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An ode to determined women

Two-man combo, Liwanag, is releasing its latest single, “Star,” on Spotify. The song is available for streaming starting May 29. .....»»

Source: Thestandard ThestandardCategory: Movies12 hr. 2 min. ago Related News

Lillard won t play if there s zero chance of making playoffs

Los Angeles--Portland star Damian Lillard says he won't play if the resumed NBA season doesn't offer the Trail Blazers any chance of making the playoffs......»»

Source: Thestandard ThestandardCategory: Sports14 hr. 15 min. ago Related News

WATCH: Ariana Grande’s rumored boyfriend appears on ‘Rain on Me’ promo with Lady Gaga

Ariana Grande’s rumored new boyfriend made a cameo in a pseudo weather report to promote “Rain on Me”, the pop star’s new song with Lady Gaga. Gaga and Grande transformed into weather girls for The Weather Channel to “celebrate the rain,” as seen on Grande’s Instagram post today, May 27. Gaga dropped her collaboration with Grande last […] The post WATCH: Ariana Grande’s rumored boyfriend appears on ‘Rain on Me’ promo with Lady Gaga appeared first on Cebu Daily News......»»

Source: Inquirer InquirerCategory: News14 hr. 49 min. ago Related News

Hyun Bin crash landing soon in Phl?

Just as we all thought Lee Min-ho was the biggest Hallyu star Bench could bring in in 2016, turns out there’s one who is part of the first-generation Hallyu star that could be landing on our shores soon. And, omo, he is also going to be part of a big ad campaign by telecommunications giant, […] The post Hyun Bin crash landing soon in Phl? appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Source: Tribune TribuneCategory: News17 hr. 2 min. ago Related News

WHAT IF: Eduard Folayang had stopped Eddie Alvarez back in 2019?

In August of 2019, the Mall of Asia Arena in Metro Manila played host to arguably one of the biggest matches in ONE Championship lightweight history.  In one corner was Filipino mixed martial arts icon and hometown favorite Eduard “The Landslide” Folayang, a two-time ONE Lightweight World Champion who was looking to bounce back after dropping the title to Japanese legend Shinya Aoki in Japan earlier that year.  Standing in the opposite corner was American star Eddie “The Underground King” Alvarez, a former UFC and Bellator Lightweight Champion and one of ONE’s biggest acquisitions in recent memory. Like Folayang, Alvarez was also looking to get back on track after a disappointing KO loss to Timofey Nastyukhin in his ONE debut.  Considered a dream match by ONE Championship fans, Folayang versus Alvarez was billed as East versus West. One of ONE’s pioneers against one of ONE’s newest stars.  As much as the storylines made the match very intriguing, the stakes were quite high as well.  With the semifinals of the then-ongoing ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix doomed by injuries, the Folayang-Alvarez bout was elevated to Grand Prix semifinals status, meaning that the winner would go on to face Turkish knockout artist Saygid “Dagi” Guseyn Arslanaliev in the Finals at ONE: CENTURY.  For Folayang, it was a step towards reclaiming the title that he held at the start of the year. For Alvarez, it was a way to erase the memory of his bitter debut loss and also a step closer towards capturing his third major world championship.  While the Folayang-Alvarez was the third-to-the last bout on the bill, for many of the Pinoy fans in attendance at the MOA Arena that night, it sure felt like the main event.  From the opening bell, the crowd was buzzing, anxious to see of their hometown hero could pull off the massive victory.  Chants of “Folayang! Folayang!” rang through MoA Arena just seconds before the Pinoy connected on a solid counter left hook that definitely got the American star’s attention.  After a flurry of kicks from Folayang, the briefly fell into a nervous silence as Alvarez caught a leg kick and managed to get Folayang to the ground before trapping him in a standing guillotine.  Folayang simply shrugged off the half-hearted submission attempt, much to the delight of the partisan-Pinoy crowd. So far so good for Team Philippines.  A flying knee from Alvarez collided with a spinning back kick from Folayang, which elicited some oohs and ahhs from the crowd, which was ready to go off as soon as their bet landed something big.  Folayang began to pick up steam as he launched strike after strike, throwing kicks, punches, and elbows. It was clear that the Team Lakay star was in control of the stand-up aspect of the fight.  Then, at the 3:37 mark of the first round, the big strike that the fans were waiting for finally came. Folayang, with his massive tree-trunk legs, whipped a right low kick that connected on Alvarez’s left leg, sending the American down to the mat. The way Alvarez sat back down, it looked like he was hurt.  Sensing blood in the water, Folayang went for the kill and began dropping fists as Alvarez tried to defend himself. A failed armbar attempt from Alvarez forced Folayang to reposition himself, moving into side control while still throwing hammerfist after hammerfist.  Then, all of a sudden, Alvarez managed to slip his right hand in between Folayang’s legs and then flip the Pinoy over. Just like that, it was Alvarez who was on top.  Unlike his Pinoy opponent however, Alvarez remained calm and slowly transitioned into full mount. Making things worse, Folayang, likely looking to prevent and ground and pound damage, turned and gave up his back.  Almost immediately, Alvarez sinked his hooks in and flattened Folayang out before locking in a rear naked choke and forcing the Pinoy to tap out.  While he did win, Alvarez would miss out on the Finals anyway after an injury would force him to withdraw as well. As a result, Dagi ended up facing - and losing to - reigning ONE Lightweight World Champion Christian Lee.  Folayang was offered the Finals spot against Dagi, but last-minute visa issues would prevent him from being able to step up.  The loss was quite a painful one to swallow, not just for Folayang, but also for the fans.  Folayang admitted after the fight that he had rushed to get the finish, causing him to be a bit careless and make some costly mistakes.  "I was too eager to get the finish, and I think that’s the mistake, I became impatient, and I wanted to finish him as soon as possible but it didn’t go that way, so, that happened," Folayang explained.  But WHAT IF Folayang hadn’t rushed? Close your eyes and imagine:  After chopping Alvarez down with the leg kick at the 3:37 mark, Folayang pounced and picked his spots, landing some good shots to the head, enough to stun the American and force the referee to step in and stop the fight.  Or, what if instead of pouncing, Folayang allowed the visibly hurt Alvarez to get back up and from there, continued to punish The Underground King’s leg (or legs) en route to a TKO finish.  Folayang would have booked his ticked to the ONE Lightweight Grand Prix Finals. More importantly, Folayang would have been able to add Alvarez to the name of legend’s he’s beaten, and it would have skyrocketed his stock to even greater heights.  Would he have been able to defeat Dagi in the Finale? Of course it was very much possible. At the rate Dagi was knocking guys out up to that point, Folayang would have likely been considered an underdog, but a high-level striker like Folayang is never without his chances.  If Folayang had been able to get past Dagi as well, it would set up a very intriguing matchup between himself and Lee, which could have been a good matchup for the Pinoy star.  Now, Folayang finds himself once again looking to bounce back following a close loss to Dutch striker Pieter Buist.  Still hungry for a third run as world champion, Folayang will need to work his way back to the top of the division.  Who knows? Maybe two or three wins in, Folayang could find himself standing opposite Alvarez once again, with the chance to re-write history. .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: Sports19 hr. 49 min. ago Related News

Lillard ayaw nang maglaro

Gumagawa ng paraan ang NBA para matuloy ang laro ngayong season pero kung si Portland Trail Blazer star Damian Lillard ang tatanungin, hindi ito pabor......»»

Source: Abante AbanteCategory: NewsMay 27th, 2020Related News

Kiefer Ravena, Alyssa Valdez take on volleyball-basketball crossover challenge

Kiefer Ravena and Alyssa Valdez celebrated their ‘monthsary’ by flexing their mad hops. The Phenoms took on a ‘quarantine challenge’ with their volleyball-basketball crossover video. Ravena on his Instagram account on Tuesday a video of him dunking off a set from his Creamline Cool Smashers star girlfriend.         View this post on Instagram                   We tried our own thing ???? #QuarantineChallenge #YouCantStopUs . . . . . Advance Monthsary post ???? I love you @alyssa_valdez2 A post shared by Kiefer Ravena (@kieferravena15) on May 26, 2020 at 2:07am PDT Not to be outdone, Valdez tweeted a video of her stuffing an alley-oop jam off a lob from her NLEX Road Warriors beau. EZ ???????? pic.twitter.com/yMX0LPa4sk — Alyssa Valdez (@AlyssaValdez2) May 26, 2020 The couple just celebrated their fourth anniversary last month......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsMay 26th, 2020Related News

NBA great Ewing recovering from COVID-19 at home

New York--NBA great Patrick Ewing has left hospital and is recovering at home after being diagnosed with COVID-19, his son said on Monday......»»

Source: Thestandard ThestandardCategory: SportsMay 26th, 2020Related News

SUPER SHOWDOWN: La Salle Ricci-UP Ricci

The University of the Philippines' future remains bright with Ricci Rivero coming back for more. After a solid season in his first go-round in maroon and green, the all-around swingman will join forces yet again with Bright Akhuetie and Kobe Paras as the Fighting Maroons set out to build on back-to-back playoff appearances. For sure, State U's future is still secure with Rivero in the fold. Not too long ago, though, the just turned 22-year-old was also the future in De La Salle University. In fact, he was supposed-to-be the Green Archers' next great homegrown talent. It wasn't meant to be, however, as circumstances led him out of Taft Avenue and into Diliman. Still, his time in green and white remains his most successful yet - what with a championship and a Mythical selection under his belt. If it were up to you, which Ricci Rivero would you have on your side? The Ricci Rivero who had just launched off en route to greater and greater heights in La Salle or the Ricci Rivero who has been more grounded and more well-rounded in UP? That is what we try to compare and contrast in this week's ABS-CBN Sports Super Showdown. In studying the player he was and the player he is, we will be comparing those two in five categories (inside scoring, outside scoring, defense, health, and impact) with a boxing-style 10-point must system determining the decision. INSIDE SCORING The very first thing Rivero did in UP? Oop an alley. .@_ricciiirivero turns 22 today. The ride's just begun for the Euro step king ???? pic.twitter.com/QzCK5DHZS5 — ABS-CBN Sports (@abscbnsports) May 25, 2020 Yes, his first basket as a Fighting Maroon was a right-handed hammer to finish off a setup by Jun Manzo. The 6-foot-2 swingman has long had the hops, even in his time in La Salle Green Hills, but he has complemented all that now in State U with the capability and confidence to finish with either hand. Along with that, Rivero also wields the wisdom to, at times, just absorb contact and get the points from the line. That is a far cry from his younger days when he was wont to force the issue, leading to many, many wild shots. Make no mistake, La Salle Ricci was already a beast in the paint, but now, he has paired that up with beauty of finishes in maroon and green. Advantage UP Ricci, 10-9 OUTSIDE SCORING The sidestep will always and always be linked to Rivero. Safe to say, that is his trademark whether it be in the open court or in set plays. In UP, however, the Isabela native has found more room to be able to execute his Euro-steps - and that's because he has become more of a three-point threat. From nine made threes in 18 games in his second season in La Salle, he has upped that mark to 13 made threes in 16 games in his first year as a Fighting Maroon. Of course, there remains much room for improvement, but it could not be questioned that Rivero is now an inside-outside force. Advantage UP Ricci, 10-9 DEFENSE Rivero's hops also translates to defense as he could have a highlight block just as he could have a highlight dunk. He also has the quick feet to stay in front of his matchups. While he is solid at that end in UP, the former Greenie was actually a dogged defender in La Salle. In sync with the rest of the Green Archers in Aldin Ayo's patented "mayhem," Rivero was a menace all over the court for opposing guards and totaled 27 steals. More than the numbers, though, it was the effort and the energy that were very much evident while he was defending as a Green Archer. Advantage La Salle Ricci, 10-9 HEALTH More than a few aches and pains slowed down Rivero in his first year in UP. It’s already well-known that the Fighting Maroons were never at full strength in Season 82 and the brand new Youtuber was the perfect personification of that as he did not come close to 100 percent. Proving his talent, he still produced, but there is no question he could have done much more if he was at his maximum. That maximum is where he was at in La Salle, especially in his second year wherein he busted out all the way to the Mythical Team by posting per game counts of 14.1 points, 5.3 rebounds, 2.2 assists, and 1.5 steals. This, even though he came off the bench seven times out of 18. Of course, the bigger burden as a Fighting Maroon takes time to getting used to and who knows, in his encore in maroon and green, he will be at the peak of his powers anew. Advantage La Salle Ricci, 10-9 IMPACT Rivero started nine games and, alongside Akhuetie and Paras, was tasked to make sure UP got going right from tip-off. For the most part, he did just that and was a key cog in the Fighting Maroons’ first-ever second-seed and twice-to-beat advantage. Come the endgame, however, there seemed to be much difference from when he was in La Salle. The star of Metro Manila Film Festival entry “Otlum” was the green and white’s energizer off the bench, but was also one of its big guns when it mattered most. Whenever Cameroonian powerhouse Ben Mbala was bogged down, there was Rivero to pick up the slack. That was no truer than in Game 2 of the Season 80 Finals when he dropped 14 of his 18 points in the second half to energize his side to a winner-take-all matchup opposite archrival Ateneo de Manila University. Ultimately, they were dethroned, but the human highlight reel's big-time Game 2 made sure there was no Finals sweep. He may get to that point once more, no doubt, but for now, his last year in La Salle remains to be the biggest mark he has made. Advantage La Salle Ricci, 10-9 FINAL SCORE: 48-47 for La Salle Ricci.....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsMay 26th, 2020Related News

Ewing out of hospital

NBA great Patrick Ewing has left the hospital and is recovering at home after being diagnosed with COVID-19, his son said on Monday. The 57-year-old Hall-of-Famer was hospitalized last week after announcing he had tested positive for the coronavirus. However the former New York Knicks star and current Georgetown University coach is now on the […] The post Ewing out of hospital appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Source: Tribune TribuneCategory: NewsMay 26th, 2020Related News

Dan Ombao pleads for another chance in love

Singer Dan Ombao appeals for a loved one to stay in the aftermath of a lost love in his latest release “Muling Maramdaman,” produced under Star Music......»»

Source: Thestandard ThestandardCategory: MoviesMay 26th, 2020Related News

Woods-Manning prevail in star-studded match, raised $20M for charity

Miami - Tiger Woods says while his surgically repaired back may never be 10-out-of-10 again, it won't stop him from being healthy and ready to go when the PGA Tour starts up again......»»

Source: Thestandard ThestandardCategory: SportsMay 25th, 2020Related News

Rivero sees former UE player Pasaol as his basketball influence

Former University of the East star Alvin Pasaol is Ricci Rivero’s spirit animal. The University of the Philippines standout considers the 3x3 basketball sensation as the player who left a lasting impact and influence in his game. Speaking in the ‘Athletes’ Tribune’ podcast, Rivero shared how the burly UE forward pushed him to improve and be better. He recalled how the do-it-all Pasaol gave him fits when the Red Warrior bullied his way to a career-high 49 points three years ago when Rivero was still a part of the then defending champion De La Salle University. “Siguro 1 to 5 si Alvin Pasaol. Kasi grabe ‘di talaga siya yung usual na player eh. I’ll give yung first five talaga kay Kuya Alvin,” Rivero, who celebrated his 22nd birthday on Monday, said when asked about his top 5 toughest UAAP rivals. “Sobrang dami ko ring natutunan sa kanya kung paano yung UAAP career ko lalo na nu’ng nasa La Salle ako.” Known for his quick hands and defense, Rivero was one of the players sent in by then head coach Aldin Ayo to mark Pasaol, who was wreaking havoc for UE on the defensive end that memorable Season 80 match on October 4, 2017. Rivero could only scratch his head while Pasaol effortlessly punched through his defense each time he had to switch to stop the rampaging Red Warrior. “Tsina-challenge ako ni Coach Aldin to try and stop nga si Alvin,” he said. “Parang may time pa ata alam ko na ‘yung most points scored ata sa UAAP kay Pasaol tapos kalaban kami nu’n. ‘Yun pa ata yunng sobrang lakas ng lineup ng La Salle eh.” Indeed, Pasaol was unstoppable that game even for a solid Green Archers side that had former Most Valuable Player Ben Mbala and Abu Tratter. Pasaol connected 20-of-30 from the field and broke the 15-year league record held by NorthPort and Letran assistant coach Jeff Napa, who registered 43 points while playing for National University in 2002. “Nu’ng time na ‘yun ‘di ko talaga alam ang gagawin ko parang dun ko rin nalaman na naggu-grow ako kasi sobrang daming moments na, ‘Ah pwede pala yun?’ Na ‘Oo nga no pwede pala ‘yan. Grabe nagawa niya mga ganun.’ Doon mo mari-realize na parang one step ahead siya sa amin,” said Rivero. Unfortunately, Pasaol’s effort wasn’t enough to lift the Red Warriors as DLSU took the win, 106-100. But it left a lasting impression on Rivero. “That moment na ‘yun pinanood ko ‘yung videos for how many times and I try to understand them kung paano niya ginagawa, paano niya basahin ang basketball niya,” he said. That match turned Rivero into a fan of Pasaol. He saw an inspiration in Pasaol. Rivero learned a lot from him that day. Now playing for the Fighting Maroons, Rivero will always be thankful for the lessons he learned while taking on the Big Red Machine from UE.   “Ang dami kong natutunan sa kanya as a player and as a young boy who looks up to someone na nakalaban niya,” said Rivero.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsMay 25th, 2020Related News

Mike Tyson works out with MMA legend Vitor Belfort

Boxing legend Mike Tyson is continuing to put the work in the gym as he works his way back into competition shape for his reported boxing comeback.  The 53-year old former heavyweight world champion stated in an interview with rapper T.I. that he plans to get back in the ring for some charity matches, and has been training with long-time MMA and boxing coach Rafael Cordeiro.  (READ: 'I'm Back!' - Is Mike Tyson looking to return to professional boxing?) Now, 'Iron Mike' appears to have linked up with another fellow heavyweight legend in former UFC champion and ONE Championship star Vitor "The Phenom" Belfort.  Belfort posted a video of himself and Tyson on Instagram working out in Jacksonville, Florida.          View this post on Instagram                   The youngest boxing champion with the youngest @ufc #mma champion. @miketyson & @vitorbelfort ???????????????????????? — Mike, was my motivation to becoming the KING ???? & record hold of most K.O in @ufc history since 1993 A post shared by Vitor "The Phenom" Belfort (@vitorbelfort) on May 24, 2020 at 2:15pm PDT  "Mike was my motivation to becoming the king and record holder of the most KO in UFC history since 1993," Belfort wrote.  Like Tyson, Belfort was also known for his uncanny ability to knock people out with a devastating mix of hand speed and punching power.  When Tyson was in his heyday in boxing, Belfort was making a name for himself in the UFC as it's youngest heavyweight tournament champion ever.  Belfort is expected to make his ONE Championship debut against Alain Ngalani in the near future.  Also hanging out with Tyson and Belfort was recently-retired former two-division UFC world champion Henry "Triple C" Cejudo.  Belfort also shared a photo of a chiseled Tyson, who starting to look more and more like his old, champions self.  "Mike Tyson is like a fine wine. I recommend you to don't let your age define you. Set your goal and fight for them. Be a champ," Belfort wrote.  Both Tyson and Belfort were also in attendance at AEW's Double or Nothing event the night before. .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsMay 25th, 2020Related News

Tiger, Manning win star-studded match, raise $20 M

Tiger Woods says while his surgically repaired back may never be 10-out-of-10 again, it won’t stop him from being healthy and ready to go when the PGA Tour starts up again. The 44-year-old Woods says he’s been able to use the down time during the coronavirus pandemic to get himself in shape for an expected […].....»»

Source: Tempo TempoCategory: NewsMay 25th, 2020Related News

Ateneo s Fab 5: The Fearless Underdogs of UAAP Volleyball

(This story was originally published on April 20, 2018) Newly-appointed head coach Roger Gorayeb looked at his line-up heading into UAAP Season 71. A champion mentor of NCAA powerhouse San Sebastian College - Recoletos, Gorayeb had in his hands a gargantuan task of rebuilding the Ateneo de Manila University women’s volleyball program. Just a few months before, Ronald Dulay, the mentor before him, landed a trio of blue chip recruits who were fresh from a successful stint in the Palarong Pambansa. Angeline "Dzi" Gervacio, Fille Saint Cainglet and Jamenea "Jem" Ferrer just joined the Katipunan-based squad. Gervacio and Cainglet were products of St. Scholastica's College in Manila while Ferrer was a gem from Hope Christian School under girl’s volleyball guru Jerry Yee. Looking at his 15-woman line-up with the season just a few months ahead, Gorayeb knew he needed to do something drastic. The roster just won’t do. Talking to then athletic director Ricky Palou and team manager Tony Boy Liao, the mentor told the team officials that he intended to cut five players from the list. One could just imagine the shock in their faces. “Nakita ko may line-up pero player-playeran lang yung ganoon bang tipo, 15 ata yun. Sabi ko ‘Magtatanggal ako ng lima then magre-recruit ako,’” he said. The three rookies were in. Middle Bea Pascual, Kara Acevedo and libero Steph Gabriel retained their spots. He needed more. “Sa mga tinira kong players, si Kara Acevedo sabi niya, ‘Coach mayroong player ang ICA (Immaculate Conception Academy) na gumraduate naka-exam na rito pasado.’ Sabi ko, ‘Sige papuntahin mo,’” said Gorayeb. It was Gretchen Ho. “Sa akin kasi ang talagang nagyaya sa akin si Coach Ron Dulay. Si Kara Acevedo teammate ko and she’s been recruited by Ateneo. So one summer wala akong magawa naki-train lang ako noon tapos nagustuhan nila ang laro ko and then fourth year noong graduate na ako I passed the ACET then niyayaya na nila ako,” Ho said. “Then nagbago ng coach na si Coach Roger and dun niya ako nakita.”   “Pagdating ko ng March (sa Ateneo) wala na akong way para maka-recruit pa. Ang nangyari yung tatlo accepted na kaagad. Si Gretchen tinanong ko sabi ko, ‘ano ba ang laro mo?’ Sabi niya the usual panggitna, tres,” Gorayeb recalled. “So sinubukan ko pero ang laro niya tres hindi quick. Siya panggitna pero hindi quicker na gusto ko saka yung height niya (maliit). Kaya lang si Gretchen takbo ng takbo, mahilig magtatakbo so sabi ko sige pwede na yan. Wala namang player na during that time. So kinuha ko si Gretchen.” Gorayeb just needed just one more. “Ngayon nagkaroon ng STCAA (Southern Tagalog Calabarzon athletic association) eh kulang pa ako ng isa, wala akong panggitna. Ang gitna ko during that time si Bea lang tapos si Gretchen so wala akong pamalit. So naisipan ko may nakita ako sa STCAA,” he said. He spotted a lanky player from Canossa Academy-Lipa, Aillysse Nacachi. “Sabi ko kay Sir Tony pagtyagaan ko na lang ito kahit hindi naman kalakasan at wala naman na rin akong choice na makapili kasi rush ang pagdating ko dyan. Nakiusap lang sila sa akin na magbuo ako ng team kasi si Ronald nag-resign,” said Gorayeb. Another freshman could’ve had ended up with Ateneo, Hope’s libero Melissa Gohing. But a few obstacles prevented her from fulfilling her promise to join Ferrer in Ateneo. She instead chose to join the ladies in green and white in Taft.    SOMETHING PROMISING December 7, 2008. Far Eastern University Gym. Excitement filled the air. Fans, mostly volleyball purists and some who just came to support their classmates or were just curious to see a new spectacle after the basketball season ended, slowly settled in their seats for the women’s division’s second game. It was Adamson University, the previous year’s runner-up, which just visited the turf of their arch nemesis and defending champion FEU, which was led by that era’s finest and most popular volleybelle Rachel Anne Daquis. Fans wanted to see if the Lady Falcons still had the same firepower they had the previous season with the loss of top setter Janet Serafica and power hitter Sang Laguilles. A rookie-laden Ateneo squad should be easy pickings with Angela Benting, rookie Pau Soriano and libero Lizlee Anne Gata in the roster. Besides the Lady Falcons got the Lady Eagles’ number. Or so they thought. “Naalala ko nu’ng time namin sinasabi sa amin ng seniors namin na, ‘Hay naku ang lakas ng Adamson, never kami nanalo dyan,’” Cainglet, now happily married to Taguig mayor Lino Cayetano and with three beautiful children, recalled.  But the Lady Eagles stunned Adamson in the opening set. The Lady Falcons took the next two frames. Ateneo stole the fourth.  “Ako naalala ko ano eh, parang alam namin na lahat kasi kami palaban. Nasa amin yun. Tapos binigyan kaming lahat ng chance to be in the first six so parang dream come true,” said Ho, now an ABS-CBN host. “Naalala ko rin na palaban kaming lahat kumbaga nothing to lose eh so ang ano namin, sumasabay kami sa laro and nu’ng nakita na namin na ‘Ay kaya pala natin ‘to guys. Kaya pala naming lumaban.’” Still, Adamson had the upper hand in experience. The Lady Falcons, used to pressure and were steady at crunch time, outlasted Ateneo.           The young Katipunan-based squad fell short, 25-22, 22-25, 15-25, 25-15, 8-15. But for the Fab 5, it was a loss that felt like a resounding victory. “Parang sobrang natutuwa kami and everybody in the crowd, kaya siguro kami natawag na Fab 5 kasi rookies kami pero kahit ganoon palaban kami,” said Ho. “Saka close game. Five sets yun.” However, it was the first of five five-set matches that Ateneo will drop that season including one in the second round against the Manilla Santos-bannered De La Salle University. “Pero ang problema di kami nananalo ng five sets. Parang ilan lang ang naipanalo namin na ganoon. Feeling ko na-overwhelm kami na ‘Uy nananalo tayo.’ May ganoong disbelief ng konti pero alam namin na may ibubuga kami,” said Ho. “Definitely, our rookie season was full of five-set matches. It was tough, we felt like we were so close, but still so far away. At some point, it gave us frustration also. We just couldn't figure out that time what is it that's still lacking because we couldn't win the five-set matches,” according to Nacachi. “People said, it was because the team was still so inexperienced. We still didn't have the tenacity unlike of those more matured teams. But we didn't take it as bad, it was a learning experience for us all at the end. We had to learn how to develop that finishing will to be able to win games like that in the future.” The Fab 5 finished their rookie season with a 6-8 slate at fifth spot.   ‘MAY MEDAL NA TAYO’ Gorayeb remembered on their second year the look on Pascual’s face in their last elimination game match against Adamson. Already wrapping up their first win over the Lady Falcons, Pascual was giddy. “Natatawa nga ako dyan kay Bea kasi papanalo na kami nu’n tapos sumesenyas na siya ng tres. Sabi ko, ‘Hoy anong ginagawa mo?’ Yun pala sobrang saya na niya kasi for the first time in 30 years magkaka-medal na sila,” he said. It was the most important match of the season for the Lady Eagles. With the Fab 5 already in their sophomore year, Ateneo was already making great strides. The Lady Eagles closed that season’s elims with five straight wins capped off with a victory over Adamson. Ateneo posted a 10-4 win-loss mark to enter the Final Four legitimately. “Ang nangyari kasi nu’ng time nila Charo (Soriano) kaya sila nakapasok sa semis kasi may nag-squeal na si (Jacq) Alarca di pala naka-enroll nu’n kaya na-forfeit mga laro ng La Salle,” said Gorayeb. The Fab 5 proved that they were not just a bunch of much-hyped up pretty faces. They backed it up with their skills on court. It didn’t matter that Ateneo were swept by eventual champion University of Sto. Tomas in the Final Four.      But the podium finish of Season 72 was short-lived. Adamson got its revenge in the last game of Season 73 elims, bumping off the Lady Eagles for a podium finish. The loss put Ateneo in a collision course with the twice-to-beat DLSU, who could’ve completed an elims sweep if not only for a forfeited match against University of the East after UAAP found out that Carmela Garbin and Clarisse Yeung participated in a ‘ligang labas’ while the season was onoing, in the Final Four. Ateneo gave the Lady Spikers a scare before succumbing in another heartbreaking five-set match. The Lady Eagles finished fourth but that lone semis game gave Ateneo and its maturing Fab 5 enough experience to dream for something big – A ticket into the Finals.      ‘HINOG NA KAYO’ The first three years saw the gradual improvement for Ateneo. But Season 74 proved to be the turning point for the Fab 5. A fresh new recruit from University of Sto. Tomas high school, who just completed a year of residency, came into picture and with the Fab 5 armed with years of experience, the Lady Eagles’ fate will forever be changed. Alyssa Valdez, a highly recruited open spiker just like Gervacio, Cainglet-Cayetano and Ferrer years back, gave renewed excitement for the Ateneo faithful. “Alyssa's joining with Ateneo was a great turning point for us. We needed as much support we can get, and Alyssa's entrance to the team was a great boost to the team's morale,” said Nacachi. “The girl is a powerhouse and we felt like with her presence, the team finally became solid.” “We were able to play around with the positions and the rotations, since we had different versatile open players who can also greatly play other roles,” she added. “We were also able to formulate a lot of plays and attacks because Alyssa can generally do all kinds; open, running, quick, name it all. She gave the team the power and the versatility that we previously lacked from the past seasons.” Social media was just gaining traction then but the Lady Eagles were already on the radar of volleyball purists through online forums. For the first time, Ateneo was considered a legitimate contender.   The Fab 5 proved it by winning 11 games in the elimination round, losing only to UST once and dropping two against the Lady Spikers. Valdez’s arrival gave Ferrer an even broader option on offense. It eased the scoring load off the shoulders of Cainglet and Gervacio, who was then moved to an opposite position. “I guess sakto lang din yung dating niya because by that time Kara Acevedo graduated so someone had to fill in her spot so coach Roger decided for me to move to utility or opposite,” said Gervacio. “And then sakto Alyssa naman could fill in the spot na other open spiker.” “So timing din na we had all the pieces put together at the right time,” she added. With a good performance in the elims despite missing a legit middle in Bea Pascual and the entry of Aerieal Patnongon barred by academic problems, Ateneo finished second and for the first-time was armed with a twice-to-beat advantage in the stepladder semifinals. The Lady Eagles faced an experienced Tigresses side in the last stepladder semis stage. UST just came from a hard-fought four-set do-or-die match against FEU and were banking on their four-set win over Ateneo in the second round to force another sudden death. Ateneo’s date with destiny was sealed with a four-set win over the Tigresses, who then bid goodbye to Maika Ortiz and Judy Anne Caballejo. “Pinu-push na rin kami ni Coach Roger noon eh, ‘Hinog na kayo ngayon. Kasi dalawang taon na lang, kailangan makapasok na kayo sa Finals,’” said Ho. “Somehow senior na rin kami,” added Cainglet.  “Season 74 was really the target season for us to be in the finals and target even to win the championship,” according to Nacachi. “During this time, we were already thinking we could not afford to not go in the finals.” “So it was with our mindset and our level of commitment that we were able to finally reach our goal of reaching the finals,” she added. “We had enough experience that time already, and it was really time for us to show the level of game maturity the team had obtained from the past seasons.” But then they had to face an unbeaten team. Unscathed in 14 games, De La Salle University was poised to complete a perfect season. The Lady Eagles spoiled it. Ferrer outplayed DLSU setter Mika Esperanza, 57-42, in excellent sets as Ateneo handed the Lady Spikers its first loss after 25 straight victories in a come-from-behind 23-25, 28-26, 25-23, 25-17, Finals opener win. Witnessed by 3,002 spectators inside the then The Arena in San Juan, all of the Fab 5 produced points. Cainglet had 19 behind Valdez’s 24, Gervacio scored 12, Ho had 10, Nacachi finished with five while Ferrer had one. Gorayeb made a big gambit and it worked. “Dahil sa wala kong panggitna, yung laro namin ng La Salle, ginawa kong quicker si Alyssa. Kasi si Alyssa nakakapalo. Nagulat si Ramil (de Jesus) dun.” It was a big win. A huge upset. Unfortunately, Ateneo needed to win two more.  DLSU held a thrice-to-beat advantage.   THAT SWAG After Ateneo made a miracle in Game One, fans began to feel a new rivalry born. The attendance spiked. From just 3,000 spectators, the gate attendance more than doubled its size. The interest was there. Fans of traditional powers began to notice the Lady Eagles as a rising team. For the first time, a squad with no previous championship experience except for a title during the Marcos era in a different collegiate league, made a giant jolt. Everybody wanted to see what these girls would do next.    The Lady Eagles, still high on adrenaline after their Game 1 upset, took the opening set in Game 2. But just like in their opener, a well-experienced DLSU squad adjusted to take the next three frames to move a step closer to a repeat crown. With then Rookie of the Year Ara Galang, Season Most Valuable Player Aby Marano, an intimidating Michele Gumabao and a very efficient Finals MVP Cha Cruz teaming up for the kill, the Lady Spikers ripped Ateneo apart in Game 3 in straight sets, 25-16, 25-22, 25-13. “Sabi nga ni Dzi na nadyan na lahat eh. So I guess noong Season 74 nandoon na pero may kulang pa rin,” said Ho. “I guess we we’re able to make it to the Finals pero wala pa kaming championship experience.” Ferrer agreed. "Siguro ang kulang yung championship experience kasi nasa La Salle na ‘yun eh. Ilang years na silang nagpa-finals, nag-champion and for Ateneo doon pa lang namin sinimulan," said the three-time Best Setter. Lacking championship experience is one thing, but Ateneo during that time wasn’t ready for DLSU’s most feared weapon: the Lady Spikers’ swag.  “They have that swag,” said Gervacio. “Everyone knows about it naman. It’s really Coach Ramil’s style talaga kasi as I remember when we were first year, four out of six of the players inside the court were rookies and even if we go against the powerhouses UST, FEU, Adamson, hindi sila yung nakikita nyo na kapag championship na rivalry, na swag, angas, stare down. Pero La Salle talaga kahit sino ang kalaban nila they’ll bring that attitude inside the court.” That Finals series cemented a new rivalry that will become one of the most celebrated in the sport. “I think it also helped that Ateneo-La Salle basketball didn’t face also,” said Gervacio. “Siyempre nandoon ang hunger for the rivalry eh and timely din na its been Ateneo-La Salle na rin sa volleyball.”   CLOSING A CHAPTER The Fab 5 were now in their fifth and last year. They wanted to leave a winning legacy. The pieces were already there. Gorayeb had at his disposal five seniors, a rising star in Valdez, a sophomore middle in Amy Ahomiro, a versatile Ella De Jesus, a steady libero in Denden Lazaro and a new kind of weapon – a massive crowd that can turn any venue into a sea of blue.              As expected, the second installment of the Ateneo-DLSU rivalry was set into place. Both sweeping their semis opponents. The Lady Spikers crushed National University while the Lady Eagles shot down Adamson. Game One was a shocker. DLSU heading into the Finals are on a 14-game roll but were stunned in the first two sets with Ateneo stepping on the gas. But a string of miscues, mostly from the service line, did the Lady Eagles in as they allowed the Lady Spikers to force a decider. DLSU, smelling blood, punished Ateneo to eke out a 20-25, 17-25, 25-22, 25-22, 15-6, victory inside the Big Dome witnesses by 17,342-strong gate attendance. Then the series transferred to a newly-built, state-of-the-art Mall of Asia Arena that drew a crowd of 18,799. The first two frames were frustrating for the Lady Eagles.   Ateneo came back to life in the third set to gain a 9-5 lead. But DLSU easily erased it with Ateneo crumbling under pressure. The Lady Spikers were on an onslaught. Sophomore Galang pushed DLSU at matchpoint with a cold-blooded ace that went in a few inches from the baseline. The score, 24-16. It was a tense moment for the Fab 5. A long rally ensued in the next play. Gervacio, with all her might pounded a kill. Her hand making a great contact on the ball off Ferrer’s backset.     Smack! The ball ricocheted off the hands of DLSU’s Wensh Tiu before falling on the same landing area of Gervacio, who tried to dive for a dig together with Lazaro. DLSU swept Ateneo, 25-23, 25-20, 25-16. Game over.          “Kahit hindi kami nanalo alam naming ibinigay namin ang lahat namin, all-out talaga kaya wala kaming pagsisisi,” said Ho. It was the end of the Fab 5 era, but they left more than what any of them could have imagined. "I remember so many people or fans telling me that they started really watching UAAP Volleyball because of our batch. And that is really touching and fulfilling to know. Knowing that you were able to leave an impact like that to people. We were not able to bring even a single championship to our school, Ateneo, but we were able to touch a lot of people's hearts despite that," Nacachi shared. The Fab 5 closed a colorful chapter of Ateneo volleyball in tears. They were there during the Lady Eagles’ birth pains. They labored. They shed tears, blood and sweat. They laid the foundation for something big. The Fab 5 planted the seeds that would eventually bear fruit and would change the course of Ateneo women’s volleyball program forever. Glory didn’t happen during their time. It started in theirs.    Amidst the roar of the crowd, the falling confetti, banging of drums and the echoing chant of ‘Animo La Salle’ from the sea of green, the Fab 5 hugged each other tight. They found comfort in each other. It was their time to say goodbye. For those who remained – Valdez, Lazaro, Ahomiro, De Jesus – the defeat added fuel to their already blazing desire to bring glory for the blue and white. They were the next in line, heirs to an unfinished business. WATCH: FAB 5 Reunion Part 1 and Part 2 --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsMay 24th, 2020Related News

Benjie Paras: UP s Tower of Power

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

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsMay 24th, 2020Related News

NBA great and Georgetown coach Patrick Ewing hospitalized with COVID-19

NBA Hall of Famer Patrick Ewing, now the head basketball coach at Georgetown University, is in hospital with COVID-19......»»

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Washington -- Patrick Ewing, 57, said on Twitter on Friday he had tested positive for the virus......»»

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Luningning: Poe Sr. star

One of the leading ladies of the ‘40s and early ‘50s was Luningning. She might as well be called the star of Fernando Poe Sr......»»

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