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Valdez, Maraño headline Philippine U-23 women’s volleyball pool



Reigning two-time UAAP women’s volleyball Most Valuable Player, Alyssa Valdez, leads the 14-woman Philippine U-23 women’s national volleyball pool that will be competing in the first-ever Asian U-23 Women’s Volleyball Championship in May.

Joining Valdez is, former UAAP MVP Aby Maraño, the sister tandem of Jaja and Dindin Santiago, setters Kim Fajardo and Jia Morado, Bea De Leon, reigning NCAA MVP Gretchel Soltones, EJ Laure, UAAP Season 77 Best Blocker Ria Meneses, UAAP Season 77 Best Receiver Tin Agno, Christine Rosario, Alyssa Eroa, and Myla Pablo.

Roger Gorayeb, who heads the National University Lady Bulldogs squad, will call the shots for the National Team.

The Philippines is in Pool A of the tournament along with Kazakhstan and Iran. The top two teams in each of the four pools will advance to the next round.

Larong Volleyball ng Pilipinas, Inc.’s Joey Romasanta says that exposure to international competition, after a decade-long layoff, will help the country measure how far it has come when it comes to the sport.

“Considering our absence from international competition, this is a good first step. We can’t be perfect in what we do, but this is a good first step,” Romasanta said.

Coach Tai Bundit of the Ateneo Lady Eagles will serve as a consultant for the squad as Romasanta said that his system “is something that’s already proven.”

Romasanta added that the U23 players may also make the core of the South East Asian Games team should the POC decide to field a team to the biennial meet.

Quick takeaways:
PowerDLSUvsADMU UAAP S77 Finals Game 2-2

Alyssa Valdez, Gretchel Soltones, Dindin Santiago, you name it. This is a team with the country’s best spikers. It is a bit unfortunate that Ara Galang and Kathy Bersola are recovering from respective injuries, as they could have added more depth. Nevertheless, this crew is solid and ready to take action.

SizeDLSUvsNU Final Four Game 2-6522

Santiago sisters plus Bea De Leon and Ria Meneses. It makes us wonder if Jaja Santiago will play a different position, as she will definitely be a boost when placed to the wing position. Size will be vital in this competition, and it is a good to see some towers on the floor.

Premium playmaking

ADMU's Jia Morado

ADMU’s Jia Morado

Jia Morado and Kim Fajardo are the two Best Setters in the UAAP during Season 77. Watch out for a Morado to Santiago play, and the return of a Fajardo to Maraño play.

Outstanding receivingFEUvsUE Round 2-0484
If you don’t know Tin Agno click here

Energy_JGF9065Aby Maraño. Beast mode, don’t care.

More than the talent we see on the floor, Maraño’s energy and leadership is unparalleled. That will be needed inside the locker room of a young team. Maraño will most probably bring the same thing Marc Pingris brings to our Men’s National Basketball Team.

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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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