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Indeed, defense won NU s first championship since 1954

National University won its first championship since 1954 at the expense of Far Eastern University. The iconic moment in that special season, however, was Alfred Aroga's big-time block on Kiefer Ravena. Aroga's rejection of Ravena's layup in the UAAP 77 Final Four thrust National University to a historic championship and thwarted Ateneo de Manila University's grand plans of redemption. That resounding rejection thrust the Bulldogs to a historic championship while also thwarting Ateneo de Manila University's grand plans of redemption. That wasn't the only defensive highlight the blue and gold had throughout that title run, though. In fact, their Season 77 was just one big defensive highlight. "Nung offseason, kasi nga, umalis si Ray, hindi namin alam identity namin tapos lahat, gustong mag-score kasi siyempre, gusto magpakita," pesky guard Pao Javelona said in last Friday's The Prospects Pod. "Pero nung patapos na yung preseason, doon namin nalaman na yung strength namin is yung defense. Kahit hindi kami maka-score, basta yung kalaban, hindi rin maka-score." That year, National U played without top gun Ray Parks Jr. for the first time in four seasons. Of course, the offense would take a step back. With that, head coach Eric Altamirano turned their full focus at the other end. "Tamang-tama yung sinabi ni Pao e. When the team started to embrace yung identity na mananalo kami sa depensa at hindi sa offense, doon nagsimula e," he said. One of the keys to do just that was making Troy Rosario and Glenn Khobuntin their starters at forward instead of substitutes for each other. "Sa akin, as a coach, ang pinaka-pivotal na ginawa kong decision was to put Glenn at 3 since when he started with us, lagi siyang 4. Nung ginawa na namin siyang 3, lumaki kami, naging defensive team kami, we can switch-all," the always amiable mentor said. From there, both Rosario and Khobuntin emerged as end-to-end players with Alfred Aroga protecting the rim and Javelona placing himself right at the grill of opposing guards. Steady Gelo Alolino completed the first five and, without a doubt, that first five was dominant on defense. Even Ravena himself could only acknowledge that fact. As he put it, "Kay Pao naman talaga ako hirap na hirap, pero what's harder is pag maiwan ko na si Pao, ang sasalubong sa akin, si Troy, si Glenn, tsaka si Alfred. Ang hirap talaga and minsan nga, nung mga panahong yun, tinitignan ko na lang sina (NU assistant) coach Joey [Guano] tsaka coach Vic [Ycasiano], sabi ko, 'Pashoot-in niyo naman ako, coach.'" He then continued, "Ang hirap talaga e. Parang nakikipagbiruan na lang ako sa kanila and that's a testament to how they really prepare." Indeed, so stout was that Bulldog defense that they won all four of their matchups that year opposite the Phenom-led Blue Eagles. And indeed, so stout was that Bulldog defense that up until now, Aroga is tattooed on the mind of Ravena. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource: abscbn abscbnJul 12th, 2020

Vera breaks down Bhullar& rsquo;s game plan ahead of heavyweight title defense

Reigning ONE Heavyweight World Champion Brandon “The Truth” Vera is ready to face the toughest challenge in ONE Championship so far......»»

Category: sportsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsMay 5th, 2021

Vera reacts to Aliakbari KO: Worry about that person standing in front of you

Reigning ONE Heavyweight World Champion Brandon “The Truth” Vera is deep in training, preparing for his upcoming world title defense, but had enough time to spare to catch ONE Championship’s latest blockbuster event last Friday night, ONE: FISTS OF FURY II......»»

Category: sportsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsMar 9th, 2021

Coaching great John Thompson of Georgetown dead at 78

By JOSEPH WHITE AP Sports Writer WASHINGTON (AP) — John Thompson, the imposing Hall of Famer who turned Georgetown into a “Hoya Paranoia” powerhouse and became the first Black coach to lead a team to the NCAA men’s basketball championship, has died. He was 78 His death was announced in a family statement released by Georgetown on Monday. No details were disclosed. “Our father was an inspiration to many and devoted his life to developing young people not simply on but, most importantly, off the basketball court. He is revered as a historic shepherd of the sport, dedicated to the welfare of his community above all else,” the statement said. “However, for us, his greatest legacy remains as a father, grandfather, uncle, and friend. More than a coach, he was our foundation. More than a legend, he was the voice in our ear everyday.” One of the most celebrated and polarizing figures in his sport, Thompson took over a moribund Georgetown program in the 1970s and molded it in his unique style into a perennial contender, culminating with a national championship team anchored by center Patrick Ewing in 1984. Georgetown reached two other title games with Thompson in charge and Ewing patrolling the paint, losing to Michael Jordan’s North Carolina team in 1982 and to Villanova in 1985. At 6-foot-10, with an ever-present white towel slung over his shoulder, Thompson literally and figuratively towered over the Hoyas for decades, becoming a patriarch of sorts after he quit coaching in 1999. One of his sons, John Thompson III, was hired as Georgetown’s coach in 2004. When the son was fired in 2017, the elder Thompson -- known affectionately as “Big John” or “Pops” to many -- was at the news conference announcing Ewing as the successor. Along the way, Thompson said what he thought, shielded his players from the media and took positions that weren’t always popular. He never shied away from sensitive topics -- particularly the role of race in both sports and society -- and he once famously walked off the court before a game to protest an NCAA rule because he felt it hurt minority athletes. “I’ll probably be remembered for all the things that kept me out of the Hall of Fame, ironically, more than for the things that got me into it,” Thompson said on the day he was elected to the Hall in 1999. Thompson became coach of the Hoyas in 1972 and began remaking a team that was 3-23 the previous season. Over the next 27 years, he led Georgetown to 14 straight NCAA tournaments (1979-92), 24 consecutive postseason appearances (20 NCAA, 4 NIT), three Final Fours (1982, 1984, 1985) and won six Big East tournament championships. Employing a physical, defense-focused approach that frequently relied on a dominant center -- Alonzo Mourning and Dikembe Mutombo were among his other pupils -- Thompson compiled a 596-239 record (.715 winning percentage). He had 26 players drafted by the NBA. One of his honors -- his selection as coach of the U.S. team for the 1988 Olympics -- had a sour ending when the Americans had to settle for the bronze medal. It was a result so disappointing that Thompson put himself on a sort of self-imposed leave at Georgetown for a while, coaching practices and games but leaving many other duties to his assistants. Off the court, Thompson was both a role model and a lightning rod. A stickler for academics, he kept a deflated basketball on his desk, a reminder to his players that a degree was a necessity because a career in basketball relied on a tenuous “nine pounds of air.” The school boasted that 76 of 78 players who played four seasons under Thompson received their degrees. He was a Black coach who recruited mostly Black players to a predominantly white Jesuit university in Washington, and Thompson never hesitated to speak out on behalf of his players. One of the most dramatic moments in Georgetown history came on Jan. 14, 1989, when he walked off the court to a standing ovation before the tipoff of a home game against Boston College, demonstrating in a most public way his displeasure against NCAA Proposition 42. The rule denied athletic scholarships to freshmen who didn’t meet certain requirements, and Thompson said it was biased against underprivileged students. Opposition from Thompson, and others, led the NCAA to modify the rule. Thompson’s most daring move came that same year, when he summoned notorious drug kingpin Rayful Edmond III for a meeting in the coach’s office. Thompson warned Edmond to stop associating with Hoyas players and to leave them alone, using his respect in the Black community to become one of the few people to stare down Edmond and not face a reprisal. Though aware of his influence, Thompson did not take pride in becoming the first Black coach to take a team to the Final Four, and he let a room full of reporters know it when asked his feelings on the subject at a news conference in 1982. “I resent the hell out of that question if it implies I am the first Black coach competent enough to take a team to the Final Four,” Thompson said. “Other Blacks have been denied the right in this country; coaches who have the ability. I don’t take any pride in being the first Black coach in the Final Four. I find the question extremely offensive.” Born Sept. 2, 1941, John R. Thompson Jr. grew up in Washington, D.C. His father was always working — on a farm in Maryland and later as a laborer in the city — and could neither read nor write. “I never in my life saw my father’s hands clean,” Thompson told The Associated Press in 2007. “Never. He’d come home and scrub his hands with this ugly brown soap that looked like tar. I thought that was the color of his hands. When I was still coaching, kids would show up late for practice and I’d (say) ... ‘My father got up every morning of his life at 5 a.m. to go to work. Without an alarm.‘” Thompson’s parents emphasized education, but he struggled in part of because of poor eyesight and labored in Catholic grammar school. He was moved to a segregated public school, had a growth spurt and became good enough at basketball to get into John Carroll, a Catholic high school, where he led the team to 55 consecutive victories and two city titles. He went to Providence College as one of the most touted basketball prospects in the country and led the Friars to the first NCAA bid in school history. He graduated in 1964 and played two seasons with Red Auerbach’s Boston Celtics, earning a pair of championship rings as a sparingly used backup to Bill Russell. Thompson returned to Washington, got his master’s degree in guidance and counseling from the University of the District of Columbia and went 122-28 over six seasons at St. Anthony’s before accepting the job at Georgetown, an elite school that had relatively few Black students. Faculty and students rallied around him after a bedsheet with racist words was hung inside the school’s gym before a game during the 1974-75 season. Thompson sheltered his players with closed practices, tightly controlled media access and a prohibition on interviews with freshmen in their first semester -- a restriction that still stands for Georgetown’s basketball team. Combined with Thompson’s flashes of emotion and his players’ rough-and-tumble style of play, it wasn’t long before the words “Hoya Paranoia” came to epitomize the new era of basketball on the Hilltop campus. Georgetown lost the 1982 NCAA championship game when Fred Brown mistakenly passed the ball to North Carolina’s James Worthy in the game’s final seconds. Two years later, Ewing led an 84-75 win over Houston in the title game. The Hoyas were on the verge of a repeat the following year when they were stunned in the championship game by coach Rollie Massimino’s Villanova team in one of the biggest upsets in tournament history. Success allowed Thompson to rake in money through endorsements, but he ran afoul of his Georgetown bosses when he applied for a gambling license for a business venture in Nevada in 1995. Thompson, who liked playing the slot machines in Las Vegas, reluctantly dropped the application after the university president objected. Centers Ewing, Mourning and Mutombo turned Georgetown into “Big Man U” under Thompson, although his last superstar was guard Allen Iverson, who in 1996 also became the first player under Thompson to leave school early for the NBA draft. “Thanks for Saving My Life Coach,” Iverson wrote at the start of an Instagram post Monday with photos of the pair. The Hoyas teams in the 1990s never came close to matching the achievements of the 1980s, and Thompson’s era came to a surprising and sudden end when he resigned in the middle of the 1998-99 season, citing distractions from a pending divorce. Thompson didn’t fade from the limelight. He became a sports radio talk show host and a TV and radio game analyst, joining the very profession he had frustrated so often as a coach. He loosened up, allowing the public to see his lighter side, but he remained pointed and combative when a topic mattered to him. A torch was passed in 2004, when John Thompson III became Georgetown’s coach. The younger Thompson, with “Pops” often watching from the stands or sitting in the back of the room for news conferences, returned the Hoyas to the Final Four in 2007. Another son, Ronny Thompson, was head coach for one season at Ball State and is now a TV analyst. ___ Joseph White, a former AP sports writer in Washington who died in 2019, prepared this obituary. AP Sports Writer Howard Fendrich contributed......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 15th, 2020

Si Coach Boc ang game-changer ko -- Dawn Macandili

If there is one person that multi-awarded libero Dawn Macandili would give credit to for all that she has achieved in her career aside from college coach Ramil de Jesus it would be assistant coach Benson Bocboc. The quiet and soft-spoken De La Salle University deputy has been De Jesus’ numbers guy on the Lady Spikers bench, his reliable scout and a trusted strategist. [Related story:  DLSU's weapon against Ateneo: Clipboard and tablet] But for Macandili he is more than just DLSU’s man who crunches numbers or the one who prepares scouting reports.   “Si Coach Boc ang game-changer ko,” Macandili said in her appearance on Volleyball DNA hosted by Anton Roxas and Denden Lazaro. Macandili said that when Bocboc went on board as the Lady Spikers prepared for Season 78 – the start of DLSU’s third three-peat – he immediately went down to work to help strengthen DLSU’s floor defense particularly focusing on liberos Macandili and CJ Saga.     “Nu’ng dumating si Coach Boc, sobrang na-focus niya ang mga libero kasi ang style niya is Japanese training,” Macandili shared. “In-introduce niya kami sa mga drills na pang-Japanese. Sobrang na-amaze ako, ‘Wow Japanese style na defense.’” Macandili added that it was the first time since she joined the Lady Spikers that a practice session solely dedicated for liberos was added into their training schedule.    “Ang daming drills na pinapagawa sa amin. Natutuwa ako kasi I’m always looking forward to learning something new,” she said. Bocboc according to Macandili was very technical, correcting them down to the smallest details. “Lagi niya kaming ini-introduce sa techniques. Gusto ko siyang ma-master. So every training may pinapagawa siya sa amin. Iba rin kasi talaga siyang mag-correct, to the slightest detail,” said the Tanauan, Batangas pride. “Dun ko na-realize na volleyball is very technical. Di lang basta na marunong kang mag-receive, marunong kang mag-dig pass. Hindi, kung marunong kang mag-receive kailangan ganito ang form mo, kailangan ganito kababa, mga ganoon.” He came into the team at the most critical time as DLSU was then shifting to a new approach to its system following two straight heartbreaking championship losses to the powerhouse Alyssa Valdez-led archrival Ateneo de Manila University Lady Eagles. “[Up to the] smallest details ang itinuturo niya sa amin and makikita mo talaga ang effect niya sa training and sa game,” said Macandili. Under Bocboc’s guidance, Macandili had her breakout season in 2016 as she played a key role in the Lady Spikers’ ascent back to the UAAP throne. Macandili in Season 78 was named Best Receiver, which she would win again the following year, and Best Digger while helping DLSU begin another three-year reign. Macandili would continue to rack in individual accolades, winning the Most Valuable Player award in the Philippine Superliga in 2016, being named the 2nd Best Libero in the 2017 AVC Asian Women’s Senior Championship as a member of the national team before wrapping up her UAAP career by bagging the Finals MVP in Season 80 - the first defense specialist to receive the honor. All thanks to the DLSU assistant coach. “Nag-iba talaga ang mindset ko nun sa volleyball na parang ang lawak niya na ang dami ko pang di alam. Doon ako na-engganyo na I want to learn more, more, more. I want to learn more talaga,” she said.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 24th, 2020

SUPER SHOWDOWN: La Salle Paraiso vs UST Paraiso

Brent Paraiso made his name as a determined defender during his days in De La Salle Zobel. He rode that effort and energy all the way to a spot on the fully loaded lineup for De La Salle University in UAAP 79. Not only that, the 6-foot-2 swingman actually started five games for the Green Archers in their dominant 16-1 title run. Paraiso's norms were not necessarily eye-opening, but he contributed nonetheless to a championship - especially to a defense predicated on "mayhem." The year after, he yet again started five games as they wound up as runners-up. From there, however, the La Salle lifer decided to take his talents somewhere else - University of Sto. Tomas, to be exact. And in his first year as a Growling Tiger, he showed off a more well-rounded game, averaging 7.2 points and totaling 28 threes. The numbers were higher, without a doubt, but he also became less of an enforcer in black and gold. Meaning, the Brent Paraiso of now is not necessarily the Brent Paraiso of before - a fiery competitor that got under the skin of opponents all while getting his teammates going. Do you miss that old Brent? Or do you like the new Brent better? That is what we weigh against each other in this week's ABS-CBN Sports Super Showdown. To figure out who comes out on top between the old Brent and the new Brent, we will be judging them in five categories (shooting, finishing, defense, role, and attitude) with a boxing-style 10-point must system determining the decision. SHOOTING The new Brent is well on his way to becoming a 3-and-D guy. Paraiso made good on a respectable 32.6 percent of his 86 shots from downtown. For reference, he only attempted 11 triples in his two years in La Salle and only converted one of them. Of course, more minutes meant more openings for him to put up shots, but there is still no doubt that his stroke is now surer. Advantage, UST Paraiso 10-8 FINISHING Paraiso has never been known as a shot-creator. In black and gold, however, he has become more confident with his ballhandling. With that, the new Brent no longer settles for jump shots and could slice and dice his way to the ring if he wants to. Once inside, he prefers floaters and still has work to do in terms of taking it up strong. Still, this is an improvement from his days in La Salle when he was more of just a catch-and-shoot threat. Advantage, UST Paraiso 10-9 DEFENSE Quick feet and active hands have always been there for Paraiso. And in UST, he has coupled those with wisdom coming from age and experience. Still, the new Brent could not come close to the old Brent in terms of sticking to his man and standing his ground. That Paraiso was only third to Ben Mbala and Kib Montalbo in energizing La Salle's "mayhem." While his steal counts were never up there, but head coach Aldin Ayo always knew full well he could count on his youthful workhorse to do his best against an opposing team's weapon. Advantage, La Salle Paraiso 10-9 ROLE Starting games has been one of Paraiso's roles since his rookie season. From being a quality minutes guy in La Salle, though, he is now a regular rotation piece in UST. The old Brent proved worthy of being a sparkplug for the Green Archers in their first- and second-place finishes. As a Growling Tiger, however, he also proved he could be much more than that as they made it all the way to the Finals. Now, the new Brent is somebody who could impact the game on offense just as much as he could do so on defense. Advantage, UST Paraiso 10-9 ATTITUDE The old Brent is the classic played you would love on your side and you would hate on the other. The new Brent is no longer like that as he has matured and just puts his full focus on his role for UST. For out taste, though, Paraiso the enforcer remains a player to remember - much more than the more well-rounded player now in black and gold. Advantage, La Salle Paraiso 10-9 FINAL: 48-46 for UST Paraiso --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 20th, 2020

WHAT IF Marck Espejo played for DLSU?

We all know what Marck Espejo brought to Ateneo when he donned the Blue Eagles jersey in the UAAP. He led the blue and white to three straight titles in five consecutive Finals appearances in indoor volleyball and captured Ateneo’s first and so far lone championship in beach volleyball. As a player, Espejo achieved a feat difficult to surpass if not replicate. A Rookie of the Year award, five straight Most Valuable Player honors aside from other individual accolades. The Marikina pride even registered the league’s most points in a game with 55 during his last tour of duty with the Blue Eagles in Season 80. Espejo’s impact left a lasting imprint not only to the Blue Eagles but also to the entire league. Arguably, his persona could even also be attributed to the renewed popularity of men’s volleyball in the country which for years failed to bask in the same limelight enjoyed by women’s play. Indeed, Ateneo found a precious gem in Espejo. But what if Espejo decided to take his talents to a different school? Let’s say, De La Salle University. After all the green and white was actually one of Espejo’s options heading into college. [Related story: DID YOU KNOW? Marck Espejo almost played for DLSU] If Espejo played for the Green Spikers, he would definitely be a game changer. The Ateneo-National University championship rivalry wouldn’t have happened. Instead, it would’ve been the Bulldogs and Green Spikers duking it out for the crown during Espejo’s UAAP stint.      “Kung sa amin siya naglaro panigurado malaki ‘yung impact sa team namin kasi alam naman natin si Marck malakas talaga siya kahit buong team kaya niyang dalhin,” former DLSU setter and now assistant coach Geuel Asia told ABS-CBN Sports. Asia, who played for the Green Spikers from Season 75 to Season 79, added that he’s very familiar with Espejo's game as they were teammates when the National Capital Region ruled the 2012 Palarong Pambansa in Lingayen, Pangasinan.       “So malakas ang impact niya sa DLSU kung sakali. Power and mind maglaro si Marck so malaki ang matutulong niya sa DLSU,” said the former national team playmaker and Espejo's Cignal HD Spikers teammate. "Fit din siya sa system. Kahit na anong sistema aayon sa kanya, magiging comfortable siya."  In fact, with him on board DLSU in Season 76, the Green Spikers might have even gotten a trip to the Final Four. The Green Spikers, who finished third n Season 75, were eliminated by Adamson University in the playoff for no. 4 spot the following season.  Imagine Espejo adding more firepower to DLSU, which already had Season 75 MVP Red Christensen, Raymark Woo, Aaron Calderon, Ralph Calasin and Philip Cerveza. “Sobrang lakas talaga kung nangyari ‘yung ganun. Kasi yun din time na yun malakas si Woo eh,” said Asia. With Espejo, who was second in scoring in his rookie year and was in the top 10 in spiking, blocking, service and digs, DLSU might not even need to go to the playoff for a semis spot. Heck, the Green Spikers might even land at no. 2 - just like how Espejo led Ateneo into the Finals in Season 76 to face NU – considering that Christensen, Woo and Cerveza that year were consistently producing big numbers and contributing well on defense.      Of course, that team would still find it difficult to surpass the powerhouse Peter Torres-led Bulldogs in the championship. But at least that would’ve given DLSU the much-needed championship experience. Let’s say Woo didn’t suffer a knee injury during the pre-season while playing in a ligang labas that forced him to sit out  year, then DLSU would have remained a solid contender in Season 77. There might even have been the possibility that the Green Spikers ended a decade-long title-drought that year as they would have been parading an experienced and solid lineup composed of Espejo, Woo, setters Brendon Santos and Asia, libero Jopet Movido, Calderon, Christensen, Mike Frey, Arjay Onia, Cris Dumago and Calasin. The possibility of DLSU winning another title or two in the next three seasons with Espejo at the helm might not be far from reality.    But then of course Season 80 would be a different story. That year the Green Spikers would’ve parted ways with most of its veterans leaving Espejo, Onia, Dumago and Frey leading a young team piloted by third year setter Wayne Marco.    Even if DLSU did manage to crawl its way back into the Finals in Espejo’s last year, it would be extremely difficult to hurdle the Bulldogs parading a tall and very talented crew led by ace hitter Bryan Bagunas, Kim Malabunga, Madzlan Gampong, James Natividad, Francis Saura, setter Kim Dayandante and libero Ricky Marcos.    But then again, a DLSU squad bannered by Espejo in the UAAP would have definitely been a sight to behold. Too bad we could only imagine the what ifs.   ---    Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 19th, 2020

Toronto s Nurse is most impressive coach says G League s Shaw

The 2018-2019 season was a milestone year for the Toronto Raptors. With Kawhi Leonard leading the way, the Raptors finished with 58 wins for their second-best regular season in franchise in history. In the playoffs, Toronto embarked on one of the most inspiring runs ever. The Raptors culminated their journey with a six-game conquest of the two-time champion Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals for their first NBA title. A lot of last season's success falls on the players led by Kawhi, but Toronto's championship win also coincided with Nick Nurse's first-year as head coach. This season, Kawhi is no longer a Raptor but Toronto retained the no. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs on the strength of their best regular season ever as a franchise. Toronto's success in 2020 makes Nurse's impact pretty evident. Despite losing their no. 1 star, Coach Nick still has the champion Raptors as arguably the team to beat in these years playoffs. "Hands down for me, the most impressive coaching job that I've seen this year was Nick Nurse and the Toronto Raptors. I was impressed last year in his rookie season as well," G League Select Team coach Brian Shaw said in an interview set up by NBA Philippines. "I think people expected for the Toronto Raptors to drop off because Kawhi Leonard is not there, but he had them playing competitively all season long. I still think they're the team to beat until somebody knocks them off," he added. Shaw says Nurse's genius lies behind his ability to cook up defenses to go against multiple teams and multiple star players. True enough, the Raptors are second in the NBA in defensive rating. Toronto is also no. 1 in steals among all teams in the NBA bubble. "I was impressed by his schemes, particularly defensively. Nick Nurse has shown the ability to take the other team's stars out of the game by using unconventional methods. I've seen games where he's played box-and-one, triangle-and-two, zone defense," Shaw said. "We know that whoever team's stars can beat you, what he does is throws the whole defense at those guys and see if the rest of the team can beat us. I think he's unique in that way, in some of the approaches he takes on the defensive end," Shaw added of Coach Nurse.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 17th, 2020

ON THIS DAY: Dawn Macandili was named Asia’s 2nd Best Libero

Dawn Macandili has reached great heights in her storied volleyball career. Three UAAP titles with De La Salle University, success in the commercial league including a Most Valuable Player award, numerous individual honors and a regular stint in the national team since 2017 are some of the highlights on her stacked resume. However, Macandili’s greatest personal achievement is when the Tanauan, Batangas native stood tall alongside Asia’s biggest name in women’s volleyball. Three years ago on this day, the diminutive defense specialist of the national team earned the honor of being one of the continent’s finest during the 2017 AVC Asian Senior Women's Volleyball Championship. Although the Filipinas ended up in eighth place in the 14-country field, Macandili gave the local crowd a sense of pride when she stepped on the podium to receive her 2nd Best Libero award. A reward worth all the dives, tumbles and running all over the court to chase the ball to keep the play alive. “Bawing-bawi,” the 24-year old libero said then. What made that night extra special for Macandili was it was also on that same day the year before when she became the first libero in a local commercial league to win an MVP award. In 2016, Macandili spearheaded F2 Logistics to the Philippine Superliga All-Filipino Conference throne and on her way to bagging the highest individual award. During the competition, Macandili was the catalyst of the Nationals’ transition from defense to offense. Her court smarts, timing and athleticism in manning the floor proved to be a valuable asset for the then Francis Vicente-mentored squad. She made her biggest impact when the Filipinas defeated Southeast Asian powerhouse Vietnam. Macandili tallied 19 digs and 12 excellent receptions in a 27-25, 26-24, 17-25, 25-23, win over the Vietnamese in the quarterfinals classification round. Her impact during the course of the competition didn’t go unnoticed. The crowd inside the Alonte Sports Arena in Binan, Laguna exploded in jubilation when Macandili’s name was called during the awarding of individual honors. Macandili during that memorable night stood alongside Asian stars Risa Shinnabe of  tournament champion Japan, who was named MVP, Korean star hitter Kim Yeon-Koung and Chatchu-on Moksri of Thailand, legendary Thai setter Nootsara Tomkom, middles Hattaya Bamrungsuk of Thailand and Japanese Nana Iwasaka and Chinese opposite hitter Jin Ye. Japanese Mako Kobata was the 1st Best Libero winner. “I think it shows that we Filipinos can achieve greater heights if we put our mind to it,” Macandili told ABS-CBN Sports in a separate interview.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 17th, 2020

SUPER SHOWDOWN: San Beda-Adamos-Perps Adamos

As it stands today, Ben Adamos is one of the best young big men in the Philippines. The 6-foot-6 center was a double-double machine in his first season for University of Perpetual Help. Posting per game counts of 11.6 points, 8.8 rebounds, and 1.1 assists he stood as the pillar of the Altas’ challenging, yet still competitive campaign. Even before his transfer to Las Pinas, however, Adamos was already standing strong. In particular, his first year in San Beda University had him functioning as the modern big man in head coach Jamike Jarin's modern game plan. Starting 13 games and providing a big boost off the bench in the 10 others, he averaged 5.9 points and 3.3 rebounds as the Red Lions reclaimed the throne. Unfortunately, a year later, he got lost in the shuffle in new mentor Boyet Fernandez's more deliberate offensive and defensive schemes. Fortunately, it didn’t take long for him to get a golden opportunity to take his talents elsewhere. Now, the 22-year-old is continuing to showcase his skills as a modern big man who has nothing but a high ceiling for the future of his young career. Which Ben Adamos is more impressive, though? The one who ran and gunned with San Beda? Or the one who makes a living inside and outside in Perps? The answer will be made known in this week's ABS-CBN Sports Super Showdown. To figure out who comes out on top between the two versions, we will be judging them in five categories (inside scoring, outside scoring, defense, consistency, and impact) with a boxing-style 10-point must system determining the decision. INSIDE SCORING With his size, Adamos always has an advantage at the rim. Where he differs from the usual bigs, however, is the versatility of his moves down low. Adamos could face up just as good as he could back down - he would not overpower his fellow bigs, but he has nifty footwork to get himself to a spot he likes. In Perpetual, though, he has improved his nose for the ball which puts him at the right place, at the right time as evidenced by his 2.8 offensive rebounds per game. For reference, he had 1.3 boards per game in his time in San Beda. Advantage, Perps Adamos 10-9 OUTSIDE SCORING   What makes a modern big man is a sweet stroke from outside the paint - and Adamos has just that. Be it from mid-range or long-range, he could take and make a shot. It was in San Beda where he showed off this shooting touch, serving as a stretch-4 or stretch-5 for their run-and-gun offense and totaling 12 triples and many, many long 2s as Dan Sara and Robert Bolick's pick-and-pop partner. Adamos still launches long-range missiles in Perpetual, 10 in total to be exact, but he is, more often than not, stationed at or near the paint. That means that the true modern big man - in terms of offense, at the very least - was what we saw in Adamos as a Red Lion. Advantage, San Beda Adamos 10-9 DEFENSE Adamos was never much of a paint protector in San Beda - he didn't have to be as they had Donald Tankoua and Arnaud Noah. When needed, however, he still proved to be up to the task and had averages of 1.4 blocks. Fast forward to his time in Perpetual and Adamos realized his potential at the defensive end as he averaged 1.9 blocks. He was firm at the rim, without a doubt, but could also keep up with wings and guards thanks to his quick feet. Of course, Adamos wasn't Prince Eze at that end, but he more than made up for his height and length difference with the Nigerian tower with a whole lot of effort and energy. Advantage, Perps Adamos 10-9 CONSISTENCY San Beda's championship winning machine has always operated through total team effort. That means that, yes, Adamos had more than a few good to great games in Season 92, but also had some games where he had to take a backseat to the likes of Robert Bolick, Javee Mocon, and Davon Potts. In Perps, though, he is the main man in the middle and is a double-double threat game in and game out. As Frankie Lim's starter all throughout the tournament, Adamos got together with Edgar Charcos as the inside-outside combination that made sure the Altas remained a tough out. Advantage, Perps Adamos 10-9 IMPACT Coach Jamike had tantalizing talents in Bolick, Mocon, Potts, and Tankoua, but it was modern big man Adamos who made sure they played new-age basketball. Capable and confident of scoring from all over, he was often the recipient and finisher of set-ups by Bolick and Dan Sara. Make no mistake, Adamos made an immediate impact in his first year in Perpetual and made sure they had a ready-made replacement for MVP Eze. His role in red and white under Jarin, however, remains his most perfect fit. Advantage, San Beda Adamos 10-9 FINAL: 48-47 for Perps Adamos.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 13th, 2020

Philippine Sports History: U-Tex stuns Toyota for 1980 PBA Open Conference title

U-Tex defeated Toyota 99-98 in overtime to capture the @pbaconnect Open crown on this day in 1980. Coach Tommy Manotoc and the Wranglers won despite trailing by four with 16 seconds left in regulation. It was later described as “the PBA’s longest 16 seconds” Tommy Manotoc continues to feel a sense of accomplishment 40 years after steering U-Tex to one of the most incredible title victories in PBA history. “(Beating) Toyota was an achievement that we felt like we did a lot,” Manotoc said in June when he appeared in the Usapang Basketball webinar. The manner by how the Wranglers claimed the PBA Open Conference crown on Aug. 2, 1980 with a 99-98 overtime win at the Araneta Coliseum is a good reason why Manotoc should describe it in such a way. U-Tex was supposed to be on the losing end of the best-of-five series after being down by four points with 16 seconds remaining. But in a stunning turnaround, the Wranglers were able to force the game into overtime where they were able to complete the remarkable triumph. Toyota was supposed to have the title won when Francis Arnaiz scored a layup to make it 94-90. There was jubilation all around the Tamaraws bench and their fans while the Wranglers were on the brink of paying dearly for making a curious gamble in Game 4. U-Tex trailed by as many as 21 points, but tried to mount a comeback by pulling within nine early in the payoff period. But Manotoc chose to do the unthinkable by sitting out his starters, namely Bogs Adornado and even imports Glenn McDonald and Aaron James. Toyota would pull away to force a rubber match while Manotoc dealt with the responsibility of explaining his decision. “The game was totally lost for us and it was useless fighting when I knew we could not win anymore,” said Manotoc after the game, adding that U-Tex management supported his strategy. “I told management that if we could not lower Toyota’s margin to five points early in the fourth quarter, I will be forced to rest my top guns,” added Manotoc, then just 31. “We played badly. I’m happy it happened tonight.” Manotoc, according to newspaper accounts, later said that he quoted a Chinese proverb which stated: “One step backward and two steps forward.” Criticism spilled into the opinions section of the major dailies. “No amount of rationalization will convince basketball ‘aficionados to believe the U-Tex team did not throw the game away for a consideration,” wrote Bulletin Today columnist Jesus Bigornia.  “For their dispirited showing, compounded by the suspicion they have been ‘reached,’ the Wranglers became the butt of jeers and the object of balled-up newspapers thrown onto the hard court. Even the most ardent ‘Wrangler’ fans hung their heads in shame,” added Bigornia. There was determination for U-Tex to silence the critics with a crew powered by Adornado, who was looking to add a championship to his major comeback after joining the Wranglers following a rash of injuries that hounded him during his days with the Crispa Redmanizers. There’s also McDonald, who four years earlier played a key role in the Boston Celtics’ epic triple overtime win over the Phoenix Suns in Game 5 of the NBA Finals, former New Orleans Jazz cager James, ex-La Salle star Lim Eng Beng and Fritz Gaston. But even that determined spirit looked like it would go for naught when Arnaiz’s layup gave he Tamaraws that 94-90 lead. Manotoc, however, was not giving up without trying. “Percentage-wise, medyo tapos na,” he said during the Usapang Basketball webinar. “But I said don’t give up.” James scored a quick basket on the return play to cut the gap to two. Prior to that, Manotoc, known for his emphasis on defense throughout his coaching career, had instructions to wait for the pass and go for the steal, with McDonald tasked to intercept the inbound given his athleticism. And lo and behold, McDonald got the interception off Tuadles’ inbound before getting fouled by Arnaiz, subsequently making two pressure-packed free throws that sent Game 5 into overtime. The Wranglers trailed again in the extension 98-96 but Lim Eng Beng hit a free throw off Ramon Fernandez’s sixth foul before Adornado delivered the go-ahead shot with over a minute to go. Adornado’s basket eventually became the match winner as U-Tex became a two-time champion, repeating the feat after its 1978 second conference triumph where it beat Crispa. Manotoc reflected on the previous game. “Who knows, maybe it was those six minutes of rest which gave my boys the extra strength to pull off that win. The victory certainly was a vindication on our part,” Manotoc said after being given a victory ride. For Toyota import Andy Fields, the loss still lingers to this day. “That was the worst loss in my entire career,” lamented Fields during an episode of An Eternity of Basketball weeks ago. Now 71 years old, it seems that Manotoc couldn’t still figure out how his Wranglers did it in the most unimaginable fashion. “In fairness to Toyota, they thought they had it won, which ordinarily you do with four points and 16 seconds (remaining),” he said, “The basketball gods favored us then. It’s a rarity in basketball, especially at those levels and playing a very high caliber team with very seasoned players.”.....»»

Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsAug 2nd, 2020

Indians Bieber strikes out 13 against Twins to tie record

By The Associated Press CLEVELAND (AP) — Cleveland’s Shane Bieber tied the major league record for strikeouts in a pitcher’s first two starts of the season, punching out 13 Minnesota Twins over eight innings in the Indians’ 2-0 victory on Thursday night. Bieber (2-0) fanned 14 over six scoreless innings on Friday against Kansas City. His 27 strikeouts in the two games matched the record set by Karl Spooner of the Brooklyn Dodgers in September 1954 during the first two starts of his short career. Facing a Twins team that came in with the second-best run differential in baseball, Bieber allowed three singles in his eight innings. Francisco Lindor supplied all the offense Cleveland needed with a two-run homer in the third inning off Jose Berríos (0-1). After Jose Ramirez singled with two outs, Berrios left an 0-2 pitch up over the plate, and Lindor drove it over the fence in right for his second homer of the season. YANKEES 8, ORIOLES 6 BALTIMORE (AP) — Aaron Judge hit a three-run homer in the ninth inning after New York blew an early five-run lead, and the Yankees swept an impromptu two-game series. Luke Voit hit his first career grand slam for the Yankees, who stretched their winning streak against Baltimore to 18 games and notched their 17th consecutive victory at Camden Yards. New York has swept six straight series from the Orioles dating to early last year. Judge’s second homer in two games — a no-doubt shot to left off Cole Sulser (0-1) — came after Pedro Severino put Baltimore in front with a two-run drive in the eighth against Jonathan Loaisiga (1-0). Zack Britton worked the ninth for his second save. After Voit connected in a five-run first inning against John Means, Hanser Alberto hit a two-run drive in the bottom half off J.A. Happ. Rio Ruiz homered for the third time in five games with a man on in the second to cut the deficit to 5-4. RED SOX 4, METS 2 NEW YORK (AP) — Christian Vázquez hit two more homers and Martín Pérez gave Boston’s patchwork rotation a much-needed lift. Pérez (1-1) overcame four walks and some shaky defense behind him, allowing only two hits while striking out five in 5 2/3 innings for his first win with the Red Sox. Vázquez connected twice off Steven Matz (0-1), including a two-run shot on an 0-2 pitch in the fourth that put Boston ahead 3-2. Boston loaded the bases with nobody out in the ninth and added an insurance run when Edwin Díaz hit José Peraza with a pitch. Brandon Workman, on the mound for the third straight day after throwing 30 pitches Wednesday, got the last three outs for his second save — both in the last two nights. ROYALS 5, TIGERS 3 DETROIT (AP) — Trevor Rosenthal pitched a scoreless ninth for his first save since 2017 and Kansas City overcame Miguel Cabrera’s first multihomer game since 2016. Once a standout closer for St. Louis, Rosenthal has struggled with his health and his effectiveness in recent years, finishing 2019 with a 13.50 ERA in 22 appearances with the Nationals and Tigers. When he retired JaCoby Jones on a grounder to end the game, he gave his glove a little celebratory tap. The Royals' offense came through late. Whit Merrifield scored on Salvador Perez’s grounder to break a 2-all tie in the seventh. Bubba Starling added a double the following inning that gave Kansas City two insurance runs it ended up needing. Cabrera hit solo homers in the first and eighth, and Jonathan Schoop added one for Detroit in the fourth. It was Cabrera’s first multihomer game since Sept. 30, 2016 at Atlanta, and he’s gone deep three times in the first seven games this year after hitting only 12 home runs in 2019. Greg Holland (1-0) won in relief for the Royals, and Jose Cisnero (1-1) took the loss. BRAVES 2, RAYS 1 ATLANTA (AP) — Max Fried retired Tampa Bay’s first 14 batters and combined with three relievers on a four-hitter to lead Atlanta. Dansby Swanson had a run-scoring single in Atlanta’s two-run second inning. Fried (1-0) struck out seven and walked one while allowing one run in 6 2/3 innings. The left-hander improved to 4-0 in four interleague starts. Luke Jackson, and Shane Greene combined for four outs before Mark Melancon pitched the ninth for his second save. Ryan Yarbrough (0-1) allowed two runs on only two hits with three walks in 6 1/3 innings. NATIONALS 6, BLUE JAYS 4 WASHINGTON (AP) — Michael A. Taylor’s second homer of the season helped the “visiting” Nationals knock around struggling Hyun-Jin Ryu and beat home-away-from-home Toronto before both teams head into a coronavirus-caused mini break. Kurt Suzuki delivered a two-run double and Asdrúbal Cabrera added an RBI double off Ryu (0-1), who gave up Taylor’s two-run shot to straightaway center that he celebrated with a socially distanced dugout dance in the fourth. Erick Fedde, making his second start in place of a sidelined Stephen Strasburg, gave up two runs in 3 1/3 innings. Ryne Harper (1-0) followed and got five outs for the win. Daniel Hudson pitched the ninth to earn his first save of the year. Nationals rookie third baseman Carter Kieboom reached base four times — two singles, two walks — and scored twice. Teoscar Hernández homered twice, giving him four during this four-game series at Washington, and Cavan Biggio hit a solo shot for Toronto. Neither team will play again until Tuesday, a four-day gap that is normally unheard of in baseball, where clubs can go weeks at a time without any respite......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 31st, 2020

SUPER SHOWDOWN: rookie Dindin Santiago vs. rookie Jaja Santiago

Towering sisters Dindin Santiago-Manabat and Jaja Santiago left lasting impacts in the UAAP. Versatile, talented and intimidating are just some of the traits the siblings share. Both are vital cogs in their local commercial league club and are valuable assets to the national team. International clubs even took notice of the Santiago sisters’ dominant presence and high-level volleyball skills that they landed deals to play in the prestigious Japan V. Premier League. And of course if you’re a University of Sto. Tomas faithful you’ll often wonder what the Tigresses would have achieved if the sisters stayed in Espana instead of moving to National University. Looking back, we saw how the Santiago sisters evolved into what they are today. With their towering presence, both immediately made valuable contribution during their debut seasons? But then again, which Santiago made a bigger impact in their rookie year? Dindin’s first year with UST or Jaja’s maiden tour of duty for NU?   OFFENSE and DEFENSE Dindin right now stands at 6-foot-2 while Jaja is listed at 6-foot-5, even if we deduct a few inches from their current height during their respective debuts they’ll still be pretty tall compared to the rest of the field. In Season 72, Dindin complemented an already stacked Tigresses. Though overshadowed by legends Aiza Maizo and Angeli Tabaquero, Dindin made a decent contribution on offense averaging almost six points per game. Dindin was on UST’s top five in the blocking department. Compared to her older sister, Jaja’s rookie year in Season 76 was more impressive. Jaja averaged 10.7 points per outing behind her Dindin (16.7), who was then on her last year after transferring to NU. Jaja had a 41.99% success rate in attacks – landing at second spot overall after Dindin’s (46.10%). The younger Santiago normed 0.50 kill blocks per set to anchor the Lady Bulldogs’ net defense.        TEAM IMPACT Dindin was a welcome addition to the Tigresses. However, playing in a squad filled with veterans left Dindin little room to display her full potential. Maizo and Tabaquero shared much of the scoring load while Maika Ortiz, Maru Banaticla and Judy Ann Caballejo provided the extra punch. But Dindin did play her role well as one of head coach Shaq delos Santos’ prized recruits. Dindin, indeed, made her presence felt in her own little way as UST climbed its way into the Finals. Jaja’s entry in Season 76 put NU as one of the top contenders to challenge the then reigning three-peat champion De La Salle University. Together with her sister, they formed NU’s dreaded twin towers and with the likes of Mina Aganon, Aiko Urdas and Myla Pablo, many predicted the Lady Bulldogs would make it all the way to the Finals. In fact, NU almost did before the Alyssa Valdez-led Ateneo de Manila University spoiled everything.      As a consolation for all her hard work, Jaja was the runaway winner of the Rookie of the Year award   COMPETITION Dindin played in a very competitive field. She took on a number of powerhitters and precision spikers like De La Salle University’s Big Three in Paneng Mercado, Jacq Alarca and Cha Cruz. Dindin also faced Adamson University’s Angela Benting and Pau Soriano, Ateneo had Dzi Gervacio and Fille Cainglet, Far Eastern University’s Cherry Vivas, NU’s Mervic Mangui, Mela Lopez of University of the Philippines and Kite Rosale of University of the East. Jaja, on the other hand, had to contend with an equally powerful field. Valdez was on a different level that season, so was DLSU with the trio of Ara Galang, Aby Marano and Mika Reyes. Bang Pineda was wreaking havoc for Adamson, FEU had Bernadeth Pons, Mela Tunay and Pam Lastimosa were the stars of UST, UP had their own towers in Kathy Bersola and Angeli Araneta while Shaya Adorador was UE’s standout.      LASTING IMPRESSION Dindin, of course, was the fortunate one among the siblings. She experienced the glory of winning championship after helping the Tigresses dethrone the Lady Spikers in her first year. That championship remains as UST’s last title to this day. But what really stuck was Dindin’s decision to jump ship a season after winning the crown. Dindin made the headlines when she left UST to join the Lady Bulldogs in a move that drew mixed reactions and a whole lot of speculations in what convinced her to drop the black and gold for NU’s colors. Dindin’s transfer was followed by Jaja committing to NU after a successful run with UST’s high school team. Jaja won the RoY award and helped NU move a win closer to a Finals appearance. The Lady Bulldogs were armed with a twice-to-beat advantage but NU’s twin towers and talents were not enough to overcome the steamrolling Lady Eagles. Jaja’s career started off at least on a good note considering how far NU advanced after years of frustrations. Jaja would eventually lead the Lady Bulldogs to two more Final Four appearance with their last in Season 80 – the same year when she bagged the Most Valuable Player award.     Now who’s the better rookie Santiago? Hard to tell. On one side, you have Dindin who won a championship while on the other you have Jaja with her individual accomplishments and accolades.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 31st, 2020

Floyd Mayweather Jr. says Manny Pacquiao continues to fight because he has to

A little over five years after the Manny Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather Jr. bout, people still wonder if there's ever going to be a sequel.  Since that highly-anticipated 2015 bout between arguably two of boxing's biggest stars, Pacquiao and Mayweather's careers have gone in vastly different directions.  Following his 12-round loss to Mayweather Jr., Pacquiao beat Timothy Bradley in a trilogy bout, retired for half a year, and then came back to beat Jessie Vargas and capture the WBO Welterweight World Championship. Pacquiao would lose that title to Jeff Horn in a controversial decision in Australia, before bouncing back by beating Lucas Matthysse to become a world champion once again. Just last year, Pacquiao put on two impressive performances in his title defense over Adrien Broner and his WBO (Super) Welterweight World Championship-clinching win over Keith Thurman. Now, at 41 years old, Pacquiao is still in the conversation of top opponents for welterweight stars like Terence Crawford and Errol Spence Jr.  After beating Pacquiao, Mayweather Jr. wrapped his career up with a win over Andre Berto to retire undefeated in 2015. Two years later however, Mayweather Jr. came back and claimed his 50th professional boxing win after defeating UFC star Conor McGregor by tenth-round TKO in a big-money superfight. Save for a three-round exhibition bout against Japanese kickboxer Tenshin Nasukawa in Japan on New Year's Eve of 2018, Mayweather has remained retired.  So whenever Pacquiao earns a big win or whenever Mayweather does anything remotely related to a boxing ring, rumbles of a rematch always begin to appear.  Asked if he was interested in a rematch however, Mayweather sort of shot the idea down.  Asked if a rematch against McGregor was on his radar, Mayweather told rapper Fat Joe that he was more interested in fighting guys who has whole countries behind him.  "I’m a businessman now. I already proved, years and years ago, that I was the best, period. I’m talking pound-for-pound, I already proved all of that," Mayweather Jr. said. "At my age now, I’m a businessman, so I’m not gonna be out there competing and fighting guys that only got a small city behind them. You got a lot of American fighters that are good, but they got little cities behind them. I’mma fight guys that got a whole country behind them. So, I know I can demand and get what I want to get."  "So that's Pacquiao?" Fat Joe responded, looking for clarification.  Mayweather Jr. responded by saying that he made more in the McGregor fight.  (READ: Pac-Mac at super middleweight? Conor McGregor has interesting response to Manny Pacquiao's birthday greeting) "Listen, I made more with McGregor," Mayweather Jr. said. "My faculties and everything that I got comes first. We just talked about “Your health is your wealth”, and that’s why I got this towel on, I was working out today." "Money" followed up by saying that the difference between himself and Pacquiao is that Pacquiao needs to keep fighting.  "Pacquiao fight because he have to. Once again, I fight if I want to, so there’s a difference."  Was that a no? Was it a maybe? What did Mayweather Jr.'s statements mean?  Mayweather Jr. also hit back at those saying that Pacquiao wasn't in his prime when they met back in 2015.  "We keep on saying ‘at our prime’, I’m older than Pacquiao by two years. We keep on saying ‘in your prime’. When I beat Pacquiao, they say he wasn’t in his prime. I’m older than [him]. When I fought Oscar de la Hoya, me and Oscar, we both was in our thirties. They keep on…no matter what happens, it’s never good enough for anyone." Right now, it appears that the 50-0 fighter is happy staying retired, but he did share that he has something cooking alongside Japanese promotion Rizin for this year.         .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 27th, 2020

National U s historic championship was an Altamirano family affair

National University's 60-year title drought came to a close in 2014.  And according to head coach Eric Altamirano, it was already predetermined even before the season started. "Ang totoo nyan, nung offseason nun, puro kami talo, hindi talaga kami nananalo sa mga liga. One day, kasama ko si Luigi, kinukwento ko sa kanya na nag-struggle nga ang team," he shared in The Prospects Pod, referring to his second son.  He then continued, "Pero sabi ni Luigi, 'Dad magcha-champion tayo ngayon.' As I look back now, I remember that day na sinabi nga ni Luigi yun and nagkatotoo nga."  At the end of UAAP 77, Luigi proved prophetic, witnessing his dad guide the Bulldogs to a long-awaited and much-desired title.  Of course, the dominant defense, the difference-making presence of Alfred Aroga, and the total team effort of the blue and gold contributed to that.  At the same time, very much key was the all-out support of coach Eric's wife, children, and entire household.  "Tinuring nila kami na parang sarili nilang mga anak," pesky guard Pao Javelona shared. "Sobrang grateful ko kanila tita Marissa pati sa wives ng iba pang coaches kasi iba yung turing nila sa amin. Sobrang laking bagay ng mga Altamirano sa amin."  In the brilliant tactician's six-season stint in Sampaloc, wife Marissa, sons Anton and Luigi, daughter Aby, and several other members of the household were fixtures behind the scenes.  While coach Eric was, well, coaching, the other Altamiranos were also right there as much-welcome helping hands - on or off the court.  "Ako, tumira ako sa bahay nila, parang anak na talaga ang turing nila sa akin kasi sa iisang bubong lang kami nakatira," now-Gilas Pilipinas forward Troy Rosario said. "Pagpupunta kami ng practice, si coach Eric na nga gumigising sa akin. Si tita Marissa, lahat ng mga kailangan, kumpleto."  Indeed, in the same way that coach Eric changed the culture of basketball in National U, so did he and his family change the lives of his players. "Siguro, nung first three years ko sa NU, sobrang pasaway ako sa kanya. Talagang hindi ako sumusunod kasi may sarili akong mundo nun na parang sobrang bilib siguro ako sa sarili ko," versatile wing Glenn Khobuntin said.  He then continued, "Pero kung pinabayaan lang niya ako nun, hindi ko alam kung anong mangyayari sa life ko. Nadiretso buhay ko nung palagi pa rin niya akong kinakausap after practice."  Now, Khobuntin has the Altamiranos as the template for what he wants his own family to become. "When I had my own family na, doon ko na-realize kung bakit niya ginagawa yun. Parang gusto ko ngang magmura kapag naiisip ko e," he said.  He then continued, "Grabe. Sobrang thankful akong nakilala ko sila kasi hindi lang sa basketball yung impact nila sa akin e. Kung paano i-handle ni coach E yung family niya, ganun din gusto ko."  In the end, the team captain of the Bulldogs' UAAP 77 champion team could do nothing but express how much he loved his mentor.  "I love you, coach," Khobuntin said. "Thank you."  Without a doubt, his teammates only share the same sentiments.  ---  Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 26th, 2020

DID YOU KNOW… Maddie Madayag started off as a wushu artist

Maddie Madayag is poetry in motion when it comes to her blocking. Her defense at the net is an art form. But before the Davaoena flexed her muscles into becoming one of this generation’s notable middle blockers, she excelled in a different art - martial arts that is. Madayag already donned the tricolors performing on the mat as a wushu artist long before the former Ateneo de Manila University hammered her way into winning two UAAP titles and landing a spot in the national women’s volleyball team. Before pounding the volleyball or putting up a great wall at the net to stop an opponent’s attack, Madayag wowed judges with her routines with weapons especially with the long spear or quiang. However, her love affair with the Chinese martial arts started with a little nudge from her mother, Donna. “I actually tried taekwondo and ballet but then it didn’t work for me. Nag-wushu ako noong elementary but then only because my mom forced me. Para lang matuto ako mag-self defense,” said Madayag during her appearance in Volleyball DNA.      “I don’t know. I was kind of lazy siguro back then. I wanted to watch TV, cartoons, I just wanted to chill. But then my mom wanted me to learn other things din naman. She didn’t want me to stay at home,” added Madayag. It didn’t take long for Madayag to appreciate the sport.   “After nu’ng summer I learned to love the sport so I told my mom I wanted to continue,” she said. Showing talent, athleticism and being naturally competitive, Madayag landed a spot in the junior team. She even competed in the 2009 Asian Junior Wushu Championship in Macau where she won a medal.   Her wushu stint, however, ended when she entered high school. Madayag cited conflict of schedule as the reason for leaving the sport. Then came her interest in volleyball.     “My friends (in Davao Christian High School) told me na, ‘Tara Madz tryout tayo sa volleyball’. After ng tryout na yun ako lang na-recruit because I was the tall one,” said Madayag, who added that she was around 5-foot-8 that time. It was volleyball that opened an opportunity for the Southern lass to fly to the Big City and eventually land on the Lady Eagles’ nest in Katipunan. Madayag accomplished great things after fully embracing the team sport. But what if Madayag pursued her first love? For sure with her talent she’ll get a spot in the national team alongside wushu star Agatha Wong.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 24th, 2020

WHAT IF… Pocari Sweat maintained its championship core

In 2016, Pocari Sweat bolted out of the Philippine Superliga to join the now defunct Shakey’s V-League. Shedding their former team name Philip’s Gold, the Lady Warriors immediately made their mark in the 13th and final season of the V-League. Led by power-hitter Myla Pablo, seasoned opposite spiker Michele Gumabao, setter Gyzelle Sy and veteran libero Mel Gohing, Pocari Sweat dominated the season by claiming the Open and Reinforced Conferences.     Gumabao parted ways with Pocari Sweat the following year, but the Lady Warriors were able to sign Jeanette Panaga and Fille Cainglet-Cayetano. With key additions and good imports, Pocari Sweat extended its championship run in the inaugural Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference. The Lady Warriors suffered an upset at the hands of BaliPure the following Open Conference and from there Pocari Sweat began its decline. The Air Force-backed Pocari Sweat finished fourth in the import-laden tournament in 2018, fell short of a Final Four appearance in the Open Conference before eventually disbanding with its franchise-player Pablo bought out by Motolite last year. But what if Pocari Sweat maintained the core that brought them all their success? One thing is for sure, the Lady Warriors will remain a title contender if not win a couple more championships. Imagine Pablo, Gumabao, Sy, Gohing, Elaine Kasilag, Desiree Dadang and Panaga at the helm. Then you have Shola Alvarez, Jessey De Leon, Fil-Am setter Iris Tolenada, Cai Baloaloa, Cainglet-Cayetano, Lutgarda Malaluan, Rica Enclona, Gayle Valdez, Erika Alkuino and Sarah Espelita backing them up. A pretty solid roster, right? Gumabao’s leadership will keep Pocari Sweat sailing in the right direction even in the roughest situation. Her offense and net defense including her energy-boosting swag paired with Pablo’s tenacity and Kasilag’s consistency will bring fear to any team that gets in their way. Panaga and Dadang manning the net will surely frustrate the opposing team’s attackers. Gohing and Sy have proven their connection in transition from defense to offense in the V-League. Imagine developing that connection a few years more?     Pocari Sweat’s front office is also known for bringing in caliber imports that can jell and complement its local line-up. For sure, the Lady Warriors will come up with better and stronger reinforcements every import-laden tournament. Then, of course, if Pocari Sweat kept its championship core you would be looking at a different Creamline, PetroGazz and Motolite teams. As we all know, the transfer of Gumabao and Gohing boosted the Cool Smashers’ roster that eventually led to Creamline’s three titles. Same goes with the Angels, who had Panaga, Baloaloa, De Leon and Enclona in their Reinforced Conference championship run last year. The young Motolite squad looks up to Pablo and Tolenada as its leaders. One could only imagine how much success Pocari Sweat could’ve made if the management maintained its best roster.   The Lady Warriors truly are a powerhouse before its demise.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 15th, 2020

DID YOU KNOW? NU almost didn t have Aroga for UAAP 77 title run

Alfred Aroga was a perfect piece to the puzzle that was National University's historic championship in UAAP 77. "Malaking bagay talaga si Alfred nun kasi parang, he fits right into the puzzle nung team," head coach Eric Altamirano said in The Prospects Pod last Friday. "Doon sa identity namin which is defense, he fits right into it. You know, Alfred might say he's an offensive player, pero ang strength talaga niya is defense - blocking shots, his timing, his intimidation." The Cameroonian powerhouse was a ready-made replacement to impact foreign student-athlete Jean Mbe. And for the Bulldogs, Aroga wasted no time proving his worth. "Nung games namin, si Kiefer, makikita mong open na siya, nakalagpas na siya kay Pao [Javelona], pero pagdating niya doon, makikita niya yung kamay ni Alfred, makikita mong nagche-change yung shot niya e," coach Eric said. He then continued, "Minsan, wala na nga doon si Alfred, hindi na nga napalpal ni Alfred, pero sa mind ni Kiefer, parang nandun si Alfred." Apparently, however, the 6-foot-7 big man almost did not make the cut for the tournament. "I got told to play because I needed a 'red ribbon,'" he said. "Of course, they had to wait for a couple of months before the UAAP to tell us that." Less than a month before the season started, Aroga still lacked a requirement for eligibility. And so, National U moved heaven and earth to make something happen. "At least, (team management) got a ticket. It wasn't easy. I think, I had to take five to get to Nigeria," the gentle giant shared. Even worse, as fate would have it, there was a death in his family at that point in time as well. "That same period, my dad passed away so I had a choice to make to stay like a week with my family or bring my ass straight to the Philippines for practice," he shared. He then continued, "I did a deal that I was staying, but for 24 hours only. My mom was pissed, but I don't know, for some reason, man, I had to put my family aside and rush and go and meet the team for practice." With that, Aroga made sure to not let the Bulldogs down - and in the process, make sure that his family's hurt was not all for naught. "It was a painful experience, but it paid off, man. Thankfully," he said. Throughout the tournament, Alfred Aroga left his heart on the floor - for his father, for his family, for his school, for his squad - and it was even he who had the iconic moment in what turned out to be a special season for them. Aroga's resounding rejection of Ravena's layup in the UAAP 77 Final Four thrust National University to a historic championship and thwarted Ateneo de Manila University's grand plans of redemption. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 12th, 2020

That Alfred Aroga block on Kiefer Ravena was a long time coming

Alfred Aroga is tattooed on the mind of Kiefer Ravena. "You were that person to me, Alfred," Ravena told Aroga in The Prospects Pod last Friday which the former hosts and the latter was a guest in. "You were that person to me." Aroga's resounding rejection of Ravena's layup in the UAAP 77 Final Four thrust National University to a historic championship and thwarted Ateneo de Manila University's grand plans of redemption. Then, the Bulldogs were up by two points on the Blue Eagles with 9.3 ticks to go in the do-or-die game between the two teams with a Finals berth on the line. Of course, the blue and white went to Ravena who breezed by Pao Javelona and then Gelo Alolino. Right at the rim, however, he was met by Aroga who swatted the ball away, sealing the deal for the blue and gold's date in the championship round with Far Eastern University. After three games there, National U celebrated its first championship since 1954. For the Cameroonian, though, that defensive stop on Ravena was something to celebrate as well. "I remember, when I got to the Philippines, I went to the arena and NU was playing against Ateneo," he said. "I was observing Kiefer the whole time and because I'm a good observer, I observed he was professional-ready already by that time. When they whipped the ass of NU, I told myself, every time I'm gonna play against Ateneo and Kiefer, they're gonna suffer." Yes, one of Aroga's first memories when he came to the Philippines was that of "The Phenom" having his way against the Bulldogs. The 6-foot-7 big man did not forget. Years later, at long last, he made Ravena feel his own personal revenge. As he put it, remembering his thoughts right after that block, "I was so happy, man. I was like, finally, I got that guy! But it was in a good way, man." He then continued, "Playing against you, it was a really good test because you're the kind of player you don't stop, you just slow down. We can't stop you, man." --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 11th, 2020

NU s marching orders in UAAP 77 title run: Kapalan ang mukha

National University transformed into a legitimate contender with the arrival of Ray Parks Jr. After two MVPs and two Final Four berths, Parks Jr. decided to move on from the Bulldogs in UAAP 77. And so, the blue and gold legitimate contender was, all of a sudden, without a main man. That was very much evident from their very first practice sans the Filipino-American guard. "First practice namin before nung season, hindi namin alam yung identity namin. Hindi namin alam kung sino yung i-score e," Troy Rosario recalled on last Friday's The Prospects Pod. He then continued, "Minsan, napuputukan na kami ng 24-second shot clock sa practice, wala pa ring tumitira. Hindi kami sanay eh." Make no mistake, even without Parks Jr., National U remained loaded with Rosario, Gelo Alolino, Glenn Khobuntin, Cameroonian powerhouse Alfred Aroga, and up-and-comers J-Jay Alejandro and Pao Javelona. Without a doubt, all of them had the capability to step up. Only, none of them had the confidence to do so. Slowly, but surely, though, that all changed. "Yung mga players, out to prove something. Lahat yan, lahat sila, eager sila to prove themselves na, you know, this is not a Bobby Ray Parks team, this is NU," head coach Eric Altamirano said. He then continued, "Ang maganda naman sa team na yun, lahat ng naiwan, talagang capable of really helping the team get the championship." Indeed, throughout the tournament, Coach Eric just kept getting the best out of his players - each and every one of them who had to come through for them to continue their contention. "Si Coach Eric, laging sinasabi sa amin na yung mga naiwan, kailangan nang kapalan yung mukha. Wala eh, wala nang ibang aasahan kundi yung mga beterano," Rosario recalled. He then continued, "Sinasabi ni coach Eric na kung ikaw, parang mediocre lang nung mga nakaraang season, ngayon, kailangan mo nang kapalan yung mukha mo. Doon ako nagising eh." And on the back of a dominant defense anchored by versatile Rosario and Cameroonian powerhouse Alfred Aroga, the Bulldogs just made enough on offense to will their way into a historic championship. As it turned out, Sampaloc did not have a ready-made replacement for Parks Jr. For that, it had to take total team effort. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 11th, 2020

ONE Championship: Eduard Folayang wants Eddie Alvarez rematch

In August of 2019, Filipino mixed martial arts icon and two-time ONE Lightweight World Champion Eduard “Landslide” Folayang came painfully close to recording what would have been the biggest win of his MMA career when he faced former UFC and Bellator Lightweight World Champion Eddie “The Underground King” Alvarez in a high-stakes lightweight matchup.  The winner would earn a spot in the ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix Finals against Turkey’s Saygid Guseyn “Dagi” Arslanaliev at ONE: CENTURY in Tokyo, Japan, later that year.  Early in the first round, it looked like Folayang was on his way to Tokyo after chopping Alvarez down with a nasty leg kick that obviously hurt the American star.  What followed suit however, was a heartbreaking turn of events for Folayang, and an impeccable comeback from Alvarez.  Looking to finish Alvarez off, Folayang pounced and began raining down heavy shot after heavy shot. Alvarez meanwhile, covered up and then waited for his opportunity to reverse things. Alvarez flipped Folayang over, took his back, and locked in the rear naked choke for the first-round submission win.  Folayang admitted to rushing things as he was a tad bit too excited to get the finish.  (READ ALSO: WHAT IF: Eduard Folayang had stopped Eddie Alvarez back in 2019?) Now, looking to make his way back up to the top of the lightweight ladder, Folayang hopes to be able to draw another meeting with Alvarez.  “[If I could face anybody], it’s definitely Eddie Alvarez,” Folayang told ONE Championship’s Christian Jacinto. “I want to face him again.” As he had said before, Folayang acknowledges that he could have done a lot of things better in their first encounter.  “Back in our match, I had a lot of regrets, I made a lot of mistakes…If given the chance, I believe my performance would be a whole lot better,” the Team Lakay star stated.  “I definitely got careless in that match. We expected Eddie to be more of a striker, so I was confident when the match hit the ground,” he continued.  Indeed, Alvarez has been known to be a brawler, which has helped him become a crowd favorite during his time in the UFC and in Bellator.  Against Folayang however, Alvarez - who’s a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt under Ricardo Almeida - let his grappling and his experience shine.  In the past, Folayang has shown that he can hold his own against some dangerous grapplers, as evidenced by his stunning world title win against former champion Shinya Aoki back in 2016.  Folayang hopes that he can channel that same level of defense again if and when he gets to share the cage with Alvarez again.  “If there would be a rematch, I’d address my issues in the ground, and hopefully, I’ll be better this time around.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 5th, 2020