Blog Posts by Noel Zarate

  • National University behemoth Jaja Santiago erupted for twenty points as the PLDT TVolution-Philippines Power Pinays opened their campaign in pulsating fashion as they walloped KSEB-India in straight sets, 25-17, 26-24, 25-16 in Day #1 of competition in the 17th Princess Cup-Chang Asian Women’s Club Volleyball Championship in Nakhom Pathom, Thailand.

    PLDT Home TVolution-Philippines in their "souvenir program" pose (Photo: Ginio Panganiban/PVF)

    The 18-year-old reigning UAAP Rookie of the Year instantly became the favorite target of Power Pinays Japanese setter Misao Tanyama as she punctured the hapless Indian defenses time and time again while second reinforcement and Cuban legend Regla Bell-Mackenzie also made her presence felt, adding fourteen markers as the Filipinas made an early and definitive statement in Group B action.

    So effective and unmatched was Santiago against the smaller opponents that she only needed 22 attempts to convert on sixteen spike scores while she also fended off the Indian attackers; turning back three shots for scores and even nailing a service ace in a

    Read More »from Asian Women’s Club Volleyball Championship: Jaja stars as Power Pinays trounce India in opener
  • The competition line-up of PLDT TVolution-Philippines has been officially submitted to the organizing committee of the 17th Princess Cup-Chang Asian Women’s Club Volleyball Championship on the eve of their opening preliminary match in Group A in Nakhom Pathom, Thailand.

    After going through a rigorous two week intensive training stint with a phalanx of squads from the Thailand Volleyball League (TVL), a university selection and the Thai national team pool in Ramkhamhaeng University in Bangkok, the Philippine contingent travelled about sixty kilometers west of the capital to the host city last April 15th.

    After its third practice session at the Nakhom Pathom Gym (the main venue of the tournament), the necessary cuts were made.

    Middle hitters Mic-Mic Laborte and Michelle Datuin were placed on the reserve pool by Head Coach Sammy Acaylar as the Power Pinays dive into action on the competition’s opening match at 12:00NN local time (1:00PM, Philippine time) against KSEB-India—touted as one

    Read More »from Power Pinays’ “Final 12” announced, opens vs. India in Asian Women’s club volley tilt in Thailand
  • MALL OF ASIA ARENA, Pasay City—Matin Varamin-Iran went unscathed throughout the tournament to capture the 16th Asian Men’s Club Volleyball Championship (AMCVC) by outlasting Al Rayyan-Qatar, 19-25, 25-17, 26-24, 25-16 before a near sell-out here.

    Matin Varamin wins its 1st crown and tenth for Iran (Photo: Arnold Z. Cruz)

    The Iranians, bolstered by the omnipresent support of their countrymen residing in the Philippines, overcame a sluggish start to snare the second set in convincing fashion before seemingly being doomed in the third set 19-24. Iran leaned on their excellent net defense, quick plays and a series of uncharacteristic errors by the Qataris to rattle off seven straight points and steal the third set 26-24. A spate of yellow cards and an eventual red card for Qatari libero Said Saad Sulaiman sent Al Rayyan began ripping the team’s morale apart.

    It was all downhill for the 2012 champions as the reigning title-nation completely controlled the fourth set en route to its second straight crown and tenth overall in sixteen stagings of this prestigious

    Read More »from Asian Men’s Club Volleyball Championship: Iran defeats Qatar to capture gold, Power Pinoys take seventh
  • GAMES ON TUESDAY (April 8th) at the San Juan Arena:

    2:00PM (Group A) Arellano (3-0) vs. St. Louis (0-2)

    4:00PM (Group B) San Sebastian (1-1) vs. NU (2-0)

    Budding Tigress: 17-year-old Ennajie Laure has scored 40 points in 2 games (Photo: Arnold Z. Cruz)

    Having had almost a full week to recover from the double five-set thriller I had the good fortune (it’s for the fans) to cover last Tuesday, I’m happy to report that Sev Sarmenta encountered no such hardship in the two days he had at the broadcasting helm this week as only one match went beyond three sets among the four after the ones I did.

    Yes, Adamson, Arellano and Ateneo spanked their respective assignments in straight sets while only the battle between the two UAAP squads in the Shakey’s V-League Season 11 roster that failed to make it to the Final Four going four-sets, with the University of Sto. Tomas (UST) claiming its first victory of the season while dealing the Far Eastern University (FEU) its first loss.

    For now, here are the updated Team Standings:

    GROUP A:

    Arellano 3-0

    Ateneo 2-1

    Adamson 2-1

    St. Benilde 1-1

    Read More »from Shakey’s V-League Week #2 Round-Up and Analysis: AU still atop, Laure still impressive
  • The winner and winners of the first Philippine Super Liga Draft

    It was a historical event and it now sets the precedent for the sport.

    The PSL Draft 1st round picks with Chairman Phillip Juico and President Ramon Suzara (Photo: Roy Afable)

    When the Philippine Super Liga (PSL) held its first ever Draft at the NBA Café in SM Aura, Taguig City last Wednesday (April 2nd) all the volleyball aficionados waited with baited breath on how the proceedings would turn out. After all, it had never been done before. But with a number of blue-chip prospects leaving the collegiate ranks for good, it only seemed fitting that they go through this process; a rite of passage, if you like, between being varsity queens to semi-professional newbies.

    One athlete once said, “How do you go from being the best to number one thousandth in the world? Turn pro.”

    Although the PSL is still not actually the professional ranks as far as women’s volleyball is concerned, it sure comes close—especially with the pageantry that greeted the incoming players and the media on that ceremonious Wednesday.

    Personally, I was apprehensive.

    Not all the ladies in the draft pool were rookies—there

    Read More »from The winner and winners of the first Philippine Super Liga Draft
  • Power Pinays “Final 14” bared, head to Thailand for training and AVC club tilt

    Reinforced by a veteran Japanese setter and a three-time Olympic gold medallist, the Philippine women’s volleyball team under the banner of PLDT Home TVolution was officially named by the Philippine Volleyball Federation (PVF) and now head to Bangkok for a two-week intensive training camp with the Thai national team before representing the country in the 2014 Asian Volleyball Confederation (AVC) Women’s Club Championship in Nakhompathom on April 17-24.

    The PLDT TVoltion-Philippine contingent pose with PVF officials (Photo: Roy Afable)

    The fourteen intrepid volleybelles are once again nicknamed the Power Pinays.

    The PVF, through its Chairman Philip Ella Juico, hosted a send-off dinner for the contingent at the posh Wack Wack Golf and Country Club in Mandaluyong City recently, and after a few simple good luck wishes by some of the guests present at the affair, commemorative photos were taken of the entire selection for the first and last time before having one last practice session in the country then depart for Thailand.

    “The team will undergo a two-week training with

    Read More »from Power Pinays “Final 14” bared, head to Thailand for training and AVC club tilt
  • Shakey’s V-League Week #1 Round-Up and Analysis

    GAMES ON TUESDAY (April 1) at The Arena, San Juan City

    2:00PM Southwestern vs. St. Benilde

    4:00PM Perpetual vs. San Sebastian

    Christine Rosario (#17) and Arellano find themselves early league-leaders (Photo: Arnold Z. Cruz)

    Pardon me for not being able to write anything for the past week. The tail end of March has just been ridiculously packed and while I decided to reap the benefits of my hard work last Sunday, the Shakey’s V-League (SVL) decided to throw my alleged “curse” of being the five-set anchorman to my good buddy Sev Sarmenta. So while Sev worked two cardiac match-ups that went the distance, I was at S&R Mandaluyong buying hampers and shower curtains for my new home. That is a sick broadcaster’s irony.

    In any event, we are a good eight matches into Season 11 and here’s how the team standings look this early in the new season:

    Arellano University (AU) 2-0

    National University (NU) 2-0

    Far Eastern University (FEU) 1-0

    Adamson University (AdU) 1-1

    Ateneo de Manila University (AdMU) 1-1

    Southwestern University (SWU) 1-1

    San Sebastian College-Recoletos (SSC-R) 0-1

    Read More »from Shakey’s V-League Week #1 Round-Up and Analysis
  • No pomp and pageantry necessary. They have trained diligently and now they are off to Korea to intensify the process.

    NU's Peter Den Mar Torres is one of the final additions to the National Team (Photo: Arnold Z. Cruz)

    The Philippine national team that will be seeing action in the PLDT Home Fibr Asian Men’s Club Volleyball Championship (AMCC) which happens on April 8-16 at the Mall of Asia Arena and the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay City has been revealed by the Philippine Volleyball Federation (PVF) through its Secretary General Rustico “Otie” Camangian in a phone conversation with Yahoo! Sports Philippines.

    Dubbed as the “Power Pinoys” the team, backed by PLDT Home TVolution, has officially submitted its final line-up to the Asian Volleyball Confederation (AVC) and the Final Fourteen comprising the team are now in full swing with regards to the final stages of their training in preparation for this prestigious undertaking which will involve eighteen nations and establishes the Philippines as the next volleyball hub in the region.

    Here is the Final and Official roster:


    Read More »from PVF unveils official National Team roster for Asian Men’s Club Championship Manila
  • Shakey’s V-League Season 11 opens, Ateneo and NU strike first

    GAME ON TUESDAY (March 25) at the San Juan Arena

    2:00PM Southwestern University-Cebu vs. St. Louis University-Baguio

    4:00PM Far Eastern University vs. San Sebastian College-Recoletos

    Ateneo skipper Alyssa Valdez (#2) scored 23 points in their opening day win (Photo: Arnold Z. Cruz)

    THE ARENA, San Juan City—The eleventh season of the country’s premier women’s volleyball officially kicked off before a packed house as the newly crowned UAAP champions Ateneo de Manila University (AdMU) Lady Eagles and defending Shakey’s V-League (SVL) first conference titlists the National University (NU) Lady Bulldogs jumpstarted their respective campaigns with contrasting victories here.

    The official attendance was 5,629 paying patrons.

    With all twelve participating teams taking part in the opening ceremonies, a simple parade preceded with the players emerging from the stands, much to the delight of the fans that flocked to witness the action. GMA-7 comedienne May Bautista ushered in the players in an energetic callout. The pro-Ateneo crowd drowned out the introduction of its players as the OBF

    Read More »from Shakey’s V-League Season 11 opens, Ateneo and NU strike first
  • Shakey’s V-League Season 11: Meet the teams, know the game schedules

    GAMES ON SUNDAY: (March 23 at the San Juan Arena)*

    1:00PM Opening Ceremonies

    2:00PM Ateneo vs. Adamson

    4:00PM Perpetual vs. NU

    *Aired LIVE on, aired the next day on GMA News TV

    Here we go: Shakey's V-League Season 11

    As the Shakey’s V-League (SVL) opens its eleventh season on Sunday (March 23rd) and will be parading twelve teams, including a record three provincial squads.

    The twelve teams are the most in league history and highlights the rise in popularity of the sport in the archipelago and will also showcase a number of collegiate heroines playing for their schools for the last time as regular members of the roster.

    Graduating players Sheila Pineda, Mayette Zapanta and May Macatuno of Adamson University, Czarina Berbano and Ara Mallare of San Sebastian, the Perpetual duo of Jane Diaz and reigning NCAA MVP Royse Tubino, Arellano’s Diane Ticar, Southwestern University’s Marilyn Llagoso, and defending champion National University’s Kuki Salibad, Mina Aganon and 2013 first conference MVP Din-Din Santiago

    Read More »from Shakey’s V-League Season 11: Meet the teams, know the game schedules


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