Advertisements


What makes a good coach? Multi-titled Jong Uichico shares secrets

MANILA, Philippines – There is no definitive way to measure how good a coach is, but there are certain qualities that coaches possess that make them effective at their jobs.  Rappler chatted with multi-titled tactician and Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas coaches' academy head Jong Uichico to talk about the ........»»

Category: newsSource: rappler rapplerApr 26th, 2020

TY Tang didn t quit because Coach Franz didn t let him

TY Tang was a big piece in the puzzle that was coach Franz Pumaren’s last championship for De La Salle University. Together with Jvee Casio and Cholo Villanueva, Tang steered the Green Archets to a pleasant surprise of a title in 2007. As a graduating guard, the pint-sized playmaker was as much a streaky shooter as much as he was a steady playmaker. He then rode that last year all the way to the 12th overall pick in the 2008 PBA Draft and a solid eight-year career, all with Rain or Shine. As it turns out, though, Tang was all ready to give up his basketball dream after he did not have the strongest of starts as La Salle’s point guard. “What strikes me as yung talagang feeling niya he was ready to give up was TY Tang,” Coach Franz shared with fellow coaches Charles Tiu, Paolo Layug, and Anton Altamirano in his appearance on Coaches Unfiltered. He then continued, “We should remember he was playing behind legendary Mike Cortez so every time I pull out Mike, you could just imagine the pressure. A fresh (out of) high school kid and when he makes a mistake, fans can be brutal.” The 5-foot-7 guard was a blue-chip recruit from powerhouse Xavier High School, but of course, following “The Cool Cat” for the championship contender Green Archers was a thankless job. “We sat down, we had a heart-to-heart talk and I told him he can always turn back and just get a degree,” the multi-titled mentor narrated. “But there’s this opportunity also for you to at least prove yourself that you deserve to be in the UAAP.” Answering his mentor’s call, Tang went on to mature and live up to the legacy of Cortez. He was even named by Paul Lee, who played for University of the East during the same timeframe, in his Prospects Five. In the end, TY Tang is an excellent example of the difference a coach with full faith could make. “He’s not that tall and when he started, hindi naman ganun kagaling shumoot, pero nagtrabaho, nagtiwala lang,” Coach Franz said. He then continued, “‘Di ba? Who would ever think TY will make it to the PBA?” —— Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 29th, 2020

DID YOU KNOW? Deanna Wong dreamed of playing for DLSU

Ateneo de Manila University struck gold when it recruited Deanna Wong. The Cebuana displayed versatility and commitment when given the role of a back-up setter before sliding to a libero spot and then back again as a playmaker for the Lady Eagles.   Behind her playmaking, Ateneo was able to reclaim the UAAP women’s volleyball throne last year in Season 81 as the Lady Eagles captured their third overall title since winning back-to-back crowns in 2014 and 2015. Wong truly is a gem of a setter, earning her spot alongside other Ateneo playmaking greats Jem Ferrer and Jia Morado. But five years ago, Wong almost joined another UAAP team. The 22-year old setter admitted that she’s a fan of De La Salle University and idolized former Lady Spikers middle Mika Reyes back in high school. So it was all but natural for the University of San Jose-Recoletos product to dream of playing for the Ramil De Jesus-mentored Lady Spikers. And she almost did after the multi-titled mentor himself approached her during her stint with Central Visayas during the 2015 Palaraong Pambansa in Tagum, Davao Del Norte.   “La Salle ako before,” shared Wong during her appearance on Volleyball DNA hosted by Anton Roxas and Denden Lazaro. It was Wong’s first and only Palaro stint and she never imagined to see De Jesus in person and even more approached by the mentor during a scouting run. “Kaya na-shock ako nung nandoon sina Coach Ramil. Starstruck lang wala akong masabi. Feeling ko kung nandoon ang mga players baka mas lalo akong ma-starstruck but it was a good thing si Coach Ramil lang,” said the UAAP Season 80 Best Setter. "Coach Ramil he talked to me," Wong added. Aside from DLSU, Far Eastern University also showed interest in her. “FEU they talked to me. Sina (Gen) Casugod and Ate Bernadeth Pons. Wala akong naalala na may coach sa FEU it was just them,” Wong added. But donning the green and white wasn’t meant to be for Wong. All thanks to a chance encounter between her dad, Dean, and then Ateneo men’s volleyball team coach Oliver Almadro. “Sila ni dad nagkakilala sa elevator or something,” said Wong. “I don’t know that’s what he said to me. Di ko alam bakit.” And as fate would have it, Wong really was really meant to wear the blue and white. Wong was in Bacolod that time participating in a tournament and coincidentally Almadro was also there together with the Blue Eagles competing in the UniGames.    “It happened in Bacolod. May tournament kami and dun din nangyari ‘yung UniGames. Nag-participate ang men’s volleyball team. Alam mo naman si Coach O he really recruits players and dumating siya bigla,” said Wong. From there Almadro did his best to convince Wong’s dad to allow her to play for Ateneo. Wong agreed. The Lady Eagles just landed the heir-apparent to playmaker Jia Morado.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 14th, 2020

Valdez, Galang reveal their go-to type of spike

Ateneo de Manila University’s Alyssa Valdez and Ara Galang of De La Salle University are two of best and most effective wing spikers to ever take flight in the UAAP. Both brought glory to their respective schools and faced off in the championship four times. Strong, consistent and efficient, these are the traits they share when it comes to offense. But when it comes to their go-to spikes, Valdez and Galang have their preferred angles when attacking. Reacting to some of their highlight clips in the 'GaDez React' segment of the SERVE AS ONE Variety Show fundraising event for volleyball game day personnel, the top spikers shared what kind of attacks they go to achieve a high percentage of success.       “Si Coach Tai (Bundit) lagi niya akong pinagko-crosscourt,” said Valdez, a two-time UAAP champion and three-time Most Valuable Player winner. For the Phenom, hitting the ball crosscourt gives her a wider target and better chance to score.   “Sa crosscourt malaki ang area na mata-target mo kaysa sa down the line,” said the former Queen Eagle, who currently has the most points in a single game in the UAAP with 35 tied with Sisi Rondina. “Ang laki kasi ng chance na mag-out talaga sa sideline saka sa end line. ‘Pag crosscourt may check ball, ang dami mong angles na pwedeng puntahan.” While Valdez loves crosscourt hits, Galang prefers to punch her attacks down the line. “Mas madali kong nakikita (spot to attack). Ewan ko, sa pagsilip (sa anggulo),” said Galang, who shared the Season 75 MVP award with teammate Aby Marano.      Aside from her laser-like down the line spikes, Galang is also a master of cut shots. The two players also discussed about their service game. Galang likes to serve from the corner. “Siguro kasi mas kaya ko ang power. Doon ang strength kapag pwesto lang,” said the Lady Spiker. Valdez, on the other hand, puts extra effort on her service game for a specific reason.    “Kailangan kong galingan mag-serve para ‘di ko na kailangang dumepensa (sa likod),” she joked. Shifting on a lighter note, Galang reacted to her video on a skateboard while Valdez had a good laugh watching for the first time her hosting stint for University Town where she joined the multi-titled National University Pep Squad in a cheerdance routine.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 16th, 2020

UAAP Executive Director on Tab Baldwin: 'Important to know context of what he said'

The UAAP has no problems with comments made by Ateneo de Manila University head coach Tab Baldwin that have caused some sort of controversy as of late. “Insofar as the UAAP is concerned, maganda ang sinasbi about us so no problem,” league executive director Atty. Rebo Saguisag said in the Philippine Sportswriters Association online forum on Tuesday. “Whether or not he uttered something that caused a stir among other organizations, we respect that kasi kanilang organization yun eh.” In last week’s Coaches Unfiltered podcast, Coach Tab said that the PBA’s imports stand on higher ground than local players. “A foul for a local player isn’t a foul on an import. Our local players are competitively disadvantaged in their ability to compete against imports,” he said. He then continued, “I do believe that this is based in the desire to have imports as superstars as a marketing tool for the PBA.” The multi-titled mentor then compared the PBA’s imports to the UAAP’s foreign student-athletes. As he put it, “I don’t think that the UAAP needs a marketing tool. It’s already a fantastic marketing vehicle by itself so I think that, on the back of that, we don’t see (foreign student-athletes) being coddled by referees.” The brilliant tactician also touched on what he coined as “tactical immaturity” of local coaches - many of whom have not wasted time voicing out opposition to his claims. Saguisag, however, also reminded everybody to have the complete picture before sharing their mind. “It’s important to know the context of what he said,” he shared. He then continued, “I never watched it in full nor have I read the transcript in full, but it’s very irresponsible to comment on something that you do not appreciate.” Coach Tab is well-known for his long and winding answers to questions. Regarding his view on local coaches, he was inquired by host Paolo Layug, “What are some of the similarities and differences between Philippine basketball and other places you’ve coached in? What is one thing about Philippine coaching culture that surprised you when you got here?” After his initial answer of what he perceives to be “tactical immaturity” of local coaches, Baldwin then furthered that there are factors beyond their control affecting that. “Our player development here is mature, but our appreciation for tactical advancement and tactical systems is immature,” he said. He then continued, “Now, let me explain to you why I think that isn't necessarily coaches' fault.” That then led to his view on imports. “We should never have a single import playing on a team. Further, we should never have a single import that is given all of the rules latitude that imports are given here by referees,” he shared. The brilliant tactician said so because what he sees as preferential treatment for import has long been an obstacle local players could not hurdle. “The imports who come here are very outstanding players… so if you’re a PBA coach and you don’t tactically run your systems through the import, you’re pretty stupid because they are given all the advantages,” he said. He then continued, “The PBA coaches are a smart lot, they’re good basketball coaches, but they could be much better if they were forced to coach much more. I believe, then they would show their real talents.” In the end, the UAAP is of the stance that Coach Tab has each and every right to express his views. “I can’t really comment on the specifics, but at the end of the day, everybody’s entitled to their own opinions,” outgoing league president Em Fernandez of Ateneo said. —— Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 16th, 2020

GREATEST PERFORMANCES: Afril Bernardino s almost quadruple-double

One more steal, one more steal and Afril Bernardino would have had the first and only quadruple-double in the history of the UAAP. National University's do-it-all guard tallied a triple-double of 17 points, 10, rebounds, and 10 assists at the end of their 78-42 demolition job of fellow contender Far Eastern University in the UAAP 79 Women's Basketball Tournament. At the same time, she also wound up with nine steals - falling just one shy of a feat as rare as available tickets in an Ateneo-La Salle game. Nonetheless, that game put on display all that made Bernardino one of the greatest talents the league has ever seen. As she always does, she made her presence felt all over the court from the get-go and made good on a free throw to cap off their 21-5 start. The 5-foot-7 playmaker would not let her foot off the pedal from that point and led the reigning and defending champions in a 31-9 third quarter tsunami that drowned the Lady Tamaraws once and for all. In the end, it was just another win, the 45th in a row for National U dating back to 2014. It was also just another evidence forwarded by Bernardino for the case of her being the undisputed MVP at season's end. Post-game, though, true to form, head coach Pat Aquino also made it a point to give credit to their total team effort. As he put it, "Afril almost had a quadruple-double, but without her teammates, hindi niya magagawa yun. The fact na palaging may Jack (Animam) and Gemma (Miranda), malaki yun." Indeed, Miranda had 21 points and nine rebounds while Animam had 15 points and 10 rebounds to provide backup. Still, that wasn't even the first time the then-21-year-old flirted with a quadruple-double. In an earlier game in that tournament, she collected 22 points, 11 steals, 10 assists, and seven rebounds in the Lady Bulldogs' 103-49 beatdown of University of Sto. Tomas. At the end of that game, Coach Pat could only sing the praises of his prized ward. "Siguro, siya yung pinakamagaling ngayon sa college," he said. Make no mistake, though, the multi-titled mentor again made it a point to mention Bernardino's teammates, "Again, I told her na without her teammates, she could not do this." Without a doubt, National U is a well-oiled machine that has churned six consecutive championships and 96 straight wins and counting. It was Bernardino who set the standard at how exactly that well-oiled machine should be run. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 25th, 2020

PBA: What s in a Name? San Miguel Beermen

Name changes happen a lot in the PBA, especially with the league’s company based-teams. It’s equal parts marketing and prestige when it comes to the naming of PBA teams. There are no cities represented here and no need for sponsorships.  Out of the 12 active teams in the PBA, even the pioneers like San Miguel Beer have gone through some name changes over the years, while teams like Columbian juggle through monikers like crazy. However, there are also teams like Alaska that have stayed solid through its brand all along. This series is not about those teams though. This series is about the franchises that have taken advantage of the PBA’s somewhat unique naming convention as we shuffle through their history of changes. What’s in a name, San Miguel Beermen?   TRU Pioneers: Royal Tru-Orange San Miguel was an original team when the PBA was first established in 1975, but the Beermen name wouldn’t come until years later. The team was first known as Royal Tru-Orange, after the soft drink. It took four years and 13 conferences before Royal won a PBA title, that being the 1979 Open Conference after beating Toyota in the Finals.   San Miguel Beermen 1.0 (Early 1980s) The franchise’s first use of the San Miguel Beermen produced two Finals trips in the 1982 Reinforced Filipino Conference and the 1982 Invitational Conference. Facing Toyota for the Reinforced Filipino title, the Beermen lost in seven games. San Miguel then turned around and won the Invitational tournament against Crispa.   San Miguel Beermen 2.0 (1987 Reinforced Conference – 2007 Fiesta Conference) For a good four years in the mid-1980s, the Beermen would carry the name of Gold Eagle Beer and the Magnolia Ice Cream brand before returning as SMB in the final conference of the 1987 season. San Miguel would keep its Beermen name for two decades, winning 15 league championships to build the foundation for their status as the PBA’s winningest franchise. Several dynasties and great teams were under the Beermen banner, the first major one being the 1989 Grand Slam team coached by Norman Black. With players like Mon Fernandez, Hector Calma, Alvin Teng, Samboy Lim, Franz Pumaren, Ricardo Brown, rookie Ato Agustin, and imports Michael Phelps and Ennis Whatley, the Beermen were the top-ranked team in all three conferences and beat Shell, Purefoods, and Anejo for the Grand Slam. After the Grand Slam year, San Miguel would go three full seasons without a title, but would win a championship at least once in each of the next three seasons that followed. 1992 MVP Ato Agustin, Samboy Lim, and Allan Caidic, made sure the Beermen were well taken cared off in the early 1990s before the team would go on a mini cold period. After back-to-back titles in the 1993 Governors’ Cup and the 1994 All-Filipino, San Miguel wouldn’t win another title until a new era of Beermen, led by coach Jong Uichico, took over towards the new millennium. With the pairing of eventual two-time MVP Danny Ilfefonso and Rookie of the Year Danny Seigle, the Beermen returned on top of the PBA mountain in 1999, winning the Commissioner’s Cup and the Governors’ Cup to bring a close to the millennium. As Danny I finally emerged as the MVP, San Miguel defended its two titles in 2000. The Beermen also won the 2001 All-Filipino to complete a trifecta of championships. They actually had a chance for a Grand Slam in 2001, but SMB would lose the Commissioner’s Cup and Governors’ Cup Finals to Red Bull and Sta. Lucia respectively. Still with the core of Danny I, Danny S, Dondon Hontiveros, and Olsen Racela, San Miguel would end a four-year drought and capture the 2005 Fiesta Conference with a 4-1 win over Talk ‘N Text, the franchise’s 17th title.   Magnolia Beverage Masters (2007-2008 season) The Magnolia name would come back for one season in the late 2000s for mostly uninspiring results. In the 2008 Philippine Cup, the Beverage Masters finished with a 10-8 record and entered the playoffs as the no. 5 seed. They lost in the first round. In the 2008 Fiesta Conference, the Beverage Masters again entered the playoffs as the no. 5 seed with a 10-8 record. They lost in the semis and finished fourth, ending their run with a loss to Red Bull, just like in the All-Filipino.   San Miguel Beermen 3.0 (2009 Philippine Cup – 2011 Commissioner’s Cup) Back as the San Miguel Beermen, the team rebuilt its frontline in an attempt to recreate the Danny Ildefonso-Danny Seigle tandem almost a decade prior. The Beermen dealt the no. 3 pick of the 2008 Draft to Talk ‘N Text to acquire Jay Washington. The pick was used to select Jayson Castro. San Miguel then used a trade package centered around Marc Pingris to bring Arwind Santos to the fold. However, the mega trade happened after the Beermen won the 2009 Fiesta Conference championship for the franchise’s 18th title. Unfortunately, San Miguel’s power moves wouldn’t yield immediate results, losing back-to-back Finals to Alaska and Talk ‘N Text in the 2010 Fiesta Conference and 2011 Philippine Cup respectively. The San Miguel Beermen name would experience an unprecedented result in the 2011 Commissioner’s Cup when a 2-9 record landed the team in last place.   Petron Blaze Boosters (2011 Governors’ Cup – 2014 Philippine Cup) Refreshed as the Petron Blaze Boosters, Arwind Santos would lead the team to the championship of the 2011 Governors’ Cup. The title win is significant as the Blaze Boosters stopped Talk ‘N Text from winning a Grand Slam with a seven-game decision in the Finals. Unfortunately, Petron blew a 3-1 lead in the semifinals of the 2012 Philippine Cup, allowing the Tropang Texters to get their win back on their way to back-to-back All-Filipino championships. The infamous Petronovela would follow as the Blaze Boosters would consistently fail to meet expectations. After the semifinals debacle against Talk ‘N Text, Petron finished 9th and failed to make the playoffs in the 2011 Commissioner’s Cup. After three underwhelming conferences, the Blaze Boosters would make their way to the Finals of the 2013 Governors’ Cup, only to lose Game 7 to San Mig Coffee. Perhaps the peak of the Petron name in the PBA came in 2012, when the Blaze Boosters selected June Mar Fajardo with the first pick of the Draft.   San Miguel Beermen 4.0 (2014 Commissioner’s Cup – present) Despite reverting back the San Miguel Beermen name, the remnants of Petronovela would remain as the team got booted out in the quarterfinals of the Commissioner’s Cup and Governors’ Cup without winning a single game. The true return of the Beermen would come in the 2015 Philippine Cup, beating Alaska in a dramatic Game 7 to win the title. Coached by Leo Austria and with the core five of June Mar Fajardo, Arwind Santos, Marcio Lassiter, Chris Ross, and Alex Cabagnot, a new Beermen dynasty would be born. After the 2015 All-Filipino title, San Miguel would beat Alaska two more times in the Finals. The first one was a sweep in the 2015 Governors’ Cup before the Beermen took the Aces down again to win the 2016 Philippine Cup. The “Beeracle” run to win back-to-back All-Filipino titles will be marked in history as the first time a PBA team came back from a 0-3 deficit in a best-of-7 series. San Miguel’s next history-making event came in the 2017 Philippine Cup after the Beermen matched Talk ‘N Text’s earlier feat by becoming the second-ever Perpetual Champions with three straight All-Filipino titles. However, San Miguel has its rival beat by winning a fourth and fifth straight Philippine Cup title in the next two years. The Beermen have also attempted to win a Grand Slam twice in recent years, doing so in 2017 and 2019. Unfortunately, both bids ended at the hands of Barangay Ginebra in the quarterfinals of the Governor’s Cup. Still, in adding eight championships so far, the Beermen have increased their all-time lead as they now hold 27 league titles. This era also produced arguable the greatest PBA player ever in six-time MVP June Mar Fajardo.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8 .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 22nd, 2020

SUPER SHOWDOWN: Black s Ateneo vs Baldwin s Ateneo

Ateneo de Manila University has, put simply, reigned supreme over UAAP Men's Basketball in recent history. Blue Eagle has been the king eight times out of the last 12 tournaments. That dominance has bookended just three other teams who have won championships in that same timeframe. The first bookend was a five-peat that was engineered by then-already multi-titled mentor Norman Black from 2008 to 2012. The other - from 2017 and still counting - bookend has former national team coach Tab Baldwin calling the shots And Ateneo does not look like its slowing down anytime soon as its future remains secure in the hands of Ivorian tower Ange Kouame, emerging primetime playmayer SJ Belangel, and Filipino-American recruit Dwight Ramos. Between the two bookends, however, which Blue Eagle string of championships shines brighter? That is what we set out to figure out in this ABS-CBN Sports Super Showdown. In grading the greatness of Black's five-peat and Baldwin's three-peat, we will be judging them in five categories (talent, system, level of competition, dominance, and legacy) with a boxing-style 10-point must system determining the decision. TALENT Black's five-peat had Kiefer Ravena while Baldwin's three-peat had Thirdy Ravena. So let's call that a draw. In terms of everything else, however, there is just no doubt that Ateneo had the most talented team for majority of its five-peat. The twin towers of Rabeh Al-Hussaini and Nonoy Baclao were followed by Justin Chua and then Greg Slaughter. Steady Chris Tiu was replaced by Jai Reyes and Eric Salamat who were then replaced by Kirk Long and Emman Monfort who were then replaced by Ravena and Juami Tiongson. At the wings were then likes of Ryan Buenafe, Nico Salva, and Oping Sumalinog. Majority of these players were true blue-chip recruits who decided to go to Ateneo, get-together with other promising prospects, and just run roughshod over the UAAP. Let's be clear here, anybody and everybody would want to go to war with that championship core of Ravena (Thirdy, that is), Isaac Go, and Nieto twins Mike and Matt to go along with whoever the versatile four-man is - be it Vince Tolentino or Raffy Verano or Will Navarro - and either Chibueze Ikeh or Kouame, but in terms of sheer top-level talent, the five-peat has the three-peat beat. Advantage Black's Ateneo, 10-8 SYSTEM The signature of Black's Ateneo teams was a complete team that had a killer inside-outside combo. Tiu and Al-Hussaini. Monfort and Chua. Ravena and Slaughter. And whenever it mattered most, there was always a clutch player to come through - be it Tiu or Salamat or Buenafe. That's the benefit of having the most talented team most of the time. The slight edge here, however, would have to go the egalitarian system Baldwin has installed in these Blue Eagles. Baldwin's boys take pride in the fact that, indeed, all of them are ready and raring to contribute whenever called upon. More often than not, the core plays somewhere between 12 to 24 minutes, but not one player could say his minutes are assured as their mentor always preaches that each and every one of his boys should never stop being better. That means that at any given point in time, somebody is always there to step up for somebody - "next man up" as they love to call it. Take for instance, that four-spot which first saw Tolentino doing the dirty work and once he graduated, Verano just filled in the spot. And when the Filipino-American ran into academic issues, was there any problem whatsoever? None at all because Navarro was there to come to be known as "Mr. Efficiency." Most definitely, there is no better system in collegiate basketball than what Baldwin has in place through this Ateneo three-peat. Advantage Baldwin's Ateneo, 10-9 LEVEL OF COMPETITION Six other member-schools made it to the playoffs at least once during Ateneo's five-peat - the lone exception being the University of the Philippines which was then still trudging through its so-called "dark days". In that run, the Blue Eagles had to contend with Far Eastern University with the likes of Mac Baracael, Mark Barroca, RR Garcia, and Terrence Romeo; University of the East with the likes of Marcy Arellano, Elmer Espiritu, Paul Lee, and James Martinez; Adamson University with the likes of Lester Alvarez, Rodney Brondial, and Alex Nuyles; De La Salle University with the likes of Jvee Casio, Rico Maierhoffer, and Jeron Teng; University of Sto. Tomas with the likes of Dylan Ababou, Karim Abdul, and Jeric Teng; and National University with the likes of Emmanuel Mbe and Ray Parks Jr. For their part, Ateneo's three-peat team saw the Bulldogs and the Red Warriors both fail to make the Final Four during its time on top. Still, they had to run through a gauntlet of good to great teams such as the Ben Mbala and Ricci Rivero-led Green Archers, the Jerrick Ahanmisi and Sean Manganti-led Soaring Falcons, and the Arvin Tolentino and Wendell Comboy-led Tamaraws. Through it all, the Blue Eagles also had to play spoiler in the climb to contention of the Fighting Maroons with Bright Akhuetie, Kobe Paras, Rivero, and Gomez de Liano brothers Javi and Juan as well as the return to relevance of the Growling Tigers with Rhenz Abando, CJ Cansino, Mark Nonoy, and Soulemane Chabi Yo. The difference here then becomes the arrival of MVP-level foreign student-athletes. In La Salle's Mbala, UP's Akhuetie, and UST's Chabi Yo, Ateneo's three-peat team had to wage war with three of the best recruits from abroad before winning the championship. For sure, Al-Hussaini, Chua, and Slaughter mentored by Black would have been able to make something happen if ever they were matched up with those three, but the fact remains that nowadays, there is just more foreign talent in the UAAP. Advantage Baldwin's Ateneo, 10-9 DOMINANCE With a five-peat, Black did something that has not been done in the UAAP since UE won seven titles in a row in the '60s under the legendary Baby Dalupan. Through that time, Ateneo registered a couple of one-loss and a pair of two-loss seasons - and the only struggle, relative to them, was a 10-4, second-seed elimination round finish in Season 73. Still, through that time, the Blue Eagles only had one loss in all of its playoff series - a 68-88 shocker of a defeat to the Red Warriors in Game 2 of the Season 72 Finals. Somehow, though, Baldwin's historic feat was more impressive as their 16-0 romp through Season 82 is the first-ever of its kind in men's basketball. Before this, all previous season sweeps in men's basketball wound up with 14-0 records. The three-peat Blue Eagles also boast of a better elims standing as they only lost a total of three times there in three years. Their two losses in the playoffs are worse compared to the five-peat team, but Season 82's 16-0 is still better than either Season 71 or Season 74's 16-1. Advantage Baldwin's Ateneo, 10-9 LEGACY Black opened the floodgates for Ateneo to be a destination for blue-chip recruits from outside Katipunan. Remember, before this, the Blue Eagles' 2002 championship was built on the shoulders of former Blue Eaglets Rico Villanueva, Wesley Gonzales and Larry Fonacier - the non-homegrown key cogs being LA Tenorio from San Beda High School and two-time UAAP Srs. MVP Rich Alvarez, who played high school ball overseas. Through that five-peat, though, the blue and white became the undisputed king of recruiting as it got Salva from San Beda, Buenafe and Salamat from San Sebastian College-Recoletos, Tiu and Chua from Xavier and Chiang Kai Shek, respectively, and Baclao, Slaughter, and Sumalinog from the Visayas. Yes, Ravena was there, but many of Black's key cogs were still blue-chip recruits from outside Katipunan. In comparison, Baldwin's championship core, for the most part, are former Blue Eaglets in Ravena (again, Thirdy, that is), Anton Asistio, SJ Belangel, Gian Mamuyac, and the Nieto twins. Even Kouame is, in essence, a homegrown key cog as he was taken in by Ateneo even before college and finished his high school in nearby Multiple Intelligence International School In all, the blueprint may have been different, but the building was the same in the end - a blue and white dynasty. Draw, 10-10 FINAL SCORE: 48-47 for Baldwin's Ateneo.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 14th, 2020

Altas coach Acaylar distributes drinking water, meals to frontliners

In his own little way, University of Perpetual Help men’s volleyball head coach Sammy Acaylar is extending help for frontliners amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Acaylar is distributing drinking water and meals for frontliners manning the checkpoints in Las Pinas City while the whole of Luzon is under an enhanced community quarantine. The multi-titled mentor, who owns a water refilling station, shares that although his sales dropped because of the strict implementation of the city's lockdown, he just can’t ignore the plight of enforcers doing their work under the scorching heat of the sun.   “Nakita ng katiwala kong lalaki at babae na nasa initan ‘yung mga frontliners na enforcer na wala man lang tubig kahit tanghali. ‘Yung katiwala ko nagsabi sa akin, ‘Na Coach Sam kawawa mga frontliners wala man lang mainom.’ Sabi ko, ‘Sige para makatulong tayo kahit konti lang sales bigyan mo ng tubig araw-araw para naman may pantawid uhaw,’” said Acaylar. Aside from providing water dispensers and everyday water refills, the former national team head coach and his staff also cook and prepare merienda for frontliners. “Nagpapasalamat sila at may nakapansin kasi wala raw silaang tubig at gutom sila lagi,” said Acaylar. “Kaya napag-isipan namin na bigyan sila ng sopas pang merienda.” “Parang ‘yung puso namin ay mabiyak kasi ‘yung tulong na kahit tubig lang at sopas ay pinagpasalamat nila. Ako sa konting tulong na share ko sa kanila buong puso ko itong dadalhin kasi natulungan ko sila. Kaya nga sabi ko tuloy-tuloy ang tubig at next week pansit naman,” added the Altas mentor. According to Acaylar, who is also Perpetual’s athletic director, this is his small contribution to frontliners risking their own safety to help curb the spread of the deadly virus and his way of giving back for the blessings he has received. “[Pagbalik] sa blessings na ibinigay ni Lord sa akin sa pag-train at pag-coach ng volleyball at pinag-champion Niya ako,” said Acaylar, whose Altas remain as back-to-back NCAA champions after the cancellation of Season 95 last month because of the contagion......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 2nd, 2020

PBA: Japeth Aguilar is Brgy. Ginebra s new 'Batman'

2020 is poised to be the year of Japeth Aguilar, that is, when the PBA resumes play following the COVID-19 outbreak. Aguilar is flying high at the end of his 2019 season, winning a SEA Games gold medal in the SEA Games and taking his first Finals MVP award after another Ginebra championships. Recent developments, mainly the injury to six-time MVP June Mar Fajardo and the sabbatical of teammate Greg Slaughter, further open the opportunity for Japeth to fly even higher. Ginebra coach Tim Cone feels like his top big man is ready for primetime. "Not having to split time with Greg, he’s going to be able to spread his wings and really say, ‘This is my team,’" Cone said of Japeth. "It’s usually, between the two of them, one’s the Batman, one’s the Robin. It’s kind of like game to game, we don’t know who’s the Batman and who’s the Robin. But now, Japeth is going to be Batman," the multi-titled mentor added. Over the course of his career, Japeth has had his faults. But following a strong end to his 2019 season, Aguilar appears to be at the peak of his powers and is just ready to dominate, at least that's the hope. "He’s in a really good place mentally and physically at this point in his career. I think he’s really going to take off," Cone said of Japeth. "We’re going to live with him as our star. He’s going to have Stanley there, he’s going to have LA there and others, but I think Japeth will be the key guy for us," he added.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8 .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 25th, 2020

Michele Gumabao shares her source of strength

Michele Gumabao exudes confidence, strength and power. An accomplished volleyball player both in the collegiate and commercial leagues, a beauty queen and a TV personality, Gumabao is an example of an empowered woman.   But just like all of us, she had to go through challenges, adversities and the temptation of just giving up especially during the time when she entered the world of beauty pageant two years ago. The multi-titled winger recalled her struggles playing for De La Salle University during her collegiate career and how she almost called it quits just days into her participation in the 2018 Binibining Pilipinas in a Lunchtime Chats with James podcast interview. It was a whole new environment for Gumabao, whose career up until that time revolved around volleyball and the occasional dab into showbiz.   “Everything that I’ve been through – volleyball, beauty pageants – it may all seem impossible, it seemed impossible for me when I first started because it was something unnatural for me,” Gumabao told host Favor Church Senior Pastor James Aiton. “So how I know how everything was just orchestrated for me and I know that. Because that no matter how hard I tried when I was in college, I wanted to quit so many times.” “And even when I joined Binibining Pilipinas, I know a lot of people don’t know this, but the first two days, I was already out to quit,” continued the 27-year old Gumabao. That’s when she turned to her unbreakable faith in God. “It was really God, I know that it was Him because if it was me, I would have never pushed through any of those things,” she said. Out of the 40 women who joined the pageant, Gumabao won one of the six crowns at stake taking the Binibining Pilipnas Globe title. Gumabao represented the country in the 2018 Miss Globe in Albania and landed at the Top 15 while bagging the Miss Social Media and Dream Girl recognitions.    Bigger purpose Gumabao, daughter of former PBA player and actor Dennis Roldan, made a name for herself in women’s volleyball when she joined the DLSU Lady Spikers with whom she won straight three titles. Her success continued in the commercial league in the Philippine Superliga, the defunct Shakey’s V-League and the Premier Volleyball League as well as landing a spot in the national team.   But Gumabao, who is now playing for three-time PVL champion Creamline, knew she’s bound for something bigger. “At first my whole life was just revolving around sports. From being a volleyball player, I became a coach after I graduated. I started my own program for kids. And that's when I realized how everything I've been through from this point is meant for something bigger, and there has to be a purpose for it,” she said. “And that's when I saw the reward or that feeling that you get when you share your passion especially to the younger generation. That’s what I wanted to do, and that’s how I first started,” Gumabao added. “And through the years, after I’ve met a lot of our beauty queens in show business, I’ve met almost all of them, and I’ve seen how much impact they have in society, how much people look up to them and how their voice is always heard. People just have so much respect for beauty queens.” That’s was when she realized that being a beauty queen could be the avenue to share her advocacy and to inspire more people.  “It opened my eyes to so many things that I could do more. That being in sports is not just an area that I can be stuck in or I can just move into, so when I joined Binibining Pilipinas, it just opened my eyes to so much more opportunities to share what I’ve been through, to show who I am, and to also share God to a lot more people,” said Gumabao.   Second chance Even after her Miss Globe stint, Gumabao still dreamed of representing the country in the Miss Universe. Just when she thought her chance of vying for the coveted title was done, an opportunity came knocking last year after Binibining Pilipinas parted ways with the Miss Universe franchise, which formed its own pageant. “As of 2019, I told myself that I wouldn’t join any other pageant again because I can’t join Binibining Pilipinas again even when I wanted to vie for the title of Miss Universe because I won already in Miss Globe,” Gumabao said. “So last year a lot of people were asking me to join other beauty pageants, I was very hesitant.” “I remember I was in the States around this time last year, and I was just talking to my sisters and I was praying what God really wanted for me back then,” she recalled. “If Miss Universe has their own pageant, then that’s the only time I’m going to join again. This happened late, late, late last year and when they announced then that’s the confirmation I needed to be able to try one more time.” Gumabao successfully qualified for the inaugural new Miss Universe Philippines early this year.     “I know that there’s so much more things that I have yet to do, I have yet to share about not only my advocacy which is sports, but just to be able to make an impact especially to the youth,” she said. “So that’s really what I’m trying to advocate for now.” The coronation night was supposed to happen in May but unfortunately with the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, all Miss Universe Philippines activities are suspended. “As of now, everything is suspended up until further notice, until we can get back on track,” said Gumabao. “The coronation night was originally on May 3, now, they announced it's in June second week.” Here’s the full podcast interview:.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 25th, 2020

Altas relish good outing despite unfinished season

Although University of Perpetual Help’s three-peat bid in men’s volleyball ended prematurely following the termination of NCAA Season 95, head coach Sammy Acaylar still praised his wards for a job well done.    The NCAA Policy Board announced its decision to end the season amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on Thursday. No champion was declared for Season 95 on all affected second semester sporting events including centerpiece volleyball, which was already wrapping up the elimination round prior to the cancellation.     “Happy naman ako na kami pa rin ‘yung defending champion,” said Acaylar, whose Altas remained as back-to-back champions. The Las Pinas-based squad, who coming into the season parted ways with two-time Most Valuable Player and top hitter Jobert Almodiel, was unbeaten in the elims and already secured an outright Finals berth. Overall, Perpetual won 22 straight games starting from the last two games of its Season 93 championship series against Arellano University.    “Super proud ako sa team ko at lalo sa Perpetual school, lalo kay chairman Tony Tamayo at president Anthony Tamayo na walang sawang support na binigay nya sa amin,” Acaylar said. “Siyempre sa Perps community at kay Lord.” The multi-titled mentor admitted that although they understood that the termination of the season was for the safety and welfare of student-athletes, officials and fans, they couldn’t help but feel saddened with the development. “Actually, wala kaming magawa dahil sa coronavirus. We are after safety ng lahat. Pero ang morale ng players ko sobrang disappointed lalo ako kasi siyempre pinaghandaan namin at wala pa kaming talo,” he explained. “I respect their decision naman,” Acaylar added. “Ang mga players nagsi-uwian, after nalaman nila sobrang nanghihinayang sa pagod nila at sobrang paghahanda.” With the season done, Acaylar now turns his attention on their second attempt for a three-peat next year. Back to lead the Altas next year is power-hitter Louie Ramirez. New recruits are also expected to make their marks next year while seniors Ronniel Rosales and libero Jeric Atentar can opt to extend their stay if the NCAA pushes through with its plan to allow graduating players who have not completed Season 95 to see action for another year if they meet the eligibility requirements.       “Qualified pa rin sila,” said Acaylar of the two veterans. “Pero siyempre tatanungin ko sila kasi may pangarap sila para sa family nila.” “Kasi may kumuha sa kanila na military team. Kung ako ang masusunod gusto ko [stay] para solid ,” he added. “Pero I respect their decision naman. Maglaro sila o hindi, still preparado ung team ko , lalong malakas kami this Season 96.”       --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles      .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 20th, 2020

Coach Tab says 2019 PBA Draft just the start for Ateneo s pro production line

Ateneo de Manila University could have as many as six products get their names called in the 2019 PBA Draft. Nieto twins Mike and Matt, Aaron Black, Issac Go, and Vince Tolentino, and Adrian Wong have all declared for the rookie selection process on Sunday - and have good to great shots at turning their PBA dream into reality. According to head coach Tab Baldwin, the Blue Eagles' multi-titled mentor of the last four years, this is an exciting time to be a believer of the blue and white. "I'm very excited. We haven't seen them realize their goals yet, but when opportunity seems to be there, I'm very excited," he said. He then continued, "I hope to see all of them picked very early. I don't know whether they will be because that's up to PBA teams and coaches, but I'll be there with them, supporting them." Of the championship core that has led Ateneo's three-peat, only Thirdy Ravena has stayed away from the draft for now. Still, the fact that they have six products on deck to make the leap is nothing but a proud moment for the Katipunan-based squad. Make no mistake, though, this is just the start of many, many more Blue Eagles turning pro. "I don't feel like it's a culmination. Maybe that's for (the players), but for our program, I feel like it's the beginning. We're hoping to see all six of them picked and launching their careers," coach Tab said. Indeed, even after all six get drafted, Ateneo still has a treasure trove of talent in the likes of SJ Belangel, Gian Mamuyac, and Will Navarro. And with Baldwin guiding them, it's not a farfetched idea that sooner than later, they will be getting drafted themselves. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 7th, 2019

Ateneo went wherever Matt Nieto took it, says Coach Tab

Matt Nieto started his stint in Ateneo de Manila University's Seniors squad as the third point guard behind the likes of Jerie Pingoy and Hubert Cani. He closed his career with the Blue Eagles, however, as their undisputed court general. The younger of the Nieto twins put up per game counts of 7.3 points, 3.6 rebounds, 3.1 assists, and 1.3 steals in his fifth and final year in blue and white - all while being at the controls of their historic undefeated run through 16 games in the tournament. For head coach Tab Baldwin, Matt was able to go through all that and then do all that because of one thing - his winning attitude. "You can just put a W on the top of his head. He's a winner. He wins all the time," he said. It's hard to argue with that as in the last six years, Nieto has won three titles in the Srs. and one championship in the Jrs. He has also never missed the playoffs. More than all those wins, though, it's how the 6-foot guard responds to losing that makes him special. "Losing hurts him more than anybody else. He takes it personal and carries it onto the next event so he doesn't lose that one," his multi-titled mentor said. With that, Ateneo just followed the lead of its undisputed court general all the way to a three-peat - the last one of which was via a season sweep. "All of our guys give us a lot of character, but a lot of time, as Matt goes, we go," coach Tab said. He then continued, "He's a special human being." As he moves on to the next step of his young career, Nieto made quite the mark in Katipunan - and more personally, its brilliant tactician. "This guy right here, he's something between a brother and a son to me. Certainly, he's a friend," Baldwin said. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 21st, 2019

PVL: Bea de Leon remains day-to-day

ChocoMucho head coach Oliver Almadro is not in a hurry to activate middle blocker Bea de Leon. The multi-titled mentor wants De Leon to get into tip-top shape before fielding the two-time UAAP champion in the Premier Volleyball League Season 3 Open Conference. De Leon sat out the Flying Titans’ debut on Wednesday as ChocoMucho made quick work of BaliPure, 25-12, 25-18, 25-18, at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.     “Kailangan namin i-strengthen pa ‘yung legs niya kasi after UAAP, nag-therapy muna siya and then hindi pwedeng kailangan sabak kaagad so strengthening muna, kailangan maibalik,” said Alamdro on his main piece during Ateneo de Manila University’s title run in UAAP Season 81. De Leon was in the venue helping the team during their warm-ups and during their huddles. “Slowly nagpa-practice naman na siya. So, we just miss her now,” said Almadro. The mentor added that he’s just waiting for the green light to field in De Leon.   “Ang kailangan ko talaga 100 percent. Kami namang coaches, nagre-rely kami sa report ng mga therapists namin, PT namin at tsaka ng mga doctors. ‘Pagka sinabi ng doctors, o 100 percent, good,” said Almadro, who relied on Arianna Angustia and Shannen Palec in the absence of De Leon. “’Pag sinabi 80 percent, no, I like one hundred percent. Ganoon naman kami as a team so we have to make sure na 100 percent sila para they can give 100 percent also,” he added. “Sa ngayon, day-to-day siya e.” De Leon will also be doubtful in the Flying Titans' game against PacificTown Army on August 21.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 14th, 2019

He makes us go : Green elevates Warriors to 3-0 series lead

By Shaun Powell, NBA.com PORTLAND, Ore. — There is nothing Draymond Green failed to do Saturday (Sunday, PHL time) when he helped push the Blazers to the edge and the Warriors to the verge. Here is the checklist of his duties: Dribbler, pace-setter, rescuer, shooter, director, shot blocker, shot-caller and the one that probably escaped most witnesses, psychiatrist. Yes, Dr. Dray suddenly offered his services and sofa when poor Jordan Bell blew a breakaway dunk during a critical moment, just as the Warriors were in the process of flipping an 18-point deficit during their 110-99 victory in Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals. [Watch the Playoffs on NBA League Pass for 30% less with this limited time offer! Select Annual package and use code SAVE30 at checkout to redeem] Bell immediately hung his head as he returned downcourt, and seconds later at the next timeout, he slowly headed toward the Warriors bench with slumped shoulders. But who intercepted him before he could take another step? That’s right, it was Green, famously known for his cool and soothing words in times of crisis. (OK, put the laugh track here.) But seriously … The type of leader every team needs ????pic.twitter.com/Tr3JblKAyX — Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) May 19, 2019 “I knew he wasn’t going to lecture me or anything like that,” said Bell. “He just told me that everybody misses dunks, that I shouldn’t worry about it, that mine happened to be an open one, and to keep my head into the game because I’d get another chance.” Bell paused. “I was down here,” he said, lowering his hand, “and he lifted me up here.” And wouldn’t you know, Bell got that next chance minutes later. This time, the dunk was thrown down ferociously and completed with a chin-up that belonged at LA Fitness. We can give Green credit for the 20-point, 13-rebound, career playoff-high 12-assist triple double, and we can give Green partial credit for that second-chance slam, too. That’s more like it JB ???? pic.twitter.com/JUvMfKQDsl — Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) May 19, 2019 The man was that multi-layered. “I don’t even know what to say about Draymond,” said Warriors coach Steve Kerr. Once again, Green demonstrated his value to the Warriors in these playoffs with a magnificent all-around game. He left fingerprints all over the Moda Center court and various Blazers' efforts. He was there for the Warriors when nothing else worked, and he was there for the Warriors when everything finally began to click and they needed a finishing touch. His desire and will do not show up directly on the stat sheet, yet those elements made the victory possible. The Warriors won for the fourth straight game without Kevin Durant and are one more away from reaching the NBA Finals for the fifth straight year. It makes you wonder: As great as Durant is, would the Warriors be more vulnerable if it was Green who were out with a calf strain instead? That question stands valid because the Warriors lack anyone who does what he does. The energy, intensity, floor direction, ability to defend three and sometimes four different positions, as well as the rebounding were all apparent Saturday (Sunday, PHL time) and in heavy doses. They came alongside leadership, evidenced by Green giving Bell a pat on the back during that down moment. Green played Game 3 as a blur, grabbing rebounds, pushing the ball up the floor, creating scoring chances for himself or his teammates and providing help defense that triggered the pace. Green was forceful because Steph Curry and Klay Thompson were 9-for-24 shooting in the first half, at times overwhelmed by the trapping Blazers defense. So Green took it upon himself to make things happen and provide the foundation for a second-half comeback. The Golden State defense held Portland to 13 points in the third quarter, Curry had 11 points in the fourth quarter, and this series simply continued along the same path. “He was the difference-maker,” said Blazers coach Terry Stotts. “His energy, the way he was pushing the ball, he kept them going. He makes his teammates better and defensively he’s all over the place. He impacted the game.” In the third quarter, Green poked the ball loose from Damian Lillard for one of his four steals. At the time, the Warriors were down 12 and in dire need of a jolt. But here’s what was remarkable about the play. Not only did the 6'7" Green stoop and strip one of the NBA's most composed ballhandling point guards (although perhaps not in this series), but he also managed to search for and grab it while it bounced between him and Lillard, then dribbled downcourt without missing a beat. The dexterity, quickness, daring and smarts sets Green apart from others who play his role, or at least try to emulate it. “More than reacting, he acts,” said Warriors assistant coach Ron Adams, who oversees the team’s defensive schemes. “There’s reacting and then there's acting. He’s an actor. He sees things. He’s decisive.” Green is averaging 18 points, 12 rebounds and almost 10 assists across the last two games and those numbers barely tell the real story. It’s just heightened because of Durant’s absence. In those two games, the Warriors trailed Portland by 17 and 18 points and Green was the point man on the rally. He says his main purpose is to give Thompson and Curry a breather from the load and responsibility. With the Blazers throwing traps at those two guards to limit their scoring, Green is forcing Portland to pay him respect. He is, in essence, breaking down Portland’s defense by pushing the ball and directing the attack. “I know I have to be more aggressive,” he said. “I think it’s easy to get (Curry and Thompson) to take more shots, but we can’t put that much pressure on them, so I just take it upon myself to get the tempo where I want it and make plays for other guys as well.” It was no coincidence that six Warriors off the bench managed to get at least one basket with Green directing traffic. And Green managed to play such a high-energy game without making constant mistakes; he had only two turnovers in 38 minutes. “He’s playing with force and he’s playing with discipline,” said Kerr. “He’s playing under control. He’s not letting anything bother him, like officiating, bad shots, he’s just moving on to the next play. From that standpoint, he’s as good as he’s ever been.” This is the Draymond Green that makes the Warriors more than willing to put up with the occasional nonsense, mostly stemming from his short temper and low tolerance with the officiating yet also with teammates and coaches at times. The constant technical fouls, the early-season clash with Durant, the high maintenance that often comes with coaching him, those are all part of the package. Taken as whole, that package is more positive than negative. And when there’s no negative, as it’s been through much of this postseason, the package is irresistible. “It’s nothing new; I’ve seen him do this for seven years,” said Thompson. “I’m just so proud of Dray. He makes us go.” There was no more positive reinforcement from Green than when he comforted Bell and told the young player to shake off a missed dunk seen by millions and laughed at by thousands inside Moda Center. Green gave Bell the encouragement needed to forget the embarrassment and maintain composure, which was important because Kerr kept Bell in the game. That set Bell up to gain redemption. And the Warriors, after struggling through a sloppy start, to gain complete control of a series that could end Monday (Tuesday, PHL time) in a sweep. “I’m one of the leaders of this team and in those situations you either go one of two ways. You’re either going to do your job and lift everybody up or you’re going to go the opposite way,” said Green. And so Green, with passing, defense and pace-setting, is stamping his signature on this series. His floor direction is flawless. He hasn’t shown the ability to direct the Blazers right out of the playoffs, but that’s perhaps just a matter of time. Shaun Powell has covered the NBA for more than 25 years. You can e-mail him here, find his archive here, and follow him on Twitter. The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 19th, 2019

UP, UE share 2019 s king of recruiting crown

Who was our King of Recruiting in 2018? Find out here. --- Last season, the University of the Philippines, at long last, broke through in the UAAP. Behind the leadership of Paul Desiderio and key contributions from Season MVP Bright Akhuetie and Mythical selection Juan Gomez de Liano, the Fighting Maroons made their first Final Four since 1997 and first Finals in 32 years. Now, even without the iconic Desiderio, State U is nothing but confident it could build on its breakthrough. The reason? Well, because two of the brightest young stars in Kobe Paras and Ricci Rivero are now orbiting Diliman. Paras has all the physical tools to take any league by storm and now in maroon and green, he is out to continue the legacy of his father Benjie who delivered the school’s first and only championship. Meanwhile, the Euro-stepping Rivero already knows a thing or two about taking the UAAP by storm, having been chosen for the Mythical Team when he was still playing for De La Salle University in 2017. Add big man J-Boy Gob, another transferee, to that and, indeed, UP is only equipped to keep contending. On the strength of the transfers of Paras and Rivero alone, the Fighting Maroons would have been worthy of the title of 2019 King of Recruiting. Right up there with them, though, in terms of getting a big boost in the offseason is University of the East. Absent from the Final Four in the last decade, the Red Warriors will be heading into the upcoming season with a fully stocked arsenal. Now up front for them – alongside stalwart Philip Manalang, of course – will be 6-foot-9 Senegalese Adama Diakhite, three-time champion and two-time MVP in the CESAFI Rey Suerte, and college-ready Harvey Pagsanjan, the no. 7 high school player in the 2019 NBTC 24. Diakhite is a hulking presence who will prove to be a tough matchup even for the likes of reigning MVP Akhuetie and last year’s Rookie of the year Ange Kouame. Suerte, a gifted scorer from anywhere on the court, fills right into the hole left behind by scoring dynamo Alvin Pasaol while Pagsanjan can continue making all the right plays he had been doing as the longtime beacon of hope for Hope Christian High School. Also flanking them are former Ateneo de Manila University forward John Apacible, defensive stopper Neil Tolentino, Filipino-Kiwi swingman Richie Rodger, and Filipino-Australian point guard Jasper Rentoy. And with that, UP and UE will have joint custody of the crown of the 2019 King of Recruiting. They dethrone National University which claimed the crown a year ago behind a big-time recruiting class that included Ildefonso brothers Dave and Shaun, John Lloyd Clemente, and John Galinato. Just like last year, there remains no doubt that the new Fighting Maroons and Red Warriors will make their respective sides forces to reckon with come UAAP 82. Still, several squads also made it a point to be better in the offseason. In fact, the graduating players in the 2019 NBTC 24 have been spread out among eight different teams. From the 2019 NBTC 24, the annual ranking of the best high school players in the country, 14 are moving on up to the Seniors. Adamson University is the biggest winner in terms of recruits from that ranking, with three of the top 15 players now in San Marcelino. Ninth-ranked Aaron Fermin is a double-double machine in the NCAA Jrs. and is nothing but determined to realize his potential as a two-way force under multi-titled mentor Franz Pumaren. In CESAFI standout Joshua Yerro and UAAP Jrs. Mythical selection Joem Sabandal, coach Franz also has young blood to bolster the backcourt that will no longer have Koko Pingoy. The Soaring Falcons also scored four other former Baby Falcons in big man Lorenz Capulong and wings Adam and Andrey Doria and AP Manlapaz. When it comes to reaping the rewards of its high school program, though, nobody could still touch Mapua University which again got two keep its Jrs. studs in Clint Escamis and Dan Arches, both of whom made it into the top two-thirds of the 2019 NBTC 24. Escamis and Arches are offensive guards who will give much-needed firepower to a promising core comprised of fellow Mapua HS products Warren Bonifacio, Eric Jabel, Noah Lugo, and Laurenz Victoria. Also, the Cardinals are the favorites to land NCAA 94 Jrs. Finals MVP Paolo Hernandez, another Red Robin. Also bagging two prized prospects from the 2019 NBTC 24 is La Salle which is now the place where the talented tandem of Joel Cagulangan and Joshua David get to work. Cagulangan has long been a star in the making and the NCAA 94 Jrs. MVP is, without question, Taft Avenue’s point guard of the future. The even better news is that he will still have wingman David, a tried and tested glue guy, to grow with. Also set to debut for the Green Archers are Filipino-Americans Jordan Bartlett, a speedster guard; Tyrus Hill, a high-flying forward; and Kurt Lojera, a big-bodied swingman. In all, there are six graduates from the top 10 of the 2019 NBTC 24. All of them would be on different teams in the Srs. Two players from 2019 NBTC 24 are yet to commit to any school, but there is no doubt that Red Robin Hernandez and Greenie Inand Fornilos will be able additions to any collegiate team. For the second straight year, Aldin Ayo will be adding a top three recruit out of high school as incoming sophomore CJ Cansino will now join forces with another triple-doubling talent in Mark Nonoy, a rookie who plays way beyond his years. But wait, there’s more as UST also welcomes with open arms its newest foreign student-athlete in Beninese Soulemane Chabi Yo whose speed and skill will make him a problem for the other foreign student-athletes more used to being powerhouses. Sprinkle in stretch four Sherwin Concepcion as well as versatile forwards Rhenz Abando and Brent Paraiso and there’s a reason why the Growling Tigers are now very much a darkhorse contender. L-Jay Gonzales and RJ Abarrientos remain FEU’s backcourt for tomorrow, but in the meantime, the former is poised for a breakout just as the latter is poised to wrap up his K-12 schooling. Yes, Abarrientos is not yet good to go come UAAP 82, but his steady hand is still the perfect pairing for the burst of energy that is Gonzales. Make no mistake, however, the Tamaraws have gotten help in the form of 6-foot-10 Cameroonian Patrick Tchuente as well as former Baby Tams Daniel Celzo and Jack Gloria. Letran is already the biggest it has ever been up front with NCAA 94 Rookie of the Year Larry Muyang alongside Jeo Ambohot, Christian Balagasay, and Christian Fajarito. Now, the Knights have also beefed up at the wings with Allen Mina and Mark Sangalang as well as former Red Warrior and Growling Tiger Jordan Sta. Ana. LPU will have to prove it could continue contending even without NCAA 93 MVP CJ Perez, but the good news is that now backtopping Marcelino twins Jaycee and Jayvee are former San Sebastian College-Recoletos key cogs Alvin Baetiong, Jayson David, and Renzo Navarro. That’s still a pretty solid lineup in our books. Just like last year, the now two-time UAAP champions are mostly intact, only losing team captain Anton Asistio as well as reserve guard Aaron Black. That doesn’t mean, however, that there are no new faces in Ateneo. Geo Chiu, Kai Sotto’s twin tower, decided to stay in Katipunan just as fellow ex-Blue Eaglets RV Berjay and Jason Credo are now seeing minutes in head coach Tab Baldwin’s rotation. And oh, there is a possibility that double-double machine Fornilos, who placed no. 13 in the 2019 NBTC 24, is bound to be a Blue Eaglet. Perps is nothing but determined to build on the triumphant return to the NCAA of head coach Frankie Lim and to do that, they will be leaning on former San Beda University pillar Ben Adamos as well as ex-Adamson HS workhorse Jefner Egan. Count out the Altas at your own risk. JRU is just on the first phase of a grand rebuild, but there is no doubt that things are looking up for Kalentong. In John Amores, they now have an end-to-end force who is all set to make an immediate impact as a rookie. These are the new names to watch for the teams: Baste CSB National U San Beda --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 3rd, 2019

Gilas targets earlier training camp for third window of Asia Cup qualifiers

After only about a week's preparation for the second window last November, head coach Jong Uichico sees at least a month of preparation for February where Gilas Pilipinas will be going up against Indonesia and South Korea......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsDec 18th, 2020

Uichico back in Gilas saddle

Jong Uichico will make his fourth tour of duty as national team coach for a Gilas Pilipinas cadet squad plunging into action in the November window of the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers in Manama, Bahrain......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsNov 20th, 2020

Gilas almost ready for FIBA qualifiers in Bahrain – Jong

BY WAYLON GALVEZ       Gilas Pilipinas coach Jong Uichico hopes to get the right chemistry as preparation continues for the all-amateur national team for the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers on Nov. 26 to 30 in Manama, Bahrain. Uichico, who was tasked to call the shots for the national team in the Bahrain […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  tempoRelated NewsNov 19th, 2020

Jong Uichico named Gilas coach for FIBA Asia Cup November window

The 58-year-old has thrice been the head coach of the national team, the last time during the 2017 Southeast Asian Games in Kuala Lumpur......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsNov 19th, 2020