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Ben Mbala ‘happy’ for former mentor Aldin Ayo

MACAU---Aldin Ayo's departure from the camp of De La Salle to University of Santo Tomas left a feeling of remorse in the community. Ayo, after all, delivered a championship after two UAAP finals appearance for the Green Archers with a system anchored on Ben Mbala's immense athleticism and basketball gifts. His unexpected move to another UAAP school, though, is something Mbala respected. "I still keep in touch with the guys in the Philippines, in La Salle, and I'm updated about everything going on there," said Mbala after his new team Seoul edged Fubon in the Asia League The Terrific 12 Tuesday at Studio City Events Center here in Macau. Ayo decided to move from his two-ye...Keep on reading: Ben Mbala ‘happy’ for former mentor Aldin Ayo.....»»

Category: newsSource: inquirer inquirerSep 18th, 2018

Mbala no problem with Ayo s UST transfer: That s his own career

MACAU – Ben Mbala sees no problem with former La Salle Green Archers head coach Aldin Ayo's controversial transfer to the lair of the UST Growling Tigers. The Cameroonian, who now plays for the Seoul Samsung Thunders, says he is happy with where the 40-year-old mentor is today.  "Who am ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsSep 18th, 2018

Ben Mbala ‘happy’ for former mentor Aldin Ayo

MACAU---Aldin Ayo's departure from the camp of De La Salle to University of Santo Tomas left a feeling of remorse in the community. Ayo, after all, delivered a championship after two UAAP finals appearance for the Green Archers with a system anchored on Ben Mbala's immense athleticism and basketball gifts. His unexpected move to another UAAP school, though, is something Mbala respected. "I still keep in touch with the guys in the Philippines, in La Salle, and I'm updated about everything going on there," said Mbala after his new team Seoul edged Fubon in the Asia League The Terrific 12 Tuesday at Studio City Events Center here in Macau. Ayo decided to move from his two-ye...Keep on reading: Ben Mbala ‘happy’ for former mentor Aldin Ayo.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsSep 18th, 2018

UAAP: UST’s coach Aldin: Hindi kami matitinag sa ganitong talo

For the first time in the last four years, Aldin Ayo is at the losing end in the opening game of his team. Coach Aldin’s debut for University of Sto. Tomas didn’t go as planned as they succumbed to stacked National University on Saturday. With that, the multi-titled mentor suffered a setback to officially open his new era in Espana. That is the exact opposite from three years ago when he and Colegio de San Juan de Letran were a pleasant surprise for just about everybody and the last two years when he and De La Salle University were imposing their will on opponents. Of course, the fiery coach Aldin said he was not happy with the result of the game. “I’m not happy because we lost e. Walang mga silver lining dito na si CJ naka-bente or may mga players na maganda yung laro,” he said. He then continued, “Bottom line, we lost e so we’re not going to be satisfied with it.” In the end, coach Aldin said that super rookie CJ Cansino’s 20-point, 10-rebound double-double went to waste because in all, he didn’t see the Growling Tigers he has been guiding in practices for nine months now. “This is the best place to apply everything we practiced, pero ‘di lumabas e. Kitang-kita naman sa field goal e,” he said. Indeed, UST shot a horrendous 28.9 percent from the field – including 37.5 inside the arc and 14.7 outside of it. The veteran backcourt of Renzo Subido and Marvin Lee was a big part of that, combining for 21 points in 8-of-43 shooting. Still, the multi-titled mentor said he believes his boys can only be better. As he put it, “If there’s a good thing about this, this is only our first game. We still have 13 games and pwede pa mag-adjust. Good thing dito is yung mga bata, buong-buo e, even with this loss.” He then continued, “Hindi kami matitinag sa ganitong talo. We’re just going to keep on working hard and playing hard for UST because the community deserves a good showing.” --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 8th, 2018

NCAA: LPU’s coach Topex has cleared the air with Germy Mahinay

Germy Mahinay, now an incoming rookie for University of Sto. Tomas, said he wants to prove Lyceum of the Philippines University wrong for redshirting him. Right after that, however, the youngster apparently wasted no time in extending an olive branch to his former team. “In fairness kay Germy, he apologized to me. Coach [Aldin] Ayo was telling coach Nap [Garcia] and him to call me right away,” Pirates mentor Topex Robinson told reporters on Tuesday. A day ago, Mahinay said that he was disappointed with his time in Intramuros. “Lumipat ako (kasi) nawala yung usapan namin ni coach Topex [Robinson]. Sa part ko, masakit kasi pinangakuan ako sa harap ng parents ko na lineup ako sa season,” he said then. He then continued, “(Pero) opening day, sinabi sa akin na, as of now, reserve ka for us.” Last March, LPU secured the services of the 6-foot-5 big man, expectedly, to fortify the frontline that already includes Mike Nzeusseu, Toci Tansingco, and Ranzelle Yong. Even so, the always amiable coach Topex said he feels no ill will towards the 19-year-old. “He’s young and he’s going to make mistakes. Sabi ko nga sa kanya na please, if you have the chance, come and see me,” he shared. The Pirates tactician also owned up to the fact that he also had a shortcoming in terms of what happened. “Actually, may mali rin ako, but we talked to him prior to him making the decision,” he recalled. As it turns out, LPU actually gave some sort of a blessing for Mahinay to transfer to UST. As he put it, “To set the record straight, nagpaalam naman sa akin si coach Aldin. We had to give him up especially dahil maganda yung opportunity na binigay sa kanya ng UST.” In the end, coach Topex said he and all of the Pirates wish Mahinay nothing but the best with the Growling Tigers. “We are happy for him. The best of luck to him,” he expressed. —— Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo:.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 4th, 2018

Will Louie Gonzalez be able to prove himself as head coach with DLSU?

De La Salle University did not waste time in moving forward from champion coach Aldin Ayo. The Green Archers will now have longtime assistant Louie Gonzalez calling the shots. According to fan account Archers’ Clubhouse, he was appointed as head coach of the Taft-based team right before the year 2017 ended. Several sources within the team confirmed the development. The post went on to say that team patron Danding Cojuangco himself appointed Gonzalez. He takes over for Ayo who has transferred from DLSU to University of Sto. Tomas. This brings to an end a longtime partnership between the two starting from Kia in the PBA to Colegio de San Juan de Letran in the NCAA and then onto the Green Archers. Twice in that longtime partnership, Ayo was suspended for one game and Gonzalez was thrust into the role of acting coach – giving us a little taste of his capabilities as shot-caller. Mentoring the Knights in 2015, he lost to Emilio Aguinaldo College, 83-69. That was their first loss in the season following a 7-0 start. Mentoring DLSU in 2016, he won against archrival Ateneo de Manila University, 97-81. That completed a sweep of the first round. For that small sample size, without a doubt, Gonzalez’ appointment didn’t set the world on fire Still, he brings with him years and years of experience that could prove valuable for a Taft-based team looking for much-needed stability with all that has happened recently. As per Reuben Terrado of spin.ph, Gonzalez started his coaching career under the tutelage of then Letran mentor Binky Favis in the ‘90s. From there, he had an assistant coaching stint in Far Eastern University from 2007 to 2010. He was then part of the Globalport bench from 2012 to 2014 and then the Kia staff from 2014 to 2015. It was in 2015 that he, serving as first lietenant, and Ayo led the Knights to a magical championship. A year later, the two guided the Green Archers a dominant title. Also, having had years and years of experience, former colleagues had nothing but good words for Gonzalez. One such former colleague is now FEU athletic director Mark Molina who had this to say:   Congrats to former FEU assistant Louie Gonzales. Louie was a vital part of Glenn Capacio's staff with the Tamaraws then. I'm sure my good friend Tanny Gonzales is smiling in heaven. — Mark Molina (@marqmolina) Enero 1, 2018   However, Gonzalez will still have a tall task ahead of him as he tries to fill the big shoes of two-time collegiate champion coach Ayo. He will also be missing the services of back-to-back MVP Ben Mbala who has elected to take his talents to Mexico. Helping their new head coach with this tall task will now be Mythical Team member Ricci Rivero, team captain Kib Montalbo, and former Rookie of the Year Aljun Melecio. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo,.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 2nd, 2018

HEADS UP: 10 sporting events to watch out for in 2018

2017 has come and gone, and it delivered some exciting sporting moments that has every sports fan clamoring for more. Worry not, though, as 2018 looks primed to satisfy even the most die-hard Pinoy sports aficionado with its bevy of local and international sporting events. Let's welcome the upcoming year with 10 of the most exciting sporting events to watch out for this 2018.   NCAA 93 & UAAP 80 VOLLEYBALL The cagers are out, and the spikers are in. Volleyball season begins this January 4 with NCAA season 93, followed by the 81st season of the UAAP this February. NCAA volleybelles are once again ready to take center court, and the defending women's champion Arellano University Lady Chiefs, led by heavy hitters Jovie Prado and Regine Arocha are banking on their undisputed team play to propel them to another title. Playing inspired volleyball throughout the season, the Lady Chiefs stunned the thrice-to-beat San Sebastian Lady Stags in the Finals last year, ultimately ending Grethcel Soltones' collegiate career with a dud. Rising stars like San Beda's Ces Racraquin, JRU's Karen Montojo also make the upcoming NCAA volleyball season worth waiting for. UAAP volleyball begins a month later the NCAA tournament, but expect the field to be even more tumultuous. With no clear-cut number 2 team to challenge the two-time defending champions DLSU Lady Spikers, it will be a toss-up against basically the other seven schools to step up. Dangerous squads include the much-improved Adamson Lady Falcons, last year's pleasant surprise UST, the dynastic Ateneo Lady Eagles, and the intact NU Lady Bulldogs and FEU Lady Tamaraws. NBA ALL-STAR GAME & 2018 NBA FINALS The annual showcase of the NBA's brightest stars just got a major revamp. That's right, the league has done away with the traditional East-West teams, and will now have a playground-type pool selection of players between its two captains when the exhibition tips off in Los Angeles. This raises a lot of interesting questions: Will the captains pick their teammates or will they go with a more controversial pick and select a rival? Will we able to know the order of the draft? Will this actually work in making the game better? While answers to those questions might not be answered until a few months, one thing's for sure, the NBA Finals, the spectacle that actually counts, will be epic. Will we be treated to Golden State Warriors vs Cleveland Cavaliers Pt. 4? Or will another squad swoop in to spoil the party? The league has indeed improved, with surprising teams like the Milwaukee Bucks, the Indiana Pacers, the Detroit Pistons out in the East already staking claim to playoff spots, and the Wild, Wild, West staying true to its monicker. The Houston Rockets and the perennial powerhouse San Antonio Spurs are still the favorites to pull the rug under the Warriors, while the Oklahoma City Thunder is right behind. Either way, with months of hoops already invested in it, the NBA Finals will surely be another explosive one, as it always is.   HOMECOMING QUEEN Alyssa Valdez spent the majority of 2017 overseas, spreading her wings in Taiwan with volleyball club Attack Line. This 2018 though, The Phenom plans on staying in the Philippines, armed with two year’s worth of international experience to focus on her home club team in the Creamline Cool Smashers.  "Next year, I'm planning to focus sa Creamline. Just this year, I travelled a lot talaga. They supported me throughout, esepcially doon sa National Team stint ko. They sacrificed a lot for me talaga. I think I have to focus sa team ko talaga,” she said last week.Alyssa Valdez just got scarier.   PINOY HOOP DREAMS: REMY MARTIN, KOBE PARAS  Two proudly Pinoy ballers based in the U.S. set out this 2018 to continue shooting for our island nation’s humble hoop dreams. Kobe Paras is still serving residency this 2017-2018 season with the California State University-Northridge Matadors, but his development is sure to be a joy to watch. The 6’6” Pinoy swingman accomplished a tour of duty with Gilas Pilipinas earlier in the year, and many Pinoys saw why we should all be excited about high-flying forward. Remy Martin, a 5’11” point guard dazzled in his first few games with the Arizona State Sun Devils, with his athleticism, explosiveness and feisty defense. The Filipino-American cager is proud of his roots and hopes to represent flag and country with Gilas Pilipinas in the future.   WHO (OR WHAT) IS NEXT FOR MANNY PACQUIAO? The never-ending saga of what’s next for Manny Pacquiao looks like it'll seep into 2018.  Following a rather controversial loss to Australian boxer Jeff Horn, Pacquiao has been “courting” the likes of Floyd Mayweather Jr. for a rematch, even taking to Instagram to ”greet” MMA superstar Conor McGregor before finally admitting that he’s been in talks with the Irish fighter’s camp. Whether he actually retires from boxing for good, or takes on another foe in the squared circle, one thing’s for sure: we’ll all have our eyes on Manny Pacquiao’s next move.   2018 WORLD CUP RUSSIA™ After four years, the best of world football will once again converge, this time in Russia to crown the Kings of the beautiful sport. The stage is set, the groups are finalized, and the 32 squads are promising the best 30-day football extravaganza in the hopes of dethroning defending champions Germany this June. Some group stage clashes to look out for are Germany vs Mexico, England vs Belgium, Portugal vs Spain, to name a few. June couldn’t come soon enough.   CHRISTIAN STANDHARDINGER'S PBA DEBUT No PBA rookie has probably come into the league as pro-ready as the Filipino-German standout Christian Standhardinger. The 6’9” big man was the consensus top overall pick of the 2017 PBA draft, and was also at the center of the controversial trade that sent Kia Picanto’s rights to the number 1 selection to the already-dominant San Miguel. While the trade did go down, so did former commissioner Chito Narvasa. Standhardinger’s entry to the PBA has come at a cost, but San Miguel is more than ready to wait one more conference to bulk up their already stacked squad. Seeing Standharinger play alongside 6’11” center and reigning MVP June Mar Fajardo, versatile forward Arwind Santos, and the Beermen’s bevy of guards in Alex Cabagnot, Marcio Lassiter, and Chris Ross, is definitely a sight to see, just look at how he's tearing it up in the ASEAN Basketball League.    2018 ASIAN GAMES INDONESIA The Philippines’ less than stellar performance at the 2017 Southeast Asian Games was met with widespread flak. Not directed at our athletes however, but aimed at our sports development and governing body for its subpar work in getting our sports representatives ready. While the 2018 Asian Games isn’t so far away, a handful of Pinoy medalists from the SEA Games are going into the continental meet with high hopes. After dominating the SEA Games’ triathlon event, our Filipino endurance athletes, led by gold medalists Kim Mangrobang, and Nikko Huelgas, are once again primed to take home hardware. Marathoner Mary Joy Tabal, and boxers John Marvin, and Eumir Marcial, all gold medalists at Malaysia, are all bright spots that could soon unravel into full-fledged stars come 2018.   GILAS PILIPINAS IN THE FIBA WORLD CUP QUALIFIERS It’s official, basketball is coming home to the Philippines this 2023 by way of the FIBA World Cup, but Gilas Pilipinas will first have to try its luck in the 2019 meet. After dealing with Chinese Taipei and Japan this 2017 for a perfect 2-0 slate in the qualifiers, Gilas Pilipinas still has to face the Japanese anew, and the powerhouse Australian team early in 2018. A good showing against these squads will help Gilas strengthen its bid to international basketball’s biggest stage before we actually host the event in six years’ time.   UAAP 81 BASKETBALL UAAP season 80 just came to an end, but the next season just got way more interesting. Aside from the title defense of the intact Ateneo Blue Eagles and their ongoing rivalry with La Salle, a certain move by a coach has shaken up the league. With Aldin Ayo reportedly accepting the job as the new head coach of the struggling University of Sto. Tomas, we might just be witnesses to the rebirth of the once proud basketball program under the fiery mentor. That, and the way the DLSU Green Archers can adjust from the departure of Ayo and former two-time MVP Ben Mbala, key cogs to their season 79 championship run. The tight race for the MVP award will also be one to watch, with Mbala gone, it’s up to the local stars to step up to the challenge......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 31st, 2017

UAAP Finals: DLSU fuels Baldwin, Ateneo in ending drought

Ateneo de Manila University coach Tab Baldwin took a rather unlikely inspiration to end a half a decade title drought. Believe it or not, Baldwin looked at its archrival De La Salle University as a standard when they were building up for the 80th UAAP men’s basketball tournament. A year after getting ran over by the Green Archers in the Finals, the Blue Eagles returned the favor Sunday and walked away with the school’s ninth title in a grueling best-of-three championship series. All thanks to an inspiration Baldwin saw in DLSU head coach Aldin Ayo.      “They never take the pressure off. You know, they’re confident in their system—and that comes from Aldin,” said Baldwin after the sophomore coach steered Ateneo to a 88-86 win in Game 3 at the Big Dome that quenched the Katipunan-based squad’s five-year wait for a crown. “They believe in their players, they believe in their system and they’re just not gonna take their foot off your throat—for one minute,” he added. “And I admire that so much.” DLSU swept Ateneo last year in the Finals and that loss showed Baldwin the weakness that his team needed to improve if they want to contend with the mighty and very physical Green Archers led by back-to-back Most Valuable Player Ben Mbala, very athletic Ricci Rivero and the backcourt tandem of Aljun Melecio and Kib Montalbo. “We’re really have been in two years in development trying to handle just that,” he said. In fact, early this year, Baldwin even dedicated a five-month training to build their strength and not allow DLSU to bully them the way the Green Archers did a season ago.    “Our weight regime in January through May this year was all centered on getting stronger just so La Salle couldn’t beat us up,” he said. “And um, I don’t say that as a criticism of La Salle, I say that as a compliment.” “We had to rise to their level. They set the bar so I have to congratulate them for that,” Baldwin added. The Blue Eagles drew first blood in the series and were even 23 minutes away from sealing the championship in Game 2 if not only for a major collapse that saw them squander a 21-point lead that forced a decider. Ateneo was in a precarious situation again in Game 3 when their 80-70 lead with just under five minutes in the match was cut by DLSU to 82-80 before Isaac Go hammered the crushing blow from the outside that gave the Blue Eagles a 5-point cushion with 24.7 ticks left.  “Losing is always tough and I’m happy it’s them not us but there’s no lack of respect and admiration for who they are and what they did to get here, what they did today,” said the former national team coach. “They fought back again. We had them down and again they fought back. You know, we had them down ten and then they cut it to I don’t know, three or something, two? They’re champions, they’re still champions.” “You can’t take that away from them, he said. “But now, so are we.”   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles        .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 3rd, 2017

Blue Eagles say their win against Green Archers was an upset

Ateneo de Manila University toppled De La Salle University last Sunday. Matt Nieto was the hero, Gian Mamuyac yet again proved to be “Mr. Intangibles,” Thirdy Ravena did Thirdy Ravena things, and both Chibueze Ikeh and Isaac Go held their own against reigning and defending MVP Ben Mbala. Bottom line, there was a total team effort from start to finish for the Blue Eagles – total team effort needed to take down the powerhouse Green Archers. Just like the University of the Philippines before them, the now league-leaders played a near-perfect game to topple DLSU. And just like UP before them, the now league-leaders say their victory versus DLSU should be considered an upset. Asked their win makes them the favorites for the championship, coach Sandy Arespacochaga answered, “It’s too early to talk about that. I think if you watched the game, it was an upset on our part.” He then continued, “I think you all feel that way. La Salle is still the favorite, I guess.” Going into details, Arespacochaga pointed to how they lost a 14-point lead and it took a mental lapse on the part of the usually steady Kib Montalbo to set up Nieto’s game-winning moment. “It was an Ateneo-La Salle game and you know, some of the players were excited so they veered away from what we wanted to do a couple of times,” he said. He then continued, “But in the end, when we asked them to follow the game plan offensively and defensively, they followed and we managed to steal the win.” The mentor also mentioned the disparity between the two teams in terms of shooting the ball. “We shot well especially in the first quarter, but La Salle managed to bring it down,” he said, referring to how they shot 43.9 percent in the first half before finishing with a 39.4 percent mark from the field. Even with those points for improvement, however, Arespacochaga said they were happy that their boys had the discipline in the face of their opponents’ famed “mayhem.” As he put it, “La Salle is a very good pressing team and a very good trapping team. For us to only turn the ball over 11 times is very good for us.” He then continued, “We can always look to improve, but we’re happy we won the turnover battle.” In the end, while they came out on top in the rivalry game, Ateneo reminded everybody that the season is far from over. “Right now, our mindset is we’re done with the first round and we’re looking forward to our next game. Of course, we’re happy that we came up with the win and we’ll celebrate,” he said. He then continued, “But we’re also waiting for the schedule to find out who we’re going up against and we’re gonna prepare for that team.” And in the end, the Blue Eagles vow that they, they who just downed the defending champions to go 7-0, are not yet done being better. “The key is to continue improving each game. I think, to a certain extent, we did that (in the first round),” he said. He then continued, “We’d like to carry that over to the second round. We’re looking at that both as a team and also individually.” --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 9th, 2017

King Maroon Desiderio is hands down Player of the Week

Following a career performance, all Paul Desiderio could say was, “Naglaro lang ako.” University of the Philippines’ main man was never one for talking and just lets his game speak for him. His statement was loud and clear last Saturday as he fired a career-best 30 points on top of six rebounds and five assists to lead the Fighting Maroons to a big-time win over De La Salle University. Scoring the most points by a player from Diliman since 2003 all while proving that State U is serious in its contention, Desiderio was hands down the Chooks-to-Go UAAP Press Corps Player of the Week from September 18 to 24. Even after besting teammate Jun Manzo, Ben Mbala of DLSU, Thirdy Ravena of Ateneo de Manila University, and Papi Sarr of Adamson University for the weekly citation, the 20-year-old was at a loss for words. “Wala akong masabi. Nagpapasalamat lang ako sa mga teammates ko kasi tulong-tulong kami para manalo,” he said. Indeed, UP head coach Bo Perasol said Desiderio’s “excellent performance” was also made possible by the other guys. “His teammates are his unsung heroes. They pass the ball to him, they rebound for him, they set screens for him, they do the little things for him,” he shared. Desiderio started the season slow, averaging 13 points on 26.3 percent shooting, but busted out with 28 points to shoot the Maroons over University of the East a week ago. “Medyo gigil pa ako first two games, pero ngayon, okay na. Nag-relax na ako,” he said. Against the defending champions, the pride of Cebu was even hotter, swishing six of State U’s 16 total triples. While Desiderio was never one for talking, opponents have no choice but to talk about him. Last week, Red Warriors mentor Derrick Pumaren said, “I think Desiderio killed us.” Not long after, Green Archers coach Aldin Ayo said, “Ginawa na rin sa amin ni Desiderio ‘yun before so we prepared ourselves for that, pero our players did not respond.” The Player of the Week will again lead UP as they try for three straight wins against Far Eastern University next Sunday. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 25th, 2017

Mbala lives up to expectations with 32-10 double-double in return

Ben Mbala, the reigning and defending UAAP MVP, is now an even better version of himself after a starmaking stint in the 2017 FIBA Afrobasket. And so, when the Cameroonian powerhouse made his way back to the collegiate ranks, he looked much, much more like a man among boys. He dropped a UAAP-best 32 points on top of 10 rebounds, four blocks, and one steal in his first game since the regional meet. This, coming against an Adamson University frontline that had the likes of Papi Sarr, Kristian Bernardo, and Keith Zaldivar. After the game, Green Archers mentor Aldin Ayo was not at all surprised with the monster numbers by Mbala. “Well, as expected. Us, his coaches and his teammates, we were expecting na ganito ang ilalaro niya,” he said. He then continued, “Kahit naman kayo, alam niyong ganun gagawin ni Ben.” That is especially true as the 22-year-old displayed all of his wares up against the best Africa had to offer and averaged 21.8 points and 9.3 rebounds through his home country’s quarterfinals finish. “We know that when Ben was away, we have gained a lot as a team and Ben also gained a lot as an individual,” Ayo expressed. Indeed, Mbala said he only improved in international play. As he put it, “The guy there are pros, some of them are ex-NBA players. They’re smart, they’re skilled, and their basketball IQ is really high.” He then continued, “You gotta find a way to match up and compete and I’d like to say that I was able to learn a lot from them.” Specifically, the six-foot-seven player pointed to his much-improved shooting stroke. “I also added a lot to my game, not only my inside game, but also my outside game. Actually, I was really working on it even during offseason,” he shared. He then continued, “I just feel like I needed the confidence to be able to take them and make them.” Without a doubt, Mbala now seems to have the confidence as he took four triples against the Soaring Falcons and made two of them. It also didn’t hurt that Ayo prepared his team well for the inevitable return of their main man. “Ako, as much as possible, hindi ko ginalaw yung team noong nawala siya. If you noticed, right away we put him back in the starting five para dire-diretso,” he said. He then continued, “I told the boys to act as if nothing happened, act as if Ben never left, act as if we played with Ben.” And now they’re complete, DLSU is nothing but determined to re-assert their mastery over the rest of the league. “What’s good is that Ben is here and we can start moving forward, we can start working on our team chemistry,” the head coach expressed. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 20th, 2017

With Mbala returning, DLSU is about to get even scarier

De La Salle University had no problems whatsoever against Far Eastern University, 95-90. They then ran and ran and ran right through National University, 115-109. br /> And the 2-0 Green Archers will only get even scarier. Ben Mbala, fresh off his starmaking stint in the 2017 FIBA Afrobasket, has returned to the Philippines and will be returning to the UAAP. Yes, the reigning and defending league MVP will be back in action for the reigning and defending league champions. And make no mistake about it, undefeated DLSU will only get scarier with Mbala back on the floor with them on Wednesday at the MOA Arena against Adamson University. “Kung may darating, pangdagdag na lang yun. We’re on this level, but when Ben arrives, aangat lang kami na kasama siya,” head coach Aldin Ayo said. Also make no mistake about it, though, that nothing has been taken away from the solid job done by the Green Archers’ remaining frontcourt. “I was not worried because I know Prince [Rivero], Santi [Santillan], and Balti [Justine Baltazar] will deliver. Ganun yung kumpyansa ko sa big man ko,” Ayo shared. He then continued, “Not only for the bigs, ganun yung kumpyansa ko sa lahat ng players ko. Lahat ng 14 guys namin, all of them are capable of playing, all of them are capable of performing.” Still, the Green Archers’ mentor said they are welcoming back their Cameroonian powerhouse  with open arms. “Ben is a winner, for sure, Ben will blend in. Kung anong matutulong niya, yun ang gagawin niya,” he said. He then continued, “We miss him. We’re excited na maglaro kami nang buo.” --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 19th, 2017

Aldin Ayo: UST to start Season 82 practice early

MANILA, Philippines – Aldin Ayo's first season with University Santo Tomas hasn't even finished yet but the Growling Tigers' mentor is already looking ahead at Season 82.  "Madami [ang madadala namin next season]. For a start, makakapag-ensayo na kami nang matagal na kumpleto, Siguro we’re going to take a ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated News3 hr. 5 min. ago

UAAP: David Murrell didn t mean to be disrespectful with that late-game dunk

ANTIPOLO – Both the University of the Philippines and National University acknowledged that something wrong happened late in their game on Saturday at the Ynares Center here. Fighting Maroon David Murrell went up for a highlight two-handed dunk with his team way ahead, the Bulldogs no longer doing anything to keep the contest close, and just nine seconds remained on the clock.   This is David Murrell’s two-handed throwdown that NU did not appreciate - and neither did UP head coach Bo Perasol. #UAAPSeason81 pic.twitter.com/d3i8roZ2Cn — Normie Riego (@riegogogo) November 3, 2018   It is an unwritten rule of sportsmanship in basketball that when one team is already way ahead, the opposing team is no longer doing anything to keep the contest close, and less than 24 seconds remain on the clock, there are no more baskets to be made. And so, NU was clearly not happy with what happened. For his part, Murrell said that he was just looking for a spread his wings. “To be honest, I just saw an opening and wanted to dunk it. I didn’t mean to (be) disrespectful. I just wanted to dunk the ball to be honest,” he said. He then continued, “I usually do that back home. It’s kinda normal back home, but I guess here, they thought it was disrespectful.” Without a doubt, the Bulldogs didn’t appreciate what he did. “They gave me bad looks,” the Filipino-Canadian rookie said. Afterward, State U head coach Bo Perasol made it a point to point out to his high-flying forward what he did wrong. “We have to understand that he wanted to get into his groove. For the longest time, he wants to show his stuff, but regardless of the reason, that was wrong,” he said. He then continued, “He’s a young guy. He’s got so much potential and he only needs to respect the game and his opponents.” The good news is that Murrell was nothing but accepting of what his mentor told him. As he put it, “Coach Bo said I shouldn’t have done that because that was disrespectful. In the long run, we got the win and I’m happy about that.” --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 3rd, 2018

UAAP: Overworked left ankle sidelines UST s Renzo Subido

Renzo Subido was not in uniform as University of Sto. Tomas topped University of the East on Sunday. According to head coach Aldin Ayo, the scoring guard injured his left ankle during the Growling Tigers’ practice two days ago. “We don’t know talaga kasi after our practice, wala namang nangyari tapos biglang namaga, biglang hindi na siya makalakad,” he told reporters in the post-win interview. Not long after, Subido himself confirmed this coach’s statement. “While we were practicing, my ankle started swelling up. All of a sudden, I couldn’t walk na lang because of the swelling,” he said. While there is yet to be an official diagnosis, the fourth-year sniper admitted that seeing non-stop action for almost a year now may have something to do with it. “I think it’s overwork or overuse. Actually, since November kasi, I’ve been practicing. Wala akong rest from D-League to UAAP,” he said. Subido played for Marinerong Pilipino in the PBA D-League before returning to UST in the Filoil Preseason and now, in the UAAP. Coach Aldin could only agree. As he put it, “Even when the season started, Renzo was playing on one foot already kasi ang (right) ankle niya, namamaga na palagi. Akala ko, yun ang may tama, pero ang na-injure pala (ngayon) ay yung isa pa.” He then continued, “So ang dalawang paa na niya ngayong ang injured. Hopefully, maganda ang resulta (ng MRI) bukas.” Whatever the result would be, the multi-titled mentor is calling on his other players to come through for Subido. “We always (plan) for the works so hopefully, may mga players na mag-fill in sa mababakante ni Renzo,” he said. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 28th, 2018

Eight new stars who have risen in UAAP Season 81

It all begins here. That has been the UAAP theme this year and the names you will see on this list have been embracing their new beginnings and are delivering with promise despite all the pressure. The UAAP’s 81st season has been wild right off the bat with teams pulling wins out of nowhere, impressive individual performances, and lit on-court actions, which everyone has caught live on ABS-CBN S+A, S+A HD, LIGA, and LIGA HD every Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday. However, eight names have already shown why they are head and shoulders above everybody else in the season. Let’s take a look at the idols of future ballers and coaches here: 1.) Ange Kouame, Ateneo De Manila University The Ivorian big man is having a great debut with the defending champs in Season 81 and has been announcing his arrival to the league big game after big game, punctuated by his 33-point 27-rebound performance against potential Final Four contender, the FEU Tamaraws. While Thirdy Ravena continues to be the Blue Eagles’ leader on the floor, Kouame is slowly turning himself into a problem on a nightly basis. He’s constantly improving and learning about the college game thanks in part to fellow Ateneo big, who saw his play blossom last year, in Isaac Go.   2.) Sean Manganti, Adamson University Jerrick Ahanmisi is the Falcons’ leading scorer and main attraction. But let it not distract you from the fact that Sean Manganti has improved vastly to be the actual barometer of the team as it continues its stellar season. To prove a point, Manganti has also hit big shots for the Falcons including that game-winning dagger against the UP Fighting Maroons. Part of the reason for his impressive season so far is due to his training with former UAAP MVP Kiefer Ravena, who has been teaching him all the tricks in his bag.   3.) Justine Baltazar, La Salle  Justine Baltazar was a diamond in the rough coming to the Green Archers’ side of the fence after a stellar UAAP Juniors showing for National University. This season, without Ben Mbala up front, people are shocked by the massive improvement of Balti’s game as he has been the Green Archers’ consistent pillar of strength next to Aljun Melecio and Leonard Santillan. Balti is yet to have a bad game this season except when he had to contend with Ateneo’s hulking Ange Kouame, who is way heavier than the lanky center.   4.) Hubert Cani, Far Eastern University What a journey it has been for the former UAAP Juniors Finals MVP Hubert Cani, who went to Ateneo for two years before transferring to FEU and debuting last year. The 5’11” point guard has trimmed down immensely in preparation for Season 81 and it has clearly shown that his deadly Juniors form is back in harness. While FEU has been see-sawing lately in the standings, Cani has been the constant as much as teams prepare to stop FEU’s top scorer Arvin Tolentino.   5.) Juan Gomez De Liano, University of the Philippines Juan’s sophomore year has been anything but a disappointment. The UAAP Season 80 Rookie of the Year recently stopped the UAAP triple double drought when he posted a 15-point, 12-rebound, 12-assist line against the UE Red Warriors last Sunday (October 21). With team captain Paul Desiderio struggling in the start of the season, the former UAAP Juniors MVP stepped up to the plate and show improvement across the board and has become a huge headache for opposing teams alongside prized recruit Bright Akhuetie everytime he steps on the court.    6.) CJ Cansino, University of Sto. Tomas The Growling Tigers rookie is living up to lofty expectations heaped on his shoulders as a UAAP Juniors MVP coming out of the UST Tiger Cubs program. Cansino is already displaying a grown man’s game despite being at the collegiate level. His basketball IQ is off the charts while maximizing the most of his physical tools at hand along with the system new Head Coach Aldin Ayo has put in place. With the keys in his hand, Cansino has responded and what a way for a rookie to, already having an 18-point, 18-rebound game and constantly hovering around a triple-double.   7.) Dave Ildefonso, National University The younger Demolition Brother has been a treat to watch. Along with Cansino, they are both starring for their teams as rookies, leading the way, and leaving fans with jaws on the floor because of the level of talent they are displaying. He has shown great scoring instincts and has been at the forefront of the Bulldogs’ rebuild. 8.) Joe Silva, University of the East We’re giving the last and final spot in the list to UE’s neophyte coach, who’s the driving force behind the rebuilding Red Warriors. Coach Joe maybe younger in terms of age and experience compared to his UAAP counterparts, but he is definitely no pushover with two UAAP Juniors championship under his belt with the Ateneo High School Blue Eaglets. So far, he is off to a good start in building a winning culture in the current UE Red Warriors lineup. This is evident in how feisty his team fights game in and game out despite the talent gap they face. These eight guys are not the only impressive names we should all watch out for as you never know who will suddenly come out of the woodwork and starts pumping impressive game after impressive game. Get to see these stars in action every UAAP Season 81 game day during Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays on ABS-CBN S+A, S+A HD, LIGA, and LIGA HD starting at 2 pm. For more sports news, follow ABS-CBN Sports on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram or visit sports.abs-cbn.com. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 26th, 2018

Isaac Go: Kouame makes everybody better

Game after game, Ateneo de Manila University's Angelo Kouame has been impressing UAAP fans with his all-around brilliance. In his latest performance, he dazzled with 33 points and 27 rebounds -- a showing that earned him MVP chants from a tough Ateneo crowd. With all the attention that Kouame has been getting, his mentor Isaac Go beamed with pride but at the same time deflected any possible credit that can be drawn to him. "The entire team is happy for him. He did all the work. He's the one who shows up at practice early, he's the one who puts up the extra shots. So you have to put all the credit to him. I haven't really done much to 'mentor' him. He's done everything," said Go. Go became one of the stars of Ateneo's championship run last Season 80 after his clutch baskets in the semifinals and the finals. With Kouame's impressive performances in recent games, fellow big man Go's role significantly diminished.  Despite his more subtle role this season, Go expressed that as long as it is for the betterment of the team, he is all for it. "I think it's a double-edged sword if you think about it because you are happy that he is producing. At the end of the day, it is always what is best for the team. At the end of the day also, you want to help him get better and the best way to do it is getting better as well," said the former Xavier Golden Stallion. Kouame also displayed the same mentality when asked about possibly overshadowing his mentor. "[George] really helped me for everything. Even off the court, in the court, he's my second coach. It doesn't matter who is the scorer, who is the leader or anything, it's about the team," Kouame said. Both players revealed that during practices, the presence of each other brings out the best in them. "Even in practice, George and I, we give challenges. We keep progress with that, it makes us better as a player," shared Kouame. "If you go up against him in practice, he just makes everybody better and work harder because we have to complement what he can bring to us," added Go. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @the9cruz.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 20th, 2018

San Beda now NCAA 94 top-seed after imposing will on LPU

San Beda University has had to wait a long time just to get back at Lyceum of the Philippines University in the elimination round. The Red Lions finally exacted their revenge on Thursday at the Filoil Flying V Centre, forcing the Pirates to play at their pace for majority of the matchup before falling back on their championship experience in the endgame for a well-earned 75-68 win. Robert Bolick, of course, spearheaded the attack and had running mate Javee Mocon as well as promising rookie James Canlas right beside him as the defending champions seized the top-seed for the Final Four of the NCAA Men’s Baskeball Tournament. As the top-seed, they will be facing off with fourth-seed University of Perpetual Help in the next round. “I’m happy that the guys played well today. Hopefully, we play more consistent in our next games,” head coach Boyet Fernandez said. It was Canlas’ layup that punctuated the 17-9 run that broke the game open and built up a 35-24 San Beda lead in the second quarter. Bolick and Mocon then joined in on the fun in the third, conspiring for a 12-2 rush that boosted their team in front, 51-33, at the midway mark of the quarter. The Pirates didn’t quit and ramped up the pressure in the final frame with MJ Ayaay’s fastbreak layup pulling them within 68-73 with 36.8 ticks to go. After Spencer Pretta turned the ball over, though, the Red Lions’ graduating guard made good on two free throws to put the game away. This is the first time in the last two years that Bolick and company have triumphed over their new challengers in the eliminations. “We’re happy we got this one and that the monkey is finally off our backs. Ang daming nagsasabing we cannot beat them,” their mentor said. In the end, the King Lion had 18 points, five rebounds, and two assists while Canlas had his own 18 markers and six boards. Mocon and Donald Tankoua both contributed double-doubles as well with the former finishing with 13 points and 10 rebounds and the latter ending with 15 markers and 14 boards. More than that, however, it was the defense that keyed the defending champions’ big-time win. Indeed, the best defense in the league suffocated LPU to way below their 87.6 points per game and CJ Perez to way below his 19.2 markers per game. Perez only had nine points to go along with six rebounds, four assists, and three steals in this one while Mike Nzeusseu topped the scoring column with 16 markers and six boards. Unable to break free from their opponents’ suffocating defense, the Pirates sank to 15-3 and settled for the second-seed. They will be matchup up opposite Colegio de San Juan de Letran. BOX SCORES SAN BEDA 75 – Bolick 18, Canlas 18, Tankoua 15, Mocon 13, Oftana 3, Presbitero 2, Soberano 2, Nelle 2, Carino 2, Doliguez 0, Abuda 0, Eugene 0, Tongco 0, Cuntapay 0 LPU 68 – Nzeusseu 16, Marcelino JC 14, Ayaay 11, Perez 9, Pretta 6, Marcelino JV 4, Caduyac 2, Tansingco 2, Santos 2, Valdez 2, Ibanez 0, Serrano 0, Lumbao 0 QUARTER SCORES: 18-13, 39-31, 59-46, 75-68 --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 18th, 2018

Finally, that LPU monkey is off of San Beda s back in NCAA 94

The last time San Beda University defeated Lyceum of the Philippines University in the elimination round was in 2016. Since that time, the Pirates have had the number of the Red Lions – again, in the elimination round. The traditional powerhouse finally got one over the upstart contenders on Thursday, imposing its will en route to a well-earned 75-68 win. This is the first time in the last two years that they have triumphed over their new challengers in the eliminations. For that, of course, San Beda is nothing but glad. “We’re happy we got this one and that the monkey is finally off our backs,” head coach Boyet Fernandez told reporters post-game. He then continued, “Everybody’s been saying that we cannot beat LPU so that was really our motto for today. Naging barometer namin yun and I’m happy the guys stepped up today.” Humble as always, coach Boyet deflected credit for the win to his boys. “I salute the boys and sana, we continue playing this well,” he said. In fact, the always amiable mentor even gave credit to other coaches. As he put it, “I do thank the coaches from other teams because I watch their games. I say how the two teams beat Lyceum so I think we got the cue from that.” Coach Boyet was referring to University of Perpetual Help and Colegio de San Juan de Letran, which both beat LPU before the Red Lions. “Ayan naman ang trabaho at saka ng scouting,” he said. Nonetheless, the defending champions still had nothing but respect for the felled foes. “It’s a tough game, they’re a really tough team. Good job to coach Topex [Robinson] and the rest of the LPU team,” their head coach said. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 18th, 2018

PBA: Phoenix coach Alas questions Murphy penalty after fight

Coach Louie Alas minced no words on the skirmish involving his player Calvin Abueva and San Miguel import Kevin Murphy at the Mall of Asia Arena Friday evening. Alas' team, the Phoenix Fuel Masters, were down by 17, 105-88, with more than four minutes left in the game, when Abueva and Murphy got entangled on the baseline before chaos ensued. WE'VE GOT A FIGHT! Kevin Murphy with the head lock on Calvin Abueva then chaos ensues. #PBA2018 • @abscbnsports pic.twitter.com/2krPTqaK6P — Philip Martin Matel (@philipptionary) October 12, 2018 More fireworks were unleashed when both camps spewed out unmentionables at halfcourt. Then some more action. Flagrant 1 on Murphy Techs on Doug Kramer Paolo Bugia (PHX team manager) Coach Louie Alas#PBA2018 • @abscbnsports pic.twitter.com/py6z8SaiXR — Philip Martin Matel (@philipptionary) October 12, 2018 In the end, Murphy was slapped with a Flagrant 1, while Kelly Nabong assessed a personal foul for pushing. Meanwhile, Alas, Doug Kramer, Phoenix team manager Paolo Bugia were penalized with technical fouls for entering the playing court.  The veteran coach was simply not happy with the call, and insisted that the opposing import should have been booted for a Flagrant 2. "Talagang sakin F2 yun, pare. That's a choke. I dont know kung ano yung pinanood nila. Lahat nga nagtetext sakin, thats a choke, lahat, sinakal talaga. Pero ganun talaga e. Siguro kung samin nangyari yun baka itatawag nila -- kung di import gumawa itatawag nila. Pero that's not right," an irritated Alas said after the game. Alas also shared that he had a war of words with San Miguel governor Robert Non as the opposing team official allegedly cussed the enigmatic Phoenix forward during another skirmish at halfcourt.  The mentor also took a jab at Beermen assistant Biboy Ravanes for his role in the brawl. "Tapos si Biboy, medyo... siguro wala ng kontrata yun para ano, siya na lang daw. Sabi ko sige, okay lang sakin, anytime." Regarding on how the now 6-3 Fuel Masters prepared the game against the struggling, 3-4 Beermen, the tactician shared that maturity was a major factor in their loss against the more seasoned opponents, noting that his wards weren't relaxed in the game-deciding run to end the third. "Akala ko nga third quarter okay na eh dahil maganda yung adjustment na ginawa namin. In just a span of three minutes, lumamang kami ng two points diba."  "But still, wala kaming -- and I'm still looking for it -- yung talagang may magcocontrol pag may emosyon yung laban, na "okay ibigay niyo sakin yung bola, relax, and just play."  __   Follow this writer on Twitter, @philipptionary. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 12th, 2018

UAAP: Spa and buffet lead to relaxed basketball from Growling Tigers

The UST Growling Tigers can thank a day away from basketball for playing one for their finest games this UAAP season. As the 19-time UAAP champions' current squad consist a young core, with six rookies at the helm, their tendency is to break down if a fiery coach like Aldin Ayo puts pressure on them. On the day following their devastating 27-point loss against the De La Salle Green Archers at the Mall of Asia Arena, the mentor told his guys to relax and forget hoops for a while, with the dividends clearly showing in UST's win over the UE Red Warriors. "Ang ginawa namin, wala munang basketball. They went to a spa, nag-buffet. After classes, nag-relax ‘yung mga bata. Walang ginawa. They detached themselves from basketball," Ayo said of the move. He then reduced the usual practice time from four to five hours down to merely an hour, with the rest of the time devoted to reviewing film. That, Ayo said, relieved his players of stress and rejuvenated them for Saturday's game. His players then repaid him by raining 16 three-pointers, five more than their two-point conversions. Rookie of the Year candidate CJ Cansino also tallied a huge double-double of 17 points and 17 rebounds, undoubtedly one of the best marks by any player this season. "Na-relax tuloy ‘yung mga bata. I can say that it was effective kasi maganda ‘yung resulta eh. Pero titingnan naming kung ano gagawin namin sa next game namin [vs UP on Wednesday]. Ayo also did his part by not writing marching orders on the whiteboard before the game, "no pointers" as he put it, and noticed that the young Tigers were more relaxed that way.  Even though it worked this time, the former Letran and La Salle coach said that the relaxation approach may not work against every opponent, thus taking it on a case-to-case basis.  "Sabi ni Renzo [Subido], ‘Coach, we overdo it sometimes. Sometimes, sobrang kulang naman. Sabi ko sa kanila, ‘Let’s meet halfway, let’s moderate things.’ Every time we moderate things, nagiging balanse eh. So ‘di naman sobra, ‘di naman kulang. Galing kay Renzo ‘yun.” __   Follow this writer on Twitter, @philipptionary......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 6th, 2018