentino will definitely don the blue and white uniform for her fourth and last season as the Lady Eagles bid for back-to-back titles in the UAAP Season 82 women’s volleyball tournament starting February next year. The 6-foot-3 Filipino-Canadian on Thursday officially announced her return for the Oliver Almadro-mentored squad. “As much as I love playing for the commercial league I found that playing for the UAAP is a whole different experience,” said Tolentino, who during the off-season played for ChocoMucho in the Premier Volleyball League. "There is something so unique about the competitiveness of the UAAP that I feel is hard to recreate.  The rivalry between schools is not just about playing for pride but for something bigger than yourself. Its also about playing for your teammates and for all those who’ve supported you." Her return will give the Lady Eagles the much-needed veteran presence along with Ponggay Gaston, playmaker Deanna Wong, Jules Samonte and libero Dani Ravena. “I’ve been following the current Ateneo team especially during the PVL collegiate conference and I am proud to see how strong they are already. There's still a few more months to prepare and I look forward to being back with them and contributing in any way I can,” said Tolentino. Tolentino led Ateneo in a dramatic come-from-behind best-of-three Finals series win over the Sisi Rondina-led University of Sto. Tomas for the Lady Eagles' first title since winning it all in back in 2014 and 2015. After claiming her first crown, Tolentino gave an emotional speech during the team’s thanksgiving Mass at the Church of Gesu inside the Ateneo campus.     She talked about her three ACL injuries and unforgettable championship season before saying, “This is Kat Tolentino, No. 10, signing off” back in May this year. But it's a good thing she changed her mind with the guidance of her management, Virtual Playground. "Well, initially I thought that because I graduated college and won the championship it was time for me to move on to the next chapter of my life. I have been in college for a while and have played volleyball for well over 10 years," Tolentino explained. "So I just felt like I wanted to experience something different and start to play in the commercial league to make the most out of my volleyball career." Tolentino will play a bigger role this season not just as the team’s top scoring option but also the young Lady Eagles’ leader after the departure of Maddie Madayag and Bea De Leon. She will pilot a squad that will have promising rising stars in Faith Nisperos and Joan Narit, sophomore setter Jaja Maraguinot and Vannie Gandler.     "Our goal will always be the UAAP championship. But coming into this season I feel like I will try to bring more skills and experience from what I learned in playing for Choco Mucho in PVL," Tolentino said.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles    .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 28th, 2019

UAAP 82: Lady Bulldogs take Lady Tams best shot, still stays unscathed

ANTIPOLO -- National University flirted with disaster yet still pulled off the 74-70 victory over University of Santo Tomas to remain immaculate in the UAAP Season 82 Women's Basketball Tournament Saturday at Ynares Center here. Kelli Hayes had her best game in a Lady Bulldogs uniform with her 24 points, three rebounds, and two assists as they improved to 11-0. Jack Animam also made her impact with 21 points, 11 boards, two assists, and two blocks for NU, which seemed poised to run away with the game after a 24-point second quarter allowed it to grab a 42-27 halftime lead. Grace Irebu, though, had other plans, cutting the deficit for UST down to nine, 58-49 with 9:21 remaining. Hayes, though, led the 14-3 run for the Lady Bulldogs to bring the lead back up to 20, 72-52 with 4:52 left to play. But the Growling Tigresses just won't quit, with Irebu abusing the foes' second unit and get to within four with 37.5 seconds remaining before forcing a huge stop in the ensuing possession. That forced NU coach Pat Aquino to deploy his starters back in the game with 27.8 seconds left, leading to Ruby Portillo muffing two three-pointers as the UST fightback fell short. "Sa akin lang, we need to finish the job all the time. Everyone who comes inside the court should do their jobs," said the mentor as NU extended its historic win streak to 91 straight games. Kaye Pingol added seven points, five assists, and two steals, while rookie Camille Clarin had five for the Lady Bulldogs. Portillo, meanwhile, led the Golden Tigresses with 16 points, four rebounds, three steals, and two assists. Irebu also tallied a double-double with 14 points, 12 boards, six steals, and two blocks in the losing effort as UST saw its seven-game winning run snapped. It still remains at second with its 9-3 card. Shen Callangan, a transferee from Enderun Colleges, scored 10 of her 13 points in the fourth quarter as she went 4-of-9 from downtown, to go with seven assists, four rebounds, and two steals. The Scores: NU 74 -- Hayes 24, Animam 21, Pingol 7, Clarin 5, Del Carmen 5, Cacho 4, Surada 4, Harada 2, Itesi 2, Bartolo 0, Cac 0, Canuto 0, Dimaunahan 0, Fabruada 0, Goto 0. UST 70 -- Portillo 16, Itesi 14, Callangan 13, Ferrer 8, Soriano 6, Gandalla 5, Panti 4, Javier 2, Tacatac 2, Rivera 0. Quarterscores: 18-18, 42-27, 58-47, 74-70......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 19th, 2019

PVL: Jewelle Bermillo set to do double-duty to end PVL season

Rookie libero Jewelle Bermillo had quite the eventful first conference in the Premier Volleyball League.  In her maiden run with the BaliPure Purest Water Defenders in the 2019 PVL Reinforced Conference, Bermillo was on the receiving end of a hard-hitting facial courtesy of PetroGazz import Wilma Salas, and then made the news again after an incident with teammate and import Danijela Dzakovic.  As eventful as the Reinforced Conference was for Bermillo, it was largely a forgettable one as they finished last in the standings, failing to get a win in ten matches played.  It was indeed tough, but it was also a huge learning lesson for the 19-year old as she gears up for her second PVL conference.  "Yung experience ko, andami kong na-gain, naging mature ako last conference and madadala ko yun sa Open Conference," Bermillo told ABS-CBN Sports. "Sobrang nag-grow ako sa lahat ng nagyari last conference. Naging mas matured ako, naging mas matapang ako sa loob ng court ngayon." While being the youngest on the team, Bermillo is positioned as one of the Water Defenders' leaders and anchors, and the responsibility is something that she welcomes with open arms.  "Pag sinasabi ni Coach na ako yung mag-handle sa loob ng court kasi ako na yung libero, hindi ko nafi-feel na bata ako kasi may tiwala sila sa akin, na kaya ko i-handle sila sa loob ng court, lalo na sa floor defense. Hindi ko nafi-feel na bata ako sa loob ng court." An incoming sophomore for San Sebastian College-Recoletos in the NCAA, being able to compete in the PVL, alongside some of the best talents in the country is definitely a goldmine of experience for the young libero, and she is nothing short of eager to be able to bring that experience back to her collegiate team once the NCAA Women's Volleyball Tournament begins next year.  "Siguro sa akin, kay Coach Roger [Gorayeb], marami siyang ineexpect sa akin na itong experience ko dito sa BaliPure, na madadala ko sa kanila para maging leader din ako sa kanila sa team namin." Bermillo will get even more training in becoming a leader in the closing leg of the PVL season, as she shared that she will not be suiting up for the Lady Stags in the Collegiate Conference, but will instead serve as an assistant coach, alongside legendary San Sebastian mentor Roger Gorayeb.  The young libero could hardly keep her excitment as she spoke about the massive opportunity.  "Sobrang excited ko, sobrang unexpected, parang, yung dream ko agad na, eto, sa age kong ‘to na naging Assistant Coach na ako ni Coach Roger, si Coach Roger pa," Bermillo said, excitement.  Bermillo adds that rather than having her play in the Collegiate Conference as well, Gorayeb saw fit to let her focus on her experience with BaliPure as a way to grow and develop as a player.  "Sabi nga ni coach sa akin, hindi ko kailangan i-pressure ka na maglaro. Yang experience na natutunan mo sa BaliPure, ilalaan natin yan para sa NCAA." Bermillo sees the job offer, so to speak, as a sign of trust from Gorayeb's side, and it should prove to be an invaluable experience, especially for someone who still has years to go in the collegiate ranks.  "Ito, yung pagiging Assistant Coach ko sa kanila, sa mother team ko, ituturo ko lang sa kanila, iga-guide ko sila kung ano yung mga natutunan at na-experience ko last conference. Sobrang laking bagay, kasi para sa akin, malaki yung tiwala sa akin ni Coach Roger, kaya binigay niya yung ganung responsibility, parang sa kanya, alam niya na kaya ko na agad yung ganung responsibility, kaya sobrang thankful ako na nagkaroon siya ng tiwala na ibigay sa akin yung position na maging Assistant Coach itong collegiate conference." she added.  Bermillo admits that she did try to convince Coach Roger to let her suit up for San Sebastian as well, but with the Collegiate Conference and the Open Conference set to overlap, the schedule would be a problem and it would put too much on the young libero's shoulders.  "Sobrang pinilit ko talaga si Coach na mag-laro ako, pero sabi niya mahihirapan daw ako kasi nga sabay po yung games namin ng BaliPure tapos may sched pa po na parehas may game yung collegiate tapos kami, kaya naisipan na lang niya na gawin akong Assistant Coach para mapag-sabihan ko rin yung mga bata. May mga mas bata pa sa akin na maglalaro sa akin, mga first year, sabi niya ikaw na mag-guide sa kanila," she explained. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 8th, 2019

UAAP Season 81 Finals: Ayaw ko pang i-let go ang UST -- Sisi Rondina

If given a chance, outgoing University of Sto. Tomas ace Sisi Rondina would still want to play for the Tigresses.  The Season Most Valuable Player bid goodbye to the black and gold on Saturday – a fruitful five-year stint that saw Rondina give her all from the struggling days of UST up to the final moment of the Tigresses in the biggest stage of the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball tournament.         “Kanina kasi that time na the ball was checked out alam ko na pagka-hit pa lang ng bola, pagkapuntos pa lang ng kalaban alam ko na matatapos na ako as a Golden Tigress and ‘yun ‘yung sobrang nasaktan ako,” said Rondina after UST absorbed a stinging 17-25, 22-25, 22-25, Game 3 loss to Ateneo de Manila University at the MOA Arena. The Cebuana hotshot hammered 18 points with 11 digs and seven excellent receptions in her last three sets as a Tigress. As the final attack of Jules Samonte went off the block for the Lady Eagles’ championship point, Rondina knew there’s no turning back. No more chance for redemption – at least for her.       “Ayaw ko eh, ayaw ko talaga [umalis], gusto ko na maging Golden Tigresses as champion,” said Rondina. “Sabi ko nga kanina, kinokontra namin ang destiny na para sa Ateneo talaga.” “Ako sa sarili ko, destiny talaga ng Ateneo kinontra lang namin. It was a good run for us kasi who knows, na maniniwala na mga bata ang kasama ko and partida mga bata pero pag naglaro kakaiba,” added Rondina, who led a rookie-laden Tigresses squad to its first Finals appearance in eight years.   Despite falling short of fulfilling her promise to be remembered as the woman who will bring back the title to Espana, Rondina remained proud of where her sacrifices and efforts led UST to.   “Gusto ko [maalala nila ako] isa sa mga nagpabalik sa Finals kahit hindi korona. Kapag sinabing Sisi Rondina, gusto ko lang na, ‘UST oriented ‘yan, mahal niya ang UST, hindi pinapahiya ‘yung UST.’ Kung gusto lang naman nila akong ma-remember,” she said. “Isa rin is mahal na mahal ang UST, mga ganoon. Ayaw ko pang i-let go ang UST.” Still, the power-hitting player was grateful to her teammates’ effort to give her a chance to play in the Finals “Napakasaya ko kasi sila ang nagpatikim sa akin kung ano ang Finals, Finals be like. Kahit anong sasabihin ko hinding-hindi na talaga ako makakabalik, kahit gustuhin ko mang bumalik. Sabi nga sa kanta, may dulo pala ang langit,” Rondina said. “For me I’m blessed to have them [teammates], kahit na second place kami kasi sobrang unforgettable moment, day and time, sobrang gusto ko kasi na sana pag graduate ko may maiiwan ako sa UST na hindi makakalimutan ng iba,” she said. Rondina will leave UST without a title. But she surely inspired a new breed of Tigresses and a community.     ---   Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 18th, 2019

UAAP Season 81 Finals: Heartstrong, mental toughness keys in Ateneo’s quest for the crown

Ateneo de Manila University will cling on to one aspect of its game that brought the Lady Eagles to glory before: their heartstrong mantra. The Katipunan-based squad was pushed to the brink of missing the Finals but Ateneo rallied to boot out Far Eastern University in the semifinals do-or-die match for a chance to reclaim the crown it last held in Season 77 in the last of the squad’s back-to-back reign. Now, the Lady Eagles are just two wins away from realizing their ultimate goal when they face University of Sto. Tomas in the best-of-three UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball Finals at the Big Dome on Saturday. Game 1 is slated at 4:00 p.m. and will air live on ABS-CBN S+A Channel 23, ABS-CBN S+A HD Channel 166, LIGA SkyCable Channel 86, LIGA HD SkyCable Channel 183, iWant and via livestream. The top-seeded Lady Eagles came back from a five-set loss in the Final Four opener against the Lady Tamaraws that forced them to use their twice-to-beat advantage. Seniors Maddie Madayag, Bea De Leon and Kat Tolentino conspired in the rubber match for the last championship seat last Wednesday to bring Ateneo back on the biggest stage of the season after losing to FEU in the Season 80 semis. That crucial Final Four stretch according to head coach Oliver Almadro sharpened his wards heading into the Finals.   “’Yung toughness namin, heart and will medyo tumibay because nandun na kami sa edge ng mawala ‘yung advantage namin,” he said. “’Yun sigurong mentality namin yung heart and will (ang key) lalo na sa Finals. The Lady Eagles will have the psychological advantage against the Tigresses as Ateneo swept UST in their elims head-to-head. The Lady Eagles have a 14-game winning streak over the Tigresses dating back from the semis of Season 74. Aside from the trio of Tolentino, Madayag and De Leon, Almadro will also pin his hopes on Jules Samonte, Ponggay Gaston and setter Deanna Wong.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles     .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 10th, 2019

UAAP Season 81 Finals: Eyes on the prize na tayo -- UST coach Reyes

University of Sto. Tomas is throwing away all the statistics and results of all of its previous games. Even the seven-year losing skid against Ateneo de Manila University. What matters now is winning two all-important games to bring the Tigresses back into the throne after a nine-year wait. UST begins its journey back to glory road on Saturday in Game 1 of the best-of-three UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball Finals series at the Big Dome. The Tigresses are on a six-game winning streak and are coming off a morale-boosting win over the dethroned three-time champion De La Salle University in the Final Four on Sunday.    UST will bring that momentum in the 4:00 p.m. clash against the only team that the Tigresses have not beaten this season – or in 14 straight matches overall since Season 74 semifinals. The match will air live on ABS-CBN S+A Channel 23, ABS-CBN S+A HD Channel 166, LIGA SkyCable Channel 86, LIGA HD SkyCable Channel 183, iWant and via livestream. “Extra motivation rin pero aside from that, ang pinaghuhugutan kasi ngayon ay ‘Di pa tayo nananalo sa kanila ulit’. Di na ‘yun ang tinitignan natin. Eyes on the prize tayo,” said UST coach. “Ano na yan, parang hitting two birds with one stone. Parang ganoon na yung sinasabi natin. Ganoon na nakataya ngayon.” Leading the Tigresses, who are looking to end a nine-year title drought, is Season Most Valuable Player Sisi Rondina, who herself has yet to win against the Lady Eagles.  “Natuto naman kami nu’n and sana malabas namin sa championship namin,” said Rondina referring to UST’s losses to Ateneo in the elims including a sorry five-set loss in the second round.  Rookie of the Year winner Eya Laure, Caitlyn Viray, setter Alina Bicar, libero Rica Rivera and freshmen Kecelyn Galdones and Ysa Jimenez will back Rondina in UST’s quest for the crown.   ---      Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 10th, 2019

UAAP Season 81 Final Four: It’s a test of character -- Ateneo s Almadro

Even after dominating Far Eastern University in the elimination round and earning a twice-to-beat advantage in the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball Final Four, Ateneo de Manila University is not taking the Lady Tamaraws lightly. For head coach Oliver Almadro, FEU remains a big threat in the Lady Eagles’ desire to return to the championship round after seeing their six-year Finals stint snapped last year against the same opponent.      Saturday’s semifinals match will be a litmus test for the Lady Eagles, who are looking to return the favor to their last season’s semis tormentors. “It’s a test of character for the team,” said Almadro, who replaced Thai mentor Tai Bundit. Ateneo took the no. 1 seed after closing the elims with a 12-2 win-loss record – those two defeats coming at the hands of three-time defending champion De La Salle University – and set up a third straight Final Four date with the Lady Tamaraws. “Last year, sila ang magkatapat sa semis. It’s time to show our character. We have a chance to show our real character. We have to work hard and play hard to be back in the Finals,” said Almadro, who before taking over the Lady Eagles’ coaching duty brought the Blue Eagles to five straight championship appearance laced with a three-peat.   With a line-up led by graduating players in Bea De Leon and Maddie Madayag out to bring the glory back to Katipunan in their swan songs, and solid support coming from Kat Tolentino, Ponggay Gaston and setter Deanna Wong, the Lady Eagles are primed to make it to the Finals. Add their elims sweep of the Lady Tams and semis advantage, the odds are in favor of Ateneo. But Almdaro is not discounting FEU, besides, the core of last year’s runner-up Lady Tams remains intact. “FEU is really a good team considering ‘yung winning tradition nila,” he said. “We have to respect them. We acknowledge what they can do.” Ateneo may have the numbers of FEU in their first two meetings, but the semis is a different story.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 3rd, 2019

THRILLMAKER: Ces Drilon turns over a new leaf

In showbusiness, there will always be the one hit wonders, those people who hit mainstream popularity usually for only one piece of work and become known to the general public solely for that momentary success.  Of course, those of this type are, sooner or later, gone from the public eye and then eventually forgotten.  Then there are the lurkers, as in the online world, they are those who just quietly stay afloat in the sidelines, not hitting it big but somehow able to prolong their presence in the showbiz realm.  Then come the real superstars, those who are able to prolong their relevance by not being boxed in by their past successes and are not afraid to explore and reinvent themselves for a more “current” image.  When one talks about reinvention, favorite pop icon of the 80s, Madonna, always comes to mind.  Locally, there is Vilma Santos-Recto, who has, throughout her career, taken on a lot of image makeovers from her days as a childstar, a teenstar, a dramatic star and now as a star legislator—truly stamping her mark as a Star For All Seasons. In Philippine television, one personality who has, over the decades, managed to successfully take on any role she’s been asked to play is seasoned broadcaster Ces Oreña-Drilon.  From being a very incisive news reporter, she shifted to covering business and then even hosted her own popular business show in the 90s.  From there we all saw her taking on the mainstream news anchoring chores in ABSCBN’s late primetime newscast Bandila, before eventually heading the Lifestyle Ecosystem of the entire network. When the dust coming out of the whole ABSCBN franchise debacle finally settled, regular viewers and fans found Ces still widely present in their mobile devices, with her KUMU ventures Ces and the City and Bawal Ma-Stress Drilon still getting good audience shares.  She has also upped her “influencer” status further by going into various businesses which are not only profitable but are inspiring more and more women to empower themselves though enterprise and hardwork. Very recently, the former Usapang Business host decided that she wanted to do something bigger for the nation—bigger than just giving Filipinos their daily dose of the news.   This is why she recently accepted her election as President of the TOWNS Foundation (The Outstanding Women in the Nation’s Service).    TOWNS Foundation Incorporated is a national organization of dynamic and effective women who by their common shared activities and interests help transform the lives of the Filipinos.  The association is composed of 160 women, all accomplished in their respective fields, be it in the private or government sectors, who have been working together to help in the country’s development for the past 50 years.  Among the goals of the TOWNS Foundation is the recognition of women achievers which paved the way for the TOWNS Awards.  All TOWNS awardees become members of the foundation. The vision of TOWNS is to have a nation of empowered women who serve as catalysts for national development towards improving quality of life.  Its four-fold mission includes: identifying and recognizing exemplary women; harnessing talents of its members to influence national issues; inspiring women leaders and entrepreneurs; and providing a nurturing environment to TOWNS members. When the COVID19 pandemic hit the country last year, TOWNS joined forces with the UP Medical Foundation, Inc (UPMFI) to source funds that were used to procure PPEs for hospitals all over the country.  The still ongoing campaign has so far raised over P57 Million for countless frontliner beneficiaries. With her election as President, Ces now joins the ranks of former TOWNS Presidents Olivia Ferry, who became ZONTA International President; former PEZA administrator Lilia De Lima; former SSS Administrator Corazon dela Paz-Bernardo; businesswoman  Evelyn Singson; and former DOH Secretary Esperanza Cabral. With Ces now at the helm, we’re certain that the group is now headed to even greater heights of greatness for we know that when Ces starts talking business, she really means it......»»

Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsJan 17th, 2021

Struggling artists bring smiles in war-weary Yemen

Yemeni men, women, and children filled a hall earlier this month in rebel-held Sanaa, laughing and clapping as actors took to the stage with comic relief for their war-wracked country......»»

Category: newsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsDec 29th, 2020