Connect with us
[adinserter block="13"] [adinserter block="3"]

Serve’s up! Alexa Micek and her dreams for beach volleyball

Published

on

Hailing from California where beaches thrive, Philippine Super Liga (PSL) star Alexa Micek of Petron Blaze Spikers has been immersed in the sport and culture of beach volleyball. As such, this looker hopes to bring the sport to the consciousness of the Filipinos – starting with the Queen of the Sands and the King and Queen of the Sands tournaments in the past two months.

The idea of a beach volleyball competition came up from Ateneans: Gretchen Ho, Bea Tan, Fille Cainglet-Cayetano, and Charo Soriano, who are mostly the ladies she trains with, which helped Micek make her dream a reality with the inaugural Queen of the Sands tournament last June. And why beach volleyball? Alexa shared, “’Cause beach volley is something I’m more passionate about, and it’s up and coming. I felt that indoor [volleyball] was more tapped into. There’s so much potential and so much we can do with beach [volleyball] right now.” The initial tournament’s main purpose is to provide a fun venue for the sport’s community to grow. Moreover, they want to grow public interest in beach volleyball and, hopefully, from here the sport could grow and expand.

Micek played in the sands even before she took the courts as she grew up in a place just a block away from the beach. It also helped that her mother has been playing beach volleyball since Alexa was a child. The Californian even went to say, “I was on the beach with her as long as I can remember. I have pictures with a ball in hand like a good ol’ baby.”

Alexa Micek goes for a dig during her match at the King and Queen of the Sands tournament

Alexa Micek goes for a dig during her match at the King and Queen of the Sands tournament

The switch from beach to indoor volleyball, on her part, however, was not easy. “It’s a huge transition because it’s two completely different sports and not many people grasp that,” She expressed. The Petron opposite spiker elaborated that the difference in playing on two distinct surfaces provides a lot of adjustment in focus and movement. “There’s more balance to account for [in beach volleyball], as well as the elements – crazy winds, crazy sun, and sometimes, crazy rain.” She, however, has this strong opinion: “I would say, if you play beach, you’ll get better in indoor.”

Alexa used these two tournaments as preparation for the upcoming PSL Beach Volleyball Challenge Cup, which starts this Saturday, at the same venue – SM Sands By the Bay. She is teaming up with Cainglet-Cayetano in the league’s debut season for beach volleyball after successfully staging two for indoor. Micek told us, “It’s time to get some experience out on this court, as well as scoping out the other girls, ‘cause this is my competition.” Nonetheless, the spiker elatedly shared, “But the thing is we’re building a community. We’re all friends, too.” She feels that such pocket tournaments and the main PSL competition works in tandem to develop the skills of each beach spiker.

With its indoor variety reaching an all time high in recent years, Micek dreams that beach volleyball would also gain public interest. “Hopefully, we’ll push more with social media. Let more people fall in love with it, like we have,” she said.

When asked on what made volleyball fun, she expressed, “Just the culture of volleyball is so much fun, specifically beach volleyball; you are in the beach, and hanging out, you’re by the water.” Micek hopes that the Filipinos, who now love its cousin, indoor volleyball, will also join in on the fun of beach volleyball.

Advertisements

Grew to appreciate various sports from tennis to judo. True-maroon kiddo since the new millennium. Fanboy. Singer. Occasional sports writer.

Advertisement
Click to comment

Football

Composed Ceres-Negros expels Shan United in shootout victory

Published

on

Photo from the-AFC.com

2017 AFC ASEAN Zone Champions Ceres-Negros banked on their poise and composure from the spot as they knocked out Myanmar’s Shan United via a 4-3 penalty shootout (1-1 after extra time) triumph, Tuesday evening at the Thuwunna Stadium in Yangon, Myanmar.

The Negrenses punched their ticket to Brisbane, Australia after emerging the better spotkick takers. Four Busmen were on target, while two of their Shan Warriors counterparts fluffed their lines.

The two domestic champions were inseparable after 120 minutes, with the hosts holding their own against the Philippine champions. Ceres-Negros looked the more dominant of the two teams. However, they couldn’t make the advantage count where it mattered, as they failed to breach the sturdy Shan United defense inside the first two regulation halves.

The visitors were visibly more comfortable in the first half, but with the scores staying level at the break, the less-fancied Myanmar champions eventually found their footing in the encounter. While there were several half-chances from either side to open the scoring, both defenses remained defiant en route to unwanted extra time.

“It was a tough game. We weren’t ready to play 120 minutes because we only had four training sessions before the game but everytime we wear this jersey, we represent Ceres, we represent Bacolod, we represent the Philippines, so we have to give our best,” Ceres’ defender Carli de Murga elaborated to the Inquirer after the match. The Asian Football season has yet to start, and with both teams not too busy with pre-season preparations, rust and fatigue in a demanding affair were evident.

Come extra time, Ceres-Negros took the initiative when Stephan Schröck’s deflected effort went past the helpless Thiha Si Thu just three minutes into the first half.

Nonetheless, the hosts refused to go down without a fight, and their resilience was rewarded later in the opening half. Substitute Patrick Asare found the back of the net to restore parity in Yangon.

Another 15 minutes of goalless action took place in the second half as both teams looked more cautious, perhaps with the collective aim of avoiding a costly error or two. Among all the chances, Schröck’s in the 114th minute may have proved to be the closest to changing the scores, as his attempt shaved the post.

Shan United took to the spot first, where Asare made his penalty attempt count. Nay Lin Tun also made his, but not before teammate Chizoba smashed his attempt over Toni Doblas’ goal.

While the hosts squandered a shot, the visitors remained calm in front of a hostile Myanmar crowd. De Murga, Schröck and Mike Ott nailed their turns, with Marañon also not missing a vital kick from 12 yards.

It set up William Biassi Nyakwe, the man credited with the own goal when he deflected Schröck’s opener, with the chance to prolong his team’s campaign in the AFC Champions League. Unfortunately for him, he couldn’t atone for his earlier mistake, as his attempt soared high and wide — much to the delight of the visiting team from Bacolod, the Philippines.

The reward for Ceres-Negros is a trip to Queensland, Australia, where they will seek to do one better than compatriots Global-Cebu. The 2016 Philippine champions also played against the Brisbane Roar, who dealt them a staggering 6-0 hammering this time last year. The match will be held at the Suncorp Stadium on January 23.

As for Shan United, a spot in the AFC Cup Group Stage awaits them and they may not have seen the last of Ceres-Negros just yet. If the Negrenses lose to either Brisbane Roar or Tianjin Quanjian, they will be reacquainted with the Burmese champions in Group F.

Advertisements
Continue Reading

Basketball

Abu Tratter plans to work his way to 2023 by continuing to do ‘the dirty work’

Published

on

Abu Tratter may have missed the jersey-giving ceremony that the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas held for the 23 for 2023 cadets last Monday but he made sure to help out when the current batch needed him the most.

After helping the Marinerong Pilipino Skippers win the Sinulog Cup in Cebu a week ago, the 6-foot-7 Filipino-American did not hesitate to heed Gilas’ call, as they were undermanned for their second session in preparation for the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers.

“I think it’s just an honor to put on this jersey, to be able to represent our country, to possibly represent our country in the future. It’s an honor,” shared the Laguna-native.

The 25-year old, who just celebrated his birthday last January 9, admitted that he was in awe of the talent inside the Meralco Gym. Like a fan, he wanted to take a few photo ops with the senior team’s Gabe Norwood and June Mar Fajardo.

“Actually, at first I was just shocked to see June Mar and Gabe, just to be able to be in the midst of them,” gushed the former DLSU Green Archer, who will suit-up for Marinerong Pilipino in the D-League. “I even asked them for a picture, and hopefully they’ll still give me one.

“It’s just humbling, definitely.”

However, the work has only began for Tratter. With five years to go until the 2023 FIBA World Cup, the two-time UAAP champion plans to continue to do what he does best — be the same scrapper that he is and hopefully catch the eye of Gilas’ brass.

“I think just doing the dirty work, of course. Giving whatever the team needs, rebound or any steals, any thing a dirty player would need to pick up on,” he said.

“That’s how it is, garbage into gold. Get anything, sweep up anything and try to put it back.”

Moreover, he will continue answering the call when Gilas needs him, as he himself is learning a lot from being surrounded by the country’s topflight cagers.

“Whenever I can. I want to be able to absorb all the information coming from here and hopefully apply it in the D-League and hopefully apply it on future practices, future games.”

Advertisements
Continue Reading

2018 FIBA 3X3 World Cup

Terrence Romeo invited to join Pilipinas 3×3 for World Cup

Published

on

Stronger than ever

Scoring sensation Terrence Romeo has been invited by the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas to join the Philippine team in the upcoming FIBA 3X3 World Cup, according to Philippine Star columnist Quinito Henson.

Romeo, who is currently out due to a right knee injury, has been in rehabilitation and is expected to miss the entire Philippine Cup campaign of the Globalport Batang Pier and the second window of the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers.

“Baka sa second conference na ko makabalik kasi talagang gusto ko malakas ako pagbalik ko,” the 25-year-old shared during Chooks-to-Go Live last January 2.

SBP Executive Director Sonny Barrios personally met with the 6-foot guard, inviting him to be part of the Philippine team.

Romeo has plenty of 3×3 basketball experience under his belt.

Back in 2014, Romeo was part of the Manila West 3×3 team during the Manila Masters. He was adjudged as the tournament Most Valuable Player.

The 2018 3X3 World Cup will take place from June 8-12 at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan.

Advertisements
Continue Reading

NCAA

Red Spikers extinguish Blazers for second win

Published

on

Shaking off a forgettable outing against the Perpetual Help Altas last January 11, the San Beda College Red Spikers vented their ire on defending champions College of Saint Benilde Blazers in four sets, 25-15, 25-16, 23-25, 26-24, and claimed their second win of the season, Friday afternoon at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

“Sabi ng coaches kalimutan na yung talo,” shared captain Lorenze Santos of what transpired after that match.

So, in this game, the San Beda team poured on what they worked hard for to regain momentum. “Binuhos po namin lahat ng ginawa namin sa training [ngayon].”

After tight starts in all the first two sets, the Mendiola-based side pulled away to register the seemingly insurmountable 2-0 lead.

Nonetheless, summoning the heart of a champion and led by seniors Isaah Arda and Jethro Orian, the reigning champions pulled off gritty runs to snag the third set and making a tussle of the fourth.

Ultimately, Adrian Viray virtually ended the match with a vicious serve, which the Blazers failed to convert.

The prolific outside hitter finished with 17 points, 11 coming from attacks and five off blocks. Former skipper Mark Encino also registered 17 markers.

The Red Spikers (2-1) will face the Mapua University, also at 2-1, on Friday, January 19.

Orian was such a presence at the net, ending up with 20 points for the Taft-based squad.

The defending champions Blazers (2-1) will try to bounce back later that day against San Sebastian College (0-3).

The Scores:

SBC 3 – Viray 17, Enciso 17, Santos 11, Patenio 7, Amagan 7, Desuyo 3, Zabala 0, Genobaten 0, Manliclic 0, Casin L.

CSB 1 – Orian 20, Arda 18, Bacani 6, Basilan 4, Bautista 4, Magsino 2, Martinez 0, Garcia 0, San Miguel 0, Saldavia 0, Dy L.

Advertisements
Continue Reading

Trending