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Robinsons Retail Group and Robina Farms continue to back the UP Fighting Maroons

The University of the Philippines (UP) Fighting Maroons will continue to get valuable support from their most loyal and staunchest supporters, the Robinsons Retail Group and Universal Robina Corporation’s Agro Industrial Group (URC-AIG), as they continue their build-up for the upcoming UAAP season and beyond. They officially renewed their partnership recently with Robinsons Retail Holdings, Inc. President and CEO Robina Gokongwei-Pe, and URC-AIG Group Business Unit General Manager Vincent Henry Go, and UP Fighting Maroons Team Manager Agaton Uvero and Head Coach Bo Perasol signing the Memorandum of Agreement at the UP Executive House in Diliman, Quezon City. Robina Gokongwei-Pe, a UP alumna and avid backer of the Fighting Maroons involved Robinsons Supermarket and Handyman as Fighting Maroons supporters in 2010. Even as UP went winless and won only a total of three games in four seasons (2010-2013), Robina and her group stuck it out with the country’s premier state university in its quest back to relevancy in the field of sports. More recently, Universal Robina Corporation’s Agro- Industrial Group, through its premium farm products unit Robina Farms, was added to the companies that threw its support behind the Fighting Maroons. “We firmly believe that the UP Fighting Maroons shares the same values as us, such as passion for excellence and loyalty to our stakeholders. As we renew our official support for the men’s basketball team, we want them to continue to imbibe the same things that our company lives by as they seek to surpass last year’s achievement. This upcoming UAAP Season 82, it would be another great privilege to stand by this team together with the whole UP community. Hoping to exemplify ISKOs values of honor and excellence in every endeavor” said Vincent Henry Go of AIG’s Robina Farms. “UP’s run last year is proof that everything is possible,” said Universal Robina Corporation – Agro Industrial Group’s Marketing Director Jonathan Diño. “Hopefully, this year’s team will build on what Batch 81 started and bring home the UAAP Championship for the first time since ’86. It’s UP’s time! They should take it. They deserve it.” “We’re always grateful for all the support we have received from our alumni, especially from Ms. Gokongwei and her group of companies, who have been with us through our ups and downs. This team knows what it’s like to be at the bottom, to lack basic necessities like food and allowances. We are thankful for the faith and loyalty of the Robinsons Retail Group,” said UP head coach Bo Perasol. Also present at the signing besides Robina Gokongwei-Pe and Vincent Henry Go were Willy Co (Handyman Vice Chairman), Jody Gadia (Robinsons Supermarket Managing Director), Stanley Co (Handyman Group General Manager), Katherine Yu (Daiso General Manager), Agnes Rafinan (TGP General Manager), Abet Liuson (TGP AVP – Supply Chain), Dr. Florante Palabrica (Robina Farms Farm Operations Director), and Jonathan Dino (Robina Farms Marketing Manager). The Fighting Maroons fresh from their Championship run in Taiwan’s Buddha’s Light International Association (BLIA) Cup coupled with offseason trainings in Las Vegas and Japan, look to give back to their supporters in Season 82......»»

Category: sportsSource: abscbn abscbnAug 14th, 2019

BLIA championship a big boost for UP with UAAP 82 looming large

For the first time in a long time, the University of the Philippines has tasted a championship. The Fighting Maroons put on a strong showing in the 2019 Buddha's Light International Association (BLIA) Cup a week ago and ultimately put their hands around a well-earned trophy. Of course, the title - a rare feat for a team that had just gotten out of its so-called "dark days" - is much welcome. "We've got what it takes to win. We've got what it takes to win the championship," head coach Bo Perasol said in the contract renewal between State U and longtime backer Robinsons Group of Companies, Thursday in the Executive House inside the Diliman campus. More importantly, it's yet another proof that the maroon and green is right on track for continued contention. "Before playing in the championship, we had struggles and it's important that we had to go through that. Meaning, how is Kobe [Paras] going to play with his teammates, how will we play without Ricci [Rivero] and Juan [Gomez de Liano]," their always amiable mentor shared. He then continued, "But ang maganda nga, we were abe to get through that. Ang takeaways from that is that we can come back and win" With their main tournament just two months away, Coach Bo said that the BLIA Cup championship is yet another step in UP's climb to the mountaintop. "After this, meron pa kaming dalawang plano - upcoming trip to Serbia and then a tournament in Shanghai," he said, referring to their continuing buildup to UAAP 82. He then continued, "I'm just hoping that we will be complete because that has been our challenge this offseason." By then, the Fighting Maroons are nothing but hopeful that both Juan GDL and Rivero - slowed down by back spasms and an ankle sprain, respectively - will be back at full strength to firm up their fully loaded core. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 25th, 2019

UP will do nothing but continue to Bo-lieve in UAAP 82

The University of the Philippines still has head coach Bo Perasol's back. That much was evident as the Fighting Maroons and their fans put on a show of force in their first game without their suspended mentor. In the warmups of their matchup opposite Far Eastern University, Sunday at the MOA Arena, all of State U's players were wearing maroon shirts with a white text on it that read "We Bo-lieve" while 300 of their supporters had cutouts of the face of coach Bo. Asked about the brand new part of their uniforms post-game, team captain Noah Webb answered, "It's basically just standing behind what coach Bo did. Of course, it's not ideal what he did, but we believe he did it to protect us." He then continued, "It's just us showing the UP community and the UAAP that we stand behind what coach Bo did." Perasol was serving the first of a three-game suspension levied on him for a heated incident he had with referee Jaime Rivano in their Finals rematch against Ateneo de Manila University a week ago. Of course, as their mentor was not in the venue with them, UP was hoping to dedicate a win to him. "We wanted to get it for coach Bo, but you know how it is," Bright Akhuetie said. Unfortunately, they were able to battle back from 16 points down only to run out of gas in overtime. And so, the Fighting Maroons will have to try to get one for their head coach in their next assignment against University of the East next Saturday. There, they are only even more determined. "We really have to get it for him next time. We still Bo-lieve," Akhuetie said. Webb could only agree. "This only makes us hungrier to get it for coach Bo next time." Whether or not they finally make that happen is yet to be determined, but what is certain is that State U will continue to "Bo-lieve."  "Yes. Yes. The whole team still 'Bo-lieves,'" their skipper said. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 6th, 2019

UAAP 82: Juan GDL more than happy to give whatever UP needs

The University of the Philippines is on its first win run in the UAAP 82 Men's Basketball Tournament. With back-to-back wins, the Fighting Maroons have moved to solo second in the standings at 3-1 - just right behind undefeated defending champion Ateneo de Manila University. And State U has done this even though its homegrown star has yet to get going. Through four games, Juan Gomez de Liano is averaging 5.8 points and his shooting has not gone online. Even more, the third-year guard has just one double-digit scoring game to his name. Still, Juan GDL is nothing but satisfied - as he has given his all, just as his teammates have given their all, to make sure UP continued its contention. "I'm really happy for us because the fact is, we're winning. We've all been working hard for this," he said. While the 19-year-old's scoring is far from his norms of 16.2 a season ago, his all-around game remains, also posting per game counts of over five rebounds and over three assists thus far in the tournament. And Juan GDL will only keep giving whatever it is that the Fighting Maroons need. "Whatever coach Bo [Perasol] needs, I'll just be more than ready. It'll be a hard adjustment for me, but I'll just continue to be patient and selfless," he said. For his part, coach Bo could only sing the praises of his primary playmaker who has always been a team player. As he put it, "Yan ang sacrifice, yung ginagawa niya ngayon, yung ginagawa lang muna niya whatever is best for the team." --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 19th, 2019

UP s bonds will only get stronger now Paras has debuted in UAAP Season 82

Kobe Paras took a little longer to make his debut for the University of the Philippines in the UAAP Season 82 Men's Basketball Tournament, but he finally did so, Sunday at MOA Arena. And in just his first game for the Fighting Maroons, Paras made an immediate impact, dropping 20 points on top of six rebounds and two blocks. Most importantly, his assist led to Javi Gomez de Liano's three that forced overtime and his short stab was part of the 8-0 finishing kick that eventually ended as a bounce back win. Of course, head coach Bo Perasol only welcomed the 6-foot-6 forward with open arms. "It's a great catalyst that we have Kobe here not just for his offense, but his presence inside. It gives inspiration to his teammates," he told reporters in the post-game conference. For his part, Paras is just glad to be able to take the floor once more. "I'm happy. I'm really happy. As everyone knows, this is my fourth college so I'm just thankful for coach Bo and the whole UP community for giving me, basically, a third chance not just in basketball, but in life," he said. After a short stint as a promising prospect for La Salle Green Hills, the son of Philippine basketball legend Benjie Paras first committed to UCLA before transferring to Creighton. Paras suited up for one season as a Bluejay before relocating again to Cal State Northridge, but never played a game there. Now he has debuted - and has triumphed in his debut - the 21-year-old is only looking forward to strengthening his bonds with his teammates. "The win helps us to build our chemistry because you know that his is a new team. A lot of people think it's easy to just have a group of players come in and produce, but it's hard," he shared. He then continued, "I'm just glad we have games like this because it brings us together." --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 15th, 2019

ONE Championship: Mark Sangiao lauds Eduard Folayang s mental toughness after recent win

Team Lakay pulled off a 3-0 sweep at ONE: Masters of Fate in Manila last November 8th, with ONE Strawweight World Champion Joshua Pacio successfully defending his title against fellow Pinoy Rene Catalan in the main event, and former champs Eduard Folayang and Geje Eustaquio both getting big wins as well.  It was a good way to close out the year for Team Lakay, who had absorbed quite a number of consecutive setbacks prior to ONE’s final card in Manila for 2019.  Pacio was dominant in his title defense, while Eustaquio successfully avenged a 2016 loss to Finland’s Toni Tauru with a spectacular third-round body-kick KO.  Folayang’s win however, didn’t come in the way that they would have hoped, earning a Technical Decision win after being ruled unable to continue due to a cut caused by an accidental headbutt from Mongolian opponent Amarsanaa Tsogookhuu.  Folayang was dominating the opening round with his superior striking, and was well on his way to doing the same in the second round, right before the accidental clash of heads which opened up a nasty gash on the former lightweight king’s right cheek.  With the cut too big to allow Folayang to continue, the match went to the judges’ scorecards, giving the Filipino MMA hero the decision win.  While it was the result they wanted, it was definitely not how they would have wanted to get there.  “Oo siyempre, kasi dino-dominate na niya eh, pero ang lakas nung impact nung sumalubong yung headbutt, pero knowing Eduard kasi, kahit sabihin mong nahilo yun, 'Hindi' ang sasabihin niya pa din,” said Team Lakay head coach Mark Sangiao. “Kilala ko na 'yan, ever since nung bata pa 'yan, nakita ko yung mental toughness nun, kaya sinabi kong hindi na pwede 'yan.” “Mabuti nakita nung doctor. Magaling yung doctor ng ONE, nakita naman nila na talagang hindi pwede, so inistop nila,” Sangiao continued.  The Team Lakay mentor states that he agrees with the decision to stop the fight because the former champion was clearly rocked from the accidental headbutt.  “Agree, kasi nakita ko na rin na nahilo si Eduard,” Sangiao explained. “Nung pumunta na sa gilid, hilo na siya, pero siya, napaka-lakas pa nung isip niya, sabi niya 'Okay pa ako.' pero yung paa niya, wobbly na. Dun mo makikita kung gaano kalakas yung isip ni Eduard. He's really a champion.” Sangiao believes that if it were up to Folayang, the fight would have continued on.  “Yung sa kanya, gusto pa niya eh, pero sabi ko no. Buti si Kevin [Belingon] andun din, pina-upo siya, kasi nakikita niya na wobbly na yung paa niya,” he explained.  Perhaps what exacerbated the situation was that the official didn’t immediately see that it was indeed an accidental headbutt that stunned Folayang. As a result, Tsogookhuu was able to pounce on Folayang and land a few more punches before being halted.  Sanguiao says that he understands the situation, given that the official did not have the perfect vantage point to make a call at the moment.  “Professional naman yung referee, nakita kasi sa video na nasa blind side siya. Nung nakita niya lang yun, doon lang niya sinabi, tapos sinisigaw namin, tapos nung brineak niya, sabi niya sa akin, sinenyas niya na headbutt. Doon niya na-realize siguro.” “Bakit ang laki ng cut? Hindi naman ma-ccut ng ganun kung sa suntok, sobrang laki nung cut,” Sangiao added.  Folayang’s drive to continue fighting, Sangiao explained, comes from a sense of urgency in that, coming off back-to-back losses, a third straight loss would have been a serious setback to his dreams of regaining his spot atop the division.  “Alam na niya yun, at alam ko rin na kapag natalo pa siya dito, bababa yung career niya, I mean lalayo siya sa title shot,” Sangiao detailed. “Siya na mismo, sabi niya, kaya doon sa mga interviews niya, very hungry siya para bumalik. Kaya nga kanina, isa yun, yung isang motivation niya kaya kanina, kahit nag-wowobble na yung paa niya, hindi pa raw siya hilo." “Ako na yung nagsabi na upo ka muna, mag-rest ka, kasi kita mo, pero yung isip niya, ang lakas,” Sangiao concluded. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 21st, 2019

MPBL: Sta. Lucia hoops tradition lives on in Pasig

"I am a true basketball man. We were 34 years in basketball. We will represent the city we all love." Those are the words of Salvador "Buddy" Encarnado, the boss of the Pasig Sta. Lucia Realtors of the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League. For him, this team is more than just a job, it seems to be a calling. The old Sta. Lucia Realtors played for 17 years in the PBA, winning two titles with Encarnado a fixture in the team's leadership. Some of their players are etched into Pinoy hoops lore, like Marlou Aquino, Kelly Williams, Dennis Espino, and MPBL commish Kenneth Duremdes. When SLR departed from the league in 2010, the real estate conglomerate continued to dabble in hoops, fielding teams in amateur leagues. But their takeover of the Pasig franchise in the MPBL represents their biggest hoops project since fleeing the pro league. Sta. Lucia Basketball thus entered a new era. This team is also very close to Encarnado's heart. The GM grew up in Barangay Sumilang, a 13-minute walk away from the Realtors' home court, the Pasig Sports Center. Exequiel "Exy" Robles, the president of Sta. Lucia Realty, is also a native of Pasig. Both were dismayed when the Pasig Pirates finished the Datu Cup in dead last in the table, at 4-21. "As a Pasigueno I could not help but feel bad for the negative image of Pasig with a team that went 4 out of 21," said Encarnado, who has retired as a day-to-day executive of SLR but helps out in their sporting ventures. Sta. Lucia took the reins of the troubled club, rechristened them the Pasig Sta. Lucia Realtors, and quickly moved to upgrade the roster. There wasn't a great deal of time, just two and-a-half weeks before the June start to the season. "We were pressured to make a fighting team in such a short window. It was like being the last in a buffet lunch. We had so few choices," laments Encarnado. Despite the slim pickings Pasig brought in a trio of studs in guard Robbie Manalang, swing man Jeric Teng, and former Mapua standout Josan Nimes. Manalang, a Filipino-American guard from Orange County in California, starred for Adamson but didn't sign with a team in the PBA after being drafted by Rain or Shine in the second round. The Realtors nabbed him on the last day of the preseason transfer period. "The management and team welcomed me with open arms since day one. Playing here has revived my career," says the guard. Manalang is norming just under 14 points per game and is a real weapon from beyond the arc. Encarnado locked down coach Bong De La Paz, who he had worked with in the past. "He knows my standard and my system," says the GM. Richard Velchez and Argel Mendoza were also roped in. In the recent midseason trading period the team strengthened their frontcourt with veteran Leo Najorda and 6'5" former NLEX Road Warrior Fonso Gotladera. "They bring experience and height," says the team chief. Pasig also has a powerful secret weapon: the rabid fans in the Pasig Sports Center. It's a cozy, intimate bandbox of an arena, and Realtors fans regularly fill it to the brim. "Hands down some the best fans in the league, if not the best," says Nimes. "The atmosphere is loud, crazy, and energetic. Almost all our games are jampacked and the fans are always engaged." "I have never seen a whole venue stand up and put three fingers in the air before I shoot a three like the Pasig fans do. I don't think I will ever forget that," says Manalang. "I'm usually the last to leave the dugout after games. And fans will still be there waiting for pictures. It's an amazing feeling," continues the former Soaring Falcon. "The fans relate to people who represent them," explains Encarnado. "Without the fans we are nothing. Basketball is not just basketball. They want to be entertained. The crowds are knowledgeable. They know what they are watching." Pasig is not invincible at home, having dropped games to Batangas and Bacoor. But both were close contests settled in the final seconds. Pasig's home is still one of the league's fortresses. Encarnado is cautiously optimistic about their chances this season. But for the next competition, the expectations will be high. "Next year some of my old players will be free and hopefully they will come back. I expect good things to happen." One thing that will never change is the Sta. Lucia culture, which Encarnado hopes will live on in this team's new iteration. "Ever since it has been about the work ethic of the group. We select people with good values who believe in hard work and have passion." The passion was in full view last Monday when the Realtors tangled with the Iloilo United Royals inn Makati. The Pasigueños battled hard, and Najorda had a superb day including a neat left-handed hook shot in the first quarter. But Pasig once again missed the services of the injured Jeric Teng, and could not neutralize Iloilo's white-hot Al Francis Tamsi, who scattered 26 points. Pasig shot just 34 percent from the field and lost 79-65. Encarnado sat at the end of Pasig bench, dressed in a team-supplied green-and white Sta. Lucia polo jack. He mostly observed the loss with little emotion. But near the end, during a dead ball situation, the boss strolled onto the court, and with glasses in hand, upbraided an official for not calling an elbow on one of his charges. His team falls short but they are still very much in the playoff race. The fire in Encarnado's belly still burns for the game. And it will not be extinguished anytime soon, if his words are to be believed. "I will never retire from basketball.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 19th, 2019

Mantilla on UP stint: An experience of a lifetime

CEBU CITY, Philippines—Although his one-and-done stint with the University of the Philippines (UP) has come to an end, Cebuano cager Jaybie Bacus Mantilla said he will keep with him the memories he had with the Fighting Maroons forever. Mantilla is back in Cebu after the Fighting Maroons’ bid for a title in the UAAP ended […] The post Mantilla on UP stint: An experience of a lifetime appeared first on Cebu Daily News......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsNov 18th, 2019

UP on UAAP 82 Finals: It wasn t meant to be

Renzo Subido's shot energized University of Sto. Tomas to the Finals of the UAAP 82 Men's Basketball Tournament. Right after that big shot, however, the University of the Philippines had the perfect play to retake the lead. Only, Kobe Paras bobbled the ball after getting a good look from the right corner. Still, he was able to recover in time to throw a lob to Javi Gomez de Liano. Unfortunately, with a good look of his own, Javi GDL's shot was too strong. And so, when the final buzzer sounded, the Growling Tigers had gotten the better of the Fighting Maroons. During "UP Naming Mahal" the fourth-year forward had tears in his eyes - apparently still stinging from that miss. "It was a really close shot. I should've made it," he said. He then continued, "Maybe it wasn't meant to be. Maybe we weren't meant to be in the Finals this year." Javi GDL then furthered that it looked like he rushed his attempt. "Pinasa sakin, tumalon agad ako. Minadali ko ata. I'll learn from it. These things make us stronger," he said. Even so, just down three in the dying moments, State U still had a shot, but James Spencer's triple try was way off. "Supposedly, it was Kobe's dapat, but nabasa nila and James got open," head coach Bo Perasol shared. "Bad breaks. It wasn't meant to be." In the end, though, coach Bo said he has no doubt his boys gave it their all - and that in itself is something the Diliman community has to be proud of. "I think that we had disappointed a lot in our community by not being in the Finals, but we have to move forward how we can bring this team back to the Finals," he said. He then continued, "We were just one win away this year, but we played against a very tough team in UST." --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 13th, 2019

LIVE UPDATES - UAAP Season 82 Men s Basketball Stepladder Semifinals: UST vs. UP Game 2

It's going to be a wild Wednesday as University of the Philippines and University of Santo Tomas meet in a do-or-die match to see who advances into the UAAP Season 82 Men's Basketball Finals to face defending champions Ateneo de Manila University.  After falling in the first game of their matchup, the Fighting Maroons will look to bounce back and set up a showdown with their Katipunan neighbors in the season finale.  Riding the momentum of their big win last Sunday, the Growling Tigers have their sights set on a return to the Finals for the first time since UAAP Season 78.  Can UP set up a rematch of the last season's Finals, or can UST make it to the big dance?  Follow along with LIVE UPDATES here: .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 11th, 2019

UST poses problems for UP anew, forces do-or-die for UAAP 82 Finals berth

University of Sto. Tomas still has the University of the Philippines' number even now in the stepladder playoffs of the UAAP 82 Men's Basketball Tournament. Forcing their opponents to play at their pace all game long, the Growling Tigers ran circles all around the Fighting Maroons for a dominant 89-69 decision, Sunday at Araneta Coliseum. Season MVP Soulemane Chabi Yo showed the way with a 17-point, 15-rebound double-double to go along with four steals and two assists, but Rhenz Abando, Mark Nonoy, and CJ Cansino were right by his side as they took away State U's twice-to-beat advantage and teed up a do-or-die match between the two teams on Wednesday at MOA Arena. UST was in complete command right from tip-off and, as always, buried its opponent with a barrage of triples. "It's all about execution - execution both on offense and defense. Lahat ng instructions ko, sinunod ng players," head coach Aldin Ayo said as they totaled 11 makes from deep. And with UP rallying late, they again went back to their tried and tested weapon as back-to-back treys from Sherwin Concepcion and Nonoy detonated a 16-2 blast in a three-minute span that re-increased their lead from just nine, 72-63, to as big as 20, 85-65. The Growling Tigers would not look back and now need just one more win to return to the Finals for the first time since 2015. In the end, Nonoy had 16 points, four assists, four rebounds, and two steals while Concepcion had 12 markers of his own. Cansino also added 11 points and three rebounds while Renzo Subido contributed eight markers and 12 assists. Still, this is exactly why Fighting Maroons had their sights set on a twice-to-beat advantage all season long. In the fourth try, they will hope to finally find an answer for their rivals from Espana. Juan Gomez de Liano turned in his best game of the season in this one with 20 points while Bright Akhuetie posted his own 19-marker, 18-board double-double. BOX SCORES UST 89 - Abando 17, Chabi Yo 17, Nonoy 16, Concepcion 12, Cansino 11, Subido 8, Ando 4, Huang 2, Paraiso 2, Bataller 0. UP 69 - Ju. Gomez de Liano 20, Akhuetie 19, Rivero 12, Paras 9, Webb 4, Ja. Gomez de Liano 3, Tungcab 2, Jaboneta 0, Mantilla 0, Manzo 0, Murrell 0, Prado 0, Spencer 0. QUARTER SCORES: 19-13, 41-24, 60-47, 89-69. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 10th, 2019

Live updates: UP vs UST UAAP men s basketball stepladder semis

After ousting the FEU Tamaraws in an 81-71 victory on Wednesday, UST hopes to continue their UAAP season with a win over the second-seed Fighting Maroons......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsNov 10th, 2019

Desiderio proud UP’s ‘Atin ‘to’ spirit is alive and well in UAAP 82

The University of the Philippines is yet to have a double-digit margin of victory in the UAAP 82 Men's Basketball Tournament. In their nine wins, the Fighting Maroons' biggest winning margin was six at the expense of Far Eastern University and University of the East. Even more, six of their wins have come by three points or less. Without a doubt, State U has found itself in more close contests than any other team in the tournament. And yet, again and again, they fought - and more often than not, they won. With that, it's safe to say that the battle cry Paul Desiderio breathed life into is alive and well - even as he is now making his alma mater proud with the Blackwater Elite in the PBA. "Oo. Kitang-kita mo pa rin yun sa kanila," he answered after being asked if he could still sense "Atin 'to" in this iteration of UP's men's basketball team. "Basta close games, hindi sila nagpapatalo, hindi sila sumusuko. Laban lang hanggang sa dulo." Of course, nobody would ever forget that it was behind Desiderio that the Fighting Maroons announced they are now a force to reckon with. With him leading the way, they ended a 21-year Final Four drought and then ended a 32-year Finals absence. Now, State U is in prime position to build on that momentum as it boasts of the second-seed and a twice-to-beat advantage for the first time in school history. "Malaking bagay na naabot ng UP yung no. 2 kasi dati, nasa baba lang kami, wala pang nanonood. Ngayon, kitang-kita mo yung suporta ng community," Desiderio said. He then continued, "Sobrang happy kami kasi talagang makikita mong umangat yung programa. Malaking credit yun kay Coach Bo para madala yung team sa back-to-back na Final Four." Still, the Diliman legend also reminded that the job is far from finished. "Kailangan nila, be more disciplined and mag-focus on their roles. Kailangan, yung eyes nila, nasa bigger picture," he said. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 9th, 2019

Unforgettable UAAP Final Four Moments

A Final Four in any of the UAAP seasons in the last 26 years has always been memorable and epic. Since Season 56, the format has intensified the competitiveness in the league, as it has since given four teams the chance at a championship, instead of just two teams in the 55 seasons prior. Here we witnessed dramatic, climactic face-offs between the first and fourth placers, and the second and third placers, with the top two teams enjoying a twice-to-beat advantage. This is to determine who will slug it out in the Finals. Yet there are rare instances when a school tops the eliminations unscathed, just like this year’s mighty Ateneo Blue Eagles, who advanced to the Finals outright after sweeping the round. In this case, a stepladder Final Four is implemented wherein the third and fourth battle each other in a do-or-die match before facing the second placer, which has a twice-to-beat advantage. And yes, these teams have made their playoff wars exciting and spectacular with a level of play that is truly exceptional. Here are some of the most powerful, controversial, heroic, and reverberating moments in the UAAP Final Four that have been forever etched in our minds:   1) UP enters Finals for first time in 32 years in Season 81 In their first Final Four appearance in 21 years, the UP Fighting Maroons had the utmost desire to make history once more with the battlecry “Atin ‘To,” captain Paul Desiderio’s famous call to arms.  And, in Season 81, barreling into the semifinals was already a gigantic feat, having been in the cellar for quite a while in the UAAP.  But they wanted more, and facing a championship-ready Adamson Soaring Falcons was an immense challenge with its lean and mean arsenal, given how the San Marcelino cagers had waylaid the competition in the eliminations, including the defending champions Ateneo. But they were unfazed with Adamson’s twice-to-beat advantage, and in Game 1, they would beat the odds, as the Fighting Maroons and the Soaring Falcons ended up tied at 71-all with three seconds to go. As Juan Gomez de Liano was inbounding, he found an open Bright Akhuetie near the basket to convert the game-winner for UP to arrange a winner-take-all.  And in the decider, it was again a tedious trek for both teams, with the game tied for the last time at 87-all in overtime. Then, the fiery captain will again own it for the Fighting Maroons as he swooshed a jumper off Adamson’s Sean Maganti with 6.6 seconds left. With Falcon guard Jeron Lastimosa missing a three off a timeout as time ran out led to utter euphoria in the Maroon-dominated Araneta Coliseum, spilling out to the numerous UP campuses across the nation, as the Fighting Maroons entered the Finals for the first time in 32 years. They would be denied a repeat of their 1986 title run however by the back-to-back champions Ateneo Blue Eagles, which won the Finals convincingly.   2) Blue Eagle Gec Chia’s miracle “shot” in Season 65 Season 65 was certainly the most unforgettable for the Ateneo Blue Eagles as it achieved a flurry of milestones. Already with a well-developed line-up and the immense motivation to win it all, after their previous heartbreaking campaigns, the Eagles had beaten the league-leading and four-peat-hunting DLSU Green Archers in the last game of the eliminations, denying them a sweep and an outright finals berth. And in third place at the end of the elims, the Eagles would face another formidable squad, the James Yap and Paul Artadi-enforced second-placers UE Red Warriors. After staging a stunning upset in the first game of their Final Four match-up, 84-78, Ateneo again engaged UE in a close, hard fought decider and both teams were tied at 70-all with 7.8 seconds left.  With LA Tenorio trapped in the offensive play, he would kick the ball out to the gutsy marksman Gec Chia, who would rise to the occasion and soar over a phalanx of defenders to make that miracle “Shot” heard everywhere as time expired. That unforgettable shot pushed the Eagles into that climactic end to a 14-year title drought in the Finals by that Herculean drubbing of La Salle.   3) FEU’s Mac Belo buries last-second corner three against La Salle in Season 77 On October 1, 2014, the defending champions DLSU Green Archers threatened the second placers FEU Tamaraws, with a menacing win in their first match in the Final Four of Season 77, nearing to book another trip to the Finals. In Game Two, with 24 ticks remaining, the Tamaraws used up the remaining seconds with the intent of taking the last shot.  FEU point guard Mike Tolomia then barreled his way through the paint, drawing two La Salle defenders and leaving Mac Belo free at the corner. With a little over two seconds to go, Tolomia would hand the ball off to Belo for a catch-and-shoot beyond the arc at the right corner and buried the three as time expired, giving the Tamaraws a return trip to the Finals. They would, however, eventually lose to a gritty NU Bulldogs, which won their first title in 60 years.   4) FEU eliminates Ateneo with Mac Belo’s follow up buzzer beater in Season 78 In Season 78, the FEU Tamaraws would most certainly want another crack at the title, after losing to NU the previous year. And they were really scorching hot in the eliminations, ending up tied with the UST Growling Tigers at the top of the heap, but dropped to second place due to a lower quotient. In the Final Four, they would face the third placers Ateneo Blue Eagles with a twice-to-beat advantage. On November 21, 2015, the FEU and Ateneo were stuck in a really close game with Roger Pogoy waxing hot for the Tams, and Kiefer Ravena leading all departments for the Eagles. With ten seconds to go, Adrian Wong of Ateneo streaked for a layup after a Richard Escoto miss. Wong’s daredevil shot was deflected and the ball ended up in the hands of Mike Tolomia, who rushed back to the FEU side of the court for the final shot. He would make a gallant incursion with a near acrobatic layup with one second to go. And as the ball rimmed out, a well-positioned Mac Belo was below the basket for the quick, buzzer beating putback that once more sent the Tamaraws to the Finals. FEU would then claim their 20th title overall over the UST Growling Tigers in the Finals.   5) FEU's Miko Roldan hits game-winner against Ateneo in Season 63  Mac Belo breaking the hearts of Ateneans with that buzzer beater in Season 78 was like history repeating itself. Fifteen years earlier, the Tamaraws, led by Celino Cruz and Edwin Bacani, also engaged the Blue Eagles to a Final Four battle, with Ateneo having that twice-to-beat privilege.  Led by Rich Alvarez, LA Tenorio and Larry Fonacier, the Blue Eagles were really soaring to get that elusive title it last won in 1988. And in the first game in the Final Four, people were expecting the Blue Eagles to cruise past FEU, having beaten them twice in the elims.  But the Tamaraws really gave them a hell of a match. As Andrew Cruz flubbed two charities in the dying seconds that should have given the Blue Eagles a comfortable three-point lead, FEU gunner Miko Roldan sank a semi-hook shot at the buzzer in the ensuing play to break the hearts of Ateneans everywhere and extend the series, 61-60. In the decider, Cruz and Bacani would conspire for 39 points to complete a monster upset, 75-67, and reach the Finals. The defending champions DLSU Green Archers, led by the legendary Renren Ritualo, was just too much for the Tams in the Finals and copped their three-peat.   6) Fight-marred Ateneo-La Salle Final Four series in Season 66 Joseph Yeo was all over the court in a scoring binge while Rookie-of-the-Year JVee Casio showed a glimpse of being a clutch player as the DLSU Green Archers, the fourth seed, took their storied rivalry with defending champions Ateneo Blue Eagles, the top seed, to a tenacious, heated Final Four war. Heightened emotions were at play since Ateneo’s colossal Finals victory the previous season, and the animosity between the two ballclubs was at its fiercest and most intense. In Game 1, after La Salle’s Jerwin Gaco’s putback sent the game into overtime, the extended play’s physicality went to overdrive. With 1:31 left in overtime, Gaco bumped LA Tenorio in the battle for the loose ball. Tenorio would then sneak a punch at Gaco, who then nudged the Ateneo guard. This led to a bench-clearing brawl, as players punched, kicked and shoved each other while the coaches tried to break up the fight even as referees whistled repeatedly.  La Salle’s Ryan Arana kicked Ateneo’s Wesley Gonzales from behind and the league meted the Archer with a one-game suspension. Also suspended were Tenorio and fellow Blue Eagle Christian "Badjie" del Rosario. The Archers would prevail after the five-minute extension, 76-72. The decider was also as heated with on-court and off-court flare-ups and violent confrontations between players and supporters. Ateneo’s steady offense, however, prevailed in the final minute, as the Blue Eagles hung on to 74-68 victory, entering the Finals for the second straight year. FEU, however, would deny Ateneo a back-to-back run, winning the championship in two games.   7) UST trounces NU twice to become first fourth placer to eliminate the top-seed in a Final Four series in Season 76 The NU Bulldogs were on a roll, and 2013 seemed to be their year, with Bobby Ray Parks returning after back-to-back MVP seasons and leading them to reach the top of the standings at the end of eliminations. But they have their Achilles heel—the dribblers of Espana—who have exerted their mastery of the Bulldogs, winning twice in the elims. And bad news for the Bulldogs, they would meet the UST Growling Tigers, which ended at fourth place, in the Final Four.  In Game 1, a red-hot Kevin Ferrer would lead UST to its biggest margin of 18 within the match, but they needed to fend off NU’s late charge, 71-62, to force a rubber match. And in the winner-take-all, UST completed its mastery of top-ranked Bulldogs, again with a game-long dominance to end at 76-69, marking the first time a fourth seed would snatch a Finals berth from a first-placer in the league.   8) NU’s Alfred Aroga’s monster block on Ateneo’s Kiefer Ravena in Season 77 After a frustrating loss to UST in the Season 76 Final Four, NU would get another crack at gaining that elusive Finals appearance. But in the next chapter of the semifinals, NU will hope for a Cinderella finish to gain that berth, trying to beat the top placers Ateneo Blue Eagles, just like what UST did to them in the previous year when they were the top-seed. Jay-Jay Alejandrino and Troy Rosario led NU’s surge in the fourth quarter of the first game to spoil Ateneo’s twice to beat to force a deciding game. In the rubber match, no clear advantage was evident in the majority of the game. But after NU’s Gelo Alolino broke a 63-all tie with two charities off a foul from Ateneo’s Nico Elorde, 65-63, Kiefer Ravena would try to send the game to overtime with a drive against several NU defenders with three seconds left.  He failed however after NU’s Alfred Aroga swatted his attempt as time expired—a monster block that brought NU to its first finals appearance in 44 years. The Bulldogs would then wallop the FEU Tamaraws in the Finals, 2-1, to clinch their first title in 60 years. 9) Coming out party of UE’s Paul Lee in Season 72 The UE Red Warriors had come off from a heartbreaking Finals loss to the DLSU Green Archers in Season 70 after sweeping the eliminations, and another hurtful exit the succeeding year with a Final Four defeat at the hands of the Ateneo Blue Eagles. The Red Warriors would then make another trip to the Final Four in Season 72, which was the coming out party of prolific scorer Paul Lee, as the league’s third best after the eliminations. UE would battle second placers FEU for the chance to enter the Finals once more after the Season 70 debacle. They extended the series after Lee led a late game spurt with three consecutive three-pointers in a devastating 18-5 run, he would end up with a game-high 26 points. In the rubber match, with UE trailing FEU in the first half, the Red Warriors would make an explosive comeback in the second half and would again rely on the dependable Lee and Pari Llagas for their late-game heroics. Llagas would lift UE up for good with two straight field goals, 72-70, while Lee showed nerves of steel as he sank four consecutive free throws at the end of the game, 78-72, to give UE their Finals ticket. UE, however, would bow to powerhouse Ateneo Blue Eagles in the Finals in three games.   10) UST’s Jojo Duncil completes winning three-point play that frustrated UE in Season 69 By this time, the UE Red Warriors were in their fifth straight Final Four appearance. And in Season 69, UE would land at second place after the eliminations behind Ateneo, relishing its twice-to-beat advantage.  In the Final Four, UE would face a determined UST Growling Tigers, who were seeking redemption after last winning the championship in 1996, the last year of their 90s four-peat dynasty. UST would eke out a hard-earned Game 1 victory, 79-75 victory over UE that led to a deciding Game 2. In this clincher, both UST and UE kept the match close.  And in the final quarter, with the score tied at 79-all in the dying seconds, Growling Tiger Jojo Duncil converted on a tip-in, and-1, after a previous miss and teammate Jervy Cruz’s failed putback. Duncil would then complete the three-point play to give the UST an 82-79 edge, a few seconds left. UE’s Marcy Arellano would drive unmolested for an easy two to cut the lead to a solitary point, 82-81, nearing the end of the game. After UST committed a turnover, the Red Warriors had the chance to drop the game-winner but UE’s Jorel Cañizares missed a medium-range jump shot and a follow-up. Teammate Robert Labagala would then grab the rebound, but time ran out on the Recto dribblers. UST entered the Finals and annexed its first UAAP title in 10 years over the Ateneo Blue Eagles. Will there be another unforgettable Final Four moment in this current Season 82? Catch the start of the stepladder Final Four hostilities with the do-or-die match between the UST Growling Tigers and the FEU Tamaraws on Wednesday, November 6, for the right to meet the twice-to-beat second placers UP Fighting Maroons on Sunday, November 10......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 4th, 2019

Will Navarro bounces back from concussion with perfect game

      MANILA, Philippines – The Ateneo Blue Eagles had no problem dispatching the UP Fighting Maroons to complete a 14-0 sweep in UAAP Season 82 men’s basketball and clinch their fourth straight Finals berth.  Eight Eagles scored at least 5 points in the 86-64 mauling, a ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsOct 30th, 2019

UAAP 82: Tab Baldwin says Ateneo hardest practicing team he s coached

Ateneo de Manila University has made school history, sweeping the elimination round of the UAAP 82 Men's Basketball Tournament after crushing the University of the Philippines, Wednesday at MOA Arena. True to form, however, the Blue Eagles are taking no days off - even though they have automatically advanced into the Finals and their next game will be on November 16. "Our job is far from done and, in fact, it's going to get harder. In fact, we practice tomorrow," head coach Tab Baldwin said, dryly as always, following their decimation of the Fighting Maroons, their fiercest foes in the last two years, by 22 points. And for the players themselves, going right back to work is exactly the response they want to forward even after doing something that no other team from Katipunan has done before. "Ganun talaga. Kami mismo, gusto rin naming mag-ensayo talaga agad para we're ready come Game 1 of the Finals," team captain Mike Nieto said. That kind of attitude is the basis for their mentor to heap the most powerful of praises upon them. "This is a team that has tremendous amount of heart. What determines heart - the sacrifices these guys have made," he said. He then continued, "This is the hardest practicing team that I've coached in 40 years." Before Ateneo, Coach Tab had coached several national teams, including Gilas Pilipinas, as well as multiple professional squads. And yet, it's the Blue Eagles who have staked claim as the most hardworking. "That doesn't come because you're robotic guys that just do what you're told. It's driven by an unbelievable sense of determination, passion, and belief in one another and I think that's what equates with heart," their mentor said. For Nieto, though, that is just a reflection on the work ethic of Coach Tab. "Under him, we're just blessed. Siguro, totoo nga yun kasi pagdating sa players under Coach Tab, we just want to be the best," he shared. He then continued, "It starts every after game na the day after, we go to video session and it lasts for three hours pa nga. Kailangan matuto kami dun para next game, 'di na namin uulitin. Eto na nga yung naging resulta ng lahat yun." --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 30th, 2019

UAAP 82: Coach Bo: ‘It s not just UP who plays bad against Ateneo

The University of the Philippines has not won against Ateneo de Manila University in three years. When the Fighting Maroons last downed the Blue Eagles back in October 2016, the former still had the likes of Jett Manuel and Gelo Vito. That trend has only continued in the UAAP 82 Men's Basketball Tournament as Ateneo swept the Battle of Katipunan - in the elimination round, at the very least. Not only that, the Blue Eagles have dominated their neighbors by an average of 24 points. It's important to note, however, that State U is not the first squad to get schooled by the two-time defending champions. In fact, Ateneo has an average winning margin of 17.4 points throughout the elimination round - and only two teams have lost to it by single-digits. That is the context by which UP head coach Bo Perasol wanted to explain their recent history with their Katipunan rivals. "It's not just UP who plays bad against Ateneo. Everybody plays bad against Ateneo, period," he said. He then continued, "In the 14 games of Ateneo, I'd say 80 percent, they just outplayed everybody. If you want to beat them, you should not only be prepared, buy may kasama na ring swerte dapat." For their part, the Fighting Maroons actually welcomed another reality check provided by their rout at the hands of the Blue Eagles. "We saw our immense weaknesses and again, it's important we have to feel the reality. Ateneo is a cut above the rest and we cannot compare ourselves with them as of right now," Coach Bo said. The good news is that, while the blue and white has made school history, so has the Diliman-based squad. "As far as I'm concerned, I tried to erase the bitter loss to Ateneo right away because we need to focus on the positives that we had," their always amiable mentor said, talking about the second-seed and the twice-to-beat advantage they own which are both firsts in school history. He then continued, "We cannot discount the fact that we are 9-5. I think we have done pretty well to be no. 2, but it's also important that we can't stay there." And in that light, Coach Bo said they are now turning their attention to whoever wins out in the knockout bout between Far Eastern University and University of Sto. Tomas. "We have to move forward. We need to anticipate what's ahead of us and prepare hard for that next game," he said. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 30th, 2019

UAAP 82 By the Numbers: Playoff mode activate

Everyone knew the playoff race for UAAP Season 82 men’s basketball was going to get crazy. While that was indeed the case, it’s pretty incredible that the Final Four somehow got decided with a game day to spare. It’s pretty straightforward even and all the uber-complicated scenarios that were possible just last week have been rendered useless. It’s almost go time for the UAAP playoffs but again, before we proceed, a By the Numbers look for everyone here.   7 Straight years that the FEU Tamaraws are in the Final Four, the longest active streak in the UAAP. The Tamaraws clinched their spot by charging past UE and FEU will be this year’s no. 3 seed, up from 4th last season.   4th The final seed for the UST Growling Tigers in this year’s playoffs. UST is making its first postseason appearance since its Finals run in Season 78. At 8-6, the Tigers also got their first winning record in four years.   2nd Final seed for the UP Fighting Maroons for this year’s playoffs. While the 9 wins UP needed to clinch the no. 2 seed is the lowest ever in the Final Four spot, that probably won’t matter for the Fighting Maroons. This is the first time UP will be armed with a playoff bonus for the first time in the UAAP Final Four era.   2 Straight years that the De La Salle Green Archers have missed the Final Four. The Green Archers have missed back-to-back playoffs for only the first time since 1994.   23 Straight wins for the champion Blue Eagles, dating back to last season. Ateneo is 13-0 this year and only needs one more win to make another UAAP Finals. Depending on the timing of that win, we’ll either have a traditional Final Four or a step-ladder semis. UP will have a say on Wednesday on just what kind of playoffs we’re going to have in Season 82.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 28th, 2019

UAAP 82: Paras happy to help UP make history, still focused on Ateneo

ANTIPOLO - Kobe Paras' dunk inside the last minute was the punctuation mark in the pivotal push that sent the University of the Philippines to the second-seed of the UAAP 82 Men's Basketball Tournament. Paras' thunderous throwdown off of a Jun Manzo assist proved to be the backbreaker for De La Salle University and the bookend to a historic win for the Fighting Maroons. Behind that pivotal push, State U clinched the two-seed as well as the twice-to-beat advantage it entails. Of course, Paras was nothing but happy to have helped the Diliman-based squad make history. "It means a lot just because UP hasn't been in this situation before so I'm just really grateful na we did our best today," he said of their 9-4 record in the elimination round - already their best in the Final Four era. They already have a playoff incentive for the first time; however, the first-year forward said they know full well they have no time to waste as still up next for them is a Round 2 meeting opposite the Blue Eagles. "La Salle put up a great fight. I just can't wait to go back to practice tomorrow and get ready for Wednesday," he said. The good news is that heading into that much-anticipated matchup, UP has all the confidence in the world with all of Paras, Bright Akhuetie, Jun Manzo, and Ricci Rivero playing their best basketball thus far. "I'm just happy that a lot of players stepped up today. Hopefully, that continues," he said. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 27th, 2019

Tinig ng Plaridel strikes gold in Collegiate Press Corps Sportswriting Summit

A glimpse of the country’s future in sportswriting was on display as budding journalists from top universities and colleges got to taste firsthand sports coverage in the 2019 Chooks-to-Go Collegiate Press Corps Sportswriting Summit held at Araneta Coliseum last Wednesday. Finest writers from NCAA schools Letran and CSB together with resident UAAP campus media reporters from Adamson, National U, Ateneo, UST, and UP were in attendance in the organization’s first basketball sportswriting clinic that also included a contest right after. Young Achievers International School from Las Pinas also sent high school representatives who served as the youngest participants in the event organized by the Collegiate Press Corps in partnership with Chooks-to-Go and the UAAP in a mission to help promising talent kickstart their sportswriting dreams. Business Mirror sports editor Lorenzo "Jun" Lomibao and Rappler sports editor Jasmine Payo served as honorable speakers of the summit organized by the group composed of print and online scribes on top of the collegiate scene. Seasoned editor and mentor Lomibao, who also serves as PhilCycling’s Director for Road and Track, tackled the basics of sportswriting. Payo, the award-winning journalist from Philippine Daily Inquirer prior to her ascent as editor of Rappler, then delved into the nitty-gritty of collegiate beat coverage. Afterward, the lessons acquired by participants were put to test as they were given a chance to cover a thrilling match between the UP Fighting Maroons and the National U Bulldogs in the 82nd UAAP men’s basketball tournament at the same venue – and write about it right after. In the end, three writers shone the brightest led by Jillian Nicole Velasco from UP's Tinig ng Plaridel who was hailed as champion after a thorough deliberation by a panel made up of Payo, Manila Bulletin's Kristel Satumbaga-Villar, Inquirer.net's Bong Lozada, ABS-CBN News' Camille Naredo, and Philippine Star's John Bryan Ulanday. Paul Adrian Hular from Adamson's Chronicle and Alyssa Aquino from Letran's Lance clinched second and third place, respectively......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 24th, 2019

Salt Lake City to host NBA All-Star 2023

NBA press release SALT LAKE CITY – The NBA announced today that Salt Lake City has been selected to host NBA All-Star 2023. The 72nd NBA All-Star Game will take place at Vivint Smart Home Arena, home of the Utah Jazz, on Sunday, Feb. 19, 2023 (Feb. 20, PHL time). This will mark the 30th anniversary of the 1993 NBA All-Star Game played in Salt Lake City. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver made the announcement today during a press conference at Vivint Smart Home Arena, where he was joined by Larry H. Miller (LHM) Group of Companies Owner and Chairman Gail Miller, LHM Group of Companies CEO Steve Starks, Utah Governor Gary Herbert and Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski. “Along with a rich basketball tradition, Salt Lake City has proven to be a world-class destination for large-scale events and sports competitions,” said Silver. “I want to thank the Miller Family and the Utah Jazz organization for their commitment to hosting our All-Star festivities and to developing a program that will leave a lasting impact on the community.” “The return of the NBA All-Star Game to Salt Lake City is a tremendous honor and an opportunity for us to welcome back the NBA family for one of basketball’s biggest events,” said Miller. “The memory of John Stockton and Karl Malone sharing MVP honors 30 years ago remains strong. We are excited to create new memories for this generation of NBA fans in a place that loves to celebrate basketball.” “We are excited to bring NBA All-Star 2023 to Salt Lake City and Utah,” said Starks. “We have civic and community partners who are engaged and committed to making our celebration very special. Vivint Smart Home Arena is an ideal host venue after our recent $125 million renovation, which focused on enhancing the guest experience. With the close proximity of the Salt Palace Convention Center and Huntsman Center as facilities, NBA fans will enjoy a dynamic downtown atmosphere.” “I am very proud of our people and our state, and hosting NBA All-Star 2023 is a fitting tribute to the Miller Family and Utah Jazz organization,” said Herbert. “We look forward to showcasing our state in an unforgettable way. It’s true that nature played favorites with Utah. Visitors can hike or bike in red-rock Moab in the morning, ski at Park City in the afternoon, and attend NBA All-Star events at night for a robust Utah experience.” “Salt Lake City is a vibrant, diverse, and culturally-rich community that knows how to celebrate the experience of sport,” said Biskupski. “Our 2002 Olympic Winter Games remain the standard against which all other Games are measured. Our selection as the NBA All-Star 2023 host is a testament to Salt Lake City as a sought-after destination for major conventions, sports and entertainment events, and new business.” NBA All-Star oncourt events will tip off on Friday, Feb. 17 (Feb. 18, PHL time) at Vivint Smart Home Arena and will culminate with the NBA All-Star Game on Sunday, Feb. 19 (Feb. 20, PHL time). Additional programming for fans of all ages will take place at venues throughout the city, including the Salt Palace Convention Center and Huntsman Center on the University of Utah campus. The league will also continue to celebrate its tradition and commitment to social responsibility with a full schedule of NBA Cares and Diversity & Inclusion events during NBA All-Star 2023. Through partnerships with schools, government, and local and national nonprofit organizations, the league will reach thousands of children and families in Salt Lake City and the surrounding areas and provide critical resources to community-based programs. In 2023, TNT will be televising the All-Star Game in prime time for the 21st consecutive year, marking Turner Sports’ 38th year of All-Star coverage. The game will be broadcast worldwide in more than 200 countries and territories and more than 40 languages. NBA ALL-STAR HISTORY IN UTAH Salt Lake City previously hosted NBA All-Star at the Delta Center in 1993, when the Western Conference defeated the Eastern Conference 135-132 in overtime in the 43rd All-Star Game. Karl Malone and John Stockton of the hometown Jazz became the first teammates to share the All-Star MVP award. Malone led the West with 28 points, while Stockton notched nine points and 15 assists.  The San Antonio Spurs’ David Robinson added 21 points and 10 rebounds for the West, which overcame a game-high 30 points from the Chicago Bulls’ Michael Jordan. This was the final All-Star Game for the Detroit Pistons’ Isiah Thomas and the first for Orlando Magic rookie Shaquille O’Neal. The Charlotte Hornets’ Larry Johnson became the first player in franchise history to appear in an All-Star Game. Mark Price of the Cleveland Cavaliers won the Three-Point Contest, ending a three-year reign by the Chicago Bulls’ Craig Hodges. Price would win it again in 1994. The Miami Heat’s Harold Miner won the first of his two Slam Dunk Contest titles. Salt Lake City was home for the Utah Stars of the American Basketball Association from 1970-75 and hosted the 1973 ABA All-Star Game at The Salt Palace. The Eastern Conference team in the 1973 ABA All-Star Game included NBA legend Julius Erving and was coached by Hall of Famer Larry Brown......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 23rd, 2019