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UP Lady Maroons end 13-year women’s badminton drought with an immaculate sweep of tournament

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RIZAL MEMORIAL BADMINTON HALL, MANILA CITY – The University of the Philippines Lady Maroons were the inaugural UAAP Women’s Badminton Champions during the 58th season of the UAAP. The Lady Maroons would go on to win 6 straight women’s badminton championships until Season 63. UP would not hold that crown for 13 straight years until now. A team mostly composed of young rookies swept the entire season; a streak of 9 straight series wins, and brings the UAAP Women’s Badminton Championship from Katipunan back to Diliman.

 

Women’s Singles Match 1: Ma. Bianca Ysabel Carlos (ADMU) def. Paola Beatriz Bernardo (UP); 2:0

UP 0 – 1 ADMU

In the 2 matches that Bianca Carlos and Bea Bernardo had prior to this match in this season of the UAAP, Carlos would defeat Bernardo in 4 out of 5 games. Head-to-head, Carlos would average 21.6 points scored per game while Bernardo averaged 16.2. However, the 2nd set between the two during the 1st series of the finals challenge was something to build up on for Bea Bernardo as she defeated the former MVP in a thrilling 23-21 game.

Bea Bernardo would find success in her returns during the start of the 1st set. She would convert on majority of her drop returns to gain an 8-5 lead over Carlos. Bianca Carlos would find her footing and loosen-up. She would be all over the court returning with drops and lobs to eventually take the lead at 11-10 to enter the 11th point break and extend it to 15-11. A string of errors from Carlos caused by miscalculations would bring Bernardo to the game to tie things up at 18. Bianca Carlos would find success with her sharp returns to close the set 21-18.

The 2nd set started as a typical set for Bianca Carlos as she would outpace her opponent with constant movement to blitz to a huge 17-9 lead. The young Bernardo would rally 6 straight points, coming from overarching lobs and forced errors, to cut the Carlos lead to just 3. Bianca, unlike the 2nd set of their initial finals encounter, would not allow a collapse by outworking Bernardo at both ends to win the match with a 21-15 2nd set win.

Aggregate Score: Carlos 42 – Bernardo 33

Total Match Time: 35 mins

 

Women’s Singles Match 2: Patrisha Edrika Malibiran (ADMU) def. Mary Ann Maranon; 2-1

UP 0 – 2 ADMU

Patrisha Malibiran had an excellent season, especially during the late stages of the eliminations, as the 2nd singles player for the Ateneo-side. Mary Ann Maranon, on the other hand, is one of the top rookies in a deep recruitment class that includes FEU’s rookie revelations and, as well as, her UP teammates. Maranon stood-out amongst the rest as she is able to adjust her game from singles to doubles flawlessly. In their match during the 1st series of the finals challenge, it was the 2014 Palarong Pambansa Gold Medalist, Mary Ann Maranon, winning both sets in sweeping the lady shuttler from Katipunan.

During the 1st set of the match, Trixie Malibiran would jump to an early 7-3 lead in the contest. However, just like in their 1st meeting this season, Malibiran would commit various unforced errors to kill any run she would gain. Maranon would take advantage of this with her sharp returns to gain the lead at 15-13. Maranon and Malibiran would go point-for-point in the match with Malibiran tying the match at 19 but a string of errors would plague Malibiran to give-up the set to Maranon 21-19.

Trixie Malibiran going into the 2nd set has yet to win a game in the finals challenge. The Ateneo faithful would still believe in her with chants of Go Trixie, kaya mo yan! After a tied set, 8 –all, Malibiran would rally her way with a trifecta of excellent returns to gain the lead 11-8 prior to the technical timeout. Maranon’s drops would not work for her in this set, as all were short resulting to errors. Malibiran would never give the lead up in the set to finally win a game 21-18.

Malibiran would gain her old form that brought her the trust of Coach Vic and Kennie in the entire 3rd set. She would impose her will in the set to blitz to an 11-5 lead. Maranon would try to cut the deficit but with the score at 8-12, a Maranon point coming from a lob would be overturned by umpire Caldero. That halted any momentum Maranon had gained. Malibiran would continue to outwork Maranon in the set to win the match with a 21-15 win.

Aggregate Score: Malibiran 61 – Maranon 54

Total Match Time: 58 mins

 

Women’s Doubles Match 1: Paola Beatriz Bernardo and Jessie Francisco (UP) def. Ma. Bianca Ysabel Carlos and Dia Nicole Magno (ADMU); 2:0

UP 1 – 2 ADMU

The pairing of Carlos and Magno was a line-up change that the Ateneo coaches only used during the finals this season. Carlos and Magno would defeat Francisco and Elisha Ongcuangco in 3 sets in the 1st series of the women’s finals challenge. To adjust to the match-up, Coach Malvin and Coach Jeremy would tweak the line-up and give the lanky Bea Bernardo the doubles spot together with Francisco hoping that the length of the lady shuttlers from Diliman would stymie the strength of the Ateneo pair.

The move of the UP coaches paid-off as Bernardo and Francisco would take a 13-8 lead over the more experienced team of Carlos and Magno. Bernardo and Francisco would take turns in returning the smashes of their opponents, setting-up with lobs and finishing the rally with drops. The lady shuttlers from Diliman would extend the lead to 18-15 before Carlos and Magno would cut the lead to 1 at 19-18. A Carlos error and an excellent push return by Francisco would give the set to UP, 21-19.

Carlos and Magno would not be in-sync all throughout the next set. A string of errors; forced and unforced, including a couple of miscues, would give them a huge 16-8 hole midway.  They would not be able to recover as Bernardo and Francisco would pull-off an upset over Carlos and Magno with a 2nd set 21-12 win and a sweep.

Aggregate Score: Bernardo and Francisco 42 – Carlos and Magno 31

Total Match Time: 35 mins

 

Women’s Doubles Match 2: Marina Caculitan and Mary Ann Maranon (UP) def. Cassandra Grace Lim and Patrisha Edrika Malibiran (ADMU); 2:1

UP 2 – 2 ADMU

Not wanting to squander the 2-match lead of the Ateneo Lady Shuttlers, an aggressive Cassie Lim came out in the 1st set of the match. She would lead the Ateneo tandem with various excellent push returns. Caculitan and Maranon would not have an answer for the length of Lim in a 21-10 route.

Coming out of the huddle, the UP pair utilized the speed of Maranon and the length of Caculitan to gain an early 11-4 lead. Maranon would either make drop or lob returns that would set-up a Caculitan smash. The UP lead would extend to 18-10 before they can close the set out 21-17.

Cassie Lim would again try to gain the lost momentum for the Ateneo pair. Earlier in the deciding set, she would connect on excellent returns to give her tandem a 9-5 lead. Maranon and Caculitan would find success in redirecting all their returns towards Malibiran, who would commit forced errors in her attempted returns. Caculitan and Maranon would take a 20-16 lead late in the set. To closeout the final set for the match-up, Caculitan would hit an emphatic smash coming from a Malibiran lob to win the set 21-17 and force a 5th match.

Aggregate Score: Maranon and Caculitan 52 – Lim and Malibiran 55

Total Match Time: 55 mins

 

Women’s Singles Match 3: Jessie Francisco (UP) def. Janelle Gloriane de Vera (ADMU); 2:0

UP 3 – 2 ADMU (UP wins the women’s badminton championship)

If this match happened early in the season, a Francisco win over Jana de Vera would be called an upset. However, as the season went on, Jessie Francisco carried a quiet confidence in her that translated well on the court. And now, it is Janelle de Vera who is trying to secure an upset win over Francisco to try to extend the Finals challenge and give Ateneo a chance to fight another day.

In two sets, Jessie Francisco would outclass and outwork Jana de Vera. De Vera would only score on a few missteps by Francisco. Francisco would take the 1st set with a score of 21-16.

The 2nd set was a showcase of the court generalship of Francisco. She would force De Vera into her pace with various low drops and high lobs that would eventually tire-out De Vera. With the score at 20-10, Francisco would commit 3 errors before closing out the tournament with an excellent return to win the championship for the UP Lady Maroons with a score of 21-13.

Aggregate Score: Francisco 42 – De Vera 29

Total Match Time: 30 mins

After placing 3rd in last year’s women’s badminton tournament, the University of the Philippines Lady Maroons has swept the entire UAAP Season 77 Women’s Badminton Tournament. It is a triumph to the dedication of the school to build an excellent varsity program.

Coach Jeremy stressed that despite being down 2-0 in the early goings of the 2nd finals series, the line-up adjustment the staff made in the 1st doubles match, placing Bea Bernardo in the doubles match would pay off. Moreover, they were fortunate that Francisco matched-up well with De Vera in the 5th and deciding match.

Coach of the year, Coach Malvin Alcala, said that the championship was a tribute to the hard work of the coaches, team managers and the players. But the work is not yet over he added. He is already looking forward to next year’s tournament, as the team would defend the title against a dedicated Coach Escoses-led Far Eastern University team, the ADMU Lady Shuttlers and the DLSU Lady Shuttlers. Preparation for next year has started with recruitment and, hopefully, the end of residency for Coach Alcala’s daughter, which would make an already deep UP Lady Maroon team deeper.

The UP Lady Maroons are currently mulling if they would enter the University Games 2014 in Iloilo since it might coincide with the PBaRS.

Click here for the Awarding Ceremony

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Basketball

Late whistle costs San Beda against Sousse to fall to 0-2

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23 for 2023 cadet Robert Bolick is averaging 27.5 points per game in the tournament

After struggling to close out the UAE National Team in their opener last Friday, the San Beda College Red Lions figured in a late judgment call that did not fall into their favor, Saturday at the Shabab Al Ahli Club in Dubai. Due to this, the defending NCAA Champions lost to Tuniasian club team Sousse, 78-79.

With the loss, the Red Lions fell to a 0-2 hole in the 29th Dubai Basketball Championship. But the record does not reflect how the Filipinos played.

Robert Bolick, who scored 28 points against the UAE National Team, led the charge for San Beda in their second outing had 27 points. Fellow 23 for 2023 cadet Javee Mocon added 11 points and seven rebounds.

Sousse, the second-best club team in Tunisia and boasts four national team players and an American import, led by as much as 10 points, 70-60 in the final frame.

Fired-up by the Filipinos who stormed the venue, the Red Lions answered right back with an 18-8 run capped by a booming Bolick triple with six ticks left to gain a 78-76 lead.

However, a foul was called on a Red Lion on a three-point attempt by a Sousse player. He calmly sank all three free throws with 1.5 seconds remaining to seal the win.

Donald Tankoua had eight points and 13 rebounds as he was saddled with foul trouble all throughout the game.

The Tunisian club team was paced by Radzhouane Slimane with 18 points while Ibrahim Nadarri and Joshua Cassady had 13 markers each.

San Beda will have a day break before taking on Moroccan club team Al Sale on Monday, January 22.

The Scores:

San Beda 78 – Bolick 27, Mocon 11, Tankoua 8, Noah 8, Toba 6, Soberano 6, Prebitero 4, Tongco 4, Bahio 2, Carino 2, Oftana 0, Adamos 0.

Sousse 79 – Slimane 18, Naddari 13, Cassady 13, Mouhli 11, Knioua 9, Toumi 8, Monastiri 4, Gaddour 3.

Quarterscores: 23-17, 36-39, 57-62, 78-79.

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Basketball

Marc Pingris wants Rafi Reavis to break Robert Jaworski’s record

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Marc Pingris was all praises for veteran Rafi Reavis Saturday night, as the 40-year-old center made his presence felt in the Magnolia Hotshots’ 97-91 victory — their third straight win — over Phoenix Fuel Masters at the Cuneta Astrodome.

The six-foot-nine Reavis finished with 11 points, 11 rebounds, and three blocks — a performance perfectly punctuated by a follow-up of a Paul Lee miss with 12.5 seconds left to play that knocked out the Fuel Masters for good.

“Papasalamat ako kay Rafi na talagang kababalik lang niya pero binigay niya talaga lahat,” said Pingris after the bout, as Saturday night was just Reavis’ second outing in the 2018 Philippine Cup after recovering from a hip injury.

“Nag-usap nga kami kanina e, hindi pa siya 100 percent. So bukas, ang sabi niya babalik daw siya sa gym dahil gusto niya ibalik yung lakas ng legs dahil wala pa daw,” added the 36-year-old, who also suffered a hip injury last season.

Reavis has been playing in the league for 16 years. Seeing the work he has put in, Pingris, who finished the game with 17 rebounds, four assists, four points and two blocks, believes that the 10-time PBA champion can play for 10 more years — at least.

“You know naman Rafi eh, katulad ko rin yan eh – rebound and depensa. At tsaka sobrang vocal siya sa team eh,” beamed Pingris, who himself is a 14-year veteran. “Walang siyang inaano, talagang sinasabihan niya kung sino yung mga nagmi-mistake, kung paano kami mag-adjust, so nakikinig naman lahat sa kanya.

“Talagang nandun yung respeto namin kay Rafi.”

And if Reavis stays healthy for the next decade, Pingris wants Reavis to exceed Jaworki’s 958 games played — third most all time.

“Nasa kanya yun, basta kaya mo ba eh. As a player, kung masipag ka naman at may disiplina sa sarili mo, kaya niya yun.”

Still, Reavis has a lot of catching up to do.

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JRU

Altas surge to fifth straight win, slam Heavy Bombers

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Pulling double-digit scoring outings from three spikers, the University of Perpetual Help System DALTA Altas remained unbeaten in NCAA Season 93 after a straight-set triumph over thr Jose Rizal University Heavy Bombers, 25-17, 25-16, 25-20, at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

Middle blocker Ronniel Rosales topped the Altas with 13 points off 10 attacks and three blocks. Team captain Rey Taneo and Joebert Almodiel added 12 markers apiece.

The Altas dominated every scoring category, recording 44 attacks to JRU’s 26, five blocks to the Bombers’ zero, and three aces to JRU’s one.

Breezing through the first half of the season, Altas head coach Sammy Acaylar lauded his team’s consistency and hoped they continue getting better as they aim for a championship.

“So far, masasabi kong maganda ang nilalaro ng mga bata. Consistent naman ang mga galaw nila and focused sila sa mga laban,” said Acaylar.

“Pero alam nilang may ibubuga pa sila. We still need to get better and reach the championship level. Kailangan hindi mawala ‘yung ganito naming killer instinct,” the decorated mentor added.

The Altas take on a major test on Tuesday at the FilOil Flying V Centre when they face fellow undefeated squad Arellano Chiefs (4-0).

Wenjo Lahaylahay led the Bombers with 10 points while captain Patrick Rabaja managed seven.

JRU (0-5) limps into their Wednesday showdown against defending champs College of Saint Benilde (3-1).

The Scores

UPHSD (3) – Rosales 13, Almodiel 12, Taneo R. 12, Muhali 7, Ramos 5, Atentar 1, Catipay 1, Salo 1, Bation 0, Solamilo 0, Taneo S. 0, Kalingking (L)

JRU (0) – Lahaylahay 10, Rabaja 7, Sulivas 6, Salazar 4, Cebrero 1, Soriano 1, Cruz 0, Ferwelo 0, Defensor (L), Flor (L)

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Mixed Martial Arts

Rene Catalan continues rampage with TKO win

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Rene Catalan continues to turn critics into believers

Filipino fighter Rene Catalan made his sixth appearance inside the ONE Championship cage at ONE: Kings of Courage, held at the Jakarta Convention Center in Indonesia, Saturday evening. He faced 21-year-old Chinese athlete Peng Xue Wen in the opening main card bout, and leaned on his elite wushu skills to stop the young star at the 4:22 mark of the second round.

The victory improves Catalan’s record to 4-2 (1 NC), extends his winning streak to four, and gives him the first TKO stoppage of his martial arts career, as he bids to climb the strawweight ladder in search of the ONE Strawweight World Championship.

“The Challenger” came out in the southpaw stance to open the bout, throwing big hooks and a head kick that narrowly missed as he established the center of the cage from the start of the contest.

The Filipino landed a host of powerful strikes, including a perfectly-placed uppercut and a melee of punishing leg kicks, but Peng’s conditioning and composure kept him in the match as he looked to stand and trade with the man 18 years his elder.

Catalan picked up where he left off when the bout resumed in the second round, this time operating out of the orthodox stance, landing more leg kicks and continuing to deny Peng any space to work.

Despite his dominance on the feet, there was a brief moment of concern for the Filipino on the mat when he jumped into the Chinese wrestler’s guard mid-way through the second round, and immediately found himself in a triangle choke. But the Filipino kept his composure and managed to work himself free.

Once the fighters returned to their feet, Catalan poured on the pressure in search of a finish, and he got it with just 38 seconds remaining in the stanza.

“The Challenger” scored big with a liver shot, then unloaded a fierce flurry of punches that forced Peng onto his back foot. Another shot forced Peng to the mat, where a salvo of ground and pound from Catalan eventually forced the TKO stoppage as referee Olivier Coste stepped in to halt the contest.

Photo, story, and video from ONE Championship

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