Monday, February 29, 2016

National University sweep UAAP tennis

National University completed the double in lawn tennis for the third straight season, as they annexed the Season 78 titles in sweeping fashion at the Rizal Memorial Tennis Courts last Saturday.

The Bulldogs continued their dominance in the men's division, claiming a 3-0 thumping of the University of the Philippines.

Leander Lazaro easily defeated Gelo Esguerra in straight sets, 6-1 6-3 to win the first singles matchup, while Jigo Pena and Al Madrio beat Joshua Miranda and Kyle Joseph in what would turn out to be the lone doubles match, 7-5 6-1.

Reigning two-time MVP Fritz Verdad clinched the sweep for NU with a 6-2 6-3 win over Joshua Cano.

In claiming their fourth straight title, NU's male lawn tennis team has the longest ongoing winning streak in the UAAP with 44 straight victories.

Lazaro was named as the Season 78 Most Valuable Player, his second after being honored in 2013. UST Golden Netter Mark Clarence Cabahug was named as the Rookie of the Year.

On the distaff side, the Lady Bulldogs secured their third straight title with their own 3-0 sweep of UST to claim the undefeated season.

Reigning MVP Clarice Patrimonio opened things with a 6-1 6-3 win over Precian Rivera. while Goldie Nagret and Zaza Paulino defeated Lenelyn Milo and Shymae Gitalan, 6-2 6-2 in the first doubles match.

Tin Patrimonio claimed the championship for NU by winning her singles matchup against Macy Gonzales, 6-2 6-3. She would then be bestown the MVP honor for the second time in her UAAP career.

Ateneo's Jana Pages was named as the Rookie of Year.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Ateneo seeks to sweep first round of UAAP women's volleyball

Games today at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum:

8am – UST vs Adamson (Men)
10am – Ateneo vs NU (Men)
1230pm – UE vs Adamson (Women)
430pm – La Salle vs Ateneo (Women)

Ateneo seeks to complete a sweep as they face off against rivals La Salle in the highlight of the volleyball quadruple header at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum later today.

The Lady Eagles are on a 24-match winning streak, dating back to the Season 76 finals, and the Lady Spikers are looking to put an end to that run, as well as their personal six-match losing streak, while also putting some gap between themselves and idle third place team National University.

Both teams have faced each other in the finals for the past four seasons, with either team snatching two apiece.

La Salle head coach Ramil de Jesus is looking at reducing their errors while at the same time being able to stay with Ateneo's level of play. Even with Ara Galang's return from injury, the Lady Spikers have dominated as a team in the statistical categories, led by their reliables Mika Reyes and Kim Fajardo, alongside the emergence of Majoy Baron and Tin Tiamzon.

In contrast, Alyssa Valdez chose to downplay the significance of this matchup, noting that "It's just another game for us." The MVP adds that she is "making the most" out of her final season.

The other women's volleyball match sees UE attempt to snap their 51-game losing streak against Adamson at 1230pm. The Lady Warriors ran into the Ateneo buzzsaw last Wednesday, losing in straight sets, but Francis Vicente inserted a couple of new wrinkles during that match, including trying out Roselle Baliton as a setter.

There will also be a scheduled finals rematch in the men's division, with Ateneo and NU set to battle at 10am. Before that, Adamson is seeking to claim at least a tie atop the standings as they face UST in the first match of the day at 8am.

The UAAP had announced previously that there will be two sets of tickets to be sold for today's games. The first set covers the men's volleyball doubleheader and the UE-Adamson match, while the Ateneo-La Salle match will have its own set of tickets. The latter three matches will also be shown LIVE on ABS-CBN Sports + Action as well as on its sister HD channel.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Eight picked from Jr NBA / Jr WNBA Philippines Baguio Camp

The courts inside the campus of Benguet State University played host to the first Regional Selection Camp of the 2016 edition of the Jr. NBA / Jr. WNBA Philippines, presented by Alaska.

Held last February 20-21, the program drew over 667 participants from the Luzon, including those from Batangas and Laguna that traveled up north for the chance to be selected to take part in the National Selection Camp later this April.

Out of that group, six boys made the final cut: 14-year olds Jan Zyrus de Ayre (Berkeley School) and Sergz Quitaleg (St. Louis University - Laboratory High School), as well as 13-year olds Ric Ozner Joshua Gatuz (Cherished Moments School), Vincent Mabiwo (University of the Cordilleras), Emmanuel James Macaranas (Bayambang National High School), and Wrench Mason Roquid (University of Perpetual Help System - Laguna).

Joining them are a couple of girls: 13-year olds Katreena Areola (Berkeley School) and Rae Jemima Caba (St. Louis University - Laboratory Elementary School).

The eight North Luzon finalists of the Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA Philippines 2016
presented by Alaska with their coaches.
These eight kids, who were evaluated by a committee led by Jr. NBA / Jr. WNBA coach Craig Brown, excelled at the different skills stations and scrimmages that took place during both days, as well as exemplifying the core Jr. NBA / Jr. WNBA values (Sportsmanship, Teamwork, a positive Attitude, and Respect) throughout the camp.

Brown says, "I think everyone’s performance was outstanding and everyone had a positive attitude. I applaud the North Luzon participants for coming out and giving their best. They will perform very well in the National Training Camp."

The next scheduled Jr. NBA / Jr. WNBA Regional Selection Camp will take place this weekend inside the Ateneo de Davao campus in Davao City. There will also be a Regional Selection Camp slated to take place in Cebu on March 5-6 and Manila on April 9-10.

Those who want to be involved in the Regional Selection Camps can still do so by registering at No fees required to participate.

Ateneo, Adamson secure volleyball wins

Defending champions Ateneo flexed its muscles in anticipation of its highly-anticipated matchup against rivals La Salle, easily taking care of business against the University of the East, 25-12 25-10 25-10 on Wednesday afternoon at the Filoil Flying V Arena in San Juan.

The Lady Eagles needed 64 minutes to claim their sixth straight victory this season, and 24th straight overall. In all sports, only Adamson softball (71), NU men's lawn tennis (43), and NU women's basketball (32) have a longer ongoing winning streak as of the moment.

Jhoana Maraguinot led Ateneo with eleven spikes and a block, while reigning MVP Alyssa Valdez contributed eight spikes, two aces, and five excellent digs. Jia Morado added four spikes and two blocks to her 27 excellent sets, while Jamie Lavitoria had eleven excellent digs.

Head coach Tai Bundit had the luxury to provide some playing time for almost everyone during this straight set victory, including the Gaston sisters (Pauline and Therese) and rookies Ria Lo and Deanna Wong.

The other women's volleyball matchup saw Adamson secure a come-from-behind 21-25 17-25 25-19 25-23 15-10 victory over Far Eastern University.

The five-set marathon allowed May Roque to put up a career-best performance with 19 spikes, a block, and three aces. Ably complementing the rookie are Jema Galanza's sixteen points, nine excellent digs and eight excellent receptions, while Fhen Emnas put out 37 excellent sets to help end Adamson's four-game slide.

Head coach Sherwin Meneses acknowledged the value of the victory, "Importante yung pagkapanalo namin kasi magkaka-dikit dikit na ulit ang standings."

The Lady Tamaraws were a couple of  points away from taking the match in the fourth set, but gave it away to the Lady Falcons, who had scored the next three points, and then fell to a 2-10 deficit in the final set before attempting a small comeback and eventually yielding the win to the San Marcelino-based volleybelles. FEU fell into fourth with a 3-3 record.

Bernadeth Pons led FEU with 19 spikes, six aces, and eleven excellent digs, while Chinchin Basas netted twenty points and ten excellent digs.

On the men's side, Ateneo and Adamson took contrasting routes to claim victories earlier on Wednesday.

The defending champions took care of things against UE, 25-16 25-18 25-14, with reigning MVP Marck Espejo scoring 13 markers.

In contrast, Adamson withstood an attempted comeback from the University of the Philippines to claim a 25-18 25-23 18-25 18-25 15-13 win. The Falcons fended off the Maroons on matchpoint through a Bryan Saraza kill, his eighteenth point of the match. They also got 19 from Jerome Sarmiento.

PFF releases ticket guidlines for World Cup Qualifier / Asian Cup Qualifier match vs North Korea

The Philippine Football Federation on Thursday, announced that tickets from the upcoming World Cup Qualifier / Asian Cup Qualifier match against the DPR Korea will be released on Friday, February 26.

Like the previous matches involving the senior men's national football team, TicketWorld will be handling ticket distribution.

Prices are as follows:

Category 1 – Php 1,500.00
Category 2 – Php 1,000.00
Category 3 – Php 500.00
Category 4 – Php 300.00
Category 5 – Php 200.00
Category 6 – Php 100.00

The qualifier will take place on March 29 at Rizal Memorial, with an 8pm kickoff.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

PFF statement re: AFF Suzuki Cup hosting

After inspection by its rights holder Lagardere Sports (formerly World Sports Group), the Asean Football Federation (AFF) has disapproved the 15-thousand seat Rizal Memorial Football Stadium as primary venue of the Group Stage matches to be hosted by the Philippines.  The 2016 AFF Suzuki Cup competition regulations require among others a minimum 30-thousand seat capacity for primary venues of  group stage matches.

While the 20-thousand seat privately-owned Philippine Sports Stadium has also been nominated, AFF however requires submission of a written stadium hire contract.  Deadline of 31 January 2016 and further deadline of 9 February 2016 have lapsed without PFF receiving a signed contract from PSS.

With no qualified stadia at the moment, PFF is compelled to bring the matter to AFF and will  take up the stadia qualification during the AFF Council meeting on 12 March 2016 at Danang, Vietnam.

24 February 2016. PFF House of Football, Pasig City.

Atty. Edwin Gastanes
General Secretary

Battle of Katipunan set in UAAP men's football

Men's football matches Thursday at the Moro Lorenzo Field:

1 pm. – Ateneo vs UP
3 pm. – UE vs Adamson

Weekday college football is set to resume tomorrow at the Moro Lorenzo Field, as Ateneo and the University of the Philippines clash in the opening match of the afternoon doubleheader.

Both teams are fresh from their first wins of the season last Saturday, with each team doing so via shutouts.

The Maroon Booters beat UE that afternoon, 2-0, with Raphael Resuma and Vincent Aguilar finally giving the school their first goals of the season.

Later that evening, Ateneo bounced back from their struggles to start the season with an impressive second half in dealing Adamson a 4-0 defeat.

The winner in that matchup will move past defending champions FEU in fourth place.

Adamson and UE will attempt to bounce back from their Saturday defeats in the second half of their double-header at 3pm. The Warriors have a solitary point, but has not yet scored a goal this season. On the other hand, the Falcons have allowed a league-worst eight goals this season in their three losses.   

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

La Salle, UST take up top two spots in UAAP men's football

Men's football matches Thursday at the Moro Lorenzo Field:

1pm. – Ateneo vs UP
3pm – UE vs Adamson

The surprising resurgence of the University of Santo Tomas continued on Sunday night at McKinley-Hill stadium, putting up an impressive 3-1 victory over National University.

After a goalless first half, Ronald Batisla-Ong managed to put the Golden Booters ahead in the 51st minute. It was then followed by a brace from Renz Gumban in a span of four minutes, starting in the 72nd minute.

UST also managed to keep the duo of Paolo Salenga and Nico Macapal in check all game, led by keeper Zaldy Abraham saving numerous scoring chances, especially early on in the match.

It was only on the final kick of the game, care of Darwin Regala, that the Bulldogs could break through against the Tiger Booters' back line.

The victory puts UST in solo second place with eight points, just two behind La Salle in the football leaderboard. The loss keeps NU at seven points, dropping them down to third place.

The Green Booters moved on top of the league after their 2-1 triumph over Far Eastern University in the highly anticipated finals rematch on Sunday afternoon.

Head Coach Hans Smit's judgment paid off once again, inserting substitute Carlos Joseph in the 74th minute, who would then take advantage of RJ Joyel being off his line by heading the ball coming off a Jhoguev Ybanez clearance over the FEU keeper's head and into the net in the 82nd minute.

La Salle moved ahead in the 33rd minute from the penalty spot, with Greggy Yang forcing Joyel to guess wrong to score the opening goal of the match. FEU would then equalize a couple minutes into the second half, as Rico Andes claimed solo leadership in the goalscoring ranking with his fourth of the season though a header off a Paolo Bugas free kick.

Team captain Gelo Diamante expressed pride with how the team performed, from the starters to the substitutes. He added that they wanted to continue their performance from last season.

The loss puts the defending champions in solo fourth at five points, one ahead of UP.

The Maroon booters had secured the first win of the season with a 2-0 win over the University of the East on Saturday afternoon. Also securing their first win of the season is Ateneo, who thrashed Adamson, 4-0, on Saturday night.

The Falcons managed to keep the Blue Eagles scoreless in the first half, but a Mikko Mabanag strike in the 48th minute opened things up. Seven minutes later, Jeremiah Rocha would double the lead. True freshman Jarvey Gayoso and Mashiu Yoshioka would ice the game late for the JP Merida-coached side.

The losses keep the newest side to UAAP football at the bottom of the table with zero points.

Adamson extends softball winning streak to 70

Defending champions Adamson needed just six innings yesterday to crush the University of the Philippines, 7-0, in the UAAP softball tournament at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium.

The win extends the winning streak of the Lady Falcons to 70 games overall, as they remain undefeated at 8-0 this season.

Head coach Ana Santiago says that the streak is just a bonus, knowing that the ultimate goal remains to win the championship.

While one streak continues, another ends. Ateneo's losing skid ends at 23 games, as the Lady Eagles beat UE, 3-0.

The other match in the softball tripleheader saw UST invoke the mercy rule with a 7-0 win over NU in just five innings.

On Sunday, Season 77 finalists Ateneo and La Salle continued their impending Finals meeting as they bested separate opposition to each their fifth win in six matches.

The Blue Eagles defeated the UST Golden Sox, 6-3, while the Green Batters routed UP, 14-5.

National University's championship aspirations took a major blow due to their 7-6 loss to Adamson, and will need to beat Ateneo on Thursday to keep their hopes alive.

Kaya FC kicks off AFC Cup campaign vs Kitchee SC

Kaya FC players in practice. Photo c/o Kaya FC
Kaya FC is set to take its next step in its club history, as the legendary Filipino side will kick off its first-ever continental campaign tonight against Hong Kong side Kitchee for the AFC Cup.

The UFL side secured its berth by claiming the UFL Cup in a sensational upset of Ceres-La Salle FC back in late August. Ceres, which secured the other Filipino berth in the AFC Cup by winning the United Football League in dominant fashion, will also be set to kick off its campaign against Malaysian side Selangor FA that same night at Panaad Stadium in Bacolod.

For head coach Chris Greatwich, he sees this as a "tremendous honor" for Kaya FC to be representing the Philippines in international competition. He adds, "I think largely we've underachieved in domestic competition. Last season, in the [UFL] Cup, we put our best foot forward. I think we put in some really good displays. And I think we're well worthy of representing the UFL in the competition."
Kaya FC head coach Chris Greatwich. Photo c/o Kaya FC

Regarding their opposition, Chris expects a challenging atmosphere, noting that Kitchee are the favorites on paper to qualify, as well as that the team has had experience in this kind of competition, with a number of players currently on the Hong Kong national team set-up.

The former Philippine international is excited with the possible prospects of pulling off an upset, noting that the team embraces the challenge of starting their campaign by going into the lion's den, adding that, "If we're well prepared and we go into the game with confidence, I don't see why we can't, on the day, produce what some people may see as a shock."

Aside from Kitchee SC, Kaya FC will also face S-League side Balestier Khalsa and Maldives side New Radiant SC in Group F. The latter will be the first team that Kaya FC faces at Rizal Memorial Football Stadium, slated on March 8.

The Kaya FC-Kitchee SC matchup will be telecast LIVE on FOX Sports & FOX Sports HD at 745pm, with a replay telecast on Sports+Action slated the next day.

As for the Ceres-La Salle FC vs Selangor FA matchup, it will be shown LIVE on Sports+Action at 7pm, with coverage starting at 645pm. A replay telecast is scheduled on FOX Sports at 1130pm.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Maroon booters shut out UE in UAAP football

The University of the Philippines entered the win column on Saturday afternoon at McKinley-Hill Stadium, defeating the University of the East, 2-0.

Raphael Resuma opened things up in the 18th minute, scoring off an assist from Roland Saavedra. Vincent Aguilar would then double the lead in the 89th minute to clinch the win, which allowed them to seize solo fifth place in the standings.

The Maroon Booters came into the match slightly undermanned, as JB Borlongan and Christian Lapas were called up for national team duty. Both are with the Philippine U-19 team currently in China for a four-nation tournament.

The loss keeps UE in sixth place temporarily, pending the result of the Ateneo-Adamson game tonight.

Friday, February 19, 2016

NU Bullpups at cusp of UAAP HS basketball sweep

Game 2 on February 26 at Filoil Flying V Arena in San Juan
2pm – DLS-Z vs NU

National University is at the cusp of claiming the UAAP Season 78 Juniors basketball title, as they dominated La Salle-Zobel, 78-58, in Game 1 of the Finals held on Friday afternoon at the Filoil Flying V Arena.

Head coach Jeff Napa was pleased with how the Bullpups implemented the gameplan for this game, which saw them lead by as much as 31 points.

Justine Baltazar recorded his twelfth double-double of the season with 15 points and 27 rebounds to lead last season's losing finalists. The Mabalacat native also added four blocks, as well as an assist and a steal. John Lloyd Clemente led all scorers with sixteen markers.

Justine still acknowledged that they still have one game to finish, which is set to take place next week.

Newly-minted MVP Aljun Melecio led the Junior Archers with 15 points on 6/21 shooting, while adding seven rebounds and six assists. Marco Sario and MR Romero each added ten points.

The scores:
NU (78) - Clemente 16, Baltazar 15, PeƱano 12, Sarip 7, Manalang 5, Jugar 5, Atienza 4, Tolentino 4, Beldua 3, Vallejo 3, Amsali 2, Coyoca 2, Careng 0, Fortea 0, Mosqueda 0.

DLS-Z (58) - Melecio 15, Sario 10, Romero 10, Mariano 8, Fortuna 6, Cabarrus 4, Sobrevega 3, Paraiso 2, Francisco 0, Rabat 0, Tongco 0.

Quarterscores: 22-13, 40-22, 62-39, 78-58

Ateneo attempts to extend streak against Adamson in women's volleyball

Games tomorrow at the Mall of Asia Arena

8 am – UE vs NU (Men)
10 am – UST vs FEU (Men)
2 pm – Adamson vs Ateneo (Women)
4 pm – UST vs NU (Women)

Defending champions Ateneo seek to extend their winning run at the Mall of Asia Arena on Saturday, as they face Adamson in the first game of the women's volleyball doubleheader.

The Lady Eagles are fresh from a 25-19 25-21 25-21 conquest of UP to extend their undefeated run to 22 games.

Reigning MVP Alyssa Valdez downplayed the Lady Falcons' struggles this season, noting that they have really given the Lady Eagles a good fight, especially crediting their defense.

The Lady Falcons are fresh from a 24-26 27-25 20-25 19-25 loss to UP last Wednesday, with Jema Galanza and Mylene Paat combining for 48 points. The loss puts them in a tie with UST at sixth place with a 1-3 record.

The Tigresses are fresh from a 25-18 25-8 25-23 win over UE to give Kungfu Reyes his first-ever win in college. They will attempt to give him back-to-back wins as they face NU in the other women's volleyball matchup.

The Lady Bulldogs of Coach Roger Gorayeb have bounced back from an opening day defeat to Ateneo with three straight wins, against Adamson, La Salle, and UE, to claim a tie for second overall alongside the Lady Archers.

As for the men's division. it features a top-bottom matchup, involving NU and UE at 10am, while kicking off the volleyball action is UST and FEU at 8am. 

Thursday, February 18, 2016

NU and La Salle-Zobel set to face-off in UAAP HS basketball finals

Set to take place tomorrow at the Filoil Flying V Arena in San Juan, the UAAP Juniors basketball finals looks like it stoke some biblical proportions, as the undefeated National University Bullpups go up against the La Salle-Zobel Junior Archers.

The Junior Archers clinched the opportunity to face last season's finalists by defeating Ateneo, 75-67 in the stepladder semifinals last Monday.

La Salle-Zobel head coach Boris Aldeguer noted that the finals is a "David and Goliath" situation, but acknowledged that anything is possible, citing the College of Saint Benilde's feat against San Sebastian to claim the women's volleyball title as well as San Miguel Beer's unprecedented basketball feat in coming from 3-0 down to take the PBA All-Filipino Cup crown.

Overcoming a thrice-to-beat disadvantage has only happened once in the history of UAAP high school sports, coming in table tennis with UE against NU two years ago.

Aldeguer specifically looked at limiting the Bullpup big men, as the duo of Justine Baltazar and Rhayyan Amsali have combined for 21.8 points and 17.9 rebounds.

The finals also sees a match-up between two of the league's top scorers in Aljun Melecio (22.7 points) and John Lloyd Clemente (16.7 points)

The entire Finals matchup will be televised on Sports+Action live at 2pm.

UAAP volleyball update: Lady Maroons end skid; UST claims first win

UP ended its two-game slide with a 26-24 25-27 25-20 25-19 win over Adamson to cap off a quadruple-header of volleyball matches at the Filoil Flying V Arena.

Isa Molde led the Lady Maroons with 23 hits, including three blocks and two aces, as well as 11 digs, while Kathy Bersola and Nicole Tiamzon combined for 21 points.

UP managed to crack the code that was the Adamson floor defense in the win, allowing them to enter into a tie with Far Eastern University with a win-loss record of 2-2.

The other women's volleyball match saw UST give Kungfu Reyes his first win has their head coach, defeating UE, 25-18 25-8 25-23.

EJ Laure led the Tigresses with 16 points, while Cherry Rondina contributed three aces and two blocks. Shaya Adorador led the still-winless Lady Warriors with 10 points.

The victory puts UST in a tie with Adamson in sixth place.

Reflecting on the win, Reyes highlighted the competitive nature of collegiate volleyball, noting that results are also being judged alongside improvements.

On the men's division, NU and UP joined idle sides Ateneo and Adamson atop the standings with a 3-1 record, thank to wins over separate opposition.

The Bulldogs swept UST, 25-21 27-25 25-15, with Bryan Bagunas contributing with 13 spikes, two aces, and two blocks, while Madz Gampong adding 15 markers and 3 digs.

The Maroon Spikers got past La Salle, 25-23 25-21 21-25 27-25, with Wendel Miguel and Mac Millete combined to net 28 hits.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

NBA and Twitter reveal NBA All-Star emojis

Twitter's Sports Division and the NBA unveiled hashtag-triggered Twitter emojis in time for the 2016 NBA All-Star Game being held in Toronto this weekend.

To activate the emoji, one only needs to enter #(first name)(last name) of any of the 24 NBA All-Stars set to play this weekend. The emojis will be available until Monday (Tuesday in Manila).

The Eastern Conference All-Stars

The Western Conference All-Starts

In addition, emojis were also crafted for the award-winning Turner Sports' NBA on TNT crew.

Twitter will also play a role in determining the All-Star MVP. For the first time, the social media app is the exclusive way that the fans can pick out the Kia NBA All-Star MVP. When the fourth quarter of the NBA All-Star Game begins, fans have THIRTY minutes to send out a tweet containing #KiaAllStarMVP and the hashtag of the player they want to win.

Important notes relating to the Twitter fan vote, which is 25% of the overall vote:

  • Accounts have to set to public
  • Retweets are valid votes, provided it is only 100 or less.

The NBA also will work with Twitter and Vine for the "KicksCam," as the league will produce Vines of the sneakers the All-Stars will be taking to the Air Canada Centre court for the All-Star Game.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

UAAP college football kicks off tomorrow

Match Saturday at Moro Lorenzo Football Field:

3pm FEU-Diliman vs Ateneo

Matches Sunday at McKinley-Hill Stadium:

130pm – FEU vs UP (M)
4pm – Ateneo vs La Salle (W)
630pm – La Salle vs Ateneo (M)

The attempt for the treble treble for Far Eastern University is in full swing this weekend.

The Baby Tamaraws will aim to defend their HS football title for the sixth time this afternoon at the Moro Lorenzo Field against the Blue Eaglets at the Moro Lorenzo Field.

FEU-Diliman secured a finals berth by winning all of its matches in the four-team double round robin, capping things with a 4-2 victory over these same Blue Eaglets last week.

In spite of Saturday's loss, Ateneo managed to make a return trip to the finals with a thrilling penalty shootout victory over La Salle-Zobel last Wednesday at the same venue.

Joaquin Roque had given Ateneo a 1-0 just before halftime, while Marco Ibana forced extra time for the Junior Archers at the death, four minutes past second half stoppage time. No goals took place during the two 15-minute extensions.

It was then up to keepers Gavin Rosario and Francis Tiamco to set the table in penalties. Rosario saved Jed Bode's and Ibana's attempts to provide Ateneo some breathing room. And while Tianco saved Sancho Vicente's attempt, Manuel Cruel opened the shootout scoring by sending the Zobel keeper to the left and scoring on the right.

Juan Miguel Basmayor and Edward Acervida kept Zobel in the matchup, but Jonathan Talbot and Kenneth Soriano managed to ensure Ateneo remained ahead.

And when John Herbosa's attempt hit the crossbar and went top-down without crossing the line, it was there that Ateneo finally secured the 3-2 shootout win.

Just as these high schoolers end their football season, their collegiate brethren take to the turf at Taguig tomorrow to kickstart their season.

The Tamaraws open their attempt on the three-peat against nemesis UP at 130pm in a Final Four rematch.

The defending champions suffered a setback this past week, as Arnel Amita incurred a knee injury that will keep him out for the season. It will be up to recent national team call-up Paolo Bugas and the returning Chy Villasenor to holding things together, alongside their solid attacking core of Eric Giganto, Val Jurao, and Nicolas Ferrer.

The Maroon booters won't be easy opposition, even with the departure of veterans Jinggoy Valmayor, Kobe Ochoa, and Albert Yatco.

Anto Gonzales' squad still features a solid group of standouts up and down the pitch, from Ace Villanueva, to Patxi Santos, Ian Clarino and Feb Baya, and to the likes of Daniel Gadia and Vincent Aguilar.

The Unigames champions will not be lacking in inspiration, as the entire football program has dedicated this season to their fallen teammate Rogie Maglinas, who passed away on Tuesday due to complications from his cancer, just days before his 20th birthday.

The other men's matchup sees the other Final Four rematch, as rivals Ateneo and La Salle face off at 630pm.

The lone women's football matchup sees Ateneo and La Salle tangle at 4pm.

Televised men's football on ABS-CBN Sports+Action will commence on Thursday at the Moro Lorenzo Field, as the remaining four teams yet to play get themselves involved, as UST faces Adamson at 1pm, followed by NU against UE at 3pm.

Ateneo kicks off UAAP baseball title defense

The Blue Eagles kicked off their title defense with a 7-3 win over Adamson to cap off the opening day baseball tripleheader for UAAP Season 78 at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium.

The defending champions were down 2-0 after the top half of the third inning due to errors from Ateneo infielders. A passed ball allowed Jerome Yenson to score first in the second inning, while a Ryan Tionloc error allowed Kenneth Badrina to get on base in the third. He eventually made it home on a Lawrence Ruiz sacrifice fly to double the lead.

But it did not take long for Ateneo to respond. At the bottom of the third, Marquis Alindrogan secured a base hit, who then eventually scored after Dio Remollo produced a RBI single. After a failed fielder's choice that brought Marco Mallari on first, a Gino Tantuico RBI single tied the game. Javi Macasaet then popped a 2-RBI double to bring home both Remollo and Tantuico to give the Blue Eagles a 4-2 lead that they would not relinquish.

Ateneo would pad on runs in the 5th, 6th, and 8th innings, while the Falcon batters did manage to pull one back in the 9th for the final score.

According to head coach and program director Randy Dizer, the title defense will be hard, acknowledging that it is anybody's game this season.

Paulo Macasaet pitched a complete game, striking out nine and giving up just four hits. He would be missing the next couple of game due to national team duty in Australia for the World Baseball Classic qualifiers.

The first baseball game for Season 78 saw UST eke out a 5-4 win over UP. Christian Mercado's 8th inning RBI clinched the victory for the Golden Sox. Relief pitcher Lesmar Ventura provided the heat with 13 strikeouts after starter Jackson Acuna allowed three runs in the first three innings.

In the matchup of former finalists in the current Ateneo reign in the diamond, National University needed extras to dispatch La Salle, 8-7. A Kenneth Ibanez RBI single scored Floro Malit at the top of the tenth inning.

Meanwhile, Adamson extended its softball winning run to 64 games with a 7-4 victory over UP in the finals rematch, while NU and UST issued shutouts to UE (6-0) and Ateneo (8-0 in six innings), respectively.

NU undefeated to kick off UAAP Season 78 tennis

Defending champions National University opened its title defense with back-to-back victories at the Rizal Memorial Tennis Courts.

The Bulldogs opened the season with a 4-1 win against Ateneo, then followed that with the same score against La Salle. Both wins pad the winning streak of the three-time champions to 35 ties, the second-longest ongoing winning streak in all sports.

UST, UE, UP, and Ateneo each tote a 1-1 record. The Golden Netters eked a 3-2 win over La Salle, but lost to UE, 3-2. The tennisters from Recto defeated UST but lost to UP, 4-1. The Maroons lost to the Blue Eagles, 3-2.

The Green Netters bring up the rear with an 0-2 record.

In the women's division, the Lady Bulldogs, led by the Patrimonio siblings (Christine and Clarice), also kicked off their title defense on an impressive note, blanking UP, 5-0, on their first match of the season.

Since they had drawn the opening round bye, NU is trailing behind UST, with the Tigresses dispatching Ateneo, 4-1, and La Salle, 3-2, to secure a 2-0 record.

Before bowing to UST, the Lady Netters from Taft managed to secure a 5-0 win over UP.

Action resumes today at Rizal Memorial with three men's ties and two women's ties scheduled, starting at 8am.

UP vs La Salle highlights UAAP Volleyball Saturday

Standings                   W         L


UP                               1          0
Ateneo                         1          0
La Salle                       1          0
Adamson                     1          0
UST                             0          1
FEU                             0          1
UE                               0          1
NU                               0          1


NU                               1          0
Ateneo                         1          0
La Salle                       1          0
FEU                             1          0
UP                               0          1
UE                               0          1
UST                             0          1
Adamson                     0          1

Games today at the PhilSports Arena

8 a.m. – Adamson vs UE (Men)
10 a.m. – FEU vs Ateneo (Men)
2 p.m. – UP vs La Salle (Women)
4 p.m. – NU vs Adamson (Women)

Fresh from an opening day victory, the University of the Philippines seeks to overcome an interesting test against La Salle in the premier volleyball matchup today at the PhilSports Arena.

The Lady Maroons impressed with a 25-20 25-13 25-21 win over UE, anchored on the strength of their battle-tested newcomers Isa Molde, Justine Dorog, and Diana Carlos, alongside notable veterans Nicole Tiamzon and Kathy Bersola.

Against last season's losing finalists, however, Jerry Yee is asking his squad to make adjustments to pull off the win.

Yee says, "Against La Salle, hindi puwede kaming maraming service errors and we have to execute well." 

The Lady Spikers fended off a game Far Eastern University side, 29-27 25-23 25-20, last Wednesday.

Ara Galang, in her return to competitive action after suffering a knee injury, contributed ten points and five digs to lead the Lady Spikers.

The other women's matchup sees NU attempt to bounce back from their disappointing opener against Ateneo. The Lady Bulldogs are to face an Adamson side fresh from a grueling five-set duel against UST.

On the men's side, Ateneo and FEU battle it out to determine who temporarily holds first place, followed by the matchup between Adamson and UE.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Statement from UST head coach Bong dela Cruz

In light of the recent issues that have involved the University of Santo Tomas, men's basketball head coach Bong dela Cruz released this statement.
Nais kong ipabatid na simula nang lumabas ang mga "issues" o usapin laban sa akin ay nagpasya akong manahimik, dahil walang katotohanan ang mga binabatong "issues" laban sa akin at naniniwala ako na magtatapos ito sa tinatawag na "Natural Death," subalit sa paglipas ng mga araw ay naramdaman ko na lumalala na ang ginagawang paninira hindi sa kakayahan ko bilang coach kung 'di paninira sa aking pagkatao.

Alam ko sa aking sarili na malinis ang aking konsensya subalit mas pipiliin ko na kung kinakailangan ay sa tamang lugar o sa proper forum ako magsasalita upang maipahayag ko ang aking panig.

Lubha kong ikinalulungkot ang mga nangyayaring kaganapan dahil bukod sa akin, ang aking pamilya ay lubha nang naaapektuhan sa nangyari na trial by publicity, dahil alam nila kung paano ko ibinuhos ang aking panahon, oras, at dedikasyon bilang Head Coach ng aming koponan.

Sa katunayan, bago mag-umpisa ang Season 78 ng UAAP Men's Basketball Tournament ay walang naniniwala na ang aming koponan ay makakarating sa Final 4. Subalit bunga ng pagkakaisa ng buong team kasama ang Coaching Staff ay nakarating kami sa Championship higit pa sa inaasahan ng nakararami.

Umaasa din ako na sana ay hindi na madamay pa ang aming unibersidad na ang tanging hangarin lamang ay ang kapakanan ng kanilang magaaral.

Umaasa ako na sana ay igalang ang aking desisyon.

Lubos na gumagalang,

Segundo "Bong" dela Cruz
Head Coach, UST Men's Basketball Team

(actual statement below)