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Cavite, Nueva Ecija march forward into NBL Season 3 q finals

Cavite and Nueva Ecija advanced into the quarterfinals of the National Basketball League (NBL) Season 3 Black Arrow Express-President’s Cup after beating separate foes over the weekend. Riordan Jacob Galicia had 27 points, 17 rebounds, and two assists, while Hubert Cani converted 20 points as the Cavite Ballers beat the Laguna Pistons, 102-92, last Sunday at the General Trias Sports Center. Edgie Jejillos had 22 points, and Juancho Tolentino tallied 16 to lift the Nueva Ecija Besprens to an 82-81 win over the Quezon City Defenders last Saturday at the San Leonardo Gym. The Ballers will next phase Group B top-seed La Union Paower, while the Besprens will collide with Group A number one ranked Camsur Express in the quarterfinals slated after two weeks. La Union and Camsur own a twice-to-beat advantage in their series. Meanwhile, the Marikina Best Shoemakers and the Pasig El Pirata won in their knockout matches to advance into the playoffs. Ronald Roy had 23 points and 10 rebounds to give the Best Shoemakers their first win of the season after a 101-97 victory over the Lifenet Corp. Caloocan Executives, as Jaddie Antonio contributed 20 points and the El Pirata won over the Zamboanga Valientes, 86-77. Marikina will go up against the Parañaque Aces, while Pasig will clash with the Muntinlupa Emeralds for a spot in the quarterfinals. The Aces and the Emeralds will have a twice-to-beat advantage......»»

Category: sportsSource: abscbn abscbnMar 9th, 2020

Laguna sullies La Union s once-spotless slate in NBL 3

Laguna handed La Union its first loss, 107-98, in the final day of the elimination round of the National Basketball League (NBL) Season 3 Black Arrow Express-President’s Cup at the University of Baguio Gym. Shin Manacsa had 25 points to lead the Pistons to the victory to cap the eliminations with a 3-3 card in Group B, sealing the fifth-seed in the next round. Romel Doliente had 15 points but the Paower suffered their first defeat to end with a 5-1 record. La Union though took the first spot in Group B and will hold a twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals. The Pistons will face Group A fourth-seed Cavite Ballers on March 8 in a crossover playoff round, with the Ballers holding a twice-to-beat advantage. In other games, Edgie Jejillos had 24 points on 5 of 11 shooting from threes as the Nueva Ecija Besprens defeated the Zamboanga Valientes, 96-55, to seal the fourth-seed in Group B. Nueva Ecija will face Group A fifth-seed Quezon City Defenders on March 8 with the Besprens owning a twice-to-beat incentive. Jonathan Del Rosario had 16 points including four triples as the CamSur Express sealed the number one spot in Group A with an 87-84 win over the Taguig Generals. CamSur and Taguig are tied at 5-1 in Group A but the Express will get the top rank in Group A for the quarterfinal round......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 28th, 2020

Palay prices dip to P11/kg in some areas

Palay prices continued to go down, even dipping to as low as P11 per kilogram (/kg) as farmers approach the tail-end of the harvest season with a series of strong typhoons. Latest data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed that the average farm-gate price of palay continued its downward movement, falling by 4.1 percent to P15.79/kg from the price level of P16.47/kg in the previous week. Year-on-year, the price increased by 0.2 percent from its average price of P15.76/kg in the same week of the previous year. Unfortunately, prices went down to as low as P11/kg in areas like Surigao del Sur and Cavite, which means some farmers were forced to sell their produce at a loss. In other areas like Agusan del Sur and Bulacan, farmers barely made money, with palay sold at exactly or just slightly above P12/kg. In the Philippines, the average production cost of rice farmers stood around P12.72/kg, which is higher or nearly double than what rice farmers in Vietnam and Thailand spend to produce the staple. This means that if prices fell below that amount, farmers would receive earnings that are lower than what they spent for. Some said that with the current production cost, the breakeven farmgate price of fresh harvest should be around P14.50/kg.  Meanwhile, highest palay prices were recorded in areas like Bataan, Nueva Ecija, Zambales, Pampanga, Rizal, and Palawan wherein the commodity were sold at P18/kg to P21/kg, the same PSA data showed. Federation of Free Farmers (FFF) National Manager Raul Montemayor said that in the next few weeks, as farmers approach the tail-end of the harvest season, palay prices will definitely go down further. This, as palay, when damaged by storms, could yield to poor quality rice, which, among other reasons like the continuous entry of imported rice, could result in traders deciding not to buy at all.  “Rainy weather is also to blame since traders have to discount for grain deterioration due to lack of drying facilities,” he said. A data from the Department of Agriculture (DA) showed that as of October 29, Typhoon Quinta already destroyed 79,239 metric tons (MT) of palay worth P1.13 billion within 62,880 hectares of farms. Then there’s the threat of Typhoon Rolly, which is expected to make landfall in Quezon and Aurora provinces on Saturday (October 31) and become a super typhoon. Montemayor also thinks that the continuous decline in palay prices is already “not surprising” since government intervention is doing very little for farmers. According to him, the National Food Authority’s (NFA) palay procurement has had minimal impact despite pronouncements of DA, while the planned suspension of  sanitary and phytosanitary import clearances (SPS-ICs) on rice “came in too late, as in last year, to influence farmgate prices.” “Too little too late [actions] again by the DA,” Montemayor said. “At this time, [DA can do] very little. Damage was already done and most farmers have already harvested. Some typhoon-affected farmers (like those in Occidental Mindoro and Isabela) are asking NFA to buy storm-damaged palay but I doubt if they will do that since the agency itself doesn’t have dryers,” he added. Montemayor was particularly referring to Agriculture Secretary William Dar’s previous order for NFA to intensify its palay procurement in order to address decline in palay prices.  To recall, NFA, whose sole mandate now is to secure the government’s buffer stock, buys palay at P19/kg and is given P7 billion every year to do this. Also, more than a week ago, Senator Cynthia Villar, chairperson of the senate agriculture committee, asked the DA to stop issuing SPS-ICs to rice importers during harvest time, which would probably take effect after the next planting season. Business Bulletin sought the reaction of DA Spokesperson Noel Reyes regarding the decline in palay prices, but he is yet to respond......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsOct 31st, 2020

Christmas 2020 for workers and farmers

HOTSPOT Tonyo Cruz Two things workers are looking forward to at the end of each year are the 13th month pay and the Christmas bonus. And it seems about two million workers may not get any 13th month pay at all, if the Duterte government would have its way. The reason? Because of the pandemic. In reaction, Kilusang Mayo Uno chairperson Elmer Labog  issued his shortest statement yet this year, unable to hide labor’s frustration: “It is the government’s responsibility to bail out MSMEs in times of emergencies.” Indeed, it is the state’s obligation to support and prop up micro, small and medium-scale enterprises especially now in the time of pandemic. By saying MSMEs could dispense with the 13th month pay, the government is practically passing on its responsibility to MSMEs. Workers continue to give their share through the cheap, underpaid and overstressed labor power that makes sure MSMEs continue to function and perform their role as main engines of the economy. The government must do its job: Bail out the MSMEs. It is quite surprising that the Duterte government seems disinterested in bailing out MSMEs, considering the avalanche of news about the borrowings here and there. According to Sonny Africa, executive director of the think-tank Ibon Foundation, the borrowings has reached a historic high: “It took 118 years for the country’s debt to reach P6.1-trillion in 2016. President Duterte is taking just six years to more than than double that to P13.7-trillion in 2022.” Again, the reason for the borrowing has been “because of the pandemic.” Regardless of where the money goes, and whether or not MSMEs and workers received only a drop from it, they would pay the entire debt through more and higher taxes for years to come. Workers are not asking for something they have not earned through hard work. They earned that 13th month pay. It is not an optional thing. It is part of the law. The pandemic should oblige the state to bail out our MSMEs to enable them to fully function, and to give the workers’ their due under the law. Workers have given and lost a lot because of the pandemic. Workers have not asked for free rides to work, but the government fails to provide adequate and safe mass transport. Workers have asked for free mass testing in their companies and communities, but the government has other ideas. Workers and their families would have fared better with unemployment benefits amid the dismal pandemic response of government, but it seems the same government wishes to push them instead to pawnshops and loan sharks. We haven’t even factored in the laid-off, underemployed and unemployed workers, as well as the undetermined number of overseas Filipino healthcare workers stranded in the country since April. They all don’t wish to be “patay-gutom” and “pala-asa”.  They don’t wish to stay unemployed and be dependent on aid. They are ready to work and earn their keep. But since the president made policy decisions affecting their ability to obtain work, it is the government’s obligation to bail them out as well. The situation of our nation’s farmers is no different. For instance, rice farmers continue to produce our national staple. The pandemic made even worse the effects on them of the combined power of policies such as rice tarrification, the stranglehold of Big Landlords, the vast influence of rice cartels, and the continued operation of illegal rice importers. Price monitoring by Bantay Bigas and the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas reveals the outrageously low palay prices nationwide, which means ruin to our nation’s rice farmers: Negros Occidental and Bicol region P10; Capiz P10-P11; Caraga P11; Tarlac P11-12; Ilocos Sur and Nueva Ecija P11-13; Camarines Sur P11.50-14; Bulacan and Mindoro P12; Isabela P12-P13.50; Pangasinan P12-P12.30; Antique P12.50; Agusan del Sur P13; Davao de Oro P13.14; Davao del Norte, Surigao del Sur and South Cotabato P13.50; North Cotabato P14; and Lanao del Norte P15. If you look at it, plantitos and plantitas today pay 20 to 50 times more for ornamental plants, compared to the prices traders and the NFA offer to our farmers. According to Bantay Bigas and KMP, the government procures way less than 20 percent of the produce of rice farmers.  And then we hear that the NFA would rather import rice from other countries, at pandemic-affected prices at that. Without any state intervention, by way of NFA buying rice farmers’ produce at P20 per kilo, and providing loans to farmers, there could be worse rural poverty in the coming months and years. Between our workers and farmers, their families have been made to sacrifice a lot since March, with prices of basic goods spiking, with new and higher expenses arising from online classes for the children. There cannot be no aid for them.  Neither should workers and farmers shoulder the burden of the failure or refusal of government to provide funding for bailouts sorely needed by MSMEs, and be forced to accept new national debts to pay for policies such as rice tarrification and importation. The government knows the scale of the problem. The Department of Labor and Employment says 13,127 companies have either laid off workers or permanently closed. The response cannot be “pass the burden to workers”. The answer should be: “the state must do everything to rescue the companies and the workers.” OFWs across the world should be familiar with bailouts and economic protections because of the pandemic. Many countries that host OFWs enacted huge bailouts and stimulus to their economies, partly so that migrant labor could continue to be employed. They enjoy health insurance, and special COVID19 coverage. Governments handed out checks to both citizens and companies. Is it too much to ask that the same be done in our own country? Or do Filipinos have to go abroad to experience such social and economic protections?.....»»

Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsOct 9th, 2020

Javi, Juan GDL reiterate return to UP in UAAP 84

Javi and Juan Gomez de Liano still have their sights set on giving their all for the teams they play for together - even in the face of the continuing COVID-19 crisis. "It's very unfortunate kasi ako, I was really excited to represent Nueva Ecija," Juan said in last Friday's The Prospects Pod. "That was something I was really looking forward to, but there's nothing else we can do." The GDL brothers were all set to suit up for Nueva Ecija in the MPBL all while they were already starring for Marinerong Pilipino in the PBA D-League. This, on top of them being part of the Gilas Pilipinas pool. Unfortunately, the continuing COVID-19 crisis has put their plans on pause. Still, both of them are hard at work keeping in game shape. "The work never stops for us naman e," Javi said. Whenever they finally get to play for Nueva Ecija or Marinero or Gilas, one thing's for certain: Javi and Juan GDL are not forgoing of their eligibility for the University of the Philippines just yet. As Javi put it, "I really wanna play again for UP right after my stint with Nueva Ecija. Next year, I'm gonna play with Nueva Ecija pa rin, but whenever Season 84 is, I'll be playing for UP." Earlier in the year, Javi decided to sit out UAAP Season 83 to focus full-time on Gilas. Not long after, Juan followed suit, while also adding that they were also about to showcase their skills in the MPBL and the PBA D-League. Fast forward to now, and the long-term view has not changed one bit - they will be back in maroon and white in Season 84. "Since high school, palagi kong sinasabi sa sarili kong gusto kong mag-champion yung UP bago mag-graduate. Actually, I was already thinking of going to the PBA Draft last year," Javi shared. He then continued, "Kaso lang, hindi ko talaga matanggal sa isip ko to give a championship to UP one day." Juan could do nothing but second the statement. "I've been in UP for seven years and personally, I just wanna bring a championship kahit isa lang," he said. In UAAP 84, Diliman's homegrown talents have re-assured their faithful that they would be back in the saddle for playoff, or even championship, contention. And there, they may very well have even more help in the form of two more GDLs. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 25th, 2020

Four GDLs for UP in UAAP 84? Why not, says Javi

Joe Gomez de Liano is out to prove himself in the University of the Philippines come UAAP Season 83. With Fighting Maroons mainstays Javi and Juan deciding to sit out that season to focus full-time on being part of the Gilas Pilipinas pool and balling for Nueva Ecija in the MPBL, the eldest brother has a shot at being the one and only GDL in the Srs. squad. "It's really a big chance for me to prove myself kasi, siyempre you'll get minutes kasi it's a new team e," he said in The Prospects Pod last Friday. "I was so excited to get a chance to prove what I can do pero I still have hope." Joe GDL said he "was excited" as UAAP 83 has been pushed back from its usual season start of September to the next year. Nonetheless, that just means that the 6-foot-2 forward has much more time to prepare to prove he belongs in a State U side that would now be fronted by Bright Akhuetie, Kobe Paras, and Ricci Rivero. If he does, then another golden opportunity opens up not just for him, but for the GDL family. Asked about his years of eligibility, Joe answered, "I think I have two or three so kaya pa nga (maging teammates) with Jordi whenever he goes to UP." That means that Joe has two or three seasons to play for the Fighting Maroons, Javi has one more, and Juan has two of his own. With Jordi heading into his last year in the Jrs., there is a possibility that the four brothers could be teammates in UP Srs. for Season 84. "For me, actually it would mean the world to me," Juan said, talking about that possibility. "We haven't seen four brothers in one team. First time ata yun if ever." Actually, how about 4 GDLs as UP Fighting Maroons?@thejoewa + @javigdl22 + @juan_swish9 + @jordigdl6 as teammates in #UAAPSeason84? G? pic.twitter.com/cIC5uihCVD — Normie Riego (@riegogogo) February 6, 2020 Indeed, for the most part, collegiate basketball has seen two brothers, at most, playing together in one team - with the Ravenas in Ateneo de Manila University, the Riveros in De La Salle University, and the Marcelinos in Lyceum of the Philippines University coming to mind. And so, if all falls into place, the GDLs have a shot at making history - at the same time giving UP's jersey makers quite the problem. Without a doubt, having not one, not two, but three brothers stand with you as you wage war would be something special. "Why not?" Javi quipped. He also added, "Kahit kami ni Juan, mawawala muna kami, I hope you still support UP because Joe and Jordi are still there. Hopefully, soon, we get to play together again." --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 25th, 2020

Mickelson added to field in a US Open without qualifying

By DOUG FERGUSON AP Golf Writer The USGA is leaning a little more on the world ranking and a lot more on tournament results over the next two months to fill the 144-man field for a U.S. Open that will be without open qualifying for the first time in nearly a century. The exemption categories announced Thursday include a spot for Phil Mickelson. A runner-up six times in the only major Lefty hasn’t won, the most devastating was in 2006 at Winged Foot, just north of New York City, where the U.S. Open is set to return Sept. 17-20. The COVID-19 pandemic that forced the U.S. Open to move from June also cost the championship its identity of being open to all. Open qualifying wasn’t possible for two stages at nearly 120 courses across the country and into Canada, England and Japan. The idea was to create a field that reflected a typical U.S. Open — the elite and the aspiring, from every continent in golf, pros and amateurs. And while it won’t be 36 holes of qualifying, it still comes down to playing well. “We are excited that players will still have an opportunity to earn a place in the field,” said John Bodenhamer, senior managing director of USGA championships. The top 70 from the world ranking on March 15 are exempt. Along with increasing that category by 10 spots, the USGA chose to use the last ranking before it was frozen during the shutdown in golf worldwide. That helps European Tour players, such as Eddie Pepperell and Robert MacIntyre, who are not able to play until July 9 — a month after the PGA Tour resumed with strong fields and big ranking points. That also momentarily leaves out Daniel Berger, who went from outside the top 100 to No. 31 with his victory against a stacked field at Colonial. But the USGA will use the Aug. 23 ranking — after the first FedEx Cup playoff event — as its reserve list, and about seven spots are expected to come from there. Mickelson was No. 61 when the ranking was frozen, and now is at No. 66. Mickelson, outspoken about the USGA and how it sets up U.S. Open courses, said in February that he would not ask for a special exemption if he was not otherwise eligible. With his five majors and Hall of Fame career — not to mention his legacy of silver medals in the U.S. Open — Mickelson likely would have received at least one exemption. Now he won't have to worry about that. In 2006, Mickelson had a one-shot lead playing the 18th hole when he drove wildly to the left and tried to hit 3-iron over a tree. He hit the tree, hit into a plugged lie in the bunker and made double bogey to finish one shot behind Geoff Ogilvy. Bodenhamer said the 36-hole qualifier in England typically is the strongest, along with one in Ohio after the Memorial. Thus, 10 spots will be awarded to the leading 10 players (not already eligible) from a separate points list of the opening five tournaments on the European Tour’s U.K. swing when its schedule resumes. The Korn Ferry Tour also gets 10 spots — five from this season’s points list through the Portland Open, and then a special points list of three events that typically comprise the Korn Ferry Tour Finals. The leading five players from that list also get into Winged Foot. “We’ve got a pretty good mix of players,” Bodenhamer said. “Looking at the data, looking back at what the fields have been the last five years, there was a lot of Korn Ferry representation. We wanted to create pathways and allow those categories to earn their way in.” That held true for the amateurs. The U.S. Open already has six amateurs who earned spots by winning the U.S. Amateur or British Amateur, for example. The USGA also will take the leading seven amateurs available from the world amateur ranking on Aug. 19. The rest of the field is similar to what the British Open has done with its International Finals Qualifying for the PGA Tour. Two spots from the top 10 will earn exemptions from the Memorial, 3M Open, Barracuda Championship, FedEx St. Jude Invitational and Wyndham Championship. Three spots will be available from the PGA Championship. And for the international presence, two spots will be given to the leader money winner in the most recent season on the Sunshine Tour in South Africa, the Asian Tour, the PGA Tour of Australasia and the Japan Golf Tour, which gets two spots. “We think this is the best path forward,” Bodenhamer said......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 25th, 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

UAAP Season 76 will always be memorable for Jaja Santiago

Jaja Santiago’s most memorable and unforgettable UAAP moment was back in the UAAP Season 76 stepladder semifinals against Ateneo de Manila University.    It happened during her freshman year with National University, playing alongside her sister, Dindin Santiago, who was then on her swan song. It was not just because NU came close to a Finals stint or the fact that it ended with a heartbreak after the Lady Bulldogs squandered their semis advantage but because it was the last time that her father, Jojo, got to watch her and sister play. “’Yun ang huling panood din sa akin ng tatay ko na maglaro ng volleyball,” recalled Santiago in an interview in the Stay At Home edition of Kalye Confessions hosted by Cherry Nunag of PetroGazz.     During that time, Jojo, who was a law enforcer, was making up for lost time with his children. Days after NU blew their chances of advancing into the Finals to the then Alyssa Valdez-led Lady Eagles, tragedy struck the Santiago family when Jojo died in the line of duty. “Hindi ako close sa tatay ko. Kaya siya unforgettable kasi yun ang time na babawi pa lang ang tatay ko. Broken family kasi kami,” said Jaja. “’Yun yung time na babawi pa lang siya sa amin. Gumagawa siya ng way para mapalapit ang loob niya sa aming magkakapatid. Yun yung time na consistent talaga siyang nanonood ng games namin.” Jaja vividly remember the last moments she had with her father. It was a moment where she witnessed how he protected her and her sister from a heckler after the last semis match. “’Yun kasi after ng game kasi may lalaki na parang… kasi nag-hug ako sa ate ko saka sa tatay ko tapos sabi ng lalaki, ‘Hoy kayo Santiago sisters hindi naman kayo magagaling!’ Tapos sabi niya, ‘Sino ka para sabihan ang mga anak ko?’ Sabi ko, ‘Tay tama na!’ So lumabas na kami,” she said. “After nun sinundan ng tatay ko yung nagsalita, ‘yung nagsabi nun tapos kinausap niya. Di ko alam kung ano [sinabi] kasi ate ko yung sumunod sa kanya,” Jaja added. Jojo continued to comfort his daughters on the bus ride after the game and even offered to treat them the following day. “Tapos after nun eh di uwian na sumabay siya sa bus namin tapos sabi niya, ‘Nak, uuwi muna akong Nueva Ecija.’ Kasi sa Nueva Ecija siya umuuwi. ‘Uwi muna akong Nueva Ecija, magse-celebrate tayo.’ Kasi di kami pinakain ng manager namin after game,” said Jaja. “Sabi niya, ‘Hayaan mo ako ang mag-treat sa inyo bukas.’ “So ‘di sabi ko, ‘Tay wag ka na umuwi.’ Sabi ng tatay ko, ‘Di nak kailangan ko umuwi, kailangang makapaningil. Wala tayong pangkain.’ Eh to na sabi ko, ‘Tay, wag ka na umuwi.’ ‘Tay ka nang Tay, eh di naman ako lilisan,’ sabi niyang ganun,” added Jaja. Knowing that her daughters were still hurt with the loss, Jojo, kept cheering them up. “Kinagabihan ka-chat na ang ate ko sabi niya, ‘Wag na kayong malungkot para sa akin kayo ang champion.’ Sabi ko, ‘OK lang yan Tay, OK lang naman may plano si God,’ said Jaja. “After noon nag-I love you siya. Eh ako di pa ako ma-response sa kanya kasi di pa kami ganun ka-close. Kasi nga may sama pa rin ako ng loob sa kanya kasi nga iniwan nya kami.” It would be the last time that Jojo would get a chance to tell his children he loved them. “After nun kinabukasan, umaga 6:00 a.m. may tumawag sa amin na nawala na nga yung tatay ko. Yun na yung last na pagsasama saka usap,” said Jaja. That’s why even if Season 76 ended up with a painful loss, Jaja would love to see it once again be aired on TV. “Sana mapanood ko rin. Kasi napapanood ko nitong mga nakaraan nagri-replay sila ng mga games sa UAAP. Sana naman Season 76, NU vs. Ateneo yung twice beaten kami. Pwede pa yun i-replay?” she said.   .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 13th, 2020

No. 1 Amsali flanked by NU twin towers in Final NBTC 24

New faces are all around in the final rankings of the most promising high school prospects in the Philippines with 15 players bringing a breath of fresh air to the National Basketball Training Centre All-Star Game. Leading the way in the Final NBTC 24 is San Beda’s all-around forward Rhayyan Amsali whose consistency keyed the Red Cubs’ return to the mountaintop for the first time in four years. The 6-foot-3 lefty was the consensus top player in the NCAA NBTC 24 in his one-and-done season and now reclaims his place as an All-Star after his transfer to and residency in San Beda. The twin towers of National U, Carl Tamayo and Kevin Quiambao, then go back-to-back at nos. 2 and 3 after strong seasons that saw the former retain Finals MVP and the latter rank first in the UAAP NBTC 24. Just like last year, the top 24 players from the NCAA and the UAAP were first named before the best of the best from both lists, alongside those from Cebu and other leagues, were ranked in the Final NBTC 24. UAAP MVP Jake Figueroa of Adamson and NCAA MVP John Barba of Lyceum, meanwhile, will be making their debuts in the showcase of the top young talent in the country after landing at the fifth and seventh spots, respectively. They will be joined by other first-timers in Ateneo’s Josh Lazaro (8) and Lebron Lopez (12), FEU-Diliman’s Penny Estacio (10) and Cholo Anonuevo (13), San Beda’s Justine Sanchez (14) and Yukien Andrada (17), LSGH’s RC Calimag (19), Letran’s Joshua Ramirez (20), Hope’s Joshua Cajucom (21), Xavier’s Miguel Tan (22), UC’s Isaiah Blanco (23), and SHS-Ateneo’s Mike Boniel (24). Completing the ultimate list are All-Star returnees Mac Guadana of the Jr. Pirates at no. 4, Bismarck Lina of the Tiger Cubs at no. 6, Terrence Fortea and Gerry Abadiano of the Bullpups at nos. 9 and 16, Jonnel Policarpio of the Red Robins at no. 11, Forthsky Padrigao of the Blue Eaglets at no. 15, and Tony Ynot of the Red Cubs at no. 18. Here is the Final NBTC 24 for 2020: After a one-year absence, Rhayyan Amsali has willed his way back into the big dance after ranking first in the Final #NBTC24 for 2020. San Beda's present and future star will lead the 24 most promising prospects in ???????? in the All-Star game penciled in for April. pic.twitter.com/y4gejHZFPM — Normie Riego (@riegogogo) March 20, 2020 Right beside 1? Amsali are National U twin towers Carl Tamayo and Kevin Quiambao (@20kKevin) who ranked 2? and 3? in Final #NBTC24 for 2020. pic.twitter.com/NAwomdvjNq — Normie Riego (@riegogogo) March 20, 2020 FINAL #NBTC24 for 2020 4? @guadana_mclaude, G, Lyceum 5? Jake Figueroa, F, Adamson 6? @bismarcklina, C/F, UST pic.twitter.com/xMs6nbTuFS — Normie Riego (@riegogogo) March 20, 2020 FINAL #NBTC24 for 2020 7? John Barba, F, Lyceum 8? Josh Lazaro, F, Ateneo 9? @TerrenceForteaa, G, NU pic.twitter.com/e8Kyp8b81Y — Normie Riego (@riegogogo) March 20, 2020 FINAL #NBTC24 for 2020 1?0? Penny Estacio (@p_nny11), G, FEU-Diliman 1?1? Jonnel Policarpio (@JonnelPolicarp7), F, Mapua 1?2? Lebron Lopez, F, Ateneo pic.twitter.com/t9cGzCnwy9 — Normie Riego (@riegogogo) March 20, 2020 FINAL #NBTC24 for 2020 1?3? Cholo Anonuevo, F, FEU-Diliman 1?4? Justine Sanchez, F, San Beda 1?5? @padrigaoforth, G, Ateneo 1?6? @gerryabadiano08, G, NU pic.twitter.com/ObBruhjO7h — Normie Riego (@riegogogo) March 20, 2020 FINAL #NBTC24 for 2020 1?7? Yukien Andrada (@yukien2), F, San Beda 1?8? Tony Ynot, G/F, San Beda 1?9? RC Calimag (@calimag_rc), G/F, LSGH 2?0? Joshua Ramirez, G/F, Letran pic.twitter.com/rSwJxp9E5N — Normie Riego (@riegogogo) March 20, 2020 FINAL #NBTC24 for 2020 2?1? Joshua Cajucom, G, Hope 2?2? Miguel Tan, F, Xavier 2?3? Isaiah Blanco, F, UC 2?4? Mike Boniel, G, SHS-Ateneo — Normie Riego (@riegogogo) March 20, 2020 Due to COVID-19, the Chooks-to-Go NBTC League National Finals as well as the annual All-Star Game were postponed and tentatively rescheduled. Originally slated to take place from March 21 to 27 at SM Mall of Asia Arena, the week-long showcase of the top young talent in the country also backed by SMART, Vivo, Darlington, Phoenix Fuels, Epson, Gatorade, Go for Gold, and Molten has been penciled in for April 20 to 26 still at the same venue......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 20th, 2020

MPBL: Nueva Ecija adds MVP Banal to its loaded line-up

Nueva Ecija continued its signing spree early this week. The Rice Vanguards have inked Gab Banal for the fourth season of the league backed by Chooks-to-Go. Head coach Charles Tiu confirmed the development. "It's a very big coup for us," said Tiu, who handled Banal in the past in Mighty Sports and Go for Gold. "He was a former MVP in our league and is a very good leader. "His work ethic is tremendous and he can do so many different things offensively, giving us versatility," he continued about the 6-foot-3 swingman. "He’s one guy we’ve always wanted and finally it can happen." Banal spent his first two years in the league with Bacoor City. During the Datu Cup, Banal posted norms of 18.2 points, 8.9 rebounds, and 6.4 assists to win the Most Valuable Player plum. The Strikers made it to the semis before being swept by Davao Occidental in the South semis. In the Lakan Cup, Banal had averages of 13.9 points, 5.9 rebounds, 5.9 assists, and 1.0 steals per contest, once again leading Bacoor to the semis. However, a sprained left MCL made Banal miss Games Two and Three of the Strikers' series against Basilan. The Steel ended up advancing to the division finals. Banal remains grateful to Bacoor City for the two years he spent there. "Thank you for two great years of fun memories and experiences," the 29-year-old expressed. "Thank you Chaye Cabal-Revilla and Cong Strike Revilla for treating me as your own. Thank you to the awesome people of Bacoor for your undying support. "Bacoor City will always be in my heart." Banal joins the Gomez de Liaño brothers, Juan and Javi, and Renz Palma as the acquisitions so far of Nueva Ecija. Nueva Ecija posted a 10-20 record during the 2019-20 Chooks-to-Go MPBL Lakan Season, finishing 11th in the Northern Division......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 19th, 2020

MPBL: Time for Juan GDL to turn into leader with Nueva Ecija

Mighty Sports-Pilipinas, Gilas Pilipinas-Men’s, Marinerong Pilipino, and now, Nueva Ecija - Juan Gomez de Liaño is making the most out of the greener pastures he has found outside Diliman. Juan GDL will be suiting up for the Rice Vanguards in the brand new MPBL season tipping off in a month or two and, of course, he is nothing but thankful for another shot on a big stage and under bright lights. The 6-foot-1 playmaker is fresh off helping Mighty to a breakthrough championship and Gilas to a big triumph over Indonesia as well as a dominant debut for Marinerong Pilipino in the 2020 PBA D-League Aspirants Cup. With that, Nueva Ecija head coach Charles Tiu is only expecting big things from Juan GDL. “It’s no secret how much I like his game. I think he has the potential to be dominant in this league and maybe even one of the faces of the MPBL,” he said. For that to that happen, Coach Charles is challenging his prized ward to take the next step - that of being a leader. As he put it, “People forget to realize he’s only 20-years-old. Once he starts maturing even more and becomes more of a leader, his game will really be elavated to another level.” The third GDL brother put up per game counts of 8.0 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 2.3 assists in his third year for the University of the Philippines. He had long been seen as next in line in terms of leadership after taking a backseat to the likes of Paul Desiderio, Bright Akhuetie, and Kobe Paras. With the Rice Vanguards, however, there is no next in line as Juan GDL is their undisputed lead guard. For his part, he is nothing but ready and raring to take the challenge head-on - especially as he sees the MPBL as the perfect playground for him. “I feel like it’s a good league. It’s very physical and has a quick pace and a lot of running so I feel like my game definitely fits here,” he said. In the end, the proud product of Diliman just vows to continue going all-out. “I’m just grateful and blessed to be given another opportunity to play the game I love the most. I’m really looking forward to representing the Nueva Ecija Rice Vanguards,” he said. He then continued, “I’m really excited to play to the best of my abilities and help the team win.” —— Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 3rd, 2020

MPBL: Makati demolishes Caloocan in 42-point rout; Davao bounces back

Makati-Super Crunch ended its two-game skid in emphatic fashion, romping Caloocan-Victory Liner by 42 points, 119-77, in the 2019-20 Chooks-to-Go MPBL Lakan Season at the San Andres Sports Complex in Manila, Wednesday. Joshua Torralba powered the romp with 24 points on 8-of-12 shooting including six treys, helping Makati to a 21-6 win-loss record, still at third spot in the Northern division. Josrph Sedurifa chipped in 16 points, six rebounds, and six assists while Cedric Ablaza added 15 markers and nine boards. John Rey Villanueva and Rudy Lingganay also finished in double figures in points with 13 and 11, respectively. "We are still in the adjustment phase pero sobrang happy ako kasi inaccept ng players yung challenge. The win should be really credited to the players because they played very well," said coach Beaujing Acot, who earned his first win as Makati's head tactician. The Super Crunch-backed squad opened the game scorching, zooming to a 14-2 advantage, punctuated by back-to-back triples by Torralba, and never looked back. Joseph Manlangit's rim-rattling jam in the waning seconds of the game gave Makati its biggest lead of the game at 42, 119-77. Makati's bench did the heavy lifting with 64 points against Caloocan's 34. Paul Sanga paced Caloocan with 17 points and six rebounds while Damian Lasco had 14 markers. The loss allowed the Supremos to drop their fourth-straight game and slip to the ninth spot in the North behind a 14-13 card, half-a-game behind Pasay at 14-12 in the same division. In the earlier game, Nueva Ecija broke away late, thwarting Bulacan, 85-78. Leading by just a point, 72-71, Jai Reyes took over for the Rice Vanguards. He scored the next 10 points for his team - a floater, an and-one, and five freebies - to restore order with 2:09 left, 82-73. However, the Kuyas wouldn't go without a fight as Dennis Santos and Jovit Dela Cruz cut Nueva Ecija's lead to five, 82-77 with 37.89 ticks left. But they could not buy a basket in the waning seconds to give their foes the victory. "Our pick and roll today was good, marami kaming nakuha out of that. We just slowly chipped away even though Bulacan was in control most of the game," said Rice Vanguards assistant coach Carlo Tan. Reyes registered 20 points and 15 assists as the also-ran Nueva Ecija improved to 9-18 in the Northern division. Tonino Gonzaga also delivered 20 markers of his own with seven rebounds while Justin Arana beasted in the paint, tallying 19 points, 14 rebounds, and four blocked shots. The Rice Vanguards flexed their muscles on the defensive end, limiting Bulacan to a measly 25-of-78 clip, good for just 32.1 percent, while they buried 43.5 percent of their attempts. Dela Cruz led the Kuyas with 14 points and six rebounds while JR Taganas contributed 13 markers, eight boards, and four dimes. With the loss, Bulacan halted its six-game winning streak and fell to 18-9, tied with 1Bataan-Camaya Coast for the fourth and fifth spots in the North. In the first contest, Davao Occidental-Cocolife got back on the winning track after topping Parañaque-Yabo Sports, 78-70. The Tigers raised their win-loss card to 22-4, three days after absorbing a humiliating 84-65 defeat at the hands of San Juan -- their Datu Cup finals tormentor. "Parañaque played tough. This is another learning experience for us. It is good playing against those hungry and young teams," said Davao coach Don Dulay. Trailing, 63-76 with 3:40 remaining in the fourth quarter, Parañaque made one last run, launching seven unanswered points, capped by Keith Pido's jumper, 70-76, with 45 ticks left. But it was too little, too late as Bogs Raymundo answered with a deuce on the other end before the Patriots missed their shots to end the match. With Parañaque ahead 27-21 in the second period, the Tigers unleashed a 16-1 surge, capped by Mark Yee's layup to gain control, 37-28, with 3:28 left. Yee came through with a big double-double of 17 points and 17 rebounds alongside six assists, Emman Calo had 13 markers built on three treys. Chester Saldua added 11 points, five steals, and four boards. James Abugan's 14 points, nine rebounds, three assists, two steals, and a block could not stop Parañaque from dropping its seventh-straight loss as they slipped to 8-20, 13th in the Northern division. The Scores: FIRST GAME Davao Occidental-Cocolife 78 - Yee 17, Calo 13, Balagtas 12, Saldua 11, Robles 10, Raymundo 10, Ludovice 3, Bonleon 2, Gaco 0, Mocon 0, Forrester 0, Adormeo 0. Paranaque-Yabo Sports 70 - Abugan 14, Pido 12, Sunga 11, Solis 10, Mangalino 10, Saguiguit 7, Banzali 4, Begaso 2, Larotin 0, Antonares 0, Lucente 0, Menguez 0. Quarterscores: 18-23, 43-34, 64-52, 78-70. SECOND GAME Nueva Ecija 85 - Reyes 20, Gonzaga 20, Arana 19, Sarao 7, Sabellina 6, Monte 6, Martinez 3, Garcia 2, Dela Cruz L. 2, Celada 0, De Leon 0. Bulacan 78 - Dela Cruz J. 14, Taganas 13, Escosio 11, Diputado 9, Alabanza 9, Nermal 8, Alvarez 5, Santos 5, Capacio 2, Arim 2, Siruma 0. Quarterscores: 11-21, 36-39, 56-61, 85-78. THIRD GAME Makati-Super Crunch 119 - Torralba 24, Sedurifa 16, Apinan 16, Ablaza 15, Villanueva 13, Lingganay 11, Baloria 8, Asoro 8, Cruz 2, Manlangit 2, Importante 2, Morales 2, Cayanan 0, Sta. Maria 0. Caloocan-Victory Liner 77 - Sanga 17, Lasco 14, Escalambre 11, Labing-isa 9, Tongco 7, Ambulodto 5, Cervantes 5, Marilao 4, Sarangay 2, Gonzales 2, Cayson 1, Garcia 0. Quarterscores: 29-16, 60-42, 89-59, 119-77......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 23rd, 2020

MPBL: Cunanan scores 20 to lead Imus to impressive home win

TEAM STANDINGS NORTH San Juan 20-3 Makati 20-4 Manila 19-4 Pasig 14-8 Bulacan 14-8 Bataan 14-9 Pampanga 14-9 Caloocan 14-10 Pasay 13-10 Valenzuela 9-14 Quezon City 9-15 Parañaque 8-15 Navotas 6-18 Nueva Ecija 5-16 Rizal 4-17 Marikina 4-17 SOUTH Davao 19-3 Bacoor 18-5 GenSan 15-7 Basilan 15-8 Iloilo 15-8 Batangas 13-8 Zamboanga 14-10 Bicol 13-12 Cebu 9-12 Biñan 10-14 Bacolod 8-15 Mindoro 8-17 Muntinlupa 5-18 Imus 6-20 Sarangani 1-22 The Imus Bandera Luxxe Slim put an end to their six-game losing streak by outplaying Navotas Uni-Pak, 86-71, in Monday night's main game of the Chooks To Go Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League Lakan Season at the Imus City Sports Complex. The visitors were without forward Jhong Bondoc, who watched the game in street clothes from the bench. Imus exploited his absence brilliantly, out-assisting their foes 31-13 and never really looking like they would lose. "Sabi ni coach dumepensa lang kami ng maayos at yung opensa, darating," said Jojo Cunanan, who copped best player of the game honors with a 20-point night highlighted by six triples from nine attempts. Led by Jeric Nacpil's 12 points, Luxxe Slim carved out a 50-33 lead at the half. A variety of Navoteños got on the scoresheet in the third and fourth quarters but Cunanan dropped three triples, two in the fourth, as Imus skated to an easy win in front of their fans to go to 6-19. The Bandera played their second game in three days, losing to Biñan on Saturday. Navotas falls to 5-20 despite 11 points from Osama Abdurasad and 10 from Kojak Melegrito. Imus were also without their talisman, Gerald Anderson, who had prior commitments and missed a rare Imus home game in their newly-renovated arena. In the second game, Bacolod Master Sardines took down the Bicol Volcanoes LCC Stores, 76-72, in overtime. Bacolod homegrown star Pao Javelona sent the game into the extension with a daring driving lay-up down the throat of the Bicolano defense with ninr ticks left for 70-70. There was exactly one field goal in overtime, a driving lay-up off the glass from Edgar Charcos that gave Master Sardines a 74-72 lead with 40 seconds remaining. After Volcano Alwyn Alday muffed a fast break lay-up, Javelona iced the game with two free throws. Ramil Tansingco led Bacolod with 15 points as the Sardine men go to 8-15. Alday had a game-high 23 points for Bicol but LCC Stores shoots just 31% from the field and do themselves no favors in the playoff race, stumbling to 13-12. The day began with the Iloilo United Royals shrugging off a gritty Rizal Xentro Malls Golden Coolers team, 71-65. The Royals led by as much as 16 in the third but the Golden Coolers hacked their way back into the game with the steady play of Rommel Saliente. A three-pointer from Kelvin Gregorio pulled them to within six, 56-50, going into the final segment of the game. A Jordan Rios layup with just under four minutes meant Rizal had their nose in front, 63-62. But Jerson Prado scored four straight points and Al Tamsi converted a big triple for a 69-65 lead with a little over a minute to go. United ran out winners to improve to 15-8 despite the absence of center Jay Javelosa, who is out for four weeks with a broken hand. Tamsi led Iloilo with 16 points while Gregorio's 15 markers paced Xentro Malls, who drop to 6-17......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 17th, 2019

No break for Baste s Bulanadi who is now headed to MPBL, PBA Draft

Allyn Bulanadi's time in San Sebastian College-Recoletos is over. Bulanadi's fifth and final season came to a close as the Golden Stags bowed to Colegio de San Juan de Letran, Tuesday at Cuneta Astrodome. Without a doubt, the long-limbed lefty gave his all in his last game in red and gold with 15 points, seven rebounds, three assists, and three blocks. Still, he is sure he has much left in the tank as he takes the next step in his young career - playing for Basilan in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League. In fact, Bulanadi will be practicing with the Steel for the first time on Wednesday. "Sa (November) 16, may home game kami against Nueva Ecija so siguro bukas, ensayo na ako. Wala nang pahi-pahinga, dire-diretso na," he said. While he will give his new team anything and everything he has, the 6-foot-2 forward also made it clear that he has another step in mind. As he put it, "Yung PBA, goal ko talaga yan so sinabihan ko na yung mga boss sa Basilan na baka ilang games lang ako sa kanila." He then continued, "Lulubusin ko pa rin naman lahat yun, yun ang promise ko, pero yung goal ko talaga, magpapa-draft. As he moves forward, Bulanadi is nothing but confident that his five-year career in Baste can speak for itself - especially his last season which has him very much in the running for a place in the Mythical Team. "Sana nasiyahan naman sila sa lahat ng ginawa ko. Unti-unti ko namang nakuha yung kumpyansa ko rito," he said. Nonetheless, he also knows full well all the weaknesses he needs to work on. "Siyempre, ibang level na yung competition nun. Puro malalaki na katawan dun so magpapalaki ako ng katawan konti tapos mental preparation din," he said. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 5th, 2019

Young Warriors lead Golden State to first home win at last

By Janie McCauley, Associated Press SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Rookie forward Eric Paschall hit a key 3-pointer with 4:05 remaining and finished with 36 points and 13 rebounds for his best game yet, leading the injury-plagued Golden State Warriors to a 127-118 victory against Damian Lillard and the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday night (Tuesday, PHL time) for their first home win at last. Without all their injured stars, the young Warriors more than hung tough — they shined — against a Western Conference contender to give Golden State its first victory at new Chase Center as Klay Thompson cheered from the sideline. The Warriors hadn't begun 0-5 at home since losing their initial six home games in 1997-98. Lillard, no longer playing in his hometown of Oakland when he visits the Bay Area, notched his fourth 30-point performance in the first seven games with 39 points on 15-for-26 shooting, including five 3-pointers. Blazers center Hassan Whiteside added 22 points and 11 rebounds after missing one game with a bone bruise in his left knee. Golden State, which swept Portland in the Western Conference finals on the way to a fifth straight NBA Finals, led 90-83 early in the fourth quarter before the Blazers fought back. Paschall's late 3 put the Warriors ahead 107-99. Chants of "M-V-P!" greeted him when he shot free throws with 2:22 left. He also hit a pair of 3-pointers to start the game and made his initial 3 from deep playing on his 23rd birthday. He scored 17 points in the opening period, and Paschall has scored 20 or more in all three games he has started. He had 25 in Golden State's loss to Charlotte on Saturday (Sunday, PHL time), becoming the first Warriors rookie with back-to-back games of 25 points since Stephen Curry had five in a row in April 2010, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Fellow rookie Ky Bowman had 19 points and eight assists for the Warriors, who faced their worst start since beginning the 2000-01 season 1-7. But Golden State made five of its first eight shots to take an early 14-9 lead and kept bringing the energy and enthusiasm on both ends. Paschall and Bowman combined to shoot 20 for 33 — 11 of 19 by Paschall. He also made all 10 of his free throws. With 6:13 to go, Bowman drove to the basket and scored, then tangled with Whiteside, who pushed off with an elbow. Officials went to replay and issued Whiteside a technical. CJ McCollum had 14 points and six assists for the Blazers, whose previous four games were decided by a total of nine points, including a 129-109 home loss to the 76ers on Saturday (Sunday, PHL time). Warriors coach Steve Kerr knew the terrific backcourt tandem of Lillard and McCollum provided a tough matchup. "They're really tough to guard even for a veteran team. For a young group, we're probably going to learn some lessons tonight," Kerr said. NO SPLASHING The Warriors improved to 3-10 without Splash Brothers Curry and Thompson, according to Elias — 1-2 this season, 2-6 in 2018-19, 0-1 in 2016-17 and 0-1 in 2015-16. Playing without just Curry, Golden State is 44-68 since 2009-10, including 5-8 last season. FIRST RESPONDERS The Warriors hosted firefighters and first responders from the devastating Kincade Fire in Sonoma County. They were shown on the big screen midway through the second quarter and drew cheers. TIP-INS Trail Blazers: Lillard has scored at least 20 points in eight straight games against the Warriors. ... The Blazers have played five of their seven games on the road. ... Lillard averaged 28.3 points and 6.5 assists in four regular-season games vs. Golden State last season, when the teams split four meetings. Warriors: Paschall became the first Warriors rookie with 17 or more points in a quarter since Reggie Williams had 18 in the fourth period against Phoenix on March 22, 2010, according to Elias. ... Draymond Green missed his second straight game with a torn ligament in his left index finger, while D'Angelo Russell also sat out his second consecutive game because of a sprained right ankle. Kerr hopes Russell will play Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time) at Houston. F Kevon Looney, who missed his sixth game in a row because of neuropathy, hasn't received any answers yet on his condition and won't travel with the team to Houston on Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time), though Kerr said, "I wouldn't rule him out of the whole trip." ... Golden State used the same starting lineup in consecutive games for the first time after six different starting 5s over the initial six contests. ... F Alen Smailagic, yet to play this season because of a sprained right ankle, is improving. "He's getting better. He's feeling more confident. We've worked hard with him," Kerr said. UP NEXT Trail Blazers: At the Clippers on Thursday (Friday, PHL time) to start a road-home back-to-back. The Blazers have won the last two against Los Angeles and took the season series 3-1 in 2018-19. Warriors: At Houston on Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time) to begin a three-game road trip......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 5th, 2019

17 NBA things that have been ghosted from memory

By Steve Aschburner, NBA.com On a night traditionally known more for tricks and treats than picks and rolls, it seems appropriate to do a little ghost hunting, NBA-style. We’re not talking the Ghost Ballers of BIG3 fame or even the Skirvin Hilton Hotel in Oklahoma City, a stop on the circuit that some teams claim is actually haunted. We’re thinking of things that used to be, gone-but-not-forgotten aspects of the league that lurk in the memory, even if they’re never coming back. Here in no particular order are some Halloween hoops hobgoblins that fall somewhere on the scary scale between the chain-rattling Jacob Marley and Casper: 1. Long-gone arenas. Oracle Arena, so recently vacated by the Golden State Warriors, is the latest addition to the NBA’s long list of abandoned homes. Many are gone themselves, though you still can catch a glimpse now and then on Hardwood Classics. There are too many to list, due to NBA teams moving on up to bigger, better digs over time. But a sampling would include the Cow Palace, Cobo Arena, Chicago Stadium, Boston Garden, The Forum, L.A. Sports Arena, Milwaukee’s MECCA, the Salt Palace, McNichols Arena, HemisFair Arena, Market Square, the Summit, the Spectrum, the Omni, the Pyramid, ARCO Arena/Sleep Train Arena and on and on. 2. Belted shorts. Relegated to the throwback bin, along with the more recent sleeved jerseys. 3. The six-foot lane. Heck, the 12-foot lane. The former was widened in 1951 in response to Minneapolis big man George Mikan’s dominance. Then it was widened again in 1964 to its current 16 feet in hopes of tamping down Wilt Chamberlain’s impact. 4. Commercial air travel. Some things on a used-to-be list inspire nostalgia in those who experienced them and curiosity in those who didn’t. But it’s highly unlikely any former or current players and coaches would swap today’s luxury charter flights for the way the NBA used to travel. Wake-up calls at 5 a.m. for the first flight out. Waiting out delays at the gate with the beat writers and civilians. Seven-footers folding themselves into economy class seating. 5. Obstacle-course schedules. The NBA in recent years has tried to be responsive to players’ performance needs and physical limitations, working to minimize the number of back-to-back games and four-in-five-night stretches. Didn’t used to be that way. Consider the Baltimore Bullets, who in January 1966 were put through these paces: Games in St. Louis, Detroit, back to St. Louis, day off, to Philadelphia, to Boston, home vs. Lakers. A week later, they bounced back and forth between L.A. (Lakers) and San Francisco for four games in four nights, then traveled to New York to face the Knicks for their fifth game in five nights. Baltimore’s record in those 11 games: 2-9. 6. Doubleheaders. Some teams in the NBA’s first few decades would book a Harlem Globetrotters exhibition as the night’s opening attraction. But the biggies were when the Knicks would host at Madison Square Garden a neutral-site game for two other NBA clubs. A lingering memory for some who attended: The thick haze that hung over the arena’s upper reaches, courtesy of the smokers puffing away all evening. 7. Tape-delay. It seems inconceivable in 2019 that an NBA playoff game, never mind a Finals contest, might be shown on anything but live TV. Nope. The league didn’t have much leverage in the late 1970s, before Magic Johnson and Larry Bird arrived to help goose interest and ratings. Networks forced fans to stay up late to watch games that were off before the telecasts tipped off. The practice continued into the ‘80s, with four of six Finals games in 1981 held till 11:30 p.m. ET. Michael Jordan was already creating new fans when the last tape-delayed game, Game 3 of the West finals between the Lakers and Rockets, aired on Friday, May 16, 1986. 8. “Illegal!” That used to be a frequent bellow from the league’s benches, with coaches trying to alert the refs when opposing defenses breached (or didn’t) the complicated illegal defense rules. The NBA purged most of that around the turn of the century by legislating in zone play. 9. Shattered backboards. For a while, it seemed as if backboards were exploding every few weeks in the Association. Darryl (“Chocolate Thunder”) Dawkins was the most avid crack-titioner, getting two in 1979. The earliest recorded instance came in 1946, when a Celtics forward named Chuck Connors (later more famous as TV’s “Rifleman”) shattered one during warmups. Baltimore’s Gus Johnson is said to have shattered three. Shaquille O’Neal didn’t get the glass but twice got entire support structures, pulling the backboards down to the court in his rookie season. In March 1993, against Chicago, New Jersey’s Chris Morris dunked and shattered a board without glass falling to the floor. 10. Three to make two. That old free-throw bonus was abolished by 1981-82. It made the game drag, and Jerry Colangelo, then GM of the Suns and the chairman of the NBA’s competition committee, rightly said: “Pro players shouldn’t need that extra foul shot.” 11. Phantom franchises. Oooh, pretty scary, kids, when you think of all the teams that are no more. They are rattling around in the mind long after they were supposedly dead and buried. We’re not talking just about the antiquities such as the Indianapolis Olympians, the Washington Capitols or the Toronto Huskies. The spirits of the Seattle SuperSonics, Buffalo Braves, San Diego Clippers and Vancouver Grizzlies still walk the NBA earth. Then there are most of the ABA franchises -- Virginia Squires, Utah Stars, Kentucky Colonels, Spirits of St. Louis -- that died more than 40 years ago before or in the merger. 12. Hand checking. A lot of capable defenders had their effectiveness vaporized overnight when the laying on of hands vs. a ball handler was outlawed in 2004. The NBA, in case you hadn’t noticed, likes scoring. 13. Injury shenanigans. As silly or frustrating as labels like “DNP-Old” or “load management” seem today, the reporting of injuries real or feigned used to be much less authentic. Before the inactive list, there was “injured reserve,” to which NBA teams would designate up to two players. Anyone put on that list was sidelined for a minimum of five games, and with smaller roster sizes in effect, it was a handy place to stash guys. So there was a whole lot of tendinitis and plantar fasciitis going on. This practice was snuffed in 2005-06. 14. “Play on!” Like the force-out ruling, this is a remnant of the days when the referees had and used more discretion in working their games. If a player lost the ball out of bounds but his elbow was knocked by a foe, the force-out meant the ball handler’s team retained possession. “Play on!” was a frequent order barked by refs when certain contact or violations were deemed minimally intrusive. Heavier scrutiny of the game officials’ performance and, later, video reviews now try to adjudicate everything down to the tip of a fingernail. 15. The 2-3-2 Finals format. This was adopted in 1985 as a reaction to those Lakers-Celtics or Lakers-Sixers championship series, which had the NBA universe crossing the country four or five times in a span of two weeks. Suggestions that the league was being energy-conscious, in terms of jet fuel, were part of it, too. The practice fiddled some with the notion of home-court advantage, although MLB continues to use it for its World Series. With charter flights deployed by all teams, league execs and even some of the media, the NBA changed back to the 2-2-1-1-1 format in 2014 to align with its postseasons’ earlier rounds. 16. Player-coaches. Forty men in NBA history have done it. The first was Ed Sadowski of the Toronto Huskies in the Basketball Association of America precursor to the NBA. Only two men won championships as player-coaches: Baltimore’s Buddy Jeannette in 1948 and Boston’s Bill Russell in 1968 and 1969. The youngest player coach ever was Dave DeBusschere, who took over the Pistons in 1964 at age 24 (not long after ending his second career as an MLB pitcher). The Hawks’ Richie Guerin logged the most games (372) in the role, yet was named Coach of the Year in the one season in the middle when he stopped playing. Legend Lenny Wilkens was a player-coach for two teams, spending three seasons at it in Seattle and one in Portland. And the last player-coach in NBA history was Dave Cowens, who accepted the gig after coach Satch Sanders got fired in 1978-79. None of the players wanted to learn a new system, Cowens said, so “I kind of took one for the team.” The practice died with the arrival of the salary cap in 1984, with NBA brass wary that paying a coaching bonus might enable a team to circumvent the cap. 17. Victory cigars. For obvious reasons. Probably victory vaping, too. Steve Aschburner has written about the NBA since 1980. 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 NewsNov 1st, 2019

The team may be struggling but coach Gabby Severino is hopeful that new players can turn the season around.

Coach Gabby Severino barks instructions to his Navotas Uni-Pak Sardines players while they run a half-court scrimmage in the Acropolis Gym in Pasig. He is told that his trainings are intense, and this is his reply: “Practices are intense because I make them that way. I don't want the players to think that just because they are in this league they can't just walk around. You still have to work hard. That is the culture I want to establish. They work hard, practice hard, then the results will come.” Unfortunately for Severino, results have been hard to come by for Navotas Uni-Pak. The team is fourth from bottom in the North Division with a 4-11 slate. A run at a playoff spot is still within reach, but the odds are against them. There have been some bright moments this season, the most notable being the record 125-point output in the win over Nueva Ecija last July. In that game they out-assisted their foes 38-21. But Severino is somewhat dismissive of that freakish night. “That game was a bit of a fluke. I'd rather have more consistency.” The good news is that Severino has three new toys to play with, all acquired during the recent trading window. Mark Anthony “Dudu” Guillen is a 6'4” power forward who came over from the Pampanga Giant Lanterns. Severino says Guillen is “experienced, has a good touch from outside. He's a banger, he's smart and big enough to defend the post.” Also coming aboard is 6'2" Joecel Prudente, who previously played for Bacoor as a homegrown player. “He will bring energy in defense and strength, we are kind of thin in the guard spot,” explains the coach, who can deploy Prudente as a two guard or three. “He penetrates hard, he has the body to do that,” adds the coach. The third new piece of the puzzle is the athletic Jesper Bautista, a 6'4" wing. “I'll play him as a 3 first and I'll see what happens,” reveals Severino. “We are not that tall a team so maybe I can get a little more height. He has guard skills and attacks well. Jesper's a good defender and I like his energy. It's just his shooting can be better.” Navotas shipped Brylle Ivan Meca to Bataan for the former Arellano Chief. These three new cogs will hopefully work well with Navotas' standout player this season, forward Jhong Bondoc, who was roped in via John Flores, coach of the Community Basketball Association's General Trias Braves. Severino points to the big guy with cupping marks on his shoulders. “Bondoc is an undersized big (6'3”) who works hard, rebounds well, is a fighter, a tough guy, who can shoot the three pointer. In my system we encourage the bigs to shoot from outside, as basketball is going all over the world. Bigs are bigger guards who can shoot outside,” says the coach. But it's plain to see that Navotas does not have the talent of the best teams in the league. The team was only assembled a week before the season began, so the top-tier players had all been snapped up. Coach Gabby hopes to counter the talent deficit with his system. “I'd like to think we are an unselfish team. We share the ball, if you look at our stats we have around 20 assists per game. There are always different people shining, we don't have one star. We were late getting the team, we don't have the best talent to work with, but that's okay if as the players are willing to sacrifice personal glory for the team.” Severino says there are lots of details in his system, which he describes as a European-style motion offense with “pockets of Ateneo in both offense and defense.” Severino is an assistant in Tab Baldwin's Blue Eagle team, and has been so for ages. Severino says the Navotas scheme utilizes plenty of backdoor-cut handoffs as well as elements of a classic pick and roll. The coach admits that even with the Blue Eagles, details of the system are sometimes forgotten. Naturally that also happens with his Navotas charges. The vastly different cultures and backgrounds of the two teams also present a challenge when he tries to introduce tactical concepts. “It's like trying to get them to like caviar or sushi, when maybe they have grown up eating daing na bangus,” says Severino. “You have to temper expectations. But they are learning.” Last Monday Navotas put their offensive and defense in play against the Quezon City Capitals. Bondoc led the way with 20 points and Guillen was solid with 11. Mark Matillano was clutch, knocking in a pair of late charities to force overtime. But QC prevailed in the extension, 98-97. It was a bitter loss but Severino can take solace that they took a team higher than them in the standings into an extra five minutes. There is plenty to look forward to in Navotas. Their much maligned home court, the Navotas Sports Complex, is set for a date with the wrecking ball, and will be replaced with a new multi-storey, multi-purpose facility. Team owner Rico Quicho and city mayor Toby Tiangco, as well as congressman John Rey Tiangco appear staunchly committed to the franchise. The team may be in the bottom half of the standings, but Navotas is looking to the future in the knowledge that hard work will be their key to success......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 18th, 2019

MPBL: Parañaque rebounds with gutsy road win at Batangas

The Parañaque Patriots - Yabo Sports picked up a morale-boosting win on Tuesday, edging past Batangas City Athletics - Tanduay, 61-57, in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League Lakan Season. Despite enjoying the support of a partisan hometown crowd at the Batangas City Sports Center, Rum City lost at home for the first time in four games and drop to 6-4. Their three-game win streak is also now history. Amazingly the loss was against Yabo Sports, who were embarrassed by Bacoor by 53 points last week. Jemal Vizcarra's 15 points was tops for Mike Saguiguit's team, who move up to 4-9 and see a four-game skid come to an end. Batangas' punchless offense amassed just 21 points in the first half, including just six in the second quarter, against 28 from Parañaque. In the third, the visitors continued to impress with treys from Josh Almajeda and Vizcarra to lead 47-37 heading into the final segment of play. Parañaque was hot early on in the fourth and a James Patrick Abugan jumper with six minutes left gave them what looked like a solid 58-43 advantage. But an Arvin Tolentino triple keyed a furious 12-0 run that pulled the Athletics to within three, 58-55, and ignited their home crowd. Vizcarra played the role of fireman with a lovely step-back jumper to restore a five-point cushion, but that bucket was negated by a jumper from Jhaymo Eguilos with half a minute left. However, in a turnover-riddled contest it was only fitting that giveaways settled it. Batangas forward Jason Melano relieved Vizcarra of the ball and handed off to Jeff Viernes, but in an instant Viernes himself had the leather pilfered by Almajeda. A free throw from Vizcarra closed out the scoring. Neither club took care of the ball. Parañaque commited 16 turnovers while Batangas City coughed up possession 21 times. "Sabi ni coach, walang bibitaw. It was time to bounce back para ipakita na kahit papaano Kaya namin," said Vizcarra after. In the second game the Pasay Voyagers kept minnows Nueva Ecija ForestLake at bay with a 75-69 triumph. The game was a milestone for Voyager Dhon Reverente, who joined the MPBL's 500-point club with a 10-point, 11-rebound, and 4-assist gem of a performance. Jan Jamon's 13 points was the best for Pasay while Levi de la Cruz and Andrey Armenion led Nueva Ecija with 13 apiece. Pasay had a commanding 54-42 lead after three quarters but the Ecijanos made a game of it with 4 triples in the final quarter, including two by De La Cruz. The second drew ForestLake to within four, 73-69 with still 36 seconds left to play. Axel Iñigo settled it for the Voyagers with two free throws. Pasay is now at 7-5 while Nueva Ecija continues to struggle at 2-9. In the afternoon matchup Rizal Golden Coolers - Xentro Mall delivered in the endgame to beat Bacolod Master Sardines, 89-84. Golden Cooler Joemari Lacastesantos provided five of his 9 points in the final few possessions to help secure the win. He was responsible for the last two baskets of the game. Bacolod squandered a 30-point effort from Jopher Custodio and a 20-point game from Paolo Javelona. Custodio was superb, but only accounted for one field goal and four points in the last quarter. Rizal on the other hand was a model of balanced scoring, with JV Vidal leading the way with 15 points, and three other starters also reached double figures. Xentro Malls trumped Master Sardines 32-17 in bench scoring. JV Gayoso's Rizal picks up it's 3rd win in 11 outings while Bacolod slides to 4-8......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 4th, 2019

For the first time in a long time, UP is all-in for UAAP 82

HOW’D THEY DO LAST SEASON? 8-6, runner-up YES, THEY’RE STILL HERE: Bright Akhuetie, Javi Gomez de Liano, Juan Gomez de Liano, Will Gozum, Janjan Jaboneta, Jun Manzo, Jerson Prado, Jaydee Tungcab WELCOME TO THE FAMILY: J-Boy Gob, Jaybie Mantilla, Kobe Paras, Ricci Rivero, Noah Webb (returning from injury) GOOD LUCK ON FUTURE ENDEAVORS: Diego Dario, Paul Desiderio, Jarrell Lim, Gelo Vito WHAT SHOULD WE EXPECT FROM UP? For sure, UP is no longer an also-ran, no longer a pushover, no longer an afterthought. What the Fighting Maroons have become is a brand new heavyweight that is a legitimate threat to the championship belt Ateneo has held in the last two years. Why is that? Returning for State U is UAAP 81 Season MVP Bright Akhuetie and Mythical Team member Juan Gomez de Liano as well as now-team captain Jun Manzo, Javi Gomez de Liano, Janjan Jaboneta, Jerson Prado, and Jaydee Tungcab. Then, arriving in Diliman are Kobe Paras and Ricci Rivero – a couple of generational talents who have all the confidence and capability to turn the tide in favor of their new team. Add all of that together and what you have is the strongest squad to wear the maroon and green in a long, long time. WHO IS/ARE THE PLAYER/S TO WATCH OUT FOR FROM UP? There is no doubt that Paras and Rivero are big gets for UP. What has to be seen if the Fighting Maroons are to live up to the hype, however, is for the likes of Akhuetie, Manzo, and the GDL brothers to do their best to see to it that those two talented transferees buy into the program. Most, if not all, eyes will be trained on how Paras and Rivero resume their careers, but at the same time, Juan GDL also has to take another step forward – this time, most importantly, in terms of leadership. The cupboard of talent is most certainly fully loaded, but the void left behind by school legend Paul Desiderio is yet to be filled – and among all players, its Juan GDL, the homegrown star, who is actually the ready-made replacement. WHY SHOULD WE ROOT FOR UP? UP's climb back to the mountaintop in recent history has been slow and steady, but now, State U has its best shot at ending a more than three decade-long title drought. UP may not be underdogs anymore, but that doesn’t change the fact that what has happened to them in the past years is proof that, indeed, there is nowhere to go but up. WHERE WOULD UP BE AT THE END OF UAAP SEASON 82? Just like Ateneo, UP is returning a mostly intact core that actually improved with additions of prized prospects. And just like the Blue Eagles, the Fighting Maroons may very well be back in the Finals. The questions about chemistry cannot be denied. At the same time, however, there is also too much talent here for State U to be denied entry into level of the elite. WHEN IS UP’S FIRST GAME IN UAAP SEASON 82? UP’s first tough test in a season overflowing with expectations is FEU in a heavyweight battle on September 4 at Araneta Coliseum. Of course, everybody goes All for More and, as always, all of the action will be on ABS-CBN S+A Channel 23, ABS-CBN S+A HD Channel 166, LIGA SkyCable Channel 86, LIGA HD SkyCable Channel 183, iWant and livestream. HERE’S WHAT TO EXPECT FROM THE SEVEN OTHER TEAMS IN UAAP SEASON 82: With its arsenal fully loaded, UE’s ambush good to go in UAAP 82 UAAP 82 one more chance for NU to piece the puzzle together Espana’s hope in UAAP 82? Cansino’s return to form, UST’s return to playoffs All-Filipino La Salle all set to cut UAAP 82 rivals down to size Brave FEU not backing down from more heralded UAAP 82 rivals Behind Ahanmisi, Adamson’s youth will be on the march in UAAP 82 --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 2nd, 2019

NCAA 95: Letran s Santiago wants to make a name for himself in basketball

National University almost had a brand new Santiago donning the blue and gold. Only, it wasn't in volleyball, but in basketball. And only, it wasn't meant to be. Lenard Santiago, the younger brother of volleyball towers Dindin and Jaja, is now playing for Colegio de San Juan de Letran - playing basketball, that is. "Galing akong Nueva Ecija then nung namatay yung father namin, kinuha ako ng mga ate ko and napunta ako sa Manila," he shared after the Squires season-opener last Monday. "Una akong nag-try sa NU, pero 'di ako nakuha kaya dinala nila ako sa Letran." Santiago worked on his game with the Intramuros-based squad's Team B for one year before making his big league debut last year in the NCAA. Now, he is playing out his last year in the Juniors. Of course, the 18-year-old shared that often, he gets asked why he's playing on the hardwood instead of the taraflex. "Kung tinatanong ako ng mga ate ko or ng ibang tao ba't ako nag-basketball, dun kasi ako lumaki sa probinsya at basketball ang naging laro ko," he said. That doesn't mean, however, that he does not play the sport his sisters made a name for themselves in. "Naglalaro rin po ako ng volleyball. Actually, kinuha nga rin po ako ng coach ng Letran so dual events po ako (sa NCAA 95)," he said. He then continued, "Second choice ko pa rin naman yung volleyball. Kung 'di po ako mag-succeed sa basketball, e 'di mag-volleyball po ako." Without a doubt, getting to play two sports does nothing but make Santiago a more complete athlete. "Sa basketball, nakakatulong yung volleyball kasi napapalakas yung legs ko at nagiging matalas ang utak ko sa pagbabasa ng tao," he shared. He then continued, "Sa volleyball naman, nakakatulong ang basketball sa bilis at kung paano magbasa ng blockings." At the same time, though, the 6-foot forward in basketball and open spiker in volleyball feels the heavier weight of the last name he carries on his back. "Minsan, may pressure po talaga dahil yung mga ate ko, may malaking pangalan sa volleyball," he said. Fortunately for him, his sisters are nothing but supportive of him. "Lagi nilang sinasabi sa akin, dapat daw mas nagfo-focus nga ako sa basketball kung yun ang gusto ko," he said. He then continued, "Pero okay lang din naman kasi may naitutulong sa akin ang volleyball at kaya ko namang i-balance." In Lenard, the Santiagos have a new tower rising in a different sport and a different school. And in the same way that Dindin and Jaja remain fixtures in the higher levels of volleyball, their younger brother hopes to do the same in basketball. "Basketball po ang unang choice ko laruin and gusto ko makapunta sa PBA in the future. Sana po," he said. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 11th, 2019