UP dominates UST, inches closer to Final Four

by Denver del Rosario

The University of the Philippines Lady Maroons edged out the University of Sto. Tomas Lady Tigresses in four sets, 17-25, 25-21, 25-20, 25-20, today in the UAAP 78 women’s volleyball tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena.

After a slow start in the opening set, the Lady Maroons eventually found their groove and took the succeeding sets. Isa Molde spearheaded the Diliman side with 23 points, while Marian Buitre added 12.

Meanwhile, team skipper EJ Laure led the España-based squad with 20 points.

The Lady Tigresses started hot in the first set, getting to the first technical timeout (TTO) ahead of UP, 4-8, courtesy of points from graduating player Mela Tunay.

UST continued to pull away as Cherry Rondina finished the first set with an attack, 17-25. The Lady Maroons started slow anew in the second set as the Lady Tigresses dominated early, 3-8, courtesy of attacks from Laure and Tunay.

However, the set proved to be a different story as the Diliman-based squad came back to take the driver seat, 16-15.

UP ultimately took the second set via an attack from Molde, 25-21.

In the third set, UST led as much as seven points, 8-15, courtesy of back-to-back spikes from Laure.

The Lady Tigresses continued to lead, 12-18, via an attack from Tunay and a spiking error from Justine Dorog.

Like the second set, however, the Lady Maroons recomposed themselves as they produced 10 consecutive points, 22-18, courtesy of aces from Jewel Lai and attacks from Molde.

Eventually, the Diliman side stole the third set as they denied a spike from Laure, 25-20.

Finally finding their rhythm, the Lady Maroons pulled away early in the fourth set, leading as much as nine points, 21-12.

Molde ended the game with a down-the-line hit, 25-20, giving UP its 8th win of the season.

Even with the victory, UP coach Jerry Yee is disappointed with his team’s ‘fluctuating’ maturity.

“When they get in the court, they play differently from what we practiced,” Yee said in Filipino. “We really need to be patient with them.”

With the huge possibility of clinching a Final Four slot, Yee said they will hope that fate goes their way.

“We are going to pray that La Salle beats NU so we can avoid a playoff,” Yee said in Filipino.

UP’s final four hopes will depend on the outcome of the NU-DLSU game. A win by DLSU will give UP the fourth spot.

UP absorbs tough loss against La Salle

by David Tristan Yumol

IMG_9473 (2)
The La Salle Lady Archers try to block off Lady Maroon Kathy Bersola’s drop, ultimately leading to their victory. Photo by Hannah Paguila.

The University of the Philippines (UP) Fighting Maroons suffered a stinging defeat at the hands of De La Salle University Lady Spikers, 25-18, 12-25, 18-25, 21-25, in the UAAP Season 78 women’s volleyball tournament Wednesday at the San Juan Arena.

Rookie Diana Carlos was the lone double-digit scorer for the Diliman-based spikers with 14 points. Fellow rookie Isa Molde and skipper Kathy Bersola added eight and seven points respectively as UP slid to a 6-4 record in the team standings.

“We failed to stick [to] our game plan. Coach wants us to work on our first touch, which is the service and first ball. We don’t know what happened today,” Bersola said.

Things are looking good for the Maroons in the first set as they scored six unanswered points led by Carlos’ kills after being down 0-4.

The momentum continued when UP tallied its biggest lead, 24-16, mostly off aces from Nicole Tiamzon and Molde. They eventually closed the set with a seven-point lead.

A complete turnaround happened during the second set when the Archers started an onslaught of attacks to lead early, 8-3.

La Salle, eventually, made a huge scoring spree midway through the set with their 9-0 run to grab a commanding 15-point deficit, 21-6.

UP tried to get back on track by scoring five unanswered points at the homestretch of the set, 12-24, but failed to end it with a respectable act by committing a service error.

The third set exposed more of UP’s vulnerability as their spikes were not converted to points anchored by the impressive defense at the net of crowd darling Mika Reyes and team captain Kim Fajardo.

Spikes from Archer Mary Joy Baron also bared the defensive lapses of the Maroons especially on who will get the ball after the attack was made.

These mistakes were somehow corrected early in the fourth set when UP had good touches and benefitted from the aces of Hope Christian High standouts Molde and Carlos that kept La Salle’s lead to one, 7-8.

The Archers, however, capitalized on their attacks through the efforts of Kim Dy and Ara Galang to close out the win for the Taft-based spikers.

Despite the defeat, Bersola was optimistic that their performance in this outing was a learning experience for the team.

“I don’t want to feel this way anymore. That’s what I want to instill with my teammates. I don’t want to happen like in the past seasons when we pull away from the games that we know we are capable of winning,” she said.

Bersola added, “This kind of games will teach us our individual playing capabilities and what will lose to us if we give away the win to our opponents.”

Dy and Reyes both contributed 14 points while Galang added 12 points for La Salle.

Next game for UP will be this Sunday against University of the East, 2 pm, at the Philsports Arena.

UP bows down to UST in close fight

by Mikee Garcia

The University of the Philippines (UP) Fighting Maroons ended the first round in a sour note with a 0-1 loss to the University of Santo Tomas (UST) Growling Tigers in the UAAP Season 78 men’s football tournament, Thursday at the Moro Lorenzo Field.

It was a tough call for the Diliman-based booters in the 18th minute of the game, when defender Ian Clarino was booked for a red card after a hard foul to UST’s rookie sensation AJ Pasion.

This resulted into a penalty kick for the Espana-based booters which veteran Ronald Batisla-Ong comfortably converted to seal the early lead for the Tigers.

Despite having majority of the ball in the whole duration of the game, the Fighting Maroons had some tricky shot selections that kept the comfortable lead of their opponents.

UP had its chances to score in the second half of the game, through the mid-range shots of team skipper Daniel Gadia and veteran Carlos Monfort and long free kicks courtesy of Patxi Santos.

A last-minute goal attempt from substitute Vince Aguilar during the 92nd minute proved futile as the ball easily came to the hands of UST’s goalkeeper Zaldy Abraham.

Although his boys suffered a tough outing, UP head coach Anto Gonzales commended them for playing their hearts out in the game.

“It’s very difficult playing 64 minutes with ten players but I thought that the boys responded very well despite having a man sent off the game,” said Gonzales.

He also gave credit to the Growling Tigers for packing their defense well after scoring the lone goal of the match.

“It’s been an ongoing adjustment (for my team), trying to get clear scoring opportunities and, of course, technical shooting,” Gonzales added, which he said are also vital in winning more games during the next round of eliminations.

Monfort, however, had a different view with how well they performed in this game.

“I’m contented when it comes to how we move, how we pass the ball, and how we play. But I won’t be contented until we start scoring more goals,” he emphasized.

With the win, UST tied with De La Salle University in the top spot of the team standings by having 17 points, while UP is at fourth place with 11 points.

UP ends 9-year win drought against ADMU

The University of the Philippines showed some grit and pulled off an upset against two-time defending champions Ateneo de Manila University, 19-25, 25-22, 25-17, 25-22.

by Anton Onato

The UP Women’s Volleyball Team in top form after winning 3 sets to 1 against the defending champions from Ateneo de Manila University. Photo by Anton Onato.

It’s another upset. This time against the defending champions.

The University of the Philippines showed some grit and pulled off an upset against two-time defending champions Ateneo de Manila University, 19-25, 25-22, 25-17, 25-22, in the second round of eliminations of UAAP women’s volleyball tournament at San Juan Arena, Sunday.

Four Lady Maroons scored in double digit with rookie Isa Molde leading the charge with 15 points, four of which came from service aces. Diana Carlos and Nicole Tiamzon provided 12 points each as skipper Kat Bersola contributed 10 markers.

“We had better first ball [compared to the first round meeting]. We also had better blockings in this game,” Molde said in Filipino.

UP had seven kill blocks compared to Ateneo’s five.

Alyssa Valdez, meanwhile, tospcored Ateneo, which dropped to 6-2 after losses to La Salle and UP, with 19 points as Jhoana Maraguinot chipped in 15 markers in losing effort.

After a diesel start in the first set, UP went on to take the next sets by banking on their excellent offense. They also capitalized on Ateneo’s errors whom they last defeated on Jan. 17, 2007.

The Fighting Lady Maroons is now on solo third with 5-3 win-loss card. They will face Adamson University on Saturday at San Juan Arena.


This article was originally published in a slightly different format on the Tinig ng Plaridel Facebook page. It has been republished here in full.

UP closes out UST in four-set thriller

The University of the Philippines Lady Maroons subdued the University of Santo Tomas Lady Tigresses in four sets, 25-19, 25-18, 16-25, 32-30, today in the UAAP 78 women’s volleyball tournament at the FilOil Flying V Arena.

by Denver del Rosario

University of the Philippines overwhelms University of Santo Tomas, 25-19, 25-18, 16-25, 32-30, in UAAP women’s…

Posted by Tinig ng Plaridel on Sunday, 28 February 2016

The University of the Philippines Lady Maroons subdued the University of Santo Tomas Lady Tigresses in four sets, 25-19, 25-18, 16-25, 32-30, today in the UAAP 78 women’s volleyball tournament at the FilOil Flying V Arena.

The Lady Maroons proved to be the more composed team after surviving seven grueling deuces in the fourth set.

Rookie Diana Carlos and veteran Nicole Tiamzon spearheaded the Diliman-based squad with 15 and 14 points each.

On the other hand, Cherry Rondina and EJ Laure led the Lady Tigresses with 20 points each. UP took a nine-point lead early in the first set, 19-10, courtesy of UST errors.

The Lady Maroons ultimately snatched the set via an attack by Marian Buitre, 25-19. The host school breezed through the second set as they stringed six consecutive points for a 10-point lead, 22-12, three of which came from Tiamzon’s attacks.

Rookie Justine Dorog capped off the second set for the Diliman-based squad with an offspeed attack, 25-18.

However, the Lady Tigresses refused to give up as Laure led the onslaught with seven points in the third set, including the closing kill, 16-25.

In the fourth set, UP had its chance to close the set, 24-23, but an error by Buitre tied the game 24-all. UST staged a set point, 27-28, via a Rondina block.

However, Kathy Bersola responded with a block of her own to tie the set, 28-all. Finally, the Lady Maroons finally sealed the victory by denying Rondina’s attack, 32-30.

Team captain Kat Bersola, who contributed 11 points for UP, praised the team’s composure in the pressure-packed moments of the last set as a factor for their victory.

“Nakita ko sa mata ng teammates ko yung focus, at kumapit talaga kami sa set na yun,” she said. (I saw the focus in my teammates’ eyes, and we really held on in that set.)

On losing the third set, Bersola acknowledged the heavy serves of the Lady Tigresses as the reason for their breakdown.

“From the start pa lang, nakita naman na nahirapan kami sa first ball, and nagulat kami kasi hindi naman sila ganun mag-serve in the first two sets,” she said. (From the start, it is evident that we struggled with the first ball, and we were surprised because they didn’t serve like that in the first two sets.)

The host school will next face the National University Lady Bulldogs on Wednesday.

Lucky bounce for UP as volleyball teams score wins

by David Tristan Yumol

It was a productive day for the University of the Philippines (UP) volleyball teams as they piled up wins in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) Season 78 volleyball wars Wednesday at the San Juan Arena.

The Lady Maroons returned in their winning ways by upending the Adamson University Lady Falcons, 26-24, 25-27, 25-21, 25-19.

Rookie sensation Isa Molde stamped her class in the game with 23 points. While team skipper Kathy Bersola somehow found her rhythm already, notching 11 points.

The first two sets were close as both teams showed their promising wares in the court.

It was UP who ruled the first set, 26-24, with star spiker Nicole Tiamzon and Molde taking turns in scoring.

However, Adamson capitalized UP’s errors in the homestretch of the second set to win it, 27-25.

Molde scored the crucial points late in the third canto to give the set victory for the Lady Maroons, 25-21.

While in the fourth set, the Lady Maroons contained Adamson’s lead spiker Jessica Galanza in scoring to finish the game and nail their second win in four outings.

UP head coach Jerry Yee was pleased with this victory of his wards.

“I am satisfied with the composure of my team in this ga0 This game is important if we want to enhance our chances in the Final Four,” Yee said.

Galanza and team captain Mylene Paat were the only bright spots for the San Marcelino-based spikers, scoring 25 and 23 points respectively.

The Lady Maroons evened their win-loss slate to two apiece while the Lady Falcons fell to 1-3 record.

Earlier in the day, the Fighting Maroons stinged another highly-favored opponent by humbling De La Salle University in four sets, 25-23, 25-21, 21-25, 27-25.

Wendel Miguel led the charge for UP with 15 points, 13 of which are through spikes. John Mark Millete and team captain Alfred Valbuena added 13 and 11 points respectively for the Diliman-based spikers.

The men’s team tallied their third straight victory after losing their first game. In their previous game last February 13, the Fighting Maroons did a shocker early at the season by sweeping former titlist National University, 25-19, 25-20, 31-29.

Raymark Woo of De La Salle’s game-high 26 points went for naught as the Taft-based spikers lost their third straight outing after winning their first.

Next games for the State U volleyball teams will be this Sunday at the Mall of Asia Arena. In the morning at 8 am, the Fighting Maroons will try to extend their magical run as they face defending champions Ateneo de Manila University. While the Lady Maroons will go head-to-head with Far Eastern University in the afternoon at 4 pm.

Katherine Bersola: A story of recovery and resurgence

As she stepped into the taraflex court after a very long time, elation surged through her body. Every after jump and spike meant everything, especially after recovering from a crucial injury that affected her career last season in the UAAP. For someone like Katherine Bersola whose love is playing volleyball, it was a feeling like no other.

by Denver del Rosario

UP Women’s Volleyball team captain Katherine Bersola. Photo by Hannah Paguila, TNP Photographer.

As she stepped into the taraflex court after a very long time, elation surged through her body. Every after jump and spike meant everything, especially after recovering from a crucial injury that affected her career last season in the UAAP.

For someone like Katherine Bersola whose love is playing volleyball, it was a feeling like no other.

Bersola, who just returned in collegiate action after an Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) injury on her left knee in their match against Adamson University last UAAP season, described her happiness as a “crazy” one.

“Sobrang saya ko talaga, kanina tumatalon-talon pa ako na parang ewan,” she said, laughing. (I was so happy, I was jumping like a fool.)

When Bersola was injured, she was pulled out for the rest of the season and was forced to watch her team from the sidelines.

Instead of losing hope in her dreams as some athletes do after suffering from a terrible physical damage, Bersola, acted differently, undergoing every examination and therapy she needed, hoping that one day she would finally set foot on that volleyball court again.

“Well, dumating sa point na na-depress ako, pero dahil sobrang mahal ko lang kasi yung sport,” she said. “But that only lasted for two weeks, up until my operation. After that, wala na, positive lang lagi yung mindset ko at natuto akong maging optimistic.”

(It came to a point where I got depressed, but only because I love the sport so much. But that only lasted for two weeks, up until my operation. After that, I only had positive mindset and I learned to be optimistic.)

The process of her recovery was not easy, but the Sports Science major found some pillars of strength from the support she got from her teammates and the UP community.

Photo by Hannah Paguila, TNP Photographer.

Now that she’s back in action for UP with her new role as the team captain, Bersola promises to give her best while putting her previous injury behind her if ever she performs poorly.

When I look back at everything I’ve been through, I won’t even believe that I’m one of those people who can survive such injury.

“It is definitely not an excuse anymore,” she said. “Ngayong team captain na ako, kailangan ako yung huling-huling bibigay sa team.” (Now that I am the team captain, I need to be the last one to crumble in the team.)

With the time she took to recover fro
m the injury, the new team captain also picked up few life lessons.

“First is to be patient and to be resilient, na kahit pangit yung laro ko or matalo man kami, dapat ready ako to bounce back for the team,” she said. (First is to be patient and resilient, that even when I played badly or we lost, I am ready to bounce back for the team.)

Bersola also learned to loosen up during matches while taking good care of her body.

“I learned to relax, kasi one of the reasons why I got injured is dahil sobrang tense ng katawan and nagcoconstrict yung muscles ko,” she said. (I learned to relax, because one of the reasons why I got injured is because my body is so tense and my muscles are constricting.)

Looking forward for a final four finish this season, Bersola hopes to draw inspiration from her own story of fighting through adversity.

“Pag nag-look back ako sa mga pinagdaanan ko, sobrang di ko aakalain na isa ako sa mga tao na kayang maka-survive ng ganung injury,” she said.

(When I look back at everything I’ve been through, I won’t even believe that I’m one of those people who can survive such injury.)

With Bersola back in the game and back doing what she loves most, the UP Women’s Volleyball team is stronger than ever with a team captain tested by fire who has managed to rise gloriously amidst the ashes of adversary.

UP exits season with loss to UE

“We weren’t able to achieve our goal but we’re happy with the improvement. We just need to find our killer instinct.”

• Amar, Gallarza, Juruena finish Maroons tenure on sour note
• “We weren’t able to achieve our goal but we’re happy with the improvement. We just need to find our killer instinct”

by John Remil Isaga

JR Gallarza, Mark Juruena, and Agustini Amar’s Palaban spirits still alive after ending their time playing for the Maroons with a loss to UE. Photo by Hannah Paguila, TNP Photographer.
JR Gallarza, Mark Juruena, and Agustini Amar’s Palaban spirits still alive after ending their time playing for the Maroons with a loss to UE. Photo by Hannah Paguila, TNP Photographer.

It was a bitter send-off to three Fighting Maroons—Agustini Amar, JR Gallarza and Mark Juruena– who played their last UAAP game as UP loss to scrappy UE Red Warriors, 67-79, Wednesday at the Araneta Coliseum.

The three already maxed out their collegiate playing years donning the Maroon jersey.

UP’s rising star Paul Desiderio carried the Maroons all game long, finishing with a career-high 26 points, 14 coming off 17 free-throws. Henry Asilum chipped in 12 points, six coming from rainbow territory. Amar and Juruena combined for 15 points and 14 boards.

A balanced attack and relentless defense sealed the deal for the Warriors. Big man Clark Derige led his team with double-double 18 points and 12 rebounds. Paul Varilla provided a late spark off the bench, finishing with 14, while captain Chris Javier provided 13 points and 6 boards.

Gallarza dove for loose balls and was efficient at clogging the UE’s fastbreak-oriented offense. Amar and Juruena drove hard to the basket getting easy shots for the Maroons. However, the Warriors retaliated and kept UP’s lead to one at the end of the first quarter.

Momentum shifted to UE at the start of the second with key baskets from Javier and Derige. Tensions ran high early on and technical fouls were called on Juruena and Javier for taunting each other.

The Maroons kept their composure as Juruena and Dave Moralde made steals and easy lay-ups to keep the game close. However, the Warriors closed out the half with 7 unanswered points as they led, 37-28.

The Warriors continued to pull away at the third through smart ball movement and shot selection, as opposed to the Maroons who relied heavily on isolation plays and resorted to tough, contested shots – a habit that has contributed heavily to their losses throughout the season.

UP tried to match UE’s fast-break game and barrelled through their feared full-court pressure defense, which resulted into multiple turnovers for the Diliman-based squad.

The Red Warriors took advantage and led by 15 with six minutes left in the third. Hustle plays by Juruena and Desiderio prevented the lead from ballooning uncontrollably, and a fast-break three by the former Batang Gilas swingman cut the deficit to eight with three minutes remaining.

UE’s guard Paul Varilla, however, continued to get and-one baskets and pushed the lead back to 14 at the end of the third.

UE continued to look for inside shots at the final canto while UP relied solely on Desiderio to create shots for the Maroons. Desiderio scored 11 of UP’s final 20 points.

Faced with an insurmountable lead with a minute remaining, head coach Rensy Bajar sent Amar, Gallarza and Juruena back into the game, letting them play for the last time as Fighting Maroons.

Amar was called for his fifth and final foul soon after, and he was cheered on by the crowd and hugged by his teammates as he exited the hardwood.

Coach Bajar said in an interview that he was still not satisfied with the team’s performance even after the Maroons finished with their best record in three seasons.

“Yung goal namin, hindi namin nakuha. But we’re happy na kahit papano ay may konting improvement. Kailangan lang talaga namin mahanap ang aming killer instinct (We weren’t able to achieve our goal but we’re happy with the improvement. We just need to find our killer instinct),” said the rookie coach.

Amar, meanwhile, was happy and content with the team’s direction moving forward, and was thankful that he was utilized well in his final season.

“Sobrang saya ko kasi nagamit ako this season (I was happy to play this season),” said the senior forward from the College of Engineering. “Mas maganda ang record namin at masaya ako na na-serve ko ang UP (We had better records and I’m glad to have served UP).”

Amar added he was very confident with the team he is leaving. “Alam ko na in the following seasons, kaya ng team na ‘to na mag-champion (I know that we can get to the championship in the following seasons).”

The Fighting Maroons end the season with a 3-11 win-loss card, tied for last place with Adamson University.



UP (67) – Desiderio 26, Asilum 12, Amar 8, Juruena 7, Manuel 6, Moralde 4, Dario 2, Gallarza 2, Kone 0, Webb 0, Vito 0, Harris 0, Jaboneta 0, Lim 0.

UE (79) – Derige 18, Varilla, P. 14, Javier 13, De Leon 8, Varilla, J. 7, Yu 5, Palma 5, Batiller 3, Manalang 3, Gagate 2, Sta. Ana 1, Charcos 0.

Quarterscores: 18-17, 28-37, 47-61, 67-79

DLSU exacts revenge on UP in second round

by John Remil Isaga

Jett Manuel looks for opportunities to drive through the La Salle Archers. Photo by Hannah Paguila, TNP Photographer UP Fighting Maroons
Jett Manuel looks for opportunities to drive through the La Salle Archers. Photo by Hannah Paguila, TNP Photographer

The De La Salle University (DLSU) Green Archers escaped a dangerous University of the Philippines (UP) Fighting Maroons squad, eking out a 72-68 win in the UAAP Season 78 men’s basketball wars at the Araneta Coliseum, Wednesday.

With this victory, the Taft-based squad tied defending champions National University with a 6-7 record in the battle for the last Final Four slot. While UP fell to 3-10, leading by a half game over Adamson University.

Jeron Teng led the DLSU pack with 20 points, while Paolo Rivero and Thomas Torres also gave the Archers a huge lift by combining for 29 points and 28 rebounds.

UP’s leading scorer Jett Manuel finished with a team-high 15 points but he blanked all his five attempts from three-point land. Dave Moralde also caught fire in this game, finishing with 14 points.

The Maroons were ice-cold from the opening tip. They finished the first quarter with just six points as they failed to convert their 14 attempts in the perimeter.

However, the Archers were caught off-guard at the second quarter, as the Maroons went on a 14-3 scoring spree to tear down their deficit to just one point at the half. A pair of three-pointers from Moralde and Pio Longa gave the UP faithful hope that their team could duplicate its remarkable 71-66 win during the first round.

UP continued its hot streak and extended their lead to four at the start of the third canto. However, the team was called for a technical foul when the DLSU coaching staff noticed that Longa wore the wrong team shorts.

Both teams then went back and forth with multiple field goals from an assortment of players which sent the coliseum rocking with deafening cheers. The Archers trailed by three at the end of the third, 49-52.

With their Final Four hopes on the line, the Archers went on a game-deciding 11-0 rally to put them up by nine, 69-60. UP trimmed down their deficit with a small 6-0 run but it wasn’t enough as a pair of charities from Teng put them away for good.

“We were aware that our last two games are very crucial,” said Teng after the game. “So I told myself and my teammates to take it one game at a time.”

UP will play its final game of the season against their first game victim University of the East Red Warriors next Wednesday at the Araneta Coliseum.


Final Scores:

UP (68) – Manuel 15, Moralde 14, Desiderio 10, Dario 9, Longa 8, Amar 6, Kone 2, Vito 2, Gallarza 2, Juruena 0, Harris 0, Jaboneta 0, Lim 0

DLSU (72) – Teng 20, Rivero 18, Torres 11, Torralba 8, Caracut 7, Perkins 4, Muyang 2, Langston 2, Go 0

UP succumbs to NU; out of Final Four contention

“Our game at the third quarter exposed our lack of maturity and experience which NU had. We’re just starting to learn and we have to do it as a team.”

by Mikee Garcia

Diego Dario drives the ball past a wall of NU Bulldogs. Dario ties with Jett Manuel as UP’s highest scorers of the game. Photo by Anna Biala, TNP Photographer.

Hopes for a Final Four slot faded for the University of the Philippines (UP) Fighting Maroons after being outlasted by defending champions National University (NU) Bulldogs, 75-69, in their second round meeting in UAAP Season 78 men’s basketball wars at the Smart Araneta Coliseum, Sunday.

The Diliman-based squad fell to 3-9 record at seventh spot while the Sampaloc-based team kept their Final Four aspirations alive, improving to a 6-7 record.

Head Coach Rensy Bajar pinpointed the team’s failure of maintaining their lead in the first half to the team’s lackluster performance in the third quarter.

“Our game at the third quarter exposed our lack of maturity and experience which NU had. We’re just starting to learn and we have to do it as a team,” said Bajar.

UP had good looks in the basket and forced their opponents to costly turnovers throughout the first quarter, posting a five-point lead at the end of it with a score of 18-13.

But NU tallied a 9-0 run in the first five minutes of the second quarter to grab the lead, 22-18. Although UP assured to have the lead before the end of the first half as Jett Manuel and Diego Dario scored buckets in the final minute going to half-time, 31-28.

At the third canto, the Maroons kept their scoring pace in the first five minutes as team captain JR Gallarza and Agustini Amar drained their shots to tie the game at 38 all. They, however, failed to score in the next three minutes as the Bulldogs posted their biggest lead at 12 with a score of 52-40.

It was a tight game at the final quarter for both teams as UP trimmed the lead of NU to three, 60-63, courtesy of a fastbreak play from Henry Asilum. But NU’s top scorer Gelo Alolino fired up as he scored nine of his 26 points in the succeeding plays to secure the win for the Bulldogs.

Manuel, who led the Maroons with 13 points, was not impressed by his personal performance.

“I feel [honestly] frustrated. It’s hard for me to think that I performed well and then ending up with a loss,” he said. “I’d rather perform well and end up with a win.”

As one of the veterans in the team, Manuel was optimistic that the Maroons will play all out in their last two games even they are already out of the Final Four contention.

“Right now, we are still keeping the mindset that we want to improve our record. Even if we feel that we’re out of the play-offs already, it’s still no excuse to think that that’s it already because it’s going to reverse everything that we’ve been working for the whole season,” he added.

The Maroons will have a tough assignment in their next game when they face De La Salle University Green Archers, whom they defeated in the first round, on Wednesday still at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.



NU (75) — Alolino 26, Aroga 15, Neypes 7, Celda 7, Salim 6, Alejandro 4, Javillonar 3, Yu 3, Javelona 2, Morido 2, Diputado 0, Abatayo 0.

UP (69) — Manuel 13, Dario 13, Desiderio 10, Amar 9, Kone 6, Moralde 4, Asilum 4, Gallarza 4, Harris 2, Lim  2, Longa 2, Jaboneta 0, Juruena 0, Webb 0.

Quarterscores: 13-18, 28-31, 52-42, 75-69.

UP falls flat to Ateneo in Battle of Katipunan

by John Remil Isaga

UP falls again to Ateneo in second Battle of Katipunan uaap 78 men's basketballl fighting maroons blue eagles tinig ng plaridelAteneo de Manila University proved to be the better basketball team in Katipunan Avenue by downing neighbor University of the Philippines, 74-65, in the UAAP Season 78 men’s basketball wars at the Araneta Coliseum, Wednesday.

The Blue Eagles have an 8-4 win-loss slate which solidified their hold at the third spot of the team standings. While the Fighting Maroons fell to 3-8, although their chance for a Final Four slot is still alive.

Kiefer Ravena powered Ateneo’s win with 16 points while reserve Adrian Wong became the unlikely star for them with 14 markers, nine of which came from the three-point area.

Questionable shot selection ultimately contributed to UP’s demise at the hands of Ateneo. While starters Diego Dario, Agustini Amar and Jett Manuel combined for 34 points for the Maroons, the trio made 40 shots and converted just 12 of it.

Former Batang Gilas swingman Paul Desiderio finished with just eight points off 11 attempts and failed to sink all six of his free-throws.

UP shot a horrendous 33 percent from the field and nine percent from deep compared to Ateneo’s 51 percent and 44 percent from those respective categories.

The streaking Eagles started hot off the gate, busting out a 22-7 run in the first 15 minutes to gain a 29-16 advantage over the Diliman-based cagers.

The Maroons just couldn’t seem to find a good rhythm, finishing the second quarter with a disappointing 1/11 clip from downtown. Ravena and Arvin Tolentino led the way for Ateneo, combining for 18 points and a perfect 4/4 from three-point range.

Momentum shifted to the Maroons at the start of the second half. Through hustle plays from Desiderio who went scoreless at the first two periods, UP chipped away at the deficit and outscored Ateneo, 18-9, at the end of the third.

The Eagles were not intimidated, however, and unleashed a 12-3 run at the start of the final canto, stretching the lead back to 19. UP hustled for rebounds and good shots down the stretch but didn’t do enough to cover for their dismal shooting throughout the game.

“It was a bad start for us…sobrang bad start,” said Dario after the game. “We did a good job coming back but we fell short at the end.”

Dario added that as a young team, they still have to learn more in terms of strategies and game decisions.

“There’s always something we can learn after a game, manalo o matalo, so we just have to look at that,” added Dario, who led the Diliman-based cagers in scoring with 13 points.

The Fighting Maroons look to upset the defending champions National University Bulldogs, a team clawing their way back to title contention, this Sunday, 11 a.m., at the Araneta Coliseum.


The Scores:

ADMU (74)  – Ravena 16, Wong 14, Tolentino A 8, Gotladera 6, Ikeh 6, Nieto 5, Pessumal 5, Babilonia 4, Capacio 4, Black 2, Tolentino V 2, Go 2

UP (65) – Dario 13, Amar 11, Manuel 10, Desiderio 8, Kone 7, Harris 4, Moralde 4, Vito 4, Gallarza 2, Lim 2, Asilum 0, Jaboneta 0, Juruena 0, Longa 0

Quarter scores: 19-11, 45-26, 54-44, 74-65

UST outguns UP, claims Final Four slot

by Jason V. Mercene

Kevin Ferrer and Jett Manuel went toe-to-toe as they topscored their own teams with 29 and 21 points, respectively.
Kevin Ferrer and Jett Manuel went toe-to-toe as they topscored their own teams with 29 and 21 points, respectively.













The University of the Philippines managed to stay close in the game but could not just weather Kevin Ferrer’s double-double explosion en-route to a 76-83 second round loss against University of Sto. Tomas at the Mall of Asia Arena.

Atoning for his forgettable game against Ateneo, Ferrer posted a monster performance of 29 points and 14 rebounds as he lifted the Tigers back to a Final Four appearance.

“Bumawi si Kevin, as a leader of the team, yun yung kailangan niyang gawin,” said UST coach Bong dela Cruz who also had three more players in his squad in double figure.

The second installment of ‘Separation of State and Church’ match proved to be a dogfight in the early going of the game before the Tigers erected a 10-point lead via 16-6 blitz midway in the second quarter.

But the Maroons have more up on its sleeve for an upset bid as it dropped their own 8-0 bomb to trim UST’s lead to three at the end of first half.

Refusing to surrender the lead, the UST’s star forward Ferrer went on a tear as he waxed hot 23 points of his 29 in the second half including key baskets to keep the Fighting Maroons at bay.

Jett Manuel topscored for the Maroons with 21 markers and eight rebounds, followed by Agu Amar with 12, while former Batang Gilas duo Diego Dario and Paul Desiderio combined for 21 in a losing effort.

“I think we were there until the end. They are not number one or two for nothing, I think it’s just the difference between the experience of the players on UST and the experience of our team,” said Manuel.

With the loss, the UP is now tied with UE in sixth place with 3-7 record but the doors are still open for the Maroons to have a crack for a Final Four slot.

“Chances are the doors aren’t close yet, we were looking for this win to jump our chances but yun nga [we lost]. But our mentality is still the same, we can’t just sit here rely on other teams losing, we just focus on our team winning and see how it goes,” added Manuel as they only have four games remaining in the elimination round.


The scores:

UST (83) — Ferrer 29, Vigil 16, Daquioag 15, Abdul 10, Lao 7, Subido 3, Lee 3, Bonleon 0, Sheriff 0.

UP (76) — Manuel 21, Amar 12, Dario 11, Desiderio 10, Asilum 5, Jaboneta 5, Moralde 4, Vito 4, Gallarza 2, Kone 2, Harris 0, Juruena 0, Longa 0.

Quarterscores: 15-11, 38-35, 61-51, 83-76.