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Perpetual’s Taneo brothers eye redemption

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Rey and Relan Taneo of the University of Perpetual Help System DALTA Altas were near-unstoppable in last season’s NCAA Men’s Beach Volleyball Tournament. The beach volleyball one-two punch from Liloan, Cebu had swept the entire elimination round and immediately booked an outright Finals berth.

Many believed that the championship series against Philip Bagalay and Peejay Cuzon, of the Mapua Institute of Technology Cardinals, would be a mere formality for the Taneo brothers. However, their collapse happened at the worst possible time, and saw their title hopes dashed by their opponent.

“Sobrang laki kasi yung goal namin, hindi namin nakuha. Ang sakit lang kasi sweep nga, hindi naman nakuha,” Rey Taneo told Tiebreaker Times.

“Pero ngayon, kung sakaling ma-sweep namin, paninindigan na namin. Hindi na ‘yung magrerelax-relax kami.”

Just like last season, the Altas have swept the elimination round and are now just a win away from bagging gold.

“Siyempre, ang masasabi ko lang sarili ko na all-out ako nung game na iyon,” Rey Taneo shared.

“Ayaw kong mabigat sa kapatid ko kasi siyempre last playing year na niya. Parehas kami ng goal.”

The Taneo brothers also believe that they’ve improved compared to their performance last year. They indicated that their communication has become sharper, and they have made it a point to play more selflessly this time around.NCAA 92 Beach Volleyball Day 1 - Rey Taneo-5235

“Wala namin last season is communication.Ang mga pagkakamali noon, binabago namin kasi doon kami natatalo – konting usap lang kami,” Relan Taneo said.

His brother echoed the same sentiment.

“Sobrang laki kasi yung goal namin, hindi namin nakuha. Ang sakit lang kasi sweep nga, hindi naman nakuha,” Rey Taneo added.

“Pero ngayon, kung sakaling ma-sweep namin, paninindigan na namin. Hindi na ‘yung magrerelax-relax kami.”

And now that they are in the Finals once more, they know that they will not let the ghost of their past haunt them again.NCAA 92 Beach Volleyball Day 3 - Rey Taneo-5756

“Siyempre po gustong-gusto namin bumawi kasi ‘yung goal namin hindi namin nakuha ‘yun last season,” Rey Taneo said.

“Pero siyempre ngayon, kung sino ‘yung naghihirap, siya ang mananalo kay paghihirapan namin ngayon – wala nang relax-relax, at kung ano man ang nakikita ng mga tao hindi na mauulit iyon.”

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Basketball

Jeff Napa, Letran try to change Wangs Basketball’s fortunes

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For the first time since joining the PBA D-League, the Wangs Basketball Couriers will be bannered by a collegiate team as they have partnered up with the Colegio de San Juan de Letran Knights.

Gone are the days that the team is stacked with PBA aspirants and cagers trying to make it back to the big league. Donning the Wangs jersey this time around are the likes of Bong Quinto, JP Calvo, Jerrick Balanza, Jeo Ambohot, Bonbon Batiller, Fran Yu, Christian Fajarito, and Larry Muyang.

With the chance of being able to compete once again in the second league, incoming third-year Letran head coach Jeff Napa wants to repay the trust of Wangs founder Alex Wang by being competitive this season.

“Si boss Alex (Wang) wala naman sinasabi sa akin na target pero gusto ko siyempre masuklian ang kabutihan niya sa amin. Gusto lang niya maging competitive yung team namin.

“Sa Letran naman, kailangan naman magka-experience in preparation for next season. Focus namin yung bonding namin para maging maganda yung season namin,” Napa said.

Joining the Letran core are their drafted players, headlined by his former players in National University — Michael Pate and Hubert Cani. Even with his familiarity with the two upstarts, Napa wants the two to earn their stripes with the team.

“Sana maging maganda yung response nila sa sistema namin,” the youthful mentor said. “Hindi naman porke’t naging player ko sila e magkaka-minutes na sila. Nakadepende pa rin sa system namin kung ano ang gusto namin mangyari.”

Besides the two, he also picked up UST Growling Tiger Henric Caunan, UP Fighting Maroon Javi Gomez de Liano, and Mapua Cardinal Christian Bunag.

Despite a deep team, the National University lifer is not guaranteeing anything, only saying that they will give a good fight.

“Okay naman. Satisfied naman ako sa dinraft namin. We’ll see kung anong mangyayari pero at least nakikita ko yung mga projection sa team namin,” Napa shared.

“This Aspirants’ Cup, magiging maganda ang labanan.”

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AMA Online Education gets first pick in D-League draft

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The AMA Online Education will once again have the luxury of picking the best talent in the 201-man rookie pool at the 2017 PBA D-League Rookie Draft Tuesday at PBA Cafe in Metrowalk, Pasig.

Flanked by hardworking big man Andre Paras, the Mark Herrera-mentored Titans will have the chance to further fortify their school-based core as they prepare for the upcoming 2018 PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup, which will see 13 teams vying for the title.

This will be the second time AMA will pick at first overall after tapping Jeron Teng in the 2016 draft proceedings.

UE’s Alvin Pasaol and FEU’s Arvin Tolentino are expected to go high up the draft board, as they are set to make their debut in first conference of the eighth season of the developmental league, set to open on January 18, 2018.

Wangs Basketball-Letran and Batangas-EAC are set to pick second and third, respectively.

Eleven of the 13 squads participating this year will be school-based teams, as they make early preparations for their respective collegiate leagues. These include Zark’s Burgers-Lyceum, Gamboa Coffee-St. Clare, JRU, and CEU, and debuting teams Akari-Adamson, Che’Lu Bar and Grill-San Sebastian, Perpetual, and Powerball-St. Benilde.

Only returning Marinerong Pilipino and newcomer Mila’s Lechon are the ones who will not feature varsity crews.

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Basketball

Red Lions to hold victory party, fund-raising event

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Exactly 24 days after winning San Beda College’s 21st seniors basketball crown, the Red Lions are giving back to the community.

On Sunday, December 10, the back-to-back champions are hosting a victory party and fund-raising event, “Champion Na, Pasko Pa!”, for the school’s basketball program at Flare Bar in Metrowalk.

“This is our way to not only celebrate but also give back,” said Red Lions team manager Jude Roque about the event that has Century Properties Inc., PAGCOR, and AMOSUP-Seaman’s Hospital as presenting sponsors.

The event, which starts at 6:30pm, will open with a replay of Game Two of the NCAA Season 93 Seniors Basketball Finals.

Two-time PBA Most Valuable Player and former Red Cub Benjie Paras will host the event together with Bianca Saldua and Berwin Meily. Tanya Markova, Dulcet, and Patricia Javier will serve as the night’s musical performers.

Tickets are priced at PHP 550 and entitles the holder with free drinks.

Supporting the event are NLEX, Chooks-to-Go, AFG Security Agency, Islander Sandals, Motolite, and San Miguel Brewery. Other sponsors are Mr. Freeze Ice Plant and Hell Energy Drink.

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Basketball

Same vision, same mindset for Zark’s-Lyceum

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On Thursday morning at Zark’s Burger on Taft Avenue , in their first public appearance as a team since the NCAA Season 93 Finals, the Lyceum of the Philippines University Pirates looked like a jolly bunch. But beyond the smiles on their faces because of the partnership they had just formed with the burger chain for the upcoming 2018 PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup, the effects of their devastating sweep at the hands of the eventual-NCAA Champions San Beda Red Lions could still be felt.

“It’s a new journey for us, we’re excited for the new partnership,” shared Pirates head coach Topex Robinson.

“Yung hindi namin na-complete nung Season 93, hopefully, ito yung continuation.”

Last November 16, the Pirates — a team that had swept the elimination round — were on the receiving end of a sweep that denied the school their first-ever NCAA crown. But in order to get over the hump, Robinson felt that they needed to experience what made the kingpins of the collegiate world become champions.

For him, joining the PBA D-League is the right step heading into that direction.

“We’ re trying to focus around the LPU core. It just so happens na we’re on a different playing field,” the young mentor added. “We’ll try to get better dito sa D-League. It’s a good opportunity for us as a team, and as a school, and for Zark’s Burger. The more opportunity for us to hone our skills, the better for everybody.

“We’re excited but it’s not redemption. It’s more on improving ourselves. We always try to get better whenever we have an opportunity.”

Headlining the squad is reigning NCAA MVP CJ Perez. Joining him are Mike Nzeusseu, Jeffrey Santos, Ralph Tansingco, Aldrich Liwag, Reymar Caduyac, Nino Ibanez, Jeric Serrano, Edcor Marata, Jayvee Marcelino, Jaycee Marcelino, Kim Cindo, Spencer Pretta, and Rhanzelle Yong.

Reigning NCAA Most Valuable Player CJ Perez could not hide his excitement over this journey, as he and the Pirates will test their mettle against players who are older and stronger than them.

“We are excited kasi bagong opportunity ito para sa amin and para sa LPU,” said Perez, who will play his last playing year in Season 94. “Parang mas exciting pa ito kaysa sa NCAA kasi PBA D-League na ito, semi-pro, so yung mga best amateurs nandito.

“Most of the teams there have ex-PBA players so yun ang goal namin which is to try to test the waters as far as the amateur or semi-pro basketball teams is concerned.”

Even with a huge chip on their shoulder this time around, Robinson remains steadfast that he won’t change a thing about how they approach the game.

“What’s important for us is the chemistry. Yung familiarity with each other and knowing kung ano yung pinanggagalingan namin really helps us. We share same values and beliefs. Para sa amin, we have to be competitive,” stressed Robinson. “But again winning is not a guarantee, that’s the result of what we envisioned pa rin. So, same vision, same mindsets, same direction, yun ang mas importante sa amin.

“For us, it’s not about the less available talent but it’s more of the character we want to establish.”

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