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B-day hugot ni Bea: This year brought me so many lessons at siyempre, pain…

KAARAWAN ng magaling na aktres na si Bea Alonzo kahapon, Okt. 17 –— 33 years old na ngayon ang dalaga. Bago dumating ang saktong kaarawan ay naghanda na si Bea, “It’s a special week for me because my birthday and very special din because I already got my YouTube Silver Play Button. (sabay pakita ng […] The post B-day hugot ni Bea: This year brought me so many lessons at siyempre, pain… appeared first on Bandera......»»

Category: newsSource: inquirer inquirerOct 18th, 2020

BEST-OF-5 SERIES: The Pingoy Rules Part 4

In case you missed it: BEST-OF-5 SERIES: The Pingoy Rules Part 1 BEST-OF-5 SERIES: The Pingoy Rules Part 2 BEST-OF-5 SERIES: The Pingoy Rules Part 3 --- Pingoy Rule: Never back down. --- Jerie Pingoy enjoyed his time in Ateneo de Manila University. Actually, perhaps, he enjoyed too much. After a so-so rookie year as a Blue Eagle, the 5-foot-11 point guard then struggled with his grades. That put him - along with John Apacible, Hubert Cani, Kemark Carino, Clint Doliguez, CJ Perez, and Arvin Tolentino - in danger of being sidelined for UAAP 79 as the Katipunan-based school is, famously, strict with its academic requirements for student-athletes. Years later, Pingoy made it clear, though, that he just barely missed out on the cut. "'Di ako bagsak. Probi (probationary) lang ako kasi nagkulang lang ako ng 0.1 na QPI (Quality Point Index)," he recalled, through chuckles, in a phone interview. Indeed, Spin's Reuben Terrado reported then that "Perez and Pingoy could take summer classes in order to meet Ateneo's QPI and become eligible to play." Whatever it was, the now-25-year-old had another problem on his hands - not that long after finally putting behind him the complications his college commitment brought about. Talking about the two-year residency put on the shoulders of Pingoy, then-Ateneo head coach Bo Perasol said, "The time he needed to mature and adjust also affected his studies." The situation he found himself in may have been remedied, but the fact of the matter is that he didn't do enough to go over the academic bar the Blue Eagles have set. "Simply put, he didn't meet the required QPI, or grade requirements, for that year," Epok Quimpo, team manager from then to now, said. NEW NAME And it's not as if what was happening on-court was that much better. After a standout stint in high school, Pingoy averaged 3.5 points and 2.8 assists in his first - and ultimately, last - year in Ateneo. Not only that, he found himself, more often than not, the one chasing the tail of fellow point guard Matt Nieto. Pingoy was actually the starter in his first game, officially, as a Blue Eagle in UAAP 78. As the season rolled along, however, the blue and white grew to have more trust in Nieto, who would come to be known as "Matty Ice," or, when push came to shove, just put Kiefer Ravena at point. Make no mistake, though, Pingoy was never a bad teammate. "'Di ko iniisip na kakompetensya ko sina Cani o Matt. Iniisip namin talaga na one as a team kami," he said. He then continued, "Kung sino nandun sa court, we support. Lagi nga naming sinasabi ni Cani, kung si Matt nasa loob, cheer lang kami." In the end, the Cebuano failed to fulfill for Ateneo the promise he once had as a one-time champion and back-to-back MVP in the UAAP Jrs. "Sayang lang na we weren't given an opportunity to prove ourselves na kaya naming makipagsabayan. Kulang kami sa playing time, sa totoo lang, but still, it was a good run for me, yung sa Ateneo," he said. And so, sooner than later, the on-court struggles came to a head with the off-court struggles. In 2016, Pingoy decided to leave the school he decided to leave Far Eastern University-Diliman for. "Nagsisialisan na mga kasama ko so naisip ko, wala na akong kasama," he said, referring to the transfers of Cani and Tolentino to FEU, Carino and Doliguez to San Beda University, and Perez to Lyceum of the Philippines University. He then continued, "Eh that time, tinatawagan na rin ako ng Adamson. Sabi ko, what if dito ko makuha yung chance na ma-prove ulit na ito na ako?" NEW NEST Pingoy got to try and answer that question as he transferred to Adamson University. "I needed a change. Gusto kong mag-iba ako. Nag-decide akong ibang Jerie Pingoy naman," he said. "Siyempre, Franz Pumaren din yun. Alam kong nakakapagod yung practice, pero sabi ko kakayanin ko 'to." Of course, with his transfer, Pingoy had to undergo another year of residency - this, adding to the two he had to serve out of high school. Once he was finally eligible for the Soaring Falcons, though, Pingoy wasted no time giving glimpses of the player many believed he was or was going to be. In UAAP 80, he posted per game counts of 7.1 points, 5.1 assists, 2.6 steals, and 2.5 rebounds and was a key cog as Adamson yet again made it to the Final Four. Finally, he was having fun and playing fun. "Adamson, it's a nice school. Yung Falcons, we had a good team. Naging masaya ako sa Adamson," he said. As it turned out, however, another storm was on the horizon. NEW NIGHTMARE In the final frame of the last game of the UAAP 80 elimination round, Pingoy landed on the foot of FEU's Jasper Parker and had to be helped off the floor. Initial diagnosis had him with a sprained left foot. It was much more than that, apparently, as the sprain only opened the floodgates on the bone spurs that had long been building up inside his left foot. And so, right after Adamson bowed out of contention, he decided to have surgery to take care of all the bone spurs. "Inoperahan ako nung December 2017 sa Pampanga and pagkatapos, I was thinking na all good na siya. Kaya lang, the following months, nung January or February 2018, nafi-feel kong 'di pala siya okay," he shared and added that he went outside Manila because the operation would be cheaper there. He then continued, "Ang sakit pa rin ng paa ko. 'Di ako maka-practice o makalaro nang todo kasi tumatakbo akong parang naka-tiptoe yung kaliwa ko." Pingoy went on to practice and play through the pain all the way to UAAP 81 where it became clear that he wasn't the player he was just a year ago and only normed 3.3 points, 2.1 assists, and 1.9 rebounds. "Sobrang frustrating kasi yung last year ko sa Adamson, 'di talaga ako fit nun. Yung laro ko, medyo bitin," he said. He then continued, "'Di naman ganun laro ko. Ang laking factor na naoperahan akong hindi successful." Yes, ultimately, it was concluded that the surgery he had was a failure. After that season, Pingoy had his left foot checked on by famed sports doctor Raul Canlas and what the latter told the former was nothing but a punch to the gut. "Sabi niya, bakit daw hindi inoperahan yung mismong may bone spurs," he said. Canlas was only willing to make it right, but of course, there was the matter of payment and, unfortunately, Pingoy was forced to pay out of his pocket as, by then, he had already decided to forgo his fifth and final playing year with Adamson. "Pagtapos ng season, sabi ko na sa kanilang 'di na ako tutuloy kasi nahihirapan ako sa paa ko. Baka ano pang mangyari sa akin kung pinilit ko," he said. Once a highly recruited player, Pingoy, right then and there, had no one to turn to but himself. NEXT ON BEST-OF-5 SERIES: THE PINGOY RULES: "Sila yung nagbibigay ng inspirasyon sa akin. Iniisip ko, para sa mga anak ko 'to, para sa kinabukasan nila." --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 11th, 2020

Built by Bo, bonded for Bo, believe in Bo

This is not the first time that Bo Perasol has had a recruiting haul this huge. Now heading into his fifth season in the University of the Philippines, he has brought in blue-chip recruits such as Gerry Abadiano and Carl Tamayo and talented transferees like Joel Cagulangan, CJ Cansino, and Malick Diouf to a team that already has Bright Akhuetie, Kobe Paras, and Ricci Rivero. And don't forget that Gomez de Liano brothers Javi and Juan are only sitting out the next season - and what lies beyond for them is yet to be determined. This is not that different from his time in Ateneo de Manila University when he scored UAAP Jrs. Season MVP Jerie Pingoy, UAAP Jrs. Finals MVP Hubert Cani, NCAA Mythical selection CJ Perez, and NCAA Jrs. standout Arvin Tolentino in his first few years. Those promising prospects then joined forces with Blue Eagle stalwarts Kiefer Ravena and Von Pessumal Unfortunately, all of Pingoy, Cani, Perez, and Tolentino - along with the rest of the so-called "Magnificent 7" - found themselves with academic deficiencies and, therefore, ineligible by the blue and white's standards. Not long after, they transferred to different schools and squads and then had varying degrees of success. Will Coach Bo's tale get a different ending this time with the Fighting Maroons? Perasol is making sure of that. "From my experience in Ateneo, natuto ako. Ngayon, meron kaming grupo sa programa na nagha-handle lang ng academics ng players," he shared. He then continued, "Sinasamahan sila sa mga klase, pinapakilala sa mga propesor, ine-explain na player natin yan, pag merong problema, coordinate lang po tayo." Apparently, this academic assistance team is made up of former student-managers who have graduated. Now, their first job is all about seeing to it that State U would not have to go through the same sort of headache Ateneo had with its "Magnificent 7." With that, you could be sure that UP's pillars of honor and excellence still stand strong even as all these new faces join Men's Basketball Team. "Walang special consideration. Pumapasok sila, bumabagsak sila. Binibigyan sila ng extra work, humihingi sila ng extra work," Coach Bo said. He then continued, "Ang ine-explain ko lagi sa players at sa professors, ang mahalaga, basta masipag pumasok at nagpapakita ng intensyong matuto." STARRING AND STRIKING At present, just about everybody is still getting used to blue-chip recruits and talented transferees going for UP. That is why there are more questions than answers each and every time they announce a new player. And along with the question of whether or not all these new faces would be up to par in terms of the honor and excellence the Philippines' prime public university prides itself in, there is a question of just how the Fighting Maroons got here in the first place. How could State U, not that far removed from its self-proclaimed "dark days," get all of these players? And not just players, at that, but many big name players. The categorical answer? The program could now afford it. "Meron nang pondo salamat sa sponsors," head coach Bo Perasol explained. "For example, kung makikita mo lang yung patches sa harap ng jersey, malaking pera yun. Nag-aagawan ang marami para dun." At present, the shot-caller said that UP has eight corporate sponsors all getting together for the funds for the program. And unlike Ateneo which has Manny V. Pangilinan or National University which has Hans Sy as primary backers, the Fighting Maroons' system is quite different. "Ang source ng funds ng UP, halos lahat galing sa alumni. Tapos lahat yun, mina-manage ng nowheretogobutUP," coach Bo said. According to its website, nowheretogobutUP (NTGBUP) is "a volunteer group of UP alumni that aims to help, assist, and support the development, improvement, and advancement of the varsity program of UP." All of the finances it manages, however, are not necessarily donations. As Perasol put it, "Yung model ng UP is unique kasi yung support nila, kailangan may balik din from us." For example, the tactician said that many of their players have made appearances, online in this continuing COVID-19 crisis and in person prior to the pandemic, to cheer up employees of Palawan Pera Padala, one of the team's sponsors. More importantly, Coach Bo reminded yet again that the only reason they have all these new faces is because they have to. He pointed out how Abadiano and Filipino-American Sam Dowd would make up for the losses of Jun Manzo and Juan GDL as well as how Diouf and Cansino are already waiting in the wings once Bright Akhuetie and Ricci Rivero graduate. "We're also recruiting for the impending need," Perasol said. "Hindi naman ito biglaan. Since nagsimula kami rito, we all did this nang dahan-dahan lang. Kaya rin yung support from alumni for funding, hindi na rin naging mahirap." DREAMING Still, the mere fact that UP is now a big-time player on and off the court in collegiate basketball seemed so farfetched just five years ago. Before Bo Perasol, the Fighting Maroons were stuck in a vicious cycle. Now, though, they have back-to-back playoff appearances and have traded blows with traditional powerhouses for recruits and transferees. All of this made possible because the very moment he came in, Coach Bo already knew the secret to success. "You cannot build a program without funds," he said. Perasol furthered that his biggest takeaway from his time in Ateneo was that competing with the traditional powerhouses on the court entailed competing with them as well off of it. "Alam ko yung kakayanan ng Ateneo and siyempre, kakumpetensya ko rin nun yung La Salle so alam ko rin yung kanila. Ganun na rin ang kakayanan ng NU and yung iba pa, kakayanin din nila kung gustuhin nila," he said. He then continued, "Kaya kung ang objective ng programa is to be in the top four, your program should be levelled din sa capacity ng top four." The General Santos native then went on to point out how training in the country or abroad, recruitment local and overseas, housing, and food and nutrition all have costs. "To sum it up, everything you're going to do would entail financing. Hindi ito kakayanin ng UP as a public school dahil wala namang pondo ang gobyerno para dyan," he said. He then continued, "Ang pinakasagot nalang ng school is yung scholarship. And siyempre, yung nag-aaral ka sa UP." That doesn't mean, however, that their hands were tied. In fact, the answer to the questions had always been there. "The good thing about UP is there's millions of alumni all over the world and a lot are successful people and businessmen who are willing to help," Perasol said. BELIEVING Indeed, having educated Filipinos for over 112 years now, UP has, without a doubt, more than a few successful alumni. It was all a matter of uniting - and then unleashing - them. Even before Bo Perasol came home to Diliman, NTGBUP was already organized. They were not necessarily thrilled with the Fighting Maroons, though. "Nung una, dahan-dahan lang, ambag-ambag lang para merong kakainin, pambayad sa dorm. Merong nag-donate ng shoes," Coach Bo said. He then continued, "Pero siyempre, they want first and foremost a program with improvements and direction." NTGBUP and the UP community got just that from Perasol as a 3-11, seventh-place finish in 2015 became a 5-9, sixth-place finish in 2016 in Coach Bo's first year. In his second year, the squad improved to a  6-8, fifth-place finish. From there, the Fighting Maroons have been in the Final Four for back-to-back years now - and even made the Finals in 2018. "Nagsimula maging excited ang alumni nung nagsimula ring manalo," he shared. "When we started winning, nagkaroon hindi lang ng physical support, but financial support as well. We were ascending eh." In his third year at the helm, State U, finally, officially had corporate sponsors. And you know how that year went? That was when they ended a 21-year Final Four drought and then a 32-year Finals absence. Safe to say, the sleeping giant was awoken. "Yes, sleeping giant talaga tayo and when we say nagising, ang pinaka-catalyst was the winning," its fearless leader said. Now, UP MBT has a mean machine of financial support on its back, paving the path for its big-time recruiting haul in 2020. Even better, they now have a loud and proud fanbase that is making up for all the lost time they stayed away during the "dark days." "Actually, sa pitches ko sa recruitment, kasama sa presentation ko yung machi-cheer sila nang ganung klaseng crowd," Coach Bo said. SURVIVING At the same time, though, that loud and proud fanbase expects much, much more from this brand new power. For each and every one of them, Bo Perasol has but one reminder. "What we have done in the past years is to level up lang. We have a new gym, we have all these players, we can train abroad," he said. He then continued, "Pero yung mga Ateneo, La Salle, 20 to 30 years na nilang ginagawa yan. What we did was just to level up alongside them." Again and again, Coach Bo has said that what he has been doing is, put simply, putting UP in the best position to win. Still, with a roster as overflowing with talent as this, he could only acknowledge that just about everybody sees them as having gone championship or bust. Credit to him, however, Perasol was blunt with his assessment that he would also be disappointed if they would not be able to taste their first championship since 1986 sooner than later. "Yes, it will be a failed plan kung hindi tayo makakakuha ng championship in the next three to five years," he said. He then continued, "Yan naman talaga ang plano and ang ginagawa natin ngayon is all going towards that objective." And again and again, he is putting all those great expectations on his shoulders - and on his shoulders alone. "Ako naman, hindi ko rin pwedeng hindi gawin itong ganitong recruitment kasi hindi rin naman ako magkakaroon ng chance kung ganun. I have to be in the best position to succeed so that we are in the best position to succeed," he said. Only time would tell if all the seeds he has sown would bear fruit. But Coach Bo is already guaranteeing that whatever happens then, he would have no regrets. "In the end, alam ko namang babalik ang lahat sa akin. Alam na alam ko namang ako ang leader ng team," he said. He then continued, "Ang mahalaga is we gave ourselves a chance. Anuman ang outcome, basta nabigyan natin ang sarili natin ng pagkakataon." After years and years and years as the laughingstock of men's basketball, it looks like it's now UP's turn to smile and wave. Whether or not that ultimately turns into jumps for joy for their first title in three decades remains to be seen. But maybe, just maybe, Coach Bo is right - this is all worth it just to have a chance to compete. Just remember that in the "dark days," that chance to compete wasn't there at all. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 30th, 2020

Morikawa builds big lead at Muirfield Village before storms

By DOUG FERGUSON AP Golf Writer DUBLIN, Ohio (AP) — Among the lessons Collin Morikawa took away from missing his first cut as a pro was that his reliable cut shot had left him. He found at it Muirfield Village, and suddenly looks as though he'll be tough to catch at the Workday Charity Open. Morikawa ran off four straight birdies after making the turn Friday, finished with another birdie and shot 6-under 66 to build a four-shot lead over Sam Burns (66) in the storm-delayed tournament. His 13-under 131 was one shot off the course record set by Jason Dufner in 2017 at the Memorial. The Workday Charity Open, which replaces the canceled John Deere Classic for this year only, has been set up a little easier than it will be for the Memorial next year, with slightly slower greens and rough that isn't quite as high or thick. Morikawa is still playing a different brand of golf than anyone else. Through two rounds, he has 15 birdies and an eagle. His four bogeys have come from silly mistakes that are bound to happen. Ian Poulter, back at Muirfield Village for the first time since 2009 because of a reconfigured schedule brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, had a 69 and joined Chase Seiffert (69) at 7-under 137. The second round had a pair of 75-minute delays because of the rumbling thunder and lightning that seems to appear whenever the PGA Tour is at Muirfield Village. “Who knows who's going to take it deep today?” Morikawa said. “Whether I have the lead or not, I've got to go into the weekend feeling like I've got to make the same amount of birdies I have the past two days. I feel like there’s a lot of birdies out there for me especially, the way I’ve been hitting it.” Morikawa, who turned pro just over a year ago after graduating from Cal, is making his debut at the course Jack Nicklaus built, and perhaps it's no coincidence that Nicklaus was famous for hitting a cut. “I had heard from a lot of people before, this course was going to suit a left-to-right shot, anyway,” Morikawa said. “Obviously, Jack hit that, and I think it does. But I’ve been able to leave myself some really good numbers into approach shots. I’ve been keeping myself in the fairway for the most part, and that obviously helps.” Among those playing in the afternoon, Jon Rahm and Brooks Koepka first had to worry about making the cut after sluggish starts. Koepka started at 2 over. Rahm was at even par. Phil Mickelson had another exciting day, minus the meltdown at the end of his round. He opened by chipping in for birdie and making a 12-foot eagle putt. With the tee moved forward on the 14th hole, the par 4 guarded by a pond right of the green, he hit driver to 10 feet and had to settle for birdie. And right before the first batch of storms arrived, Mickelson felt the wind shift and get stronger, so he took driver on the par-5 fifth and whaled away over the trees and just inside backyard fences. It settled in the rough, but it left him only 114 yards away and a pitching wedge to the green. The speed of the greens fooled him, and he repeatedly left putts short. Even so, he managed to post a reasonable number. Jordan Spieth wasn't as fortunate. He took double bogey on his 17th hole, the par-3 eighth, and was likely to miss the cut. Morikawa had made 22 cuts in a row to start his pro career, a streak that ended two weeks ago at the Travelers Championship. That was three short of the streak Tiger Woods put together when he turned pro. But the 23-year-old Californian was more interested in low scores than simply getting in four rounds and a pay check. “At the end of the day, you’re out there to win tournaments,” he said. “If you miss the cut, make it by whatever, you just want to learn from each week. And like I said, I learned a lot from those two days missing the cut than I have in a lot of events so far when I’ve been finishing whatever." This one caused him to take a closer look at what was lacking in his game, instead of being reasonably content with a solid finish. “I think sometimes when something really doesn’t go your way, like missing a cut, it just stands out a little more,” he said. Somewhere along the way, he couldn't rely on his cut shot, allowing him to aim some 6 yards left of his target and fade it toward the pin, no matter where it was located. It was after his practice round Wednesday that he figured out what was missing, and he went back to an old drill of sticking his glove under his left arm. It's a rotational drill, and it paid off. He had to wait until the storms to see if anyone could catch him, with the second round not likely to end until Saturday......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 11th, 2020

DID YOU KNOW? Marck Espejo almost played for La Salle

Marck Espejo’s arrival to Ateneo de Manila University brought miracles for the Blue Eagles. Former head coach Oliver Almadro even anointed Espejo as ‘God’s gift’ to the Ateneo men’s volleyball program, which for years struggled to keep up with other powerhouse teams in the UAAP. He brought the Blue Eagles to the Finals in his first year. Although the squad fell short against National University, Espejo’s performance made Ateneo an emerging power. With the prized Marikina recruit at the helm, Ateneo captured its breakthrough title in Season 77, which the Blue Eagles kept for two more years. Espejo’s name is synonymous to that of Ateneo's grand slam. But did you know that Espejo almost chose the color green of the Katipunan-based squad’s archrival De La Salle University? Yes, we all know that Almadro discovered a jewel in the then second-year high school Espejo when the mentor was still a part of the Bulldogs coaching staff. However, fate planned a different course for both Espejo and Almadro. Almadro parted ways with NU and Espejo went through a rough time in his last year in high school. Different universities approached the promising Espejo the following year since meeting Almadro during his third year Palarong Pambansa stint. But in his fourth year he suffered a left arm injury while playing in an inter-barangay basketball tournament, barring Espejo from joining his last Palarong Pambansa. His absence in the national meet pushed him out of the radar of scouts.     “Before Palaro ayun nga nabalian ako so wala pong coaches na nakakakilala po sa akin kundi si Coach O lang po talaga,” said Espejo in an interview on 2OT podcast last Saturday. Espejo was already looking to commit to another school that time.    “Balak ko po sana pumasok sa La Salle,” Espejo shared. But Almadro knew that to turn Ateneo into a contender he needed to get Espejo.   “Pero last minute parang pinahanap ako ni Coach O sa players niya, kay JP Pareja para mag-Ateneo ako,” said Espejo. He immediately grabbed the opportunity when he was offered to play for the Blue Eagles. “Siyempre ‘yung Ateneo po kasi dream school ko po talaga ‘yun so wala po talagang second thought, pumasok na po talaga ako,” said Espejo. “Saka ‘yung volleyball po ginamit ko po talaga para makapasok sa magandang university pero yun nga po, since nakapasok na po ako sa Ateneo parang inisip ko na lang po yung long-term na education po talaga.” Under Almadro’s guidance, Espejo turned into one of the most powerful and efficient hitters in the UAAP. He further evolved into an all-around player and the face of Philippine men's volleyball. Espejo led Ateneo to a three-peat while winning Rookie of the Year in Season 77 and bagging the Most Valuable Player award five times.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 6th, 2020

A year ago today we continue to assert our God-given birthrights

I thought I was okay until the unlawful arrest of student protesters in Cebu brought back the pain and trauma that was just lying low while on lockdown. Suddenly, I was racked with a deep cry that struggled to surface out as I tried to calm my shaken nerves......»»

Category: newsSource:  davaotodayRelated NewsJun 10th, 2020

When We Were Volleyball Queens (Part 2)

(This story was originally published back in March 24, 2015) Back in 1993 the Philippine national team defied the odds by toppling the region’s women’s volleyball giant Thailand. Rosemarie Prochina, part of the national team sent to the 17th Southeast Asian Games, continues with her story of the things that transpired during the last shining moment of our Filipina athletes in the sport.    Buy gold? No, we’ll win them   Prochina revealed that they had an extra motivation in the championship match against Thailand after an incident involving her teammate Bernadeth Burcelis. A Thai tried to get into their heads. A warning shot of psychological warfare, perhaps an attempt to bully the Filipinas out of their wits.      “Actually yung team manager nila kinantyawan kami nu’ng mag-shopping kami,” Prochina said. “Sinabihan niya si Burcelis, sabi niya “Oh you buy many, many golds now because tomorrow you will only get silver.” The Filipina didn’t talk back, she and the national team simply let their game do the talking.      “Yun ang sabi niya. So kami parang di naman din niya sinabi sa amin (kaagad), pero sa kanya (Burcelis) OK lang yun. Basta maglaro lang kami,” Prochina said. During the game, Prochina said that everybody was doing their part even those sitting on the bench. “Yun ang maganda sa team namin na kahit na kaming nasa bench, di ako first six kasi,” she admitted. “Kaming nasa bench kahit parang di kami makakalaro nandoon kami sa bench nagpi-pray, lahat todo support. Tapos kapag may timeout, magma-massage kami sa mga teammates namin.” Zenaida Ybanez also won the Best Spiker and Most Valuable Player award while Leonora Escolante was named Best Setter.  For Prochina their feat showed the never-say-die spirit of the Filipinas. “So yun very (inspiring) ang pagkapanalo dun kasi underdogs kami,” she said.    Coach Tai, the lover boy?  SEA Games is not just about athletes trying to outplay their opponents for a podium spot. The biennial meet is organized for the purpose of developing friendship and camaraderie among nations. And some tried to take this fellowship into another level. Prochina gave away a secret that involves a name that is very famous in the volleyball circle today. Ateneo de Manila coach Tai Bundit did capture the hearts of local fans with his charm and heart strong mantra proven by the Lady Eagles’ back-to-back UAAP crown but 22 years ago the Thai had an early encounter with the Filipinos – and we are not talking about how he and his team demolished the PHI men’s squad. It was about something romantic. “Yung coach nila (Ateneo) magkasabayan kami sa national team,” said Prochina, who’s an Ateneo fan herself. “Yung coach nila na si Tai nagpang-abot kami.” The Thai women’s team looked at the Filipinas with fire in their eyes, but not Bundit as he glowed with sparks of stars and moonshine while focused on a Pinay whose name gives happiness to his heart.   Yes, before Bundit danced his signature ‘kitiki-Tai’ moves, he tried to tango.            “Kami yang (magkakasabayan) noong nanliligaw-ligaw pa yan sa teammate ko, si Joy Degoroztisa,” Prochina said in a chuckle. “Ewan ko kung nagkasagutan sila, huh!” she continued. “Naku baka (mapagalitan ako ni Joy) kasi nanligaw siya (Bundit) dun. Si Joy nasa Kuwait na siya ngayon.” Asked for more juicy details, Prochina said that her memory is a bit sketchy about the whirlwind romance.   “Actually, di ko masyado (nasubaybayan na yung nangyari) kasi nga yung laro di ba ilang weeks lang yun tapos hindi ko na alam kung anong nangyari,” Prochina added. And she really has no idea if Bundit got one through the block or totally got shut down. Bundit is now happily married while Degoroztisa is based in Kuwait.   “Masakit para sa amin”  After the team brought home the mint, the Pinays failed to win it all in the next SEAG editions paving way for Thailand’s domination in the region.  The Thais got their revenge on their turf in 1995 against the Filipinas in the finals. Again winning another gold after two years at the expense of PHI, who had bronze finishes in 2001, 2003 and in 2005 edition held in Manila.  Sadly, in the next four SEA Games no women’s team were fielded and the Pinays were overtaken by in terms of competitiveness by Vietnam and Indonesia.     “Masakit para sa amin kasi hanggang ngayon hindi pa rin na-break,” a regretful Prochina said. “Nag-20 years na hindi pa rin na-break yung record, nag-post ako sa FB sabi ko “Happy 20th year sa pagka-gold naming”, ganyan, pero napakasakit kasi wala pang pumalit,” she added. “Hindi ka-proud na kayo lang kasi siyempre parang anong nangyari sa programa ng volleyball sa Pilipinas?” A degradation of the sport she painfully watched. “Yung 1995 malakas pa rin yun kahit nawala na yung iba,” she said. “Maraming mga matatangkad gaya nina Cherry Rivera Macatangay, Roxanne Pimentel, si Joy Degoroztisa, Estrella Tan Enriquez na nag-convert na lang sa basketball kasi nawala na nga yung (volleyball program).”   New beginning  The dream of standing taller than Thailand may still be years away, but Prochina is happy that there is a rebirth of volleyball in the country. With the sport having an avenue outside of collegiate leagues with the Shakey’s V-League and Philippine Superliga and the interest of the nation to volleyball taking its roots again, the future looks bright. “Yung volleyball sa atin paangat na talaga saka sobrang happy kaming mga older players na nakikitang ganoon na ang progress ng volleyball sa Pilipinas,” she said. It’s a fact that we are not at par in skills and development wise with the Thais – a solid proof of it is having their players fielded as imports to raise the level of competition in our local leagues – but Prochina is glad that we are now taking small steps.      “Kasi lumayo na ang Thailand e, lumayo ng milya-milya and nawala tayo. Pero kaya yang (mahabol) wala namang imposible,” she said. “Pero mas malalaki nga tayo actually. Ang players natin may 6-foot-5, may mga ganoon. Yung mga players natin malalaki. “Sa atin lang siguro yung continuity ng training, at ng support.” Larong Volleyball ng Pilipinas, Inc. as part of their volleyball program has formed an Under-23 men’s and women’s team that will compete in the Asian age group championships on May. After skipping volleyball events in four SEAG editions, the PHI will field both men’s and women’s teams for the meet in Singapore on June.            Promise of tomorrow          Prochina believes that PHI volleyball has a bright future and a repeat of their feat two decades ago is not far away.  “Of course. Malalaki and mas may advantage ang mga bata ngayon kasi sila yung skills at techniques nila meron na. Yung sa katawan, sa bilis, sa talon, meron,” she said. “Kami noon dinevelop pa. Ako personally dinevelop ako, kung hindi dahil sa coaches ko na sina coach Kid Santos and coach Emil Lontoc, na naniwala sa akin na gagaling ako at aabot ako sa level na ganoon, hindi ako tutuloy,” Prochina added. “Hindi katulad ngayon sobrang andami nating players na malalakas.” She is also overwhelmed by the fan base this generation of players built. “Marami talaga ngayon. Pero noong 2005 na naglaro kami ng V-League (for PSC (Lady Legends) nakakatawa lang noon na mayroong mga nagdadala (ng mga gamit) na mayroong mga signature naming na mga lumang players. Sinasabi nila na “Ay fan kami sa inyo.” Kami naman “Ay talaga, mayroon pala kaming mga fans,”” she said. “Mas malaki na (ang fanbase) kasi sa social media, alam na ng lahat ng tao ang nangyayari sa volleyball.”    Comparison Prochina picked Ateneo when asked if what team in her opinion mirrors the character of the 1993 team. “Kasi sila nag-start sila from scratch e. Tapos yung mga bata alam mong obedient sila sa nakikita mo sa laro. Hindi ko naman sinasabi na hindi obedient yun ibang teams ha,” she justified. “Pero kasi yung Ateneo galing talaga sila sa baba.” She also cited that long before Ateneo practiced meditation before and during games, they were already doing it as part of their routine. “Yes matagal na. Kasi nung nakita ko sila (Ateneo in meditation) sabi ko “Ah Ok. Kasi nag-coach din ako ng mga five years ago (in University of Asia and the Pacific) yun din ang itinuturo ko sa mga players na malaking bagay yung meditation,” she said. “Kasi sa SMAP (Sports Medicine Association of the Philippines) dati sa PSC (Philippine Sports Commission) sila ang nag-handle sa amin na nilagay kami sa isang room (for meditation),” Prochina added. “Tinantanong pa nga namin ang isa’t isa kung nakakatulong. Nakakatulong talaga siya tapos tinuruan nila kami na bago matulog, ayun, dapat may relaxation technique kami. Na dapat relaxed, alisin ang tension sa katawan tapos isipin mo na kinabukasan madali lang yung game. Yun talaga, malaking bagay siya." Just like Ateneo, they enjoyed every game. They are the original happy team. “Oo. Kasi yang si coach Emil Lontoc ang sinasabi niyan kapag maglalaro na kami “tiwala sa sarili at mag-enjoy sa game.” Yun yung sinasabi nila kapag magi-game kami. Kasi kung hindi ka naman magi-enjoy the game wala na, ano yun? E volleyball ito,” she said. And she agrees that Ateneo’s Alyssa Valdez is the new face of volleyball in the country – the phenom that was yet to be born a few days after they bagged the SEAG gold.  “Of course, siya talaga. Kahit asawa ko idol siya. Humble yung bata, bilib ako sa bata,” Prochina explained. “Nakikita ko yung eagerness niya. ‘Yung kapag umatras siya na papatay siya ng bola, makikita mo talaga yung killer’s instinct niya. Kapag naglaro na 100% talaga siya.” For Prochina, Valdez is Barina-Rojas of her time -- a sign of hope.    --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles          .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 5th, 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

MPBL: ECQ giving Davao s Mark Yee time to heal from injury

With the 2020 Chooks-to-Go MPBL Lakan Season Division Finals put on hold due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Davao Occidental-Cocolife main man Mark Yee is putting all his spare time to good use. After being initially diagnosed with a torn plantaris muscle on his right knee due to a collision during the Game Two of their quarterfinals match-up against Bicol last February 21, MRI results revealed that the 38-year-old bruiser suffered a partial anterior cruciate ligament tear and a torn calf. Despite the injuries, Yee battled through the pain and managed to suit up in four of Davao Occidental’s last five playoff games. But with Luzon placed under enhanced community quarantine due to the country’s on-going fight against the pandemic, Yee is maximizing his extra time to work out, making sure that he’s a hundred-percent ready once their Game Three clash against Basilan-Jumbo Plastic resume. “Sobrang malaking bagay ‘to para sa akin kasi makakapag rehab ako kahit dito sa bahay at makakapaghanda para sa game. Bahay lang talaga, kaunting papawis. Sa ngayon ang iniisip ko sana matapos muna ‘tong COVID virus, dasal lang saka tiwala kay God talaga,” Yee shared. “Pinagaling na ako ni God, pero masaya na malungkot ako dahil sa quarantine. Siyempre, masaya kasi may time ako makapag-workout at makapaghanda para sa Game Three pero malungkot kasi maraming mga tao yung naapektuhan at ‘di makapagtrabaho." Despite the future of the Lakan playoffs being uncertain, Yee insisted that the Tigers need to brace for every possible scenario -- including a win-or-go-home Game Three. “Walang nakakalamang e, kahit home court namin or nasa amin yung momentum, kailangan namin pagtrabahuhan nang maigi para makuha namin yung panalo.”.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 5th, 2020

Girl with leukemia needs assistance for chemotherapy

A two-year-old girl from Barangay Lorega, Cebu City needs financial assistance to help sustain her ongoing chemotherapy treatment.  Ellie Shane Yu was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) last November 15, 2019. Before her diagnosis, she experienced recurring fever, unusual paleness, and joint pain. She was then brought to the hospital for medical attention. A […] The post Girl with leukemia needs assistance for chemotherapy appeared first on Cebu Daily News......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsMar 26th, 2020

UAAP Season 82: Fresh start ito eh -- Jho Maraguinot

Returning Jho Maraguinot is looking at the UAAP Season 82 women’s volleyball tournament as a fresh start, putting her mind away from the pressure of completing unfinished business when she last played for the defending champion Ateneo de Manila University two years ago. Coming back after a year of absence, Maraguinot just wants to pour everything that she could give in her swan song, leaving no regrets when it’s time to formally hang her blue and white jersey. She doesn’t want to dwell on the past heartbreaks when she and the Lady Eagles fell short in the Finals of Seasons 78 and 79 and when Ateneo failed to reach the championship round in Season 80. “Wala naman [sa utak ko]. I guess I needed to move on from it. For me, fresh start 'to eh,” said Maraguinot, who skipped Season 81 to pursue a club career with Sta. Lucia Realty in the Philippine Superliga. For the Alitagtag, Batangas native, what’s important is bringing those valuable lessons she learned to help the Lady Eagles defend their crown. “Ayoko nang dalhin 'yung heartbreaks pero dala ko 'yung lessons na nakuha ko from it. Kasi parang if dalhin ko 'yun, 'di ba sinasabi nila na kapag may galit ka, hindi mo magagawa ng maayos 'yung kailangan mong gawin,” she said. “So for me, kinailangan ko talagang mag move on from it kahit ayaw ko, kahit masakit siya sa akin, marami naman akong natutunan from it. So, gagamitin ko 'yung mga natutunan ko for this season,” added Maraguinot. One of the most explosive scorers during her past tours of duty for Ateneo, Maraguinot admits she is still in the process of bringing back her old form.   “Personally, siyempre lahat naman tayo mataas 'yung standard sa sarili, so I guess 60 to 70 (percent)” Maraguinot’s self-assessment. “And I feel like I'm sakto lang for the season kasi masama rin naman na maaga kang mag-peak. So, I feel like I'm really sakto lang.” With prolific scorer Kat Tolentino also playing in her last year with Ateneo and the addition of high school standout Faith Nisperos, Maraguinot understands her new role under head coach Oliver Almadro.    “Well laging sinasabi sa akin ni Coach O na hindi niya kailangan na kami lang ang pupuntos eh, ang kailangan niya 'yung guidance para sa mga bata,” said Maraguinot. “Kasi nga half of them first time maglalaro, like even my sister [Jaja], first time niya na mag-first six,” she added. “Parang guidance na 'pagdating ng game, kasi iba naman talaga 'yung feel 'pag game time ng UAAP. So 'yun 'yung una niya talagang sinabi sa akin na 'yung maturity sa loob ng court, na kailangan namin i-guide 'yung bata para hindi sila kabahan.”     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 29th, 2020

MMK features female boxer Nesthy Petecio’s life story

World champion Filipina boxer Nesthy Petecio’s life story will be featured in this Saturday’s episode of ‘Maalaala Mo Kaya?’. Kapamilya star Jane De Leon portrays female pug Petecio, who brought honor to the country inside the boxing ring by winning the 2019 AIBA Women's World Boxing Championships gold medal and the 30th Southeast Asian Games gold in the featherweight division last year.   #MMK2020 #MMKPangarapAtKamao BTS: @Imjanedeleon working on a boxing scene for this Saturday's MMK episode featuring the life story of female boxing champion Nesthy Petecio pic.twitter.com/6v3WmWPe21 — Mark Escarlote (@fromtheriles) January 13, 2020 “Makikita po nila rito kung paano po nagsimula ang boxing career ko,” said 27-years old Petecio. “Kung paano po ako nadapa, kung paano po ako natalo, kung paano po ako bumangon para makuha ang gintong medalya.” “At higit sa lahat po kung paano po ang pagpapahalaga ko sa pamilya,” added Petecio. “’Yun po ang pinakamahalagang part doon na kahit anong hirap dun o down ko pero ang pamilya ko and ang communication ko sa pamilya buong-buo po talaga.” Sa laban ng buhay, hindi suntok sa buwan ang mangarap. Abangan ang kwento ng Filipina Boxer World Champion na si Nesthy Petecio na gagampanan ni Jane De Leon! Ngayong Sabado sa #MMKPangarapAtKamao, 8:30PM pagkatapos ng Your Moment! pic.twitter.com/MC0CUdBxLe — MMKOfficial (@MMKOfficial) January 11, 2020 The episode will feature how Petecio developed her interest in boxing through her father, Titing – a frustrated boxer who once dreamt of seeing action in the Olympics, in Davao as well as the sacrifices Petecio made to leave her family to train in Manila as well as the ups and downs of being a national athlete. Petecio said that she consulted her family first before deciding to let her story be told in the country’s longest-running drama anthology.   “Tinanong ko muna sila Mama siyempre. Sabi ko, ‘Ma, if ever totoo man ‘to, nag-offer ang ABS-CBN sa MMK nga.’ Sabi nila, ‘Ikaw ma-decide kasi kami kung ano ang gusto mo yun na lang din ang amin.’” Petecio’s teammates were as excited as her upon learning that she will be on MMK. “Sobrang na-excite po sila and di sila makapaniwala lalo na nung naglabas na ng trailer yung MMK,” said Petecio. In fact, some of the members of the national boxing pool were tapped as extras during the shoot at the Association of Boxing Alliances of the Philippines headquarters inside the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex.       “Kinuha ko nga po sila halos lahat na extra sa MMK kasi kailangan din po talaga. Lalayo pa ba ako eh nandiyan naman ang mga teammates ko and willing silang tumulong. Sobrang excited sila,” said Petecio. The #MMKPangarapAtKamao episode also stars Jana Agoncillo as young Nesthy, Bembol Roco as Titing, Michael Roy Jornales as boxing coach Roel Velasco and Mara Lopez as boxer Annie Albania under the direction of Elfren Vibar. MMK airs every Saturday at 8:30 p.m. on ABS-CBN Channel 2......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 13th, 2020

After 7th place finish, Team USA reflects on what went wrong, next steps

By John Schuhmann, NBA.com BEIJING -- The result of Saturday's seventh-place game didn't really matter. Once the United States Men's National Team beat Brazil in its final pool play game at the FIBA World Cup, it had qualified for the Olympics. Once it lost to France in the quarterfinals on Wednesday, its run of five straight major tournament titles had come to an end with no shot at a medal. And once it lost to Serbia on Thursday, it was doomed to the second worst tournament finish in USA Basketball history, with the only worse result coming when a team of junior college players went 0-4 at the 2001 FIBA Americas tournament. But the U.S. beat Poland 87-74 on Saturday to finish seventh at the World Cup and put an end to its first two-game losing streak since 2002. Only nine Americans played, with Kemba Walker (neck) joining Jayson Tatum and Marcus Smart on the sideline. Donovan Mitchell led the way with 16 points and 10 assists. Gregg Popovich said afterward that there's neither shame nor blame to be distributed following the Americans' worst finish in a tournament to which it sent NBA players. "Like we should be ashamed because we didn't win the gold medal?," Popovich said. "That's a ridiculous attitude. It's immature. It's arrogant, and it shows that whoever thinks that doesn't respect all the other teams in the world and doesn't respect that these guys did the best they could." Falling short of their gold-medal goal still comes with pain, something the Americans have had to deal with since losing to France in the quarterfinals on Wednesday, and something that won't go away when they arrive back in the States on Sunday. "That's something," Myles Turner admitted, "that's going to stick with us for the rest of our lives." The sting could ultimately be worse for the players who will never again have the chance to play for the national team. That could be a significant portion of this roster, with higher profile Americans expected to play at next year's Olympics in Tokyo, and with the next World Cup four years away. A lack of top-flight talent is the easy answer for why this was the first American team of NBA players to lose since the 2006 World Championship. And it's not a wrong answer. Stephen Curry, Anthony Davis and James Harden would obviously have made a difference. But when asked about his country's failure to win gold this year, Kobe Bryant insisted that, no matter who is wearing the red, white and blue, losses will happen. "It's not a matter of the rest of the world catching up to the U.S.," Bryant said at a FIBA press conference on Friday. "The rest of the world has been caught up for quite some time. It's to the point now where us in the U.S., we're going to win some and we're going to lose some. That's just how it goes." Bryant brought up the 2008 Olympics, when one of the most talented teams ever assembled led Spain by just two points early in the fourth quarter of the gold medal game. At the World Championship two years later, a U.S. Team with four future NBA MVPs escaped with a two-point win over Brazil in pool play. "Put the best players that you think are going to make the best team out there on the floor," Bryant said, "we are still going to have challenges. It's not going to be a cakewalk. The days of the '92 Barcelona Dream Team are gone. They're over." That doesn't mean that the United States couldn't have won this tournament with the players that it had, some of which had disappointing performances on the world stage. In each of the last five major international tournaments, the U.S. ranked No. 1 in offensive efficiency. Through its first six games in this tournament, it ranked ninth offensively. Before breaking with a 12-for-25 performance against Poland on Saturday, the Americans had shot just 33.3 percent from 3-point range, well below the NBA league average (35.5 percent), even though the 3-point distance is shorter on the FIBA floor. The general sentiment among the players was that the loss to France was an "anything can happen on any given night" situation, but Harrison Barnes said that it was "executing on the offensive end" where the team fell short in a general sense. "If you look at a lot of these teams and how they played," Barnes continued, "they're able to fall back on their system. They're able to fall back on things that they know, things that they've run, guys that have been playing together for five, six, seven years. For us, we had to put our hat on defense. That was what we kind of made our calling card. Offensively, we knew we weren't going to ever get to that place where, 'OK, here are two or three quick-hitters.' But we did the best that we could." Though the U.S. was one of the best defensive teams in the tournament, it couldn't turn enough stops into transition opportunities. In each of the five major tournaments that the U.S. won from 2008 to 2016, it ranked first or second in pace. Through its first six games, this U.S. team ranked 13th of 32 World Cup teams in pace (an estimated 75 possessions per 40 minutes). Fewer fast breaks led to more half-court offense, where the execution just wasn't there consistently enough. There's something to be said about ingrained teamwork and the difference between how American and international players are developed. But four weeks of preparation and five pool-play games isn't enough time to build the requisite chemistry when the Americans bring back an almost entirely new roster every time they compete in a major tournament. This team also had less practice time than previous editions of Team USA. From the day before its first game in China to the end of the tournament, the U.S. never practiced on days between games, choosing only to get in the gym for one-hour shootarounds in the morning on game days. Next year's Olympics are earlier in the summer, so that preparation time will likely be shorter than the four weeks that this team was together before the start of the World Cup. And without the same chemistry that their opponents have, more talent -- guys that can get buckets on cue -- is needed. That means more roster turnover. And if some of these players never put on the USA uniform again, they can at least hope that the work that they've put in over the last six weeks will propel them to strong NBA seasons as a silver lining. "Individually, across the board, everybody gets a lot better by playing and going through this entire process," Joe Harris said this week. "You spent 39-plus days with one of the best coaches in the world, one of the best coaches in the game in Pop. "Just being around them, learning their approach to the game, being around all these great players, competing with them night in and night out, whether it's practices or games, and competing at a high level every night against some of the best players in the world, this is the best offseason preparation you can have going into the season." There don't seem to be any misgivings among the players about spending the last four weeks on the other side of the world. "We made that pact that we were going to do whatever we could to win basketball games," Barnes said. "To go out there and try to win gold medals. On the flip side of that is that there's a chance that we may not win. And, I think there are no regrets from our group in terms of what we've given, what we sacrificed, the commitment that everyone has made away from their families, teams, organizations, all of that." They all have an NBA season to prepare for now, and at least some of them would love a shot at redemption next summer. "There's no telling," Walker said about possibly playing next year. "It's not up to me. I would love to. It was really fun to be a part of. I would love to do it again." Hopefully with better results. John Schuhmann is a senior stats analyst for NBA.com. You can e-mail him here, find his archive here and follow him on Twitter. The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 15th, 2019

UAAP 82: Ildefonsos hard at work at changing the culture on and off court for NU

National University’s Cinderella run to the UAAP Men’s Basketball championship sure feels like a lifetime ago. After ending the school's 60-year title drought in 2014, the Bulldogs have made the Final Four just once and have missed out on the playoffs in the last three years. While recent history has not been kind to the Sampaloc faithful, though, the future is quite bright as a brand new era has already dawned: The Ildefonso Era. Shaun and Dave, sons of NU legend and PBA Hall of Famer Danny Ildefonso, finally made their debuts for the Bulldogs a year ago and while it was largely a disappointing season for all of them, there was still a lot of promise to be seen. Coming from an Ateneo Jrs. program that had consistent success, missing out on the Final Four was indeed a new experience for the brothers. “As a team, I think I would honestly say that it was kind of disappointing. Kahit anong team naman, ayaw maging seventh, you always want to be in the Final Four, at least,” Shaun said. “Siyempre it was difficult to take in, pero before going into NU naman, we knew that it was going to be hard, there were no promises naman na magcha-champion kami pagdating namin,” said Dave. “We were rebuilding din, the team was rebuilding,” Shaun added. Without a doubt, bringing NU back to Men’s Basketball prominence is a task that now falls on the shoulders of the talented brothers. At the same time, though, they are well aware that when they were brought into the program, it wasn’t all about on-court success, but about changing the culture as well. “We were told na we’re going to bring you guys in to change the culture, bring a different culture in NU and really change how things are run in NU,” said Dave. “And how people see the school itself, not just the team, but also the school,” Shaun added. That change in culture goes beyond the basketball court, he further explained. “We’ve started in school actually, not in the team, because, of course, Ateneo and NU, it’s really different 'di ba? That's why yung habits namin na natutunan sa Ateneo, at least, nadala namin sa NU and we also share it with our teammates. We encourage them na ‘Guys, let’s go to class, we’re also students,'" the older Ildefonso shared. “We’re starting to change the culture and we’re starting with class and academics itself kasi we want to change yung perception of people so they see that NU can also have a higher standard of education as well,” he continued. With their maiden season with NU now behind them, Shaun and Dave are coming into Season 82 with more confidence and more experience. The realistic target, according to Dave, is to compete for a spot in the Final Four and just work from there. “Our goal really is to get to the Final Four. That’s realistically speaking, pero once we get to the Final Four, bilog naman yung bola e, no one knows what can happen, but you can expect that we’re going to go out there and live up to the Bulldogs name na makulit and even though we are underdogs, we’re still going to go out there and compete until the last second,” he said. For Shaun, he sees this year’s Bulldogs as a more unselfish and more united squad. “Like Coach Jamike [Jarin] said, yung motto niya, ‘The Selfless Way’, and I can tell that this team is really selfless. One thing I can say, from the team last year, that we were kind of selfish, we go on our own ways during the games, but now we learned that we have to relax, we have to be composed, and we have to trust each other.” --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @honasantino......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 28th, 2019

Warriors miss Kevin Durant, but do they need him?

By Shaun Powell, NBA.com PORTLAND, Ore. — Along with the equipment, uniforms, basketballs and the confidence that comes with being up 2-0 in the Western Conference finals, the Warriors brought along another piece of cargo to Portland and it is the heaviest of them all. It didn’t come packed in luggage or a box; instead, it’s just wrapped in a hunch and tied with a question mark, and it is this: When do the Warriors start missing Kevin Durant? [Watch the Playoffs on NBA League Pass for 30% less with this limited time offer! Select Annual package and use code SAVE30 at checkout to redeem] The back-to-back champs are now 3-0 in these playoffs without their superstar and his aching calf. And 4-0 overall in games in which Durant didn’t finish. That probably says something about the Rockets, and so far about the Trail Blazers — two teams unable to exploit his absence. However, while the (bleeping) Giants — Steve Kerr’s description of his undermanned team — are honorably playing with a sense of urgency, they aren’t buying the notion that they don’t need Durant. It’s an easy trap to fall into, to believe the outside chatter that they’re better off without him. The next two games, both at Moda Center, will either feed that belief or destroy it. Yes, because the Blazers must beat the Warriors four out of five to advance, there’s little to no chance of them denying Golden State a fifth trip to the Finals regardless of whether Durant shows up in this series or not. And that’s good for the visitors, since Durant didn’t make the trip for Games 3 and 4. “There's no mental adjustment,” said Kerr. “You just play. You go out there with what you have, and this is our third game, 3 1/2 games, really without him, and so we're just trying to hold down the fort. Hopefully he continues to progress and he has made progress, but it's a little more serious than we thought at the very beginning. So we'll see where it all goes, but he's in there all day long getting treatment. He's done a great job of committing himself to that process.” There’s a thought that, even if Durant was 80 percent, the Warriors will keep him benched to prevent a chance of re-injury, and that’s a wise decision with wide-ranging ramifications. By protecting Durant’s best interest here in this free agent year, the Warriors score big points with him and his camp less than two months before Durant must make a decision on his future. That said, what are the Warriors doing right to remain unharmed by his absence? The easy answer is they won championships without Durant and so this is more of the same-old, same-old. Except it isn’t. This actually might be more impressive. Understand that Golden State's system had to be changed here on the fly and in the middle of the postseason, not only to compensate for Durant’s 37 points per game in these playoffs, but also his defense. Once Durant was lost late in the third quarter of the fifth game of the second round, Kerr had to reach down his bench and rely on players who weren’t thrust into roles of significance and seldom saw fourth-quarter minutes up until this point. Meaning, Jonas Jerebko, Quinn Cook, Kevon Looney, Jordan Bell and Alfonzo McKinnie have either seen their minutes rise and/or their roles inflated in the process. Of course, most of the burden fell on the proven core: Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala. Each of those four, in his own way, is playing at a premium, even if it’s a small sample size. “That’s what it takes in the playoffs," said Kerr. "You have to have guys playing at a really high level.” Curry seems reborn or at least sprung free of a playoff fog where his numbers and production didn’t match his regular season. He finished strong in a pair of fourth quarters while closing out the Rockets and is the most impactful player in this series so far. He’s averaging 35 points on 51 percent shooting in the three games without KD. It wouldn’t be a stretch to suspect Curry is getting a charge out of this, and his ego, which he keeps hidden, is being fed. Thompson is now clearly the second option, whereas before he was often No. 3 and often only if his shot was falling. The green light never turns yellow without Durant around, like Curry, Thompson is working without handcuffs or a leash. After hitting 20 shot attempts once in the playoffs before Durant’s injury, Thompson is now hoisting 22 a game, good for a respectable 25-point average. The Warriors are constantly feeding him and running screens for him and urging him to take the shot, even if it’s contested. For a player who insists he’ll re-sign with Golden State this summer, Thompson is getting a taste of what life must be like if he played for, let’s say, the Clippers and was the focal point of the offense. “This team's been together a long time and they trust each other,” said Kerr. “When the ball starts moving, that's when we're tough to guard.” Green has never been better this season than in the last few weeks. Recharged after losing weight immediately following the All-Star break and no longer feeling pain in his previously-injured shoulder, Green is menacing on the defensive end where once again he’s guarding all positions except point guard and doing it marvelously. In addition, he’s pushing the ball up court to help Curry and Thompson stay as fresh as possible and directing the offense from the high post. He’s averaging 10 rebounds, 6.5 assists and three blocks without KD. “You know, we can't sit and look over our shoulder and say, `Hey, man, when is K going to be back?’ We just got to play with whatever we got,” Green said. “We got to play and give him an opportunity to get back, and I think that's what really falls on our shoulders. We're a very confident group. Hopefully he's back sooner than later, but as a guy who is in the battle every night, we can't sit and look over our shoulder and wonder when he or DeMarcus [Cousins] is coming back. We have to assume they are not coming back and play with what we got. Obviously, we are hoping that they do. But while they are not out there, we just got to play.” Finally, there’s Iguodala. He stayed hibernated all regular season while averaging career lows across the board. At age 35, it appeared time had finally caught up. Instead, this was a case of a crafty veteran preserving himself for springtime, and with the amount of talent on the Warriors, he could afford to do so. Iguodala had solid moments guarding James Harden in the second round and is among those trapping Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum this round. One of the signature plays of the series was Iguodala coming up with a walk-off strip of Lillard as time expired in Game 2. “You're kind of in awe of it because not many guys can make plays like that consistently,” said Curry. So this is where the Warriors are without Durant and also DeMarcus Cousins. They were good enough to stump the Rockets (again), then proved too much for the Blazers in a pair of home games. Nobody would be shocked if they take a game in Portland or maybe finish the sweep. It’s a luxury that few teams have or could pull off even if they did. This comes from a core that’s been together for six years, a coach pulling the proper strings and a bench that isn’t shrinking in the moment. “We feel like we can still win no matter who is out there on the floor, and that's why we're in the position that we’re in and have won championships with all the injuries and all types of stuff,” said Curry. “We know what the mission is, and we're on it right now.” These Warriors are playing flashback basketball to the time before Durant came aboard — and prepping themselves for next season, when and if Durant jumps overboard this summer. Shaun Powell has covered the NBA for more than 25 years. You can e-mail him here, find his archive here, and follow him on Twitter. The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 18th, 2019

UAAP Season 81 Final Four: Ilalaban ko na ‘to -- Laure on playing in pain

Rookie Eya Laure showed great heart and dedication to help University of Sto. Tomas’ cause, playing through pain in three sets for a heroic outing on Sunday that helped the Tigresses break an eight-year Finals drought. The freshman highlighted her career-game with an inspiring outing to rally the Tigresses to a dramatic 25-19, 25-19, 20-25, 23-25, 15-10, win over dethroned three-time champion De La Salle University in the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball Final Four at the MOA Arena. Laure, who scored a personal-best 25 points including 21 from attacks, hurt her left knee early in the third set after a bad landing following an attack. She was called for a net touch in the said play and was obviously in pain, dragging her left leg and played with diminished explosiveness.             The Lady Spikers took advantage of UST’s struggles in the next two sets to force a decider. With the chance of advancing to the Finals – their first of two tries as the no. 2 seed in the Final Four – hanging in the balance, the top Rookie of the Year candidate ignored the pain and played her heart out.   “’Yun lang naman ang sinabi ni coach (Kungfu Reyes) eh, ‘Mamaya mo na yan iinda laruin mo muna kung kaya mong laruin,’” said Laure. “Sabi ko sa kanya mamaya ka na umaray,” added Reyes during the postgame interview. Reyes said that he tried to sub out Laure in the third frame but the rookie insisted to remain inside the court and fight alongside the Tigresses.    “Sabi ni coach, ‘Mamaya mo na iaray kung nasa dugout ka na. Ngayon kung kaya mong ilaban…’ Paulit-ulit niya akong tinatanong noon kung ‘kaya mo pa ba?’” continued Laure. “Sa loob-loob ko nandito na ako eh, aalis pa ba ako? Malay mo kailangan din ako ng mga teammates ko. Papaano kung be-babyhin ko itong nararamdaman ko, ano ang parang naitulong ko sa kanila?” Laure will not just sit on the bench, she wanted to be in the thick of the action, even in pain. “’Dun na lang ako sa side na ilaban ko na ‘to kaysa naman na lumaban sila, na nakikita ko sila na sila lang ang lumalaban. Siyempre, gusto ko na nakikita ko sila na kasama ako na lumalaban para sa UST, na kasama sila,” she said. Laure, with all the remaining strength in her in an exhausting match that went the full distance, delivered one of her most memorable shining moments. The young gun scored five points in the fifth set and fueled the Tigresses to one last push when DLSU closed in at 11-10. Setter Alina Bicar scored back-to-back points before Laure asked the veteran setter for the ball.    “Hiningi ko na kay Ate Alina ‘yun,” she recalled. “Kasi may instructions sa akin si coach nun na, ‘Paluin mo pero sa dalawang direksyon lang kung down the line o crosscourt.’ So alin dun eh nakikita ko na nu’ng nagbaligtad na ng place ng court, natsi-check na ako sa crosscourt kaya tinry ko na down the line. Kaya puro down the line.” Laure hammered the match point before ending her magical night with the championship berth-clinching down the line hit.      --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 5th, 2019

Silence, mourning since fatal crash turn to hope at Chapeco

MAURICIO SAVARESE, AP Sports Writer   CHAPECO, Brazil (AP) — Silence and mourning are slowly being replaced by boisterous fans and hope. As the Chapecoense club rebuilds after the air crash that killed 19 players and nearly all members of the staff and board of directors, so is the town of 200,000. Like many in Brazil, football is the oxygen for everything: gossip, community pride and heated debate. On Saturday, Chapecoense's 20,000-capacity Arena Conda will host the team's first match since the tragedy almost two months ago. Lines outside are filled with fans excited about the club's and the city's restart. Fifty coffins lined the same field in November, where this time Chape's reconstructed team will play Brazilian champion Palmeiras in a friendly match. 'I bet I won't be able to sleep Friday night,' 19-year-old fan Marcelo Ribeiro said as he walked to the stadium. 'Since the accident the city is dead. The festivities were mostly canceled at the end of the year, and all most people are thinking about is the rebirth. I want to see what the rebirth looks like.' At the Hotel Bertaso, where most of Chape's players and coaching staff have traditionally lodged, the first signs of that rebirth are obvious. The second floor, which was home to many of the victims, including coach Caio Junior, is once again full. 'I can't help feeling a lot of hope for the future now,' said receptionist Gelson Mangone, who lost several friends in that crash on an Andean mountain side near Medellin, Colombia, on Nov.28. 'It has been a lot of work to settle all these new signings here, they are also learning their way here,' the receptionist said. 'But it does feel like a brand new start.' New coach Vagner Mancini is one of the hotel's new residents. He said the job makes him 'a better human being, but it's the most challenging to face.' 'We have to build a team, a coaching staff and a club infrastructure in a season in which Chape will be in demand,' Mancini told The Associated Press. 'I understand now that the city was so affected because the club and the city are run like a family,' he added. 'The players we brought are cut from that cloth, but we have to reach a higher level now.' After the crash, Colombian club Atletico Nacional, which was to face Chape in the Copa Sudamericana final in Medellin, awarded the victory to the small Brazilian team. That means that Chape qualified for South America's No. 1 tournament for the first time, the competitive Copa Libertadores. The team will also try to defend its title in the Santa Catarina state championship, try to stay up in Brazil's top-flight competition, and play in a pile of fundraisers, including one against Barcelona. 'We have to assemble a competitive team at the same time we need to hire someone to handle passports, contracts,' Mancini said. 'The club used to handle this well, but like a family run business. Now we are at a different moment.' Chapecoense had almost nothing left after the crash: six players that did not travel on the ill-fated flight, two physiotherapists, one goalkeeping coach, one doctor, one data analyst, one nurse and a few club officials. New chairman and club co-founder Plinio David de Nes Filho, a wealthy local businessman known as Maninho, is leading the charge to bolster club finances. Former players like Nivaldo Constante, who played as a goalkeeper until the tragedy struck, are approaching players that can help. And Chapeco Mayor Luciano Buligon is working as a kind of ambassador for the club and the city. 'Our weekends were about three things: family, church and Chapecoense,' Buligon said. 'It has been hard to get the city back on track because the wounds are still very open. But we are slowly moving on. On Saturday we will start getting a part of our weekends back.' Not everyone is happy. Rosangela Loureiro, widow of crash victim Cleber Santana, said she is upset because his belongings still have not been returned to the family. 'I feel sadness and rage. No one is doing anything to bring their belongings back. I plead with them to soften our pain and make us get the memories that we will hold dear for the rest of our lives,' she said on Instagram last week. Other widows have complained about damages not yet being paid by the club. Chapecoense directors say they are doing the best they can as they try to rebuild. There are even complaints at the joyous Hotel Bertaso. 'These new players love to make a mess in their rooms,' said a cleaner, who declined to offer her name. 'The other ones were older, more mature and the new ones seem to be more infantile. I hope they are up for the task. The city really needs that now.' .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 20th, 2017

Addressing mental health amid a pandemic

BETTER DAYS Senator Sonny Angara Mental health has historically been a difficult subject to talk about in Philippine society. Many of us, no doubt, have our own stories, personal or otherwise, of how difficult it is to seek help. In fact, in the journal Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, an August, 2020, analysis of many studies on the matter confirmed that the low utilization of mental health services among Filipinos could be attributed in part to the stigma associated with mental health issues, with resilience and self-reliance becoming possible alternate coping strategies. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has made mental health an even bigger issue. The quarantine, the economic effects of the pandemic, and the anxieties brought about by the virus’ unpredictability have had a negative effect on the mental health of many Filipinos. Although we as a country are consistently rated to be in the Top 5 of a global optimism index, according to the DOH, the calls for help have been increasing. According to the National Center for Mental Health (NCMH), their helpline received about 400 calls monthly from May, 2019, to February, 2020. That’s an average of 13 to 15 calls daily. By March, 672 calls were serviced, and this grew steadily in the following months, until there were 1,034 calls in July – and 440 for the half of August. These double the monthly average from March to August to 876 calls, or 32 to 37 calls daily. Many government and private mental health services are available for people who are seeking help or just someone to talk to. Aside from the NCMH crisis hotline, the Natasha Goulbourn Foundation has confidential crisis lines and a referral system to partnered psychologists. The foundation is also a hub for prevention, recognition, and treatment of depression. The Philippine Mental Health Association also offers similar services, and universities like UST, UP Diliman, and Ateneo de Manila have their own mental health service organizations. Some, like Ateneo’s Center for Family Ministries have affordable or negotiable fees. Online resources like the Silakbo.Ph website have listings for many other mental health service providers outside of the NCR. In fact, many organizations have already partnered with the Department of Health (DOH); perhaps more of them should be invited to the table to plan new policies, projects, and initiatives that will address the growing number of mental health cases. The DOH is also encouraging people to learn more about general mental health through free e-learning courses translated into Filipino.  The source material is from the World Health Organization’s (WHO) QualityRights initiative, which is a global project that aims to help participants improve their own mental health, learn how to support their loved ones and communities, and gain knowledge and skills to tackle mental health issues. Clearly, we need to reassess and adapt to the fact that more Filipinos are now looking for mental health services and treatments. This is why I am seeking to amend Republic Act 11036, the Mental Health Act, particularly its existing chapter on “Rights of Service Users and Other Stakeholders.” Our proposed amendment seek to give health service users the right to immediately receive compensation benefits and special financial assistance they are entitled to under law, should they sustain temporary or permanent mental disability in the line of duty or by reason of a person’s office or position. This is an important amendment, as the Mental Health Act requires that PhilHealth provide insurance packages to patients with mental health conditions, and that access to medicines is ensured. With the observation of World Mental Health Day last October 10, it is important to remember the DOH’s theme for this year, “Mental Health for All: Unifying Voices for Greater Investment and Access.”  This theme encourages that we open conversations on the various challenges that our mental health care system faces every day, such as social stigma and limited funding. In fact, the simple act of marking the day itself is important. It shows those who are suffering that we see them, and care for them. It tells others who are hiding their issues that it is perfectly normal to seek help. And most of all, it encourages the whole world to stand in solidarity in recognition of the need for all of society to help those with mental health issues. E-mail: sensonnyangara@yahoo.com| Facebook, Twitter & Instagram: @sonnyangara Senator Sonny Angara has been in public service for 16 years—9 years as Representative of the Lone District of Aurora, and 7 as Senator. He has authored and sponsored more than 200 laws.  He is currently serving his second term in the Senate. .....»»

Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsOct 18th, 2020

Where have you Christians been?

WORD ALIVE  FR. BEL SAN LUIS, SVD It happened in China a few years before the Communists expelled the missionaries. A foreign Catholic missionary came upon an old woman by the wayside, deserted, cold, and hungry. “Why do you bother about me?” the old lady whispered feebly when the priest tried to help her as best as he could. “Nobody else cares. Why should you?” * * * “God said to go out over the world and help everyone who is in need,” the priest said.  Pondering over the words of the priest, she said, “What a beautiful religion. Where did it come from? ” * * * Whereupon the priest started to tell her about God who loves us and sent his own Son Jesus Christ to save us. “Your Christ,” the old woman went on, “Where is He?” When the priest said He died two thousand years ago, she was amazed. “Do you mean to say that it has been two thousand years since Christ commanded his followers to spread his teachings? Why, where have you Christians been all this time?” * * *         This might well be the pointed question addressed to us as we celebrate World Mission Sunday today. Before ascending to heaven, Jesus commanded his apostles: “Go out into the whole world and proclaim the Good News to every nation. He who believes and is baptized will be saved” (Mk 16,15). * * *         Pope Francis gave the Church his first apostolic exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel). In it he proposed a profound missionary renewal of the entire Church. He asserted that we need an “evangelizing Church that comes out of herself…All renewal in the Church must have mission as its goal; otherwise, it falls prey to a kind of ‘ecclesial introversion.’”  * * *         How can we be an “evangelizing Church”? Obviously, not all can go out of their country to reach out to peoples who have not known Christ. If some heroic Christians can do it as missionaries, great. But for most of us, all that we can do is be missionaries at home. * * * Remember St. Therese of the Child Jesus? She is the universal patroness of Catholic missions yet, ironically, she never stepped out of the four walls of her Carmelite cloister! She merited the title because of her burning obsession to save souls by offering every little act, every bodily pain for the conversion of immortal souls. * * * When I was ordained priest in our missionary congregation, Society of the Divine  Word (SVD), I applied to work in  Mexico, Central America. Unfortunately I never got my wish. The farthest I’ve gone to is Mexico… Pampanga! * * * That doesn’t mean, however, that I am not a genuine missionary. By my work in the media or supporting seminarians under the “Adopt A Seminarian” scholarship program, I am a missionary. What counts is not geography, but the missionary spirit or attitude. In this connection, let’s not be missionaries only on Mission Sunday. As a good Christian, the mission spirit should be an all-time continuing attitude and action. * * * Further, you can be missionaries by means of extending financial assistance. Be generous and share your resources for the support of missionaries. Money is a necessity in the work of evangelization. Churches, schools, convents, clinics, social centers are needed, especially in the “bush” mission. * * * Every Christian is a missionary. Are you doing your share? * * *             LAUGH WITH GOD. A parish priest was making an impassioned appeal to the parish council for the annual mission collection. Great was everybody’s surprise when the wealthiest but tight-fisted member of the council rose and offered to start the collection rolling with a contribution of P500. * * *           As he stood up to hand in the amount, a mild earthquake took place and some plaster from the ceiling fell and hit him on the head. A bit shaken, he withdrew the amount and said, “I guess I’d better make that P5,000.” A small voice  from the back was heard, “Hit him again, Lord.” (It’s not  known if he gave some more!).  * * *           HELPING MISSIONARY SEMINARIANS. We Filipinos are blessed because there are still a good number of young men who wish to become priests and missionaries. But they have difficulty in pursuing their priestly vocation due to financial constraints, especially this time of the COVID-19 crisis. * * *           Chip in or sponsor a year’s scholarship of a seminarian. REMEMBER: Without seminarians, we cannot have priests and missionaries. For inquiry, e-mail me at belsvd@gmail.com.  * * * FAMILY TV MASS – is aired on 5PLUS Channel 59, Cignal Cable Ch. 6, Free TV Ch. 41 at 6-7 a.m.  Sunday and anytime at “MCFI SVD Media” Account on YouTube and Facebook Page. Priest presider: FR. LOUIE PUNZALAN, SVD......»»

Category: lifestyleSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 18th, 2020

Sugarfree drops new song ‘Nagkita Muli’ on digital platforms

No grand launch or crowded listening parties. Just a new song from one of the popular Filipino bands Sugarfree whose sound endeared OPM lovers for many years. The new Sugarfree returns as a duo with Kaka Quisumbing (drums) and Jal Taguibao (vocals/ bass). After nine years, minus fellow members Ebe Dancel and Mitch Singson, Sugarfree is back with a new tune called “Nagkita Muli” released under Glass Onion Entertainment. “Dear Friends. Sugarfree is back with our newest single, ‘Nagkita Muli.’ This was just premiered tonight exclusively at Jam 88.3 FM!,” says Sugarfree made the announcement on Facebook when their new song debuted on February 25. Eight months later, “Nagkita Muli” will be streamed on audio streaming and media services providers. Their fans are simply ecstatic about their comeback in the music scene. Some of the comments: “Long wait is over!” “Love it” “100% support! Sugarfree is Sugarfree!” “Missing both these guys!” “Sooo glad to see this. I just hope people from the scene would just let them be. They’re just making music and clearly not harming anyone or anyone else’s legacy for that matter.” On Oct. 9, the group posted on Facebook: “And now we are here and meet again. Wounds heal and all pain.” Kaka Quisumbing (left) and Jal Taguibao. “Na-miss lang namin talaga ang isa’t isa sa pag-gawa ng kanta. Ang tagal din namin nawala sa music scene. So nung nagkita kami, sabi namin gawa uli kami ng songs,” says Taguibao, who is also a professor in the Department of Political Science, College of Social Sciences and Philosophy at the University of the Philippines Diliman. “Ganun lang ka-simple kung paano nabuo ang new song namin,” adds Quisumbing. During an exclusive online interview, the duo reminisced about memorable moments of their successful career. “Ang hindi talaga namin malilimutan yung mga ‘lagare’ gigs namin. Meaning pagkatapos ng isang gig sa isang lugar, pupunta kami ng probinsiya for the second gig and then lilipad naman uli sa isang province para tumugtog,” recalls Taguibao. Quisumbing says: “Minsan sobrang sikip ng venue na parang hindi na kami maka-hinga. Ang hindi ko makakalimutan siyempre yung beginnings namin. Noon kami pa ang nagbabayad sa venue para maka-kanta lang tapos wala pang sampu ang nakikinig sa’yo. I guess halos lahat dumaan sa mga ganung simula bago sumikat.” A.L. Henson, manager of the group, says nothing big is being planned yet now that Sugarfree is back. “Initially, ang plan lang muna is to release a song. Then konting gig siguro. Release uli ng song. Ganun lang muna,” says Henson when asked if the duo was going full-blast in 2021. The duo adds that it will keep its Sugarfree style of music, similar to the sound they have embraced in the past. “Sa ngayon naman wala kaming plan mag experiment ng new sound. Tama na sa amin yung tunog na kinalakihan ng aming mga fans. Wala kaming plano na gumawa ng mga obscure na sound,” says Taguibao. Formed in 1999, Sugarfree is known for their hits “Hari Ng Sablay,” Mariposa,” “Wag Ka Ng Umiyak,” “Makita Kang Muli,” Burnout,” etc. They disbanded in 2011. In February 2020, they came back as a duo. No plans yet for a Sugarfree reunion despite clamor from fans, Hanson says. But the band promises fans that they will continue to make music. Formed in 1999, Sugarfree is known for their hits “Hari Ng Sablay,” Mariposa,” “Wag Ka Ng Umiyak,” “Makita Kang Muli,” Burnout,” etc. They disbanded in 2011. In February 2020, they came back as a duo. “Our fans can expect that we will be making new music with our brand of melodies and flavor. While doing that, we will continue exploring tunes to articulate through music, our personal histories and experiences,” the duo said......»»

Category: lifestyleSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 18th, 2020