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Streaking Paranaque ends NBL Season 2 eliminations on a high

Paranaque beat Iriga City, 92-89, to finish the eliminations with a five-game winning streak in the National Basketball League (NBL) Season 2 last Saturday at San Dionisio Gym in Parañaque. Albert Almaden saved the Aces from a collapse, scoring four of the game’s last eight points including the go-ahead putback with 39.9 seconds left that gave his team a 90-89 lead. After leading by as many as 13 points, the Aces trailed, 84-89, but Almaden scored a jumper to cut the deficit to three. Jess Quilatan was unable to complete a three-point play on the next possession, but Almaden picked up the miss and converted the short jumper. JR Galit, who topscored for Parañaque with 21 points, scored two free throws to increase the lead of the Aces to three with 12 seconds left, and the game ended with Eric Bernales missing a three-point attempt for the Oragons. With the win, the Aces extended their winning run and ended their elimination round campaign with an 11-3 card. In other matches, Ardy Dizon had 17 points as the Pampanga Delta won their third straight game after beating the CamSur Express, 102-86, to improve their card to 9-2. Richmond Gilbero scored 12 points to lead the Taguig Generals to a 73-66 win over the Zamboanga Valientes to notch their 10th win in 13 games. In Sunday’s matches, Shin Manacsa had 32 points as the Laguna Pistons notched their ninth win in 13 games with a 107-105 win over the Quezon City Rising Stars. Cliford Castro had 29 points to lift the Dasmariñas Ballers to an 89-82 win over the Zamboanga Valientes to go 8-4 after the match, tying Imus and Zambales at fifth place in the standings......»»

Category: sportsSource: abscbn abscbnAug 5th, 2019

Volleyball manga 'Haikyuu' ends after eight years and 402 chapters

One of the most popular sports manga ever has ended Haikyuu, the volleyball manga by Haruichi Furudate, released its final chapter today, closing a story that lasted 402 chapters and 45 volumes spread across eight and a half years. Chapter 402 provided a meaningful end to Haikyuu's colorful cast of characters, led by rivals and teammates Hinata Shoyo and Kageyama Tobio. First serialized in 2012, Haikyuu follows the story of Hinata Shoyo, who aspires to be a volleyball star despite his short stature. Majority of Haikyuu follows Hinata and his adventures with the Karasuno High School volleyball team. Last year, Haikyuu announced its "final arc" which many predicted would end right around the Tokyo Olympics, which were originally set to open July 24. True enough, the release of Haikyuu's final chapter would have coincided around the Tokyo Games' original start date. While the manga has ended, Haikyuu's anime adaptation is currently on its fourth season, which are based on the events from manga chapter 190 onwards. The second cour of season 4 is set to premier October 20. The hashtag #ThankYouHaikyuu has been trending online as a celebration for the manga's end.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 20th, 2020

Benjie Paras: UP s Tower of Power

(This story was originally published on Nov. 30, 2018) He was the dominating center of the San Beda Red Cubs that stoked fear in high school leagues in the early 1980s. And because it will take the Benedictine school two more years to return to the NCAA, Venancio “Benjie” Paras Jr., a lanky upstart with much promise, saw it fit to continue his stride towards basketball superstardom in the UAAP as part of a school already replete of former Cubs—the UP Fighting Maroons, after his high school graduation in 1986. And, it seemed UP head coach Joe Lipa wanted more of San Beda High head coach Ato Badolato’s former wards in Mendiola. In addition to Ronnie Magsanoc and Eric Altamirano running the backcourt, he wanted Paras to man the paint to complete the “San Beda connection”; a missing link he considers in copping that elusive UAAP crown. Who else could be more qualified than Paras, who lorded it over the Red Cubs from 1984 to 1986 from an illustrious start in the defunct Metro Manila Basketball League to several other private school tourneys? As a teener, Paras was awesomely powerful, grabbing rebounds without opposition, and scoring without resistance as he receives the ball in the shaded lane. You would see him score 30 to 40 points a game without letup as opponents offered little resistance, except of course the La Salle Greenhills Greenies, bannered by Binky Favis and Joey Guanio, who dealt San Beda’s painful championship loss during Paras’ last year with the Cubs in the MMBL. Frustrated and heartbroken, Paras vowed to let it all out in the collegiate league, ironically however, with his high school rival Guanio on the same team. And since the 1986 UAAP tournament began, Paras showed his dominance even as a rookie, outplaying defenders with his ferocious tenacity, as he delivered on both ends of the court. With Magsanoc’s on-court wizardry, Paras was unstoppable, scoring and rebounding at will. No one had the might or even the gall to block Paras’s path, except the defending champions UE Red Warriors’ top star and starting center Jerry Codinera.  And, with Codinera leading, UE topped the double round robin eliminations and just needed to beat UP once in the finals to retain the championship. Little did they expect, however, that Paras hasn’t displayed his full arsenal yet. With Magsanoc, Altamirano supporting him and Guanio and all-around performer Joey Mendoza backing him up on the wings, Paras showed Codinera and the rest of the Red Warriors his true mettle as he led the Maroons to a Game 1 blowout, 86-75, to arrange a winner take-all match three days later. And on that day, as they sought to bag their first UAAP title in 47 years, Paras was focused and determined. He ran rings around Codinera, engineering the Maroons’ a game-long dominance of the Red Warriors with almost the entire ULTRA, filled with UP supporters to the brim. With an insurmountable lead going into the dying seconds, it was a dream come true for Paras, seething from a painful setback in his previous senior year as a Red Cub, to now basking in glory giving UP the emphatic title that will forever be remembered in UP and UAAP annals. With a double-double 19 points and 10 rebounds, Paras was named rookie of the year, a feat he will replicate in three years as he marched into the PBA as the “Tower of Power” for Formula Shell.  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 24th, 2020

CAMPEONE: Year of the Tiger (2010)

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

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 26th, 2020

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

National U a winner anew as Quiambao tops Final UAAP NBTC 24

National U remains the gold standard in UAAP boys basketball after being crowned champion for the second straight season. One of the cornerstones in the Bullpups’ run to a special sweep of Season 82 was graduating big man Kevin Quiambao. Quiambao was a force at both ends of the floor with his output of 12.6 points, 9.7 rebounds, 1.9 assists, and 1.4 blocks also earning him a seat in the Mythical Team. The 6-foot-8 center's consistent play throughout the tournament did not go unnoticed as he has been hailed as the no. 1 player in the UAAP NBTC 24 high school player rankings. Adamson's Jake Figueroa placed second after an unforgettable rookie year that saw the runaway Season MVP leading the Baby Falcons back into the semifinals. Carl Tamayo ranked third and saved his best for last as he was named Finals MVP for the second year in a row. Ateneo double-double machine Josh Lazaro and FEU super scorer Penny Estacio rounded out the top five. Bismarck Lina of UST finished sixth followed by Blue Eaglet Lebron Lopez. Completing the top 10 are FEU’s Cholo Anonuevo, National U’s Terrence Fortea, and Ateneo’s Fortshky Padrigao. Below is the final list of the UAAP NBTC 24 rankings: National U has had twin towers for two years in a row now, but in #UAAPSeason82, there was no doubt Kevin Quiambao towered above all throughout the tournament. That is why he is the no. 1 player in the Final UAAP NBTC 24. pic.twitter.com/HKjW1dZ2yS — Normie Riego (@riegogogo) March 18, 2020 Final #UAAPSeason82 NBTC 24 2? Adamson's Jake Figueroa 3? National U's Carl Tamayo 4? Ateneo's Josh Lazaro 5? FEU-Diliman's Penny Estacio (@p_nny11) pic.twitter.com/1ORNzKi77P — Normie Riego (@riegogogo) March 18, 2020 Final #UAAPSeason82 NBTC 24 6? UST's @bismarcklina 7? Ateneo's Lebron Lopez 8? FEU-Diliman's Cholo Anonuevo 9? National U's @TerrenceForteaa pic.twitter.com/eHHG3A1Xah — Normie Riego (@riegogogo) March 18, 2020 Final #UAAPSeason82 NBTC 24 1?0? Ateneo's @padrigaoforth 1?1? UPIS' Aldous Torculas 1?2? National U's @gerryabadiano08 1?3? Adamson's Matty Erolon pic.twitter.com/BYarVQfHp1 — Normie Riego (@riegogogo) March 18, 2020 Final #UAAPSeason82 NBTC 24 14 National U's Reyland Torres 15 UST's Jacob Cortez (@ki11a__) 16 UE's CJ Austria 17 FEU-Diliman's Patrick Sleat (@sleatyboy) 18 FEU-Diliman's @_JorickBautista — Normie Riego (@riegogogo) March 18, 2020 Final #UAAPSeason82 NBTC 24 19 National U's Ernest Felicilda 20 DLSZ's @KeanBaclaan 21 Adamson's Joshua Barcelona 22 UPIS' @jordigdl6 23 DLSZ's Ivan Cudiamat 24 Ateneo's Ian Espinosa (@idpespinosa) — Normie Riego (@riegogogo) March 18, 2020 Due to COVID-19, the Chooks-to-Go NBTC League National Finals as well as the annual All-Star Game have been postponed and tentatively rescheduled. Originally scheduled to take place from March 21 to 27 at SM Mall of Asia Arena, the event backed by Chooks-to-Go, SMART, Vivo, Darlington, Phoenix Fuels, Epson, Gatorade, Go for Gold, and Molten has been penciled in for April 20 to 26 still at the same venue......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 18th, 2020

Volleyball-themed movies, series to watch

The whole of Luzon is now put under an enhanced community quarantine to stop the further spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in the country. All major sporting events worldwide either are suspended or cancelled. For local volleyball fans, all we can do is watch reruns of classic games whether on TV or iWant. It could only do so much. But then again, we have lots of time in our hands, as we are advised by the government to stay at home to help contain the spread of the virus. So why not binge-watch on sports animes? If that’s not enough, how about a fix of these volleyball-themed movies and series?        THE IRON LADIES This Thai comedy film follows a volleyball team composed of gay and transgender athletes and their struggles. The movie drives home its main message of gender diversity, acceptance and the true meaning of sportsmanship.   They say football is the ‘beautiful game’, then can we all agree that volleyball is the ‘universal game’? A combined prequel and sequel of the movie was released in 2003. Another movie Iron Ladies Roar! was released in 2014.      ATTACK NO. 1 If you think Japanese volleyball is brutal, well, you’re right. This live action adaptation of a popular Japanese manga is about high school girl Kozue Ayuhara’s struggle with the hardships and severe volleyball training designed by her team’s strict head coach, leading her squad as well dealing with rivalry among her teammates, taking on tough opponents and friendship. A personal favorite of this Tito, this series was released 15 years ago and the main actress, Aya Ueto, really resembles Filipina taekwondo jin Pauline Lopez.   CAST AWAY If you feel that volleyball sepanx (separation anxiety) with these postponements, cancellations, lockdowns and all, what more for a man stranded on an isolated island with only a volleyball to talk to. Wilson!!!    THE MIRACLE SEASON Released two years ago, this movie is based on the true story of Iowa City West High School volleyball team after the death of its star player Caroline Found in an accident in 2011. It deals about moving on, picking up the pieces and soldiering on as a team despite the most difficult circumstance.   After this movie, for sure, you’ll be having a few sniffs listening to Sweet Caroline     GIRLS WITH BALLS A French-Belgian comedy horror film which follows a champion volleyball team, the Falcons, on a road trip gone horribly wrong. If you want gore mixed with a few laughs and volleyball players defending themselves by spiking volleyballs (cringy!), then maybe this movie could help you pass time in a very boring day.      THE OPTIMISTS (OPTIMISTERNE) A Norwegian documentary about a women’s volleyball team composed of ladies aged 66 to 98 preparing for a match after 30 years of practice. This 1-hour and 32-minutes will change the way you look at the sport and life, generally. This proves that age is just a number.   SPIKER Released in 1986, this sports drama revolves around college athletes trying to earn a spot in the US men’s volleyball team. Just like in reality not every story ends up in a happy ending.   SIDE OUT A 1990 comedy-drama film about a beach volleyball competition. It flopped in the box office but well you have nothing to do these days so why not see it to pass time. Fun fact: the side-out term is an obsolete volleyball rule by which the serving team can only can only score a point.   GREEN FLASH (BEACH KINGS) The plot revolves on a former basketball star who after years of hiatus resurfaces on the beach of Southern California with the dreams of winning The Manhattan Open. Ah, who wouldn’t want to dip in the cool blue sea, feel the warmth of the sun and sands on your feet? But then again we’re on a community quarantine here in Luzon so let’s just see this movie and dream of that summer escape.   AIR BUD: SPIKES BACK A dog playing beach volleyball while helping solve a series of crime with a friend parrot. Alright, we really are bored. But then again seeing a dog block a spike in a beach volleyball played by six players on each side is kinda cute. Never mind the beach volleyball rules. We’re here to kill time, right?        ALL YOU’VE GOT A movie about players of two rival women’s high school volleyball teams joining together to win it all. The story and message might be a cliché but it still deals with the reality that teams have to work in spite of differences to achieve a common goal.           IMPACT POINT A professional beach volleyball player trying to survive the dangers of having an obsessed psycho killer running after her. Romance, thriller and beach volleyball rolled into one.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 17th, 2020

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

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

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 9th, 2020

Butler returns to lead Heat past Warriors, 113-101

MICHAEL WAGAMAN Associated Press SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Jimmy Butler had 21 points and 10 rebounds in his return to Miami’s lineup, and the Heat won in Andre Iguodala’s first game back in the Bay Area, thumping the Golden State Warriors 113-101 on Monday night. Butler was crisp after sitting out the previous two games with a right shoulder strain. The All-Star forward scored 13 points in the first half, shot 9 of 15 overall and had five assists to help the Heat end a three-game skid. Jae Crowder added 21 points and eight rebounds. Bam Adebayo had 13 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists. Kelly Olynyk had 12 points and a career-high 11 assists. Iguodala, a key member of the Warriors' three championship teams from 2015-18, had two points and five rebounds in 17 minutes against his former team. Damion Lee scored 26 points with five 3-pointers for Golden State (12-42). The loss ends the Warriors' five-year streak of finishing .500 or better. The Heat led comfortably most of the game to win for the first time on their six-game road trip that stretches beyond the All-Star break. Crowder, who had 18 points in his Miami debut against Portland on Sunday, made a step-back 3-pointer that put the Heat up by 18 midway through the second quarter. Olynyk later added another 3-pointer that made it 52-31. Golden State trailed by 24 but got within 73-69 following three free throws by Lee. Miami pulled away early in the fourth quarter, getting a dunk from Iguodala and back-to-back 3s by Robinson and Crowder. TIP-INS Heat: Crowder scored 16 points in the first half. … Miami won in the Bay Area for the first time since Feb. 12, 2014. The Heat had lost five straight road games to Golden State. Warriors: Thompson and Draymond Green, along with injured teammate Stephen Curry, are among the finalists for the 2020 U.S. Olympic men’s basketball team. FAMILIAR FACE, NOW FOE During a brief pregame ceremony, injured Golden State star Klay Thompson introduced Iguodala, the 2015 NBA Finals MVP who was greeted by a standing ovation from the crowd. “I can’t wait to see your jersey in the rafters,” Thompson said. Iguodala, in his second game with the Heat, tried to keep his return to the Bay Area in perspective. “I haven’t had a chance to let it be something that is overwhelming,” Iguodala said. “I just see it as another game on the schedule. It’s more important for the team so it’s actually helping me, if not allowing me, to not let it seem like a different type of situation.” Iguodala was greeted with a rousing ovation from the crowd when he checked into the game in the first quarter. UP NEXT Heat: Face the Jazz in Utah on Wednesday in their final game before the All-Star break. Warriors: Play at Phoenix on Wednesday. The teams split a pair of games in San Francisco earlier this season......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 11th, 2020

UAAP 82: Baby Tams last one standing in way of elims sweep for Bullpups

Games on Wednesday at Filoil Flying V Centre 9:00 a.m. - Baby Falcons vs Blue Eaglets 11:00 a.m. - Tiger Cubs vs Jr. Archers 1:00 p.m. - Jr. Warriors vs Jr. Maroons 3:00 p.m. - Bullpups vs Baby Tamaraws Nazareth School of National University needs just one more win to automatically advance into the Finals of the UAAP 82 Boys Basketball Tournament. To do so, however, the Bullpups will have to ace the tough test sure to be put up by second-running Far Eastern University-Diliman, Wednesday at Filoil Flying V Centre. The defending champions shoot for a sweep of the elimination round starting at 3:00 p.m. and if they do so, they will trigger stepladder playoffs for the other playoff teams. Of course, the Baby Tamaraws have other plans and want nothing more than the usual Final Four to ensue. Even more, a win of 16 points or more actually catapults them onto the top-seed. The other games of the day also have big-time implications. At 9:00 a.m., Adamson High School is out to clinch the last playoff berth, but standing in its way is streaking Ateneo de Manila High School. Then at 11:00 a.m., University of Sto. Tomas fights for dear life against De La Salle Zobel. Meanwhile, the University of the Philippines Integrated School hopes to avoid a winless season by exacting revenge on University of the East at 1:00 p.m. The afternoon action will be on ABS-CBN S+A Channel 23, ABS-CBN S+A HD Channel 166, LIGA SkyCable Channel 86, LIGA HD SkyCable Channel 183, iWant as well as livestream while the morning matches will be on streaming......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 4th, 2020

Blue Eaglets sizzle in 37-0 run to seize UAAP 82 playoff berth

STANDINGS Bullpups 13-0 Baby Tamaraws 12-1 Blue Eaglets 8-5 Baby Falcons 7-6 Tiger Cubs 6-7 Jr. Archers 3-10 Jr. Warriors 3-10 Jr. Maroons 0-13 De La Salle Zobel landed the first blows in its rivalry game, Sunday in the middle of the Filoil Flying V Centre, but it was Ateneo de Manila High School that landed the decisive knockout. Unleashing a monstrous 37-0 run bridging the first and second quarters, the Blue Eaglets dominated their archrival Green Archers for a convincing 79-52 victory that assures them of at least a playoff for a place in the next round of the UAAP 82 Boys Basketball Tournament. The kids from Katipunan actually fell victim to a scorching start by the boys from Alabang as the latter went up, 14-3, after three and a half minutes of play. It was at that point, however, that Ateneo flipped the script and fired 37 unanswered points to erase the double-digit and erect a large lead at 40-14, all of a sudden. They wouldn’t look back all the way to stretching their streak to four straight. Now at 8-5, the Blue Eaglets will play one more game, at the very least, after the elimination round no matter what happens in their matchup opposite Adamson High School on Wednesday. Meanwhile, Far Eastern University-Diliman gave itself a shot at the top-seed after getting the better of very game University of Sto. Tomas, 81-73. Cholo Anonuevo posted a 13-point, 11-rebound double-double, all while keying the final frame rush that boosted the Baby Tamaraws past the Tiger Cubs once and for all. He was joined there by Penny Estacio who wound up with 19 points on top of six rebounds, five steals, and two assists as well as Patrick Sleat who totaled 13 markers and eight boards of his own. Turning up the heat in the endgame, FEU-Diliman took care of business for its 12th win in a row following a season-opening loss. They still have a shot at the top-seed if, and only if, they find a way to take down undefeated defending champion Nazareth School of National University by 16 points or more in the last game of eliminations on Wednesday. The two teams had met in the very first game day of the season and the Bullpups won that one, 64-49. If a repeat happens, the defending champions automatically advance into the Finals and trigger stepladder playoffs with the Baby Tams positioned at the second-seed and powered with a twice-to-beat advantage. For UST, Bismarck Lina kept up the heat with 25 points, 12 rebounds, four assists, and two steals while Jacob Cortez his 15 markers and 11 boards to his name. All of that wasn't enough, however, to prevent their second straight setback and seventh overall in 13 games. They now need to win their last assignment opposite DLSZ just to have a chance at the next round......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 2nd, 2020

Madrid ends winless run at Getafe, Oblak saves Atletico

By Joseph Wilson, Associated Press BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Real Madrid needed a defender to end a run of three straight draws and a worrisome scoring drought on Saturday as it resumed its Spanish league campaign after the winter break. Madrid center back Raphael Varane scored with a header after helping to play a part in an own-goal by Getafe’s goalkeeper to fuel a 3-0 victory at crosstown rival Getafe. The first win in four rounds by Zinedine Zidane’s team left it atop the standings at one point above Barcelona before the defending champions played at Espanyol hours later. Goalkeeper Jan Oblak made a pair of spectacular saves late in Atlético Madrid’s 2-1 win against Levante, ensuring it moved past Sevilla into third place on goal difference. Also, Valencia beat Eibar 1-0. Madrid, Barcelona, Atlético and Valencia will travel to Saudi Arabia to contest the new-look Spanish Super Cup next week. VARANE’S VICTORY Varane was already charged with anchoring a backline that was without the suspended Sergio Ramos. But he also came through at the other end to help get his team’s first goals after back-to-back scoreless draws. Varane was involved in an own-goal by Getafe goalkeeper David Soria to open the scoring in the 34th minute when they challenged for a high ball in the area. The Spanish league credited the goal to Soria, who appeared to knock the ball into his own net after failing to punch it clear. Varane doubled the lead in the 53rd when he was left unmarked to head home a free kick by Toni Kroos. Luka Modric added a third goal in stoppage time as Getafe lost its second of 10 league home matches this season. “We have made a good start to the year,” Zidane said. OBLAK'S SAVES Atlético got a third straight victory after scoring early and relying on Oblak to protect the three points. Thomas Partey started the attractive move that led to Correa's opener in the 13th when he played Kieran Trippier wide down the right flank. Trippier, instead of controlling the ball, used a precise single touch to send in a cross to the near post where Correa redirected it home. Roger Martí did well to level three minutes later for Levante when he swept in a lobbed pass for his ninth goal of the season. Atlético defender Felipe Monteiro hit right back for Atlético in the 19th with a powerful header. Atlético turned to Oblak to make two one-handed saves in denying Enis Bardhi late in the game. Oblak frustrated Bardhi’s excellent solo effort after he dribbled past three defenders before shooting off-balance. The Slovenia goalkeeper then surpassed that by stopping Bardhi’s point-blank header on one of the final touches of the match. “We all want to wrap the games up early, but we didn’t score the third goal that would have put it away,” Oblak said. “It was a reflex save and fortunately I stopped (Bardhi’s last attempt).” VALENCIA PREVAILS Valencia striker Maxi Gómez scored from a pass by Daniel Wass in the first half of a home win over Eibar. Valencia, which struggled early in the season, continued to climb up the table into sixth place......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 5th, 2020

The NBA’s East is loaded at the top, and might stay that way

By Tim Reynolds, Associated Press The West is used to being loaded at the top. The East, not so much. But a new year is arriving with a new look in the NBA’s Eastern Conference. The league will wake up on Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time) — the first day of 2020 — with six teams with winning percentages of .600 or better, the first time that’s been the case on New Year’s Day since 1998. “This is a tough part of the country, a tough part of our league,” Philadelphia coach Brett Brown said. He didn’t say “finally,” but he could have. Just last spring, Brooklyn got the No. 6 seed in the East playoffs at 42-40. This season, it won’t be inconceivable if two teams in the East reach 50 wins and start the playoffs on the road anyway — which would be amazing, considering that every 50-win team in the East since 1998 has gotten a top-four seed. Has there been a power shift from one conference to another? And can what seems to be happening in the East race last until April? “My gut feel is, I think it can,” Brown said. “To your overall question, is there a power shift, I’m biased but I think quite possibly.” That one could easily be argued. Going into 2020, the basic structure of the standings in each conference is basically the same. There’s a team that has broken a bit away atop the pack — Milwaukee in the East; the Los Angeles Lakers out West. Then there are five teams jostling for spots 2 through 6 — Miami, Boston, Toronto, Philadelphia and Indiana in the East; Denver, the Los Angeles Clippers, Houston, Dallas and Utah in the West. There’s a team around .500 hovering in seventh — Brooklyn in the East, Oklahoma City in the West. And then there’s a below-.500 team in eighth — Orlando in the East, Portland in the West. The East and West have split the last eight NBA Finals, so it’s not like there’s been a huge disparity in talent at the very top. But the West, top to bottom, has unquestionably been the stronger side of the league for some time. Things seem different now. “It’s really competitive and you have to like this,” Miami coach Erik Spoelstra said. “You have to enjoy it as a competitor. People have been disparaging the Eastern Conference for so long. You have some really good teams here in the East and the teams are proving it.” DECADE IN REVIEW There were seven different franchises with at least one NBA championship in the 2010s, Golden State leading the way with three followed by Miami with two. San Antonio was one of the five clubs with one — but a case could be made for the Spurs being the team of the decade. The Spurs had the most wins in the 2010s, whether just counting the regular season or adding both the regular season and the playoffs together. Oklahoma City was No. 2 in regular season wins, followed by Golden State, Houston and Miami. The fewest wins? That would be Sacramento, followed by Minnesota, Brooklyn, Phoenix and New York. But a special decade-long award for futility should go to Detroit and Sacramento — the only teams in the NBA that didn’t win a playoff game in the 2010s. The Pistons have lost 14 consecutive postseason contests since winning Game 4 of the 2008 Eastern Conference finals. Other high marks from the 2010s: Most points — Devin Booker scored 70 points for Phoenix against Boston on March 24, 2017. Most rebounds — Kevin Love had 31 for Minnesota against New York on Nov. 12, 2010. Most assists — Rajon Rondo had 25 for New Orleans against Brooklyn on Dec. 27, 2017. Most steals — Lou Williams had 10 for the Los Angeles Clippers against Utah on Jan. 20, 2018, and Draymond Green had 10 for Golden State against Memphis on Feb. 10, 2017. Green’s was part of a most unique triple-double; he also had 11 rebounds and 10 assists, but only four points. Most 3-pointers — Klay Thompson made 14 for Golden State against Chicago on Oct. 29, 2018. Most blocks — Poor Chicago. JaVale McGee had 12 for Washington against the Bulls on March 15, 2011, and Hassan Whiteside had 12 for Miami against the Bulls on Jan. 25, 2015. THE WEEK AHEAD A game to watch each day this week (PHL times listed): Wednesday, Dallas at Oklahoma City — The final game of the decade, and two West teams playing well. Thursday, Orlando at Washington — The first game of the decade, and two East teams that are ailing. Friday, Toronto at Miami — The Raptors and Heat are in the thick of the race, likely surprising many. Saturday, Philadelphia at Houston — Game 5 in a 10-game run of the 76ers are facing likely playoff teams. Sunday, San Antonio at Milwaukee — Begins a Gregg Popovich-Mike Budenholzer home-and-home that ends Monday. Next Monday, New York at L.A. Clippers — The Knicks have lost 13 of their last 14 against Doc Rivers’ club. Next Tuesday, Denver at Atlanta — The Nuggets, very quietly, are rolling along. The Hawks are not. ___ Tim Reynolds is a national basketball writer for The Associated Press. Write to him at treynolds@ap.org.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 1st, 2020

PBA: Bolts surge past TNT in Game 5 to set Finals trilogy with Ginebra

ANTIPOLO — Huge power boost for Meralco. The Bolts are back in the PBA Governors’ Cup Finals after surging past TNT in a do-or-die Game 5 Monday at the Ynares Center here, scoring a huge 89-78 victory. Down 1-2, Meralco still ended up winning the series, 3-2, to challenge Ginebra for a third time in four seasons for the Governors’ Cup championship. Meralco got big games from Allen Durham, Chris Newsome, and rookie Bong Quinto in the victory. Durham led the Bolts with 28 points, 10 rebounds, and eight assists. Newsome added 23 points and rookie Bong Quinto recorded a career-high of 19 points for the win. Down at the half, Meralco started to clamp down on defense, making scoring ultra-tough for the usually high-powered KaTropa. The Bolts then got a spark from Quinto, who had a personal 8-1 run to start the fourth that created the true separation of both teams. TNT's season ends without a title once again and the KaTropa certainly picked a bad time to struggle on offense, shooting just 34 percent as a team. KJ McDaniels led TNT with 30 points and 13 rebounds in the loss.   The Scores: MERALCO 89 -- Durham 28, Newsome 23, Quinto 19, Maliksi 11, Hodge 3, Caram 3, Amer 2, Almazan 0, Pinto 0, Faundo 0, Jackson 0, Jamito 0, Jose 0, Salva 0. TNT 78 -- McDaniels 30, Parks 15, Castro 11, Rosario 10, Pogoy 10, Semerad 2, Reyes 0, Washington 0, De Leon 0, Vosotros 0. Quarters: 22-23, 37-42, 66-61, 89-78. — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 23rd, 2019

Lefty Madison Bumgarner, D-backs reach $85M, five-year deal

By Janie McCauley, Associated Press SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Longtime Giants ace Madison Bumgarner has reached agreement with the Arizona Diamondbacks on an $85 million, five-year contract that ends his run of success in San Francisco, a person with direct knowledge of the deal told The Associated Press on Sunday. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the 2014 World Series MVP still needed to pass a physical to complete the contract. Bumgarner pitched 11 seasons for the Giants but knew his time likely had ended. He bid farewell along with retiring manager Bruce Bochy on the season's final day. The Giants said during the winter meetings this past week in San Diego they had remained in contact with representatives for the 30-year-old Bumgarner, who helped them win World Series titles in 2010, ‘12 and ’14. The seven-time defending NL West champion Dodgers also were among the clubs interested in signing the free agent. Bumgarner went 9-9 with a career-high 3.90 ERA in 34 starts last season. The lefty has been especially valuable in postseason play — he is 4-0 with a memorable Game 7 save and an 0.25 ERA in World Series play, and has pitched two shutouts in NL wild-card games. ___ AP Sports Writer John Marshall in Phoenix contributed to this report......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 16th, 2019

High alert over exodus of tourists

Immigration officers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport and other airports in the country are on heightened alert for this holiday season and for the mass departure of foreign athletes and delegates after the 30th Southeast Asian Games, which ends Dec. 11......»»

Category: newsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsDec 7th, 2019

Bullpups stay spotless, Baby Tams still streaking in UAAP 82

STANDINGS Bullpups 5-0 Baby Tamaraws 4-1 Baby Falcons 3-2 Blue Eaglets 3-2 Tiger Cubs 2-3 Jr. Archers 2-3 Jr. Warriors 1-4 Jr. Maroons 0-5 Nazareth School of National University went all-out to make sure it didn’t suffer the same fate that befell new-age rival Ateneo de Manila High School in the continuing UAAP 82 Boys’ Basketball Tournament. With Kevin Quiambao towering above all and everybody else taking care of their own business, the Bullpups made quick work of University of the East, 91-49, Wednesday at Paco Arena. Quiambao was a force with a 15-point, 15-rebound double-double while Ernest Felicilda and Reyland Torres also added 12 and 11 markers, respectively, to make sure the Bullpups stayed away from the upset ax. Just four days ago, the Jr. Warriors pulled the rug from under the favored Blue Eaglets. There was no such thing happening to National U as Carl Tamayo and Terrence Fortea didn’t even have to do much with all 16 players fielded in by head coach Goldwin Monteverde contributing in the scoring column. Still, coach Gold saw much room for improvement at the other end. “Okay naman shooting namin, but yung defense namin, wala pa dun,” he said. That defense actually suffocated the Jr. Warriors to just 26 percent shooting from the field and yet, the softspoken shot-caller wants much more from his wards moving forward from their 5-0 start to the season. Right behind the Bullpups in the standings is Far Eastern University-Diliman which charged through very game University of Sto. Tomas, 80-73. Penny Estacio stuffed the stat sheet with 21 points, five assists, five steals, and four rebounds while backcourt partner Jorick Bautista had his own 19 markers, six dimes, five boards, and two pilfers. With those two at the controls, the Baby Tamaraws ran circles around their opponents for a 28-6 edge in transition en route to their fourth win in a row following a season-opening loss. Bouncing back onto the win column is Ateneo de Manila High School courtesy of a 99-70 rout of the University of the Philippines Integrated School. Transferees Lebron Lopez and Josh Lazaro were big in the Blue Eaglets’ bounce back to 3-2 with the former finishing with 20 points, three rebounds, and three blocks and the latter ending with 17 markers and 13 boards. In the day’s other game, Adamson High School dropped a 32-point hammer on De La Salle Zobel, 89-57. Marcus Nitura busted out with 21 points to lead the Baby Falcons to back-to-back wins and a 3-2 standing. The Tiger Cubs, who suffered a second straight setback to fall to 2-3, were paced by Jacob Cortez who had 23 points while the Jr. Archers, sporting the same slate, were paced by Kean Baclaan and John Dalisay who had nine markers apiece. Meanwhile, Jericho Montecalvo had 14 markers to front the effort for UE even though they dropped down to 1-4 and Ray Torres showed the way for UPIS with 21 markers even though they remained winless in five games. BOX SCORES FIRST GAME FEU-DILIMAN 80 - Estacio 21, Bautista 19, Sleat 15, Bagunu 7, Remogat 6, Anonuevo 5, Padrones 4, Pasaol 3, Buenaventura 0, Libago 0, Mantua 0, Saldua 0 UST 73 - Cortez 23, Villarez 14, Salazar 13, Escoto 7, Montemayor 6, Bugarin 4, Oliva 4, Maliwat 2, Bautista 0, Biag 0, Calivozo 0, Jalbuena 0, Lina 0 QUARTER SCORES: 21-19, 46-37, 65-59, 80-73 SECOND GAME NU 91 - Quiambao 15, Felicilda 12, Torres 10, Alarcon 9, Abadiano 8, Fortea 8, Laure 6, Abiera 4, Tamayo 4, Mailim 3, Songcuya 3, Duremdes 2, Enriquez 2, Lantaya 2, Tulabut 2, Buensalida 1 UE 49 - Montecalvo 14, Austria 8, San Juan 6, Mara 5, Marasigan 5, Cabili 3, Maximo 3, Cruz 2, Serrano 2, Peralta 1, Caliwag 0, Castillo 0, Montecastro 0, Ortiz 0, Pelipel 0, Tan 0 QUARTER SCORES: 32-16, 53-25, 77-38, 91-49 THIRD GAME ATENEO 99 - Lopez 20, Lazaro 17, De Ayre 16, Padrigao 11, Jaymalin 7, Ladimo 7, Espinosa, Nieto 4, Pangilinan 4, Salvador M 4, Felix 2, Salvador G 2, Corral 0, Diaz 0, Rubiato 0, Santos 0 UPIS 70 - Torres 21, Gomez de Liano 18, Dinaculangan 17, Torculas 8, Canillas 3, Jacob 2, Napalang 1, Armamento 0, Avinado 0, Lopez 0 QUARTER SCORES: 24-17, 46-27, 70-53, 99-70 FOURTH GAME ADAMSON 89 - Nitura 21, Dominguez 10, Hanapi 10, Quinal 10, Abdulla 8, Erolon 8, Figueroa 7, Barcelona 4, Ignacio 4, Tulabut 4, Gonzaga 2, Timbancaya 1, Cosal 0, DLSZ 57 - Baclaan 9, Dalisay 9, Quimado 7, Tupas 7, Villarin 6, Milan 4, Del Mundo 3, Sevilla 3, Unisa 3, Luna 2, Macasaet 2, Omer 2, Cudiamat 0, Lawrence 0, Reyes 0 QUARTER SCORES: 16-18, 32-30, 65-46, 89-57 —— Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 27th, 2019

NCAA 95: Grateful Jerrick Balanza repays Letran community with championship

Letran Knights sharpshooter Jerrick Balanza had himself the perfect ending to his collegiate career as he dropped a game-high 27 points to lead his Colegio de San Juan de Letran Knights to an 81-79 Game 3 win in the NCAA Season 95 Men's Basketball Finals over rivals San Beda University Red Lions, Tuesday at the Mall of Asia Arena, to return to the summit of the NCAA men's basketball summit.  The graduating Balanza was on fire all-game long as he drained big bucket after big bucket, none bigger than a crucial three to put the Knights up 79-73 with a minute and 29 seconds left. While San Beda would get it down to a one possession game with 5.4 ticks left, there would be no miracles for the would-have-been four-peat champs as the underdog Knights came up with a couple of crucial defensive stops, the last being a block from Balanza to secure the title.  "As a captain, kailangan kong patunayan sa team, and sa Letran community, tsaka, katulad nung sinabi ko nakaraan, kung sinong mas gusto manalo eh, so ako ginusto ko talaga, lahat ng takot ko sa tira, hindi. Inalis ko yun, talagang nilabanan ko,so yun," said Balanza, who added seven rebounds and three assists. "Maganda yung outcome, so nag-tuloy tuloy siya."  BIG SHOT JERRICK ???? #NCAASeason95 pic.twitter.com/GUJnfFi7kb — ABS-CBN Sports (@abscbnsports) November 19, 2019 For Balanza, bringing an NCAA Men's Basketball Championship back to Intramuros was also the perfect way to repay the Letran community for everything that they've done.  Balanza was, of course, this season's most inspiring story, making a triumphant return after being sidelined midway through Season 94 due to a brain tumor from an ear infection. Balanza successfully underwent surgery in September of 2018. By July of 2019, Balanza was back in uniform for the Knights in Season 95.  Behind him every step of the way, Balanza says, was the whole Letran community, and winning a title was a way of showing gratitude.  "Sobrang bait ni God, talaga, sobra, dahil talagang lugmok na lugmok na ako nung time na yun eh," said Balanza during the post-game press conference. "Wala akong ginawa kung hindi maniwala lang sa Kanya at maging positibo, so ayun, sobrang sarap lang ng pakiramdam na napasalamatan ko yung Letran community and sa lahat ng naniwala sa amin sa pamamagitan ng [championship]." "Ito na, ito na yung ginawang way para mapasalamatan ko sila. Hindi ko man sila mapasalamatan isa-isa, ito na siguro yung ginawang way ni God." the 23-year old added.  Letran, you were always behind Jerrick. This is all for YOU! #NCAASeason95 pic.twitter.com/1MWpfL7qFJ — ABS-CBN Sports (@abscbnsports) November 19, 2019 Coming into the season, the tall and talented Letran squad was indeed considered as contenders, but the favorites remained the defending champion Red Lions, and that standing was only reinforced by San Beda sweeping the eliminations and gaining an outright berth into the Finals.  Letran on the other hand, finished as the 3-seed and found themselves going through two do-or-die games against San Sebastian and Lyceum, before finally setting up a rematch of the NCAA Season 91 Men's Basktball Finals against the Red Lions.  Through all the adversity, there was never any doubt in Balanza that they would be able to topple the red and white giants and claim their 18th title.  "Sa amin naman kasi talaga ito eh," Balanza said with confidence. "Ako, vision ko na, na pag balik ko, magcha-champion kami kasi yun ang pinaka-magandang plano ni God para sa akin and sa team, so 'yun, tignan mo ngayon, ilang [buwan] lang, nangyari na."  After taking Game 1, Letran only proved that they were indeed a real threat to the impending San Beda dynasty, but a heartbreakingly-close loss in Game 2 nearly crushed the Knights' resolve. The graduating team captain Balanza however, would not allow that to happen.  "After ng Game 2, talagang sobrang down, yung iba akala nila hindi na kami mananalo sa Game 3, pero hindi, ako as a captain, kailangan ko silang dalhin para maglaro kami sa Game 3, and sinimulan namin sa ensayo, na parang kami na yung champion, so yun, maganda yung kinalabasan." Indeed, Balanza, as well as fellow senior Bonbon Batiller and Finals MVP Fran Yu stepped up in a big way to lead Letran to another title, their second against San Beda in the last five seasons.  "Sobra, sobra, sobra, sobra talaga, alam mo yun? Speechless ka na lang talaga, masasabi ko na lang talaga is Thank you, Lord, napaka-buti niyo sa akin," Balanza said.  With Balanza's tenure in Letran over and done with, the two-time NCAA champ hopes to have left a culture of caring within the team. He hopes to see the Knights keep the title in Intramuros next season.  "Siyempre, ako, lagi ko sinasabi sa mga teammates ko eh, kasi ako lagi talaga akong nagke-care sa mga teammates ko kasi sila na yung pangalawa kong pamilya eh, kasi mas matagal ko silang kasama kaysa sa pamilya ko, so yun, sinasabi ko sa kanila na kung ano yung iiwan namin ni Bon dito, ganun parin yung dalhin niyo next year, kasi kung paano namin kayo binuo, kung paano tayo nag-buobuo dito, mas tibayan niyo next year, balik natin sa Letran community yung back-to-back." Next for Balanza will be the professional ranks, as he and fellow senior Batiller revealed that they will be declaring for the upcoming PBA draft.  "Finished business na eh," Balanza said with a smile. "Para sa family namin, mag-aapply na na kami.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 19th, 2019

UC ends season on a high note, wrests third place against USC

Cebu City, Philippines—The University of Cebu (UC) made sure this one wouldn’t slip away. The Webmasters once again built an early lead but this time held on to it until the final buzzer to pull off a 57-53 victory over the University of San Carlos (USC) in the battle-for-third game of the Cesafi men’s basketball […] The post UC ends season on a high note, wrests third place against USC appeared first on Cebu Daily News......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsNov 19th, 2019

Wright hits game-winner as Phoenix ends PBA season on high note

MANILA, Philippines – Matthew Wright drained the game-winning triple in overtime to lift Phoenix to an enthralling 120-117 win over Blackwater in the 2019 PBA Governors' Cup at the Araneta Coliseum on Friday, November 15. Wright, who sent the game to an extra period off 3 straight three-pointers, broke the ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsNov 16th, 2019

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

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

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 8th, 2019