Advertisements


Santiago Solari, in his first tournament, exceeded the maximum number of points scored by Miguel Herrera

Santiago Solari reached 38 points in his first championship with America, a number Pogo Herrera could not reach in two matches. Santiago Solari exceeded the.....»»

Category: newsSource: thedailyguardian thedailyguardianMay 3rd, 2021

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

Whatever happened to Gilas Pilipinas 2.0?

Since program’s inception, Gilas Pilipinas has been the name associated with the Philippine men’s basketball team. It gave the national team the identity it has used for a decade already. Gilas has gone through many iterations, but the current lineup, regardless of who the players are, only go by the general “Gilas” term. But early in the program’s history, each team went by a specific number, unofficially used by pretty much everyone to distinguish the teams that competed in different tournaments. It made sense too, since each team had a completely different identity. In later years, Gilas has improved in using the program as a way to ensure national basketball continuity. Nevertheless, each of the earlier Gilas versions had their success and failures. Here’s what happened to each of them.   Whatever happened to Gilas 2.0? Main tournament: 2013 FIBA-Asia Championships @ Manila, Philippines Prize: 3 tickets to the 2014 FIBA World Cup Result: Silver medal + World Cup berth (beat South Korea in semis, lost to Iran in gold medal game) Head coach: Chot Reyes Gilas 2.0 was the second time Chot Reyes handled the Philippine national team. The first time he did it, Coach Chot’s squad only managed 9th in the 2007 FIBA-Asia Championships in Japan. Six years later in Manila, Reyes is back at it again, and with some players from his 2007 team joining him too. Gilas’ silver-medal finish in the 2013 FIBA-Asia Championships and ensuing FIBA World Cup appearance in 2014 is Coach Chot’s best run as national team coach. Reyes would return to coach the national team in late 2016 before resigning for good in 2018. The Players: #4 Jimmy Alapag Alapag is back for a second straight stint with Gilas Pilipinas and this is the team where Jimmy carves out his legacy as one of the best national team players ever. In the semifinals against long-time nemesis South Korea, Alapag would hit the biggest shot in program history, pushing the Philippines to its first World Cup appearance in years. [Related: FIBA: Mighty Jimmy and the shot that introduced Gilas to the World] Once in the World Cup, Jimmy would once again hit the big shot to give Gilas its first World Cup win in four decades with an overtime decision against Senegal. Jimmy has since retired twice from basketball. He won the ABL title as head coach for San Miguel-Alab Pilipinas in the 2018 season. #5 LA Tenorio Tenorio already gave a glimpse of what he can do in the national team one-year prior, leading Gilas Pilipinas to the Jones Cup championship while winning MVP honors. In his first Gilas experience, LA started most games at point guard and was the Philippines’ best two-way option at the position. Together with Alapag and Jayson Castro, Tenorio formed perhaps the best point guard rotation in program history. After Gilas 2.0, it would be years for LA to make it back to Gilas, but once he did, he got a 2019 SEA Games gold medal to show for it. Tenorio just won another title with Barangay Ginebra, their fourth since 2016. #6 Jeff Chan Gilas 2.0 was flanked by shooters all over and the best one in Manila was Jeff Chan without a doubt. It’s not like Chan was a complete unknown when he was selected to Gilas, he did win Finals MVP for Rain or Shine in 2012. However, Chan wasn’t exactly tested when it comes to national team play. He got tested, and he passed with flying colors. Chan was the best shooter for Gilas both in total 3-point field goals made and percentage, shooting an insane 47.6 percent from deep. Chan won another title with ROS in 2016, before he was moved to Phoenix and eventually, Ginebra.  #7 Jayson Castro Gilas 2.0 was Jayson Castro’s coming out party for the Philippine national team. Sharing minutes with Jimmy Alapag and LA Tenorio, Castro was the weapon unleashed by Gilas when the going got tough. And as the tournament got deeper, it got more and more evident that The Blur was the national team’s best local. After the tournament, Castro was named in the All-Star team, and his reign as the best point guard in Asia also started his journey as a Gilas legend. While he’s already retired twice from Gilas, we’ll believe Castro is done when he doesn’t actually play. #8 Gary David Even as the PBA’s best scorer at the time, Gary David readily accepted his diminished role with Gilas 2.0. Out of all players, David finished second to last in scoring, beating out only June Mar Fajardo, who played seven games and only saw 31 minutes of total court action. Nevertheless, David was a key piece that made the Gilas 2.0 machine work, his explosive performance in the quarterfinals against Kazakhstan set up the South Korea game quite nicely too. Post-PBA, Gary David is seeing action in the MPBL, even being crowned as the league’s 3-point king in 2019. #9 Ranidel De Ocampo RDO was even better in Gilas 2.0 than he was in the original Gilas. Much like Castro, De Ocampo was a reliable weapon for coach Chot’s national team, his outside shooting ultimately proving crucial for Gilas. Ranidel was behind only Chan in 3-point field goals made and percentage for Gilas, he also hit the forgotten triple that help bury South Korea in the semifinals. RDO is technically still not retired, but injuries have forced him to slow way down in his later years in the PBA as a Meralco Bolt. #10 Gabe Norwood Norwood was one of the players from Coach Chot’s 2007 Philippine team that was present for Gilas 2.0 in Manila. Gabe didn’t do much scoring, but he played the most minutes out of everyone and was easily Gilas Pilipinas’ best defender all tournament long. Norwood’s clutch block on Kim Min-goo helped secure Gilas’ win over South Korea in the semifinals. Gabe is one of the longest-tenured players not just in the Gilas program but in Philippine national team history. In 2019, he made the World Cup for the second straight time. #11 Marcus Douthit Douthit was back for Gilas 2.0 and while his production was lowered compared to the original Gilas, he was still the rock and foundation of the national team. [Related: Whatever happened to Gilas Pilipinas 1.0?] Kuya Marcus’ stint ended early, as his tournament essentially ended before halftime of the semifinals of the game against South Korea due to injury, forcing Gilas to go true All-Filipino the rest of the way. Much like in Gilas 1.0, Douthit led Gilas in scoring and rebounding with 11.9 points and 9.4 rebounds. #12 Larry Fonacier The second designated shooter for the national team in 2013, Larry Fonacier was the classic 3-and-D player for Gilas 2.0. Gilas 2.0 was Fonacier’s only Gilas stint, and winning a silver medal is not a bad result for being one-and-done.  After Gilas 2.0, Larry would continue to play for TNT for a couple more seasons, before moving on to join the NLEX Road Warriors as one of the team’s veterans. #13 June Mar Fajardo June Mar Fajardo was a very raw prospect when Gilas 2.0 won silver in the 2013 FIBA-Asia Championships. The future six-time PBA MVP only played in seven games and scored a grand total of three points. Nevertheless, Fajardo was a completely different player following his stint with Gilas 2.0. After he came out of his initial stint with the national team, Fajardo proceeded to dominate the PBA for half a decade and counting, and his consistent Gilas stints in the future also slowly helped him be a consistent contributor in international play. For all intents and purposes, Fajardo could still be a key piece with the country co-hosts the 2023 World Cup, 10 years after Gilas 2.0. #14 Japeth Aguilar While still limited, Japeth was an improved version of himself by the time he played for Gilas 2.0.  He was the explosive reliever for the frontline, and was a crucial part of the rotation when Douthit suffered an injury during the South Korea game. Just like Norwood, Japeth has reached the 10-year mark in service of Gilas Pilipinas program and the national team as a whole, and Gilas 2.0 was just one of his many stops. #15 Marc Pingris The heart and soul of Gilas 2.0, Marc Pingris personified the national team’s famous battle cry. Gilas 2.0’s emotional leader, Ping had his teammates dig deep when they faced the greatest adversity of their World Cup bid in the semifinals against South Korea that eventually led to an iconic breakthrough. While his numbers won’t wow anyone, Ping’s leadership and influence in the national team resonates to this day, and it all started in Gilas 2.0.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8   .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 9th, 2020

UAAP 82: Ateneo scores late, holds UP to draw to begin Men’s Football title defense

Defending champions Ateneo de Manila got off to a slow start but scored late to hold Katipunan rivals University of the Philippines to a 1-1 to begin their title defense in the UAAP Season 82 Men’s Football Tournament, Thursday afternoon at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium.  The Fighting Maroons were able to control the pace early on and were able to get a number of good opportunities but could not convert.  In the second half, rookie Francis Tacardon announced his arrival to the UAAP ranks with a crafty goal inside the box to give the Fighting Maroons the lead in the 57th minute.  With less than 20 minutes left, Ateneo continued to push and eventually got a chance to equalize after UP’s Ray Sanciangco committed a foul inside the box to lead.  Ateneo captain Niño Herrera calmly sank the penalty in the 83rd minute to tie things up at 1-1.  Neither side could manage a second goal as the match ended in a draw.  "I'm happy, even if na UP dictated the first half and even the second half, in the early 15 minutes, pero nakikita ko yung boys na talagang they pushed themselves to give their best nung game," said Ateneo head coach Jaypee Merida. "When we conceded a goal, I think yun yung nag-wake up talaga sa team ko. After we conceded a goal, for me, I think we controlled the last, until the 90th minute." "Average satisfaction," UP head coach Anto Gonzales said when asked how pleased he was with his team's performance. "I think we achieved our goal of controlling the game, managing the game. Execution-wise, I thought we also did well, but it was that killer mentality of really scoring goals." Ateneo and UP split points with one point apiece. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 5th, 2020

PB(A)BL: Like a Dragon, Matthew Wright brought fire in Malaysia s dream season

Not all players take the same route going to the PBA, each player will have his own story to tell. This series will be about those who chose a different path, those who had to hustle overseas at one point in their careers before eventually landing in the PBA. Here, we take a look at current big-name PBA players who spent some time in the other major basketball league with Philippine teams in the region: the Asean Basketball League. They don’t have to play for a Filipino team, after all, the ABL is a great place where Filipino talents can shine even while playing for other countries. [Related: PB(A)BL: Chris Banchero's hot streak with San Miguel Beer] Today, we focus on Matthew Wright and his incredible one-and-done season with the Westports Malaysia Dragons.   Enter the Dragon Long before he ended up being a regular to Gilas Pilipinas, Matthew Wright actually already suited up for the national team via the U-18 squad in 2008. The Fil-Canadian then went home to Toronto and played in the NCAA tournament via St. Bonaventure. As a 25-year-old shooter, Wright got close to his other home when he suited up in the ABL for the Wesports Malaysia Dragons with his future Phoenix head coach Ariel Vanguardia and another prospect in Fil-Am Jason Brickman. With the Dragons, Wright set the ABL on fire with his scoring exploits. In his lone stint during the 2015-2016 season, Wright set the league record for most three-point shots made in one game at 10. He also set the record for most three-point shots made in a single season at 71 and his total points of 461 were the 4th highest of all-time and most by a non-World Import. Wright ended up being the ABL’s first-ever Heritage MVP, leading the league with an average of 23.1 points on 41.8 percent shooting from deep. He also added 4.2 rebounds and 3.4 assists. More importantly, Wright helped the Dragons to the no. 1 seed in the 2016 season with a strong 16-4 record. The crowning achievement was Malaysia winning its first, and so far, only ABL title by taking out the Singapore Slingers in the Finals, 3-2.   ABL to Gilas to PBA After leading the Westports Malaysia Dragons to the ABL championship, Wright was added to a Gilas Pilipinas pool that included guys like then amateurs Kiefer Ravena, Mac Belo, Ray Parks Jr., Kevin Ferrer, and Jio Jalalon. Wright was later named to the actual Gilas Pilipinas Cadets team and entered the PBA through the 2016 Draft. While no order was revealed, Wright joined the Phoenix Fuel Masters, reuniting with Dragons coach Ariel Vanguardia. Once in the PBA, Wright’s scoring exploits continued, in one game scoring 42 points, which was the most for a rookie since Eric Menk scored 43 for Tanduay since 1999. He finished second in the Rookie of the Year race and was part of the All-Rookie Team. The Fil-Canadian sniper also became a regular for Gilas Pilipinas since, consistently making the final team for tournaments like the SEABA Championship, the FIBA Asia Cup, and the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers. In the 2019 season, his third with Phoenix, Matthew Wright led the Fuel Masters to a breakthrough semifinals appearance in the Philippine Cup as the no. 1 seed. He also ended the year as the league’s no. 2 scorer.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8 .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 6th, 2020

CAMPEONE: Year of the Tiger (2010)

(This story was originally published on May 09, 2019) University of Sto. Tomas head coach Shaq delos Santos looked at his squad inside the dugout of The Arena in San Juan one last time. It was a cool Saturday afternoon. He took a glimpse at his graduating hitter Angge Tabaquero, who was all pumped up, but was feeling under the weather and could barely speak because of a sore throat. Delos Santos then shifted his eyes towards fourth-year team captain Aiza Maizo, Maika Ortiz, libero Jessica Curato, then to his prized rookies Dindin Santiago and Maru Banaticla. From their closed locker room, the Tigresses could hear the drums outside and felt the vibration that followed. The weekend crowd packed the venue in a sea of yellow and green. Excitement filled the air. It was electric. Less than an hour before, coach Emil Lontoc celebrated the Tigers’ conquest of Far Eastern University to complete a three-peat in the men's division. With his eyes closed, Delos Santos murmured one last prayer. Then there was a soft tap on their dugout door. It was time to march to the court for the official warm-up for Game 2 of the UAAP Season 72 women’s volleyball tournament.   THE YOUNG AND THE BOLD Delos Santos knew that they’re in for ride in Season 72.   They prided themselves with three pre-season titles, but those conquests meant nothing when it comes to their mother league. “Before mag-start (ang season), for me, hindi ko napi-feel na magtsa-champion agad kami,” said Delos Santos. “Kasi ang adjustment kailangan makita mo muna ang lahat ng naglalaro. So depende pa rin sa nilalaro ng every team na makakalaban mo.” And besides, the mentor will be navigating with a young crew, mostly in their early collegiate careers save for Maizo and returning Tabaquero, two of the remaining heroes of UST’s Season 69 championship run. Maizo was named team captain while Tabaquero, who skipped Season 71 for personal reasons, brought in the needed veteran presence to guide the squad. “Ako personally ang mindset ko sobrang hungry lang rin ako personally and I think si Aiza rin kasi halos pa-exit na rin siya nun,” said Tabaquero. “Ako sobrang gusto ko lang for myself na maka-graduate sa UAAP on a high note.” “On a high lang ako nun kumbaga, ‘Last playing year ko na ‘to wala na akong balikan pa, ibubuhos ko na lahat,’ she added. “Plus the fact na hindi ako nakapaglaro noong Season 71 dagdag gutom sa akin ‘yun.” But then again, the Tigresses remained relatively young. Dimaculangan was just in her third year, her first two saw the bitter memory of losing the title in the semifinals at the hands of the Rachel Anne Daquis-led Far Eastern University and then another Final Four heartache against the same tormentors the following year. Ortiz, Hannah Mance and Curato barely had enough experience on them so did Judy Ann Caballejo.   Then there were the young bloods. UST got a pair of blue-chip recruits in a small but high-flying power-hitter in Banaticla and a lanky 6-footer Santiago.   The Tigresses were parading a decent squad, but not a super team that they had before with Mary Jean Balse and Venus Bernal.       “Nagkaroon kami ng mga rookies noon,” said Dimaculangan. “Nu’ng time na ‘yun kumpiyansa naman ako sa team kasi bakit ka pa maghahanap ng mga wala o bakit ka pa hahanap ng mga naka-graduate na? So kung ano na lang ang meron kami siguro doon na lang.” Delos Santos, himself, was just on his second year as head coach after taking the reins from legendary mentor August Sta. Maria, who suffered a stroke in 2008. Expectations were high from the UST faithful. For the Tigresses, they just have to deliver.   STRUGGLE WITHIN The Tigresses began the season with an early litmus test. Their first game: against the defending champions De La Salle University Lady Spikers. UST faced a squad assembled to build a dynasty. DLSU was denied of a four-peat three years ago when the league suspended the school in Season 69 because of an eligibility issue with its men’s basketball team. In Season 70, the Lady Spikers were forced to forfeit games because of another eligibility issue with Jacq Alarca. The following year, in Manilla Santos’ final year, DLSU reclaimed the throne. Now, looking to for a repeat, the Lady Spikers just need to break the will of one of their threats. DLSU paraded a formidable team centered on its ‘Big Three’ in Alarca, skipper Paneng Mercado, daughter of Asia’s Sprint Queen Lydia De Vega-Mercado, and versatile hitter Cha Cruz. Then there’s the great wall of Michele Gumabao and rookies Aby Marano and Joanne Siy, who would eventually win the Rookie of the Year and Best Blocker awards. UST was facing a nightmare. But the Tigresses were undaunted. They clung on the confidence of bringing down the same giant they slew in the UniGames championship before the start of the season. With guns blazing and adrenaline in their veins, the Tigresses were able to control the match as they led, 2-1. Then comes their Achilles’ heel. UST was a determined team, but the Lady Spikers had in them the championship experience, the veteran composure of a battle-tested squad. The Tigresses had no answer to that. DLSU walked away with a 20-25, 25-20, 22-25, 25-22, 15-11, victory to start its amazing elimination round winning streak. UST recovered in the next three games, walking past University of the Philippines, a rebuilding FEU, and cellar-dwellers National University. Then came another big challenge. The Tigresses collided with a feisty young team in Ateneo de Manila University bannered by a hyped Fab Five of sophomores Gretchen Ho, Dzi Gervacio, Fille Cainglet, setter Jem Ferrer and A Nacachi. The result was a shocker: the Lady Eagles upset the Tigresses. It may not show inside the court, but the Tigresses were struggling from the inside.   Delos Santos admitted that being a Tigress under his watch was not for the faint of heart. His relationship with the players was not smooth. He was a blacksmith trying to sharpen a deadly weapon. He needed to put his players into the blazing fire of his Spartan-like training, hammer them into shape and sharpen them into a weapon ready for brutal war.       “Napaka-strict ko kaya medyo ano sila sa akin pero at the end of the day na-realize rin nila na ang lahat ng sinasalihan naming tournament, lahat ng paghihirap namin, kapag naglalaro kami talagang quality,” he said. “’Yung pinaghirapan namin talagang nilalabas namin sa game.” Dimaculangan recalled that that season was marred with conflicts within the team. “’Yung year na 'yun ang dami talagang pinagdaanan. Ang daming naging issues,” she said declining to divulge what the problems were. “Lahat kami takot sa kanya (Delos Santos). Tapos my time din na feeling namin nabe-burnout na kami.” “Baliktad nga eh kasi kung kailan ang dami naming issue doon pa namin nasabi na ‘Ay kailangan nating mag-champion.’ Ganoon ang feeling namin,” Dimaculangan added. Tabaquero would simply describe that Tigresses team as ‘shaky’. “On the rocks ang team and noon may internal issues din,” she revealed. “Medyo magulo siya pero as players, ‘Kung may mangyari man dyan, labas na sa volleyball ‘yan. Kung ano ang pini-perform natin maglaro tayo ng maayos.’ Siguro yun na lang ang tumatakbo sa isip namin.” Whatever the issues were inside their team, the Tigresses were able to put them aside as they made an amazing run to close the eliminations. “Nagulat kami kasi sobrang nakasabay ang mga bata,” said Tabaquero. “Kami ni Aiza halos ang nag-lead sa team na ‘yun pero kasi experienced na ang mga bata na ‘yun kasi coming from UST program sila eh.” “So medyo kumbaga ang pinanggalingan nilang team mataas din so I guess doon na lang din sila humugot from their experience sa high school. Nadala na lang din siguro pagdating nila,” she added.   ENTERING THE END GAME Valentine’s Day. With most of the country looking forward to celebrate that special Sunday, the Tigresses were preparing for something bigger. It was their most-awaited rematch with the Lady Spikers, who heading into that game were already ravaging the league with 13 straight victories. One win and DLSU will enter the Finals outright armed with a thrice-to-beat advantage.   The Tigresses didn’t allow that. UST prevented a Lady Spikers elims sweep by slipping past DLSU in a thrilling five-setter. The Tigresses avoided a stepladder semifinals. UST ended the elims with a nine-game winning streak and second-best 12-2 win-loss record. From there everything changed. “Kasi nakuha nila (ang panalo) sa first round then February 14 tinalo namin sila so dun tumaas ang kumpiyansa namin na ‘Ah kaya namin itong La Salle,’” said Tabaquero. The Tigresses came in the Final Four armed with a twice-to-beat advantage against Ateneo. They split their elims head-to-head but now UST wanted to settle an old score. It was Maizo and Tabaquero who did most of the damage in the Final Four as the Tigresses crushed the Lady Eagles, 25-12, 25-23, 25-20, all while playing without starting libero Curato, who was out because of typhoid fever. “I guess kung ikaw mayroon kang chance na makapasok sa championship siguro ibibigay mo ang lahat. Laban kung laban,” said Tabaquero. “’Yun talaga ang mentalidad namin nu’ng time na yun. ‘Yun ang nag-push sa amin na, ‘For championship ito, ibibigay namin ang lahat 110%.’” Earlier that playdate, the Lady Spikers took the other Finals berth after booting out Adamson University, 16-25, 25-16, 25-22, 25-22.         "EH ANO NGAYON KUNG DEFENDING CHAMPION KAYO?" Maizo and Tabaquero were UST’s contrasting leaders. They're yin and yang. Maizo was a silent operator. She would rather let her work do the talking. Tabaquero was from a different world. She will get under your skin, play with your head and she was just plain nasty. “Season 69 pa lang salbahe na ako maglaro,” she admitted. “Dun lumabas ‘yung moniker ko na ‘Pamewang Queen’. Sobrang intense lang din ng game namin ng FEU nun. Parang sobrang thrashtalkan. Hindi mo man makita on-cam pero doon pa lang talagang may verbal.” She’s no different in Season 72. “Hindi naman sa mayabang ako pero nasa utak ko nu’ng time na yun, ‘Ay kaya namin kayo kasi tinalo namin kayo nu’ng eliminations,’” Tabaquero continued.  “Doon ako humugot ng lakas na, ‘hindi tayo papatalo rito.’ Sobrang inspired lang din siguro akong maglaro noon kasi ang daming tao nun. Grabe puno itong San Juan Arena,” she recalled.    Facing DLSU, Tabaquero knew they can rip the crown off the Lady Spikers’ heads. “Ako personally, ‘Eh ano ngayon kung defending champion kayo?” she said. It was 2010 and UST just needed to look at the Chinese calendar for an inspiration.    “Year of the Tiger yun, sumakto,” said Dimaculangan. “Iba ang kompiyansa namin na parang amin ‘to.” The Tigresses could see the stars aligning for them, the opportunity was there. Then came the best-of-three series opener. Delos Santos was not new to the Finals. He worked as Sta. Maria’s deputy before. But this was his biggest challenge. His shining moment. Looking back, he felt that Sta. Maria molded him for this situation. “Before nakakuha rin kami ng isa pang championship eh. Sina Bernal, Balse pero si Coach August ang head coach pa nun that time,” he said. “Ang ginawa niya that time sobrang gusto niyang mag-grow ako. Noong Finals namin against FEU, umalis siya. Hindi siya nagpunta ng game tapos nung mag-start na ang game hinahanap ko siya,” Delos Santos continued. “Tinawagan ko siya, sabi ko, ‘Boss nasaan ka?’ Nasa norte siya eh parteng norte." "Sabi ko, ‘boss nasaan ka?’ Sabi niya, ‘kayang-kaya mo na ‘yan. Ikaw ng bahala dyan,’” he said. “’Yung time na yun doon ko na-feel na grabe ang tiwala niya sa akin.” Against a taller Lady Spikers side, Delos Santos needed just one key to success: speed. “I think that time sobrang lucky ko rin kasi ang mga players ko. Yun nga sina Rhea na, sina Tabaquero, sina Aiza. So that time yung system na gusto naming mangyari, more on lalo na kailangang maging speedy kami. Mabilis kami, nakuha namin that time. Siguro yun ang naging key,” he said. “Kasi knowing La Salle ang no. 1 weapon nila is blocking eh. Bukod dun sa service nila na napakabigat, yung blocking. Mayroon silang malalaking players and ang ganda lagi ng line-up nila,” Delos Santos said. As the battle ensued, Delos Santos felt that they had the upper hand. “I think nu’ng time na ‘yun medyo na-feel ko na makukuha namin,” he said. “That time na naglaro na kami sabi ko, sa galawan na nangyayari nakuha namin yung magandang diskarte.” And that strategy was to exploit the height disadvantage of DLSU setter Kaye Martinez. For Delos Santos the best way to stop the Lady Spikers’ deadly arrows was to break their bow.  “That time malalaki sila pero meron silang maliit na setter. Maliit ang setter nila so more on dun kami nagsi-set play ng nagsi-set play,” he said. “Nagkaroon din kami ng magandang receive and then si Rhea nabibigay niya ng maayos sa mga spikers.”  It was shocker. UST recovered from a set down to beat DLSU, 24-26, 25-23, 25-16, 25-21.   For the first time in Season 72, the Taft-based squad got its back against the wall.   SHAQ THE WORLD The Tigresses were on a high as they arrived at the game venue in the last weekend of February just three days after shocking the Lady Spikers in the series opener.     Entering the venue, the Tigresses were greeted by a huge crowd of UST faithful, all hoping for the clincher.  Tabaquero was feeling ill that day. “Naalala ko may sakit ako nu’ng Game 2. Wala akong boses nun,” said the senior, who skipped Thursday’s practice to rest. But Tabaquero was determined to play one last time, give her team the firepower and angst it needed, to finish her collegiate career on top.   “Wala ng sakit-sakit, di pwedeng may sakit. Di ko na siya nararamdaman. Minsan napapagod pero wala kailangang magsakripisyo. Saka yung adrenaline ko sobrang taas nun,” said Tabaquero. As the Tigresses trooped to the court for the warm-up, they were showered by loud cheers from the UST fans. “Go USTe! Go USTe!” echoed inside the arena like a rolling thunder signaling the arrival of a storm. A serenade for conquering heroes. There was a huge banner that read: ‘Kami po ang University of Sto. Tomas.’ It added fuel to the Tigresses’ burning desire to reclaim the throne. The squad came into the venue brimming with confidence but with their supporters egging them on even before the opening serve, the Tigresses felt invincible. They were. UST dismantled the confused Lady Spikers in the first two sets, dominating DLSU with sharp angled attacks and frustrating its blockers. Defensively, the Tigresses were punishing DLSU’s attackers. “Dumipensa lang talaga kami noon saka nagkaroon kami ng first ball. ‘Yun talaga ang edge namin nun,” said Dimaculangan. “Kumbaga parang hindi ako masyadong nahirapang dumiskarte kasi alam kong darating sa akin ang bola.” The Lady Spikers’ defense was also in disarray. Even DLSU’s celebrated libero Mel Gohing, the rookie of the year the season before, was already struggling to keep up with the Lady Spikers’ net defense collapsing. “Yung mga spikers ko ang gagaling din dumiskarte and alam din nila kung ano ang gagawin nila sa bolang ibinibigay ko sa kanila,” added Dimaculangan. The Tigresses were already smelling blood.   But the Lady Spikers regrouped in the third as hitters Cruz and Mercado’s hits found their mark. Gumabao, Siy and Maarano were holding their own. DLSU took the third frame in dominating fashion. It may have turned the tides around for the Lady Spikers. It didn’t.      DLSU built an early five-point cushion in the fourth frame, but the Tigresses raced to a 16-11 lead before Gumabao stopped the bleeding with a crosscourt hit.  Maizo then landed an off speed hit over blockers Siy and Martinez, then the lefty again scored another heady off speed this time over Alarca for an 18-12 lead. Then came the deluge of errors by DLSU. The Lady Spikers crowd went quiet in the pivotal run of the Tigresses. A kill block by Ortiz put UST at championship point, 24-13, as the DLSU faithful froze, seemingly awaiting an inevitable defeat. “Parang pa-last point pa lang ata naiiyak na kaming lahat,” said Dimaculangan. An overexcited Tabaquero sent her serve long then Maizo’s attack was turned back. Two match points saved by DLSU. The Lady Spikers tried to hold on. But it was too late. Nerves got the best of Emeli Zuno as she made contact with the ball at the service line.       It sailed long. Pandemonium broke out. “Nagtatalon na kami nu’ng moment na yun, na ‘Heto na ang pinaghirapan natin.’ Ang sarap sa feeling na mag-champion ulit,” said Tabaquero after the final whistle of the season was called with UST completing the sweep with a 25-18, 25-14, 16-25, 25-15, victory.   For Delos Santos that championship was the fruit of their hard labor. “Sobrang happy kasi siyempre nagkaroon kami ng championship sa UST,” said Delos Santos of his only title for the Tigresses as head coach. “Sobrang memorable. Marami rin kaming pinagdaanan (bago makuha),” he added. UST accomplished a double-crown feat in volleyball that year, its fifth since the 1976-77, 1985-86 at 1987-88 and 1992-1993 seasons. As a reward the Tigresses earned a trip to Hong Kong. But even that trip had some good anecdotes for Delos Santos, Dimaculangan and Tabaquero. “Nag-trip to Hong Kong kami for two to three days sa Disneyland at Ocean Park,” said Delos Santos. “Sila lang mahilig mag-rides eh. Ako may phobia ako sa heights. Nung sumakay kami ng cable car para akong mahuhulog na ewan dun sa cable car.” Dimaculangan remembered vividly their flight. “Nag-Hong Kong kami noon tapos sakto pa na bumabagyo noong umalis kami noon. Buti nga natuloy kami noon eh,” she said. As for Tabaquero, unfortunately, she had to skip the trip. “Nagpunta sila ng Hong Kong pero ako di ako nakasama kasi late yung Hong Kong trip. Di ako nakasama kasi na-ACL (left injury) na ako nun sa Shakey’s V-League, yung sa championship ng San Sebastian,” she said. “Naka-schedule na ako ng surgery nun sa UST hospital kaya di ako nakasama.” “May incentive naman ako nun kahit di ako nakasama nun,” Tabaquero cleared. Ten years ago, UST ruled Season 72. It was the year of the Tiger. The year of the mighty, mighty Tigers.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 26th, 2020

Greatest Performance: SSC-R Lady Stags miracle comeback

San Sebastian College stared at a 13-point deficit in the third set against the Michelle Morente and Jia Morado-led Ateneo de Manila University. It was the two teams’ first meeting in the V-League Season 13 Collegiate Conference back in August 6, 2016. The Lady Stags led by skipper Grethcel Soltones surprised the Lady Eagles, who were then in their first competitive tournament in the post-Alyssa Valdez era, in the first two sets. But Ateneo took control of the third frame early as they built a 23-10 advantage and looked poised to turn the tables around. The Lady Eagles were determined to bounce back from an opening day five-set loss to the Mylene Paat-backed Technological Institute of the Philippines. But the two points Ateneo needed to take the set never came. SSC-R made one of the most amazing comebacks in the now defunct league, cranking a 15-0 scoring barrage, to complete a stunning come-from-behind 25-23, 25-22, 25-23 win. “Hindi [namin in-expect na mananalo ng ganun],” recalled Soltones, who is now a member of PetroGazz in the Premiere Volleyball League, the rebranded V-League. “Kasi looking at the name ATENEO hindi basta-basta ‘yan.” And Soltones wasn’t exaggerating. Ateneo fielded a formidable lineup that conference. Yes, the Lady Eagles missed the services of injured Jho Maraguinot and Maddie Madayag while Valdez, who was supposed to play as a guest player, was given an assistant coach position instead. But Ateneo was coming off a UAAP runner-up finish that year and were bannered by Morente, Morado, Bea De Leon, Ana Gopico and young guns Ponggay Gaston and Jules Samonte. The Lady Stags knew that Ateneo will not go down without a fight. As expected, the Lady Eagles regrouped in the third and were hammering down SSC-R. Throughout Ateneo’s assault, Soltones kept reminding her teammates not to lose heart. “May sinasabi ako sa kanila noon na ‘Nothing to lose tayo. Laro lang. Kasi nakita ko tambak na kami eh’” said Soltones. “Tapos si coach Clint [Malazo] may sinabi rin na kami lang nagbibigay ng pressure sa sarili namin kaya ganun ang nangyayari.’ Ateneo was already looking for the kill. The Lady Stags said no.   Joyce Sta. Rita stopped the bleeding with a quick attack and sent Soltones to the service line, where she would hold court until the end of the match. “Nasa isip ko lang naming nun na nasa likod, depensa lang kami ni [Alyssa] Eroa. Kahit anong bola kunin para gaganahan ang nasa harap,” said Soltones. Soltones landed consecutive aces during the run and even scored a couple of points from the back row while Sta. Rita and Denice Lim putting up numbers at the frontline. Ateneo during the Lady Stags’ rally was already in disarray and slowly crumbling under pressure. It didn’t help that the Lady Eagles were also struggling with their reception. “Sabi ko kakargahan ko ang serve ko at gamitin ko pinraktis namin sa serve kasi may target kami kung ano rotation ng Ateneo,” said Soltones, who also shared that she was getting instructions from head coach Roger Gorayeb, who was watching from sidelines as he gave the coaching chores to his assistant Malazo for the tournament. Lim tied the game at 23 off a down the line hit before Sta. Rita put SSC-R at match point after a denial on Morente. Soltones sealed the deal for the Lady Stags with an ace that landed in front of Morente and De Leon, giving the Lady Eagles another bitter pill to swallow.       Ateneo and SSC-R would eventually meet in a playoff for the last semifinals spot but this time the Lady Eagles exacted revenge as they sent the Lady Stags packing. Ateneo wound up as runner-up to the Jaja Santiago-led National University.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 20th, 2020

Whatever happened to Gilas Pilipinas 1.0?

Since program’s inception, Gilas Pilipinas has been the name associated with the Philippine men’s basketball team. It gave the national team the identity it has used for a decade already. Gilas has gone through many iterations, but the current lineup, regardless of who the players are, only go by the general “Gilas” term. But early in the program’s history, each team went by a specific number, unofficially used by pretty much everyone to distinguish the teams that competed in different tournaments. It made sense too, since each team had a completely different identity. In later years, Gilas has improved in using the program as a way to ensure national basketball continuity. Nevertheless, each of the earlier Gilas versions had their success and failures. Here’s what happened to each of them.   Whatever happened to Gilas 1.0? Main tournament: 2011 FIBA-Asia Championships @ Wuhan, China Prize: 1 automatic ticket to the 2012 London Olympics Result: 4th place (lost to Jordan in semis, lost to South Korea in bronze medal game) Head coach: Rajko Toroman Coach Rajko’s previous history before becoming the first coach of the Gilas program was leading Iran to its first-ever Olympics appearance in Beijing just four years prior. Toroman was tasked to lead another national team to the Olympics, but his Philippine team mostly made up of amateur stars fell two wins short of London. Coach Rajko’s Gilas stint ended after the 2011 Asian Championships. He’s still recently connected to the Philippine team, albeit this time as an opponent. He now coaches Indonesia and his national team took on Gilas last December in the SEA Games in in the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers last February.   The Players: #4 Mark Barroca After his unceremonious exit from FEU, Mark Barroca was selected into the original Gilas team and was a major revelation especially during the national team’s earlier tune-up games against PBA teams and when they actually went to the semifinals of the 2011 Commissioner’s Cup. After their semifinals stint in Wuhan, Barroca was part of the loaded 2011 Gilas Draft, picked 5th by Shopinas before being shipped to B-Meg. Barroca has stayed with the Purefoods franchise since, a 6-time PBA champion and two-time Finals MVP. He won the Grand Slam with the team in 2014. #5 Asi Taulava Asi was one of the PBA players chosen to reinforce a mostly-amateur Gilas team in 2011. At the time, Taulava was a Meralco Bolt but would become an ABL MVP and champion with San Miguel Beer in the ABL two years later. The 2011 FIBA-Asia Championships was Asi’s third straight appearance in the tournament. He was with the 2007 team in Tokushima and was also part of the 2009 team that competed in Tianjin. While Taulava was already almost 40 here, it won’t be his last stint with Gilas Pilipinas just yet. #6 Jvee Casio The former La Salle star was one of the main pillars of the original Gilas team, putting off the PBA Draft for two years in order to play for the national team. Proof of Casio’s standing in the original Gilas team was him being selected first overall during the 2011 Draft. With the Powerade Tigers, Casio, with Gilas teammate Marcio Lassiter, made the Philippine Cup Finals as a no. 8 seed in 2012. In 2013, Casio won his first and so far, only title in the Commissioner’s Cup with the Alaska Aces. #7 Jimmy Alapag Alapag was one of the three TNT players in the original Gilas team. It was Jimmy’s first stint in the national team since 2007. He was not chosen for the 2009 FIBA-Asia Championships. Jimmy didn’t see heavy minutes with the original Gilas, but he was the national team’s most reliable marksman and shot 40 percent from deep. Seeing action in 2011 means that Alapag is a Gilas original, and his first appearance with the program would not be his last, it’s also not his best. #8 Chris Tiu Arguably the face of Gilas Pilipinas when the program first started, Chris Tiu went from a successful UAAP career in Ateneo to being captain of the national team. Tiu didn’t play the most minutes and didn’t have the best numbers, but he probably put in the most work out of everyone for the original Gilas team. After Gilas, Tiu joined the PBA Draft in 2012 and was selected by Rain or Shine. He won the Commissioner’s Cup title in 2016 and retired from basketball after the 2018 season. #9 Japeth Aguilar Japeth Aguilar was still pretty raw during 2011 for the original Gilas team. In Wuhan, he played the least out of all the players, appearing in only five games. Nevertheless, Aguilar would become a constant for the national team after his first stint in 2009. Aguilar would find his way to Ginebra in the PBA and won four of his five titles with the team. He’s the league’s most recent Finals MVP and is still playing for Gilas Pilipinas. #10 Mac Baracael Mac Baracael making the original Gilas team was a miracle all in itself. After being shot in the back as an FEU Tamaraw, Baracael made a full recovery and was selected into the national team and was a role player in the 2011 Asian Championships. Baracael was taken 6th by Alaska in the 2011 Draft and had a short but mostly solid but forgettable career in the league. #11 Marcus Douthit Marcus Douthit was the solid rock that formed the foundation of the original Gilas Pilipinas team. After a long search, the national team tapped the former Providence center as naturalized player and in his first Asian Championships, Douthit didn’t disappoint. “Kuya Marcus” led the tournament in both points and rebounds, averaging 21.9 points per game and 12.2 rebounds. He was also tied for third in blocks with 1.7 rejections per outing. Douthit was already 31 at the time, but he most definitely proved that the Gilas program can work and the national team can be successful if you put a solid anchor around the country’s most skilled players. #12 Kelly Williams In his first and only stint with Gilas Pilipinas, Kelly Williams started at power forward. At this point in his career, Williams wasn’t exactly the player that took the PBA by storm and won MVP in his second season, but he was still explosive enough to give the national team quality minutes. Kelly’s role with the original Gilas has mostly mirrored his career in his later years, being the scrappy veteran at forward for teams with younger, faster players. #13 Marcio Lassiter Despite not playing in Gilas’ first two games of the 2011 FIBA-Asia Championships due to eligibility issues, Lassiter ended up as the national team’s second leading scorer behind Douthit. Marcio actually struggled shooting in his Gilas Pilipinas debut, shooting less than 40 percent from the field and a woeful 21 percent from deep. Regardless, he was seen as the future of the national team, and it’s quite unfortunate that it took him a while to get back after his initial stint in Wuhan. In the PBA, Lassiter was picked 4th in the 2011 Draft by Powerade, joining Gilas teammate and no. 1 pick Jvee Casrio. Marcio was later traded to San Miguel and is now an 8-time champion. #14 Chris Lutz Like Lassiter, Chris Lutz missed two games in Wuhan due to eligibility issues. Like Lassiter, Lutz also struggled shooting the ball once he did play and wound up with the least total points for the original Gilas Pilipinas in 2011. Regardless, Lutz was a highly-touted recruit and was picked 3rd by San Miguel (then known as Petron) in the 2011 Draft and went on to average 15.4 points and 3.5 assists in his rookie year. However, Lutz’ career in the PBA ended up being short, as injuries ended up being his downfall. He was officially traded to Meralco in 2017, but is yet to resurface. #15 Ranidel De Ocampo RDO partnered with TNT teammate Kelly Williams to for a reliable power forward duo for the original Gilas Pilipinas. Never the flashy one, De Ocampo would become a reliable contributor for Gilas for years to come, and the 2011 FIBA-Asia Championships was first proof of that. RDO was top-5 in points, rebounds, and assists for Gilas Pilipinas in 2011.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8 .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 6th, 2020

UAAP Season 82: Sato leading with energy, good vibes

Graduating Risa Sato is embracing her role as team captain for the National University Lady Bulldogs this UAAP Season 82 women’s volleyball tournament. Back after a year removed from collegiate volleyball action, Sato is bringing in the good vibes and happy approach to the game as well as the experience and maturity needed by the young Lady Bulldogs. Her leadership on and off the court did wonders for NU, which won two straight games before the tournament was halted in light of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.        In spite of obvious obstacles in communication with the Fil-Japanese middle having difficulties expressing herself in English and Filipino, she’s still able to get her message across by example.    “Sabi ko sa mga teammate ko na, kasama mga rookies, sabi ko sa kanila na basta wag kayong kakabahan. Basta enjoy lang tayo. Basta enjoy ang laro. You look at me. Smile, smile ganyan,” said Sato, who averaged 12.5 points per game including six kill blocks per outing in NU’s first two games.    During practice, Sato actively preaches the Japanese style of volleyball discipline. “Malaki po ang epekto niya kasi po iba ang laro niya, iba po ang pagiging jolly niya, iba po ang pagi-enjoy niya, pag-iingay nya sobrang nadadala kami,” said NU sophomore Ivy Lacsina of Sato. “Mas marami po kaming natututunan sa kanya kasi galing nga siya ng Japan so ang mga nakuha niya dun pinapa-adapt niya sa amin,” she added. “Sobrang good para sa amin kasi hindi lang galing sa coaches ang natututunan namin kundi dahil din sa kanya.” Head coach Norman Miguel knows Sato’s limitations that’s why he encourages his other veterans to help her in leading the team. “Nu’ng in-appoint namin siya as team captain, automatic sinabihan namin ang ibang seniors na ‘Kayo ang katulong ni Risa when it comes to expressing her feelings and emotions, her thoughts kasi hirap nga siyang mag-express,” she said. Former NU star Jaja Santiago has nothing but praises for Sato.   “Ang maganda naman kay Risa di siya sumusuko na matuto talagang mag-Tagalog. Dati kasi natatandaan ko yan lagi siyang umiiyak. Kasi may gusto siyang sabihin, gusto niyang matutunan ang ganitong skills pero di niya ma-express ang sarili niya,” said the Japan V. Premier League import. “Pero ngayon makikita mo siya na siya na ang nagga-guide sa players, sya ang kumakausap sa mga players. Happy ako nakaka-adapt na siya sa Pilipinas,” added Santiago.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles          .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 17th, 2020

UAAP 82: Tamayo wills perfect Bullpups to first triumphant title defense

Nazareth School of National University now owns five of the last nine championships in the UAAP Boys Basketball Tournament. However, Season 82 is the first time they have won back-to-back titles. Carl Tamayo made sure of that as the Bullpups still had the number of Far Eastern University-Diliman, 87-80, in Game 2 of the Finals, Monday at Filoil Flying V Centre. Tamayo was brilliant all throughout and his 26-point, 22-rebound double-double powered the defending champions to perfection as they swept the championship round in the same way they swept the eliminations. Gerry Abadiano backstopped the talented tower with 20 points, five rebounds, and three assists while Terrence Fortea scored 12 markers of his own on top of four dimes, three boards, and two steals. While the blue and gold took charge right from tip-off, the Baby Tamaraws kept coming with Penny Estacio's basket and bonus pulling them within seven, 72-79, inside the last five minutes. National U's championship core made their presence felt anew, however, as Kevin Quiambao's slam jam was followed by back-to-back bombs by Tamayo and Abadiano for an 87-72 lead with 2:11 remaining. Not long after, the Bullpups were celebrating their first triumphant title defense - winning it all in Season 82 to add to their trophy collection coming from Seasons 81, 78, 76, and 74. Along with that, they celebrated a perfect season that saw them run the gauntlet and remain unscathed after 16 games. The Sampaloc-based school is still the only squad to get a perfect run in the Boys' Division - and this is its second time to do so following the feat by their Hubert Cani-led and Jeff Napa-coached team back in 2013. Quiambao - who alongside Tamayo and Abadiano is graduating - contributed eight points and seven rebounds. John Rey Pasaol topped the scoring column for FEU-Diliman with 20 points to go along with seven rebounds, five steals, and four assists while Estacio also added 17 markers. Cholo Anonuevo contributed eight points, 11 rebounds, and five assists in his last game in high school. He is the only key cog to be graduating for the green and gold which, despite the runner-up finish, seems poised to continue contending next year. BOX SCORES NU 87 - Tamayo 26, Abadiano 20, Fortea 12, Quiambao 8, Alarcon 5, Tulabut 5, Enriquez 4, Torres 3, Buensalida 2, Mailim 2, Felicilda 0 FEU-DILIMAN 80 - Pasaol 20, Estacio 17, Bautista 13, Sleat 13, Anonuevo 8, Padrones 5, Libago 3, Bagunu 1, Saldua 0 QUARTER SCORES: 24-17, 53-45, 75-62, 87-80 --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 9th, 2020

UAAP Season 82: Santiago gives back to Lady Bulldogs

National University product Jaja Santiago is giving back to her alma mater by helping the current pack of Lady Bulldogs prepare in their campaign in the UAAP Season 82 women’s volleyball tournament. On vacation after her stint in the Japan V. Premier League playing for third place winners Saitama Ageo Medics, Santiago spends her free time sharing the things she learned playing abroad to her juniors.  “Pinupuntahan ko itong mga bata na ito sa training, hindi lang araw-araw, pero yun nga sini-share ko sa kanila kung ano ang mga tinuro sa akin ng mga naging coaches ko sa Japan,” shared Santiago on Sunday while watching the Lady Bulldogs’ match against Adamson University. Santiago’s efforts to help the team paid off as NU grabbed its second straight win with a sweep of the Lady Falcons, 26-24, 25-14, 25-21, to remain on top of the leaderboard. “So far nakikita ko ang ganda ng improvement,” said Santiago. “Ang tatangkad ng mga players and well-disciplined ang mga bata ngayon.” The victory gave NU its best start in two years or since the swan song of Season 80 Most Valuable Player Santiago when the Lady Bulldogs won five straight matches.  All thanks to Santiago’s contribution. "Si Jaja after her Japan stint n’ya she went back to the Philippines, pumupunta siya sa training,” said NU coach Norman Miguel. “Binibisita n’ya ‘yung girls, kami and then nagi-impart siya ng techniques kung pano sa blocking, pano magri-read and react. Sumasabay siya sa practice namin. She did that ng three visits para mag-impart.” Santiago’s presence according to graduating senior Audrey Paran boosts the team’s morale and she serves as an inspiration for her and the rest of the team. “Si Ate Jaja talaga is someone I look up to in terms of leadership, in terms of skills lahat talaga,” said Paran, who paced NU with 15 points. “Saka nu’ng time niya talaga lahat kami si Ate Ja yung sandalan.” “This time na-inspire ako parang, Ate Ja ito yung natutunan ko sa kanya, ito yung pinapakita mo before. Ako naman time ko naman ngayon,” added Paran. Santiago will stay in the country up until the end of March before flying back to Japan. But for the meantime, the versatile player will be here to assist in training the Lady Bulldogs. “Nakakatuwa talaga na may spot pa rin sila kay Jaja,” Miguel ended.     Show your school spirit. Get official UAAP university licensed merchandise from www.uaapstore.com. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 8th, 2020

PBA: Alaska closes pocket tourney on high note

Vic Manuel muscled his way for the game-sealing lay-up in Alaska’s 81-79 victory over woeful San Miguel Beer in the Phoenix Super Basketball pocket tournament at the Upper Deck in Pasig City on Friday. The Aces forward found the bottom of the net with 17 seconds left to give Alaska an 81-78 cushion before hanging on to end the pre-season competition on a high note with two wins in three games. Robbie Herndon led Alaska with 19 points and eight rebounds, Rodney Brondial scored 14 markers and pulled down 11 boards while Manuel and Jvee Casio finished with 12 points each. The Beermen got a chance to salvage the game but Alex Cabagnot, who split his charities in the last 11 seconds, bricked his three-point attempt at the buzzer.    Cabagnot posted 22 points for winless SMB, which played without the services of injured June Mar Fajardo (shin) and Marcio Lassiter (nose).   Box scores: Alaska (81) –– Herndon 19, Brondial 14, Manuel 12, Casio 12, Ebona 10, Ayaay 8, Ahanmisi 2, Teng 2, Andrada 2, Racal 0, Galliguez 0, DiGregorio 0. San Miguel Beer (79) — Cabagnot 22, Tautuaa 12, Romeo 10, Ross 8, Zamar 8, Gamalinda 7, Ganuelas-Rosser 6, Santos 4, Pessumal 0, Alolino 0, Mamaril 0, Comboy 0, De Guzman 0. Quarter scores: 10-15, 33-37, 62-48, 81-79......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 21st, 2020

UAAP 82: Finals-bound FEU beats DLSU in High School Boys Football

Far Eastern University-Diliman completed its second straight rout of the UAAP Season 82 High School Boys' Football Tournament, dominating De La Salle-Zobel, 4-1, even as University of Santo Tomas rescued their title aspirations with a win over Ateneo High School, 2-1, Sunday at the Rizal Memorial Stadium. The Baby Tamaraws, who have clinched their 11th consecutive appearance last Wednesday, now carry 17 points. La Salle remains with seven points. Jacob Garciano drilled in the insurance goal just before the halftime break to put the Baby Tamaraws out of reach at 3-0. Pocholo Bugas opened the scoring for the defending champs at the 12th minute, before a mistimed clearance from Miguel De Mesa resulted to an own goal 15 minutes later. Despite the huge lead, FEU still brandished its offense and eventually opened the rout with a fourth goal five minutes into the second period with a screamer from Karl Absalon. Head coach Park Bobae was pleased to see his squad getting at ease with their offensive adjustments. "Actually after we drew with UST, we addressed our problem with scoring," he shared. "So we practiced our scoring detail. We also studied how to play La Salle. So we know how we would also know how to prepare to play against them." The match got testy after a commotion saw Jerome Ang getting sent off, bringing the Baby Tams down to 10 men. La Salle's Yuki Ferrer was cautioned after the incident. The ruckus fueled the Junior Green Archers as they eventually notched a goal courtesy of Rafael Aldeguer in the 80th minute. The goal, however, was too late as the final whistle signaled the end of La Salle's Finals hopes. Park shared that despite their place in the Finals already booked, the Tamaraws might still go full force in their final elimination match as preparation for the championship match. "Josh Abundio is still injured, but his recovery is very fast. So, there's a chance, he'll play. We'll see," the Korean mentor ended. UST, on the other hand, scored twice in the second period to repulse Ateneo for a chance at making it to the Final match. The Junior Golden Booters zoom to third place eight points, while the Blue Eaglets finished the season with seven points. Denzel Celebrado registered a brace with a late winner at the 90th minute to follow up on his 74th-minute strike to level the match. His two goals made amends of a defensive lapse off Diego Luna in the 37th minute to put Ateneo ahead at 1-0. UST will try to push for at least a playoff for the second Finals berth with a win against La Salle on Thursday, February 13 at 1:30 p.m. FEU and Nazareth School of National University will take on each other in a potential preview of the Finals later at 4 p.m......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 10th, 2020

Barcelona wins with Messi hat trick, Suarez backheel goal

By Tales Azzoni, Associated Press MADRID (AP) — It was showtime for Barcelona at Camp Nou Stadium. Lionel Messi had a hat trick. Luis Suárez scored with a superb backheel goal. There was even an assist by goalkeeper Marc-André ter Stegen to Antoine Griezmann's first goal in six Spanish league matches. With one of its best performances of the season, Barcelona cruised to a 5-2 win over promoted Mallorca on Saturday, keeping pace with Real Madrid and regaining the league lead. Madrid had beaten Espanyol 2-0 earlier Saturday to provisionally move to the top, but Barcelona's win left the teams tied on points and the Catalan club ahead on goal difference. The highlight of Barcelona's win was Suárez's 43rd-minute backheel goal, which came after a smart exchange of passes between Frenkie de Jong and Sergi Roberto. De Jong made the final pass to Suárez who was near the corner of the six-meter (yard) box, and the Uruguay striker hit the ball with the back of his right foot, pressing it down and making it bounce off the ground over goalkeeper Manolo Reina. “I knew I had a difficult angle, my only option was to backheel the ball firmly so it would bounce and make it harder for the goalkeeper,” Suárez said. “It wouldn’t be impossible for the ball to go through if it didn’t bounce. Luckily it worked and it was a beautiful goal.” Barcelona's dominant performance had started with Griezmann's seventh-minute goal off a long pass by Ter Stegen, who quickly took a goal kick to set up the Frenchman's run from behind the midfield line. Griezmann entered the area and niftly tapped the ball over Reina. It was the second assist for Ter Stegen this season. He had also set up Suárez's goal against Getafe in September. Messi was at his best, scoring in the 17th with a superb curling left-footed shot into the top corner and then with another well-placed strike from outside the area in the 41st. He completed his record 35th league hat trick from inside the area in the 83rd after Suárez's pass. The goal also allowed Messi to take the league's scoring lead with 12 goals, one more than Real Madrid's Karim Benzema. Before the match, Messi was presented with the Ballon d'Or award which he won for best player of the year on Monday. Messi's three young sons carried the trophy out to him as the Camp Nou crowd chanted his name. Ante Budimir scored Mallorca's goals in the 35th and 64th minutes. Barcelona has won nine of its last 10 league matches, including four in a row. It has lost only once in its last 14 games in all competitions. It was the seventh consecutive away loss for Mallorca, which stayed in 17th place, one point from the relegation zone. MADRID STAYS CLOSE Raphael Varane and Karim Benzema scored a goal in each half to give Madrid its win over second-to-last-place Espanyol at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium. The result extended Madrid's unbeaten run in all competitions to nine matches. It was the team's fourth straight league win, and the 14th in the last 15 games against Espanyol across all competitions. Varane opened the scoring with a low left-foot shot from inside the area in the 37th after a pass by Benzema, who sealed the victory with a shot from close range in the 79th after being set up by midfielder Federico Valverde. Madrid played the final minutes with 10 men as left-back Ferland Mendy was sent off with a second yellow card for a hard foul in the 83rd. Madrid played without several regular starters because of injuries, including Gareth Bale, Eden Hazard, James Rodríguez and Marcelo. VALENCIA DERBY It was a three-goal night for Levante striker Roger Martí, but only two counted for his team in a 4-2 loss to city rival Valencia. Martí put the hosts ahead with a pair of goals by the 20th minute, but then netted an own-goal just before halftime while trying to clear a cross from inside the area. The ball hit his right knee and went backward into his own net. Valencia came back with two goals in two minutes by Kevin Gameiro in second-half breakaways, one in the 57th and another in the 59th. Ferran Torres closed the scoring in the 88th to give Valencia its fourth win in its last five league games. “It was a shame that own-goal just before the break,” Martí said. “It was an unlucky play.” Levante played with 10 men after defender Eliseo Falcón was sent off with a second yellow card in the 74th. Levante hasn't won the Valencia derby since 2016, having lost three of the last five. The result left Valencia in seventh place and Levante stayed in 11th. GRANADA WINS AGAIN Promoted Granada ended a five-match winless streak with a 3-0 rout of Alavés, moving to eighth with 24 points. Carlos Fernández, Roberto Soldado and Yangel Herrera scored second-half goals for Granada, which had lost four of its last five matches. Alavés, sitting in 15th place, had two players sent off — Wakaso Mubarak in the 67th and Víctor Laguardia in stoppage time......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 8th, 2019

UAAP 82: Adamson, FEU, UST all victorious in Girl s Volleyball

Adamson University, Far Eastern University-Diliman, and University of Santo Tomas secured victories against separate foes to open their second round campaigns on a bright note in the UAAP Season 82 Girls' Volleyball Tournament at the Paco Arena Saturday. Team captain Maria Lalongisip scored four service aces and finished with 14 points as the Baby Falcons dispatched titleholder De La Salle-Zobel, 25-20, 25-20, 25-23. Balanced attack propelled the Baby Tamaraws to an emphatic 25-18, 25-21, 25-16 victory over University of the East, while the Junior Tigresses walloped winless University of the Philippines Integrated School, 25-18, 25-18, 25-14. Adamson and FEU tied in third place with identical 4-3 slates, while UST rose to 6-1 in second spot. National University-Nazareth School, which drew a second round opening bye, is unbeaten in six matches. Kate Santiago scored all but one of his 12 points from spikes, Raisa Ricablanca added eight points off the bench as May Ann Nuique got seven markers for the Baby Falcons. "Nakakatuwang hindi sila basta biglang bumibitaw which is yun naman yung pinapractice namin, yung pagwwork hard namin this week nag manifest naman sa game. Yung service talaga namin yung naging key dito," said Adamson University coach Lerma Giron. Trailing 13-18 in the third set, the Baby Falcons went on a 12-5 finishing kick topped by Santiago's down the line kill, for the victory. Irah Jaboneta registered 11 points for the Junior Lady Spikers, who fell to fifth place at 3-4. Alexis Miner had six blocks to finish with nine points, Florize Papa and Lyann de Guzman tallied eight points apiece while Issabel Alberto and Jean Asis each have six points for the Baby Tamaraws. Regine Jurado had seven service aces for a 16-point showing, KC Cepada contributed eight points, all from attacks, while Samantha Maranan added six points, four coming off service aces as the Junior Tigresses rediscovered their winning ways. The Junior Warriors fell at 1-6, while the Junior Maroons dropped their seventh in a row. Girls action resumes on Wednesday with three matches slated at the same Paco venue......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 6th, 2019

NCAA 95: Marcelino-led LPU cuts Letran down to size anew

Lyceum of the Philippines University has the number of Colegio de San Juan de Letran thus far in the NCAA 95 Men’s Basketball Tournament as the former has now swept the latter in the elimination round. Marcelino twins Jaycee and Jayvee propelled the Pirates anew and the Knights just couldn’t keep up, 97-90, Friday at Filoil Flying V Centre. Jaycee soldiered on even after being ill the past five says and still scored 25 points, all but five in the second half, on top of three rebounds and two assists while twin Jayvee had his own two markers, three dimes, three steals, and two boards. "Yesterday lang siya bumalik (sa practice). He just played his heart out today," a beaming head coach Topex Robinson said post-game. Reymar Caduyac was also there, scoring six of LPU’s last nine points as they strengthened their stranglehold on solo second now at 10-3. With the two teams tied at 75-all in the last seven minutes, JCM scored six points in an 8-2 spurt that sent them ahead, 83-77. Larry Muyang still kept Letran coming and they were only down by three, 85-88, with 2:24 left only to see Caduyac take charge and seal the deal in their fourth win in a row. In the end, Caduyac scored 20 points, five rebounds, four assists, and two steals while Mike Nzeusseu also added 16 markers, nine boards, and two dimes as the Pirates repeated their season opener where they also took down the Knights. "It's not about Letran, but it's how we play as a team. These men played their hearts out," coach Topex said. For the Knights, Muyang pounded in 16 points, four rebounds, and three blocks while rookie Kurt Reyson also turned in a career-best 20 points. All of those were all for naught, though, as they dropped to 9-5. BOX SCORES LPU 97 - Jc. Marcelino 25, Caduyac 20, Nzeusseu 16, Ibanez 12, David 11, Tansingco 4, Pretta 3, Jv. Marcelino 2, Valdez 2, Guinto 2, Santos 0, Navarro 0. LETRAN 90 - Reyson 20, Muyang 16, Ular 14, Caralipio 8, Batiller 7, Ambohot 7, Balanza 6, Olivario 4, Javillonar 4, Mina 3, Yu 1, Pambid 0. QUARTER SCORES: 23-20, 40-44, 71-66, 97-90. —— Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 27th, 2019

PBA: Terrence Jones pinpoints defense as main issue in TNT collapse

Talk N' Text was essentially 12 minutes away from holding a 3-2 lead in the 2019 PBA Commissioner's Cup Finals.  The KaTropa had a commanding 16-point advantage in the opening moments of fourth quarter and appeared primed to regain the advantage in the conference-ending series.  Instead, Talk N' Text saw that advantage disappear, allowing the San Miguel Beermen to steal Game 5, 99-94, and move one win away from yet another championship.  In the final stretch of the game, with the Beermen breathing down their necks, the KaTropa had a number of chances to create a bit of separation but just couldn't convert on their chances.  What's more is that they could not stop the SMB onslaught on the defensive end, which was the main concern for KaTropa import Terrence Jones.  "We just didn’t get stops when we needed to," Jones said following the loss. "We needed two more stops and we didn’t, so that’s what happens. We lost." Jones, the newly-crowned Best Import of the conference, was his usual dominant self, putting up 35 points, pulling down 17 rebounds, and dishing out eight assists.  In crunch time however, Jones was unable to finish on a couple of chances that could have swung the game in their favor.  "It was a well-fought game. They made their runs and we made ours, we just got to try to make sure we take care of business next game," he added.  When the question of fatigue was brought up, Jones maintained that it was simply all about getting the necessary stops to close out the game.  "I’m not a person that makes excuses, so, it just comes down to stops to win the game, and they scored and we didn’t." "We just didn’t score, man. I mean, I got to where I wanted to, where I’ve been shooting my lay-ups from, on the left side, most of the series, it just didn’t go in, and we didn’t get stops. Winning championships is about defense. We had the lead, and we gave it up by not getting stops. I think that’s what it boils down to, and we got to make sure we take care of that in the entire fourth quarter so it doesn’t come down to that," he continued. In the final period, Jones was held to just three points, and while he did credit the Beermen for their defense, it was the KaTropa's defense, or lack thereof, during the closing sequences that Jones feels needs to be addressed.  "Mainly, importantly to me is our defense. We were up with a double-digit lead in the fourth and gave that away, which even caused us to be in that situation, which is more of the bigger standpoint to me, and hopefully we can take care of that." Now down in a 3-2 hole, the KaTropa are in do-or-die mode from here on out, and the former Houston Rocket made it clear that he wasn't ready to go down.  "Exactly like you said, either win or be done, and I’m not ready to be done. I hope my teammates aren’t ready to be done, and we come in and we play with that attitude," Game 6 will be on Friday at the Araneta Coliseum. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 14th, 2019

PBA Finals By the Numbers: Who can stop Terrence Jones?

Game 1 of the 2019 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals went the way of TNT. It wasn’t even close. The top-ranked KaTropa demolished San Miguel Beer Sunday at the Big Dome, taking an early 1-0 lead in the best-of-7 titular showdown. As per customary in the PBA Finals, By the Numbers is back. Let’s break this one down.   7 Total number of triples connected by TNT in the opening quarter of these Finals. The KaTropa hot right from the start, using a barrage from rainbow country to create early separation from the Beermen. TNT ended up with 13 triples in Game 1, definitely slowing down after a hot first quarter. But the work was doen and the KaTropa have a 1-0 lead for it.   16 Total points for Terrence Jones in the first quarter. The leading Best Import candidate wasted little time announcing his presence in these Finals, dominating in the first 12 minutes to help TNT score a Game 1 knockout. Jones finished with 41 points in the win on top of 12 rebounds, eight assists, and three blocks.   4 At least four individual defenders from the Beermen took on Jones one-on-one in an effort to slow the TNT import down. San Miguel started with Christian Standhardinger on Jones, then Arwind Santos took on the assignment. The first quarter wasn’t even done when Kelly Nabong tried to give it a go before Chris Ross took it upon himself to guard Jones. Safe to say, at least for Game 1, San Miguel defenders got waxed by Jones in a sensational performance. How can the Beermen adjust for Game 2? That we’ll find out.   20 Total unanswered points for TNT in the first to second quarters of Game 1 that completely turned the tide in their favor. Down 17-19, the KaTropa unloaded 18 straight points to end the opening period to take a 35-19 lead. They then scored the first basket of the second quarter to complete their run and they never looked back, cruising for a 13-point victory.   9 Total turnovers for San Miguel import Chris McCullough. The Beermen had a lot of problems in Game 1, including lack of local support aside from June Mar Fajardo. But if San Miguel will be forced to rely on McCullough, who is still scoring almost at will in these playoffs, the least that could happen if for him to limit his turnovers and not disrupt his own team’s momentum. The Beermen had 18 turnovers in Game 1, half from their import. Game 2 is on Wednesday at the Big Dome.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8    .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 5th, 2019

Policarpio, Galang team up as Red Robins finally take flight in NCAA 95

STANDINGS San Beda 4-0 Arellano 4-1 CSB-LSGH 2-1 JRU 4-2 LPU 3-2 San Sebastian 2-2 Perpetual 2-3 Letran 2-4 Mapua 1-4 EAC 0-5 At long last, Mapua High School has put it all together in the NCAA 95 Juniors Basketball Tournament, battling back from a 20-point deficit and busting out for a 92-90 come-from-behind triumph over Colegio de San Juan de Letran, Tuesday at Filoil Flying V Centre. Rookie guard Megan Galang came up clutch, firing half of his 16 points in the last five minutes at to boost the Red Robins to their first win after five tries in their title defense. It was Galang who hit the go-ahead jumper from the baseline that put his team on top, 91-90, with 18.4 ticks to go. The defending champions then forced a miss from CJ Saure before their young playmaker was sent to the line where he muffed on the first and made good on the second. The Squires called time for the last chance to win it, but both Andrei Romenez and Joshua Ramirez failed to convert as time died down. When the final buzzer sounded, Mapua was celebrating its breakthrough win in a season that has, thus far, witnessed it working through an adjustment a coaching change as well as absences from key cogs such as Jonnel Policarpio and Anthony Fransman. "Sobrang saya. Feeing ko, nag-champion kami," first-year head coach Yong Garcia said post-game. Now in his second game back from dealing with personal problems, Policarpio yet again proved to be the missing piece for the Red Robins, almost tallying a triple-double with 19 points, 15 rebounds, nine assists, and three blocks. Fransman then had seven points and 13 rebounds while Hector Buenaflor, another long-limbed forward, top-scored with 20 markers and four boards. The defending champions needed all of those to overcome a horrible first half which saw them falling behind by as much as 20, 15-35. "Sinabi ko lang sa kanila na ibigay yung best nila, i-enjoy yung game, pero at the same time, mag-stick sa system namin," coach Yong said, talking about their halftime adjustments. For Letran, Saure was at the head of the scoring column with 21 points on top of 10 rebounds and four assists while Shawn Argente and Romenez chupped in 20 and 17 markers, respectively. Meanwhile, Arellano High School maintained solo second following a decisive 78-70 decision against suddenly struggling University of Perpetual Help. Danren Nepomuceno showed the Braves the way to a fourth consecutive victory after a season-opening defeat with 23 points and four rebounds while Felix Villarante also added 11 markers and four boards. On the other hand, the Jr. Altas lost for the third time in a row after back-to-back wins. Yuki Kawamura topped the scoring column for them with 17 points while Emman Galman had 14 markers, seven rebounds, and three assists of his own. BOX SCORES FIRST GAME MAPUA 92 - Buenaflor 20, Policarpio 19, Galang 16, Castor 12, Echavia 8, Fransman 7, Tadeo 3, Mercado 3, Parinas 2, Lugo 1, So 1, Ejercito 0 LETRAN 90 - Saure 21, Argente 20, Romenez 17, Umali 10, Ramirez 8, Tibayan 6, Lim 4, Santiago 2, Omega 2, Cauguiran 0, Cabal 0, Tolentino 0, Miranda 0, Delas Alas 0 QUARTER SCORES: 14-26, 37-47, 63-71, 92-90 SECOND GAME ARELLANO 78 - Nepomuceno 23, Villarante 11, Lime 9, Tolentino 9, Recto 6, Salinel 5, Cuenco 5, Lopez 4, Sahali 2, Sablaon 2, Tan 2, Templonuevo 0. PERPETUAL 70 - Kawamura 17, Galman 14, Gelsano 11, Orgo 7, Galoy 6, Escalante 5, Banaticla 4, Angeles 2, Ignacio 2, Cuevas 2, Nunez 0, Berwite 0, Manuel 0, Balazuela 0. QUARTER SCORES: 21-17, 43-23, 69-46, 78-70. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 30th, 2019

PBA: SMB hoping for the best as Terrence dislocates finger

San Miguel had another big win Wednesday to continue its push toward the 2019 PBA Commissioner’s Cup playoffs but the Beermen still had some problems to deal with after the game. Guard Terrence Romeo, only in his second game back this conference, left the Phoenix game early with what appeared to be a finger injury. Terrence scored 13 points and added four assists in 17 and a half minutes of play. “Terrence dislocated his pinkie, but he was able to put it back,” head coach Leo Austria said of his point guard. “I think he will be okay, I hope di mamaga yung left pinkie niya,” he added. Hopefully, Romeo’s injury is just minor and won’t cost him any missed games. Since he came back, together with the arrival of new import Chris McCullough, the Beermen have been rolling. San Miguel has won back-to-back games for a 4-5 record and the Beermen are officially back in playoff contention. “I'm happy to see him again dahil alam natin kung anong value niya sa team namin, medyo lumalim 'yung rotation namin sa guards position,” Austria said of Romeo. “If he will be healthy, I think we could achieve our goal at least dun sa number six or number five. Right now, it is possible,” he added.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 10th, 2019

Brazil beats Paraguay in shootout in Copa América quarters

By Eric Nunez, Associated Press PORTO ALEGRE, Brazil (AP) — Facing early elimination in the Copa América at home, Brazil finally found a way to get past Paraguay in a penalty shootout. After two consecutive eliminations against its southern neighbor, Brazil came out on top on penalties on Thursday to avoid an embarrassing elimination in the quarterfinals of the South American tournament. Goalkeeper Alisson made a save and Gabriel Jesus scored the decisive penalty as Brazil defeated Paraguay 4-3 in the shootout to return to the semifinals for the first time since 2007. Alisson dived to his left to stop the initial penalty by defender Gustavo Gómez, and Gabriel Jesus sealed the victory to keep Brazil on track for its first Copa América title since 2007. Brazil will next face either Venezuela or Argentina, which play on Friday in Rio de Janeiro. Brazil had lost to Paraguay the last two times the teams met in the Copa América quarterfinals, in 2011 and 2015, both times in penalty shootouts. Derlis González also missed from the spot for Paraguay, while Roberto Firmino failed to score for Brazil. Both players sent their shots wide. González, who also missed a penalty in Paraguay's 1-1 draw against Argentina in the group stage, had scored the decisive goal in the 2015 shootout. He was one of the five players back from that team that eliminated Brazil. Willian, Marquinhos and Philippe Coutinho converted their penalties for Brazil, while Miguel Almirón, Bruno Valdez and Rodrigo Rojas netted for Paraguay. "My teammates did their part, they took on the responsibility and succeeded. That was crucial," Alisson said. "This was an important step toward our goal of winning the South American title." Gabriel Jesus had missed a late penalty in Brazil's 5-0 rout of Peru in its last group game, but calmly found the net with his shot from the spot as Paraguay goalkeeper Roberto "Gatito" Fernández went the other way, igniting the Brazilian crowd of more than 48,000 at the Arena Grêmio. "I was confident, I knew that if I took the penalty the way I'm used to taking it, I would have more chances of scoring," Gabriel Jesus said. "I was upset after the other match because I didn't take the shot my own way. This time I waited for the goalkeeper to move and just sent the ball the other way." Gatito had been key in regulation as the visitors held on to a 0-0 draw despite having a defender sent off in the 58th minute. In the Copa America quarterfinals, extra time is not played and the match proceeded straight to penalties. Paraguay played with 10 men after Fabián Balbuena was sent off for a foul that was initially called a penalty kick but was reversed after video review determined the foul happened outside the area. "We have to be proud of the character shown by this team," said Paraguay coach Eduardo Berizzo, an Argentine. "We could have been rewarded with a wonderful and heroic triumph in the penalty shootout, but that doesn't take anything away from my players' great performance." Brazil controlled possession but struggled to create scoring opportunities against Paraguay's solid defensive system. The visitors had one of the best chances of the first half when González's close-range shot was saved by Alisson. Brazil pressed nearly full-time after Balbuena was sent off, but couldn't capitalize on its many opportunities. Gabriel Jesus, Coutinho, Everton and Firmino all missed great chances in front of the goal. Fernández made a great reflex save on a close-range header by Alex Sandro near the end of the match, and in the 90th Fernández could only watch as a low shot by Willian struck the post. Brazil coach Tite said the poor field conditions didn't help Brazil's attack. "It's absurd to have to play on a field where it's difficult to exchange passes," Tite said. Despite reaching the semifinals in 2015 and finishing runner-up in 2011, Paraguay has won only one of its last 21 matches in the Copa América, taking advantage of penalty shootouts to advance. Paraguay reached the last eight this year with only two points, finishing as one of the two best third-place teams from the three groups. Paraguay and Brazil failed to make it out of the group stage in the 2016 Copa América. An eight-time South American champion, Brazil has won the tournament all four previous times it hosted the event, the last time in 1989. Brazil's Neymar, dropped from the squad because of an ankle injury sustained just before the tournament, watched from the tribunes at the Arena Grêmio......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 28th, 2019