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Exclusive: UAAP volleyball: Eya Laure best scorer, Bella Belen makes case for rookie-MVP

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UST tigresses Eya laure

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UST tigresses Eya laure

UST Tigresses’ Eya Laure (middle). UAAP PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — University of Santo Tomas star Eya Laure emerged as the best scorer of the UAAP Season 84 women’s volleyball tournament even as National University rookie Bella Belen also built a strong case for the MVP and Rookie of the Year.

Laure topped all scorers with 272 points from 244 spikes, 17 blocks, and 11 service aces, leading UST to a third seed finish with a 9-5 record.

Ateneo star Faith Nisperos, who is still eligible for the top Rookie award after her first season was canceled two years ago, placed second with 267 points from 228 attacks, 16 blocks, and 23 aces, while Belen ranked third in scoring with 203 points after leading NU to an outright Finals with its 14-0 elimination round sweep.

University of the Philippines rookie Alyssa Bertolano was fourth with 197 points, while La Salle’s Leiah Malaluan ranked fifth with 193 points.

Adamson’s Trisha Genesis (184 points), Ateneo’s Vanie Gandler (174), NU’s Alyssa Solomon (171), University of the East’s Ja Lana (170), and NU’s Cess Robles (162) complete the top 10 scorers.

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NU's Bella Belen instrumental in the Lady Bulldogs' latest win. UAAP PHOTO

NU’s Bella Belen instrumental in the Lady Bulldogs’ latest win. UAAP PHOTO

Meanwhile, Belen showcased her all-around skills after being part of the Top 10 in five of the seven skills department.

The 19-year-old outside hitter was the elimination round’s best server averaging 0.47 ace per set. She was also second among the best spikers with 38.96-percent success rate, No. 6 best receiver with her 40.85-percent efficiency rate, and No. 8 among in the best diggers with 2.38 digs per set.

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Nisperos was second in serving with 0.43 ace per set, while Belen’s teammates Solomon (0.34) and Sheena Toring (0.32) were third and fourth, and Bertolano (0.31) was fifth.

Solomon was the best spiker after hitting 38.98-percent attack rate in 14 games. Belen only trailed by 0.02%. Their senior teammate Robles placed third with 37.57-percent, Bertolano (35.27-percent) and Nisperos (34.86-percent) were fourth and fifth, respectively.

Lams Lamina remained the Best Setter after 14 games, with 5.81 sets per frame. Adamson’s Louie Romero was a distant second with 4.70 sets per frame, followed by La Salle’s Marrione Alba (4.60), Ateneo’s Jaja Maraguinot (4.49) and UP’s Marianne Sotomil (3.80).

NU libero Jennifer Nierva was the best receiver with her 55.96-percent efficiency rate. UST’s Janel Delerio was second best receiver with 46.36-percent, followed by Ateneo’s Roma Mae Doromal (44.44-percent), La Salle’s libero Justine Jazareno (44.13-percent) and Jolina dela Cruz (41.83-percent), who was the only spiker in the department.

Jazareno was No.1 in digging with 4.78 excellent digs per set, ahead of Nierva, who averaged 4.40 digs per set. Far Eastern University’s Alexandra Juangco was third with 4.00, followed by UST’s Bernadett Pepito (2.96), and UE’s Jenina Zeta (2.70).

La Salle’s Thea Gagate was the best blocker with 0.60 blocks per set. Ateneo rookie AC Miner was second with 0.53 block average, followed by another Lady Spiker Fifi Sharma and UST’s KC Galdones, who are tied at third with 0.50 block per set each, and Ateneo’s Joan Narit was fifth with 0.49.

The UAAP will hand out the individual awards in Finals Game 2, where they will crown the MVP, Rookie of the Year, 1st and 2nd Best Outside Spikers, Best Opposite Spiker, 1st and 2nd Best Middle Blockers, Best Setter, and Best Libero.

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Exclusive: Kyrgios laughs off wardrobe questions after win – TalkOfNews.com

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Nick Kyrgios has laughed off questions regarding his on-court attire, as he opted to change his shoes and hat before taking a post-match interview following his gutsy performance in the fourth round.

Kyrgios’ detractors were desperate for something, anything, to take the shine off his impressive five-set win, where he battled a shoulder ailment throughout, receiving treatment several times.

But if his win over Stefanos Tsitsipas was a ‘circus’, as the vanquished Greek proposed it was, this was anything but.

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Save for a couple of words with the chair umpire late in the contest, Kyrgios was focused, and almost reserved at times.

Few sports stars are as polarising – and when Kyrgios switched his hat and shoes for a red Jordan brand cap and some matching sneakers, it gave his critics – of which there were fewer than his last match, for obvious reasons – the ammunition they needed.

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Kyrgios books ticket to quarters

On commentary, Aussie legend Todd Woodbridge said that his countryman “might receive a letter in his locker” about the hat and shoe change.

The 27-year-old’s post-win press conference was nothing like the combative environment that it was two days ago, right until the very end.

A reporter posed the idea that Kyrgios invites his own controversy, including an open flaunting of clear wardrobe rules.

“Why then would you walk on to centre court with bright red trainers on and do an interview in a red cap?” Kyrgios was asked.

The reply was typically Kyrgios.

“Because I do what I want,” he responded, before being pressed on whether or not he thought he was above the rules.

“No. I’m not above the rules. I just like wearing my Jordans.”

The line of questioning continued despite a moderator’s attempted intervention, when Kyrgios was quick to correct the journalist that he hadn’t ‘moaned’ about controversy.

“I haven’t moaned. I love it,” he said.

“Yeah, it’s just more attention for me. What’s that saying? Any publicity is good publicity, right?

“Keep doing you then champion,” he said to the question asker before moving on.

Kyrgios will get a day off before facing Chile’s Cristian Garin for a spot in the final four.

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Exclusive: The squad regroups – TalkOfNews.com

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Erik ten Hag was afforded a first opportunity to work with a number of returning Reds at Carrington on Monday.

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Exclusive: De Minaur bundled out of Wimbledon in classic – TalkOfNews.com

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Cristian Garin came from two sets down and saved two match points in the fifth before beating Alex de Minaur to reach his first grand slam quarter-final at Wimbledon.

The unseeded Chilean trailed 5-3 in the first-to-10 fifth-set tiebreaker before winning six straight points to take a 9-5 lead.

He then converted his second match point to advance 2-6, 5-7, 7-6 (3), 6-4, 7-6 (6) on Court No.2 after four hours and 34 minutes.

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Garin is the first Chilean man to reach a Grand Slam quarterfinal since Fernando Gonzales in 2009.

The 19th-seeded de Minaur had never lost a set against Garin in three previous meetings and looked set to maintain that streak when he led 3-1 in the third-set tiebreaker. The Australian then held two match points at 5-4 in the fifth.

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