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Suzara calling for unity in volleyball in 2016



After just three years of existence, the Philippine Superliga has expanded the realm of possibilities for local volleyball. Current PSL President, Ramon “Tats” Suzara had innovation in mind when he first started the league.

Suzara upheld his promise – the PSL was the first league to really reach out to provinces through regular out-of-town games. The league also established a draft system, provided regular live TV coverage for all games, brought over some of the best international talent through its annual Grand Prix conference, and was the first club league in Southeast Asia to use a video challenge system which was only recently used regularly in the FIVB.

Aside from all these changes, Suzara hopes that the new year will be a year of unity for Philippine volleyball.

“I have spoken to LVPI (Larong Volleyball ng Pilipinas Inc.) many times to impose a strong direction for volleyball. For V-League and PSL, I think we should have a clear definition. Kasi ang PSL, definitely ito na ang official club league in the country since three years ago because we have been registered (with the FIVB) – all the teams, all the players have been registered. I have tried many times to hold a unification meeting with V-League. Pero wala talaga. So I leave that to the LVPI. The LVPI knows what to do as the national federation in charge so we have to follow. PSL follows the calendar of the LVPI and FIVB para walang conflict. I’m hoping, as my New Year’s wish, that my friends from the V-League will try to understand that we should cooperate and unite to have a very good direction for Philippine volleyball because this is for the players – for their careers. I don’t want them to be confused with where to go, now they know where to go,” said Suzara.

Suzara believes that there should be a strong structure with the major LVPI stakeholders. He wants college athletes that come out of the UAAP and NCAA to be molded in the V-League and turn pro in the PSL. Suzara also wants to directly affect the player’s participation in the National Team. “One of the foremost objectives of the PSL is to support the National Team. We should not be selfish. Kung kailangan ng bayan ng player, ibigay natin.”

When asked about the possibility of superstar Alyssa Valdez playing in the PSL, Suzara expressed that she would have to go through the draft like all other players.

ADMU vs. SSCR Alyssa Valdez

Valdez is set to play her final UAAP Season and will be eligible to be drafted into the PSL. However, the two-time UAAP MVP and the PLDT Home Ultera Ultra Fast Hitters’ poster girl in the V-League has been quoted saying that she is still unsure of her post UAAP plans.  

“Who doesn’t want Alyssa Valdez on their team? But, there are a set of rules, and the drafting is an important event in May because we start the All-Filipino Conference in June. Alyssa Valdez is most welcome in the PSL. She will definitely be the first draft pick (which Meralco owns). Ang draft picks hindi pwedeng mamili ng team na pupuntahan nila. If they refuse to go the team that drafted them, they will have to sit out for a year which has been an agreement with all team owners,” Suzara clarified.

“We leave that to her or her management’s decision (if she joins the draft). The PSL will move on regardless,” he continued. ”We’ll continue to innovate, to elevate the level of competition. We’ll just continue what we do.”


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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Calvin Abueva, Raymond Almazan cut from pool



SMART Gilas Pilipinas’ third session for the second leg of the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers ended early on Monday evening.

Prior to the end of the practice, head coach Chot Reyes talked to team veterans Jayson Castro, Gabe Norwood, and June Mar Fajardo. The outspoken mentor told the seniors of the team that he is cutting Calvin Abueva and Raymond Almazan from the pool.

“The reason why we’re dropping Abueva and Almazan for the second window is because they haven’t showed up,” lamented Reyes.

“It’s already our third practice at hindi pa sila nagpapakita. It’s simply a matter of disinterest.

“I guess they’re not interested so we have to move on we can’t wait for those guys,” he pointed out.

Both Abueva and Almazan were part of the teams that competed in the 2017 SEABA Championship, the 2017 FIBA Asia Cup, and the first window of the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers.

Only 10 players from the pool showed up for the team’s third session. And with the second leg exactly one month away, Gilas cannot let a slip up happen especially against Australia.

“Aside from those two we don’t know where Matt Wright is, while Allein [Maliksi] is attending a wedding in Australia. Other than that it’s really just an issue of Calvin and Raymond if they don’t want to be a part of the pool.” expressed Reyes.

“That’s the reason we’re dropping them for the second window.”

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2019 FIBA World Cup Qualifiers

23 for 2023 cadets fill up Gilas practice



With just 31 days until the second window of the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers, only 10 players from the pool attended the team’s third session, Monday evening at the Meralco Gym.

Suiting up in the session presided over by Coach Chot Reyes were June Mar Fajardo, Gabe Norwood, Troy Rosario, Jio Jalalon, Mac Belo, Kiefer Ravena, Kevin Alas, and Roger Pogoy. Carl Cruz and Jayson Castro were in attendance but were in street clothes.

Not present were Matthew Wright, Japeth Aguilar, and Allein Maliksi. Calvin Abueva and Raymond Almazan have yet to attend practice.

Joining the seniors team to prep them up for the World Cup Qualifiers were 10 players from the 23 for 2023 pool.

Ateneo Blue Eagle Matt Nieto attended his first Gilas practice. Joining him were teammates Isaac Go and Thirdy Ravena.

Completing the night’s cast were CJ Perez, Abu Tratter, Will Gozum, J-jay Alejandro, Arvin Tolentino, and Juan Gomez de Liano. Joshua Sinclair watched from the sidelines as he is still recovering from an ACL injury.

Gilas will take on Australia in Melbourne on February 22. The Philippine will then host Japan three days later at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

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San Beda fends off Letran for back-to-back wins



With seasoned setter John Carlo Desuyo steering the wheel to near perfection, the San Beda College romped to their second straight win.

The Red Spikers pulled double-digit outings from four players to upend archrival Colegio de San Juan de Letran Knights, 19-25, 25-13, 25-21, 25-22, and register their fourth win of the season, Monday early evening at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

It was the Knights, however, who started on the right foot, overhauling a 4-10 deficit to snag the first set. Better passing from liberos Aljune Centeno and Johnsen Timbreza resulted in kills from captain Bobby Gatdula.

Nonetheless, San Beda picked up the service game in the next three sets to ultimately finish off the blue-shirts.

Despite the win-loss record they currently sport, the Red Spiker playmaker admitted that t

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Michael Calisaan tows Che’lu-San Sebastian past Perpetual



Photo by PBA Images

Michael Calisaan poured 20 points as he captained newcomer Che’Lu-San Sebastian Revellers to a decisive 83-70 win over the University of Perpetual Help System DALTA Altas to start their voyage, Monday evening at the Pasig City Sports Center.

Doing it all for the Revellers, the veteran forward provided the stability for his side as he shot 8-of-15 from the field while also hauling down nine rebounds, two assists, and two steals in the conference-opening win.

But it wasn’t all Calisaan as Che’Lu got contributions from all over its roster.

Samboy de Leon chimed in 16 markers and nine boards. RK Ilagan went 2-of-5 from threes to collect 13 points, eight dimes, and three rebounds, while big men Alfred Batino and Jeepy Faundo combined for 20 in the victory.

Despite the triumph, coach Stevenson Tiu gave all the praise to his players, noting the team’s lack of time preparing for the tourney.

“Nanalo kami dahil sa talent ng players. Medyo mali ko rin kasi nahirapan pa ako mag-adjust sa players. Hopefully, we play much better in the coming games,” he said.

The Revellers used a 16-4 run to finally break away from the Altas, taking a 77-60 lead with 4:03 to play as they punished their foes for their turnovers, turning Perpetual’s 30 miscues to 28 points in their favor.

Prince Eze anchored the Altas with 15 points, 11 rebounds, and seven blocks in their first game under new head coach Frankie Lim.

Che’lu-San Sebastian look to make it two in a row when they take on the Wangs-Letran Couriers on Monday, January 29 at 5:00pm. Perpetual, on the other hand, hope they can notch their first win when they take on Mila’s Lechon Mighty Roasters.

The Scores:

Che’lu-SSCR 83 — Calisaan 20, De Leon 16, Ilagan 13, Batino 10, Faundo 10, Bulanadi 6, Costelo 6, Calma 2, David 0, Lao 0, Santos 0, Valdez 0.

UPHSD 70 — Eze 15, Coronel 13, Villanueva 13, Jimenez 9, Charcos 7, Peralta 7, Gallardo 5, Pido 1, Antonio 0, Aurin 0, Tamayo 0, Tongco 0.

Quarterscores: 17-22, 34-38, 59-53, 83-70.

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