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Giemel Magramo a win away from title shot

Giemel Magramo is a win away from a crack at the IBF flyweight crown but his obstacle is a Thai veteran with nine Filipino victims in his resume and it won’t be easy hurdling Eaktawan Krungthepthonburi in their 12-round title eliminator at the Jurado Hall of the Philippine Marine Corps, Fort Bonifacio, on Sept. 7......»»

Category: sportsSource: philstar philstarAug 14th, 2019

Return of the Mac-killer: Nate Diaz ends hiatus at UFC 241

By Greg Beacham, Associated Press ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — The mostly empty arena rumbled with outsized excitement when Nate Diaz stepped onto the stage. The fans erupted into cheers while Diaz lit a joint and took a big drag before doing a little shadowboxing for the cameras. Even before he said a word at his open workout four days before UFC 241, Diaz showed he can captivate an audience like no active fighter in the mixed martial arts world. Fighters can train for almost every skill in the game except charisma, and the Diaz brothers are laden with it. The younger Diaz (19-11) returns from a three-year hiatus on Saturday night, taking on Anthony Pettis in his first bout since his two showdowns with Conor McGregor in 2016. A heavyweight title rematch between Daniel Cormier and Stipe Miocic is the main event, but many fans at Honda Center and around the world will be watching mostly to see what Diaz does next. "I'm here as a businessman and a natural born killer," Diaz said. "I'm here to get the job done, and he's the guy to do it on, so there's no problem. It's all good with me. I'm just here to kill and stay alive for the weekend." Diaz and his older brother, Nick, receive a level of adulation in the MMA world that exceeds even their considerable accomplishments. It's difficult to explain the Diaz appeal to observers who don't have a full historical perspective on the pugnacious, thoughtful brothers' omnipresence in their sport's attitudes and images during the past 15 years, even when they weren't competing very often. Their swashbuckling attitude, angry disregard for authority, profane words of wisdom and athletic fighting styles all appeal tremendously to many people who support a young sport that's still seen as repellent counterculture by a big segment of mostly aging sports fans. Put it this way: A 22-year-old Nate Diaz once completed a submission finish with his legs while simultaneously thrusting two middle fingers in the air. You might love that or hate it, but you have an opinion. "That's the way I've been from Day One," Diaz said. "It's going to stay this way, too, until I'm 100 years old. I'm the Don of all this. If anybody is going to step in this room and say they're the (butt)-whipper, I beg to differ." Even Anthony Bourdain, the late traveler and gourmand, famously filmed a segment with Nick and Nate for his CNN show on Los Angeles, not because the Northern California natives knew much about LA and its cuisines — other than the best weed, probably — but simply because Bourdain, a jiu-jitsu practitioner and MMA fan, was fascinated by the brothers' outlaw ethos. Some of the brothers' behavior seems performative, but some of it isn't: Both Nick and Nate have essentially walked away from the UFC for long stretches of their prime, turning down countless millions in prize money because they refused to compromise what they considered to be their principles. Diaz split two tremendously entertaining matchups with McGregor and became one of the UFC's biggest stars in 2016, but he is 34 years old now, and Saturday's fight will be only his fifth since November 2013. Diaz said he felt mistreated by the UFC, although he struggles to explain how its persistent attempts to book one of its most popular fighters constitute disrespect. Diaz turned down matchups worth millions, including a probable shot at Georges St. Pierre, and he lost a chance to return last year when future champ Dustin Poirier was injured before their bout. Diaz also said he doesn't fight for money. He and his brother, Nick, who hasn't fought in nearly five years, are busy with Nick's thriving gym in their native Stockton, California. Nate said they've also got a successful CBD business, to absolutely nobody's surprise. "They've been trying to degrade me the whole time I've been out," Diaz said. "They're trying to put me low on the card against not very big names. They also tried to give me huge names, but those fell through. It don't matter. I believe I'm the main event in any event they've got. They'll do the best they can to keep me from that." Diaz's complaints are more likely a distilled version of that everyone-is-against-me mentality that drives so many athletes. But he was tempted back by a matchup with Pettis, who nurses a grudge against Diaz that apparently isn't mutual. Diaz dismissively refers to Pettis as "this Wheaties box" in reference to Pettis' former endorsement deal with the cereal, but has mostly ignored Pettis' pointed criticisms. Diaz won't say whether he plans to fight again, or whether he would like his first UFC title shot since 2012. He will stick to his own timetable and goals while nursing the same attitude that kept him on top of the UFC star pyramid even during three years away. "No one on the roster for the last three years even read the blueprints," Diaz said. "I'm right there. Why don't you go take it? And nobody did, and tomorrow, if some of these young guys say they're going to step up and take my position, I'm not with that.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated News22 hr. 0 min. ago

PBA Finals: Can San Miguel Beer finish off TNT in Game 6?

With Wednesday’s Game 5 win, San Miguel Beer was the first team to get back-to-back victories in the 2019 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals. Now looking for a trifecta, the Beermen are out to finish off top-ranked TNT KaTropa. The series between the league’s two flagship teams move on to a Game 6 with San Miguel holding a crucial 3-2 lead. If the Beermen complete the job, it will be the team’s 27th overall title and another shot at a Grand Slam is very much in play. However, TNT is a tough out and the KaTropa should be raring to force a deciding Game 7. TNT is yet to lose three straight games all season and they don’t really plan to do that now especially with a championship hanging in the balance. Game 6 will tip off at 7:00 p.m. Frida live from the Big Dome.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 15th, 2019

Fans call for Neymar s departure as PSG beats Nimes 3-0

PARIS (AP) — Fans expressed their anger at Neymar with chants and banners demanding his departure as Paris Saint-Germain started the defense of its French league title with a 3-0 win over Nimes on Sunday. Neymar, who reported late to training from his summer holidays and has been linked with a move away from PSG to Barcelona or Real Madrid, was not included in coach Thomas Tuchel's squad. Some PSG hardcore fans mocked Neymar's behavior with one banner at the Parc des Princes saying "Get lost Neymar". Neymar, who became the most expensive player in the world when he moved from Barcelona to PSG for 222 million euros (about $250 million) in 2017, has made clear in recent weeks that he wants to leave the club. In his absence, PSG dominated from the start and monopolized possession to camp in Nimes' half of the pitch. Edinson Cavani put the hosts in the lead from the penalty spot in the first half before Kylian Mbappe scored his 63rd league goal near the hour mark and then set up Angel Di Maria's goal. Mbappe was in superb form with his trademark dribbles and bursts of speed, while new signing Pablo Sarabia worked well with his teammates and delivered several good passes from the right flank which destabilized the visitors' defense. Nimes held out until Pablo Martinez was sanctioned for an unintentional hand ball in the box following a VAR review. Cavani took the penalty and beat goalkeeper Paul Bernardoni with a powerful strike in the 24th. Sarabia was dangerous again in the 34th with a fine volley at the far post that drew a spectacular save from Bernardoni, and Cavani missed an easy chance from close range with a poor touch from Mbappe's cross. Mbappe fired the ball into the top left corner in the 57th for 2-0 after connecting with a cut-back pass from Juan Bernat, and then delivered a perfect assist to the unmarked Di Maria inside the area. The Argentina forward, who came on as a substitute, controlled the ball and beat Bernardoni with a left-footed shot for his 40th French league goal. OSIMHEN SCORES 2 Lille forward Victor Osimhen scored twice on his French league debut to help the northern side to a 2-1 win over Nantes. Runner-up last season behind Paris Saint-Germain, Lille hired the Nigeria striker this summer to compensate for the loss of Nicolas Pepe, who joined Arsenal. The 20-year-old Osimhen, who scored 20 goals for Belgian side Charleroi last season after starting his professional career in the Bundesliga, showed both his athletic abilities and technical skills to put the hosts in the lead. After Nantes gave the ball away in Lille's half of the field, Osimhen collected a lofted pass with perfect chest control, pushed the ball forward with a fine touch, surged past a defender with a burst of speed and scored from close range with great composure. After Zeki Celik's own-goal put Nantes back in the game soon after the interval, Osimhen was decisive again with nine minutes left with a near-post finish from Celik's cross. Turkish international Yusuf Yazici also made his league debut for Lille after completing his move from Trabzonspor. Although he did not score, Yazici came off the bench as a replacement for Timothy Weah to add a dose of creativity in midfield and came close with a menacing free kick which went just over the bar in the 78th minute......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 12th, 2019

EGS Elite recaptures Men s Open crown in NBA 3X PH 2019

NBA PH press release Manila, Philippines, Aug. 4, 2019 — Cavite-based EGS Elite celebrated on court as MPBL player Mark Anthony Doligon, made the final shot in the Men’s Open division to beat the TVL Cavs, 22-14, and reclaim the Men’s Open title in NBA 3X Philippines 2019 presented by AXA to secure their fifth title in six years. In the Women’s Open Division, National University Uno defeated National University Dos to win the NBA 3X title for National University (NU), which was previously held by Perlas Pilipinas in 2018. Returning for the ninth consecutive year, NBA 3X Philippines were headlined by Denver Nuggets’ Monte Morris, NBA Legend Muggsy Bogues and 2019 NBA Champions mascot, the Raptor. The 3-on-3 tournament featured more than 1,000 participants representing 260 teams across divisions for boys (under-13, under-16, under-18, and open category), girls (under-18 and open category), Celebrity Division featuring local personalities, and AXA Division. In the Celebrity Division, Team Uy Uy Uy, composed of Dominic Uy, Vince Hizon, Yuri Escueta and Miko Abello, defeated Calix, comprised of Xavy Nunag, Nikko Ramos, Jutt Sulit and Marxx Monterola. The AXA Division saw Bank Assure: Born Ballers outlast AAA2 of Head Office in their finals. In addition, SKAPRO, Caloocan Supremos and Caloocan Supremos 1-A emerged as winners in the Boys Under-13, Under-16, and Under-18 Divisions, while FCPC captured the Girls Under-18 title. NBA 3X Philippines presented by AXA follows the launch of AXA’s newest brand campaign, “Know You Can,” which reminds its customers that a better life is within reach if they believe it can be achieved. Aligned with AXA’s mission of empowering people to live better lives, the campaign will feature a prominent sports figure who embodies self-belief on and off the playing court. AXA Philippines is the presenting partner of NBA 3X Philippines 2019. In addition, Gatorade, Nike, PLDT-Smart, and Vivo will serve as official partners. Official NBA broadcast partners are ABS-CBN S+A, Basketball TV, and NBA Premium TV. For more information on NBA 3X Philippines 2019 and the registration process, fans can visit www.nba3x.com/philippines and follow on Facebook and Twitter. For more details on AXA Philippines and their product offerings, visit www.axa.com.ph and follow on Facebook. The following is a complete list of division champions of NBA 3X Philippines 2019 presented by AXA:.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 5th, 2019

ONE Championship: Martin Nguyen reigns supreme at ONE: Dawn of Heroes in Manila

2 August 2019 – Manila, Philippines: The largest global sports media property in Asian history, ONE Championship™ (ONE), returned to a packed Mall of Asia Arena in Manila for the biggest martial arts event in Philippine history with ONE: DAWN OF HEROES. Once again, the finest martial arts talent in the world came out to showcase their incredible skills. In the main event, Martin Nguyen retained his ONE Featherweight World Championship with a technical knockout victory over Koyomi Matsushima. In the co-main event, Rodtang Jitmuangnon captured the ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Championship with a unanimous decision victory over Jonathan Haggerty. In the main event, Martin “The Situ-Asian” Nguyen of Australia and Vietnam continued his reign over the featherweight division with a second-round technical knockout victory over Japanese challenger Koyomi “Moushigo” Matsushima to retain the ONE Featherweight World Championship. Matsushima put the pressure on Nguyen early in the opening round with his solid ground game. The champion was able to make the necessary adjustments in the second round, however, as he picked apart a tired Matsushima with a barrage of strikes to get the stoppage win and successfully defend his title for a third time.  In the co-main event, Rodtang “The Iron Man” Jitmuangnon of Thailand dethroned English striking sensation Jonathan “The General” Haggerty via unanimous decision to become the new ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Champion. Haggerty utilized his length in the early going, using front kicks to keep the challenger at bay. Rodtang picked up steam in the succeeding rounds and managed to drop Haggerty twice. After five rounds of explosive action, it was Rodtang who walked away with the victory and the prestigious ONE World Title.  In the ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix Semi-finals, Eddie “The Underground King” Alvarez of the United States recorded his first victory under the ONE banner with a rear naked choke of former ONE Lightweight World Champion Eduard “Landslide” Folayang of the Philippines. Folayang attacked Alvarez with a blitz of strikes to open the contest and a low kick brought “The Underground King” to the mat. Alvarez, however, was able to sweep Folayang to wind up in mount. From there, Alvarez took Folayang’s back, fished for the submission, and forced the tap. In the ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix Semi-finals, Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson of the United States outlasted Tatsumitsu “The Sweeper” Wada of Japan to take home a three-round unanimous decision. After a brief exchange on the feet in the first round, Wada was able to take Johnson to the mat and secure his back. Johnson however defended very well. Action continued in the second round with Johnson dominating the grappling exchanges. In the third and final round, Johnson appeared to have Wada figured out and took control of the bout to cruise to a unanimous decision victory. Filipino flyweight star Danny “The King” Kingad secured his spot in the ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix Finals with a split decision win over Australian Reece “Lightning” McLaren. Kingad survived a number of precarious situations in the first two rounds to rally back in the final round. In the last two minutes of the bout, Kingad dominated a fading McLaren as he was able to land a couple of takedowns and unload some ground-and-pound to swing the decision in his favor. Kingad is now one win away from becoming the ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix Champion. Muay Thai star Rodlek PK.Saenchaimuaythaigym of Thailand opened the main card in spectacular fashion with a third round knockout victory over Andrew “Maddog Fairtex” Miller of Scotland. Rodlek overcame Miller’s significant height and reach advantage as he outstruck his foe in the first two rounds of action. In the opening minute of the final round, Rodlek dropped Miller with a short right elbow followed by a knee to score the stoppage win. Japanese flyweight Yuya “Little Piranha” Wakamatsu captured his first win under the ONE banner in highlight-reel fashion with a first round knockout of former ONE Flyweight World Champion Geje “Gravity” Eustaquio of the Philippines. The heavy-handed Wakamatsu timed his shot, found the opening and unloaded a solid straight right hand that had Eustaquio out before hitting the canvas. Wakamatsu followed up with a few more shots before the referee stepped in to stop the bout. In a lightweight contest, South Korea’s “Crazy Dog” Dae Sung Park overwhelmed former ONE Featherweight World Champion Honorio “The Rock” Banario of the Philippines over three rounds. Park came out firing powerful combinations and actively pursuing the takedown in the first round. He dropped Banario with a head kick and followed him to the mat for some ground-and-pound nearly finishing the Filipino. Banario survived and came back with a flurry of his own, sending Park reeling towards the ropes. Park rocked Banario again in the third with a high kick, which “The Rock” again recovered well from. In the end, all three ringside judges scored the bout in favor of Park to  win by unanimous decision. Japan’s Daichi Takenaka and Brazil’s Leandro “Brodinho” Issa figured in an epic back-and-forth battle in a bantamweight contest. Takenaka and Issa began the bout testing each other’s grappling skills, with both men taking turns in dominant positions. As the bout wore on however, action shifted to the feet and Takenaka began to pull away with superior striking. After a right hand put Issa down in the third, Takenaka followed up with a plethora of punches on the ground to force the stoppage. American top welterweight contender James “Nako” Nakashima put together a well-rounded performance, defeating Japanese mixed martial arts legend Yushin “Thunder” Okami. Nakashima came out to a fast and aggressive start, taking the action right to Okami in the opening moments of the contest. For three full rounds, Nakashima got the better of Okami in the striking and grappling departments. In the end, all three judges scored the bout in favor of Nakashima to win by unanimous decision. In a featherweight contest, China’s “The Stalker” Xie Bin took on the Philippines’ Edward “The Ferocious” Kelly. However, after an unfortunate halt to the bout in round two, Xie was awarded a technical decision victory over the Filipino. China’s Miao Li Tao was impressive in his return to the ring, defeating Thailand’s Pongsiri “The Smiling Assassin” Mitsatit via unanimous decision. Miao was in control from the get-go as he took Mitsatit down and controlled him on the mat for the majority of the three-round contest. Mitsatit had no answer for Miao’s aggressive and powerful grappling as the Chinese warrior coasted to a convincing decision win. Japanese women’s strawweight contender Ayaka Miura continued to roll in her ONE Championship career, defeating former World Title challenger Samara “Marituba” Santos of Brazil with an Americana submission in the second round. Miura bucked a slow start in the opening round and displayed her superior grappling in the second round by taking Santos down and locking in the Americana in just 39 seconds. Malaysia’s Muhammad “Jungle Cat” Aiman kicked off the action at ONE: DAWN OF HEROES with a unanimous decision victory over Indonesian veteran “The Terminator” Sunoto. Aiman remained a step ahead throughout the three-round bout as he outstruck and outgrappled Sunoto to walk away with the curtain-raising win. Official results for ONE: DAWN OF HEROES ONE Featherweight World Championship bout: Martin Nguyen defeats Koyomi Matsushima by TKO (Strikes) at 4:40 minutes of round 2 ONE Super Series Flyweight Muay Thai World Championship bout: Rodtang Jitmuangnon defeats Jonathan Haggerty by Unanimous Decision (UD) after 5 rounds ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix Semi-final bout: Eddie Alvarez defeats Eduard Folayang by Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 2:16 minutes of round 1 ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix Semi-final bout: Demetrious Johnson defeats Tatsumitsu Wada by Unanimous Decision (UD) after 3 rounds ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix Semi-final bout: Danny Kingad defeats Reece McLaren by Split Decision (SD) after 3 rounds ONE Super Series Muay Thai Bantamweight bout: Rodlek PK.Saenchaimuaythaigym defeats Andrew Miller by Knockout (KO) at 0:49 minutes of round 3 Mixed Martial Arts Flyweight bout: Yuya Wakamatsu defeats Geje Eustaquio by Knockout (KO) at 1:59 minutes of round 1 Mixed Martial Arts Lightweight bout: Dae Sung Park defeats Honorio Banario by Unanimous Decision (UD) after 3 rounds Mixed Martial Arts Bantamweight bout: Daichi Takenaka defeats Leandro Issa by TKO (Strikes) at 1:39 minutes of round 3 Mixed Martial Arts Welterweight bout: James Nakashima defeats Yushin Okami by Unanimous Decision (UD) after 3 rounds Mixed Martial Arts Featherweight bout: Xie Bin defeats Edward Kelly by Technical Decision (TD) Mixed Martial Arts Catchweight bout (57.0kg): Miao Li Tao defeats Pongsiri Mitsatit by Unanimous Decision (UD) after 3 rounds Mixed Martial Arts Women’s Strawweight bout: Ayaka Miura defeats Samara Santos by Submission (Americana) at 0:39  minutes of round 2 Mixed Martial Arts Bantamweight bout: Muhammad Aiman defeats Sunoto by Unanimous Decision at after 3 rounds.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 3rd, 2019

Eduard Folayang, Danny Kingad lead Filipino charge at ONE: Dawn of Heroes

The big stars are out to shine as ONE Championship heads to the Mall of Asia Arena for the third time this year with their biggest offering yet.  ONE: Dawn of Heroes, which takes place on Friday, August 2nd, will feature the biggest and most-stacked martial arts event to ever grace Philippine soil.  Of course, the Philippines will be well-represented on fight night, as five of the country's best mixed martial artists from the famed Team Lakay gym in La Trinidad, Benguet will take center-ring, led by none other than two-time ONE Lightweight World Champion Eduard "Landslide" Folayang.  The 35-year old Pinoy MMA hero will be stepping up to his biggest challenge yet, as he faces former UFC and Bellator Lightweight World Champion Eddie "The Underground King" Alvarez in what is now a semi-final match in the ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix.  The winner of the match will head into the finals to face Turkish knockout artist Saygid "Dagi" Guyseyn Arslanaliev at ONE: Century in Tokyo, Japan this October for the right to be crowned ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix Champion and earn a shot at the ONE Lightweight World Championship.  The Folayang-Alvarez matchup is, by all accounts, a dream matchup pitting one of Asia's best against one of North America's best. Both men have a fan-friendly style that will surely result in fireworks inside the ring.  Also competing in an important matchup will be Team Lakay young star Danny "The King" Kingad, who takes on Australia's Reece "Lightning" McLaren in a ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix semi-final bout.  Kingad is one of the Philippines' most promising young talents and is on track for what could be a second shot at the ONE Flyweight World Championship. Standing in his way however, is a dangerous veteran in McLaren, who is also looking to return to the world title picture.  Rounding out the Filipino contingent on this massive ONE: Dawn of Heroes card is former ONE Flyweight World Champion Geje "Gravity" Eustaquio who meets Japanese up-and-comer Yuya "The Little Piranha" Wakamatsu, former ONE Featherweight World Champion Honorio "The Rock" Banario who takes on South Korea's Dae Sung Park, and featherweight contender Edward "The Ferocious" Kelly who faces China's "The Stalker" Xie Bin.  Also on the card will be former long-time UFC Flyweight World Champion and pound-for-pound great Demetrious "Mighty Mouse" Johnson, who faces Japan's Tatsumitsu "The Sweeper" Wada in the other ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix semi-final bout.  The winners of the Kingad-McLaren and Johnson-Wada bouts will meet in the flyweight tournament finale which is also set to take place at ONE: Century in Tokyo this October.  Headlining the stacked card will be reigning and defending ONE Featherweight World Champions and self-proclaimed 'adopted Filipino' Martin "The Situ-Asian" Nguyen taking on Japanese challenger Koyomi "Moushigo" Matsushima in the main event, and English Muay Thai star Jonathan "The General" Haggerty putting his ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Championship on the line against Thai icon Rodtang "The Ironman" Jitmuangnon.      Don't miss out on the exciting martial arts action! Catch ONE: Dawn of Heroes this Friday, August 2nd LIVE on ABS-CBN S+A channel 23 starting at 8:30 PM. Livestreaming will also be available on the ABS-CBN Sports Facebook Page starting at 5:00 PM as well as on the iWant app! .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 2nd, 2019

ONE Championship: Eduard Folayang believes his style matches up well against Eddie Alvarez

Lightweight stars and former world champions Eduard “Landslide” Folayang of the Philippines and Eddie “The Underground King” Alvarez of the United States are set to lock horns in a must-see ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix semi-final matchup at ONE: Dawn of Heroes this coming Friday, August 2nd at the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila.    Facing a former UFC and Bellator world champion in Alvarez, Folayang knows that he is up against what could be the biggest challenge of his career, but also believes that his style matches up well with the ultra-aggressive American.    “Yeah, for sure, [my style] matches up well [with his], and kailangan ko pang pinu-in yung mga areas na magiging precise, na magagamit ko against sa kanya,” Folayang told ABS-CBN Sports.    Alvarez is known for his charge-forward brawling style that made him a fan favorite among fans during his runs with North American promotions.    Folayang is a gifted striker who has shown stopping power in the past, most notably his third-round TKO win over Japanese legend Shinya Aoki back in 2016, the win that netted the Pinoy star his first ONE world championship.    One clean shot from either man could spell disaster for the other.    Hard-hitting Russian Timofey Nastyukhin spoiled Alvarez's ONE with a TKO win back in March, and Folayang is looking to do the same.   “I think one of the things that I saw is, halos karamihan ng mga talo ni Eddie Alvarez is more on sa mga high-level strikers, so tine-take into consideration ko yun talaga, and siyempre, depende rin talaga sa kung ano yung magiging gameplan niya eh, kasi gusto niyang manalo eh, ako ganoon dun, so I need to read kung ano yung magiging approach sa laban, kasi alam ng bawat isa sa amin na we are strikers eh, so paano yung adjustment ng bawat isa? I think yun yung isa sa mga titignan ng bawat kampo namin,” Folayang explained.    One area that could prove to be a problem for the Pinoy is the ground game. While Folayang and Team Lakay’s grappling and wrestling have improved dramatically throughout the years, top-notch grapplers have remained to be a problem for the Baguio-based team.    Alvarez, while usually prefers to stand and trade, is also a high-level wrestler and could look to bring the bout to the mat.    “Sa ground game niya, magaling din siya eh, he has proved himself time and time again na talagang may submission and knockout wins din siya, so all-around din well-rounded din siya,” Folayang said.     The 35-year old Baguio City-native is coming off a world title loss to Aoki in their rematch in Japan back in March and is eager to get back on track and begin his hunt for a third world title reign.    With the bout against Alvarez on Friday being a lightweight tournament semi-final, a win for Folayang moves him to the Grand Prix finals and a step closer to challenging for the title again.    “Sa akin, siguro, it motivates me to do well, kasi siyempre, I wasn’t able to defend my belt the last time, I think this is a good opportunity for me to bounce back,” said the two-time champ.    Catch ONE: DAWN OF HEROES on Friday, August 2 LIVE on ABS-CBN S+A channel 23 starting at 8:30 PM. Livestream will be available on the ABS-CBN Facebook Page and on iWant  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 1st, 2019

PBA: NSD works as Brownlee pushes Ginebra to Game 4

That signature Never Say Die spirit sure worked Tuesday. Ginebra finally pulled one back in the 2019 PBA Commissioner’s Cup semifinals, surviving top-ranked TNT in Game 3 at the MOA Arena. By surviving another rough outing, the defending champion Gin Kings saved their title and cut their series deficit in half, 1-2. “Man, it was tough,” said import Justin Brownlee after the win. “Talk ‘N Text is a really good team, they got some weapons. I just think we did a good job of defending the three-point line and just tried our best to limit Castro and Jones and their playmaking abilities,” he added. The key to stopping TNT definitely depended on how the Gin Kings defended the line. In Game 3, the KaTropa made only five treys and shot 14 percent from deep. In Game 2 when TNT scored a masterful win, they shot 36 percent and connected on 16 triples. “Just really focusing on defense. I think we really needed that push defensively,” Brownlee said. Even while the Gin Kings were defending the three pretty well, Game 3 was still tied at 57-all entering the fourth with TNT having momentum after a strong third-quarter run. But what got the Gin Kings over the top was Brownlee’s fourth quarter when the league’s reigning Best Import scored eight points, the difference in the win. He finished with 14 to go along with 11 rebounds and eight assists. “I was just seeing some openings to try and maybe get some switches or I can get to a spot. I was just seeing how they were defending me and just read through it,” Brownlee said of his fourth quarter. “We just try to have the same mentality and approach like we did today, just come out and be aggressive on offense and be solid on defense,” Brownlee added as they move forward to Game 4 for yet another do-or-die outing.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 30th, 2019

Fortea scorches nets, Bullpups scalp Malaysians by 56 in 2019 Asean School Games

Terrence Fortea was on fire in each and every moment he was on the floor inside the GOR Sahabat in Semarang, Indonesia on Monday and shot Nazareth School of National University to a 56-point destruction of Malaysia, 118-62, in the 2019 Asean School Games. Fortea scored 27 points built on five triples to go along with seven rebounds and three steals to propel the Bullpups to back-to-back wins in their title defense in the regional meet. The scoring machine was on the floor for only 23 minutes, meaning he was contributing a little over a point per minute. He also hit the last four points in the UAAP Jrs. Kings’ 13-0 start to the game. Team Philippines, supported by and Oriental Group of Companies, would never look back en route to an emphatic entry into the gold medal round. In the end, Fortea was flanked by talented transferee Nap Tulabut who had 20 points, six rebounds, and four steals while big men Carl Tamayo and Aaron Buensalida also merged for 26 markers and 14 boards. All in all, NU will be competing against the best young talent Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand have to offer. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 22nd, 2019

Danny Kingad doesn t want to face teammate Geje Eustaquio, not even for a title shot

No amount money or negotiations can make Danny "The King" Kingad step inside the Circle against his teammate Geje "Gravity" Eustaquio. The 23-year-old from Baguio City will lock horns with former ONE Bantamweight World Title challengerReece "Lightning" McLaren in the ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix semi-finals at ONE: DAWN OF HEROES on 2 August at the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines. On the other hand, the former ONE Flyweight World Champion Eustaquio will also appear on the same card when he takes on Yuya "Little Piranha" Wakamatsu in a ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix alternate bout. A win from "Gravity" that evening would give him a guaranteed slot in the Grand Prix if any athletes withdraw from the tournament - meaning a Team Lakay versus Team Lakay matchup could be on the horizon. “If it was up to me, I really don’t want it,” Kingad said. “But that’s if it’s up to me. I just don’t want to split our team on the premise of a World Title shot.”  The young phenom, however, understands that at the end of the day - it’s the higher ups of ONE Championship that have the final say on their potential clash.  “If they really want it, they’ll have to give us a raise,” Kingad said with a laugh. "Maybe they should just visit us in the gym to watch us spar. There we grind everyday.”  Jokes aside, Kingad said he does not see himself competing against a fellow martial artist from Team Lakay.  He would rather step down and give any of his teammates the opportunity to vie for a World Title, citing that the renowned stable is too invested in its tight-knit brotherhood for him to even entertain the thought of standing across the Circle against a family member. And maybe that is what makes Team Lakay special.  “Maybe I would just beg off and give the opportunity to them,” said Kingad. “We’re brothers and we’re a family. I don’t want to do anything that could affect that.” .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 22nd, 2019

ONE Championship: Eddie Alvarez in for a tough test against Eduard Folayang

American mixed martial arts veteran Eddie “The Underground King” Alvarez will get a shot at redemption when he takes on local hero Eduard “Landslide” Folayang at ONE: Dawn Of Heroes on 2 August at the Mall Of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines.    Alvarez made his ONE Championship debut at ONE: A NEW ERA, but it didn’t exactly go as he had imagined. The multiple-time World Champion succumbed to Timofey Nastyukhin via shock first-round knockout. Still, Alvarez remains unfazed and as determined as ever to restart his journey towards the ONE World Title.   “Look, I got the first one out of the way. I lost, no problem. I did the same thing in the UFC [against Donald Cerrone] and I honestly almost did the same thing in my debut in Bellator. I got dropped terribly. My debut in Bellator against an Irish kid (Greg Loughran) that no one knew. I got caught pretty clean.    “I bounced back and got the win, but I’m not a big fan of my debuts, put it that way. So I got it out of the way, got it past me, and now I can go full-on, go undefeated straight to the belt,” said Alvarez.   “I go out there and I’ve given my all every time, but I think at every once in a while it’s good to take a loss and put the fire back in your belly, and I think it’s a good time to have that. Sometimes you need that fire to burn long enough to get to that World Title.”       For this upcoming bout, Alvarez will face another tough and exciting foe in Folayang, the former ONE Lightweight World Champion who has seen his fair share of success against formidable opponents and will be competing in his homeland.   “He’s incredibly tough, incredibly durable. I understand the power of Wushu, because the guys I train with, Zabit [Magomedsharipov] and a lot of the Russians that come over to spar with us in [New] Jersey, they’re all from a Wushu background,” shared Alvarez.    “So the art is for real, it applies very well to MMA. And I’m looking forward to the toughest Eduard Folayang.   “It’s in his hometown. So I’m looking forward to a tough opponent and I’m viewing the fight as one that I absolutely have to finish. I am not coming in for a decision. I expect to lose if it goes to a decision. So I have every intention to finish.”   As an exemplary athlete and mixed martial artist, Alvarez wants to show fans what he is capable of, especially against Folayang who has a ton of championship experience under his belt and will draw from the cheers of the hometown crowd.   “I’m excited. This match-up in particular, I feel like this guy’s such a hard-nosed, tough fighter. This could be a Fight of the Year. Just my attitude and my mentality going into the fight, I like to feel that my back’s against the wall. I do really well there. I don’t like to feel respected. I like when people think a certain way, whether it’s negatively or whatever, and then I get an opportunity to shock them all,” Alvarez said.   “I never want an easy fight. My only desire is for the ONE Championship title. And this guy’s held it not once, but twice already.”.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 22nd, 2019

Manny Pacquiao outpoints Keith Thurman to capture WBA Super World Championshp

Eight-division boxing world champion Manny Pacquiao adds another world title to his collection as he defeats Keith "One Time" Thurman via split decision to become the new WBA (Super) Welterweight World Championship at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas Nevada, Saturday evening (Sunday morning, Manila time).  Thurman started off aggressive, but it was Pacquiao who made an impact early, connecting on a solid hook to put the American down in the late moments of the first round.  The two welterweight stars battled back and forth in the succeeding rounds, before Pacquiao again turned the tide with a body shot that hurt Thurman in the tenth frame.  After 12 rounds, two of the three judges saw the bout in favor of Pacquiao, 113-114, 115-112, 115-112 for the split decision victory.  The Filipino boxing icon improves to 62-7-2 in his professional career, while Thurman absorbs the first loss of his professional career. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 21st, 2019

Lowry, Holmes share Open lead as McIlroy leaves with cheers

By Doug Ferguson, Associated Press PORTRUSH, Northern Ireland (AP) — Everyone in the massive grandstand rose to cheer and celebrate a bold performance by Rory McIlroy, who longed for such support and affection on his walk toward his final hole at Royal Portrush in the British Open. Except this was Friday. And now McIlroy can only watch on the weekend as one of his best friends, Shane Lowry of Ireland, goes after the claret jug. Lowry birdied four of his opening five holes on his way to a 4-under 67 and shared the 36-hole lead with J.B. Holmes, who had a 68. Lee Westwood and Tommy Fleetwood were one shot behind. Brooks Koepka and Jordan Spieth were three back. That can wait. This day was all about McIlroy, who kept the sellout crowd on edge as he tried to make the cut after opening with a 79. The roars had the intensity of a final round as McIlroy ran off five birdies in seven holes to brighten a gloomy sky over the North Atlantic. Needing one last birdie, his approach took a wrong turn along the humps left of the 18th green. He made par for a 65. "It's a moment I envisaged for the last few years," McIlroy said. "It just happened two days early." He was disappointed. He was proud of his play. Mostly, though, he said he was "full of gratitude toward every single one of the people that followed me to the very end and was willing me on." "As much as I came here at the start of the week saying I wanted to do it for me, by the end of the round there today I was doing it just as much for them," he said. Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson won't be around, either. It was the first time in 77 majors they have played as professionals that both missed the cut in the same major. Darren Clarke, who honed his game on the Dunluce Links as a junior and now calls Portrush home, missed the cut in a most cruel fashion with a triple bogey on his final hole. And now the first British Open in Northern Ireland since 1951 moves on without them, still with the promise of a great show. Lowry was so nervous he was shaking on the tee when the tournament began Thursday, swept up in the emotion of an Open on the Emerald Isle, and on a course he knows. He gave fans plenty to cheer when he opened his second round with three straight birdies, added a birdie on the fifth and holed a 40-foot birdie putt on No. 10 to reach 10 under, making him the only player this week to reach double figures under par. The cheers were as loud as he has heard. "Just incredible," Lowry said. "You can't but smile, but can't but laugh how it is. There's no point trying to shy away from it. It's an incredible feeling getting applauded on every green, every tee box. I'm out there giving my best, trying to do my best for everyone." He three-putted the 14th, saved par on the next three holes with his deft touch around the greens, and closed with a bogey to fall back into a tie with Holmes, who played earlier in the day and was the first to post at 8-under 134. Holmes won at Riviera earlier this year, and then failed to make the cut in eight of his next 12 tournaments as he battled a two-way miss off the tee and felt so bad that he never thought he'd recover. But he did enough in Detroit three weeks ago to regain some confidence, and he has been in a groove at Portrush. "You can have that great round and that day where everything goes right. But it's nice to get two rounds in a row," Holmes said. "It shows a little consistency. And two days in a row I've hit the ball really well and putted well." Fleetwood and Westwood, two Englishmen at different stages in their careers, each had a 67 and will play in the group ahead of Lowry and Holmes. Westwood is 46 and can make a case as the best active player without a major considering his status — a former No. 1 in the world and on the European Tour — and the number of near misses in the majors, such as Muirfield and Turnberry at the Open, Torrey Pines in the U.S. Open and Augusta National when Mickelson out played him in 2010. Is it too late? Westwood wasn't willing to look that far ahead. "There's too much ground to cover before Sunday night," Westwood said. "There's a long way to go in this tournament. I've never felt under that much pressure, to be honest. You lads write about it. I've always gone out and done my best. If it's going to happen, it's going to happen, and if it doesn't, it doesn't." The experience of winning majors was behind them. Justin Rose had a 67 and was two shots behind, along with Cameron Smith of Australia and Justin Harding of South Africa. Another shot back was a group that included Koepka, who has won three of the last six majors. He was in a tie for eighth, the 16th time in his last 17 rounds at the majors he has ended a round in the top 10. Koepka wasn't happy with much about his 2-under 69, calling it "a little bit disappointing," perhaps because he played in dry weather and only a mild wind. "But at the same time, I'm close enough where I play a good weekend, I'll be in good shape," he said. Spieth hasn't quite figured out how to get the ball in play more often — too many bunkers on Thursday, too much high grass on Friday. But that putter is not a problem, and it carried him to a collection of mid-range birdie and par putts for a 67. "I'm in contention. I feel good," Spieth said, winless since his Open title at Royal Birkdale two years ago. "I feel like if I can continue to improve each day, hit the ball better tomorrow than I did today, and better on Sunday than Saturday, then I should have a chance with how I feel on and around the greens." Graeme McDowell, born and raised in Portrush, played well enough to make the weekend. He finished with four straight pars for a 70 to make the cut on the number at 1-over 143, and felt the pressure of sticking around for the home crowd. Woods, meanwhile, began this major championship season as the Masters champion, ended it as a mystery. He missed the cut in two of the next three majors, and never seemed fully fit or engaged at the British Open. He was 3 under for his round through 11 holes with hopes of making it to the weekend, but he had no more birdies and finished with two bogeys for a 70 to miss by five shots. "I'm going to have my hot weeks. I'm going to be there in contention with a chance to win, and I will win tournaments," Woods said, facing the reality of a 43-year-old who has gone through eight surgeries on his knee and back. "But there are times when I'm just not going to be there.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 20th, 2019

Algeria wins African Cup title, beats Mane s Senegal 1-0

By Gerald Imray, Associated Press CAIRO (AP) — Algeria won the African Cup of Nations for the first time in nearly three decades on Friday, beating Senegal 1-0 in the final with a deflected goal in the opening seconds by striker Baghdad Bounedjah. Bounedjah's shot on Algeria's first attack deflected off Senegal defender Salif Sane and looped over goalkeeper Alfred Gomis at Cairo International Stadium. The goal was timed at 79 seconds — the fastest in an African Cup final for at least 39 years — and delivered Algeria just a second African title and first since 1990. Algeria players sprinted the length of the field and jumped over advertising boards to celebrate with their fans at the final whistle. Some players climbed the fences, fists pumping as the raucous Algeria fans surged toward them. Algeria last made the final 29 years ago, when it won its sole title before Friday. "My people have waited a long time," said Algeria coach Djamel Belmadi, a former Algeria player. "I'm very happy even if it is difficult to express. I'm tired, it's true, and it is difficult to show my emotions but when I rest my happiness will appear." Senegal and Sadio Mane trudged off the field at the 75,000-seat Cairo International Stadium disappointed again. Mane, socks down round his ankles, managed to wave to a group of supporters who cheered for him as he left. Senegal has never won the African Cup and Senegal coach Aliou Cisse had another bitter pill to swallow after missing the penalty that cost Senegal the African Cup in a shootout in its only previous appearance in the final in 2002. "This is a different generation and Algeria won," Cisse said. "They seized an opportunity and they scored." Senegal's desperate disappointment was exacerbated when it was awarded a penalty in the second half and then had it taken away following a Video Assistant Referee review. Cameroonian ref Alioum Alioum penalized Algeria's Adlane Guedioura for handball but changed his decision after consulting VAR, which is being used at the African Cup for the first time. Still, Algeria was probably a fitting champion in Egypt having won every game, including a 1-0 win over Senegal in the group stage. Algeria was captained by Riyad Mahrez, who added an African Cup title to his English Premier League title with Manchester City. He lifted the trophy in front of the president of the African soccer confederation and FIFA president Gianni Infantino as fireworks and golden glitter exploded into the air behind him. Mahrez had limited first team action with City but he was an integral part of Algeria's victory at the African Cup. His injury-time free kick put Algeria into the final and he ended with three goals, the same number as Mane. Algeria had a dream start and Senegal a nightmare when Bounedjah took advantage of open space on the left in the opening moments, swept inside and hit a shot that deflected off Sane, who was returning from injury for the final. The ball looped, almost slow motion, over Gomis, who didn't move, apparently certain that it would go over the crossbar. Bounedjah's tournament ended in joy after he attracted attention for his emotional reaction to missing a penalty in the quarterfinals. Fearing he had cost his team, Bounedjah spent much of that match crying in the dugout after he was substituted. Algeria eventually won the quarterfinal in a shootout to keep its dream alive. Senegal was initially given its penalty in the final when Sarr sped down the right wing and sent a cross in that hit Guedioura on the right arm as he held it down next to his body. There didn't appear to be any deliberate move by Guedioura to play the ball and the VAR decision appeared correct. After pointing calmly to the spot, referee Alioum jogged to the sidelines to check the VAR replays. He overturned the decision and canceled the penalty. Making its debut at the African Cup, the VAR was also used in penalty decisions in both semifinals. Algeria protected its lead for much of the game, allowing Senegal to dominate possession and push forward. But Senegal couldn't find the final touch, with its worst miss in the second half when Sarr blasted a volley over the crossbar from in front of Algeria's goal. Algeria's celebrations at the end were boisterous, with thousands of supporters making the trip across to Egypt for the final. They took up almost half of one side of the stadium and were kept in check by rows of yellow-vested security personnel who stood facing them near the field. During the celebrations, the Algeria squad and coach Belmadi kneeled down and prayed as they faced the supporters. Belmadi, who took over as coach less than a year ago, will return home a national hero......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 20th, 2019

Team Lakay s Gina Iniong and Joshua Pacio: Two paths, one goal

Lakay. It is the Ilocano word for old man.   But when you go up to Baguio, it has an altogether different meaning. You cannot miss that word when you drive down Benguet road, on a nifty sign attached to a normal-looking office building: Team Lakay.   The home of the best Philippine mixed martial arts team in history. Almost all of the big names local fight fans have come to cheer and love as our modern-day heroes trace their roots to the relatively small, packed training room down Benguet road, where mats are soaked with the sweat of the fighters.   Eduard Folayang, Kevin Belingon, Geje Eustaquio, Honorio Banario, Rey Docyogen, Roldan Sangcha-an, and Mark Eddiva are all hallowed names in the annals of Philippine mixed martial arts, disciples of Mark “The Machine” Sangiao, who established, and groomed Team Lakay to the fearsome fighting factory that it is today.   While all the names above have ensconced themselves on pedestals, Team Lakay’s pipeline includes two more who have been fighting for recognition in recent fights: lone female fighter Gina Iniong, and ONE’s current Strawweight lynchpin and youngest champion, Joshua Pacio.   Both fighters may have started their professional fighting careers for different reasons, but Iniong and Pacio still have a lot to offer and prove for mixed martial arts in the country and in the international stage, such as being prominent fighters in the prestigious cage of ONE Championship.   CHANCE OF A LIFETIME   Gina, the first female Filipino mixed martial artist to fight and win abroad, started boxing back in high school as part of her after-school activities. When she was about to graduate, she actively sought scholarships in order to finish her education. One such opportunity presented itself in the form of an athletic scholarship, concentrating on the martial art of Wushu, which has a huge following in her hometown of Baguio City, with the University of the Cordilleras having a team of its own.   “Our former boxing coach, who was a former student of Coach Mark (Sangiao), approached me one day, telling me to join the upcoming wushu competition then for the college scholarship. So I joined it, and took a chance,” Iniong shared, recounting how she got into the world of combat sports as a young lady.   However, it was too good to be true, as she had to hurdle quite a huge problem if she wants that scholarship: a fight record. Sangiao told the young Iniong it would be difficult to get her a scholarship if she does not have a record to show in active combat in Wushu.   “I was lucky because there was a Wushu National Games here in Manila and we immediately went down and made our way there. Thankfully, I got the gold after the competition, and that paved the way for my scholarship,” said Iniong.   From there, the “Conviction” was born. After competing in numerous Wushu tournaments, Iniong finally caught the eye of Sangiao, who decided to take her under his wings and train her to be his female version inside the MMA cage.   After debuting in the Universal Reality Combat Championship in 2010, Iniong hasn’t looked back in the 12 bouts she has figured in, compiling a professional record of 8-4.  As the lone female representative of the most-successful mixed martial arts team in the Philippines, she has displayed that trademark fearsome striking prowess of fighters coming from the Lakay camp.   When asked about the fact that she is one of the only five Filipinas making the country proud inside the ONE cage, the 29-year old’s face lit up, in disbelief, in honor, in humility, for she cannot believe it herself.   “I’m very proud, and humbled, of the fact that I am the lone female fighter representing Team Lakay in ONE Championship. Many very skilled female fighters dream of being part of ONE Championship, and fight under Team Lakay, yet I am the one that Coach Mark has seen with the most potential to carry the flag inside the cage,” she said.   However, what drives Gina to fight, and it has been a well-known fact, is her mother, diagnosed with a stage 5 chronic kidney disease. In her fight against Jihin Radzuan last February, Iniong dedicated the fight to her mother, who to this day, is scared of seeing her daughter mix it up in the ring.   “To this day, she hasn’t watched me fight live, not even on TV because she is quite the nervous person, and she would only watch if she knew I won, during replays. She is very unlike my dad, who has fully supported my life as an athlete, after being a boxer himself in his younger days,” she shared.   CHALLENGE ACCEPTED   Joshua “The Passion” Pacio never intended to make mixed martial arts fighting a career growing up. The 23-year old fighter deemed it impossible back then, to reach a stage as huge as ONE Championship, due to the excellence of the fighters that he used to watch with his uncle through videos.   Add to the fact that Pacio was overweight. Obese, specifically. It made it all the more difficult for the kid to follow his dream and passion to be a fighter.   It all changed when his uncle started training him in Muay Thai, the art of the eight limbs that originated from Thailand, and considered one of the deadliest forms of combat striking. It started out as training just for fitness, but as if seeing a tiny ray of light in a dark tunnel, Pacio wanted more.   “At first, it was only for fitness, with my uncle training me, and watching videos of various MMA fights, which really inspired me to push myself harder. I really wanted to test myself, compete with the best, and it all seemed impossible when I was out of shape. My uncle really pushed me starting with Muay Thai. I started competing a few months after that, but I suffered defeat after defeat in amateur competitions. I questioned myself why I still trained afterwards. But at the same time, that’s when I realized that this is really my passion, that even if I lost my last fight,” shared the ONE Championship Strawweight king, who has not looked back since then.   “The goal for me has ever been to prove to myself that I have improved in skills, and be the best fighter I can be,” Pacio added.   He made his ONE debut three years ago, finally fulfilling his lifelong dream of professional mixed martial arts, facing a more experienced Filipino fighter in Robin Catalan at the age of 20, one of the youngest to enter ONE’s cage.   “Before I got to represent Team Lakay in ONE Championship, the roster spot was actually up for grabs. Fighters of the team figured in a Team Lakay Championship, a grand-prix style tournament within the team, for the ONE Championship contract. I fought twice victoriously in one night to get it. Two weeks later, with a ONE Championship event in Manila, that’s when I found out I am making my professional debut,” said an astounded Pacio.   Everything about the man they call “The Passion” has been hard earned. He finally tasted gold last 2018 when he decisioned the famed Yoshitaka Naito, a Japanese ground and wrestling master that forced Pacio to tap via a rear-naked choke when they first met. Facing, and losing to Naito, according to Pacio, was a revelation that he has to improve his overall skills, especially his ground game in order to play with the big boys of the cage.   Striking will definitely get you somewhere, as is with Pacio’s base as a martial artist, but one has to have more tricks up his sleeve when they aspire for the pinnacle of the competition. Joshua came back with a vengeance in 2018 to show “Nobita” that “The Passion” is no longer the young kid who will be submitted easily.   However, 2019 did not start of great for Pacio and Team Lakay, after he lost the belt in January to Naito’s contemporary in Yosuke “Tobizaru” Saruta in a questionable split decision. But that did not deter the young man, who has made it his personal goal to continue improving and treat each loss as a lesson, in ONE Championship’s “Roots of Honor” fight card, where he faced Saruta once more.   This time, in front of a racous Filipino crowd inside the Mall of Asia Arena, Pacio did not let the judges’ cards decide as he detonated a right knee to the side of Saruta’s head late in the fourth round to reclaim his throne. The dreaded Team Lakay striking power knocked the lights out from the Japanese fighter as Baguio’s young lion let out a furious roar to celebrate his redemption.   TWO PATHS, ONE GOAL   One did it for education, the other for health. Nowadays, however, MMA means more to Iniong and Pacio than just a stepping stone to something else. It is their passion, their advocacy, their bread and butter.   They continue to grind each day, waiting for another opportunity to show what they got and get the win, not just for personal glory, but also for the country and their family.   Inspired by her ailing mother, the “Conviction” promises to keep her current winning streak up despite being up against a formidable foe in her next match. After tasting defeat from Brazilian Istela Nunes, Iniong bounced back with a split decision over Radzuan last February to get herself back on track. Right now, Gina has one thing in mind with their goal: chase that ONE Women’s Atomweight division title, currently held by Angela Lee, and become the Philippines’ very first female ONE world champion.   However, Iniong acknowledges that the path towards the gold may not be easy, as she is currently eyeing a rematch with Japanese tormentor Mei Yamaguchi, the number one-ranked Atomweight fighter whom she has fought with twice, in order to settle who the rightful challenger to Lee’s belt is.   “Everyone has gotten belts. My big brothers in the team have tasted championship. I felt jealous because I do not have a belt, and lost my fight that would have given me a title shot. This time, I will make sure that I will do my best to secure a title fight,” rued Iniong in a previous interview with ONE Championship prior to fighting Radzuan.   While Iniong wants hit paydirt, it’s all about keeping the belt on his waist for Pacio, the reigning ONE Strawweight champion. His most probable foe is his nemesis Yoshitaka Naito who he does not have a problem with facing for the third time.   “I really want to prove I am the champion, and if it’s by facing him (Naito), so be it. I also want to prove that I have greatly improved as well from the last time we fought,” he shared.   While Iniong and Pacio await their next fighting assignment, their teammates are in the thick of training for the upcoming “Dawn of Heroes” megafight card happening on August 2 at the Mall of Asia Arena. It features Team Lakay members, led by Edward “Landslide” Folayang, Geje “Gravity” Eustaquio, and Danny “The King” Kingad, who will face the best of the world as represented by Eddie Alvarez, Reece McLaren, and Yuya Wakamatsu.   The entire country will be cheering on them as the whole world watches. And maybe somehow, somewhere there will be new blood encouraged and inspired by them to take on the challenge of continuing the legacy of the nation’s best fighting team alongside Iniong and Pacio.   After all, Sangiao did not establish Team Lakay just to be some Bagiuo-based fitness gym down Benguet road. He made Team Lakay to provide a home, a family, for young Filipinos who have the heart to fight for their dream, their family, and the country.     Watch “ONE: Dawn of Heroes” on August 2 at the Mall of Asia Arena, to be broadcast LIVE on ABS-CBN S+A and S+A HD with livestreaming on iWant for all the Pinoy fight fans to see. For more stories and news one ONE Championship, follow @ABSCBNSports on Twitter and Facebook or visit sports.abs-cbn.com. For updates, follow @ABSCBNPR on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram or visit www.abs-cbn.com/newsroom......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 18th, 2019

PBA: Terrence Jones new tropa wants to send him back to the NBA

Over the last couple of seasons, the PBA has seen its share of super imports. Ginebra’s Justin Brownlee immediately comes to mind. Meralco’s Allen Durham and Phoenix’s Eugene Phelps fit in that mold too. Alaska’s Mike Harris is in that list as well. The uber-talented Glen Rice Jr. could have made it if he just got it together. But for the 2019 PBA Commissioner’s Cup, TNT brought not just any other import. Tired of underperforming for the past few conferences, the KaTropa went ahead and signed former Houston Rockets forward Terrence Jones for the mid-season joust. With Jones, TNT went the super — SUPER — import route and it has been worth every penny for the KaTropa, at least so far.   ROCKET MAN Many former NBA players have played in the PBA before, that’s not a new thing. But what makes Jones special is that he’s at his peak of his powers now as he plays his first stint in the PBA. Jones is a former first-round pick and was a legitimate NBA contributor. In his best NBA season, in 2013-2014 for Houston, Jones started 71 games and had career-high numbers of 12.1 points and 6.9 rebounds per game. This dude is legit. “Oo iba, iba siya talaga,” guard RR Pogoy said of Jones. (Yes, he’s really different). In just one conference, Pogoy and Jones have clicked as teammates. Terrence has admitted that RR is one of his favorite local targets when he’s trying to spot an open teammate when opposing teams double on him. Pogoy admits that Jones is one of the best, if not the best, import he’s ever played with. “Pwedeng-pwede pa siya talaga sa NBA eh. Iba yung skills niya,” he added. (He could still play in the NBA. His skills are just different).   THE DIFFERENCE TNT has ran pretty much the same system for years. Whether you like this team or now, they know what style they want to play andd they identify players that fit that system well. The KaTropa have dominated the PBA without a traditional big man. Ask other teams, they’ve been blindsided and bamboozled by a TNT offense led by diminutive point guards like Jimmy Alapag and Jayson Castro. However, the KaTropa have hit another rough patch. The team hasn’t made it to the PBA semifinals since 2017. Their 2018 campaign was a lot like the horror 2016 year with the only difference being three seasons ago, they actually made it to the semifinals of the Governors’ Cup as a no. 1 seed. Last year, they won zero playoff games and missed the playoffs altogether once so in essence, 2018 was a worse nightmare for the KaTropa. It didn’t help that in the previous All-Filipino, they were practically a missed 24-second violation away from ending the San Miguel Beer Philippine Cup dynasty. The winning formula no longer works for TNT. Or at the very least, it’s not as effective. Enter Terrence Jones. “Malaking tulong talaga siya sa team namin. Kung ano yung kulang samin, parang fit na fit talaga siya eh. Napa-dali na lang yung mga buhay namin sa basketball,” Pogoy said of Jones. (He’s a big help to our team. What we lack, he fits right in. Our basketball lives are easier with him). “Yung rebounding tsaka yung pagka-shot blocker niya [malaking tulong]. Naiilang din yun kalaban namin eh, sa rebound naman naco-control namin kasi may malaki na kami, yun naman talaga kulang namin,” Pogoy added. (His rebounding and his presence as a shot blocker is a huge help). In 10 games so far, Jones is averaging 14.9 rebounds per game. That may not seem much for an import but he’s never had fewer than 10 in a game and has hit a high 22 rebounds. His shot blocking has helped TNT shore up its overall defense as well with Jones averaging 2.9 rejections a game with his three best performances coming against Columbian (7 blocks), Ginebra (6 blocks), and San Miguel (5 blocks). The last two teams feature perhaps the two best frontlines in the league today by a wide margin. Aside from his defensive presences, Jones is a force on offense as well, averaging 34.5 points on close to 50 percent shooting. He’s hit over 30 points eight times and over 40 points four times. Scoring will be a given for a player of his caliber but what sets him apart is his ability to locate open teammates and willingly pass the ball to them. Jones is good for at least four assists in every game and he’s topped out at 16 dimes so far. In 10 games, he’s rounding up to 7.7 assists per outing which leads all imports, and the whole league actually. “Talagang willing passer siya, hinahanap din niya talaga yung mga kasama niya. Kumbaga di niya inaako lahat yung scoring load,” forward Troy Rosario said of his new frontcourt tandem in Jones. (He’s a willing passer. He really tries to find his teammates and he’s not trying to shoulder all the scoring load). “Kami ready pa rin kami lagi. Syempre yung experience niya sa NBA talagang pinapakita niya dito, natutulungan din niya kami kung saan kami dapat lumugar sa plays kasi advanced na siya eh, kahit di na sabihin ni coach alam na niya dapat gawin,” he added. (We’re just ready as locals. He’s really showing his NBA experience here, he’s helping us to where we need to be on plays because he’s so advanced he knows what to do even before coach tells us).   THE LEADER Aside from putting up big numbers across the board, there’s one underrated factor about Terrence Jones that has led to him making a positive impact on TNT. Jones made an effort to be a leader for the KaTropa and his teammates have rallied behind him for sure. The result is in the way they play and the way they win in the Commissioner’s Cup. “I think it’s come to them [TNT locals] listening and understanding that I have a little experience on what it takes to try to win and be a good teammate,” Jones said of his leadership role with the KaTropa and how it worked out. “They listened and understood that and we’ve been having fun ever since,” he added. TNT is full of alpha-level players but Jones’ NBA resume has certainly helped in making them line up behin their import and provide support. The the KaTropa have been running like a well-oiled machince with that set up. “Leadership pa lang niya ang laking tulong na samin. As locals, ginagawa lang namin kung ano dapat namin gawin para maka-contribute din and para matulungan din siya,” Rosario said. (His leadership alone is a big help for us. As locals, we just try to do what we need to do to contribute and to help him out). “Magaling siya, isa talaga siya mga leader namin ngayon. Talagang nili-lift up niya kami, di lang sa salita pati sa gawa,” Pogoy added. (He’s great, he’s one of our leaders now. He really lifts us up not just with words but with action as well)   THE LONG ROAD BACK TO THE ASSOCIATION It would be incredible if TNT ends up having Terrence Jones as a resident import the same way Ginebra has Justin Brownlee or Phoenix has Eugene Phelps or Meralco having Allen Durham. However, the KaTropa know that their super import still has a good shot of returning to the NBA and they plan on helping him get back there. “Syempre goal namin makapasok sa playoffs, nagawa na namin yun. Ang susunod na step is next round sa playoffs. Malaking tulong din yun sa kanya kasi yung pangalan niya bumabango ulit,” Rosario said. (Our goal is to make the playoffs and we did that. Now the next step is to get to the next round of the playoffs. That’s a big help for him to get his name out there again). “Preparation na rin kasi alam namin na after dito, meron siyang invites sa mga training camps,” he added. (It’s also good preparation because we know after this, he has some invites to camps). With TNT at 9-1 and a top-2 seed in the playoffs, the team is certainly favored to win in the Commissioner’s Cup. And perhaps one of Jones’ best ways to once again get some traction is to put up great numbers for a championship team in a big league like the PBA. There’s a big check mark on the numbers part and while he can’t win a title by his lonesome, Jones has an entire tropa that has his back. “Lalo na kung mag-champion kami, mabango yung pangalan niya di ba?” Pogoy said. (If we win the championship, that’s good for his name, right?). “Marami naman nags-scout diyan, nakikita siya and maganda pinapakita niya. Feel ko [kaya bumalik sa NBA],” he added. (There’s people that scout him, seeing him and how good he’s been performing. I feel [he can make it back to the NBA]). Of course, winning a PBA championship does not directly award Jones and NBA roster spot. However, he appreciates that his team backs him up in that regard. Right now TNT’s super import is just concerned about playing well with his team and winning more games. “I appreciate it, I wish nothing but the best for all my teammates as well,” Jones said. “I hope you guys see that while we’re playing, we’re smiling and enjoying one another when anybody scores. It’s just like a family atmosphere,” he added.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 16th, 2019

ONE Championship: Alvarez match the perfect gauge for Folayang s future

Eduard "Landslide" Folayang says he will see a glimpse of his future when he shares the Circle with former lightweight World Champion Eddie "The Underground King" Alvarez.   The former ONE Lightweight World Champion from Baguio City is slated to lock horns with the American mixed martial arts legend in a ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix semifinal bout at ONE: DAWN OF HEROES on 2 August at the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines.   Eager to become a World Champion yet again in The Home of Martial Arts, Folayang, will find out if he still has what it takes to reign over the talent-rich division.    After all, Folayang is not getting any younger and he believes that his battle with Alvarez will only show him where he stands right now.    “This is very important because this is where I’ll my see future and where I am right now,” said Folayang.    “It’s like a measurement fight. This is where I’ll see if I still have what it takes and the things I need to do in order to become a champion again.”    Folayang realizes that he is about to mix it up with the most decorated opponent he has faced to date. With pressure mounting to perform in front of his hometown crowd, "Landslide" is bent on getting the win in hopes for another World Title shot.   “The home crowd will certainly be a factor, especially since I’m facing a very good opponent. I think all of the fans know that,” said  Folayang.    “They know what’s at stake and that’s why we should be at our best. Sometimes all they care for is winning or losing, so we really have to be better.”    With less than a month left before the highly-anticipated showdown between the two best lightweights the East and West has to offer, Folayang is banking on his countrymen's cheers to uplift his warrior spirit at the Mall of Asia Arena.   “It’s a different feeling when they cheer. Your spirits are lifted and your adrenaline is through the roof.”   .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 15th, 2019

11 years after epic, Federer tops Nadal in Wimbledon semis

By Howard Fendrich, Associated Press WIMBLEDON, England (AP) — After waiting 11 years to get another shot against Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon, Roger Federer was so, so close to the finish line. One match point slipped away when Federer missed a forehand return. A second came and went on a backhand return. Later, serving for a spot in a record 12th final at the All England Club, Federer shanked a leaping overhead off the top edge of his racket frame, giving Nadal a break point. After Nadal wasted that chance, Federer earned two more match points — and failed to convert those, either, as his wife, Mirka, peeked through the fingers covering her face. Federer knew it wouldn't be easy against his great rival. Never is, really, no matter where they play. Eventually, Nadal pushed a backhand long on match point No. 5, bringing an anticlimactic close to the otherwise classic contest and allowing Federer to win their semifinal 7-6 (3), 1-6, 6-3, 6-4 on Friday. "I'm exhausted. It was tough at the end," Federer said. "I'm just very relieved it's all over." Federer closed in on a ninth championship at the All England Club and 21st Grand Slam trophy in all. To get to those numbers in Sunday's final, Federer must get past Novak Djokovic, who is the defending champion and seeded No. 1. "We all know how good he is anywhere," Djokovic said about Federer, "but especially here." Djokovic isn't too shabby himself. He reached his sixth final at the grass-court major by beating 23rd-seeded Roberto Bautista Agut 6-2, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 earlier Friday. Djokovic is eyeing a fifth championship at Wimbledon and 16th major title. As entertaining as that first semifinal was — including a 45-stroke point won by Djokovic — it was merely a tasty appetizer ahead of the day's delectable main course. Not only was this the 40th installment of Federer vs. Nadal, but it also was their first meeting at Wimbledon since the 2008 final. In a match many consider the best in the sport's lengthy annals, Nadal edged Federer 9-7 in a fifth set that ended after 9 p.m., as any trace of daylight disappeared. How excited, then, were the spectators for the rematch? When Federer and Nadal strode out into the sunshine at 4:30 p.m. Friday, they were welcomed by a standing ovation before ever swinging a racket. Quickly, that greeting was justified. These are, of course, two of the greats of all-time — maybe the two greatest — and they lived up to that status for stretches. One key, for Federer, was that his rebuilt backhand, hit strong and flat more frequently than it used to be, held steady against Nadal's bullwhip of a lefty forehand. Another was that Federer was able to withstand Nadal's serve, which has improved a ton over the years. Federer amassed 10 break points, and though he succeeded on just two, that was enough, with the last, vital conversion making it 2-1 in the fourth set. And then there was this: Federer won 25 of the 33 points when he went to the net. "I didn't play well enough," said Nadal, who lost a five-set semifinal to Djokovic a year ago at Wimbledon. There was something of an "Anything you can do, I can do, too" vibe to Friday's proceedings. Federer would kick up chalk with an ace to a corner, and Nadal would do the same in the next game. When Nadal jumped out to a 3-2 lead in the first-set tiebreaker, Federer used sublime returning to reel off five points in a row to claim it. Who else but Federer could strike a serve so well that Nadal's wild reply would be caught by someone in the Royal Box behind him, as happened early in the second set? Who else but Nadal could attack Federer's generally unassailable forehand in such a manner as to draw one so off the mark that it landed in the third row? "I thought probably the biggest points in the match went my way. There were some tight ones and long rallies," Federer said. "He plays with such velocity and spins and everything, you're not always sure you're going to connect the right way." No one ever has managed to reduce Federer to mid-match mediocrity quite the way Nadal can, part of why the Spaniard entered Friday with a 24-15 overall lead head-to-head, including 10-3 at Grand Slam tournaments. This was the second major in a row where they've faced off: Nadal won their windy French Open semifinal last month en route to his 12th championship on the red clay and 18th Slam overall. But Wimbledon is Federer's dominion: He's won 101 matches at the place — more than any other man at any other Slam, even Nadal at Roland Garros — and all of those trophies. Djokovic, meanwhile, leads his series with Federer 25-22, including 9-6 in Grand Slam matches. "I hope I can push him to the brink and hopefully beat him. But it's going to be very difficult, as we know," Federer said. "He's not No. 1 just by chance." On Friday, Djokovic was as animated as ever. When Bautista Agut's shot hit the net tape, popped in the air and slid over for a winner that tied their semifinal at a set apiece, Djokovic motioned to the roaring fans, sarcastically encouraging folks to get louder. When Djokovic ended that 45-stroke point — the longest on record at Wimbledon, where such stats date to 2005 — with a backhand winner, he cupped his ear while glaring into the stands. "I had," Djokovic said, "to dig deep." Even Bautista Agut didn't really expect his visit to the All England Club to last this long: The Spaniard was supposed to meet a half-dozen of his buddies on the island of Ibiza this weekend for his bachelor party. Instead, those pals were sitting in a guest box at Centre Court on Friday. Eventually, Djokovic took control with his enviable ability to return serves, track down balls and go from defense to offense. Now he's Federer's problem......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 12th, 2019

Djokovic wins longest point ever recorded at Wimbledon

By Mattias Karen, Associated Press WIMBLEDON, England (AP) — Going by the number of strokes, it was the longest point ever recorded at Wimbledon. And for Novak Djokovic, it went a long way toward putting him into another final at the All England Club. After exchanging dozens of strokes during the third set of his semifinal match against Roberto Bautista Agut on Friday, Djokovic finally smacked a backhand down the line with the 45th shot of the rally to save a break point. The defending champion held serve to make it 5-2 and went on to win the match 6-2, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2. According to official statistics, the 45-stroke rally was the longest at Wimbledon since they started tracking point lengths in 2005. But for Djokovic, the important part was the impact it had on what was a very closely-fought duel up until that stage. "At one stage of the match, it could have gone (a) different way. Was very close in the third set," said Djokovic, who faces Roger Federer in Sunday's final as he goes for a fifth Wimbledon title. "Couple of very long games when I broke his serve and he had some break points, a very long rally. I managed to make a winner down the line with a backhand. Obviously winning that game was crucial for me. It gave me more confidence and relief so I could swing more freely in the next games." Aside from the number of strokes, the point itself was perhaps not that memorable. For much of it, both players seemed content with just hitting the ball back over the net and waiting for the other to make a mistake. The last 18 strokes were all crosscourt backhands, with the players remaining in more or less the same position until Djokovic finally switched it up with his shot straight down the line. That was at 30-40, and Bautista Agut had missed a previous break point as well at 15-40, which he said made him a bit more cautious on his second opportunity. "I had an easy forehand (on the first break point). I went too much for it," the Spaniard said. "Then the next point I wanted to play — I didn't want to take a risk on the point, to play long, to play a good rally. Was maybe one of the best points of the match." The previous Wimbledon record was 42 strokes, set in a 2006 match between Jarkko Nieminen and Dmitry Tursunov. The women's record is 39, set in a 2007 match between Nathalie Dechy and Elena Dementieva. Rallies on grass are usually shorter than on clay or hard courts. SECOND CHANCE Barbora Strycova made a Wimbledon final after all — in women's doubles. A day after losing to Serena Williams in the singles semifinals, Strycova teamed up with Hsieh Su-wei to beat top-seeded Timea Bagos and Kristina Mladenovic 7-6 (5), 6-4 and reach her first Grand Slam final. Strycova has 26 doubles titles in her career but lost in the semifinals twice at both the Australian Open and U.S. Open and once at the French Open. Hsieh won the 2013 Wimbledon and 2014 French Open doubles titles. The third-seeded pair will play No. 4 Yifan Xu and Gabriela Dabrowski, who beat Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova 6-1, 3-6, 6-3. JUNIOR FINALS Shintaro Mochizuki became the first Japanese player to reach a junior boys' Grand Slam singles final after outlasting fourth-seeded American Martin Damm 6-1, 0-6, 10-8. The eighth-seeded Mochizuki will play Carlos Gimeno Valero of Spain, who beat Harold Mayot of France 7-6 (5), 6-4. Gimeno Valero will also be playing his first Grand Slam final. In the junior girls' final, Alexa Noel of the United States will face Daria Snigur of Ukraine. Noel beat Diane Parry of France 6-2, 6-1, and Snigur defeated Emma Navarro of the United States 6-3, 6-0......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 12th, 2019

Mandatory title shot for Edward Heno

Another Filipino fighter is in line for a world title shot as Edward Heno has been confirmed as the mandatory challenger of WBO lightflyweight champion Elwin Soto of Mexico with negotiations now going on between MP Promotions head Sean Gibbons and Zanfer Promotions CEO Fernando Beltran to set the fight in the US......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJul 11th, 2019