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Luis Castro bags individual crown, powers Philippine to team title

Luis Castro rode on a fiery frontside charge then closed out with a string of pars to card a second straight 71, capture the individual crown and power the Philippines to the team championship in the Indonesia Amateur Open 2019 at the Gading Raya Golf in Jawa Barat, West Java last Friday......»»

Category: sportsSource: philstar philstarAug 18th, 2019

Castro earns slot to golf team

Luis Castro, who captured the individual crown and powered the Philippines to the team championship in the Indonesian Amateur Open last month, clinched the fourth and last berth in the national men’s golf team vying in the 30th SEA Games......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsSep 19th, 2019

Castro nails last SEAG golf slot

Luis Castro, who captured the individual crown and powered the Philippines to the team championship in the Indonesian Amateur Open last month, clinched the fourth and last berth in the national men's team vying in the Southeast Asian Games......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsSep 16th, 2019

PBA Finals: SMB-TNT championship history

The 2019 PBA Commissioner’s Cup marks only the fifth time that the league’s two flagship teams have squared off for the title. As the winningest team in PBA history, the San Miguel Beermen, the SMC group’s flagship squad, lead the head-to-head showdown with three Finals wins to TNT’s one. Before part 5 of this rivalry begins, here’s how both teams fared during the previous four Finals meetings.   2004-05 Fiesta Conference: SMB def. TNT, 4-1. TNT made both Finals this season back when the PBA was in its two-conference format. The then-Phone Pals lost the Philippine Cup to Ginebra in six games and tried to recover by taking on the Beermen in the Fiest Conference. However, despite the Best Player of the Conference in Willie Miller and the Best Import in Jerald Honeycutt, top-ranked TNT suffered a gentleman’s sweep at the hands of the no. 2 Beermen, who then broke a four-year title drought.   2011 Philippine Cup: TNT def. SMB, 4-2 TNT’s dynasty was built with this championship. The then-Tropang Texters were in a tight race against the Beermen all conference long, with both teams finishing with the same record at the end of the elimination round. TNT got the no. 1 seed after all tiebreaks and then welcomed the no. 2 Beermen in the Finals. The All-Filipino Finals was tied at two games each when the Tropang Texters, led by co-Finals MVPs Jimmy Alapag and Jayson Castro, completely overwhelmed the Beermen in Game 5 and 6, winning by a combined margin of 35 points. It was the first of three straight Philippine Cup titles for TNT, the first team to ever do the feat to win the Perpetual Trophy. The Beermen would later match — and surpass — the feat later in the decade.   2011 Governors’ Cup: Petron (SMB) def. TNT, 4-3 TNT literally came one win away from a Grand Slam in 2011 until San Miguel (then called Petron) ended the dream. Practically TNT’s handpicked Finals opponents, the Blaze Boosters sure made the Tropang Texters pay with a rousing seven-game win for the championship. It’s the only San Miguel championship, out of the current 26, that was won under the Petron name.   2017 Commissioner’s Cup: SMB def. TNT, 4-2 After two Finals series in 2011, the two flagship teams wouldn’t meet each other for a title until six years later. In 2017, the Beermen overcame a TNT winner in Game 1 and a huge KaTropa run in Game 5 to seal the championship in six games, setting up their own run for a Grand Slam. Unfortunately, San Miguel failed to cash in its momentum from the 4-2 Finals win against TNT in the Commissioner’s Cup and failed to complete the triple crown.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 4th, 2019

TERRIFIC 12: Castro all set to meet old rival in Macau as TNT grouped with Liaoning

Asia League has rebranded to the East Asia Super League (EASL) but it’s still set to hold its crowd favorite tournament coming in the next couple of months. The Terrific 12 will return to Macau on September 17-22 and this time, there’s finally a strong Filipino presence for the week-long joust at the Tap Seac Multi-sports Pavilion. The PBA will send two flagship teams in the San Miguel Beermen and TNT KaTropa. The Blackwater Elite will also make an East Asia Super League return after competing in the Super 8 last year. [Related: TERRIFIC 12: San Miguel Beer takes on champion Golden Kings in Macau] Despite a down year in 2018, the KaTropa remain one of the top crews in the PBA. This season, TNT has slowly bounced back, winning 17 out of 22 regular season games so far and has finally advanced to the semifinals of the Commissioner’s Cup as of press time. In Macau, TNT looks to stamp its class in international play. The KaTropa are certainly more than capable as they have a number of Gilas regulars in their starting lineup. RR Pogoy can shoot with the best of them in the region and Troy Rosario is one of the most versatile forwards in the national team. Of course, the KaTropa are led by Jayson Castro, twice named as the Best Point Guard in Asia. That title has since been taken over by China’s Guo Ailun and in Macau, the Blur is on a collision course against an old rival as TNT is grouped with the CBA’s Liaoning Flying Leopards. Lioaning, the CBA’s top team two seasons ago, is of course led by Ailun, China’s top guard. The Flying Leopards lost their title last season but they were still good for 38 wins and a top-2 seed before falling to Xinjiang for a semifinal finish. The Terrific 12 should be a good prep before Liaoning tries to regain the CBA championship next year. Also part of Group D in the Terrific 12 is Japan’s Niiigata Albirex, the B.League’s no. 3 seed with a 45-15 record in the previous season’s playoffs. Unfortunately, Niigata was taken out in the first round by Alvark Tokyo, who went on to win back-to-back titles in the B.League. Niigata is led by a pair of veteran guards in Kei Igarashi and Shinsuke Kashiwagi which should fit right in this group’s theme in Macau: superior point guard play. The Terrific 12 is a FIBA-recognized basketball tournament and features three clubs from the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA), four from the B.LEAGUE (Japan), two from the Korean Basketball League (KBL) and three from the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA). A Group Stage, Semi-Finals and Finals will play out 16 epic games in total to crown this year’s champion.  In the Group Stage, clubs will be divided into four groups of three, with each team playing two games. The top team from each group will advance to compete in the Semi-Finals following a rest day ?on September 20.? The champion will be awarded USD 150,000, the runner- up will be awarded USD 100,000 and third place will be awarded USD 50,000. TNT will play Lioaning to end Day 1 on September 17. The KaTropa then open Day 3 on Sept. 19 with a showdown against Niigata Albirex.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 25th, 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

Schrock, Pagdanganan to receive PSA special honors

Two more outstanding Filipino athletes in Stephan Schrock and Bianca Pagdanganan will be the recipients of special awards from the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA). Schrock will be conferred with the Mr. Football award, while Pagdanganan is going to be the first ever to receive the Ms. Golf title during the SMC-PSA gala night on March 6 at the Centennial Hall of the Manila Hotel. The 33-year-old Schrock and Pagdanganan, 22, join Ms. and Mr. Basketball Jack Animam and Thirdy Ravena, Ms. and Mr. Volleyball Sisi Rondina and Bryan Bagunas, and Coach of the Year Pat Aquino as among those to be honored with special awards by the country’s oldest media organization. For making the country proud with its exceptional performance that netted for the host the overall title of the 30th Southeast Asian Games, Team Philippines was the unanimous choice as the recipient of the coveted Athlete of the Year award. Pagdanganan had her own share in the Filipinos’ successful title drive in the SEA Games as she spearheaded the country’s two-gold romp in golf by winning the women’s individual event and the women’s team event in tandem with Lois Kaye Go. The recipient of the 2018 PSA Athlete of the Year (with fellow golfers Go and Yuka Saso, Hidilyn Diaz, and Margielyn Didal), Pagdanganan also won the Hawkeye El Tigre Invitational in Mexico last year. A gold medal winner in the 2018 Asian Games, the Filipina golfer attended Gonzaga University and later, the University of Arizona, which she helped win the NCAA Division 1 women’s golf championships in the same year. A sports and society major, Pagdanganan turned pro last year. Schrock, meanwhile, will be receiving his second Mr. Football award after winning his first in 2013. The veteran midfielder of Ceres-Negros FC stood as the rock of the Philippine Azkals that is currently on a transition, serving as the captain of the U22 team in the SEA Games that came close to reaching the knockout stage. The Fil-German player was also named by the ASEAN Football Federation as one of the recipients of the AFF Best XI Award during the AFF Awards held in Hanoi, Vietnam. On the domestic front, Schrock led Ceres Negros to a third successive Football League title and steered the team to the ASEAN Zonal semifinals of the AFC Cup. Along with goalkeeper Neil Etheridge, Schrock also spearheaded the Azkals’ campaign in the 2022 FIFA World Cup and 2023 AFC Asian Cup joint qualifiers......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated News11 hr. 28 min. ago

UAAP Season 82: UE dominates collegiate fencing anew

University of the East reigned supreme in the men's division for the eighth straight year while its women's squad regained the throne Friday in the UAAP Season 82 collegiate fencing tournament at the Paco Arena. The Red Warriors bested Ateneo de Manila University, 45-42, in the men's team foil finals to complete a five-gold, one-silver medal haul for their 14th title overall. Sammuel Tranquilan exited UE as a winner, capturing his third straight MVP award.. "Marami naman tayong mga rising stars na parating. Tuloy-tuloy naman kaming nagte-training mula sa ilalim. Yung transition talaga namin, malalim," said UE coach Amatov Canlas. A good example is Rookie-MVP winner Queendenise Dalmacio, who led the Lady Warriors in collecting four golds, one silver, and three bronze medals to claim a league-best 13th crown. "Actually, magkaka-batch iyan. Sina Queen at Sam (Catantan). Sabay-sabay iyan noong time na ni-recruit ko sila noong mga bata pa talaga ang mga iyan," said Canlas, who also handled the national team that won two gold medals in the 30th Southeast Asian Games. "Tumaas din ang level ni Queen magmula noong nakapasok siya sa national team. Naglaro siya ng SEA Games kaya iba na ang mental toughness niya," he added. The 20-year old Dalmacio was impressive, especially in ruling the women's individual saber event on the second day of competition. "Hindi ko nga inaasahan na magiging Rookie-MVP siya. Deserved naman niya talaga iyan," said Canlas. UE topped De La Salle University, 45-36, in the women's team epee Finals and returned in the afternoon with a 45-19 conquest of University of Santo Tomas in the women's team saber gold medal match. "Happy ako sa performance ng team. Taon-taon naman ganito ang nangyari," said Canlas. The Blue Eagles finished second in the men's side with a 1-3-2 haul, while the Green Archers had a 0-1-5 tally in third place. De La Salle took the runner-up honors with 1-2-1, while last season's champion Ateneo settled for third with 1-1-2......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 14th, 2020

Ravena, Animam headline PSA basketball honors

Three individuals who played a huge part in completing a season to remember are bound to reap the fruits of their hard work. Jack Danielle Animam and her venerable coach at National University Patrick Aquino, along with Ateneo stalwart Thirdy Ravena will be the recipients of special awards in the coming SMC-PSA (Philippine Sportswriters Association) Annual Awards Night at the Centennial Hall of the Manila Hotel. Ravena is the year’s Mr. Basketball, while Animam and Aquino are going to be the first awardees of Ms. Basketball and Coach of the Year honors from the country’s oldest media organization established in 1949. The three are part of the long honor roll list headed by 2019 Athlete of the Year Team Philippines which will be feted in a grand March 6 ceremony presented by the Philippine Sports Commission, MILO, Cignal TV, Philippine Basketball Association, Rain or Shine, and AirAsia. Animam and Aquino formed part of the undefeated National University Lady Bulldogs who extended their reign as UAAP women’s basketball champion following yet another perfect season campaign. The team copped a sixth straight UAAP title with another 16-0 record, including a sweep of University of Santo Tomas in the finals. Overall, the Bulldogs have extended their unprecedented winning streak to 96 games in a six-year span. Aquino also served as architect of the Gilas Pilipinas women’s 5-on-5 and 3x3 teams that brought home the breakthrough golds in the last 30th Southeast Asian Games. Working behind the core of the Lady Bulldogs led by Animam, Aquino steered the Filipina cagebelles on top of the podium for the first time ever by toppling long-time rival Thailand in the final game of the tournament, 91-71, ending a long year of agony for Philippine women’s basketball. They did the same thing in the inaugural 3x3 event when they likewise thrashed the Thais, 17-13, for the gold. The same season also saw the Gilas Pilipinas women’s team retaining its spot in Division A of the FIBA Women’s Asia Cup. And Ravena? The well-built Ateneo guard served as the catalyst of the Blue Eagles completing an unprecedented 16-0 campaign in the UAAP Season 82 men’s basketball tournament.n The school retained the varsity title undefeated following a two-game sweep of University of Santo Tomas in the finals for their third straight championship. No men’s team in UAAP history has won the crown with a perfect 16-0 record, and was the first unbeaten champion squad since UST (14-0) in 1993. Ravena, who will forever be remembered for that iconic photo showing him standing on the scorer’s table and facing the Ateneo crowd while spreading his arms wide in the din of the championship celebration, were part of that Ateneo three-peat, which he capped by emerging as finals MVP each time, a first in UAAP history. Earlier in the year, Ravena made the final 12-man roster of Gilas Pilipinas in the final window of the 2019 FIBA World Cup qualifiers as the lone collegiate player......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 10th, 2020

20 for 20: Pinoy Sports Personalities to Watch in 2020

As we enter a new decade, ABS-CBN Sports takes a look at 20 Pinoy sports personalities destined to shine in 2020.    Kiefer Ravena After an 18-month wait, Kiefer Ravena is finally back in basketball. Despite only playing in the PBA’s third conference, his impact was immediate, leading NLEX to the number 1 seed in the Governors’ Cup. The Road Warriors didn’t advance sure, but if Kiefer can impact a team that way in limited time, wait until you see what he can do with a full offseason.   Alex Eala At just 14 years old, Filipina tennister Alex Eala is already turning heads, and she’s yet to turn pro. With a runner-up finish at the ITF Mayor’s Cup in Osaka, Japan and her first ITF Juniors title in Cape Town, South Africa, Alex has had quite the fruitful year, leading to a career-best 11th-place ranking in the ITF Juniors table to finish the year.  Heading into 2020, Eala now has her sights set on turning pro as she plans to join more professional tournaments to raise her ranking even more. Expect the young tennis star to make even more headlines in the coming year.     Bryan Bagunas A vital cog in the national team’s silver medal finish in the 30th Southeast Asian Games, Bagunas is considered as one of the best Filipino volleyball players in this generation. Eyes will be on his blossoming international career playing as an import in the Japan V. Premier League.         Margielyn Didal While already a household name in Philippine skateboarding due to her success in the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta, Margielyn Didal made even more waves in 2019. The 20-year old Cebuana reached the semifinals of the 2019 SLS World Championships in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and captured gold in the 2019 National Championships and the 2019 Southeast Asian Games.  Didal is currently looking to qualify for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, and if she can do so, it’s highly likely that the Pinay skater can become an even bigger star in the industry.    Marck Espejo After his spectacular collegiate career with the Ateneo Blue Eagles, Marck Espejo's colorful career as part of the men's national volleyball team and in the club league continues to blossom. Just like Bryan Bagunas, Espejo will be showing his skills internationally with a stint in Thailand following a historic silver medal finish at the 30th SEA Games.   Yuka Saso After a decorated amateur career that saw her  participate in major tournaments such as the Ladies’ European Tour, the Summer Youth Olympics and claim top honors in the 2018 Asian Games, 2018 and 2019 Philippine Ladies Open, and the 2019 Girls’ Junior PGA Championship, 18-year old Pinay golfer Yuka Saso finally made the jump to pro in November of 2019.  With even more competitions in store plus a 2020 Tokyo Olympics berth in her crosshairs, it’s quite likely that we hear more about Saso in the coming months.  Carlos Yulo Perhaps no other young athlete in the Philippines shot to stardom faster than gymnastics phenomenon Carlos Edriel Yulo. After a gold medal finish in the floor exercise at the 2019 World Championships in Stuttgart, Yulo hauled in even more hardware in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games, taking home two more gold medals and five silvers.  Yulo’s spectacular 2019 earned him a spot in the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, and if his SEA Games and World Championships performances are any indication, Caloy is bound for another podium finish on the biggest stage there is.   Eya Laure Last UAAP season’s rookie of the year will return as the heir apparent of Season 81 MVP Sisi Rondina. With her national team stint, all eyes will be on the younger Laure as she reunites with older sister EJ as they try to bring University of Sto. Tomas back in the Finals after falling short last year. Hidilyn Diaz 2019 was another big year for Olympic silver medalist weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz, highlighted by her first ever gold medal in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games. Diaz also finished with silver medals in the 2019 Asian Championships and a bronze in the 2019 World Championships.  All those podium finishes are crucial in Diaz’s quest for another Olympics berth in 2020. Should the 28-year lock up another spot in the Summer Games in Tokyo, we could see another Olympic medal coming home.    Kat Tolentino  After initially announcing that she would not come back for her final season in the UAAP, Kat Tolentino changed her decision and will suit up for the Ateneo Lady Eagles once last time, providing a great morale-booster in their bid for back-to-back titles. Tolentino’s leadership will be tested as she will be leading a young team.      Joshua Pacio 23-year old Joshua “The Passion” Pacio proved to be the brightest spot for Philippine MMA stable Team Lakay in 2019. After opening the year with a questionnable decision loss to Yosuke Saruta, Pacio silenced any doubts in the rematch and regained the ONE Strawweight World Championship with a highlight-reel headkick knockout. Pacio would follow that up with another masterful performance, this time with a second-round submission win over top contender Rene Catalan before the end of the year.  2020 is shaping up to become another banner year for the rising Pinoy star, as he’s scheduled for another title defense on January 31st in Manila, this time against former champ Alex Silva of Brazil. A win for Pacio will solidify his claim of being the best strawweight ever in ONE Championship history.     Louie Romero The Adamson University freshman displayed great potential during the pre-season when she piloted the Lady Falcons to title win in the PVL Season 3 Collegiate Conference. Romero is expected to be a gem of a setter for the young Adamson squad hoping make a return in the UAAP Final Four. Manny Pacquiao While eight-division world champion Manny Pacquiao is certainly in the twilight of his professional boxing career, 2019 showed that he is still one of the best around. A successful title defense over Adrien Broner followed by an impressive dismantling of the previously-undefeated Keith Thurman to capture the WBA’s primary world title proved that even at 40, Manny Pacquiao is still a big name in the sport.  With Pacquiao targeting an early return in 2020, more big names are lined up to fight “the People’s Champ”, including names like Danny Garcia, Shawn Porter, and even a title-unification bout against Errol Spence. Still, the biggest fight that is out there proves to be a rematch against Floyd Mayweather Jr, granted that “Money” finally bites.    Faith Nisperos A key addition for the repeat-seeking Ateneo de Manila University. The highly-touted rookie hitter will add height and firepower for the Lady Eagles in UAAP Season 82 women’s volleyball. In the previous PVL Collegiate Conference, Nisperos flashed her scoring prowess, exploding for 35 points in one outing.   Robert Bolick The two best rookies of 2019 were CJ Perez and Robert Bolick. We know what we can expect from CJ, but Bolick is an interesting case as 2020 will be his return from knee injury. Bolick could still win Rookie of the Year, but even if he doesn’t, his return to Northport could push the reloaded Batang Pier from a Cinderella team to full-on PBA title contender.   Joshua Retamar His playmaking skills as well as his efficiency on net defense during the national team’s silver medal finish in the 30th Southeast Asian Games makes him a setter to watch out for come UAAP. Retamar is an asset for National University’s three-peat bid.       Kai Sotto The Philippines' 7-foot-2, 17-year-old is opening eyes as he suits up for Atlanta-based The Skills Factory - so much so that he has already gotten interest from quite a few US NCAA schools. Before Sotto continues breaking the glass ceiling for Filipinos, though, he will go home for a while to wear the flag with Mighty Sports-Pilipinas in the 2020 Dubai International Basketball Tournament.   Jema Galanza Coming off a great outing to close the PVL Season 3 highlighted by copping the Open Conference MVP award, expectations are high for Jema Galanza as Creamline aims to reclaim the PVL Reinforced Conference crown and complete an Open Conference three-peat.      Kobe Paras Many questioned just what the 6-foot-6 tantalizing talent would bring to the table for UP - but more often than not, he had all the answers as he led the Fighting Maroons to their second straight Final Four. In the end, Paras was actually the steadying force State U needed in what was a hyped up season. They may not have made it back to the Finals, but they still got much more motivation as they run it back for next year.   Pat Aquino What's next for the most decorated mentor in women's basketball? Pat Aquino followed up a six-peat for National U with the Philippines' first-ever gold medal in women's basketball in the SEA Games. Without a doubt, he will only continue steering the sport forward especially as the likes of UST and FEU are already gearing up to put up greater challenges in the new year.   Isaac Go Isaac Go is technically not the no. 1 pick of the 2019 PBA Draft but he is without a doubt, the no. 1 prospect of the year. His top selection from the special Gilas Pilipinas Draft is proof of that. Gilas Pilipinas has the FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers on deck in 2020 and as a new era dawns on the national team, all eyes will be on the biggest piece for the future that’s already drafted into the new Philippine squad......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 1st, 2020

2019 Monthly Memorable Sports Moments (Part 2)

The year 2019 was a rollercoaster ride for Filipino athletes and Pinoy sports fans. We saw the highs and the lows, basked in the glory of triumph and felt the agony of defeat. We witnessed history unfold and experienced the best and the worst of Philippine sports. Here’s a look back at the sports news that made the headlines that made the end of the decade a memorable one.   JULY Eight-division champion Manny Pacquiao defeated Keith Thurman via decision to claim the WBA (Super) Welterweight World Championship belt. Abraham ‘Bambol’ Tolentino won as Philippine Olympic Committee president in a special election after the resignation of Ricky Vargas.   AUGUST John Riel Casimero knocked out Mexican Cesar Ramirez in the tenth round to retain the Interim WBO Bantamweight World Championship belt. San Miguel Beer captured the 2019 PBA Commissioner’s Cup championship. F2 Logistics won the 2019 PSL All-Filipino Conference title.   SEPTEMBER Pole vaulter Ernest John Obiena earned a ticket to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics after clearing 5.81 meters in the Salto Con L'asta meet in Piazza Chiari, Italy. Gilas ended the horror trip to China with a 0-5 record in the 2019 FIBA World Cup. Japanese-Filipino sumo wrestler Hisashi Mitakeumi captured his second top-division title after defeating Takakeisho in a playoff to win the Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament. Pedro Taduran needed only four rounds to dispatch Samuel Salva to become the new IBF Minimumweight World Champion. Kiefer Ravena saw action in the PBA after an 18-month ban.   OCTOBER Caloy Yulo won a historic gold medal in the 49th FIG Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Stuttgart, Germany and also earned a spot in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Nesthy Petecio won the gold medal in women’s featherweight of the 2019 AIBA Women's World Boxing Championship in Ulan-Ude, Russia. Brandon Vera fell short against Aung La N Sang in their ONE light heavyweight bout in Tokyo while Kevin Belingon was submitted by Bibiano Fernandes in their bantamweight title clash. Adamson University won the PVL Collegiate Conference title. F2 Logistics ruled the PSL Invitational Conference.   NOVEMBER Ateneo de Manila University won its third straight title in UAAP Season 82 men’s basketball via tournament sweep while National University completed a six-peat with its 96th straight win in women's basketball. Letran dethroned San Beda University in the NCAA Season 95 men’s basketball tournament. Creamline retained its PVL Season 3 Open Conference crown. Reigning IBF Super Flyweight World Champion Jerwin "Pretty Boy" Ancajas' scheduled world title defense against Mexico's Jonathan Javier Rodriguez was cancelled because the challenger’s visa issues.  Nonito Donaire Jr. lost to Japanese KO artist Naoya Inoue via unanimous decision in the finals of the World Boxing Super Series Bantamweight Tournament. Joshua Pacio retained the ONE Strawweight World Championship with a masterful submission win over fellow Filipino Rene Catalan. The Philippines began its fourth hosting of the Southeast Asian Games. Businessman, sports patron and University of the East head coach Bong Tan passed away after collapsing during a basketball game. He was 53.   DECEMBER Pinoy boxer Johnriel Casimero knocked South African Zolani Tete out in the third round to capture the WBO Bantamweight World Championship. Reigning IBF Super Flyweight World Champion Jerwin “Pretty Boy” Ancajas retained his belt after needing just six rounds to dispose of Chilean challenger Miguel Gonzales. Team Philippines won the overall championship in the SEA Games after copping 149 gold medals. Barangay Ginebra and Meralco forged a Finals encounter in the 2019 PBA Governors’ Cup.    .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 30th, 2019

2019 Monthly Memorable Sports Moments (Part 1)

The year 2019 was a rollercoaster ride for Filipino athletes and Pinoy sports fans. We saw the highs and the lows, basked in the glory of triumph and felt the agony of defeat. We witnessed history unfold and experienced the best and the worst of Philippine sports. Here’s a look back at the sports news that made the headlines that made the end of the decade a memorable one.   JANUARY Eight-division champion Manny Pacquiao opened the year on a high note and retained his WBA welterweight title after a 12-round unanimous decision win over Adrien Broner. The Philippine volleyball community mourned the passing of head coach Nes Pamilar. He was 52. Joshua Pacio lost his One straw weight title belt to Japanese Yosuke Saruta via split decision while Geje Eustaquio also parted ways with his flyweight belt. The 44th season of the PBA opened.   Jett Manuel of Barangay Ginebra announced his retirement in the PBA after one season while Chris Tiu hanged his jersey after six seasons with Rain or Shine. Gilas Pilipinas began its preparation for the sixth and final qualifying window for the 2019 FIBA World Cup. The Azkals finished its historic AFC Asian Cup debut winless after bowing to South Korea, China and Kyrgyzstan.    FEBRUARY Gilas Pilipinas clinched a golden ticket to the 2019 FIBA World Cup in China after back-to-back wins to close out the qualifiers. Aston Palicte beat erstwhile unbeaten Puerto Rican Jose Martinez via TKO in their WBO Superflyweight world championship eliminator while Vic Saludar retained his WBO minimum weight world title. Arellano University completed a three-peat in the NCAA Season 94 women’s volleyball while Perpetual Help won back-to-back titles in the men’s division and five straight in the juniors play. Seventeen year-old Filipino wakeboarder Raphael Trinidad clinched a silver medal in the open category of the IWWF World Cable Wakeboard & Wakeskate Championships at Pampa Wake Park, Buenos Aires. The Philippine Sportswriters Association feted the finest Filipino athletes  for the year 2018 in its annual awards night.    MARCH Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas announced the composition of the men’s and women’s seniors national team and women’s U-23 squad. Gilas Pilipinas landed in Group D in the FIBA World Cup with Serbia, Italy and Angola after the draw. San Beda University won its second straight NCAA Season 94 beach volleyball title while Emilio Aguinaldo College completed a men’s division repeat. Kevin Belingon lost his One bantwamweight title to Brazilian Bibiano Fernandes to disqualification from illegal blows while Eduard Folayang surrendered his lightweight belt to Shinya Aoki in a submission loss.   APRIL Hidilyn Diaz pocketed three silver medals in the Asian Weightlifting Championship. EJ Obiena ended the country’s decade-long gold medal drought in the Asian Athletics Championships after ruling the men’s pole vault in record fashion in Doha, Qatar. Nonito Donaire Jr. knocked out Stephon Young in the sixth round to retain his WBA superbantamweight belt and advance to the WBSS bantamweight tournament finals wile John Riel Casimero claimed the WBO interim bantamweight title. The San Juan Knights captured the MPBL Datu Cup in a winner-take-all Game 5 over Davao Occidental Tigers. Team Philippines recorded its best gold haul in Arafura Games in Australia. Marathon star Rafael Poliquit died of complications from subdural empyema. He was 30.   MAY Ateneo de Manila University won the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball title while National University bagged its second straight men’s crown. San Miguel Beer captured its fifth straight Philippine Cup championship at the expense of Magnolia. Petron defeated F2 Logistics in three games to retain its Philippine Superliga Grand Prix throne. Jerwin Ancajas scored a 7th round TKO win over Japanese Ryuichi Funai to keep his IBF super flyweight belt. The UAAP and NCAA collegiate press corps feted the best student-athletes in basketball and for the first time in women’s volleyball. Some athletes and sports personalities tried their luck in the 2019 mid-term elections.   JUNE   Philippine Olympic Committee president Ricky Vargas stepped down from his post after just 18 months in office. Cignal-Ateneo won the PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup title.   (To be continued).....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 29th, 2019

First gold sa 30th SEA Games susungkitin ng Pinoy triathletes

SUBIC, ZAMBALES- Kasado na ang Philippine team na sungkitin ang unang gintong medalya ng bansa sa tangkang pagdepensa ng korona sa women’s at men’s crown kapag sumikad na ang 30th Southeast Asian Games triathlon individual events bukas. Dec. 1. Babanderahan nina reigning queen Kim Mangrobang, 2017 SEA Games silver medalist Claire Adorna at first-timer Kim […] The post First gold sa 30th SEA Games susungkitin ng Pinoy triathletes appeared first on Bandera......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsNov 30th, 2019

Upset complete: Wesley So stuns No. 1 Carlsen, bags world title

    MANILA, Philippines – Wesley So overwhelmed world No. 1  Magnus Carlsen, 13.5-2.5, to capture the inaugural crown in the World Fischer Random Chess Championship at the Henie Onstad Art Center in Norway on Saturday, November 2 (Sunday, November 3, Philippine time). So, who represented the Philippines before leaving ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsNov 3rd, 2019

Cargo Movers claim second straight title

F2 Logistics retained the Philippine Superliga Invitational Conference title after staving off archrival Petron, 25-22, 25-18, 17-25, 22-25, 15-12, in an epic knock out battle Thursday night at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City. Kalei Mau, Kim Dy and conference Most Valuable Player Majoy Baron took matters into their own hands as the Cargo Movers displayed a well-orchestrated game plan as they stunned erstwhile undefeated Blaze Spikers. Mau, who early in the season-ending conference nursed an Achilles injury, fired 27 kills and had three aces for 30 points and tallied 21 digs for F2 Logistics, who won its second straight title this season after annexing the All-Filipino Conference crown. Baron had 15 points with four coming off kill blocks, Dy got 14 while skipper Aby Marano had five kill blocks in her 10-point outing for the Cargo Movers. “After nu’ng All-Filipino nasa vacation mode pa e. Tapos sabi ko sa kanila mas mahirap maglaro nang hindi tayo kumpleto like nu’ng mga elimination round wala si Kalei so nag-struggle talaga ‘yung team and ito nu’ng bumalik malaking bagay yung pagbalik niya,” said Cargo Movers coach Ramil De Jesus, who steered the club to its fifth title overall. F2 Logistics looked ready to win the fifth set in a lopsided manner, 9-4, before Petron threatened within two, 9-11, in a wild race to the finish with both teams using the Challenge system to contest every crucial point. But the Cargo Movers were able to protect the lead until the finish. Aiza Maizo-Pontillas and Bernadeth Pons paced Petron, who defeated F2 Logistics in the elims in straights sets, with 23 and 18 points, respectively, while Sisi Rondina chipped in with 14 markers. Meanwhile, Cignal settled for the bronze medal following an emphatic 25-22, 25-15, 25-17 win over Foton. Roselyn Doria delivered six attacks, three blocks and two aces while skipper Rachel Anne Daquis and Mylene Paat had 10 and nine points, respectively, for the HD Spikers. Filipino-American setter Alohi Robins-Hardy also shone, finishing with 14 excellent sets with 10 markers built around four kills, three blocks and three aces. None from Foton emerged with double figures with Marian Buitre proving as the lone bright spot in the absence of towering sisters Jaja Santiago and Dindin Manabat, who are still in Japan to compete in the prestigious V. Premier League. Worse, the Tornadoes lost CJ Rosario, who sprained her left knee after an awkward landing early in the third set. Buitre finished with nine points for Foton, which has yet to win the title after back-to-back conquests in the Grand Prix of 2014 and 2015. Baron also bagged the 1st Best Middle Blocker award while Doria got the 2nd Best Middle Blocker recognition. Rondina earned the Best Scorer and 1st Best Outside Spiker, Maizo-Pontillas brought home the Best Opposite Spiker, while Angel Legacion also of Petron was the Best setter. Fotons’ Shaya Adorador won the 2nd Best Outside Spiker while Jen Reyes pocketed the Best Libero plum.  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 17th, 2019

EYES ON YOU, KID: NCAA 95 Jrs. players to watch

The first round of the NCAA 95 Juniors Basketball Tournament is over and done with. And with the second round already underway, we’re getting even more glimpses of the future of Philippine basketball courtesy of these players: MAC GUADANA – Lyceum of the Philippines University ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 18.7 points, 6.6 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 2.1 steals LPU is on the brink of its first playoff appearance in school history – and throughout its quest to do just that, Mac Guadana has been its constant. For a long time, the 6-foot playmaker has stood as the pillar for the Jr. Pirates, but now, he has taken the leap all the way up there as one of the best players in all of high school. The former Batang Gilas guard has been stuffing the stat sheet and is tops in steals, fourth in scoring, and fifth in assists in the league. Without a doubt, he can and he is doing it all in his fifth and final year in maroon and grey. Most importantly, LPU has only followed his lead all the way to a place well inside the playoff picture. Of course, it remains to be seen if the Jr. Pirates can continue their sail to treasure island. What’s certain, though, is that their 18-year-old homegrown star will keep giving his all for them. RHAYYAN AMSALI – San Beda High School ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 16.3 points, 7.2 rebounds, 4.9 assists, 1.7 steals For four years running now, Rhayyan Amsali has been one of the most promising prospects in the Jrs. Now in his last year in high school, he has only brought over all the confidence and capabilities he had honed in National U all the way to San Beda. Now donning red and white, the 6-foot-3 forward has unleashed a more well-rounded game as he is actually the league’s best playmaker while at the same time, its third-best pilferer and fifth-best scorer. And if not for a controversial suspension, he would have also been the frontrunner for MVP as he has been a key cog for the league-leading Red Cubs. Still, what matters most for the now 18-year-old is another championship – and at the end of it all, he may very well be in select company of players who have won two titles in two different high schools in two different leagues. JONNEL POLICARPIO – Mapua High School ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 16.1 points, 10.6 rebound, 2.6 assists, 1.3 blocks The biggest reason Mapua has found itself in the bottom third of the standings is the inconsistency of main man Jonnel Policarpio. From missing the first three games due to personal problems to getting irregular playing time due to mental lapses, the 6-foot-4 energizer has only proven he has got much room for improvement when it comes to intangibles. Still, whenever he’s on the floor, Policarpio has always made his presence felt and that is very much evident with him being the MVP leader even after only playing seven games. However, the league’s top rebounder needs to prove he can stay on the court and lead his team to victory if he wants to have a hold of that top individual trophy and, more importantly, extend his team’s title reign. JUSTINE SANCHEZ – San Beda High School ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 12.5 points, 62.8 percent shooting, 7.5 rebounds Justine Sanchez is turning in a career year in his last year for San Beda. From coming off the bench a year ago to claiming a starting spot for himself, the long-limbed forward is on pace to be hailed as the league’s Most Improved Player. All the proof he needs for that is already there as he is an automatic finisher of set-ups by his teammates, with an astounding 62.8 shooting clip from the field. At the same time, though, he has also shown flashes of shooting and playmaking – showing that even the favorite for Most Improved Player looks like he can still keep growing. JOHN BARBA – Lyceum of the Philippines University ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 20.4 points, 8.4 rebounds, 3.0 assists Mac Guadana does it all, but if and when LPU needs a basket badly, it turns to John Barba. A fearless slasher that boasts of one of the best – if not the best – upper body strengths, the 6-foot-2 swingman can score however he wants once he gets to the paint. That is exactly why he is the league’s second-best scorer. Of course, Barba has to work on his shooting, but as of right now, that hole in his game is only offset by his energy and activity that allow him to haul in offensive rebounds and make good on second chance points. TONY YNOT – San Beda High School ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 10.5 points, 4.7 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.3 steals Tony Ynot missed San Beda’s first five games due to a knee injury, but once he was good to go, he did nothing but make an immediate impact. A defensive specialist who made noise in the preseason with a poster block on Jalen Green, the Filipino-American blue-chip recruit in the US NCAA, he is only proving to be more of a two-way force now in his second season in red and white. The 5-foot-11 wing now has the confidence to let it fly from deep or venture inside the paint for a closer look, but when it all boils down to it, defense is and will always be his calling card. RC CALIMAG – College of St. Benilde-La Salle Greenhills ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 20.7 points, 23-of-60 from three, 5.0 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 1.0 steals RC Calimag has always been in love with the midrange shot in his time in DLSZ and now in his second season in LSGH. The 6-foot-2 forward knocks those down at a respectable rate, but his transition into taking more threes this year has unlocked his entire offensive arsenal. Calimag is the league’s top scorer, with a bulk of his output coming from deep where he has hit 23 in total. Without a doubt, he has always been a deadly scorer, but with his outside shot now a legitimate threat, he has become an elite offensive player. JOSHUA RAMIREZ – Colegio de San Juan de Letran ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 15.1 points, 29-of-90 from three, 5.5 rebounds, 2.4 assists Joshua Ramirez’s game will not blow anybody away at all as he is yet to have a skill that will put him above everybody else. What the 6-foot-3 forward is, however, is an all-around player who will do whatever it takes to help out his team – if Letran needs points, he will be there; if Letran needs playmaking, he will be there; if Letran needs defense, he will be there. No doubt about it, he is the quintessential glue guy that any other team will want to have on their side. EMMAN GALMAN – University of Perpetual Help ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 19.5 points, 7.8 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 1.5 steals One word perfectly encapsulates Emman Galman – gunner. The 6-foot-2 swingman is a volume shooter who has the greenest of green lights to take shots for Perpetual. That’s not a bad thing at all, though, because he actually makes good on many of those and finds himself as the third-best scorer in all of the league. SHAWN UMALI – Colegio de San Juan de Letran ROUND 1 AVERAGES: 9.7 points, 8.5 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 1.4 blocks, 1.1 steals What Joshua Ramirez is from the perimeter, Shawn Umali is inside the paint for Letran. The undersized big man will not wow everybody, but his do-it-all game has been the engine that has kept the Squires running for two years now. And don’t let his 6-foot-4 height and wide frame fool you, he actually has great timing and is the league’s fifth-best shot blocker. HONORABLE MENTIONS Yukien Andrada – San Beda High School Gholam Garcia – Jose Rizal University High School CJ Saure – Colegio de San Juan de Letran Ezdel Galoy – University of Perpetual Help --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 17th, 2019

Ligue 1 2019-20: PSG set to dominate once again

By Samuel Petrequin, Associated Press PARIS (AP) — After winning its sixth French championship in seven years last season, Paris Saint-Germain is expected to continue its dominance in what at times can look like a one-team league. For the Qatari-backed PSG, the minimum requirement remains the same: win the French league. PSG's ultimate goal is also unchanged: win the Champions League after years of repeated failures. With its 500-million euro budget — more than five times that of last season runner-up Lille — huge sponsorship deals and top-class players, PSG simply has no rival in a league lacking strength in depth. On paper, Thomas Tuchel's team looks even stronger than last season, when it was crowned champion with five games to spare despite a late dip of form. Amid persistent rumors that Neymar will leave the club and return to Barcelona, PSG remains a formidable attacking force with the likes of Kylian Mbappe, Edinson Cavani and Angel Di Maria. It also strengthened its backline this summer with the addition of Dortmund defender and France Under-21 international Abdou Diallo, while recruits Idrissa Gueye, Ander Herrera and Pablo Sarabia will provide midfield stability and experience. Sarabia, Herrera and Diallo were included in Tuchel's starting XI last weekend as PSG sealed a seventh consecutive Trophee des Champions — the French equivalent of the Charity Shield — with a 2-1 win over Rennes. PSG took pride in the win, insisting on the importance of the trophy, the 40th since the club's inception back in 1970. But in reality, the only title that really matters in the French capital is the Champions League. Success in Europe's top competition has so far proved elusive for PSG, which has never been beyond the quarterfinals since Qatari backers QSI started funding the club with huge investment eight years ago. In the past three seasons PSG has gone out in the Round of 16, twice wasting strong first-leg leads. The last time it was against Manchester United in March, when PSG became the first team to be eliminated from the competition after winning the away leg 2-0. "We need to carry on in the league, we need to extend our domination," Mbappe said. "We lost two national Cups (last season), we will try to recover them. And there is the Champions League. We have come to a halt in recent years, it's up to us to find a solution and reach a new milestone." More than the offseason recruits, Leonardo's return as sporting director could be the decisive ingredient that was missing in PSG's quest for European glory. Leonardo, who became PSG's sporting director for the first time in July 2011 and held his role until May 2013, has been given full powers by club president Nasser Al-Khelaifi. At a club where star individuals often appear more important than the team itself, Leonardo's return will mark a change of style in the players' management. A disciplinarian, Leonardo has warned Neymar that he would not let him go unless a juicy offer arrived and has reportedly criticized the Brazil star in front of his teammates after he reported late for PSG's pre-season training. "I don't have the key that is going to open the door to the Champions League," Leonardo said in an interview with Le Parisien newspaper. "Who has it? Not me. I just want to be clear about our goal: the club is THE great institution at the heart of the entire project." PSG starts the defense of its title on Sunday at the Parc des Princes against Nimes. Lille hosts Nantes, Marseille plays Reims at home and Lyon travels to Monaco on Friday night in the season's opening game. NO MONEY, BIG GOALS After a calamitous season, Marseille's main goal is to return to the Champions League under new coach Andre Villas-Boas. Three years after American billionaire Frank McCourt pledged to revive the 1993 Champions League winners, Marseille failed in its bid to qualify for Europe's top competition and did not even get a spot in the Europa League. Villas-Boas subsequently replaced Rudi Garcia and, despite very limited funds to spend on new players, has promised to deliver quickly in his bid to restore Marseille's past luster. "I don't want to lose time with excuses," he said. "I'm hoping for a podium finish." Villas-Boas has lured 29-year-old forward Dario Benedetto from Boca Juniors and hopes he will be able to keep Valere Germain, Florian Thauvin, Dimitri Payet and Luis Gustavo at the southern club. "We don't have money, it's a shame but it's a reality," Villas-Boas said. "We have some problems related to Financial Fair Play regulations. Now I'm waiting anxiously for the end of the English transfer market because that could change everything for the other teams." STARS' EXILE Nicolas Pepe and Nabil Fekir have become the latest big names to depart the French league as the talent exodus to foreign clubs continues. After scoring 22 league goals for Lille, Pepe left for Arsenal while World Cup winner Nabil Fekir joined Real Betis from Lyon. Lyon's new coaching setup of sporting director Juninho and coach Sylvinho have yet to find a replacement for Fekir, who left in the wake of other top players including Tanguy Ndombele and Ferland Mendy......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 7th, 2019

PVL: Creamline, eight other teams battle for crown and glory in Open Conference

Star-studded Creamline will face a tough field in its title-retention bid with eight other squads including three newcomers raring to knock the crown off the Cool Smashers’ heads when the Premier Volleyball League Season 3 Open Conference begins on August 11. The season-ending tournament will feature nine teams with the return of Philippine Air Force, which skipped the Reinforced Conference, and the introduction of two new squads in ChocoMucho and Chef’s Classics. The Cool Smashers, who are bannered by three-time conference Most Valuable Player Alyssa Valdez and top setter Jia Morado, are expected to go all-out to protect their throne after relinquishing the Reinforced conference title to PetroGazz weeks back. Creamline will have redemption as its motivation in the tournament that will open earlier than its usual schedule in deference to the country’s hosting of the 30th Southeast Asian Games in November. “Babawi talaga kami,” vowed Valdez. “Going to the second conference, all-Filipino, hindi ko sinasabi na we’re all equal but ang sinasabi ko lahat ng locals magtatrabaho kasi gusto naming manalo,” added the Cool Smashers team captain. “I think that’s the beauty of all-Filipino talaga makikita natin ang talent ng kapwa nating mga Filipino.” But the road won’t be an easy one for the Creamline. Back to complete a season sweep are the Angels led by solid middle Jeanette Panaga and Cherry Nunag with hitters Jonah Sabete, Paneng Mercado and playmaker Djanel Cheng. Fresh from a bronze medal finish in its maiden campaign, veteran-laden PacificTown Army is a considered as one of the top contenders so does BanKo, which will parade power-hitters Nicole Tiamzon and Dzi Gervacio. With a healthy Myla Pablo back to lead a young and dynamic Motolite side, the Air Padda-mentored squad could finally break out from its shell to surprise the lead just like BaliPure, which is looking to improve from its last place finish in the season-opening tournament.    Back in the fold are the Jet Spikers, bringing their veterans back after a one-conference hiatus. ChocoMucho, Creamline’s sister team, will try to live up to its pre-conference hype as Flyin Titans march into battle with former Ateneo de Manila University stars Kat Tolentino, Bea de Leon and Maddie Madayag leading the way while another expansion team Chef’s Classics is out to make its mark in the league. Meanwhile, the league will also hold the Collegiate Conference with more than 10 teams expressing their intentions to participate.    --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 31st, 2019

TERRIFIC 12: San Miguel Beer takes on champion Golden Kings in Macau

Asia League has rebranded to the East Asia Super League (EASL) but it’s still set to hold its crowd favorite tournament coming in the next couple of months. The Terrific 12 will return to Macau on September 17-22 and this time, there’s finally a strong Filipino presence for the week-long joust at the Tap Seac Multi-sports Pavilion. The PBA will send two flagship teams in the San Miguel Beermen and TNT KaTropa. The Blackwater Elite will also make an East Asia Super League return after competing in the Super 8 last year. After dominating the PBA for the second half of this decade, capturing a fifth straight Philippine Cup title early this year, the Beermen are trying to conquer new territory. However, San Miguel should be in for a tough challenge as the Beermen are in Group B in Macau. Also in Group B is Japan’s Ryukyu Golden Kings, the team that swept the tournament last year to win the Terrific 12 title. Full lineups are yet to be released but the Golden Kings brought a pretty imposing team to Macau last year. It wouldn’t be too surprising for Ryukyu to return strong and defend its Terrific 12 title. June Mar Fajardo and the rest of that star-studded San Miguel frontline will surely be challenged. In the last B.League season, the Golden Kings won 40 regular season games and made the semifinals, losing to eventual back-to-back champion Alvark Tokyo. Finally, Ryukyu coach Norio Sassa has been salivating at the chance to go up against PBA teams since last year. His Golden Kings draw the Philippines’ top team in group play this year. [Related: TERRIFIC 12: Ryukyu's champion coach eager to face PBA teams] Also in Group B to challenge the Beermen are the Shenzen Aviators from China. Shenzen won 33 regular season games in the CBA and was a top-4 seed entering the playoffs. They likewise lost to eventual champion Guangdong in the semifinals. The Beermen the Terrific 12 against Shenzen on Tuesday, September 17, followed by a mega showdown against Ryukyu two days later. The Terrific 12 is a FIBA-recognized basketball tournament and features three clubs from the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA), four from the B.LEAGUE (Japan), two from the Korean Basketball League (KBL) and three from the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA). A Group Stage, Semi-Finals and Finals will play out 16 epic games in total to crown this year’s champion.  In the Group Stage, clubs will be divided into four groups of three, with each team playing two games. The top team from each group will advance to compete in the Semi-Finals following a rest day on September 20. The champion will be awarded USD 150,000, the runner- up will be awarded USD 100,000 and third place will be awarded USD 50,000.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 23rd, 2019

VetHealth-Delhi edges Phenom Basilan, bags Chooks 3X3 2nd leg title

CEBU CITY, Philippines — The VetHealth-Delhi 3BL emerged victorious in the second leg of the 2019 Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3 Patriot’s Cup after they edged the Phenom-Basilan, 21-20, in the finals on Sunday, June 23, 2019, at the SM Fairview. Ranked 14th in the world, the team from Delhi nabbed the win and the crown, thanks […] The post VetHealth-Delhi edges Phenom Basilan, bags Chooks 3X3 2nd leg title appeared first on Cebu Daily News......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJun 23rd, 2019

To get me prepared for the SEA Games -- Mau on her transfer

Filipino-American power-hitter Kalei Mau found a new home in F2 Logistics. The 6-foot-2 open spiker chose to join the Cargo Movers not only to help F2 Logistics reclaim the 2019 Philippine Superliga All-Filipino Conference crown but also to improve her game in time for the 30th Southeast Asian Games under the system of Ramil de Jesus.      “The reason why I chose F2 was mainly I thought about what team will benefit me as a player,” said Mau on Thursday in Day 2 of the national women’s volleyball team practice at the Arellano University Gym in Taft.   Mau transferred to the Cargo Movers after her former team United VC disbanded just days before the 2019 PSL AFC. F2 Logistics last won the AFC title back in 2016.  [Related story: Cargo Movers sign Kalei Mau] The hitter said that playing under De Jesus will benefit her for her first-ever stint for the tri-colors. “For a long time in UVC we didn’t really have a system that I was used to in playing overseas and playing back home in the States,” she said. “What I wanted to do is to try and find something close to my training level back in the States back to when I was playing in college just to really get me prepared for the SEA Games.” Playing for the F2 Logistics, Mau will be playing alongside national team teammates Aby Marano, libero Dawn Macandili and middle blocker Majoy Baron.   “I asked a lot of people what’s the best environment to put myself in if that’s my end goal. So I chose F2 not only because they have a good coach but also they have most of my teammates here in the national team,” said Mau. “The girls in the gym, they’re really holding me accountable.” The Hawaiian started to train with the Cargo Movers Thursday morning.     “The only thing that I would say is I would really want to spend a little more time connecting with my setters there, just because I know that a lot of Filipina setters they’re smaller,” said Mau. “A lot of the hitters here are also smaller. It might be a little hard to try to adjust but it’s not impossible.” Mau will need to adjust and make a connection with F2 Logistics setters Kim Fajardo, a former member of the national squad,  and Alex Cabanos. “What I like is high and faster sets to the pin. Something that a connection that me and Alohi (Robins-Hardy) like it was natural to,” said Mau. “But definitely, I’m excited to play with the setters that we have in our gym and see where it’s gonna take us.”   ---     Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 13th, 2019