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A quirky superheroine is born in The School Nurse Files

A new kind of superheroine is born on screen, and she’s quirky, eccentric and you might think, very unlikely to save people from bad elements and intentions. But she does just that with the help of her weapons of choice a BB gun and a rainbow-colored plastic sword......»»

Category: entertainmentSource: philstar philstarSep 29th, 2020

Home-grown Filipino in the NBA is 'just a matter of time' says Pacers Bill Bayno

Basketball is a world game now, but unfortunately, there’s no home-grown Filipino to make it to the NBA. At least not yet. Still, there are quite a few brilliant basketball minds that believe a full-grown Filipino playing in the NBA is just a matter of time. One of them is Bill Bayno, the former head coach that took the Talk ‘N Text Phone Pals to the 2002 Commissioner’s Cup Finals and current Indiana Pacers assistant coach. Coach Bill has established a sort of link to Kai Sotto, the 7’2” teen phenom and the latest Filipino to attempt to make it in the NBA. Kai is currently playing for Atlanta’s The Skills Factory. “I actually have a connection to Kai Sotto because [Mark] Dickel called me about him last year and said, ‘Hey, he maybe coming to the States, keep an eye on him,’” Bayno said during a video conference with Blackwater’s Ariel Vanguardia for Hoops Coaches International. “And then he [Kai] comes to the States and ironically, one of the coaches that’s helping develop him was the high school teammate of Nick Nurse. And Nick Nurse and I are very close friends because we were assistants with the Raptors for two years,” Bayno added. Assessing Kai, Bayno acknowledged his potential but he also went in and what Sotto can do to make it to the big leagues. “The scouting report I get from Kai is that he’s still young, he needs to get tougher. He needs to be a little more aggressive, which is normal for any kid that age,” Bayno said. “But he has the skill set already, he has an NBA skill set in that he can shoot and pass for a 7-foot kid. Hopefully, he’s training on the other stuff and how physical the NBA game is," he added. There are some full-grown Filipino players that have at least tried to make it to the NBA, big-name prospects like Kiefer Ravena, Ray Parks Jr., and Kobe Paras all recently made their respective attempts but didn’t make the cut. Kai could be the one. “Kai may be the first Filipino [in the NBA],” Bayno added. “I can remember saying that back in 2001, that eventually, there’s gonna be an NBA player coming from the Philippines. It’s just a matter of time,” he added. Out of all the active PBA players now, Ginebra’s Japeth Aguilar probably got the closest to the NBA and Bayno worked with him too when he was coming out of Ateneo. Aguilar transferred to the US and played for Western Kentucky and eventually in the NBA D-League but he too never actually made it to the NBA. “If he were born and raised in the US, playing against the best players every summer in high school, it might have sped up his development,” Bayno said of Japeth. “I know he’s had a good career [in the PBA] but he was the first kid that I saw [with potential to make the NBA]. If there’s some more Japeths coming down the line… and Kai Sotto is similar to Japeth, he’s just bigger. They’re both big guys that play in the perimeter that can shoot. I don’t know Kai personally but I do somewhat of a connection. I’d love to help him out if he ever needed any advice, I’d love to talk to him. I’m not allowed to work with him because he’s a prospect and I’m an NBA coach, but let’s hope he’s the first one,” Coach Bill added.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8 .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 26th, 2020

Aljun Melecio s never-ending quest to prove he belongs

Aljun Melecio has these hardware sitting pretty on his trophy case: UAAP 78 Jrs. MVP, UAAP 79 Rookie of the Year, UAAP 79 champion. Now heading into his fifth and final year in De La Salle University, he remains recognized as one of the best point guards in all of college. Well, recognized by just about everybody except himself. Asked if he feels worthy to stand alongside the likes of NCAA 95 Finals MVP Fran Yu or UAAP 82 Rookie of the Year Mark Nonoy, he answered, modest as always, "Nope. I don't. Wala pa akong napapatunayan." Yes, the 5-foot-8 super scorer who was then head coach Aldin Ayo's "most-wanted recruit" feels he is yet to prove himself. Yes, the primetime playmaker who was once comforted by Tab Baldwin after the Green Archers had lost the championship despite his 16 points in Game 3 of the Finals feels he is yet to prove himself. That in itself is not necessarily surprising, though. And that's because all throughout his young career, Melecio has felt, again and again, that he has to prove himself. He had to prove himself even to La Salle, his home of nine years now. "Actually, 'di naman ako ni-recruit ng Zobel dati," he shared. "To be honest, my mindset at that time ay mag-Team B lang sa Zobel para pag may games, mas magagamit ako. Kaysa naman mag-Team A ako and nakaupo lang sa bench." BREAK IN Aljun Melecio, now a graduating guard, is La Salle's most recent homegrown product. Of the Green Archers' probable UAAP 83 roster, the now-22-year-old is the lone player to have come from the Taft-based school's Jrs. programs - and mind you, they have two in La Salle Zobel and La Salle Green Hills. In DLSZ, Melecio was a scoring dynamo who once dropped 42 points on archrival Ateneo de Manila High School. Did you know, though, that he wasn't even supposed to wear the green and white? "I was supposed to transfer sa UST nung high school," he recalled. "Pero napag-usapan naming family na since si kuya, nasa Zobel na nung time na yun, mas okay sigurong Zobel na lang din ako para magkasama kami." Aljun was referring to older brother Aleck who was also his teammate for three years with the Jr. Archers. If not for Aleck, however, Aljun would have suited up for University of Sto. Tomas High School where good friend Renzo Subido had already committed to play for college. After all, it was Subido, and dad Henry, who had convinced the Melecios to move to Manila from Bukidnon. "The reason talaga why we took the risk to come here was because of Coach Henry," Aljun shared, looking back at the time when all of them were repping Lourdes School of Mandaluyong. "They invited us to play basketball in Manila kaya malaki ang utang na loob namin sa Subido family." While Coach Henry and Renzo have been always there to lend a helping hand, that did not necessarily make the transition any easier - especially for a 10-year-old kid who was born and bred in Valencia City. "Grabe yung sacrifice na ginawa namin just for me to have more opportunities in life. That was a big adjustment not just for me, but also for my parents," Melecio said. He then continued, "Dumating yung time na ayoko nang bumalik sa Manila kasi na-homesick ako. Looking back now, normal lang naman siguro yun, lalong-lalo na bata pa ako." BREAKTHROUGH Make no mistake about it, looking back now, Aljun Melecio has no regrets. As he put it, "It was all worth it." Of course, he also had lady luck smile on him somewhat as, yet again following the footsteps of Subido, he transferred from Lourdes to DLSZ. And there, he found yet another mentor willing to believe in him. "Sina Coach Boris [Aldeguer], pagdating ko sa Zobel, they invited me to join yung practice ng Team A. Nagulat ako na kaya ko naman pala so doon na nag-start yung confidence ko," he said. Indeed, Melecio did not let Coach Boris down as in his first year, he proved to be a building block in their rebuild. While the boys from Alabang eventually ended outside the playoff picture, he had made more than enough noise to get the attention of the Philippine national youth team. There, DLSZ's top gun got his first taste of wearing the flag as part of the Batang Gilas training pool. "Masayang-masaya ako nun na makasama sa practice team dahil dream ko talaga maging part nun," he narrated. "May jersey lang and makasali lang ako sa practice, masayang-masaya ako." There, Melecio showcased his skills alongside other promising prospects such as Nieto twins Mike and Matt as well as Jolo Mendoza of Ateneo, Renzo Navarro of San Sebastian College-Recoletos, and Jollo Go of Hope Christian High School. And there, yet again, he knew full well he had to prove himself. During training itself, the new kid on the block believed he was doing so. At the same time, however, he had to come face-to-face with another beast altogether - how to get to practice in the first place. As it turned out, the then-13-year-old had to commute from south to north each and every time he participated in Batang Gilas training. How did his trips go? "From Alabang, mag-tricycle ako to [Alabang] Town [Center] then jeep going to Starmall [Alabang]. After nun, bus to Magallanes, MRT, then LRT, tapos jeep ulit," he shared. He then continued, "So papunta pa lang to Moro, pagod na ako. Then after practice, mag-commute na naman pauwi." Fortunately for him, there were also kind hearts like the Nieto twins who took him to the LRT station in Katipunan or Evan Nelle whom he rode with going back south. Still, around 33km and about an hour separated DLSZ in the south and Ateneo's Moro Lorenzo Sports Center in the north - indeed, that was some sort of workout already. BREAKDOWN In the long run, that was, unfortunately, much too much for young Aljun Melecio. While wearing the flag would have meant much, he also felt circumstances, such as that hell of a commute that cost him PHP 200 for a one-way trip, held him back from giving his all. Instead, Melecio felt he could do much more if he just rechanneled his energy to DLSZ. "After ilang weeks na ginagawa ko yung routine na yun, I started asking myself kung paano maayos yung priorities ko. Pinakiramdaman ko kung saan ako mag-iimprove so I talked to Coach Boris," he said. He the continued, "And I decided na mag-all in sa Zobel." All in for the Jr. Archers, he did, and boy, did it prove to be the right call. He was just getting started in UAAP 76, slowly but surely getting a grasp of both his capabilities and confidence as he helped the green and white barge back into the Final Four. Then in Season 77, it all clicked as he shot the green and white to the second rung of the stepladder all while putting up per game counts of 16.6 points, 6.2 rebounds, 4.1 assists, and 2.3 steals. Without a doubt, he willed his way into the Mythical Team that included the Nieto twins, his batchmates in Batang Gilas. The following year, with averages of 22.7 points, 7.1 rebounds, 3.3 assists, and 2.3 steals, he carried DLSZ all the way to the Finals where they stole one game from eventual champion Nazareth School of National University. And oh, he was the unanimous MVP of Season 78, besting the likes of future Gilas Pilipinas pool members Justine Baltazar and Gomez de Liano brothers Javi and Juan. Even then, though, he wouldn't call himself the best of the best. "I didn't think na I belonged kasi never kong gustong isipin na ganun ako," he said. He then continued, "Ang alam ko lang, I worked extra hard, I had extra motivation to play. Thankfully, coach Boris supported my decision and dahil dun, na-boost yung confidence ko." BREAK FREE From there, Aljun Melecio did nothing but go onto greater and greater heights in La Salle's Srs. squad. Never tell him he has accomplished anything, though, as he would be the first to tell you that you're wrong. Up until now, he feels that he is yet to prove himself. He hopes to prove that he has what it takes to be behind the wheel for the Green Archers' new era. He hopes to prove that he could bounce back following the worst statistical season for him. And he hopes to prove that he has every right to be mentioned in the same breath as his one-time teammates in the Batang Gilas pool and his batchmates who are now part of the Gilas Pilipinas pool. "Lahat naman, ginagawa kong motivation," he said. "May it be positive or negative, we all have our timing so I'm just being patient para sa kung anuman ang ibibigay na chance sa akin." If and when that next shot at wearing the flag comes along, Melecio only vows to do what he has never stopped doing. Asked about getting a golden opportunity at the Gilas pool, he answered, "That's still a dream for me. I know I still have a lot to prove." He then continued, "But I will give my all if given the chance to represent. I always do." If and when that time comes, there would be no more 33km distance, one-hour travel time, or PHP 200 cost. Still, Aljun Melecio would work just as hard - if not more - as he did when he once had to commute south to north just to get to practice. Don't forget, proving himself is already second nature to him. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 29th, 2020

7-foot Fil-Am Sage Tolentino officially offered scholarship by Kansas

Another Filipino-American may very well be making the Philippines proud in the US NCAA sometime soon. Sage Tolentino, a talented teen born and bred in Hawaii to Filipino parents, has formally received a scholarship offer to study and suit up for the Kansas Jayhawks. "Blessed to receive an offer from Kansas," the 7-foot, 16-year-old posted in his Instagram. "Thanks to coach [Bill] Self for believing in me."         View this post on Instagram                   Blessed to receive an offer from Kansas. Thanks to Coach Self and Coach Townsend for believing in me. All glory to God!???????? #jayhawks #dreams #blessed A post shared by Sage Tolentino ???????????? (@sagee23_) on Jul 23, 2020 at 1:06pm PDT Kansas is a three-time national champion in the US NCAA and had been home to NBA stars such as Joel Embiid and Andrew Wiggins. The Jayhawks also produced the likes of Wilt Chamberlain and Paul Pierce. Last year, Tolentino posted per game counts of 13.5 points, 8.3 rebounds, and 3.5 blocks to stand as the pillar in Maryknoll High's back-to-back championships in the Hawaii High School Athletics Association. With that, he was mentioned as a probable piece in the future of Gilas Pilipinas......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 24th, 2020

Meet Onassis Parungao, the first Filipino to compete in the UFC

Most Filipino mixed martial arts fans know of Mark Muñoz and Brandon Vera, arguably the two most popular Pinoy-blooded fighters to compete in the UFC.  More avid fans will know of the likes of Dave Galera, Roldan Sangcha-an, and Mark Eddiva, a trio of Team Lakay standouts who all made it onto the Octagon.  More recently, local stars like Rolando Dy, Jenel Lausa, and CJ De Tomas all proudly wore the Philippines’ colors on their UFC kits.  The distinction of being the first-ever Filipino blooded fighter to compete in the UFC however, belongs to one Onassis Parungao.  Born in Spain to a father from Baliuag, Bulacan and a mother from Spain, Parungao grew up in the United States and competed at UFC 7 back in 1995, defeating Francesco Maturi by strikes in the first round.  Speaking on The Hitlist vodcast, Parungao shed some light on how he got on to the UFC during the early days of MMA.  Parungao, who was 24 years old at the time, studied Tung Kung Kalan or Arnis de Mano before taking up Judo, wrestling, and Kung Fu.  “I was watching it and you know back then, because of the rules and no weight classes, no gloves, I was doing- you know got in a lot of street fights being a Navy kid,” Parungao explained. “So I have that sill here (motions to chest), I wanna get out and I wanna do it, and then I realized ‘Hey maybe I can try that.’” Parungao also admitted that he was hoping that his heritage could somehow help him earn a spot in the tournament.  “To tell you the truth, I knew that there wasn’t a Filipino guy there so I was banking on that they would let me in there, and just all the stars aligned and they just worked. It wasn’t like I had all this fame, they didn’t just have one to apply, so I saw an opportunity, we wrote a letter and I took it.”  In his lone UFC appearance, Parungao took to the Octagon wearing a white shirt that had “Philippines” on the back.  Back then, when the UFC was still starting, one of the things that they did to hype up the competitors was to “exaggerate” their records and accomplishments, so to speak. Parungao was billed as a “Pintakasi champion”.  “I’m not a Pintakasi champion, my teacher was,” Parungao clarified. “But I think they said certain things to hype the fighters up. I wanna get that on record, that I never claimed to be that.”  Following his UFC win, Parungao went on to compete two more times, before retiring quite early in his career. Parungao explained that he had received offers to compete in Japan for the legendary Pancrase promotion, but the distractions outside of competition ultimately dissuaded him from doing so.  “I just got married and then there was this guy named Takeya Oitate, the guy was offering me contracts and money to come and fight in Pancrase and all that stuff, and I’m like I kinda wanna do it, but in Japan, you have bathhouses, there’s girls there and I’ll be fighting and stuff like that, and in my early 20s, all these testosterone, I just got married you know, you’re gonna put me around other fighters and girls and all this other stuff? Like, no way. I didn’t wanna do that.”  Parungao continued to compete in kickboxing tournaments, but admits to having regrets over calling it a career after just three professional MMA bouts.  “Yes, I have some regrets, I do,” he said. “I’m 50 now, but I still feel really strong, you know. I mean, put me in a match against another 50-year-old, that would be fair.” “But to answer your question, I’ve done all these Filipino martial arts, I’ve done all this fighting, I’ve done all this sparring, I was a fighter first and then my Sifu for Chinese martial arts turned me into a martial artist. I don’t wanna say that made me lesser, it just turned me into someone that didn’t need to prove it as much. But I do have some regrets like I feel like I could, you know I never stop training, I still will go to a gym and spar and roll with guys and just like MMA has evolved and improved, so have I,” Parungao added. Parungao remains a martial artist to this day, as he owns and operates the Cheng Yee Kung Fu School in Southeastern Connecticut......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 1st, 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

UST coach Kungfu Reyes finds deeper purpose through coaching

Teaching runs in the blood of Kungfu Reyes. Born to a family of teachers, Reyes found a similar calling but in a different classroom. In an episode of The Score’s Kalye Confessions, the University of Sto. Tomas women’s volleyball team head coach shared how he gets a sense of fulfilment as mentor and teacher to his players. A former UST player himself, Reyes found a deeper purpose through coaching. “Passion na ‘yun eh bukod sa pagiging military,” said the Army staff sergeant. “Kapag may extra time kami, may mga bata na pupunta ka sa school maglalaro tapos dun na kami magtuturo hanggang pumasok na katawan namin ‘yung dedication na talagang tyagain ang pagtuturo sa mga bata.” “Kasi those things pwede ka magbago ng buhay through sports,” added Reyes, a physical education graduate. In his 15-year coaching career, Reyes rose from a deputy role to becoming a fulltime coach of UST girls’ team to calling the shots for the Tigresses. He helped the likes of Alyssa Valdez, Kim Fajardo, EJ and Eya Laure and Sisi Rondina grow into the stars they are today.       “’Yung teaching kasi ano na lang nasa katawan kasi ang tinapos ko rin, yung vocation ko, in line naman ako sa pagtuturo, di ko naman naalis sa katawan ‘yun,” said Reyes. Reyes’ interest in teaching or coaching in his case, is an influence he got from his family.       “Siguro nasa dugo na kasi sa pamilya namin meron kaming… yung Tito ko teacher din, yung kuya ko teacher rin, yung younger sister ko nagtuturo rin,” he said. Just like all dedicated teachers, a coach’s life also goes beyond the confines of a classroom or a gym. “’Di natatapos yung trabaho paglabas namin ng school. Minsan mayroong mga late calls, may kailangang asikasuhin, may problema ang bata,” Reyes said. “Sometimes personal problem, family problems tumutulong kami doon sa mga ganoong bagay,” he continued. For Reyes, coaches play the role of mentor, father and friend to their players.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 20th, 2020

Remembering UP s one win that was basically a championship

The University of the Philippines is now a legitimate contender in UAAP Men's Basketball. With one Finals appearance, two playoff berths, one MVP, and three Mythical selections in the last two years, it's safe to say that the Fighting Maroons have, indeed, become Winning Maroons. With all that, comes greater expectations, though - however far from reality they may be. "There was a time last year when we were putting so much pressure on the team," S+A analyst Mikee Reyes, who donned the maroon and green from 2009 to 2014, said. "Understandable naman, kasi the make-up of that team was far from how the teams of before were so obviously, the expectations were high." When looking at where State U is now, its climb to contention could actually be traced back to a single game, a sole win, a singular event. SLEEPLESS IN SHUTTLE Of course, the origin story is much richer - what with the 13-113 record from 2007 to 2015 and the trio of winless and couple of one-win seasons in the same timeframe. But when it all comes down to it, however, nowhere to go but up was born on August 9, 2014. Before the sun rose on that day, UP was burdened with a 27-game losing streak. And before the sun rose on that day, Reyes, then still the squad's starting point guard, didn't get much sleep. "Actually, hindi maganda gising ko nun. I've been diagnosed with insomnia and nangyayari siya when I least expect it," he recalled. He then continued, "What a time for it to have come then. 'Di ako nakatulog talaga." The last time the Fighting Maroons could call themselves winners then was back in August 19, 2012 - two years ago, two seasons ago, and even two coaches ago. Facing off with a rebuilding Adamson University side, however, they felt pretty good about their chances. "Obviously, everyone was anxious na kasi loss after loss after loss, but at the same time, we were pretty close as a team so we just picked each other up," Reyes said. "We felt like we were bound for a breakthrough." Reyes remembered how then, State U had, at times, gone toe-to-toe with perennial contenders Ateneo de Manila University and De La Salle University. "There were moments when we showed our potential, but just couldn't close it out. Alam namin kung anong kaya namin," he said. And that, coupled with a sound game plan, was where they drew their confidence from. "We felt like we just had to stop Jansen [Rios] and Don [Trollano]. We felt like we had more weapons din so laban lang nang laban," Reyes said. CATCH ME IF YOU CAN As it turned out, Reyes brought his A-game and wound up with a career-high 28 points. Apparently, a pregame power nap proved key. "Nakatulog ako sa bus going to MOA tapos nakatulog ako sa halfcourt during warm-ups. I remember Darwish Bederi (had to wake) me up pa nga," he said through chuckles. JR Gallarza turned in his own best game and had 24 points and six rebounds. "Si Coach Ramil (Cruz), there were times na ilalabas na niya kami ni JR kasi natakot siyang baka sobrang mapagod kami, but we told him na ilalaban na namin 'to. He let us play and our confidence came from him as well," Reyes said, referring to the late Ramil Cruz who had to step in for suspended shot-caller Rey Madrid. And with a relatively louder and prouder maroon and green crowd behind it, UP overcame a slow start and erased a six-point disadvantage early on and erected a 34-23 edge late in the first half. "Pagpasok ng court was the first time we felt people actually believed we could win. Andaming tao. It wasn't so loud, pero there were definitely more people there compared to our past games," Reyes said. That’s when the Fighting Maroons knew that was a must-win game. "Na-feel mo talaga sa crowd, na-feel mo talga sa seniors na we had to win because if natalo pa sa Adamson, nangangamoy 0-14 na naman. Last game of the first round na yun e so if all teams (would have beaten) us already, mahirap nang makakuha ng kumpyansa sa second round," Reyes said. Still, the Soaring Falcons put up a fight and turned what was once a 24-point deficit into just a score of 64-73 with 45.5 ticks to go on the clock. Kyles Lao and Jarrell Lim proved steady from the stripe, however, and kept Adamson at bay once and for all. When the final buzzer sounded, State U could finally breathe easy as the final score read 77-64 in their favor. JOY STORY At long last, after 720 days, after 28 tries, it was a winner once more. Reyes has no doubt whatsoever that was his biggest win as a player. "It's always gonna be my biggest win. I never really won much as a player for UP so sobrang sarap to finally get rid of that curse," he said. And if he had to choose between the win and the career game, he would choose the win each and every time. As he put it, "In college basketball, you could play a very, very good game, but if you lose, parang wala rin. I was just lucky my career-high came in a win because without a win, it wouldn't be memorable at all." After that breakthrough, the Fighting Maroons celebrated like champions - lighting the night with a bonfire at the famed Sunken Garden inside the Diliman campus. Years later, those same players would be candid enough to call that celebration "pathetic" - just like they have been candid enough to call their time the "dark days." Only, in the grand scheme of things, that bonfire wasn't pathetic as it actually became the setting for the resurrection of a new Diliman Commune - a school and its students, staff, and alumni getting together for one cause. That cause? Trying and trying and trying to build a winner in men's basketball - and ultimately, all sports. "I believe that game, that win, that was the start of everything. Mukhang 'di rin naman nakalimutan ng community yun," Reyes said. Now, State U is, indeed, a winner. And the players from the "dark days" only hope that the school and its faithful appreciate just how far they have come. "Those of us who were there in the 'dark days,' we know how one win was basically a championship for us. That's why I tend to remind myself and everybody to just enjoy each win," Reyes said. He then continued, "Sobrang lakas na ng team ngayon, but we still have to remember where UP came from." With Season 81 MVP Bright Akhuetie, Season 82 Mythical selection Kobe Paras, and Season 80 Mythical selection Ricci Rivero, UP is nothing but hopeful for yet another bonfire that may come next season. That bonfire, though, would no longer be called "pathetic" and would no longer be set in the "dark days." That bonfire would, hopefully, be to celebrate the Fighting Maroons' first championship since 1986. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 22nd, 2020

Last decade s NCAA MVPs all hail from outside Metro Manila

Through the years, the NCAA has been a fertile ground for promising prospects from all over the Philippines and even overseas. That has not been any truer than in the last decade which has seen all of the Grand Old League's MVPs coming from outside the country's capital. In University of Perpetual Help's Scottie Thompson and San Beda University's Calvin Oftana, the Grand Old League has witnessed a player born and bred in Mindanao and Visayas, respectively, hoist the top individual trophy. Thompson was discovered in Digos, Davao del Sur before being developed in Las Pinas while Oftana was recruited from Dumaguete, Negros Oriental before rising in Mendiola. And in Calvin Abueva and Ian Sangalang from San Sebastian College-Recoletos, Raymond Almazan of Colegio de San Juan de Letran, and CJ Perez from Lyceum of the Philippines University, talents from other parts of Luzon have also won MVP. Abueva and Sangalang are Kapampangans who alongside Ronald Pascual, once formed the Pinatubo Trio for the Golden Stags while Almazan and Perez grew in Orion, Bataan and Bautista, Pangasinan, respectively. Four MVP trophies have also gone to foreign student-athletes from two countries. American Red Lion Sudan Daniel was the last decade's first MVP while Mapua University has the timeframe's only back-to-back top individual player in Allwell Oraeme from Nigeria. Another Nigerian in Alta Prince Eze completes the last 10 top individual players in the NCAA. Breaking it down school-by-school, the trophy has been pretty much evenly distributed. All of San Beda, San Sebastian, Perpetual, and Mapua have had two MVP trophies apiece while Letran and LPU each have one. That means that 60 percent of the NCAA's member-schools have had the best player at one point in time in the last decade. Meanwhile, Jose Rizal University's last MVP was John Wilson in 2009 while College of St. Benilde last had the top individual player in Jay Sagad back in 2005. Arellano University and Emilio Aguinaldo College are yet to have an MVP. Here is the full list of NCAA MVPs in the last decade: 2010 - Sudan Daniel, C, San Beda 2011 - Calvin Abueva, F, San Sebastian 2012 - Ian Sangalang, C, San Sebastian 2013 - Raymond Almazan, C, Letran 2014 - Scottie Thompson, G, Perpetual 2015 - Allwell Oraeme, C, Mapua 2016 - Allwell Oraeme, C, Mapua 2017 - CJ Perez, G, LPU 2018 - Prince Eze, G, Perpetual 2019 - Calvin Oftana, F, San Beda --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 20th, 2020

Ateneo, La Salle join hands in fight vs COVID-19

In the fight vs COVID-19, we're all in this together. That is no more evident than in fierce foes Ateneo de Manila University and De La Salle University who have now teamed up in the continuing COVID-19 crisis. With Metro Manila now more than a month into community quarantine, both the Society of Jesus' school in Katipunan and the university ran by Lasallian brothers in Taft Avenue have done their all to help out. "Ateneo alumni said they'd like to help and I told them, 'Let's raise money together with our friends - which means, also La Salle friends,'" Philippine Jesuit Provincial Superior Fr. Jun Viray, SJ said. With that, an effort for the archrivals to join hands was born called "Let's Work Together To Fight COVID-19." "A little conversation between myself and Fr. Jun created a spark that is more explosive than UAAP allowed us to say this is the time to work together rather than compete," DLSU President Bro. Armin Luistro, FSC said. At present, the effort has already raised PhP 10 Million. This will then be used to help out 6,000 urban poor families as well as 500 homeless persons. Those interested to help out can do so here: FOR ATENEO METROBANK Account name: Tanging Yaman Foundation, Inc. Metrobank Peso Checking Account Number: 448-7-44800988-9 BPI Account name: Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan BPI Peso Checking Account Number: 3081-1111-61 *For proper acknowledgement, kindly send photo of the deposit slip to slb@affiliate.ateneo.edu FOR LA SALLE Account name: De La Salle Brothers, Inc. Account number: 7590-569081 Security Bank: Account name: De La Salle Brothers, Inc. Account number: 0000014366500 BPI: Account name: De La Salle Brothers, Inc. Account number: 3103-3749-86 --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 20th, 2020

Sports leagues seek return to play but with no guarantees

By EDDIE PELLS AP National Writer With no games being played, recent sports headlines have centered around hopes and dreams — namely, the uncharted path leagues and teams must navigate to return to competition in the wake of the pandemic. Virtually all leagues talk publicly about their desire to return before summer. But behind closed doors, they are hatching different potential plans: all 30 baseball teams playing in Arizona; home run contests to decide tie games; the Stanley Cup being hoisted in an empty arena that neither team calls home; end-of-season soccer standings decided by vote; college football games in spring. Over the past week, The Associated Press spoke to more than two dozen policymakers, coaches and players across the globe to get their candid assessments of plans to return from the stoppages caused by the coronavirus. The conclusion: While it’s critical to put optimistic restart scenarios in place, there is no certainty any of these plans will work without buy-in from politicians and an OK from players and medical experts. Underpinning it all would have to be a drastic ramp-up in testing, a vaccine or treatment breakthrough, or some other solution. In short, the return of any sports, no matter how innovative the plan, will be risky and uncertain for the rest of this year and into 2021. “It’s not about 22 players walking onto a pitch and throwing a ball out,” said FIFA Vice President Victor Montagliani, whose concerns about restarting soccer mirror those of all sports worldwide. The organizers of the Olympics were among the last to postpone their event, then among the first to set a new date – exactly 52 weeks after the original July 24 cauldron lighting had been scheduled. The decision to reschedule for a date 15 months down the road came just before an unexpected spike in cases hit Japan. The worry that followed underscored the many open questions about the arc of the outbreak. “I think everyone’s probably working on multiple options. It’s ’If this, then what?'” said Tim Hinchey, the CEO of USA Swimming, the sport's governing body in the United States. Virtually all the big-time team sports are coming up with scenarios to play games with no fans in the stands. The Washington Post reported that while the NFL is publicly committed to its usual kickoff date in September, it is looking into contingencies that include shortening the season or playing in front of half-full or empty stadiums. College athletic directors have come up with a half-dozen or more scenarios for football season, including, according to Oklahoma's Joe Castiglione, a scenario in which part of the season would be played in spring. One theme gaining wide acceptance: If it's not safe enough for students to return to school or attend games, then athletes shouldn't be asked to return either. Without the millions from football, all college sports are in peril. NASCAR, which has been holding virtual races, has given teams a tentative schedule under which the season would resume May 24 without fans. The NHL has drawn up plans that include resuming the season this summer, going directly to the playoffs and/or playing games in empty arenas in neutral-site cities. The PGA Tour announced a mid-June restart and meshed its schedule with the already reworked majors calendar. In a nod to the precariousness of it all, Andy Pazder, the tour’s chief officer of tournaments and competition, said if events cannot be held in compliance with health regulations, then “we will not do anything.” That's also where the NBA appears to be for now. The league that got in front of the coronavirus pandemic first, calling off games on March 11, is in a holding pattern. Most of the league’s conversations center on how to resume the season, not whether to cancel it. In Australia, ambitious plans to resume play in the National Rugby League by the end of May got shot down by Prime Minister Scott Morrison. England’s Premier League also says it wants to finish its season but would only do so “with the full support of the government” and when “medical guidance allows.” Meanwhile, in Scotland, a wild round of voting has already taken place to decide whether to lock in standings for leagues there and get ready for next season. Major League Baseball in the U.S. is talking about bringing all 30 teams to Maricopa County, Arizona, for a regular season at spring training sites. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the infectious disease expert who has been calling for restraint in resuming any normal activities, offered a glimmer of hope when he suggested sports could conceivably return. He suggested no fans in arenas and constant testing for the players, who would likely need to be quarantined in hotels for weeks or months. Not all the players are on board. “I’m going to go four or five months without seeing my kid when it’s born? I can tell you right now that’s not going to happen,” Ryan Zimmerman of the Nationals wrote in a diary for AP. Zimmerman’s third child is due in June. Whether Zimmerman shows or not, baseball could be a vastly different game if it returns in 2020. Some other ideas floated include wrapping up the season in December, scheduling a multitude of doubleheaders with seven-inning games and quickly deciding ties with home run derbies. Yet for all those scenarios, nobody's quite sure what will happen if, despite all the precautions, an outbreak hits a team. Could one positive test eviscerate an entire season? Before setting anything in motion, all the leagues are waiting for a consensus to emerge from government and health experts, to say nothing of players and owners. Right now, Montagliani said, "the paramount skill set required from us is risk management and nothing else.” ___ Reporting by AP Sports Writers Doug Ferguson, Jenna Fryer, Rob Harris, Stephen Wade, Ron Blum, Steve Douglas, Ben Walker, Dennis Passa, Stephen Whyno, Tim Reynolds, Brian Mahoney, Howard Fendrich, Ben Walker, Rob Maaddi, Ralph Russo, Larry Lage......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 19th, 2020

Encho Serrano s La Salle allowance turns into aid for Pampanga neighbors

Encho Serrano is sharing his blessings with the people who got his back since Day 1. Serrano has decided to use his one month allowance from De La Salle University to help out his neighbors in Pampanga during the continuing COVID-19 crisis. Brgy. San Juan in Apalit, Pampanga is getting some love courtesy of La Salle’s @serranoencho02 who used his personal funds to purchase relief goods to be distributed. pic.twitter.com/v8c6F92EjZ — Normie Riego (@riegogogo) April 15, 2020 "Naisipan kong magbigay dahil unang-una, alam ko yung pakiramdam ng walang-wala," he shared. "Kaya ginawa ko 'to kasi yung mga tao sa amin, alam kong walang-wala sila. Kahit konting tulong lang, malaking bagay na sa kanila." The 5-foot-11 swingman was born and bred in Apalit, Pampanga before making a name for himself as an "all-heart" player for Adamson High School and then the Green Archers. And coming from humble beginnings himself, Serrano had long wanted to give back in any way he can. "Simula pa lang ng quarantine na 'to, every night na matutulog ako, pinapangako ko kay Lord na kapag nakuha ko na yung allowance ko sa La Salle, gagamitin ko para mamigay," he shared. He then continued, "I just want to give back to my community because of all the support they have given me over the years." With that, the proud Kapampangan was able to share his blessings to his neighbors and nearby relatives in Brgy. San Juan in the form of plastic bags filled with rice, instant noodles, instant coffee, tocino, and ham. And with that, he did nothing but fulfill his promise. "Dakal pung salamat," he expressed in his native tongue. Serrano is the third La Salle player whose allowance turned into aid for those in need in the continuing COVID-19 crisis, following incoming rookie Joshua Ramirez and talented tower Justine Baltazar. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 15th, 2020

BEST-OF-5 SERIES: The Pingoy Rules Part 1

Pingoy Rule: Never give up. --- Jerie Pingoy is not a disappointment. He is disappointed in himself, no doubt about that, but he is not a disappointment. Not just yet - so he says. "'Di ako susuko na makapag-PBA. I still want to prove to everyone na kaya ko pang makipagsabayan," he said, full of confidence, in a phone interview. "Kasi nakikita ko pa sa sarili kong kaya ko pa eh - as in, kaya ko pa. Sana, sana mabigyan ako ng chance to prove na I'm still worthy." Many dream of playing in the PBA, but only a few get to do so. Even fewer get to do so after going missing in action for more than a year. The last time we saw the 5-foot-9 point guard, he and Adamson University were at the wrong end of the University of the Philippines' breakthrough in 2018. No, that's not right. The last time we actually saw Pingoy was in the now-suspended 2020 PBA D-League Aspirants Cup where he played two games with Karate Kid-Centro Escolar University. "Sa ngayon, I'm trying to come back. Since bata ako, gusto ko mag-PBA, pero sa ngayon, sa nakikita ko sa sarili ko, kailangan ko magdoble-kayod para dun," he said. "Ang hirap pa ngayon, nawala ako ng (higit isang) taon kaya mas lalong dapat ipakita kong worthy akong mapunta dun." In between his last game as a Soaring Falcon and his first one with the Scorpions, indeed, it seemed as if the 25-year-old just went off the grid - something that would have been thought to be impossible years ago when he was still the toast of high school basketball and a hoped-for contributor in collegiate hoops. GOOD OLD DAYS "One of the best players I've ever seen. He was the complete package," Mike Oliver, Pingoy's head coach at Far Eastern University-Diliman, answered when asked to look back at his former ward. Oliver would be one of the few people who would have a good grasp of the top talents at the high school level as he was a champion coach there as well as mentor of Batang Gilas. "It was a transition from Coach Norman [Black] to Coach Bo [Perasol] and we were trying to rebuild the program. He was one of the first recruits talaga that Coach Bo wanted," Kiefer Ravena, Pingoy's teammate in Ateneo de Manila University, answered when asked to recall one of the prized prospects he helped recruit. Ravena would be one of the people who would know a thing or two about the Blue Eagles' recruitment plans in the early '10s as, of course, playing with him would have been one of the reasons why a player would want to wear blue and white. "We're just scratching the surface of what he can do right now. If he will just follow what we're trying to teach him, he will be a better all-around player," Franz Pumaren, shot-caller at Adamson University where Pingoy transferred to, said right after one of the better games he had in college. Pumaren would be one of the few people who would have the power to make somebody believe that his system leads to wins and championships - and the power to judge the potential of a player. NEW YEAR, NEW ME After two years in Adamson, though, Pingoy decided against playing his fifth and final playing year in the UAAP and decided to instead nurse his troublesome left foot back to full strength. Along with that, for the good of his mind, he decided to stay away from all the noise. And so, for more than a year, not much was heard from Pingoy nor did he hear anything from anyone. That was until Karate Kid-CEU came calling by getting him in the 2020 PBA D-League Draft. With his up-and-down collegiate career a thing of the past, Pingoy was nothing but grateful for yet another shot. "I'm so thakful sa CEU kasi sobrang inaalagaan nila ako. Sina Coach Jeff [Napa] pati mga boss dun, tinutulungan talaga nila akong mabalik yung career ko," he said. So much was he grateful that he wasted no time in returning their trust in him. In fact, in just a month, he was able to shed off excess fat - something he has been known to be unable to get away from in his last years in college - and shape up. "After practices, may workout pa ako and dahil dun, from 250 lbs., naging 211 lbs. na lang ako nung may D-League pa. Ngayon, tuloy-tuloy pa rin and 197 lbs. na lang ako," he was glad to report. He also added, "Kailangan nasa 170 lbs. Sana makuha." HERE WE GO AGAIN Just when it looked like all was finally coming together for Pingoy, however, COVID-19 turned into a pandemic and forced the D-League, as well as all other sporting events, to be postponed. And with the crisis continuing, it is yet to be determined when the developmental league would resume - or if it would even resume considering that all but one of its 11 participating teams are college-based. This is just the latest challenge in a young career that has already been through several starts and stops. Start with back-to-back UAAP Jrs. MVPs as well as a championship in FEU-Diliman. Stop with brand new residency rules from high school to college. Start with the starting point guard position in your first game in Ateneo. Stop with a logjam of point guards and then academic deficiencies. Start with a long-awaited breakout as a two-way player for Adamson. Stop with a foot injury that failed to fully heal. Start with Karate Kid-CEU taking a chance on you. Stop with COVID-19 shutting down anything and everything. Still, Pingoy chooses to see the silver linings. "I think it's God's plan. Hindi yung virus ha," he shared with a laugh. He then continued, "For me, sinasabing bago ka maglaro ulit, kailangang fit na fit ka. Dapat, 'di na ganun kataba. Dapat, ipakita sa CEU na kahit walang training, ready pa rin." For sure, his future is yet to be written - and only his hand is holding the pen. Still, it could not be argued that after all those starts and stops, the very first one remains to have left the biggest mark. NEXT ON BEST-OF-5 SERIES: THE PINGOY RULES: "Nasasayangan ako sa years na 'di ako nakapaglaro. Kung nakapaglaro ako nung mga yun, mag-iiba yung takbo ng panahon." --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 8th, 2020

Philippine-born nurse passes away working UK s coronavirus frontline — report

A nurse born in the Philippines passed away after working on the United Kingdom's frontline against the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19). .....»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsApr 6th, 2020

Haikyuu and other anime to binge now that the sports world has stopped

Metro Manila is under Community Quarantine and confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country continue to spike, breaking the triple-digit mark. Most major sporting events worldwide are either suspended until further notice or cancelled altogether. People are advised to stay home to help contain the novel coronavirus. Reruns of classic games can only do so much to fulfill all of our sporting fix during these unprecedented times. With that being said, why not try sports anime? Here are some you can binge-watch now that there's no actual sports going on. Binge-watch at home of course, stay safe out there, Kapamilya.   HAIKYUU One week of UAAP Season 82 volleyball was certainly not enough, especially with how long we had to actually wait for it. If you're yearning for some volleyball, how about give Haikyuu a try. With Hinata Shoyo and the rest of his Karasuno High School volleyball team under the spotlight, Haikyuu is arguably the best sports anime ever, it's certainly the best volleyball anime out there. Season 4 is currently ongoing, which means you have three previous seasons you can just binge to catch up. You'll want to hit quick sets after you watch this show, but you shouldn't because we're supposed to stay home and there's more sports anime to watch.   SLAM DUNK Everyone knows Slam Dunk, it's the anime that got most of us into basketball. Younger people, now is the perfect time to catch this classic of a show. People around this writer's age (born in the 1990s), now is the perfect time to rewind. Let Hanamichi "Basketball Genius" Sakuragi, and the rest of the crazy bunch at Shohoku High take our minds off of the fact that sports just actually stopped.   KUROKO NO BASKET Another basketball anime, Kuroko has a pretty interesting premise. Five outstanding players from a powerhouse junior high, known as "The Generation of Miracles," go their separate ways in high school and instantly become rivals. Title character Tetsuya Kuroko played behind the Generation of Miracles and has joined Seirin High with another freshman, Taiga Kagami. Together, they lead Seirin's quest to victory, with the Generation of Miracles standing in their way because of course. Think of Kuroko as Slam Dunk on steroids and get in the zone with this highly-rated anime about the sport near and dear to our hearts.   HAJIME NO IPPO Another classic, Hajime no Ippo follows title character Makunouchi Ippo as he goes on a quest to become a champion boxer. Bullied his entire life, Ippo found boxing as his escape. Ippo's passion, hard work, and determination will be more than enough to inspire you, just don't go around punching poeple after you watch this anime.   FREE! Swimming is good way to combat the scorching summer heat, but under current circumstances, that's not exactly advisable. Instead, consider Free and Haruka Nanase's freestyling ways. Iwatobi High's swim team could help refresh us all as we deal with the quarantine and the summer heat.   EYESHIELD 21 American football is not as popular in the Philippines, as evidenced by the NFL's limited exposure here. Still, it's a pretty compelling sport and Eyeshield 21 is a nice way to get a crash course about it. Our hero here is Sena Kobayakawa, who much like Ippo, is always bullied. Unlike Ippo, he uses his incredible speed to literally run away from his bullies. Sena becomes his high school's running back but is listed as team secretary to prevent rival schools from recruiting him, hence becoming the title character "Eyeshield 21."   PRINCE OF TENNIS Most teams on sports animes are considered underdogs, but not Seishun Gakuen. Seigaku is different in a sense that this team is loaded and an actual contender, they just need that extra oomph to get over and that's where protagonist Ryoma Echizen comes in. The Prince of Tennis definitely has oomph, and then some. Much like Slam Dunk, Prince of Tennis is a classic from yesteryear. Much like Eyeshield 21 is to football, this anime will ease you into tennis but with the anime twist, of course.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 16th, 2020

Only mommy Girlie knows Nieto twins recipe for success

Mike and Matt Nieto are leaving Ateneo de Manila as three-time Srs. and one-time Jrs. champions. Through all those titles, the twins' each and every day started the same - with a homecooked meal by mommy Girlie for breakfast made, of course, with all the love in the world. "Simula ng first championship sa college, every day breakfast ko, dalawang bangus tsaka extra rice. Hinding-hindi talaga ako nagsawa," Mike shared. "Throughout ng three-peat, every day, 9:00 a.m. sharp, naayos na ni mommy yun." And as it turns out, the game day meals began long before the Nietos were key cogs in the Blue Eagles' three-peat - the last of which was a historic season sweep. "Nung high school, medyo iba. Two-piece chicken, thigh part ng McDo ako nun," Mike, the older of the two narrated through chuckles. "Kaya kami nag-champion dahil dun. Nung isang time na natalo kami, 'di kasi ako kumain ng chicken." Back in their last year in high school, the brothers led the Blue Eaglets to a sweep of the elimination round only to drop Game 1 of the Finals - and apparently, that was when Mike didn’t have his usual game day meal. Ultimately, Ateneo won out and the Nietos would hoist three more trophies in the Srs., but in the mind of Mike, a ritual had been born. That wasn't necessarily the case for Matt. "Si Mike, merong ganun, pero ako kasi, 'di naniniwala sa ganun e," he said with a smile. While he didn't have a set game day meal, he was still only glad to have mommy Girlie beside him each and every step of the way. "Si mommy, she's always been there for us. Siya yung best mom kasi she supports us non-stop," he said. Indeed, both parents have been present for majority of their sons' matchups. And while daddy Jet, himself a multiple-time champion in Ateneo, gives guidance on the court, mommy Girlie takes care of everything else off of it. "Si mommy, behind the scenes siya. Siya nagko-comfort sa amin pag masama yung laro namin at siya rin nagpapakalma kay daddy," Matt said. He then continued, "Si mommy kasi, walang negative e. Lahat ng circumstances, tini-treat niya as positive." Without a doubt, that positivity was nothing but welcome for the Nietos twins who have always set their sights on greater and greater heights. As Mike put it, "Ang laki ng impact niya sa amin. 'Di lang napapansin sa basketball court kasi siyempre, pag basketball, ang napag-uusapan si daddy, pero we won't be here where we are if it weren't for mommy." In the end, Mike and Matt just want the world to know that mommy Girlie is as much a big part of all their success as daddy Jet. "Ako, personally, I'm a proud mommy's boy at kami, kung bakit kami medyo minahal ng mga tao, yung ugali kasi namin, nanggaling kay mommy," the former said. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 21st, 2020

Heat clamp down on defense, top Raptors 84-76

By Tim Reynolds, Associated Press MIAMI (AP) — Bam Adebayo had 15 points and 14 rebounds, and the Miami Heat put together their best defensive performance of the season in an 84-76 victory over the Toronto Raptors on Thursday night (Friday, PHL time). Tyler Herro and Goran Dragic each scored 13 points for Miami, which is now 2-0 against the Raptors this season and improved to 9-0 after a loss. The Heat and Milwaukee are the only teams to not lose consecutive games this season. Derrick Jones Jr. scored 10 points and Jimmy Butler finished with eight points, 12 rebounds and seven assists for Miami. Serge Ibaka had 19 points and 10 rebounds for Toronto. Kyle Lowry scored 15 points, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson added 13 and OG Anunoby had 12 points and 12 rebounds. The Raptors shot only 31.5% and were 6 for 42 from 3-point range. That came after Miami had a long practice Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time), upset with how its defense was awful the night before in a loss to Washington. There was a pregame tribute and moment of silence for former NBA Commissioner David Stern, who died Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time) at the age of 77. Both the Raptors and the Heat were born under Stern’s leadership of the league. “There probably is some serendipity to this game, to have the expansion of the league ... it’s a byproduct of his leadership and vision,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. Miami set a season-best for points allowed by a huge margin; the previous Heat low in that department this season was 94 against New Orleans on Nov. 16 (Nov. 17, PHL time). Toronto’s previous season low for points was 88, in a loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Nov. 11 (Nov. 12, PHL time). Anunoby was fouled on a 3-point try with 1:21 left in the third, making all three free throws to tie the game at 60. It was Toronto’s second time cashing in on such a foul in the game, after Lowry went 3 for 3 in that situation late in the first quarter. But the Heat went on a 17-5 run in the fourth and held Toronto to 16 points in the final 12 minutes. TIP-INS Raptors: Former Toronto and Miami All-Star Chris Bosh was seated near midcourt. ... Ibaka and Fred VanVleet combined to take 15 of Toronto’s first 18 shots. ... Toronto started 2 for 21 from 3-point range, before Anunoby connected on a corner 3 at the end of the first half. ... Injured Raptors Marc Gasol and Pascal Siakam are on the trip, but remain sidelined. Heat: Justise Winslow (bone bruise in back) did some work a few hours before the game, but missed his 13th consecutive game. In his fifth season, Winslow has missed Miami’s first game of 2016, 2017, 2018 and now 2020. ... DJ Khaled and Diddy were seated near the Heat bench, while Future and Meek Mill were also courtside. SLOW SCORING This was the 510th game of the NBA season, and only the fifth where neither team scored more than 20 points in the first quarter. And with Miami taking a 63-60 lead into the fourth, it became only the second game this season with teams at those totals -- the other was Charlotte leading Chicago 59-50 after 36 minutes on Dec. 13 (Dec. 14, PHL time). TECH CENTER There were four technical fouls in the game -- leading to zero points. Spoelstra and Raptors coach Nick Nurse both got hit with techs (both resulting free throws were missed), while Lowry and Kendrick Nunn were recipients of a double-technical late in the third. UP NEXT Raptors: Visit Brooklyn on Saturday (Sunday, PHL time), ending a quick two-game road trip. Heat: Visit Orlando on Friday (Saturday, PHL time), the first of four meetings between the in-state rivals this season......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 3rd, 2020

Sexton scores 23, Cavaliers hold on to beat Hornets 100-98

By Steve Herrick, Associated Press CLEVELAND (AP) — Collin Sexton scored 23 points, Cedi Osman had 18 and the Cleveland Cavaliers held off a late Charlotte comeback for a 100-98 win over the Hornets on Wednesday night (Thursday, PHL time). Cleveland, which had lost 16 of 18, led the entire game but nearly squandered a 24-point lead in the third quarter. Terry Rozier scored a career-high 35 points for Charlotte and hit five 3-pointers in the fourth quarter, the last coming with 21 seconds remaining to cut the deficit to 100-98. Sexton dribbled the ball off his foot and out of bounds with 16 seconds left. Rozier popped open at the top of the key for a wide-open 3 with three seconds to go, but the shot hit off the rim and Sexton grabbed the rebound to finally secure the victory for the Cavs. Rozier was 12 of 27 from the field and 7 of 15 on 3-pointers. Cody Zeller had 15 points for the Hornets. Kevin Love had 16 points and 14 rebounds for Cleveland. Tristan Thompson added 14 points and 13 rebounds. Cleveland took a 67-43 lead early in the third on Darius Garland's 3-pointer, but Charlotte heated up from the field and cut into the margin. Rozier scored seven points, including a 3 at the buzzer that trimmed the margin to 76-64. The Hornets continued to slice into the lead in the fourth. Rozier and Devonte' Graham hit 3s on consecutive possessions, cutting the deficit to 84-74. Charlotte, which defeated Sacramento at home on Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time), looked like a team on a back-to-back to start the game. The Cavaliers made 14 of 25 shots in the first quarter and led by 12. Cleveland controlled the first half despite not attempting a free throw. Charlotte committed four fouls before halftime. Cleveland finally got to the foul line less than a minute into the third quarter. Osman was fouled while scoring on a fast break, but missed the free throw. Osman had a highlight-reel defensive play when he chased down Marvin Williams and blocked his layup attempt in the third quarter. Sexton made his first eight shots and was 10 of 14 from the field. TIP-INS Hornets: F Nicolas Batum missed his fifth straight game. He's still feeling discomfort in his left hand aftrer breaking a finger in the season opener. ... Rozier was born in Youngstown and played high school basketball at Shaker Heights, which is 7 miles from downtown Cleveland. Cavaliers: G Kevin Porter Jr. played with protective padding on a sore left shoulder. He took a lob pass from Garland and slammed home a dunk with his right hand in the first quarter. ... Sexton made his 100th career start, joining LeBron James and Kyrie Irving as the only players in franchise history to do so before turning 21. UP NEXT Hornets: Host the Utah Jazz on Saturday (Sunday, PHL time). Cavaliers: Host the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday (Saturday, PHL time). .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 19th, 2019

Fr. Tan of Surigao del Norte is Xavier University’s next president

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines – Xavier University, the first Jesuit University in the Philippines and the first university in Mindanao, has a Mindanaoan as its next university president. Francisco Guerra III, chair of the school Board of Trustees, said the board had elected Fr. Mars Tan, Society of Jesus (SJ), who was born and […] The post Fr. Tan of Surigao del Norte is Xavier University’s next president appeared first on Cebu Daily News......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsDec 9th, 2019

De Lima files resolution investigating babies-for-sale trade

"This clandestine market where new-born babies are bought and sold in what they describe as "large-scale underground black market" is reportedly being controlled by syndicates.".....»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsNov 28th, 2019

Grace Poe files bill to protect govt teachers from malicious accusations

MANILA, Philippines — Senator Grace Poe has filed a bill seeking to protect public school teachers and personnel from malicious accusations of child abuse as well as provide them with support on matters of student discipline. Poe’s filing of Senate Bill No. 1189 came after journalist Raffy Tulfo earned the ire of netizens for pressuring […] The post Grace Poe files bill to protect govt teachers from malicious accusations appeared first on Cebu Daily News......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsNov 27th, 2019