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Both sides of an upset: AdU gets it done against defending champs on Day One

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Right from the first tip of the UAAP Season 78 Women’s Beach Volleyball Tournament, the tone was set for what looks to be the tightest field of competition in years.

It didn’t take long for the first giant to fall as the Adamson Lady Falcons took down the defending champs UST Tigresses in three tight sets.

UST’s pair of Cherry Rondina and Rica Rivera had not lost a match before the tournament with their last loss coming in Season 77 Finals against DLSU. They tore up all the regional circuits and won championships left and right.

Adamson, however, has a tradition to uphold. Like UST, the Lady Falcons are perennial Final Four contenders. This year’s pair, Gemma Galanza and Mylene Paat, had not logged time as a tandem in the UAAP before yesterday; both having only played as substitute players (Galanza on Season 76 and Paat on Season 77).

But Paat and Galanza showed great skill and composure against UST’s vaunted pair. They executed their strategy to the tee; constantly targeting Rivera and banking on their defense to control their attacks. They took the first set handily and built a comfy lead in the third set. When UST tried to fight back, Paat and Galanza communicated and pulled for each other eventually netting a surprising win.

The Adamsonians admit that the win boosted their morale tremendously. “Siyemere po ang lakas po talaga nila [UST] maglaro. Ginawa lang po talaga namin ‘yung makakaya namin, di kami nag-panic, thankfully nanalo po kami. Nakakagana lang po talaga na champion agad ‘yung natalo namin,” said Galanza. Paat reiterated Galanza’s sentiment, saying that this was probably their biggest win of the season.

The pair also acknowledged the success of past Adamson teams and the pressure it generates for them to just as well if not better. Senior Lady Falcons, Sheila Pineda, Pau Soriano, Amanda Villanueva, and Len Cortel have either brought Adamson a championship or have got close to one.

“Siyempre po idol ko ‘yung mga ‘yun. Kaya ako po, gusto ko din madala ‘yung Adamson kung saan nila nadala – kung sa Finals ba o sa Final Four, tatrabahuhin na lang po namin,” Galanza expressed. “May pressure po talaga kung iisipin ko ‘yung nagawa ng mga ate naman. Sa akin, kailangan namin ma-beat o madugtungan ‘yung mga nagwa namin,” Paat told adding that she Gemma trained almost every day for the past few weeks.

UST rebounded later in the day, making quick work of a young NU pair. But, talking to Tiebreaker Times after the win, it was obvious their previous loss still stung.

According to Rondina, many factors went into their loss, mostly mental. “Sa akin lang po, nanibago ako dun sa court, hindi naman po kami parati dito nagtitraining. May halo na ‘rin pong kaba,” Rondina recalled adding that the mental stress of UST’s prelims week still hasn’t worn off. “Parang halo-halo ‘yung iniisip namin. Parang pumpasok sa isip namin na baka bumagsak kami dahil naglalaro kami.”

Rivera added that she was caught off her usual pregame rhythm. “Kanina po kasi na-stuck kami sa may Osmeña [highway]. Kaya pagdating po namin dito, lahat po minamadali – ‘yung stretching, warm up, kaya nahirapan po ako,” Rivera said. Rica also played through severe abdominal pain throughout the day.

The Tomasinas, however, remain confident that they can retain their championship form even with every team seemingly stepping up their preparation. “Ibibigay po namin ‘yung lahat namin. Confident pa rin naman kami kasi halos lahat ng elite players sa Philippines nakalaban na namin. Iisa-isahin po namin ‘yung approach sa mga kalaban dito [UAAP],” Rivera said.

Both players are also hopeful that a good showing on the sand courts can secure their spot on the indoor team. “Itong first semester po talaga nilalaan po namin sa paghahanda para sa beach volley. Nakalaan naman po talaga kami para sa beach. Pero darating naman po siguro ‘yung time namin sa indoor lalo na kung maganda ilaro namin,” said Rondina.

“Sobrang motivated ko po ngayon makalaro sa indoor. Gusto ko po talaga ipakita na handa na ‘yung katawan ko kahit galing ako sa injury, confident na po ako sa ilalaro ko,” Rivera explained. Rica injured her right knee last year, a week before the indoor volleyball season, causing her to miss the entire season.

For a schedule of UST and AdU’s remaining games, click here.

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Miguel Luis Flores fell face first into sports writing in high sch9l and has never gotten up. He reluctantly stumbled into the volleyball beat when he started with Tiebreaker Times three years ago. Now, he has waded through everything volleyball - from its icky politics to the post-modern art that is Jia Morado's setting.

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Mixed Martial Arts

ONE Championship pledges to help Global Citizen in fight against poverty

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During the pre-fight showdown between the fighters main evening ONE Championship: Global Superheroes, the biggest mixed martial arts promotion in Asia also forged a partnership, Monday afternoon.

ONE, through chief executive officer and chariman, Chatri Sityodtong vowed to help Global Citizen in its fight to end poverty.

“It is with great excitement that I announce ONE Championship’s partnership with Global Citizen, an NGO with the goal of ending extreme poverty across the world by the year 2030,” said Sityodtong. “Just like Global Citizen, ONE Championship aims to inspire the people of the world to come together to solve some of the world’s biggest challenges.”

“We are thrilled to be joining forces with ONE Championship to bring Global Citizen to Asia. ONE Championship reaches millions of young people around the region and together we will engage them on issues that impact the entire world,” expressed Global Citizen co-founder Wei Soo. “Since we launched Global Citizen in 2012, over 13 million actions have been taken, and we are excited to drive more actions and increase our impact for the world’s most marginalized people through this partnership.”

Headquartered in New York with offices in Canada, Australia, Germany, and the United Kingdom, Global Citizen was founded in 2012 with the goal of building the largest platform where people can learn about issues, take action on what matters most, and join a global movement working to end extreme poverty by 2030. Since then, millions of Global Citizens around the world have taken over ten million actions, which includes millions of emails, tweets, petition signatures, and phone calls targeting world leaders to end extreme poverty by 2030.

To date, the actions by Global Citizen’s global community, along with its high-level advocacy efforts and various partners, have resulted in 130 commitments and policy announcements from leaders, including financial aid valued at over US $35-billion, that is set to affect the lives of over 1.3 billion people.

Also present in the launch were ONE Heavyweight World Champion Brandon Vera, ONE Atomweight World Champion Angela Lee, and former ONE Lightweight World Champion Eduard Folayang.

The partnership launching at ONE’s upcoming event in Manila, Philippines on Friday, January 26, will harness the power of ONE’s platform to engage millions of martial arts fans around the world to support initiatives and find solutions to the issues associated with extreme poverty.

Global Citizen and ONE will collaborate across 24 live ONE events scheduled in 2018, and various outreach activations throughout Asia. Fans will have the opportunity to take action and engage with specific policy areas including, education, food security, hunger and nutrition, global health, gender equality and empowerment.

“Our ONE Championship athletes embody the spirit of perseverance and many have risen through poverty through martial arts, inspiring millions of people around the world with their journey,” Sityodtong added. “Through our collaboration across all 24 of our live events scheduled in 2018, ONE Championship and Global Citizen aim to affect positive movement in our society.”

The first action ONE fans can take will be centred on global education. Fans will be able to call on donor countries such as Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, and India, to attend the Global Partnership for Education’s replenishment conference in Dakar, Senegal on February 2, 2018, and make a commitment to GPE to support better education for all. Currently, 264 million children around the world are missing out on an education.

Over half are girls, and over 75 million have had their schooling disrupted by conflict or natural disasters. At the replenishment conference, the GPE will raise much needed funds that will allow it to continue to support quality, inclusive education to hundreds of millions of children around the world.

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AU

Unscathed Altas on another plane, hands Chiefs first loss

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Eighteen straight sets won

NCAA Men’s Volleyball powerhouse University of Perpetual Help System DALTA Altas showed no signs of letting up and crushed fellow erstwhile undefeated Arellano University Chiefs in just three sets, 25-14, 25-22, 25-17, to notch their sixth consecutive victory, Tuesday afternoon at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

Skipper Jun Taneo scattered his quiet 13 points throughout the match to lead the Season 91 champions. Rookie Joebert Almodiel finished with 10 spikes.

The Altas edged out the opposition in all scoring skills and dominated them in the non-scoring ones to bag the win. Nonetheless, it was the uncharacteristic 34 errors from the Chiefs that ultimately caused their doom.

With expectations minimized at the start of the season, head coach Sammy Acaylar shared his pride on how his wards have been playing so far.

“Sabi ko nga, hindi ako satisfied sa team ko kasi maraming nawala. Pero dinaan ko sila sa force, sa discipline, sa training. And I always motivate them na everything will come into place,” the seasoned mentor shared.

Acaylar was pleased that what they trained on showed up in the game. “Nakita ko ‘yung galaw nila, almost perfect,” he ended beaming.

The now 6-0 Perpetual will try to seal another semifinals appearance as they battle fellow day winners Mapua University (3-2) on Tuesday, January 30.

John Cabillan rallied the tribe with 10 markers.

The Chiefs (5-1) and the San Beda College (4-1) will figure in an all-important battle on Friday.

The Scores:

UPHSD 3 – Taneo 13, Almodiel 10, Rosales 8, Ramos 6, Muhali 3, Solamilo 1, Catipay 0, Kalingking L.

AU 0 – Cabillan 10, Dela Paz 8, Segovia 5, Lapuz 4, Liberato J 3, Liberato K 1, Arellano T 0, Soriano 0, Domingo 0, Arellano K 0, Blanco L, Esguerra L.

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Basketball

Tireless J-Jay Alejandro heads from D-League game to Gilas training

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Former NU Bulldogs captain J-Jay Alejandro was at the Pasig Sports Center Monday afternoon, making his debut for the Go for Gold Scratchers. After their 75-68 win over Gamboa-St. Clare Coffee Lovers, he immediately packed his bags and headed for the exit.

Why was he in a rush? He did not want to be late for Gilas later on.

PHOTO by PBA Images

“Sayang, malapit na ako eh. Pasig lang. Walang showbiz-showbiz, malapit lang talaga,” shared Alejandro, who had five points, five rebounds, seven assists, and two steals for Go for Gold. “Wala rin akong gagawin kasi.

“Tsaka minsan lang magpa-tawag ng practice, every Monday lang, so sayang ‘yung chance makapag-practice.”

The 6-foot-2 combo guard was a much-needed body by the pool of Gilas as only eight players suited-up for Monday’s session. Besides helping out the seniors team, the 22-year-old is looking at the sessions as a way to not just improve but also get in touch with his former collegiate foes.

“Well, ganoon talaga eh. Player, mapapagod at mapapagod ka talaga,” said the All-UAAP team member.

“Pero nakakasama ko sila Arvin Tolentino, sila CJ Perez, tsaka ‘yung ibang mga PBA players, siyempre experience ‘yun eh, tsaka learning process din sa akin.”

Moreover, he knows that being under the tutelage of coach Chot Reyes will only do wonders for him, especially with the 2018 PBA Rookie Draft just months away.

“Mas pisikal talaga sa PBA. ‘Yun, kung paano mo gagamitin ang utak mo pati ‘yung katawan mo sa tamang posisyon sa laro, makukuha ko yun rito,” he said.

“Well sa akin kasi, ‘yung mapabilang ka sa Gilas, mapabilang lang ang pangalan mo sa Gilas, sobrang fortunate na ako, sobrang blessed na ako,” Alejandro added.

“And siguro sa akin, may opportunity na nag-open, so iga-grab ko na lang — either PBA or Gilas.”

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Basketball

Loaded Wangs-Letran wallops AMA in debut

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Armed with new recruits, the Wangs Basketball-Letran Knights embarked on its new chapter with a rousing 93-75 rout of the AMA Online Education Titans, Tuesday afternoon at the Pasig Sports Center.

Everyone clicked for the Couriers with Bong Quinto spearheading the blowout with 19 points, 10 rebounds, and six assists.

Newcomer Bonbon Batiller added 15 markers, five boards, and three dimes in his debut, while starting point guard JP Calvo chipped in 12 points, eight rebounds, and two assists.

Christian Fajarito also registered 11 markers and nine boards, while Alex Mandreza had 10 points for Wangs-Letran.

Despite the promising showing, coach Jeff Napa said that he still wants to see more from his Couriers moving forward.

“Masaya kami syempre dahil nanalo. Pero marami pa rin kaming kailangang gawin,” he said as he wanted more from the Knights after outrebounding the Titans, 57-44.

Quinto and Calvo triggered Wangs-Letran’s second quarter pullaway to establish the 38-26, lead which grew to as high as 22 points, 81-59 in the payoff period.

Michael Cañete topscored AMA with 20 points and 11 rebounds, while Kris Porter had 13 in the defeat.

Wangs-Letran will have vengeance on their minds on Monday, January 29 when it takes on NCAA tormentors Che’lu- San Sebastian Revellers. AMA, on the other hand, will have a tough assignment when it takes on the Zark’s-Lyceum Jawbreakers on Thursday, January 25.

The Scores:

Wangs-Letran 93 — Quinto 19, Batiller 15, Calvo 12, Fajarito 11, Mandreza 10, Trinidad 8, Publico 6, Vacaro 4, Balagasay 3, Ambohot 3, Muyang 2.

AMA Online Education 75 — Cañete 20, Porter 13, Escalambre 11, Casiño 10, Antonares 6, Manalang 6, Garcia 4, Ng 3, Parcero 2, Bragais 0, Carpio 0, Paras 0, Raflores 0, Salonga 0.

Quarterscores: 16-13, 44-35, 67-52, 93-75.

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