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49 STRAIGHT! AdU Lady Falcons demolish UST Softbelles in 4 innings

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Going into the season, the Adamson Lady Falcons have won 48 straight games in the UAAP, a streak that covers four seasons and four straight UAAP softball tiaras.

In their UAAP Season 77 debut, the Adamson Lady Falcons are now a win away from reaching 50 straight with a 11-1 trashing of the UST Softbelles in a 4th inning stoppage victory.

With six seniors graduating from the team and one of her prized recruits succumbing to a preseason injury, Lady Falcon head coach Ana Santiago has a tough task ahead of her in the team’s quest to capture a rare five-peat championship. In the team’s first game of the season, the current batch of Lady Falcons was as dominating as their predecessors.

According to Santiago, “madami nag graduate sa team naming from last year. Anim ang nawala. Na-injure pa ang isang recruit namin nung pre-season (Riflayca Basa). Kaya nag shuffle ako ng lineup this year and moved yung mga seniors ko into key fielding positions.”

Based on this game, Coach Santiago’s current fielders have adjusted to the position change their coach implemented. The opening inning of the game saw three quick put outs of UST’s Hannah Mae dela Torre, Kristine Lacupa, and Celistine Palma by the Adamson fielders. At the bottom of the opening inning, Queeny Sabobo immediately hit a deep one into left field for a single and moved into 3rd base after a Lorna Adorable sacrifice hit. Successive errors by UST 1st baseman Mary Ann Antolinao and left fielder Kristel Angeles led to four runs scored by Sabobo, Florable Abiana, Annalie Benjamin, and Angelie Ursabia. The Lady Falcons led 4-0 to end the 1st inning.

UAAP Season 76 Most Valuable Player and Lady Falcon pitcher Annalie Benjamin was as crisp as ever in this game, striking out six UST batters from the 2nd inning until the conclusion of the game at the 4th inning.

The softbelles from España, however, had a tough time figuring out their pitching rotation all throughout the game. Rookie Ricky Mae Latican started the game but was then replaced by another rookie Ariellyn Arreglado. Arreglado struggled against the strong batting of the Lady Falcons as well. The defending champions connected on two home runs in just the 2nd inning to blow the game wide open. Sabobo hit a single home run and Gelyn Lamata’s three-run homer with Ursabia and Clariz Palma scoring further extended the lead. Adorable, Pabiana, and Benjamin also scored runs in the inning to conclude the 2nd inning with a huge 11-0 lead.

Third year UST pitcher Mary Luisse Garde immediately replaced Latican in the 3rd inning but the Adamson lead was insurmountable as the game ended by mercy rule at the top of the 4th inning, 11-1.

UST Softbelles head coach Sandy Barredo, father of UST Lady Shuttler Patricia Barredo, told us that the team experimented with starting with their rookies as pitchers, an experiment that led to the game’s blowout. “We will stick with Luisse (Garde) as starting pitcher for the team the rest of the way”, Coach Barredo told us.

Former UAAP MVP Benjamin led the Adamson Lady Falcons in the game. She almost pitched a perfect game before giving up a base hit that eventually led to a run in the 4th inning. She pitched all four innings, striking out six batters and committing only one error. On the offensive side, she had two runs and two hits from 2 2B’s. Sabobo also had an excellent batting game with two runs, two hits, an RBI and a homerun.

With the win, the Lady Falcons extend their UAAP winning streak to 49 games. The humble coach of Adamson told us that she is not pressured to maintain that winning streak. “Mas lalo ngayon, ang daming contenders. Nandiyan ang NU, La Salle, UE, at UP. Nahirapan nga kami last year sa NU e. Kahit matapos ang streak, it is good for the sport na madami ang magaling na team.”

The Adamson Lady Falcons will gun for their 2nd straight win this season and 50th since February 2010 as they face the UP Lady Maroons, 10am on Saturday, January 31. The UST Softbelles next play on Wednesday, February 4 against the UP Lady Maroons.

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Basketball

PBA slaps fines on Yeng Guiao, Chris Ross

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Yeng Guiao and Chris Ross opt to move on

The much-talked about tilt that pitted the San Miguel Beermen and the NLEX Road Warriors last January 18 featured numerous confrontations and exchanges. But none was more heated than what happened between fiery head coach Yeng Guiao and emotional defensive cog Chris Ross.

With 1:46 remaining in that game, Guiao and Ross figured in a verbal altercation that resulted to the latter being slapped with his second technical foul of the contest.

San Miguel head coach Leo Austria alledged that Guiao threw a racial slur at Ross that triggered the Filipino-American.

The league though could not find any hard evidence that this occurred.

“Upon review of the incident, consulting possible witnesses to the event and discussing the matter with both parties, the alleged racist remark attributed to Coach Guiao could not be established,” the league said in a statement. “Coach Guiao has denied such allegation while Chris Ross has opted to move forward and said that he would not want to discuss the matter further. However, Coach Guiao and Chris Ross will be subject to appropriate fines for their respective misconduct.

“As a result, the Office of the Commissioner finds no sufficient basis to discuss the matter of an alleged racist remark uttered by Coach Guiao. It may be recalled that in a previous incident, a heavy penalty was imposed for a racist remark that was clearly proven.

“Rest assured that any act that is racially derogatory and pejorative in nature will be dealt with sternly by the league,” the statement ended.

As a result, Guiao is fined PHP 11,000 for obscene gesture, use of profane language and engaging in a verbal altercation while Ross is fined the amount of PHP 2,600 for incurring two technical fouls, both for verbal altercation.

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Basketball

MPBL aims to give local talent biggest exposure

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After months of planning, the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League will finally raise its curtains on Thursday, January 25 at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum. Unlike the other leagues in the country, the MPBL wants to give Filipino aspirants from local communities a chance to shine on national TV.

“I would like to say, this is the noble project of our founder and chairman, Senator Manny Pacquiao, Talagang dream niya ito, matulungan ‘yung mga grassroots,” said MPBL head of marketing Arnold Vegafria during the league’s press conference. “And from the grassroots, to the collegiate players and also professionals na gusto niyang tulungan, mabigyan ng chances, makalaro at ma-expose ang skills nila para matulungan ang mga basketbolista not only sa Metro Manila but this is gonna be all over the Philippines.

“Simula muna sa Metro Manila and key cities in Luzon. Soon it will go to Visayas and Mindanao.”

The first conference for the league is the Anta Raja Cup. 10 teams from Luzon will compose the league, namely Bataan, Batangas, Bulacan, Caloocan, Imus, Muntinlupa, Navotas, Paranaque, Quezon City, and Valenzuela.

Though it may be ambitious, the league wants to continue the dream started by the Metropolitan Basketball Association which is to create a league that has a home and away format.

“For the longest time, after ng MBA, I think it’s 20 years ago na ‘yun, I think it’s due na rin for our basketball fans around the country, ‘yung mga sa provinces, ‘cause ‘yung advantage nito is ‘yung games mismo, dadalhin mo sa kanila. Unlike before sa mga liga natin, naka-stay lang sila sa isang venue,” said league commissioner Kenneth Duremdes.

“Maraming factors ngayon, traffic and time-consuming. Pero itong liga natin, tayo ang magdadala mismo sa mga tao, sa mga basketball fans. Sa tagal-tagal ng walang organized, or high-level na basketball tournament, ito na ‘yung time na makikita ng mga basketball fans natin na up close and personal ang mga ini-idolo nila, lalo na ang mga hometown hero nila,” the PBA legend furthered.

Armed with this vision, the league plans to be the country’s premier amateur league, helping build the dreams of the Filipino youth.

“It’s an amateur league. Kaya nga natin siya tinatawag na liga para sa lahat ng Pilipino, kasi lahat dito as long as Filipino ka, kasali ka,” shared Duremdes.

“Kagaya ng sinasabi ni Sen. Manny, matutulungan natin ang mga players ng grumaduate sa college na walang mapaglaruan, mga ex-pro na hindi masyado nabigyan ng exposure sa PBA, may exposure sila dito. Tapos yung mga grassroots player natin, malay mo springboard nila ang MPBL and who knows they will represent the country in the national team.

“Ito ang nakikita ni Sen Manny, mga players na out of school or the big leagues, ma-expose sila sa MPBL at mapansin sila ng national team or pro team,” he furthered.

The league’s first game will feature Caloocan taking on Paranaque at the Big Dome. Tickets are priced at P300, P200, P150, P100 while the Gen Ad will be open for all.

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CSB

Lady Blazers evade upset-hungry Lady Generals

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The College of Saint Benilde Lady Blazers avoided a major upset, slipping past the winless Emilio Aguinaldo College Lady Generals, 25-17, 18-25, 21-25, 25-18, 15-7, at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

After winning the opening set, the Lady Blazers collapsed in the following frames, surrendering errors and fumbling passes. The Lady Generals took full advantage and grabbed all the momentum, rued Saint Benilde head coach Arnold Laniog.

“Nabigyan nga namin ‘yung kalaban ng confidence, kaya tuloy-tuloy na sila kanina. Mataas pa rin ‘yung tendency ng team ko mag-relax,” Laniog said. “Kung tutuusin, may advantage talaga ‘yung team namin. Nahihirapan lang talaga kami makabangon kapag nauunahan kami. Mabuti na lang kanina nakabawi kami noong huling dalawang sets.”

The Lady Generals took their turn making errant plays, allowing the Lady Blazers to grab a 15-7 lead in the fourth set and force a decider. Anchored by the imposing presence of their middle blockers Ranya Musa and Rachel Austero, the Lady Blazers raced to a 10-2 in the final set and sealed the win.

Austero finished with 17 points while Musa added 15. The pair also combined for seven of CSB’s 13 blocksm Austero also provided five aces.

The Lady Blazers (3-2) take on fellow Final Four aspirant Jose Rizal University (2-3) on Wednesday at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

The Lady Generals had no player score in double-digits as they pulled 48 points from Benilde’s errors. Yvette Tongco and Arina Reyes, nonetheless, provided nine points apiece.

The Lady Generals (0-5) get their best chance at their first of the season when they face also-ran Mapua University (0-4) also on Wednesday.

The Scores

CSB (3) – Austero 17, Musa 15, Cui 8, Ventura 8, Abriam 5, Daguil 5, Enginco 5, Cardiente 1, Pablo 1, Dolorito 0, Lim (L), Torres (L)

EAC (2) – Reyes 9, Tongco 9, Binondo 8, Lumbo 8, Tasis 4, Pablo 3, Magbanua 2, Chan 0, Yongco 0, Medina (L)

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CSB

Blazers rally from 0-2 deficit, fend off Generals for fourth win

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Defending NCAA men’s volleyball champions College of Saint Benilde Blazers completed a huge comeback from an 0-2 hole and upended the gritty Emilio Aguinaldo College Generals, 19-25, 20-25, 25-7, 25-14, 15-11, Monday morning at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

The Generals stormed through the first two sets, leaning on better transition and their service game. Joshua Mina and Chris Ilano poured in most of their combined 27 points in these frames.

Nonetheless, when the Blazers realized that they needed to turn up its aggressiveness, it was cruise control from there.

“Nung first two sets, nag-relaxed kami, ‘di kami aggressive sa atake, sa blocking,” Benilde senior middle blocker Jethro Orian lamented. “Eh yung kalaban, masipag sila.”

EAC imploded in the next two sets, coughing up most of its 41 miscues during the frame. The reigning champions capitalized on the situation with heightened aggression.

Halfway into the eliminations, Orian shared that the Blazers needed to continue their hard work.

“Kailangan pa naming mas maging aggressive. Mas tumrabaho sa dapat naming again,” he said.

Captain Isaah Arda registered a 19-point outing, 17 coming off attacks. Orian’s fellow center attacker Francis Basilan finished with 12 markers.

The Blazers (4-1) will battle the Jose Rizal University (0-5) on Wednesday.

Mina starred for the Generals with 16 points.

The Generals (2-3) will lock horns with Mapua University (2-2) on Thursday, in a tussle for survival.

The Scores:

CSB 3 – Arda 19, Basilan 12, Orian 9, Bacani 9, Bautista 9, Magsino 4, Rojas 1, Saldavia 0, Dy L.

EAC 2 – Mina 16, Ilano 11, Rasing 11, Castellano 8, Lim 6, Garcia 2, Guinto 1, Panoy 0, Lumbar 0, Magadan L, Bagdoc L.

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