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

Sniffing Gold: Lady Bulldogs inch closer to Finals with historic triumph over La Salle

Published

on

The Lady Bulldogs are one win away from their first Finals appearance in decades after dismantling the Lady Spikers in straight sets, 25-20, 25-20, 25-19 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The Lady Bulldogs did a masterful job of keeping their offense fluid with all their attackers scoring eight points or more, while the Lady Spikers had trouble the entire game setting up their blocks to properly stop NU’s main gunners. The ever-growing Jaja Santiago and graduating open spiker, Myla Pablo led all scorers with 13 points apiece. Rookie Jorelle Singh turned in 10 points while Desiree Dadang turned in a Final Four career-high of eight markers.

The match began with both teams matching each other blow for blow. An 8-6 NU lead quickly swelled to 12-6 with NU’s outside hitters – Myla Pablo, Jorelle Singh, and Rizza Mandapat – easily traversing La Salle’s vaunted wall of blockers. NU’s steady stream of points continued to flow as the Lady Bulldogs built an 18-11 lead. La Salle tried to rally late in the set with team captain, Ara Galang, drilling home seven points in the set. But the Lady Bulldogs had the set in hand with Myla Pablo closing the set out with three late spikes.

Opting for a taller lineup the, Lady Spikers fielded the seldom-used rookie, CJ Soyud to begin the second set. La Salle’s adjustment, however, failed to move the needle as NU’s offense continued to churn out points at a pace La Salle just could not keep up with. La Salle trailed by only two, 14-16, heading into the second technical timeout, but a fiery Jaja Santiago buoyed her team to their second set triumph. Santiago controlled the action at the net, stifling Ara Galang and La Salle’s attempt at a comeback.

NU bolted to an early 8-3 lead in the final frame. La Salle’s reinvigorated blocking allowed them to tie the match at 10 all. Coach Ramil chose to inject rookie Aduke Ogunsanya to deal with Jaja Santiago’s imposing length. La Salle also tweaked their rotation so Ara Galang would not be in the attacking area at the same time with Santiago. The adjustments came to no avail as NU’s complimentary players – Pablo, Mandapat, and Desiree Dadang – played tremendously down the stretch. NU gave La Salle a taste of their own poison, demolishing La Salle’s attacks with perfectly timed blocks. La Salle also bursted at the seems, uncharacteristically surrendering late errors.

For the first time in his coaching career, NU Coach Roger Gorayeb triumphed over the Lady Spikers and their coach, Ramil De Jesus. But the veteran volleyball coach downplayed the magnitude of the win.

“I’m happy that we won. But then again, La Salle is at liberty to lose a game, twice to beat sila eh. Marami pa kaming kailangang gawin pero I’m proud of what my team has accomplished in the two short months I’ve been with them,” Coach Roger remarked.

The win was also NU’s first over La Salle since 2007, the season after La Salle’s infamous suspension.

NU now sets up a do-or-die date with the Lady Spikers on Saturday at the MoA Arena. The winner will face the thrice-to-beat Lady Eagles on March 11 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The Scores

NU – Santiago 13, Pablo 13, Singh 11, Mandapat 10, Dadang 8, Soliven 1, General (L), Valdez (L)

DLSU – Galang 14, Demecillo 10, Reyes 8, Baron 3, Fajardo 3, Cheng 2, Soyud 2, Dy 1, Cerveza 1, Ogunsanya 1, Macandili (L), Cruz Ci. (L)

Advertisements

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.

Advertisement
Click to comment

Basketball

Raymond Almazan ejected in return

Published

on

Photo by PBA Images

It was supposed to be a redemption game for Raymond Almazan after he was benched last Wednesday for the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters against the Phoenix Fuel Masters, for disciplinary reasons. But unfortunately, it went the the other way around.

The six-foot-eight center was ejected in the Elasto Painters’ match versus Kia Picanto on Friday evening at the Cuneta Astrodome, following a near-brawl that took place between him and opposing big man Eric Camson.

The incident took place with 3:01 remaining in the second quarter, with the Picanto ahead 34-31. Almazan and Camson were both inside the paint looking for position to grab the missed three-pointer of Jeremy King.

Things then went chippy afterwards, as Camson elbowed Almazan. It did not sit well with the latter and he retaliated, leading to the near-brawl that saw both players swing their arms at each other.

Almazan and Camson had to be separated by their teammates and officials. Moments later, both of them were whistled for a flagrant foul penalty two and were ordered to leave the playing court for good.

Almazan finished with six points and three rebounds in six minutes and 10 seconds of action, while Camson exited the bout with 10 markers, five rebounds, and four assists in over 16 minutes of playing time.

Advertisements
Continue Reading

Basketball

Fired-up Von Pessumal on Kiefer Ravena incident: ‘I’m not here to make any friends’

Published

on

Will bridges be burned?

Von Pessumal was heavily-scrutinized Friday evening after an incident with fellow Ateneo lifer Kiefer Ravena.

It took place with 9:50 left in the final frame of the San Miguel Beermen’s highly-charged tilt against the NLEX Road Warriors. After Marcio Lassiter launched a trey, Pessumal looked like he was aiming for the rebound. Instead, he simply charged towards Ravena and pushed him down.

Lassiter’s three-pointer counted, while Pessumal, who was blocked by Ravena in a fastbreak and then received a staredown moments prior, was whistled for an unsportsmanlike foul.

It was a surprising sight to see considering the amount of time he and Ravena have spent together — a bond that started ever since they were in high school. Even the second-generation star admitted that he did not expect that from his former running buddy.

“I did not expect that at all,” said the NLEX rookie.

But Pessumal downplayed such incident despite attempts by scribes to make him elaborate what had really transpired during that moment.

“It’s part of the game. It’s part of the game,” the league sophomore said after the match which they won 109-98. “I don’t wanna say anything, I’m sorry.

“It’s part of the game. Whatever move on. Not a big deal.”

Asked if he was motivated to face Ravena, whom he had shared three UAAP juniors titles, two UAAP seniors crowns, and a SEA Games gold medal with, the 24-year-old shared that he approached Friday’s bout the way he usually does.

“I wouldn’t say motivated [versus Kiefer], I mean, it’s just like any other game. When I play, I don’t see who’s guarding me, I just play,” said the 6-foot-2 swingman.

“I play to win all the time.”

The incident he and Ravena figured in shadowed his performance of 10 points on 50 percent shooting off the bench — the second time he had scored in double figures this season. After Friday, Pessumal is averaging 8.25 points.

“We have to sustain the level of excellence that they (starters) have. Our job is — I wouldn’t say support, but — when we get in, we should bring the level higher so when they come back, the game is easier for them,” he said.

Pessumal was then asked if he and Ravena met each other after the buzzer sounded as the two did not even shake hands after the contest. But, through a short yet strong response, the 24-year-old said that they did not.

“I wouldn’t say anything. I don’t know, after the game?,” he expressed.

“I’m a professional basketball player, I’m not here to make any friends.”

Advertisements
Continue Reading

Basketball

Yeng Guiao denies using racial slur against Chris Ross

Published

on

During the post-game of the San Miguel Beermen’s victory over the NLEX Road Warriors, reigning Coach of the Year Leo Austria said that NLEX head coach Yeng Guiao had called Chris Ross the “N” word, which had caused the commotion.

According to Chris, tinawagan siya ng nigger or ganiyan,” said Austria. “I don’t know but that’s what he explained to me because I confronted Chris Ross because he’s one of the most important players in my team.

“But that’s the thing he doesn’t want to hear so nag-flare up yung bata so I cannot blame him.”

However, Guiao denied that he blurted out racial slurs against San Miguel’s Chris Ross.

“Hindi. Hindi ko tinawag na N-word. Ewan ko kung may nakarinig. Pero hindi,” clarified the fiery tactician moments after their 98-109 defeat, their third straight after starting the 2018 Philippine Cup with two straight wins.

That tussle, according to Guiao, was just filled with trash talking against each other, as he had felt the need to retaliate. In fact, Guiao was even caught by the TV camera saying “son of a bitch” towards the Filipino-American point guard.

“Daldal siya ng daldal eh. Eh sa akin naman kapag ganon, siguro respeto nalang. Lumayo ka nalang tutal mananalo naman na kayo,” he said. “I didn’t understand what he was saying, what he was talking about.

“Nakipagtrash-talking din ako sa kanya.”

Furthermore, the 58-year-old was also caught by the cameras flipping the bird — in one quick motion — also directed at Ross.

“Oo. Kasama na rin yun.

“Pero ano naman eh, it’s part of, siguro, psychological warfare. Malakas din siya mang-asar. Hindi lang naman sa amin. Everytime naman na mga ganoong skirmishes, he also knows what he’s capable of,” the seven-time champion coach furthered.

But more than this scuffle, it has been a stressful time for Guiao and the Road Warriors. They have now gone down to 2-3 in the team standings, and the mentor sees an urgent need to end this slump immediately.

“We have to arrest it very soon. Ang susunod na laro namin ay versus Rain or Shine sa Friday. So we need to go back to 50 percent win-loss level para at least may chance ka na maka-playoffs. That’s going to be a crucial game for us,” he stressed.

Advertisements
Continue Reading

Basketball

Kiefer Ravena shocked with Von Pessumal’s shove: ‘I did not expect that at all’

Published

on

Kiefer Ravena and Von Pessumal have been teammates ever since they were in high school, winning three UAAP juniors crowns together. They won two championships together in the seniors level and even played together in Gilas. They were inseparable.

Friday evening however, they were playing for separate camps.

Ravena admitted that he never expected a shove to come from Pessumal during the NLEX Road Warriors’ clash with San Miguel Beermen.

In an off-ball situation, Pessumal charged at Ravena, sending the rookie down to the floor with 9:50 remaining in the final frame. He was then whistled for an unsportsmanlike foul, and Ravena sank one from the line.

“I did not expect that at all,” admitted Ravena after the match in which they lost, 98-109 — their third straight defeat after a 2-0 start. “But hopefully Von doesn’t take it personal.

“I’m just doing my job. They won the game.”

Ravena insisted that there wasn’t any physicality between him and Pessumal prior to that, but he thinks that his former Gilas teammate may have gotten irked by his staredown after blocking him on a fastbreak play early in the fourth.

“When that fastbreak happened — the same exact possession na I challenged him, I looked at him, and after that yun na yung nangyari,” said the 23-year-old guard. “But I never instigated something to provoke Von to do that.

“Probably nung tinignan ko siya.”

Moreover, the second overall pick of the 2017 PBA Rookie Draft felt that that incident “started all the commotions during the end game (laughs). Yun yung pinaka-una eh. And with that, the team got fired up and it worked for them.”

He may be right, for the game saw more skirmishes after that: from teammate Michael Miranda kicking Chris Ross to the groin, and with his head coach Yeng Guiao figuring in a heated verbal war also against Ross.

But then, Ravena made it clear that it was never a plan of his to put down somebody, especially someone like Pessumal who he sees as a brother for life.

“You know, Von and I, we go way back. Things like this hopefully don’t become too personal.

“I have no intention na ipapahiya yung tao or sasaktan mo yung tao. Wala namang ganun. Laro-laro lang,” said NLEX’s leading scorer.

It was somehow a night to remember for Ravena, but for all the wrong reasons. After Friday’s loss that sent their card to 2-3, the veteran internationalist now sees the need for him and the Road Warriors to push the panic button.

“‘Di na pwedeng sabihin palaging kailangan namin matuto eh. Pangatlong sunod na,” the second-generation cager expressed.

“Kailangan siguro naming umaksyon.”

Advertisements
Continue Reading

Trending