Advertisements


Nabor set to join PHI team’s Japan training camp

TOKYO --- Depending on how fast her papers will be processed, reserve setter Jasmin Nabor is set to join the Philippine national team in its Japan training camp here. Head coach Shaq delos Santos is expecting the playmaker to fly in on Wednesday at the earliest together with Eya Laure, Jovelyn Gonzaga and assistant coach Kungfu Reyes. “Ang target dapat 23 if maayos ang papers niya,” said Delos Santos on Monday during the start of the Nationals’ 12-day training camp as preparation for the 30th Southeast Asian Games in Manila next month. Nabor’s latest chance to join the team is on the 26th when Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc. official and national team program head Peter Cayco flies in to check on the squad. Nabor’s inclusion is timely as starting setter Jia Morado and winger Alyssa Valdez’s stint will be cut short to just five days to play for their club team Creamline in the PVL Season 3 Open Conference semifinals. The duo will return to Manila on Friday and will miss the rest of the training camp including three of the five scheduled tune-up games. “Mabuting nandito na rin si Jas para may kapalitan din si Rhea (Dimaculangan) kasi mahirap din na pilitin dahil kababalik lang nya sa (calf injury),” said Delos Santos. But more than serving as a reliever, Delos Santos considers Nabor’s participation as an investment for the future. “Kasi future setter din siya for the national team kasi bata pa siya and yung skills niya OK din siya. I think exposure din. Malaking bagay ito kung may mga tune-ups kami, nakakalaro siya, malaking bagay ‘yun,” said Delos Santos of the playmaker who played for the Nationals in the second leg of the ASEAN Grand Prix in Sta. Rosa, Laguna three weeks ago. Nabor is the third reserve player in the squad together with Aiza Maizo-Pontillas and Roselyn Doria.          --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource: abscbn abscbnOct 21st, 2019

SEA GAMES: The silver that glittered like gold

When the editorial staff of ABS-CBN Sports was tasked to come up with our most memorable coverage, it didn’t take long for this writer to respond. The Philippine men’s volleyball team’s Southeast Asian Games semifinal match was the first thing that came to mind. Pesonally, that game against the highly-fancied Thailand squad topped all the countless volleyball matches that I’ve covered in my career. I’m at a loss for words on how to describe the emotions I felt that chilly night of December 8, 2019. Around 6,700 fans filled the PhilSports Arena in Pasig City not knowing that what they were about to witness was something historic. A magical night that would take away the frustrations they felt the day before when the more popular women’s team finished the preliminary round winless. For us sportswriters covering that assignment, we knew the Filipinos were up for a tough ride. Thailand ruled the last four editions of the event. On the other hand, the Philippines’ last significant outing in the biennial meet was a bronze medal finish back in 1991 – or when the current national team’s oldest member, setter Jessie Lopez was just five-years old.      Did we doubt our own team? Let’s just say we prayed to the high heavens to give us something positive to write about. But don’t get us wrong. Those who followed the formation and preparation of the squad knew it would yield results come the SEA Games. After all, in all three batches of the Nationals that participated in the regional sports meet since 2015, this particular team had the longest time to prepare – around eight months to be exact. The team’s composition itself looked really promising. For the first time, two of country’s best hitters in Marck Espejo and Bryan Bagunas, who both have experience playing in the Japan V. League,  donned the tricolors together. Espejo returned after skipping the 2017 edition so did his teammates in the 2015 squad Rex Intal and setter Ish Polvorosa. Bagunas was on his second tour of duty along with team captain John Vic De Guzman, Mark Alfafara, RanRan Abdilla and libero Jack Kalingking. Head coach Dante Alinsunurin, who was appointed to handle the team after Oliver Almadro and Sammy Acaylar in 2015 and 2017, respectively, tapped an old hand in Lopez and injected young bloods in playmaker Owa Retamar, Jau Umandal, Kim Malabunga, Ricky Marcos and Francis Saura. As part of their buildup the Nationals joined the Thailand Open Sealect Tuna Championship July last year.          The Filipinos achieved a great feat when they won bronze. Fans were able to witness the Nationals’ campaign via YouTube streaming while we volleyball writers, got to file our full stories through the help of De Guzman and Bagunas (God bless their beautiful hearts) who supplied us with game stats and granted postgame interviews. It’s just a shame I never got to cover the team’s training in Japan when the Nationals’ preparation went on full throttle. (Note: A little confusion in the training camp coverage assignments had me flying to Japan with the women’s squad and Lance Agcaoili of Spin.ph joining the men’s team. But it was a great experience, nonetheless, and I’m grateful for Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc. for the opportunity.)     I was as confused as the other sportswriters present during the draw for the group stage a couple of months before the SEA Games when Alinsunurin chose to join the four-team bracket with Indonesia, Vietnam and Cambodia. Those three teams are considered contenders every SEA Games edition. And earning a semifinal spot would be harder compared to the other group composed of Thailand, Myanmar and Singapore. Fortunately, the gamble was worth it. Espejo and Bagunas were superb offensively, Malabunga and Retamar made their presence felt and the Nationals’ blocking shocked Cambodia and Vietnam as the Filipinos swept them both to secure a semis seat.   Then came the steamrolling Indonesians. Honestly, I thought the Nationals would sweep their way to the group’s top seeding. That way the PHI’s would've avoided a semis clash with Thailand. Forced to take on the defending champions, the Filipinos found themselves down in the first set. They got back in the second frame before yielding the third. And when the Thais came to match point, 24-21, in the fourth we all thought it was over. Fans were slowly emptying the bleachers not wanting to see the impending defeat. I was already waiting for the final score. Ready break the result. Then a miracle happened. The Nationals nibbled on the Thais' lead to force a deuce. After another deadlock, the Filipinos stole the set. The fifth frame was classic story of ‘who wants it more will win.’ An extended set made it even more dramatic. I vividly remember that sequence when Bagunas hammered the game-clinching kill off a lob from Lopez. After that all that I can recall was me pumping my fist up in the air and slapping the hardest high-fives I ever did with those inside the press room while howling like a madman.    The national team assured itself of a silver after 42 years. A silver after four freaking decades. They did it. Of course, the Indonesians bullied their way to winning the gold medal in a sweep of the inexperienced Filipinos. But who cares, the host team exceeded its podium expectations. That silver that glittered like gold made that coverage truly memorable. But it never crossed my mind that it would be the last important volleyball event that I will get to report. (Note: It would’ve been the UAAP if not for the health crisis that put all sporting events to a halt. Sad.) And that’s why I ended up writing these last few paragraphs. A farewell from this section. From my first article for this website back on December 1, 2014 – a post-mortem of Petron’s breakthrough title in the Philippine Superliga Grand Prix – to my last published story, these were all written with only one thing in mind: in the service of the Filipino sports fan worldwide. Our run may have not been perfect, of course, we had our flaws. We had our fair share of criticisms from fans, athletes, sports personalities and sometimes even from our partner leagues and properties. We accepted our shortcomings. We tried to be better. But we are proud of what we did. We take pride with how we delivered sports stories through various digital executions that showcased sports beyond the confines of competition. On midnight of September 1 while most of you lay sound asleep, deep in slumber, hopefully, having a good dream and hours away from waking up looking forward to a better day, this website will be snapped out of existence.  More than half a decade of sharing stories to the Filipino sports fan will be seeing its last presence online on Monday – a holiday to celebrate the nation’s heroes. This website will then hear its final buzzer, its final whistle. Thousands of articles – written with passion, dedication and love – will be taken down as this website goes offline together with majority of ABS-CBN Sports’ social media accounts. But soon, hopefully, it will once again see the light of day.    We do hope that you will remember us, for we will remember all of you who made us your Kapamilya.   -- 30 --   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles Mark Escarlote has served as a sub-section editor for ABS-CBN Sports' website since 2014. He is among thousands of ABS-CBN employees who will be retrenched on August 31, 2020.   .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 29th, 2020

SEA GAMES: The silver that glittered like gold

When the editorial staff of ABS-CBN Sports was tasked to come up with our most memorable coverage, it didn’t take long for this writer to respond. The Philippine men’s volleyball team’s Southeast Asian Games semifinal match was the first thing that came to mind. Pesonally, that game against the highly-fancied Thailand squad topped all the countless volleyball matches that I’ve covered in my career. I’m at a loss for words on how to describe the emotions I felt that chilly night of December 8, 2019. Around 6,700 fans filled the PhilSports Arena in Pasig City not knowing that what they were about to witness was something historic. A magical night that would take away the frustrations they felt the day before when the more popular women’s team finished the preliminary round winless. For us sportswriters covering that assignment, we knew the Filipinos were up for a tough ride. Thailand ruled the last four editions of the event. On the other hand, the Philippines’ last significant outing in the biennial meet was a bronze medal finish back in 1991 – or when the current national team’s oldest member, setter Jessie Lopez was just five-years old.      Did we doubt our own team? Let’s just say we prayed to the high heavens to give us something positive to write about. But don’t get us wrong. Those who followed the formation and preparation of the squad knew it would yield results come the SEA Games. After all, in all three batches of the Nationals that participated in the regional sports meet since 2015, this particular team had the longest time to prepare – around eight months to be exact. The team’s composition itself looked really promising. For the first time, two of country’s best hitters in Marck Espejo and Bryan Bagunas, who both have experience playing in the Japan V. League,  donned the tricolors together. Espejo returned after skipping the 2017 edition so did his teammates in the 2015 squad Rex Intal and setter Ish Polvorosa. Bagunas was on his second tour of duty along with team captain John Vic De Guzman, Mark Alfafara, RanRan Abdilla and libero Jack Kalingking. Head coach Dante Alinsunurin, who was appointed to handle the team after Oliver Almadro and Sammy Acaylar in 2015 and 2017, respectively, tapped an old hand in Lopez and injected young bloods in playmaker Owa Retamar, Jau Umandal, Kim Malabunga, Ricky Marcos and Francis Saura. As part of their buildup the Nationals joined the Thailand Open Sealect Tuna Championship July last year.          The Filipinos achieved a great feat when they won bronze. Fans were able to witness the Nationals’ campaign via YouTube streaming while we volleyball writers, got to file our full stories through the help of De Guzman and Bagunas (God bless their beautiful hearts) who supplied us with game stats and granted postgame interviews. It’s just a shame I never got to cover the team’s training in Japan when the Nationals’ preparation went on full throttle. (Note: A little confusion in the training camp coverage assignments had me flying to Japan with the women’s squad and Lance Agcaoili of Spin.ph joining the men’s team. But it was a great experience, nonetheless, and I’m grateful for Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc. for the opportunity.)     I was as confused as the other sportswriters present during the draw for the group stage a couple of months before the SEA Games when Alinsunurin chose to join the four-team bracket with Indonesia, Vietnam and Cambodia. Those three teams are considered contenders every SEA Games edition. And earning a semifinal spot would be harder compared to the other group composed of Thailand, Myanmar and Singapore. Fortunately, the gamble was worth it. Espejo and Bagunas were superb offensively, Malabunga and Retamar made their presence felt and the Nationals’ blocking shocked Cambodia and Vietnam as the Filipinos swept them both to secure a semis seat.   Then came the steamrolling Indonesians. Honestly, I thought the Nationals would sweep their way to the group’s top seeding. That way the PHI’s would've avoided a semis clash with Thailand. Forced to take on the defending champions, the Filipinos found themselves down in the first set. They got back in the second frame before yielding the third. And when the Thais came to match point, 24-21, in the fourth we all thought it was over. Fans were slowly emptying the bleachers not wanting to see the impending defeat. I was already waiting for the final score. Ready break the result. Then a miracle happened. The Nationals nibbled on the Thais' lead to force a deuce. After another deadlock, the Filipinos stole the set. The fifth frame was classic story of ‘who wants it more will win.’ An extended set made it even more dramatic. I vividly remember that sequence when Bagunas hammered the game-clinching kill off a lob from Lopez. After that all that I can recall was me pumping my fist up in the air and slapping the hardest high-fives I ever did with those inside the press room while howling like a madman.    The national team assured itself of a silver after 42 years. A silver after four freaking decades. They did it. Of course, the Indonesians bullied their way to winning the gold medal in a sweep of the inexperienced Filipinos. But who cares, the host team exceeded its podium expectations. That silver that glittered like gold made that coverage truly memorable. But it never crossed my mind that it would be the last important volleyball event that I will get to report. (Note: It would’ve been the UAAP if not for the health crisis that put all sporting events to a halt. Sad.) And that’s why I ended up writing these last few paragraphs. A farewell from this section. From my first article for this website back on December 1, 2014 – a post-mortem of Petron’s breakthrough title in the Philippine Superliga Grand Prix – to my last published story, these were all written with only one thing in mind: in the service of the Filipino sports fan worldwide. Our run may have not been perfect, of course, we had our flaws. We had our fair share of criticisms from fans, athletes, sports personalities and sometimes even from our partner leagues and properties. We accepted our shortcomings. We tried to be better. But we are proud of what we did. We take pride with how we delivered sports stories through various digital executions that showcased sports beyond the confines of competition. On midnight of September 1 while most of you lay sound asleep, deep in slumber, hopefully, having a good dream and hours away from waking up looking forward to a better day, this website will be snapped out of existence.  More than half a decade of sharing stories to the Filipino sports fan will be seeing its last presence online on Monday – a holiday to celebrate the nation’s heroes. This website will then hear its final buzzer, its final whistle. Thousands of articles – written with passion, dedication and love – will be taken down as this website goes offline together with majority of ABS-CBN Sports’ social media accounts. But soon, hopefully, it will once again see the light of day.    We do hope that you will remember us, for we will remember all of you who made us your Kapamilya.   -- 30 --   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles Mark Escarlote has served as a sub-section editor for ABS-CBN Sports' website since 2014. He is among thousands of ABS-CBN employees who will be retrenched on August 31, 2020.   .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 28th, 2020

Pinoy spikers show gallant stand in loss to FC Tokyo

Philippine men’s volleyball team head coach Dante Alinsunurin was impressed with the grit his squad displayed in a four-set loss to FC Tokyo on Tuesday night. The Nationals stole a set before bowing down to the Japan Division 1 club, 22-25, 15-25, 25-21, 18-25, in a tune-up match at the Fukagawa Gym. "Masaya ako na lumaban kami sa FC Tokyo siyempre kahit papaano Division 1 yan," said Alinsunurin of the squad’s fifth of the scheduled nine tune-up games in their Japan training camp made possible by Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc. and the Philippine Sports Commission. Bryan Bagunas, who is currently playing in the Japan top tiered league under Oita Miyoshi Weiss Adler, suited up for the Nationals in the practice match for the first time to join other top Pinoy hitters Marck Espejo, team captain Johnvic De Guzman and Ranran Abdilla. The Nationals gave FC Tokyo tough resistance throughout the match but a bunch of errors including crucial miscues from the service line doomed the Nationals’ chances of extending the match.    "Nakita namin yung lapses namin pero kahit papaano positive pa rin kasi nakadikit kami, nakakablock kami," said Alinsunurin. "Yun lang (medyo marami) yung unforced errors namin lalo na sa floor defense namin kasi nu’ng bandang huli talagang ginugulangan na lang kami." Despite the loss, Bagunas and the rest of the squad picked up valuable experience playing a quality team that could help the Nationals in their quest for a podium finish in the 30th Southeast Asian Games next month in Manila. "Yun lang siguro yung kulang namin sa tune-up namin pero solid talaga," Bagunas, whose Japan club will face the same opponents soon. "Lahat ng teams sa V. League competitive kaya sobrang gandang experience tong tune-up namin sa FC Tokyo." The Pinoy spikers will face the same club on Thursday......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 13th, 2019

Mau out of SEA Games roster, Maizo-Pontillas gets spot

The Philippine national women’s volleyball team’s podium finish bid suffered a major blow after power-hitting Filipino-American Kalei Mau was ruled ineligible to see action in the 30th Southeast Asian Games. In a shocking development, Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc. (LVPI) president Joey Romasanta revealed Friday that the 6-foot-2 open spiker was scratched from the lineup after falling short of the required minimum two-year residency. Mau, a University of Arizona standout in the US NCAA Division 1, came to the Philippines late last year and played for Cocolife in the Philippine Superliga before transferring to F2 Logistics where she won the All-Filipino Conference Most Valuable Player award and led the Cargo Movers to the throne. She was called up for the national team and made a big impact for the squad. Mau helped the Nationals finish third in the ASEAN Grand Prix first leg, as the Filipinas shocked a then-complete Vietnam squad, forced Indonesia to a five-setter, and stole a set from powerhouse Thailand – the same teams that will vie for medals in the SEA Games. Mau sat out the second leg in Sta. Rosa, Laguna because of an Achilles’ heel injury but was able to join the team in its 12-day Japan training recently. Although Mau has been campaigning in the country, she remains affiliated under the United States Volleyball Association (USVA). Based on the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) and the Asian Volleyball Confederation, a player who wishes to represent her country in an international competition such as the SEA Games, Asian Games and the Olympics must be under her mother federation for at least two years. LVPI had no other choice but to cut Mau from the roster to abide the Asian and world body’s rule.      “We don’t want to jeopardize whatever problem she may encounter along the way. She could get suspended if she plays without securing transfer papers from the federation,” said Romasanta. “I don’t know why she failed to submit the papers, but it really has to be her submitting it because she is a member. It's not the LVPI.” The Nationals actually learned about this issue weeks back during their Japan training camp and tried to look for solutions in case Mau won’t get the greenlight to play.   Bite the bullet The news of Mau ineligible to play added to the heartbreak that the Nationals have faced during the course of their build up for the SEA Games, which will open its volleyball competition on Dec. 2 at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig City. “Malaking pagsubok na naman sa amin kasi adjustment na naman dun sa team,” said head coach Shaq Delos Santos. The Nationals already lost towering sisters Jaja Santiago and Dindin Manabat as well as Filipino-American playmaker Alohi Robins-Hardy. The Six-foot-5 Santiago and 6-foot-2 Manabat failed to secure their release from their respective clubs in the Japan Premier League while Robins-Hardy had trouble securing a Philippine passport on time. Some players suffered injuries including hitter Alyssa Valdez (foot), who skipped the team’s Thailand training camp and the ASEAN Grand Prix opening leg while Mika Reyes is still recovering from a knee injury. The squad had to continue their Japan training camp without Valdez and setter Jia Morado, who had to return to Manila after just five days into the camp because of their club commitment with Creamline in the Premier Volleyball League.    “Simula ng mag-start kami ng [training] camp nandyan siya [Mau] tapos nagkaroon na naman ng conflict,” said Delos Santos, who is in his second year as mentor of the squad. “Siguro best thing na magagawa ng buong team, coaches, players, ng management, ng LVPI, kami kailangan din naming ma-accept na, na matanggap namin sa sarili namin na kakayanin namin kahit na maraming dumadating na problema o conflict kasi yun na rin naman ang goal natin dito kung paano buuin ang team.”   Maizo-Pontillas returns, Paat in dual role With Mau out, Delos Santos has elevated reserve Aiza Maizo-Pontillas into the team. The lefty Maizo-Pontillas, who played for the national team in the 2017 edition of the SEA Games in Malaysia, will be Mau’s replacement. She was with the team in its Thailand and Japan training camps.  Delos Santos is also looking at putting Mylene Paat in a dual role as opposite and open spiker with Maizo-Pontillas taking the main position at opposite. “Si Aiza na ang ilalagay namin [for Mau]. Si Mylene kasi inaano namin, pero kasi sa Pilipinas nagagawa niyang maging outside hitter,” said Delos Santos. “Pero kailangan mas maaral pa niya o maibigay namin yung mga role n’ya as an outside hitter pero kasi siyempre iba pa rin ang galaw dun”. “Pero I think konting adjustment na lang so ibibigay namin yung kailangan niyang i-improve at i-develop,” he added. Anticipating the worst, Delos Santos during their Japan training was already giving Paat some extra workouts in both wing positions as well as working on her floor defense.  “Magiging dalawa ang puwesto n’ya in case na kailanganin namin siya sa outside. Pero may tatlo pa naman tayong outside hitters. Depende yan sa ilalaro at sa diskarte naming gagawin, dun na lang yun tatakbo,” said Delos Santos. Even without Mau, the Nationals remain competitive with a solid core bannered by team captain Aby Maraño, Valdez, Morado, Reyes, Paat, Maizo-Pontillas, Dawn Macandili, Majoy Baron, Rhea Dimaculangan, Maddie Madayag, Jovelyn Gonzaga, Kath Arado. Eya Laure and Ces Molina.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 8th, 2019

Dimaculangan seeks redemption in PHI team return

TOKYO --- Denied of a podium finish two years ago, veteran setter Rhea Dimaculangan, just like the entire Philippine national women’s volleyball team, has her eyes set on winning a medal in front of the home crowd in the 30th Southeast Asian Games in Manila next month. Reactivated for the national squad after withdrawing from the team last year, Dimaculangan is now bent on helping steer the Philippine team in the right direction to end a 14-year medal drought.    “Siguro kung kinulang man kami noon mas ibibigay pa namin ang best namin ngayon,” said Dimaculangan, who played in the previous two editions of the biennial meet, where the Philippines went home empty-handed. The former University of Sto. Tomas star skipped national team duties last year because of personal reasons. But the call to represent the country in the SEA Games is too great to resist, so when national team head coach Shaq Delos Santos - who was her mentor back in college and is the coach of her club team Petron - tried to convince her to return, Dimaculangan obliged.     “Naisip ko na rin din na duty rin ito eh sa national team. Siguro parang di rin naman masama na bumalik and nakita ko naman na parang kailangan din nila ng tulong,” she said. “Nandito lang ako para tumulong and national team yan, so why not?” Plus, playing on home soil is a rare opportunity to that can't be missed. “Sayang din ang opportunity kung palalagpasin ko ito kasi especially sa Pilipinas gagawin ang SEA Games,” she said. Inserted in the SEA Games line-up earlier this month at the entry of names deadline, Dimaculangan seamlessly fit in with the team.   “Di naman mahirap mag-adjust din kasi parang ‘yung iba naman nakasama ko na before,” said Dimaculangan. “Siguro mas kailangan ko lang i-adjust ang sarili ko sa iba-ibang sets pero di naman siya ganoon kahirap kasi tulungan lang sa team. Gina-guide rin naman nila ako. Ok naman. Di naman mahirap makisama.” Dimaculangan is the only playmaker left in the 12-day training camp here, made possible by Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc. and the Philippine Sports Commission, after Jia Morado returned to Manila just five days in because of club duties, and reserve Jasmin Nabor failing to have her papers processed in time to join the team. For Dimaculangan, she’s happy to see the team improve each day. “Di ko masasabi ang percent pero sa ilang araw ko pa lang na nakakasama sila training parang mabilis siyang mag-improve,” she said. “[Sa tune-up games] nakikita namin ang struggle pero at least dun kami natututo at nakikita namin kung saan kami mahina. Kung ano ang dapat gawin at kung ano ang mga solusyon para maayos yung mga problema na yun.” And with the kind of preparation the Philippine team is going through, Dimaculangan’s dream of winning a medal isn’t far-fetched anymore. “Siguro mas prepared ngayon kasi marami rin namang liga na magkakasama. Kahit makikita mo yung shchedule na hindi lagi buo pero makikita mo naman na committed ang lahat,” she said. Feeling ko naman kaya naman [mag-podium]. Ang goal mo is maka-medal.”     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 29th, 2019

PVL: Lady Jet Spikers end campaign on a high note

Philippine Air Force closed its campaign in the Premier Volleyball League Season 3 Open Conference on a winning note as the Lady Jet Spikes beat PacificTown Army, 28-26, 25-20, 26-28, 26-24, on Wednesday at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan. The Lady Jet Spikers finished the conference with back-to-back victories for an even 8-8 win-loss record. Veterans Dell Palomata and Judy Ann Caballejo scored 15 points each and combined for 30 of Air Force’s 59 attack points. Joy Cases got 13 markers while May Ann Pantino chipped in 10 markers, 25 digs and 20 excellent receptions for the Lady Jet Spikers, who took advantage of the Lady Troopers missing opposite hitter Jovelyn Gonzaga. Gonzaga, Eya Laure and Army coach Kungfu Reyes are set to fly to Japan Wednesday night to join the national team in its training camp. “Minotivate ko sila na hindi tayo pwede matalo dahil wala ang isang pamato nila dyan na si Jovelyn saka ito yung time na pagkakataon nating bumawi sa kanila dahil tinalo nila kami sa AFP Olympics. Sila ang nag-champion,” said Air Force head coach Jasper Jimenez. Playing without one of its main hitters and court leader, the Lady Troopers bowed down for the six straight game and finished their campaign with a 6-10 rcord. Honey Royse Tubino posted 14 points while Nene Bautista and Jem Gutierrez had 12 and 11 markers, respectively, for Army.     ---   Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 23rd, 2019

Valdez still recovering from foot injury ahead of Japan training camp

Creamline star Alyssa Valdez will join the national team in its Japan training starting Sunday but will be limited to light workout sessions pending her full recovery from a right foot injury. Valdez was finally allowed to remove her walking boot that she wore for almost a week.    “Fortunately and luckily, pinayagan na ako ni doc na walang boot, so I think all I have to do is to do therapy before really going to the game,” said Valdez on Wednesday. “Kasi siyempre, na-isolate talaga 'yung paa ko, wala talaga siyang, na-shut down siya kumbaga para ready lang din talaga ako.” Valdez missed the Cool Smashers second straight match. She was in uniform but sat out Creamline’s 25-15, 25-18, 25-22, drubbing of PacificTown Army in the Premier Volleyball League Season 3 Open Conference. “But okay naman siya at therapy lang advice ni doc for the next five days tapos after nun, I'm ready to join the drills and the trainings naman of the teams,” cleared Valdez, who was given the greenlight to remove the boot Wednesday morning. The multiple-time Philippine team member, however, assured that she will be with the squad when the Nationals fly to Tokyo for a 12-day training camp as part of their preparation for the 30th Southeast Asian Games which the country will host next month. But her workout will still depend on her condition and recovery. “I think makakasabay naman na ako pero hindi ko lang alam kung 'yung intensity ba, kasi out talaga for halos more than a month,” she said. “So, hindi ko pa alam kung nasaang percentage na 'yung recovery ko by that time.” The three-time PVL Most Valuable Player actually hurt her foot during practice a month ago that prevented her from joining the national squad in its Thailand training camp and the first leg of the ASEAN Grand Prix in Nakhon Ratchasima. Valdez was able to play in the second leg two weeks ago in Sta. Rosa, Laguna but her injury recurred and needed further evaluation and therapy. She was advised to wear a walking boot for precautionary measure. Valdez is just hoping for fast recovery to be able to train fully with the Nationals. “Hopefully lang, maka-recover and makasabay din talaga ako sa training, 'yun talaga wini-wish ko, makasabay din ako sa training nila,” she said.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 16th, 2019

‘BAE’ lead Philippine men s volleyball team SEA Games roster

Power-hitters Bryan Bagunas, Ranran Abdilla and Marck Espejo spearhead the 14-man Philippine national men’s volleyball team that will see action in the 30th Southeast Asian Games that the country will host next month. Collectively known as ‘BAE’, the trio will banner the Nationals together for the first time, forming an explosive three pronged offensive weapon as the Pinoy Spikers try to land a podium finish in the biennial meet set to formally open on Nov. 30.         After missing the 2017 Kuala Lumpur SEA Games, the five-time UAAP Most Valuable Player Espejo will make his return for the tricolors to join Bagunas and Abdilla, who saw action in the last edition of the meet.     The trio played great tunes together when the Nationals bagged a bronze medal in the 2019 Sealect Tuna Championships. Bagunas, is expected to fly back in the country from Japan on November 25, and might get a chance to see if not join the Nationals in their training camp in Tokyo early next month. The National University product and UAAP Season 81 MVP is currently with the Japan V. Premier League club Oita Miyoshi Weisse Adler, the same team where Espejo played last year. Head coach Dante Alinsunurin also tapped for the final roster team captain John Vic De Guzman, Mark Alfafara, Joshua Umandal, five-time UAAP Best Setter Ish Polvorosa, veteran playmaker Jessie Lopez and Joshua Retamar. Kim Malabunga, Francis Saura, Rex Intal, Ricky Marcos and Jack Kalingking complete the lineup.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 8th, 2019

Nationals come up short in first tune-up game

The national women’s volleyball team had a great start only to falter in the end as the Filipinas fell short in their first of a series of tune-up games in their training camp in Bangkok, Thailand. Bangkok University dealt the Nationals a 25-22, 25-22, 23-25, 17-25, 13-15, loss on Monday at the FIVB-Development Center. All of the 10 members of the squad who were already in Thailand saw minutes on the floor as the Nationals took the first two sets before the host university team regrouped to steal the match from the Filipinas, who are preparing for the ASEAN Grand Prix in Nakhon Ratchasima on Sept. 20.      Thailand’s powerhouse senior squad will host the Filipinas on Tuesday at the Sports Authority of Thailand (SAT) Gym. The PHI team will then take on Thailand's U23 national team on Sept. 11. On Sept. 12, Bangkok University will again play the Nationals and on Sept. 15, the Filipinas will face Japan's V-League runner-up Toray Arrows, who also bagged the championship of 2018-19 All-Japan Kurowashiki tournament. Already in Thailand are skipper Aby Marano, Fil-American spiker Kalei Mau, Alohi Robins-Hardy, Aiza Maizo-Pontillas, Mylene Paat, Majoy Baron, Ces Molina, Roselyn Doria, Dawn Macandili and Kath Arado. Other members of the squad Alyssa Valdez, Jia Morado, Maddie Madayag, Eya Laure and Jovelyn Gonzaga are set to join the team on Sept. 15 in the team’s first step in its buildup for the 30th Southeast Asian Games in Manila in November......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 9th, 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

Marcial still weighing his options

Tokyo-bound Eumir Marcial remains undecided on whether to stay in Los Angeles where he has a scheduled professional fight in March or go back to the Philippines to join the national team in a training camp in Calamba, Laguna......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJan 11th, 2021

Jack Animam excited to spring back to action in Taiwan

The National U and Gilas Pilipinas standout committed to play as an import for Shih Hsin University and is expecting to complete her visa application next week to finally join her team’s training camp. .....»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsSep 13th, 2020

Animam awaits visa for Taiwan stint

The Gilas Pilipinas captain said she’s hoping for her papers to be cleared this upcoming month to join the team’s training camp early for the season opener in October......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsAug 30th, 2020

Instagram DM paved the way for Animam s upcoming Taiwan stint

Jack Animam will soon carry the banner of the NU Lady Bulldogs and Gilas Pilipinas women when she suits up for Shih Hsin University.  Animam has been tapped as import and will play in Taiwan's University Basketball Association. "August 2019 they came here for training camp," Animam said about Shih Hsin University on the So She Did podcast, recalling how the foundation for her upcoming Taiwan stint was established. "Then, yung girl coach nila nagka-chat kami sa Instagram and sabi niya 'We would like you to join us for next season,'" Animam added. At the time, Jack didn't play much attention to the offer. After all, Animam had her schedule packed as her Lady Bulldogs were on track for a sixth straight UAAP title. On top of that, Gilas Pilipinas women had a number of tournaments lined up, including the 2019 SEA Games in December where Animam won two gold medals in 3x3 and 5x5 basktetball. Once the dust settled on a busy 2019, Animam got around to the offer in Taiwan and ended up being officially on board. "But then, meron pa ako UAAP and SEA Games so parang di ko pa siya priority that time. Wala pa naman official that time," she said. "Ito lang, after SEA Games, dun na ako tinanong kung gusto ko ba mag-laro sa Taiwan. Sabi ko, gusto ko," Animam added. With the development, Animam becomes the third UAAP standout to serve as import abroad after FEU's Ken Tuffin in New Zealand and Ateneo's Thirdy Ravena in Japan. [Related: Animam takes talents to Taiwan as college import] "Nag-decide akong maglaro para sa Shin Hsin para sa experience," Animam said. "Yung mga pwede kong matutunan dun, bago lahat kaya alam kong in the future, malaki ang maitutulong nito sa akin," she added.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 13th, 2020

Four-year effort brought historic SEA Games silver - De Guzman

The Philippine men’s volleyball team’s historic silver medal finish in the 30th Southeast Asian Games last December is the culmination of the squad’s four-year effort to bring honor to the country. Overshadowed by the more popular – and sometimes controversial - women’s team, the Pinoy spikers worked silently since the country’s return in the biennial meet in 2015 after a decade of hiatus. Team captain John Vic De Guzman said in an interview in the ‘Athletes’ Tribune’ podcast that the previous national team’s mentored by Oliver Almadro and Sammy Acaylar blazed the trail for the success of the current Dante Alinsunurin-coached squad. “Alam naman natin na kahit magkaiba sila ng coaching ‘yun pa rin ang iisang goal nila – ang magka-medal. Yun nga nakuha namin noong 2019,” said De Guzman, who played in all three national selections. The Philippines, for the first time since the 2005 SEA Games was held in the country, fielded a men’s team in the regional sporting spectacle in Singapore. The Marck Espejo-bannered Nationals, who were was composed of then UAAP champion Ateneo de Manila University’s core, won against Malaysia before bowing down to powerhouse Myanmar and Thailand. Two years later, Almadro was replaced by Acaylar. De Guzman was the only player from the previous team to return for another tour of duty and was named team captain. Top hitters Bryan Bagunas and Ranran Abdilla joined the squad, which trained in South Korea. However, the Nationals ended up with the same result:  a lone win over East Timor and defeats at the hands of Vietnam and Indonesia.        “Ang pinaka na-observe ko before kasi si Coach Sam, ‘yung way niya ng pagtuturo ‘yung mga before, like endurance, sprinting, circuits more on ganoon kami,” said De Guzman, who led College of St. Benilde to its breakthrough NCAA title in 2017. “Which is noong 2017 ‘yun naman ang pinagpapasalamat ko kay coach Sam kasi sobrang lakas ng katawan namin.” With Alinsunurin on board, the Nationals saw the return of Espejo, Rex Intal and setter Ish Polvorosa while De Guzman, libero Jack Kalingking, Abdilla and Mark Alfafara retained their spots from the previous lineup. Veteran playmaker Jessie Lopez and new faces like Kim Malabunga and setter Owa Retamar also joined the crew.    “Nu’ng time ng tryout, na-feel ko rin na compared noong 2017, nu’ng 2019 siguro mas complete ang lineup ng men’s volleyball,” said De Guzman. “Lahat ng hinahanap namin noong 2015 at 2017 nakuha namin nitong 2019 kaya mas powerful ang lineup, mas maganda ang defense, mas matatangkad and siguro nakatatak na rin sa puso namin na kailangan naming iangat ang men’s volleyball.” Heading into the SEA Games, the Filipinos participated in a pocket tournament in Thailand where they finished third and held a training camp in Japan. “This time kasi (under coach Dante) more on technique and naging key namin para makakuha ng medal sa SEA Games,” De Guzman shared. “Kung paano ‘yung pinaka best way kung paano mag-block, best way kung paano papalo and defense ‘yun naman ang na-adopt namin kay Coach Dante,” he added. “Yung mga nakalaban namin sa Japan pinag-aralan na namin kung ano ang pinaka-best na paraan para ma-block ang bola, best na paraan para ‘yung connection nyo sa i’sat isa. Yun ang pinag-aralan namin.” With good preparation and solid lineup, the Nationals surprised Cambodia and Vietnam with straight sets victories. A loss to Indonesia put the host team into a collision course with defending champion Thailand. The Nationals pulled off a huge upset in the semis when they outlasted the Thais in five sets in a come-from-behind fashion to assure themselves of a first-ever silver medal since 1977 and first podium finish since wining bronze in the 1991 edition. However, Indonesia’s firepower and experience were too much for the Filipinos to handle in gold medal match. The Nationals may have failed to win the elusive gold but the squad did achieve its goal of stepping on the podium once again. De Guzman and the team are now looking forward for another chance for the top podium next year in Vietnam.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 26th, 2020

UAAP 82: Umandal confident to lead UST post-SEA Games

Jau Umandal is about to get a much bigger role for UST in the UAAP Season 82 men's volleyball tournament. As the Tiger Spikers look to make a return to the Final Four following a one-year absence, Umandal's development after a stint with the Philippine national team could prove crucial. Umandal was part of the Philippine team that won silver in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games. "Sobrang laki ng confidence ko, and sobrang laki ng role ko para sa team," Umandal told ABS-CBN Sports. "Kasi galing ako sa national team sa SEA Games, yung nanalo tayo sa Thailand sobrang laking confidence sakin na maglaro sa UAAP dahil sa experience na nakuha ko," he added. Before the SEA Games, the Philippines had a a two-week camp in Japan, which proved to be worth it as the national team took down five-peat seeking Thailand in the semifinals before bagging a historic silver medal. As great as that is though, not all players have the privilege to play for tha national team and Umandal is taking the responsibility to guide the Tiger Spikers using his national team experience. "Ituturo ko sa kanila yung mga natutunan ko, mga mechanics na natutunan ko sa Japan, kung paano gawin mga bagay na mapapadali lang," he said. "Tinuturo ko yun sa kanila sa training, gina-guide ko sila lagi lalo na yung mga bata kasi sa program namin, iba na set up namin mas mabilis. Ni-level up na namin," Umandal added. — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 9th, 2020

More foreign training, competitions for PMVT in 2020 -- LVPI

Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc. is set to sit down with the Philippine men’s volleyball team coaching staff to plot out the squad’s schedule of training and international competitions for next year. After surpassing expectations with its remarkable silver medal finish in the 30th Southeast Asian Games, the Dante Alinsunurin-coached squad is expected to participate in a number of foreign exposures.   “Magmi-meet kami siguro third week ng January. I-plot natin ang buong taon,” said LVPI board chairman and national team program head Peter Cayco. The men’s squad bannered the successful outing of the local governing body of volleyball with its first silver medal finish in 42 years and ending a 28-year wait for a podium finish in the biennial meet.      Right after bowing to well-experienced Indonesia in straight sets in the gold medal match on Tuesday, Alinsunurin said that LVPI assures the squad that their hard work, despite being overshadowed by the more popular women’s division, will be rewarded with sufficient support from the association.   “Kanina kinausap ako ni sir Peter, ang sabi niya magtuluy-tuloy ang training namin,” said Alinsunurin, who was formally introduced as head coach early March.   The assurance was welcome news for the squad, who heading into the SEA Games trained continuously and consistently for eight months. As part of their preparation, the Nationals joined the Thailand Open Sealect Tuna Volleyball Championship last July where they won bronze and went on a 16-day training camp in Japan.    “Yun ang hinihiling din namin na magtuluy-tuloy ang team na mag-training kasi importante talaga sa amin yun lalo na nasisimula pa lang kami,” said Alinsunurin. “Siyempre kung gusto talaga naming iangat ang laro namin kailangan talaga namin na January mag-start na kami [ng training]. Sana tuluy-tuloy na talaga.” Behind main guns Marck Espejo and Bryan Bagunas and the impressive debut of young setter Joshua Retamar and Kim Malabunga, the Nationals climbed to the SEA Games semifinal with wins against Cambodia and Vietnam. The Filipinos wrote history when they dethroned five-peat-seeking Thailand in a dramatic come-from-behind five-set victory to set up a gold medal match against their group stage tormentor Indonesians, whose experience and firepower proved too much for the young Nationals in the final. But despite of the loss, the Nationals achieved their goal of making the country proud and bringing the spotlight to men’s volleyball.   ---      Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 11th, 2019

Japan gets ready for 3x3

With an automatic ticket to compete in men’s 3x3 basketball at the Tokyo Olympics next year, Japan has opened camp at the National Training Center where naturalized player Ira Brown and Tomoya Ochiai are trying out for berths on the four-man team......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsNov 25th, 2019

Philippine men’s volleyball team ready for SEA Games

Done with their 16-day training camp in Tokyo, Japan, the Philippine men’s volleyball team is ready and brimming with confidence as it marches to the 30th Southeast Asian Games battle on home soil. The Nationals left Japan on Friday bringing home valuable lessons and experience from their grueling training and string of tune-up games against high level opponents from one of Asia’s volleyball powerhouse nations.   “Alam mo sa pinapakita namin medyo mataas talaga siyempre alam mo naman yung level ng Japan (kumpara) sa SEA Games (teams) medyo iba naman,” said head coach Dante Alinsunurin, whose wards will begin their bid to end almost three decades without a medal in the biennial meet. The mentor was particularly confident that their improvement in speed playing against the more athletic and agile Japanese teams will be a great asset come competition time.    “Mabibilis ‘yung kalaban namin sa (Japan) pero nakakasunod kami. Pagdating sa SEA Games hindi ganito kabibilis [mga kalaban] sigurado mababasa namin, mao-organize namin kung ano yung gusto naming mangyari,” said Alinsunurin. The Filipinos are bracketed in Pool B in the SEA Games where they will face Cambodia on December 2, last edition’s bronze medalist Vietnam on December 4 and the 2017 Kuala Lumpur SEA Games runner-up Indonesia on December 6. Team captain John Vic De Guzman, Marck Epejo, Ranran Abdilla and Bryan Bagunas, who trained with the team for just five days before going back to his club Oita Miyoshi Weiss Adler for the ongoing Japan Premier League, spearheaded the 18-man squad which included four reserves in the training camp made possible by Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc. and the Philippine Sports Commission. “May mga lapses pa din ang team pero alam kong handa kaming lumaban this time dahil may mga bala na kami pag sabak sa gera,” De Guzman said. The Nationals played 12 tune-up games and won four matches as they showed vast improvement in skills and developed better chemistry. “Yung sinasabi ni coach na adjustment nakita na niya, kung paano mag adjust sa sitwasyon habang nasa loob ng court, and yung blockings at defense, may improvement,” said De Guzman, who is making his third straight SEA Games appearance. The Nationals played against Saitama Azalea, Tsukuba United, top Division II squad Fujitsu Red Spirits, Chiba Zelba of Division III, Division I’s FC Tokyo, Rissho University, Chuo University, Nippon Sports Science University, Kukushikan University, Shensu University before wrapping their build up against Forval Bons Club. After a much-needed rest, the Nationals will get back to training and will be joined by Bagunas on November 30, the official opening day of the Games......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 22nd, 2019

Bagunas joins Philippine team for limited training stint

Bryan Bagunas hopes to make the most of his time training with the Philippine men’s volleyball team in Japan. The National University product joined the Nationals on Monday, reporting for training at the Sagamitana High School.  Bagunas, who is currently playing for Oita Miyoshi Weiss Adler in the Japan Premier League, will be with the squad for just four days to familiarize with the system and rotation and build chemistry.   “Friday ng morning aalis na ko kasi may game ako ng Saturday,” said Bagunas. The reigning UAAP Most Valuable Player will get a chance to see action with the Nationals in two tune-up games against FC Tokyo on Tuesday and Thursday.    “Siyempre ako sobrang masaya ako kasi nakasama na ulit ako sa training nila iba talaga sa feeling yung sarili mong bansa yung pinaglalaruan mo kaya sobrang excited ako na pumunta dito para makasama sila sa training,” said Bagunas. But it will be only time that Bagunas will share the court with his teammates in the 16-day training camp made possible by Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc. and the Philippine Sports Commission as preparation for the 30th Southeast Asian Games next month in Manila. “Susulitin ko ‘to kasi ito na yung last na makikipag-training ako sa kanila kasi dadating ako SEA Games na talaga,” he said. “Kaya susulitin ko na makapag-perform ng maayos at makapag-communicate sa kanila para pagdating ng SEA Games may maipakita kaming maganda.” Looking at how the team has performed so far in their past four tune-up matches, including a win over Chiba Zelba in five sets Sunday night, Bagunas sees the Nationals are heading on the right direction in their goal of landing a podium finish in the biennial meet.   “Sa ngayon sa nakikita ko, halos talagang may communication na sa isa’t isa tsaka talagang nagkakaisa-isa na,” he said. “Nakita ko ‘yung depensa talagang grabe na rin ‘yung depensa talaga, nagtutulungan sa blockings tapos sa floor defense talagang tumaas ‘yung percentage ngayon ang daming nag-improve.”.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 12th, 2019