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ONE: Danny Kingad happy to play gatekeeper if Geje Eustaquio wins ONE title

Macau, China - ONE: PINNACLE OF POWER in Macau, China on June 23 is one of the deepest cards from top to bottom offered by ONE Championship for its 24-event calendar this 2018. From the preliminary portion to the main card of ONE: PINNACLE OF POWER, there are plenty of bouts with championship and ranking implications, including the three-round flyweight encounter between former title contender Danny Kingad and Chinese prospect Ma Hao Bin. The winner of the aforementioned 61.2-kilogram tussle could earn a shot at the ONE Flyweight World Championship, which will be on the line in the main event of ONE: PINNACLE OF POWER as Adriano Moraes is slated to duke it out with Geje Eustaquio in a much-awaited rematch and title unification contest. Kingad is now trying to build some momentum towards a second crack at the ONE Flyweight World Championship, while Ma has aced six of his assignments since joining the promotion in 2016. However, the 22-year-old Baguio City native finds himself in a peculiar position if he and his teammate Eustaquio will walk out of the Studio City Event Center with respective victories. Kingad knows that he has to be relegated to a gatekeeping role if Eustaquio will be successful in unifying both titles against Moraes at ONE: PINNACLE OF POWER. “I will be super happy for coach Geje if he wins the match in Macau. It’s an honor to be competing alongside him on June 23. I’ve learned a lot of things from him. For this training camp, I’ve spent more time with him. I want him to win the title,” he said. Although he could be knocking on the door for a world title shot again with a decisive win over Ma, Kingad stressed that he will gladly play gatekeeper to Eustaquio. “I don’t mind filling that role if ever he wins against Adriano Moraes. He is my senior, and we are teammates. He is like a brother to me,” he stated. “I am still young. I believe that my time will come.” Kingad is not fond of the idea of squaring off with Eustaquio for the flyweight crown, pointing out that he would not trade his treasured friendship with his Team Lakay comrade for a shot at the world title. “That's not going to happen. We always go at it in practice anyway. I'm happy that I get to spar with him all the time because he pushes me to the limit. We push each other, and we push each other to the next level,” he shared. “I will support coach Geje all the way. For now, I'll just keep getting better as a competitor. I'll wait for my time,” Kingad added. Following an unsuccessful challenge for the ONE Flyweight World Championship this past November against Moraes, which ended in his first professional defeat, Kingad rebounded with an impressive triumph over a battle-tested veteran in Sotir Kichukov four months later. Kingad seeks to sustain his winning groove in ONE Championship as he is set to take on Ma, a Chinese national freestyle wrestling champion with a mixed martial arts record of 11-2. Diligently preparing under the tutelage of head coach Mark Sangiao at Team Lakay in Baguio City, Kingad is fully aware of his opponent’s capabilities. “Training is, as usual, very tough. We are drilling very hard each and every day. I am still working on all areas, be it my striking or my grappling,” he mentioned. “Knowing my opponent is a good wrestler, however, I am particularly working on my takedown defense for this match. I want to keep this fight standing, so I have worked very hard on my takedown defense,” Kingad explained further. Despite the threat that Ma poses in the grappling department, Kingad assured that he is comfortable wherever the bout goes on June 23. “I want to test his stand-up game. I believe I am stronger, faster, and more explosive than he is,” he disclosed. “I am definitely going for a knockout in this match. However, if he does take me to the ground, I will be ready for anything.” Kingad believes that his in-ring meeting with Ma at ONE: PINNACLE OF POWER is a must-win clash as he embarks on a hazy road towards the organization’s flyweight championship. “I must win this bout because honestly, I don’t know what the future holds. What if we don’t get the result that we want for coach Geje? I am ready to step up. I cannot wait to get right back in there and make another run at the title. I know things will be very different next time,” he ended......»»

Category: sportsSource: abscbn abscbnJun 18th, 2018

ONE Championship: Danny Kingad motivated by friend Joshua Pacio s title win

In August of 2017, Team Lakay strawweight star Joshua Pacio hit a bump on his road back to title challenger status.  Pacio was fresh off a fantastic unanimous decision win over former champion Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke, and looked to continue his momentum by taking out then-newcomer Hayato Suzuki in Macau.  The larger Suzuki instead overpowered Pacio en route to a submission win in the first round.  It was a tough pill to swallow for Pacio, who suddenly saw his hopes of fighting for a world championship once more get derailed.  Consoling him every step of the way was his Team Lakay brother and training partner Danny Kingad, who wasn't booked to fight on the card, but was there to help his buddy out.  It was a testament of just how close these two young guns from Baguio were.  Fast-forward over a year later, Pacio had finally earned another shot at the ONE Strawweight World Championship, and he was able to capture it by beating Yoshitaka Naito in the main event of ONE Championship: Conquest of Heroes in Jakarta, Indonesia.  Just as he was there in the tough times, Kingad was also there in what is the pinnacle of Pacio's career so far. Kingad was also victorious earlier that night, defeating Japanese newcomer Yuya Wakamatsu via unanimous decision.  But as happy as he was with his own victory, it seemed like he was even happier for his training partner's title win.  "Yun yung hinihintay ko," Kingad said with a smile. "Kasi bago kami nung nag-debut, yung gusto naming dalawa yung kami lang dalawa, kaya ayun, natupad din, talagang binigay ni God yung panalo." Considered by many as the futures of Philippine MMA, Pacio and Kingad, both 22 years old, made their ONE Championship debuts back on the same card in 2016. Since then, the two have put their respective divisions on notice.  Kingad has also challenged for a world championship once before, but then-champion Adriano Moraes made quick work of the young Team Lakay star.  Now, with his training partner ruling over the strawweight division, Kingad says he's more motivated than ever to get back to title contender status.  "Very happy ako kay Joshua, kasi yung pagka-bata niya pa, nakuha na niya yung belt." Kingad shared. "Parang na-motivate ko na mag-training ng mag-training."  Kingad is currently riding a three-fight winning streak of his own, and says he's targeting a matchup against former flyweight title holder Kairat Akhmetov, who was also victorious in Jakarta against China's Ma Hao Bin.  A win over Akhmetov certainly puts him back into contender status.  Ruling over the flyweight division, however, is another one of Kingad's teammates in Geje Eustaquio.  Kingad has already made it clear that out of respect, he won't be fighting his senior. "Syempre, di ako papayag na kalabanin ko siya. Senior ko siya eh," Kingad said. "Bago pa man ako pumasok sa ONE, andun na siya na tinuturuan ako. Parang malaking respeto ko na lang sa kanya 'yun, kasi pag wala siya, di ako makaka-aral ng techniques sa kanya." .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 24th, 2018

ONE Championship: Joshua Pacio looks to finally bring home world title

Team Lakay young gun Joshua "The Passion" Pacio will try to bring home a world title for the second time in his young career as he meets Yoshitaka "Nobita" Naito in a highly-anticipated rematch for the ONE Strawweight World Championship at ONE: Conquest of Heroes on Saturday, September 22nd at the Jakarta Convention Center in Jakarta, Indonesia.  The 22-year old Benguet native looks to finally get over the hump as he tries to avenge his loss to the Japanese champion.  In their first meeting in 2016, Pacio showed that he belonged in the cage with the best strawweights that ONE had to offer, pushing Naito to the limit before comitting a costly mistake in the third round that gave the defending champion the opening he needed to secure the submission victory and retain the crown.  Since then, Pacio has won four of his last five bouts, including his current three-fight winning streak and a hard-fought decision win against former titleholder and Muay Thai legend Dejdamrong Sor Amuaysirichoke. Naito on the other hand, lost the title in his second defense against Brazilian Alex Silva, only to win it back just six months later.  A win for Pacio will make him the third current ONE titleholder from Team Lakay, joining reigning ONE Interim Bantamweight World Champion Kevin Belingon and reigning ONE Flyweight World Champion Geje Eustaquio.  A win for Naito solidifies his place as the king of ONE Championship's flyweight division.  Also on the card, Pacio's training partner and flyweight contender Danny "The King" Kingad welcomes Japanese newcomer Yuya "Little Piranha" Wakamatsu to the ONE Championship stage.  Another rising star from the famed Team Lakay camp in La Trinidad, Benguet, 22-year old Kingad comes into Jakarta with his sights set on a third consecutive win after dispatching Ma Hao Bin and Sotir Kichukov. He looks to establish himself as a force to be reckoned with in the flyweight ranks.  Making his promotional debut, the 23-year old Wakamatsu with a 10-2 professional record and a remarkable nine wins coming via KO. The Pancrase veteran will look to make an immediate impact and add Kingad to that list of knockout victims.  In a must-watch prelminary bout, unbeaten Filipina atomweight star Jomary "The Zamboanganian Fighter" Torres will look to keep her record spotless as she meets hometown bet Priscilla Hertati Lumban Gaol.  Torres shocked the world in her ONE debut in 2017, blasting Thai star Rika Ishiga en route to a submission victory. Torres hasn't slowed down since, decisioning Nita Dea and then knocking out Team Lakay bet April Osenio in her most recent outing.  Eager to bounce back from her most recent setback, Jakarta's own Gaol will try to derail the Jomary Torres train in front of her home country.    COMPLETE ONE: CONQUEST OF HEROES   Main Event ONE Strawweight World Championship Yoshitaka Naito vs Joshua Pacio Mixed Martial Arts: 56.7kg   Stefer Rahardian vs Peng Xue Wen Mixed Martial Arts: 56.7kg   Sergio Wielzen vs Rodtang Jitmuangnon ONE Super Series Muay Thai: 61.2kg   Yuya Wakamatsu vs Danny Kingad Mixed Martial Arts: 61.2kg   Koyomi Matsushima vs Marat Gafurov Mixed Martial Arts: 70.3kg   Saygid Guseyn Arslanaliev vs Timofey Nastyukhin Mixed Martial Arts: 77.1kg   Kairat Akhmetov vs Ma Hao Bin Mixed Martial Arts: 61.2kg   Priscilla Hertati Lumban Gaol vs Jomary Torres Mixed Martial Arts: 52.2kg   Fabrice Fairtex Delannon vs Yodpanomrung Jitmuangnon ONE Super Series Muay Thai: 65.8kg   Victorio Senduk vs Sunoto Mixed Martial Arts: 65.8kg   Adrian Mattheis vs Angelo Bimaodji Mixed Martial Arts: 56.7kg   Riski Umar vs Egi Rozten Mixed Martial Arts: 59.0kg (Catch Weight)       Catch ONE Championship: Conquest of Heroes on Saturday, September 22nd at 10:30 PM LIVE on ABS-CBN S+A channel 23!.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 21st, 2018

Riding high again, Team Lakay lauded by ONE chairman as best team in Asia

At the end of 2017, Benguet-based MMA stable Team Lakay found themselves on a bit of a downslide. After riding high for the latter part of 2016 and most of 2017, the team absorbed a number of bitter losses, including the KO loss that cost Eduard Folayang his ONE Championship Lightweight world title. Now, a little over seven months into 2018, Team Lakay is once again reaching new heights. 2018 saw flyweight star Geje Eustaquio become the interim flyweight world champion in January, and then unify the titles against Adriano Moraes in June. Friday at ONE: Reign of Kings in Manila, Team Lakay gained another world champion in bantamweight knockout artist Kevin Belingon, who defeated two-division world champion Martin Nguyen to become the interim ONE Championship Bantamweight World Champion. Team Lakay is also home to reigning BRAVE FC Bantamweight World Champion Stephen Loman. Already with three current world champions in their stable, it’s highly likely that there’s more to come. Former champions Folayang and Honorio Banario are currently tearing it up in the lightweight division, and both of them are very much in the title picture. Strawweight standout and former title contender Joshua Pacio is on a solid streak of his own, with three straight wins via stoppage. The 22-year old could be getting another crack at the championship again soon. While names like Edward Kelly, Danny Kingad, Gina Iniong, and April Osenio are also all part of the top-tier of their respective divisions. It’s shaping up to be yet another banner year for Team Lakay, and head coach Mark Sangiao saw it coming. After all, bouncing back isn’t anything new for the Philippines’ most prestigious MMA team. “Mayroon yung mga time, nasabi ko nung huli, nung unang mga ONE, matatalo kami ng 0-5, pero pinilit namin.” Coach Mark said during the post-fight press conference, Friday evening. “Tinignan namin talaga yung mga kulang, yung mga weak side nila, tapos na-improve hanggang sa bumawi kami, same with sa 2016.” 2016 saw Team Lakay go on a 16-fight winning streak, and then in November of that year, Folayang captured the ONE lightweight crown after dethroning long-time champion Shinya Aoki. “Tapos pumunta sa 2017, medyo may mga nag-pabaya.” Sangiao bared. “Nasabi ko nung huli na babalik yung team na mas-malakas pa.” True enough, Team Lakay has managed to bounce back and has gained even more prestige in the last couple of months. In fact, ONE Championship founder and chairman Chatri Sityodtong has even gone so far as to say that he believes Team Lakay is the best team there is in Asia. “ I have massive respect for all fight teams, but I believe there is no question that Team Lakay is now the #1 fight team in Asia today.” Sityodtong said in a Facebook post. “Despite a very modest budget and limited resources, Mark Sangiao has produced one of the best fight teams in the world. Every fighter on Team Lakay is a genuine monster with outstanding skills, unlimited cardio, and extraordinary gameness.” High praise from the head honcho himself, and the owner of Evolve MMA in Singapore, another one of Asia's most talent-laden MMA stables. With all the success that the team is enjoying now, it’s up to them to keep the momentum going. They've been low, and now they're on a high. There's no doubt that they possess the talent, the skills, and the heart to go even higher......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 30th, 2018

Top sports headliners in the year that was

From the FIFA World Cup to the NBA, the PBA to the UAAP and NCAA, the Asian Games to Manny Pacquiao, volleyball to MMA, the past 12 months truly was a great year for Filipino sports fans.   Here are some of the most memorable sports headliners that bannered the year that was.    San Miguel Corporation dominates PBA San Miguel Corporation owned 2018. For the first time in the history of the Asia’s first professional basketball league one company dominated all three conferences of the PBA. The San Miguel Beermen annexed their fourth straight Philippine Cup title against sister team Magnolia last May, while Ginebra rode on undersized do-it-all forward Justin Brownlee to the Commissioner's Cup title at the expense of San Miguel last August. Then it was Magnolia's time to shine in December. The Hotshots dismantled Alaska in six games to complete SMC’s domination of PBA 2018. Outside of basketball, SMC also made its presence felt in volleyball as Petron bagged the Grand Prix, Challenge Cup (beach volleyball) and the All-Filipino Conference in the Philippine Superliga.   Kai Sotto stands tall as Ateneo takes title vs NU Kai Sotto became a household name in 2018 as the 7'1" wunderkind showed off in the UAAP Season 80 juniors' basketball tournament. The eventual Finals MVP was a beast in Game 1 of the Finals against the NU Bullpups, tallying a triple-double of 22 points, 16 rebounds, and 11 blocks in the 86-70 win, the first of its kind since 2003. Ateneo finished the season almost unscathed at 16-1, with their lone loss in Game 2 of the series, a very chippy one to say the least. In Game 3, Sotto came up clutch, scoring the go-ahead basket, 60-58, with about 30 seconds left as Ateneo came away with the 63-58 win to take the title.  SJ Belangel, Joaqui Manuel, Dave Ildefonso and Jason Credo, and coach Joe Silva all appeared in their last games for the Blue Eaglets.   DLSU completes three-peat; NU dethrones Ateneo  The UAAP Season 80 volleyball tournament was filled with lasting memories that will surely be remembered for a long time. Numerous upsets in the eliminations, great games, and much more were the name of the game for the women's tournament. However, a long-time rivalry was rekindled when two-time defending champs De La Salle Lady Spikers met 29-time title holders FEU Lady Tamaraws for all the marbles last May. Kim Kianna Dy, Majoy Baron, and Dawn Macandili all ended their careers on a high note as they swept graduating Bernadeth Pons and the Lady Tamaraws in two straight games to win their third straight title. Graduating libero Macandili was named Finals MVP for the first and final time in her collegiate career.  Behind their magnificent floor defense and some stellar play from Finals MVP Bryan Bagunas, the NU Bulldogs also swept three-time defending champions Ateneo Blue Eagles to reclaim a title they last enjoyed in Season 76. Espejo, a five-time UAAP MVP, had an awesome performance for the world's record books, scoring a record-55 points to force the FEU Tamaraws to a do-or-die Final Four. The Blue Eagle legend had played his last, and has since suited up for a semi-pro team in Japan's topflight volleyball league.   Alab fends off Mono Vampire to claim ABL title San Miguel-backed Alab Pilipinas were such a glorious sight to see in the eighth season of the Asean Basketball League (ABL) last March. Coached by perennial fan favorite Jimmy Alapag in his very first season, the trio of Renaldo Balkman, Justin Brownlee, and Local and Finals MVP Bobby Ray Parks to their first title in home soil. Alab faced Thailand-based Mono Vampire, who were led by Mike Singletary, towering Sam Deguara, Fil-Am Jason Brickman and Pinoy Paul Zamar. In the very same day as the coronation of the UAAP volleyball championships, Alab took home the crown in a rousing 102-92 victory in Sta. Rosa, much to the delight of the home crowd. Balkman, the league's Defensive Player of the Year led Alab in scoring with 32, while Brownlee added 24 of his own. Parks added 13 markers. The two imports played in the PBA for the Commissioner's Cup, where Balkman (San Miguel) and Brownlee (Ginebra) would face each other in the Finals.   (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio) Warriors send LeBron packing to Los Angeles The Golden St. Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers locked horns in the NBA Finals for the fourth straight season after the two teams were pushed to the brink in the Conference Finals. Both teams were down 3-2 and won Game 7 on the road to win their respective conferences, with both teams banking on experience to forge another bout in the championship series. Game 1 was undoubtedly the most exciting game in the series as LeBron James had an epic performance of 51 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists.  However, JR Smith's blunder at the end of regulation became the lasting image of that game, as he dribbled out the clock with the score tied at 107-all. The defending champions rode the surge and took the opening game, 124-114. Stephen Curry's brillant performance throughout the series was overshadowed by Kevin Durant's dagger in Game 3, a few feet away from the spot where he launched the go-ahead three in Game 3 of the 2017 NBA Finals. Durant was named as the Bill Russell Finals MVP after norming 28.8 ppg, 10.8 rpg, and 7.5 apg in the four-game sweep, demolishing the Cavs 108-85 in the series finale last June. It would also be the last game LeBron James had in a Cleveland Cavaliers uniform, as he bolted for the Los Angeles Lakers almost a month later.   (AP Photo/Martin Meissner) France rules 2018 FIFA World Cup The most-coveted title of the beautiful game returned to France after two decades. The youthful French squad celebrated their conquest soaked in a downpour in Moscow after a 4-2 victory over first-time finalist Croatia in the 2018 FIFA World Cup last July. Teenager Kylian Mbappe stood out in the French team composed of a bunch of 25 and under players. Speed, strength and youth became France’s biggest asset during the quadrennial football spectacle watched by almost 3.5 billion viewers around the world.  The 19-year-old migrant scored one of the four goals in the championship match to become the second teen to score a goal in the Finals after the legendary Pele back in 1958. France defeated Belgium in the semifinal, 1-0, while Croatia outlasted the favored Russians in penalty shootout, 4-3 (2-2). The French team also displayed diversity, with players born of migrant parents including Alphonse Areola, whose parents are both Filipinos working in France.   Pac on top, The Filipino Flash returns The most-celebrated Filipino athlete continued make the headlines this year. Manny Pacquaio stripped Lucas Matthysse of his WBA welterweight world championship belt with a seventh round technical knockout win in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in July. Pacquiao split with long-time trainer Freddie Roach during his build up for the Matthysse bout back in April but confirmed their partnership once again for the 40-year old boxer’s title defense against Adrien Broner next year. Nonito Donaire Jr. announced that he would be going back down to super bantamweight after a loss to Carl Frampton in April for the interim WBO Featherweight belt and would be taking part in the World Boxing Super Series' super bantamweight tournament.  Matched up in the quarterfinal round against Ryan Burnett back in November, Donaire scored what many consider an upset, winning via TKO after the Irishman suffered a back injury to snatch the WBA (Super) Bantamweight World Championship.  Up next for Donaire will be WBO Super Bantamweight World Champion Zolani Tete of South Africa in the semifinals.           Pinay power in the Asian Games   The Philippines participated in the 18th Asian Games held in Jakarta and Palembang, Indonesia that ran from August 18 to September 2. A total of 272 athletes that participated in 31 sports represented the country in the quadrennial meet with Jordan Clarkson of the Cleveland Cavaliers and medalist Margielyn Didal marching as flagbearers in the opening and closing ceremonies, respectively. Rio Olympian Hidilyn Diaz gave the PHI its first gold medal in women’s -53 kg. weightlifting. Five days after Diaz’s victory, the trio of Yuka Saso, Bianca Pagdanganan and Lois Kaye Go accounted for the women’s golf team mint. Saso also bagged the individual gold. In Palembang, Didal rolled her way into winning the women’s street skateboard gold. The celebrated men’s basketball team started out strong after routing Kazakhstan but lost by two-points to China in the group stage. The Gilas Pilipinas squad advanced in the quarterfinals but bowed down to South Korea by nine points eventually settling for a fifth spot in the classification phase after wins over Japan and Syria. The PHI finished with a 4-2-15 gold-silver-bronze haul and landed at 19th spot, three places higher that its 2014 finish in Incheon, South Korea.      Red Lions roar, Blue Eagles soar San Beda University continued its mastery over the NCAA as it annexed its third straight title and 22nd overall. The Red Lions grabbed its 11th crown in 13 years at the expense of Lyceum of the Philippines University. It was one-sided championship series – just like in their Finals meeting last year – with the San Beda ripping the Pirates apart in Game One with LPU playing sans its best player in CJ Perez, who was banned for one game after failing to notify the league of his intention to join the PBA Draft. Perez returned in Game 2 but even his presence didn’t stop the Red Lions from painting the NCAA red once again. In probably one of the most memorable UAAP season in recent years, Ateneo de Manila University won its second straight crown. Ivorian tower and Rookie of the Year 6-foot-11 Ange Kouame made an immediate impact for the Blue Eagles complementing the already stacked Ateneo squad led by Finals MVP Thirdy Ravena. But the glory of Ateneo was overshadowed by the Cinderalla story of the team it vanquished in the Finals. Climbing up from the cellar in the past years, University of the Philippines made history by making it in the Finals for the first time since winning it all in 1986. But before their championship stint, the Fighting Maroons ended a two-decade Final Four drought. UP then shocked twice-to-beat Adamson University with both games decided by game-winners. Ateneo came in the series as the title favorites but overwhelming support from a very hungry UP community and underdogs fans backed the Fighting Maroons. But in the end, it was the Blue Eagles championship experience that prevailed.       Pinoys make wave in MMA Fighters under Team Lakay flexed their muscles in One Championship. Flyweight star Geje Eustaquio opened the year with an interim championship win over former champion Kairat Akhmetov in Manila back in January. Eustaquio then defeated two-time champion Adriano Moraes in Macau last July to become the undisputed ONE Flyweight World Champion.  Joshua Pacio earned the ONE Strawweight World Championship last September after a unanimous decision win over two-time champion Japanese Yoshitaka Naito. Kevin Belingon dropped former world title challenger Andrew Leone with a now-famous spinning back kick in April. He followed it up with a dominating win over then-two division world champion Martin Nguyen to capture the ONE Interim Bantamweight World Champion. Belingon ended the five-year reign and seven-year winning streak of of long-time bantamweight king Brazilian Bibiano Fernandes in November via split decision.  Eduard Folayang outclassed Singaporean contender Amir Khan at ONE: Conquest of Champions in Manila in early December to bag the ONE Lightweight World Championship for the second time in his storied career.  BRAVE Combat Federation Bantamweight World Champion Stephen Loman successfully defended his title twice in 2018.  Reigning ONE Heavyweight World Champion Brandon Vera needed only 64 seconds to knockout hard-hitting Italian challenger Mauro Cerilli in Manila early December to remain the king of the ONE Championship heavyweight kingdom.    Petron, Creamline rule respective club leagues Creamline claimed its breakthrough championship in the Premier Volleyball League by sweeping PayMaya in the Reinforced Conference Finals series last July. Alyssa Valdez finally ended a two-year title drought with the Cool Smashers' victory. Creamline opposite hitter Michele Gumabao was named Miss Globe-Philippines during the Binibining Pilipinas 2018 last March. Gumabao represented the country in the 2018 Miss Globe in Albania last October and won the Miss Social Media and Dream Girl awards while landing a spot in the Top 15.     The Cool Smashers completed a sweep of the PVL’s Season 2 after claiming the Open Conference crown at the expense of Ateneo-Motolite via an emphatic series sweep this month. In the Philippine Superliga, Petron reigned supreme in the Grand Prix after taking down archrival F2 Logistics last May. Petron extended its supremacy in the sands after the tandem of Sisi Rondina and Bernadethn Pons defeated Dhannylaine Demontano and Jackielyn Estoquia of Sta. Lucia in the Challenge Cup final last May. The Cargo Movers got its revenge in the Invitational Cup, toppling the Blaze Spikers in a series sweep last July. Petron wrapped the year with the All-Filipino Conference in its pocket. The Blaze Spikers won its first 14 games before dropping Game 2 of the Finals. Petron swept F2 Logistics in Game 3......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 30th, 2018

LOOK: Team Lakay gives back to the victims of Typhoon Ompong in Benguet

La Trinidad, Benguet-based MMA stable Team Lakay joined in on the relief efforts as they helped give back to the victims of Typhooon Ompong. The Cordilleras were one of the hardest hit by Ompong, which made landfall in September, which left around 78 people dead and even more affected, especially in the municipality of Itogon.  Team Lakay stars including former ONE Lightweight World Champion Eduard Folayang, reigning ONE Flyweight World Champion Geje Eustaquio, reigning ONE Strawweight World Champion Joshua Pacio, reigning ONE Interim Bantamweight World Champion Kevin Belingon, Danny Kingad, and head coach Mark Sangiao were all in attendance, as the team dropped off relief goods at the Philippine Red Cross.  Pacio and Kingad, who both had fights a week after the destructive typhoon, dedicated their victories to their brothers and sisters in the Cordilleras who are still in need of assistance.  (READ: Team Lakay boys dedicate wins to victims of Typhoon Ompong).....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 3rd, 2018

ONE: Joshua Pacio amazed Renzo Gracie with his Baguio Jiu-Jitsu

Friday night's ONE Championship: Reign of Kings card saw the Philippines pulling off a complete four-for-four sweep, capped off by Kevin Belingon's dominant five-round decision win over Martin Nguyen to capture the Interim ONE Bantamweight World Championship.  Arguably most spectacular win however, came from 22-year old Team Lakay strawweight star Joshua 'The Passion' Pacio, who steamrolled through undefeated Thai striker Pongsiri Mitsatit.  Pacio needed just needed three-and-a-half minutes to mount, brutalize, and submit Misatit with a modified armlock, which he playfully christened 'The Passion Lock." "My gameplan is really to get the Rear Naked Choke," Pacio said during the post-fight press conference. "That submission that I did a while ago, I tried it once in training, and tonight I’m so happy that I showcased it on the international stage." After punishing Mitsatit from the mount, Pacio took the Thai's back, and as he said, tried to go for the choke, but ended up grabbing hold of Misati's arm and torquing it back applying pressure on the shoulders and forcing the tapout.  It was a pretty slick submission on the fly for the kid from Baguio City, who's steadily shown improvement in his ground game, and it's all thanks to a special discipline of martial arts.  "It came from that BJJ - Baguio Jiu-Jitsu." Pacio said, with a laugh.  And while it initially started out as a play on words with Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Team Lakay's Baguio Jiu-Jitsu is now becoming a massive part of their game, and it has won the team a number of fights, and world titles.  From Eduard Folayang's submission defense against Shinya Aoki, to Geje Eustaquio's well-rounded approach against Adriano Moraes, and Pacio's seven wins via submission, the Baguio-based warriors have taken what was once their supposed weakness and turned into a pivotal part of their game.  “Please don’t underestimate our BJJ, or what we call Baguio Jiu-Jitsu,” Eustaquio warns. “In more time, we will submit you guys.” Eustaquio said after his world championship win over Moraes in Macau last June.  While striking will always be Team Lakay's bread and butter, as they've shown in their performances as of late, their ground game can hang with the best of the best in ONE Championship.  That improvement was the result of years of coming up short and getting criticized for it.  "Of course, we learned from our past. Yung mga criticism na kinain namin noon, hindi namin tinake as a negative, but we take it as a positive thing, and we worked our ass hard." said former ONE Lightweight World Champion Folayang. "Siyempre kaya may Baguio Jiu-Jitsu ngayon, kasi that’s how we do it. We keep on learning from other people that will help us improve the things that we know we are weak on." Making it even more memorable for Pacio, was the fact that one of the legends of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu was there to see him pull that crazy submission off.  According to Pacio, sixth-degree Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt and grappling royalty Renzo Gracie, who was scheduled to fight later on in the card, gave the young Pinoy some props after the win.  "Ayun nga, sa dugout kanina, na-amaze siya. Nagpa-picture siya sa akin," Pacio said jokingly, drawing laughs from the media. "Baliktad, nagpa-picture ako sa kanya, tapos tinuro niya din yung depensa nun." Quite the moment for the kid they call "The Passion. "Syempre napaka-laki, kasi once-in-a-lifetime lang yun.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 28th, 2018

ONE: Kevin Belingon targeting history against Martin Nguyen as well

If making history as the first three-division world champion in mixed martial arts is what Martin Nguyen is after in his highly-anticipated encounter against Kevin Belingon, the Filipino spitfire could likewise establish a new record for the Philippines in ONE Championship should he win over his Vietnamese-Australian foe. Both men are slated to face each other in the main event of ONE: REIGN OF KINGS, which takes place at the 20,000-seater SM Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines on July 27. ONE Championship has raised the stakes of the scheduled five-round clash between Belingon and Nguyen as the ONE Interim Bantamweight World Championship will be up for grabs. If Belingon succeeds in securing the gold-plated strap at the expense of Nguyen, the Philippines will set a record of most championship wins in the seven-year history of the promotion. “The main goal for Filipino martial arts athletes like me is to bring pride, honor and glory to our country. This match against Marin Nguyen on July 27 is another opportunity to hoist the Philippine flag aloft on the world stage of this beautiful sport,” he said. To date, there have been four Filipino world champions under the ONE Championship banner since 2013. Honorio Banario became the first Philippine-rooted competitor to notch a huge prize in ONE Championship when he defeated compatriot Eric Kelly by fourth-round stoppage for the inaugural ONE Featherweight World Championship in February 2013. It was followed by Brandon Vera, who crowned himself as the first ONE Heavyweight World Champion by knocking out Paul Cheng in 26 seconds with a high kick in December 2015. Meanwhile, Eduard Folayang pulled off a major upset victory over Japanese legend Shinya Aoki in November 2016 to capture the ONE Lightweight World Championship. Geje Eustaquio joined the list of Filipino world titleholders this past January, claiming the ONE Interim Flyweight World Championship with a split decision win over Kairat Akhmetov in a rematch before becoming the undisputed division kingpin in his second meeting with Adriano Moraes last June. With the ONE Interim Bantamweight World Title on the line, having his hand raised would symbolize so much to Belingon. Ever since losing to Bibiano Fernandes for the bantamweight crown in January 2016, Belingon has won five consecutive matches, routing the best contenders that the division has to offer. For Belingon, he could finally become a mixed martial arts world champion on July 27, which is the goal that he has been chasing ever since he launched his career in June 2007. “Becoming the champion has been my goal since my career started. It is a lifelong dream for me. I need to win my next bout to turn my dream into a reality,” he stated. “This is going to be a very exciting match. To take on an elite athlete like Martin, it will only be good for my experience. I look forward to testing my skills against him,” Belingon added. Sharing the cage with a dynamic knockout artist like Nguyen, Belingon asserted that he likes his chances versus the two-division world champion and shared his thoughts as to how things would play out at ONE: REIGN OF KINGS. “Martin has very good, high-level skills. His wrestling is very strong, and so is his boxing. He is aggressive, and he punches with power. There is no underestimating this guy,” he explained. “But I think his biggest weakness is his speed, especially in this fight. He is not faster than me. I think this will come down to who gets there first.” Although he is known for his explosive striking, massive knockout power, and fearlessness to engage, Belingon assured that he is prepared to go the distance with Nguyen. “I am training very hard to make sure I am well-equipped with everything I need to face any situation. If I have the opportunity to finish him, I will not hesitate to grab that chance. But I am prepared for this fight to go full five rounds as well,” he concluded......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 18th, 2018

Filipino Menchavez to make ONE debut in Macau

Another Filipino fighter will strut his stuff in Macau for ONE Championship's Pinnacle of Power card on June 23. Rodian Menchavez (5-1) is set to make his debut in the promotion, making it to the card that features interim ONE flyweight champion Geje Eustaquio (10-6) taking on undisputed ONE World flyweight titlist Adriano Moraes (17-2) in a title unification bout in the co-main event. Eustaquio's Team Lakay stable mates Edward Kelly (10-4) and Danny Kingad (6-1) are also in the card and are scheduled to face against Narantungalag Jadambaa (12-5) and Ma Hao Bin (10-2), respectively. Menchavez will bring his four-fight winning streak on the line against China's Li Kai Wen (7-4)...Keep on reading: Filipino Menchavez to make ONE debut in Macau.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJun 6th, 2018

ONE: Eustaquio-Moraes title bout moved to Macau, China

After initially being set for Beijing, it has been confirmed that ONE Championship's Pinnacle of Power card will be taking place in Macau instead.  The June 23 card is ONE's third trip to the so-called 'Las Vegas of Asia' and will feature two ONE Championship world title bouts.  Main eventing the card will be China's own ONE Strawweight World Champion Xiong Jing Nan defending her title for the first time against Argentinian Laura Balin, while co-main eventing the card will be Team Lakay star and Interim ONE Championship Flyweight World Champion Geje Eustaquio of the Philippines looking to unify the title against reigning ONE Championship Flyweight World Champion Adriano Moraes.  Eustaquio and Moraes first crossed paths inside a ONE Championship cage back in 2014, with Moraes submitting Eustaquio to claim the vacant ONE Championship Flyweight world title.  Also on the card will be Eustaquio's Team Lakay teammates, featherweight contender Edward Kelly as well as former title contender Danny Kingad.  Team Lakay has been part of ONE Championship's Macau cards since their first trip in 2016, which saw Eduard Folayang, Honorio Banario, and Joshua Pacio all pick up impressive victories.  A year later, Pacio returned to Macau but came up short against Japanese grappling ace Hayato Suzuki.  Macau also played witness to the coming out party of ONE Women's Atomweight contender Jomary Torres, as she shocked the world with a submission win over rising star Rika Ishige.  Macau has also been very good to reigning champion Moraes, who defeated Tilek Batyrov in 2015 to become interim champion, and then defeated Kairat Akhmetov a year later, also in Macau to become the undisputed ONE Flyweight World Champion.    ONE Championship: Pinnacle of Power will emanate for the Studio City Events Center in Macau, China.   .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 30th, 2018

ONE: Geje Eustaquio vs. Adriano Moraes world title unification bout set for Beijing in June

Team Lakay standout and reigning ONE Championship Interm Flyweight World Champion Geje "Gravity" Eustaquio gets the chance to become an undisputed world champion when he challenges reigning ONE Flyweight World Champion Adriano "Mikinho" Moraes this June. The Eustaquio-Moraes title unification bout is set as one of the headliners on ONE's Pinnacle of Power card set for June 16th in Beijing, China.  Eustaquio (10-6), an entertaining striker fighting out of Baguio City, captured ONE's interim flyweight title back in January after outpointing former titleholder Kairat Akhmetov in a five-round unanimous decision win.  Reigning champion Moraes (17-2), an elite grappler from Brazil, is on his second run as ONE's flyweight king. Moraes defeated Akhmetov back in 2017 to reclaim the title, and is coming off a dominant title defense back in November in Manila, submitting Eustaquio's teammate Danny Kingad in the first round.  This will be Eustaquio and Moraes' second time to meet in a ONE cage, as the two flyweight stars locked horns back in 2014 for the vacant ONE Flyweight world title, with Moraes getting the second round submission win.  ONE Championship also revealed that China's own reigning ONE Women's Flyweight world champion Xiong Jing Nan will be making her first title defense against Argentinian Laura Balin.  Also expected to be on the card are Team Lakay standouts Kingad and Edward Kelly.  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 19th, 2018

24 NBA questions before 17-18 tips off

By David Aldridge, TNT analyst The season starts on Tuesday night (Wednesday, PHL time). You’ve been waiting patiently all summer with your questions. Fire away.     1. So … what’s the point of playing this season? The Golden State Warriors are still the prohibitive favorites to repeat this season, next season and into the foreseeable future. But it was good to see a good chunk of the Western Conference -- the Houston Rockets, Oklahoma City Thunder and Denver Nuggets, to name three teams -- not fold before the first card is dealt. That fact alone is incredibly important. The Warriors are still the best team in the West, without question. But if teams don’t even try to get better, or spend money to compete, the whole rationale for playing fades away. The Thunder could have rode Russell Westbrook alone to another first-round playoff loss, watched him walk out the door in free agency next summer and thrown up its hands, plead ‘woe is us and all small-market teams,’ and enjoyed a luxury tax-free life for the next few years. The Rockets could have just kept selling tickets to fans to watch James Harden and his pals shoot 50 threes a game for the next two or three years. It’s an appealing brand of basketball. Denver could have just kept building through the Draft, climbing a few more wins here or there for a while, and snuck into the eighth seed, choosing to be comfortable rather than bold. But they didn’t. They’ve called and raised. In all likelihood, it won’t be enough to beat Golden State. But those teams can sleep well at night. They’re not cheating their players, or fans. 2. So, is OKC now a legit threat to the Warriors? The short answer: no. But it’s closer. Carmelo Anthony will be as good a third option as anyone in the league has, though; he will eat regularly on the weak side as defenses scramble to handle Westbrook-Paul George pick and rolls; a quick seal and ‘Melo will be off to the races. If coach Billy Donovan goes small ball with Patrick Patterson at the five, there will be many nights when OKC drops a 130 spot. Yes, the Thunder’s defense is going to be an issue; while Enes Kanter was a sieve off the bench, he was coming off the bench, playing behind Steven Adams. Anthony will be starting and playing big minutes, many at the four. But it won’t matter most nights when the Thunder is up 20 to start the fourth quarter, after 36 minutes of Westbrook sorties, George 3-pointers and transition dunks, and Carmelo post-ups and spot-ups (he shot 44.8 percent last season on catch and shoot shots. Among forwards who played 30 or more minutes last season, per NBA.com/Stats, only Kevin Durant, Otto Porter and Kawhi Leonard shot better). The Thunder can guard you with George, Andre Roberson and Adams and they can outscore you with Westbrook and George and ‘Melo. They have a solid bench (Patterson, Ray Felton, Jerami Grant, Alex Abrines) and Westbrook won’t be physically spent by the end of the 2018 playoffs. Wait; what am I saying? Of course he’ll be spent. But he’ll also be playing way deeper into May. 3. Did not getting Anthony hurt Houston or nah? The Rockets -- okay, Chris Paul -- wanted this done bad. It won’t hurt Houston in the regular season, when Paul and James Harden will dominate. And while Harden didn’t like Kevin McHale’s critique of his leadership, Mac was spot on. That doesn’t make “The Beard” a bad guy or teammate -- people gravitate to their comfortable roles in life, and CP3 is a natural-born leader. Harden will, one thinks, be more comfortable with slightly less light on him. They’ll do fine playing together and off one another. But the shadow of the Rockets’ implosion from deep -- 29 of 88 on three-pointers the last two games against the Spurs in their Western Conference semifinals series -- still hangs over them. Ryan Anderson was negated in the postseason. There’s a reason CP3 pushed for ‘Melo so hard. The Rockets will need unexpected consistent offense from a P.J. Tucker or Luc Mbah a Moute in May if they have any hopes of playing in June. 4. Can we just start the Cleveland-Boston East finals now? Maybe Toronto, with C.J. Miles shooting 40 percent on 3-pointers to complement Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan, will break up what seems inevitable. Maybe Washington, with its super-solid starting five intact, now has the mental toughness to bust past the second round, where it’s been beached three of the last four postseasons. But it doesn’t feel like that. Boston, ultimately, should be a lot better this season than last. It will take a while for coach Brad Stevens to figure out the rotation and whether Jaylen Brown can really stick at the two, but ultimately, the Celtics have two dynamic playmakers/scorers in Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward, and with Al Horford providing the glue at both ends, they’re going to be a load by the end of the season. And while Cleveland will have to wait a while for Isaiah Thomas, the Cavs have more than enough firepower until Thomas can make his debut. Whatever Dwyane Wade has left will be accentuated playing with James, and Kevin Love (holy moly, is he underrated) will feast drawing slower, bigger centers out to him on the perimeter. J.R. Smith doesn’t like losing his starting job to Wade, and he should be ticked. But he nonetheless will help Cleveland’s bench, which will be incredibly difficult in its own right with Tristan Thompson and Kyle Korver complementing Smith. And that’s before Thomas returns, which will put Derrick Rose on that second unit. There won’t be any rest for defenses who’ll then have to contend with a rested James, et al, coming back. It says here that not only will the Cavs not miss Irving offensively, they could be even more diverse and difficult to guard this season. Not to mention that James is supremely motivated to make an eighth straight Finals. 5. Could Curry break his record of 402 3-pointers in a season? At first glance, with Durant and Klay and Draymond (and, now, Nick Young) all needing to get fed as well, it would seem impossible for Curry to best the mark he set two years ago, on the 73-9 regular season team. But consider: coach Steve Kerr thinks a new guy always blossoms in his second year with the Warriors, which means Durant should be even more lethal offensively this year, as the Warriors’ offense reaches an even higher level of efficiency. And the way they move the ball, it’s not a stretch to think that with defenses tripping over themselves to get to Durant, Curry could get into one of those ridiculous grooves that could leave him within striking distance of 402 by the end of the season. 6. Could the last one in the Eastern Conference turn out the lights? The New York Knicks were hardly a power in the East before trading Anthony, but his departure creates one more team that will struggle to win 35 games this season. With the paucity of talent there should be at least four 50-win teams in the East -- Cleveland, Boston, Toronto and Washington -- with the Milwaukee Bucks knocking on the door. 7. Who’s going to regret their offseason? The Bucks were fine off the court -- their new arena is already more than halfway constructed and looks like it’s going to be a gem -- although the surrounding mall that is supposed to be part of the complex is not going up as quickly. But the Bucks didn’t address their bigs-heavy roster and move some of the surplus -- how can coach Jason Kidd keep all of Greg Monroe, Jabari Parker and John Henson happy with Thon Maker scarfing up more and more frontcourt minutes? -- for the shooting Milwaukee still needs. The East is so open, and Milwaukee is so close to breaking through into elite status with Giannis Antetokounmpo an elite performer. 8. Rudy Gay -- sneaky good pickup? Gay says he’s cool starting or coming off the bench for the Spurs, but he’d best as San Antonio’s sixth man, at least to start things. Bringing Pau Gasol off the bench didn’t work so well, so if he’s starting at center, coach Gregg Popovich can’t go small ball with “Cousin” LaMarcus Aldridge at the five and Gay at the four alongside Kawhi Leonard. (Current state of Spurs fans’ cuticles here and here as they consider a season with an extended Klaw absence if this quad injury doesn’t improve soon.) The Spurs could have some serious firepower in reserve if Gay and Patty Mills come off the bench, but Mills or Dejounte Murray will likely have to start at the point until Tony Parker comes back. 9. Speaking of Popovich … Should he and Steve Kerr and Stan Van Gundy stick to sports? No. 10. Who’s gonna be Kia Rookie of the Year? I say Markelle Fultz. What, you thought I was gonna pick against a DeMatha Catholic man? (Actual unretouched photo of me as a sophomore at the most successful high school in the history of the United States may or may not be here). Playing off of Joel Embiid, J.J. Redick, Robert Covington … it’s hard to see Fultz not looking really good when he should have all kinds of room to operate. Lonzo Ball will put up bigger numbers, and Tatum will be on a better team. But Boston was good last year, and Jayson Tatum will likely not play as much as the others. The Sixers are poised for a big jump up in the standings, and that’s always a narrative that voters like and get behind -- which is what will hurt Dennis Smith Jr.'s chances in Dallas. 11. What does Dwyane Wade really have left? Now that the inevitable buyout of Wade’s $24 million deal by the Bulls has led to the equally inevitable trek to Cleveland to play with James, can the 35-year-old Wade still be a significant contributor on a title contender? Given the general dysfunction in Chicago last season, you can dismiss most of the good and bad numbers Wade put up, with two exceptions: he still averaged almost five free throw attempts per game, and he shot 31 percent on 3-pointers -- not great, but more than double his anemic 15.9 percent behind the arc in 2015-16, his last with the Miami Heat. Wade obviously knows the cheat code for how to most effectively play off of James, so he’ll use the regular season to learn his teammates and be ready for the playoffs. But can Wade hold up over seven games defensively if he has to chase, say, Bradley Beal around, or try to deny DeRozan his preferred mid-range spots, and still be productive offensively? 12. Back to the Sixers -- how good will they be? My guess is they’ll pretty good in the 60 or so games I anticipate Embiid will play this season -- I’m assuming several designated off days for him during the season, not another injury. The mix of young talent (Fultz, Embiid, Ben Simmons, Dario Saric, Covington) and crafty vets (Redick, Amir Johnson) should mesh to make the 76ers a very tough team to defend. But Philly has to resolve the Jahlil Okafor situation, and in fairness to him, give him a fresh start somewhere else with a trade as soon as possible. If I were a good team that would be hard-pressed to add a free agent any time soon and feels a player short of true contention -- I’m looking at you, Memphis Grizzlies and Wizards -- I’d work hard to get the new, slimmed-down Okafor on my squad while he’s still on his rookie contract and make him the focal point of a kick-ass second unit. 13. Should we feel some kind of way about the Trail Blazers? I’m picking up what you’re putting down. A full season of the “Bosnian Beast” in the middle, it says here, will vault Portland into the top four in the West. Note I said “full season.” That means Jusuf Nurkic has to give coach Terry Stotts between 65-70 starts for the above premonition to be, as they say in the legal world, actionable. If so, Nurkic’s underrated scoring and passing out of the post will only make Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum that much more deadly out front, along with improving Portland’s defense. Per Basketball-Reference.com, the Blazers were 11.6 points per game better than the opposition with those three on the floor together and a +5 when their regular five-man lineup with Maurice Harkless and Al-Farouq Aminu joined the guards and Nurkic. And that’s pronounced, “Noor-kitch,” accent on Noor. 13. A little movie break ... Kevin Costner’s accent in “Robin Hood” -- worst ever, right? Yes, but Natalie Wood’s in “West Side Story” was painful, too. 14. Many have written the post-CP3 Clippers off. Should they? The Clippers are my darkhorse this season -- if they do the right thing and go small more often. They’re doing it more in practice so far than in games because Danilo Gallinari is working through a foot injury, but Blake Griffin at the five and Gallinari at the four could be spicy during the regular season. That would mean Sam Dekker and/or Wes Johnson would have to become credible and dependable at the three, allowing coach Doc Rivers to play a Pat Beverly-Milos Teodosic backcourt more often, which will just be fun. This would, of course, mean less DeAndre Jordan, and … that may not be the worst thing. Nothing against DJ, who is the best defensive big in the league, bar none. Unfortunately, the NBA isn’t about defense any more -- at least not in the traditional sense. Even someone like Jordan who doesn’t just block shots, but also helps snuff out opposing pick and rolls, becomes less valued by the league’s advanced stats crowd if he doesn’t contribute more offensively. The three has gone a long way to tyrannizing the defense-dominant big man out of the game. (Zach Lowe recommends the Wizards try to get Jordan via trade, and it’s not the first time I’ve heard that name mentioned in connection with Washington, the idea being the only chance the Wizards have of beating Cleveland or Boston is to slow them down enough defensively that Wall-Beal-Porter can try and keep up offensively. Washington is definitely a load when Wall gets locked in on D and creates turnovers, and the idea of Jordan inhaling lobs from Wall is enticing to think about. But the Wizards are not -- not -- going to take on a fourth big contract, and Jordan’s surely going to opt out after this season; he’s rightly expecting a massive payday in 2018, and the Clippers certainly now have motive and means to retain him.) Anyway, some Lou Williams, Austin Rivers and/or Teodosic and Willie Reed off the bench isn’t bad, either. 15. Could Kyle Kuzma be the best rookie on the Lakers this season? Don’t @me, LaVar. Kuzma has followed up a very strong Vegas Summer League with high notes in preseason, averaging better than 19 points per game for the Lakers. He’s been dazzling at times, displaying in-between skills that intrigue, and showing why so many teams were trying to trade back into the first round to get the Utah forward before L.A. snagged him with its second and much less heralded first-round pick last June. And there will be minutes available at the four this season. So far, Kuzma has displayed unusual strength for a rookie and confidence in his ability to score. Of course, he’s inexperienced, and like all rookies, has to differentiate between an open shot and a good shot. The other, more famous first-rounder, Lonzo Ball, will almost certainly be the better all-around player in time. For this year, though … hmmm. 16. What does a Hawks fan have to look forward to this season? Honestly, not much. But they’ll always be well-coached and get better. I’d pick one of the young players, like rookie John Collins or second-year small forward Taurean Prince, and concentrate on them during the season. See what they do with their minutes on the floor, and watch how they gradually expand their games at both ends. Seeing a young guy get better as he gains experience and accepts coaching is one of the great joys of watching the NBA every night. 17. Orlando? What gives there? The team’s new braintrust of Jeff Weltman and John Hammond will need some time to fix the roster -- a mélange of athletic wings that have trouble defending and guards that have trouble shooting. The former is addressed somewhat with the signing of Jonathon Simmons from San Antonio, but I don’t see a solution to the latter with any of the existing backcourt contributors. Unless coach Frank Vogel figures out some way to get more turnovers/runouts from his group, they just can’t get in transition enough for their length and legs to make a difference. 18. New Orleans? What gives there? The short answer is, I have no idea. All of NBA Earth has DeMarcus Cousins out of there one way or another (he’s an unrestricted free agent in ’18 and wants to be on a contender/the Pelicans will never pay him what he wants and will have to trade him by the deadline/no way he and Anthony Davis fit together/Wall agitates for a reunion with his former Kentucky big man in D.C./your departure theory here) by this time next year, but we’ll see what coach Alvin Gentry has come up with for “Boogie” and “the Brow” after a summer to think it over. Rajon Rondo being out hurts their depth, but I have to be honest -- I don’t see how he and Jrue Holiday can possibly work together in a backcourt, and Holiday’s the guy the Pelicans just gave $125 million to, so he should probably have the ball in his hands every night, shouldn’t he? I like Ian Clark and Frank Jackson down there, but that untethered three spot burns a hole in the New Orleans sun. Well, at any rate, should be more fun than watching reruns of My Life on the D-List. 19. Favorite D-List Muppet? Beaker. 20. LeBron is leaving Cleveland again after this season, isn’t he? Everything points to yes, and a relocation to Los Angeles to play with the Lakers or Clippers next year – except … what if the Cavs win it all again this year? That’s not an impossible scenario -- in fact, it’s a pretty simple one to lay out: Cavs run roughshod through the Eastern Conference in the playoffs again, get through a good but hardly great Boston team in the conference Finals and set up a fourth straight encounter with Golden State. It’s easy now to say the Warriors dominated the Cavs in last season’s Finals -- but only if you ignore the fact that Cleveland led by six with just more than three minutes remaining in Game 3, only to see the Warriors score the game’s last 11 points to take a 3-0 lead instead of 2-1. And given that Cleveland vaporized the Warriors in Game 4, a 2-2 series would have meant the Cavs just needed to win once in Oracle -- which they’d done twice in the 2016 Finals -- to have a real shot at repeating. The point is, the difference between the teams isn’t as big as Draymond Green would have you believe; the Cavs have no fear of the Warriors, and Jae Crowder gives coach Tyronn Lue a viable on-ball defender for Kevin Durant, leaving LeBron free to play off of Green. And: that unprotected Nets pick, whether one or three or five or seven, is Cleveland’s best recruiting tool. LeBron knows everyone in college basketball and he can literally pick whoever he’d like to finish his career with in Cleveland before handing over the reins. I’m not saying he’s definitely staying, either -- only that his departure isn’t the lead pipe cinch some would have you believe. The season to come will have a lot to do with his next decision. 21. So, how will the playoffs go this season? Eastern Conference (seeds No. 1-8): Cleveland, Boston, Washington, Toronto, Milwaukee, Miami, Detroit, Philadelphia Western Conference (seeds No. 1-8): Golden State, Houston, Oklahoma City, Portland, San Antonio, Memphis, Utah, Minnesota Eastern Conference semifinalists: Cleveland, Boston, Washington, Milwaukee Western Conference semifinalists: Golden State, Houston, OKC, San Antonio Eastern Conference finals: Cleveland over Boston Western Conference finals: Golden State over OKC (you heard me) NBA Finals: Golden State over Cleveland (in seven games) 22. Tell me something crazy that’s going to happen this season that no one’s predicting! Giannis Antetokounmpo. NBA MVP, 2017-18. 23. Are you high? No, ma’am. 24. So, why 24 questions? As always, we start the season with 24 questions (or predictions, or issues, whatever) in honor of Danny Biasone, the late owner of the Syracuse Nationals, whose discovery in 1954 helped save the league. At that time, the NBA was in the midst of a literal slowdown, in large part by teams that were desperate to figure out some kind of way to stay competitive with George Mikan, the league’s first superstar big man, and his team, the Minneapolis Lakers. Teams would hold the ball for minutes at a time without shooting in an effort to shorten the game and give them a chance to beat Minneapolis late. But the end result was boring -- very boring -- basketball. At the owners’ meetings that year, Biasone came up with an idea. NBA games were 48 minutes long. Biasone figured out that in a normal game, one not waylaid by the slowdown tactics, about 120 shots -- 60 per team -- were taken. So, why not just divide the number of minutes in every game -- 2,880 -- by the number of shots in an average game -- 120 -- to come up with some kind of a time limit in which a team had to shoot. And thus, the 24-second shot clock (2,800/120) was born. With the implementation of the shot clock in the 1954-55 season, scoring went way up, as did the quality of play. Teams were now running up and down the floor in order to try and beat the shot clock, complementing the “fast break” game that many colleges had played for years. But the new style in the pros was immensely popular with fans. And it still is. Plus, there’s just something iconic about that clock counting down every 24 seconds. It’s unique to the NBA. Thus, we ask 24 questions, in honor of the guy who owned a bowling alley as well as the Nationals for much of his adult life, and probably enjoyed the bowling more. Longtime NBA reporter, columnist and Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer David Aldridge is an analyst for TNT. 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 NewsOct 17th, 2017

Eduard Folayang Relishes Chance To Defend World Title With Kevin Belingon In Japan

When ONE Lightweight World Champion Eduard "Landslide" Folayang flies to Japan for ONE: A NEW ERA, he will not be doing so alone.   The Filipino mixed martial arts icon is ecstatic he will be competing on a card which will also feature his Team Lakay brother and ONE Bantamweight World Champion Kevin "The Silencer" Belingon, as they both are scheduled to battle a pair of legends on Sunday, 31 March at the Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo.   Folayang will defend his World Title against Shinya "Tobikan Judan" Aoki in the main event, while Belingon will defend his belt against Bibiano "The Flash" Fernandes on the undercard.   Just the experience of preparing for two World Title bouts in what is arguably the biggest ONE Championship card ever assembled is enough of a motivation for Folayang.   "I am very happy to headline ONE: A NEW ERA. Any athlete would want to headline this event. I am just grateful to ONE Championship for giving me this opportunity to be the main event," said Folayang.   "I have an added inspiration by having Kevin Belingon on the same card. We can share outputs with each other on how we can emerge victorious in Japan. It will be a fun night."   Team Lakay, the renowned gym from the mountains of Baguio, didn't get to start the year the way they hoped for.   Joshua "The Passion" Pacio had his ONE Strawweight World Title taken by Yosuke "Tobizaru" Saruta on 19 January by split decision in the main event of ONE: ETERNAL GLORY at the Istora Senayan in Jakarta, Indonesia.   Six days later, Geje "Gravity" Eustaquio dropped the ONE Flyweight World Title in front of his home crowd. He lost to his old rival Adriano "Mikinho" Moraes by way of unanimous decision in the main event of ONE: HERO'S ASCENT at the Mall Of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines.   That is why keeping both belts in the Philippines will be integral for Folayang and Belingon, although "Landslide" admits that it's easier said than done.   "The goal is to successfully defend both belts in Japan," he confessed. "It is so easy to think and say, but it’s very hard to do. We will do our best to bring the belt back home to the Philippines.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 7th, 2019

ONE Championship: Geje Eustaquio and Adriano Moraes share moment of respect

When it was all said and done, Geje Eustaquio and Adriano Moraes shared a moment of respect after their five-round war at ONE: Hero's Ascent, Friday evening at the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila.  For the third time in their careers, Eustaquio and Moraes battled for the ONE Flyweight World Championship, and for the second time, it was Moraes who came away the victory, taking the trilogy match via unanimous decision.  After the belt was awarded to Moraes, he and Eustaquio kneeled in front of each other shook hands and embraced. In between them was the gold strap that will forever keep their legacies intertwined.  Geje Eustaquio versus Adriano Moraes is ONE Championship's first real rivalry, with their history going back to 2014 when they first met.  Three world title matches later, nothing remains between the two aside from utmost respect.  "I’m thanking him for bringing the best version of Geje Eustaquio," the Filipino former champion said when asked what he told Moraes during that touching moment. "Because I have to admit, without Adriano, I am not as skilled as I am right now, I am not as good as I am right now, it’s all because of him." "He has been in the flyweight division for four years, and if you are the champion, the rest of the division is looking forward to every move you have, every angle you move, they always study you. I got the chance to thank him for making me a better Geje Eustaquio." Moraes shared the same sentiments, saying that he considers Eustaquio more than just an opponent, but rather a friend and a 'ONE Championship teammate'.  "Me and Geje, we worked together about six years ago. When I signed with ONE Championship, Geje Eustaquio was here already. I respect him a lot. We fought for the first flyweight world championship, me and Geje, we have history together, like opponents but like friends too. We are like ONE Championship teammates." Moraes emphasized on how much it meant to be able to share some ONE Championship history with the Team Lakay star.  "If I’m not the champion, I was happy that Geje was the champion. When this history was finished, the first trilogy of ONE Championship, we just embraced each other and said ‘Thank you, for helping me to be a better person, better fighter, everyday. Thank you for this match, because if you don’t have a good opponent, you don’t have a good fight, and for those fighters who love to fight, you love to fight against a good fighter. Geje is a good fighter and I loved to have this history against him. It’s against him, but it’s like together with him." While for now, it appears that the Eustaquio-Moraes trilogy has reached its end, down the road there's always a chance that the two top flyweights will cross paths once again......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 26th, 2019

Team Lakay’s rough start lights a fire under Danny Kingad

MANILA, Philippines---Seeing two of his brothers fall just sparked a fire inside Danny Kingad, who is all the more determined to deliver Team Lakay its first win of the year on Friday. Edward Kelly and Joshua Pacio failed in their campaigns in ONE: Eternal Glory last Saturday in Jakarta as Team Lakay lost its strawweight belt after Pacio dropped a split decision to Yosuke Saruta in the main event. Riled up by the losses, Kingad has no shortage of motivation when he kicks off Team Lakay's bid at ONE: Hero's Ascent at Mall of Asia Arena where his stablemate Geje Eustaquio is defending his flyweight strap. "I'm really eager to bounce back after what happened to Joshua and Kelly...Keep on reading: Team Lakay’s rough start lights a fire under Danny Kingad.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJan 22nd, 2019

Antetokounmpo leads the way, Bucks win Budenholzer s return

By George Henry, Associated Press ATLANTA (AP) — Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 33 points, Eric Bledsoe added 24 points and 10 assists, and the Milwaukee Bucks beat the Hawks 133-114 on Sunday (Monday, PHL time) in Mike Budenholzer's return to Atlanta. Khris Middleton finished with 17 points and 11 rebounds to help the Bucks improve to 30-12, second-best in the NBA. Coming off a loss at Washington that Antetokounmpo missed with injuries, Milwaukee is 12-0 following a defeat and remained the league's only team not to drop consecutive games. Budenholzer, making his first appearance at State Farm Arena since leaving the Hawks after last season, said before the game that he wished his former team well as it rebuilds with youngsters John Collins, Trae Young, Kevin Huerter and Omari Spellman. The Bucks are soaring, thanks mostly to the 6'11", 242-pound Antetokounmpo, who scored 14 on free throws and had two dazzling assists early in the fourth. He first smothered Young to steal the ball and feed George Hill for a three-pointer that made it 104-90, before adding a no-look drop pass on D.J. Wilson's layup for a 16-point lead. He later hit a couple of jumpers to make it a 15-point advantage. Milwaukee has won 12-of-15 dating to Dec. 14 (Dec. 15, PHL time). The Bucks began the day outscoring opponents by an NBA-leading 9.1 points per game. Antetokounmpo showed no ill effects after sitting out Friday (Saturday, PHL time) with right quadriceps soreness and a left hip contusion. Young finished with 26 points, and DeAndre' Bembry added 18 for Atlanta, which dropped to 13-30. The Hawks have dropped 6-of-8. Their 24 turnovers led to 34 points for Milwaukee. TIP-INS Bucks: Antetokounmpo did a postgame jersey exchange with 41-year-old Hawks F Vince Carter. ... G Malcolm Brogdon scored 14 points and missed just his second free throw in 86 free-throw attempts this season. ... Middleton began the day averaging 20.4 points over his previous eight games. Hawks: F Taurean Prince, the team's third-leading scorer, returned after missing the last 18 games with a left ankle sprain. On a minutes restriction, Prince had seven points and five rebounds in 11 minutes. ... G Kent Bazemore, the team's second-leading scorer, has missed eight straight games with a right ankle injury. NO REGRETS Budenholzer said "change and moving is part of life" when asked before the game about leaving the Hawks. Calling it "a heck of a five years," Budenholzer wasn't looking back with animosity following a 24-58 finish last season. He was the NBA Coach of the Year in his second season, leading Atlanta to 60 wins and its first appearance in the Eastern Conference finals. When principal owner Tony Ressler bought the team and Danny Ferry was out as general manager, Budenholzer added president of basketball operations to his title, but the Hawks made three bad moves that set the organization back and precipitated the rebuild. Al Horford and Paul Millsap, two model team leaders, left as free agents after the Hawks decided not to trade them. In between those gaffes, the team signed mercurial center Dwight Howard to a three-year, $70.5 million contract and was dealt away after one ill-fit season. Budenholzer said he loves his job with the Bucks and wishes the Hawks well. "A rebuild — it's a tough job to be the owner in a rebuild, to be a GM to be a coach. These are tough jobs, and so I don't know who the right coach is," he said. "And I think they feel great about where they are and that's important for them. They have their direction they know where they're going. I'm obviously very happy with our team, our front office and our roster. I'm very excited about where I am." UP NEXT Bucks: Host Miami on Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time). Hawks: Host Oklahoma City on Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time)......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 14th, 2019

ONE Championship: Mark Sangiao looks to carry over Team Lakay s success in 2019

2018 will be over and done in a few days, but it will be remembered as the banner year of the legendary Team Lakay.   Widely associated with the local mixed martial arts scene in the Philippines due to the big number of notable homegrown talents that it has produced since its inception in 2003, Team Lakay has reached new heights in 2018 as it now houses four world champions under the ONE Championship banner.   Since the beginning of the year, the legendary camp from Baguio City, Benguet has been on an extraordinary run in the organization.   Geje “Gravity” Eustaquio kicked off the year for Team Lakay by copping the ONE Interim Flyweight World Championship with a unanimous decision victory over Kazakhstan’s Kairat Akhmetov in a rematch this past January.   Eustaquio was enshrined as the undisputed flyweight kingpin of the promotion five months later when he edged out Brazilian arch-nemesis Adriano Moraes in a world title unification bout.   It was followed by Kevin “The Silencer” Belingon, who had his first taste of gold last July when he routed two-division titleholder Martin “The Situ-Asian” Nguyen by way of clear-cut unanimous decision for the ONE Interim Bantamweight World Championship.   Belingon became ONE Championship’s official bantamweight champion by defeating longtime division ruler Bibiano “The Flash” Fernandes via split decision in their highly-anticipated title unification rematch last November.   Meanwhile, Joshua “The Passion” Pacio settled the score with Yoshitaka Naito in September, dethroning his Japanese rival by unanimous decision to bring home the ONE Strawweight World Championship.   Eduard Folayang joined Eustaquio, Belingon and Pacio in the cast of Team Lakay world titleholders, recapturing the ONE Lightweight World Championship at the expense of Singapore’s Amir Khan this past November.   Speaking on behalf of his teammates, Folayang believes that Team Lakay coach Mark Sangiao played a pivotal role in their success.   “Coach Mark should have a belt,” Folayang said. “We are a good team because we have a brilliant and selfless coach who supports us all the way.”   At the peak of his professional career in 2010, Sangiao opted to hang up his gloves for good to focus on coaching Folayang and other members of Team Lakay.   Although he had to make the ultimate sacrifice of calling it a career at the age of 30, Sangiao disclosed that there is no tinge of regret in his decision, especially after seeing what his athletes have become.   “When I see these belts, I know that my sacrifice was worth it. I feel that I’m also a champion,” the Team Lakay headmaster stated. “I decided to retire eight years ago. I’m a positive guy, so I don’t regret my decision to retire. I’m very happy with it.”   Finishing their campaign with four world titles in ONE Championship, Sangiao acknowledges that 2018 is Team Lakay’s most successful year so far.   “It’s our biggest year. We won titles and received many awards this year. This is the result of our hard work, dedication, and sacrifice. These awards and titles are just the fruit of our hard labor,” he mentioned.   With the achievements that they are presently basking in, Sangiao conceded that not even in his wildest dream did he expect Team Lakay to be highly acclaimed in the sport or reach its present stature.   “When I started this group in 2003, I did not even think that it would get to this. All I thought at the time was that I liked what I was doing,” he remembered. “I am happy with the outcome of my passion.”   It appears that everything Team Lakay lays its hands on turns into gold, but for Sangiao, this is only the tip of the iceberg.   “It’s only the beginning. There is more to come. We look forward to defending our belts and prevailing as champions for a long time,” he declared.   Sangiao may be looking to carry over Team Lakay’s success into 2019, but he knows that it will be no walk in the park.   “We had an amazing run in 2018. With all of the titles that we won, we have a big target on our back. Tougher challenges await us next year. Like we always say, we will do our best,” he expressed.   Pacio, Eustaquio and Folayang are all booked to defend their respective world titles in the first quarter of 2019.   Team Lakay may have cemented its position as a global force in mixed martial arts in 2018, but Sangiao assured that he and his wards are not resting on their laurels.   "This is definitely the best year for us, but of course, we will not stop. We have to keep on improving and defend those belts,” he vowed......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 27th, 2018

Athletes to Watch Out for in 2019

Remember these names because for sure, they will be making the headlines this 2019. Kai Sotto The 7-foot-2 wunderkind of the Ateneo Blue Eaglets will be making major decisions in 2019. With opportunities opening up for him in Europe and USA, the current Grade 10 student of Ateneo High School has the option to leave the UAAP Juniors early to explore bigger stages. Billed as the nation's best bet to be the first Filipino homegrown NBA talent, there will definitely be a lot of eyes following this young man's every move.   Ricci Rivero and Kobe Paras Former De La Salle Green Archer Rivero and former Creighton Blue Jay Paras are both set to make University of the Philippines' #AtinSeason82 bid more promising, as they finish their residency and finally play for the Maroons in the UAAP in 2019. Both players are expected to make immediate impacts in the history-seeking squad given Rivero's championship experience, Paras' athleticism, and both player's Gilas cadets background.   Kiefer Ravena 2018 was a tough year for national team player and NLEX Road Warrior Ravena after he was slapped with an 18-month suspension in FIBA and the PBA for testing positive for banned substances. Due to the suspension, Ravena has diverted his attention to other interests such as golf and volleyball but his days away from the hard court will be over come August 2019. By then, he will be taking the keys again for NLEX either in the PBA Commissioner's or Governor's Cup.   CJ Perez, Bobby Ray Parks Jr., and Robert Bolick The 2018 PBA Rookie Draft was full of quality guards, and these top three draftees are expected to make immediate impacts in their professional teams. Former NCAA superstars Perez and Bolick both already signed lucrative contracts with Columbian Dyip and Northport. On the other hand, after being drafted in the second pick by Blackwater Elite, the former UAAP MVP and ASEAN Basketball League champion and MVP Bobby Ray Parks Jr. is still in the middle of trade talks and negotiations.   Eduard Folayang, Kevin Belingon, Geje Eustaquio, and Joshua Pacio Team Lakay had a magical 2018 after producing four world champions in the Lightweight, Bantamweight, Flyweight, Strawweight divisions. However, as people say, defending a title is always tougher.  By 2019, all fighters will most likely have the tough assignment to keep their belts in Baguio City.   Manny Pacquiao Philippine sports fans will be treated to world-class boxing by as early as the second week of January, when Filipino boxing legend Manny Pacquiao gets back in the ring to defend his WBA (Regular) Welterweight World Championship against American Adrien Broner. Pacquiao's long-time mentor Freddie Roach will also be back in his corner, serving as a consultant. (AP Photo/Isaac Brekken)   Eya Laure University of Santo Tomas' much needed reinforcement is finally here, with incoming rookie Eya Laure. The former star of the UST girls volleyball team will be making her debut in the senior's division in UAAP Season 81 this February 2019. In the preseason activities for the PVL and the PSL, Laure already proved that she will be a reliable scoring option for the Golden Tigresses - a perfect aid for graduating Sisi Rondina.   Michelle Morente Volleyball fans, it's time to get used to the sight of Morente playing in La Salle green. Last September 2018, the former Ateneo Lady Eagle already played for La Salle during the beach volleyball tournament. If she makes Ramil de Jesus' cut, the feisty scorer will bolster the Lady Spikers' title defense in the UAAP Season 81 womne's volleyball tournament.    Kath Arado La Salle's Dawn Macandili set the gold standard of libero greatness in UAAP. However, in 2019, libero extraordinaire Arado of the University of the East has every chance to prove that she might be the next to take the mantle of Philippine collegiate volleyball's best libero. For her UAAP Season 81 preparations, Arado played in two conferences of the Philippine Superliga at the same time - for UE in the Collegiate Grand Slam and for Generika Ayala Lifesaves for the All-Filipino conference. As a proof of her caliber, she swept all libero awards in both conferences.   Kat Tolentino With Jho Maraguinot's decision to not come back for the Ateneo Lady Eagles in UAAP Season 81, Kat Tolentino is expected to make the leap and be the number one scoring option for the blue-and-white. During their preseason preparations in the Premier Volleyball League under Ateneo-Motolite, rookie coach Oliver Almadro praised Tolentino for embracing her new role as the go-to girl. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @the9cruz.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 27th, 2018

Catriona Gray s Miss Universe win inspires Filipina warrior Rome Trinidad

Filipina mixed martial artist Rome "The Rebel" Trinidad has a newfound inspiration in Catriona Gray, who was crowned Miss Universe 2018 last Monday, 17 December in Bangkok, Thailand.   The 24-year-old Filipina beauty queen bested 93 other candidates from all over the world, standing out for her signature "lava" catwalk, which made headlines in the news around the globe and trended on social media.   “Catriona is truly an inspiration for us women. She is a living proof that anything is possible through hard work,” Trinidad said.   A familiar face in the Philippine modelling world, Gray is also a martial artist, singer, and advocate of free education and HIV/AIDS awareness.   Touted by both casual and long-time pageant followers as a shoo-in for the crown, she represented the Philippines in the Miss World 2016 pageant but failed to bag the crown, settling for Top Five.   Two years later, Gray won the Binibining Pilipinas 2018 trinket, making her the country's delegate to Miss Universe 2018.   Gray's impact to women is undeniable as it motivates the likes of Trinidad to go the extra mile when it comes to chasing her dream.   "She didn’t give up on her dream. Failures didn’t stop her to reach for her ultimate goal. It is empowering to have a fellow Filipina like Catriona Gray," she stated.   "We belong to a totally different kind of fields, but seeing her succeed boosts my morale and inspires me to pursue my dreams just like her."   2018 has been a big year for the Philippines, especially in the world of combat sports, where six of its celebrated athletes copped gold on the international stage.   Boxing superstar Manny Pacquiao claimed the WBA Welterweight World Championship, stopping Argentina's Lucas Matthysse in the seventh round last July.   Meanwhile, the Philippines established the unprecedented record of most mixed martial arts world title wins in the history of ONE Championship this 2018, courtesy of Eduard Folayang, Kevin Belingon, Geje Eustaquio, Joshua Pacio and Brandon Vera.   Trinidad, a professional model before she ventured into the mixed martial arts scene, is more motivated now than ever after witnessing how far the Philippines has gone in 2018.   She believes that hard work is in a Filipino's DNA, commending her countrymen for the tremendous amount of effort and dedication that they exerted in their respective fields.   "Seeing the Philippines excel in the worlds of boxing, mixed martial arts and beauty pageant is a big motivation," Trinidad shared.   "Our boxing hero Manny Pacquiao became a world champion again this year. In mixed martial arts, the country ended the year with five ONE World Champions. To top it off, Catriona Gray was crowned Miss Universe 2018."   Trinidad was last seen in action this past May when she took on Priscilla Hertati Lumban Gaol  ONE: GRIT & GLORY, yielding to the Indonesian hometown hero by way of first-round submission.   Although her 2018 did not turn out the way she wanted it to be, the nation’s banner year in combat sports and beauty pageant fuels Trinidad to strive even harder as she aims to carve her own success story next year.   "2018 proved to be a year of success for the Philippines. I am drawing inspiration from that success as I open a new chapter in 2019. Like them, I am not giving up. I will be back stronger than ever,” she vowed......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 18th, 2018

ONE Championship: Four World Titles make Team Lakay’s Christmas special this 2018

Christmas is one the biggest holidays in the Philippines. Incomparable to other countries, Christmas lights and holiday jingles start to play as early as September.   People from all walks of life gather on this special occasion and celebrate the holiday with food, drinks, and by spending time with friends and family.   Members of Team Lakay, the country's most renowned mixed martial arts group, have its own way of holding an annual celebration for the Yuletide season.   Housing four ONE World Champions such as Eduard Folayang, Kevin Belingon, Geje Eustaquio and Joshua Pacio, the Baguio City-headquartered camp holds a yearly Christmas party in mid-December to cap off the year.   "We have an early celebration coming up this Saturday, 15 December. We are going to have a beach house party in San Juan, La Union," Eustaquio shared.   "The gathering will celebrate our accomplishments this 2018, and also prepare for 2019. Everybody will come that day, most notably our professional athletes.”   Their way of celebration is not like any other party as it involves honoring their native tradition with a sumptuous feast and holding insightful talks for the advancement of their athletes’ career.   "We have a program, a feast, and an open mat for whoever wants to roll. Our world champions will share their experience and tell what they went through this year," Team Lakay head coach Mark Sangiao bared.   "This kind of gathering is our way to spend quality time with each other. This is our way to inspire other athletes, tighten our bond, and learn from each other.”   Finishing their campaign with four gold-plated belts under the ONE Championship banner, Sangiao believes that 2018 is Team Lakay’s most successful year since its inception in 2003   “It’s our biggest year. We won championship titles and received many awards this year. This is the result of our hard work, dedication, and sacrifice,” the Team Lakay headmaster said.   “Like we always say, this is our passion. We love what we do. These awards and titles are just the fruit of our hard labor.”   Although Team Lakay hauled all the titles, recognition and accolades that they could possibly get in 2018, all that matters to them is seeing each individual with gleeful smiles on their faces by the year's end.   "We are grateful for every year. We are always full of joy,” Eustaquio stated. “Seeing each other happy, seeing everyone living a peaceful life is more than enough.”.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 13th, 2018

ONE Championship: The Machine to Master Mentor - Team Lakay s Mark Sangiao has no regrets in exchanging fighting for coaching

During the post-fight press conference for ONE: Conquest of Champions last Friday, Novemeber 23rd at the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, Team Lakay head coach Mark Sangiao was asked a pretty interesting question.  "Coach, you sacrificed your professional fighting career para makapag-focus sa mga katulad ni Eduard [Folayang]. Ngayon na nakikita niyo yung mga world title na nasa lamesa. Do you think worth it yung pag-give up [ng fighting career?]"  Sangiao had just coached one of his closest wards in Eduard Folayang back to the ONE Lightweight World Championship. Before that, Sangiao spent much of his 2018 coaching three other Team Lakay stars in Geje Eustaquio, Joshua Pacio, and Kevin Belingon into their own world championship runs.  All four of the champions were present during the press conference, and their big gold belts provided enough gleam to light up the whole press room.  So for Sangiao, his response was quick and simple, and likely very easy.   "Nakikita ko lang yung mga belt dito, worth it na. Feeling ko champion na din ako," he said with a gigantic smile, as the four ONE Championship world titles sat in front of him.  Prior to becoming Team Lakay's master mentor and a Coach of the Year awardee, Mark "The Machine" Sangiao was one hell of a fighter.  A former Philippine Team member and medalist in Wushu, Sangiao transitioned into MMA and was one of the stars of the early days of the URCC.  The Baguio native went 7-2 in his career, with all but one of his victories coming via stoppage. His last fight was in 2009, and it was around that time that other Team Lakay stars like Eduard Folayang, Kevin Belingon, and Honorio Banario were getting their own careers off the ground.  The decision to leave the fight game as a competitor and put his attention to coaching full time, Sangiao says, was made in 2010, and it was in the presence of his Team Lakay wards.  "Napag-desisyunan ko ‘to, eight years ago, 2010. And they were there nung nagdesisyon ako, tinatanong ko din sila. ‘Desisyon mo ‘yan’, yun yung sabi nila."  Now, eight years later, Sangiao has coached six world champions and has helped transform Team Lakay into one of, if not the best mixed martial arts teams in all of Asia.  This success, the 38-year old Sangiao adds, has made his sacrifice even more worth while.  "Positive naman akong tao, walang pinag-sisisihan, and I’m very happy with the result of my decision." With four of ONE Championship's eleven MMA world championships residing in Team Lakay, it's not really surprising that Coach Mark is at peace with his decision. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 26th, 2018