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Taneo Brothers playing big for Altas

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The storied University of Perpetual Help Altas has produced some of the best players in the country today. With the flamboyant Sammy Acaylar at the helm, multiple Altas have gone on to translate their collegiate success to National Team stints.

After getting knocked off the throne last season after winning four straight champions in years prior, the Altas tore through the competition this year with the energy and ferocity they lacked last year.

Like any great volleyball team, the Altas are an all-around threat with barely any weak rotations and multiple offensive threats. Their staunch Middle Blockers – Bonjomar Castel, Manuel Doliente – are the best in the league, both capable of protecting the net and scoring off slides and quicks.

But, perhaps the most interesting perhaps the most integral part of their lineup are their wingers, namely the Taneo brothers Rey Jr. and Relan.

The Cebuanos were key in their Finals-clinching match last Friday, helping the Altas avert a late-game meltdown against last season’s finalists, the College of Saint Benilde Blazers. Rey went for team-high 23 points while Relan followed with 13.

The Taneos have a long standing relationship with Acaylar, with the brother’s parents both having played for Acaylar during college. The younger of the brothers, Rey went to Perpetual first before his brother. Now in his second season, Rey’s role has expanded from off-the-bench scorer to a starter and the team’s main source of points.

NCAA 91 Volleyball CSB vs. UPHSD - Taneo-9367

The shift of role has been a challenge for the Open Hitter but he’s aware of his team’s need for him to be consistent. Taneo’s 23-point outburst came after a string of single-digit performances in three straight outings. “Sabi nga po ng mga coaches, kumuha lang ng inspiration sa ibang tao – friends, family, sa kanila mismo. Kasi kung sila nga may tiwala sa amin, bakit pa kami mawawalan ng tiwala sa sarili namin? Lalo na po ako. Kailangan ko pa talaga matuto na hindi isipin masyado ‘yung mga mali ko tapos bumawi na lang agad.”

Relan, on the other hand, had to overcome more physical obstacles than mental. Days into the season, Chicken Pox sidelined him for more than two weeks. Originally recruited out of Southwestern University to be the starting setter, Relan found his role had changed when he came back.

“Ang hirap po talaga nung pagbalik ko. Sobrang tumaba ako, wala talaga ako sa kondisyon. ‘Yung una nga pong practice namin sobrang nahihilo ako,” Relan recalled. “Naintindihan ko naman po kung bakit iba muna ‘yung ginagamit na setter.”

NCAA 91 Volleyball CSB vs. UPHSD - Taneo-9377

Coming off the bench for most of the matches, Relan served a new role. “Napansin po kasi ni coach na parang humina po ‘yung receive (service reception) ng mga kakampi ko kaya nilagay niya akong Utility (Hitter), tapos saka po siya umasa na ako ‘yung kumuha ng mga bola. Hindi naman po talaga ako magaling sa receive, gusto ko lang po talaga rumeceive.”

When asked why he transferred, Relan admitted that he really just wanted to be with his younger brother. “Kailangan niya po kasi ng gabay. Wala siyang kasama dito sa Manila na pamilya, sabi niya nalulungkot siya kaya ayon po. Narecruit naman na po ako dati maglaro dito, kaso takot lang talaga ako malayo sa pamilya – isip bata ba?”

The pint-sized brothers will represent Perpetual in the NCAA Beach Volleyball Tournament but, for now, they have their eyes set on their championship series against reigning titlist, the Emilio Aguinaldo College Generals, which starts tomorrow at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

“Kahit naman po hindi pa namin sila natatalo this season, hindi kami magpapa-apekto doon. Iba na po kasi pagdating ng Finals. Hindi naman po namin hahayaan na talunin na lang kami,” Rey expressed.

“Hindi na kami pwede mag-relax tulad nung labas sa Benilde kasi hindi magpapabawi iyang EAC. Kailangan lang focused lang kami lagi, animal instinct ba, patay kung patay,” Relan followed.

With the feared Howard Mojica sure to fire off 30 points or more per match, the Altas will need every bit of offense the Taneos can provide.

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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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ABL

AJ Mandani sparks Singapore in win over Joshua Munzon-led Westsports

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Back to his role as the sixth man of the Slingers after two games, AJ Mandani provided the firepower needed by Singapore in a fourth quarter surge to stop the Westsports Malaysia Dragons, 93-85, Sunday afternoon at the MABA Stadium in Malaysia.

The win arrested the Slingers’ two-game losing streak, raising their slate to 6-6. Westsports, a team coming off a two-game winning streak that included a 91-87 win over Mikey Williams and the Saigon Heat last January 18, fell to 3-5.

Struggling in the first three quarters, Mandani six of his eight points in the final frame. And those points were povital in fending off Westsports.

With Singapore clinging to a solitary point lead early in the fourth quarter, the Filipino-Canadian scored four straight points 8-0 run to gain a 74-67 lead with under seven minutes left. Another basket by Mandani followed it up with a breakaway layup with with 5:18 remaining to give Singapore an 81-72 cushion.

Filipino exports Joshua Munzon and Patrick Cabahug tried to rally the home team back as a triple by the latter cut the lead down to just three with 1:40 on the clock. Big buckets by Delvin Goh and Chris Charles sealed off the Malaysia-based club team.

Munzon went just 5-for-18 from the field to finish with 15 points, seven rebounds, and three steals. Cabahug chipped in eight points on 3-for-4 shooting off the bench.

Xavier Alexander led Singapore with 33 points while Charles tallied a double-double with 25 points and 13 rebounds to go along with three swats. Singaporean Goh had 16 points, seven rebounds, and four assists.

Marcus Marshall paced Westsports with 22 points, playing all 40 minutes as fellow World Import AJ West had a tough outing.

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AU

Impervious Lady Chiefs stay perfect after sweep of Lady Pirates

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The Arellano University Lady Chiefs extended their winning streak to 17, dating back to last season, after clobbering the Lyceum of the Philippines Lady Pirates, 25-16, 25-17, 25-11, at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

The defending champions were unrelenting, with four Lady Chiefs scoring in double-digits. Rookie Necole Ebuen powered in 11 points. Third-year open hitter Regine Arocha and Arellano’s middle blockers Mary Anne Esguerra and Andrea Marzan each provided 10 markers.

Conversely, no Lady Pirate managed to score in double-figures.

“Maganda naman talaga ang nilalaro ng mga bata. Lahat kasi kami determinado na makakuha ulet ng championship. Alam nila (Lady Chiefs) na kailangan pataas nang pataas ang ginagalaw namin,” said Arellano head coach Obet Javier.

The Lady Chiefs also limited their errors to a season-best 16, while the Lady Pirates surrendered 24 miscues.

Christine Miralles and Monica Sevilla each supplied the struggling Lyceum with eight point apiece.

The Lady Chiefs will look for their sixth win of the season when they face the red-hot University of Perpetual Help System DALTA (4-1) on Tuesday at the FilOil Flying V Centre. The Lady Pirates (1-4) take on the undefeated San Beda College (4-0) on Wednesday also at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

The Scores

AU (3) – Ebuen 11, Arocha 10, Esguerra 10, Marzan 10, Prado 3, Ramirez 3, Liu 2, Balanoba 1, Donato 1, Verutiao 0, Buemia (L), Flores (L)

LPU (0) – Miralles 8, Sevilla 8, Juanilla 7, Patio 4, Genova 1, Romanban 0, Bongabong 0, Marcella (L)

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Basketball

Late whistle costs San Beda against Sousse, drops Red Lions to 0-2

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23 for 2023 cadet Robert Bolick is averaging 27.5 points per game in the tournament

After struggling to close out the UAE National Team in their opener last Friday, the San Beda College Red Lions figured in a late judgment call that did not fall into their favor, Saturday at the Shabab Al Ahli Club in Dubai. Due to this, the defending NCAA Champions lost to Tuniasian club team Sousse, 78-79.

With the loss, the Red Lions fell to a 0-2 hole in the 29th Dubai Basketball Championship. But the record does not reflect how the Filipinos played.

Robert Bolick, who scored 28 points against the UAE National Team, led the charge for San Beda in their second outing with 27 points. Fellow 23 for 2023 cadet Javee Mocon added 11 points and seven rebounds.

Sousse — the second-best club team in Tunisia, who boasts four national team players and an American import — led by as much as 10 points, 70-60 in the final frame.

Fired up by the Filipinos who stormed the venue, the Red Lions answered right back with an 18-8 run capped by a booming Bolick triple with six ticks left to gain a 78-76 lead.

However, a foul was called on a Red Lion on a three-point attempt by a Sousse player. He calmly sank all three free throws with 1.5 seconds remaining to seal the win.

Donald Tankoua had eight points and 13 rebounds as he was saddled with foul trouble all throughout the game.

The Tunisian club team was paced by Radzhouane Slimane with 18 points, while Ibrahim Nadarri and Joshua Cassady had 13 markers each.

San Beda will have a one-day break before taking on Moroccan club team Al Sale on Monday, January 22.

The Scores:

San Beda 78 – Bolick 27, Mocon 11, Tankoua 8, Noah 8, Toba 6, Soberano 6, Prebitero 4, Tongco 4, Bahio 2, Carino 2, Oftana 0, Adamos 0.

Sousse 79 – Slimane 18, Naddari 13, Cassady 13, Mouhli 11, Knioua 9, Toumi 8, Monastiri 4, Gaddour 3.

Quarterscores: 23-17, 36-39, 57-62, 78-79.

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JRU

Perpetual overpowers JRU to keep pace for Final Four

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Strutting their decisive height and power advantage, the University of Perpetual Help System DALTA Lady Altas slammed the Jose Rizal University Lady Bombers, 25-21, 22-25, 25-14, 25-21, at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

The Lady Altas were still heavy-handed with their errors, surrendering 35 miscues, including 12 in the second set — the only frame they lost.

The Las Piñas-based program, however, kept a scorching offensive pace, bombarding the Lady Bombers with six blocks and 12 aces. JRU had just five points combined from those categories.

“Mataas pa talaga ‘yung tendency ng mga bata mamigay ng mga puntos. Sabi ko nga hindi kami mananalo kung tutulungan pa namin ‘yung kalaban maka-score,” rued Perpetual head coach Michael Cariño.

“Pero, unti-unte namang gumaganda ‘yung galaw ng mga bata. Lahat naman ng pagkukulang nila, tinatrabaho namin para maayos sa ensayo,” the champion mentor added.

Perpetual’s six-foot-three middle blocker Lourdes Clemente towered over the Lady Bombers with a season-high 19 points which included 14 attacks, two blocks, and three aces. Winger Cindy Imbo added 15 points.

Rookie Dolly Versoza paced the Lady Bombers with a game-high 21 points, while captain Shola Alvarez managed 15.

The Lady Altas (4-1) take on the undefeated defending champs Arellano University (5-0) on Tuesday at the FilOil Flying V Centre. The Lady Bombers (2-3) face the College of Saint Benilde (3-1) on Wednesday, also at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

The Scores

UPHSD (3) – Clemente 19, Imbo 15, Sangalang 8, Llorente 7, Tripoli 7, Gual 6, Versoza 2, Umandal 1, Estanislao 0, Medalla (L)

JRU (1) – Versoza 21, Alvarez 15, Ebuenga 5, Montojo 2, Rivera 2, Sibangan 1, Bodiongan 0, Macaraya (L)

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