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Exclusive: Winning title was never in doubt, real aim was sweeping field

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#Winning #title #doubt #real #aim #sweeping #field

NU's Cess Robles is the Finals MVP.

NU’s Cess Robles is the Finals MVP. –UAAP PHOTO

Without batting an eyelash, National University (NU) team captain Princess Robles—seeing the blossoming talent around her—said she knew they’d win Season 84 of the UAAP women’s volleyball championship via a sweep.

“At the start of the season, I told Ivy [Lacsina] and Jen [Nierva] that we can sweep this,” said Robles in Filipino. “But we knew it would be difficult, so we had to put in a lot of hard work first.”

And she wasn’t the only one who had the vision of a 16-game run that gave the Lady Bulldogs their title in 65 years. Just about every one in the core, including Rookie-Most Valuable Player (MVP) Mhicaela Belen, Nierva and Alyssa Solomon all answered yes to the same question.

“We were very confident to complete a sweep. Because of our hunger to win every game. And you can see it in our training,” said Belen, the league’s first-ever Rookie-MVP. Belen said they practiced twice a day and never complained.

Not even once.

“We didn’t try to relax. We planned every game and kept pushing,” she said in Filipino. The 22-year-old open spiker personified the Lady Bulldogs’ grit that she wowed even her senior teammates.

“Even though it was always hard training for us, we never saw Bella (Belen’s nickname) get tired,” quipped Nierva, the starting libero and one of the team elders. “We are proud of her, she should next be playing in the VNL (Volleyball Nations League).”

Nierva herself felt very confident they could complete a perfect season: “It’s not just because we have the skill, but you can see it in the way we trained every day. Even though it was hot in the gym and practice was hard, we saw in our young teammates that we shared the same goal.”

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For Solomon, the top opposite spiker of the season, the telltale signs was in how they dominated the high school division as part of the NU-Nazareth School champion teams of Seasons 81 and 82—the last year also by sweep.

“We were able to do it in high school, so I was also confident we can make it this year in college, plus I saw the trust we have in each other and the trust of our coaches,” said Solomon, who was also a rookie.

Nierva and Robles are among those graduating next year, according to head coach Karl Dimaculangan. But both of them said they would like to stretch their playing years however possible.

“I’m still undecided. But it’s going to be difficult to leave this team,” said Robles. “The long time we are together, even though we miss home due to our bubble training, just being with them is enough for us to forget our troubles.”

Nierva said: “I really want to play some more, don’t know yet how and we have to plan and everything. But first let us enjoy the moment and talk about it later.”

Meantime, Belen, Solomon, setter Camilla Lamina and middle blocker Sheena Toring all just finished their rookie years, making an NU dynasty an great possibility.

“Now that we made a history for NU, I hope this continues,” said Belen.

Yet, just like what they did in sweeping the season, the Lady Bulldogs will have to dream it first—and work hard for it again.


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Exclusive: VNL: Yuki Ishikawa returns to lead Japan past Slovenia – TalkOfNews.com

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Ishikawa Japan VNL

#VNL #Yuki #Ishikawa #returns #lead #Japan #Slovenia

Ishikawa Japan VNL

Yuki Ishikawa celebrates during a win over Slovenia in the Quezon City leg of the Volleyball Nations League (VNL) on Sunday.

MANILA, Philippines — Yuki Ishikawa helped Japan get back on track to cap its Volleyball Nations League (VNL) Quezon City leg with a convincing 25-21, 22-25, 25-18, 25-19 win over Slovenia on Sunday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Coming off a three-set loss to France on Saturday, where the Japanese sat out due to fatigue, Ishikawa returned to action with 21 points off 17 attacks, three aces, and a block, and had an impressive floor defense with eight digs and seven receptions.

The Japanese, the crowd darlings who received loud cheers from the Filipino fans, won three of their four Philippine leg matches to finish Week 2 with a 6-2 record for solo fourth seed.

Ishikawa, however, stressed that there are still a lot of things to work on for the next leg, which they will host in Osaka next month.

“We won the match. But in the second set, we were winning but we lost. It’s one thing we need to (work on),” said the Japanese captain. “This weekend, we finished with three wins and one loss. We have more things to improve before going back to Osaka.”

Tatsunori Otsuka uncorked 13 points, all coming from spikes, and had 10 receptions and eight digs.

Yuji Nishida chipped in 12 points, while middle blockers Kentaro Takahashi and Akihiro Yamauchi added 11 and seven markers, respectively.

Ran Takahashi, the most adored Japanese player by the Filipino fans, sat out for the second straight game.

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Slovenia banked on the 20-point effort of Rok Mozic but dropped to 3-5 in the ninth place.

Toncek Stern helped Mozic with 16 points, while captain Tine Urnaut added 11 markers.

The Slovenians, who gave up 31 free points to Japan from their errors, will need a better outing in Week 3 in Gdansk, Poland from July 5 to 10.

The top seven teams and host Italy will qualify in the Final round from July 20 to 24 in Bologna.

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Exclusive: Ricci Rivero to draw inspiration from OFWs in Taiwan stint – TalkOfNews.com

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Ricci Rivero UP UAAP

#Ricci #Rivero #draw #inspiration #OFWs #Taiwan #stint

Ricci Rivero UP UAAP

Ricci Rivero. UAAP PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — Signing with Taoyuan was worth the wait for Ricci Rivero after he stayed focused and committed to complete University of the Philippines’ historic title run in the UAAP before pondering on his professional career.

The 24-year-old revealed to Inquirer Sports that Taoyuan has been in talks with his handlers at Virtual Playground even before the UAAP Season 84 men’s basketball tournament.

But his management decided not to tell him right away to avoid any distractions in his final playing year.

“They reached out to Virtual Playground even before the UAAP started. But I remained committed to UP,” said Rivero in Filipino after signing as Taoyuan’s world import in the P.League+.

“When Season 84 was still ongoing, they were in talks with sir Charlie Dy. But I don’t have any idea about it to avoid any distractions during the season.”

“I just learned the offer right after we won the championship,” he added.

His commitment to the Fighting Maroons was the reason why Rivero opted not to declare in the previous PBA Rookie Draft, too.

“Nagkataon po na yung PBA Draft ay habang naghahanda po kami sa UAAP Finals, at alam naman po ng lahat kung gaano namin gusto makuha yung Championship,” he said. “Lalo na po ako na gusto ring makabawi sa mga pagkukulang ko sa ibang games. Kaya po talagang nag focus na muna ako sa UAAP.”

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(PBA Draft coincided when we were preparing for the UAAP Finals. We really wanted to win the championship, especially me. I wanted to make up for my shortcomings in our few matches. That’s why I really focused on the UAAP.)

Locked in with his goal to win a UAAP title, the 6-foot-1 guard’s patience with his future paid off after UP ended a 36-year championship drought in dramatic fashion with JD Cagulangan hitting the game-winning triple in Game 3 to dethrone Ateneo.

“My UAAP career was full of ups and downs… But I chose not to turn my back, especially on the UP community, who continued to support me even in my struggles,” Rivero said. “During that time I told myself: win or lose I wanted to show my gratitude to my school in my final playing year.”

Rivero, who averaged 13.78 points, 4.17 rebounds, 2.17 assists, 1.72 steals, and 0.72 blocks in Season 74, will try to help Taoyuan rise from its 7-22 record, sixth place, in the previous P.League+ season.

As he enters the next chapter of his basketball career in Taiwan, Rivero is not promising anything, but he assures to give back to the Taiwanese club’s trust to tap a Filipino player as a world import.

“I don’t want to entertain any pressure. I want to take it one step at a time. It’s a major adjustment so it’s hard to make promises and set expectations,” he said. “I just want to play right and give back to the trust they have given to a Pinoy (player).”

The Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) will be Rivero’s inspiration as he takes his act in a global basketball league away from his family, which has watched his games at the venues from high school to college.

“The OFWs will be my inspiration in my first professional journey. Because I am doing this for my dream,” Rivero said. “I want to go out of my comfort zone. This is for my personal growth as a player and as an individual.”

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Exclusive: Horse Racing NAP of the Day: Best Horse Racing Tips for Sunday, 26 June – TalkOfNews.com

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Horse Racing NAP of the Day

#Horse #Racing #NAP #Day #Horse #Racing #Tips #Sunday #June

The horse racing NAP of the Day for Sunday, 26 June, according to SportsLens tipsters, is La Petite Coco. She returns to action in the feature 1m 2f Group 1 Pretty Polly Stakes for fillies and mares at the Curragh this afternoon (3:45). Paddy Twomey’s stable star looks well worth backing at sweet 7/2 odds.

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Outside of the ill-fated Snowfall, you’d be hard-pressed to find a filly in training for horse racing in the Emerald Isle who improved as much last season as La Petite Coco. She progressed through the grades, proving very versatile regarding trip too. Her form from 2021 makes this four-year-old filly our horse racing NAP this Sunday.

Why will horse racing NAP of the Day La Petite Coco win?

Twomey’s stable comes into this three-day weekend Festival at the Curragh in terrific form. This wily trainer has a 28 per cent career strike rate at this venue, so the best UK betting sites are rightly wary of his runners. Had we backed those blind, then punters would have a tidy £17.30 profit off a £1 level stake.

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In La Petite Coco, Towmey has a daughter of Ruler Of The World that won over a mile, this trip and a mile-and-a-half last season. While her best distance and horse racing results may be over further, a strongly-run 10 furlongs should be just fine. La Petite Coco lowered the colours of the mighty Love on Irish Champions Weekend last time out.

NAP of the day 26 June 2022

That one was the star three-year-old filly of 2020, carrying all before her in victories in the 1000 Guineas, Epsom Oaks and Yorkshire Oaks. Love also won the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot last year for a fifth career Group 1, so it was quite a feather in the cap of La Petite Coco to beat her.

Today’s horse racing NAP has top level success in her

It’s another reason why horse racing betting sites give her the utmost respect here. Provided she’s primed to go first time out after 287 days off the track, the pick of her form could give La Petite Coco and her stable Group 1 glory of their own. Granted further progress, and she’s still open to it after just seven career starts, she may stop the younger fillies who get weight for age from her.

We just had to make La Petite Coco our horse racing NAP of the Day for 26 June based on her excellent display last time out. She’s the only course and distance winner in the line-up, so looks well worth backing. A £10 punt on La Petite Coco with 888Sport returns £45 if she makes a winning reappearance. New customers also qualify for £40 in bonuses by placing such a wager.

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New Customers Bet £10 & Get £30 in Free Bets + £10 Casino Bonus at 888Sport

Horse racing NAP of the Day 888Sport bet 10 get 30 FB 10 casino bonus

More details on that new customer betting offer at 888Sport now. This is a bet £10 and get £30 + £10 casino bonus deal available to all SportsLens readers who don’t already have an account with this online bookie.

Join 888Sport using promo code 30FB, then deposit £10 or more via Debit Card. Don’t use eWallets such as Neteller, MuchBetter, Skrill, PayPal and Paysafecard because these payment methods aren’t compatible with unlocking the bonus.

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Once new customers fund their account, place a £10+ qualifying sportsbook bet at minimum odds of 1/2 (1.50). Our horse racing NAP of the Day ticks this box. After the wager settles, new customers get 3x £10 free bets credited automatically. Additional terms and conditions apply to the casino bonus, which is claimed separately.

How to Get that Welcome Bonus

Stake just £10 on our top horse racing bet today and new customers receive £30 in free bets with 888Sport, plus that £10 casino bonus. Take these steps to claim this great offer:

  1. New customers join 888Sport using promo code 30FB
  2. Deposit £10+ via Debit Card (don’t use eWallets)
  3. Place a £10+ qualifying bet with minimum odds of 1/2 (1.50)
  4. After this settles, get 3x £10 free bets automatically
  5. All free bets are valid for 7 days
  6. Claim a £10 casino bonus with separate T&Cs within 7 days

Bet £10 Get £30 in Free Bets + £10 Casino Bonus

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Visit 888Sport

Min deposit £/€/$10 • A qualifying bet is a ‘real money’ stake of at least £/€/$10 • Min odds 1/2 (1.50) • Free Bets credited upon qualifying bet settlement and expire after 7 days • Free Bet stakes not included in returns • Casino Bonus must be claimed within 7 days • To withdraw bonus/related wins, wager the bonus amount 40 times within 14 days • Casino Bonus expires after 60 days • Withdrawal restrictions, payment methods, country & Full T&C’s apply.

Related to Our Horse Racing NAP of the Day

Here are all of the latest daily horse racing betting tips available on SportsLens today:

  • Windsor is where our Placepot tips for betting on the Tote can be found this Sunday
  • Check out the Sunday selections from top tipster Andrew Mount with two top bets
  • For those who play at bigger odds, our each way tip of the day goes at Windsor
  • Paul Kelly has punters covered with horse racing tips today from all UK and Irish courses
  • Fans of spread betting should read the latest Spreadex analysis with recommended buys and sells
  • Andy Newton has more Lucky 15 tips featuring four fancies in a sweet Sunday system bet

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