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In Coach O, Samonte trusts as she returns to her roots as middle in UAAP 82

The Ateneo de Manila University frontline was very much different to open the UAAP 82 Women's Volleyball Tournament. Gone were the height and the long limbs of Maddie Madayag and Bea de Leon in the middle and in were the versatility and determination of Jules Samonte and Ponggay Gaston. Most definitely, the change was clear as day as Madayag and de Leon both stood at 5-foot-11 while Samonte and Gaston are 5-foot-8 and 5-foot-9, respectively. Still, Samonte and Gaston were more than enough for the Lady Eagles to take care of business against the University of the Philippines and take a big-time win to open their title defense. In particular, Samonte did damage with 10 points, three coming from blocks - and for that, head coach Oliver Almadro is nothing but satisfied. "Jules had three blocks so I guess that speaks for itself na naka-block siya. That's good for a middle blocker so she did her job," he said. Even better, the 21-year-old did that with just two months of adjustment from her previous position of utility spiker. Asked about her thoughts when she was told about the change, she answered, "He told me start of the year lang, but okay lang. I trust Coach O with whatever he wants us to do." From then until now, the championship mentor has full faith in Samonte - and that is the root cause of why the latter always makes sure to not let the former down. "The last time I was a middle was in my first year sa college then binalik ako ni Coach O this year. I still have a lot to learn," she said, looking back in her rookie year in blue and white as well as her high school career wherein she was the woman in the middle. She then continued, "Nanibago ako from being open and then utility and then middle again, but good thing na sobrang tiyaga ni Coach O na turuan kami ni Ponggay." It also doesn't hurt the Lady Eagles' new middles that Madayag and de Leon themselves are still there to be mentors. "During training, they still visit us and guide us so siyempre, nakakatulong pa rin sila. Sinasabi nila laging no pressure dapat," Samonte said. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource: abscbn abscbnMar 4th, 2020

Ateneo takes fight out of UST to stay spotless in PCCL

SJ Belangel brought the big guns for the second straight game in the 2020 Philippine Collegiate Champions League NCAA-UAAP Challenge while Ange Kouame brought the finishing kick as Ateneo de Manila University triumphed over University of Sto. Tomas, 82-71, in a tight tiff in the middle of the Filoil Flying V Centre on Sunday. Belangel dropped 26 points built on six triples, all while showing the Blue Eagles the way to yet another convincing victory versus the Growling Tigers whom they downed int eh Finals of last year's UAAP Men's Basketball Tournament. The third-year guard was on-point from the get-go and already had seven points in their 12-3 start that eventually became a 27-10 edge. When UST threatened in the final frame, however, it was Kouame who imposed his will and had four points in Ateneo's 11-0 run that re-increased a three-point lead into an 82-68 advantage inside the last two minutes. "Tough game. Rough game. I think it's two pretty good teams out there who are not in midseason form," Coach Tab Baldwin said as the game became more intense as it went along and in the end, saw a total of 64 fouls called. In the end, the Ivorian tower tallied 15 points, 13 rebounds, and five blocks to help lift his team to the first slot in the PCCL Final Four. The Blue Eagles also got much-welcome contributions from Troy Mallillin and Geo Chiu with the former finishing with seven points and six rebounds in just 14 minutes and the latter ending with five markers and seven boards in 11 minutes. On the other hand, the Growling Tigers were fronted by Deo Cuajao and Rhenz Abando who scored 14 points apiece. With UAAP MVP Soulemane Chabi Yo limited to only five points and six rebounds, however, they suffer their first setback in two tries. BOX SCORES ATENEO 82 - Belangel 26, Kouame 15, D. Ramos 8, Daves 7, Mallillin 6, Chiu 5, Tio 4, Navarro 4, E. Ramos 4, Mamuyac 1, P. Maagdenberg 1, E. Maagdenberg 1, Credo 0. UST 71 - Cuajao 14, Abando 14, Cansino 10, Nonoy 9, Concepcion 8, Chabi Yo 5, Manalang 3, Ando 2, Manaytay 2, Paraiso 2, Bataller 2, Garing 0. QUARTER SCORES: 29-15, 48-38, 66-65, 82-71. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 9th, 2020

UAAP Season 82: Risa Sato hopes to find redemption in return

Tears rolled down Risa Sato’s cheeks as she recalled how helpless she was at the sidelines while National University campaigned in the UAAP wars last year. She was supposed to suit up as the leader of the Lady Bulldogs, guiding a young pack after the departure of Jaja Santiago. But instead, Sato came with the team to the games in street clothes as a spectator after academic issues barred her from seeing action. “Last year sobrang nasaktan ako,” said the Fil-Japanese, whose eyes welled with tears while talking with ABS-CBN Sports. “Di ba last season lagi lang ako nood sa kanila? Gusto ko pumasok sa court.” A year after her ordeal, Sato rejoins the Lady Bulldogs with the vow of taking NU all the way. “Ito iniisip ko, babawi ako talaga,” said Sato, who has shown impressive improvement with her Filipino. “Sobrang happy ako. Matagal akong naghintay for Season 82.” In her return, Sato is tasked by head coach Norman Miguel to lead a squad composed of a good mix of veterans, experienced sophomores and promising recruits. Her new role, Sato admits, came as a surprise. “Nu’ng sabi nila team captain daw ako sabi ko, ‘Eh wait lang, paano salita ko?’ Yun naisip ko talaga na sana naintindihan nila ako, yan lagi isip ko,” said Sato, who is also playing in the PVL for powerhouse Creamline. Aside from her much-needed presence at the net following the departure of last year’s 1st Best Middle Blocker Roselyn Doria and as a court leader, Sato is also helping the team adapt the Japanese system she’s very much familiar with. “Gusto ko na help din si coach Norman sa training,” she said. “Ang mga players kapag mali ang ginagawa, mali ang spike parang ako din nagtuturo sa kanila, hindi si coach Norman lang. Naghi-help din ako sa kanila.” Her inputs and contributions are well-received. “Isip ko sa Japan sistema saka Philippines sistema, iba-iba. Gusto ko turo ko sa kanila na Japanese na sistema,” said Sato. “Hindi ko alam nu’ng una if turo ko sa kanila Japanese na sistema follow ba sila sa akin? Dami isip ko. Iniisip ko basta OK lang adjust lang ako and turo ako sa kanila ng Japanese system.” “OK naman lagi ako sabi sa kanila na happy-happy lang paglalaro and follow naman sila,” she added. Sato is also very excited to play alongside sophomore middle Ivy Lacsina and libero Jen Nierva and 6-foot-2 rookie hitter Margot Mutshima Kabasu of Congo.       “Si Audrey [Paran] lang at Joni [Chavez] kasama [ko dati] kasi iba first time ko lang kasama sa UAAP. Sina Jennifer at Ivy first time ko makasama. Excited talaga [ako],” Sato said. Motivated to reintroduce herself in the UAAP, Sato has a laser-like focus in her swan song.   “Babawi talaga ako this season para mag-champion,” said Sato.   .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 8th, 2020

UAAP 82: Rhenz Abando has been through worse weeks than this

ANTIPOLO - "Ako po si Rhenz Abando. Galing La Union." Those were the first words, all softly spoken, out of Rhenz Abando's mouth in his first post-game conference after his first game for University of Sto. Tomas in his first season in the UAAP. Safe to say, he was not used to being under the spotlight. Months later, however, the 21-year-old was in all of the headlines - and not because of his impressive game. Instead, questions arose about Abando's commitment to the Growling Tigers as he found himself in the middle of controversy. According to reports, the 6-foot-2 forward was in street clothes in their game against the University of the Philippines last Wednesday due to a decision by team management. Up to two days after that, his status remained up in the air as head coach Aldin Ayo, team management, and the school itself were yet to clear the air with him. And of course, everybody else had their thoughts on what was happening - and quite a few were only happy to share them. Amidst all that, though, Abando was not worrying at all. "Hindi ito yung pinakamahirap na pinagdaanan ko kasi mas grabe pa yung pinagdaanan ko nung nasa probinsya pa ako," he shared. The UST wing came from Philippine College of Science and Technology in Pangasinan, but actually was born and bred in La Union. And there, humble beginnings molded him into the man he is today. "Yung mga pinagdaanan ko nung bata ako, yung financial problems, ganun, mas tumibay ako dun so parang wala na lang din 'to," he said. Along with that, Abando drew strength from the full faith his teammates still had in him amidst all the reports and rumors. As he put it, "Itong nangyaring 'to, 'di ako nahirapan kasi nandyan lang yung mga teammate ko. Nasa likod ko lang sila." He then continued, "Siyempre, yung mga side comment na 'di maganda, 'di nakatulong sa akin, pero yung mga teammate ko, nandyan lang sila at sinasabihan ako na dapat, parang walang nangyari." That was even truer when the rising star finally returned to the black and gold lineup in their matchup opposite National University, Saturday at Ynares Center here. From the moment he was sent in at the 8:45 mark of the second quarter until the final buzzer when he was still part of the five on the floor, Abando said all of UST made him feel they had his back. "Sabi nila, kumpyansa lang at wag ko nang intindihin yung mga nangyari, mga sinabi. Kumpyansa lang," he said. And that goes not only for the players, but the community and his fellow student-athletes as well. "Maraming-maraming salamat sa kanilang lahat kasi sinusuportahan lang talaga nila kami. Mas lalo akong napapamahal sa UST dahil sa ganyang suporta," he said. And for all of them, Rhenz Abando vowed to stay under the spotlight - under the spotlight with the Growling Tigers, that is. "Dito lang ako hanggang matapos ang collegiate career ko," he expressed. He then continued, "Apat na taon pa!" --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 19th, 2019

2019 ASEAN Grand Prix: Lahat ng itinuro ni coach Ramil inaalala lang namin -- Best Libero winner Dawn Macandili

STA. ROSA, Laguna --- Majoy Baron and Dawn Macandili snatched a pair of individual awards for the Philippines in the 2019 ASEAN Grand Prix second leg. Baron bagged her second straight Best Middle Blocker recognition while Macandili was named Best Libero during the awards ceremony Sunday at the end of the four-nation tournament at the Sta. Rosa Multi-purpose Gym here. The two awardees gave the Philippines added hardware following another bronze medal finish. Showing their defensive brilliance in their respective spots during their campaign, the duo gave credit to the system of their former De La Salle University head coach and current F2 Logistics mentor Ramil De Jesus, whose training and guidance made them into vital cogs defensively for the National team.      “Siyempre ‘yung foundation nandoon and lahat ng itinuro ni coach Ramil sa amin inaalala lang din namin,” said Macandili, who two years ago bagged the AVC Asian Women’s Seniors Volleyball Championship 2nd Best Libero award. “Siyempre sa bagong coach namin ina-absorb din namin. Open kami sa criticisms and sa mga bagong itinuturo ni coach Shaq (Delos Santos) sa amin.” The five-foot wonder from Batangas and former Philippine Superliga Most Valuable Player averaged 5.4 excellent digs per set and contributed well on reception. Baron, a former UAAP MVP, averaged 6.7 points and had a total of seven kill blocks in three matches. “For me, parang deja vu. Nangyari ulit kung ano yung nangyari sa Thailand,” said Baron. “Siyempre, super happy pa rin na na-recognize yung effort.” She added that the awards were just a bonus for the Philippines and that the most important thing was that they gained valuable lessons that they’ll carry into the 30th Southeast Asian Games in Manila next month.     “For me, as long as natuto kami as a team and nakikita naman na may improvement,” said Baron. “So kailangan pa namin mag-training as a team para mas ma-improve pa namin yung mga naging lapses... para mas maging cohesive pa kami as a team.” Other individual award winners were MVP Pleumjit Thinkaow and Pimpichaya Kokram (Best Spiker) of champion Thailand and Tri Retno Mutiara (Best Setter) and Ratri Wulandari (Best Server) of runner-up Indonesia.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 6th, 2019

PVL: Tigresses force rubber match for Finals seat

Janna Torres delivered when her number was called, leading University of Sto. Tomas to a 24-26, 25-18, 25-17, 25-17, victory over Ateneo De Manila University on Wednesday to force a rubber match in the best-of-three Premier Volleyball League Season 3 Collegiate Conference semifinals at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan. The freshman middle blocker exploded for 14 points as she wreaked havoc at the net with 10 attacks and three kill blocks along with one ace for the Tigresses, who came back from a four-set loss their UAAP Season 81 Final tormentors in the game that saw Torres play only two sets with only one point under her name. UST recovered from a first set meltdown with strong showings in the next three as the Tigresses took advantage of the Lady Eagles’ 38 errors to force a deciding Game 3 on Sunday. Rookie Imee Hernandez added 12 markers while Eya Laure had 10 points including three aces with two coming in the closing stretch of the fourth set for UST. EJ Laure and Rachelle Roldan combined for 14 points for the Espana-based squad. The Tigresses actually had a chance to take the first frame after pushing at set point, 24-21, only to see Ateneo counterattack with five unanswered points. The next two sets were easy picking for the Tigresses, before Ateneo showed tough resistance in the fourth. The Lady Eagles were able to erase a 6-10 deficit and tied it at 10 off an Erika Raagas kill. UST regained the lead but Ateneo rookie Faith Nisperos cut it to 15-14 only to see the Lady Eagles shoot themselves on the foot after giving away five of the Tigresses’ last 10 points off their errors. Vanie Gandler led Ateneo with 15 points including 13 off spikes, Nisperos had 12 markers while Jules Samonte and Raagas got 11 points each. Dani Ravena tallied 22 digs and 10 excellent receptions but committed the last of Ateneo's atrocious errors after pushing the ball out on a broken play.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 2nd, 2019

Perasol apologetic, but firm in officiating stance after ejection

     MANILA, Philippines – UP Fighting Maroons head coach Bo Perasol is back in the headlines for all the wrong reasons. In the middle of a heated UAAP Season 82 Battle of Katipunan match between UP and the two-time defending champions Ateneo Blue Eagles, Perasol completely lost his cool ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsSep 29th, 2019

Juan GDL takes fight out of La Salle for UP s fourth win in a row in UAAP 82

The University of the Philippines kept fighting and fighting, Wednesday at MOA Arena and ultimately forced its way to a 72-71 come-from-behind victory versus very game De La Salle University. Juan Gomez de Liano's triple with 7.8 ticks to go on the clock proved to be the difference as the Fighting Maroons battled back from a deficit of 13 points to book their fourth consecutive victory heading into a highly anticipated rematch of last year's Finals with Ateneo de Manila University now in the UAAP 82 Men's Basketball Tournament. "My team is just like leading a chariot with wild stallions - one goes to the right, one goes to the left, one goes to the middle," head coach Bo Perasol said post-game. "Come winning time, however, they get their acts together. State U was still staring at a four-point deficit following Aljun Melecio's triple and Justine Baltazar's split from the stripe inside the last two minutes. At the other end, Kobe Paras fished a foul and converted his couple of charities to pull the maroon and white within two. Jamie Malanzo wasn't able to do so at the other end and not long after, a mad scramble ensued with the ball ending up with Juan GDL. The third-year star wasted no time rising up and launching the long-range missile that would eventually end up as UP's fifth win in six games. "The biggest shot came from Juan. Juan is a winner, always a winner," head coach Bo Perasol said of his prized playmaker who wound up with a season-best 10 points to go along with five rebounds. Paras topped the scoring column for his side with 21 points while reigning and defending MVP Bright Akhuetie also added a 17-marker, 14-rebound double-double on top of three assists, two blocks, and two steals. For the Green Archers, Melecio and Andrei Caracut each scored 16 points while Baltazar pounded in 13 markers and nine rebounds. Unable to finish what they started, they fell to a share of fifth at 2-4. BOX SCORES UP 72 - Paras 21, Akhuetie 17, Gomez de Liano Ju 10, Rivero 9, Manzo 5, Tungcab 5, Webb 3, Jaboneta 2, Gob 0, Gomez de Liano Ja 0, Murrell 0, Prado 0, Spencer 0 LA SALLE 71 - Caracut 16, Melecio 16, Baltazar 13, Bartlett 8, Malonzo 7, Manuel 5, Serrano 4, Lojera 2, Bates 0, Cu 0 QUARTER SCORES: 14-18, 29-36, 52-59, 72-71 --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 25th, 2019

UAAP 82: Coach Aldin takes responsibility for UST s collapse vs Adamson

University of Sto. Tomas had a nine-point lead against Adamson University with three minutes remaining in their matchup last Wednesday. Only, the Growling Tigers let their foot off the pedal and allowed the Soaring Falcons to go on a win-stealing 16-0 run. In that run, Val Chauca, Jerrick Ahanmisi, and Jerom Lastimosa all had more than one make - be it from the field or from the line. UST as a team? Zero. Afterwards, head coach Aldin Ayo could only acknowledge that Adamson took that win from them. "Natalo kami kasi mas maganda nilaro sa amin ng Adamson especially sa dulo. Sa parte namin, hindi kami nakapagtapos nang matigas," he said. Of course, the fiery mentor also posted on social media a photo that showed Lastimosa with his arms wrapped around Growling Tiger Renzo Subido who was waiting from an inbound pass from Brent Paraiso in the middle of that Soaring Falcon run. He made it a point to clear, however, that he meant no ill will towards game officials with that post. "Ang purpose lang nun is mapaganda yung tawagan moving forward. Siyempre, gusto nating mas gumanda pa yun sa season," he said. Coach Aldin then furthered that UST's collapse was not because of the referees. "There were bad calls, pero hindi yun dahilan kaya kami natalo. Hindi namain kontrolado yun e, pero yung bagay na kontrolado namin, hindi kasi namin nagawa," he shared. He then continued, "Adamson really outplayed up. No excuses. Adamson really deserved to win." In the end, the one-time NCAA and one-time UAAP champion coach said the blame, whatever it may be, should fall on him. As he put it, "Kung may sisisihin dyan, ako. Ako yung coach e and I take full responsibility for that loss." He then continued, "Dapat mas maganda yung decision-making ko nung dulo. Siyempre, sumusunod sa akin mga players e kaya kung may dapat sisihin dun, yung coach." Even so, coach Aldin also has no doubt that the sorry loss will only make the Growling Tigers hungrier. "Yung mga ganitong klaseng talo will only make us better. Eto yung talong babalikan namin sa practice and we will make sure na hindi na mauulit," he said. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 19th, 2019

UAAP 82: Gonzales, Comboy connive as FEU charges into win column

L-Jay Gonzales made all the right plays, Wendell Comboy made all his defenders pay, and Far Eastern University made its way into the winners’ circle of the UAAP 82 Men’s Basketball Tournament with a well-earned 81-65win against University of the East, Sunday at Araneta Coliseum. Gonzales scored a career-high 14 points, but more importantly, shared the wealth also with eight assists to go along with eight rebounds and three steals as the Tamaraws bounced back from their sorry loss to start the season. "Well, it's always nice to get your first win of the season especially coming off that opening day loss," head coach Olsen Racela said post-game. Comboy was a recipient of many of those assists and wound up with 24 points built on six triples. The Red Warriors, however, didn’t go down without a fight and still threatened at 53-58 early in the final frame until Gonzales set up three straight plays - a three by Xyrus Torres, a three by Ken Tuffin, and a layup by Hubert Cani - and then scored on a putback for a 10-0 answer. Both the double-digit lead and the momentum would remain in FEU’s favor until the final buzzer. Patrick Tchuente and Barkley Ebona then took care of the middle with the former finishing with nine points and six rebounds and the latter ending with seven markers, six boards, and six assists. Still, it was the green and gold backcourt that did the most damage, dominating their counterparts, 55-14. "Tradition naman na guard-heavy ang FEU. We always rely on our guards and this season is no different," coach Olsen said. For the Red Warriors, Senegalese powerhouse Alex Diakhite showed the way with a 21-point, 15-rebound double-double to go along with four blocks. Rey Suerte also added 17 markers and 10 boards of his own. With their guards unable to contain the Tamaraw backcourt, however, they remain winless in two games. BOX SCORES FEU 81 - Comboy 24, Gonzales 14, Tchuente 9, Ebona 7, Cani 7, Torres 6, Tuffin 5, Bienes 5, Stockton 2, Alforque 2, Celzo 0, Bayquin 0. UE 65 - Diakhite 21, Suerte 17, Abanto 8, Manalang 8, Mendoza 4, Sawat 3, Pagsanjan 2, Apacible 2, Cruz 0, Tolentino 0, Camacho 0, Beltran 0, Antiporda 0. QUARTER SCORES: 17-10, 34-25, 58-51, 81-65. —— Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 8th, 2019

It’s an opportunity to grow -- Madayag on National team call-up

After a long wait, Maddie Madayag will finally get a chance to play for the national team. “Masaya ako kasi ngayon lang ako nagkaroon ng chance na makasali talaga,” said Madayag after her recent call up for the national pool. Madayag with UAAP Season 81 1st Best Middle Blocker Roselyn Doria and veteran opposite spiker Jovelyn Gonzaga were the latest players to be included in the pool that will train for the 30th Southeast Asian Games. “I’m very glad na sila Coach Shaq [Delos Santos] wanted to get me kasi it’s an opportunity rin as a player na I can grow,” said the ChocoMucho standout. The two-time UAAP champion had been invited to join the pool before but conflict in her UAAP schedule as part of the Ateneo de Manila University Lady Eagles and her studies prevented were the major obstacles for her to commit.     “Kasi first year ako underage ako, second year na-injure ako tapos third year, fourth year hanggang pag-graduate ako I was committed to Ateneo eh,” said the UAAP Season 81 2nd Best middle blocker. “I really couldn’t play for the national team kasi UAAP season.” Madayag said that it has always been her dream to be in the national team and play for the country. “Nu’ng season pa lang tinatanong ako kung interested ako sabi ko, ‘Oo naman, ba’t naman aayaw ako maglaro para sa bayan,’” said Madayag. She also explained that she and teammate Kat Tolentino didn’t get a chance attend the tryouts called by Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc. because it was held either near the UAAP season or with the tournament already on going.    “Nu’ng UAAP pa di rin kami naka-tryout ni Kat kasi we had training tsaka may games kami,” she said. “During the season parang tinatanong talaga ako if I wanted to join sabi ko oo naman talaga. Hindi lang talaga ako available at that time.”   Big shoes to fill Madayag's inclusion came just in time after 6-foot-5 middle blocker Jaja Santiago failed to get a clearance from her Japan V. Premier League club Ageo Medics to suit up for the national team in the SEA Games that the Philippines will host in November. Santiago won’t be available in the biennial meet with the Japan League season set to begin on October 27.       “Mas masaya kung andoon si Jaja di ba? We’ll still give our best naman tsaka it’s a team effort so kung ano yung gusto ng team yun naman yung lalabas, said Madayag. Aside from Santiago, Tots Carlos, Celine Domingo, Angel Cayuna, Jema Galanza and Jerrili Malabanan withdrew from the pool according to Delos Santos.   With Santiago out, Madayag as well as the remaining middles in the pool Mika Reyes, skipper Aby Marano, Majoy Baron and Doria will have big shoes to fill. “Doon naman sa filling in kay Jaja marami din kaming gitna sa roster e,” said Madayag. “We’re gonna train harder for the spot of Jaja to fill it in and we’re gonna give our all para sa bayan.” Madayag, Gonzaga and Creamline’s Alyssa Valdez and Jia Morado will join the national pool in Thailand on September 15. The bulk of the pool leaves for Thailand on Saturday for the 12-day training camp before seeing action in the Southeast Asian Grand Prix in Nakhon Ratchasima from Sept. 20 to 22.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 4th, 2019

PVL: Lady Eagles set sights on third straight win

Unbeaten Ateneo de Manila University may have the advantage in firepower against San Beda University but Lady Eagles head coach Oliver Almadro is not discounting the dangerous Lady Red Spikers. Ateneo will take on resurging San Beda on Saturday in the main game of the triple-bill action in the Premier Volleyball League Season 3 Collegiate Conference Group A at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan. “Hindi pwedeng i-take for granted any team here in the PVL,” said Almadro, who steered Ateneo to the UAAP Season 81 throne. “They will not be invited here in the PVL in the first place if they are not capable of showing their best.” Game time is at 12:00 noon and will air live via iWant and livestream. The Lady Eagles share the lead with Adamson University after beating Letran in four set in the opener before dominating San Sebastian College 25-17, 25-17, 25-8, last week. Veteran Ponggay Gaston, who debuted with 10 points against the Lady Stags after skipping the opener, will lead the charge of Ateneo with rookie Faith Nisperos, who is averaging 17 points per game, Erika Raagas, Vannie Gandler, Jules Samonte and setter Jaja Maraguinot.   The Lady Red Spikers recovered from an opening-day defeat to Adamson U with a come-from-behind, 21-25, 21-25, 25-23, 25-8, 15-11 victory over Letran last week. League-leading scorer Cesca Racraquin, who is averaging 18.5 point per game and dropped 27 points last outing, Kimberly Manzano and Ella Viray will try to power San Beda to a huge upset. Meanwhile, NCAA champion Arellano University seeks a third straight win when the Lady Chiefs collide with Far Eastern University at 10:00 a.m. in group B. Arellano U is tied with University of Sto. Tomas at the top spot with 2-0 win-loss record. The Lady Chiefs defeated Lyceum of the Philippines University in five sets last week despite playing sans four injured players including veteran hitter Regine Arocha.   The Lady Tams recovered from a shocking opening day loss to College of St. Benilde after sweeping TIP last week. FEU and CSB are tied at 1-1 card. In the 8:00 a.m. opener, the Lady Blazers face the winless Lady Pirates.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 30th, 2019

PVL: Bea de Leon remains day-to-day

ChocoMucho head coach Oliver Almadro is not in a hurry to activate middle blocker Bea de Leon. The multi-titled mentor wants De Leon to get into tip-top shape before fielding the two-time UAAP champion in the Premier Volleyball League Season 3 Open Conference. De Leon sat out the Flying Titans’ debut on Wednesday as ChocoMucho made quick work of BaliPure, 25-12, 25-18, 25-18, at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.     “Kailangan namin i-strengthen pa ‘yung legs niya kasi after UAAP, nag-therapy muna siya and then hindi pwedeng kailangan sabak kaagad so strengthening muna, kailangan maibalik,” said Alamdro on his main piece during Ateneo de Manila University’s title run in UAAP Season 81. De Leon was in the venue helping the team during their warm-ups and during their huddles. “Slowly nagpa-practice naman na siya. So, we just miss her now,” said Almadro. The mentor added that he’s just waiting for the green light to field in De Leon.   “Ang kailangan ko talaga 100 percent. Kami namang coaches, nagre-rely kami sa report ng mga therapists namin, PT namin at tsaka ng mga doctors. ‘Pagka sinabi ng doctors, o 100 percent, good,” said Almadro, who relied on Arianna Angustia and Shannen Palec in the absence of De Leon. “’Pag sinabi 80 percent, no, I like one hundred percent. Ganoon naman kami as a team so we have to make sure na 100 percent sila para they can give 100 percent also,” he added. “Sa ngayon, day-to-day siya e.” De Leon will also be doubtful in the Flying Titans' game against PacificTown Army on August 21.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 14th, 2019

Domingo to skipper Nat l U-23 women s team in Thai tourney

National women’s Under-23 volleyball team head coach Kungfu Reyes will bank on the experience and veteran presence of Celine Domingo come the 2019 Thailand Open Sealect Tuna Championships on July 4 to 10. Reyes named Domingo of Far Eastern University as team captain of the 14-woman squad that will participate in the prestigious invitational tournament for club and U-23 teams from different Asian countries. “Si Celine [Domingo] ang magba-banner ngayon ng Under-23 ngayon. Siya na ‘yung pinaka-senior,” said Reyes, who was thankful to Domingo’s club team Creamline for loaning the middle blocker to the Nationals despite the Cool Smashers’ ongoing campaign in the Premier Volleyball League Season 3 Reinforced Conference. Domingo will take over the position of University of the Philippines’ Isa Molde, who was named skipper during the introduction of the national U-23 pool. Molde as well as Tots Carlos and Marist Layug are all included in the pool but the trio had to beg off because of their club team Motolite’s push for a semis spot in the PVL.   “‘Yun nga kasi hindi rin mapayagan kasi meron rin silang ipinaglalaban e,” said Reyes. “Kasi nga nagbi-build rin sila ng new team so naintindihan namin yung mga ganoong part. Hindi rin naman kami insisting na kasi meron din silang dapat gawin para sa team nila.” Reyes said that he submitted the 14-man lineup, a very young team, last Monday.   Included in the roster are University of Sto. Tomas players Mafe Galanza, Kecelyn Galdones, Ysa Jimenez, setter Maji Mangulabnan, Rachelle Roldan, Imee Hernandez, and Janna Torres. Rossie Rosier and Jewel Encarnacion of University of the Philippines, FEU’s Ivanna Agudo and Lyann De Guzman, Justine Jazareno of De La Salle University and UAAP Season 81 high school Most Valuable Player Angel Canino of De La Salle-Zobel complete the very young lineup.   “So si Celine na ‘yung pinaka-senior na maglalaro doon so that's why she will be our captain ball,” said Reyes. The U-23 team will fly to Thailand on July 3 together with the national men's team.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 26th, 2019

Wong, Madayag unavailable for U-23 Thailand stint

National women’s Under-23 volleyball team head coach Kungfu Reyes remains upbeat with the squad he has for the 2019 Thailand Open Sealect Tuna Championships despite missing some familiar names. “Meron tayong collegiate, meron tayong high school,” said Reyes. “Sila ‘yung mga available for now so sila yung ipapadala namin sa Thailand so doon yung composition which is manggagaling rin ng tryout.” Reyes selected 14 players from the national pool for the July 4 to 10 tournament but the likes of team captain Isa Molde and Ateneo de Manila players Deanna Wong and Maddie Madayag are unavailable because of various reasons.      “Supposedly, sila Deanna Wong, um-okay na kaso naka-cast na siya e. So meron siyang ite-therapy sa shin niya ata ‘yun o kung ano mang injury niya, hindi pwede pero gusto ng bata,” said Reyes referring to the Lady Eagles playmaker. “Now, we talked to Ateneo, okay naman sila, problema lang talaga, hindi lang natin pwedeng i-sacrifice yung health ng mga taong gusto natin,” he added. Madayag, according to Reyes, expressed her intention to join but has been out of action for almost two months after helping Ateneo capture the UAAP Season 81 title.     “So ‘yung willingness nila Maddie, gusto nila maglaro. Problema naman, siyempre coming from UAAP, hindi rin fit to play dahil wala ng ensayo. So yung mga ganung gestures, maganda pa rin yung indication,” said Reyes. Molde, for her part, and teammates Tots Carlos and Marist Layug are unavailable because of their commitment with their club team Motolite in the Premier Volleyball League. “Talagang yung availability ng player ang problema as of now, with the club team,” Reyes said. Celine Domingo will skipper the squad composed of University of Sto. Tomas players Mafe Galanza, Kecelyn Galdones, Ysa Jimenez, setter Maji Mangulabnan, Rachelle Roldan, Imee Hernandez, and Janna Torres. Rossie Rosier and Jewel Encarnacion of University of the Philippines, FEU’s Ivanna Agudo and Lyann De Guzman, Justine Jazareno of De La Salle University and UAAP Season 81 high school Most Valuable Player Angel Canino of De La Salle-Zobel complete the very young lineup.   “Pero again, ito ‘yung mga program natin sa grass roots, siyempre anong iaangat mo dito, manalo ka dito, may talunin ka dito, magiging proud tayo in a way,” said Reyes. “Pero yung exposure outside Metro Manila o outside Philippines, malaking bagay para in the future. Sabi ko nga, in five years’ time, ito na yung papalit para sa National team natin.”  Part of the pool that are unavailable are Eya Laure of UST, Jessma Ramos of UP, Judith Abil and Mary Ann Mendrez of University of the East, FEU’s Buding Duremdes, Lycha Ebon and Jeanette Villareal, Alleiah Malaluan of De La Salle-Zobel, Faith Nisperos of Ateneo, FEU high school player Alexis Miner.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 26th, 2019

James Spencer ready, raring to don different kind of Pilipinas

James Spencer was made to wait a little longer for the golden opportunity to represent the Philippines. The Filipino-Australian came to the Philippines last year with the primary purpose of suiting up for Gilas Youth - then still known as Batang Gilas. "I've been eyeing the (youth) team since before I was even thinking to play college basketball out here. Batang Gilas was my first connection to the Philippines," he shared. However, he fell short of being eligible for the 2018 FIBA Asia Under-18 Championship in Thailand. "I got to practice with the team a bit before they went to the qualifiers. Unfortunately, my Filipino passport, basically, wasn't in line then," he recalled. Spencer made it clear, however, that his Filipino passport was actually good to go before that regional meet, but some complications apparently arose when it was forwarded to FIBA. The 6-foot-3 promising prospect would have been a much welcome addition to a Batang Gilas side that reached the semifinals of the qualifiers. Not only is he a big-bodied guard, he is also a knockdown shooter. He showed that sort of promise in last season's UAAP where he was part of the University of the Philippines' Cinderella run to the Finals. Spencer totaled two points, 10 rebounds, and 40 minutes in nine games that gave him a taste of how it feels like to have "Pilipinas" on his jersey. Fast forward a year and now, he is all set to contribute to Gilas Youth who will wage war in the 2019 FIBA Under-19 World Cup as he has been named into the 14-man pool going to Qatar for training camp and then to Greece for the tournament proper. For that, the 19-year-old is nothing but thankful. "Once the new coaching staff was in place, coach Sandy [Arespacochaga] gave me a call and said I should try out with my team. That's what I did and I've been given an opportunity to play in Qatar to play in a few tuneup games and participate in training camp," he said. He then continued, "From there, they're gonna make a decision on who will play in Greece. I'm just glad to be part of it all and I'm just excited to play for the country." And so, Spencer is now cherishing the golden opportunity to wear "Pilipinas" in international competition - "Pilipinas" without "Unibersidad ng" accompanying it. If and when he makes the cut for the national youth team, he hopes he can be part of the process that will smooth over relations between the Philippines and Australia. After all, a Fil-Aussie is the ideal candidate to prove that Filipinos and Australians can play nice once more. "I don't think people outside the Philippines understand Filipino hoops properly. I think it's something they really have to experience firsthand to appreciate how we play," he said. He then continued, "There might be that stereotype that we're rough players who are not skillful and just wanna be rough. But really, we're just physical." Whatever it is, Spencer promises to go all out for his family who have roots in Fairview, Quezon City. "I'm just happy for all of this and thankful my family is with me for all of this," he said. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 17th, 2019

UAAP 81 Volleyball Finals: Yes, returning to Ateneo was right choice for Finals MVP BDL

On April 21, 2018, Bea De Leon said that she may have played her last game for Ateneo de Manila University. "It's a possibility," she answered then when asked if she was forgoing her fifth and final year of eligibility. Three months later, however, De Leon decided that she was coming back to the Lady Eagles because of "unfinished business." And so, it was only nearly a year and a month later that the middle blocker, indeed, played her last game for the blue and white. There, the captain did nothing but take care of "unfinished business," leading her team to their first championship since 2015. In the three matches opposite University of Sto. Tomas, she averaged 7.7 points. More importantly, she was the foundation of a wall that stymied any other Golden Tigress not named Sisi Rondina in Games 2 and 3. At the end of it all, De Leon was celebrating her second championship as well as her first Finals MVP. And at the end of it all, she was proven right to have returned for her fifth and final year. "It's the best decision I've ever made," she beamed to reporters in the post-win interview - the last of her collegiate career. For that decision, the now 22-year-old is nothing but grateful for head coach Oliver Almadro. As she put it, "I'm so happy that Coach O still called me up because he had a choice not to and he had a choice to replace me. Pero he really called me up." He then continued, "I still remember the day when he did. I'm just thankful for Coach O for still wanting me to be part of the team." When it comes down to it, though, De Leon's decision was made easy because of Almadro who has made a name for himself as a coach who brings out the best in his players. "Alam mo namang hindi ka makakahindi kay Coach O. it was really the best decision I've ever made," she shared. She then continued, "We're here and we did it." Indeed, UAAP 81 Finals MVP BDL, you're here and you and your teammates did it. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 19th, 2019

UAAP 81 Volleyball Finals: Yes, returning to Ateneo was right choice for Finals MVP BDL

On April 21, 2018, Bea De Leon said that she may have played her last game for Ateneo de Manila University. "It's a possibility," she answered then when asked if she was forgoing her fifth and final year of eligibility. Three months later, however, De Leon decided that she was coming back to the Lady Eagles because of "unfinished business." And so, it was only nearly a year and a month later that the middle blocker, indeed, played her last game for the blue and white. There, the captain did nothing but take care of "unfinished business," leading her team to their first championship since 2015. In the three matches opposite University of Sto. Tomas, she averaged 7.7 points. More importantly, she was the foundation of a wall that stymied any other Golden Tigress not named Sisi Rondina in Games 2 and 3. At the end of it all, De Leon was celebrating her second championship as well as her first Finals MVP. And at the end of it all, she was proven right to have returned for her fifth and final year. "It's the best decision I've ever made," she beamed to reporters in the post-win interview - the last of her collegiate career. For that decision, the now 22-year-old is nothing but grateful for head coach Oliver Almadro. As she put it, "I'm so happy that Coach O still called me up because he had a choice not to and he had a choice to replace me. Pero he really called me up." He then continued, "I still remember the day when he did. I'm just thankful for Coach O for still wanting me to be part of the team." When it comes down to it, though, De Leon's decision was made easy because of Almadro who has made a name for himself as a coach who brings out the best in his players. "Alam mo namang hindi ka makakahindi kay Coach O. it was really the best decision I've ever made," she shared. She then continued, "We're here and we did it." Indeed, UAAP 81 Finals MVP BDL, you're here and you and your teammates did it. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 18th, 2019

UAAP Season 81 Finals: UST goes for the finisher, Ateneo seeks extension

University of Sto. Tomas head coach Kungfu Reyes is looking to finish off Ateneo de Manila University and end the Tigresses' nine-year championship wait on Wednesday in Game 2 of the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball best-of-three Finals at the MOA Arena. “Kung ano nasimulan namin ‘yun pa rin,” said Reyes, whose squad took the series opener on Saturday in straight sets to move a win away from its 15th title and first since Season 72. Game time is at 4:00 p.m. and will air live on ABS-CBN S+A Channel 23, ABS-CBN S+A HD Channel 166, LIGA SkyCable Channel 86, LIGA HD SkyCable Channel 183, iWant and via livestream. The Tigresses shocked the top seeded Lady Eagles in Game 1 with an emphatic 25-17, 25-16, 25-20, win – UST’s seventh straight victory of the season. “Papagandahin namin ang galaw namin para ma-lessen namin errors namin para matapos na sa Wednesday,” added Reyes. UST will pin its hopes on outgoing hitter Sisi Rondina, who is set to receive her Most Valuable Player award in the awards rites at 3:30 p.m., and Rookie of the Year winner Eya Laure with Caitlyn Viray, setter Alina Bicar and freshmen Ysa Jimenez, Kecelyn Galdones and libero Janel Delerio as support. Ateneo will try to force a Game 3. The series decider, if necessary, is on Saturday. Graduating middles Maddie Madayag and Bea De Leon are expected to go all out to extend their final season with the Lady Eagles, who are hoping to end a four-year title drought. Kat Tolentino, who was the only player in double figures in Game 1, need to get more help from other hitters in Jules Samonte and Ponggay Gaston, who was limited to only one point in three sets of play.   ---     Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles     .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 14th, 2019

DOC VOLLEYBALL: Storming The (Blue) Keep

Winning twice in the elimination round to continue a 15-game streak, the Ateneo Lady Eagles couldn’t have asked for a better match-up in the Finals in the form of the UST Golden Tigresses as past encounters would easily sway towards a blue momentum. The top seed however went in for a surprise as the Sisi Rondina-led pack showed a whole different UST team from the eliminations and proved why her team was the best offensive team at the expense of the best defensive team for a crucial first game sweep. With a dominant three-set win over the Lady Eagles, the Golden Tigresses have breached the gates and are within reach of the throne. At this point, with momentum undoubtedly behind the Tigresses, it is quite interesting how the Lady Eagles will be able to hold their ground and last wall of defense and eventually mark a counter offensive from the inside should they wish to extend the series to a deciding championship match. Swift Claws One glaring difference between how UST played in the elimination round and the way they won Game 1 of the Finals series was the speed of their play. Despite being in the back seat for most of the elimination round, veteran setter Alina Bicar dug deep since the semifinals and has been the crucial factor in their win against the Lady Eagles even more so than the stellar dominance of Queen Tigress Sisi Rondina. Throughout her UAAP career, Bicar has been a fairly overlooked setter due to noticeable lapses in consistency, decision making and quality (height and speed) of sets. Perhaps one saving grace Bicar had prior to this season’s step-up since the semifinals would be how fast the ball is released from her hands. In Game 1 however, it was a more potent Bicar who was on display as her setting (even the bump sets at that) was noticeably faster and with better trajectory that enabled her spikers to play through the solid net defense of the Lady Eagles. Though still utilizing the combination plays in the middle that are more likely to get blocked by tall and anticipating middles such as Bea De Leon and Maddie Madayag, Bicar’s decision-making was also a massive level up from how she played during the eliminations and the past seasons. Perhaps now that she has established a consistent shoot play to the left wing that proves problematic against the Atenean blockers, Bicar would find less reliance on combination plays that have less efficiency than a simple fast open to Rondina or Eya Laure. It is however an injustice to UST if credit won’t be given to the massive performance of their queen, Sisi Rondina. Just a quick look of her highlight reel is enough to tell the whole story of how she led the pack in decimating the Blue Defense be it up front or on the floor. Though expected to drop cherry bombs straight to the middle of the court to showcase her athleticism as seen throughout her career, Game 1 showed a Sisi Rondina who had long targets that proved to be a one-two punch for both the blockers and floor defenders of Ateneo. First, by going for long angle or line shots, Rondina ensures that she hits her maximum reach enough to work around the tall walls of the opponent. Second, by going for long targets, Rondina often landed her attacks on the perimeter of the blue court (a floor defense lapse exposed and exploited by rival Lady Spikers in their second round encounter). With Bicar’s fast sets, Rondina had more time and reach to work around the block and floor which proved too problematic for the Lady Eagles. Lastly, though it was a given that Rondina had the spotlight, the collective effort from Laure, Ysa Jimenez, KC Galdones and Caitlyn Viray was also a massive difference from the elimination round where UST has been branded as just a two-woman attacking team. Viray’s unorthodox set-up for a right pin attack despite being a middle and Galdones’ power from the middle earned crucial points for the team. Despite taking a backseat from her usual numbers, Eya Laure showed enough firepower to support Rondina a couple of which came from a low fast back play from Bicar which I’d like to see more of albeit pushed a little more to the right pin but with the same height and speed. Blunted Talons Right from the start of the match, the early assault of the Tigresses proved too much of a challenge for the Lady Eagles much like a dragon queen swooping over an army and decimating the wall of defense. UST clearly made prior work of how to circumvent the main asset of the Lady Eagles being their block by going for fast plays and long shots targeting unguarded zones such as high line and sharp angle. UST evading De Leon and Madayag’s defense set-up was already a big part of the equation as their offense proved successful in limiting the block points of the two middles to an unusual two and one kill blocks, respectively. It has been shown throughout the season that the main scoring output of the Lady Eagles are primarily the two middles and opposite Kat Tolentino. While there have been noticeable improvement from the second round towards the end of eliminations from both openers Ponggay Gaston and Jules Samonte, output from the left wing was sorely missing for the Lady Eagles for Game 1. A high output from transition could have been Ateneo’s saving grace as UST was successful in limiting them to just 17% in the passing department which is clearly not enough to active their main assets which are their middles. A combined effort of 16% efficiency by Samonte and Gaston (25% and 7% respectively) was clearly not enough to support Tolentino’s 28% efficiency to mount a counter offensive on the instances they had control of the first ball. In addition, it was noticeable how the Lady Eagles failed to capitalize with their block to hold UST at bay on a particular rotation in which only Rondina and Viray are up front and would attack from both pins without any benefit of a middle going for at least a decoy quick hit. With two relatively obvious spiker options, no quicker approaching, and no pipe or backrow attack tendencies, that specific rotation would have been the easiest for the Lady Eagles to earn points in succession. Moving forward, should the elimination top seed wish to force a Game Three, the main concern is obviously to ensure that Rondina can be neutralized. Sisi will definitely rack up the points, but by limiting her options in her attack angles, the Lady Eagles can have a relatively easier work with their defense. First option would be to slow down the setup of Bicar by serving her blind side. Should this option prove ineffective, the best possible option would be to serve long in the seam of zone 5 and 6 and target Rondina or Laure’s right side of their axis to keep them in the court as much as possible as they wind up for the approach. Doing so, their down the line shots would be a challenging option making it easier for Madayag and De Leon to block the sharp angle. Though Rondina is just one piece of the equation and much more can be expected of Laure, Jimenez, Viray, and Galdones in the upcoming match, ensuring that Bicar is hard pressed in setting up a fast play through well placed serves will be Ateneo’s best bet to force a decider match for the Season 81 throne.    .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 14th, 2019

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

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

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 10th, 2019