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Sevilla and Albo: From PWU to DLSU

Blue chip rookies Iyah Sevilla and Nicole Albo, share their thoughts on playing for DLSU




It is not unusual in collegiate sports that two teammates in high school end up being in the same team again once they enter college. An example would be the case of blue chip rookies, Iyah Sevilla and Nicole Albo, formerly of PWU, now members of the DLSU Women’s Badminton Team.

Sevilla and Albo share numerous similarities. Both of them have a parent who is active in badminton and that they are both only sixteen years old. Not only are they keeping up with the frenetic pace of the UAAP, but both of them are also adjusting to the stress brought upon by college life. They have been part of the national team for their age group for three years now. Most of the players they admire are foreigners. The major difference of Sevilla and Albo, however, is that the former started playing Badminton at the age of six, while the latter learned the sport at twelve years old.

When DLSU tried to recruit both of them, it was an easy decision for the PWU alumnae, even if other UAAP schools sent them feelers. Albo shares, “Dream school ko po yung La Salle, and nirecruit din nila ako so pumayag talaga ako.” Albo adds that she is enjoying her stay in DLSU with the treatment of rookies being one of the biggest factors. “Parang sa una pa lang kasi, welcome na welcome yung mga rookies sa kanila.” Likewise for Sevilla, studying in the Taft-based university isn’t only good for her Badminton career, but also her education. “Siyempre kasi pag sinabi mo DLSU, may name at quality education. Diba yun naman talaga ang hinahanap ng mga tao sa school? My parents wanted me to go to DLSU pero choice ko rin yun.”

Nicole Albo celebrates a point against her UST counterpart

Nicole Albo celebrates a point against her UST counterpart

At a very young age, both players have had a lot to handle. Sevilla notes that studying in DLSU is convenient for them because the base of the national team is in Rizal Memorial Badminton Hall. Being part of the national team and the varsity squad entails a lot of sacrifice. “Everyday training. Morning and afternoon. Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday in Rizal Memorial and Tuesday and Thursday in DLSU”, says Albo. Sevilla agrees, exclaiming that being a student-athlete of DLSU and a national team player is stressful. However, DLSU Head Coach Owen Lopez believes his rookies are handling things quite well. Lopez shares, “Yung kagandahan sa kanila kahit yung mga rookies ay kaya nila ihandle ang situation pag nasa loob ng court. So yun ang kagandahan sa kanila especially now na first year lang sila.”

The DLSU Women’s Badminton Team is currently second in the standings in this season’s UAAP tournament. While Sevilla and Albo are experiencing rookie jitters, both of them have held their own for DLSU. The rookies believe that singles matches are their forte with Sevilla putting in strong performances against AdU and UST, while Albo is yet to lose in a one-on-one bout. One of the things both rookies needed to adjust to coming into the UAAP was its team format. Sevilla explains, “Kasi pag team competition, iba yung pressure dahil sayo nakasalalay ang team eh.”

There are still two more ties to negotiate before the post-season playoffs. “Makapasok sa top four. Parang step-by-step”, asserts Albo. Furthermore, Albo feels that despite the pressure, the UAAP has been a wonderful experience for her so far. Sevilla has the same feelings like her long-time teammate. Sevilla concludes, “Kase yung last two games na yun against UE and FEU. Eh yung FEU yan ang parang tumalo sa La Salle last year so talaga yung drive namin to win nandun.”

Iyah Sevilla in action

Iyah Sevilla in action

From PWU to DLSU while representing the Philippines, it’s been an eventful journey so far for these two young athletes. It is beyond doubt that they would want to add a UAAP championship during their rookie year in their list of achievements.


Lorenzo’s a frustrated author who knows a thing or two about Football and Basketball. Went all green from Ortigas to Taft. Supports Liverpool FC, FC Bayern Munich and the Alaska Aces

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Composed Ceres-Negros expels Shan United in shootout victory



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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.

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



Abu Tratter may have missed the jersey-giving ceremony 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, being 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 continue answering the call when Gilas needs it 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.”

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2018 FIBA 3X3 World Cup

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



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 rehabilitating his injury 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 a lot 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.

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Red Spikers extinguish Blazers for second win



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.

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