Pocari Sweat picked up its second straight-set win following back-to-back setbacks, clipping Perlas, 25-19, 25-19, 25-18, to get back into the thick of things in the Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference at the FilOil Flying V Center in San Juan yesterday. With the imports’ stints still on hold pending the release of their ITCs (International Transfer Certificate), the locals continued to take the spotlight with Elaine Kasilag, Jeanette Panaga and Myla Pablo spearheading the Lady Warriors’ attack against the Lady Spikers, who struggled with their service reception and fell to a tie with their tormentors.
Dragged into a back-and-forth duel in the first two sets, the Lady Warriors finished strong in both frames to take control then survived their rivals’ tough stand in the third to complete the sweep.
“I guess they’re complementing with each other’s game now. But I want everybody to chip in since that’s what the team needs,” said Pocari coach Rommel Abella.
It was Pocari Sweat’s second straight win after dropping their first two matches to the Power Smashers and the BaliPure Water Defenders, putting the defending champions back in the hunt in the season-opening conference of the league organized by Sports Vision.
Pablo slowed down with a 13-hit, including 11 attack points, effort after an 18-attack, three-ace and two-block performance against the Air Force Jet Spikers last Saturday. But Kasilag and Panaga chipped in 12 markers each while Maricar Nepomuceno added 10 points for the Lady Warriors.
Dzi Gervacio scored eight points for Perlas.
Earlier, Cignal TV Inc. fought back strong from a tight first-set defeat and foiled Café Lupe, 23-25, 25-19, 25-6, 25-23, to join Sta. Elena and Army in the lead of the men’s tournament in the league backed by Mikasa and Asics.
The Cignal HD Spikers actually overpowered the Sunrisers, 60-34, in attack points but needed to toughen up after yielding the opening frame with five players churning out double-digit scores, including 16 by Lorenzo Capate.
Café Lupe, which drew a combined 25-hit output from Jahir Ebrahim and Joshua Barrica, dropped to 0-3.(pr)
DASMARINAS, Cavite – Tony Lascuña hopes to rebound from a failed bid at Luisita and ride the momentum of a pro-am victory as he heads the local charge against an elite foreign cast in the ICTSI Orchard Golf Championship reeling off today (Wednesday, May 10) at the Orchard’s Player course here.
“This is a big morale boost but I still have to play quality golf in the next four days. The field is strong and anything can happen here at Orchard,” said Lascuña, who ruled Monday’s pro-am tournament of the $60,000 event put up by ICTSI with amateur partners John Laurel, Juanchit Jose and Siegfried Ramos.
The foursome pooled a 17-under 55 to nip 2014 Orchard Championship winner Rufino Bayron, Arnel Paras, Paul Griba and David Astejada, who assembled a 56, while Michael Bibat, Alex Dy, Amy Dy and Bien Cerbo placed third with a 57.
Lascuña, the reigning Philippine Golf Tour Order of Merit winner, actually moved within one of Micah Shin halfway through the Luisita Championship last week but closed out with a pair of 71s to settle for joint fourth with Jhonnel Ababa and American Brett Munson.
He rued his poor putting in the last two rounds but the veteran campaigner vowed to make up for the slack in this week’s event organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc. which offers a top purse of $10,500.
“I’m ready and I feel good now with my stroke. I just hope it will click in all four days,” said Lascuña, who drew Bayron and last week’s playoff loser Mathiam Keyser of South Africa in the 7:45 a.m. flight on No. 1.
Keyser, who lost to absentee Miguel Tabuena in sudden death in Tarlac, also vowed to complete an unfinished business with a triumphant campaign here, along with a slew of foreign aces, including Solaire Philippine Open champion Steve Lewton, John Catlin, Nicolas Paez and John Michael O’Toole of the US and Korean Park Jun Sung.
Keanu Jahns, who rallied with a solid, eagle-aided 65 to snare solo third at Luisita, is also expected to figure prominently along with fellow locals Ababa, Mars Pucay, Frankie Miñoza, Mhark Fernando, Gerald Rosales, Cassius Casas, Jay Bayron, Rufino Bayron and Elmer Salvador.
After missing the action last week, the crack Thai group is back on the local circuit, all gunning for a crack at the crown, led by Panulat Muenlek, Nitithorn Thippong, Kasidit Lepkurte, Donlapachai Niyomchon, Natthapong Niyomchon, Annop Tangkamolprasert, Poosit Supuramai and veteran Wisut Arjanawat.
Former Singapore amateur hotshot Choo Tze-Huang is also in the hunt along with Aussies Jason Dawes, Finland’s Janne Kaske, Dutch Guido Van der Valk and Swede Oskar Arvidson.
The event drew a total of 120 players, one of the biggest and strongest on the local circuit backed by BDO, KZG, Custom Clubmakers, Meralco, Sharp, Champion, Summit Mineral Water and PLDT.
It also serves as the second of a four-week PGT swing with Southwoods hosting the next stop on May 17-20 for another $60,000 ICTSI Manila Southwoods Championship before the revival of the P2 million ICTSI Philippine Masters at the Villamor Golf Club on May 24-27.(pr)
Jeff Chan’s take-charge mentality was evident on Holy Wednesday when defending champion Rain or Shine registered a grind-out 96-94 come-from-behind win over Phoenix.
With his team down by as many as 17 points, Chan willed Rain or Shine back to life with baskets from inside and outside, the last, a three-point play off Mark Borboran with 7.7 seconds to go to push the Elasto Painters ahead for good, 95-94.
The left-handed sniper from Bacolod finished with 24 points, 12 coming inside the final six minutes as Rain or Shine snapped a two-game skid to improve to 4-2 overall.
The 34-year-old Chan’s hot-shooting performance earned him the Accel-PBA Press Corps Player of the Week for the period of April 10-16, besting a tough host of candidates led by San Miguel Beer’s Chris Ross, Meralco big man Kelly Nabong and wingman Jared Dillinger and GlobalPort Fil-American guard Stanley Pringle.
Rain or Shine took a long break during the Holy Week but is expected to go all-out in practice as the Elasto Painters gear up for their much-awaited clash with unbeaten San Miguel Beer (3-0) on April 22 at the Mall of Asia Arena. (pr)
Yuka Saso checked a rollercoaster backside start with an eagle-spiked windup at the front, firing a four-under 68 to seize a three-stroke lead over Junia Gabasa while Carl Corpus took control of the boys’ field at the start of the Philippine Junior Amateur Open Golf Championships at the Sherwood Hills Golf Club in Trece Martirez, Cavite yesterday.
Saso bounced back from a bogey-birdie-bogey-birdie stint with three birdies and an eagle against one more bogey in the next 14 holes as she put her title-retention bid in motion while firming up her spot in this year’s SEA Games squad, this being the last part of a three-stage selection process for spots in the national team for the biennial event in Malaysia in August.
The reigning national champion, also the World Junior Girls gold medalist in Canada last year, highlighted her 33-35 card with a solid drive on the par-5 No. 8 and nearly holed in an albatross off a superb 9-iron second shot from 150 yards that stopped inches off the cup.
Gabasa trailed Saso by one at the turn but the Cebuana bet grabbed the lead with a birdie-birdie feat from No. 1, only to fumble with bogeys on Nos. 3 and 5 before ramming in another birdie on the par-3 sixth to string a 35-36 and a 71 for second.
Harmie Constantino, winner of the WExpress RVF Cup crown, the second national elims, last February, mixed three birdies with four bogeys for third at 73 while Kristine Torralba carded a 74 and Kayla Nocum shot a 76 and Nicole Abelar and Korean Yang Ju Young each made a 78 in the event also serving as part of the PLDT Group National Amateur Golf Tour sponsored by the MVP Sports Foundation and organized and conducted by the National Golf Association of the Philippines.
Corpus, the NGAP Doubles winner last year with Yuto Katsuragawa, birdied the last hole to card a 71 and grab a two-stroke lead over Carlo Gatmaytan, who turned in a 73, while defending champion Kim Joo Hyung of Korea struggled in the heat and wind and hobbled with a 74, the same output put in by Ryan Monsalve.
Perry Bucay shot a 75 while Paolo Wong and Weiwei Gao made a pair of 76s to stay in contention in the 72-hole championship backed by Cignal and Metro Pacific Investment. Meanwhile, former national champion Rupert Zaragosa groped with a 75 but still led the Special Division (18-and-above), two clear of Dan Cruz, who had a 77, while Lizbeth Alcantara seized control in the girls’ side with an 83, seven shots clear off Annika Guangko, who skied to 90.
Miguel Ilas shot an 81 and took a two-stroke lead over Francis Lanuza, who had an 83, in the 13-and-below section with Grace Quintanilla carding an 81 to post a 10-shot lead over Daniella Gatti, who struggled with a 91.
Mark Cruz delivered the goods for Tanduay, dropping 20 points to help his side score the slim 73-69 win over Jose Rizal University Tuesday at JSCGO Gym in Cubao and go on to the 2017 PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup quarterfinals as the fourth seed.
The diminutive playmaker fired 12 of his team’s final 14 markers, while also adding seven assists, and two rebounds to keep the Rhum Masters’ winning streak alive at three and close the eliminations out with a 6-3 record.
“Live and die ako sa kanya,” said coach Lawrence Chongson of Cruz. “Maybe it’s also a good thing that I don’t have other playmakers and his minutes are getting extended.”
The former Letran star carried Tanduay in the fourth quarter as it shrugged off its early struggles in the second half and fought back from a nine-point hole, 38-29, early in the third period.
Jaymo Eguilos registered 14 markers and nine rebounds, Jerwin Gaco added a double-double of 12 points and 10 boards, and Bong Quinto got 11 markers and five rebounds for the Rhum Masters.
Tanduay will now meet AMA Online Education in the quarterfinals, with the former enjoying the twice-to-beat edge.
JRU, meanwhile, will be at sixth, bracing for the threat of three-seed Cafe France in their own series.
Joseph Marquez paced the Heavy Bombers (4-5) with 15 points and 10 rebounds, while Tey Teodoro and Jhaps Bautista both got 15 markers in the loss.
In the first game, Victoria Sports-MLQU got itself the silver lining it hoped for, turning back Blustar Detergent, 85-76.
Fighting for pride, Victoria banked on Robbie Herndon to carry the load, finishing with 19 points and 13 rebounds to snap its three-game losing skid and finish the conference with a 2-7 record.
“Sabi ko sa players na tapusin namin ng maganda yung liga. Kahit na winless yung kalaban, hindi namin sila dapat binabalewala,” said coach Jinino Manansala.
Michael Ayonayon chimed in 14 markers and 10 rebounds, Ryusei Koga added 11 points and four assists, and Jayson Grimaldo had 10 markers and nine rebounds for Victoria, which missed the services of Aris Dionisio who was out due to personal reasons.
Already eliminated from the playoff race, Victoria stamped its class over the Dragons, slowly pulling away before establishing a 17-point edge, 65-48 with 8:17 remaining in the fourth quarter.
Despite the exit, Manansala can take pride knowing that his players made the most of their experience.
“This was really a good experience for us. Mahirap tanggapin yung laging talo, pero malaking bagay na yung experience na nakuha namin dito,” he said.
Tristan Perez wound up with 19 points and nine rebounds for the Blustar squad, which went winless in its nine games this conference.
VICTORIA 85 – Herndon 19, Ayonayon 14, Koga 11, Grimaldo 10, Lao 9, Nicholls 9, Ragasa 7, Bitoon 6, Baliday 0, Cariaga 0, Dela Cruz 0, Puspus 0, Rivera 0.
The Palawan Pawnshop-Palawan Express Pera Padala regional age-group tennis circuit resumes in Davao beginning today (Thursday, March 16) with the Philippine Sports Commission as presentor of the Group 2 tournament at the GSIS Tennis Club.
Close to 200 entries are competing in various divisions in the five-day tournament hosted by LTFRB chairman Atty. Martin Delgra III, also the president of the GSIS Heights Tennis Club, and held as part of the PSC’s commitment to support youth sports through chairman Butch Ramirez.
The region’s leading junior players and a slew of rising stars banner this week’s field, including Sultan Kudarat’s Carlyn Guarde and Davao’s Danna Abad and Patricia Velez, who are expected to slug it out for top honors in the girls’ premier 18-and-under division along with Winona Cabardo.
Guarde, Abad and Cabardo, together with Jazzelle Madis of Mlang, are also expected to dispute the 16-U plum in the event sponsored by Palawan Pawnshop, presented by Slazenger and sanctioned by Philta and held in conjunction with the Araw ng Dabaw celebrations.
“PSC’s support is a big boost not only to junior tennis but to youth sports in general,” said Palawan Pawnshop president/CEO Bobby Castro. “Although the regular campaigners have the edge in terms of experience, we also expect some surprises that have been the norm in the circuit with so many young, new faces emerging from each leg.”
Keen competition is also seen in the boys’ side with Vince Tugade and Ramon Bentillo, also from Isulan, Sultan Kudarat, and Klyde Lagarde from Gen. Santos City, leading the title chase in the 16- and 18-U sections with the likes of Nicole Gorospe, John Velez, Earjan Casal, Karl Palo and Bruce Hurtado out to topple the fancied bets.
John Velez, Cedric Pamplona, Andre Sing and Palo (boys) and April Bentillo, Ma. Angelica Novis of Malita, Davao del Sur, Jillian Manangking and Thea Tobias (girls) head the 14-U cast while Reyman Saldivar Jr., Joji Taketomi, Pamplona and Sing along with Tennielle Madis, Manangking, Poula Taketomi and Jasmen Kadalum are the players to watch in the 12-U category.
The battle for the 10-unisex diadem is also too close to call among Tennielle Madis, Joji Taketomi, Reicy Bentillo and Shaun Globasa but 12 others are raring to show their wares and vie for the coveted crown.(pr)
MALOLOS CITY — Cignal took its sweet time before blasting away Sta. Lucia, 20-25, 25-10, 25-20, 25-10, yesterday in the Belo-Philippine Superliga (PSL) Invitational Conference Saturday at the Malolos Sports and Convention Center here.
Rachel Anne Daquis had an impressive all-around performance while Honey Royse Tubino spearheaded a sizzling run in the deciding set to lift the HD Spikers to an easy triumph in this prestigious women’s club tourney bankrolled by Mikasa, Asics, Senoh and Mueller with TV5 as official broadcast partner.
With the win, the HD Spikers have avenged their sorry five-set loss to Petron last Thursday and are now in the third spot with a 2-1 win-loss mark.
Daquis, a fresh recruit from RC Cola-Army, delivered seven kills, three aces and two blocks for 12 points while Tubino finished with 11 markers for the HD Spikers, who fielded their second unit early in the game before veterans like Daquis, Tubino, Jovelyn Gonzaga and Chie Saet restored order in the second and third sets.
In the second match, Foton flirted with disaster before hammering out a 25-19, 25-16, 23-25, 26-24 win over Generika-Ayala.
Dindin Santiago and Gretchel Soltones finished with 19 and 18 points, respectively, for the Tornadoes, who started out slow but caught fire in the crucial stretch of the fourth set to claim the victory.
The HD Spikers and the Tornadoes are now tied at the second spot with a 2-1 win-loss mark behind unbeaten Petron.
The Blaze Spikers, however, are still playing neophyte Cocolife as of press time.
“We managed to cut down our errors unlike last game,” said Cignal coach George Pascua, admitting they cannot afford to relax now as they’re setting their sights on making it to the semifinals in this very short but competitive tournament that also has Gold’s Gym as official fitness partner and UCPB Gen as official insurance provider.
“We have a very good chance of making it to the top three. We just need to work hard and treat each game as if it’s a championship match.”
Daquis said their performance may have been impressive, but they still remain a work in progress.
“We’ve been together for only a month. We’re still working on making some adjustments,” said the comely open spiker, who was named Most Valuable Player of the PSL All-Filipino Conference two years ago.
The HD Spikers emerged with less errors compared to the Lady Realtors, 24-31, while having a huge advantage in the attack points, 50-31, and aces, 9-4.
One of the two new teams this year, the Lady Realtors came out firing in the opening set as 6-foot-1 Lourdes Clemente and hard-hitting Rachel Austero took turns in piercing the defensive blanket of Cignal in the first set.
But after Cignal equalized the match at one set apiece, the fire in the eyes of Sta. Lucia slowly diminished as the HD Spikers turned a 16-all deadlock into a 24-18 lead to capture the third set and gain a sky-high morale entering the fourth.
Clemente finished with eight kills for 10 points while Jonah Sabete had eight kills for the Lady Realtors, who have yet to win in two starts.