SSC grounds Air Force in Shakey’s V-League opener

Games Tuesday
2 p.m. – Army vs Navy
4 p.m. – Ateneo vs Perpetual

San Sebastian College unwrapped a surprise package in American Lauren Ford as the Lady Stags pounded out a 25-15, 25-21, 25-22 victory over Philippine Air Force at the start of the Shakey’s V-League Season 8 Open Conference at The Arena in San Juan City, Sunday.
The 6-foot Ford arrived just last Tuesday from Indiana to reinforce the 2008 second conference champions, who faced a team backstopped by two former MVPs in Aiza Maizo and Cherry Rose Macatangay.
But the Lady Stags proved up to task with Ford unleashing 12 hits while trying to adjust to the locals’ brand of play, giving the Recoletos-based squad the inspiring win in the tournament that features three regular member-schools, three military teams and a commercial squad.
“They’re still trying to feel their way around, still adjusting,,” said Lady Stags coach Roger Gorayeb of his wards in Filipino.
Joy Benito, Rubie de Leon and Thai import Jang Baulee each scored 11 hits for SSC, which also drew eight points from Janette Doria.
SSC’s net defense likewise kept the fancied AFP hitters in check with Maizo converting just six spikes off 19 attempts and finishing with 10 points in her comeback stint in the league organized by Sports Vision and backed by Mikasa, Accel and Maynilad Water.
Macatangay was held to six hits while Liza Deramos and Jennifer Manzano ended up with nine and eight points, respectively.
Air Force fought back in the third and forced an 14-all count but the Lady Stags regained their form and took 10 of the next 16 points to go up, 24-20.
A miscue and a service ace from Wendy Semana kept Air Force in the game but a soft kill by Janette Doria sealed the 69-minute victory for the Lady Stags.(pr)

Ateneo, Maynilad clash In Shakey’s V League opener

Games on Sunday

2 p.m. – San Sebastian vs Air Force

4 p.m. ­ – Maynilad vs Ateneo

 

A pair of top-notch matches, featuring first conference champion Ateneo and fancied Maynilad, kicks off the Shakey’s V-League Open Conference on Sunday at The Arena in San Juan with both teams going all out in a match tipped to go down-to-the-wire.

 

The Lady Eagles, who beat the Adamson Lady Falcons for their first championship in the country’s premier women’s volley league, hope to start out strong and build the proverbial momentum and confidence they need against a talent-laden Maynilad squad.

 

Maynilad, which tapped Joy Cases as its guest player, is one of the four non-school teams vying in the tournament, a rung higher than the previous school-oriented conferences of the annual league in terms of talent and competitiveness. The three others are Navy, Air Force and Army.

 

San Sebastian, winner in the 2008 second conference of the league sponsored by Shakey’s Pizza, and Perpetual Help are the two other school squads in the seven-team tournament serving as a pilot project designed to establish a commercial league and further raise the level of play in women’s volley.

 

The Lady Stags battle the Air Force side in the 2 p.m. opener of the league, backed by Mikasa as official volleyball, Accel as official outfitter and Maynilad Water as the official drinking water provider, while the Lady Eagles test the Maynilad spikers’ mettle in the 4 p.m. main game.

 

Competition is expected to fierce with the top six teams after a single round robin elims advancing to the quarterfinal round. The top four squads after another round robin will move to the semis with the No. 1 team facing off the No. 4 squad and the Nos. 2 and 3 teams clashing in a pair of best-of-three series for the final berths.

 

GMA-7 will air the games on its international channels – GMA Pinoy TV, GMA LifeTV and GMA News TV while NBN 4 will also telecast the games from starting at 2 p.m., according to the organizing Sports Vision.

 

Matches can also be viewed on live streaming via www.v-league.ph.

Meanwhile, the league is again offering a “Bring a Friend” promo where a purchase of one lower box ticket will entitle one to bring along a friend for free. Ticket prices are pegged at P200 for ringside, P150 for lower box and P30 for general admission.

 

Former stars of various schools actually banner Maynilad where they are now employed, including Charisse Ancheta, Joanna Marie dela Pena, Nica Guliman, Melissa Mirasol, Mervic Mangui, Margarita Pepito and Syvie Artates, making the squad an all-star cast.

 

Ancheta was the league’s best setter in 2007 and helped SSC win the NCAA three-peat from 2006 and the Shakey’s V-League 2008 plum; Dela Pena was WNCAA’s two-time best libero as member of Lyceum’s five-peat squad; Guilman, another former Lyceum mainstay, was V-League’s best blocker in 2010 and currently a member of the national team;

 

Mirasol, another SSC product, won the best blocker award in the NCAA in 2009-10 and an Outstanding Athlete of the Year awardee in 2009; Manqui, an open spiker, was National U’s skipper last year and UAAP’s second top scorer in 2009; Pepito was SSC’s former top receiver and digger who bagged the MVP plum in the MVP Cup in last year; and Artates was Lyceum’s former team captain and winner of the best blocker and best server awards in the WNCAA in 2008-09.

 

 

But Ateneo remains solid on a team built around Alyssa Valdez, Gretchen Ho, Dzi Gervacio, Mona Bagatsing, Jem Ferrer, Fille Cainglet and Bea Tan with Leal Patnongon backstopping the squad.

 

Two former MVPs will anchor Air Force’s bid in the tournament with Cherry Macatangay and Aiza Maizo along with fellow guest player Jen Manzano leading the team that includes Chris Latigay, Wendy Semana, Fatima Esteban, Liza Deramos and Amy Guanco.

 

SSC, meanwhile, will pin its hopes on Dafna Robiños, Joy Benito, Czarina Berbano, Mae Crisostomo, Ara Mallare, Bea Uy and guest players Jennifer Salgado and Rubie de Leon.

 

Army, led by Rachel Daquis and Maiah Manukay and sisters Michelle and Mayeth Carolino, Navy, bannered by Nene Bautista and Suzanne Roces, and Perpetual Help, headed by Giza Yumang and April Sartin, see action Tuesday.(pr)

Oba-ob stuns Villanueva in PBaRS Davao opener

Rabie Jason Oba-ob produced the biggest win in the third leg of the MVP Sports Foundation-Bingo Bonanza Philippine Badminton Ranking System (PBaRS) tournament, Saturday, upending joint sixth seed Gabriel Villanueva before a big crowd at the Wheel ‘N More badminton courts in Davao City.
Oba-ob, playing out of Team Prima/Yonex, surprised the national team/Victor/Prima mainstay with a superb game in their 30-minute encounter, essaying a 21-15, 21-15 victory to reach the third round of the men’s Open singles event.
He will next face Charlo Tengco of Golden Shuttle Foundation/UP Diliman, who survived Sherman Olalia, 20-22, 21-19, 21-8, in the first round before scoring a walkover win over Whackers’ Stephen Sagayan.
GSF’s Antonino Gadi, seeking a third straight championship in the premier division of the event put up by Vice President and Philippine Badminton Association president Jejomar Binay, Rep. Albee Benitez and businessman-sportsman Manny V. Pangilinan, bucked a shaky first set stint and went on to finish off Miguel Leonardo, 21-18, 21-3, to set up a third round match with Carlos Cayanan.
The joint No. 8 Cayanan, a national team/Victor mainstay, thwarted Randy Bermejo of REHAB, 24-22, 21-18 to reach the Last 16 stage of the tournament, backed by official equipment sponsor Victor, exclusively distributed by PCOME Industrial Sales, Inc.
Others who advanced were fourth seed Peter Magnaye, who scored a walkover win over Jude Bangayan; joint No. 8 Aries delos Santos, who trounced Ian Bautista, 21-13; 21-15; joint No. 6 Joper Escueta, who subdued Ian Mendez, 21-15, 18-21, 21-16; Randolph Balatbat, who downed Asis Calma, 21-13, 21-6; Ronel Estanislao, who dominated Cleric Durano, 21-5, 21-15; fifth ranked Jaime Junio Jr., who whisked off Mark Robilla, 21-5, 21-4; and Jobett Co, who tripped Jesschard Piol, 21-15, 21-9.
Jules Abrasado also stunned GSF’s John Orellano, 19-21, 21-16, 21-12, to lead the early winners in the boys’ 19-Under singles of the five-day event supported by PLDT-Smart Foundation, Victor PCOME Industrial Sales, Gatorade and Powersmash with The Philippine STAR, TV5, Badminton Extreme Philippines Magazine, Jam 88.3, Wave 89.1, Magic 89.9, 99.5 RT and 103.5 WOW! as media partners.
Joining Abrasado in the next round are Ederico Verano of REHAB, who toppled Mark Robilla, 21-8, 21-12; Paolo Santos, who pulled off a 21-13, 23-25, 5-1 (Ret.) win over Jack Gambe; Wilson Lopez, who clipped Roeland Briones, 21-6, 21-5; Eddie Gacayan Jr., who thwarted Jesschard Piol, 21-17, 21-18; Manuel Villanueva, who beat Lance Osorio, 21-11, 21-7; John Baluyot, who defeated Jimbo Flores, 21-16, 21-19; and Christian Cuyno, who routed Vince Lagnada, 21-10, 21-11.
Leading the early winners in the boys’ 15-under class are joint third seed Armand Manlalangit and Julius Quindoza, Vincent Manuel, Emilio Mangubat Jr., Ronald Omana, Joven Bagasbas, Patrick Sumabat, Paul Gonzales, Patrick Gecosala, William Cervantes, Jade Carillo, Josh Martinez and Keeyann Gabuelo.
Action in the ladies Open singles, featuring the likes of Bianca Carlos and Gelita Castilo, and the girls 19-U and 15-U divisions along with the doubles in various classes starts on Sunday.(pr)

Cobra Energy Drink, PAL back U.S.-bound RP dragon boat team

The Philippine Dragon Boat Federation Team faces the media before departing for Tampa Bay, Florida where it will compete in the World Dragon Boat Racing Championships on Aug. 3-7, 2011. The two-time world champions will be defending their title at the Florida competition which has attracted participants from 32 countries. Cobra Energy Drink (Asia Brewery) and Philippine Airlines (PAL) are making possible the trip of the 26-member dragon boat team. Seated from left: Mike Ngo, AVP for marketing, media and budget of Asia Brewery, Jess Garcia, PAL AVP for advertising, team manager Marcia Cristobal, Jeff Mendoza, Cobra brand manager and Joey De Guzman, PAL VP for Corporate Communications.

Shakey’s V-League goes ‘Open’

The Shakey’s V-League takes one big step into becoming a commercial league as it stages the Open conference beginning Sunday (July 31) with four non-school teams joining three regular member-schools in what promises to be a blockbuster offering by the country’s premier women’s volley league at The Arena in San Juan.

In their continuing effort to bring the sport to a higher level, the organizing Sports Vision and sponsoring Shakey’s Pizza are putting up a tournament that will not only continue to showcase the leading volley schools’ prowess but also those from three ”military” teams and a commercial squad.

Army, Air Force and Navy along with Maynilad are joining 2011 first conference champion Ateneo, former titlist San Sebastian College and University of Perpetual Help System Dalta System in this pilot project aimed at further raising the level of women’s volley competition following the successful staging of the school-oriented tournaments the last eight years.

“The formation of a ‘commercial’ league has been seriously considered by Sports Vision for the past two years. However, lack of commercial teams has stymied the creation of such project,” said Sports Vision chairman Moying Martelino.

But with some schools opting to take a one-conference leave to give their
respective players time to concentrate on their studies, Sports Vision invited the three military teams and Maynilad to join Ateneo, San Sebastian and Perpetual Help in the “Open” tournament.

“We want to give the fans the best competition in women’s volleyball so we’re bringing it to a higher level by including non-schools in this conference,” said Martelino.

To level the playing field and make the games more exciting in the league
sponsored by Shakey’s Pizza and backed by Mikasa as official volleyball, Accel as official outfitter and Maynilad Water as the official drinking water provider, the three school teams are allowed to tap non-student or two foreign players as reinforcements.

“It is common knowledge that the military and Maynilad teams are stronger than the school teams. So to balance out competition, Ateneo, San Sebastian and Perpetual are not only allowed to recruit non-student players but also two foreign players to beef up their respective line-ups,” said Martelino.

This makes the league truly an “all-star” cast with the likes of former MVPs Nene Bautista, Suzanne Roces, Aiza Maizo and Cherry Rose Macatangay and former stars Rachel Daquis, Joy Cases, Giza Yumang, Jen Manzano and Charise Ancheta suiting up for various teams.

“This is some kind of a pilot project. If this becomes successful, we will then be holding the Open tournament right after the regular (school) conference each year,” said Martelino.

Navy looms as the team to watch with a talented roster headed by two-time MVP Roces and Bautista, the top player in 2008 first conference, and backstopped by Micmic Laborte, Janet Serafica, Joan Carpio and Daphne Mata while Cases will spearhead Maynilad’s bid along with Margarita Pepito, Syvie Artates, Beverly Boto, Nica Guliman and Ancheta.

Maizo, the 2009 second conference MVP, and Macatangay, who reigned in 2006, and Manzano banner the Air Force squad while Daquis heads the Army roster that includes Maiah Manukay, 2005 first conference MVP Michelle Carolino and sister Mayeth, Dahlia Cruz and Mary Jean Balse, the first MVP winner in 2004.

Ateneo, which beat Adamson to claim its first-ever crown early this year, will be led by guest player Leal Patnongon and mainstays Gretchen Ho, Alyssa Valdez, Fille Cainglet, Bea Tan, Jem Ferrer and Dzi Gervacio while San Sebastian will be headed by Dafna Robiños, Joy Benito, Bea Uy, Mae Crisostomo, Czarina Berbano, Jennifer Salgado and Rubie de Leon.

Perpetual Help will pin its hopes on Yumang, April Sartin, Sandra delos Santos, Arriane Argarin, Jane Diaz, Nheray dela Cruz and Janice Abar as it tries to improve on its fifth place finish in this year’s first conference.(pr)

Local bets hope to shine in PBaRS Davao

Local talents go all out to spoil the fancied bets’ title drive in the MVP Sports Foundation-Bingo Bonanza Philippine Badminton Ranking System (PBaRS) tournament which starts on Saturday, July 30 at the Wheels and More badminton courts in Davao City.
Veteran Rollie Otamias and Ronald Daymiel head the campaigners from the Mindanao region in the centerpiece men’s Open singles bannered by back-to-back champion Antonino Gadi and second seed Paul Vivas along with No. 3 Patrick Natividad, fourth ranked Peter Magnaye and No. 5 Jaime Junio.
Also vying for top honors in the third leg of the nationwide circuit put up by Vice President and Philippine Badminton Association president Jejomar Binay, Rep. Albee Benitez and businessman-sportsman Manny V. Pangilinan to further develop the sport and produce world class players, are Cagayan de Oro’s Francis Gomez and Team Wheels & More’s Axle Banson.
Paolo Torreda and Christian Uy, meanwhile, spearhead the ETC Space Shuttle Kidapawan’s bid in the boys’ Under-19 class along with Butuan Badminton Club’s Joshua Ibo and Vince Lagnada and Wheels & More’s Eddie Gacayan Jr. while  Rozette Tabunan of Wheels & More and South Cotabato’s Marie Tenchavez and Butuan BC’s Beverly Ann Lagnada banner the region’s bets in the girls’ U-19 side.
Out to foil the favorites in the Under-15 division of the event, backed by official equipment sponsor Victor, exclusively distributed by PCOME Industrial Sales, Inc. in the country, are Raymond Dequina and Angelo Carrasco of South Cotabato, Arthur Salvaado, Ronald Omana and Jade Carillo of Wheel & More, Butuan BC’s Kurt Burlas and ETC Space Shuttle Kidapawan’s Patrick Gecosala in the boys’ side and Thaila Aguilar, Rose Lagnada and Beverly Lagnada of Butuan BC and Wheels & More Anne Salvaado in the girls’ category.
Still, focus will be on the members of the national pool with Bianca Carlos and Gelita Castilo tipped to dispute the women’s Open singles title in the five-day tournament backed by PLDT-Smart Foundation, Victor PCOME Industrial Sales, Gatorade and Powersmash with The Philippine STAR, TV5, Badminton Extreme Philippines Magazine, Jam 88.3, Wave 89.1, Magic 89.9, 99.5 RT and 103.5 WOW! as media partners.
The circuit, put up to raise the level of play of the local players, winds up with the VP Grand Prix Badminton Open Championships on Oct. 22-29 in Manila. It also features events in the men’s and ladies doubles and mixed doubles categories.(pr)