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

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

Category: sportsSource: abscbn abscbnMar 10th, 2020

UST s Cherry Rondina: from Central Visayas in the Palarong Pambansa to España in the UAAP

This story was originally published on April 11, 2016 For UST sparkplug Cherry Rondina, her multiple stints in the Palarong Pambansa definitely paved her way to what is now a successful young career in the UAAP. The pride of Compostela National High School suited up for Central Visayas three times in the Palarong Pambansa, losing to NCR in the finals of girls' volleyball back in 2013. Rondina was also the best attacker in that edition of the Palaro in Dumaguete where she played with current UST teammate Rica Rivera and against La Salle's Kim Dy among others. "Nakapag-Palarong Pambansa ako tatlong beses and parang attitude yun sakin, ako kasi pag naglaro, everytime kasi na may makikita akong bola ng volleyball parang 'uy that's my favorite sport' kaya kapag maglalaro na, ganado talaga," she said on how the Palarong Pambansa helped her in her transition to UST. "Feel ko talaga sobrang liksi ko kapag nakikita ko yung may nagvo-volleyball," she added. And a couple of years after making her mark in the biggest stage for secondary players, Rondina has evolved into a UAAP household name in her first true full season with the UST Golden Tigresses. Breaking out only during the latter part of Season 77, Rondina made a big statement to start Season 78, dropping a career-high 30 points in UST's opening game against Adamson. 13 games later of playing at 150 percent, she's now an integral part of the present and future of the Tigresses with head coach Emilio "Kung Fu" Reyes describing her and team captain EJ Laure as the "heart and soul" of the team. While UST ultimately missed the Final Four for a fourth straight season, Rondina has nothing but good things to say in their campaign, especially since Season 78 is the year which she finally got her big break. "Ang masasabi ko sa season na ito is one of my best experience kasi in every opportunity na maka-laro, maipapakita yung skills namin," she said. "Sobrang blessed na kahit ganito yung nangyayari, sama-sama pa rin kami. Lumalabas pa din yung pagiging pamilya namin sa team," Rondina added. Being a crowd favorite both at the arenas and online, Rondina is making sure her new-found fame is not going to her head, but she appreciates it nonetheless. Now the mission is to end UST's playoff drought, maybe even Espana's championship drought as she was responsible in giving the Tigresses their last volleyball title back in season 77, winning the beach volleyball crown via sweep with Rivera. Both were rookies during that time. "Yun talaga ang goal [to win an indoor title], yun yung gusto kong maitulong na magka-championship kami. Siguro this is not our time and iwo-work namin as a team. Maniwala lang," she said. Also, the former UAAP beach volleyball MVP finally addressed a particular interview she had with former UST courtside reporter Kristelle Batchelor back in season 77. "Saan mo nakukuha yung energy mo?" Rondina: Sa mangga po. ???????????????????????????????? — UST WVT (@The_Tigresses) January 28, 2015 Turns out she was only joking when she said she gets energy from eating green mangoes although she did say she bought mangoes the night before. "Honestly po talaga the night before bumili po ako ng mangga, promise," she said. "Pero joke lang yung mangga ko, syempre sa utak yun [energy during games]. Kumain lang po ako ng mangga nung gabing yun [before the game]." --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 2nd, 2020

SUPER SHOWDOWN: rookie Dindin Santiago vs. rookie Jaja Santiago

Towering sisters Dindin Santiago-Manabat and Jaja Santiago left lasting impacts in the UAAP. Versatile, talented and intimidating are just some of the traits the siblings share. Both are vital cogs in their local commercial league club and are valuable assets to the national team. International clubs even took notice of the Santiago sisters’ dominant presence and high-level volleyball skills that they landed deals to play in the prestigious Japan V. Premier League. And of course if you’re a University of Sto. Tomas faithful you’ll often wonder what the Tigresses would have achieved if the sisters stayed in Espana instead of moving to National University. Looking back, we saw how the Santiago sisters evolved into what they are today. With their towering presence, both immediately made valuable contribution during their debut seasons? But then again, which Santiago made a bigger impact in their rookie year? Dindin’s first year with UST or Jaja’s maiden tour of duty for NU?   OFFENSE and DEFENSE Dindin right now stands at 6-foot-2 while Jaja is listed at 6-foot-5, even if we deduct a few inches from their current height during their respective debuts they’ll still be pretty tall compared to the rest of the field. In Season 72, Dindin complemented an already stacked Tigresses. Though overshadowed by legends Aiza Maizo and Angeli Tabaquero, Dindin made a decent contribution on offense averaging almost six points per game. Dindin was on UST’s top five in the blocking department. Compared to her older sister, Jaja’s rookie year in Season 76 was more impressive. Jaja averaged 10.7 points per outing behind her Dindin (16.7), who was then on her last year after transferring to NU. Jaja had a 41.99% success rate in attacks – landing at second spot overall after Dindin’s (46.10%). The younger Santiago normed 0.50 kill blocks per set to anchor the Lady Bulldogs’ net defense.        TEAM IMPACT Dindin was a welcome addition to the Tigresses. However, playing in a squad filled with veterans left Dindin little room to display her full potential. Maizo and Tabaquero shared much of the scoring load while Maika Ortiz, Maru Banaticla and Judy Ann Caballejo provided the extra punch. But Dindin did play her role well as one of head coach Shaq delos Santos’ prized recruits. Dindin, indeed, made her presence felt in her own little way as UST climbed its way into the Finals. Jaja’s entry in Season 76 put NU as one of the top contenders to challenge the then reigning three-peat champion De La Salle University. Together with her sister, they formed NU’s dreaded twin towers and with the likes of Mina Aganon, Aiko Urdas and Myla Pablo, many predicted the Lady Bulldogs would make it all the way to the Finals. In fact, NU almost did before the Alyssa Valdez-led Ateneo de Manila University spoiled everything.      As a consolation for all her hard work, Jaja was the runaway winner of the Rookie of the Year award   COMPETITION Dindin played in a very competitive field. She took on a number of powerhitters and precision spikers like De La Salle University’s Big Three in Paneng Mercado, Jacq Alarca and Cha Cruz. Dindin also faced Adamson University’s Angela Benting and Pau Soriano, Ateneo had Dzi Gervacio and Fille Cainglet, Far Eastern University’s Cherry Vivas, NU’s Mervic Mangui, Mela Lopez of University of the Philippines and Kite Rosale of University of the East. Jaja, on the other hand, had to contend with an equally powerful field. Valdez was on a different level that season, so was DLSU with the trio of Ara Galang, Aby Marano and Mika Reyes. Bang Pineda was wreaking havoc for Adamson, FEU had Bernadeth Pons, Mela Tunay and Pam Lastimosa were the stars of UST, UP had their own towers in Kathy Bersola and Angeli Araneta while Shaya Adorador was UE’s standout.      LASTING IMPRESSION Dindin, of course, was the fortunate one among the siblings. She experienced the glory of winning championship after helping the Tigresses dethrone the Lady Spikers in her first year. That championship remains as UST’s last title to this day. But what really stuck was Dindin’s decision to jump ship a season after winning the crown. Dindin made the headlines when she left UST to join the Lady Bulldogs in a move that drew mixed reactions and a whole lot of speculations in what convinced her to drop the black and gold for NU’s colors. Dindin’s transfer was followed by Jaja committing to NU after a successful run with UST’s high school team. Jaja won the RoY award and helped NU move a win closer to a Finals appearance. The Lady Bulldogs were armed with a twice-to-beat advantage but NU’s twin towers and talents were not enough to overcome the steamrolling Lady Eagles. Jaja’s career started off at least on a good note considering how far NU advanced after years of frustrations. Jaja would eventually lead the Lady Bulldogs to two more Final Four appearance with their last in Season 80 – the same year when she bagged the Most Valuable Player award.     Now who’s the better rookie Santiago? Hard to tell. On one side, you have Dindin who won a championship while on the other you have Jaja with her individual accomplishments and accolades.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 31st, 2020

Allan Albano laying foundation for FEU s continued contention

UAAP boys basketball, in the last decade, has been dominated by Nazareth School of National University and Ateneo de Manila High School. In the last 10 years, the Bullpups and the Blue Eaglets have won all but two championships. That one and only other team to have won it all? Far Eastern University-Diliman. And while the Baby Tamaraws have not been as bejeweled as National U or Ateneo in recent history, they have competed with them year in and year out just the same. In fact, the last time the green and gold's high school squad missed out on the playoff bus was Season 77. That means a five-season streak of making the playoffs - not that far from their kuya Tamaraws who have charged to the next round from Season 75 to now. Safe to say, all in all, the healthiest basketball program - at least in both the men's and boys' side - in the UAAP is FEU's. Their continued contention is, apparently, all because they start them young. "I think most of the credit should go to our high school coaches like coach Allan Albano," active consultant Nash Racela said on Coaches Unfiltered. "Kumbaga, kami nina coach Olsen , naghihintay na lang kami doon sa mga produkto na meron si Coach Allan." Albano was the shot-caller in the Baby Tamaraws' pleasant surprise of a title in Season 79. There, he introduced the world to the all-around force that was L-Jay Gonzales who was backstopped by the likes of RJ Abarrientos, Royce Alforque, Jun Gabane, Jack Gloria, Kenji Roman, and Xyrus Torres. If many of those names sound familiar, that's because they have only moved on up to starring in the Srs. "FEU has always been known as yung program na akala mo walang player. I think yung player development is very crucial lalo na ngayong most of our players come our high school," Tamaraws head coach Olsen Racela said. Coach Olsen went on to say that while the FEU Srs.'s last championship was led by Mac Belo and Roger Pogoy, players who sharpened their saws first with Team B, their current core has been harvested from their crop in Diliman. Indeed, lead guard Gonzales, go-go guard Alforque, sharpshooter Torres, and stretch forward Brandrey Bienes are all proud products from the Baby Tamaraws. Add prized prospects coming in Abarrientos and Cholo Anonuevo and already half of the green and gold's team for UAAP 82 has been homegrown. "Maganda lalo ngayon yung relationship ng high school sa college namin. I think that's very important for our program na imbis na umaalis yung players mo towards supposedly greener pastures, nag-stay sila," Coach Nash said. With that, FEU is all-set to continue walking this way. "Now, ang recruitment talaga namin is focused in high school, yung younger players," its active consultant said. With that, FEU is all-set to continue entrusting its future in the more than capable hands of Albano and assistants Mark Isip, Denok Miranda, and Vic Pablo. And without a doubt, because Allan Albano is hard at work laying the foundation, the Baby Tamaraws and the Tamaraws aren't going away anytime soon. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 22nd, 2020

Cebuanos Rondina, Desiderio show love to frontliner-fans

Sisi Rondina and Paul Desiderio are lifetime legends in University of Sto. Tomas and the University of the Philippines, respectively. Rondina's lifting of the Golden Tigresses to the Finals and Desiderio's leading of the Fighting Maroons to the championship round were the defining moments of UAAP Season 81. And two years on, they are still inspiring others. In particular, Rondina and Desiderio are motivating frontliners in the continuing COVID-19 crisis. "Si Paul kasi, I've seen him over the years and all I can say is he's evolving," a UP Bo-liever and doctor said in The Score. "He makes everyone around him better. He's a player willing to take the backseat for his team to win." A police officer and UST fan, meanwhile, also has the same sort of admiration for Rondina. "Pag nagja-jump siya, para siyang may spring. Pag siya na mag-spike, kaabang-abang talaga," she said. Of course, the UAAP Season 81 Women's Volleyball MVP is nothing but appreciative of the effort all military frontiners have put in. "We're very blessed to have you. Thankful kami kasi 'di niyo kami iniwan kahit self niyo na sinugal niyo," she said. She then continued, "Kung pwede lang talaga makamayan kayo, gagawin namin." Only, Rondina would not be able to do that because she's in her hometown Cebu - and even if she were in Manila, social distancing must be followed. And so, she's just giving the next best thing - a Beach Volleyball Republic shirt she has won as well as a Golden Tigresses jersey. Desiderio is also giving the doctor his game-worn Fighting Maroons jersey to be able to show gratitude to all medical frontliners. "Sa frontliners, maraming salamat sa inyo. Lagi ninyong tatandaan na todo-suporta kami sa inyo," he said. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 1st, 2020

Volleyball players think staredowns sure to stay in the new normal

Staredowns are sure to stay in volleyball. Actually, it might be the norm in the new normal when the time comes that volleyball leagues are allowed to resume their respective tournaments. In the pilot episode of TBH, collegiate stars Ponggay Gaston of Ateneo de Manila University, Michelle Cobb of De La Salle University, University of Sto. Tomas’ Eya Laure and Rosie Rosier of University of the Philippines talked about different topics including the return of volleyball. Gaston felt that volleyball should be one of the sports that the government should allow to resume once the health crisis gets better. “Kasi it's less contact di ba? It’s a non-contact sport and dream ko sana makalaro na tayo,” said the team captain of the reigning UAAP champions Lady Eagles.   “Wala na lang manonood, maybe televised. Pero iniisip ko kasi there’s so many technical things that are needed to be than for this to happen,” Gaston added. “Pero sana volleyball ang mauna kasi anim na lang kayo sa court hindi naman magkadikit ang posisyon di ba?” However, the Ateneo star also wondered how they would react on court if they have to follow physical distancing. “Pero ang iniisip ko sanay tayong makipagyakapan sa teammates, mag-apir-apir lalo na ‘pag in the moment lalo na kapag nagka-point. I guess ngayon kailangan staredown, staredown muna,” said Gaston, drawing laughter from the crew especially Laure and Cobb. The Lady Spikers setter and Tigresses’ top hitter are notorious with their staredowns and gestures to express their emotions during games. “Forte ko na ‘yan no! Di na ‘yan new normal,” Cobb quipped. Laure chimed in. “Normal pa din sa amin 'yung ganoon,” said the UAAP Season 81 Rookie of the Year. “It’s gonna be a part of the new normal,” Gaston said. “Kasi di ka naman lumalapit sa tao, titingnan mo lang eh di ba?” Shifting to serious talk, the group also discussed the possibility of holding games behind closed doors. “Imagine playing sa big game tapos ang tahimik,” said Cobb. Laure mentioned how her brother Echo celebrated the back-to-back boys’ basketball championships of Nazareth School of National University in an empty arena.    “Iba pa rin feeling kapag may nanonood,” said Laure. For Rosier, it will definitely be different but sports in general must adapt to the current health situation.  “It’s gonna be super different without allowing people watching. It’s gonna be hard but I think it’s this thing about sports it’s adaptable, its flexible,” she said. “For a new normal there must be a way to advertise sports and at the same time enjoy it.” Catch ‘TBH’ every Tuesday with replays at 1:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. on LIGA Channel 86, and LIGA HD on Channel 183 on SKY Cable and Destiny......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 24th, 2020

SUPER SHOWDOWN: rookie EJ Laure vs. rookie Eya Laure

University of Sto. Tomas fans waited a long time to see sisters EJ and Eya Laure play together for the Tigresses after their explosive tandem won it all for the school during their stint with the girls' team. UAAP Season 82 saw the reunion of the Laure sisters albeit brief – two games to be exact – before the tournament was scrapped because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.  One could just imagine what impact the Laure siblings would have brought to the Tigresses if not for the cancellation of the season. Skills-wise, both can contribute on points as well as provide support on defense. They have already proven it during their respective rookie seasons. In fact, both earned Rookie of the Year awards. But which Laure played better in her maiden stint with the black and gold? For this week’s ‘Super Showdown: Volleyball edition’, we compare the two well-rounded siblings based on their offense and defense, impact, competition and lasting impression for the Tigresses.        OFFENSE AND DEFENSE EJ brought the much-needed firepower for the then Odjie Mamon-mentored Tigresses in Season 77. In her first year, EJ averaged 11.7 points per game while providing help on net and floor defense. However, her main role in that UST batch was to contribute on points at the wing. She had a 32.17% success rate in attacks. On the defensive side, EJ contributed 13 kill blocks while playing a decent role on floor defense.     Eya, on the other hand, gave UST an added scoring option to a squad that already had veteran Sisi Rondina and 6-foot-2 Milena Alessandrini.     Eya averaged 16.4 points per outing behind Rondina’s 18.5 points per game in the elimination round of Season 81. Eya placed second in UST kill blocks with 19 during the elims behind Kecelyn Galdones’ 23. Eya also punched in 35.90% of her attacks.    TEAM IMPACT EJ gave UST faithful a ray of light when the highly-recruited talent decided to remain with UST after powering the Junior Tigresses to the girls’ title the year before.   The Season 76 Girls’ MVP adjusted well with setter Alex Cabanos and showed good chemistry with veterans Pam Lastimosa, Mela Tunay and Ria Meneses. EJ’s presence also brought back the UST crowd that in the past two years slowly dwindled after lumbering at fifth and sixth place in Season 75 and 76, respectively. Just like her older sister, Eya brought excitement to the Tigresses supporters. UST was then coming off its worst finish in decades – landing at seventh place in Season 80. Eya, Rondina and Alessandrini formed the deadly trio that brought great promise for UST heading into the season. The former high school MVP, Best Setter and two-time Best Opposite Spiker winner did not disappoint right from her debut game.   COMPETITION Although the favorite for the RoY award, EJ had to contend with one of league’s best batch of rookies. She played alongside another promising freshman in Rondina, who delivered UST’s first gold medal of the season in beach volleyball while bagging the rookie of the year and MVP awards. Ateneo had a prized recruit in middle Bea de Leon while De La Salle University's rookies were Eli Soyud and Aduke Ogunsanya. Far Eastern University also introduced solid young guns in ChinChin Basas, Heather Guino-o and Jerrili Malabanan. National University had Jorelle Singh and University of the Philippines got then rookie libero Ayel Estranero. Adamson University recruited a solid middle in Joy Dacoron while University boasted of skilled newcomers in libero Kath Arado and Judith Abil. EJ did pocket the RoY award as expected. But for the first time in the last two decades EJ shared the recognition with another impressive freshman in Arado – the first libero to receive the award since Mel Gohing of DLSU in Season 71. Just like her older sister, Eya came in as the odds-on favorite for RoY, considering the implementation of the K-12 education program. However, she still had to work to lay her claim. Eya faced her high school rivals Princess Robles, Ivy Lacsina of Jen Nierva of National University. Jolina Dela Cruz made immediate impact as DLSU’s leading scorer while Far Eastern University got Lycha Ebon, who unfortunately had her rookie year cut short after sustaining a knee injury.   LASTING IMPRESSION While EJ did give UST the boost it needed, the Tigresses still closed Season 77 outside of the top four. UST finished the elimination round with 6-8 win-loss record tied with FEU at fourth to fifth spot. Actually, UST came one set win away to a bus ride to the stepladder semifinals. EJ in the most important game for the Tigresses went cold, scoring only five points in just three sets of action. She started in the first two frames that UST yielded, sat out the third and fourth sets with Rondina playing better, before playing off the bench in the fifth.       It would take EJ two more years for a taste of a Final Four appearance. Unfortunately, EJ suffered a shoulder injury that forced her to sit out two seasons. Eya was a vital cog in the Tigresses’ rise in Season 81. She was consistent and her all-around game was a plus for the Kungfu Reyes-mentored team, which closed the elims with a 10-4 mark tied with the Lady Spikers. Eya’s heroics during the playoff against DLSU for the semis twice-to-beat advantage, where she dropped 17 points in the Tigresses’ four set win, pushed UST on the brink of ending an eight-year Finals stint drought. Eya erupted for 25 points in the Final Four to dethrone the four-peat seeking Lady Spikers in five sets. She backed Rondina in UST shocking Game 1 sweep of Ateneo in Game 1 of the Finals. Eya also showed big heart and great character in Games 2 and 3 despite playing hurt only to close her first year with a heartbreak after losing to the seasoned Lady Eagles. She averaged 10.6 points per game in the Finals.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 8th, 2020

Former and current Lady Spikers reunite in online fund-raiser

De La Salle University alumnae gave encouraging words for the current crop of Lady Spikers in their virtual reunion Sunday night in the Kada-Uno Lasalyano fundraiser for families affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Led by DLSU legends Michele Gumabao, Aby Marano, Ara Galang, Kim Fajardo, Mika Reyes and Dawn Macandili, the Lady Spikers came together for an online fan meet and greet, games and a question and answer session in the six-hour program aimed at raising funds for over 1,000 families. In the cancelled UAAP Season 82, the Lady Spikers showed much promise in their lone match as they defeated archrival and defending champion Ateneo De Manila University in four sets. Rookies Leila Cruz and Thea Gagate as well as sophomore Jolina Dela Cruz, Michelle Cobb and seniors Tin Tiamzon and Aduke Ogunsanya made their intentions clear of reclaiming the throne they lost last year. Unfortunately, the tournament was cut short because of the contagion. Still the Lady Spikers’ performance impressed those who came before them. “Super proud. Nakita naming sila kung papaano mag-training,” said Fajardo, who three titles for the Ramil De Jesus-mentored squad. Macandilli, who was a catalyst on defense for the DLSU’s third three-peat batch from Season 78-80, gave an advice to the current Lady Spikers.       "Lahat ng tao may masasabi sa team ninyo. Maku-compare at maku-compare ang team ninyo sa previous teams ng La Salle. Ang advice ko lang sa inyo ay mag-focus kayo sa kung ano meron sa team ninyo. Huwag kayo maghahanap ng iba na wala naman. Yun naman ang laging sinasabi ni coach,” said Macandili in the video conference which included rookies Jus Jazareno, Ali Borabo, Fifi Sharma, Juls Coronel, Matet Espina, Cruz and Gagate.   “Nasa inyo lahat ng answers, you just have to find it for yourselves," added Macandili. “Sa side ko naman as an audience, wag kayong panghinaan ng loob,” said Reyes. “Ngayon very challenging talaga ito for us kasi very uncertain ang future. Let’s enjoy this moment muna and i-appreciate natin ang mga dumadating na blessings sa atin.” Galang, who came back from a career-threatening knee injury to help the Lady Spikers reclaim the crown in 2016, remains upbeat that her alma mater will make it back on top. "Excited talaga ako sa Season 82 kasi nakakasama natin sila sa training. Nakikita natin ‘yung pag-improve nila. Sayang kasi di nila ma-showcase. Alam kong dadating ‘yung time na ma-share nila talent nila. Keep working hard, magtiwala sa sarili at magtiwala sa kasama ninyo," said Galang. The event, which also featured performances from Gary Valenciano, Barbie Almabis and Jett Pangan, raised P4,009,241.59. (Watch the event here)  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 25th, 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

ON THIS DAY: Tigresses end 8-year Finals stint wait

The packed Mall of Asia Arena rocked as University of Sto. Tomas rookie Eya Laure hammered the final blow that toppled the three-year dynasty of De La Salle University.     Supporters of the Tigresses went wild as the referees blew the final whistle signaling the end of the Espana-based squad’s eight long years of waiting to step back into the championship round. Exactly a year ago, UST booked a trip to the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball Finals.    The duel went the full five sets with the Tigresses walking away with a 25-19, 25-19, 20-25, 23-25, 15-10, victory behind the duo of Laure and then graduating Queen Tigress Sisi Rondina. That match gave fans a feel of the classic rivalry between the two proud schools. Prior to their Final Four meeting, the Lady Spikers and Tigresses squared off four days before to dispute the twice-to-beat advantage after finishing the elimination round tied at 10-4.      UST defeated DLSU in four sets in the playoff behind Rondina’s 29-point explosion.    The Tigresses, who were looking to avenge their Season 77 semis defeat at the hands of DLSU, came into Final Four riding the crest of their five-game winning streak. The Lady Spikers, on the other hand, were on a two-game slump which started with their stinging five-set loss to Far Eastern University to close the elimination round that dragged DLSU into a playoff for the no. 2 spot in the semis. UST was brimming with confidence in the Final Four match. Laure and Rondina found their mark early, punishing the Lady Spikers defense with their missiles while Caitlin Viray and KC Galdones kept DLSU attackers at bay with great net defense. The first two sets were easy picking for UST. Then the Lady Spikers fought back. DLSU forced a deciding set after pulling away from a close 18-17 lead to a 23-19 advantage capped by a Des Cheng crosscourt hit. Viray scored back-to-back points for UST to trim down its deficit to 23-21 but committed a service error in the next play. Laure saved two set points but the Tigresses were whistled for a net touch to end the fourth set. The Lady Spikers took advantage of UST’s 13 errors in the third set to escape a sweep. DLSU came back from a 11-15 down in the third frame with six unanswered points for a 17-15 advantage. The Lady Spikers widened their cushion to 24-19, Laure saved a set point before Cheng sealed the frame to set up a mad dash to the finish. In the final set, the Tigresses raced to a 10-5 lead before DLSU made a final push to cut its deficit to 11-10 off an Aduke Ogunsanya attack after an overreception by UST. Tigresses setter Alin Bicar scored a kill on the next play followed by a service ace before Laure's back-to-back hits to send UST back in the Finals for the first time since Season 73 when the Espana-based squad finished as bridesmaid to the Lady Spikers. UST ended DLSU’s 10-year Finals run and denied the Lady Spikers a four-peat for the third time in two decades. The Tigresses challenged Ateneo de Manila University in the Finals. UST won the series opener, but came up short in the next two games as the Lady Eagles claimed their third title overall.   ---          Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 5th, 2020

Rondina leads fundraiser for Cebu frontliners

Sisi Rondina leads a group of University of Sto. Tomas volleyball and basketball players who are auctioning off their jerseys and shoes to raise funds to purchase personal protective equipment for frontliners in the coronavirus (COVID-19)-hit Barangay Luz in Cebu City. Barangay Luz was recently put on lockdown by the Cebu City government due to an alarming rise of COVID-19 cases in the area. The Compostela, Cebu native Rondina, the UAAP Season 81 indoor volleyball Most Valuable player, was the first to extend a helping hand in the fundraiser.     Kapwa ko Cebuanos ?????????? pic.twitter.com/lTVcsB8BWb — Cherry Ann Rondina (@Rondina011) April 19, 2020 The four-time UAAP women’s beach volleyball champion and 30th Southeast Asian Games beach volleyball bronze medalist started the ball rolling by putting up her dark jersey and shoes for bidding. Starting bid is P1,200. Also showing support for the fundraiser are UST Tigresses rookie Imee Hernandez and UST men’s basketball stars Mark Nonoy and Renzo Subido. For more info about the fundraiser and auction process, visit the PPEs for the Frontliners of Brgy. Luz Facebook page......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 20th, 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

Monikers that made their mark in UAAP women’s volleyball

It is common in the Philippines for basketball players to earn nicknames given to them in the collegiate level or when they climbed up to the professional ranks. In volleyball, specifically in the UAAP, monikers for women’s volleyball players came a little much later. UAAP volleyball sportscasters and sportswriters use these monikers, mostly suggested by fans, not only to add color to their broadcasts and stories but to give an identity to outstanding players who earned their nicknames through their skills and passion for the sport. “Sa tingin ko karamihan sa mga monicker ngayon ay nanggagaling sa mga fans ng players,” said ABS-CBN S+A sports broadcast anchor Anton Roxas. “Pero bilang mga commentator, nasa amin na lang kung gagamitin namin ‘yung mga monicker na yun sa broadcast.” “Para sa akin, ang pinaka-importante, gusto ng player mismo yung monicker,” he added. “My personal rule is: If the player approves of the monicker, then you can use it.” We’ve gathered some of best monikers that made their mark in UAAP women's volleyball.   PHENOM When you think about Alyssa Valdez there are no other words that could best describe the best player to ever don the Lady Eagles jersey.     Her all-around game, powerful attacks, high volleyball IQ, leadership, charm and meteoric rise is nothing short of phenomenal and her nickname best describes it all.      Valdez lived up to her billing when she led the Lady Eagles to two straight titles while earning three consecutive Most Valuable Player awards in her five-year stint with Ateneo. Ateneo fans are known to give almost every Lady Eagle a moniker. Libero Denden Lazaro is the ‘Iron Eagle’ because she will deliver even if she’s hurt and all. Ella De Jesus is the ‘Ellavator’ because of her elevation when attacking, Jho Maraguinot is known as the ‘Eagle Claw’ being one of Ateneo’s best spikers while Maddie Madayag is the ‘Madzilla’ for being a monster at the net.  The ‘Fab Five’ of Fille Cainglet, Dzi Gervacio, Gretchen Ho, Jem Ferrer and A Nacachi will always be remembered as the most popular quintet in UAAP volleyball.       JIAMAZING Jia Morado makes her Ateneo teammates look good all the time. She never fails to amaze the crowd with her heady plays and drop shots.   CHERRY BOMB Cherry "Sisi" Rondina packs a lot of firepower in a small package. She may not the tallest of University of Sto. Tomas hitters but when she skies for an attack, expect it to be an explosive one.     BEAST MODE QUEEN No one who ever wore De La Salle University’s jersey had the same passion, tenacity, fierceness and swag as that of Aby Marano.         MISS EVERYTHING During her DLSU stint, Cha Cruz is known for her versatility having played in almost all positions head coach Ramil De Jesus wanted her to be in. Skills, talent, heart, leadership and beauty, Cruz has it all.      MISS EVERYWHERE DLSU’s Dawn Macandili is arguably the best floor defender during her days in the UAAP. She’s all over the court diving for the ball or setting up a good transition for an attack for the Lady Spikers off the serve.      THE NINJA Mel Gohing is one of the best liberos during the late 2000s and early 2010’s with her cat-like reflexes while manning the floor. The Season 71 Rookie of the Year won four titles for DLSU.      THE CLOSER (Photo: Karl Cedrick Basco, ABS-CBN News)  When you think about Aiza Maizo-Pontillas you can just imagine UST engaged in a long rally and leaning on this lefty to finish the play.   PAMAYWANG QUEEN Angge Tabaquero is UST’s standard when it comes to swag. She’s knows how to get into the Tigresses’ rivals’ heads with her signature hands-on-her-waist followed by a stare down after scoring a point.      PAGPAG QUEEN Maica Morada is one of Far Eastern University’s most dreaded attacker. Aside from her firepower she’s also known for her swag and her jersey-shaking antics.       QUEEN TAMARAW Rachel Anne Daquis is the undisputed Queen Tamaraw of FEU even after more than a decade since she delivered the school’s last UAAP title. Being the QUEEN, FEU had her jersey retired.     TAFT TOWER Mika Reyes is known as DLSU’s ‘Taft Tower’ for being a menace at the net.     NU TWIN TOWERS NU’s rise from the doldrums can be attributed to the arrival of the towering sisters Jaja Santiago and Dindin Santiago-Manabat.      MISS PHOTOGENIC Photographers are bewildered why Adamson University’s Jema Galanza seems to be always ready for the camera even while Adamson University is the middle of a battle. Photographers are sure get great shots of her all the time.   BAGYONG PABLO   Powerful, hardworking and relentless are the characteristics that best describe Myla Pablo during her time with NU.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 3rd, 2020

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

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

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 13th, 2020

Rondina reaping the fruits of her hard work

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

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 15th, 2020

UAAP Season 82: UST Tigresses keeping the fire burning post-Sisi Rondina era

Sisi Rondina is incomparable. However, University of Sto. Tomas is not looking for the next Rondina. What Tigresses head coach Kungfu Reyes wants this UAAP Season 82 is a new leader who will step up to bear the torch left by the reigning Most Valuable Player. “Wala namang pwedeng pumalit kay Sisi,” said Reyes of the heart and soul of UST’s runner-up run last year. “Pero yung spot na pwedeng mag-take over, kung sino namang maga-act as a leader [ang hanap namin].” This is the challenge of Reyes to his wards as they prepare for another shot at the throne that has been elusive to the Espana-based squad since the Tigresses won it all a decade ago. But the mentor is confident that the holdovers and even the incoming Tigresses share the same ferocity, passion and dedication of Rondina. So it won’t be hard finding the next UST leader.       “‘Yung team namin last year is very young ngayon yung naiwan ni Sisi, nahawaan niya yung mga bata ganun din ‘yung mga seniors namin ngayon,” said Reyes, who is also the national women’s volleyball team assistant coach. Ready to prove that they can sustain if not surpass their achievements last year are key holdovers Season 81 Rookie of the Year and go-to-player Eya Laure, team captain Alina Bicar, Caitlyn Viray, Kecelyn Galdones and Ysa Jimenez. Eya Laure, who suited up for the national team in the 30th Southeast Asian Games, will reunite with sister EJ, who is back after a two-year hiatus. The elder Laure’s presence added another scoring option for the Tigresses with 6-foot-2 Fil-Italian Milena Alessandrini still recovering from a knee injury she sustained last year.    Also a welcome addition for UST is rookie Imee Hernandez, who showed a lot of promise in the Tigresses’ runner-up finish in the Premier Volleyball League Collegiate Conference. As part of their preparation, UST held training camps in Baguio and Taiwan that yielded favorable results. But having experienced what it was to play in the biggest stage of the tournament, according to Reyes, is their biggest advantage this year and he is confident that this time UST is fully equipped for another shot at the championship. “Hindi namin kaya ituro ‘yung nangyari last year in front of 21,000 spectators, [yung] spotlight, camera sa training,” he said. “’Yung experience na ‘yung madadala namin as a motivation.” “Isang malaking bagay para sa mga bata towards [Season] 82 medyo naka-experience na kahit papaano,” added Reyes.   EYES ON YOU: After a stellar rookie season that saw her average 16.4 points per game and become the most efficient hitter with 35.90% success rate in attacks, Eya Laure’s second run for the black and gold puts her on the spotlight as the face of UST. Her resume which include valuable experience playing for the tricolors in different international tournaments and work on improving her craft will be her biggest advantage – and pressure – as she tries to lead the Tigresses to follow to their impressive run last season. “Ang mindset ko this coming season ay matulangan ang teammates ko, matulungan ang team na ilabas nila ang best performance nila every game,” said Laure. “Maglalaro ako ng best ko.” But Eya stresses that this season is not just about her but about how the Tigresses will work as one to complete an unfinished business last season.          “Naniniwala kasi kami sa team effort. Hindi kakayanin ng isa, dalawa o kahit tatlo nga eh. Yung nagdala sa amin sa Finals is yung team effort,” said Laure.    --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 12th, 2020

UAAP Season 82: FEU Lady Tamaraws keeping the faith alive

Far Eastern University faces a tall order of maintaining its status as one of the perennial title contenders this UAAP Season 82 women’s volleyball tournament. Head coach George Pascua acknowledges the weight of the departure of seasoned veterans after their campaign last year and the unexpected exodus of some key pieces during the offseason. FEU, which closed the elims last year with a 9-5 slate, saw the exit of skipper Jerrili Malabanan, Heather Guino-o and setter Kyle Negrito. Also leaving the Lady Tams were Celine Domingo, France Ronquillo, libero Angelica Bautista and Carly Hernandez because of personal reasons.    It will be an uphill climb but Pascua remains in high spirits with the current crop of the Lady Tamaraws, who are looking to improve from their fourth place finish last year. “Maraming nawala sa team namin pero ang difference nu’n experience lang siguro kasi mas beterano,” said Pascua, whose squad came a win away from a second straight Finals appearance. “Pero skills-wise nandoon naman, naa-achieve naman namin.” But Pascua admits that it’s not easy to prepare a rebuilding team heading into a very competitive season.  “Hindi siya ganun kadali,” said Pascua. “’Yung chemistry ng team, though maraming new players, ang dami mong kino-consider diyan na pinag-aaralan like ‘yung skills, character and siyempre kailangan motivated sila sa ginagawa nila.” “Then ‘yung system kailangan ma-adapt nila,” he added. “Ngayon naa-achieve na namin, 85 percent, konti na lang meron pang ii-improve.” The Lady Tams will rely heavily on graduating players Gel Cayuna and libero Buding Duremdes to lead the team together with key returnees Jeanette Villareal, Czarina Carandang and Ivana Agudo. “Of course ‘yung mga seniors namin like si Buding kailangan yung last playing year n’ya ibibigay namin sa kanya yung opportunity,” said Pascua. “’Yung goal ng bawat isa is ma-achieve namin. Of course, si Angel din malaking bagay yung tandem nu’ng dalawa.” But what keeps a rebuilding FEU squad still a team to watch for is the return of sophomore Lycha Ebon and the introduction to the UAAP of rookie Shiela Kiseo.  Ebon is back after recovering from a right knee injury that abruptly ended her debut season while Kiseo had a promising stint in the PVL Collegiate Conference. Pascua right now wants the Lady Tams to focus on a modest goal of reaching the Final Four first.   “This season yung top four muna importante ma-achieve muna namin yun,” he said. Then let’s see kung ano ‘yung mangyayari pagdating doon. Looking forward kami sa goal namin.”   EYES ON YOU: There are still doubts if Lycha Ebon will return this season with the same explosiveness she had during her rookie year after recovering from a knee injury. Considering that Ebon just joined FEU’s training just last month, the sophomore may need a little more time to get back in her old form. In fact, Ebon accepts the decision of the coaching staff to limit her minutes at least in the first round. “Ang sa akin lang po, simula dati gusto ko lang tumulong sa team ko, gan'un,” she said. “Ngayon na hindi naman ako starting six, ang akin lang ay quality. Hindi naman po sila nage-expect na mag boom ako kaagad, ang sinasabi lang nila na 'Gusto lang namin na makatulong ka sa team'.” But for sure, it won't take long for the FEU faithful to once again see the future Lady Tams star rise.    --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 10th, 2020

UAAP Season 82: Tigresses dedicate season to injured Alessandrini

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

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 30th, 2020

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

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

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

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 6th, 2019

UAAP 82: UST opens double championship defense

University of Sto. Tomas opens quest for another golden double in the UAAP Season 82 Beach Volleyball tournament Sunday at Sands SM By The Bay. Ushering the post-Sisi Rondina era, the Tigresses will set in motion their bid for a fourth consecutive crown against University of the Philippines at 10:40 a.m. UST begins its back-to-back men's title bid against National University in an early showdown of favorites at 8 a.m., before returning in the afternoon session with a 1:20 p.m. duel with University of the East. Babylove Barbon, last season's top rookie who is more than ready to carry the Tigresses torch in the years to come, will have Gen Eslapor as her new partner. Setting its sights for a record seventh championship overall, UST will have to do it without Rondina, who has already completed her checkered collegiate career in the sand court. In her five years with the Tigresses, four-time MVP Rondina gave her school four titles. A perennial contender in the highly-popular Beach Volleyball Republic On Tour and were among the Philippine representatives in the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Boracay Open 1-Star last May, Barbon and Eslapor are looking good to continue UST's dominance in the sport.  Derie Virtusio will be the third player. Jaron Requinton, who with Krung Arbasto put the Growling Tigers back in the throne last year, will have Efraem Dimaculangan as his partner. De La Salle hopes to give UST a run for its money behind Tin Tiamzon and rookie Justine Jazareno. The Lady Spikers will play their season opener versus the Lady Bulldogs at 11:20 a.m. Together with Michelle Morente, Tiamzon led De La Salle to a runner-up finish last year. The Lady Maroons will have a brand new set of players, with Rosie Rosier, Euricka Eslapor and alternate Noreen Estrellanes hoping to sustain their podium finishes that Isa Molde, Justin Dorog and Tots Carlos gave in the last two years. In other season-opening matches, Ateneo, with Ponggay Gaston and rookie Roma Mae Doromal in tow, goes up against Far Eastern University at 12 noon, before Adamson University and UE caps first day of women's action at 12:40 p.m. Seeking to rebound from last year's third place finish, the Bulldogs will bank on James Natividad and James Buytrago. Incidentally, UST and NU are tied for the most number of men's titles with four. The Bulldogs' other opening day opponent will be Ateneo at 2:40 p.m. FEU's Jude Garcia and Doy Barrica will be one of the Tigers' biggest threats for the crown as the last season's second placers tackle Adamson University at 8:40 a.m. and UP at 2 p.m. Other men's morning matches are UE-Ateneo at 9:20 a.m. and UP-De La Salle at 10 a.m., while Adamson University-De La Salle will round up opening day action at 3:20 p.m......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 21st, 2019