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Fans show support for Red Velvet’s Irene as she apologizes anew for past behavior

Red Velvet’s Irene (Instagram)  K-pop girl group Red Velvet’s leader Irene sent a letter to fans to apologize again for her past behavior and promised that she will “become a more mature person.”  Irene was embroiled in a controversy last October when a stylist-editor Kang Kook-hwa exposed her for rude behavior towards her and said she had a recording of the incident as evidence.  Kang compared Irene to “nut rage” Heather Cho, the Korean Air vice president who went berserk on a company-owned plane in 2014 after she was served nuts in original packaging by a crew member.  “The 20 minutes in the unfamiliar room was like hell. No hellos exchanged, shouting in my face with [her] phone in hand pointing [her] fingers while I stood and [she] sat in a chair, blurting out the words. Tears flooded out of my eyes after listening to the venomous words spewed out by [her] tongue. I just couldn’t help, it just burst out. Why must I be humiliated? For whom? For what? For money?” wrote Kang on Instagram, Korea JoongAng Daily reported.  After Kang made the post, Irene personally apologized to her and also issued an apology on Instagram. The incident prompted a Korean fan community of Red Velvet on DC Inside to demand that Irene should leave the group. In her new apology, which she posted on Jan. 15, Irene wrote, “First of all, I wanted to say that I apologize for causing so much pain and worry to many people because of inadequacy.” She said she started as a trainee at age 19 in 2009 and up to now, being Irene of Red Velvet “has been all of my life.” “I have lived while thinking that I was getting along with the people around me in my own way that I didn’t know that my communication method or expressions could be a problem, and I only thought that each has a different way of communication,” she said.  She added, “I received a lot of concerns and reprimand not only from the public but also from people around me for the past event and this gave me time to quietly reflect on myself.” “As I cannot turn back time, I am making a lot of effort not to go back to the way I used to be. I realized the weight of words and actions, and I will try to become a more mature person,” Irene promised.  Irene added that in the future, as leader and singer of Red Velvet, “I will not only show you a good image, but also as the person Bae Joo-hyun, I will try not to disappoint you.”  “I hope that somebody will no longer be criticized for what happened because of my inadequacy,” she said.  Last December, or two months after the incident, it was reported that Kang was still receiving hate for what happened.  “Please stop bothering me. Don’t threaten me. It’s a crime and costs dearly. She doesn’t want it either. I’m doing silent for her sake. This is my last request. Please and please,” according to a post by Kang uploaded on an online community.  Fans of Red Velvet welcomed Irene’s apology and expressed their support to her.  “Irene you didn’t do anything wrong. It’s normal for people to have mood swings, the case here is because you’re a celebrity,” one fan wrote.  Other messages are “Irene best leader,” “Irene we love you! Cheer up, we will always have your back,” and “Irene unnie you’re the greatest woman of this generation! We love you 3000!!!!”.....»»

Source: Mb.com.ph Mb.com.phCategory: NewsJan 17th, 2021Related News

Vaccine trials packed with volunteers

MIAMI (AFP) — Heather Lieberman is betting that she will gain immunity from the coronavirus. Sandra Rodriguez wants to work with scientists for the good of the community. Both have signed up for clinical trials of COVID-19 vaccines in Florida, the new US epicenter of the global health crisis. “I want to be part of […] The post Vaccine trials packed with volunteers appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Source: Tribune TribuneCategory: NewsAug 16th, 2020Related News

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.....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJun 8th, 2020Related News

FEU s Lycha Ebon eager to make up for lost time 11 months after ACL tear

MANILA, Philippines – The FEU Lady Tamaraws were among the favorites in the UAAP Season 81 women's volleyball tournament. However, that is already common knowledge to everyone as the Morayta-based spikers have always been perennial contenders thanks to their battle-tested system. Led by Heather Guino-o, Jerilli Malabanan, and Celine Domingo, the Lady ........»»

Source: Rappler RapplerCategory: NewsMar 3rd, 2020Related News

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.....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsFeb 10th, 2020Related News

PVL: Cool Smashers begin repeat quest

Creamline jumpstarts its title-retention bid against a comebacking Philippine Air Force side as the Premier Volleyball League Season 3 Open Conference gets underway on Sunday at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan. Bannered by super star hitter Alyssa Valdez and prized setter Jia Morado, the crowd-favorite Cool Smashers begin their road to redemption after surrendering the Reinforced Conference title to PetroGazz almost a month ago. Game time is at 2:00 p.m. and will air live on ABS-CBN S+A Channel 23, ABS-CBN S+A HD Channel 166, LIGA SkyCable Channel 86, LIGA HD SkyCable Channel 183, iWant and via livestream. Creamline will parade the same solid core of veterans Michele Gumabao, Risa Sato, Jema Galanza and libero Mel Gohing. Also back for another tour of duty are young stars Heather Guino-o, Kyle Negrito and Celine Domingo while Fille Cainglet-Cayetano is making a comeback after sitting out the import-laden conference. Although facing a Jet Spikers squad which skipped the previous conference, Valdez knows that Air Force remains a dangerous foe.    “We can’t blink whenever we play against Air Force,” said the three-time Conference Most Valuable Player. “They’re smart, they’re very well-experienced team. In volleyball if you have those experiences mas dumadali ang laro.” The Jet Spikers are back in the fold after sitting out the Reinforced Conference. Air Force will field a battle-hardened crew led by setter Wendy Semana, Joy Cases, May Ann Pantino, Judy Anne Caballejo and middle Dell Palomata.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsAug 11th, 2019Related News

PVL: May Jia kami – Valdez on Creamline’s advantage

It is fact that Creamline has a really stacked line-up, but prized hitter Alyssa Valdez sees one very important advantage against the competition. Setter Jia Morado. “One of our advantages as a team aside from chemistry is really Jia,” said Valdez as the Cool Smashers gear up to defend their title in the Premier Volleyball League Season 3 Reinforced Conference. Valdez and Morado will be back for the import-laden tournament together with a solid local line-up along with Thai import Kuttika Kaewpin and Venezuelan veteran Aleoscar Blanco.  “Madami kaming players na magagaling na spikers but I think Jia will play a crucial role and a crucial player in our team because she’s gonna run the plays,” said Valdez, who has been teammates with Morado since their UAAP days with Ateneo de Manila University. “She’s the one who would decide kung kanino niya ibibigay ang bola. With Jia, we’re really (going to) be composed. Hopefully ma-achieve namin ang goal namin.” Morado welcomes the beautiful problem of having a vast arsenal of talent to work with. “Oo naman. It’s hard kasi iba-iba sila ng sets pero parang nakikita ko naman and nakikita rin naman ng coach namin how we can utilize ‘yung strengths ng bawat players sa loob ng court,” said Morado. The playmaker will get a lot of scoring options in Valdez, their imports and local stars in Jema Galanza, newcomer Heather Guino-o, Michele Gumabao, Pau Soriano, Rissa Sato, Coleen Bravo, Rizza Mandapat, Fille Cainglet-Cayetano, Rose Vargas and Celine Domingo. Setting up the plays will also be an easy task for Morado with reliable liberos in Mel Gohing and Kyla Atienza while she can get a good rest if needed with another veteran playmaker Kyle Negrito coming off the bench. However, Morado down plays their tag as a ‘super team’.    “I don’t think we’re the super team,” she said. “I think all of the teams are equally strong this year. It just boils down to who jells well with their imports.” “Kasi we’re not only looking at all-Filipino line-ups eh, na-up pa ng level with a couple of imports per team,” the three-time Best Setter added. “So dun ang question kung sino ang aabot ng dulo and kung sino ang kayang i-absorb ng import ang system ng team.” Morado points out that the strength of Creamline is not with the names of their stars, but on the roles they are willing play to help the cause.  “We’re still hoping na balance pa rin ang offense namin na we’re not relying too much on our imports, we’re noyt relying on a couple of locals. We’re relying on a balance scoring offense,” said Morado. The Cool Smashers open their campaign on Sunday against PetroGazz.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsMay 23rd, 2019Related News

PVL: Creamline: Building a Dynasty

It’s a no-brainer that other squads look at defending champion Creamline as the team to beat in the Premier Volleyball League Season 3 Reinforced Conference. But more than its star-studded line-up and veteran core, the Cool Smashers’ success and expected good run comes from the foundation it built that resulted in a winning culture. The team did struggle in its maiden campaign before working its way up to where it is now - both a champion in the import-laden and Open conferences.     After all Rome wasn’t built in a day.   Now with a chance to solidify their claim as PVL’s powerhouse team, the Cool Smashers are relying on their tried and tested core and team chemistry in spite of having a new foreign coach, the addition of new local players and a pair of impressive imports.      “From the last conference marami ang core ng players na ever since nagkaroon ng Creamline Cool Smashers kami-kami na rin ang naroon,” said Creamline’s prized hitter Alyssa Valdez. “So I think it’s a good sign na maganda ang foundation namin as a team.” Back to help Valdez retain the throne are local stars Michele Gumabao, Melissa Gohing, Pau Soriano, Rissa Sato, Jema Galanza, Coleen Bravo, top setter Jia Morado, Rizza Mandapat, Fille Cainglet-Cayetano, Kyla Atienza and Rose Vargas. Joining the crew are Far Eastern University’s Celine Domingo, Heather Guino-o and playmaker Kyle Negrito.   Creamline re-signed Thai import Kuttika Kaewpin and will introduce a new reinforcement in Venezuelan veteran Aleoscar Blanco. “‘Pag may mga pumapasok naman di naman nalalayo ang mantra nila or attitude and character ng mga players kung ano ang gusto namin as a team,” added two-time conference Most Valuable Player Valdez. "I think maganda na mayroong culture na naitayo at na-build ang team namin. Kasi maraming players na nasa Creamline ever since na natayo, kami pa rin ang nandoon,” Valdez said. The Cool Smashers will be under a new coach in former Chinese national team player Huanning Li, who replaced Tai Bundit of Thailand. “We have a new coach, we have a new system so we hope na dahil dun iba rin ang mabibigay namin this conference,” said Valdez. Though the team is stacked with big names in local volleyball, Valdez points out that what’s good about their team is that players know very well their specific role. “My teammates are very humble and down to earth, they’re really taking the roles kung ano ang role nila in our team. Yun talaga ang ginagawa nila,” she said. Creamline will be tested on Sunday against PetroGazz. Catch the Premier Volleyball League Season 3 Reinforced Conference starting May 26, Sunday LIVE on S+A, S+A HD, LIGA, LIGA HD, iWant and via livestream. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsMay 22nd, 2019Related News

Lady Tams exceed expectations with Season 81 finish

With the help of seasoned veterans Jerrili Malabanan, Kyle Negrito and Heather Guino-o, the Lady Tamaraws were able to prove their doubters wrong......»»

Source: Philstar PhilstarCategory: SportsMay 9th, 2019Related News

UAAP Season 81 Final Four: Lady Tams prove doubters wrong with good season run

Far Eastern University may have fallen short of making it back to the Finals, but the Lady Tamaraws proved all of their doubters, wrong by achieving what many thought was impossible for a team that lost two of its best scorers heading into UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball tournament. “I’m really proud of how far our team has come this season, especially since a lot of people were saying that our team wasn’t gonna make it to the Final Four,” said graduating hitter Jerrili Malabanan, who made her final bow as a Lady Tamaraw on Wednesday. FEU bid farewell to the season after losing to Ateneo de Manila University, 20-25, 25-21, 23-25, 14-25, in the winner-take-all match for the right to face University of Sto. Tomas in the best-of-three Finals.        “I think our team really grew and gained a lot of character over this season from our wins and our losses,” added Malabanan, who finished with 18 points highlighted by 16 attacks. The Lady Tamaraws saw the departure of scoring ace Bernadeth Pons last year after their runner-up finish while veteran Toni Basas was sidelined by a shoulder injury during the offseason, preventing her from suiting up for FEU. It diddn’t help that prized rookie Lycha Ebon suffered a season-ending knee injury at the start of the second round.    “’Yun nga po sobrang saya dahil nakarating po kami kung saan man kami ngayon,” said a sobbing Heather Guino-o, who in her last game with FEU delivered 12 points and 14 digs. “Kasi parang simula parang sobrang dami na nagda-doubt sa amin pero pinakita naming lahat na hindi kami basta-bastang team.” FEU finished the elimination round with a 9-5 win-loss record, good for a fourth spot in the Final Four for a showdown with twice-to-beat Ateneo.    But despite playing short-handed, the Lady Tams pushed the Lady Eagles to the limit, taking the first semis match in five sets to force a rubber match.  “Sobrang proud ako sa narating ng team namin ngayon,” said outgoing setter Kyle Negrito. “Sobrang ipinakita ng teammates ko, ng buong team, na lumaban bawat game. Na walang alinlangan na ilaban nila para sa amin (seniors).” Head coach George Pascua thanked his three graduating seniors for a job well done as Lady Tamaraws. “Ako, very proud ako sa kanila umpisa pa lang nagpapa-‘thank you’ na ko sa kanila,” he said. “Team building pa lang na nadyan sila para sumupport sa team.” “’Yung unfinished business last season gusto namin ma-achieve na unfortunately hindi namin nagawa yun,” he said. Pero siyempre, sobrang proud ako sa kanila bilang Ates ng team. They did well.”   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsMay 8th, 2019Related News

FEU s graduating Guino-o savors season-saving win: Di pa kami tapos

      MANILA, Philippines –  The FEU Lady Tamaraws proved to be the queens of the long game this season after netting their seventh win in 8 five-setter games. And again, graduating star Heather Guino-o made sure that her teammates were prepared for everything the No. 1 Ateneo Lady Eagles throw at them in ........»»

Source: Rappler RapplerCategory: NewsMay 4th, 2019Related News

UAAP Season 81 Final Four: Hindi pa kami tapos – Guino-o

Not today. Graduating players Heather Guino-o, Jerrili Malabanan and setter Kyle Negrito made sure that Saturday’s match won’t be their last game as part of the Far Eastern University Lady Tamaraws. The seniors gave everything they got to carry FEU past twice-to-beat Ateneo de Manila University, 10-25, 25-23, 25-22, 12-25, 15-8, and force a decider in the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball Final Four at the MOA Arena. “Sobrang saya sa pakiramdam kasi dito namin malalaman eh kung last na namin ito o magtutuluy-tuloy pa kami. Pero pinatunayan namin na hindi pa po kami tapos,” said Guino-o, who led the Lady Tamaraws with 17 points. The do-or-die match is set on Wednesday at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.    “I told the team earlier during the game that this wasn’t gonna be our last game. We’re really happy we achieved that goal,” said Malabanan, who scored eight markers. “Me and Kyle and Heather like last night we had a meeting and then we told each other that this isn’t gonna be our last game,” added Malabanan. “We’re happy that our season is extended.” The Lady Tams won against the Lady Eagles for the first time this season and it came in a situation that FEU’s very familiar with. For the sixth time in seven five-setter matches this season, the Lady Tams emerged victorious. FEU broke a 7-7 deadlock in the fifth set with a pivotal 6-0 rally capped by a Malabanan hit for a 13-7 advantage. Maddie Madayag stopped the bleeding for Ateneo with a kill block on Malabanan but the Lady Eagles committed back-to-back miscues to yield the match. “Kahapon pa lang iniisip na namin na hindi kmai papayag na huli na naming laro ito. Hindi pwedeng huli na namin silang makakasamang maglaro. Kaya sobrang saya po, sobrang sarap sa pakiramdam na na-extended pa,” said Guino-o.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsMay 4th, 2019Related News

UAAP Season 81 Final Four: Lady Tams ready for the challenge

Far Eastern University welcomes the challenge of winning twice against the squad that swept the Lady Tamaraws in the elimination round. It will be a tall order for the Lady Tams to beat top seed and twice-to-beat Ateneo de Manila University in the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball Final Four, but the Lady Tams are ready come Saturday.         “I think whoever’s gonna want to win more is the one who’s gonna win the game,” said graduating hitter Jerrili Malabanan. “So just play with heart.” The Lady Tams forged a third straight semifinals showdown with the Lady Eagles, however, FEU will be at the disadvantage this time. The Morayta-based squad finished the elimination round at the no. 4 spot with a 9-5 win-loss record for a head-on collision with the same squad it booted out last year in the semis on its way to runner-up finish behind three-time defending champion De La Salle University.        Still, head coach George Pascua remains positive of the Lady Tams’ chances especially after a morale-boosting five-set win over the Lady Spikers last week to end the elims. “So siyempre knowing naman Ateneo, powerhouse din naman ang team na ‘yun. Siyempre di kami titigil hanggan’t di namin naa-achieve ang goal namin,” said Pascua, hoping to steer FEU back to the Finals. “Pagtatrabahuhan pa namin. May mga ipa-polish na lang kami for Ateneo game and hopefully ma-achieve namin.” Another graduating player, Heather Guino-o, sees their win over DLSU – a team that dominated them in eight straight head-to-heads since Season 78 Final Four – as a fuel to the Lady Tams’ desire to get back in the Finals. “Sobrang sarap sa pakiramdam kasi sobrang makakatulong po sa amin ito sa mga next games pa namin,” said Guino-o. The hitter added that communication is the key for them to defeat Ateneo and force a winner-take-all. “’Yun nga po na sinasabi ni coach na kapag nag-usap kami mas male-lessen ang errors namin saka kung sino talaga ang mas gustong manalo ‘yun ang manananalo,” she said. FEU will also bank on outgoing setter Kyle Negrito, libero Buding Duremdes, Czarina Carandang and rookie France Ronquillo for the Lady Tams to live to fight another.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsMay 3rd, 2019Related News

Serena Williams reaches 4th round without dropping a set

JOHN PYE, AP Sports Writer br /> MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Serena Williams is still on track in her bid to win a record 23rd Grand Slam title. The six-time Australian Open winner beat fellow American Nicole Gibbs 6-1, 6-3 in the third round on Saturday, when she didn't face a break point until she was serving for the match. Dropping serve in that game was her only lapse in a match that then extended just beyond the hour — to 63 minutes to be precise. That made it one minute and one game longer than her only other match against Gibbs. Williams started the tournament with difficult assignments in the first two rounds, but also got through those — against Belinda Bencic, with a career-high ranking of 7, and Lucie Safarova, a French Open finalist in 2015 — without dropping a set. She has set the tone for the tournament. Williams will next play No. 16 Barbora Strycova, who beat No. 21 Caroline Garcia 6-2, 7-5. Ekaterina Makarova led by a set and 4-0 but needed three sets and almost three hours to finally beat WTA Finals champion Dominika Cibulkova 6-2, 6-7 (3), 6-3. 'An amazing fight,' Makarova said of her first win over sixth-seeded Cibulkova, the 2014 finalist at Melbourne Park. 'I got, to be honest, a bit tight at 4-0 in the second set. But I'm still here. I love this Grand Slam.' In a momentum-swing match featuring some long streaks of games and 11 service breaks, Makarova got the decisive break in the eighth game of the deciding set and closed it next. Makarova will play either 2016 semifinalist Johanna Konta, who beat her in the fourth round here last year, or former No. 1-ranked Caroline Wozniacki. Mirjana Lucic-Baroni continued her unlikely run with a 3-6, 6-2, 6-3 win over Maria Sakkari, and so did American qualifier Jennifer Brady. Before this week, the 34-year-old Lucic-Baroni hadn't won a match at Melbourne Park since her debut at the Australian Open in 1998. The 19-year gap in between match wins at a Grand Slam tournament broke the record set by Kimiko Date-Krumm, who went 17 years between match wins at Wimbledon. Lucic-Baroni reached the semifinals of Wimbledon in 1999 as a 17-year-old and captured the Australian Open doubles title a year before that with Martina Hingis. She next plays Brady, ranked No. 116, who had never played in the main draw of a major before she qualified for this week. The 21-year-old American had a 7-6 (4), 6-2 win over 14th-seeded Elena Vesnina on Show Court 2, and is making the most of the occasion. By saving five match points before rallying to beat Heather Watson in the second round, Brady effectively doubled her number of career wins. On the men's side, No. 8 Dominic Thiem beat Benoit Paire 6-1, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 to set up a fourth-round match against No. 11 David Goffin, who ended Ivo Karlovic's run 6-3, 6-2, 6-4. The 37-year-old Karlovic's win in the first round set an endurance record — the 84 games in the win over Horacio Zeballos, which ended 22-20 in the fifth, was an Open-era mark for the tournament. .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJan 21st, 2017Related News

Raonic continues streak by reaching 3rd round in Australia

JOHN PYE, AP Sports Writer br /> MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Third-seeded Milos Raonic ended one streak and continued another with a 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (4) Thursday over Gilles Muller to reach the third round at the Australian Open. Raonic, who reached the semifinals here last year and the final at Wimbledon, had lost both previous matches to Muller — including one when he retired with an injured hip in the second round at Wimbledon in 2012. His win Thursday maintained Raonic's record of reaching the third round at least all seven years he has contested the Australian Open. The 33-year-old Muller entered the season's first major after capturing his first tour-level title in Sydney last week. Raonic was unable to defend his Brisbane title in the first week of the season, but is finding rhythm quickly in Melbourne — he fired 21 aces, hit 56 winners and only had 15 unforced errors against Muller. He left the court complaining of a sore throat, and will get a day off before his next match against No. 25 Gilles Simon. No. 15 Grigor Dimitrov, who beat Raonic in the semifinals before winning the Brisbane International earlier this month, moved into the third round with a 1-6, 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 win over Chung Hye-on. Dimitrov will next play No. 18 Richard Gasquet. No. 32 Philipp Kohlschreiber beat Donald Young 7-5, 6-3, 6-0. David Ferrer, the former world No. 3 who has only missed the quarterfinals once in the previous six years at Melbourne Park, recovered to beat U.S. qualifier Ernesto Escobedo 2-6, 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 and set up a third-round match against fellow Spaniard and No. 13-seeded Roberto Bautista Agut. No. 30 Pablo Carreno Busta had a 6-2, 6-4, 6-2 win over Kyle Edmund to move into a third-round match against either six-time Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic or Denis Istomin. U.S. Open finalist Karolina Pliskova and No. 9 Johanna Konta carried their winning form from warmup tournaments into the third round of the season's first major. Brisbane International winner Pliskova beat Anna Blinkova 6-0, 6-2 in 59 minutes, and has dropped just four games en route to the third round. She was leading 6-0, 4-0 in the opening match on Rod Laver Arena before the 18-year-old Russian qualifier, ranked 189th, held serve and later held up her arm to acknowledge the cheers from the crowd. 'It's always good to be in the zone,' said fifth-seeded Pliskova. 'It can always be a bit better.' 'I'm feeling pretty good on the court, confident,' she said. 'Also, people are talking I have a good chance to win a Grand Slam, but we are just in third round, so let's see.' She will next play Jelena Ostapenko, who beat No. 31 Yulia Putintseva 6-3, 6-1. Sydney International winner Konta, who made a surprising run to the semifinals in her debut Australian Open last year, advanced 6-4, 6-2 over Naomi Osaka. Konta, voted the WTA Tour's most improved player of 2016 after moving from 48th to 10th in the rankings, will next play former No. 1-ranked Caroline Wozniacki. WTA Finals winner Dominika Cibulkova held off Hsieh Su-wei 6-4, 7-6 (8) and will next play No. 30 Ekaterina Makarova, who was leading 6-2, 3-2 when Sara Errani retired because of a leg injury. No. 14 Elena Vesnina advanced to a third-round encounter against U.S. qualifier Jennifer Brady, who saved five match points before beating Heather Watson 2-6, 7-6 (3), 10-8. Andy Murray returned to the practice court for an afternoon hitting session under the scrutiny of coach Ivan Lendl, allaying concerns about his injured right ankle. Top-ranked Murray, a five-time runner-up at Melbourne Park, twisted his ankle and tumbled to the court during the third set of his otherwise routine second-round win on Wednesday night. .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJan 19th, 2017Related News

6-time champs Djokovic, Williams post Australian Open wins

JOHN PYE, AP Sports Writer   MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — The record will show that six-time Australian Open champions Serena Williams and Novak Djokovic each had straight-set wins. It may seem straight-forward, but it was not routine. Newly-engaged Williams, aiming for an Open-era record 23rd major title, and Djokovic, bidding to become the first man to win seven Australian titles, confronted former top-10 players in the first round at Melbourne Park. And so there was no chance for the No. 2-ranked players, in the recently unaccustomed position at the foot of the draw, to feel their way into the season's first major. Djokovic faced Fernando Verdasco, who beat Rafael Nadal in the first round last year and who had five match points in their last head-to-head encounter — only 10 days earlier. Djokovic held off the Spanish lefthander in a 71-minute, momentum-swinging second set before winning 6-1, 7-6 (4), 6-2 on Tuesday. The first and third sets were great, he said, but the second was 'a gamble.' 'I'm very pleased with the first round, considering I had one of the toughest first-round draws, definitely considering his form,' Djokovic said. 'He's a quality player. He's a big match, big-time player.' The 33-year-old Verdasco peaked at No. 7 in the rankings in 2009, not long after he pushed eventual champion Nadal in five sets in one of the best and latest-finishing semifinals ever at the Australian Open. 'From one perspective it was good that I got to have the very tough first-round match, because it made me prepare better and kind of approach the tournament with the right intensity, right from the first point,' Djokovic said. Williams, on the comeback after a stint on the sidelines following a U.S. Open semifinal loss, took a 5-0 lead in the second set against Belinda Bencic. But Bencic has been ranked in the top 10, and was seeded 12th in Melbourne last year. She applied pressure on Williams, who made mistakes on key points — including a double-fault to give Bencic a break point, and another on her first match point — before recovering to win 6-4, 6-3. Williams became engaged to Alexis Ohanian during the holiday break, and the Reddit co-founder was in the crowd at Rod Laver Arena. She has been asked repeatedly about her wedding plans since arriving in Australia, but only gave a time frame for that discussion after her opening match. 'February I'll start looking at the bigger picture of my life,' she said. 'Right now, I'm just so focused that this is kind of all I can think about.' Williams made a big statement, though, by walking into her news conference wearing a shirt with the word 'Equality' emblazoned across the front. It was still before midnight Monday in the United States, where the holiday in honor of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. was nearly ending. 'It's important to spread the message,' she said. Asked if she was concerned about the future of equality in the United States, Williams declined to comment apart from saying it was 'a concern for just everyone in general.' After improving her record in the first round of majors to 65-1, Williams will play Lucie Safarova, who saved nine match points before beating Yanina Wickmayer 3-6, 7-6 (7), 6-1. Nadal, also returning from a couple of months on the sidelines following the U.S. Open with an injured left wrist, has already improved on 2016. 'I'm happy to do an interview with you — last year, I didn't have the chance!' Nadal said in his on-court interview after a 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 win over Florian Mayer. As usual at Melbourne Park, the heat was a factor. The thermostat reached almost 38 degrees Celsius (100 degrees Fahrenheit) on a day when Wimbledon finalist Milos Raonic beat Dustin Brown and No. 11 David Goffin beat 19-year-old qualifier Reilly Opelka 6-4, 4-6, 6-4, 4-6, 6-4. Ivo Karlovic was thankful that it was cooler at night, when the 37-year-old Croat fired 75 aces and held off Horacio Zeballos 6-7 (6), 3-6, 7-5, 6-2, 22-20 in a match that set a record for most number of games (84) at the Australian Open in the tiebreak era. No. 6 Gael Monfils, No. 8 Dominic Thiem, No. 13 Roberto Bautista Agut, No. 15 Grigor Dimitrov and No. 18 Richard Gasquet were among the other seeded players to advance. Heather Watson beat No. 18 Sam Stosur, extending the 2011 U.S. Open champion's drought on home soil. U.S. Open finalist Karolina Pliskova, 2016 Australian Open semifinalist Johanna Konta, No. 6 Dominika Cibulkova, former top-ranked Caroline Wozniacki, No. 14 Elena Vesnina, No. 21 Caroline Garcia and No. 28 Alize Cornet all advanced before third-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska finished off her 6-1, 4-6, 6-1 win over Tsvetana Pironkova just before midnight. .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJan 18th, 2017Related News

Australian Open quotes: Rafael Nadal says no plans to retire

DENNIS PASSA, AP Sports Writer br /> MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Rafael Nadal isn't planning to give up tennis anytime soon. Johanna Konta won't take too seriously her dominating win in the Sydney International last Friday. And Sam Stosur, who has never done well at her home Grand Slam tournament, isn't getting too down on herself after her preparation — or lack of it— for Melbourne Park. Following are some thoughts and impressions from players who spoke on Sunday, the day before the start of the Australian Open: ___ RAFAEL NADAL The takeaway: Rafa is not about to call it quits anytime soon. Nadal, a 14-time major winner, is coming off two lengthy injury layoffs last year, including 2 ½ months off after pulling out of the French Open before the third round with left wrist injury and another rest at the end of the season. Just don't ask him if he's ready to pull out a rod and reel, or a 9-iron. 'If I don't believe that I can be competitive, and when I mean competitive, is fighting for the things that I fought for during the last 10 years, I will be probably playing golf or fishing at home,' Nadal said. 'I am being honest ... I am here because I believe ... I can fight for the things that really motivate me.' Given his history with injuries, Nadal was asked if he was playing pain free. 'What do you mean 'pain-free'?' he said. 'I am not injured, no. Pain-free is a long time ago.' ___ JOHANNA KONTA The Sydney-born British player, a surprise semifinalist at Melbourne Park last year, won the Sydney International final against Agnieszka Radwanska last Friday, a victory so dominating that the Polish player, ranked third in the world, said: 'I can't remember playing someone like this on that level, that consistent for the whole match. I couldn't really say that I did something wrong. She was just playing amazing tennis.' Konta said Sunday she's not reading too much into those plaudits. 'Obviously to have beaten a player like Aga, I'm definitely very pleased with the level I played,' Konta said. 'But we all know that it's not a given. It doesn't decide how you will do in the next event. I'm taking it as a positive from the week itself, but I'm looking to, again, work hard here and really try to do the best that I can here.' ___ SAMANTHA STOSUR Competing in her 15th Australian Open, the highest-ranked Australian woman in the draw has never made it past the fourth round at Melbourne Park. Her preparation for her home major wasn't helped with first-round losses at Brisbane and Sydney 'I can't change it, it is what it is,' Stosur said of her early exits. 'I'm not going into my first round freaking out that I haven't had more than two matches. Like I said, I've done everything else that I can. Obviously it would have been really nice to have played more. But I'm pretty sure I'm not the only person in that situation from the first two weeks of the year.' The 18th-seeded Stosur has a tough first-round match against Heather Watson of Britain. ___ SIMONA HALEP The fourth-seeded Halep lost in the first round last year at Melbourne Park. This year she'll have the distinction of opening play on the main Rod Laver Arena on Monday, against American Shelby Rogers. 'I hope is going to be better this year ... it's special to open the tournament on the biggest stadium. I'm not thinking very much at that thing. I just have to go there. I know the opponent pretty well.' Halep beat Rogers in straight sets in the third round at the 2015 U.S. Open in their only previous meeting. ___ TOMMY HAAS The 38-year-old German veteran has said 2017 will be his last year on tour — he's taking over as tournament director at Indian Wells. Haas, who plays Benoit Paire of France in the first round, wants to go out with some dignity after a career of injuries. He has been ranked as high as No. 2, won 15 ATP Tour titles, reached the semifinals of the Australian Open three times and Wimbledon once, and won a silver medal at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. His career has been stalled by injuries since he had shoulder surgery two years ago and right foot surgery in the middle of last year. 'I think it's important to find that right time, or that moment for you when you feel it's over and it's time to do something else,' Haas said Sunday. 'For me it's very important just to be back on tour and back here at the Australian Open. It's been a while since I've played here and I'm excited to get the opportunity to go out on the court one more time and compete.' And to keep playing, hoping that his best is once again around the corner. 'When you are a dreamer, and a lot of us are, you obviously like to play at your best level again, maybe play against some of the top players somewhere on a big stage and play a great matches,' Haas said. 'Maybe get far in a tournament one more time.' .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJan 15th, 2017Related News

Roger Federer loses close match to Zverev at Hopman Cup

PERTH, Australia (AP) — Roger Federer found himself overmatched — just — by a younger and stronger-serving opponent on Wednesday, losing 7-6 (1), 6-7 (4), 7-6 (4) to 19-year-old Alexander Zverev of Germany at the Hopman Cup. The 35-year-old Federer was playing just his second match since returning from a six-month layoff because of a left knee injury. He led 5-2 in the first set, but ran into an opponent whose first-serve percentage exceeded 80 percent midway through the final set of the 2 ½-hour match in the mixed teams tournament. 'I thought we both played really well,' Zverev said of his second career win over Federer. 'But I always play unbelievable against him.' Serving to stay in the match at 5-6, someone in the 13,700-capacity crowd at Perth Arena crowd yelled out: 'Let's have another tiebreaker.' Non-plussed, Zverev smiled and replied: 'What do you think I am trying to do?' Andrea Petkovic will try to clinch the match for Germany when she plays Federer's Swiss teammate Belinda Bencic in women's singles, with a mixed doubles match to follow. Switzerland won its opening match against Britain. A comeback victory over Germany would leave France and Switzerland playing for a spot in Saturday's final when they conclude round-robin play on Friday. Otherwise, Switzerland, Germany and France would all be 1-1 going into the last set of round-robin matches. Earlier Wednesday, France's Kristina Mladenovic and Richard Gasquet won their singles matches to give France victory over Britain. Mladenovic beat Heather Watson 6-4, 5-7, 6-3 before Gasquet defeated Dan Evans 6-4, 6-2. Gasquet and Mladenovic later defeated Evans and Watson 4-3, 4-3 in mixed doubles, played in the Fast4 format, to complete a sweep. Temperatures during the opening match rose to as high as 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit), forcing both players to conserve their energy. 'It was definitely difficult,' said Mladenovic, who estimated she drank seven bottles of fluid during the match. 'Sometimes you would like to try to put more intensity, but you have to be smart sometimes and maybe not run down every single ball.' The United States, represented by Coco Vandeweghe and Jack Sock, have already qualified for the final from Group B after beating Czech Republic and Spain in its opening matches. On Thursday, Czech Republic plays Spain and defending champion Australia takes on the U.S. .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJan 4th, 2017Related News

Federer wins 1st match on return, Switzerland beats Britain

PERTH, Australia (AP) — Roger Federer returned from six months on the sidelines with a knee injury to beat Dan Evans 6-3, 6-4 on Monday and lead Switzerland to an opening 3-0 win over Britain at the Hopman Cup mixed teams tournament. The 17-time major winner missed the French Open last year, ending a run of 65 consecutive Grand Slam tournaments, and hadn't played competitively since re-injuring his surgically repaired left knee at Wimbledon in July. But he showed no signs of rust in his 61-minute win over Evans. 'I'd like to live it again. I'm a little bit sad it's over, because it was so nice out there,' Federer said of his return. 'I was actually quite emotional. When I walked down, I was like, 'Oh my God, this is better than I thought it would be.'' The 35-year-old Federer said it was the kind of feeling he missed the most while he was sidelined. 'I thought for a first match it was great, because my expectations were obviously quite low.' Belinda Bencic held off Heather Watson 7-5, 3-6, 6-2 later Monday to give Switzerland an unbeatable 2-0 lead. Federer and Bencic easily completed the sweep in the mixed doubles, beating Evans and Watson 4-0, 4-1. Federer said he's looking for as many matches as possible in Perth ahead of the Australian Open, which starts Jan. 16 in Melbourne. He hasn't won a Grand Slam title since 2012 at Wimbledon, and hasn't won the Australian Open title since 2010, but hasn't given up hope of extending his record in the majors. 'After all these years, it would be nice to win another one — of course I'd even take two or three or four,' he said. 'We'll see. It's tough at the top. A lot of good guys out there right now. I'll give it a chance, and see what happens.' Federer said he'd spent plenty of time on conditioning during his break from the game and felt pain free. 'I don't have any pain,' he said. 'It's been nice that I was able to get rid of that early.' Switzerland is set to play Germany on Wednesday and France on Friday, with the winning team in Group A qualifying for Saturday's final. France beat Germany 2-1 earlier Monday, with Richard Gasquet defeating Alexander Zverev 7-5, 6-3 and combining with Kristina Mladenovic to win the deciding mixed doubles, which is being played in the Fast4 format, 4-2, 4-1. Andrea Petkovic had earlier beaten Mladenovic 6-2, 6-1 in the women's singles. .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJan 3rd, 2017Related News

Americans win 1st match at Hopman Cup mixed teams event

PERTH, Australia (AP) — Coco Vandeweghe gave the United States an early lead and Jack Sock clinched the Americans' opening match Sunday at the Hopman Cup mixed teams tournament. Vandeweghe beat Lucie Hradecka 6-4, 6-2 of Czech Republic before Sock defeated Adam Pavlasek 7-5, 3-6, 6-3 to clinch the match. The Americans also won the mixed doubles 2-4, 4-2, 4-1, which this year features the Fast4 format, including a tiebreaker at 3-3 in each set and no advantage on points. Hradecka replaced two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova after Kvitova was injured 10 days ago in a knife attack by an intruder in her home in the town of Prostejov. Kvitova is expected to be off the tour for up to six months. 'I played a decently clean match, it's always going to be a little bit interesting your first time out on the court,' Vandeweghe said. 'A little pre-match jitters but I thought I did a good job.' The United States has won the Hopman Cup a record six times in the tournament's 28-year history. Defending champions Australia, represented by Russian-born Daria Gavrilova and Nick Kyrgios, were scheduled to play a late match Sunday against Spain. Roger Federer, making his return after a six-month left knee injury layoff, and Belinda Bencic begin play for Switzerland against Britain, represented by Heather Wilson and Dan Evans, on Monday night. .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsJan 1st, 2017Related News