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Team Asia holds 3-2 edge over Team West after Day 1



Anchored on the perfect performance of team captain and two-time World Champion, Rubilen Amit, Team Asia leads Team West, 3-2, as Day 1 of the 2015 Queen’s Cup closed on Thursday, April 16, at the Newport Mall, Pasay City.

Only five out of the scheduled six matches were played yesterday due to time constraints, but the five matches were action-packed and did not disappoint.

Team Asia draws first blood

Match Progress

Four on Four
Team Asia (1-0)12344 (Winner)
Team West (0-1)11

Team Asia started like a well-oiled machine as they took the first match of the tournament, the first four-on-four match, 4-1 to take a headstart.

The team composed by Rubilen Amit, Jennifer Chen, Eunji Park, and world number 1 Siming Chen bucked language barrier to cruise to the first three frames of the match. Amit started the ball rolling for the Asians as she successfully pocketed a ball on the break. The team consequently wiped all the balls for the early lead, 1-0.

Vivian Villareal of the USA broke for Team West, but ended up making a scratch that proved to be crucial as Team Asia again pocketed all the balls to lead 2-0. Nonetheless, her team got its first chance to score after J. Chen had a dry break, although they failed to capitalize on it, allowing Team Asia to take a commanding 3-0 lead.

On the fourth frame, Ireland’s Karen Corr also had dry break, but a miss on the 7-ball by Amit was all Team West needed to score and cut the deficit to 2, 1-3. The Asians won’t be denied of the victory though as they took the last frame, 4-1.

Barretta and Corr levels the tally

Match Progress

J. Chen/S. Chen Team Asia (1-1)122
J. Barretta/K. Corr Team West (1-1)12344 (Winner)

Things did not start out well for the Team West duo, as Barretta missed on a shot on the 3-ball. World’s top player Shiming Chen, who presented a clear shot at a 3-10 combo, did not waste the opportunity and pocketed the 10-ball to take the lead for Team Asia, 1-0. In the following frame, however, S. Chen missed on the 7-ball and Team West tied it, 1-1. Jennifer Barretta and Karen Corr tied things up as they took the second match, the first doubles, 4-2.

Barretta made up for her initial error of the game in the third as she hit a successful placement shot on the 8-ball. Jennifer Chen, who could not solve the table, missed on this 8-ball; and the Westeners took the lead, 2-1. In the next rack, S. Chen missed on the clear shot to the 4-ball to pave the way for Team West to clear the table and further their lead, 3-1.

It looked like Team West would register a similar 4-1 win, but the veteran Corr made a crucial miss on the 9-ball. J. Chen took the opportunity, and pocketed the last two balls to go within 1, 2-3. However, it was Corr who would finish the game via a 7-10 combo in the final frame, as J. Chen scratched in the previous shot.

Amit and Park pulled through to regain lead

Match Progress

R. Amit/E.Park Team Asia (2-1)12344 (Winner)
E. Laurance/V. Villareal Team West (1-2)1233

Both teams struggled on the break as most players could not pocket a ball on the first hit. In the first frame, Vivian Villareal had no clear shot on the 2-ball and was forced to hide it. Amit successfully got to hit the ball though, as she and Park cleared the table to take the first, 1-0. Both team missed on several chances on the second frame, but it was Villareal’s miss on the 5-ball that pegged the result in favour of Team Asia, 2-0. Amit and Park took the following frame, as Villareal failed on her attempt on a bank shot to the 8-ball. Amit pocketed the 10-ball for a commanding 3-0 gap. Philippines’ own, Rubilen Amit, and Korea’s Eunji Park prevented a comeback by Team West to win the third match, 4-3, and reclaim the lead in the tournament, 2-1.

With a big lead, Park had to break for the fourth frame. The Korean got the 1-ball to drop but scratched as well. Ewa Laurance placed the ball near the clear line of 2-10, and got the 10 to drop to cut the deficit to 2, 1-3. This sparked the Westeners’ comeback as they were able to breeze through the next frames despite the defensive shots by Team Asia to tie the match at hill-hill, 3-3.

With a good table in front of them, Team West looked to complete the comeback, but Laurance missed on the 4-ball. Park and Amit calmly sank the balls, and got the win, 4-3, after several minutes of intense action.

Amit takes one against Corr

Match Progress

Rubilen Amit Team Asia (3-1)12344 (Winner)
Karen Corr Team West (1-3)1233

The multifaceted veteran, Corr raced off to the early lead as Amit continued to produce dry breaks in the later matches. The Irishwoman pocketed the 10-ball off 6-10 combo to get the lead at 1-0. Corr went on to break and run the succeeding frame, as she doubled her gap 2-0. In the third frame, Amit again was unable to get any ball to drop off her break. Yet, the Filipina world champion took the game into a mind battle with her placement shots. It was successful, as Amit took the next two frames to tie the match a 2-apiece. Team Asia skipper, Rubilen Amit, continued her streak as she upended Karen Corr, 4-3, in the first singles match to give her team a 3-1 lead.

Amit carried on with the defensive strategy in the crucial fifth rack, and was consequently rewarded with a shot at the 6-10 combo, but missed. However, the 6-ball rolled into a difficult position for Corr to take, causing her fail on her attempt on a jump shot. Amit did not miss this time, pocketing the 10-ball on an 8-10 combo, and taking the lead and the hill, 3-2. Corr, however, bounced back in the next frame as she bucked off a bad break, wherein the cue ball went off the table. The multi-titled veteran missed on a two-rail bank shot, but Amit was not able to capitalize. Moreover, Corr went on to get her groove to tie the match once more, 3-all.

The Asian captain, Amit, started the deciding frame with her first successful break, getting the 1-ball to drop. However, Amit missed on the 2. On the other hand, Corr missed on a subsequent play as well, and the Filipina took the chance take the win, 4-3, to double Asia’s overall lead, 3-1.

Villareal takes one back for West

Match Progress

E.Park Team Asia (3-2)11
V. Villareal Team West (2-3)12344 (Winner)

United States’ Vivian Villareal got some measure of revenge and confidence back as she pummelled on the Korean rookie, Eunji Park, 4-1, for Team West to stay within striking distance of the defending champions, Team Asia, as Day 1 closed.

It was a highly defensive match early on, as neither player took a shot on the 1-ball in the first frame. Park took the initiative, but missed, allowing Villareal to run out the table for the lead, 1-0. The Korean got the 3-ball to drop in her break on the second frame, but committed crucial miss on the 2-ball. The experienced American wasted no time to capitalize, as she took the clear 2-10 line, and shot the 10 for a 2-0 lead.

In the following frame, Villareal had a dry break and scratched. Despite this, Park was unable to capitalize, as she could not clear the table. It was Villareal who ran out this rack to take the hill, 3-0.

Sensing some need for urgency, the Korean broke hard in the fourth, getting two balls to drop. The cue ball, though, dropped as well. The Texas-based veteran could not finish the table, and Park got into the board, 1-3. Villareal would go out to win this very defensive battle on the last frame, 4-1.

Team Asia will try to pad on the gap as Team West will try to build up from the comeback. In an interview to the media, Team West captain, Ewa Laurance, shared that her team was still adjusting to the climate and the atmosphere in the first few matches. She said the win of Vivian Villareal was important, “so that we will stay with Team Asia.” The Swedish skipper added, “We lost two 4-3 matches before that. It was really anybody’s game.”

Day 2 of the tournament will be Friday, April 17 at the same venue. Schedule is as follows:
Triples: Corr/Barretta/Laurance vs S.CHEN/ PARK/ AMIT 
Singles – Jennifer Barretta(USA) vs Siming Chen (CHN)
Singles – Ewa Mataya Laurance (SWE) vs Jennifer Chen (TPE)
Triples – Corr/ Villarreal/Laurance vs Amit/S.Chen/J.Chen
Doubles – Corr/Barretta vs Amit/S.Chen
4 on 4 – All players
Singles  – Karen Corr (IRE) vs Eunji Park (KOR) (Captain’s Pick)


Grew to appreciate various sports from tennis to judo. True-maroon kiddo since the new millennium. Fanboy. Singer. Occasional sports writer.



PBA slaps fines on Yeng Guiao, Chris Ross



Yeng Guiao and Chris Ross opt to move on

The much-talked about tilt that pitted the San Miguel Beermen and the NLEX Road Warriors last January 18 featured numerous confrontations and exchanges. But none was more heated than what happened between fiery head coach Yeng Guiao and emotional defensive cog Chris Ross.

With 1:46 remaining in that game, Guiao and Ross figured in a verbal altercation that resulted to the latter being slapped with his second technical foul of the contest.

San Miguel head coach Leo Austria alledged that Guiao threw a racial slur at Ross that triggered the Filipino-American.

The league though could not find any hard evidence that this occurred.

“Upon review of the incident, consulting possible witnesses to the event and discussing the matter with both parties, the alleged racist remark attributed to Coach Guiao could not be established,” the league said in a statement. “Coach Guiao has denied such allegation while Chris Ross has opted to move forward and said that he would not want to discuss the matter further. However, Coach Guiao and Chris Ross will be subject to appropriate fines for their respective misconduct.

“As a result, the Office of the Commissioner finds no sufficient basis to discuss the matter of an alleged racist remark uttered by Coach Guiao. It may be recalled that in a previous incident, a heavy penalty was imposed for a racist remark that was clearly proven.

“Rest assured that any act that is racially derogatory and pejorative in nature will be dealt with sternly by the league,” the statement ended.

As a result, Guiao is fined PHP 11,000 for obscene gesture, use of profane language and engaging in a verbal altercation while Ross is fined the amount of PHP 2,600 for incurring two technical fouls, both for verbal altercation.

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MPBL aims to give local talent biggest exposure




After months of planning, the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League will finally raise its curtains on Thursday, January 25 at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum. Unlike the other leagues in the country, the MPBL wants to give Filipino aspirants from local communities a chance to shine on national TV.

“I would like to say, this is the noble project of our founder and chairman, Senator Manny Pacquiao, Talagang dream niya ito, matulungan ‘yung mga grassroots,” said MPBL head of marketing Arnold Vegafria during the league’s press conference. “And from the grassroots, to the collegiate players and also professionals na gusto niyang tulungan, mabigyan ng chances, makalaro at ma-expose ang skills nila para matulungan ang mga basketbolista not only sa Metro Manila but this is gonna be all over the Philippines.

“Simula muna sa Metro Manila and key cities in Luzon. Soon it will go to Visayas and Mindanao.”

The first conference for the league is the Anta Raja Cup. 10 teams from Luzon will compose the league, namely Bataan, Batangas, Bulacan, Caloocan, Imus, Muntinlupa, Navotas, Paranaque, Quezon City, and Valenzuela.

Though it may be ambitious, the league wants to continue the dream started by the Metropolitan Basketball Association which is to create a league that has a home and away format.

“For the longest time, after ng MBA, I think it’s 20 years ago na ‘yun, I think it’s due na rin for our basketball fans around the country, ‘yung mga sa provinces, ‘cause ‘yung advantage nito is ‘yung games mismo, dadalhin mo sa kanila. Unlike before sa mga liga natin, naka-stay lang sila sa isang venue,” said league commissioner Kenneth Duremdes.

“Maraming factors ngayon, traffic and time-consuming. Pero itong liga natin, tayo ang magdadala mismo sa mga tao, sa mga basketball fans. Sa tagal-tagal ng walang organized, or high-level na basketball tournament, ito na ‘yung time na makikita ng mga basketball fans natin na up close and personal ang mga ini-idolo nila, lalo na ang mga hometown hero nila,” the PBA legend furthered.

Armed with this vision, the league plans to be the country’s premier amateur league, helping build the dreams of the Filipino youth.

“It’s an amateur league. Kaya nga natin siya tinatawag na liga para sa lahat ng Pilipino, kasi lahat dito as long as Filipino ka, kasali ka,” shared Duremdes.

“Kagaya ng sinasabi ni Sen. Manny, matutulungan natin ang mga players ng grumaduate sa college na walang mapaglaruan, mga ex-pro na hindi masyado nabigyan ng exposure sa PBA, may exposure sila dito. Tapos yung mga grassroots player natin, malay mo springboard nila ang MPBL and who knows they will represent the country in the national team.

“Ito ang nakikita ni Sen Manny, mga players na out of school or the big leagues, ma-expose sila sa MPBL at mapansin sila ng national team or pro team,” he furthered.

The league’s first game will feature Caloocan taking on Paranaque at the Big Dome. Tickets are priced at P300, P200, P150, P100 while the Gen Ad will be open for all.

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Lady Blazers evade upset-hungry Lady Generals



The College of Saint Benilde Lady Blazers avoided a major upset, slipping past the winless Emilio Aguinaldo College Lady Generals, 25-17, 18-25, 21-25, 25-18, 15-7, at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

After winning the opening set, the Lady Blazers collapsed in the following frames, surrendering errors and fumbling passes. The Lady Generals took full advantage and grabbed all the momentum, rued Saint Benilde head coach Arnold Laniog.

“Nabigyan nga namin ‘yung kalaban ng confidence, kaya tuloy-tuloy na sila kanina. Mataas pa rin ‘yung tendency ng team ko mag-relax,” Laniog said. “Kung tutuusin, may advantage talaga ‘yung team namin. Nahihirapan lang talaga kami makabangon kapag nauunahan kami. Mabuti na lang kanina nakabawi kami noong huling dalawang sets.”

The Lady Generals took their turn making errant plays, allowing the Lady Blazers to grab a 15-7 lead in the fourth set and force a decider. Anchored by the imposing presence of their middle blockers Ranya Musa and Rachel Austero, the Lady Blazers raced to a 10-2 in the final set and sealed the win.

Austero finished with 17 points while Musa added 15. The pair also combined for seven of CSB’s 13 blocksm Austero also provided five aces.

The Lady Blazers (3-2) take on fellow Final Four aspirant Jose Rizal University (2-3) on Wednesday at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

The Lady Generals had no player score in double-digits as they pulled 48 points from Benilde’s errors. Yvette Tongco and Arina Reyes, nonetheless, provided nine points apiece.

The Lady Generals (0-5) get their best chance at their first of the season when they face also-ran Mapua University (0-4) also on Wednesday.

The Scores

CSB (3) – Austero 17, Musa 15, Cui 8, Ventura 8, Abriam 5, Daguil 5, Enginco 5, Cardiente 1, Pablo 1, Dolorito 0, Lim (L), Torres (L)

EAC (2) – Reyes 9, Tongco 9, Binondo 8, Lumbo 8, Tasis 4, Pablo 3, Magbanua 2, Chan 0, Yongco 0, Medina (L)

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Blazers rally from 0-2 deficit, fend off Generals for fourth win



Defending NCAA men’s volleyball champions College of Saint Benilde Blazers completed a huge comeback from an 0-2 hole and upended the gritty Emilio Aguinaldo College Generals, 19-25, 20-25, 25-7, 25-14, 15-11, Monday morning at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

The Generals stormed through the first two sets, leaning on better transition and their service game. Joshua Mina and Chris Ilano poured in most of their combined 27 points in these frames.

Nonetheless, when the Blazers realized that they needed to turn up its aggressiveness, it was cruise control from there.

“Nung first two sets, nag-relaxed kami, ‘di kami aggressive sa atake, sa blocking,” Benilde senior middle blocker Jethro Orian lamented. “Eh yung kalaban, masipag sila.”

EAC imploded in the next two sets, coughing up most of its 41 miscues during the frame. The reigning champions capitalized on the situation with heightened aggression.

Halfway into the eliminations, Orian shared that the Blazers needed to continue their hard work.

“Kailangan pa naming mas maging aggressive. Mas tumrabaho sa dapat naming again,” he said.

Captain Isaah Arda registered a 19-point outing, 17 coming off attacks. Orian’s fellow center attacker Francis Basilan finished with 12 markers.

The Blazers (4-1) will battle the Jose Rizal University (0-5) on Wednesday.

Mina starred for the Generals with 16 points.

The Generals (2-3) will lock horns with Mapua University (2-2) on Thursday, in a tussle for survival.

The Scores:

CSB 3 – Arda 19, Basilan 12, Orian 9, Bacani 9, Bautista 9, Magsino 4, Rojas 1, Saldavia 0, Dy L.

EAC 2 – Mina 16, Ilano 11, Rasing 11, Castellano 8, Lim 6, Garcia 2, Guinto 1, Panoy 0, Lumbar 0, Magadan L, Bagdoc L.

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