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Schrock goal powers U-22 Azkals to first SEA Games win

The Philippine Under-22 Men's Football National Team finally broke into the win column, defeating Malaysia, 1-0 in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games Men's Football Tournament, Friday evening at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium in Manila.    Hungry for a win and with their backs against the wall, the Pinoy side came out aggressive in the opening moments and immediately found some early chances.    The Malaysians began to mount some offense of their own, but Pinoy keeper Anthony Pinthus stepped up big time in the defensive end as he was able to get his hands on Malaysia's attempts.    For the first time in the SEA Games tournament, the U-22 Azkals finally tasted a lead, as team captain Stephan Schrock put the Azkals on the board off a fantastic corner in the 72nd minute.  #SEAGames2019 | Men’s Football Schrock’s corner gets deflected but then bounces off a MAS player and into the goal. pic.twitter.com/q8KQAQ2qkh — Santino Honasan???? (@honasantino) November 29, 2019 Shrock's shot would get deflected by Malaysian keeper Muhammad Haziq Nadzli but would bounce of teammate Muhammad Danial Amier Norisham's back and straight into the goal.    With the time running out and and a heightened sense of urgency, the Malaysian side pushed the pace once again, leading to a number of near-makes in late in the match.   Once again, it was keeper Pinthus who helped preserve the lead with a commendable defensive effort to get his first clean sheet of the SEA Games tournament.    The Azkals get their much-needed 3 points, a big boost in momentum as they close out the group stage against Timor Leste at the Binan Stadium in Binan, Laguna on December 4th. .....»»

Category: sportsSource: abscbn abscbnNov 29th, 2019

Goal ni Schrock nagpanalo sa Azkals

SA likod ng goal ni team captain Stephan Schrock sa sulok sa 72nd minute, sinilat ng PH Azkals ang Malaysia, 1-0, sa 30th Southeast Games 2019 men’s football Group A prelims Biyernes ng gabi sa Rizal Memorial Track-Football Stadium sa Malate, Manila......»»

Category: newsSource:  abanteRelated NewsNov 30th, 2019

For U-22 Azkals, now is not the time to cry, says Stephan Schrock

The Philippine Under-22 Men's National Football Team absorbed their first loss in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games Men's Football Tournament Wednesday afternoon, falling 1-2 to Myanmar thanks to a late-second half goal from Win Naing Tun.  That, after Justin Baas provided what was yet another big-time equalizer for the Pinoy side.  It was indeed a heartbreaking result for the U-22 Azkals, who had controlled majority of the match's possessions.  "It’s painful that we didn’t get rewarded for the effort we did, in the second half especially," said team captain Stephan Schrock. "The last 15 minutes, we probably broke down a little bit due to, let’s say, lacking of fitness maybe?" With the last two matches in the group stage essentially a must-win for the Pinoy side, Schrock says that now is definitely not the time to give up. Wins against Malaysia and Timor Leste could definitely swing things in the U-22 Azkals' favor.  "We can now sit in the corner and cry [or we can look forward to] getting six points off the last two games, which is absolutely possible. I’d rather choose the second option because I’m a never-say-die type of person," Schrock stated. "I still believe we can advance. We will get the next game [and the] three points and from then on we prepare for the next game." Only the top two teams in each group will advance into the semis, and with the top two teams in Group A sitting at just four points apiece, it's still a wide open race, and a pair of wins from the Pinoy side could definitely propell them into the next round, which is why dwelling on past results won't be of help, says Schrock.  "Like I said, now is not the time to sit in the corner and cry. What happens stays in the past, so does good results count [the] same as the bad results. I choose to treat winning and losing just the same. It happened yesterday so we chin up and look for the next two games.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 29th, 2019

Last-minute goal helps U-22 Azkals draw Cambodia in SEA Games Opener

A last-minute goal from Dennis Chung helped the Philippine Under-22 Men's Football Team get a 1-1 draw against Cambodia in their 2019 Southeast Asian Games opener, Monday evening at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium in Manila.  The Pinoy side, bannered by senior Azkals standouts Stephan Schrock and Amani Aguinaldo, got off to a slow start, as the Cambodians controlled possession in the early moments of the match.  The Pinoys began to put the pressure on Cambodia late in the first half, with a multitude of opportunities, but ultimately could not finish.  It was Cambodia instead, who found the back of the net in the 41st minute, as striker Keo Sokpheng blitzed through the Azkals defense before shaking off defender Aguinaldo and sending the ball past keeper Anthony Pinthus for the go-ahead goal.  Cambodian keeper Keo Soksela came up with a pair of excellent saves in the dying seconds of the first half to preserve the lead.  Finishing woes, as well as the steady hands of Keo Soksela, continued to haunt the Pinoys in the second frame, as they just couldn't get their opportunities to drop. It wasn't until the first minute of injury time that the Philippines finally found the back of the net, courtesy of substitute Chung, who finished just inside the box for the equalizer.  #2019SEAGames | Men’s Football Dennis Chung’s equalizer pic.twitter.com/RV6LE1JPMh — Santino Honasan???? (@honasantino) November 25, 2019 With the draw, Azkals earns their first points of the 2019 SEA Games Men's Football tournament.  The U-22 Azkals will have just one day to rest before they try to back get their first win when they take on Myanmar on Wednesday, November 27th, also at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium. Kickoff will be at 4:00 PM. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 25th, 2019

Phil and James Younghusband discuss their retirement and future with Philippine football

In a span of just months, Filipino-British football stars Phil and James Younghusband both announced their retirement from the sport, thus ending the Younghusband era in Philippine football.  Phil and James were crucial parts of the Philippine Azkals’ biggest moments, including the Miracle in Hanoi during the 2010 AFF Suzuki Cup, as well as their recent milestones with the AFC Asian Cup berth.  In November of 2019, Phil, the Philippine Azkals’ leading goalscorer announced that he was calling it a career, and in June of 2020, his older brother James followed suit. As it turns out, that wasn’t the original plan for James, who initially wanted hang his spikes up at the end of the year. Speaking to Cedelf Tupas on the Crossover Podcast, James shared that he actually wanted to play out the whole 2020 Philippines Football League season, but the COVID-19 pandemic axed those plans.  “Originally, my plan was to finish off the year with Ceres with the whole 2020 season but of course, with the pandemic and the situation and football put on hold especially now here with it still on break, I just felt it was time to announce, I’ve decided to end it a bit earlier,” James said.  Ceres-Negros was the final stop on James’ long and decorated professional Philippine club football career, which began in 2011.  While 2019 was indeed an eventful year for James on the pitch, he admits he would have wanted a proper end to his career.  “Winning the double last year, getting the chance to play in AFC in the Champions League and with AFC Cup, it was a nice way to end it, but of course, would have been nice to finish the year.” With the uncertainty of things given the COVID-19 pandemic however, James felt that the time was right to put a bow on what has been a great career.  “Just felt with the momentum of being on break, I had to announce it now, and seeing around, waiting around, wondering when the league would restart but I felt yeah, it was time to announce it and I’m just thankful to everyone for the great messages and the great articles…itreally feels great to see that appreciation.” James admitted that seeing his younger brother retire first did play a part in influencing his decision as well.  “Yeah, I think as well. During this time, you’re sitting at home, a lot of time to think and evaluate yourself and your life, and as well, my brother he’s starting a family, me as well I felt there’s other things in life I want to experience as well and a new chapter to begin.” “It played a part as well, we had a great run as well, great memories as well and I just felt the time was right during this pandemic to announce it,” James added.  As for Phil, he explained that his decision to retire last year came after a series of setbacks coupled with him getting ready to start a family.  “I mean there’s a lot of ups and downs and the downs can really bring you down and it came to a point that I had successive blows with the folding of Davao, with not being able to start in games in the Asian Cup, it was very disappointing and my morale was very low and I was getting married at the time, losing my job when I knew I had to fund a wedding,” Phil admitted.  “I just knew my priorities when my wife, we were starting a family and I just felt very unmotivated with football so those successive blows really took its toll on me and I knew I didn’t wanna feel that again and I want security and start a family, your priority is family you gonna want to support them and make sure they never in a vulnerable position so I decided I want to be in a position where I can support them and give them security,” Phil continued.  Unfortunately, unlike in most other Southeast Asian countries, the Philippines is still struggling to keep a local club football league afloat, which can largely be attributed to the clubs themselves struggling to get financial support.  “Playing in Philippine football is not gonna give me that because there’s been numerous times clubs folded and look what’s going on now, it’s really tough,” Phil said. “I was in the same position of a lot of players are going through now in Philippine football where clubs are going to find financial support and it’s very difficult. I empathize with anyone in that position.”  While the Younghusband era in Philippine football may be over in terms of them being players, there remains a large possibility that the two remain involved in a different capacity, whether it be coaching or otherwise. “I think it’s now time where I wanna start pursuing a possibility in coaching and learning more about coaching,” he shared. “I would actually like to travel as well to different countries and learn about different cultures about football also, and different philosophies,” said James.  “I wanna travel to different countries and learn different ways of styles of football, coaching football. My goal was always to help develop Philippine football and to go abroad, learn, and come and share that to the Philippines,” he continued.  “James and I have always said a lot of our knowledge and experience were gained at Chelsea Football Club. We were able to watch the best players in the world every day, the best facilities, being under the best coaches in the world and most of our knowledge and experience has come from that but we feel if we want to grow in the sport and we want to help develop football even more in the Philippines, we need to go abroad and gain more knowledge, more experience and be able to bring it back again to the Philippines,” Phil added.  “I think we still have a lot to offer Philippine football, whether that’s next year or the year after. We don’t know but we still have something to offer,” he continued......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 3rd, 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

2010 Miracle in Hanoi team stands out the most for former Azkals star Phil Younghusband

Former Philippine Men’s National Football Team captain Phil Younghusband has been an integral part in the rise of football in the Philippines over the last decade or so. The Fil-British striker, who began his Philippine football career back in 2006, is widely considered the face of the sport in the country, and has been part of numerous iterations of the Philippine Azkals as well as multiple historic moments. In late-2019, Younghusband officially announced his retirement from football, ending his career as the all-time leader in goals scored (52) and matches played (108).  (READ ALSO: Phil Younghusband believes he isn’t done with Philippine football yet)  For arguably Philippine football's biggest star however, there’s one particular team that stands out in his mind and in his heart. Talking to long-time teammate and Azkals goalkeeper Neil Etheridge, Younghusband shared that the 2010 team was the one that stood out the most because of the camaraderie that they built. “Each year we had new talent, and we’d always introduce a new and exciting player each year. The level of play just got better and better each year,” Younghusband said. “I think everyone knows the answer, in terms of what we had in 2010, the closeness, we didn’t have the talent that we have now and he ability that we have now, but we had a closeness.” 2010 is considered as essentially the year that football took off in the Philippines, following the National Team’s breakthrough performance in that year’s edition of the AFF Suzuki Cup in Vietnam. After failing to qualify for the Southeast Asia-based tournament in 2008, the Philippines qualified for the 2010 tournament and put on an impressive showing in the Group Stage, going undefeated with one win and two draws, enough to earn a spot in the semis. The highlight of that tournament however, was the Philippines’ improbable 2-0 win over defending champions Vietnam, which would be dubbed as “The Miracle in Hanoi”. Fittingly enough, it was Younghusband who scored the game-sealing goal in that match, putting the nationals up 2-0 in the 79th minute. Younghusband explained that back then, training camp would last for two months, which allowed the players to bond more as a team. “I think the format of training has completely changed, back then we would go on six to eight-week, two month training camps before the competition, so we’d be together for two months, and during that time, you build relationships with players and you get used to players and you understand how players play and their personalities on and off the field.” “I think with that format of training before tournaments, it meant that that team was closer, because we went to Thailand, we went to China…you go through those hardships together, and through those hardships, you build a closeness and you build relationships,” Younghusband added. The 13-year National Team veteran notes that nowadays, training camps don’t run as long and the teams aren’t always complete, given the players’ respective club schedules. “Now, it’s more similar to what we do in Europe, where players will arrive a few days before. I don’t think during those three days, you can build relationships as we were able to do during 2010.” “I’m very proud, obviously, to have played 108 caps. That’s since 2005, that’s been a while. Back then, we were lucky if we had one tournament a year. We were lucky if we had three or four games a year when we first started. Now, obviously there’s a lot more games,” he added......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 22nd, 2020

PSA names Mr. Football, Ms. Golf

Philippine Azkals’ veteran Stephan Schrock and Asian Games’ gold medalist Bianca Pagdanganan will be conferred with the Mr. Football and Ms. Golf awards, respectively, during the SMC-Philippine Sportswriters Ass gala night on March 6 at the Centennial Hall of the Manila Hotel......»»

Category: sportsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsFeb 17th, 2020

Schrock, Pagdanganan to receive PSA special honors

Two more outstanding Filipino athletes in Stephan Schrock and Bianca Pagdanganan will be the recipients of special awards from the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA). Schrock will be conferred with the Mr. Football award, while Pagdanganan is going to be the first ever to receive the Ms. Golf title during the SMC-PSA gala night on March 6 at the Centennial Hall of the Manila Hotel. The 33-year-old Schrock and Pagdanganan, 22, join Ms. and Mr. Basketball Jack Animam and Thirdy Ravena, Ms. and Mr. Volleyball Sisi Rondina and Bryan Bagunas, and Coach of the Year Pat Aquino as among those to be honored with special awards by the country’s oldest media organization. For making the country proud with its exceptional performance that netted for the host the overall title of the 30th Southeast Asian Games, Team Philippines was the unanimous choice as the recipient of the coveted Athlete of the Year award. Pagdanganan had her own share in the Filipinos’ successful title drive in the SEA Games as she spearheaded the country’s two-gold romp in golf by winning the women’s individual event and the women’s team event in tandem with Lois Kaye Go. The recipient of the 2018 PSA Athlete of the Year (with fellow golfers Go and Yuka Saso, Hidilyn Diaz, and Margielyn Didal), Pagdanganan also won the Hawkeye El Tigre Invitational in Mexico last year. A gold medal winner in the 2018 Asian Games, the Filipina golfer attended Gonzaga University and later, the University of Arizona, which she helped win the NCAA Division 1 women’s golf championships in the same year. A sports and society major, Pagdanganan turned pro last year. Schrock, meanwhile, will be receiving his second Mr. Football award after winning his first in 2013. The veteran midfielder of Ceres-Negros FC stood as the rock of the Philippine Azkals that is currently on a transition, serving as the captain of the U22 team in the SEA Games that came close to reaching the knockout stage. The Fil-German player was also named by the ASEAN Football Federation as one of the recipients of the AFF Best XI Award during the AFF Awards held in Hanoi, Vietnam. On the domestic front, Schrock led Ceres Negros to a third successive Football League title and steered the team to the ASEAN Zonal semifinals of the AFC Cup. Along with goalkeeper Neil Etheridge, Schrock also spearheaded the Azkals’ campaign in the 2022 FIFA World Cup and 2023 AFC Asian Cup joint qualifiers......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 17th, 2020

Despite a good year, fight for relevance continues

By the time Stephan Schrock left Biñan Football Stadium on Dec. 3 in the Philippines’ last match in the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, the Azkals skipper had already played almost 60 matches for club and country for the year, the most in his career. It is remarkable to rack up so many matches in 12 […] The post Despite a good year, fight for relevance continues appeared first on Cebu Daily News......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsDec 31st, 2019

U-22 Azkals out of SEA Games contention despite win over Timor Leste

The Under-22 Azkals crash out of podium contention despite their win as a result of their inferior +5 goal difference compared to Cambodia's +7. .....»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsDec 4th, 2019

Schrock grateful sacrifice pays off for Young Azkals

Scoring the game's lone goal at the 72nd minute, Schrock gave the Philippines it's first victory over Malaysia in 28 years — a repeat of their victory in 1991 in the same venue......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsNov 30th, 2019

Young Azkals stun Malaysians anew, keep semis hopes alive

BY JONAS TERRADO Stephan Schrock scored off a corner kick in the second half and the Philippines kept its semifinal hopes alive with a 1-0 win over Malaysia in men’s football of the 30th Southeast Asian Games at the Rizal Memorial Stadium. Schrock’s eventual winner came in the 72nd minute when his corner hit Malaysian […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  tempoRelated NewsNov 29th, 2019

U-22 Azkals come up short against Myanmar in 2019 SEA Games action

There would be no last-minute equalizer this time, as the Philippine Under-22 Men's Football absorbed a heartbreaking 1-2 loss to Myanmar in the second match of their 2019 Southeast Asian Games campaign, Wednesday evening at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium in Manila.  The Philippines once again found themselves unable to finish off their opportunities as they couldn't convert on early chances.  For the second straight match, the U-22 Azkals conceded first, as Aung Kaung Mann put Myanmar on the board first with a fantastic finish in the 17th minute from an assist from Myat Kaung Khant.  Took Myanmar 16 minutes to break through the Azkals' defense. Still a lot of time left ???????? #SEAGames2019 pic.twitter.com/71i6tjkUtC — ABS-CBN Sports (@abscbnsports) November 27, 2019 The Pinoy side would manage to pull even just before the mid-game break, thanks to Justin Baas, who was able to finish from a cross from Yrick Gallantes that bounced off Dennis Chung and landed in range.  DAT VOLLEY ???? JUSTIN BAAS WITH THE EQUALIZER #SEAGames2019 #GalingNatinIto pic.twitter.com/MKO7w5RQNG — ABS-CBN Sports (@abscbnsports) November 27, 2019 It was the same story for the U-22 Azkals in the second half, as they found themselves coming within inches of finding the back of the net, but ultimately missing.  Win Naing Tun scored the go-ahead goal in the 78th minute, shaking off his defender before firing past Azkals keeper Anthony Pinthus and sealing the deal for the visitors.    He got slick with it ???? Myanmar regains the lead #SEAGames2019 pic.twitter.com/mUvv8CK6Ll — ABS-CBN Sports (@abscbnsports) November 27, 2019 With the loss, the U-22 Azkals drop to one draw and one loss in two matches played. Myanmar meanwhile, records the first win in Group A and they improve to one win and one draw in two matches for four points.  The Azkals return to the pitch for a crucial matchup against Malaysia on Friday, November 29th at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium. Kickoff time will be at 8:00 PM. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 27th, 2019

Chung’s late goal saves night for Azkals

A late, late goal from young Dennis Chung saved the night for the Philippines, which salvaged a 1-1 draw against a surprisingly tough Cambodia in a thrilling Group A action in the SEA Games football competitions at the Rizal Memorial football stadium last night......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsNov 25th, 2019

U-22 Azkals begin quest for gold in 2019 SEA Games

The Philippine Under-22 Men’s National Football Team begins their quest to bring home a gold medal in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games Men’s Football Tournament as they begin their campaign against Cambodia at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium on Monday, November 25th.    Bolstered by the additions of Azkals team captain Stephan Schrock and Amani Aguinaldo as the 23 and over players, the U-22 Azkals are gunning for a podium finish for the first time in SEA Games history.    Much like the Pinoy side, the Cambodian U-22 squad is hungry for success in the biennial sports tournament, having won just a total of two matches since 2001.    Kick-off in Manila will be at 8:00 PM. Catch the action LIVE on ABS-CBN S+A channel 23, iWant and via livestream!    In the 4:00 PM matchup at the Rizal Memorial Stadium, reigning silver medalists Malaysia opens their tournament against 2017 third runners-up Cambodia, also in a Group A match up. Catch the action LIVE on ABS-CBN S+A channel 23.   In the lone Group B pairing of the day, Vietnam meets Brunei at the Imus Grandstand in Imus, Cavite. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 25th, 2019

Good luck young Azkals; PH polo falls short in debut

BY JONAS TERRADO   THE men’s football competitions of the 30th Southeast Asian Games gets underway amid of cloud of controversy surrounding problems encountered by visiting teams upon their arrival over the weekend. Reinforced by veterans Stephan Schrock and Amani Aguinaldo, the national U-22 team takes on Cambodia at 8 p.m. while Malaysia faces Myanmar in […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  tempoRelated NewsNov 24th, 2019

Leader Stephan Schrock a big boost for U22 Azkals in SEA Games

Though already over-aged, Schrock and fellow senior team member Amani Aguinaldo were called up to reinforce the U22 squad with all teams competing in the biennial meet allowed to call up a maximum of two players over 22 years old in their 20-man lineup......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsNov 24th, 2019

Etheridge stars as Azkals draw China in World Cup Qualifiers

First-string goalkeeper returned with a bang for the Philippine Men’s National Football Team as he anchored the defense to help hold China PR to a 0-0 draw in the 2nd Round of the 2022 FIFA World Cup and 2023 AFC Asian Cup Joint Qualifiers, Tuesday evening at the Panaad Park and Stadium in Bacolod.  The Azkals managed to hold their own against the highest-ranked squad in the group and at times were able to push the action on the offensive side.  It was on the defensive end that the home team excelled however, especially the returning Etheridge, who missed the Azkals’ first two games due to injury. The Cardiff City keeper and reigning club Player of the Year came up with big save after big save, especially in the dying moments of the match and in injury time.  The Azkals had a golden opportunity to break the deadlock with two minutes left in injury time, but skipper Stephan Schrock’s attempt went high and wide.  China had one final attempt to leave Bacolod with a win, but their last-second corner went straight into the hands of Etheridge to seal the draw and secure the point.  The Azkals now sit at 1W-1D-1L for 4pts, good for third in the group.  China meanwhile remains at the top with 2W-1D-0L for 7 points.  Up next for the Philippines will be Maldives on November 14th in Male. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 15th, 2019

Ligue 1 2019-20: PSG set to dominate once again

By Samuel Petrequin, Associated Press PARIS (AP) — After winning its sixth French championship in seven years last season, Paris Saint-Germain is expected to continue its dominance in what at times can look like a one-team league. For the Qatari-backed PSG, the minimum requirement remains the same: win the French league. PSG's ultimate goal is also unchanged: win the Champions League after years of repeated failures. With its 500-million euro budget — more than five times that of last season runner-up Lille — huge sponsorship deals and top-class players, PSG simply has no rival in a league lacking strength in depth. On paper, Thomas Tuchel's team looks even stronger than last season, when it was crowned champion with five games to spare despite a late dip of form. Amid persistent rumors that Neymar will leave the club and return to Barcelona, PSG remains a formidable attacking force with the likes of Kylian Mbappe, Edinson Cavani and Angel Di Maria. It also strengthened its backline this summer with the addition of Dortmund defender and France Under-21 international Abdou Diallo, while recruits Idrissa Gueye, Ander Herrera and Pablo Sarabia will provide midfield stability and experience. Sarabia, Herrera and Diallo were included in Tuchel's starting XI last weekend as PSG sealed a seventh consecutive Trophee des Champions — the French equivalent of the Charity Shield — with a 2-1 win over Rennes. PSG took pride in the win, insisting on the importance of the trophy, the 40th since the club's inception back in 1970. But in reality, the only title that really matters in the French capital is the Champions League. Success in Europe's top competition has so far proved elusive for PSG, which has never been beyond the quarterfinals since Qatari backers QSI started funding the club with huge investment eight years ago. In the past three seasons PSG has gone out in the Round of 16, twice wasting strong first-leg leads. The last time it was against Manchester United in March, when PSG became the first team to be eliminated from the competition after winning the away leg 2-0. "We need to carry on in the league, we need to extend our domination," Mbappe said. "We lost two national Cups (last season), we will try to recover them. And there is the Champions League. We have come to a halt in recent years, it's up to us to find a solution and reach a new milestone." More than the offseason recruits, Leonardo's return as sporting director could be the decisive ingredient that was missing in PSG's quest for European glory. Leonardo, who became PSG's sporting director for the first time in July 2011 and held his role until May 2013, has been given full powers by club president Nasser Al-Khelaifi. At a club where star individuals often appear more important than the team itself, Leonardo's return will mark a change of style in the players' management. A disciplinarian, Leonardo has warned Neymar that he would not let him go unless a juicy offer arrived and has reportedly criticized the Brazil star in front of his teammates after he reported late for PSG's pre-season training. "I don't have the key that is going to open the door to the Champions League," Leonardo said in an interview with Le Parisien newspaper. "Who has it? Not me. I just want to be clear about our goal: the club is THE great institution at the heart of the entire project." PSG starts the defense of its title on Sunday at the Parc des Princes against Nimes. Lille hosts Nantes, Marseille plays Reims at home and Lyon travels to Monaco on Friday night in the season's opening game. NO MONEY, BIG GOALS After a calamitous season, Marseille's main goal is to return to the Champions League under new coach Andre Villas-Boas. Three years after American billionaire Frank McCourt pledged to revive the 1993 Champions League winners, Marseille failed in its bid to qualify for Europe's top competition and did not even get a spot in the Europa League. Villas-Boas subsequently replaced Rudi Garcia and, despite very limited funds to spend on new players, has promised to deliver quickly in his bid to restore Marseille's past luster. "I don't want to lose time with excuses," he said. "I'm hoping for a podium finish." Villas-Boas has lured 29-year-old forward Dario Benedetto from Boca Juniors and hopes he will be able to keep Valere Germain, Florian Thauvin, Dimitri Payet and Luis Gustavo at the southern club. "We don't have money, it's a shame but it's a reality," Villas-Boas said. "We have some problems related to Financial Fair Play regulations. Now I'm waiting anxiously for the end of the English transfer market because that could change everything for the other teams." STARS' EXILE Nicolas Pepe and Nabil Fekir have become the latest big names to depart the French league as the talent exodus to foreign clubs continues. After scoring 22 league goals for Lille, Pepe left for Arsenal while World Cup winner Nabil Fekir joined Real Betis from Lyon. Lyon's new coaching setup of sporting director Juninho and coach Sylvinho have yet to find a replacement for Fekir, who left in the wake of other top players including Tanguy Ndombele and Ferland Mendy......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 7th, 2019

PBA: Terrence Jones new tropa wants to send him back to the NBA

Over the last couple of seasons, the PBA has seen its share of super imports. Ginebra’s Justin Brownlee immediately comes to mind. Meralco’s Allen Durham and Phoenix’s Eugene Phelps fit in that mold too. Alaska’s Mike Harris is in that list as well. The uber-talented Glen Rice Jr. could have made it if he just got it together. But for the 2019 PBA Commissioner’s Cup, TNT brought not just any other import. Tired of underperforming for the past few conferences, the KaTropa went ahead and signed former Houston Rockets forward Terrence Jones for the mid-season joust. With Jones, TNT went the super — SUPER — import route and it has been worth every penny for the KaTropa, at least so far.   ROCKET MAN Many former NBA players have played in the PBA before, that’s not a new thing. But what makes Jones special is that he’s at his peak of his powers now as he plays his first stint in the PBA. Jones is a former first-round pick and was a legitimate NBA contributor. In his best NBA season, in 2013-2014 for Houston, Jones started 71 games and had career-high numbers of 12.1 points and 6.9 rebounds per game. This dude is legit. “Oo iba, iba siya talaga,” guard RR Pogoy said of Jones. (Yes, he’s really different). In just one conference, Pogoy and Jones have clicked as teammates. Terrence has admitted that RR is one of his favorite local targets when he’s trying to spot an open teammate when opposing teams double on him. Pogoy admits that Jones is one of the best, if not the best, import he’s ever played with. “Pwedeng-pwede pa siya talaga sa NBA eh. Iba yung skills niya,” he added. (He could still play in the NBA. His skills are just different).   THE DIFFERENCE TNT has ran pretty much the same system for years. Whether you like this team or now, they know what style they want to play andd they identify players that fit that system well. The KaTropa have dominated the PBA without a traditional big man. Ask other teams, they’ve been blindsided and bamboozled by a TNT offense led by diminutive point guards like Jimmy Alapag and Jayson Castro. However, the KaTropa have hit another rough patch. The team hasn’t made it to the PBA semifinals since 2017. Their 2018 campaign was a lot like the horror 2016 year with the only difference being three seasons ago, they actually made it to the semifinals of the Governors’ Cup as a no. 1 seed. Last year, they won zero playoff games and missed the playoffs altogether once so in essence, 2018 was a worse nightmare for the KaTropa. It didn’t help that in the previous All-Filipino, they were practically a missed 24-second violation away from ending the San Miguel Beer Philippine Cup dynasty. The winning formula no longer works for TNT. Or at the very least, it’s not as effective. Enter Terrence Jones. “Malaking tulong talaga siya sa team namin. Kung ano yung kulang samin, parang fit na fit talaga siya eh. Napa-dali na lang yung mga buhay namin sa basketball,” Pogoy said of Jones. (He’s a big help to our team. What we lack, he fits right in. Our basketball lives are easier with him). “Yung rebounding tsaka yung pagka-shot blocker niya [malaking tulong]. Naiilang din yun kalaban namin eh, sa rebound naman naco-control namin kasi may malaki na kami, yun naman talaga kulang namin,” Pogoy added. (His rebounding and his presence as a shot blocker is a huge help). In 10 games so far, Jones is averaging 14.9 rebounds per game. That may not seem much for an import but he’s never had fewer than 10 in a game and has hit a high 22 rebounds. His shot blocking has helped TNT shore up its overall defense as well with Jones averaging 2.9 rejections a game with his three best performances coming against Columbian (7 blocks), Ginebra (6 blocks), and San Miguel (5 blocks). The last two teams feature perhaps the two best frontlines in the league today by a wide margin. Aside from his defensive presences, Jones is a force on offense as well, averaging 34.5 points on close to 50 percent shooting. He’s hit over 30 points eight times and over 40 points four times. Scoring will be a given for a player of his caliber but what sets him apart is his ability to locate open teammates and willingly pass the ball to them. Jones is good for at least four assists in every game and he’s topped out at 16 dimes so far. In 10 games, he’s rounding up to 7.7 assists per outing which leads all imports, and the whole league actually. “Talagang willing passer siya, hinahanap din niya talaga yung mga kasama niya. Kumbaga di niya inaako lahat yung scoring load,” forward Troy Rosario said of his new frontcourt tandem in Jones. (He’s a willing passer. He really tries to find his teammates and he’s not trying to shoulder all the scoring load). “Kami ready pa rin kami lagi. Syempre yung experience niya sa NBA talagang pinapakita niya dito, natutulungan din niya kami kung saan kami dapat lumugar sa plays kasi advanced na siya eh, kahit di na sabihin ni coach alam na niya dapat gawin,” he added. (We’re just ready as locals. He’s really showing his NBA experience here, he’s helping us to where we need to be on plays because he’s so advanced he knows what to do even before coach tells us).   THE LEADER Aside from putting up big numbers across the board, there’s one underrated factor about Terrence Jones that has led to him making a positive impact on TNT. Jones made an effort to be a leader for the KaTropa and his teammates have rallied behind him for sure. The result is in the way they play and the way they win in the Commissioner’s Cup. “I think it’s come to them [TNT locals] listening and understanding that I have a little experience on what it takes to try to win and be a good teammate,” Jones said of his leadership role with the KaTropa and how it worked out. “They listened and understood that and we’ve been having fun ever since,” he added. TNT is full of alpha-level players but Jones’ NBA resume has certainly helped in making them line up behin their import and provide support. The the KaTropa have been running like a well-oiled machince with that set up. “Leadership pa lang niya ang laking tulong na samin. As locals, ginagawa lang namin kung ano dapat namin gawin para maka-contribute din and para matulungan din siya,” Rosario said. (His leadership alone is a big help for us. As locals, we just try to do what we need to do to contribute and to help him out). “Magaling siya, isa talaga siya mga leader namin ngayon. Talagang nili-lift up niya kami, di lang sa salita pati sa gawa,” Pogoy added. (He’s great, he’s one of our leaders now. He really lifts us up not just with words but with action as well)   THE LONG ROAD BACK TO THE ASSOCIATION It would be incredible if TNT ends up having Terrence Jones as a resident import the same way Ginebra has Justin Brownlee or Phoenix has Eugene Phelps or Meralco having Allen Durham. However, the KaTropa know that their super import still has a good shot of returning to the NBA and they plan on helping him get back there. “Syempre goal namin makapasok sa playoffs, nagawa na namin yun. Ang susunod na step is next round sa playoffs. Malaking tulong din yun sa kanya kasi yung pangalan niya bumabango ulit,” Rosario said. (Our goal is to make the playoffs and we did that. Now the next step is to get to the next round of the playoffs. That’s a big help for him to get his name out there again). “Preparation na rin kasi alam namin na after dito, meron siyang invites sa mga training camps,” he added. (It’s also good preparation because we know after this, he has some invites to camps). With TNT at 9-1 and a top-2 seed in the playoffs, the team is certainly favored to win in the Commissioner’s Cup. And perhaps one of Jones’ best ways to once again get some traction is to put up great numbers for a championship team in a big league like the PBA. There’s a big check mark on the numbers part and while he can’t win a title by his lonesome, Jones has an entire tropa that has his back. “Lalo na kung mag-champion kami, mabango yung pangalan niya di ba?” Pogoy said. (If we win the championship, that’s good for his name, right?). “Marami naman nags-scout diyan, nakikita siya and maganda pinapakita niya. Feel ko [kaya bumalik sa NBA],” he added. (There’s people that scout him, seeing him and how good he’s been performing. I feel [he can make it back to the NBA]). Of course, winning a PBA championship does not directly award Jones and NBA roster spot. However, he appreciates that his team backs him up in that regard. Right now TNT’s super import is just concerned about playing well with his team and winning more games. “I appreciate it, I wish nothing but the best for all my teammates as well,” Jones said. “I hope you guys see that while we’re playing, we’re smiling and enjoying one another when anybody scores. It’s just like a family atmosphere,” he added.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 16th, 2019