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This really is my last playing year -- Tolentino on cancelled Season 82

It was not the exit Ateneo de Manila University senior Kat Tolentino wanted but the Lady Eagles star knew that the decision of the UAAP Board to cancel Season 82 amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic was for the best. The UAAP on Tuesday decided to end the season following the government’s declaration to extend the enhanced community quarantine to April 30 as the number of COVID-positive cases continue to rise and with the virus claiming more than a hundred lives.       It was a disappointing end for Tolentino’s collegiate career as she hoped to help the Lady Eagles retain the women’s volleyball crown. “It’s sad, of course. I am sure all the athletes will be disappointed,” Tolentino, who averaged 10.5 points per game in Ateneo’s two outings, told ABS-CBN Sports through her management Virtual Playground. The opposite spiker, who announced that she’ll forego her final year after leading Ateneo to its third overall title in Season 81, decided to return for one last ride for the blue and white. Aside from Tolentino, who is currently in Vancouver, Canada, seniors Jho Maraguinot and setter Jamie Lavitoria also came back to play their last year for the Lady Eagles.    Ateneo this season was considered to be one of the teams to beat with the experience and veteran presence of Tolentino and other returning players complementing Ateneo’s young bloods led by rookie Faith Nisperos.       “[It’s sad] especially since I decided to comeback and this really is my last playing year na,” said the 25-year old Fil-Canadian. “Also, sad just because I was really looking forward to playing with this new team of Ateneo.” “But I understand these are very difficult circumstances,” she added. “It’s been difficult not being able to train as a team or in our normal environment.” Tolentino said that with the current situation of the contagion, it is best to cancel the season.   “If the UAAP is going to rush and put the athletes/community at risk it may not be worth continuing the season” said Tolentino.         View this post on Instagram                   Thanks for the memories???? Stay safe everyone ???? A post shared by Katrina Tolentino (@katrinamaetolentino) on Apr 7, 2020 at 9:23pm PDT “In the end, it will be frustrating, heartbreaking and it will disappoint so many people, but I will be understanding in whatever decision is made,” she added. The Lady Eagles won against University of the Philippines in their first match before bowing down to archrival De La Salle University where Tolentino was limited to only six points.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource: abscbn abscbnApr 8th, 2020

Kat Tolentino: How she ended up as a Lady Eagle

Suffering an injury is a dreadful experience for any athlete. What more if it’s a career-threatening one? Kat Tolentino went through three harrowing knee injuries in a span of three years – two of those she suffered while in Canada. But those misfortunes played a big role in convincing Tolentino to fly to the Philippines and eventually become one of the most recognized names in collegiate volleyball. The Ateneo de Manila University volleyball star in an interview on So She Did podcast shared how she ended up in the Lady Eagles' nest.   “It was actually a long story but basically, when I was in Grade 11, my brother was out there in the Philippines already, he was playing basketball for Ateneo and I was just visiting him for vacation,” said Kat, sister of former Blue Eagle Vince. The Ateneo volleyball management that time already knew who the 6-foot-2 spiker was and she was invited to train with the then Roger Gorayeb-mentored Lady Eagles. “I actually don’t even have the shoes at that time or any like knee pads,” she recalled. “So I have to borrow from my cousin and then I borrowed knee pads from the men’s team.” She played with the team but it didn’t convince her to follow the footsteps of her brother, living alone in a tropical country that is thousand of miles away from home. “For me I was in Grade 11 at that time and I didn’t really think like, ‘Oh I want to go to the Philippines’. In fact, I was kind of confused why my brother moved there,” said Tolentino, who is currently back in Canada after the cancellation of the UAAP Season 82 due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. “I think, it’s just crazy because at that time, I was getting mad at my mom because I was like, ‘Why are you making me move to the Philippines?’ I was only like Grade 11,” she added. Tolentino that time wasn’t ready to get out of her comfort zone. Naturally, she chose to stay in the Great White North. Tolentino was in University of Canada when she suffered her second left anterior cruciate ligament injury in 2014, a year after her first.    “I went to University in Canada for one year and I don’t know if you know that I had three ACL injuries. So the second ACL injury, I was in University in Canada but I just decided after I got the second one in Canada, I needed change and I wanted to experience something different,” she said. Tolentino thought a new environment might change her fortune. Luckily, the Lady Eagles’ door remained open. “Ateneo contacted me when they heard I got injured again,” she said. “They said that they’re still willing to help me and wanted to help me with my rehab and therapy and they had a very good surgeon. So yeah, they just called up and I ended up there.” The hype was high for the Fil-Canadian when she finally got the chance to don the blue and white when the then two-time UAAP champion Ateneo joined the now defunct Shakey’s V-League Collegiate Conference in July 2015. But the injury bug followed her to the Philippines and once again bit Tolentino hard. The hitter suffered a right ACL injury while warming up and had to undergo another operation and months of rehabilitation. She was forced to miss UAAP Season 78 and watched helplessly from the sidelines as archrival De La Salle University dethroned the Lady Eagles. After months of therapy, Tolentino finally made her official debut in the UAAP in Season 79 in 2017 – a victorious welcome over University of Sto. Tomas. Ateneo fell short in the Finals that year. The following season, the Lady Eagles missed the championship entirely for the first time in six years. In Season 81, Tolentino helped Ateneo capture its third title. She announced after winning the crown that she’s leaving the team but decided to make a return for a swan song this year. Unfortunately, the league cancelled the tournament after just four playdates. Asked if she’ll be back for another tour of duty if given the chance, Tolentino admitted that she’s still thinking about it. “I think for me it’s not something I can decide now,” she said. “I would be thankful if they would allow me to go back but I can’t say anything right now.” Looking back, Tolentino would like to think that her second ACL injury brought her to Ateneo. It wasn’t the best of situation to be in to make a life-changing decision but it in the end it turned out just fine.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 22nd, 2020

This really is my last playing year -- Tolentino on cancelled Season 82

It was not the exit Ateneo de Manila University senior Kat Tolentino wanted but the Lady Eagles star knew that the decision of the UAAP Board to cancel Season 82 amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic was for the best. The UAAP on Tuesday decided to end the season following the government’s declaration to extend the enhanced community quarantine to April 30 as the number of COVID-positive cases continue to rise and with the virus claiming more than a hundred lives.       It was a disappointing end for Tolentino’s collegiate career as she hoped to help the Lady Eagles retain the women’s volleyball crown. “It’s sad, of course. I am sure all the athletes will be disappointed,” Tolentino, who averaged 10.5 points per game in Ateneo’s two outings, told ABS-CBN Sports through her management Virtual Playground. The opposite spiker, who announced that she’ll forego her final year after leading Ateneo to its third overall title in Season 81, decided to return for one last ride for the blue and white. Aside from Tolentino, who is currently in Vancouver, Canada, seniors Jho Maraguinot and setter Jamie Lavitoria also came back to play their last year for the Lady Eagles.    Ateneo this season was considered to be one of the teams to beat with the experience and veteran presence of Tolentino and other returning players complementing Ateneo’s young bloods led by rookie Faith Nisperos.       “[It’s sad] especially since I decided to comeback and this really is my last playing year na,” said the 25-year old Fil-Canadian. “Also, sad just because I was really looking forward to playing with this new team of Ateneo.” “But I understand these are very difficult circumstances,” she added. “It’s been difficult not being able to train as a team or in our normal environment.” Tolentino said that with the current situation of the contagion, it is best to cancel the season.   “If the UAAP is going to rush and put the athletes/community at risk it may not be worth continuing the season” said Tolentino.         View this post on Instagram                   Thanks for the memories???? Stay safe everyone ???? A post shared by Katrina Tolentino (@katrinamaetolentino) on Apr 7, 2020 at 9:23pm PDT “In the end, it will be frustrating, heartbreaking and it will disappoint so many people, but I will be understanding in whatever decision is made,” she added. The Lady Eagles won against University of the Philippines in their first match before bowing down to archrival De La Salle University where Tolentino was limited to only six points.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 8th, 2020

PBA: Ginebra rookie Arvin Tolentino marries longtime girlfriend Brandy Kramer

 For Ginebra rookie Arvin Tolentino, the only thing in the air is love. The no. 10 pick of the 2019 PBA Draft out of FEU married longtime girlfriend Brandy Kramer over the weekend, sharing the moment on his Instagram.         View this post on Instagram                   To marry the person you set your heart upon is a joy unparalleled in human life. And yesterday I was the happiest man on earth ?? A post shared by Arvin Tolentino (@arvintolentino5) on Jul 25, 2020 at 9:41pm PDT Brandy is the younger sister Doug Kramer, who retired last year after playing his last game with Phoenix. Arvin is set to join a loaded Ginebra team starting the 2020 season.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 27th, 2020

PBA: Ginebra s solution to no Slaughter? More of Stanley Pringle

Without Greg Slaughter, Barangay Ginebra's campaign in the PBA was dealt with a huge blow. Slaughter's sudden sabbatical back in February came as a shock for the Gin Kings and it will surely be a different dynamic for Ginebra the next time the team takes the court in the PBA, whenever that is. Regardless, the Gin Kings will have to figure things out and part of the adjustment is to unleash Stanley Pringle and pair him with Japeth Aguilar. "We still have a lot of weapons," Ginebra coach Tim Cone said on Coaches Unfiltered. "We have Stanley. Stanley is somebody who is still very much exploring how to best use his talent and where he fits. There's a lot to still find out about him," coach Tim added. While Pringle ended up winning his first PBA title with Ginebra last season, he's only been with the Gin Kings for less than two full conferences. Stanley was acquired in a trade with Northport in the middle of last year's Commissioner's Cup where the team lost in the semifinals to TNT. By the Governors' Cup, Ginebra was back as champions after taking down Meralco in the Finals. [Related: PBA: Pringle relishes "special" PBA title with Ginebra] Aside from Pringle, Cone says Ginebra will cope up without Slaughter by giving larger roles for their crew of younger players. "We feel very good about our young guys, some of our younger veterans in Aljon Mariano, of course Art Dela Cruz," Cone said. "Then our young rookies, we have a lot of fate in Arvin Tolentino, I like Arvin's game. It's just a matter of whether we could get him to our culture and get him turned on playing how we want him to play," coach Tim added. [Related: Greg Slaughter signs with same agent as Nikola Jokic] Slaughter, who recently signed with the same agent as that of Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets, is a huge loss for the Barangay. But the Gin Kings will be alright. "We'll make up for Greg in other ways. It's gonna be tough because he can be a force at times and it's real tough having something ripped away from you like that without having being given anything in return," Cone said. "But we'll find ways to replace him, maybe a little more Japeth, a little bit more of Stanley," coach Tim added.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 15th, 2020

Dani Ravena can be the next leader of the Lady Eagles

Former Ateneo de Manila University star Denden Lazaro-Revilla sees libero Dani Ravena playing a bigger role for the Lady Eagles in their bid to retain their crown. Speaking on the Crossover podcast on Tuesday, the two-time UAAP champion said that aside from her defensive responsibilities, Ravena’s leadership will be needed by the Lady Eagles come Season 83 next year.    “I heard na she’s very vocal sa team and ‘yung energy niya na she brings on the court every time she steps in is a huge boost sa team,” said Lazaro-Revilla, who helped Ateneo win back-to-back titles in Seasons 76 and 77. “So she’s a vital cog in the Ateneo team right now.” The then sophomore Ravena anchored the Lady Eagles floor defense in Season 81 Finals against University of Sto. Tomas. Despite a quiet outing in the elimination round, Ravena played her role well in three games of the championship series averaging 14.3 digs and almost eight digs per match. With the possible departure of some of their senior players following the cancelled Season 82, Ravena’s leadership will be needed by Ateneo more than ever come Season 83 especially with young bloods coming in.    Lazaro-Revilla, who is set to play for ChocoMucho in the Premier Volleyball League, also praised Ravena’s improvement skills-wise considering that Miriam College product is just a converted defensive specialist. “Actually malaki yung in-improve niya given na she was only converted from a setter. She was a setter in high school then she was converted into a libero,” she said. “So malaking responsibility yun kasi she rose into the spotlight and then of course Ateneo is looking to win a championship. That’s not an easy task,” Lazaro-Revilla added. Aside from Ravena, the multi-titled libero also mentioned rookie libero Roma Doromal as vital piece on floor defense for Ateneo.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 19th, 2020

NCAA ManComm recommends extension for senior student-athletes

The NCAA Management Committee will propose to the Policy Board the extension of playing eligibility for senior student-athletes. Taking into consideration the unexpected cancellation of Season 95 because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and the possible delay of Season 96 opening to 2021, the committee is looking to make some adjustments for affected senior athletes. The ManComm is recommending to raise the age limit for seniors in Season 96 and allowing those affected by the scrapping of Season 95 to take a second course to be eligible to play for another year.    “We are also proposing that we adjust our eligibility for the athletes whose tournaments were postponed or yung hindi natapos. Ni-rerequest namin sa Policy Board to give them another year of eligibility,” said Season 95 ManComm head Peter Cayco of Arellano University. Cayco cleared that the proposal is only for those seniors whose sporting events were cut short or cancelled entirely. Affected second semester sports because of the cancellation were volleyball, football, beach volleyball, athletics, lawn and soft tennis and cheerleading. Completed events for Season 95 were first sem sporting events basketball, chess, swimming, table tennis, taekwondo and demo sport 3x3 basketball. “Ang adjustments nu’ng sa academics papayagan lang natin ‘yan doon sa mga atleta na ‘yung di natapos ang tournament o ‘di talagang nagawa ang tournament,” said Cayco. Under the current NCAA rule, student-athletes who have finished their studies are not allowed to take graduate course or a second degree to extend their playing year. “Sa academics, di natin pinapayagan sa NCAA ang second course. Let’s say naka-graduate siya, for this season alone, ang rekomendasyon namin is payagan nating mag-enroll ng second course para lang makalaro,” said Cayco. With the ManComm pushing the opening of Season 96, which will be hosted by Letran, to May or June next year, Cayco said that they are looking to raise the age limit for seniors to 26. “Ang papasok naman sa kanila ay yung age factor,” he said. “Let’s say last playing year mo na because of age ngayong taon na ito eh naurong. Ang suggestion namin ay bigyan natin ng one more playing year.” “Gawin nating 26 sila just for the next season,” Cayco added. “Di siya precedent, gagawin lang natin kasi di naman kasalanan ni atleta na aa-cancel ang season nila.” This proposal, according to Cayco, will just be an adjustment for Season 96. But when the situation ‘normalizes’, they will revert back to the league’s old rules.       --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 12th, 2020

What if the Tigresses fielded a complete, healthy lineup in Season 81 Finals?

University of Sto. Tomas came close to ending a nine-year title drought in the UAAP women’s volleyball tournament. The Tigresses dominated Ateneo de Manila University in the best-of-three Season 81 Finals series opener in straight sets – their first win over the Lady Eagles after 15 straight head-to-head losses. It was a shocker. UST gave the veteran-laden and battle-tested Ateneo squad a 25-17, 25-16, 25-20, drubbing.    In Game 2, UST started off on a wrong foot but was quick to recover in a lopsided second set win. Then, rookie Eya Laure suffered a left ankle sprain. Although the Season 81 Rookie of the Year returned to finish the game, Laure already lost the same explosiveness she had as the Tigresses yielded the match in four sets. Ateneo finished off UST in straight sets in the series decider for their third title overall. But the question remains for the UST faithful: What if the Tigresses had a healthy roster in the Finals series? Before its fateful Game 2 loss, UST was on a seven-game winning streak. The Tigresses were able to pull off an amazing run despite missing sophomore Fil-Italian Milena Alessandrini to a knee injury that abruptly ended her season.           Players like KC Galdones, Caitlin Viray and Ysa Jimenez stepped up to help Rondina and Laure on offense with Alessandrini sidelined. Against Ateneo, which returned to the Finals after falling short of a seventh straight championship stint in Season 80, in the two schools' first-ever title showdown the Tigresses needed the presence of Alessandrini. The Season 80 RoY averaged 15.6 points per game before going down with a torn partial anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear and grade 3 sprain of the MCL (medial collateral ligament) and LCL (lateral collateral ligament) in the second set of UST’s elimination round clash with Far Eastern University. Alessandrini would’ve given UST an extra scoring option aside from Rondina and Laure. At 6-foot-2, Alessandrini would’ve also been a great help at the net and would've posted as a challenge to Ateneo’s imposing middles in Bea de Leon and Maddie Madayag. Another big what if for UST: What if Laure didn’t accidentally land on Kat Tolentino’s foot at the start of the third set in Game 2? In Game 1, Laure finished with 11 points. She had 10 markers in Game 2, but had to bleed for points in the last two sets while playing through pain. Laure also had 10 markers in the series decider, but she was obviously not playing on the same level that she had during the Tigresses' seven-game win streak.    Of course, the Season 81 Finals turned out to be a thrilling and memorable one even with UST bitten by the injury bug. But again, what if the Tigresses came in healthy and in full force?   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 6th, 2020

Coaches hope for extension on senior players

Coaches are looking forward to the possibility of giving seniors whose swan songs were cut short because of the cancellation of the UAAP Season 82 volleyball tournament an extension.  The UAAP Board last week decided to scrap the remainder of the season following the extension of the enhanced community quarantine in Luzon to April 30 amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. UAAP volleyball ran for only a week or a total of four playdates. With the abrupt and unexpected end of the season, there is clamor for the league to consider giving the seniors another year to play. The UAAP in its statement regarding the cancellation said that ‘all other issues will be resolved at the proper time.’      “Talking of another season, it is very disappointing for many seniors not only in UP,” said University of the Philippines mentor Godfrey Okumu, who has key seniors who were supposed to play their last year for the Fighting Maroons. According to the existing UAAP rules, only those who are under 25 years old before the eligibility deadline will be allowed to play.     If given an extension, UP seniors Tots Carlos, Isa Molde, Jessma Ramos, Marist Layug, Rem Cailing and Justine Dorog, are still eligible at least under the age requirement. “Most of my seniors are only 21 years old, so if their eligibility is extended, it is my sincere hope that they may choose to play,” added Okumu, whose squad had a 1-1 win-loss record before the cancellation. “But I will not want us to cross that bridge now, until we get to it.” Coach Oliver Almadro of women’s defending champion Ateneo de Manila University is just waiting for the UAAP Board’s decision on the matter. Seniors Kat Tolentino turned 25 last January, Jamie Lavitoria will be 26 this year while Jho Maraguinot is just 24.     “I haven’t talked to my graduating seniors what’s the next step,” said Almadro. “We just have to wait and see what the UAAP Board’s decision on eligibility, etc.” National University coach Norman Miguel has two key seniors in his Season 82 lineup in returning Risa Sato and Audrey Paran. Sato will turn 26 in October while Paran will turn 23 in December.   “I remember one time, we have brought this up to the team that there may be a possibility na ma-extend ang playing years ng mga seniors like Risa and Audrey,” said Miguel, whose Lady Bulldogs won all of their two outings. “Pero wala pa akong nakuhang sagot sa kanila that time, and since magkakalayo pa kami ngayon.” On the other hand, Far Eastern University men’s team mentor Rei Diaz is not pressuring his seniors JP Bugaoan, Peter Quiel, Jude Garcia, Owen Suarez and Kris Silang to stay in case of an extension.  “Siyempre may kanya-kanyang plano din sila pagka-graduate nila. Sa ngayon support muna tayo sa plan nila kung anumang maging desisyon nila rerespetuhin natin,” he said. “Although some of them nagsabi na tutulong pa rin sila sa team at kung may pagkakataon eh lalaruin nila. ‘Yung iba pinag-iisipan pa nila.” The UAAP Board is set to meet after the lifting of the ECQ.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 16th, 2020

BEST-OF-5 SERIES: The Pingoy Rules Part 4

In case you missed it: BEST-OF-5 SERIES: The Pingoy Rules Part 1 BEST-OF-5 SERIES: The Pingoy Rules Part 2 BEST-OF-5 SERIES: The Pingoy Rules Part 3 --- Pingoy Rule: Never back down. --- Jerie Pingoy enjoyed his time in Ateneo de Manila University. Actually, perhaps, he enjoyed too much. After a so-so rookie year as a Blue Eagle, the 5-foot-11 point guard then struggled with his grades. That put him - along with John Apacible, Hubert Cani, Kemark Carino, Clint Doliguez, CJ Perez, and Arvin Tolentino - in danger of being sidelined for UAAP 79 as the Katipunan-based school is, famously, strict with its academic requirements for student-athletes. Years later, Pingoy made it clear, though, that he just barely missed out on the cut. "'Di ako bagsak. Probi (probationary) lang ako kasi nagkulang lang ako ng 0.1 na QPI (Quality Point Index)," he recalled, through chuckles, in a phone interview. Indeed, Spin's Reuben Terrado reported then that "Perez and Pingoy could take summer classes in order to meet Ateneo's QPI and become eligible to play." Whatever it was, the now-25-year-old had another problem on his hands - not that long after finally putting behind him the complications his college commitment brought about. Talking about the two-year residency put on the shoulders of Pingoy, then-Ateneo head coach Bo Perasol said, "The time he needed to mature and adjust also affected his studies." The situation he found himself in may have been remedied, but the fact of the matter is that he didn't do enough to go over the academic bar the Blue Eagles have set. "Simply put, he didn't meet the required QPI, or grade requirements, for that year," Epok Quimpo, team manager from then to now, said. NEW NAME And it's not as if what was happening on-court was that much better. After a standout stint in high school, Pingoy averaged 3.5 points and 2.8 assists in his first - and ultimately, last - year in Ateneo. Not only that, he found himself, more often than not, the one chasing the tail of fellow point guard Matt Nieto. Pingoy was actually the starter in his first game, officially, as a Blue Eagle in UAAP 78. As the season rolled along, however, the blue and white grew to have more trust in Nieto, who would come to be known as "Matty Ice," or, when push came to shove, just put Kiefer Ravena at point. Make no mistake, though, Pingoy was never a bad teammate. "'Di ko iniisip na kakompetensya ko sina Cani o Matt. Iniisip namin talaga na one as a team kami," he said. He then continued, "Kung sino nandun sa court, we support. Lagi nga naming sinasabi ni Cani, kung si Matt nasa loob, cheer lang kami." In the end, the Cebuano failed to fulfill for Ateneo the promise he once had as a one-time champion and back-to-back MVP in the UAAP Jrs. "Sayang lang na we weren't given an opportunity to prove ourselves na kaya naming makipagsabayan. Kulang kami sa playing time, sa totoo lang, but still, it was a good run for me, yung sa Ateneo," he said. And so, sooner than later, the on-court struggles came to a head with the off-court struggles. In 2016, Pingoy decided to leave the school he decided to leave Far Eastern University-Diliman for. "Nagsisialisan na mga kasama ko so naisip ko, wala na akong kasama," he said, referring to the transfers of Cani and Tolentino to FEU, Carino and Doliguez to San Beda University, and Perez to Lyceum of the Philippines University. He then continued, "Eh that time, tinatawagan na rin ako ng Adamson. Sabi ko, what if dito ko makuha yung chance na ma-prove ulit na ito na ako?" NEW NEST Pingoy got to try and answer that question as he transferred to Adamson University. "I needed a change. Gusto kong mag-iba ako. Nag-decide akong ibang Jerie Pingoy naman," he said. "Siyempre, Franz Pumaren din yun. Alam kong nakakapagod yung practice, pero sabi ko kakayanin ko 'to." Of course, with his transfer, Pingoy had to undergo another year of residency - this, adding to the two he had to serve out of high school. Once he was finally eligible for the Soaring Falcons, though, Pingoy wasted no time giving glimpses of the player many believed he was or was going to be. In UAAP 80, he posted per game counts of 7.1 points, 5.1 assists, 2.6 steals, and 2.5 rebounds and was a key cog as Adamson yet again made it to the Final Four. Finally, he was having fun and playing fun. "Adamson, it's a nice school. Yung Falcons, we had a good team. Naging masaya ako sa Adamson," he said. As it turned out, however, another storm was on the horizon. NEW NIGHTMARE In the final frame of the last game of the UAAP 80 elimination round, Pingoy landed on the foot of FEU's Jasper Parker and had to be helped off the floor. Initial diagnosis had him with a sprained left foot. It was much more than that, apparently, as the sprain only opened the floodgates on the bone spurs that had long been building up inside his left foot. And so, right after Adamson bowed out of contention, he decided to have surgery to take care of all the bone spurs. "Inoperahan ako nung December 2017 sa Pampanga and pagkatapos, I was thinking na all good na siya. Kaya lang, the following months, nung January or February 2018, nafi-feel kong 'di pala siya okay," he shared and added that he went outside Manila because the operation would be cheaper there. He then continued, "Ang sakit pa rin ng paa ko. 'Di ako maka-practice o makalaro nang todo kasi tumatakbo akong parang naka-tiptoe yung kaliwa ko." Pingoy went on to practice and play through the pain all the way to UAAP 81 where it became clear that he wasn't the player he was just a year ago and only normed 3.3 points, 2.1 assists, and 1.9 rebounds. "Sobrang frustrating kasi yung last year ko sa Adamson, 'di talaga ako fit nun. Yung laro ko, medyo bitin," he said. He then continued, "'Di naman ganun laro ko. Ang laking factor na naoperahan akong hindi successful." Yes, ultimately, it was concluded that the surgery he had was a failure. After that season, Pingoy had his left foot checked on by famed sports doctor Raul Canlas and what the latter told the former was nothing but a punch to the gut. "Sabi niya, bakit daw hindi inoperahan yung mismong may bone spurs," he said. Canlas was only willing to make it right, but of course, there was the matter of payment and, unfortunately, Pingoy was forced to pay out of his pocket as, by then, he had already decided to forgo his fifth and final playing year with Adamson. "Pagtapos ng season, sabi ko na sa kanilang 'di na ako tutuloy kasi nahihirapan ako sa paa ko. Baka ano pang mangyari sa akin kung pinilit ko," he said. Once a highly recruited player, Pingoy, right then and there, had no one to turn to but himself. NEXT ON BEST-OF-5 SERIES: THE PINGOY RULES: "Sila yung nagbibigay ng inspirasyon sa akin. Iniisip ko, para sa mga anak ko 'to, para sa kinabukasan nila." --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 11th, 2020

UST footballer Conrado Dimacali III has Navy and National Team aspirations

The cancellation of the rest of the UAAP Season 82 tournaments was no doubt an unfortunate way for the participating athletes to say goodbye to their UAAP season. It was all the more painful for the seniors, who were hoping to be able to put a stamp on their collegiate careers and go out on a positive note. Most of the graduating athletes are hoping to be able to have one more shot at closing out their UAAP careers the proper way, and one of those is University of Santo Tomas Men’s Football team member Conrado Dimacali. If given the chance to play out their last year of eligibility next season, Dimacali says he and his fellow Espanã-based seniors would be more than willing. “Opo, mag-lalaro kami, sana payagan ulit kami ng UAAP, na lahat ng seniors na graduating ngayon, mabigyan ng chance,” Dimacali told ABS-CBN Sports. “Maglalaro kami ulit, gustong-gusto talaga namin bumawi.” (READ ALSO: UAAP football stars express sadness, disappointment over Season 82 cancellation) Dimacali was one of the key cogs of UST’s Finals run back in UAAP Season 80, but the Growling Tigers fell just a solitary point short of making the Final Four in Season 81, serving as motivation for them to bounce back in Season 82. Unfortunately, after just two match days wherein they won one and lost one, the rest of the season was initially postponed, and then ultimately cancelled. With his college career still uncertain however, Dimacali can’t really say yet what comes next. The 23-year old striker has aspirations of one day making the Philippine Men’s National Football Team and playing professionally, but also has his sights set on military service. “Hindi ko pa masabi [kung maglalaro ako ng pro after college] kasi baka pumasok ako ng Navy, doon ako mag-lalaro,” Dimacali shared. “Pero if mabibigyan ako ng chance na makapag-laro sa sa pro team, maglalaro ako.” “Tsaka kung mapag-bigyan ako ng chance sa Philippine Team mag-laro, ibibigay ko yung best ko para sa bansa,” he continued. With regards to his plans on joining the Navy, Dimacali says it’s to be able to serve the country as well. “Gusto ko din maka-tulong sa bansa at makapag-lingkod.” The Puerto Princesa, Palawan native shares that his kababayans were partly the reason why he wants to enlist. “Yung mga kababayan ko kasi nag-Marines, inaya nila ako, tsaka gusto ko rin maging sundalo talaga.” The main reason however, Dimacali says, is the stability that servicemen enjoy in terms of being able to provide for their family. “Kaya ako na-enganyo mag-sundalo, nung pumunta ako sa Fort Bonifacio, nakita ko lahat ng sundalo, disiplinado, tsaka stable na sila dahil may trabaho na sila, hindi na mahihirapan yung pamilya nila, at pwede pa makapag-laro ng football,” he explained......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 9th, 2020

UAAP football stars express sadness, disappointment over Season 82 cancellation

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic that has greatly affected the Philippines, among the rest of the world, many of the country’s sporting leagues have been left with no choice but to postpone or cancel their tournaments. For the University Athletic Association of the Philippines or the UAAP, the decision to cancel their 82nd season completely came after the Enhanced Community Quarantine in Luzon was extended until April 30th. For a lot of the second-semester sport athletes, it meant an abrupt end to a tournament that they’ve been preparing for for months, which is the case for the participants of the UAAP football tournaments. Already delayed two weeks due to an initial COVID-19 scare, the UAAP football tournaments lasted a total of three playdates. (READ ALSO: UAAP volleyball players react to Season 82 cancellation) “As a team we're all devastated of course, that this is how our season had to end. Months of preparation and sacrifice for the UAAP season and we weren't able to play it out,” said AJ Arcilla, goalkeeper for the defending champion Ateneo de Manila Blue Eagles. “It's heartbreaking honestly, knowing that we won't be able to play the sport that we all love.” Arcilla added that he was fortunate enough to be able to fly home to his family in California before travel bans and lockdowns were put in motion. With that, he sees a silver lining to the otherwise difficult situation. “Personally, I was able to go home to my family in California and spend time with them, which is something I don’t get to do very often so I’m very grateful for that. I just hope and pray that everyone is able to spend time at home and stay healthy and safe despite the current situation.” For Adamson University sophomore Rey Poncardas, what stings the fact that the months of preparation have been all for naught. “Siyempre nasasayangan ako, kasi almost one year yugn pag-hihirap namin sa training, araw-araw gumigising ng maaga.” Poncardas admits however that he saw the cancellation coming because of the rising number of cases of the COVID-19 virus in the country. “Expect ko din na maca-cancel yung season kasi palala ng palala yung virus eh.” Now, with an extended off season in front of him, the second-year midfielder plans to work on improving himself for the coming season. “Para sa akin, sakripisyo lang sa training and stay focused lang po palagi, disiplina sa sarili.” While Ateneo’s Arcilla and Adamson’s Poncardas still have some playing years left on their UAAP careers, there are others who might be looking at the end of their days as collegiate athletes. “Personally, I was quite disappointed when I heard the season won’t push through because I really wanted to leave the team with good results,” said senior University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons forward JB Borlongan. “But with what is going on right now, our number one priority is the safety of everyone so I just have to accept everything that’s happening.” Borlongan was instrumental in UP’s last two title reigns in UAAP Season 78 and UAAP Season 80. If this is indeed this is the end of the line for Borlongan in his college career, the two-time UAAP champion says he can hold his head high and be proud what he was able to achieve. “Personally, I’m happy with what the team and I achieved during those 5 years. My most memorable moments with the team were Season 78 and 80 because I think those were the seasons were we played really well as a team and every game, we were really hungry to play,” Borlongan concluded. Far Eastern University Tamaraws right back Martin Salilig was expecting for the season to be cancelled, but admits that the news hit him differently once his expectations became reality. “I was in my workout yesterday when I found out about the cancellation of UAAP season 82. I was shocked and disappointed. Disappointed because of the situation and not because of the decision of the board,” Salilig explained. “Actually, I’m expecting that to happen, pero iba pala pag official cancelled na talaga. Sobrang sakit.” It was all the more difficult for Salilig who had hoped his final year could have played out differently. “It’s all about hard work, dedication and sacrifice, me and whole team gave it our all to show our best shot this season. I was not able to continue my workout because of sadness, naupo na lng ako sa sala, reminiscing all the memories I had with UAAP and with FEU.” “Knowing it’s my last playing, it broke my heart so much because I know inside of me, I want to do more, I want to play more. It never came to my mind that I will end my UAAP this way. I don’t know what’s next but still hoping for a positive outcome. We still want to play,” Salilig continued. Like Salilig, De La Salle University Green Archers team captain Jed Diamante was expecting for the worst, but actually hearing it happen was a different story. “From the time the games were postponed due to the pandemic, you can’t avoid thinking about all the possible scenarios the tournament could take, and the cancellation was honestly one of those being considered.” “However, mentally preparing ourselves for the decision of the board may not have been enough to prepare us from hearing the news because honestly it took us, especially the seniors, by surprise,” he continued. “I believe everyone has their own reasons for how they reacted to the news because we are all going through different situations amidst this global crisis.” “Although disheartening as it may seem, the decision of the board may be what is best for everyone at this stage. What we're going through is beyond sports and I sincerely hope that everyone is safe and healthy wherever they may be,” Diamante continued. Diamante hopes that fate would allow him to return to the pitch for one more season. If not, then he’s nothing but grateful for the opportunity and the experience. “Hopefully it's not [my last year yet] but if it were, then what I can say is I enjoyed every second of [my UAAP career]. By being able to wear the Green and White alone opened so many opportunities for me to grow as a student-athlete and as a person.” “I’ll also keep close to my heart the connections that were built throughout the years with my family on the field - my teammates and coaches. I'm profoundly blessed to have experienced all the challenges and victories with this group of respectable and genuine men,” he added. Although disheartening as it may seem, the decision of the board may be what is best for everyone at this stage. What we're going through is beyond sports and I sincerely hope that everyone is safe and healthy wherever they may be,” Diamanted concluded. Because of his transfer to National University, Bulldogs striker Rico Andes had to sit UAAP Season 81 out due to residency. In Season 82, he was supposed to be one of the focal points of a revamped NU side. “Nanghihinayang ako lalo na’t last playing year ko na sa UAAP, at gusto ko rin sanang suklian yung NU sa binigay nila sa akin na opportunity,” Andes said. “Pero wala namang may gustong mangyari ito. Lahat ng teams naman ang nag-handa ng ilang months at may gustong maabot this season, pero ngayon po, ang pinaka-importante ay ang kalusugan at kaligtasan ng lahat.” “Nakakapang-hinayang man pero alam kong ito ang ika-bubuti ng lahat,” he added. Because of the year off, Andes says that having the season end this way hurts a little more. “[Sobrang sakit po]. Naghintay ako ng mahigit isang taon para bumawi at makabalik sa UAAP tapos ito pa nangyari,” he stated. Andes may not have been able to taste UAAP glory, but the speedy scorer says he’s grateful for the experiences he was able to go though during his five-year UAAP career, if this is indeed the end. “Hindi man ako nakaranas na maka-kuha ng championship, pero sa limang taon ko sa UAAP, sobrang grateful ko sa tiwalang ipinadama ng mga coaches, teammates, friends, at familiy ko, especially sa nanay ko. Sobrang thankful ako sa FEU na nag-bukas sa akin ng football opportunity at naging tahanan ko ng ilang taon.” “Sobrang pasasalamat ko din sa NU na nag-bigay sa akin ng pangalawang tahanan. Walang kapantay na saya. Napaka-raming maliit at malalaking bagay ang natutunan ko sa UAAP career ko,” Andes concluded.      “Sa totoo lang, talagang nasayangan ako nung nag-cancel na yung UAAP ng mga natitirang games, kasi unang-una, sayang yung one year o higit pa na preparation para lang dun,” shared University of the East goalkeeper Franklin Rieza, who could also be on his way out. “Sakin kasi, parang last ko na din, kaya sayang talaga.” If given the chance to return next year, Rieza added the he wouldn’t hesistate, especially if the team still needs him by then. “Depende na, kasi graduation na lang hinihintay ko for this year eh, pero kung kakailanganin pa ako sa team, bakit hindi?” Following their forgettable UAAP Season 81 campaign, senior University of Santo Tomas striker Conrado Dimacali was hoping that Season 82 would be a bounce-back season for himself and the Growling Tigers. “Siyempre una po nalulungkot ako kasi last year na namin nila [Aljireh] Fuchigami, AJ Pasion, Jayson Rafol, at Ralph Logornio. Kaming mga graduating, gusto namin bumawi dahil nung last year na nangyari sa amin na hindi kami naka-pasok sa top-4, kaso yun lang nga, dahil sa nangyayari ngayon, wala din kami magagawa, pero masakit talaga,” Dimacali expressed. “Sobrang nakakalungko talaga, hindi nami ine-expect na magiging ganito yung last year namin.” While the future remains unclear for seniors like Dimacali, he’s hoping for the best and hoping for another chance to don the blue and gold of Espanya. Whatever happens, it was still quite the memorable collegiate run for the Growling Tigers scorer. “Yung pinaka-memorable sa akin yung Season 80 kasi yun yung nasa Finals kami, kaso hindi lang talaga para sa amin yun. Yung natutunan ko bilang college player ay maging strong sa loob ng football field at i-command yung mga teammates ko ng maayos sa loob at labas ng football field.”  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 8th, 2020

NCAA Season 95: One more year for seniors in case of season cancellation

The NCAA is looking to extend the playing year of senior student-athletes of sporting events that will be directly affected by the possible cancellation of Season 95 due to the global coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Management Committee chairman Peter Cayco of season host Arellano University said on Saturday that in case the NCAA Policy Board heeded to their recommendation to cancel the season, those seniors on their last playing eligibility this year for pending and yet to commence sports will be given an extension.   “If it's your final year, and in the event that you didn’t get to play [if the season is cancelled], you still have one more year to play,” said Cayco on his interview in DZMM’s Fastbreak. But the official cleared that it will only be applicable to those playing in sports directly affected if the league decides to call off the season. Only those athletes of volleyball and football tournaments and the yet to start athletics, beach volleyball and cheerleading competitions will get the extension.   “Pero that is for those who have not completed their event,” he said. “Those who have completed given na. Like in basketball, taekwondo, swimming, yung mga yun tapos na eh. So tumakbo na ang playing year nila.” Cayco added that only those seniors who will meet the eligibility requirements including the age limit of 25-years old are allowed to play for another year. “You can still play but we still have to clarify about the age issue,” said Cayco. “If you are still within the playing [age] allowed, you can still play your final year.” The Policy Board has yet to decide whether to continue with the season or cancel it entirely. On Monday, the NCAA announced that all NCAA activities are suspended until further notice. This declaration came almost a month after the NCAA halted all sporting events last February 14.    .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 14th, 2020

UAAP Season 82: No time to relax for repeat-seeking Ateneo Lady Eagles

All teams will be after Ateneo de Manila University as the Lady Eagles march into UAAP Season 82 with a huge target mark on their chests. But instead of taking it as pressure in its attempt to keep the title perched in Katipunan, Ateneo embraces it. A constant reminder for the Lady Eagles to be on their toes at all times and always keep their guards up. “Since defending champs kami, everyone wants to beat us,” said incoming third year libero Dani Ravena. “Added pressure ‘yun, but at the same time, it's motivation for us not to be satisfied with one game,” added Ravena. “Everyone wants to beat us so the next game will be tougher than the last one.” Ateneo lost three vital cogs in Maddie Madayag, Bea De Leon and Kim Gequillana after its title conquest last year in a dramatic come-from-behind Finals series win over University of Sto. Tomas, but still remains a powerhouse squad with key returnees and the addition of blue chip recruits. The biggest boost in the Lady Eagles’ title-retention bid is the presence of prolific scorer and court leader Kat Tolentino, who decided to make one final tour of duty. Joining Tolentino are seasoned players Jho Maraguinot and setter Jamie Lavitoria, who are making their return after skipping a year to pursue careers in the commercial league.   Ateneo will miss the services of heady playmaker Deanna Wong, who is still recovering from a shin injury, but will still have most of their championship core in Ravena, Ponggay Gaston, Jules Samonte, Vanessa Gandler, Erika Raagas and setter Jaja Maraguinot.   “Malaking factor ang pagbalik ng mga seniors sa amin and ‘yung improvement ng mga rookies and sophomores isang malaking bagay para sa amin,” said Ateneo head coach Oliver Almadro. Giving the Lady Eagles an even deeper arsenal this season is the integration of promising rookies led by scorer Faith Nisperos and middle Joan Narit. While the good mix of veterans and rookies combined with championship experience and support of legions of fans make the Lady Eagles a serious title contender, Almadro constantly reminds his team that a repeat won’t be given to them for free.     “Mahirap maging complacent,” he said. “Mahirap mag-settle down na nakabalik na si ganito, nakabalik na si ganyan. I’m always telling my players, it’s not about how strong you are, it’s not about being strong lang eh.” “’Di sapat sa akin yung magaling lang eh. Kailanngan talaga nandoon ang teamwork, nandoon ang effort, nandoon ang sacrifices for the team and the school,” Almadro stressed.   EYES ON YOU: Ateneo will see this season the final flight of Kat Tolentino for the blue and white as well as the debut of its prized recruit Faith Nisperos. All eyes will be on the duo as they try to bring the Lady Eagles their second straight title and fourth overall.       Nisperos showed a glimpse of what to expect from her during the pre-season as she led Ateneo to a third place finish in the PVL Collegiate Conference. The National University-Nazareth School product, who averaged 12.4 points per game with 41.46% success rate in attacks in the PVL, embraces the challenge of playing for one of the best teams in the league in the past decade.    “I just wanna do my best,” she said. “I won't pressure myself in trying to push myself too hard. Ang goal ko lang naman is gampanan ‘yung role ko sa team.” For Tolentino, who during the pre-season played for ChocoMucho in the PVL Open Conference, she will be playing a bigger role as the leader of the Lady Eagles. “My main goal for this year is to find that leadership role and show my character,” said Tolentino. “I wanna help the team using my experience the last four years. I wanna encourage my teammates to push for that same goal.”   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 14th, 2020

UAAP 82: Tolentino: I can t give up my final year and have that regret in future

Kat Tolentino is now one of the main stalwarts for Ateneo de Manila University. And in the UAAP 82 Women’s Volleyball Tournament, she’s ready and raring to be much more than an opposite hitter. “My main goal for this year is to find that leadership role and show my character," she shared. She then continued, "I wanna help the team using my experience the last four years. I wanna encourage my teammates to push for that same goal." Of course, to defend their title, the Lady Eagles need Tolentino to help fill the leadership void left behind by now-graduated Bea De Leon and Maddie Madayag as well as injured setter Deanna Wong. The good news is the Filipino-Canadian is nothing but up to the task - especially as the first and foremost desire in her decision to return was to have no regrets. "When I decided not to play my final year (after last season), I thought I had made my final decision. I thought I was done, but as the months went by, I started to think about the UAAP and how much fulfillment you get when you play in that league," she shared. She then continued, "That's when I realized I can't let go of this opportunity. I can't just give up my final playing year and have that regret in the future." Without a doubt, having one last go-round with her teammates was a big factor in her choice to come back as well. As she put it, "Of course, I miss playing and practicing with the team. Of course, I enjoy playing pro (in the PVL), but it's just different here. I will definitely miss this."   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 13th, 2020

UAAP Season 82: Wong on the right track on road to recovery

Deanna Wong accepts the fact she will be just on the sidelines cheering for the Ateneo de Manila University Lady Eagles in their back-to-back title bid in the UAAP Season 82 women’s volleyball tournament. The setter is taking her time on her road to recovery from a stress fracture on her right shin.   “It’s hard, its rough, its difficult pero ganoon talaga ang sports. Injury really happens,” said Wong. “Patiently waiting [to recover]. Be patient lang siguro for my time siguro to comeback to play. Full recovery lang [muna] siguro.” The playmaker is currently working on getting back in top form.   “I’m getting there. Kaka-start ko lang ulit mag-training pero more to improve pa rin,” said the Season 80 Best Setter. “OK na siya [shin] pero minsan sumasakit lang. I think kasi hindi nagagamit siya for ilang months ang shin ko kaya sumasakit now na ginagamit ko na siya,” added Wong, who is already back in training. “Pero if ilang beses na ako magti-training feeling ko magiging OK naman siya.” But the setter admits that she misses playing for the blue and white, competing against the best collegiate squads in the country and feeling the electric atmosphere inside the arena.   “Sobra namang (miss ko ang UAAP). What I like most is playing talaga and yung UAAP naman is sort of nandoon ang intensity, nandoon ang goosebumps,” she said. It also pains her to see her good friend Ponggay Gaston playing her swan song in what could have been their last dance together as Lady Eagles. “I’ll be missing playing but not only that but playing alongside my teammates lalo na si Ponggay na my one and only batchmate left na lang,” she said. Wong believes that even without her, Ateneo has the experience and arsenal to extend its reign for another year. The Lady Eagles eye to duplicate the back-to-back championships of the Alyssa Valdez-led Ateneo squad back in Season 76 and 77.   “Back-to-back yan,” said a very confident Wong. “Tiwala lang siguro. I think they have to jell as one as a team kasi iba’t iba nanggaling eh. Sina Ate Kat (Tolentino), Ate Jho (Maraguinot) parang how many years hindi naglaro together. Teamwork lang siguro ang kailangan.” Talking about the setters that will fill her spot, Wong is confident that sophomore Jaja Maraguinot and returning veteran Jamie Lavitoria can take the Lady Eagles back to the Promised Land. “Kaya na nila yun,” she said. “Kaya ni Jaja yun, kaya na nila Ate Jamie yun. They know what to do naman.” As for her return on Season 83, Wong wants to think about it first. “Di ko pa alam,” said Wong. “Possible but no promises.”       --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 4th, 2020

UAAP Season 82: Fresh start ito eh -- Jho Maraguinot

Returning Jho Maraguinot is looking at the UAAP Season 82 women’s volleyball tournament as a fresh start, putting her mind away from the pressure of completing unfinished business when she last played for the defending champion Ateneo de Manila University two years ago. Coming back after a year of absence, Maraguinot just wants to pour everything that she could give in her swan song, leaving no regrets when it’s time to formally hang her blue and white jersey. She doesn’t want to dwell on the past heartbreaks when she and the Lady Eagles fell short in the Finals of Seasons 78 and 79 and when Ateneo failed to reach the championship round in Season 80. “Wala naman [sa utak ko]. I guess I needed to move on from it. For me, fresh start 'to eh,” said Maraguinot, who skipped Season 81 to pursue a club career with Sta. Lucia Realty in the Philippine Superliga. For the Alitagtag, Batangas native, what’s important is bringing those valuable lessons she learned to help the Lady Eagles defend their crown. “Ayoko nang dalhin 'yung heartbreaks pero dala ko 'yung lessons na nakuha ko from it. Kasi parang if dalhin ko 'yun, 'di ba sinasabi nila na kapag may galit ka, hindi mo magagawa ng maayos 'yung kailangan mong gawin,” she said. “So for me, kinailangan ko talagang mag move on from it kahit ayaw ko, kahit masakit siya sa akin, marami naman akong natutunan from it. So, gagamitin ko 'yung mga natutunan ko for this season,” added Maraguinot. One of the most explosive scorers during her past tours of duty for Ateneo, Maraguinot admits she is still in the process of bringing back her old form.   “Personally, siyempre lahat naman tayo mataas 'yung standard sa sarili, so I guess 60 to 70 (percent)” Maraguinot’s self-assessment. “And I feel like I'm sakto lang for the season kasi masama rin naman na maaga kang mag-peak. So, I feel like I'm really sakto lang.” With prolific scorer Kat Tolentino also playing in her last year with Ateneo and the addition of high school standout Faith Nisperos, Maraguinot understands her new role under head coach Oliver Almadro.    “Well laging sinasabi sa akin ni Coach O na hindi niya kailangan na kami lang ang pupuntos eh, ang kailangan niya 'yung guidance para sa mga bata,” said Maraguinot. “Kasi nga half of them first time maglalaro, like even my sister [Jaja], first time niya na mag-first six,” she added. “Parang guidance na 'pagdating ng game, kasi iba naman talaga 'yung feel 'pag game time ng UAAP. So 'yun 'yung una niya talagang sinabi sa akin na 'yung maturity sa loob ng court, na kailangan namin i-guide 'yung bata para hindi sila kabahan.”     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 29th, 2020

Ateneo s Almadro lauds return of key players for title defense

Jho Maraguinot returned to the line-up after seemingly foregone her final playing year last season. Kat Tolentino also returned after what was a glorious ride into the sunset with Bea de Leon and Maddie Madayag after leading Ateneo to its third UAAP Women’s title in the last six years. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJan 29th, 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

2019 Monthly Memorable Sports Moments (Part 2)

The year 2019 was a rollercoaster ride for Filipino athletes and Pinoy sports fans. We saw the highs and the lows, basked in the glory of triumph and felt the agony of defeat. We witnessed history unfold and experienced the best and the worst of Philippine sports. Here’s a look back at the sports news that made the headlines that made the end of the decade a memorable one.   JULY Eight-division champion Manny Pacquiao defeated Keith Thurman via decision to claim the WBA (Super) Welterweight World Championship belt. Abraham ‘Bambol’ Tolentino won as Philippine Olympic Committee president in a special election after the resignation of Ricky Vargas.   AUGUST John Riel Casimero knocked out Mexican Cesar Ramirez in the tenth round to retain the Interim WBO Bantamweight World Championship belt. San Miguel Beer captured the 2019 PBA Commissioner’s Cup championship. F2 Logistics won the 2019 PSL All-Filipino Conference title.   SEPTEMBER Pole vaulter Ernest John Obiena earned a ticket to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics after clearing 5.81 meters in the Salto Con L'asta meet in Piazza Chiari, Italy. Gilas ended the horror trip to China with a 0-5 record in the 2019 FIBA World Cup. Japanese-Filipino sumo wrestler Hisashi Mitakeumi captured his second top-division title after defeating Takakeisho in a playoff to win the Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament. Pedro Taduran needed only four rounds to dispatch Samuel Salva to become the new IBF Minimumweight World Champion. Kiefer Ravena saw action in the PBA after an 18-month ban.   OCTOBER Caloy Yulo won a historic gold medal in the 49th FIG Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Stuttgart, Germany and also earned a spot in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Nesthy Petecio won the gold medal in women’s featherweight of the 2019 AIBA Women's World Boxing Championship in Ulan-Ude, Russia. Brandon Vera fell short against Aung La N Sang in their ONE light heavyweight bout in Tokyo while Kevin Belingon was submitted by Bibiano Fernandes in their bantamweight title clash. Adamson University won the PVL Collegiate Conference title. F2 Logistics ruled the PSL Invitational Conference.   NOVEMBER Ateneo de Manila University won its third straight title in UAAP Season 82 men’s basketball via tournament sweep while National University completed a six-peat with its 96th straight win in women's basketball. Letran dethroned San Beda University in the NCAA Season 95 men’s basketball tournament. Creamline retained its PVL Season 3 Open Conference crown. Reigning IBF Super Flyweight World Champion Jerwin "Pretty Boy" Ancajas' scheduled world title defense against Mexico's Jonathan Javier Rodriguez was cancelled because the challenger’s visa issues.  Nonito Donaire Jr. lost to Japanese KO artist Naoya Inoue via unanimous decision in the finals of the World Boxing Super Series Bantamweight Tournament. Joshua Pacio retained the ONE Strawweight World Championship with a masterful submission win over fellow Filipino Rene Catalan. The Philippines began its fourth hosting of the Southeast Asian Games. Businessman, sports patron and University of the East head coach Bong Tan passed away after collapsing during a basketball game. He was 53.   DECEMBER Pinoy boxer Johnriel Casimero knocked South African Zolani Tete out in the third round to capture the WBO Bantamweight World Championship. Reigning IBF Super Flyweight World Champion Jerwin “Pretty Boy” Ancajas retained his belt after needing just six rounds to dispose of Chilean challenger Miguel Gonzales. Team Philippines won the overall championship in the SEA Games after copping 149 gold medals. Barangay Ginebra and Meralco forged a Finals encounter in the 2019 PBA Governors’ Cup.    .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 30th, 2019

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