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SIYA NAMAN: UST pride Sisi Rondina is UAAP 81 Athlete of the Year

Sisi Rondina has capped off a career year in the UAAP with yet another award. University of Sto. Tomas’ heart and soul was hailed as the Season 81 Athlete of the Year for Collegiate Team Sports in the closing ceremony, Tuesday at the Mall of Asia Arena. Rondina won the MVP awards for both beach and then indoor women’s volleyball. She led the Golden Tigresses to the championship on the sand and then to a runner-up finish on the taraflex. Now, she adds the Athlete of the Year trophy to the collection she has amassed in her last year in the UAAP. “Blessed. ‘Di ko rin in-expect na sa akin mapupunta,” she said after receiving the award. She then continued, “Para rin ‘to sa teammates ko kasi ‘di ko rin ‘to makukuha kung ‘di sa kanila.” The pride of UST is the first volleyball player since Alyssa Valdez to be recognized as UAAP Athlete of the Year. —— Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource: abscbn abscbnMay 21st, 2019

10 things that make Alyssa Valdez phenomenal

Alyssa Valdez has arguably made the biggest impact in Philippine volleyball.   Her skills, passion and charisma endeared her to volleyball supporters, purists or casual fans, from all walks of life. She brings energy and leadership to every team that she’s joined. Valdez draws a huge crowd every time she plays. Valdez is the poster girl of the sport that for years struggled to draw mainstream attention in a nation which considers basketball as its biggest sporting event. The 27-year old pride of San Juan, Batangas is the face of local volleyball. So on her birthday today, let’s look at some of the things that makes the Phenom really phenomenal.   Two-time UAAP women’s champion Valdez is Ateneo de Manila University’s undisputed Queen Eagle. Talks about the Lady Eagles’ breakthrough championship will not be complete without the mention of her name. After two years of bridesmaid finishes, Ateneo bagged its first-ever UAAP title in 2014 after beating the thrice-to-beat De La Salle University in four games in the Finals despite leading a young band of Lady Eagles playing under the new system of Thai coach Tai Bundit. The following year, Ateneo, with Valdez at the helm, retained its crown in a tournament-sweeping fashion.      Three-time UAAP Most Valuable Player Her skills during her collegiate career stood out among her peers. Valdez’s effort was rewarded with three Most Valuable Player awards in Season 76, Season 77 and in her last playing year in Season 78 in 2016. She also pocketed the Season 76 Finals MVP award.   Young phenom Valdez didn’t build her reputation overnight. It was her hard work and effort that brought her where she is right now. She was still a diamond in the rough when she was recruited by University of Sto. Tomas in a regional meet. But the Espana-based squad polished Valdez into a real gem of a player. Valdez, backed by a powerful lineup that featured the likes of Kim Fajardo and Jaja Santiago, won three straight UAAP girls’ titles and in the process collected three season MVPs. She was also named UAAP high school athlete of the year twice.        National team mainstay With her talents, dedication and good work ethics, Valdez has been a mainstay with the national team. Her first tour of duty was in 2008 when she represented the country in the Asian Youth Championship held in Pasig City. She joined the PHI Team in the 2014 FIVB Southeast Asian Zone qualifier in Vietnam. In 2015, she donned the tricolors for the Asian U-23 Championship and on the same year saw action in the country’s return in the Southeast Asian Games in Singapore after a decade of absence. Since then Valdez participated in the 2017 Kuala Lumpur and 2019 Manila SEA Games. She also took part in the 2017 Asian Senior Women’s Championship and the 2018 Jakarta Asian Games.     2015 SEA Games flagbearer Valdez also carries the honor as being the first-ever volleyball player to become the PHI flag-bearer in the SEA Games. She marched holding the national color in front of Team Philippines during the traditional parade of nations inside the OCBC Arena in the 2015 Singapore SEA Games.   Accomplished commercial league star She has been collecting commercial league titles since high school starting from the Shakey’s Girls Volleyball League. Valdez was also successful in the different conferences of the defunct V-League, racking up championships and individual accolades. In the Premier Volleyball League, she powered Creamline to three titles including a sweep of the Season 2 Reinforced and Open Conferences in 2018. She won three conference MVP awards.      Import abroad International leagues took notice of Valdez’s talents and charm so it’s not surprising that she landed offers to play abroad. Valdez played as an import in Thailand for 3BB Nakornnont from 2016 to 2017. After her stint in Thailand, Valdez flew to Taiwan to play for Attack Line.   Host, Actress, TV personality Valdez is a regular fixture in different sports shows in ABS-CBN S+A. She’s a host, courtside reporter and a game analyst.   Valdez also had a few showbiz stints. She appeared in some Kapamilya teleserye including a cameo in ‘And I Love You So’ in 2016 alongside Julia Barretto and Miles Ocampo and in the movie ‘My Letters to Happy’ with by TJ Trinidad and Glaiza De Castro.    Aside from her TV and movie career, Valdez is also one of the most recognizable athlete product endorsers.   Social media influencer She is also one of the most popular Filipino athlete on social media. As of posting, Valdez has 1.9 million Twitter followers, 1.3 million followers on Instagram and her YouTube channel has more than 76,000 subscribers.   Featured in the Olympics Channel website While the likes of Sisi Rondina, Jaja Santiago and Bryan Bagunas were featured in the FIVB website, Valdez’s impact on Philippine Volleyball was highlighted in a feature article in no less than the Olympic Channel website. The article touched about her humble beginnings to her meteoric rise and why she is regarded as the nation’s brightest star in the sport. These are just some of the things take make Valdez a true pride of our nation in the sport Happy birthday, Alyssa!.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 29th, 2020

DID YOU KNOW? Rondina s first commitment was not to UST

University of Sto. Tomas will never ever forget Sisi Rondina. The diminutive spiker will be a lifetime legend in Espana as she played much, much bigger than her size for each and every one of her five seasons as a Golden Tigress. Be it on the sands, where she won four championships and MVPs, or the taraflex, where she won one MVP, her heart was, more often than not, more than enough to will the black and gold to wins. Behind Rondina, UST was reminded that it is a powerhouse in women's volleyball - and she rejuvenated the school's long line of greats. Without a doubt, she is now the standard for all Golden Tigresses to follow. However, that all came oh so close to not coming true. Apparently, the now-23-year-old had committed to a different UAAP school before she headed to UST. "Dapat po talaga, committed na ako sa isa pang UAAP school," she shared in The Prospects Pod last Friday. Yes, Rondina wasn't supposed to be UST's next big thing. Pressed further on which different school that was, though, her lips were sealed. "Ayaw ko na lang po i-mention, pero meron po. Hindi naman lahat, pero basta yon," she said. Nonetheless, that wasn't meant to be and "The Cherry Bomb" became a Golden Tigress. "Medyo natagalan din po kasi. Medyo natagalan yung pag-update sa akin," she said. And Espana can thank UST beach volleyball head coach Paul Jan Doloiras for all of that. As she put it, "Itong si coach Dolo, update nang update sa akin kahit hindi ko naman siya pinapansin china-chat. Ang ginawa ni coach, binigyan ako ng ticket, sabi niya tour lang ng mga five days sa Manila." She then continued, "Ako naman, summer yun e so wala rin akong ginagawa. Binigyan nila ako ng ticket tsaka ng dorm. Pero ang galing ni coach, may USTET (UST Entrance Test) din pala nun so wala akong magagawa." Of course, Rondina passed the USTET - and not long after, UST itself passed her standards. "Nag-take na nga ako and then pagkauwi namin dito, sabi ko kay papa, 'Pa, okay yung UST, maganda.' Sabi naman niya, 'Papuntahin mo muna yung coach mo dito. Manligaw muna sa akin,'" she shared. Coach Dolo did just that. "Pumunta si coach dito, niligawan si papa and then ayun, parang yung responsibilidad ni papa, pinasa niya kay coach. Nagtuloy-tuloy na," the proud Cebuano said. And in the end, Sisi Rondina is a Thomasian through and through. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 21st, 2020

Bagunas featured in FIVB website

National men’s team standout Bryan Bagunas became the latest Filipino volleyball star to be featured in the official FIVB website. The 30th Manila Southeast Asian Games silver medalist in the feature article talked about how he got into volleyball. [Bagunas gives men's volleyball a boost in the Philippines]  “Basketball was the first sport I played, then I got curious in playing volleyball in one of our high school intramurals. It was during my sophomore year when I started to focus on playing volleyball,” said Bagunas, who is currently playing for Oita Miyoshi Weiss Adler as an import in the prestigious Japan V. Premier League.   “There was even a time that I had to participate in both basketball and volleyball events in the intramurals, added the pride of Balayan, Batangas. “But I fell in love with volleyball more, and since then I enjoyed playing it and did my best to improve myself.” Bagunas, a two-time UAAP champion and Season 81 Most Valuable Player, also shared his struggles while playing for National University. “My first three years of playing for my university were quite frustrating but also challenging because we always finished as runners-up,” he said. “It was in 2018 when I got the chance to taste a championship title, then I followed it up with another title win, which opened more opportunities for me as an athlete. I became a club player in my third year in university and then a national team player that participated at the 2017 Southeast Asian Games. At this point, I was not only doing it for myself, I was able to help my family as well.” The 2019 Philippine Sportswriters Association Mr. Volleyball shared that his most cherished moment as part of the national squad was the historic silver medal finish that ended the country’s podium drought since winning the bronze medal in the 1991 edition of the biennial met and first runner-up finish since 1977 in Malaysia.   “It may not be a gold medal but to bring the country back to a final after 42 years felt like we won the championship,” he said. “It felt good to bring honor and pride for the country, seeing the faces of our countrymen and how proud they were of our achievement was priceless.” Bagunas is the third local volleyball star to be featured in the FIVB website after Sisi Rondina and Jaja Santiago......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 30th, 2020

UAAP Season 82: Rondina’s influence visible in current crop of Tigresses

Sisi Rondina’s dedication to step up and be a leader obviously rubbed off on her former University of Sto. Tomas teammates. The holdovers from last year’s runner-up squad especially sophomore Eya Laure are emulating the same passion and heart that the reigning Most Valuable Player displayed throughout her career and in the Tigresses’ campaign in the UAAP Season 82 women’s volleyball tournament.       UST plunged into an early test of character after losing its opening game via upset at the hands of National University. But the Tigresses were quick to lick their wounds as they bounced back mightily with a straight sets demolition of Far Eastern University on Sunday.   Laure, the Season 81 Rookie of the Year, stepped up for the Espana-based squad and played the leader’s role in rallying UST to a rousing victory.  “Siguro, tanggap ko naman siya [na pagiging leader] kasi si Ate Sisi pa lang, kung paano ako minold last year na di pwede na siya lang,” said Laure, who backed Rondina last season in carrying UST back to the Finals after eight years.  “Kailangan mahatak niya kami - at nahatak niya nga kami - at nadamay niya kami sa pagiging leader niya,” added the national team member. “Parang lahat gusto na maging leader na isang malaking bagay sa isang team.” Eya Laure also credited UST seniors like returning players Tin Francisco and EJ Laure, setter Alina Bicar and Caitlyn Viray for doing their part for the team.  “Ngayon, makikita mo eh, yung mga seniors ko pa rin eh.  Kumbaga ‘sige ate, tutulungan ko rin kayo hangga’t kayo kong i-lead to. Nandito lang ako,’” said Laure. Rondina, who is currently on an indoor volleyball hiatus to concentrate on beach volleyball, is proud of the current Tigresses performance so far. “Para sa mga babies ko na naglalaro sa UAAP ngayon, I’m pretty sure naman na lalaban at lalaban sila,” said Rondina, who was feted as Miss Volleyball during the Philippine Sportswriters Association Annual Awards recently. “Kahit wala na ‘yung mga seniors nila alam ko na pare-pareho lang kami ng nilalaruan and alam ko na mas aktibo sila ngayon and mas palaban sila. Kasi mas madami silang nakuhang experience eh.” Rondina knows that UST’s journey, just like last year, won’t be an easy one, but the former Queen Tigress has strong faith that the squad can hurdle any obstacle if they put their hearts into one common goal.      “Siyempre yung sabi ko sa kanila na mahalin nila ang UST the way I love UST and syempre yung pagiging palaban,” she said. “Sabi nga ni Eya, kapag nasusugatan ang tigre lalaban at lalaban sa huli. So sana madala hanggang matapos yung season.”     Show your school spirit. Get official UAAP university licensed merchandise from www.uaapstore.com. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 10th, 2020

Rondina reaping the fruits of her hard work

Sisi Rondina had a memorable and inspiring 2019. Capping a banner year by helping the Philippines to its first Southeast Asian Games women's beach volleyball podium finish since 2005, Rondina will be feted as Ms. Volleyball in the SMC-Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Annual Awards Night on March 6. Not only that, Rondina is also a 37th SMB-SAC All-Cebu Sports Awardee, where she will receive the award on Feb. 29 in Cebu City.  A native of Compostela, Cebu, the 23-year-old Rondina, who is now with the newly-formed Creamline beach volleyball club, joins the ranks of Alyssa Valdez, Aby Marano, Mika Reyes, Dawn Macandili and Jaja Santiago who were previously bestowed with the prestigious PSA honor. "For me, blessed sobra di ko naman din po inakala na ganito po ang ibabalik sa akin. Minahal ko lang talaga mga committments ko and syempre putting efforts sa lahat ng mga ginagawa ko lalo sa paglalaro po," said Rondina.  Prior to winning the SEA Games bronze medal, Rondina joined forces with her long-time partner Bernadeth Pons in steering the Philippines to a quarterfinals finish in the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour 1-Star Boracay Open last May. In the same month, Rondina was scintillating in the taraflex floor, winning MVP honors for University of Santo Tomas, and leading the Tigresses to their first UAAP women's volleyball finals appearance in eight years. In her last season on the sand courts, Rondina paired with Babylove Barbon to cement UST's status as the most successful women's beach volleyball program while claiming her fourth MVP plum. Rondina takes pride of her roots in Cebu. "Wow, people are treating me like that po pero di ko iniisip yang mga ganyan kasi everyone can be a pride of their town but thankful kasi isa ako sa mga nabiyayaan," said Rondina.  "Sana in some way maging tool ito to inspire young ones and syempre for those player na katulad ko kahit ano ka pa sino ka man pag may pangarap ka walang imposible," she added. Together with Pons, Dzi Gervacio and Dij Rodriguez, Rondina spearheaded the country’s beach volleyball campaign in the SEA Games. Rondina didn't fail the adoring fans who trooped the Subic Tennis Courts by ending the Philippines’ 14-year medal drought in the sport. As Rondina is trying to continue to grow the game of beach volleyball locally and internationally, she is determined to inspire further young and aspiring players, especially those from the province. "Ako honestly, didnt expect na ganitong biyaya ang binigay saken pero ang alam ko pinagdadasal ko lahat para sa pamilya ko at para sa mga taong naniniwala sa akin. Actually para saken wala lang to kasi ang mas timbang sa akin kung ano yung mga behind ng awards ko mga tulong at mga napasaya ko or sa amin yun ang nag ma-matter sa akin," said Rondina.  "And siyempre huwag na wag nilang kalimutan ang nasa Itaas, disiplina sa sarili at wag na wag makalimot sa mga taong tumulong sayo. Lastly huwag na huwag susuko sa mga pangarap na minimithi. Kahit sino at ano ka pa maging totoo ka lang at maipakita mo kung ano ang kaya mong gawin yun na yun," she added......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 15th, 2020

UAAP Season 82: Tigresses dedicate season to injured Alessandrini

The University of Sto. Tomas Tigresses are using the absence of Fil-Italian Milena Alessandrini as fuel for their burning desire to finish the job of reclaiming the throne. Instead of treating the loss of a reliable scorer in 6-foot-2 Alessandrini as a setback, the Tigresses see it as a challenge for those who will see action in the UAAP Season 82 women’s volleyball tournament to step up.  The hitter is still recovering from a partial anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear and grade 3 sprain of the MCL (medial collateral ligament) and LCL (lateral collateral ligament) she sustained March last year. “Since nu’ng training camp pa lang nu’ng nalaman namin na di na makakalaro si Ate Amiga sobrang nagdo-double time lahat ng outside namin, kaming mga outside, para punan ang slot na naiwan ni Ate Amiga,” said incoming sophomore Eya Laure. Alessandrini, who averaged 15.6 points per game last year, remains very positive as she takes her time to fully recover and get back in tiptop shape according to Laure. “Si Ate Amiga naman nu’ng nakausap ko siya, positive naman siya na makakabalik siya,” she said. “Nandoon pa rin naman siya sa progress ng pag-recover niya and sabi ko naman sa kanya hihintayin ko siya, wag lang siya ma-frustrate or something na negative na ikahihila niya pababa.” “Nandito pa rin kaming team and UST to help her and support her na makabalik ulit siya sa playing form niya for next season,” added Laure. Laure, last season’s Rookie of the Year, compares this unexpected setback to UST’s situation last year when they lost middle Tin Francisco to a knee injury while building up for Season 81. “Actually parang similar lang last year. Si Ate Tin, nu’ng na-ACL [injury] din siya unexpected din yun,” she recalled. “Sobra kaming nalungkot pero more on mas na-motivate kami kung paano pupunan ang naiwan niyang slot dun.”  Aside from missing the services of Francisco, the Tigresses last year also suffered a huge setback with Alessandrini down with a knee injury but UST behind Laure and then senior Sisi Rondina rallied to a runner-up finish in the Espana-based squad's first Finals appearance after eight years.    “Kahit papaano naman nag-step up ang lahat. Gumawa ng paraan ang lahat kumbaga team effort kasi ‘yung nangyari last year din and hopefully ngayong year team effort pa rin,” said Laure. The Tigresses are confident that their holdovers from last year, key recruits and the much-awaited return of Season 77 Rookie of the Year EJ Laure will be enough to fill the void left by Alessandrini, now graduate Rondina and Dimdim Pacres, who decided to forego her last playing year.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 30th, 2020

Gold standard Lacuna, towering teen Sotto make Ateneo proud as UAAP 81 Athletes of the Year

Ateneo de Manila University has three of the four Athletes of the Year in UAAP 81. Blue Eagle swimming great Jessie King Lacuna was hailed as Athlete of the Year for Collegiate Individual Sports in the closing ceremony, Tuesday at MOA Arena. Lacuna is an Olympian and has been a mainstay for the Philippine national team in the last decade. He had led the Katipunan-based school to five titles in men’s swimming all while amassing 35 gold medals and four MVP plums. Meanwhile, Ateneo swept the awards in the High School Division with Kai Sotto for Team Sports and Philip Joaquin Santos for Individual Sports. Sotto was the Season MVP in the Juniors Basketball Tournament while also leading the Blue Eaglets to a runner-up finish. The 7-foot-2, 17-year-old is now chasing his NBA dream and is training abroad. University of Sto. Tomas pride Sisi Rondina is the lone Athlete of the Year not hailing from Katipunan. —— Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 21st, 2019

UST still sits on the general championship throne in UAAP 82

University of Sto. Tomas still stands strong as the general champion in both Seniors and Juniors as it topped the other seven member-schools in the shortened Season 82. "I think, in their last count, sila ang made-declare na general champions," outgoing league president Em Fernandez of Ateneo de Manila University said in the Philippine Sportswriters Association online forum on Tuesday. "I do believe they were leading." Fernandez then went on to say that 21 of 31 championships were already awarded in the Seniors while all but two were won in the Juniors. That means that the leader in the medal tally would be named general champion in virtual closing ceremonies a month from now - and the leader in both Seniors and Juniors is UST. Meanwhile, there would not be an Athlete of the Year in the shortened Season 83. "There won't be any Athlete of the Year. That has been recommended by the BMD (Board of Managing Directors) and approved by the BOT (Board of Trustees)," Fernandez said. The most recent Athletes of the Year were UST's Sisi Rondina and Ateneo's Jessie King Lacuna for the Seniors as well as Kai Sotto and Philip Joaquin Santos, both Blue Eaglets, for the Juniors. —— Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 16th, 2020

UPFRONT: Athletes introduce their furry friends

Meet some of your favorite athlete’s furry friends that keep them company during this quarantine period. In this Upfront episode, host Janeena Chan talked to four athletes who are ‘fur parents’ to their lovely pets. Mel Gohing, Kim Fajardo and siblings Kiefer and Dani Ravena introduced their ‘babies’ and gave some pet care tips. Motolite’s Gohing was with her Welsh Corgis Valentine, Arrow and their pup Cloud. “Everybody’s trying to keep themselves sane. Good thing I have dogs, I have company,” said the De La Salle product and four-time UAAP women’s volleyball champion. Meanwhile, Fajardo of F2 Logistics and also a three-time UAAP champion from DLSU considers her cat Kimber, a Perian Siamese, as her stress-reliever. “Isa siya sa stress-reliever ko,” she said of her three-year old pet. “Kapag malungkot ka nasi-sense nila, dinadamayan ka nila.” The Ravena siblings, who were with Blake, a French Bulldog, and Muning, a Yorkshire Terrier, inherited their love for dogs from their parents, former PBA star Bong and ABS-CBN S+A volleyball analyst Mozzy. “Before pa naman when we we’re kids, when we were growing up mayroon kaming chihuahua,” said Kiefer of the NLEX Road Warriors in the PBA. “Niregaluhan ako ng parents ko ng chihuahua. Before that may dogs na ang parents ko. That’s how it all started.” Kiefer added that there was a time that their dogs numbered more than 20. Aside from keeping themselves fit or bonding with their families, these athletes show that quarantine life is not boring especially with pets around......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 18th, 2020

BEST-OF-5 SERIES: The Pingoy Rules Part 2

In case you missed it: BEST-OF-5 SERIES: The Pingoy Rules Part 1 --- Pingoy Rule: Never look back. --- Along with being a champion and back-to-back MVP in UAAP Jrs., Jerie Pingoy is best known for a league rule that was put in effect after his actions. There's even a possibility that many know Far Eastern University-Diliman's once promising prospect just from having been the poster boy of the so-called "Pingoy Rule." Back in 2012, Pingoy had for himself a title run and a second straight top individual player award in his last year in high school. And so, more than a few were interested in securing the services of the 5-foot-11 point guard. Ultimately, the decision came down to moving on up to FEU's Srs. squad or moving on to Ateneo de Manila University. The latter was what Pingoy decided to be best for him. Not long after, the league instituted a new rule that required two-year residency for student-athletes who transfer from one UAAP high school to another UAAP college. As such, the then-18-year-old was forced to stay on the sidelines for two years. And even then, he already knew how much those two years would mean to his future. Fast forward to now and Pingoy is far removed from being a true blue-chip recruit out of high school or even a talented transferee in college. Now, he is just like any other player hoping for another shot to prove himself. Now, the Cebuano could only rue what could have been. "Unang-una, nasasayangan ako sa years na 'di ako nakapaglaro. Kung nakapaglaro ako ng dalawang taon, mag-iiba yung takbo ng panahon," he said in a phone interview. He then continued, "'Di magiging ganito." CODE RED Momentum is a true thing in sports - much more in basketball where the action goes on and on and on. And coming off a championship and back-to-back MVPs, Pingoy's confidence and capabilities were as high as they have been as he took on a new challenge in Ateneo. Only, he was not eligible to play in the UAAP Seniors just yet. Simply put, Pingoy lost all the momentum he already had after leaving FEU-Diliman. "For sure, mag-iiba talaga yung laro ko kapag nakapag-start ako agad. Once makapaglaro ako right after high school, mas magiging mature ako eh, mas malalaman ko agad yung laro sa college," he shared. He then continued, "Hindi ko natantsa agad sa Ateneo na ganun pala sa college. Nung naglaro na ako, 'di na ako rookie sa age, pero rookie pa rin ako sa laro." Indeed, after putting up per game counts of 21 points to go along with 5.1 assists, 4.2 rebounds, and 2.1 steals in his championship and MVP season as a Baby Tamaraw, two years later, he averaged 3.5 points and 2.8 assists as a rookie Blue Eagle. For Pingoy's former mentor, it was clear as day that the long layoff, as well as all the talk surrounding his decision, had a negative effect. "May impact sa bata yung nangyari kasi naka-distract lahat yun sa pag-usad ng career niya. Sa tingin ko lang, if he (would have stayed) in FEU, magkakaroon siya ng peace of mind," former FEU-Diliman head coach Mike Oliver answered when asked to look back at one of the most controversial college commitments the country has witnessed. He also added, "Yung nangyari kasi, because naging talk of the town siya, I think nagkaroon ng malaking pressure sa kanyang every time na maglalaro siya, he has to show how good he really is." GOLD IS GOLD Of course, Pingoy was still seeing action - albeit with Ateneo's Team Glory Be on the smaller stage and under the dimmer lights of minor tournaments like the Fr. Martin Cup. Still, that could not compare to the competition of the UAAP - a level of competition that was already at the tip of his fingers in high school and only needed to be grasped in college. "Nahirapan akong mag-adjust kasi for two years, 'di ko naman alam laro ng Team A. Siyempre, iba naman yung nasa Team B kasi iba pa rin yung nandun ka (sa UAAP) at nakakalaro kahit konti lang," he said. Still, years later, Pingoy has no regrets about transferring to Katipunan. As he put it, "Nalungkot lang ako kasi nga sayang, pero 'di ako nagsisisi." And while he did not necessarily tap into his potential, he remains nothing but proud of his time wearing the blue and white - from Team Glory Be to the Blue Eagles. "Proud ako na yung batch namin nina Fonzo Gotladera yung unang Team B na nag-champion. Masayang-masaya ako dun," he shared. He then continued, "At least, nakapabigay ako ng isang championship sa Ateneo - kahit Team B lang." At the same time, Pingoy said he also made it a point then to get to know the Atenean way. "Sa Ateneo, tinuturo maging 'man for others.' Yun talaga ang natutunan ko dun aside from matututong mag-English," he shared with a laugh. He then continued, "Pero ngayong naaalala ko nga, iba talaga sa Ateneo. Magiging wiser ka talaga eh." WHITE LIGHT That wisdom has apparently allowed Pingoy to bear no ill will towards those who disagreed with his decision. From then to now, he remains adamant that he has no problems whatsoever against the ill-fated "Pingoy Rule." "'Di talaga ako nagalit kahit kanino. Iniisip ko lang lagi that time na okay lang yan and everything happens for a reason," he said. He then continued, "Kung ginagawa nila yun, ibig sabihin, ayaw ka nila." Now, the "Pingoy Rule" is no more as Congress had passed the "Student-Athlete Protection Act (SAPA)" which, for one thing, prohibits residency rules on high school graduates transferring to a different school for college. If this were already law before he committed to any college, he wouldn’t have had to undergo residency at all. However, the SAPA was passed in 2015 and by then, Pingoy had already served two years. Meaning, it was a case of too late the hero. While it didn't do him any favors personally, though, Pingoy is nothing but glad to have been part of a much-welcome change. "Deep inside, naramdaman ko rin naman dating napaka-unfair nila, pero ngayon, okay na yun. Unfair sa akin dati, pero masaya ako ngayon kasi yung mga bata, makakapili na ng school na gusto nila talaga," he said. He then continued, "Sobrang masaya ako dun. Sobrang thankful ako dun." That means that now, any recruit, from blue-chippers to solid players, could choose whatever college they want without having to think that they could lose their momentum from high school. Indeed, he could rest assured that anybody as highly recruited as he was would now be free to decide what’s best for them. However, it may very well take some time before we witness anybody like him - because without a doubt, Jerie Pingoy was a man among boys in high school. NEXT ON BEST-OF-5 SERIES: THE PINGOY RULES: "Ateneo gave me an opportunity na matulungan yung family ko. I wasn't thinking of myself lang that time. The opportunity was there e, why not grab it?" --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 9th, 2020

Single game scoring sensations in UAAP women’s volleyball (Final Four era)

Scorers are aplenty in UAAP women’s volleyball. All teams have players who can bring in the numbers on the offensive end. Powerful wingers can pound missile after missile while middles can wreak havoc at the net either on quick attacks or kill blocks. Setters, if lucky, can put in points on top of their playmaking. But there are those who showed their great offensive prowess and carved their names in the record books.      Here are the players who scored 30 or more points in a single game in the UAAP women's volleyball tournament in during the past two decades.   ANGELA BENTING, ADAMSON UNIVERSITY She may not be the tallest of players on the Adamson University Lady Falcons side but Angela Benting can soar and score at any given time. Eleven years ago, Benting displayed her best scoring performance for the Lady Falcons in an epic match against an equally dangerous University of Sto. Tomas side. In UAAP Season 71, the Benting-led Lady Falcons faced the Tigresses in an all-important match at the close of the elimination round. The Lady Falcons needed a win to secure the no. 3 spot in the Final Four. Adamson with Benting at the helm drew first blood. But the Tigresses rallied in the succeeding sets just as Benting was then pouring on the points for Adamson. The Lady Falcon eventually ended up with then a league-best 33 points, but all of Benting's efforts went down the drain as the Tigresses walked away with a 22-25, 25-16, 27-25, 25-23 win. While Benting was doing her thing for Adamson, Aiza Maizo was working on hers for the Tigresses as the lefty unleashed 30 points in an exciting scoring showdown that Valentine’s Day in 2009 at The Arena in San Juan.    It was a heartbreaking loss for the Lady Falcons as they closed the elims tied with UST at 9-5 slate and were dragged to a playoff for Final Four place. The Tigresses eventually won the rematch for no. 3 spot. Unfortunately, neither team advanced to the Finals as then Rachel Anne Daquis-led defending champion Far Eastern University and Manilla Santos-bannered De La Salle University, who was coming off a scandalous forfeiture of games the year before, figured in the battle for the crown.     AIZA MAIZO, UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS Aiza Maizo eventually reset her UAAP personal-best two seasons later after a memorable showing against Adamson University by opening Season 73 with a bang. Pitted against Ateneo de Manila University’s Fab Five, Maizo uncorked a 32-point explosion to lead UST to victory in a five-set thriller, 25-13, 18-25, 19-25, 26-24, 15-13, on No. 27, 2010. Maizo shouldered the scoring chores for the then reigning champions Tigresses as she fired 29 off 83 attacks with three kill blocks in the match that lasted for two hours and 20 minutes. Maizo started in all sets. The Queen Tigress, whose closest back-up in points was Maru Banaticla with 12 markers, also played an all-around game with 11 digs and seven excellent receptions.   However, UST eventually lost its hold of the throne that season when DLSU reclaimed the title.     ALYSSA VALDEZ, ATENEO DE MANILA UNIVERSITY     Angela Benting’s four-year scoring record was broken by a then-sophomore Alyssa Valdez of Ateneo. The 1,784-strong crowd inside the The Arena in San Juan witnessed history unfold as Valdez exploded for 35 points in match against Adamson U. Out of her 35 points, Valdez hammered down 31 off attacks in 80 attempts. She added three kill blocks of the Lady Eagles’ 10 denials and landed an ace. Valdez also had six digs. But her feat wasn’t enough to save Ateneo as the Lady Falcons walked away with a five-set 22-25, 21-25, 25-19, 25-16, 10-15, in their Season 75 start of second round eliminations meeting last January 20, 2013. However, Valdez’s scoring record would remain as the women’s benchmark in production to this day. The Queen Eagle would again breach the 30-point mark as she finished a point shy of the duplicating her personal and UAAP record in a five-set win over archrival DLSU in Season 78 Finals Game 2 that forced a series decider. The then graduating Valdez, with their three-peat bid at stake, poured 34 points to breathe new life to Ateneo, which survived 18-25, 26-28, 25-17, 25-16, 15-11, in a grueling two-hour, eight-minute encounter witnessed by 20,126 people inside the MOA Arena on April 27, 2016.      Valdez pounded 32 attack points off 76 attempts in a heroic stand for the Lady Eagles, who unfortunately surrendered the crown in Game 3. Valdez would eventually break her career-high with 39 points in an 18-25, 27-25, 21-25, 25-21, 15-9 win over the Laoag Power Smashers while playing for Bureau of Customs in the defunct V-League on Oct. 5, 2016.   SISI RONDINA, UNIVERSITY OF SANTO TOMAS Sisi Rondina never got the chance to display her full potential in her first year with UST, taking a back seat in indoor volleyball behind another freshman in EJ Laure in Season 77. She finally got her chance to shine under then new head coach Kungfu Reyes in Season 78 as a starter for the Tigresses. Rondina reintroduced herself with an inspired performance as she fired 30 points in UST’s season-opener on Febuary 3, 2016. The Cebu pride displayed crisp attacking with 25 kills off 55 attempts and added three aces and a pair of kill blocks. But it wasn’t enough as UST bowed to Adamson U, 22-25, 21-25, 25-20, 30-28, 14-16, and came two points short of tying Aiza Maizo’s team record in points. Lady Falcon Jema Galanza was two points shy of reaching the 30-point mark. Three years after her 30-point game, Rondina surpassed her career-best and became the Tigresses’ top scorer in a single game when she pumped in a league-best-tying 35 points in a five-set game against Ateneo on March 20, 2019. Rondina pounded away as she scattered 30 kills in 102 tries and had three kill blocks and a pair of aces in a sorry 25-19, 25-22, 27-25, 25-22, 15-11, defeat. While Rondina equaled Valdez’s scoring record, Lady Eagle Maddie Madayag wrote a new standard in kill blocks with 11 erasing the nine denials established by DLSU’s Celine Hernandez in 2008.   TOTS CARLOS, UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES Power-hitter Tots Carlos tied Aiza Maizo’s scoring feat when the University of the Philippines star dropped 32 points against the Sisi Rondina-led Tigresses. With the then Lady Maroons struggling to climb the ladder in the first round of Season 80 and limping from a four-game slide, Carlos took matters into her own hands. The then third year player blasted 27 attack points off 64 tries and added three kill blocks and landed two aces in UP’s 31-33, 25-23, 25-16, 25-12, win over UST on February 28, 2018. The win stopped the Lady Maroons’ bleeding but UP for the second straight year eventually bowed out of the race for a Final Four slot. However, Carlos’ career-high production put her on top of UP’s single-game scoring list.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 6th, 2020

UAAP Season 82: First to impress in women’s volleyball

Fans got a chance to witness UAAP Season 82 women’s volleyball action last week after a long delay following the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19). It was just unfortunate that the tournament needed to be put on halt in light of the latest development regarding the spread of the virus for the safety of players, officials and fans. But in a single week fans got a taste of the league’s second semester centerpiece sporting event. It was short, honestly, but it did [sort of] satisfy the fans’ craving for UAAP volleyball. Let’s look back at some of who players that made immediate impact for their respective teams in the week that was.   MARGOT MUTSHIMA The Congolese recruit debuted with a bang for National University, helping the Lady Bulldogs score a major upset over last year’s runner-up University of Sto. Tomas in five sets. Towering at 6-foot-2 and playing at the wing spot, the foreign student-athlete fired 23 points she collected from 20 attacks and three aces. Mutshima followed it up with 13 markers coming off seven kills, three blocks and three aces as NU demolished Adamson University in straight sets.   EYA LAURE Carrying the torch for the now graduate Sisi Rondina, the Season 81 Rookie of the Year showed that University of Sto. Tomas is in good hands The Tigresses’ first game may not be the ideal start that UST wanted after losing to National University in five sets but Laure displayed her well-rounded game with 20 points, 19 on attacks, and added 18 digs. She then led the Tigresses to a straight sets bounce back win over Far Eastern University, scoring 16 points on 12 kills, three kill blocks and an ace. Laure also posted 14 digs and eight excellent receptions.     FAITH NISPEROS The blue chip recruit of defending champion Ateneo de Manila University after two games strengthened her case for the coveted rookie of the year honors. Nisperos announced her arrival with 10 points – all on attacks – and seven excellent receptions in the Lady Eagles’ 25-13, 25-17, 25-23, drubbing of University of the Philippines. She then proved that her debut was no fluke when Nisperos blasted 13 markers including 10 from spikes in her first taste of the storied Ateneo-De La Salle University rivalry. Unfortunately, she was the only Lady Eagle in double figures as Ateneo bowed down in four sets.       RISA SATO After missing action last year, the graduating middle played her role well for National University both as a court leader and scoring option.    In her first game back, Sato finished with seven kill blocks in her 17-point outing in the Lady Bulldogs’ win over UST. Sato then had eight markers, half off kill blocks, as NU crushed Adamson U.    EJ LAURE Two years removed from UAAP wars because of a stubborn shoulder injury, Laure reminded the league of who she is. The Season 77 Rookie of the Year dropped 17 points, 15 on spikes, and laced her comeback performance with 20 digs and 12 excellent receptions in a loss to NU. She then picked up from where she left off and hammered 10 of her 12 points on kills in a win over FEU.   THEA GAGATE The towering De La Salle University rookie passed her baptism of fire with flying colors. Gagate showed no signs of rookie jitters as she registered 10 points in the Lady Spikers’ first game and opening day victory over archrival Ateneo. The 6-foot-2 freshman wreaked havoc at the net as she anchored the DLSU’s solid net defense with five kill blocks that frustrated the Lady Eagles.   ISA MOLDE The graduating UP knows how to bounce back in style after a disappointing first game. Coming off a stinging straight sets defeat at the hands of Ateneo in their first game, Molde registered a season-high 24 points in the Fighting Maroons’ four-set win over University of the East.  She had 18 attacks, four kill blocks and a pair of aces for an all-around scoring effort. Molde opened her season with nine points, seven off kills, and seven digs   TIN TIAMZON In the first game of her swan song, Tiamzon did not disappoint after exploding for 17 points in DLSU’s win over Ateneo. The graduating hitter smashed 14 spikes, had a pair of kill blocks and an ace to go with 12 digs and 13 excellent receptions for the Lady Spikers. Her best moment so far in the season was getting that badge of honor high-five from head coach Ramil De Jesus after scoring a point.    LORENE TORING Adamson U received a reality check in their first game of the season, losing in three sets to NU. However, the Lady Falcons found a gem in lanky in Toring after the rookie displayed an all-around game on offense. Toring finished with 11 points coming off six spikes, two kill blocks and three aces.     JEANNETE VILLAREAL FEU lost most of its scorers last year, leaving a rebuilding team to campaign in Season 82. Fortunately, the Lady Tamaraws still have a silent operator in Villareal. She opened the season with 11 points as FEU gored UE in straights sets. Villareal finished with eight kills, two kill blocks and an ace. But the Lady Tams failed to sustain their momentum as they fell victim to UST in three sets with Villareal providing seven markers.    TOTS CARLOS Playing in her final season, Carlos delivered consistently as expected. She was the lone bright spot for UP in an opening day loss to Ateneo, finishing with 11 points as the only Fighting Maroon in double figures. Carlos then provided 15 markers including 12 from attacks for UP in its four-set rebound win over UE. She added nine digs.    JEL QUIZON Coming into the season, the UE rookie playmaker already knew she has big shoes to fill as replacement for now graduate Season 81 Best Setter Lai Bendong. Quizon did her job well - albeit not translating into victories – for the Lady Warriors. She debuted with 18 excellent sets and scored three points in a lost cause against FEU. Quizon then tallied 21 excellent sets, seven more than the total of UP, and four markers in a four-set loss to the Fighting Maroons.         Show your school spirit. Get official UAAP university licensed merchandise from www.uaapstore.com. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 13th, 2020

20 for 20: Pinoy Sports Personalities to Watch in 2020

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

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 1st, 2020

UAAP 82: Tolentino back for last flight as a Lady Eagle

Kat Tolentino has decided to play her final year for the Ateneo de Manila University. It may have taken the power-hitter some time to think it over but Tolentino will definitely don the blue and white uniform for her fourth and last season as the Lady Eagles bid for back-to-back titles in the UAAP Season 82 women’s volleyball tournament starting February next year. The 6-foot-3 Filipino-Canadian on Thursday officially announced her return for the Oliver Almadro-mentored squad. “As much as I love playing for the commercial league I found that playing for the UAAP is a whole different experience,” said Tolentino, who during the off-season played for ChocoMucho in the Premier Volleyball League. "There is something so unique about the competitiveness of the UAAP that I feel is hard to recreate.  The rivalry between schools is not just about playing for pride but for something bigger than yourself. Its also about playing for your teammates and for all those who’ve supported you." Her return will give the Lady Eagles the much-needed veteran presence along with Ponggay Gaston, playmaker Deanna Wong, Jules Samonte and libero Dani Ravena. “I’ve been following the current Ateneo team especially during the PVL collegiate conference and I am proud to see how strong they are already. There's still a few more months to prepare and I look forward to being back with them and contributing in any way I can,” said Tolentino. Tolentino led Ateneo in a dramatic come-from-behind best-of-three Finals series win over the Sisi Rondina-led University of Sto. Tomas for the Lady Eagles' first title since winning it all in back in 2014 and 2015. After claiming her first crown, Tolentino gave an emotional speech during the team’s thanksgiving Mass at the Church of Gesu inside the Ateneo campus.     She talked about her three ACL injuries and unforgettable championship season before saying, “This is Kat Tolentino, No. 10, signing off” back in May this year. But it's a good thing she changed her mind with the guidance of her management, Virtual Playground. "Well, initially I thought that because I graduated college and won the championship it was time for me to move on to the next chapter of my life. I have been in college for a while and have played volleyball for well over 10 years," Tolentino explained. "So I just felt like I wanted to experience something different and start to play in the commercial league to make the most out of my volleyball career." Tolentino will play a bigger role this season not just as the team’s top scoring option but also the young Lady Eagles’ leader after the departure of Maddie Madayag and Bea De Leon. She will pilot a squad that will have promising rising stars in Faith Nisperos and Joan Narit, sophomore setter Jaja Maraguinot and Vannie Gandler.     "Our goal will always be the UAAP championship. But coming into this season I feel like I will try to bring more skills and experience from what I learned in playing for Choco Mucho in PVL," Tolentino said.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles    .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 28th, 2019

Volleyball stars, community unite for coach Roger Gorayeb

Multi-titled coach Roger Gorayeb received a lot of love from the Philippine volleyball community in a benefit concert Sunday at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan. Local volleyball stars led by his former players from the NCAA, UAAP, his club teams and the national squad gathered for a night of music and appreciation for the mentor, who is battling multiple myeloma. Gorayeb has been confined at St. Luke’s Medical Center in Quezon City for almost a month. Volleyball players led by Alyssa Valdez, Kalei Mau and Sisi Rondina performed on stage for the fans and gracious donors who attended the event. “Thank you sa opportunity na ito. Nais naming magpasalamat sa lahat ng mga taong nadoon since Day 1, kasi alam naman natin na medyo matagal na itong kay Papa,” said Gorayeb’s eldest daughter Camille, who was with her sister Cheska and brother Kyle during the benefit event. “Kaming tatlong magkakapatid plus si Mama [Lucy] napakalaking bagay na nakita lahat ito, na hindi kami nag-iisa.” Thank you po sa mabubusilak ang puso. ????♥? #AllForCoachRoger pic.twitter.com/zA6kQ1rPal — Grethcel Soltones (@ladybeast05) November 2, 2019 Camille, 31, said that they’re grateful for the overwhelming love and support they’re getting for their father, who is currently the coach of PLDT Home Fibr in the Philippine Superliga. Gorayeb last called the shots for PLDT almost a month ago. The 58-year old coach steered San Sebastian College to 23 women’s indoor titles, 11 in juniors, six in men’s and six beach volleyball women’s crowns in NCAA. He molded Ateneo’s volleyball program to what it is right now during his five-year stay from 2008-2013 and was known to be the mentor who sparked the Ateneo-De La Salle University rivalry.   Gorayeb also won numerous titles in his club teams with his last in the Premier Volleyball League two years ago for BaliPure. He was the national team coach of the U-23 women's team and the 2015 Singapore Southeast Asian Games women's squad.  “Sobra pong overwhelming for us kasi alam nyo po si Papa pag-uwi sa bahay walang volleyball talk, bawal, Wala kaming kilala, mostly ang kilala lang namin yung mga nakikita namin sa TV na players. Ayaw niya [pag-usapan ang volleyball] sa bahay ang gusto niya pahinga,” said Camille. “So itong nangyari na ito ang dami naming na-meet na tao. Kumbaga nagkukwento sila kung paano sila natulungan ni Papa, nakakataba ng puso.” “Sobrang overwhelming ito sa amin, lalo na sa aming tatlong magkakapatid,” she added. Charo Soriano and Dzi Gervacio spearheaded the organization of the event. “It was really a lot of groups of people who wanted to help and instead of doing different types of things we wanted a unified, collective effort for Coach Roger. Truly he’s been really a second father for us and we wanted to give back sa kanya,” she said. The players themselves, said Gervacio, were game to perform and sing for fans and the guests. “Hindi lang donation in terms of money but also their time and effort, their talent,” said Gervacio, who was part of the Ateneo Fab 5 assembled by Gorayeb. “Hindi lang volleyball talent but their other talents as well.” Other athletes who performed on stage were Panpan Pantino, Beauty Denila, Nicole Tiamzon, Dimdim Pacres, Kara Acevedo, Jema Galanza, Deanna Wong, Gretchen Ho and Kiefer Ravena. Artists who graced the event were Ebe Dancel, Quest, Wicked Adobo, Lunar Lights and Anyo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 3rd, 2019

UAAP 82: UST downs DLSU to complete four-peat in Women s Beach Volleyball

University of Santo Tomas' Babylove Barbon and Gen Eslapor withstood the tough De La Salle pair of Tin Tiamzon and Justine Jazareno in the Finals to complete another perfect season and a women's four-peat Sunday in the UAAP Beach Volleyball Tournament at Sands SM By The Bay. UST claimed its seventh women's championship and the first in the post-Sisi Rondina era. Barbon, who had to fill a huge void left by Rondina to cement the Tigresses' dynasty, was named the MVP. "Sobrang saya kasi yung goal namin ay ma-defend ang crown. Nagawa po namin siya. Inalay po namin yung game sa UST, sa mga taong naniniwala sa amin at lalong lalo na kay ate Sisi," said Barbon. "Ilang din years siyang nag-champion kaya ayaw naming mabigo siya. Iniwan niya ang team na laging nagtsa-champion kaya kailangan naming ituloy na laging champion," the Quezon, Bukidnon native added. The Tigresses needed to outlast the Lady Spikers 21-14, 20-22, 15-12, in the Finals opener. UST survived a gallant De La Salle stand in the extended opening set and withstood its foes late second frame uprising to fashion out a 28-26, 21-18 victory to emerge as queens once more. "Sobrang galing din nila po," said Barbon of the Lady Spikers, who finished bridesmaids for the second straight year. No doubt, Barbon and Eslapor's connection worked wonders for the Tigresses, who extended their winning run to 29 games dating back from 2016. "May chemistry talaga po kami kasi ilang off-season leagues kami na sinasalihan. Doon kami kumukuha ng idea kung paano maglaro dito sa UAAP," said Barbon. Roma Mae Doromal, who with Ponggay Gaston powered Ateneo to third place, took the Rookie of the Year honors......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 6th, 2019

PVL: Nandito na ulit ako -- EJ Laure

EJ Laure cherished her return on the volleyball court after a two-year absence. The University of Sto. Tomas star may still be a long way from her ideal form years back, but the UAAP Season 77 Rookie of Year was just glad to once again don the Tigresses’ jersey.       “Siyempre sobrang happy kasi nasabi ko noong (UAAP Season 81) Finals nila na babalik [ako],” said Laure. “Sobrang happy ako na nandito na ulit ako kasama sila coach.” The wing spiker made her comeback on Sunday as UST opened its Premier Volleyball League Season 3 Collegiate Conference Group B campaign on a winning note after taking down Lyceum of the Philippines University, 25-18, 25-13, 25-21, Sunday at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.     Laure last played in the Philippine Superliga late 2017 under the Foton banner where she sustained a shoulder injury that prevented her from suiting up for the Tigresses in UAAP Season 80 and in UST’s Season 81 championship stint, where the Espana-based squad led by Sisi Rondina and Eya Laure finished runner-up to Ateneo de Manila University.    EJ Laure admitted that it felt like her rookie debut all over again being back on the floor. “Nanibago lang ako sa court kasi, ewan ko? Di ako nagko-court, di pa ako nagba-ball masyado kasi pinapalakas ko pa shoulders ko,” she said. Laure played two sets where she started in the first and third frames. “Sabi ko nga kay EJ para sa kanya yung PVL and UniGames namin kasi for two years [siya] sit out,” said UST head coach Kungfu Reyes. “Familiarization ng laro nandyan pero yung actual game, yung energy, yung power wala pa rin,” added Reyes of Laure. “Ieensayo ulit namin kaya lang ano muna yung systematic talaga tapos holistic yung gagawin namin. Siyempre itetreasure ulit namin nandito na si EJ.” Laure finished with two points off an ace and the game-clinching cross court hit. She also had five digs and a pair of excellent receptions. Laure ace. UST up, 3-1, in the 3rd set pic.twitter.com/TjQ8xorWQ0 — Mark Escarlote (@fromtheriles) August 18, 2019 Laure ends the match! pic.twitter.com/8qwTCYDfXJ — Mark Escarlote (@fromtheriles) August 18, 2019 For now, Laure doesn’t want to rush things but to slowly take her time to regain her old form. “Siyempre gagawin ko lahat. Kahit hindi ako sa points, at least, tutulong ako sa kanila sa mga receive at tsaka sa pagsasalita sa kanila sa kung anong kaiangan nilang gawin para umayos yung laro nila,” said Laure. The Laure sisters’ most-awaited tandem on court might not happen this tournament but EJ just wants to be ready when that time comes. “Siyempre abangan natin sa UniGames or sa UAAP yung pagbabalik naming dalawa,” she said.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 18th, 2019

LOOK: Kim Chiu prepares for volleyball-themed role

We all know how talented Kapamilya star Kim Chiu is on the small screen, the big screen, and on the dance floor.  Now it looks like the "Chinita Princess" is getting ready for a specific role that requires her to get in some volleyball training.  Kim posted an Instagram Story of herself doing some volleyball drills with the caption "Doing this seriously, kaya to!! Aja! Looking forward on playing as 'you'!!"  What role is Kim Chiu preparing for? ???????? (????: chinitaprincess / IG) pic.twitter.com/cvQKtBJbFR — ABS-CBN Sports (@abscbnsports) June 23, 2019 Who could "you" be?? Maybe, just maybe, "you" could be a certain superstar Golden Tigress that had an unbelievable final year in the UAAP Women's Volleyball Tournament?  Cherry Ann "Sisi" Rondina, the UAAP Season 81 Women's Volleyball MVP and the UAAP Season 81 Athlete of the Year, led the University of Santo Tomas Golden Tigresses to their first Finals appearance in eight years.  Her amazing season, and her equally amazing story, has reportedly led to discussions of her life story being featured on the popular ABS-CBN program "Maalaala Mo Kaya."  And who does Sisi want to play her in the possible production? You guessed it: Kim Chiu.  Kim and Sisi are both proud Cebuanas, and the former has also given the latter praise for her efforts inside the volleyball court.  Thank you Ms. Kim ?? — Cherry Ann Rondina (@Rondina011) May 18, 2019 Time will tell if this is really what is about to happen. If it is, then you can bet that we'll be tuning in.  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 24th, 2019

UAAP Season 81 Finals: Ayaw ko pang i-let go ang UST -- Sisi Rondina

If given a chance, outgoing University of Sto. Tomas ace Sisi Rondina would still want to play for the Tigresses.  The Season Most Valuable Player bid goodbye to the black and gold on Saturday – a fruitful five-year stint that saw Rondina give her all from the struggling days of UST up to the final moment of the Tigresses in the biggest stage of the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball tournament.         “Kanina kasi that time na the ball was checked out alam ko na pagka-hit pa lang ng bola, pagkapuntos pa lang ng kalaban alam ko na matatapos na ako as a Golden Tigress and ‘yun ‘yung sobrang nasaktan ako,” said Rondina after UST absorbed a stinging 17-25, 22-25, 22-25, Game 3 loss to Ateneo de Manila University at the MOA Arena. The Cebuana hotshot hammered 18 points with 11 digs and seven excellent receptions in her last three sets as a Tigress. As the final attack of Jules Samonte went off the block for the Lady Eagles’ championship point, Rondina knew there’s no turning back. No more chance for redemption – at least for her.       “Ayaw ko eh, ayaw ko talaga [umalis], gusto ko na maging Golden Tigresses as champion,” said Rondina. “Sabi ko nga kanina, kinokontra namin ang destiny na para sa Ateneo talaga.” “Ako sa sarili ko, destiny talaga ng Ateneo kinontra lang namin. It was a good run for us kasi who knows, na maniniwala na mga bata ang kasama ko and partida mga bata pero pag naglaro kakaiba,” added Rondina, who led a rookie-laden Tigresses squad to its first Finals appearance in eight years.   Despite falling short of fulfilling her promise to be remembered as the woman who will bring back the title to Espana, Rondina remained proud of where her sacrifices and efforts led UST to.   “Gusto ko [maalala nila ako] isa sa mga nagpabalik sa Finals kahit hindi korona. Kapag sinabing Sisi Rondina, gusto ko lang na, ‘UST oriented ‘yan, mahal niya ang UST, hindi pinapahiya ‘yung UST.’ Kung gusto lang naman nila akong ma-remember,” she said. “Isa rin is mahal na mahal ang UST, mga ganoon. Ayaw ko pang i-let go ang UST.” Still, the power-hitting player was grateful to her teammates’ effort to give her a chance to play in the Finals “Napakasaya ko kasi sila ang nagpatikim sa akin kung ano ang Finals, Finals be like. Kahit anong sasabihin ko hinding-hindi na talaga ako makakabalik, kahit gustuhin ko mang bumalik. Sabi nga sa kanta, may dulo pala ang langit,” Rondina said. “For me I’m blessed to have them [teammates], kahit na second place kami kasi sobrang unforgettable moment, day and time, sobrang gusto ko kasi na sana pag graduate ko may maiiwan ako sa UST na hindi makakalimutan ng iba,” she said. Rondina will leave UST without a title. But she surely inspired a new breed of Tigresses and a community.     ---   Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 18th, 2019

UAAP Season 81 Finals: Masaya ang mga dilawan -- UST coach Reyes

No political reference here. University of Sto. Tomas head coach Kungfu Reyes was just too happy not only for his Tigresses, who moved just a win away from the coveted crown, but also for the community that supported their squad. Yup, for those yellow-clad supporters of the Espana-based squad.       “Masaya ang mga dilawan ngayon kasi panahon ng UST,” said Reyes during the live postgame interview with S+A panel Anton Roxas and Noreen Go after the Tigresses swept Ateneo de Manila University, 25-17, 25-16-, 25-20, on Saturday in Game 1 of the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball best-of-three Finals series at the Big Dome.        “No, no! Kaya dilaw kasi UST naman kami mga dilaw naman kami,” added Reyes as the press room burst into laughter. The Tigresses stepped closer to reclaiming the throne it last held back in Season 72. Game 2 of the Finals is on Wednesday at the MOA Arena. “Di lang naman kaming mga coaches at players pero pati UST community naging masaya sa outcome ng laro,” said Reyes. UST came in well-prepared, as they found a way to pry open the vaunted net defense of the much taller Lady Eagles. The Tigresses behind Season Most Valuable Player Sisi Rondina and Rookie of the Year Eya Laure found their mark as Ateneo crumbled on their feet. “Pinag-aralan namin kung saan kami pwedeng lumusot kay Ateneo kasi considering na sila ‘yung no. 1 blocking team sa tournament natin,” said Reyes. “Gumagawa lang rin kami ng paraan para, ano naman din siguro kakayanin naman namin kasi kami naman ang No. 1 scoring team dun sa league.” The Espana-based squad, who before the match was on a 15-game losing streak to the Lady Eagles since Season 74 semis, rained down 46 attack points, outgunning Ateneo’s 24.   “I have the first two best spikers sa league so malaking bagay,” said Reyes referring to Rondina and Laure, who scored 23 and 11 points, respectively. Reyes also praised his teams har work to follow their game plan to the tee. “Kung paano na lang namin ika-counter yung atake namin sa kanila dahil yung depensa nila dun kami nagbibigay din ng extra time para ma-counter namin kung gaano sila kagaling mag-block, kung paano kami makakakuha ng second chance point,” he said. Truly the ‘dilawans’ were happy on Saturday. The Tigresses now look forward to make the sea of yellow happier.           --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 11th, 2019