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Jericho& rsquo;s & lsquo;Halik& rsquo; continues to rise in national ratings

Jericho& rsquo;s & lsquo;Halik& rsquo; continues to rise in national ratings.....»»

Category: entertainmentSource: thestandard thestandardOct 10th, 2018

From humble origins in GenSan, Manny Pacquiao s MPBL is now a nation-wide league

With the second season of the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League kicking things off, Tuesday evening, its steady rise to popularity continues Following a successful inaugural season with ten teams, the playing field has expanded exponentially in the second season, now with 26 teams vying for the title of MPBL National Champion, as well as a very, very valuable piece of hardware. (READ ALSO: MPBL: National Champions to get trophy worth ten million pesos) And as the semi-professional league continues to grow, it’s amazing to think that it all started with a ‘pa-liga’ in General Santos City. The brainchild of eight-division boxing world champion-turned Philippine Senator and avid basketball enthusiast Manny Pacquiao, the MPBL wasn’t always a nation-wide league. “Itong MPBL kasi, the original name is Manny Pacquiao Basketball League, and we piloted it sa GenSan,” Pacquiao explained during the opening day of the 2018-2019 MPBL Anta Datu Cup, Tuesday at the Araneta Coliseum. “Nag-pilot kami ng ten seasons, parang pa-liga ko lang doon tapos open siya and maraming sumali. Nagkaroon kami ng 18 teams, hanggang ten seasons yun, ang premyo namin ay 1 million.” After seeing that the league had potential, Senator Manny decided to take it to another level. “Maganda naman yung resulta, tapos pinag-aralan ko ng mabuti kung ano yung mga dapat gawin, yung titignan natin, and then nung na-complete ko yung ten seasons, in-apply ko sa national.” “[Pwede na ‘to] sa national, i-apply ko, ila-live ko sa TV.” Pacquiao added. After two years of brainstorming and preparation, the MPBL as we know it now was born. Pacquiao added that he decided to replace “Manny Pacquiao” with “Maharlika Pilipinas” so as not to stir anything up, given his political status. From a simple league in General Santos to a nation-wide league that features 26 teams from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao, all bannered by former professionals, collegiate hoop stars, and homegrown talents, the MPBL is definitely living up to what Pacquiao envisioned it to be: a platform for even more FIlipinos to showcase their basketball skills at a high level. "Nagsimula lahat sa isang pangarap, na mabigyan ng pagkakataon ang mas maraming Pilipino na makapaglaro ng basketball sa professional level..." Sen. @mannypacquiao speaking at the opening of the 2018 MPBL Datu Cup. @abscbnsports pic.twitter.com/7PjRARV0bU — Santino Honasan🎈 (@honasantino) June 12, 2018   You can catch the exciting MPBL action on ABS-CBN S+A channel 23!  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 13th, 2018

Espejo to join nat’l team tryout after Japan stint

Even with his credentials, Marck Espejo signified his intentions to join the tryouts for a spot in the men’s national volleyball team. Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc. president Peter Cayco said that the five-time UAAP Most Valuable Player, who is currently playing in the Japan V. Premier League, has communicated with head coach Dante Alinsunurin regarding his interest to don the tri-colors. “Si Marck Espejo nakipag-communicate kay coach Dante, na he is willing to undergo tryouts pagbalik niya,” Cayco told reporters Sunday. Espejo, who last played for the national team back in 2015 Singapore Southeast Asian Games and Asian men’s U-23 in Myanmar, has been one of Oita Miyoshi Weisse Adler’s go-to-guy. However, despite the efforts of Espejo, Oita Miyoshi continues to struggle and is currently ranked ninth in the 10-team field with only four wins and 19 losses. The Weisse Adler will close their elimination round on February 24 against FC Tokyo.   “Ngayon kung hindi raw sila pumasok sa semis, mukhang hindi eh, baka pauwiin siya ng maaga. Same case with the Santiago sisters (Jaja and Dindin),” said Cayco. Espjeo is one of the many hopefuls looking to land a spot in the national team that will compete in the AVC Men’s Club Championship, Asian Men’s Senior Championship in Iran and in the 30th Southeast Asian Games that the Philippines will host in November.     Almost 90 players joined the two-day national pool tryouts last weekend at the University of the East gym in Recto supervised by Alinsunurin, who steered National University to the UAAP throne last year and the country’s breakthrough gold medal in the ASEAN University Games. Alinsunurin was tapped by LVPI selection committee composed of the association’s vice president Joey Romasanta, treasurer Jeff Tamayo and chaired by Rod Roque as replacement for Sammy Acaylar.   The composition of the 20-man pool will be announced this week. “Next week ipo-forward na nila sa akin. Ang dami kasing nag-tryout. First was around 72 tapos kanina may nadagdag pang 15. ‘Yung Ateneo six of them nag-tryout together with their assistant coach,” said Cayco. LVPI is also finalizing an arrangement with a sponsor to form an U-23 team as well as forming a pool for the national beach volleyball team.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles     .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 11th, 2019

Terrence gonna Terrence? NU s Fortea believes his shot will drop sooner than later

Terrence Fortea shares the same name with Terrence Romeo. At the same time, Terrence Fortea shares the same game with Terrence Romeo. A scintillating scorer who gets many of his points after dances he does with his opponents, the Nazareth School of National University Bullpup very much deserves to have his name said in the same breath as that of the San Miguel Beerman. After all, super scorer Terrence Fortea was a key cog in the Bullpups last championship in 2016 and continues to be a key cog as well in their continued contention after. In the ongoing UAAP 81 Juniors, though, the shots have not been falling for the 5-foot-10 guard – not the way they usually do, at the very least. Fortea has been averaging a team-best 14.4 points per game, but is only shooting 28 percent from the field. More pointedly, he has been struggling both from outside the arc (22-of-82) and inside the arc (13-of-43). Nonetheless, the Bullpups’ coaches only want him to keep playing his game. “Sabi sa akin nila coach na wag mawawala kumpyansa ko. ‘Di porket ‘di sumu-shoot, wala na. Dapat kada game, next play lang parati,” he said. Indeed, he did just that as in their most recent outing, a triumph over defending champion Ateneo de Manila High School, the 18-year-old sprinkled 15 shots throughout the game and made good on five. No doubt, there’s much room for his shot to improve, but in the meantime, Fortea knows full well there’s much more he can do for his team. “Lagi akong nire-remind nila coach na yung mga kalaban, ‘di lang isa gagawin sa akin. Kailangan, i-counter ko lang mga ginagawa nila mapa-score man yun o mapapasa,” he said. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 13th, 2019

Rookie Ladder: Big performances abound at season s midway point

By Drew Packham, NBA.com Due to a much-needed holiday break on my part, it’s been two weeks since we last checked in on this impressive rookie class, and they didn’t disappoint since then. There have been some monster games in the past 14 days including the following: - Luka Doncic scored a career-high 34 points on Dec. 29 (PHL time) in New Orleans, going 7-for-10 from beyond the arc (10-for-16 overall) in a 114-112 loss to the Pelicans.       - Deandre Ayton scored a career-high 33 points with 14 rebounds (10 offensive) and four steals (also a career high) on Dec. 30 (PHL time) in a 122-118 loss to the Nuggets. Ayton was 16-for-20 from the field.       - Landry Shamet scored a career-high 29 points to lead the Sixers to a 132-115 win over the Wizards on Jan. 9 (PHL time). Shamet was 8-for-14 from three-point land in what was easily his biggest night of his career.       - Hawks rookie Kevin Huerter scored a career-high 22 points on Jan. 1 (PHl time) in a 116-108 loss to the Pacers. Huerter was 8-for-15 from the field, going 6-for-8 from beyond the arc.       - Pelicans rookie Frank Jackson scored a career-high 17 points Monday night (Tuesday, PHL time) in 17 minutes in a 114-95 win over the Grizzlies, then topped that two nights later with 19 points -- hitting all four three-point attempts -- in 19 minutes in a 140-124 win over the Cavs.   We’ve just hit the midway point of the season, and big games should start becoming more common as teams falling further out of the playoff race give their youngsters more opportunities. * * * 1. Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks Last week: No. 1 Doncic dominated his third matchup with No. 1 pick Deandre Ayton, notching 30 points, six rebounds, five assists and three steals. It was Doncic’s fourth 30-point game of the season, while no other rookie has more than one. It was also his seventh game with 20-5-5. All other rookies have combined for five such games. Over the past two weeks, the Slovenian has averaged 22.8 points, 6.9 rebounds and 4.7 assists while shooting 40 percent from 3-point land. 2. Deandre Ayton, Phoenix Suns Last week: No. 2 While Ayton has had some monster games over the past two weeks -- averaging 16.2 points and 9.7 rebounds over nine games -- he’s also had some clunkers in the New Year. In a 121-111 loss to the LA Clippers, Ayton finished with four points and five rebounds with four turnovers, then struggled mightily in Wednesday’s (Thursday, PHL time) loss to the Mavs. In 20 minutes, the big man had six points and five rebounds while hitting just 1-of-7 shots. "For the first time, I think I ever, went scoreless in the first half and stuff like that just started to get to me a little bit," said Ayton. "It was just me being the bad egg today. I'm going to apologize to them about this, but yeah, it was a bad game for me." 3. Trae Young, Atlanta Hawks Last week: Not ranked Young has shot more consistently over the last two weeks, shooting 44.7 percent overall and 47.4 percent on three-pointers. I’ve hammered Young repeatedly for his poor shooting numbers, so I have to give him props for his turnaround. Over his last nine games, he’s averaged 15.9 points and 7.6 assists and has generally looked more in control and selective with his shots. Young continues to lead rookies in assists at 7.3 per game, which puts him ninth among all players. 4. Kevin Knox, New York Knicks Last week: No. 3 Knox was named Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month for December after averaging 17.1 points and six rebounds. The 6'9" forward out of Kentucky is certainly on the rise, but also admitted he may not even be done growing. “Doctors said I have a half-inch or an inch left in the tank,” Knox told the New York Post recently. “You never know -- hopefully I have an inch [left]. Maybe 6-10, 6-10.5. If not, I’m perfectly fine with where I’m at.” For his part, coach David Fizdale is letting his young prospect grow with more minutes and responsibility. “Right now, he’s gained momentum, and [I want to] keep him rolling. It’s starting to become I need him on the court. That’s pretty good to say about a 19-year-old. We need him out there.” 5. Jaren Jackson Jr., Memphis Grizzlies Last week: Not ranked Jackson has scored in double figures in 10 of his last 11 games, but his rebounding and foul troubles are areas of concern. Jackson is first (or worst, depending on how you look at it) among all players in fouls per game (3.9) and is just sixth in rebounds per game among rookies. "Because of how long, tall and narrow he is, when guys lock him up he has a hard time escaping or staying on balance," Bickerstaff told The Commercial Appeal last week. "To be honest, with him, with his length and athleticism, he needs to be trying to escape people more and not let them get their hands or body on him where they can wedge him out." These are all things the 19-year-old will figure out, as Bickerstaff says. “The way he works, the way he studies, he's going to figure it out.” * * * Just missed the cut: Rodions Kurucs, Brooklyn Nets Kurucs falls out of the top five, but it was a close call thanks to an impressive night in Boston. Kurucs tied a career high with 24 points. He finished 8-for-15 from the field, hitting a career-high five triples on eight attempts. Wendell Carter Jr., Chicago Bulls Carter has scored in double-digits in five of his last seven games, with a pair of double-doubles to close out 2018. Most notably, he had a 17-point, 13-rebound, three-block showing in a win over the Wizards on Dec. 28 (Dec. 29, PHL time). Landry Shamet, Philadelphia 76ers Shamet not only scored a career-high 29 on Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time), but he also set personal bests by making eight three's (one shy of Dana Barros’ team record set in ‘95) on 14 attempts. He scored 15 of his points in the third quarter when he was 4-for-4 from beyond the arc. “It just happens,” Shamet said afterward. “That might not be the answer you’re looking for, but it’s just simple, and it just comes in the flow of everything.” Frank Jackson, New Orleans Pelicans This could be an anomaly and Jackson won’t stick around these parts, but he deserves some love for his work off the bench. With E’Twaun Moore nursing a quad injury, Jackson has stepped up, scoring 17 points in a win on Monday (Tuesday, PHL time), followed by 19 in Wednesday’s (Thursday, PHL time) win over the Cavs. Jackson was 11-for 15 overall in the two games, going 7-for-12 from three-point land (7-for-7 from the FT line). Collin Sexton, Cleveland Cavaliers Sexton has scored in double figures in his last six games, but the Cavs are mired in an 11-game skid and the rookie is dealing with his own shooting woes. During the slide, Sexton is shooting 32.4 percent from the field, 35.5 percent on three-pointers. * * * (All stats through Jan. 10, PHL time).....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 10th, 2019

& lsquo;Halik& rsquo; is unpredictable& mdash;& shy;Jericho Rosales

& lsquo;Halik& rsquo; is unpredictable& mdash;& shy;Jericho Rosales.....»»

Category: entertainmentSource:  thestandardRelated NewsDec 17th, 2018

Comm. Silver, NBPA say competitive imbalance not a problem

By Steve Aschburner, NBA.com LAS VEGAS -- First came the backlash. Next, backlash to the backlash. By Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time), much of the whipsawing over competitive balance -- or more accurately, imbalance -- as an NBA problem rising to the level of crisis had calmed down. Yet powerful voices from the league’s summer nerve center could not dismiss it entirely as an issue meriting closer inspection. “I'm not here to say we have a problem,” NBA commissioner Adam Silver said Tuesday after the Board of Governors meeting. “And I love where the league is right now. [But] I think we can create a better system.” Neither Silver nor Michele Roberts, the executive director of the National Basketball Players Association, sounded an alarm in their separate news conferences about what many see as a widening gap between the league’s haves and have-nots. Roberts, in fact, seemed to feel that all is well and that talent inequality is in the eye of the beholder. “Competitive balance, it almost depends on what your favorite team is,” said Roberts, who was rehired as head of the players union in another four-year contract announced Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time). “I don’t hear anybody in the Bay Area worrying about competitive balance. I also don’t hear the people in Philadelphia worrying about competitive balance, or Houston. “We’ve got great teams. And it’s never been the case, as far as I’m concerned, where I was not able most of the time to predict what teams were going to be in the Finals.” The topic came up in precisely that context before the Finals last month when Silver was asked about Golden State and Cleveland meeting in the championship series for the fourth consecutive year, a first in any of the major professional sports leagues. It reared its head again this month soon after free agency opened on July 1, with events conspiring to make insiders wonder about a growing disparity among teams. LeBron James’ signing with the Los Angeles Lakers was the biggest move in what appeared to be a continuing shift of strength into the league’s Western Conference. That was followed by the news that DeMarcus Cousins, New Orleans’ All-Star center, had joined the champion Warriors. That signing sparked the initial backlash, a rich-getting-richer cry that pointed not to Cousins’ one-year deal for $5.3 million in 2018-19 salary but the fact that the Warriors will spend in excess of $20 million for it when luxury taxes are counted. Golden State had the NBA’s fattest payroll in 2017-18 of $137.5 million, despite a $99 million salary cap, thanks to various exceptions in the prevailing “soft cap” system. “I don't necessarily think it's per se bad that the Warriors are so dominant,” Silver told reporters, not long after discussing the “competitive landscape” with the owners. “As I've said before, we're not trying to create some sort of forced parity. What we really focus on is parity of opportunity. And a fair point could be made in the tax system, when certain teams are spending significantly more than others, that that's not parity of opportunity.” The counter-backlash came from folks who rushed to the Warriors’ and Cousins’ defense, correctly noting that neither did anything wrong, conducting their business within the rules as specified by the collective bargaining agreement between the owners and the players. That CBA is the object of endless study and imagined revision, with amendments possible if negotiated prior to the end of the current deal after the 2023-24 season. Shooting for a “hard cap” likely would be a tough sell to players accustomed to the freedom of movement they currently enjoy. “It's not necessarily [Roberts’] issue,” Silver said in response to the union director’s characterization. “I think it's on me and our Labor Relations Committee, ultimately, to sit with the players and their committee and convince them that there may be a better way of doing things.” Silver mentioned Charlotte owner and legendary NBA superstar Michael Jordan, chairman of that Labor Relations Committee, as a valuable resource in addressing owners’ and players’ competition concerns. Both sides have valid arguments. Interest in the NBA never has been higher by almost any metric chosen, from selected TV ratings and licensing revenues to the game’s growth globally. Attendance at the MGM Resorts Las Vegas Summer League keeps pushing higher, with fans eager to see top rookies, second-year players and relative free-agent unknowns chasing their pro hoops’ dreams. The valuations of the 30 NBA franchises, of course, all have soared beyond $1 billion, according to Forbes.com, with the Knicks, the Lakers and the Warriors all estimated to be worth more than $3 billion. Longtime NBA observers such as TNT’s David Aldridge wrote a column this week that argued on behalf of dominant teams, anyway, saying that they actually drive rather than depress fan interest. As for any inability to win games or titles, he laid the blame for that on poor franchise management. The Knicks and the Clippers have all sorts of big-market advantages but haven’t won any championships lately (or at all in the Clippers' case). For Roberts, whose players reap 51 percent of NBA basketball-related income that tops $7 billion annually, business is good, period. “I’m excited about this new season,” she said Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time). “This free agency, there’s been a lot to write about so we’re all, I think, looking forward to what’s going to happen come October. “To the extent that people are predicting the end of the game, I just don’t think so. I would be surprised if Adam called me to say, ‘What the hell are we going to do?’ I think he’s as happy as I am. ... I think we’re in good shape.” Critics note Golden State’s on-court dominance in winning the last two championships. It only took nine NBA Finals games --one over the minimum -- while facing arguably the league’s best player in LeBron James. But those same critics seem to foget that the Warriors were pushed to the full seven games in the conference finals, and actually faced elimination twice before beating the Rockets. “I recognize what Michele's saying,” Silver said. “But at the same time, if you talk to players in the league, and I've talked to plenty of individual players as well, they want to be in the most competitive league possible too.” For every player on the Warriors' roster -- or the Rockets, the Thunder, the Celtics or the Sixers -- there are five or six on teams that realistically have no chance of chasing a ring or the Larry O’Brien Trophy. Cleveland went to four straight Finals thanks to James; no one envisions the Cavaliers getting back any time soon. “Maybe there are some players who think they’re on a second-class team,” said Sacramento wing Garrett Temple, one of the NBPA vice presidents. “But most players I’ve played with or been around, their thought process is, ‘We’re gonna get our team to become one of those first-class teams.’ It’s more of a challenge. More so than, ‘We need them to disband so we can make everybody equal.’ Because we’re competitors.” That really is the crux of the issue. Silver and some franchises want most of the competition to come on the floor, in games, in full view of fans who believe their teams can sufficiently compete. The league’s current title contenders are fine with a system that allows them to compete all the way to the top, with an owner stroking gargantuan checks to crowd out rivals. “Let me make clear that under the current system we want teams to compete like crazy,” Silver said. “So I think the Warriors within the framework of this deal should be doing everything they can to increase their dominance. That's what you want to see in a league. “You want teams to compete in every way they can within the rules.” Silver addressed a variety of topics that were came from the BOG agenda, including: -- Change is coming on multiple fronts, most notably in the league’s age limit. That seems likely to be re-set back to 18 years old from 19, permitting players to enter the league from high school. It’s a move that the NBA should be better equipped to handle with a near 30-for-30 farm-system affiliation with its G League. It also fits with the findings of an NCAA task force that cites dissatisfaction with “one-and-done” college players. Said Silver: “My personal view is that we’re ready to make that change.” -- The start of free agency, annually triggered at midnight ET on July 1 (12:00pm, July 1, PHL time), will be moved to a daytime or prime time opening bell. It’s one of those traditions that no one thought to change, Silver said. -- The league’s investigation into the Dallas Mavericks’ sexual harassment issues should be completed by the end of the month. Steve Aschburner has written about the NBA since 1980. You can e-mail him here, find his archive here and follow him on Twitter. The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 12th, 2018

Iriga City poised to become Bicol’s volleyball center next year

Iriga City bids to become a sporting mecca in the Bicol Region with the construction of a 5,000-seat gym in this city 400 kilometers southeast of Manila. Mayor Madelaine Alfelor-Gazmen, owner-manager of the Navy-Iriga City Lady Oragons, said the gym is under construction and will be finished by December.       “Maybe next year the PVL on Tour could go to Iriga now that we will have the facilities to host some of its games,” she said, referring to the league’s program to bring the league's matches to the provinces, which started last year.      Sports Vision president Ricky Palou said Iriga City’s strong partnership with the PVL organizing outfit continues to serve “…our vision of promoting and upgrading volleyball in the country.”  Among others, the Iriga City gym will provide excellent facilities in volleyball as part of the mayor’s vision to restore Bicol’s lofty position in volleyball. “It used to be that Bicolanos were highly regarded in the sport and regularly picked for the national teams,” she said. When the sports arena finally rises six months from now, it will occupy pride of place with Iriga’s new city hall, already transferred to its new home in barangay Sta. Cruz Sur, new library, new public market and new slaughterhouse as part of the more concrete legacy the mayor wants to leave to her constituents.   But it is in sports where the sports-minded chief executive of this multi-awarded city wants to involve her young constituents to develop physical fitness, character and mental toughness, prerequisites, she said, to making the young transform into productive citizens and ideal leaders and followers of the future.   High sports awareness      At no other time has sports awareness in Iriga City been this incredibly high and involving as it is now.  Mayor Madelaine Alfelor-Gazmen fittingly provides the face to this exciting sports phenomenon happening in her city of birth, where generations from her side of the family have served and continue to serve their people through holding public offices.    The well-loved first and only woman mayor of Iriga said she keeps her balance by finding time to indulge her passion in sports. She is into a lot of sports for recreation or for competition. She still plays volleyball, lawn tennis, table tennis and badminton. At one time in elementary and high school she took up softball as a shortstop and even football. It was her serious intent to lure primarily her youthful constituents into sports that led Mayor Alfelor-Gazmen to form her own club team that proceeded to compete in the 2016 nationally telecast season of the Sports Vision-organized V-League.    After seeing their mayor, her prodigy Grazielle Bombita from Camarines Sur and fellow Bicolanos tangle with the best players in Manila in a big time league on television for the first time ever, parents from even as far as Sorsogon and the Visayas, Mayor Alfelor-Gazmen said, would see her at the city hall or stop her in her tracks to recommend their daughters for training under her volleyball program.      As a result, the city government has tied up with elementary and high schools in Iriga to train kids of all genders not only in volleyball but in basketball, table tennis, lawn tennis and football as well. Scholarships are given to training program participants from San Miguel Elementary School, University of St. Anthony, University of Northeastern Philippines, Ceferino Arroyo High School and Rinconada National Technical and Vocational School.   Multi-awarded city    Daughter of the late Camarines Sur Rep. Ciriaco R. Alfelor, granddaughter of the CamSur Gov. Felix O. Alfelor, and niece of ex-Iriga City Mayor Emmanuel R. Alfelor, Madelaine Alfelor-Gazmen became Iriga’s first woman mayor in 2004. She served for three consecutive terms via the biggest margin of votes in Iriga’s political history.    Younger brother Ronald Felix Y. Alfelor, an electrical engineer by profession, was voted into the same position next before she assumed the office again.     Under her leadership anchored on an advocacy on good governance and responsible citizenship, Iriga City has distinguished itself with several awards from national and international organizations.  Among these are the 2009 Award of Excellence in Good Local Governance given by the DILG; 2010 citation as among the Top 10 performing local governments under the component cities category from the DILG; 2010 citation as a Galing Pook Award finalist; 2010 citation for Best Practices given by the Asia Foundation and British Embassy for the city’s programs on people’s participation, revenue generation and environment protection; 2011 Region’s Best Outstanding Local Government Agency award given by the Civil Service Commission; and the 2011 Outstanding Human Resource Management award. Mayor Alfelor-Gazmen finished BA Humanities in the University of the Philippines, BS Biology in Far Eastern University, but instead of proceeding to study medicine, she took up law in the University of Santo Tomas, a course she didn’t get to finish because of she said she was ‘sidetracked’ by marriage.   Mayor Alfelor-Gazmen’s children, all Ateneo students – Maria Cenen, 23; Brendan, 20; and Brian, 18 – may not have inherited her one-of-a-kind passion for sports but they support all her sporting decisions and endeavors.   Her only daughter gets to flex some athletic muscles, though, during university intramurals. Eldest son Brendan is team captain of the popular Ateneo Blue Babble Battalion. Brian, the youngest, helps her mom manage and cheer the Navy-Iriga City Lady Oragons in the PVL if he’s not busy with his commitment as a Star Music talent......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 24th, 2018

PVL: Cagande making a name for herself in PVL debut

BaliPure-National University may be the youngest team in the Premier Volleyball League Season 2 Reinforced Conference with its core composed of high school standouts but the Water Defenders are already making their presence felt and could give other established squads a run for their money. After falling short in their debut, BaliPure went on a roll, winning their next three matches to climb to a share of the lead with Creamline and PayMaya. American import Janisa Johnson is scoring consistently since she checked in for BaliPure in their second match while young libero Jennifer Nierva is holding the fort on floor defense. But the recent success of the Water Defenders could also be attributed to the steady game and quick adjustments of setter Joyme Cagande. The incoming Lady Bulldog has been lording over the setting department with an average of 9.1 excellent set per frame.     Known for her superb playmaking for the four-peat UAAP high school champion Nazareth School of NU, Cagande continues to dazzle even in the import-laden commercial league. The reigning UAAP high school Best Setter delivered her best performance yet with 54 excellent sets Wednesday in BaliPure’s 25-22, 25-22, 22-25, 32-30, win over BanKo at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.    Cagande welcomes the challenge of setting up plays to imports Johnson and Alexis Matthews, who are grizzled veterans in international play.      “Challenging siya kasi especially may imports. Iba kasi yung speed ng import, iba yung height ng import so kailangan talaga nandoon ang dedication mo para makuha ang eksaktong set for them,” said Cagande, daughter of a Philippine Star senior photographer Joven. Cagande is particularly comfortable playing with Johnson, making their tandem one of the most dangerous setter-hitter partnerships in the tournament. “Actually po kay Ate Janisa sobrang walang pressure kasi nandoon lang ang support niya lagi,” she said. “Always kapag ang set ko mali nandoon lagi ang feedback niya po kaya hindi gaanong mahirap makipag-work together with her.” Johnson in her previous interview said that she likes her role as mentor and ‘mother’ for the young BaliPure players. Cagande surely is learning a lot from the hitter, who is just coming off two big tournaments in France.  “‘Yung mga adjustments po sa mga mistakes (ang tinuturo niya). Sinasabi niya na OK lang mag-commit ng mistakes basta yung ibibigay nyong solution kaagad nandoon,” Cagande said of one of the things she learned from Johnson. With a 3-1 win-loss record the Water Defenders are in the thick of the battle for the outright semis seats. Expect Cagande to be one of the BaliPure players leading the way.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 23rd, 2018

The five Super Moms behind your favorite athletes

The saying goes “For every great man, there is a great woman.” This holds true in the world of sports, where athletes lean on their moms during their development, through their success, and beyond. Remember when NBA superstar Kevin Durant of the Golden State Warriors received the MVP award for the 2013-2014 season? He offered his award to his mom for her dedication in bringing him up the right way. In the Philippines, our local athletes also cherish their mom as much as they cherish their wins and accolades. Let’s take a look at five super moms who have been caught by S+A’s cameras supporting their children game in and game out.   1.) Mozzy Ravena   But the plan is to show you that i understand. You are appreciated. . . . . . . Happy mother’s day @ravenamozzy ! A post shared by Kiefer Ravena (@kieferravena15) on May 12, 2018 at 4:39pm PDT Mozzy Ravena is always there for her kids. Mozzy Ravena is probably the most prominent sporting mom S+A has caught. Not only is she a former star for the UST Golden Tigresses, she is also the mom of the Ravena siblings who have made a mark in their respective UAAP sports. Kiefer, Thirdy, and Dani Ravena surely have one heck of a super mom that never tire from cheering them on and lecturing them about what it takes to be an ultimate athlete. When Ateneo plays, everyone is sure that Tita Mozzy will be there for her kids.   2.) Lydia De Vega-Mercado Former Filipina super sprinter and national track team mainstay Lydia De Vega-Mercado made sure to support daughter Stephanie's volleyball dream. The former national sprinter, who was considered the fastest woman in Asia during her heydays in the ‘80s, is also the mother of former star DLSU Lady Spiker and current Petro Gazz Angel Stephanie Mercado. While her daughter did not follow in her footsteps and pursued volleyball instead of athletics, it did not stop her from showing up in her Paneng’s games and celebrated her championships as if she just won in a World Championship for the 100m dash.   3.) Susan Teng     Congrats @jeronalvinteng for winning your second championship and being the finals mvp! Great way to end your college career! 👍 A post shared by jeric teng (@tengjeric) on Dec 7, 2016 at 4:21am PST Susan Teng is all out when it comes to supporting her sons during their collegiate careers, never mind that they went to different schools.  When it comes to former UAAP stars and brothers, Jeron and Jeric Teng, their father Alvin is mentioned more being a former professional basketball player. However, as much as the Teng brothers credit their dad for their love and development in the sport, they also heap as much love to their mother Susan, who has been with them every step of the way, starting to when they were still small basketeers.   4.) Pablita Valdez Pablita Valdez made a big decision in letting her precious Alyssa travel to Manila and embark on a journey towards volleyball stardom. Before her daughter even became a national sensation, Pablita, who was a teacher in Batangas, believed that Alyssa was in store for great things when she started playing volleyball. It is that belief that made her decide to bring the younger Valdez to Manila where she can hone her talent and play in tougher situations and competition. That decision has paid off in spades as the volleyball phenom was born and her star’s ascent was meteoric. Every step of the way, Mama Pablita was there for her and we couldn’t thank her enough for giving us an excellent and much-loved star.   5.) Marilyn Mollena It took them 13 years to be together, but for every spike and score, Marilyn Mollena was on the mind of the Lady Beast, Grethcel Soltones.  Mommy Marilyn was the reason why Grethcel Soltones became the “Lady Beast.” Young Grethcel decided to play volleyball during her formative years as she searched for her mom. She thought that it was the easiest avenue to meet her mother after 13 years if she played and got broadcast on TV. She soon got her wish for on her last year with the San Sebastian Lady Stags when Marilyn surprised the Lady Beast during the individual awarding ceremonies and the whole nation even got to witness the touching reunion on TV.    Catch more super moms and also super dads on ABS-CBN S+A as it continues to champion Filipino athletes and sports development through the coverage of sports events and the airing of inspiring features on teams and athletes. For more information and stories, visit ABS-CBN’s sports hub sports.abs-cbn.com and follow us on Facebook and Twitter......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 13th, 2018

Gutsy Batangas crowned as first-ever king of MPBL

On the ground for the very first time in the playoffs of the inaugural Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL) Anta Rajah Cup, Batangas wasted no time in standing back up. And not only did they stand up, the Athletics also marched forward, right through overmatched Muntinlupa, 68-66, to claim the throne as first-ever kings of the new national league. Big guns Bong Quinto and Paul Varilla as well as key reserve Moncrief Rogado all came to play and made sure the visitors didn’t waste another shot at history. Quinto wound up with 12 points, Varilla had 10 points and nine rebounds, and Rogado dropped a season-high 14 points of his own. Two days ago, Batangas suffered its first setback in the playoffs and saw their opponents cut their deficit in the best-of-five series to 1-2. “There’s no safe lead. We were up by 15 tapos nawala diba,” head coach Mac Tan said. Indeed, Pari Llagas and Dave Moralde yet again willed the Cagers in this one, rallying them from as much as 15 points down to up 65-63 inside the last two minutes. Quinto and Jhaymo Eguilos had the answer for the Athletics, however, and connived for five unanswered points and a 68-65 advantage in their favor. With 18.2 ticks to go on the clock, the home team still had several shots to force overtime, or even win the game, but Moralde and Llagas combined to convert only one of their four free throws. The clutch makes of Quinto and Eguilos, along with the crucial misses of Moralde and Llagas, proved to be more than enough for Batangas to take home the title. “Ang adjustment namin, yung willingness ng players na ayaw na nilang bumalik pa ‘to ng Batangas,” Tan said. The well-earned win was just the perfect ending for a maiden campaign which saw them romp through the eliminations and rise as the top-seed of the playoffs and the favorites for the title. The Athletics only lived up to the hype, sweeping both the quarterfinals and the semifinals then ringing off back-to-back wins in the championship round before losing Game 3. Bouncing back big-time in Game 4, they cap off their playoff run with a standout 7-1 record. For Muntinlupa, Llagas topped the scoring column with 19 points to go along with 14 rebounds and two blocks. Moralde chipped in 14 markers, seven boards, and two assists. They will be looking back at their woes from the line as the foremost reason why their conference has come to a close. In all, they muffed on 15 of 31 free throws that, without a doubt, would have changed the complexion of the contest. BOX SCORES BATANGAS 68 – Rogado 14, Quinto 12, Varilla 10, Teodoro 9, Eguilos 7, Santos 6, Acuna 5, Olayon 4, Villamor 1, Grimaldo 0, Alvarez 0, Pasculado 0 MUNTINUPA 66 – Llagas 19, Moralde 14, Reverente 12, Mangahas 11, Ylagan 7, Jaime 3, Apreku 0, Vergara 0, Stevens 0 QUARTER SCORES: 16-12, 43-28, 54-47, 68-66 --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 19th, 2018

Encantadia continues its strong ratings performance

The grand return of Encantadia, GMA Network’s popular and well-loved telefantasya, has been consistently receiving good reviews. It also continues to increase its TV ratings not only in viewer-rich Urban Luzon but also across National Urban Philippi.....»»

Category: entertainmentSource:  thestandardRelated NewsSep 24th, 2016

Tamayo-Quiambao outduels Sotto-Chiu as NU gets Game 1

Never giving an inch to Kai Sotto and never allowing a breather for Forthsky Padrigao – that was Nazareth School of National University’s game plan in Game 1 of the Finals of the UAAP 81 Juniors Basketball Tournament. Perfectly executing that in the second half, the Bullpups re-asserted their mastery over Ateneo de Manila High School for a well-earned 70-58 win on Monday at the Filoil Flying V Centre. Carl Tamayo and Kevin Quiambao was at the forefront of that effort at both ends, with the former finishing with a 15-point, 12-rebound double-double and the latter ending with 14 markers and 13 boards of his own. Those two went toe-to-toe with the Blue Eaglets’ twin towers of Sotto and Geo Chiu. Gerry Abadiano and Terrence Fortea then took care of the backcourt for NU which has now won all three of its head-to-head matchups with Ateneo in the season. More importantly, they are now one win away from reclaimimg the championship they last won in 2016. That didn’t look like it was going to be the case in this one as in the earlygoing of the third quarter, it was the Blue Eagles who were ahead, 34-29. “First half, medyo nagmamadali kami sa execution,” head coach Goldwin Monteverde said post-game. It was at that point, however, that Tamayo and Quiambao engineered a 25-11 drive that, all of a sudden, thrust their team in front, 54-45, early in the final frame. “Good thing nakabawi naman sila sa second half,” their mentor saidz Still, the defending champions kept coming and pulled to within 58-63 inside the last two minutes only to see Fortea and Quiambao keep them at bay once and for all. Fortea wound up with 11 points while Abadiano also added 11 markers and eight rebounds. That total team effort was also in full effect at the defensive end where they limited Sotto to just, for his standards, 16 points and 15 rebounds to go along with five turnovers and frustrated Padrigao to four markers in 2-of-12 shooting as well as eight errors. NU brings out its brooms and looks to bring home the trophy in Game 2 on Friday still at the same venue. “We still have to be consistent. ‘Di pa tapos e,” coach Goldwin said. For Ateneo, Chiu showed up to backstop Sotto with a 12-point, 11-rebound double-double. For all his scoring struggles, Padrigao also had eight assists, six boards, and three steals. They get one more try to finally solve the Bullpups. BOX SCORES NU 70 – Tamayo 15, Quiambao 14, Abadiano 11, Fortea 11, Gonzales 9, Felicilda 9, Torres 1, Dayrit 0, Alarcon 0, Javillonar 0, Mailim 0 ATENEO 58 – Sotto 16, Chiu 12, Fetalvero 11, De Ayre 7, Diaz 5, Padrigao 4, Espinosa 2, David 1, Jaymalin 0 QUARTER SCORES; 14-11, 25-30, 53-45, 70-58 —— Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated News16 hr. 7 min. ago

NU bigs on facing Kai: Di pwedeng isiping mas magaling siya

Kai Sotto has found no match in the UAAP 81 Juniors Basketball Tournament. That is, except each and every time he’s up against Nazareth School of National University and its endless supply of bigs to throw at him – from Carl Tamayo to Pao Javillonar, from Kevin Quiambao to Aaron Buensalida, and even from Reyland Torres to Dom Dayrit. In their first meeting, Sotto had 23 points, 12 rebounds, four blocks, and two steals only to be outdone by Tamayo who had his own 13-marker, 10-board double-double all while keying the Bullpups’ win. Come Round 2, Ateneo de Manila High School’s towering teen posted 24 points, 18 rebounds, five assists, and three blocks, but was again bested by Tamayo who only had seven markers to go along with nine boards, but dropped the dagger in the endgame With that, NU completed an elimination round sweep of Sotto and company. Afterward, though, the Season MVP did nothing but will his team into the Finals. Only, waiting for them there were the very same Bullpups. And in the opener of the three-game Finals series, the story was the same. Sotto muscled his way to a 16-point, 15-rebound double-double and had twin tower Geo Chiu, standing at 6-foot-8, backing him up with 12 markers and 11 boards of his own. Tamayo, also at 6-foot-8, and Quiambao, an agile 6-foot-7, went toe-to-toe with them, however, with the former finishing with a 15-point, 12-rebound double-double and the latter ending with 14 markers and 13 boards of his own. In the end, it was the Tamayo-Quiambao connection which got the win at the expense of the Sorto-Chiu pairing. And for those two, matching up with the Blue Eaglets’ talented tower is pretty simple – it’s all in the mind. “‘Di pwedeng isipin naming mas magaling siya sa amin. Ang pinaka-mindset talaga namin is ma-stop siya,” Tamayo said. Quiambao can only agree, noting that NU’s game plan starts with them as Sotto is the end-all and be-all for Ateneo. As he put it, “Ako po, one at a time lang. Iniisip ko lang talagang i-stop si Kai kasi siya ang main scorer nila.” With its bigs having that mindset, NU has time and again proven to be the biggest speed bump thus far in Sotto’s promising career. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated News16 hr. 7 min. ago

UAAP: Kai calls on Eaglets to fight Bullpups fire with their own fire

Ateneo de Manila High School got swept in the elimination round of the UAAP 81 Juniors Basketball Tournament by modern-day rival Nazareth School of National University. However, the Blue Eaglets got a golden opportunity to get back at the Bullpups as the two teams were pitted against one another for all the glory in the Finals. There, Sotto expected one thing and one thing only – for the challengers to their throne to keep bringing it to them. “Alam naman natin na yung NU, talagang physical maglaro,” he said. And that is exactly why, in the Season 81 MVP’s eyes, the defending champions had to bring it right back. “Dapat kami, ‘di kami mag-back down. Talagang i-aaccept namin yung challenge,” he said. He then continued, “Kung maging physical sila, magiging physical din kami. Lalaban din kami.” In the first half and early third quarter of Game 1, Ateneo did just that. Sotto teamed up with twin tower Geo Chiu to power their side to a five-point lead. Only, the Blue Eaglets took their foot off the pedal the rest of the way and never recovered. And in the end, NU took a well-earned 70-58 win and took a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three series. For the 7-foot-1, 16-year-old, it was clear that they fell short of sustaining the physicality needed to match up with the Bullpups. As he put it, “Nandun yung effort, kaso may times na nawawala. Inconsistent kami.” That is exactly what they will be working on as they head into a must-win Game 2 on Friday. There, Sotto had but one promise. “’Di namin basta-basta ibibigay yung championship,” he said, full of confidence. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated News16 hr. 7 min. ago

Jordan s weight reaches farther than court in NC

By Steve Aschburner, NBA.com CHARLOTTE -- Unlike Mark Cuban and James Dolan, the host of the 2019 NBA All-Star Game was voted in 14 times to participate and played in 13. Quite different from Micky Arison and Glen Taylor, the team owner whose arena and city will be the center of All-Star 2019 averaged 20.2 points in those 13 All-Star appearances, was named MVP three times and posted the first triple-double in the game’s history (1997). And not at all like Steve Ballmer and Joe Lacob, the guy most often credited with making Charlotte All-Star worthy this weekend ignited the annual Slam Dunk Contest with his takeoff from the foul line in 1988. He also regularly irritated former NBA commissioner David Stern into a series of fines for golfing when he should have been sitting through mandatory Friday media sessions. With a level of celebrity as arguably the game’s greatest player ever, morphed now into an off-radar role as owner of the Charlotte Hornets, Michael Jordan remains as famous, as popular and as successful as any or all the active All-Star participants who’ll cavort at the Spectrum Center in the city’s Uptown business district. Ain’t no other NBA owner who can say that. “You think about all these wealthy, successful owners in our league,” said Hornets president Fred Whitfield, “no one knew who any of them were, really, until they bought their team. Everybody in the world knew who Michael Jordan was before he bought his team.” Jordan’s place in the All-Star galaxy in the coming days is reflective of his unique position among those who oversee the NBA’s 29 other franchises. His impact on the team, on its fans, on their city and on the state in returning to his native North Carolina -- he grew up in coastal Wilmington before attending college in Chapel Hill -- to anchor and lend stability to the Hornets will be on full display, even if he’s hard to spot this weekend. It’s all a reminder, too, of the old movie line from a remarkably blessed character, wondering “What do you do when your real life exceeds your dreams?” Most don’t dare to imagine playing in an All-Star Game, never mind hosting one as the owner of the local team. “No,” Jordan told some Charlotte reporters Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time), coming forward for one of his few appearances of the week. “As a kid growing up here in North Carolina, the first thing [was] playing basketball. And then things evolved from there -- from the University of North Carolina to Chicago. Obviously you know the history from that. “[The] opportunity to represent North Carolina in an All-Star Game from a different seat is truly amazing. It tells the path that I have taken. It gives me great pleasure to give that back to the community. It’s been a long-traveled road.” The celebration of the league’s brightest stars, and the ubiquitous banners and signage devoted to it will make it even harder than usual to visibly spot signs of Jordan’s ownership of the Hornets. For a typical regular season game, you might spy a flag emblazoned with his well-known “Jumpman” logo. Occasionally he’ll watch part of the game, rarely all, from seats at the end of his team’s bench, though he’s as likely to retreat to his suite atop the arena’s lower bowl. An in-game, timeout scoreboard video meant to stoke the crowd includes shots of GM Mitch Kupchak (“Architect of Champions”) and coach James Borrego (“Elite Pedigree”) but ends right about the time you expect some dramatic silhouette of His Airness to appear. It’s as if Jordan is as protective of his brand in running the Hornets as he is in maintaining its exclusivity in the marketplace. Doesn’t matter, though. His fingerprints are all over the franchise, as a basketball team, as a business enterprise and as a member of the community. On court, Jordan trusts his team Jordan’s greatest notoriety as an owner in a basketball setting may have come in December, when he was courtside for a tense game against Detroit. Guard Jeremy Lamb drained a 22-foot jumper with 0.3 seconds left, sending reserves Malik Monk and Bismack Biyombo onto the floor in celebration of what would be a 108-107 home victory. Trouble was, that sliver of time on the clock. Too many men. The Hornets were whistled for a one-shot technical foul and Jordan impulsively smacked Monk lightly, twice, on the back of the head. Any other owner does that, the player’s agent might file a grievance with the players union. Jordan does it and, thanks to his in-the-trenches, in-the-fraternity credibility, it comes across as a goof. “A tap of endearment,” Jordan called it later in a statement. “It was like a big brother and little brother tap. No negative intent. Only love!" Said Monk: “Big, big, big brother. But it was nothing. He was just playing.” The arc of Jordan’s career and his reputation as a stone-cold competitor make it OK if he wants to vent -- or swipe -- when things don’t go the Hornets’ way. Doesn’t matter that Jordan, who will turn 56 on All-Star Sunday, is old enough to be any of his players' dad. He still carries himself like an athlete, and their frame of reference remains, “That’s Mike.” “I’ve seen kids come up through camps,” said Buzz Peterson, Charlotte’s assistant general manager under Kupchak. “You could say Julius Erving, you could say Larry Johnson, Karl Malone, whatever, and the kids’ eyes are like, ‘Who?’ But you say Michael Jordan, they’re gonna know. That’s the separation there.” Peterson is among Jordan’s closest friends -- he beat him out as North Carolina’s prep player of the year in 1981, won an NCAA title with him as a Tar Heels teammate and is described by those who know both as someone who can disagree with the boss while staying comfortably in the inner circle. For Borrego, Charlotte’s first-year coach, interviewing to run Jordan’s team could have been intimidating. “We’re all human beings -- there’s a presence that comes with ‘Michael Jordan’ when he’s around,” Borrego told NBA.com in January. “But it’s healthy. He comes with a competitive spirit that you feel. “Michael was straight with me from Day 1. When I interviewed, he said, ‘I’m going to give you space to do your job. Whatever you need, you come to me. I’ll give you the resources you need.’ He has not tried to interfere one time. I feel his full support. … We’re starting to speak each other’s language, which is pretty healthy for us now.” Jordan keeps the coach apprised of his interactions with players, Borrego said. Other coaches should have such a resource at the ready. Hornets guard and 2019 All-Star starter Kemba Walker probably has benefited most from Jordan’s counsel. They text frequently, a pinch-me arrangement to this day for Walker. “I grew up wearing Jordans, grew up wanting to be like Jordan,” Walker said recently. “So for me to get this opportunity to be on his team means the world to me. He’s the one who believed in me -- I had no idea where I was going to go on draft night and he traded up for me. I’ve always heard the story, he was the one who actually drafted me. So it’s unbelievable. “He’s such a good dude. He understands what it is to be good. His delivery is always good. Only in a positive way, honestly.” Said rookie wing Miles Bridges: “You think there’ll be a lot of pressure having MJ as an owner. I’d seen how he got on his teammates when he played. So I was nervous, thinking if I had a bad game, he’d go at me like, ‘What’re you doing?’ But after meeting him and bonding with him, I feel like he’s the coolest owner out there. I don’t feel any pressure, I feel like he wants the best for us.” Big man Frank Kaminsky typically sits at the end of the bench, which puts him cheek to cheek with Jordan when he’s courtside. “He’s talking about what he’s seeing out on the court. Talking to the refs,” Kaminsky said. “Things other players don’t necessarily see. He still thinks the game. “You see things on the court that he sees. One game, the roll, pocket-pass, skip to the corner was open. He was saying that. We made an adjustment in a timeout, but he saw it a couple plays before that. At the end of that game, we had a big play that was a roll, pocket-pass, into the corner that put the game away. It worked the way he’d seen it.” The Hornets’ struggles during Jordan’s tenure as owner wouldn’t suggest it -- the last time this organization won a playoff series (2002), Jordan still was a player -- but there is a prestige to playing for his team. It’s not unlike being welcomed onto the list of elite athletes who endorse Jordan Brand. “I’m one of the lucky ones who’s in both,” Kaminsky said. “You’re talking about the most iconic player in sports history -- I might be biased because I grew up in Chicago -- but when you have his approval, it means a lot. You have it in the back of your mind that he wants you here.” Head smack or no head smack. Jordan grows as owner, businessman Basketball is a zero-sum game and the NBA is full of stars, even if none shines quite as brightly as Jordan. But business has room for negotiation and compromise, and deals get struck daily that leave both sides happy. There, Jordan has been beyond clutch. Funnel down everything he’s accomplished -- six NBA championships, the league’s highest career scoring average (30.1), five MVP awards, six Finals MVP, 10 scoring titles, nine All-Defensive team nods -- and it invariably ends with clammy hands. The “wow” factor is real and the Hornets are extremely careful about leveraging it. “It gives our organization a certain cachet,” said Whitfield, another longtime friend who goes back more than 35 years with Jordan. “For him to be majority owner, for him to do it in his home state as a local hometown hero, and to be able to come back and not just lead the team and the rebranding from the Bobcats to the Hornets, but his commitment to the community in giving back, it’s something that’s so special.” That’s a lot to unpack. When Jordan initially signed on with the Hornets, he did so as head of its basketball operations in 2006, purchasing a small minority stake in the team. The team was bad, the business was worse and trending down. “Back in ’08-09, the economy was in the tank and I was mandated to ‘displace’ 42 of our executives here on the business side,” Whitfield said. “When Michael bought the team, we were losing $30 million a year.’ Brought back into the league in 2004 two years after the original Hornets (1988-2002) were moved to New Orleans by reviled owner George Shinn, the Charlotte expansion team was owned -- and nicknamed -- by Bob Johnson, a co-founder of the BET television network. The Bobcats excelled only at losing and were 122 games under .500 in their first five seasons. The front office was understaffed, Spectrum Center (then known as Time Warner Cable Arena) needed renovations almost from its inception and there was a real sense that, if a buyer with deep pockets and a commitment to the area weren’t found, the franchise could be moved. In March 2010, Jordan ponied up the cash to become majority owner. But it says something that the deal stands as one of the few, if ever, instances of an NBA franchise being sold at a discount. Johnson paid $300 million for the team; Jordan purchased it for $275 million. Forbes.com recently had Charlotte worth $1.25 billion -- which ranks 28th. And Jordan reportedly has one of the biggest stakes of all NBA owners, with his share estimated at upwards of 90 percent, possibly as high as 98 percent. That’s a lot of success in nine years, despite the basketball team’s mostly middling performance. “With MJ being with the team, you got instant credibility in the marketplace,” said Pete Guelli, the chief operating officer who started on the job about 10 months before Jordan took ownership. “There had been a lot of uncertainty previously, but with his brand and his resources and his commitment, that just dissipated immediately. It was much, much easier to walk in the door and tell people about our vision for this franchise.” Rebranding the team as “Hornets” gave the franchise an existential boost -- it suddenly had a history again, complete with records, archives and true alumni. The arena got a makeover and, per Guelli, is credited for events there that generate an alleged $1 billion in revenues for local businesses. “Fortunately, we’ve been profitable pretty much since [Jordan took over],” Whitfield said. “That’s huge, especially since we haven’t gotten where we want to be on the basketball side.” Closing a new kind of game now It’s hard to overstate Jordan’s added value, not so much as some corporate or financial whiz but as a presence who brought instant motivation and energy to the staff. He imported executives with whom he had developed relationships at Nike or in other ventures and, after taking early criticism for an uncertain level of involvement, has been more diligent in recent years. “I love seeing him sitting at the end of the bench encouraging his players when he attends a game” said Charles F. Bowman, Bank of America’s market president for Charlotte and North Carolina. “And as a business person what impresses me is that he has empowered his management team to focus not only on the court but also on building bridges with the community. “He had a vision for where he was taking the team and a clear plan to get there. He has hired good people, gives them latitude to make decisions and he expects them to perform. Michael is unique -- the best player ever who is determined to keep getting better year over year as an owner.” The NBA has gotten a taste of Jordan’s growth and transition at some pivotal times. This is the legendary voice of the players who, during rancorous negotiations in the 1998 lockout, countered Washington owner Abe Pollin’s gripes about losing money by telling Pollin to sell his team. By the lockout of 2011, Jordan had moved to the other side of the table. But several members of the National Basketball Players Association’s executive committee saw him not as an opponent or turncoat but as a role model: someone who had transformed himself from employee to employer at the game’s highest level. “The players understood, he had been in their shoes,” Whitfield said. “He’s not forgetting what it meant to be a player. He was in the process of learning what it meant to be an owner.” When the current collective bargaining agreement was negotiated with commissioner Adam Silver and union director Michele Roberts leading the talks, Jordan was an active, powerful voice. He is an influential member of the NBA’s labor relations and competition committees. One Charlotte insider spoke to Jordan’s clout with his fellow owners in getting this weekend’s showcase -- jeopardized by a political squabble in 2017 -- back onto the league’s short list. “There’s no All-Star Game here in Charlotte if it’s not for MJ,” the person said. Last summer in Las Vegas, Silver lauded Jordan for his ability to straddle the basketball and business worlds. “He brings unique credibility to the table when we're having discussions [with the players],” he said, “and even just among the owners, he's able to represent a player point of view… Michael can say, 'Well, look, this is how I looked at it when I was a player, and these are the kind of issues we need to address if we're going to convince players that something is in everyone's interest.’ ” Jordan’s powers of persuasion apparently have been even more impressive in Charlotte and North Carolina. The executives are careful about relying on him too often -- Jordan’s most precious commodity, now that his net worth is estimated to be upwards of $1.7 billion -- is his time. But when they need Mariano Rivera to walk in from the bullpen, he is lights out. “We’ve had corporate sponsors at a golf outing, and he’s been there, maybe stayed at one hole to tell off with everybody,” Whitfield said. Or they’ll invite certain corporate sponsors to one of a few games each season in which “Club 23” is up and running at the Spectrum Center, a private club built for such purposes. They get a chance to visit, talk with and pick Jordan’s brain on the Hornets and much more. “We’ve closed all those deals,” Whitfield said. Then there was the time a local CEO wanted to finalize a sizeable sponsorship deal with the team, and had his No. 2 invite Jordan over to their headquarters for the meetings. Whitfield told the tale: “This guy says, 'You have to come to our office. Our CEO is the man in our business.' But we’re like, 'Nah, typically, CEOs come and meet in Michael’s office or in ‘Club 23’ over here.' He said no, that wasn’t going to work for them. “So Pete Guelli said, 'Let’s make a deal: We’ll take your CEO and drop him off in Beijing. And we’ll drop off Michael in Beijing. Then we’ll see who more people gravitate to. Whoever gets the least people, he has to come to the other guy’s office.'” Point made. Point taken. Said Whitfield: “The guy says, ‘You know what, I got it. We’ll be over 10 o’clock Friday morning.’” A community he calls home The Michael Jordan who once seemed determined to float above cultural and political frays as the most prudent way to serve commerce has not held back in recent years from making his presence felt. He has been more philanthropist than activist and, let’s face it, in times of the most dire need, cash beats talk every time. Charity and investing in the community can be good for business, sure. Making that a priority after Guelli’s arrival and Jordan’s purchase helped the Hornets build bridges with fans and merchants that Shinn and the original franchise’s departure had torched. More than that, though, giving back for Jordan and his team at this point in his life was the right thing to do. And do, and do, and do. The list of charitable and civic efforts Jordan and the Hornets have undertaken is long, with few outside the region or state aware of most of it. Among the highlights: - Donating $2 million to relief efforts in the wake of Hurricane Florence, particularly meaningful because of the damage it did in Jordan’s hometown of Wilmington. - Dedicated $7 million in partnership with Novant Health to fund two Michael Jordan Family Clinics, set to open in Charlotte in 2020. - Serving as Make-A-Wish’s Chief Wish Ambassador since 2008, while donating more than $5 million to the organization. His relationship with Make-A-Wish began more than 30 years ago. - Contributing $5 million as a founding donor of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. - Addressing the issue of police shootings and community policing in 2016 by donating $1 million each to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and the International Association of Chiefs of Police. After the hurricane in September devastated so many homes and businesses in and near Jordan’s roots, he wanted to do more than to stroke a fat check. In a meeting covered by The Associated Press, he met with Stephanie Parker and her family, including four young children, after they lost their apartment in two feet of flooding. A call from the director of the Cape Fear chapter of the Red Cross brought them together. The meeting took place at a Lowe’s home improvement store. “I look around the corner, and it’s Michael Jordan. ‘Oh my God!’" Parker said. “I look at my kids, ‘It’s Michael Jordan!’ I’m not going to lie, some tears came in my eyes, because the first thing that went through my mind was when I was younger, his last game when he was on the Chicago Bulls team, and that flashback just came right in my mind.” Afterward, Jordan was coaxed by the Charlotte Observer to talk about why that disaster resonated so deeply for him. “You gotta take care of home,” he said. “Wilmington truly is my home. Kept thinking about all those places I grew up going to … You don’t want to see any of that anywhere, but when it’s home, that’s tough to swallow.” There’s basketball, there’s business and then there’s real life, which sometimes intrudes in the most desperate ways. “We didn’t know how many people in our community were hungry,” Whitfield said. “There are people in dire need, and it’s special to have that hometown hero have in his heart that ‘This is where I can help.’ “It gives not only him as a person but our organization a platform to really speak out. That commitment is what has made him a special owner, and why he’s even more beloved in our community.” Winning title No. 7 drives Jordan now To date, Jordan’s greatest achievements have come elsewhere, at least since his baseline shot as a freshman propelled North Carolina to the 1982 NCAA championship. Those Bulls championships, the “Dream Team” magnificence, his partnership with that sneaker company in Beaverton, Ore., his Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame induction, shooting “Space Jam,” all of it -- his legacy has been crafted with others, for others, mostly far from home. (For the record, Jordan, his wife Yvette and their two daughters own a mansion outside Charlotte and an estate in south Florida). “Look, this has always been home for him,” Whitfield said. “Even though he was drafted by Chicago, WGN became a very popular station. And he just continued to elevate, so people in this state were proud to say, even though he’s a Bull, we love him. When the Bulls would come here and play at the old Coliseum, these fans who were avid Hornets fans were all pulling for Michael Jordan. “He’d score, they’d cheer loudly. The Hornets would score, they’d cheer loudly. North Carolina always felt like he was their native son who went off and achieved greatness.” Coming back first to head the franchise’s basketball operations and then as owner, Jordan’s role -- in light of the modest results on the court -- has been custodial. Yes, the club’s improved financial stability is important. But for this driven winner and NBA owner unlike all others, custodial isn’t going to cut it for long. “He did an interview with Cigar Aficionado magazine a while back,” Peterson said, “and the question was asked, ‘What would you like to do?’ And he said, ‘Win a seventh championship. Win as an owner.’ So for me, every day, I’m thinking, here’s a close friend and you want to make your friends happy, right? So each day I think, do the best you can to reach this goal for him.” Said Hornets wing Nicolas Batum: “I understand. He wants to win. He wants to compete since he was born.” It hasn’t been for lack of trying, although Jordan has made sure to keep fiscal responsibility high on every agenda. The team’s payroll for 2018-19 is approximately $122.3 million, which ranks near the middle of the NBA pack. “That Michael Jordan is one cheap dude,” said an impassioned cab driver on a recent airport run. “He’s only going to spend so much and the players they get shows it.” The Hornets never have spent into the league’s luxury-tax, and if Walker is retained when he hits free agency this summer, he’ll likely become the first Charlotte player to sign a full maximum-salary contract (though the five-year, $120 million deal Batum landed in 2016 came awfully close). Injuries and dubious moves have taken a toll, a situation that Kupchak, Borrego and their staffs have been tasked with fixing. Jordan, by all accounts, is engaged yet patient, with a playoff berth and potentially a record above .500 within reach. “I’m sure he feels like,” Whitfield said, “if he were still 30 years old and could lace ‘em up and get out there, he’d help us get over the hump. I think he would cherish it as much or more than the first six. Because I think he realizes how hard it is to get it done. “But it doesn’t bother us if the fans see his frustration sitting next to our bench. It’s important to us that they see he’s not only invested, he’s vested in what our team is trying to do. They can relate to him because they’re feeling that same frustration.” Jordan is theirs again and that’s what matters. For basketball, for business, for community and in time, just maybe, in championship. Steve Aschburner has written about the NBA since 1980. You can e-mail him here, find his archive here and follow him on Twitter. The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 16th, 2019

UAAP Season 81: Dapat ‘wag makuntento ang team -- Diaz

Far Eastern University built huge momentum after crushing defending champion National University in straight sets to open the UAAP Season 81 men’s volleyball tournament. It took the Tamaraws a quick 70-minute workout to dispose the still adjusting Bulldogs, 25-12, 25-18, 25-17, Saturday at the FilOil Flying V Centre, but head coach Rey Diaz warned his wards that the season’s just starting.     “Maganda siyang simula kasi we defeated NU. Alam natin nagbigay sila ng titulo para sa Pilipinas. Pero dapat bantayan kasi mahirap na kalaban sa isang team ay ‘yung overconfidence,” said Diaz after their win over the 2018 ASEAN University Games gold medalists. “‘Dapat ‘wag makuntento ang team. ‘Yun lang ang gagawin ko, na paaalalahanan na wag maging kuntento ang team kasi ang season nagsisimula pa lang. Alam naman natin ang UAAP habang tumatagal mas sumasaya,” Diaz added. FEU played a very disciplined game, picking high percentage attacks behind Owen Suarez’s heady plays and limiting the number of errors committed to only nine compared to NU’s atrocious 32 miscues.   The Tams took advantage of the Bulldogs’ struggles in adjusting to rookie setter Joshua Retamar, who took the starting position after veteran playmaker Kim Dayandante was deemed ineligible for his final season. Skipper Richard Solis and the rest of his FEU crew know that they still have a long way to go in their journey.    “Sa amin, natalo namin ang champion pero ‘wag magre-relax kasi sabi ni coach mahaba pa ang tatahakin, may mga struggle pa kaming haharapin,” said Solis, who had nine points. “Always mag-ensayo ng mabuti para sa mga sususunod pang makakalaban.” FEU will take on University of the Philippines, which suffered a four-set upset loss to University of the East, on Wednesday.   ---     Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles    .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 16th, 2019

UAAP Season 81: Naga-adjust pa lang kami -- Bagunas

National University top hitter Bryan Bagunas admitted that the Bulldogs are still adjusting with the absence of starting setter Kim Dayandante.    The Bulldogs’ struggles were just too obvious after suffering a shocking 12-25, 18-25, 17-25, loss at the hands of Far Eastern University Saturday in the UAAP Season 81 men’s volleyball tournament at the FilOiul Flying V Centre in San Juan. Bagunas was the only NU player in double digits with 15 points on a 14-of-37 spiking clip.     “Siguro sa ngayon naga-adjust pa lang kami kasi late na nasabi na di makakapaglaro si Kim eh. Mga three days before this game saka sinabi na di makakapaglaro si Kim so nandun ang adjustment namin ngayon,” said Bagunas. Dayandante was dropped from the roster after the eligibility screening. Rookie Joshua Retamar got a baptism of fire as starter, tallying 18 excellent sets in 82 attempts. “Sa set play naga-adjust pa kami kasi sa mga laro namin sa labas ang ginagamit namin si Kim Dayandante nga so wala pa yung jell namin sa (bagong) setter namin,” Bagunas added. Another problem that plagued the ASEAN University Games gold medalists is the number of errors they committed. NU threw 32 points off their miscues. “Isa pa rin ‘yun ang errors na ‘di namin na-control na naman. Nandoon na naman ‘yung sakit namin bumabalik,” Bagunas said. “Siguro kailangan pa naming ma-maintan ‘yung dati na nali-lessen namin ang error namin.” Still, the Bulldogs remained positive despite the loss. “Sabi naman nila coach Dante (Alinsunurin) start pa lang ito hanggang May pa ito,” said Bagunas. “’Di pa rito natatapos ang season so umpisahan uli namin sa training. Talagang pupukpukin na namin ang jell namin para sa next game.” NU will face University of the East next week.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 16th, 2019

UAAP Season 81: Lady Tams not taking Lady Bulldogs lightly

Last year’s runner-up Far Eastern University easily has the advantage in terms of experience against a very young and rebuilding National University team. But the Lady Tamaraws are still wary of the Lady Bulldogs’ bite when they meet on Saturday in the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball tournament. “Wala ‘yan sa mindset namin. Same approach pa rin ang gagawin namin,” said FEU veteran Celine Domingo, who will lead the Lady Tams in their 4:00 p.m. clash with the Lady Bulldogs. “Hindi naman porke’t puro rookies ang NU bababa na namin ang level ng game namin. Siyempre respect na rin ‘yun and siyempre bilog ang bola maraming pwedeng mangyari,” added last year’s Best Blocker award winner. The match will air live on ABS-CBN S+A Channel 23, ABS-CBN S+A HD Channel 166, LIGA SkyCable Channel 86, LIGA HD SkyCable Channel 183, iWant and via livestream. Domingo is expected to step up her game as well as other veterans Jerrili Malabanan, Heather Guino-o, Jeanette Villareal and setter Kyle Negrito after the exit of Bernadeth Pons and the absence of injured Chin-Chin Basas. The Lady Bulldogs, who finished fourth last year, are rebuilding their foundations after the departure of Season 80 Most Valuable Player Jaja Santiago, Aiko Urdas and libero Gayle Valdez. NU is under a different system with new head coach Norman Miguel, who replaced Babes Castillo last December. The Lady Bulldogs’ character will be tested with only a handful of veterans after playmaker Jasmine Nabor, Jorelle Singh and Roma Doromal decided to sit out the season while middle blocker Risa Sato was deemed ineligible to play (academic problems). The leadership role is now at the hands of remaining veterans Audrey Paran, Roselyn Doria and Joni Chavez Rookies Princess Robles, Ivy Lacsina, setter Joyme Cagande and libero Jennifer Nierva, who are all part of NU’s four-peat girls volleyball team, will get their baptism of fire.   ---      Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 15th, 2019

NCAA: Coach Macky says Lady Altas are here to stay

University of Perpetual Help’s Cinderella run in the NCAA 94 Women’s Volleyball Tournament did not have a storybook ending. Seizing the first set before surrendering the next three in the winner-take-all Finals Game 3 on Tuesday at the Filoil Flying V Centre, the Lady Altas just fell short of a championship that would have been a shock to just about everybody. The Las Pinas-based team had to win its last two games in the elimination round, overcome top-seed and twice-to-beat College of St. Benilde, and then best dynastic Arellano University to have a shot at that storybook ending. Unfortunately, they just ran out of gas in the decider – and thus, didn’t get to give their school a rare Grand Slam of Women’s, Men’s, and Juniors championships. Still, the mere fact that they were two sets away from the improbable was a win for Perps – if first-year head coach Macky Carino is to be believed. “Sino bang mag-aakalang aabot kami ng championship? Ilang porsyento na lang, magcha-champion na kami,” he told reporters following their season-ending loss. He then continued, repeating what he had been saying for good measure, “Sino bang mag-aakala?” That is exactly why even though they had to settle for a runner-up finish, Coach Macky and the rest of his staff were nothing but satisfied with their surprising run to the Finals. “Happy ako kung anong naging resulta. Magsisimula pa lang kami kanina, sabi ko sa kanila, sobrang happy ko and proud sa kanila kasi umabot kami ng championship,” he said. He then continued, “Whatever happened today, proud ako sa kanila.” Even more, in the eyes of the one-time champion coach, this is just the start for the program that is on the rise. As he put it, “Andaming revelation nitong Finals, nitong semifinals na ‘to na mag-oopen para sa mga susunod namin (na season). Kung anuman ang resulta today, ang pinakanatutunan namin is paano nagkaroon ng opportunity yung Lady Altas na ma-recognize (sa volleyball).” He then continued, “Dahil dun, dati, kami naghahabol ng players. This time, kami na pinupuntahan.” With that, Coach Macky promised that the Lady Altas will be nothing but better next season. “Ang makikita niyong Lady Altas next season, iba na. Mag-dedevelop ako ng fighting na Lady Altas next season,” he said. He then continued, “Start pa lang, makikita niyong lumalaban na yung team.” —— Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 12th, 2019

Ginagawa ko po siyang motivation – Lacsina on Ate Jaja

Rookie Ivy Lacsina has big shoes to fill for National University. Expectations are high from the young middle blocker especially that she’s being groomed to fill the void left by last year’s Most Valuable Player Jaja Santiago. Lacsina knows the weight of her responsibility come the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball tournament and the unavoidable comparison between her and the 6-foot-5 former Queen Bulldog. She welcomes it as an inspiration to perform well for the young and rebuilding NU squad.   “Hindi ko po siya tini-take na karibal kasi siyempre si ate Jaja po ‘yun, ang daming uma-idol po dun. Isa na po ako doon. Siguro ginagawa ko po siyang motivation,” said the 6-foot-1 Lacsina, a key player in NU’s four-peat in girls volleyball. “Alam ko po dito nag-start si Ate Jaja, kaya ginagawa ko po siyang motivation para marating ko din po kung ano ang nararating niya.” Aside from being her inspiration, Lacsina reveals that it was Santiago, who is currently playing as an import in the prestigious Japan V. Premier League, who convinced her to stay in NU. “Nagkausap po kami ni Ate Jaja noong nandito pa po siya sa Philippines noong nag-iisip pa ako between NU and UP po,” Lacsina said. “Sinasabi niya na parang dilemma ang nangyari kasi parehong good (schools) pero isipin ko raw po kung saan po ang mas best. Yun ang sinasabi niya and naisip ko po na sa NU. Dito ko po nakikita ang sarili ko and yung system na gusto ko.” “Sobrang nahirapan din po ako pero at the end of the day naman, parang naisip ko rin na nandito talaga ang heart ko sa NU,” added Lacsina, who climbed in the collegiate ranks together with high school teammates Joyme Cagande, Princes Robles and Jennifer Nierva. “Dito ko rin nakilala ang sarili ko at dito ko rin nakita ang totoong team.” The departure of Santiago, who has exhausted all of her five playing years, left a huge hole in the Lady Bulldogs' offense as well as on defense with her intimidating presence at the net. NU lost in Santiago a player who normed 20 points per game last year with an impressive 41.76% attacking accuracy. It didn’t help that NU also lacked the veteran presence of Jasmine Nabor, Jorelle Singh, Roma Doromal and middle blocker Risa Sato, who will sit out the season. “This year po para po sa akin kasi sobrang laking pressure po talaga sa akin lalo na po na rookie pa lang po ako kasi parang ako na yung inaanuhan ng mga coaches na, ‘ganito, dapat alam mo na yung dapat mong gawin kasi isa ka sa inaasahan ng team,’” said Lacsina. “Para po sa akin sobrang laki po ng kawalan ni Ate Jaja po sa amin lalo na po ‘yung ibang seniors na di makakalaro sa amin. Si Ate Risa po sobrang laking kawalan sa gitna namin,” she added. “So this season po siguro ie-enjoy na lang namin siya. Lalaro kami hanggang sa makakaya namin. Alam naman naman namin na kaya namin saka naniniwala po ako sa team namin, sa coaches namin na kakayanin namin this season.”   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 12th, 2019