Advertisements


NCAA Season 95: Altas crush Blazers in early Finals rematch

Three-peat-seeking University of Perpetual Help barely felt the departure of two-time Most Valuable Player Joebert Almodiel as the Altas cruised past College of St. Benilde, 25-17, 25-15, 25-19, on Friday in a rematch of last year’s Finals in the NCAA Season 95 men’s volleyball competition at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan. Converted hitter Louie Ramirez, who was moved from middle to open spiker, stepped up in his new found role scoring 18 points in a 17-of-36 spiking clip for the Altas, who won their 14th straight match – a winning run that started from their 2018 championship series win. Head coach Sammy Acaylar praised his men for responding to the huge challenge of facing one of the top title contenders even without scoring leader Almodiel, who was scratched from the lineup due to conduct detrimental to the team and a violation of school rules. “I always tell my player that they are going to play for the school and the community,” said Acaylar. “And it's very hard kasi na defending champion ka to maintain the championship so sabi ko lang sa kanila na ensayado tayo, well prepared tayo physically, mentally and spiritually. So they're going to contribute lang 'yun performance nila bawat isa.” Kennry Malinis and Ronniel Rosales scored 11 markers each while Gabriel Casana tallied 13 excellent sets to help the Altas hammer 45 attack points. The Las Pinas-based squad, which swept Blazers in last year’s championship, dominated CSB in their one-hour, nine minute match. Perpetual had six kill blocks and landed seven aces. Ruvince Abrot was the only Blazer in double figures with 12 points while Joshua De Sequera and Georgie Gauani finished with six each.     ---    Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles    .....»»

Category: sportsSource: abscbn abscbnJan 10th, 2020

NCAA Season 95: Lady Chiefs begin four-peat bid

Arellano University fields a solid and intact core as the Lady Chiefs begin their four-peat bid on Friday in a clash with Lyceum of the Philippines University in the NCAA Season 95 women’s volleyball competition at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan. Winners of four titles in the last five years, the Lady Chiefs’ campaign to extend their dynasty gets underway at 12 noon and will air via iWant.    Arellano U’s vital cogs in their previous conquests will be back, led by reigning Most Valuable Player Necole Ebuen and two-time Finals MVP Regine Arocha. Also making their return are Princess Bello, Carla Donato, Mikaela Juanich and setter Sarah Verutiao, who will pilot the Lady Chiefs’ offense after the departure of veteran playmaker Rhea Ramirez. The Lady Pirates, on the other hand lost two key players after Cherilyn Sindayen and Bien Juanillo exhausted their playing eligibility, and will bank heavily on holdovers Monica Sevilla, Mikaela Wanta and Alexandra Rafael. Meanwhile, last year’s runner-up University of Perpetual Help plunges into action at 2:00 p.m. in a clash with pre-season favorite College of St. Benilde. The Lady Altas saw the departure of scoring leader Cindy Imbo and setter Necelle Gual after Season 94’s championship stint. But the Macky Carino-mentored squad remains formidable with holdovers Jhona Rosal, Shyra Umandal and Bianca Tripoli. The Lady Blazers are out to prove their pre-season billing true with a good mix of veterans and young guns led by Klarisa Abriam, Marites Pablo, Michelle Gamit and setter Jewel Lai. Rising stars Mycah Go and Gayle Pascual, who displayed great potential in CSB’s stint in the PVL last year, are also expected to add depth to the Lady Blazers, who won the crown four years ago. The opening ceremony is set at 11:00 a.m. Arellano U and LPU will clash in the men’s division at 9:30 a.m. while grandslam-seeking Perpetual opens its campaign in an early Finals rematch with CSB at 3:30 p.m. In the juniors division, LPU and Arellano U meet in the curtain-raiser at 8:00 a.m. while five-time defending champion Perpetual collides with CSB-La Salle Greenhills at 5:00 p.m.        --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 9th, 2020

Beda vs Baste matchup headlines NCAA 95 schedule for July 23 to 26

These are the NCAA 95 Men's Basketball Tournament games from July 23 to 26 all of us just CAN NOT miss! TUESDAY, 8:00 a.m., Light Bombers vs Jr. Altas Perpetual has been the biggest surprise as a team in the NCAA 95 Jrs. JRU, meanwhile, has the biggest surprise as a player in Gholam Garcia. Something’s gotta give when these two pleasant surprises this early in the season meet in the middle of the floor. The Light Bombers and the Jr. Altas do battle and y'all can watch VIA LIVESTREAM. TUESDAY, 2:00 p.m., LPU vs San Sebastian Call it “The Topex Robinson Derby.” Coach Topex, now calling the shots for LPU, takes on his alma mater. On the other hand, San Sebastian takes on its former mentor. More than that, though, both the Pirates and the Golden Stags love to run and gun and it’s nothing but interesting to see who between them will be able to outrun and outgun the other. The Pirates and the Golden Stags do battle and y'all can watch on ABS-CBN S+A Channel 23, ABS-CBN S+A HD Channel 166, LIGA SkyCable Channel 86, LIGA HD SkyCable Channel 183, and iWant as well as livestream. THURSDAY, 2:00 p.m., Red Robins vs Jr. Blazers Put simply, this is a Finals rematch from last season. Only, both Mapua and LSGH, at present, find themselves at the bottom half of the standings as they are still adjusting to new coaches as well as the losses of all those stars. Still, this matchup may very well see the season debut of Jonnel Policarpio – and if that holds true, the rest of the league had better watch out for the oncoming Red Robins. The Red Robins and the Jr. Blazers do battle and y'all can watch VIA LIVESTREAM. THURSDAY, 4:00 p.m., Mapua vs CSB The matchup right after the NCAA Jrs. Finals rematch ain’t no slouch as well as CSB stakes its spotless slate against a Mapua side that is yet to win, but nonetheless remains dangerous. A win here will concretize the Blazers’ claim that they are for real, but at the same time, a win here may just be the jumpstart the Cardinals need to make noise. The Cardinals and the Blazers do battle and y'all can watch on ABS-CBN S+A Channel 23, ABS-CBN S+A HD Channel 166, LIGA SkyCable Channel 86, LIGA HD SkyCable Channel 183, and iWant as well as livestream. FRIDAY, 12:00 p.m., San Sebastian vs San Beda Old rivalries never die and here, we have Baste and Beda going at it. Not only that, these two teams are also not just playoff contenders, but title contenders. And in terms of matchups, there may not be no better dynamic duos to see duking it out other than Golden Stags Allyn Bulanadi and RK Ilagan and Red Lions James Canlas and Evan Nelle. The Golden Stags and the Red Lions do battle and y'all can watch on ABS-CBN S+A Channel 23, ABS-CBN S+A HD Channel 166, LIGA SkyCable Channel 86, LIGA HD SkyCable Channel 183, and iWant as well as livestream......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 22nd, 2019

GREATEST PERFORMANCES: Blazers’ breakthrough NCAA title

John Vic De Guzman vowed to return for his fifth and last year in the NCAA after College of St. Benilde was shown the exit door following a stinging five-set defeat at the hands of University of Perpetual Help in the Final Four of Season 91. He promised glory. The Blazers were reduced to mere spectators that year as they watched their women’s team write history by claiming its first volleyball title in four games against a thrice-to-beat opponent. De Guzman and the rest of the Blazers promised that in Season 92, they will be the ones celebrating the championship on the court. However, the promise of a good season turned sour early when CSB opened the tournament with a bitter straight-sets defeat to the same squad that booted them out of the semis in 2016. But it didn’t dampen the Blazers' goal of bringing honor to the Taft-based squad. The squad used that defeat as fuel to their burning desire for glory. CSB banked on De Guzman, Isaah Arda, Ron Jordan and Francis Basilan with Mark Deximo orchestrated the flow of their offense as the Blazers crushed their next eight opponents in the elimination round. Closing the elims with an 8-1 win-loss record, CSB was on another collision course with the then defending champion Altas in a playoff for the Final Four top seed. The Blazers got their payback as they whipped Perpetual into submission in three sets. With momentum on its side, CSB sliced through Arellano University in straight sets to earn a seat into the best-of-three Finals and the right to challenge Perpetual for the throne. For the Blazers facing their semis tormentors the year before opened old wounds. Wounds that can only be healed by vengeance. Game 1 was all CSB. De Guzman had his way around the defense of the Altas, scoring 19 points including a 16-of-28 spiking clip, while Basilan took care of business at the net as he shut down Perpetual's spikers with four of CSB’s nine kill blocks. On that same day, the Blazers witnessed their women’s team lose its title in the stepladder semifinals. It only pushed CSB’s determination to capture the championship. In Game 2, the Blazers encountered a different Altas squad. With its back against the wall, Perpetual gave CSB a scare when it took the second and third sets after yielding the first frame. The Altas made the Blazers know that they’re not giving up their reign that easy. CSB recovered in the fourth frame and forged a deciding set. The Blazers saw themselves in a difficult situation when they trailed by five, 7-12. “Walang imposible sanay tayong pina-practice ‘to,” De Guzman reminded his team. “’Apply lang natin ‘yan. Magtiwala lang tayo sa isa’t isa. Sanay tayo sa ganito. Nagsakripisyo tayo sa ganito. Nagpakapagod tayo para rito. Kukunin natin ‘to.” The team captain’s words breathed new life to his team, which mounted a counter offensive to tie the frame at 13. De Guzman saved a match point as the two squads went neck-and-neck in the mad dash to the finish. CSB saved another match point for its final run and capped it off with Arda’s off the block hit as the Blazers finally ended their long wait to raise the championship trophy. “Talagang pinaghirapan namin ito. Personally, ito ang frustration ko simula nung college pa na di namin nakuha,” said CSB coach Arnold Laniog, whose squad finished runner-up to Emilio Aguinaldo College in Season 90.              De Guzman, in his last duty for the green and white, posted 28 points including 26 kills.       Looking back, their journey to the throne started that fateful day when they walked out of the arena with their heads bowed and hearts shattered the year before.     “Naging stepping stone namin ‘yun, nung natalo kami noon,” he shared. “Mas nag-prepare kami (after noon). Emotionally tinanggap namin siya. Ginawa namin siyang motivation.”     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 5th, 2020

NCAA Season 95: AU, Perpetual rekindle rivalry in finals rematch

Three-time defending champion Arellano University faces another tough test on Wednesday in an early finals rematch against University of Perpetual Help in the NCAA Season 95 women’s volleyball competition at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan. The duel that promises thrilling action between two of the top title contenders is set at 12:00 noon and will air via iWant. The Lady Chiefs share the lead with College of St. Benilde after going unbeaten in five games. Arellano U is looking to capitalize on its straight sets demolition of San Beda University to re-assert its mastery over the Lady Altas, who the Lady Chiefs beat in last year’s championship series that went the full distance. All eyes are on reigning Most Valuable Player Necole Ebuen, graduating veteran Regine Arocha, Carla Donato and Mikaela Juanich as they try to preserve Arellano U’s unblemished slate and move closer to clinching a spot in the Final Four. But it won’t be an easy task with Perpetual also eyeing to sustain its current winning streak. The Lady Altas sport a 4-1 win-loss card and are coming off a sweep of Jose Rizal University last Monday. “Rematch ng finals yan. Pride din yan, siyempre ayaw namin na magpatalo sa bawat isa. Yun ang mentality namin,” said Perpetual head coach Macky Carino. The trio of Jhona Rosal, Bianca Tripoli and Shyra Umandal will lead the charge of the Lady Altas. Meanwhile, Mapua University (1-2) and Letran (1-2) cross paths at 2:00 p.m. The men’s match between three-peat-seeking Altas (5-0) and Chiefs (4-1) is set at 10:00 while at 3:30 is the Knights (0-3) and Cardinals (0-3) pairing. Reigning five-time juniors champion Perpetual (5-0) will see action at 8:30 a.m. against AU (5-0) while the Letran (2-1)-Mapua (0-3) encounter is at 5:00 p.m.        --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 28th, 2020

NCAA 95: Spotless CSB gets challenged by streaking LPU

Games on Friday at Filoil Flying V Centre 12:00 p.m. - Perpetual vs San Beda 2:00 p.m. - JRU vs Mapua 4:00 p.m. - CSB vs LPU College of St. Benilde remains unscathed in the NCAA 95 Men's Basketball Tournament, but coming right for them is smooth sailing Lyceum of the Philippines University. The Blazers stake their spotless slate while the Pirates put their five-game win run on the line in the clash of titans in the middle of the Filoil Flying V Centre floor, Friday. Starting at 4:00 p.m., CSB is out to ace its toughest test thus far in the season even as LPU is out to stretch its streak ahead of its rematch with the defending champions. As always all of the action will be on ABS-CBN S+A Channel 23, ABS-CBN S+A HD Channel 166, LIGA SkyCable Channel 86, LIGA HD SkyCable Channel 183, iWant and livestream. Also hoping for a morale-boosting win ahead of the rematch of last year's Finals is San Beda University which will take on a University of Perpetual Help side on a downward spiral at 12:00 p.m. while Mapua University is hoping its newfound groove will take it even farther at the expense of Jose Rizal University at 2:00 p.m. In Jrs. action, defending champion Mapua Red Robins also seek a bigger boost for its playoff push when they take on the dangerous JRU Light Bombers at 10:00 a.m. There will also be big-time battles between league-leading San Beda Red Cubs and daring Perpetual Jr. Altas at 8:00 a.m. as well as between second-running CSB-La Salle Green Hills Jr. Blazers and fourth-running LPU Jr. Pirates at 6:00 p.m. For the first time ever, the best and brightest young talent in the country will be on livestream......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 15th, 2019

STAYING POWER: These schools have great grassroots programs

Ateneo de Manila University has won it all three times in a row in the UAAP 82 Men's Basketball Tournament. The most recent of which was a season sweep that just yet again proved that in recent history, Blue Eagle the king. Of course, head coach Tab Baldwin deserves much credit for that - he wouldn't take it, but he could. At the same time, though, the blue and white has also given coach Tab all the materials he needs to assemble a juggernaut. And those materials? Ateneo itself, for the most part, discovered and developed them. More than half of the Blue Eagles in UAAP 82 were formerly Blue Eaglets. And even in high school, Nieto twins Mike and Matt, BJ Andrade, SJ Belangel, Geo Chiu, Jason Credo, and Gian Mamuyac were champions. Funnily enough, Thirdy Ravena, who has three Finals MVPs to his name, was unable to take a title in the Jrs. as he was denied by Hubert Cani's Nazareth School of National University and Jerie Pingoy's Far Eastern University-Diliman. Still, Ravena plus those seven other ex-Eaglets all played their part in their season sweep. If you count Ange Kouame, who was taken in even before college and finished his high school in Multiple Intelligence International School, then that makes nine homegrown players for Ateneo. That, without a doubt, makes Katipunan the site of the most successful grassroots program in recent history. And the Blue Eagles are far from finished as they already have the likes of Ian Espinosa, Josh Lazaro, Lebron Lopez, and Forthsky Padrigao waiting in the wings. Not that far behind are usual suspects FEU and San Beda University. Last season, the green and gold counted five Baby Tams who were full-fledged Tams. Add RJ Abarrientos and Cholo Anonuevo to that list and next season, FEU may also very well have half of its Srs. squad grown from its Jrs. program. The Red Lions, meanwhile, had Peter Alfaro, Prince Etrata, Evan Nelle, and Ain Obenza coming from their high school ranks. Only Nelle wound up as a key cog in their almost-season sweep, but with his departure, bigger things are now going to be expected from Alfaro and Etrata. Even more, with standout Red Cubs Rhayyan Amsali, Yukien Andrada, Justine Sanchez, and Tony Ynot coming in, Mendiola would reap the rewards of its stout Taytay program once more. Also enjoying the resurgence of its high school team is San Sebastian College-Recoletos which could boast that top gun RK Ilagan as well as rotation players Michael Are, Rommel Calahat, Alex Desoyo, Gelo Loristo, Jessie Sumoda, and Ken Villapando were former Staglets. For its part, University of Sto. Tomas has CJ Cansino and Mark Nonoy getting promoted from its Jrs. program. Those two comprise the Growling Tigers' backcourt of the present and the future and they have another proud product from the Tiger Cubs coming in the form of Bismarck Lina. Mapua University and Jose Rizal University are yet to barge back into the Final Four, but their rebuild is right on track thanks to building blocks from their high school squads. All of Denniel Aguirre, Warren Bonifacio, Joaqui Garcia, Paolo Hernandez, Eric Jabel, Noah Lugo, Jasper Salenga, Justin Serrano, and Laurenz Victoria are Red Robins-turned Cardinals while the Heavy Bombers now have their core four in ex-Light Bombers John Amores, JL Delos Santos, Marwin Dionisio, and Thomas Vasquez. The University of the Philippines had a growing grassroots program with Gomez de Liano brothers Javi and Juan as well as Will Gozum having come from UP Integrated School. With the GDLs choosing to sit out UAAP 83 and Gozum choosing to transfer to College of St. Benilde, however, the Fighting Maroons have no homegrown players on the roster, at present. That could change, though, if Joe GDL makes the cut or if, next year, current Jr. Maroons Jordi GDL, Aldous Torculas, and Ray Allen Torres opt to stay put. That is also what Adamson University is hoping Jake Figueroa, the UAAP 82 MVP, and Matty Erolon would do after their last year as Baby Falcons. After all, Lorenz Capulong, AP Manlapaz, and Joem Sabandal have already proven to be capable and confident Soaring Falcons. Lyceum of the Philippines University is yet to see a seamless transition from its high school to its college teams, but in NCAA 95 MVP John Barba and former Batang Gilas Mac Guadana, they seem to have their very first homegrown stars. With head coach Goldwin Monteverde taking the reins of the Bulldogs after going back-to-back with the Bullpups, National U looks like it will finally have a clearly connected basketball program. John Lloyd Clemente is already there alongside RJ Minerva, Chino Mosqueda, and Migs Oczon and all of Gerry Abadiano, Kevin Quiambao, and Carl Tamayo may very well join them for coach Gold's first year in the Srs. Meanwhile, De La Salle University has had quite the up and down track record in taking full advantage of its TWO high school programs. Only Aljun Melecio, a former Jr. Archer, and Joel Cagulangan, a former Greenie, were the homegrown Green Archers last season and with the latter having moved on, only the former remains. La Salle's shortcoming has been CSB's gain as the Blazers have only welcomed with open arms La Salle Green Hills products Ladis Lepalam, Sidney Mosqueda, Unique Naboa, Mark Sangco, and Luigi Velasco as well as DLS Zobel product Prince Carlos. Here are the other teams who had homegrown players on their rosters last year: ARELLANO CHIEFS Marlon Espiritu. Kent Segura. Lars Sunga. LETRAN KNIGHTS Christian Balagasay. Jerrick Balanza. Neil Guarino. Kurt Reyson PERPETUAL ALTAS Jasper Cuevas. Jielo Razon. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 23rd, 2020

NCAA Season 95: Top NCAA men s volleyball MVP candidate eyes national team spot

University of Perpetual Help sophomore Louie Ramirez is playing on top of his game this NCAA Season 95. He sees it as a chance not only to help the Altas keep their grasp of the crown but also as an opportunity to be noticed and fulfill his ultimate goal of serving the country. The Pangasinense is very vocal in his interest to land a spot in the Philippine men’s volleyball team just like former Altas libero Jack Kalingking, who helped the PHI squad capture the historic silver medal in the 30th Southeast Asian Games last December. “Pangarap ko rin talaga maging part ng national team kasi 'yun nga, parang pumunta ako sa Perps kasi 'yun talaga ang pangarap ko,” said Ramirez, who was recruited by Perpetual mentor and former national team coach Sammy Acaylar. “Kumbaga parang 'yun 'yung susi ba para makalaro sa National team.” Ramirez had a decent debut with the Altas last year, helping Perpetual finish a perfect season. Unfortunately, he was barely noticed playing a less glamorous position at the middle and behind the shadows of Season 95 1st Best Middle Blocker Ronniel Rosales. But when Altas star Joebert Almodiel, the two-time reigning MVP, decided to part ways with Perpetual, Ramirez seized the chance to break out of his shell.  Converted to open spiker to fill the void left by Almodiel, Ramirez did not disappoint. The Hotel and Restaurant Management student averaged 17.7 points per game in the Las Pinas-based squad’s nine-game sweep of the eliminations that propelled Perpetual straight to the Finals for the second straight year. Acaylar admits that Ramirez did struggle during the early part of the season with his new role which he got just a few weeks before the start of the tournament. “You know, to tell you frankly, before nag opening ang NCAA, nagkaroon pa kami ng medyo struggles because nawalan kami ng player,” said Acaylar. “Nagkaroon kami ng struggles din, at least noong cinonvert ko si Louie sa pagiging open spiker, 'yun pala ang nasa puso niya talagang gusto niya mag-open spiker kaya nakuha niya 'yung gusto kong mangyari,” he added. “Nag-adjust siya pero ngayon malinis na siyang gumalaw sa loob.” Now thriving at his new spot, Ramirez is tipped to win the highest individual award. But the Altas scorer just wants to look at the bigger picture. “'Di ko pa iniisip kasi kumbaga lagi naman sinasabi ni coach Sam na, ‘Maglaro para sa team hindi 'yung maglaro para sa sarili. Kumbaga wag niyo isipin 'yung mga award kasi kumbaga 'yung championship talaga. 'Yung mga award parang bonus nalang 'yan para sa aming mga player,’” said Ramirez. Perpetual will wait for its best-of-three Finals opponent as the elimination round resumes on March 16 after a month of halt following the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 24th, 2020

NCAA Season 95: Lady Chiefs out to boost semis hopes

Three-time defending champion Arellano University guns for a bounce back win and at least a playoff for a Final Four seat in a showdown with Letran in the NCAA Season 95 women’s volleyball competition on Tuesday at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan. Holding a 5-1 win-loss record at second spot tied with University of Perpetual Help, the Lady Chiefs march into their 12:00 noon battle hoping to get back on the winning track. Arellano U cruised past its first five assignments before hitting a snag last week when the Lady Chiefs absorbed a 25-22, 25-22, 22-25, 12-25, 14-16, defeat at the hands of the Lady Altas in a rematch of last year’s Finals series. Reigning Most Valuable Player Necole Ebuen, Regine Arocha, Princes Bello and Carla Donato are all raring to avenge Arellano U’s loss. But the Lady Knights also have a lot at stake in the match. Letran sports a 3-2 win-loss record at fifth spot behind San Beda University (4-2) and is coming off back-to-back wins including a five-set victory over Lyceum of the Philippines University last Friday. The Lady Knights need to win its remaining games to secure a spot in the semis. Meanwhile, facing off in the juniors’ match are the Braves (6-0) and Squires (4-1) at 8:30 a.m. while the Chiefs (4-2) and Knights (1-4) meet at 10:00 a.m.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 4th, 2020

20 for 20: Pinoy Sports Personalities to Watch in 2020

As we enter a new decade, ABS-CBN Sports takes a look at 20 Pinoy sports personalities destined to shine in 2020.    Kiefer Ravena After an 18-month wait, Kiefer Ravena is finally back in basketball. Despite only playing in the PBA’s third conference, his impact was immediate, leading NLEX to the number 1 seed in the Governors’ Cup. The Road Warriors didn’t advance sure, but if Kiefer can impact a team that way in limited time, wait until you see what he can do with a full offseason.   Alex Eala At just 14 years old, Filipina tennister Alex Eala is already turning heads, and she’s yet to turn pro. With a runner-up finish at the ITF Mayor’s Cup in Osaka, Japan and her first ITF Juniors title in Cape Town, South Africa, Alex has had quite the fruitful year, leading to a career-best 11th-place ranking in the ITF Juniors table to finish the year.  Heading into 2020, Eala now has her sights set on turning pro as she plans to join more professional tournaments to raise her ranking even more. Expect the young tennis star to make even more headlines in the coming year.     Bryan Bagunas A vital cog in the national team’s silver medal finish in the 30th Southeast Asian Games, Bagunas is considered as one of the best Filipino volleyball players in this generation. Eyes will be on his blossoming international career playing as an import in the Japan V. Premier League.         Margielyn Didal While already a household name in Philippine skateboarding due to her success in the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta, Margielyn Didal made even more waves in 2019. The 20-year old Cebuana reached the semifinals of the 2019 SLS World Championships in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and captured gold in the 2019 National Championships and the 2019 Southeast Asian Games.  Didal is currently looking to qualify for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, and if she can do so, it’s highly likely that the Pinay skater can become an even bigger star in the industry.    Marck Espejo After his spectacular collegiate career with the Ateneo Blue Eagles, Marck Espejo's colorful career as part of the men's national volleyball team and in the club league continues to blossom. Just like Bryan Bagunas, Espejo will be showing his skills internationally with a stint in Thailand following a historic silver medal finish at the 30th SEA Games.   Yuka Saso After a decorated amateur career that saw her  participate in major tournaments such as the Ladies’ European Tour, the Summer Youth Olympics and claim top honors in the 2018 Asian Games, 2018 and 2019 Philippine Ladies Open, and the 2019 Girls’ Junior PGA Championship, 18-year old Pinay golfer Yuka Saso finally made the jump to pro in November of 2019.  With even more competitions in store plus a 2020 Tokyo Olympics berth in her crosshairs, it’s quite likely that we hear more about Saso in the coming months.  Carlos Yulo Perhaps no other young athlete in the Philippines shot to stardom faster than gymnastics phenomenon Carlos Edriel Yulo. After a gold medal finish in the floor exercise at the 2019 World Championships in Stuttgart, Yulo hauled in even more hardware in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games, taking home two more gold medals and five silvers.  Yulo’s spectacular 2019 earned him a spot in the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, and if his SEA Games and World Championships performances are any indication, Caloy is bound for another podium finish on the biggest stage there is.   Eya Laure Last UAAP season’s rookie of the year will return as the heir apparent of Season 81 MVP Sisi Rondina. With her national team stint, all eyes will be on the younger Laure as she reunites with older sister EJ as they try to bring University of Sto. Tomas back in the Finals after falling short last year. Hidilyn Diaz 2019 was another big year for Olympic silver medalist weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz, highlighted by her first ever gold medal in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games. Diaz also finished with silver medals in the 2019 Asian Championships and a bronze in the 2019 World Championships.  All those podium finishes are crucial in Diaz’s quest for another Olympics berth in 2020. Should the 28-year lock up another spot in the Summer Games in Tokyo, we could see another Olympic medal coming home.    Kat Tolentino  After initially announcing that she would not come back for her final season in the UAAP, Kat Tolentino changed her decision and will suit up for the Ateneo Lady Eagles once last time, providing a great morale-booster in their bid for back-to-back titles. Tolentino’s leadership will be tested as she will be leading a young team.      Joshua Pacio 23-year old Joshua “The Passion” Pacio proved to be the brightest spot for Philippine MMA stable Team Lakay in 2019. After opening the year with a questionnable decision loss to Yosuke Saruta, Pacio silenced any doubts in the rematch and regained the ONE Strawweight World Championship with a highlight-reel headkick knockout. Pacio would follow that up with another masterful performance, this time with a second-round submission win over top contender Rene Catalan before the end of the year.  2020 is shaping up to become another banner year for the rising Pinoy star, as he’s scheduled for another title defense on January 31st in Manila, this time against former champ Alex Silva of Brazil. A win for Pacio will solidify his claim of being the best strawweight ever in ONE Championship history.     Louie Romero The Adamson University freshman displayed great potential during the pre-season when she piloted the Lady Falcons to title win in the PVL Season 3 Collegiate Conference. Romero is expected to be a gem of a setter for the young Adamson squad hoping make a return in the UAAP Final Four. Manny Pacquiao While eight-division world champion Manny Pacquiao is certainly in the twilight of his professional boxing career, 2019 showed that he is still one of the best around. A successful title defense over Adrien Broner followed by an impressive dismantling of the previously-undefeated Keith Thurman to capture the WBA’s primary world title proved that even at 40, Manny Pacquiao is still a big name in the sport.  With Pacquiao targeting an early return in 2020, more big names are lined up to fight “the People’s Champ”, including names like Danny Garcia, Shawn Porter, and even a title-unification bout against Errol Spence. Still, the biggest fight that is out there proves to be a rematch against Floyd Mayweather Jr, granted that “Money” finally bites.    Faith Nisperos A key addition for the repeat-seeking Ateneo de Manila University. The highly-touted rookie hitter will add height and firepower for the Lady Eagles in UAAP Season 82 women’s volleyball. In the previous PVL Collegiate Conference, Nisperos flashed her scoring prowess, exploding for 35 points in one outing.   Robert Bolick The two best rookies of 2019 were CJ Perez and Robert Bolick. We know what we can expect from CJ, but Bolick is an interesting case as 2020 will be his return from knee injury. Bolick could still win Rookie of the Year, but even if he doesn’t, his return to Northport could push the reloaded Batang Pier from a Cinderella team to full-on PBA title contender.   Joshua Retamar His playmaking skills as well as his efficiency on net defense during the national team’s silver medal finish in the 30th Southeast Asian Games makes him a setter to watch out for come UAAP. Retamar is an asset for National University’s three-peat bid.       Kai Sotto The Philippines' 7-foot-2, 17-year-old is opening eyes as he suits up for Atlanta-based The Skills Factory - so much so that he has already gotten interest from quite a few US NCAA schools. Before Sotto continues breaking the glass ceiling for Filipinos, though, he will go home for a while to wear the flag with Mighty Sports-Pilipinas in the 2020 Dubai International Basketball Tournament.   Jema Galanza Coming off a great outing to close the PVL Season 3 highlighted by copping the Open Conference MVP award, expectations are high for Jema Galanza as Creamline aims to reclaim the PVL Reinforced Conference crown and complete an Open Conference three-peat.      Kobe Paras Many questioned just what the 6-foot-6 tantalizing talent would bring to the table for UP - but more often than not, he had all the answers as he led the Fighting Maroons to their second straight Final Four. In the end, Paras was actually the steadying force State U needed in what was a hyped up season. They may not have made it back to the Finals, but they still got much more motivation as they run it back for next year.   Pat Aquino What's next for the most decorated mentor in women's basketball? Pat Aquino followed up a six-peat for National U with the Philippines' first-ever gold medal in women's basketball in the SEA Games. Without a doubt, he will only continue steering the sport forward especially as the likes of UST and FEU are already gearing up to put up greater challenges in the new year.   Isaac Go Isaac Go is technically not the no. 1 pick of the 2019 PBA Draft but he is without a doubt, the no. 1 prospect of the year. His top selection from the special Gilas Pilipinas Draft is proof of that. Gilas Pilipinas has the FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers on deck in 2020 and as a new era dawns on the national team, all eyes will be on the biggest piece for the future that’s already drafted into the new Philippine squad......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 1st, 2020

THROWBACK: The stunning San Beda-Letran Finals face-off in Season 91

With yet another important milestone in its more than a decade-long dominance in the NCAA, the San Beda University Red Lions seek their fourth straight men’s basketball crown in Season 95. But in their roar to four, San Beda would face not just an old rival, but also a heartbreaking tormentor in the Colegio de San Juan de Letran Knights, which denied them a colossal, record-setting six-peat in Season 91.  While carrying a spotless 18-0 slate behind MVP Calvin Oftana, Evan Nelle, James Canlas-Kwekuteye and coach Boyet Fernandez that forced the stepladder semifinals, wherein Letran emerged as the rightful finals contender, carried by skipper Jerrick Balanza, Fran Yu, Larry Muyang, and coach Bonnie Tan, with victories over San Sebastian and Lyceum, San Beda would dread a repeat of that debacle.  But definitely, the veteran Knight Balanza, moreso AC Soberano and Donald Tankoua of the present San Beda roster, along with the 20,158 individuals inside the venue couldn’t forget that long, grueling championship night on October 29, 2015 at the Mall of Asia Arena. Storied nemeses They were already part of their respective varsity rosters, with the Knights coached then by Aldin Ayo and the Red Lions mentored at that time by Jamike Jarin, when the storied nemeses met in Game 3 of the Season 91 Finals that fateful Thursday. In each of their two previous successive Finals meetings in Seasons 88 and 89 with mostly the same lineup, the Knights would bow in three games to the Red Lions, which claimed their third and fourth consecutive titles since 2010. The first San Beda-Letran NCAA Finals match in half a century happened in 2007, with San Beda winning the crown—the Red Lions’ second straight title then after a 28-year title drought. After San Beda took its fifth straight title at the expense of the Arellano Chiefs in 2014, Letran got the chance to face the Red Lions again in the Finals of Season 91, and they would go all-out to stop their bitter rival’s date with history. A six-peat? No way, the Knights would assert in their march onto the Best-of-Three with a more formidable team under the new aggressive young coach Ayo, a former Letran player, in their bid to notch its first NCAA finals victory over the Red Lions since the heydays of the Lauro Mumar vs Carlos Loyzaga duel in the 1950s. And in the Season 91 Finals, Letran took the first game, 94-90, but San Beda emerged victorious in the second, 68-61, arranging the winner-take-all. Moment of truth When that moment of truth came, the Red Lions were reenergized with their Game 2 win and became confident in snagging that sixth straight title. Faced with this, however, the Knights remained solid and unperturbed in their iron-clad “Mayhem” armor. True enough, San Beda was shut out of focus in the beginning, as the Knights romped with a raging run-and-gun, leaving the Red Lions scoreless in a key stretch, 8-0, for a 16-7 early lead. Javee Mocon and Michole Sorela would finally provide the needed stops and lead a spirited comeback for the Red Lions. But Letran’s Rey Nambatac would drop a clutch basket to give the Knights an eight-point advantage at the end of the first quarter, 20-12. JP Calvo would continue Letran’s scorching offense in the second quarter, instigating a 10-0 run in the first minutes. But San Beda will answer a 5-0 spurt of its own behind Tankoua and Soberano’s steady shooting and consistency in the charity lane. The Knights’ high-octane offense held the Red Lions at bay, but the Mendiola dribblers’ 11-of-15 free throws would still keep Muralla cagers within striking distance. By the 1:14 mark, Roldan Sara converted a triple to give San Beda its first taste of the lead, 39-38, but Nambatac provided Letran the marginal lead at halftime with his two free throws, 40-39. See-saw battle The Lions would take over at the start of the third quarter, behind a string of baskets from Mocon and Art dela Cruz. The Knights, however, would answer with a nine-point blitz from Jomari Sollano to wrest the lead back at 51-48. Mocon would extend the see-saw battle with a putback and free throws, 52-51. But a 3-0 spurt, capped off by Kier Quinto’s twinner at the end of the period still placed Letran on top at the end of the third quarter, 54-52. By the first few minutes of the final canto, San Beda seemed frustrated by Letran’s incredible defensive game. And the Knights would dictate the tempo, preventing the Red Lions to wrest control. Letran’s offensive might was also a big factor, with Kevin Racal sinking back-to-back threes, halfway in the fourth.  Graduating players Baser Amer and Ola Adeogun would prevent a Letran pull away, keeping it a manageable four-point deficit, 60-64. But after Racal and Finals MVP Cruz’s assault from three-point land gave Letran what seemed an insurmountable 75-67 lead with 1:53 left, the Knights were silenced by a shocking 8-0 barrage by the Red Lions at the end of regulation, with Amer scoring the equalizer, 13.5 seconds left, to send the game to overtime.  Extended play During the extended play, Amer scored off a gallant incursion to pad an 82-79 lead, 1:28 remaining, setting off wild chants from the San Beda gallery. But these were then muted after four unanswered points coming from Racal’s two charities off an Adeogun foul and Sollano’s midrange jumper after a 24-second violation by the Red Lions, that put Letran in the lead once more, 83-82, with 32.6 seconds left. After successive misses by Amer and Dela Cruz, Adeogun fouled Sollano as the Knights regained possession, and the Letran center marched to the charity lane for two free throws with six seconds left. Sollano would sink the first, and flub the second. In the battle for the rebound, Letran’s McJour Luib and San Beda’s Dela Cruz were then assessed a controversial double-lane violation by referee Nestor Sambrano, who awarded ball possession to the Knights under FIBA rules of “alternating possession.” With 3.7 seconds left to play, and Letran leading at 84-82, Sara had no other choice but to foul Cruz, who would also split his charities.  First title in 10 years, championship steak ended Sorela would then miss a desperation attempt near mid-court as time expired, sending the Letran crowd to a frenzy, with the Knights bagging its first title in 10 years, breaking the hearts of Bedans everywhere as the Red Lions’ five-year championship streak has ended. Racal would top-score for the Knights with 24 markers, most of which in that key stretch in the endgame. Sollano had his career game of 19 points and seven rebounds, Cruz finishing with 14, and Nambatac, 13. Dela Cruz would lead the Red Lions with a near triple-double of 15 points, 13 rebounds, and eight assists. He added a steal and two blocks in his incredible all-around game. Adeogun completed his duty in San Beda with a monster double-double of 13 points and 13 rebounds. Fellow outgoing Lion Amer chipped in 14 points, which was similar to the output of the prolific Mocon. Will San Beda avenge this heartbreaking loss in their first Finals rematch against Letran since Season 91 and assert its remarkable dynasty or will the Knights frustrate the Red Lions anew and waylay them in an NCAA men’s basketball championship series for the second time in a row?  Watch Game 1 of the NCAA Season 95 Finals between the San Beda Red Lions and the Letran Knights starting on Tuesday, November 12, at the Mall of Asia Arena and live on ABS-CBN S+A Channel 23, ABS-CBN S+A HD Channel 166, LIGA SkyCable Channel 86, LIGA HD SkyCable Channel 183, TFC.tv, TFC, iWant and livestream......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 12th, 2019

PVL: UST-Ateneo; Adamson-CSB clash in Final Four opener

Action in the Premier Volleyball League Season 3 Collegiate Conference hits a fever pitch on Sunday as the Final Four pairings get underway at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan. With two weeks of preparation since the close of the group stage elimination round, expect well-prepared and energized squads clashing to draw first blood in the best-of-three series. Up first will be Adamson and College of St. Benilde duking it out at 9:00 a.m. in a battle that will air live on ABS-CBN S+A Channel 23, ABS-CBN S+A HD Channel 166, LIGA SkyCable Channel 86, LIGA HD SkyCable Channel 183, iWant and via livestream. The Lady Falcons bannered by a young core led by rookie setter Louie Romero, Lucille Almonte, Ceasa Pinar and league-leading scorer Trisha Genesis swept Group A to take the no. 1 spot in the crossover semis. Adamson will take on the only NCAA team in the Final Four in the Lady Blazers, whose only loss in the group stage came at the hands of Group B top seed University of Sto. Tomas in five sets. CSB will bank on Klarisa Abriam, Gayle Pascual, Michelle Gamit and Mycah Go to pull off a stunner. Meanwhile, UST and UAAP champion Ateneo de Manila University face off in a rematch of their UAAP Season 81 Finals showdown at 11:00 a.m. The game will air live on iWant and via livestream. The Tigresses swept Group B highlighted by the promising games by freshman Imee Hernandez, sophomore Eya Laure, Kecelyn Galdones and Racehelle Roldan. The Lady Eagles closed the group stage with a 4-1 slate, losing only to Adamson in four sets. Faith Nisperos, Ponggay Gaston, setter Jaja Maraguinot at Vanie Gandler will lead the charge of Ateneo.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles       .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 28th, 2019

NCAA 95: CSB stakes spotless slate against winless Mapua

Game on Thursday at Mapua Gym in Manila 4:00 p.m. - Mapua vs CSB College of St. Benilde is a pleasant surprise in the earlygoing of the NCAA 95 Men's Basketball Tournament, sharing the top spot with defending champion San Beda University. The Blazers want nothing more than to stay there and to do so, would first have to take care of business against a Mapua University that is hungry to give reasons to smile for its home crowd inside its gym in Intramuros, Manila on Thursday. Even more, the Cardinals are hungry for that first win in the season and they go all-out for that starting at 4:00 p.m. As always, all of the action will be on ABS-CBN S+A Channel 23, ABS-CBN S+A HD Channel 166, LIGA SkyCable Channel 86, LIGA HD SkyCable Channel 183, iWant and livestream. An equally massive matchup is the Jrs. duel between the visiting Jr. Blazers and the home team Red Robins at 2:00 p.m. This is actually a rematch of the last year's Finals which saw the red and gold take the trophy back home inside the Old City. For the first time ever, the best and brightest young talent in the country will be on livestream......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 25th, 2019

NCAA 95: Will third time be the charm for TY Tang-coached CSB?

HOW’D THEY DO LAST SEASON? 10-8, 5th YES, THEY’RE STILL HERE: Kendrix Belgica, Justin Gutang, Yankie Haruna, Clement Leutcheu, Unique Naboa WELCOME TO THE FAMILY: Ladis Lepalam, Mark Sangco GOOD LUCK ON FUTURE ENDEAVORS: Carlo Young WHAT SHOULD WE EXPECT FROM CSB? A year ago, CSB came oh so close to finally breaking through to the Final Four. Now in NCAA Season 95, the Blazers are bringing back a mostly intact core that only lost two-way guard Carlo Young. Even so, rising star Justin Gutang remains in green and white alongside tireless workhorse Kendrix Belgica, hard-nosed forward Edward Dixon, pint-sized playmaker Unique Naboa, and Cameroonian center Clement Leutcheu. “We have no doubt Edward Dixon and Kendrix Belgica will be stepping up for us big time.” – head coach TY Tang They will also be joined by a couple of sophomores being eyes to take the next step in Prince Carlos and Robi Nayve as well as a pair of standouts from CSB-La Salle Green Hills in 6-foot-8 raw project Ladis Lepalam and long-limbed wing Mark Sangco. All that may very well be the perfect mix TY Tang has long been looking for now in his third year at the helm – and that elusive playoff berth may very well be within reach for the Taft-based team. “We can always say we are ready but the result will show if we are or we are not. For us, we are just looking forward to again play in the NCAA.” – head coach TY Tang WHO IS/ARE THE PLAYER/S TO WATCH OUT FOR FROM CSB? NCAA Season 95 is Gutang’s time to transform from an impact rookie to a bonafide star. Without a doubt, CSB will go wherever its Filipino-American takes it, but that also means that the do-it-all swingman would need to take on more of a leadership role for his young supporting cast. “In terms of playing inside the court, no doubt na siya talaga ang leader namin, but more than the on-court stuff, it's more of his character, yun ang hinahanap namin sa kanya. When you're a leader, you're supposed to command and earn the respect of your team. That's where we want him to lead. He's still a work-in-progress with his maturity, pero nag-improve naman.” – head coach TY Tang In that light, it’s only a step in the right direction that the Blazers are, at long last, getting to add talent from its thriving high school program. Lepalam and Sangco may be under the radar pickups, but both are more than capable of being key cogs for a contender. WHY SHOULD WE ROOT FOR CSB? CSB has long been longing for another run to the Final Four, or even the Finals, after the school took the league by storm by winning the championship in its early years of membership. In recent history, the Blazers have fallen a win or two short of the playoffs more than a few times. With the field as wide open as it has been in a long while, NCAA Season 95 may just be the opening they need to finally get that Final Four monkey off their backs. “To get to the playoffs is our main goal.” – head coach TY Tang WHERE WOULD CSB BE AT THE END OF NCAA SEASON 95? CSB will be fighting with its all for a place in the Final Four, but it is far from a shoo-in. Coach TY needs even more lucky bounces to go his way if he is to finally accomplish the mission he set out for with the Blazers. WHEN IS CSB’S FIRST GAME IN NCAA SEASON 95? CSB begins its quest for a breakthrough when it wages war against Emilio Aguinaldo College on July 9 at the Filoil Flying V Centre. As always, the latest season of the first and oldest collegiate league in the country will be on ABS-CBN S+A Channel 23, ABS-CBN S+A HD Channel 166, LIGA SkyCable Channel 86, LIGA HD SkyCable Channel 183, iWant and livestream. HERE’S WHAT TO EXPECT FROM THE NINE OTHER TEAMS IN NCAA SEASON 95: Young guns to be wind beneath JRU’s wings for NCAA 95 EAC turning over a new leaf for NCAA 95 Kent Salado back in the driver's seat for Arellano in NCAA 95 Mapua Srs. out to reap the rewards of its champion Jrs. team Health only thing standing in way of Baste's best shot at a title --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 2nd, 2019

10 NCAA players to watch in Season 95

It’s important to note that half of the players who were picked in the first round of the 2018 PBA Draft were products of the country’s first collegiate sports league. CJay Perez and Robert Bolick have immediately become the cornerstones of Columbian Dyip and NorthPort Batang Pier, respectively. Javee Mocon, Jesper Ayaay, Michael Calisaan and JP Calvo have all received high praise from the coaches of their new teams. While last season’s heroes are now living their lifelong dreams in the PBA, new stars are looking to shine as NCAA Season 95 opens on July 7 at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City. James Kwekuteye (SBU)   If there is one player worthy enough to succeed Bolick as the King Lion of Mendiola, it’s the 6’3” Fil-Canadian shooting guard, James Kwekuteye. As a rookie, Kwekuteye came off the bench for majority of the season and had limited time to really put his talent on display. But, when he did start, particularly in San Beda’s second round game against LPU, Kwekuteye proved that he could be a major threat as he scored a career-high 18 points for the Red Lions, matching the scoring output of Bolick. In that game, Bolick motivated Kwekuteye by saying, “they can’t stop you.” James Kwekuteye introduces himself to Lyceum with 18 big points! #NCAASeason94 #GalingNCAA pic.twitter.com/OQS5eZBTJL — ABS-CBN Sports (@abscbnsports) October 18, 2018 As the new starting shooting guard of Coach Boyet Fernandez, Kwekuteye led San Beda in scoring in the 2019 Fil-Oil Flying V Pre-season Cup averaging 14.1 points per game.    Evan Nelle (SBU)   Another talented player who didn’t see the floor much last year due to the loaded roster of guards on the San Beda lineup was former NCAA Jrs. Finals MVP Evan Nelle. Evan Nelle repays coach Boyet Fernandez' trust by drilling the early three! #NCAASeason94 #GalingNCAA pic.twitter.com/kpfdsnro2i — ABS-CBN Sports (@abscbnsports) September 11, 2018 Nelle was the fourth string point guard behind Bolick, Jo Presbitero and Radge Tongco in Season 94. But, with the graduation of all three aforementioned players, the keys to the Red Lions’ offense has fallen straight into Nelle’s hands. While sharing the backcourt with Kwekuteye, Nelle led San Beda to the 2019 FilOil Championship and averaged a league-best 4.7 assists per contest.    Donald Tankoua (SBU)   Aside from capturing the title in the country’s most prestigious pre-season tournament, Kwekuteye and Nelle were also named to the Mythical Five along with their starting center, Donald Tankoua.  Donald Tankoua drops 23 points to help San Beda end the eliminations on a high note. #NCAASeason94 #GalingNCAA pic.twitter.com/EUFpXnAt8T — ABS-CBN Sports (@abscbnsports) October 23, 2018 The 6’6” Cameroonian big man has always been one of the most consistent players, year in and year out in the NCAA and will continue to be as he plays out his final year of eligibility in Season 95. Because he’s a walking double-double, expect Tankoua to be the early favorite to win MVP.   Mike Harry Nzeusseu (LPU)   Now, if there is anybody who possesses the physical attributes and the numbers to challenge Tankoua’s MVP campaign, it’s LPU’s Mike Harry Nzeusseu. Mike Harry Nzeusseu gets NASTY ???? #NCAASeason94 #NCAAFinals pic.twitter.com/yEAr0ywBPd — ABS-CBN Sports (@abscbnsports) November 12, 2018 Nzeusseu ended last season without confirming that he would return to play one more year with the Pirates but his participation in the Fil-Oil tournament tells us that he will be back to anchor the defense of Coach Topex Robinson. And without Perez, the 6’6” center from the Republic of Cameroon will also have to do major damage on the offensive end as well.  Jayson David (LPU)   Jayson David picks Robert Bolick's pocket for the transition finish! #NCAASeason93 #NCAAStrong pic.twitter.com/Inl17UZbKq — ABS-CBN Sports (@abscbnsports) November 7, 2017 Back in Season 91, the NCAA added a Most Improved Player trophy to their list of awardees for every basketball tournament. Based on the pre-season, former San Sebastian guard Jayson David has emerged as the frontrunner for that award as he has assumed the starting spot of Perez with LPU. David is no “Baby Beast”, but it seems that Robinson trusts him enough to be a critical piece in the Pirates’ quest to capture that elusive NCAA championship. He averaged 7.3 PPG, 6 RPG and 2.1 APG in the Fil-Oil tourney.   Jeo Ambohot (CSJL)   Another player who seems to have earned the trust of his coach is Jeo Ambohot. Under Coach Jeff Napa, the ‘23 for 23’ Gilas World Cup pool member came off the bench and underachieved, only averaging 7.2 PPG and 7.2 RPG for the Knights in Season 94. Jeo Ambohot can hit this all game long! ???? #NCAASeason94 #GalingNCAA pic.twitter.com/5NCj7tV7Gt — ABS-CBN Sports (@abscbnsports) October 9, 2018 However, under new Letran Head Coach Bonnie Tan, Ambohot was being utilized as the starting center with last year’s Rookie of the Year, Larry Muyang coming off the bench in their pre-season games. Nevertheless, a player like Ambohot should not be happy with his dismal outing last year and should come out stronger in Season 95.    Renato Ular (CSJL)   Here’s a guy you probably haven’t heard about before. His name is Renato Ular. Ring a bell? Probably not. The last time he saw action was during his rookie year in Season 92. Actually, he didn’t even do much back then. He only played in four games in did not score a single point in any of those games. After two years as a spectator, Ular has finally rejoined the Letran lineup and was their best player in the Fil-Oil tournament averaging 9.8 PPG and 8.1 RPG. The last left-handed legend from Letran was Rey Nambatac. This lefty’s got a long way to go to get on the Sting Rey’s level, but expect him to be one of the Knights' primary attackers this year.   RK Ilagan (SSC-R)   RK Ilagan was FEELING IT from downtown, dropping a new career-high 2??6?? PTS vs Mapua! #NCAASeason94 #GalingNCAA pic.twitter.com/SDIaVmtzCF — ABS-CBN Sports (@abscbnsports) October 12, 2018 Speaking of attacking, one player who will be more relentless than he’s ever been this Season 95 is RK Ilagan. The pride of Barrio Fugoso, Tondo, Manila ranked seventh in scoring last year, averaging 15.2 PPG and was the Golden Stags’ leading scorer despite the presence of Calisaan. Coach Egay Macaraya loves a shooter and will continue to give the green light to Ilagan who made more triples (40) than any player in the NCAA in Season 94.    Kent Salado (AU)   Prior to injuring his right knee on October 10, 2017 in an 85-79 Arellano win over SSC-R in Season 93, Kent Salado was one of the most exciting players in the NCAA. The spitfire point guard from Cagayan de Oro was averaging 19.1 PPG (2nd behind Perez) and 5.0 APG (2nd behind Bolick) for the Chiefs, taking over the driver’s seat that Jiovani Jalalon occupied during their run to the Finals in Season 92. Lervin Flores with a nice block, Kent Salado with an even better finish! #NCAASeason93 #NCAAStrong pic.twitter.com/ohK28fFFhS — ABS-CBN Sports (@abscbnsports) September 15, 2017 Now that he’s finally had surgery to repair what was eventually revealed to be a torn ACL, Salado is looking to excite fans anew especially since Arellano University will serve as the host of the NCAA for the first time in league history. Justin Gutang (CSB)   Recently, I asked former Arellano Head Coach Jerry Codi?era who he thought had the makings of a star in the NCAA now that the likes of Perez and Bolick are in the pros. The “Defense Minister” immediately mentioned one name: Justin Gutang. The 6’3” Fil-American forward from San Francisco, California had an impressive rookie season, averaging 13.4 PPG, 6.2 RPG and 4.3 APG for the Blazers and winning the Slam Dunk contest along the way. Although we haven’t heard much from Gutang in the off-season, the fact that a PBA Legend still has him on his radar means that the kid’s potential cannot be ignored. ?Editor's Note: The list is based on pre-season performances of teams. There are some NCAA teams who have not partcipated in pre-season tournaments nor released line-ups.  ?Catch NCAA Season 95 starting July 7, Sunday, 11:30 am LIVE on S+A, S+A HD, Liga, Liga HD, iWant and via livestream.    .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 27th, 2019

Isi-shave (ang buhok) kapag natalo pa kami -- Lady Blazers

The College of St. Benilde players sported a new look. Nope, the girls of coach Macky Carino aren’t following a new hairstyle trend for 2017. The reigning champion Lady Blazers are using it as a motivation for the 92nd NCAA women’s volleyball. Some sort of self-flagellation.  Players of the Taft-based squad decided to cut their hair short as punishment after their five-set loss to Lyceum of the Philippines University last month.   “Kasi parang sugal nila ‘yun eh. Kapag natalo ng isang game putol ng buhok sila-sila,” said Carino Thursday after CSB’s 12-25, 25-17, 25-23, 25-19, win against the San Beda Lionesses at The Arena in San Juan. Coming into the season, the Lady Blazers set a goal to sweep the tournament in their bid for a back-to-back.   “Usapan na nila ‘yun kasi ang target namin this season, kami-kami lang, sweep talaga,” Carino said. “So kapag ‘di namin na-sweep at natalo ng isa, putol ng buhok.” Carino welcomed the decision of the team, seeing it as sign of unity and dedication among his players.  “Sila-sila kasi ang nag-uusap eh. Nagulat na lang ako a few days after ng game namin against LPU pagbalik ko putol na ang buhok nila,” he said. “So sabi ko at least nakikita ko na buo ang team ko. Sila-sila gumagawa ng paraan para ma-motivate.” Third-year middle Ranya Musa, who had 11 points, explained that it was the decision of the whole team to trim their hair each time they drop a match. The Lady Blazers had their first trip to the salon a few days after CSB dropped a 22-25, 26-24, 18-25, 25-20, 10-15, decider against LPU. They sported a shoulder-length haircut in their bounce back win against Emilio Aguinaldo College but then decided to crop their tops a bit more during the holiday break.         “Actually usapan namin ng teammate namin na si Rachel Austerio na ‘pag hindi namin na-sweep ay magpapagupit kami ng short hair, super short hair,” said Musa, who had to part with her long flowing hair. “Kasi kaming lahat na babae ayaw talaga naming magpa-super short hair. So nung natalo kami nada-down kami kasi nga natalo kami and then ‘yun parang nagpa-short hair kami. Doon naming na-boost ang confidence namin para manalo kami sa EAC at ngayon sa Beda.” The Lady Blazers, now at solo second with a 6-1 card, still have two games left in the elimination round against Arellano University on Wednesday before the Finals rematch against unbeaten San Sebastian College (6-0) on January 25. But what will happen if ever they lose again?    “Ewan ko kung ano ang gagawin nila kapag natalo pa kami ng isang game,” said Carino. Musa answered, “Isi-shave na namin kapag natalo pa po kami, hindi ko alam? Magsi-shave daw ‘yung next step kapag natalo kami, so dapat hindi.” So, good luck girls.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles   .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 5th, 2017

Beast and Baby Beast together in Coach Topex s NCAA First 5

Topex Robinson has been calling the shots for Lyceum of the Philippines University from 2015 to present. Before this, the always amiable mentor was at the helm for San Sebastian College-Recoletos from 2011 to 2014. Through all of that, he has had a hand in the discovery and the development of young talent for his teams as well as the game planning for the opposing rising stars. Among all of those, who are the best of the best for him? Here is Topex Robinson's NCAA First 5, as he told ABS-CBN Sports: CJ PEREZ One phone call - one phone call was all it took for the tides to turn in favor of LPU. When Perez was looking to leave the nest of Ateneo de Manila University, he called one person and one person only - Coach Topex, who discovered and then developed him back in San Sebastian. The rest, as they say, is history as in the first year of their reunion, the 6-foot-2 guard was hailed as MVP all while the Pirates sailed to a historic Finals. CALVIN ABUEVA "The Beast" continued to be unleashed under the watchful eye of coach Topex. Already a force under then-coaches Ato Agustin and Turo Valenzona, Abueva stayed Abueva even as he did not replicate his MVP win in Season 87. And up until now, there is still no end-to-end force quite like one-third of the "Pinatubo Trio." IAN SANGALANG Another third of the "Pinatubo Trio," Sangalang had polished post moves from the moment he stepped into the collegiate ranks. He became an all-around player in his later years in San Sebastian, however, and much of that was thanks to the guidance of Coach Topex. The 6-foot-7 big man's MVP came in the season that went unfinished by Robinson, but there remains no doubt that the latter had a huge hand in the rise of the latter. ROBERT BOLICK LPU was woken up from its dream season in Season 93 by San Beda University - who else but dynastic San Beda University. In particular, it was Bolick who dashed their dreams, dropping seven of his 24 points in the last two minutes of Game 1 and delivering seven of his 22 markers in the last five minutes of Game 2. The only thing unfortunate about the Pirates' transformation into a powerhouse was that it just so coincided with the self-proclaimed bench player in De La Salle University's transformation into "Big Shot Bolick." RAYMOND ALMAZAN (Photo courtesy of Mark Cristino, ABS-CBN News) In the early 2010s, San Beda's challenger in the Finals was either San Sebastian or Colegio de San Juan de Letran. In the same time that Baste was the stage for the "Pinatubo Trio," Letran was home to tantalizing talents such as Kevin Alas, Rey Guevarra, and RJ Jazul. Among them, though, it was only the 6-foot-8 Almazan who stood out enough to be recognized as MVP - and his two-way impact throughout his collegiate career has most definitely not gone unnoticed by opposing coaches. --- Coach Topex did not go into detail as to why he went with these five players. In general, though, he said that these five are "for a fact, the best that the NCAA has produced in the last 10 years." Even better, Robinson said that all of Perez, Abueva, Sangalang, Bolick, and Almazan are, at present, keeping at proving his point as stars in the PBA. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated News10 hr. 42 min. ago

GREATEST PERFORMANCES: Joel Cagulangan s NCAA 93 playoff run

Joel Cagulangan was, hands-down, the best player in all of the NCAA Jrs. in the Season 93 playoffs. And he had to be because College of St. Benilde-La Salle Green Hills lost five of its last six games in the elimination round and had to win a knockout bout against San Sebastian College-Recoletos just to get into the Final Four. There, they had to down powerhouse San Beda High School not once, but twice before moving on to a date with defending champion Mapua High School. Safe to say, the odds were all against the Jr. Blazers in that playoff run - but one player, one player who only stood at 5-feet, 8-inches willed them to do the impossible. That was no more evident than in the winner-take-all Finals Game 3 where LSGH was trailing by one with less than a minute remaining. After getting a defensive rebound, Cagulangan got a foul for his troubles and was sent to the line where he coolly converted both free throws. Not long after, two defensive stops by partner-in-crime Joshua David finished off an improbable championship. In the end, the Butuan native had 19 points, nine rebounds, seven assists, and four steals to his name - unquestionably recognized as the Finals MVP. Inand Fornilos, the green and white's tireless forward then, perhaps put it perfectly when he said, “Pag wala siya, parang magiging imposible. Pag nandun siya, kayang-kaya.” And yet, that wasn't even Cagulangan's most impressive game. In another do-or-die game, this one, Game 2 against the top-seeded and twice-to-beat Red Cubs, the Jr. Blazers found themselves all even with their opponents at 103-all with less than a minute remaining in the third overtime. It was at that point, that the pint-sized playmaker sliced and diced his way to a left-handed layup. That proved to be the go-ahead basket en route to a 110-108 decision in the classic contest. There wasn't even supposed to be a third extra period as LSGH was down by three with 11 ticks to go in the clock in the second overtime before Cagulagan buried a booming triple to emphatically exclaim that the game was far from over. In the end, he had 29 points to go along with nine assists, nine rebounds, and two steals and played all but three of the possible 55 minutes in a matchup that had 22 lead changes and seven deadlocks. That performance will always be known as the first and foremost show of just how great his will to win is. Fortunately for the University of the Philippines, it will be getting to know just that as Joel Cagulangan is now its point guard of the future. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 2nd, 2020

Meet the trusted trainer making sure Thirdy s true focus is on Japan

Thirdy Ravena will have to play guard for San-En NeoPhoenix in Japan's B.League. "He can play shooting guard. He can play small forward," Phoenix Co., Ltd. President Kenjiro Hongo said in his native tongue in the three-time UAAP Finals MVP's introductory press conference last Friday. "We will also try him at point guard. He will be a key player for us this season." Only, Ravena has been, for the most part, a forward in his time in Ateneo de Manila - both Jrs. and Srs. - and has only dabbled at the 2-spot for times under head coach Tab Baldwin. As it turns out, though, the 6-foot-2 all-around player has long been prepping and priming for this. And he has been doing so with the help of a trusted trainer - Jolo Tamayo of True Focus. "We have been doing things he has never done before because he's trying to become a point guard or a shooting guard. That's why we focused on ballhandling and improved his perimeter shooting to make him a deadly three-point shooter," he said. For Tamayo, it's no surprise at all that Ravena is getting the golden opportunity to showcase his skills abroad as, from the very start, the latter has proven his discipline and determination to the former. "Thirdy is very humble and hardworking. He trains as if he was an underdog and is always hungry for improvement," the youthful trainer said. Tamayo then recounted two inspiring instances of Ravena's fire and desire to be better. "One time, we were doing a drill and his nose was bleeding, but he didn't stop until the drill was over. I was so in awe because I thought he would relax when he realized (what was happening to his nose), but he still gave his 110 percent," he said. "Another instance was during the holidays when the gyms were closed early and since he came from Antipolo, I thought he wouldn't be able to train. But he said, 'Kahit dyan lang tayo sa harap ng kotse. Basta makapag-training,'" the founder of True Focus said. "We still trained in the parking lot until 12 midnight. That's how thirsty Thirdy is in training and I think this is what separates him from the rest of the competition. With all those, Tamayo just feels fortunate to have the golden opportunity to help Ravena spread his wings even further. "We were just introduced by a common friend and, to be honest, I thought it was a long shot for us to work with Thirdy," he shared. He then continued, "We were just lucky that Thirdy was free one day and he gave us a chance to show how we make things work." Even better for True Focus, having Ravena with them gives them just the boost they need to keep moving forward with their program. In particular, this is all more than enough proof for Tamayo that he is on the right path after he had to take a detour in his playing career because of an ACL injury. "This is all very fulfilling because I never had a trainer who made me better. I'm still chasing my dream to be a basketball player, but I'm very ecstatic because while doing so, I could help other young players achieve their dreams and become better in the sport they love," he said. The guard-turned-trainer once suited up for Colegio de San Juan de Letran in the NCAA Jrs. from 2015 to 2017 before a knee injury sidelined him. While on the shelf, he used all the time he had in his hands to learn tips and tricks to improve his game - tips and tricks that until now, he's sharing with students of True Focus. While their no. 1 student is now headed to Japan, Tamayo said his education with them is far from over. "We can always try out new things like virtual training and coaching, but of course, everything would still depend on Thirdy's availability. For me, I'll just watch his games in Japan and shares insights on what we need to tweak," he said. He then continued, "I will always be here to support him and once he comes back here after Japan, I'm sure he'll be a beast - a beast that will still want to be better." --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 27th, 2020

CJ Perez got the best out of Robert Bolick and vice versa

For a winning team like San Beda University, the standard has become San Beda University itself. Having won 11 of the last 14 championships, the Red Lions have dominated the recent history of the NCAA. And with that, back in 2017, Robert Bolick had more than just back-to-back titles in mind as a goal. "Nung nag-champion kami sa (2017 PBA) D-League (Aspirants Cup) tapos natalo pa namin La Salle (sa Filoil Preseason), sabi ko na, baka ma-sweep namin 'to ha," he narrated in The Prospects Pod last Friday. The boys from Mendiola had just reclaimed the crown and were upbeat about their chances of repeating as they had a mostly intact core. Bolick, indeed, went so far as to aim for the perfect season that had only been done by San Beda's 2010 squad led by Sudan Daniel and Borgie Hermida. "Sa San Beda kasi, nakalagay sa court kung sino yung naka-season sweep. Sabi ko, baka ma-duplicate namin ito ha," he said. After an 18-point win to start the season, all was going swimmingly for them. And then, they got ambushed - ambushed by Pirates. "Biglang pangalawang game pa lang namin, natalo kami agad. Sabi ko, hindi ito yung inaasahan namin ha. Nagulat talaga kami sa linaro nila," the 6-foot-1 playmaker said. Lyceum of the Philippines University sent a statement to all of the league with a thrilling five-point triumph over San Beda. From there, they would go on to win each and every one of their assignments in the elimination round - the very first team to go 18-0 in the history of the Grand Old League. Of course, the Pirates had to win two more - and Bolick and the Red Lions had other plans. In the end, the red and white triumphed anew and took away the upstarts' shot at history. "Akala ko nun, magcha-champion na ako sa NCAA. E biglang kumana nang kumana yung Robert Bolick, wala na," Lyceum's CJ Perez then said. Despite the heartbreak, though, LPU only became better as it moved forward. Indeed, it was at that point that San Beda - and by proxy, Bolick - became a true obstacle Perez had to hurdle. As he put it, "Ako kasi, naniniwala ako sa mindset e. kunwari kung kalaban namin San Beda, Robert Bolick, sabi ko talaga gagalingan ko kasi alam kong gagawin niya yung best niya." The Pirates forged a rematch in the NCAA 94 Finals, but yet again came up short. Still, they had made their school proud and that was more than enough. And looking back, the 6-foot-2 guard said that having the Red Lions as the standard did nothing but pull them upward and upward. "Ganun yung mindset ko lagi kaya kapag kalaban yung San Beda, Robert Bolick, matututo't-matututo ka," he said. For his part, Bolick could only acknowledge that Perez did the same for him and LPU did the same for San Beda. "Kailangan talaga yung ganun e. Kailangan mo ng katapat," he said. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 13th, 2020

DO YOU REMEMBER... the Lady Stags’ not so perfect seasons?

It’s not uncommon to see a team squander a huge advantage. A defeat like that will surely sting. But what more in a championship series and in a situation where a squad holds a thrice-to-beat advantage? San Sebastian College found itself on the wrong side of history after its infamous collapse in the NCAA women's volleyball finals. Twice. Not only did Lady Stags came up short of winning the crown while holding a thrice-to-beat advantage in consecutive seasons, but in those two series the Lady Stags only won one game. In a thrice-to-beat scenario, the team holding the advantage need only two victories to wrap the series. The disadvantaged side must win three times. Getting in that position is not easy. It means, a team must sweep the elimination round. And if you did brush off all your rivals that would mean you're the dominant team. Easily, the title favorite According to the NCAA Season 91 and 92 rules, the sweeping team gets an outright Finals seat armed with a twice-to-win advantage. A 1-0 lead in a virtual best-of-five series. The rest will have to duke it out in a stepladder semifinals to earn a championship seat. The unbeaten team will have fresh legs as it gets enough rest while waiting for its Finals opponent. For the other team, it means more games and no time for rest plus the possibility of wear and tear. The odds were stacked in favor of the Lady Stags. Or so they thought. SSC-R was a force to be reckoned with in those two seasons. Leading the Lady Stags was power-hitter and bulk-scorer Grethcel Soltones. She had a solid supporting cast in Nikka Dalisay, Jolina Labiano, Dangie Encarnacion, Kat Villegas, setter Vira Guillema and libero Alyssa Eroa under multi-title head coach and NCAA legend Roger Gorayeb. In Season 91, SSC-R fielded a well-experienced roster which came from two unsuccessful championship trips in the previous three years. The Lady Stags crushed all of their nine competitions in the elims including the CJ Rosario, Jovielyn Prado and Dana Henson-bannered Arellano U, which the year before beat SSC-R for the title. SSC-R completed its elims sweep after beating College of St. Benilde in four sets and got a nine-day rest. The Lady Blazers took the long route to secure a Finals seat, beating University of Perpetual Help in first stepladder semis before dethroning the Lady Chiefs. The Lady Stags came in the Finals brimming with confidence as they faced the same squad they defeated before their break. SSC-R barely escaped a tightly-contested extended first set but the Lady Stags unraveled in the next three frames. CSB coach Macky Carino knew that SSC-R will live and die with Soltones so he sent his best net defenders Jeanette Panaga, Janine Navarro and Ranya Musa to clog the net. SSC-R was also plagued with errors and miscues in their reception. The second game followed the same pattern with only Soltones scoring in double figures and the Lady Stags finding themselves on the brink of collapse. Soltones, upon receiving her second straight Most Valuable Player award, saved SSC-R from total collapse as she scored 31 points in a four-set escape in Game Three. But it all just delayed the inevitable doom that would befall the Lady Stags. In the series decider, CSB showed no signs of fear as it already faced two do-or-die matches before. SSC-R crumbled in the first two sets, showed life in the third before eventually yielding as the Lady Blazers claimed a historic breakthrough title in vanquishing a more seasoned rival. It was the same nightmare that the Lady Stags encountered the following season. Again, Soltones rallied SSC-R back to the Finals outright on her swan song. Once again with a thrice-to-beat advantage. Arellano U, on the other hand, got its revenge over CSB in the last stepladder match to book a championship showdown against the Lady Stags. The Lady Chiefs, behind Andrea Marzan, Regine Arocha and Mary Anne Esguerra, stunned SSC-R in straight sets in the series opener. It was Rialen Sante and Prado who did most of the damage in Game 2 as Arellano U beat the Lady Stags in a come-from-behind five-setter. And on Valentine’s Day 2017, SSC-R absorbed another humiliating defeat. Thrice-to-beat. Thrice beaten.        Soltones closed her NCAA career as a three-time MVP and one of the most decorated players in the league. But she will always be haunted by the ghost of her past. A legacy stained by the misfortune of leading a team found wanting in titles. The Lady Stags since then failed to recover their lost glory as they bowed out of the final four the following year for the first time in decades. SSC-R followed the same dark path the year after.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 21st, 2020