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Alyssa has nothing but good things to say about La Salle, expects an even more exciting second round



The Ateneo women’s volleyball team recently concluded their first round games with a victory over the De La Salle Lady Spikers. Ateneo had difficulty in the first three sets, committing over 40 errors, and getting into a 1-2 set disadvantage over their rivals. They were able to calm themselves in the fourth and fifth sets to come away with the victory. Alyssa Valdez spoke to the media post-game and talked about how the game went.

Valdez said that the multiple errors in the first three sets- 15 of them coming in the third- didn’t bother the team, citing Coach Tai who was continuously motivating his players during the game.

“Of course di naman mawawala yung kaba. Kahit naglalaro kami every week, siyempre meron pressure sa sarili namin to perform well. Since si Coach Tai lagi kami rineremind na you just need to play. Happy. Tapos treat it like ginagawa namin sa training, kung gaano ka intense yung training. Yun lang isipin namin. Nadidivert yung isip namin so di na kami masyadong nappressure at kinakabahan.”

“Lagi sinasabi ni Coach Tai, ‘keep trying’ kasi pag mag give up kami, lalong walang mangyayari. So try lang ng try, since grabe yung tiwala ni Coach Tai sa amin. Kahit mag error kami, kahit ilan sunod-sunod pa yan, sasabihin niya sa amin ‘heart strong’. Tapos ikaw as a player pag ganun maririnig mo, siyempre mabubuhayan ka ng loob, ‘ah siya may tiwala sa akin, bakit ako wala?”

DLSU rookie Christine Soyud played well in her first ADMU vs DLSU game, even scoring on a huge block on Valdez during the second set, with the score tied at 24 all.

“Sobrang talented, and matangkad talaga siya. Ngayon ko talaga nakita ng malapitan yung rookies ng La Salle. Ang liit ko pala. Sobrang talented and sobrang galing ng timing ni Coach Ramil sa pag bunot sa kanya. Yung crucial na second set, diba 24 all? Nablock niya ako. Sobrang galing.”

Some Ateneo fans did not like what they saw, when Soyud pointed at Valdez after the block. Valdez was asked what she thought of the action, but she claimed she didn’t see it happen.

“Hindi ko po nakita, kasi I went to my teammates kaagad right after. That’s the most important thing naman eh. I didn’t see.”

Valdez also had good things to say about her team’s Taft-based opponents.

“They play the same. Super hardworking, sobrang tiyaga nila sa bola. Si Ara sobrang hands down talaga, siya magre-receive, tapos sobrang sipag niya, papalo pa siya. They never give up.”

Playing in numerous tournaments prior to the UAAP, you’d think that the Lady Eagles are hoping to get some rest, but Valdez says the team doesn’t think about it, focusing on the task of defending their title instead.

“Lagi naman andun yung pagod eh, pero it’s a mind game after all. Pagpasok mo sa court, lagi sinasabi ni Coach Roger sa amin dati, 99% pagpasok mo ng court psychological, 1% talaga yung skill. Kung mahina yung dibdib mo, wala iisipin mo pagod ka lang. So laban lang.”

“Andun na yun eh, never atang nag break din kami since last year’s finals. Tuloy-tuloy yung tournaments namin. Worth it naman eh. Siguro after this season, mabigyan kami ng break. After na namin iisipin yung break.”

With Ateneo’s perfect 7-0 first round, Valdez was asked if Ateneo was the standard that other teams strive to become. She shrugged it off claiming that at the end of the day, it is God who decides who wins and who loses.

“Pana-panahon naman talaga eh. Hindi masasabi kung ano ilalaro namin talaga, kung mananalo kami. Depende talaga sa trinaining namin, tsaka kay God. At the end of the day, siya yung magdedecide kung ano mangyayari sa lahat.”

Valdez also believes that the second round will be more exciting than the first. With each team already getting a feel of their opponents, things will surely be more interesting when the break ends.

“Lahat talaga nag-iimprove. Sa first round naggagamayan, titignan kung sino yung teams na babantayan mo. For sure sa second round definitely mas interesting yung games. Kasi lahat may experience na.”

Over 18,000 people watched the final game of the first round. When told about how many people watched, Valdez was thankful for the support that people give to the sport. She hopes that people continue to support their schools, and hope that more will watch during the second round.

“Thank you so much. First round pa lang, sana sa second round mas marami tayo. Kahit sa covered courts feeling ko pupunta sila.”

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After getting first D-League experience, Zark’s-Lyceum ready to get loose



After showing tentativeness during their PBA D-League debut last Thursday that resulted to a loss to Marinerong Pilipino Skippers, the Zark’s Burger-Lyceum Jawbreakers have seemingly caught up with the league’s style of play Tuesday.

Zark’s-Lyceum displayed their true form and stamped their class all over the Batangas-EAC Generals with a 37-point destruction, 112-75 — so far the biggest winning margin the franchise has ever had in its’ D-League history.

“Medyo adjusted na kami on everything — the calls and the teams we’re playing against with,” said Zark’s-Lyceum head coach Topex Robinson after the match at Pasig Sports Center. “But the things we want to mind are those things we control.

“We just have to keep on doing what we are doing. It’s more on replenishing na lang on our old ways.”

Robinson’s claim was strongly backed up by the numbers the Jawbreakers produced.

CJ Perez had 21 points and 10 rebounds; MJ Ayaay produced 15 points and 10 boards; and Mike Nzeusseu delivered 14 markers and 11 boards.

Even the bench made their presence felt in the victory. With guard Jaycee Marcelino spearheading the supporting cast’s charge with 12 markers, the bench contributed a remarkable 56 points to their total output.

Photo by PBA Images

“Ano lang, cinontrol lang namin yung pace kasi yun naman talaga yung laro namin, yung mabilisan,” said the 24-year-old do-it-all forward, who also collected three steals.

“Kailangan talaga mabilisan para ma-execute namin yung mga ginagawa namin.”

This week will be a rough one for the Pirates as they will play right away this Thursday against AMA Online Education. And for Perez, he strongly believes that they will be able to carry over this momentum of theirs.

“Oo. Nandun pa. Energy talaga yung puhunan namin para makalaro ng maayos.”

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Bonbon Batiller shows what he can bring to Letran in D-League debut



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Tuesday proved to be a double debut for Bonbon Batiller. Aside from beginning his first foray in the PBA D-League, it also marked his debut for the Letran Knights, who is carrying the Wang’s Basketball Couriers franchise.

And the 5-foot-11 guard unleashed what he can bring to the table. Batiller collected 15 points, five rebounds, and three assists to help the Knights raise the curtains of their campaign with a 93-75 rout of Batangas-EAC Generals.

“Nagworkout yung pinagpraktisan namin,” said Batiller. “Nagbunga rin yung tinuro samin ni Coach Jeff (Napa) lalo sa depensa. Tsaka siguro sa rebounds — laking lamang namin sa rebound. Nagsipag mga bigs namin.”

But what makes him beam even more is the warm reception and trust he’s had from the Knights, even if he has spent barely a year with them after transferring from University of the East last 2017.

“Masaya po kasi tinanggap nila ako sa Letran ng buong-buo,” said Batiller, who normed 10.5 points, 3.7 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 1.6 steals with UE in two years. “Tsaka yung tiwala nila na makakatulong ako sa team nandoon.

“Kaya masaya ako sa pinakita nila sa akin.”

That is why the General Santos-native is hard-pressed to prove himself to Letran, saying that he’s all about giving back to the school that gave him another opportunity to resume his young, up-and-coming basketball career.

“Kailangan kong may mapatunayan na deserving ako sa binigay na second chance sa akin ni Letran,” said Batiller, who decided to switch schools partly due to academic reasons.

“Malaki ang utang ko sa Letran.”

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Bienvenido Maranon scores brace as Ceres-Negros eliminates Brisbane Roar



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Philippine club football just achieved its biggest continental result yet

The inaugural Philippines Football League champions Ceres-Negros Football Club eliminated three-time Australian champions Brisbane Roar in the 2018 AFC Champions League’s second preliminary round with a 3-2 stunner away at the QSAC Stadium in Brisbane.

With the win, the 2017 AFC Cup ASEAN Zonal Champions are set to face Chinese Super League club Tianjin Quanjian next January 30, 2018 at the Haihe Educational Football Stadium in Tianjin, China to book a seat in the group stages.

Brisbane were the favorites for this tie and it showed as Ceres started the contest at the backfoot. Italian striker Massimo Maccarone handed the home side the lead at the 35th minute when he turned in Brett Holman’s pass.

Maccarone’s goal could have lowered the Busmen’s moral, but Risto Vidakovic’s men took it as a motivation rather than a downer. In fact, Ceres replied in the best way possible when Bienvenido Maranon scored his first goal of the match two minutes from halftime thanks to a scramble in the Brisbane box.

By all accounts, Ceres already made Philippine football proud at halftime. By this stage last year, Brisbane accrued a 4-0 halftime cushion against Global Cebu en route to a 6-0 rout.

Today, though, Brisbane faced tougher resistance at the hands of Ceres. This resistance turned into a full-fledged revolt at the 65th minute when Maranon directed the ball past a helpless Jamie Young to give the Busmen their first taste of the lead.

Maranon’s goal well and truly turned the tide in Ceres’ favor. Brisbane were stunned. The home side are the defending A-League champions, but are currently eighth in the table this season and would soon face elimination from Asia’s premier club competition.

Already up 2-1, the Busmen finally achieved some breathing space at the 75th minute when Omid Nazari scored from close range to give Ceres a two-goal cushion from Brisbane.

Nazari’s goal not only sealed the win for Ceres as it also propelled Philippine football into the big leagues. Not even a late goal from French midfielder Éric Bauthéac can prevent the Busmen’s victory.

After five minutes of stoppage time, Ceres emerged 3-2 winners against Brisbane Roar. Come what may against Tianjin seven days from now, the Busmen have already achieved Philippine football’s biggest result ever since their own achievement in last season’s AFC Cup.

Who knows? Maybe Ceres can pull off another upset?

Ceres-Negros XI: Doblas (GK), Super, Mike Ott, Ingreso, Maranon, Porteria, Schrock, De Murga (C), Munoz, Nazari, Christaens.

Brisbane Roar XI: Ingham, Bowles, Papadopoulos, Maccarone, Holman, Khalfallah, Oxborrow, McKay (C), Hingert, Young (GK), Franjic.

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CJ Perez, Zark’s-Lyceum vent ire on Batangas-EAC with 37-point romp



Photo by PBA Images

CJ Perez and the Zark’s Burger-Lyceum Jawbreakers finally lived up to its hype as it clobbered the Batangas-EAC Generals to score a 37-point beatdown, 112-75 for its first win, Tuesday at the Pasig Sports Center.

It was an all-out attack from the Jawbreakers as they beat the Generals to the bite and took control of the game early with Mike Nzeusseu and Jaycee Marcelino guiding their side to the 48-33 lead at halftime which they will never surrender.

Perez paced Zark’s Burger-Lyceum with 21 points and 10 rebounds, while MJ Ayaay tallied a double-double with his 15 markers, 10 boards, and three assists.

Cameroonian student-athlete Nzeusseu also delivered 14 points, 11 rebounds, and two assists, while Marcelino had eight first half points and wound up with 12 off the bench as the reserves chipped in 56 huge points in the tussle.

Coach Topex Robinson lauded the Jawbreakers for quickly adjusting to the style of the PBA D-League just days after falling to Marinerong Pilipino, 92-94 back in opening day.

“Medyo adjusted na kami on everything — the calls and the teams were playing against with. But the things we want to mind are those things we control. We just have to keep on doing what we are doing. It’s more on replenishing na lang on our old ways,” he said.

Earvin Mendoza and Cedric de Joya both had 16 points for the Generals in the losing effort.

Zark’s-Lyceum looks to continue to roll when it faces the AMA Online Education Titans on Thursday, January 25. EAC-Batangas, on the other hand, takes on the Gamboa-St. Clare Coffee Lovers on Monday, January 29.

The Scores:

Zark’s-Lyceum 112 — Perez 21, Ayaay 15, Nzeusseu 14, Jc. Marcelino 12, Serrano 10, Baltazar 8, Santos 8, Jv. Marcelino 6, Tansingco 6, Marata 4, Liwag 4, Ibañez 2, Cinco 2, Pretta 0.

Batangas-EAC 75 — E. Mendoza 16, De Joya 16, Tampoc 12, Laude 9, Pate 8, Maguliano 6, Altamirano 5, Diego 3, Garcia 0, Dela Peña 0, Martin 0, J. Mendoza 0, Neri 0.

Quarterscores: 19-14, 48-33, 84-47, 112-75.

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