UP snaps 10-year, 19-game skid against UST

After 10 long years, the UP Fighting Maroons defeated the UST Growling Tigers, 74-69, for their fifth overall win at the FilOil Flying V Centre, November 6.

By John Remil Isaga
Photography by Keith Magcaling

After 10 long years, the UP Fighting Maroons defeated the UST Growling Tigers, 74-69, for their fifth overall win at the FilOil Flying V Centre, November 6.

With this victory, UP (5-8) eliminated UST (3-9) from Final Four contention, providing the proverbial cherry on top for the Maroons.

Coincidentally, this win also eclipsed the 4-8 team record set by the Maroons in that same season, where now-PBA stars Arwind Santos and LA Tenorio still ran wild with their alma maters.

With a UP-dominated crowd nearly filling the San Juan-based arena, the Maroons opened the game pumped and ready to trade shots with the struggling Tigers. Neither team let up in the first two periods as UP entered halftime with only a one-point lead, 31-30.

The first half was highlighted with short bursts of scoring from both sides. UP came up big on the defensive side, however, especially from the fleet-footed forward Noah Webb, who recorded two chasedown blocks a la LeBron James. His second rejection of the first half was so powerful that the ball jammed between the rim and backboard, much to the disbelief and awe by the UP faithful.

Gunning to break free from the hungry Tigers, key returnee Kyles Lao went on a personal 6-0 run, sending the UP bench to a very raucous frenzy that even got them a warning for improper bench decorum.

Up to this point, no single Maroon stood out on the offensive end thanks to unselfish ball-movement leading to numerous wide-open shots.

With a comfortable lead heading to the fourth, UP proceeded to stir up the crowd to a fever pitch as they went on a 13-2 run. This gave the Diliman-based ballers their largest lead of the game at 15, 63-48. UST captain Louie Vigil even fouled out in the process, which made the UP fans even happier.

Not giving up, UST’s Zach Huang and Jeepy Faundo tried to keep the score within reach and almost succeeded, trimming the score to as close as 69-66 with less than 30 seconds remaining.

Historically known for blowing late-game leads, the battle-hardened Maroons held their ground until the final buzzer, which sent the packed arena rocking with cheers. They now head to their final game of the season against the UE Red Warriors with a two-game winning streak.

Coach Bo Perasol clearly noticed the increase in passion and attendance from the fans.

“More than anything else, the thing that resulted in this win [was] the excitement from the UP community.”

He also noted that many of the players who contributed in this game were inspired by Lao’s personal run. He also said that Lao was actually surprised that he was even called to play at all.

The team effort was indeed clear from the box score, as five Maroons had six points apiece followed by four players with three markers each. Paul Desiderio led the charge at the end with 16 points, a team-high 13 rebounds and seven assists. On the other end, Vigil tried his best to keep the Tigers alive with 16 points and eight boards, but ultimately fell short.

Desiderio was also very pleased with the fan turnout of this game.

“Dati nga, halos binibigay na namin yung mga ticket, pero di pa rin nauubos,” joked the third-year swingman.

As Coach Perasol noted, their possible entry to the Final Four is out of their hands as current fourth seed Adamson University needs to lose their remaining games for UP to have a chance.

Nevertheless, the Maroons look forward to ending the season on a high note against the freefalling UE Red Warriors next Sunday, Nov. 13 at the Araneta Coliseum, in what will possibly be captain Jett Manuel’s final game as a Maroon.

UP secures three-peat, ninth overall women’s badminton crown

by John Remil Isaga

For the third straight year, the UP Lady Maroons nabbed the UAAP Women’s Badminton title in dominating fashion, besting the Ateneo Lady Eagles three matches to one.

First Singles Match: Bea Bernardo vs Bianca Carlos

Eerily similar to how Game 2 began, the Lady Eagles team captain Bianca Carlos swept UP’s Bea Bernardo, 16-21, 19-21, in the first singles match to take a 1-0 lead.

Although Bernardo started out of warmups red-hot by mounting an 8-1 lead, Ateneo’s tested veteran brushed it off and took care of business. Second Singles Match: Gel Castilo vs Sam Ramos Determined to mount back the pressure on the challengers, the Lady Maroons’ Gel Castilo entered the second singles match with a 10-6 introductory attack to Ateneo’s Sam Ramos. Although Ramos rallied to bring the set deficit down to three, 13-10, Castilo hammered multiple kills and forced errors to leave Ramos in the dust, 21-14.

However, the determination to get over the title drought propelled Ramos to smash home textbook kills of her own despite Castilo starting the second set on an interval-forcing 11-5 run. This enabled the Ateneo talent to close the gap once again at 18-16 via a series of kill trading, much to the delight of the boisterous, jampacked crowd.

Ramos even forced a 21-20 set point before Castilo secured the match sweep at 24-22 for a 1-1 game tie. Relieved, she laid down on the court and fist-pumped for a moment.


First Doubles Match: Mav Alcala & Jessie Francisco vs Trixie Malibiran & Sam Ramos

The action kicked up to an even higher gear as UP team captain Mav Alcala and Jessie Francisco opened up the first doubles match against Ramos and Trixie Malibiran.

Much like the match that preceded it, UP mounted a commanding 7-3 lead before the Eagle duo locked in and rallied back. With UP clinging to a 12-10 lead, Alcala and Francisco revved up the attacks and once again left their Katipunan sisters dazed and down one set, 21-15.

They threw in the same furious attacks in the following set to sweep Ateneo, 21-17 and grab the 2-1 lead.

Second Doubles Match: Gel Castilo & Christine Inlayo vs Bianca Carlos & Geva de Vera

Sensing another possible Finals loss, the new Ateneo duo of Carlos and Geva de Vera battled toe-to-toe with UP’s Castilo and Christine Inlayo in the second doubles match.

Alternating between real and feint smashes, Ateneo outsmarted UP and took the first set, 23-21. Showing no signs of weariness, the Lady Maroon duo instead showed a more intense drive – screaming before and after kills, one after another.

In a flash, UP has taken the set, 21-12. Staying true to their champion mentality, Castilo and Inlayo tore into the hapless Lady Eagles with reckless abandon.

Mounting an unrelenting barrage of kills, the Lady Maroons closed out Ateneo with a title-clinching 21-12 set, which was immediately followed by defeaning screams from the Maroon faithful.

Banners were waved and tears fell to thundering drumbeats as the UP Lady Maroons once again reached the top of the Women’s Badminton division.

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 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.

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.

Lady Maroons blank Lady Warriors in UAAP volleyball opener

by Denver del Rosario

Host school University of the Philippines dominated the University of the East, 25-20, 25-13, 25-21, in the season-opener of the UAAP season 78 women’s volleyball tournament at the Filoil Flying V Arena.

Having a slow start in the first set, the Lady Maroons eventually found their rhythm going in the succeeding sets for a quick win.

Justine Dorog, Diana Carlos and Nicole Tiamzon spearheaded the onslaught for the host school, all having nine points.

Shaya Adorador, meanwhile, topscored UE with seven points. Judith Abil and Juliet Catindig contributed five markers.

Despite the win, skipper Kathy Bersola was not satisfied with their performance.

“It’s a so-so game,” Bersola said. “Nakita naman natin na ang dami naming errors, siguro overexcited lang kami (We’ve had so many errors. Maybe we were just so excited).”

Tiamzon and Carlos gave back-to-back attacks for the Diliman-based squad as they took the driver seat in the first set, 16-13, enough to keep the Lady Warriors at bay for good. Abil then committed a service error to zeal the set for the host school, 25-20.

It was a one-sided second set as UP led as much as 11 points, eventually taking the set off a net violation from UE, 25-13.

The Lady Maroons continued its aggressiveness in the third set as they lead, 8-3, behind Marian Buitre and Carlos’ spikes.

The Lady Warriors refused to give up and inched back tying the game at 15, courtesy of back-to-back kills from Juliet Catindig.

The Lady Maroons quickly responded with hits from Buitre and Bersola which gave them match point, 24-19.

Just like the previous sets, an error from the Lady Warriors sealed the deal for the host school, 25-21.

UP will next face last year’s runner-up De La Salle University on Saturday at the Filoil Arena.


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

UP lands runner-up finish in UAAP poomsae tourney

Poomsae jins from the University of the Philippines (UP) failed to notch for back-to-back titles after a bridesmaid finish in their University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) Season 78 campaign at the Blue Eagle Gym in Quezon City, Wednesday.

by David Tristan Yumol

Tinig ng Plaridel UP Poomsae Runner-up
Photo by Hannah Paguila

Poomsae jins from the University of the Philippines (UP) failed to notch for back-to-back titles after a bridesmaid finish in their University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) Season 78 campaign at the Blue Eagle Gym in Quezon City, Wednesday.

The Diliman-based jins bagged medals in all of the five events of the tourney as they tallied a total of one gold, one silver, and three bronzes.

The University of Santo Tomas (UST), meanwhile, reclaimed the overall championship they lost to UP last year by ruling three out of the five events, with a silver to add.

The Espana-based jins were the inaugural champions of the UAAP poomsae tournament since it became a regular sport in the collegiate league two years ago.

De La Salle University (DLSU) finished third overall with one gold, one silver, and two bronzes to show.

Luck was not on the side of UP as Dustin Jacob Mella became the only bright spot for the Maroon jins in the penultimate day of the competition.

Mella topped the men’s individual poomsae event with a score of 8.435, while UST’s Rodolfo Reyes (8.28) and DLSU’s Mac Alob (8.22) grabbed the silver and bronze respectively.

Although Mella cannot sustain his winning form in the men’s team event as he only settled with a silver there, together with Lyan Llanto and Roman Sta. Romana.

The UP trio scored 8.235 points behind the winning UST triad led by veteran Vidal Marvin Gabriel (8.27) and ahead of DLSU (8.18).

In the distaff side, UP’s Patricia Jubelag only managed to finish for a bronze in the women’s individual event as she notched only 7.9525 points. It was way behind the score of DLSU’s Rinna Babanto who scored 8.32 points to top the event for the second straight year. Juvenile Crisostomo of Far Eastern University (FEU) copped the silver medal with 8.235 points.

UP also got a bronze at the women’s team event as Jubelag, Janna Oliva, and Minelle Dabalus showed their wares.

Their 7.885-point production was enough to salvage a third place finish behind the high marks of UST (8.165) and FEU (8.015).

The mixed pair team of Oliva and Jayboy Buenavista also copped a bronze, registering 7.97 points.

UST again notched the gold in that event with a score of 8.365 while DLSU grabbed the silver with 8.33 points.

Despite being dethroned this year, UP head coach Janice Lagman was satisfied with her team’s finish in which she noted the remarkable performance of the jins.

“All of the members of the team went in the finals, which made me surprised. I am so happy and proud for all of them,” she said.

Lagman, a two-time Southeast Asian Games gold medalist in poomsae, also said that other teams have improved this year. She vowed to perform better for the next season.

“We don’t stop training. We train all year round because we join other national tournaments. These competitions will serve as our preparation for our next year’s campaign in the UAAP,” said Lagman.

UP continues woes, falls to Adamson anew

by Raphael Rayco

Paul Desiderio had a breakout performance today scoring 26 points against Adamson Falcons but it was not enough to send his team to another victory. Photo by Denise Valdez
Paul Desiderio had a breakout performance today scoring 26 points against Adamson Falcons but it was not enough to send his team to another victory. Photo by Denise Valdez

The University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons lost their fifth straight game in the UAAP Season 78 men’s basketball competition against the Adamson University Soaring Falcons, 68-73, at the Mall of Asia Arena, Sunday.

“In the last five games, medyo naging emotional ‘yung mga bata, (they went a little bit emotional,)” said UP head coach Rensy Bajar. “Masyadong mababa ‘yung morale. ‘Yun ‘yung naging [struggle] namin. (Their morale was very low. We struggled with it.)”

Paul Desiderio’s game-high 26 points was not enough to pull a comeback win for UP, who closed their first round campaign in a wrong foot after posting an emphatic 2-0 start at the early part of the season.

Jerome Garcia became the breakout star for Adamson, scoring 26 points to give the San Marcelino-based dribblers their first win of the season.

The Maroons were down by seven points after the first quarter, when a 5-0 mini-run highlighted by Cheick Kone’s breakaway jam narrowed the gap to 19-21 at the start of the second quarter.

The Falcons, however, answered with a 10-2 run of their own to push their lead to double digits, 31-21.

With 3:04 remaining in the first half, UP’s starting center Jerson Prado had a bad fall in an attempt to rebound. The officials called a timeout and he was sent out of the court with a stretcher while holding on to his right knee.

The 6’5 bruiser out of Glenwood High in Australia is scheduled to have an MRI to check if there is an injury in any of his ligaments.

Prado’s injury seemed to have gotten the team fired up as they outscored the Falcons, 18-10, in the third quarter.

UP’s fightback continued in the final quarter with Desiderio leading a 13-2 run to tie the game at 59 with 6:10 remaining.

The Diliman-based squad eventually got their first lead since their 8-7 advantage in the first canto via a Dave Moralde trey, 62-61.

However, UP’s turnovers and crucial baskets by AdU’s Garcia, Joseph Nalos, and JD Tungcab eventually sealed the game for Adamson.

UP’s second top scorer of the season, Jett Manuel, who played nine minutes in this game, ended up scoreless for the second straight game.

“[It’s a bit frustrating, but] it’s not enough for us to call it a season,” said the veteran. “The second half that we played a while ago is something to be proud of, but 19 points is a big, big hole to come back from.”

The Fighting Maroons now hold a 2-5 win-loss card coming into the second round of the competition.

“[We need to] push ourselves to the limit. Kailangan naming lahat na maniwala na kaya naming manalo, (We all have to believe that we can win.)” added Bajar.


The Scores:

AdU 73 – J. Garcia 26, Nalos 15, Tungcab 13, Sarr 8, Polican 5, Ochea 4, Margallo 2, Ng 0, C. Garcia 0, Villanueva 0, Camacho 0.

UP 68 – Desiderio 26, Longa 9, Jaboneta 7, Dario 6, Kone 4, Amar 4, Prado 4, Moralde 3, Vito 3, Asilum 2, Harris 0, Lim 0, Manuel 0, Juruena 0.

Quarter scores: 21-14; 47-28; 57-46; 73-68