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Rebuilding San Beda still coaches team to beat in NCAA Season 95

MANILA, Philippines – Despite losing their superstar duo of Robert Bolick and Javee Mocon, the reigning three-time NCAA champion San Beda Red Lions are still the team to beat, according to coaches in the upcoming Season 95. A number of coaches attending the Season 95 press conference at the Mall ........»»

Category: newsSource: rappler rapplerJul 1st, 2019

SUPER SHOWDOWN: Ayo s 15 Letran vs Ayo s 16 La Salle

Aldin Ayo is one of the best collegiate coaches in all of the Philippines. He has seen Tab Baldwin win the last three titles in the league he has been competing in, but it still wasn't that long ago when he did something so special that it may very well never ever be seen again. In 2015, Ayo came from out of nowhere to lead alma mater Colegio de San Juan de Letran not only to a surprise playoff berth, but to a shocking crown coming at the expense of archrival and defending champion San Beda, no less. A year later, he crossed over to De La Salle University and wasted no time assembling its Ben Mbala and Jeron Teng-powered machine into a juggernaut that went 16-1 and took the title from archrival Ateneo. Yes, Ayo won back-to-back championships in 2015 and 2016 - but they came with different teams and in different leagues. Even more, he did it all by driving two definitely different vehicles - one aging, well-worn, and not expected to go anywhere far and the other customized, souped-up, and assumed to win it all. Which Ayo-coached championship is better? That's what we look into in the return of ABS-CBN Sports' Super Showdown. To determine who wins between Aldin Ayo's couple of championship teams, we will be judging them in five categories (frontcourt, backcourt, depth, mayhem, and intangibles) with a boxing-style 10-point must system determining the decision. FRONTCOURT Mbala. That's it. That's more than enough for La Salle to dominate this department. The 6-foot-8 Cameroonian was so dominant in UAAP 79 that he ultimately became the first foreign student-athlete to win MVP in over two decades as he posted per game counts of 20.5 points in 53.3 percent shooting from the field, 15.6 rebounds, 2.4 blocks, 1.4 steals, and 1.1 assists. Letran took pride in having gone all-Filipino and still giving the likes of Ola Adeogun and Allwell Oraeme all they could handle, but Mbala is Mbala and there will be nothing at all that 6-foot-5 Jom Sollano, 6-foot-4 Kevin Racal, and 6-foot-3 Felix Apreku could have done to even slow him down. And if by some miracle, the Knights find a way to have done so? Then the Green Archers could have just sent in Jason Perkins or Abu Tratter or even Justine Baltazar. But wait, there's more as when it mattered most, it was actually Teng who came through for the Taft-based team. Putting up per game counts of 19.0 points on 52 percent shooting, 3.5 rebounds, and 2.5 assists in the Finals opposite archrival Ateneo, he was the undisputed MVP of the championship round as he just willed his way through the likes of Mike Nieto, Vince Tolentino, and Raffy Verano. Just imagine what he would do to the undersized Knights. Advantage La Salle, 10-8. BACKCOURT Mark Cruz is the prototype point guard for all Ayo-coached teams - fearless, fiery, and fast. Since then, Aljun Melecio and Mark Nonoy have followed his footsteps, but either is yet to put it all together like Cruz did back in 2015. Letran was not necessarily a good offensive team then and it fed off of its full-court pressure for easy looks and baskets. Still, whenever they needed a basket bad, the smallest player on the floor was, more often than not, there to come up big as he averaged 18.6 points, 4.2 assists, 3.9 rebounds, and 1.6 steals and totaled a league-best 73 triples. Indeed, "Ant-man", who was named the NCAA Season 91 Finals MVP, would have posed problems for Melecio, Andrei Caracut, Thomas Torres, and even Kib Montalbo and Julian Sargent. And that's not even taking into account Cruz's fellow guards Mcjour Luib and Rey Nambatac also ready and raring to do damage. Advantage Letran, 10-9. DEPTH Mbala is scary. Teng is scary. Another thing that makes La Salle's 2016 championship team scary is the fact that its second unit would have been the starting five of several squads. Mbala, Teng, Torres, and Melecio were regulars in the first five while waiting in the wings were Caracut, Montalbo, Perkins, Sargent, Brent Paraiso, Prince Rivero and Abu Tratter On the other hand, Letran could only go six-deep with Apreku, Cruz, Luib, Nambatac, Racal, and Sollano while the likes of Jerrick Balanza, JP Calvo, and Bong Quinto were far from ready from delivering the goods just yet. And oh, La Salle's end-of-bench players for majority of the season? Well, it just included names like Baltazar, Mark Dyke, Jollo Go, and Ricci Rivero. Advantage La Salle, 10-8. MAYHEM In terms of physicality, Letran has La Salle beat in imposing the full-court pressure that was Ayo's then-trademark as the former forced opponents into 27.9 turnovers which were quickly converted into 24.6 points. What the Green Archers had far more, however, were more players who had more talent - as already ascertained by them winning the aforementioned "depth" department. That allowed them to put their opponents, including Baldwin-coached Ateneo, inside a pressure cooker where they forced 24.9 turnovers which were quickly converted into 24.2 points. In particular, Montalbo was at his very best in 2016, as he transformed into the "Man of Steal" and became the stuff of nightmares for opposing backcourts by norming a league-leading 2.8 steals. Make no mistake, Cruz and Luib would have eaten just about anybody alive who lost their nerves in the face of the blue and red "Mayhem" as they combined for 2.8 steals per game, but the green and white's deeper bench just meant their "Mayhem" never stopped. And with Montalbo, channeling his best Patrick Beverley back then, fronting the charge? Good luck to all the other teams trying to set up their offense. Advantage La Salle, 10-9. INTANGIBLES Rewind to Game 3 of the NCAA 91 Finals with Letran leading San Beda, 84-82, and Sollano at the line for one more free throw. With 6.7 ticks to go on the clock, Luib intentionally steps onto the lane even before Sollano puts up his shot. Looking at one another with questions in their eyes, Art Dela Cruz and Ola Adeogun follow Luib onto the lane. As it turns out, Luib wanted them to do just that. All along, the Knights knew the possession arrow pointed to them - and so, with the two teams committing lane violations, a jumpball was called and the ball was awarded to Letran. “Second free throw, rattles out.” “Samin!” “Nice one, Jour!” “And possession arrow points in favor of the Letran Knights!”#NCAASeason91 was, mos def, a good one. pic.twitter.com/42ODXWN9wK — Normie Riego (@riegogogo) March 19, 2020 Not long after, Cruz converted a couple of charities, but without a doubt, the play that clinched the championship for the Knights was Luib's outsmarting of Dela Cruz and Adeogun - a play that not many players would have been able to take and make, or even think about. Advantage Letran, 10-8. FINAL SCORE, 47-45 for Ayo's '16 La Salle.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 19th, 2020

Mendiola FC 1991 introduces player lineup and unveils kits for PFL Season 2020

Mendiola FC 1991, one of the clubs playing in the Philippines Football League (PFL), has announced their lineup of players for PFL Season 2020 and unveiled their home and away kits for the coming PFL season. The current team is composed of Season 2019 players Niño Datoy (goalkeeper), Souleyman Mbouombouo Ndepe (center back), Jay-R Sandoval (right back), PJ Fadrigalan (center back), Aljo Paul Zabala (left back), Paolo Javier (left back), Louie Joshua Polinag (right back), Aaron Altiche (midfielder), Nimrod Balatbat (midfielder), Jay Shaun Soberano (midfielder), Rey Franco Miguel De La Torre (midfielder), Hamed Hajimehdi (midfielder), and Jim Ashley Flores (forward); transferees Ray Joseph Joyel (goalkeeper), Marvin Bricencio (midfielder), John Celiz (midfielder), Apiah Tonaldo (forward), and John Nico Macapal (forward); and new players JRV Malayo (center back), Dave Deloso (midfielder) and Sean Epili (midfielder). “We have strengthened our lineup with a fine mix of standouts from the college tournaments, tough and experienced local players and strong foreign players,” said Mr. Erwin Guevarra Isla, Mendiola FC 1991 Management Team Leader. Former national team player and National University coach Dan Padernal is the head coach with San Beda University mentors Nhiboy Pedimonte and Jake Cuaycong as assistant coaches and Anton Albao as the goalkeeping coach. The club is backed by Penson & Company Inc. (PCI), the firm of businessman and sports philanthropist Mr. Ricardo Penson who explained that his role in the professional football club is the next logical step as he is already involved with the San Beda University Red Booters. He said, “As longtime supporters of the San Beda University Seniors NCAA Football Team, strengthening Mendiola FC 1991 provides a full growth cycle/portal for the sport and the players.” For the second year in a row, Mendiola FC 1991 will be donning kits created by FAT Indonesia. The home kit is in the predominant hue of red — the color of NCCA football champion San Beda University, the alma mater of most of the players and the origin of the club. Meanwhile, the away kit is in white, which is also the school color of San Beda. “The kits were designed with the theme of ‘beat of music’ in mind because beat is rich in spirit. We hope that Mendiola FC 1991 can voice their enthusiasm to become champions of PFL 2020,” said FAT Indonesia CEO Mr. Franky Adi Thama. Mendiola FC 1991 is the first team that FAT has collaborated with outside Indonesia. Focus Athletics is also supporting the squad by providing gym facilities, physical therapy and medical services. “We want to help the players sustain their fitness as they embark on their new campaign,” said Focus Athletics’ Manager Armando Bajacan, Jr. In 2019, Mendiola FC 1991 entered the semifinals of the PFL Copa Paulino Alcantara where the team finished third place. They also scored big wins at the Youth Football League (YFL) with their U15 team making it to the YFL semis and their U17 and U19 emerging as champions. For 2020, Mendiola FC 1991 wants to outdo last year’s performance. Mr. Isla said, “We are hoping to be among the Top Three in the PFL and give the strong teams like Ceres FC and Kaya FC more intense games like the matches that we drew with them in 2019. As far as our other teams are concerned, we are fielding a complete 25-man lineup composed of former San Beda University players at the Corporate Football League. We are still aiming to be among the top teams in the Youth Football League (YFL)…. Despite logistical challenges, Mendiola FC 1991 remains standing and proud. Our players, coaches and management are committed to investing our time and effort. At the end of the day, we fulfill our dreams to support the Filipino football community.”   For updates about the club, visit the Mendiola FC 1991 social media accounts on Facebook and Instagram......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 1st, 2020

PBA dreams within reach at Letran, says ex-UST Tiger Rhenz Abando

RHENZ ABANDO (UAAP image) Rhenz Abando says that his transfer to defending NCAA champion Letran from embattled University of Santo Tomas is more than just a school-to-school move, but one that would likely benefit his career in the long run because of the opportunities he thinks he would get with the Knights.  Abando – one of three former UST players who changed address from España to Intramuros – met Tuesday with Knights mentor Bonnie Tan and Alfrancis Chua, sports director of San Miguel Miguel Corporation, which backs the school’s basketball program. “May mga opportunities kasi sa Letran, mga coaches nila nasa PBA na din,” says Abando, referring to Tan – team manager of GlobalPort – and Barangay Ginebra San Miguel guard LA Tenorio, who is part of Letran’s coaching staff, in an interview Wednesday with Manila Bulletin. “Magiging malaking tulong sa improvement ko as a player, siempre goal ko is makatuntong din sa PBA. Saka ang Letran Dominican school din naman kaya mas pinili ko na doon lumipat.” Aside from Tan and Tenorio, there’s also Chua, who coached PBL Grand Slam champion Stag in the mid-90s and the PBA teams of Tanduay, Sta. Lucia Realty and Barangay Ginebra San Miguel, also represents SMC, which owns Ginebra, Magnolia Hotshots and San Miguel Beer in the pros, and volleyball team Petron Blaze in the PSL. Chua, in an interview Tuesday, said that Letran players are well taken care of by SMC similar to what they do with professional athletes, exactly what was assured Abando, Brent Paraiso and Ira Bataller. “Siguro naniniwala sila sa system ng Letran at sa pag-aalaga ng San Miguel sa players. Alam nila kung paano kami magpatakbo ng team,” said Chua, also the governor of Ginebra in the PBA board. “Hindi sila nagkamali sa pagpili sa Letran, kasi kung paano kami mag-alaga ng players sa professional, ganun din sa collegiate level. Malaking karagdagan sila sa team, siguro mas sasaya ang mga ka-Arriba natin.” Abando begged off to comment when asked the other schools that sought his services, although sources said Letran’s arch nemesis San Beda University, as well as De La Salle University, tried to recruit the La Union native. He, however, may have indirectly answered questions of offers from a UAAP school when he said he doesn’t want to play in the same league where his former alma mater is a member. “Ayoko na din kasi maglaro sa UAAP dahil ayoko din makalaban ang UST,” said Abando. “Baka kasi kapag madinig ko yung “GO USTe” baka play ng UST gawin ko or depensahan ko mga kakampi ko. Kaya din mas pinili ko ang NCAA kesa sa UAAP ako maglaro,” Abando added in jest. The decision to leave UST was not an easy thing to do, according to Abando, but he thanked his mother Lorena for the guidance, saying: “Mother ko yung tumulong sa akin… hindi madali e.” Abando, Paraiso and Bataller need to serve one-year residency as per NCAA guidelines for transferees. After that, both Abando and Paraiso have two years to play while Bataller has three more.  Although the addition of the 6-foot-5 Bataller and the 6-foot-2 Paraiso are considered important for the Knights, it was the recruitment of the 6-foot-4 Abando that really made the difference. After two seasons with the Philippine College Science and Technology in Calasiao, Pangasinan, Abando transferred to UST in 2019 and played one season – the 82nd UAAP where he helped the Tigers reach the final against eventual champion Ateneo Blue Eagles. i.....»»

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

Four of coach Frankie s NCAA First 5 comes straight from San Beda

Frankie Lim has been calling the shots for University of Perpetual Help from 2018 to present. Before this, the fiery mentor was at the helm of San Beda University from 2007 to 2011. 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 Frankie Lim's NCAA First 5, as he told ABS-CBN Sports: ROBERT BOLICK Coach Frankie was no longer in San Beda when Robert Bolick became "Big Shot Bolick." Where he was instead was at the other end, doing his best to push Perpetual into getting the better of the 6-foot-1 playmaker. In his three games going up against Bolick, Coach Frankie and his boys fell short - and that only made the latter all the more impressed with the former. GARVO LANETE Before Bolick was doing what he was doing, Lanete set the standard on what San Beda should get from its lead guard. A fearless gunner forever willing to put the Red Lions on his back, the 6-foot-2 scorer was right up there with the likes of Kiefer Ravena and Kevin Alas as the best backcourt players in college. Lanete had an edge over those two, though, as he was a key cog in four championships for the red and white. MIKE NZEUSSEU Nzeusseu is not the foreign student-athlete we're used to watching. Yes, he could back down on opponents, but he was at his best either facing up and forcing his quickness on defenders or finishing setups from the likes of CJ Perez and the Marcelino twins. Coach Frankie knows a thing or two about paint presences, but he is also a big fan of more well-rounded big men. SUDAN DANIEL Daniel had an unenviable task of following Sam Ekwe, you know, the Nigerian who won MVP and Rookie of the Year in the same season. Without a doubt, though, "Superman" lived up to his lofty billing, making sure San Beda remained the team-to-beat even in the face of San Sebastian College-Recoletos' Pinatubo Trio as well as Alas and Raymond Almazan-led Colegio de San Juan de Letran. In an MVP campaign in 2010, Daniel stood as the pillar for the Red Lions' 18-0 romp through the tournament and wound up with something not even Ekwe had - a season sweep. OLA ADEOGUN At the peak of his powers, Adeogun was, simply put, scary. An unbelievable hybrid of Ekwe's power and Daniel's agility, the Nigerian saw to it that there was no let up for San Beda even after they had moved on from their two foreign student-athletes who won MVP. Adeogun did not win the top individual player himself and yet, he won the hearts of the San Beda faithful thanks to the attitude he brought to the Red Lions. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 14th, 2020

WHAT IF... Aldin Ayo stayed in Letran

History lesson: Aldin Ayo won back-to-back championships with two different teams in two different leagues. As a fresh-faced first-time head coach in the big leagues, he energized alma mater Colegio de San Juan de Letran all the way to the promised land in NCAA 91. Just months later, he then steered De La Salle University's Ben Mbala and Jeron Teng-led juggernaut to the UAAP 79 title. And so, Coach Aldin is one of the few coaches who could claim to have championships in the Philippines' top two collegiate leagues - and, most probably, the only one who could claim to have done it in succession. If there was one school and one squad where the youthful mentor would be a perfect fit, though, it could be argued that would be the Letran Knights. For one, Intramuros had been his home in his collegiate days. For another, the blue and red, despite having the second-most championships, actually enters each and every season as far from the favorite - that tag, more often than not, belongs to modern-day dynasty San Beda University. And what is Coach Aldin if not the ultimate underdog - a Sorsogon native who thrives on proving himself and proving doubters wrong. With that, let us try putting him still at the Letran bench for their title defense. Despite being the one sitting on the throne, they still would be far from the favorite as they would have lost Mark Cruz and Kevin Racal just as the Red Lions were getting Robert Bolick while Arellano University had Jiovani Jalalon and Kent Salado a year wiser. Still, "Mayhem" would remain in place - meaning they would not have to adjust to a new philosophy just like what had happened in the real world with new coach Jeff Napa. Even more, Coach Aldin would just unleash Rey Nambatac while also giving bigger burdens to Jerrick Balanza, Mcjour Luib, Bong Quinto, and Jom Sollano. Just as well, he would have had brought new recruits as determined as him to prove themselves. And with all of that, the Knights would have no problems whatsoever making it back to the Final Four - only this time as the third-seeded team following one-seed San Beda and two-seed Arellano. Matched up with the run-and gun Chiefs in the Final Four, they would be able to keep up and even triumph in Game 1. In the do-or-die Game 2, however, they bow to a side that, quite frankly, was the strongest on paper as it was led by, hands down, the best point guard in college in Jalalon and the most overqualified backup in Salado. The Finals then plays out just how it played out - with the Red Lions reclaiming the crown. In the end, Letran still falls short in its title defense even with Coach Aldin remaining at the helm. Nonetheless, there stayed order to all their "Mayhem." --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 15th, 2020

Ateneo s Fab 5: The Fearless Underdogs of UAAP Volleyball

(This story was originally published on April 20, 2018) Newly-appointed head coach Roger Gorayeb looked at his line-up heading into UAAP Season 71. A champion mentor of NCAA powerhouse San Sebastian College - Recoletos, Gorayeb had in his hands a gargantuan task of rebuilding the Ateneo de Manila University women’s volleyball program. Just a few months before, Ronald Dulay, the mentor before him, landed a trio of blue chip recruits who were fresh from a successful stint in the Palarong Pambansa. Angeline "Dzi" Gervacio, Fille Saint Cainglet and Jamenea "Jem" Ferrer just joined the Katipunan-based squad. Gervacio and Cainglet were products of St. Scholastica's College in Manila while Ferrer was a gem from Hope Christian School under girl’s volleyball guru Jerry Yee. Looking at his 15-woman line-up with the season just a few months ahead, Gorayeb knew he needed to do something drastic. The roster just won’t do. Talking to then athletic director Ricky Palou and team manager Tony Boy Liao, the mentor told the team officials that he intended to cut five players from the list. One could just imagine the shock in their faces. “Nakita ko may line-up pero player-playeran lang yung ganoon bang tipo, 15 ata yun. Sabi ko ‘Magtatanggal ako ng lima then magre-recruit ako,’” he said. The three rookies were in. Middle Bea Pascual, Kara Acevedo and libero Steph Gabriel retained their spots. He needed more. “Sa mga tinira kong players, si Kara Acevedo sabi niya, ‘Coach mayroong player ang ICA (Immaculate Conception Academy) na gumraduate naka-exam na rito pasado.’ Sabi ko, ‘Sige papuntahin mo,’” said Gorayeb. It was Gretchen Ho. “Sa akin kasi ang talagang nagyaya sa akin si Coach Ron Dulay. Si Kara Acevedo teammate ko and she’s been recruited by Ateneo. So one summer wala akong magawa naki-train lang ako noon tapos nagustuhan nila ang laro ko and then fourth year noong graduate na ako I passed the ACET then niyayaya na nila ako,” Ho said. “Then nagbago ng coach na si Coach Roger and dun niya ako nakita.”   “Pagdating ko ng March (sa Ateneo) wala na akong way para maka-recruit pa. Ang nangyari yung tatlo accepted na kaagad. Si Gretchen tinanong ko sabi ko, ‘ano ba ang laro mo?’ Sabi niya the usual panggitna, tres,” Gorayeb recalled. “So sinubukan ko pero ang laro niya tres hindi quick. Siya panggitna pero hindi quicker na gusto ko saka yung height niya (maliit). Kaya lang si Gretchen takbo ng takbo, mahilig magtatakbo so sabi ko sige pwede na yan. Wala namang player na during that time. So kinuha ko si Gretchen.” Gorayeb just needed just one more. “Ngayon nagkaroon ng STCAA (Southern Tagalog Calabarzon athletic association) eh kulang pa ako ng isa, wala akong panggitna. Ang gitna ko during that time si Bea lang tapos si Gretchen so wala akong pamalit. So naisipan ko may nakita ako sa STCAA,” he said. He spotted a lanky player from Canossa Academy-Lipa, Aillysse Nacachi. “Sabi ko kay Sir Tony pagtyagaan ko na lang ito kahit hindi naman kalakasan at wala naman na rin akong choice na makapili kasi rush ang pagdating ko dyan. Nakiusap lang sila sa akin na magbuo ako ng team kasi si Ronald nag-resign,” said Gorayeb. Another freshman could’ve had ended up with Ateneo, Hope’s libero Melissa Gohing. But a few obstacles prevented her from fulfilling her promise to join Ferrer in Ateneo. She instead chose to join the ladies in green and white in Taft.    SOMETHING PROMISING December 7, 2008. Far Eastern University Gym. Excitement filled the air. Fans, mostly volleyball purists and some who just came to support their classmates or were just curious to see a new spectacle after the basketball season ended, slowly settled in their seats for the women’s division’s second game. It was Adamson University, the previous year’s runner-up, which just visited the turf of their arch nemesis and defending champion FEU, which was led by that era’s finest and most popular volleybelle Rachel Anne Daquis. Fans wanted to see if the Lady Falcons still had the same firepower they had the previous season with the loss of top setter Janet Serafica and power hitter Sang Laguilles. A rookie-laden Ateneo squad should be easy pickings with Angela Benting, rookie Pau Soriano and libero Lizlee Anne Gata in the roster. Besides the Lady Falcons got the Lady Eagles’ number. Or so they thought. “Naalala ko nu’ng time namin sinasabi sa amin ng seniors namin na, ‘Hay naku ang lakas ng Adamson, never kami nanalo dyan,’” Cainglet, now happily married to Taguig mayor Lino Cayetano and with three beautiful children, recalled.  But the Lady Eagles stunned Adamson in the opening set. The Lady Falcons took the next two frames. Ateneo stole the fourth.  “Ako naalala ko ano eh, parang alam namin na lahat kasi kami palaban. Nasa amin yun. Tapos binigyan kaming lahat ng chance to be in the first six so parang dream come true,” said Ho, now an ABS-CBN host. “Naalala ko rin na palaban kaming lahat kumbaga nothing to lose eh so ang ano namin, sumasabay kami sa laro and nu’ng nakita na namin na ‘Ay kaya pala natin ‘to guys. Kaya pala naming lumaban.’” Still, Adamson had the upper hand in experience. The Lady Falcons, used to pressure and were steady at crunch time, outlasted Ateneo.           The young Katipunan-based squad fell short, 25-22, 22-25, 15-25, 25-15, 8-15. But for the Fab 5, it was a loss that felt like a resounding victory. “Parang sobrang natutuwa kami and everybody in the crowd, kaya siguro kami natawag na Fab 5 kasi rookies kami pero kahit ganoon palaban kami,” said Ho. “Saka close game. Five sets yun.” However, it was the first of five five-set matches that Ateneo will drop that season including one in the second round against the Manilla Santos-bannered De La Salle University. “Pero ang problema di kami nananalo ng five sets. Parang ilan lang ang naipanalo namin na ganoon. Feeling ko na-overwhelm kami na ‘Uy nananalo tayo.’ May ganoong disbelief ng konti pero alam namin na may ibubuga kami,” said Ho. “Definitely, our rookie season was full of five-set matches. It was tough, we felt like we were so close, but still so far away. At some point, it gave us frustration also. We just couldn't figure out that time what is it that's still lacking because we couldn't win the five-set matches,” according to Nacachi. “People said, it was because the team was still so inexperienced. We still didn't have the tenacity unlike of those more matured teams. But we didn't take it as bad, it was a learning experience for us all at the end. We had to learn how to develop that finishing will to be able to win games like that in the future.” The Fab 5 finished their rookie season with a 6-8 slate at fifth spot.   ‘MAY MEDAL NA TAYO’ Gorayeb remembered on their second year the look on Pascual’s face in their last elimination game match against Adamson. Already wrapping up their first win over the Lady Falcons, Pascual was giddy. “Natatawa nga ako dyan kay Bea kasi papanalo na kami nu’n tapos sumesenyas na siya ng tres. Sabi ko, ‘Hoy anong ginagawa mo?’ Yun pala sobrang saya na niya kasi for the first time in 30 years magkaka-medal na sila,” he said. It was the most important match of the season for the Lady Eagles. With the Fab 5 already in their sophomore year, Ateneo was already making great strides. The Lady Eagles closed that season’s elims with five straight wins capped off with a victory over Adamson. Ateneo posted a 10-4 win-loss mark to enter the Final Four legitimately. “Ang nangyari kasi nu’ng time nila Charo (Soriano) kaya sila nakapasok sa semis kasi may nag-squeal na si (Jacq) Alarca di pala naka-enroll nu’n kaya na-forfeit mga laro ng La Salle,” said Gorayeb. The Fab 5 proved that they were not just a bunch of much-hyped up pretty faces. They backed it up with their skills on court. It didn’t matter that Ateneo were swept by eventual champion University of Sto. Tomas in the Final Four.      But the podium finish of Season 72 was short-lived. Adamson got its revenge in the last game of Season 73 elims, bumping off the Lady Eagles for a podium finish. The loss put Ateneo in a collision course with the twice-to-beat DLSU, who could’ve completed an elims sweep if not only for a forfeited match against University of the East after UAAP found out that Carmela Garbin and Clarisse Yeung participated in a ‘ligang labas’ while the season was onoing, in the Final Four. Ateneo gave the Lady Spikers a scare before succumbing in another heartbreaking five-set match. The Lady Eagles finished fourth but that lone semis game gave Ateneo and its maturing Fab 5 enough experience to dream for something big – A ticket into the Finals.      ‘HINOG NA KAYO’ The first three years saw the gradual improvement for Ateneo. But Season 74 proved to be the turning point for the Fab 5. A fresh new recruit from University of Sto. Tomas high school, who just completed a year of residency, came into picture and with the Fab 5 armed with years of experience, the Lady Eagles’ fate will forever be changed. Alyssa Valdez, a highly recruited open spiker just like Gervacio, Cainglet-Cayetano and Ferrer years back, gave renewed excitement for the Ateneo faithful. “Alyssa's joining with Ateneo was a great turning point for us. We needed as much support we can get, and Alyssa's entrance to the team was a great boost to the team's morale,” said Nacachi. “The girl is a powerhouse and we felt like with her presence, the team finally became solid.” “We were able to play around with the positions and the rotations, since we had different versatile open players who can also greatly play other roles,” she added. “We were also able to formulate a lot of plays and attacks because Alyssa can generally do all kinds; open, running, quick, name it all. She gave the team the power and the versatility that we previously lacked from the past seasons.” Social media was just gaining traction then but the Lady Eagles were already on the radar of volleyball purists through online forums. For the first time, Ateneo was considered a legitimate contender.   The Fab 5 proved it by winning 11 games in the elimination round, losing only to UST once and dropping two against the Lady Spikers. Valdez’s arrival gave Ferrer an even broader option on offense. It eased the scoring load off the shoulders of Cainglet and Gervacio, who was then moved to an opposite position. “I guess sakto lang din yung dating niya because by that time Kara Acevedo graduated so someone had to fill in her spot so coach Roger decided for me to move to utility or opposite,” said Gervacio. “And then sakto Alyssa naman could fill in the spot na other open spiker.” “So timing din na we had all the pieces put together at the right time,” she added. With a good performance in the elims despite missing a legit middle in Bea Pascual and the entry of Aerieal Patnongon barred by academic problems, Ateneo finished second and for the first-time was armed with a twice-to-beat advantage in the stepladder semifinals. The Lady Eagles faced an experienced Tigresses side in the last stepladder semis stage. UST just came from a hard-fought four-set do-or-die match against FEU and were banking on their four-set win over Ateneo in the second round to force another sudden death. Ateneo’s date with destiny was sealed with a four-set win over the Tigresses, who then bid goodbye to Maika Ortiz and Judy Anne Caballejo. “Pinu-push na rin kami ni Coach Roger noon eh, ‘Hinog na kayo ngayon. Kasi dalawang taon na lang, kailangan makapasok na kayo sa Finals,’” said Ho. “Somehow senior na rin kami,” added Cainglet.  “Season 74 was really the target season for us to be in the finals and target even to win the championship,” according to Nacachi. “During this time, we were already thinking we could not afford to not go in the finals.” “So it was with our mindset and our level of commitment that we were able to finally reach our goal of reaching the finals,” she added. “We had enough experience that time already, and it was really time for us to show the level of game maturity the team had obtained from the past seasons.” But then they had to face an unbeaten team. Unscathed in 14 games, De La Salle University was poised to complete a perfect season. The Lady Eagles spoiled it. Ferrer outplayed DLSU setter Mika Esperanza, 57-42, in excellent sets as Ateneo handed the Lady Spikers its first loss after 25 straight victories in a come-from-behind 23-25, 28-26, 25-23, 25-17, Finals opener win. Witnessed by 3,002 spectators inside the then The Arena in San Juan, all of the Fab 5 produced points. Cainglet had 19 behind Valdez’s 24, Gervacio scored 12, Ho had 10, Nacachi finished with five while Ferrer had one. Gorayeb made a big gambit and it worked. “Dahil sa wala kong panggitna, yung laro namin ng La Salle, ginawa kong quicker si Alyssa. Kasi si Alyssa nakakapalo. Nagulat si Ramil (de Jesus) dun.” It was a big win. A huge upset. Unfortunately, Ateneo needed to win two more.  DLSU held a thrice-to-beat advantage.   THAT SWAG After Ateneo made a miracle in Game One, fans began to feel a new rivalry born. The attendance spiked. From just 3,000 spectators, the gate attendance more than doubled its size. The interest was there. Fans of traditional powers began to notice the Lady Eagles as a rising team. For the first time, a squad with no previous championship experience except for a title during the Marcos era in a different collegiate league, made a giant jolt. Everybody wanted to see what these girls would do next.    The Lady Eagles, still high on adrenaline after their Game 1 upset, took the opening set in Game 2. But just like in their opener, a well-experienced DLSU squad adjusted to take the next three frames to move a step closer to a repeat crown. With then Rookie of the Year Ara Galang, Season Most Valuable Player Aby Marano, an intimidating Michele Gumabao and a very efficient Finals MVP Cha Cruz teaming up for the kill, the Lady Spikers ripped Ateneo apart in Game 3 in straight sets, 25-16, 25-22, 25-13. “Sabi nga ni Dzi na nadyan na lahat eh. So I guess noong Season 74 nandoon na pero may kulang pa rin,” said Ho. “I guess we we’re able to make it to the Finals pero wala pa kaming championship experience.” Ferrer agreed. "Siguro ang kulang yung championship experience kasi nasa La Salle na ‘yun eh. Ilang years na silang nagpa-finals, nag-champion and for Ateneo doon pa lang namin sinimulan," said the three-time Best Setter. Lacking championship experience is one thing, but Ateneo during that time wasn’t ready for DLSU’s most feared weapon: the Lady Spikers’ swag.  “They have that swag,” said Gervacio. “Everyone knows about it naman. It’s really Coach Ramil’s style talaga kasi as I remember when we were first year, four out of six of the players inside the court were rookies and even if we go against the powerhouses UST, FEU, Adamson, hindi sila yung nakikita nyo na kapag championship na rivalry, na swag, angas, stare down. Pero La Salle talaga kahit sino ang kalaban nila they’ll bring that attitude inside the court.” That Finals series cemented a new rivalry that will become one of the most celebrated in the sport. “I think it also helped that Ateneo-La Salle basketball didn’t face also,” said Gervacio. “Siyempre nandoon ang hunger for the rivalry eh and timely din na its been Ateneo-La Salle na rin sa volleyball.”   CLOSING A CHAPTER The Fab 5 were now in their fifth and last year. They wanted to leave a winning legacy. The pieces were already there. Gorayeb had at his disposal five seniors, a rising star in Valdez, a sophomore middle in Amy Ahomiro, a versatile Ella De Jesus, a steady libero in Denden Lazaro and a new kind of weapon – a massive crowd that can turn any venue into a sea of blue.              As expected, the second installment of the Ateneo-DLSU rivalry was set into place. Both sweeping their semis opponents. The Lady Spikers crushed National University while the Lady Eagles shot down Adamson. Game One was a shocker. DLSU heading into the Finals are on a 14-game roll but were stunned in the first two sets with Ateneo stepping on the gas. But a string of miscues, mostly from the service line, did the Lady Eagles in as they allowed the Lady Spikers to force a decider. DLSU, smelling blood, punished Ateneo to eke out a 20-25, 17-25, 25-22, 25-22, 15-6, victory inside the Big Dome witnesses by 17,342-strong gate attendance. Then the series transferred to a newly-built, state-of-the-art Mall of Asia Arena that drew a crowd of 18,799. The first two frames were frustrating for the Lady Eagles.   Ateneo came back to life in the third set to gain a 9-5 lead. But DLSU easily erased it with Ateneo crumbling under pressure. The Lady Spikers were on an onslaught. Sophomore Galang pushed DLSU at matchpoint with a cold-blooded ace that went in a few inches from the baseline. The score, 24-16. It was a tense moment for the Fab 5. A long rally ensued in the next play. Gervacio, with all her might pounded a kill. Her hand making a great contact on the ball off Ferrer’s backset.     Smack! The ball ricocheted off the hands of DLSU’s Wensh Tiu before falling on the same landing area of Gervacio, who tried to dive for a dig together with Lazaro. DLSU swept Ateneo, 25-23, 25-20, 25-16. Game over.          “Kahit hindi kami nanalo alam naming ibinigay namin ang lahat namin, all-out talaga kaya wala kaming pagsisisi,” said Ho. It was the end of the Fab 5 era, but they left more than what any of them could have imagined. "I remember so many people or fans telling me that they started really watching UAAP Volleyball because of our batch. And that is really touching and fulfilling to know. Knowing that you were able to leave an impact like that to people. We were not able to bring even a single championship to our school, Ateneo, but we were able to touch a lot of people's hearts despite that," Nacachi shared. The Fab 5 closed a colorful chapter of Ateneo volleyball in tears. They were there during the Lady Eagles’ birth pains. They labored. They shed tears, blood and sweat. They laid the foundation for something big. The Fab 5 planted the seeds that would eventually bear fruit and would change the course of Ateneo women’s volleyball program forever. Glory didn’t happen during their time. It started in theirs.    Amidst the roar of the crowd, the falling confetti, banging of drums and the echoing chant of ‘Animo La Salle’ from the sea of green, the Fab 5 hugged each other tight. They found comfort in each other. It was their time to say goodbye. For those who remained – Valdez, Lazaro, Ahomiro, De Jesus – the defeat added fuel to their already blazing desire to bring glory for the blue and white. They were the next in line, heirs to an unfinished business. WATCH: FAB 5 Reunion Part 1 and Part 2 --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 24th, 2020

After Jimmy, Chot says LA, RDO, and Gabe would make great coaches

One can certainly make the argument that Chot Reyes' Gilas Pilipinas 2.0 has been the most successful so far in program history. Appearing on Ariel Vanguardia's Hoops Coaches International webinar, Coach Chot talked about the factors that made that national team great. Aside from pushing that national team physically and mentally, Gilas 2.0 also had an incredible collection of leaders on and off the court. "I’d like to say that I was a great leader but I was not the only leader in Gilas. Jimmy [was a great leader]. In Gilas, I had a team of leaders," Reyes said. "Gabe Norwood, Jayson Castro, Marc Pingris, Ranidel De Ocampo… they were all leaders in their own ways. We had a team of leaders. That’s the kind of team you want to build, a team of leaders," he added. With such leaders and gifted basketball minds, it's not surprising that some of them have gone on to coach as well. Jimmy Alapag immediately comes to mind as he has his own team in the San Miguel-Alab Pilipinas in the ABL, even winning the league championship in 2018. Alapag also serves as one of Leo Austria's assistant coaches with the San Miguel Beermen. LA Tenorio has also dabbled into coaching while still active in the PBA with Ginebra, joining the staff of the Letran Knights in the NCAA. They won the Season 95 championship last year by taking down San Beda. The recently-retired Ranidel De Ocampo is also open to coaching as well. Reyes believes that the core of his Gilas 2.0 can likewise find success in coaching if they actually choose to do so. "You’re saying Jimmy is coaching now, Jimmy was already a coach even before he became a coach. Naglalaro pa lang siya, he had that mind already," Reyes said. "I think LA will become a great coach. Ranidel I think will turn out to be a pretty good coach, just because of his demeanor and understanding of the game. Gabe Norwood certainly, I think will turn out to be a very good coach as well. Everyone there will have their shot, but I think aside from Jimmy, it’s LA, Ranidel, and Gabe," Coach Chot added.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8 .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 5th, 2020

SUPER SHOWDOWN: Ayo s Mayhem Letran vs Tan s Big, Bad Letran

In the last decade, only one school has stood between San Beda University and its complete and utter dominance of NCAA Men's Basketball. That school? The Red Lions' archrival Colegio de San Juan de Letran. In 2015, the Knights came from out of nowhere to put a stop to San Beda's search for a sixth straight title. Four years later, the Red Lions were going for a fourth consecutive championship and, more impressively, a season sweep only to be resoundingly rejected, yet again, by their archrivals. And so, Mendiola is home to 80 percent of total trophies since 2010. The other 20 percent, though? They are proudly presented in Intramuros. Come to think about it, though, which triumph over its fierce foe was sweeter for Letran? Here in ABS-CBN Sports Super Showdown, that is what we aim to answer. To determine who comes out on top between the blue and red's proud champions, we will be judging them in five categories (frontcourt, backcourt, coaching, level of competition, and shock factor) with a boxing-style 10-point must system determining the decision. FRONTCOURT The trademark of Aldin Ayo's very first championship team was that of playing much bigger than its expectations, its own size, and its, more often than not, bigger opponents. Ayo's nominal center was 6-foot-5 Jom Sollano while his regular 4-man was 6-foot-4 Kevin Racal. Off the bench, his first quote-unquote big was 6-foot-3 Felix Apreku. Still, those three played their roles to a tee and, along with the rest of the team, assembled a well-oiled machine that made the most of its speed advantage. Fast forward four years and "undersized" could no longer be used to describe Letran. In 6-7 Christian Balagasay, 6-6 Jeo Ambohot, 6-6 Pao Javillonar, 6-5 Larry Muyang, 6-4 Ato Ular, and 6-4 Mark Sangalang, Bonnie Tan finally had big, bad weapons in his arsenal. And for sure, those big, bad weapons flipped what was once a chink in the armor of the Knights into a super strength. And for sure, this department would be dominated by that rotation of ready and raring big men. Advantage 2019 Letran, 10-8 BACKCOURT The two teams' Finals MVP both come from the backcourt. Mark Cruz, like he has always done, came up big for Letran and averaged 17.3 points, 6.3 rebounds, 4.3 assists, and 3.0 steals Fran Yu, meanwhile, used the big stage and bright lights to break out to the tune of norms of 13.7 points, 6.0 assists, 3.3 rebounds, and 2.0 steals. In those two, the Knights had capable and confident counters to San Beda's own primetime playmakers in Baser Amer and Evan Nelle. The edge here, however, would have to go to Cruz whose signature play in the winner-take-all Game 3 was not a shot. Rather, it was a setup - after driving through the lane and drawing defenders with under a minute left, he found Sollano open at the baseline. Sollano only made good on the assist and his shot proved to be the go-ahead basket for the title. Add Rey Nambatac's offense and Mcjour Luib's defense here and Ayo's Letran just had a more well-rounded backcourt compared to Tan's which also included Jerrick Balanza and Bonbon Batiller. Advantage 2015 Letran, 10-9 COACHING Ayo is one of the best collegiate coaches in all of the Philippines. He has seen Tab Baldwin win the last three titles in the UAAP, but it still wasn't that long ago when he won back-to-back championships with different teams and in different leagues. Time and time again, the youthful mentor has proven to get the most out of his players - from the Cruz-Nambatac-Racal triumvirate in Letran to Ben Mbala-Jeron Teng De La Salle University and now, University of Sto. Tomas with Soulemane Chabi Yo, Rhenz Abando, CJ Cansino, and Mark Nonoy. What he doesn't have, however, are the so-called "super friends" of Tan. Through the NCAA 95 Finals, NorthPort head coach Pido Jarencio and assistant Jeff Napa were sharing their mind with the Knights themselves during timeouts. They were informal additions to regular assistants Rensy Bajar, Lou Gatumbato, Raymond Tiongco, and Ginebra point guard LA Tenorio. Even more were behind the bench in Letran special assistant to the rector for sports development and San Miguel Corporation sports director Alfrancis Chua, NorthPort team manager Erick Arejola, Columbian governor Bobby Rosales and head coach Johnedel Cardel, and Magnolia governor Rene Pardo. Asked about all those behind his back, Tan answered then, "In business, you need partners to be successful and in sports naman, we need friends lalo na yung mga may alam kung paano manalo. Friends ko yan lahat so welcome sila - brainstorm and synergy kami." Still, it's already a given by this point that competition only fuels the already burning fire inside Ayo. With that, there is just no doubt that he would only push himself harder and farther in the face of Tan and his so-called "super friends." And the one-time NCAA and one-time UAAP champion coach much more motivated than ever is nothing but a scary thought. Advantage 2015 Letran, 10-9 LEVEL OF COMPETITION NCAA 91 was the year of "Kagulo sa NCAA." Then, six squads out of 10 had a legitimate claim to a playoff berth. So competitive was the field that Jiovani Jalalon and Kent Salado's Arellano University as well as a University of Perpetual Help side that had Scottie Thompson, Prince Eze, and Bright Akhuetie fell short of the Final Four. Illustrating the competition even further, the season's Finalists only had one member of the Mythical Team between them - San Beda's Art Dela Cruz. On the other hand, NCAA 95's playoff cast was completed a week before the end of the elimination round. Yes, there was a Red Lion team that automatically advanced to the Finals and had three out of five Mythical selections. Still, that tournament's fourth-seed was San Sebastian College-Recoletos who had an 11-7 standing. Comparing that to NCAA 91's fourth-seed in Mapua University who sported a 12-6 slate and the 2019 Golden Stags wouldn't even make the 2015 playoffs. Advantage 2015 Letran, 10-9 SHOCK FACTOR It was a shock to see Letran upset San Beda in Game 1 of the NCAA 95 Finals after the latter won each and every game in the elimination round, It was even more of a shock to see the Knights actually topple the dynastic and season sweep-seeking Red Lions. Still, there was always an outside shot of that happening. "Letran is one of three shoo-ins for the Final Four – as well as a strong contender to wage war in the Finals and even possibly, hoist the trophy," ABS-CBN Sports stated in its preseason preview for the blue and red then. "This fully loaded lineup has the makings of a dynasty-ender – what’s only up in the air is if it would be motivated enough to do just that." On the other hand, nobody, nobody at all aside from Ayo had Letran contending in NCAA 91 - much more, winning it all. As ABS-CBN Sports stated in its preseason preview then, "It remains to be seen if the Knights' fortified defense and added offensive firepower can overcome their lack of size especially against the Final Four teams, all of whom have only gotten bigger." Even when the Knights finally charged to the championship round, not that many gave them a chance. In fact, all that doubt became tattooed on the mind of Ayo whose first words in the post-game conference when they finally claimed the crown was, "Joey, follow your heart!" The fiery mentor was referring to the Philippine Star's Joey Villar who said in the leadup to the Finals that his heart wants to root for Letran, but his mind knows San Beda would win. He wasn't alone. Even Ayo had to admit that his players themselves didn't believe until the season was already underway. "Sa totoo lang, nung team-building namin nung preseason, nung tinanong ko kung naniniwala ba silang magcha-champion tayo, they laughed. Nung natalo lang namin yung JRU nung (second game of the season), dun lang sila naniwala.," he said then. Advantage 2015 Letran, 10-9 FINAL SCORE: 48-46 for 2015 Letran.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 21st, 2020

SUPER SHOWDOWN: CJ s 2017 LPU vs Calvin s 2019 San Beda

A perfect run in NCAA Men's Basketball, as it stands today, has not been done. Yes, San Beda University scored a season sweep in 2010, but that tournament totaled nine teams - meaning, the Red Lions won 16 elimination round games as well as two more in the best-of-three Finals for an overall record of 18-0. Even farther back, San Sebastian College-Recoletos didn't lose once in several seasons from the 1980s to the 1990s, but played, at maximum, 13 games. As it stands today, the Grand Old League has 10 squads - making for 18 elims matches and then a race-to-two championship round. As such, an eye-popping 20-0 perfect run has not been done. In the last three years, two teams have come close - CJ Perez's Lyceum of the Philippines University in 2017 and Calvin Oftana's San Beda in 2019. After winning each and every game in the elims, however, both squads went on to lose in the Finals - and so, not only did they miss out on a season sweep, but also got denied of a championship. Looking back, which almost-but-not-quite was more powerful - and therefore, more painful? That is what we hope to answer in this ABS-CBN Sports Super Showdown. In reviewing the elims masterpiece and Finals meltdown of the two teams, we will be judging them in five categories (elims dominance, expectations exceeded, inherent talent, competition, and Finals fight) with a boxing-style 10-point must system determining the decision. ELIMS DOMINANCE Simply put, San Beda just ran roughshod over the rest of the league in the NCAA 95 elims. Doubted after having lost Robert Bolick and Javee Mocon, the Red Lions sent a statement that the title still goes through them and beat up their opponents by an average of 18.9. In the end, their closest call was a four-point triumph over archrival Colegio de San Juan de Letran and the number of their single-digit wins were a staggering, well, three out of 18. For comparison, LPU normed a winning margin of 12.8 in the Season 93 elims - with more than a few close calls against also-rans in Arellano University, Emilio Aguinaldo College, and Mapua University. After ambushing the rest of the league with their run-and-gun game, the Pirates had to fight tooth and nail in the stretch run of the elims. In fact, in the last game before the playoffs, LPU needed two extra periods to put away San Beda. Yes, a win is a win, but it's clear as day that between the wo teams, it was the 2019 Red Lions who dominated the elims. Advantage San Beda, 10-8 EXPECTATIONS EXCEEDED As aforementioned, San Beda was expected to go through growing pains in 2019 as they had lost Bolick and Mocon and would have to rely on a talented yet young core of James Canlas, Evan Nelle, and Calvin Oftana. Still, the Red Lions were the Red Lions - and in recent history, a playoff fixture in the Grand Old League. And so, expectations were quite a bit lower - for the dynasty in Mendiola, that is - and the red and white did nothing but far exceed them with an unbeaten run in the elims. Still, back in 2017, LPU literally came out of nowhere to go undefeated in the elims. On a sunken ship in their first years in the NCAA, the Pirates finally got winds in their sails in the form of Perez and Marcelino twins Jaycee and Jayvee. Those three, alongside captain MJ Ayaay and Cameroonian powerhouse Mike Nzeusseu, led them to their first-ever playoff berth which they got with their 13th win in as many games in the season. And with an 18th consecutive victory, LPU then booked for itself an automatic advance into its first-ever Finals. Expectations were highest in school history for the Pirates with Perez in tow, but nobody at all assumed they were sailing straight to the championship round. Advantage LPU, 10-9 INHERENT TALENT 2017 was the year that Perez became Perez. Putting up per game counts of 19.3 points in 45.1 percent shooting on top of 6.5 rebounds, 3.6 assists, and 1.9 steals, the 6-foot-1 swingman was the undisputed MVP. At the same time, the Marcelino twins terrorized opposing backcourts by making an immediate impact as end-to-end menaces. Add to that Ayaay and Nzeusseu and LPU had a championship core - just about everybody else didn't know it just yet. On the other hand, 2019 was the first time that, arguably, San Beda wasn't the most talented team in the tournament. Make no mistake, the Red Lions remained loaded with the likes of "Bandana Bros." Canlas and Nelle, but it was actually former reserve forward Oftana who emerged as the league's top individual player with norms of 15.6 points, 8.2 rebounds, 2.7 assists, and 1.2 blocks. Still, in the end, San Beda went 18-0 in the elims by staying true to itself - utilizing an uncompromising total team effort. Advantage LPU, 10-9 COMPETITION LPU had to traverse rough seas in 2017 for its elims sweep. Back then, San Beda had Bolick and Mocon, Jose Rizal University had Teytey Teodoro and Jed Mendoza, San Sebastian had Michael Calisaan and Allyn Bulanadi, Letran had Rey Nambatac and Bong Quinto, and Arellano had Kent Salado and Lervin Flores. Even more, the Mythical Team had Perez, teammate Nzeusseu, Red Lion Mocon, Sidney Onwubere from non-Final Four team EAC, and University of Perpetual Help's Nigerian tower Prince Eze. Fast forward to 2019 and household names were hard to come by as the Mythical Team had San Beda's Oftana, a former reserve forward; Nelle, a former backup point guard; Canlas, a former secondary scorer; as well as San Sebastian late-bloomer Bulanadi and LPU playmaker Jaycee Marcelino. Of those five, Marcelino was the most recognizable name - and he was not necessarily known for putting a team on his back. Safe to say, Season 93 was much more competitive than Season 95. Even more, 2019 was the last year with foreign student-athletes and by then, only three remained. Tankoua is as solid as they come, Nzeusseu is spectacular at times, and College of St. Benilde's Clement Leutcheu is serviceable. The crop of reinforcements in 2017, though, had those three as well as MVP runner-up Eze of Perpetual, Hamadou Laminou of EAC, and JRU's Abdul Wahab Abdul Razak and Abdel Poutuouchi. Advantage LPU, 10-8 FINALS FIGHT Both LPU and San Beda woke up from dreaming of a perfect season in Game 1 of the Finals. The Pirates were sent crashing back to earth by the defending champion Red Lions and were ultimately swept in the championship round of Season 93. On the other hand, San Beda went the distance with archrival Letran in the Season 95 Finals, but was also at the losing end. Also, if not for Bonbon Batiller's botched reverse layup in the dying moments, Game 2 may have had a different ending, and the Red Lions may have been swept as well. Still, the fact that San Beda was able to take one from the eventual champions nudges it ahead of LPU which went winless in the championship round after a perfect elims. Advantage San Beda, 10-9 FINAL SCORE, 47-46, for LPU.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 7th, 2020

San Beda s NCAA 95 a lesson to be learned for Bullpups in UAAP 83

Nazareth School of National University is two wins away from a rare feat in the UAAP 82 Boys Basketball Tournament. If the Bullpups win their next two games, they will complete a clean sweep of the season - matching the achievement of the school's Season 76 champion team. Of course, automatically advancing and being two wins away from another title has its perks. "Sobrang saya namin kasi first time namin ni Coach Gold [Monteverde] mag-sweep. May time kami para makapag-prepare para sa Finals," team captain Gerry Abadiano said. Still, that much time away from action also has its drawbacks. Asked what the team, which last played three weeks ago, is wary of, Abadiano answered, "Yung pagre-relax ng team namin. May mga team kasing naka-sweep like (San) Beda sa NCAA tapos pagdating sa Finals, natalo sa Letran," he shared. In last year's NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament, San Beda University swept the elimination round only to lose Game 1 of the best-of-three Finals opposite archrival Colegio de San Juan de Letran. The Red Lions bounced back in Game 2, but ultimately fell to the Knights in Game 3. And so, what was supposedly the biggest season sweep in the history of the Grand Old League instead became a lost championship. Without a doubt, National U wants to stay far away from that. "Yun yung ayaw naming mangyari kaya pinapaalalahanan talaga kami ng coaches na wag mag-relax, wag makuntento sa kung anong narating namin," their skipper shared. With second-seed Far Eastern University-Diliman having disposed of Adamson High School, the expected Finals in the tournament has now turned into a reality. Still, the mindset will not change for the Bullpups - even if they will now be matched up opposite the Baby Tamaraws whom they had downed both times in the elimination round. As he put it, "'Di namin iniisip kung sino kalaban namin. It's not about sa kalaban namin, it's about sa team namin." He then continued, "Kung sinumang kalaban, magpe-prepare kami nang pareho, nang maayos." --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 28th, 2020

NCAA Season 95: Altas secure Final Four seat

Unbeaten two-time defending champion University of Perpetual Help made quick work of San Beda University, 25-21, 25-15, 25-22, to punch a semifinals ticket in the NCAA Season 95 men’s volleyball competition at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan on Friday. Needing only 66 minutes to wrap up the match, the Altas banked on top Most Valuable Player contenders Louie Ramirez and Ronniel Rosales to capture their seventh win in as many games to join the other undefeated team Emilio Aguinaldo College in the next round. Ramirez piled up 17 kills in his 19-point outing to pace the Las Pinas-based squad while Rosales had 12 markers off six attacks, five of Perpetual’s 12 kill blocks and an ace. Hero Austria displayed his all-around game with nine points, seven digs and 18 excellent receptions for Perpetual, which can secure a twice-to-beat advantage with another victory or go straight to the Finals if it sweeps its last two assignments against EAC on Monday and Letran on Friday. The Red Spikers slid to a 3-4 record that put San Beda on the brink of missing the cut for the last two Final Four seats. Skipper Melvar Lapurga was the only San Beda player in double figures with 11 points. In women’s play, the Lady Red Spikers broke the Lady Altas’ five-game winning streak with a dominating 25-20, 25-19, 25-16, win to tie its victim at third to fourth. Cesca Racraquin fired 18 points showing her well-rounded scoring prowess with 13 spikes, three aces and a pair of kill blocks for San Beda, which improved to a 5-2 slate. Racraquin added six excellent receptions for the Lady Red Spikers.    Nieza Viray got 14 markers while Kim Manzano and Trisha Paras combined for 16 points as San Beda won its second straight. Perpetual lost the fire that brought them a string of success including a five-set win over three-time defending champion Arellano University last week. The Lady Altas’ guns went quiet with Jhona Rosal scoring only seven points while Bianca Tripoli only had four markers under her name.   ---     Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 7th, 2020

NCAA: James Canlas will remain in San Beda

The "Bandana Bros." are no more. Evan Nelle has, indeed, set out for a homecoming in De La Salle University while at the same time, James Canlas has reiterated his commitment to San Beda University. According to team manager Jude Roque, the Filipino-Canadian will remain a Red Lion from now until the foreseeable future. That is nothing but good news for Mendiola which had been rocked with the departure of its court general just days ago. Canlas posted per game counts of 14.1 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 2.8 assists as a sophomore for San Beda last year. Alongside Nelle and Season MVP Calvin Oftana, he made sure the dynastic squad did not miss a beat even without Robert Bolick and Javee Mocon. Now, however, the 6-foot-2 guard will be expected to carry a heavier burden as the Red Lions regroup from losing their championship. He will be flanked by Oftana, promising big men Kemark Carino and Damie Cuntapay, and blue-chip recruits Rhayyan Amsali and Tony Ynot. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 22nd, 2020

Ex-Red Cub Estacio laser-focused on winning own title with FEU-Diliman

Penny Estacio has only been as good as advertised in his first season for Far Eastern University-Diliman. A steady hand in the backcourt in his stint for San Beda High School, he has become a primetime playmaker now donning the green and gold. Following a slow start to the season after transferring to Diliman, Estacio is now putting up per game counts of 18.1 points, 5.9 rebounds, 2.8 assists, and 2.6 steals to find himself well within the running for the Mythical Team - or even the MVP. "To be honest, nung una, medyo nahirapan talaga ako," he shared. "Pero thanks sa coaches and teammates ko, unti-unting lumabas yung laro ko. Binibigay ko lang din kasi yung dapat kong ibigay sa FEU." Without a doubt, the 5-foot-11 guard is, slowly but surely, proving himself worthy as the next in the long line of great guards FEU has produced. If he had remained a Red Cub, however, he would have been enjoying a championship. In the NCAA Jrs., the boys from Taytay reclaimed the crown they last wore in 2015 - even after losing the likes of Estacio as well as Ateneo de Manila High School transferee Josh Lazaro. Still, Estacio has no regrets. As he put it, "For me, gusto ko lang mag-focus sa sarili ko. Bata pa kasi ako so mas maganda rin yung nandito na ako so I can make the most out of it." Indeed, having helped the Baby Tams to the second-best record in the league, the 17-year-old is in prime position to challenge reigning and defending champion Nazareth School of National University. "Yun naman talaga yung goal ko rito sa FEU - na makatulong sa pagbibigay ng championship sa kanila," he said. To do so, Estacio knows full well exactly what he has to do. "Since alam ko nang medyo magfo-focus sa akin yung defense, I want to share the ball and lessen din yung turnovers ko," he said. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 19th, 2020

2019 Monthly Memorable Sports Moments (Part 1)

The year 2019 was a rollercoaster ride for Filipino athletes and Pinoy sports fans. We saw the highs and the lows, basked in the glory of triumph and felt the agony of defeat. We witnessed history unfold and experienced the best and the worst of Philippine sports. Here’s a look back at the sports news that made the headlines that made the end of the decade a memorable one.   JANUARY Eight-division champion Manny Pacquiao opened the year on a high note and retained his WBA welterweight title after a 12-round unanimous decision win over Adrien Broner. The Philippine volleyball community mourned the passing of head coach Nes Pamilar. He was 52. Joshua Pacio lost his One straw weight title belt to Japanese Yosuke Saruta via split decision while Geje Eustaquio also parted ways with his flyweight belt. The 44th season of the PBA opened.   Jett Manuel of Barangay Ginebra announced his retirement in the PBA after one season while Chris Tiu hanged his jersey after six seasons with Rain or Shine. Gilas Pilipinas began its preparation for the sixth and final qualifying window for the 2019 FIBA World Cup. The Azkals finished its historic AFC Asian Cup debut winless after bowing to South Korea, China and Kyrgyzstan.    FEBRUARY Gilas Pilipinas clinched a golden ticket to the 2019 FIBA World Cup in China after back-to-back wins to close out the qualifiers. Aston Palicte beat erstwhile unbeaten Puerto Rican Jose Martinez via TKO in their WBO Superflyweight world championship eliminator while Vic Saludar retained his WBO minimum weight world title. Arellano University completed a three-peat in the NCAA Season 94 women’s volleyball while Perpetual Help won back-to-back titles in the men’s division and five straight in the juniors play. Seventeen year-old Filipino wakeboarder Raphael Trinidad clinched a silver medal in the open category of the IWWF World Cable Wakeboard & Wakeskate Championships at Pampa Wake Park, Buenos Aires. The Philippine Sportswriters Association feted the finest Filipino athletes  for the year 2018 in its annual awards night.    MARCH Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas announced the composition of the men’s and women’s seniors national team and women’s U-23 squad. Gilas Pilipinas landed in Group D in the FIBA World Cup with Serbia, Italy and Angola after the draw. San Beda University won its second straight NCAA Season 94 beach volleyball title while Emilio Aguinaldo College completed a men’s division repeat. Kevin Belingon lost his One bantwamweight title to Brazilian Bibiano Fernandes to disqualification from illegal blows while Eduard Folayang surrendered his lightweight belt to Shinya Aoki in a submission loss.   APRIL Hidilyn Diaz pocketed three silver medals in the Asian Weightlifting Championship. EJ Obiena ended the country’s decade-long gold medal drought in the Asian Athletics Championships after ruling the men’s pole vault in record fashion in Doha, Qatar. Nonito Donaire Jr. knocked out Stephon Young in the sixth round to retain his WBA superbantamweight belt and advance to the WBSS bantamweight tournament finals wile John Riel Casimero claimed the WBO interim bantamweight title. The San Juan Knights captured the MPBL Datu Cup in a winner-take-all Game 5 over Davao Occidental Tigers. Team Philippines recorded its best gold haul in Arafura Games in Australia. Marathon star Rafael Poliquit died of complications from subdural empyema. He was 30.   MAY Ateneo de Manila University won the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball title while National University bagged its second straight men’s crown. San Miguel Beer captured its fifth straight Philippine Cup championship at the expense of Magnolia. Petron defeated F2 Logistics in three games to retain its Philippine Superliga Grand Prix throne. Jerwin Ancajas scored a 7th round TKO win over Japanese Ryuichi Funai to keep his IBF super flyweight belt. The UAAP and NCAA collegiate press corps feted the best student-athletes in basketball and for the first time in women’s volleyball. Some athletes and sports personalities tried their luck in the 2019 mid-term elections.   JUNE   Philippine Olympic Committee president Ricky Vargas stepped down from his post after just 18 months in office. Cignal-Ateneo won the PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup title.   (To be continued).....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 29th, 2019

2019: To sweep or not to sweep in collegiate basketball

The 2019 collegiate basketball season will always be remembered as the time when all of NCAA defending champion San Beda, UAAP Men’s defending champion Ateneo, and UAAP Women’s defending champion National U were trying for season sweeps. Two of them did it, one of them didn’t. All in all, though, that storyline that had something to do with history defined NCAA 95 and UAAP 82. A tale of two leagues – when it comes to foreign student-athletes NCAA 95 was the last season wherein the Grand Old League’s 10 member-schools were still able to trot out foreign student-athletes. This, after more than a decade of the likes of Sam Ekwe, Sudan Daniel, Allwell Oraeme, Prince Eze, and Mike Nzeusseu setting the bar higher for big men. Over in UAAP 82, Beninese ball of energy Soulemane Chabi Yo and Ivorian tower Ange Kouame jostled throughout the tournament for the recognition as top individual player. In the end, Chabi Yo followed in the footsteps of Cameroon’s Ben Mbala and Nigeria’s Bright Akhuetie as Season MVPs. The NCAA will go local from here on out while the UAAP will still parade promising prospects from overseas – what’s certain is that both leagues will go all-out to ascertain that the action will never stop. Rising stars become shining stars Robert Bolick left San Beda with a big, big hole at point guard – only for Evan Nelle to waste no time proving the Red Lions remain in good hands. UST’s fast and furious attack needed a fast and furious playmaker – and the Growling Tigers got just that in the form of Mark Nonoy. In his first year as FEU’s lead guard, L-Jay Gonzales showed time and time again why he was always seen as the next one in the Tamaraws’ long, long line of great guards. The story of the season in terms of guards, however, has got to be Fran Yu who came out of nowhere to energize Letran to a pleasant surprise of a championship. UP might 2019 was the first time in a long, long while – or maybe even ever – that UP was considered a shoo-in for the Final Four. The Fighting Maroons had just ended a 32-year Finals absence and a 21-year playoff drought last year and came into this season still with Bright Akhuetie, Jun Manzo, and Gomez de Liano brothers Javi and Juan, but also now with Kobe Paras and Ricci Rivero. In all, State U lived up to the hype and made it back-to-back Final Four appearances, but at the same time, fell short of fulfilling the promise of its fully loaded line-up. Still, continued contention is nothing but a welcome development for Diliman which had been experiencing dark, dark days for far too long. Gilas Pilipinas calling With Tab Baldwin overseeing the program, Gilas Pilipinas will try once more to take a long-term, big-picture view – especially with the 2023 FIBA World Cup looming large. With that, the American-Kiwi mentor tapped on five collegiate standouts to form the foundation of the national team – Ateneo’s Isaac Go and Nieto twins Mike and Matt, UE’s Rey Suerte, and San Sebastian’s Allyn Bulanadi. And with that, the Philippines is yet again leaning on the best of the best of collegiate basketball to wear the flag and do the country proud. It’s a new day, it’s a new generation The NCAA hit home runs in each and every one of its coaching changes. Bonnie Tan raised banner no. 18 for Letran in his first year. Randy Alcantara has Mapua prepped and primed to take flight. Louie Gonzalez has given JRU an attitude. Oliver Bunyi and Cholo Martin have EAC and Arellano, respectively, headed in the right direction. The same cannot be said for the UAAP as both of its new head coaches found themselves on the outside looking into the playoff picture. Jermaine Byrd had La Salle fighting, but ultimately failed to find a finishing kick. UE also kept coming with the leadership of Lawrence Chongson, but eventually ended eliminated. Teeth out, claws out, all-out UST has a proud program in basketball, but only had nine wins to show in 42 games from 2016 to 2018 That all came to an end in 2019 as Aldin Ayo had the Growling Tigers, well, growling from the get-go. Bombing away at their opponents and forcing them to keep up, Espana made its mark as a legitimate contender that made it all the way to the Finals. There, they were sent away by Ateneo’s championship-winning machine, but the future remains bright for the black and gold with all of Season MVP Chabi Yo, Rookie of the Year Nonoy, captain CJ Cansino, Brent Paraiso, and Sherwin Concepcion, among others, coming back for more. Fitting farewell for Ateneo’s championship core Thirdy Ravena. Isaac Go. Mike Nieto. Matt Nieto. Adrian Wong. Those five left Ateneo on top of the world – having claimed a three-peat as well as completed a historic season sweep. And without a doubt, those five were also the catalysts in this new golden age for the Blue Eagles – a golden age which has seen them set and then raise the standard for team glory time and time again. Katipunan will have a tough time moving forward from those five, but at the same time, having the likes of Ange Kouame, Will Navarro, Gian Mamuyac, and SJ Belangel just waiting in the wings makes it easier. Who run the world? National U has not lost a game in 2,270 days. National U has not lost a game in 74 months. National U has not lost a game in six years. The last time head coach Pat Aquino had to lift up the spirits of his Lady Bulldogs was back in October 5, 2013 when they bowed to La Salle in the winner-take-all Finals Game 3. Since then, the blue and gold has been the gold standard of women’s basketball all while giving its opponents the blues. That didn’t change this year as behind Jack Animam and Rhena Itesi as well as welcome additions Kelli Hayes and Camille Clarin, National U continued to have all the answers – even for back-to-back Season MVP Grace Irebu and UST. Shock the system Letran was, in no way, given a chance to deny archrival San Beda’s bid for a perfect season – or much more, win the championship altogether. But the Knights didn’t listen and took that chance themselves, catching just everybody by surprise by taking Game 1 and dealing the Red Lions their first defeat in the season. San Beda bounced back in Game 2, but in the decider, Jerrick Balanza, Bonbon Batiller, Larry Muyang, and Yu just willed Letran to the title. Now, the Knights are kings for the 18th time – and indeed, they had no import, but had no problem. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 23rd, 2019

NCAA 95: Ginebra’s Tenorio believes Knights have shot at title despite Game 2 collapse

Despite blowing a golden opportunity to take the NCAA Season 95 championship in Game 2 of the Finals Friday, LA Tenorio believes that the Letran Knights still have a good shot at winning the whole thing as the series shifts to a deciding Game 3 next week. Tenorio, a former San Beda High School star and current assistant coach for Letran, missed Game 2 as his Barangay Ginebra team played Columbian in a crucial game in the 2019 PBA Governors’ Cup. After the Gin Kings wrapped up the victory, which allowed them to take a twice-to-beat edge in the quarterfinals, LA talked about the Knights, which were a lay-up away from sweeping San Beda for the title. “Sayang,” Tenorio said. “Kaya naman importante talaga manalo ng first game, I expected San Beda to come out a different team. Nilabas nila yung tunay sa San Beda,” he added. True enough, the champion Red Lions started the game on a 15-0 run and was up 18-3 early. But the Knights responded with a 31-point third quarter and even led by as many as seven points in the fourth. “I’m happy lang about our team, we didn’t give up,” Tenorio said. “I think malaki pa rin chance namin to get this championship. We just have to keep the game close. Mahirap labanan San Beda pag nalamangan ka na,” he added.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 16th, 2019

NCAA 95 Finals: They never gave up -- Fernandez on San Beda

Defending champion San Beda University saw its 15-0 start evaporate then had to come back from seven points down and display composure under tremendous pressure in the waning seconds of the game to stay alive in the NCAA Season 95 Seniors basketball Finals series against a gritty Letran side. The Red Lions took Game 2 after a frantic race to the finish, 79-76, on Friday to force a rubber match at the MOA Arena. It may not be a pretty one but head coach Boyet Fernandez will take it anytime.   “A win is a win, we’ll take this one. I’m just relieved we got over this Game 2 and we won this one,” said Fernandez, whose wards dodged an upset attempt by the Knights. The mentor, who is looking to steer the Red Lions to a four-peat and their 23rd title overall, lauded his wards for showing great character. “I salute my players also. They really want to prove something today. That’s what character is. We had a loss. Everybody’s all against us but the players really don’t want to lose eh so credit to them,” he said. Season Most Valuable Player Calvin Oftana played the hero’s role late in the game, completing an and-one play to put San Beda up, 77-76, with 19.1 seconds left before the Red Lions made crucial stops to deny Letran of an early celebration.    Coming off a shocking Game 1 loss – the Mendiola-based squad’s first of the tournament – Fernandez knew they had to start right. His squad did it in the first 10 minutes, opening up a 15-0 gap and held it until halftime. But Letran fought back in the second half behind sniper Fran Yu, who turned a 25-37 deficit at the half to a 56-53 lead in the third. Yu continued his hot shooting streak in the fourth as the Knights opened a 66-59 lead with 7:42 left. Oftana rallied San Beda back, hitting a triple that ignited a 13-0 run for a 72-66 lead. The Red Lions got the breaks of the game after Yu suffered cramps. “Unang-una Letran did a good job tonight. They’ve been so ready for us, they know what we’re doing, credit to their coaches. Fran Yu, wow. We’re just lucky he got cramps,” said Fernandez. Clinching a morale-boosting win, Fernandez hopes his squad will use this to fuel the Red Lions in Game 3 on Tuesday. “I hope we sustain this one. Playing a tough team like Letran that will be hard for us but again I do thank my players, thank the Lord for this,” he said. “For giving us a chance, another game to fight for and hopefully we can show them again what is San Beda basketball on Tuesday. Sana may magandang pangitain sa Tuesday.”     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 15th, 2019

Barba, Guadana take over as Jr. Pirates make history in NCAA 95

Behind John Barba and Mac Guadana, Lyceum of the Philippines University made it to its first-ever Final Four in the NCAA 95 Juniors Basketball Tournament. Still behind Barba and Guadana, the Jr. Pirates are sailing to their first-ever Finals after scoring a well-earned 78-76 win against very game San Sebastian College-Recoletos, Friday at Cuneta Astrodome. Barba fired nine of his career-best 36 points in the last two and a half minutes while Guadana was a force at both ends and totaled 14 markers, eight assists, eight rebounds, and two steals. "Lahat naman ng games namin, sila yung nagte-take charge talaga. Ayaw na nilang pakawalan 'to kasi last year na nila," head coach JC Docto said post-game. With the Staglets threatening inside the last three minutes, Guadana found a cutting Barba for an inside basket. The long-limbed swingman was also fouled, but botched his bonus. Barba, however, wound up with the offensive rebound and willed another inside basket while getting fouled once more. The MVP frontrunner made certain to convert his charity this time around and mounted a 74-67 lead for his team. Still, Baste kept coming as Milo Janao's triple pulled them within 76-78 with 2.2 ticks to go. They even had one last shot at a shocker as LPU's Jae Omandac muffed his free throws, but Paeng Are's fullcourt heave was just inches short and only grazed the bottom of the net. On the back of its homegrown tantalizing talents, the Cavite-based squad overcame losing its twice-to-beat advantage and now sets up a best-of-three Finals showdown with San Beda High School that begins on Tuesday at MOA Arena. "Sobrang blessed namin kasi nagkaroon pa kami ng tsansa kahit ang sama ng game namin nung Game 1. Sinabi ko lang sa kanila, wag na naming sayangin yung opportunity at yung mga mali natin nung Game 1, wag na natin ulitn," their mentor said. This is the first time that the Jr. Pirates have made the Final Four and also the first time they have made the Finals since joining the Grand Old League eight years ago. "Sobrang saya namin to make history, pero i-eextend pa namin yung goal namin - manalo ng championship," coach JC said. On the other hand, the Staglets late-season charge just runs out of gas. However, this is still the best finish they have had in seven years. Dylan Darbin topped the scoring column for them in this one with 18 points while Kim Bulasa and Nikko Aguilar chipped in 15 and 14 markers, respectively. BOX SCORES LPU 78 - Barba 36, Guadana 14, Montano 10, Omandac 7, Panganiban 6, Garing 3, Ragasa 2, Gamlanga 0, Garro 0, Santos 0, Caringal 0, Caduyac 0, Gudmalin 0, Dejelo 0. SAN SEBASTIAN 76 - Darbin 18, Bulasa 15, Aguilar 14, Janao 9, Barroga 6, Are 6, Una 4, Perez 2, Concha 2, Brizo 0, Lustina 0. QUARTER SCORES: 18-20, 37-44, 56-54, 78-76. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 8th, 2019

NCAA 95: Boyet Fernandez making sure Red Lions remain in shape ahead of Finals

For the second time in three seasons, the NCAA Men’s Basketball semifinals will be decided in a stepladder format. In Season 93, the breakout Lyceum of the Philippines University Pirates rampaged through the elimination round, finishing with a perfect 18-0 record to earn an outright Finals spot. Defending champions San Beda University, then the second seed, ultimately defeated LPU in two games in the Finals to retain their titles. Two seasons later, the Red Lions are still the defending champions, but now they’ll be the ones waiting in the wings as San Sebastian, Letran, and Lyceum battle it out to determine who advances to the Finals. Those three schools represent a very tough pool of possible contenders, according to San Beda head coach Boyet Fernandez. “Yung tatlong challengers namin going to the stepladder, medyo hindi ka pwede mamili doon sa tatlo dahil malakas din yung teams na yun,” Fernandez told ABS-CBN Sports. “They’re well-coached as well, they have good players na, if they step up the stepladder semis, and they will face us in the Finals, medyo mabigat yung laban na yun.” The more pressing issue for Coach Boyet however, is how to keep his players in game shape, given that they’ll be on the shelf as those three teams duke it out. The Red Lions’ last game was back in October 17th when they defeated Lyceum to complete the eliminations sweep. The next time that they see the court will be on November 12th for Game 1 of the Season 95 Finals. “Ang problema talaga namin is how to  make the team active kasi, that’s approximately 24 days before Game 1 on the 12th, so we’re really trying to prepare our team,” explained Fernandez. “Medyo mahirap dahil siyempre, they’re thinking it’s too long pa, mahirap mag-manage pero we’re trying to really prepare the team, we’re practicing the generic type lang, yung defensive schemes, yung offense namin, we’re more focused right now on conditioning and getting the players prepared well, especially sa weights, nagwe-weights kami. Heavy kami ng kaunti ngayon para naman ready kami sa finals.” To keep the team in condition, Fernandez shared that he hopes to be able to put the them through some practice games prior to the Finals. “It will be a tough one for us due to the fact that we haven’t played for about three weeks by that game, so sana hindi kami maging rusty. We’re looking for practice games next weekend and the following week para ready kami sa 12th.” While the extended break is definitely a breath of fresh air for the team, especially after a long season, not knowing who to prepare for remains a concern, says Fernandez. “We’re concerned about it, kasi mahirap mag-prepare na on the last day of semis, doon mo lang malalaman, and then we only have, if you consider it, three days to prepare for that, kung sino talaga [makakalaban namin]. It will be tough kaya yung ginagawa namin ngayon is we really practice our defensive schemes on a regular basis, [para] kung sino man talaga, at least pagdating namin on November 9th, sa 8th pa lang namin malalaman kung sino kalaban namin, on the 9th, we will just review the things that we have done during the weeks going into the Finals.” “We also have our gameplan for every team that we’re gonna face. We’ve already had that gameplan, it’s just a matter of finalizing it on the 8th, kung sino talaga kalaban namin. For now, we’re just making sure that we know what our adjustments are, we know what our defensive schemes are, we’ll try to practice it with we’re going to play in the practice games, para alam namin kung ano pa deperensiya, and at ano pang kailangan i-adjust namin,” he detailed further. Apart from being out of competition for nearly a month, one more thing that Fernandez needs to manage is his team’s confidence. The Red Lions swept the eliminations, meaning that whoever comes out of the stepladder semifinals, San Beda has already beaten that team twice this season. Fernandez says that he reminds his boys that the eliminations and the Finals are two very different beasts. “I’m just telling them that we’re only as good as our last game, and the other teams are really trying to prepare themselves in order to meet us in the Finals and beat us in the Finals, and you know that the Finals is a different situation than the eliminations, masiyadong mabigat yung pressure doon, masiyadong mataas yung achievement doon if you win a championship.” During the elimination round, the goal was to make it into the post-season and hopefully finish with a top-two seed for a twice-to-beat advantage. San Beda finished unbeaten and earned an outright trip to the Finals. Now that the first goal of the season is done, the focus for the Red Lions now is to capture the title again. San Beda is gunning for their fourth-consecutive crown and their 23rd overall. “Sabi ko ang pinag-lalabanan naman natin pagdating sa Finals is the championship, the NCAA crown, so kailangan hindi tayo magiging over-confident,” said Fernandez. “We’re not denying we won against those three teams that are behind us, but we consider them among the best teams in the league, among the strongest teams in the league.” “Alam naman ng players ko na hindi madali na kunin yung championship, and we always make it sure na yung players narerealize na every game is a very important game, kahit sino pa ang kalaban namin and we always make sure na my players also realize na every game is chance for them to improve and prove themselves that they’re capable of winning a championship,” he continued. As for who he sees coming out of the semifinals, Fernandez says he isn’t really sure who’s the favorite, but sees Lyceum having the edge as they also be waiting in the wings for the winner of the San Sebastian-Letran tussle. “Wala akong tulak-kabigin dun sa tatlo eh. The advantage will be with LPU since they’re waiting in the wings who will be the winner between San Sebastian and Letran, but if you look at it, Letran and San Sebastian are considered two of the top teams before the start of the NCAA.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 4th, 2019

NCAA 95: LPU makes history as Staglets, Greenies, Braves don t take of business

STANDINGS San Beda 17-1 (twice-to-beat) LPU 11-7 (twice-to-beat) San Sebastian 10-8 (Final Four) CSB-LSGH 10-8 Arellano 10-8 JRU 9-9 (eliminated) Letran 8-10 (eliminated) Perpetual 7-11 (eliminated) Mapua 5-12 (eliminated) EAC 2-15 (eliminated) Lyceum of the Philippines University was not playing on Friday at Filoil Flying V Centre. And yet, the Jr. Pirates are the biggest winners as they made history thanks to Mapua High School's triumph over College of St. Benilde-La Salle Green Hills, University of Perpetual Help's victory versus San Sebastian College-Recoletos, and Jose Rizal University High School's win against Arellano High School. The Red Robins came from behind to clamp down on the Jr. Blazers, 64-60, and thus, the former prevented the latter from clinching a playoff berth. Dan Parinas and Jonnel Policarpio made their presence felt inside with the former finishing with 13 points and seven rebounds and the latter ending with 13 markers and six boards in the now-dethroned champions' fifth win in 17 games. "Eto yung isa sa pinakamasarap na panalo," head coach Yong Garcia said post-game. "Ang goal naman talaga namin, mag-improve lang nang mag-improve. Parte pa rin nun ito." Megan Galang also had 11 points and nine rebounds as Mapua exacted revenge on its new-age rival in the biggest way possible as, with the win, they forced CSB-LSGH into a tie for one of the remaining spots in the next round. They are tied with the Staglets who themselves, were frustrated by the Jr. Altas earlier in the day, 76-81. Yuki Kawamura waxed hot for 21 points while Kyle Cuevas posted a 12-point, 10-rebound double-double to help Perps close its campaign at 7-11. With a win in its last game in the season, the Las Pinas-based squad looked like it had complicated matters for Baste. That didn't last long, though, as in the last game of the day, the Light Bombers silenced the Braves, 70-62. Fred Ganut topped the scoring column with 19 points while Celsus Fortuna and Condrad Famaranco chimed in 11 and 10 markers, respectively. Behind a total team effort, JRU ascended to a 9-9 finish while at the same time arranging a three-team logjam for its conquered foes. With their sorry losses, all of CSB-LSGH, San Sebastian, and Arellano ended the elimination round at 10-8, standing on even ground for the third to fifth spots. All of them will now have to go through stepladder playoffs to determine who will complete the cast for the Final Four as well as the seeding there. With the highest quotient among the three teams, the Staglets are assured of playing in the Final Four as they can only wind up either as third- or fourth-seed. The Jr. Blazers and Braves, meanwhile, will figure in a knockout bout on Tuesday for the right to stay alive and challenge Baste for the three-seed. Amidst all these complications, idle LPU sailed to its first-ever Final Four appearance in school history on the strength of those sorry losses for their fellow playoff hopefuls. Sporting an 11-7 slate, the Jr. Pirates are not only assured of a spot in the next round, but are also assured of a twice-to-beat advantage once there. Meanwhile, the Red Robins still have one assignment on their schedule - a game against Emilio Aguinaldo College on Tuesday. There, they only hope to close their campaign with three wins in a row. "'Di pa tapos. Dapat ganito pa rin kami sa last game namin," coach Yong said. BOX SCORES FIRST GAME PERPETUAL 81 - Kawamura 21, Orgo 13, Cuevas 12, Galoy 11, Gelsano 8, Manuel 7, Balazuela 5, Banaticla 4, Dela Cruz 0, Angeles 0, Nunez 0 SAN SEBASTIAN 76 - Janao 20, Bulasa 13, Are 8, Barroga 7, Lustina 7, Aguilar 6, Perez 5, Concha 4, Darbin 4, Una 2, Gomez 0 QUARTER SCORES: 18-16, 34-38, 57-52, 81-76 SECOND GAME MAPUA 64 - Parinas 13, Policarpio 13, Galang 11, Parial 8, Tadeo 6, Lugo 5, Fransman 4, Mercado 3, Castor 1, Jugo 0, Ejercito 0 CSB-LSGH 60 - Palencia 16, Manansala 12, Calimag 11, Arguelles 9, Macalalag 6, Reyes 3, Dimaunahan 2, Panlilio 1, Valenzuela 0, Quiambao 0, Arciaga 0, Estil 0 QUARTER SCORES: 14-17, 30-35, 49-51, 64-60 THIRD GAME JRU 70 - Ganut 19, Fortuna 11, Famaranco 10, Garcia 7, Icban 6, J. Sy 5, Medina 5, Joson 5, Gentalan 2, Salvacion 0, Lenon 0, W. Sy 0. ARELLANO 62 - Recto 13, Lopez 11, Nepomuceno 11, Salinel 9, Tolentino 5, Sahali 4, Cuenco 4, Javier 3, Tan 2, Lime 0, Sablaon 0, Templonuevo 0, Villarante 0, Rellama 0. QUARTER SCORES: 20-13, 31-29, 51-39, 70-62. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 18th, 2019