Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Where we are right now in UAAP Season 78 volleyball?

UAAP volleyball resumes today after the Lenten break. Let's check the scene.


Ateneo 10-1 (still to play La Salle on April 3, UE on April 6, Adamson on April 10)
Adamson 8-3 (still to play UE on April 2, Ateneo on April 10, UP on April 13)
NU 7-4 (still to play UST on March 30, FEU on April 2, La Salle on April 6)
FEU 6-5 (still to play UP on March 30, NU on April 2, UST on April 13)
UP 5-6 (still to play FEU on March 30, UST on April 3, Adamson on April 13)
UST 4-7 (still to play NU on March 30, UP on April 3, FEU on April 13)
La Salle 4-7 (still to play Ateneo on April 3, NU on April 6, UE on April 10)
UE 0-11 (still to play Adamson on April 2, Ateneo on April 6, La Salle on April 10)

Ateneo already in the Final Four, can clinch twice-to-beat with just one win or a NU loss.
Adamson can clinch Final Four spot with a win and a FEU loss.
UST and La Salle need to win out and hope FEU just wins zero or one game the rest of the way.


Ateneo 9-2 (still to play Adamson on April 2, UE on April 6, La Salle on April 10)
La Salle 9-2 (still to play UE on April 2, Ateneo on April 10, NU on April 13)
UP 7-4 (still to play NU on March 30, FEU on April 3, UST on April 10)
FEU 6-5 (still to play UST on March 30, UP on April 3, Adamson on April 6)
NU 5-6 (still to play UP on March 30, UST on April 3, La Salle on April 13)
UST 5-6 (still to play FEU on March 30, NU on April 3, UP on April 10)
Adamson 3-8 (still to play Ateneo on April 2, FEU on April 6, UE on April 13)
UE 0-11 (still to play La Salle on April 2, Ateneo on April 6, Adamson on April 13)

Ateneo and La Salle already in the Final Four, can clinch twice-to-beat with a win and a UP loss.
UP can clinch Final Four spot with a win and a NU and UST loss.
Adamson needs to win out and hope FEU loses out and NU and UST to just a maximum of one win.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Rosters set for U22 and Senior Azkals

The Philippine Football Federation on Monday night officially revealed the team set to participate in the upcoming 2018 FIFA World Cup / 2019 AFC Asian Cup dual qualifier this week against Uzbekistan.

Amani Aguinaldo
Jorrel Aristorenas
OJ Clarino
Kenshiro Daniels
Dominic del Rosario
Patrick Deyto
Neil Etheridge
Jim Flores
Juani Guirado
Javier Patino
OJ Porteria
Iain Ramsay
Patrick Reichelt
Simone Rota
Daisuke Sato
Martin Steuble
Tomas Trigo
Dennis Villanueva
Luke Woodland

Notable names left off include Misagh Bahadoran and Manny Ott, who are both suspended, as well as Kevin Ingreso, Stephan Palla, Phil Younghusband and Stephan Schrock, all of whom are dealing with injuries.

Meanwhile, the Philippines' Under-22 team of Dan Padernal is in the Malaysia right now for an upcoming friendly against their Malaysian counterparts. That match is slated to take place on Wednesday night.

Michael Asong
Ronilo Bayan
Terrence Linatoc
Lorenzo Genco
Jaime Cheng
Charlie Beaton
Junell Bautista
Julian Miranda
Marco Casambre
Jimson Crestal
Jay-R Bucayan
Ivan Oberiano
John Kanayama
Franco dela Torre
Earl Laguerta
Jerome Marzan
Richard Talaroc

This group lost 1-0 to S-League side Tampines Rovers a few days earlier, 

Monday, March 21, 2016

San Beda claims inaugural i3i title

Davon Potts
San Beda-A became the first-ever Intercollegiate 3x3 Invitationals champions in front of a packed house on Sunday afternoon at SM Mall of Asia Music Hall, capping off a two-day tournament organized by Kiefer Ravena and Rack Sports Management.

San Beda-A, composed of the quartet of Davon Potts, Robert Bolick, Dan Sara, and Donald Tankoua, swept San Beda-C, 11-9 and 22-8, in its best-of-three finals matchup to claim the championship and the PhP 200,000 top prize. The runners-up, composed of Arnaud Noah, William Navarro, Joe Presbitero, and Jeramer Cabanag, received PhP 100,000.

San Beda-A scorched from the beyond the arc to sweep San Beda-C and win the first-ever Intercollegiate 3x3 Invitationals championship before a huge crowd Sunday at the Mall of Asia Music Hall.

Finishing in 3rd place is UE-A, composed of Arnold Pasaol, Clark Derige, Bonbon Batiller, and Paul Varilla. They dispatched FEU-A to claim the second runners-up title.

Also being awarded is the Mythical Team composed of Potts, Noah, Pasaol, and FEU-A's Joe Trinidad.

“Sobrang saya namin kasi champion kami. All our teams have been very competitive,” said Sara. “Malapit na rin NCAA so sobrang okay na experience sa amin ito. Dito start na talaga ng maturity namin.”

Day 2 of the tournament comprised of eight squads that survived the rigors of the action at the Xavier School Gym that hosted the event the day before. 32 teams from the UAAP and NCAA participated in the tournament, which is supported by Akari, Meralco, SM Mall of Asia, MyPhone, Toby’s, Titan, The Frazzled Cook, Gatorade, Milo, Ambucare and Teravibe, as well as endorsed by the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas.

According to Kiefer, "This is the first step in our goal of getting more Filipinos involved in 3x3." Rack Sports, he adds, is planning on replicating this tournament in the next few months elsewhere in the country.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Kaya Light up Rizal Memorial Stadium with Thrilling Second-straight AFC Cup Win

AFC Cup Group F
Kaya FC (Philippines) 1 - 0 Balestier Khalsa (Singapore)
March 15, 2016
Rizal Memorial Stadium

Moments after Woody Ugarte scoring the lone goal of the match. (c/o Kaya FC)
It was another magical night in the AFC Cup for Kaya FC. This time there wasn't a need for a dramatic late winner. In front of a boisterous crowd at the Rizal Memorial Stadium, the team treated the home fans to a thrilling 90 minutes of attacking football, punctuated by another historic win in the Asian competition. Antonio Ugarte's exceptional second half strike was enough to clinch all three points against Singapore's Balestier Khalsa, sending the Philippine side to the top of the Group F standings.

"I think we performed well today. I think we played some really good football," said coach Chris Greatwich after the game. "I always felt that we had the firepower to unlock them and I think Woody (Antonio Ugarte) scored a fantastic goal. His overall performance was absolutely outstanding and I think he deserves lot of credit because his performance was the difference between the two teams today."

Reinstated into the starting lineup after a substitute appearance against New Radiant last week, the Kaya returnee was a constant thorn in Balestier's side. Ugarte could've scored three for the home side if it wasn't for some spectacular saves from Zaiful Nizam. The opposition keeper was in fine form throughout the evening, but he was rooted to the spot when Ugarte steadied Jovin Bedic's deflected shot and fired into the bottom corner three minutes into the second half.

"It was a little bit of redemption, especially from last week, missing a good opportunity, so being able to score the winner in this game is a pretty good feeling," said Ugarte. "I think we're surprising a lot of people that Kaya can play the ball on the ground so well. We have a lot of good players on this team, a lot of technical players."

Kaya controlled the game, throwing wave after wave at Balestier. Jovin Bedic fired narrowly wide from a breakaway, and OJ Porteria's low drive was stopped on the line. But the S. League side kept the door shut in the first period.

Ugarte's second half opener brought the Singaporeans out of their shell and their forward pressure almost drew them level. Jamal Ali's stinging shot looked destined to be the equalizer, but Matthew Acton, largely untested in the game, got down quick to palm the ball away. Kaya then came close to doubling their advantage, with Ugarte's solo effort and close-range header denied by Nizam. A second goal proved elusive, though, and the game ended as a thrilling 1-0 encounter.

After losing to Hong Kong's Kitchee in their opener, Kaya have gone on to win back-to-back in the AFC Cup. The Philippine side took advantage of home comforts against Maldives' New Radiant and Singapore's Balestier Khalsa, with the success of the last two weeks propelling the team to the top of Group F, leapfrogging both Kitchee and Balestier.

Kaya face Balestier again in their next AFC Cup assignment on April 12, with Singapore the backdrop to that occasion.

UAAP Second Round Football Schedule

All games in italics are women's football matches. Saturday and Sunday games are at McKinley-Hill Stadium. Thursday games are at Moro Lorenzo Field.

Thursday afternoon games are to be televised on Sports+Action.

March 13 (Sunday)

5pm UP vs UST
8pm La Salle vs FEU

March 17 (Thursday)

2pm Ateneo vs UE
4pm NU vs Adamson

March 19 (Saturday)

3pm UP vs La Salle
530pm UST vs UP
8pm FEU vs UST

March 20 (Sunday)

3pm UE vs NU
530pm FEU vs Ateneo
8pm Ateneo vs Adamson

March 31 (Thursday)

2pm UE vs UP
4pm FEU vs Adamson

April 2 (Saturday)

3pm UST vs Ateneo
530pm La Salle vs Ateneo
8pm La Salle vs NU

April 3 (Sunday)

3pm UE vs FEU
530pm UP vs FEU
8pm Adamson vs UP

April 7 (Thursday)

2pm NU vs FEU
4pm UP vs Ateneo

April 9 (Saturday)

3pm Adamson vs UST
530pm FEU vs UST
8pm La Salle vs UE

April 10 (Sunday)

3pm FEU vs Ateneo
530pm UP vs La Salle
8pm NU vs UP

April 14 (Thursday)

2pm Ateneo vs La Salle
4pm UST vs NU

April 16 (Saturday)

4pm Ateneo vs UP
7pm UST vs La Salle

April 17 (Sunday)

3pm Adamson vs La Salle
530pm Ateneo vs NU
8pm UST vs UE

April 21 (Thursday)

9am Adamson vs UE
2pm UP vs FEU
4pm UST vs La Salle

April 23 (Saturday)

4pm La Salle vs FEU
7pm Ateneo vs UST

Kiefer Ravena takes on new challenge as 3x3 Tournament Director for i3i

Kiefer Ravena is set to take on a new role even though his basketball career has not fully taken off yet into the professional level.

The two-time UAAP MVP is serving as the tournament director of the Intercollegiate 3x3 Invitationals (i3i), which is scheduled to take place this weekend (March 19-20) at the Xavier School and at the SM Mall of Asia Music Hall.

Organized by Rack Sports and endorsed by the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas, i3i will have 32 teams battling it out through a single round-robin Group Stage at Xavier, with the best teams proceeding to the knockout competition at the Music Hall. It serves as the kickoff campaign for Rack Sports as it conducts a string 3x3 tourneys for the rest of the year.

Notable schools participating in this 3x3 competition, which is supported by Mighty Sports, Akari, SM Mall of Asia, MyPhone, Toby's, Titan, Frazzled Cook, Xavier School, Ambucare, and Teravibe, include reigning collegiate champions FEU, Letran, NU, San Beda, and Ateneo.

The inaugural i3i champions will receive PhP 200,000, with they will split equally with the school itself. Runners-up receive PhP 100,000 and PhP 50,000, respectively.

Ravena wants to use this tournament as a showcase, saying "Gusto lang natin ipakita yung talent ng mga Pinoy, lalo na sa 3x3." He adds, "We want to expose Filipinos to the 3x3 format. Sobrang bagay siya sa atin considering a lot of us play in half course everywhere. We’ll bring this to the countryside and hope to help develop a grassroots program for 3x3, too."

Ravena, along with Jeron Teng, Bright Akhuetie and Ola Adeogun, defeated hosts Team Qatar in an exhibition match at the 2015 FIBA 3x3 All-Stars last December.

Final Four, All-Star Game highlight NBTC action today

Baser Amer dropped by the SM NBTC and gave a pep talk.
The defending champions and three top Metro Manila high schools comprise the SM-National Basketball Training Center Div I Final Four cast, as Group Stage action concluded on Tuesday.

From 700 participating high schools, Chiang Kai Shek College, Nazareth-National University, Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu, and San Beda-Taytay came out as the division winners.

The Tiong Lian champions defeated guest Canadian squad Durham Crossover and St. Robert International Academy from Iloilo to top Group C, as they will face the UAAP champions in the first  semifinal matchup. The Bullpups easily crushed Tay Tung High School of Bacolod and Assumption Montessori School from Cagayan de Oro to top Group B.

The other semifinal matchup sees the Magis Eagles, which eked past guest Thai squad Traill International School and overrun Southern City Colleges of Zamboanga to top Group D, go up against San Beda, the team they defeated in the final to claim the championship last year at the Meralco Gym, 82-78. The Red Cubs easily dispatched Lyceum of Cavite and Assumption Colleges from Davao to top Group A.

In Div II, Luzon squads bested their VisMin counterparts in their own Group Stage to set up their own Final Four.

Lucena's Maryhill College will face Laguna's Rex Dei Academy in one matchup, while Pampanga's Angeles University Foundation will face La Salle-Lipa in the other matchup.

The Div I and II semifinal winners will duke it out for the title on the morning of March 17.

Also slated to take place today is the fifth edition of the NBTC All-Star Game. There will be a new wrinkle with this edition, as it introduces a second game involving just the Div II teams.

Coaching in the Div I All-Stars are Jeff Napa and JB Sison, while the tandem of Kiefer Ravena and Von Pessumal, as well as Mike Tolomia and Russel Escoto will serve as bench tacticians for the Div II All-Stars.

Yesterday, the All-Stars got the chance to have a pep talk from a couple of collegiate legends in Baser Amer and LA Revilla.

The Mahindra playmaker shared that “For us who grew up in the provinces, it is harder. So that means we have to work harder. You hear the term ‘hard work’ all the time but it real. That is the secret of your success, your determination to succeed and rise above what you have.”

As for the Meralco ballhandler, he shares that “there should be no shortcuts. You have to put in extra work. My goal was just to go to college and not have to pay my tuition. Anything else was a bonus.”

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Kaya FC Makes Case for Philippine Club Football in AFC Cup

Chris Greatwich (c/o Kaya FC)
“I think people now are starting to stand up and take notice of Philippine Football, not just at the international level, but also in the club level," said Kaya coach Chris Greatwich, pointing to the fact that both Filipino clubs participating in the AFC Cup won their games last Tuesday.

"I think it shows that club football in the Philippines is strong and we are more than capable of competing in the regional level," he added.

Greatwich's troops pulled off a dramatic victory in the last minute of stoppage time, with OJ Porteria turning in the winner against New Radiant in the final moments. On March 15, Kaya have the opportunity to push further, with the Rizal Memorial Stadium once again the venue for a massive AFC Cup encounter. The Philippine side next face Singapore's Balestier Khalsa, who are fresh from a surprise win over Group F favorites Kitchee.

“I think we’ve got a great group of players. They are a joy to work with," said the former Philippine National Team standout. "Let’s see how far we could come in this competition. I think we’ve got the potential, [which we are] realizing now. I think this group is very much up for grabs. Everyone seems to be qualified, so it will be interesting to see how this group plays out.”

The success of the Filipino clubs in this year's AFC Cup has come as quite a shock to the rest of the Asian region, given that the Philippines was without a legitimate domestic club competition until 2010. Since then, the progress of local teams has been immense, punctuated by recent success against countries that have enjoyed football as a mainstream sport for decades.

Although he felt there was plenty to improve in the recent victory, Greatwich points to Kaya's indomitable spirit as the backbone to their rise not only locally, but also on the regional stage as well.

“I think Kaya has its own spirit. We are known for our battling qualities -- the never say die spirit. I think that came out in the game (against New Radiant). I don’t think it was our best performance, but ultimately we’ve got the three points because we persevered and we worked through our difficult moments and came up trumps in the end.”

With such a vital game in Group F looming, Kaya will be hoping that same spirit will tow them past Balestier Khalsa on Tuesday, March 15 at the Rizal Memorial Stadium. Kickoff is at 7:30pm.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

First round action in UAAP men's football concludes

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

9 a.m. – UE vs Ateneo
1 p.m. – NU vs La Salle
3 p.m. – UST vs UP

The top two teams in the UAAP attempt to remain in their lofty position as the UAAP put a bow to the first round of men's football action today at the Moro Lorenzo Field.

La Salle, currently atop the league with sixteen points, will face National University at 1pm, while the University of Santo Tomas goes up against the University of the Philippines at 3pm.

The Green Booters (at sixteen points) and the Golden Booters (at fourteen points) are the last unbeaten teams this season, while the Bulldogs (fifth at eight points) and the Maroons (level with idle FEU at eleven points) seek to improve their positioning.

Completing the triple-header is the matchup between Ateneo and UE at 9am. The Blue Eagles need a win to remain in striking distance of postseason contention. The Red Booters remain winless this season, with just one point to their name.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Kaya Seal Historic AFC Cup Home Game with Dramatic Winner

OJ Porteria celebrates his 95th minute goal. (c/o Kaya FC)
There couldn't have been a more dramatic finish to Kaya's first ever home game in the AFC Cup. With virtually the last kick of the match, Jose Elmer Porteria sent the Rizal Memorial Stadium into pandemonium with a strike that sealed a hard earned 1-0 victory over Maldivian side New Radiant.

It was a tightly contested affair throughout the duration of the game, with the best chances arising late in the second half. New Radiant threatened first, with Waheed Rilwan's free header from close range going just over the target. Moments later, it looked as if Antonio Ugarte's similarly fluffed open header would be Kaya's last hope to find a winner.

But in the final minute of added time, Junior Muñoz rifled in a cut back from the right wing, which Porteria guided on the half volley into the side netting. It was an exquisite finish to cap a historic evening for Kaya.

"To win in our first ever home game in front of this amazing crowd, it was just a surreal feeling," said Porteria after the game.

Captain Aly Borromeo, who was named Man of the Match, credited Kaya's will to keep pushing until the end, even after large spells of control throughout the game had led to frustration in front of goal.

"It all boils down to the resiliency of the team. We showed in the UFL Cup last year that we fought all the way until the end. We weren't the most gifted team, but individually we worked together, we played as a unit, and I think it showed tonight as well," he said.

"We did deserve to win because we controlled the game. But I don't think we are at all satisfied," Borromeo said of the team's performance. "It's another stepping stone for us and we need to concentrate on next week against Balestier."

Kaya next face Group F leaders Balestier Khalsa on March 15, with the AFC Cup match taking place at the Rizal Memorial Stadium once again. The Singapore side will be arriving fresh from a shock victory over Hong Kong giants Kitchee, and is expected to be a stern test.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Confident Kaya Excited to Play in Front of Home Crowd

AFC Cup Group F match at Rizal Memorial Football Stadium
Kaya FC (Philippines) v New Radiant SC (Maldives)
Kickoff 7:30pm

Kaya FC is all set for their first ever AFC Cup home game at the Rizal Memorial Stadium, with kickoff against the Maldives' New Radiant scheduled at 7:30pm tonight. Despite being debutants in the competition, the Philippine side is not being taken lightly in the tournament, with the opposition going as far as to label Kaya the favorites in Group F.

"I'm thinking that Kaya is the best team in the group. Others will just be fighting for second place," said Iordan Stoykov, New Radiant head coach. "I think we have to show our best efforts to resist them and to achieve the acceptable result."

Despite suffering defeat at the hands of Kitchee in their first AFC Cup outing, Kaya showed their ability to compete on the regional stage. Whether the notion of being front runners is shared by the members of the club, however, will be dictated by how the team does later, and in the home game against Balestier Khalsa next week.

"I'm not sure yet," said coach Joel Villarino on being labeled favorites. "If we win tomorrow, maybe it's true," he added with a smile.

OJ Porteria took a similar stance, opting to allow the results to do the talking.

"I have confidence in our team, in our coaching staff, and our management. But just like coach said, we will see tomorrow and in the next games. We need to prove ourselves. We can't just listen to what he said."

"I think we're very confident, but we also have respect for each and everyone in our group," said the midfielder. "There's no game in the AFC that will be easy for us, so we will approach it like every other game. Just like [we did with] Kitchee, we will approach New Radiant and Balestier [the same way] as well.

Porteria is also looking forward to a change in scenery after enduring a fiery atmosphere in Hong Kong against Kitchee.

"The support of the Philippine fans [will be the biggest difference]," said OJ. "It's our home game so we have to perform to the best of our abilities. I think we had a great match in Hong Kong and we're just going to use that momentum against New Radiant and hopefully we'll get the win."

According to coach Joel, the tempo of the match will be a major component to deciding the outcome.

"The key factor is speed," said coach Villarino. " I think we will just stick to the plan. What happened there in Hong Kong was a good game. We will adjust a little more in our transitions from defense to attack and vice versa, and our speed."

Sunday, March 6, 2016

UAAP Season 78 softball: Tigresses clinch No. 2 seed

The University of Santo Tomas made sure that the surprising victory against defending softball champions Adamson was not a fluke, as they shut out National University, 6-0, in the playoff to determine the second seed in the UAAP postseason.

Back-to-back 3-run innings did the trick for the Tiger Softbelles. After a Kristine Lacupa leadoff single and steal of second base, Hannah dela Torre sent Kristine home with a RBI double. Dela Torre would then score off of a CJ Roa sacrifice bunt, while a RBI single from Louise Garde completed the scoring in the 3rd inning.

In the fourth, a leadoff triple for Jesse Belano followed by a Lea Guevarra RBI triple gives UST their fourth run. Lacupa then walked, followed by a two-RBI double for dela Torre to make it a six-run lead.

Ann Antolihao would help keep it a shutout with six strikeouts.

Game 2 of the "virtual best-of-three" series will take place on Monday, 11am at Rizal Memorial. Just before that game, the other semifinal matchup pits Adamson and UP.  The Falcons own the twice-to-beat advatage against the Maroons. First pitch for this will be at 9am.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

2016 SLAM Rising Stars Classic: Team Punks

Team Punks

#4 Carlo Abadeza (Arellano University)
#5 Justine Baltazar (Nazareth School of National University)
#6 Alberto Bordeos (San Beda College-Rizal)
#7 Sherwin Concepcion (Mapua - Malayan High School)
#8 Guilmer Dela Torre (Arellano University)
#9 Juan Gomez De Llaño (UP Integrated School)
#10 Shaun Ildefonso (Ateneo de Manila High School)
#11 Aljun Melecio (De La Salle Santiago Zobel)
#12 Evan Nelle (San Beda College-Rizal)
#13 Kyle Ong (Xavier School)
#14 Brent Paraiso (De La Salle Santiago Zobel)
#15 Ricci Rivero (La Salle Greenhills)

HEAD COACH: Gian Nazario (La Salle-Zobel)
ASSISTANT COACHES: Marc Pingris (STAR), Troy Rosario (TNT)

2016 SLAM Rising Stars Classic: Team Hype

Team Hype

#4 Samuel Abu Hiljeh (San Beda College-Rizal)
#5 BJ Andrade (Ateneo de Manila High School)
#6 John Lloyd Clemente (Nazareth School of National University)
#7 Michael Enriquez (Mapua - Malayan High School)
#8 Javi Gomez De Llaño (UP Integrated School)
#9 Gian Mamuyac (Ateneo de Manila High School)
#10 Jolo Mendoza (Ateneo de Manila High School)
#11 Harvey Pagsanjan (Hope Christian High School)
#12 Kenji Roman (FEU-Diliman)
#13 Marco Sario (De La Salle Santiago Zobel)
#14 Jonas Tibayan (Chiang Kai Shek College)
#15 Tyler Tio (Xavier School)

HEAD COACH: Joe Silva (Ateneo High School)
ASSISTANT COACHES: Tony Dela Cruz (Alaska Aces), Chris Banchero (Alaska Aces)

3rd SLAM Rising Stars Classic set on March 20

The best high school ballers in Metro Manila are set to impress the basketball public, as SLAM Philippines will be having its third SLAM Rising Stars this March 20, 2016 at the Gatorade Hoops Center in Shaw Boulevard, Mandaluyong City.

Those who can't come to the venue can watch it LIVE on ABS-CBN Sports + Action, with coverage starting at 6:30pm. It'll also be shown LIVE as well on its Sports + Action HD, as well as on

Those who missed it live can also catch a replay telecast on Good Friday, March 25, at 10pm.

According to SLAM Philippines Executive Editor Nikko Ramos, "The SLAM Rising Stars Classic is the graduation ceremony of Philippine high school basketball's honors class. It is a collection of the most talented, most promising young names in hoops, names that we are certain will become more and more familiar to more and more people as years go by." He adds, "In the past, these athletes would have been told to "wait their turn." We refuse to make them wait, or wait ourselves. It is a platform that not only propels young talent, but also grabs hold of the narrative as if to say "Get on the bandwagon now. You'll run out of seats if you wait." This is SLAM's way of investing in the future of Philippine basketball. It is a stock that is already rising to record heights - today, not tomorrow."

The 3rd SLAM Rising Stars Classic participants

Leading the cast of participants in the 3rd SLAM Rising Stars Classic are the MVPs of both the NCAA and UAAP high school basketball tournaments in Aljun Melecio (UAAP via La Salle-Zobel) and Michael Enriquez (NCAA via Mapua), as well as the Finals MVPs in Justine Baltazar (UAAP via Nazareth-NU) and Evan Nelle (NCAA via San Beda).

Melecio also happens to be one of five returnees from last year's edition of the SLAM Rising Stars Classic, alongside Ricci Rivero (La Salle-Greenhills), Jolo Mendoza (Ateneo), Carlo Abadeza (Arellano), and Tyler Tio (Xavier School). That year saw Team Punks, led by then-La Salle-Greenhills big man JBoy Gob and then-Chiang Kai Shek College guard JV Gallego, defeat Team Hype, 103-95. Gob had 16 points and 7 rebounds, while Gallego finished with 18 points.

Joining Gob and Gallego as noted SLAM Rising Stars alums are La Salle's Prince Rivero and Andrei Caracut, Ateneo's Arvin Tolentino and Matt Nieto, NU's Rev Diputado, San Beda's Javee Mocon, Adamson's JD Tungcab, and UP's Diego Dario.

This year's edition of Team Punks vs Team Hype will have La Salle-Zobel assistant Gian Nazario (Punks) and Ateneo head coach Joe Silva (Hype) as head coaches, with Tony dela Cruz and Chris Banchero of the Alaska Aces as Nazario's assistants and Marc Pingris of STAR and Troy Rosario of Tropang TNT as Silva's assistants.

The SLAM Rising Stars Classic is powered by Gatorade and supported by Adidas (official outfitter), SMART Sports, Titan, Resorts World Manila, and Buffalo Wild Wings.

Make sure to check out SLAM Philippines through its online and social media outlets (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram)

Cebu Regional Selection camp for Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA 2016 set today

The 2016 Jr. NBA / Jr. WNBA Philippines program presented by Alaska heads down to the Queen City of the South this weekend, with the Don Bosco Technology Center serving as the host of the third Regional Selection Camp this year.

The camp, which runs today and tomorrow, will be run by Jr. NBA coach Craig Brown and a selection of coaches from its presenting partner Alaska. Registration (which can be done here) and participation is free of charge.

Day 1 will see participants undergo vitals tests and skills challenges. The results from those determine if they are to return the next day for more basketball drills and exercises, which will include scrimmages. Outstanding performers from both days will get the chance to participate in the National Training Camp in Manila this coming April. It is from that camp where ten Jr. NBA and five Jr. WNBA All-Stars will be selected to partake of an overseas NBA experience alongside their fellow ASEAN counterparts.

Children born from 2002-06 are encouraged to take advantage of the NBA's youth development program, where they not only learn proper basketball skills, but also the values of Sportsmanship, Teamwork, a positive Attitude, and Respect.

After this weekend, the final Regional Selection Camp will take place in Manila on April 9-10.

More details on the Jr. NBA / Jr. WNBA program can be seen via this Facebook page.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

First Round of UAAP Volleyball eliminations conclude today

Games today at the Filoil Flying V Arena:
8 a.m. – La Salle vs UST (Men)
10 a.m. – NU vs FEU (Men)
2 p.m. – NU vs UP (Women)
4 p.m. – UST vs La Salle (Women)

The final set of matches in the first round of UAAP volleyball takes place today at the Filoil Flying V Arena in San Juan, with the women's matches featuring two matchups of contrasting form.

The highlight of the afternoon lies in its final match of the quadruple-header, as La Salle seeks to share the lead with Ateneo atop the standings against a struggling UST side at 4pm.

The Lady Spikers are on a high after an impressive straight sets victory over the defending champions, one that ended a 24-match winning streak at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

On the other hand, the Tigresses are mired in seventh place, thanks to a four-set loss to UP this past Sunday. A loss today will put themselves in a further hole that they may not be able to climb out of in chasing for the postseason.

The other women's matchup at 2pm sees NU attempt to address their two-game skid against the Lady Maroons. The Lady Bulldogs chose to have a players-only meeting after their surprising defeat to FEU on Sunday, with lineup shuffles being a possibility for this matchup.

The winner gets to end the first round in a tie with the idle Lady Tamaraws at 4-3.

On the men's side, struggling squads La Salle and UST kick off volleyball action for the day at 8am, while NU and FEU, who each tote a 4-2 record, face-off for the right to be in third place at 10am.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Ateneo, La Salle, secure UAAP baseball finals berths

There will be a third straight Ateneo-La Salle finals in UAAP baseball, as the Sunday triple-header in Rizal Memorial yielded contrasting victories for the arch-rivals.

The defending champions eked out a walk-off victory over UP, 11-10, with Marco Mallari's 9th inning one-out RBI double that got Marquis Alindogan home to secure their seventh win in eight games. The Blue Eagles survived 20 hits from the Maroon Batters, who had tied the game off RBI doubles from SJ San Juan and Laurence Chavez.

Ateneo co-captain Ryan Tionloc was proud of Mallari's performance, calling it "fantastic." He adds that he hopes that they can continue this in their two remaining games.

The losing finalists, in contrast, rode on a Carlos Munoz complete game to turn back Adamson, 4-1. Fresh from a shoulder injury, he allowed just one hit, an Erwin Bosito double in the first inning. Bosito would steal third and score off a fielding error from catcher Paul Naguit,

That was the only positive thing from the San Marcelino batters that day, as Munoz would then shut things down on the Falcon Batters with ten strikeouts, including the final two batters of the game.

As for the Green Batters, Carlos Minana's 1st inning 2-RBI double gave them the lead they would not relinquish. Joshua Salinas took advantage of an Adamson throwing error to score La Salle's 3rd run from first base in the second inning. Capping things off scoring wise was a Boo Barandiaran RBI single that brought home Paolo Salud.

Munoz praised his team's defense, noting that they did not mess up on the ground balls that he was throwing.

The other match scheduled had UST subdue NU, 8-6. The Golden Sox rode on Arcel Aligno's three-run homer to cap a five-run ninth inning, then used Jackson Acuna to shut things down on the bottom of the ninth.

After opening with a Junmar Diarao flyout, and singles from Clarence Caasalan and Aprix Santos, the rookie reliever struck out Kenneth Ybanez for the second out, with a Erickson Villame groundout closed things out for UST.

Adamson extends streak to 73 in UAAP softball

The streak continues for Adamson in UAAP softball, as they defeated La Salle, 4-2 on Monday at Rizal Memorial.

The Soaring Lady Falcons rode on Annalie Benjamen's pitching against the softbelles from Taft, as the defending champions struggled with their hitting.

Coach Ana Santiago acknowledged that, "We need to work hard to get every win. Mahaba pa ang tournament. What Benjamen needs is offense from her teammates."

The victory puts their streak at 73 games, the longest among all sports in the league. At 11-0 this season, a win against UST on Wednesday will secure them an automatic finals berth with the thrice-to-beat advantage.

The Tiger Softbelles defeated UP, 6-1, to keep their hopes of a twice-to-beat advantage alive. At 7-4, they will need to end the Adamson streak to force a playoff against NU, which ended their eliminations campaign with a mercy-rule invokved 12-2 win over UE.

Even with the losses, La Salle and UP still remain tied for fourth at 4-7. Potential playoff might take place if they defeat their respective opposition (Ateneo and UE).

FEU, UP claim UAAP volleyball wins

Games Wednesday at the Filoil Flying V Arena
8 a.m. – La Salle vs UST (Men)
10 a.m. – NU vs FEU (Men)
2 p.m. – NU vs UP (Women)
4 p.m. – UST vs La Salle (Women)

Far Eastern University closed out its first round campaign on a positive note, impressing as they defeated National University, 25-22 25-21 25-21 to own a temporary hold on third place in UAAP Season 78 women's volleyball at the Filoil Flying V Arena in San Juan on Sunday.

Bernadeth Pons led the charge for the Lady Tamaraws with 18 spikes and 15 excellent digs and four excellent receptions. Chinchin Basas added eleven spikes and five aces.

Rookie libero Buding Duremdes continues to fill the shoes left by Tin Agno quite nicely, with eleven excellent digs and eight excellent receptions. Head coach Shaq delos Santos quipped, "I'm sure mararating niya yung pagiging Tin Agno. Ngayon pa lang nakikitaan siya ng potensiyal,"

Delos Santos adds, "Sobrang nanghihinayang kami sa pagkatalo (against Adamson). Pero, ang good thing, nagising and bawat isa at nadagdagan ang disiplina ng bawat isa."

The win moves the Lady Tamaraws into a temporary hold on third place with a 4-3 record, just two losses behind pacesetters Ateneo and La Salle.

Jaja Santiago and Jasmine Nabor each had twelve spikes for the Lady Bulldogs, who now drop to a 3-3 record. Jorelle Singh added ten points,

The team held a player-only meeting after the surprising straight sets defeat.

The other women's volleyball matchup today saw the University of the Philippines survive against the University of Santo Tomas, 25-19 25-18 16-25 32-30. The now puts them in a tie with NU at .500.

The Lady Maroons managed to eke out the victory after going through the marathon fourth set, thanks to a Chlodia Cortez service error and a Marian Buitre block on Cherry Rondina.

Diana Carlos and Nicole Tiamzon combined for 29 points in the win, with Jewel Lai tossing 32 excellent sets.

UP head coach Jerry Yee acknowledged, "We definitely need these kind of games. Masarap silang panoorin pero it's still a long way to go."

Rondina had twenty points, while team captain Ennajie Laure added that same number. Hours after the loss, Laure tweets a promise that the team will never give up.

The loss puts the Tigresses in solo seventh place with a 2-4 record.

The Tamaraws and Maroons made it a double by securing wins in the men's division against separate opposition.

FEU beat La Salle in four sets, 22-25, 25-20, 25-23, 25-19, with Greg Dolor putting in 19 points. UP outlasted UE, 25-21, 25-27, 25-19, 20-25, 15-12. Alfred Valbuena finished with 23 points, including the match winner.

Wednesday puts a bow on the first round with La Salle and UST facing off in both men and women. The other matchups see NU facing separate opposition in men (FEU) and women (UP).