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SEA Games: Records fall as Team PHI continues hauling in gold medals

Athletics bets reset new marks in their respective events as Team Philippines scooped up more gold medals on different fronts to add to its growing collection on Saturday in the 30th Southeast Asian Games. Kristina Marie Knott won gold and shattered the 2001 meet record set by Supavedee Khawpeag of Thailand in the women’s 200m. dash, clocking 23.01 seconds in the final at the New Clark City Stadium in Tarlac. Knott, who also set the new local standard, broke the old record earlier during the heats with 23.07 seconds only to reset it once again hours later. Khawpeag’s old mark was 23.30 seconds. She surpassed Fil-Canadian teammate Zion Corrales Nelson (23.32 seconds), who broke “Asia’s fastest woman” Lydia De Vega-Mercado’s local record (23.35 seconds) earlier this year in a US NCAA meet. Tokyo Olympics-bound EJ Obiena erased 5.35m 2017 mark of Thai Porranot Purahong by clearing 5.45m to write a new gold standard in men’s pole vault.  Their feat added more glitter to Team Philippines’ total haul of 89 gold medals with 67 silver and 65 bronze. Indonesia is running second with 50-49-58 gold-silver-bronze followed by Vietnam (45-50-64). Poomsae at the Ninoy Aquino stadium accounted for four mints courtesy of Rodolfo Reyes (men’s recognized individual), Jeordan Dominguez (men’s freestyle), Jocel Lyn Ninobla (women’s recognized individual) while Reyes teamed up with Dustin Mella and Raphael Mella to rule the men’s recognized team event. Asian Games champion Margielyn Didal won her second gold medal in the meet with her conquest in women’s skateboarding street, Daniela Reggie Dela Pisa contributed a mint in rhythmic gymnastics (hoop) while Chezka Centeno ruled the 10-ball pool single. Rowers Cris Nievarez (men’s lightweight single scull), Hermie Macaranas (men’s singles 200m) and the pair Melcah Jen Caballero and Joanie Delgaco (women’s lightweight double sculls) added golds as well as the sailing tandem of Lester Tayong and Emerson Villena (men’s international 470). The duo of Francis Alcantara and Jeson Patrombon ruled men’s tennis doubles, Noelle Manalac was victorious in women’s soft tennis singles, Junna Tsukii won the -50kg kumite in karatedo while the PHI women’s fencing team reigned supreme in epee.      .....»»

Category: sportsSource: abscbn abscbnDec 7th, 2019

20 for 20: Pinoy Sports Personalities to Watch in 2020

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

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 1st, 2020

New Stars and New Eras: A look back at MMA in 2019

2019 was once again a pretty eventful year in terms of mixed martial arts, especially on the local front. In 2019, we saw Pinoy stars rise and fall, and some have managed to rise again before the decade’s end. Before we look forward to 2020, let’s take a look back at some of the biggest storylines in the world of Filipino, Asian and international mixed martial arts.   Team Lakay’s Troubles 2019 kicked off with not one, not two, but five world champions from the famed Filipino MMA stable Team Lakay. Pinoy MMA icon Eduard Folayang was on his second run as the ONE Lightweight World Champion, Kevin Belingon was enjoying his status as the ONE Bantamweight World Champion, Geje Eustaquio reigned over the flyweight division as the ONE Flyweight World Champion, and rising star Joshua Pacio, the ONE Strawweight World Champion, was the team’s youngest titleholder. Outside ONE, Stephen Loman continued on his reign as the BRAVE CF Bantamweight World Champion. And then, the dominoes began to fall. Pacio was the first to drop his title, losing a close split decision to Japan’s Yosuke Saruta. Eustaquio followed suit, dropping a controversial decision to rival Adriano Moraes, and then Folayang and Belingon would also lose their titles in heartbreaking fashion at ONE: A New Era in Japan. It was, to say the least, a rough start to the year for the Benguet-based team, but they would manage to bounce back before the year was done, with Folayang and Eustaquio both claiming wins to end the year.   The Rise of "The Passion" 23-year old prodigy Joshua “The Passion” Pacio was the youngest member of Team Lakay to hold a title heading into 2019, and heading into 2020, he remains the lone member of  Team Lakay to hold a ONE world title. After losing to Yosuke Saruta in January, Pacio was granted an immediate rematch and made good on the second opportunity by blasting Saruta with a head kick to score the KO and reclaim the ONE Strawweight World Championship. Pacio would then take on the clear-cut number one contender in fellow Pinoy Rene “D’ Challenger” Catalan, and make quick work of him as well, scoring a second-round submission win to retain the title. Even before the end of the year, Pacio already has his next assignment, as he’s set to face former champion Alex Silva at ONE: Fire and Fury in Manila on January 31st. A win for Pacio cements his status as one of, if not, the best ONE strawweight ever. While Team Lakay’s 2019 was, for the most part, a struggle, Pacio was no doubt the Team’s brightest spot.   A New Era 2019 proved to be another milestone year for Asia-based martial arts promotion ONE Championship, as they were able to penetrate new markets in terms of live shows as well as broadcast deals. ONE began the year with a new partnership with Turner Broadcasting, which gave North American fans access to ONE’s brand of martial arts through B/R Live and TNT. In terms of live events, ONE was able to finally plant their flag in one of the biggest markets for MMA in the world, Japan. In March, ONE put on their first ever show in Japan, ONE: A New Era in Tokyo, which featured some of the promotion’s biggest names including  Demetrious Johnson, Eddie Alvarez, Shinya Aoki, Angela Lee, Aung La N Sang, Eduard Folayang, and many more. To celebrate their historic 100th event, ONE returned to Tokyo for ONE: Century, their biggest card ever, featuring seven world title bouts and the promotion’s biggest stars, and then some.   In 2020, ONE plans to break through to even more new markets, possible including a show in the United States.   The ‘Return’ of Jon Jones While Jon Jones officially reclaimed his spot at the top of the UFC’s light heavyweight division in December of 2018, it was in 2019 that he returned to his dominant ways. After stopping Alexander Gustafsson in 2018 to reclaim the UFC Light Heavyweight crown, Jones handily defeated tough challengers in Anthony Smith and Thiago “Maretta” Santos to retain the titles. While the Smith and Santos bouts were lackluster in the eyes of many, it showed that even on his bad days, Jon Jones is better than most people on their best days.   “Rush” Retires Again While it was something that was expected, 37-year old Georges St-Pierre officially retired from MMA, again, in February. The former long-time welterweight king and pound-for-pound great made a triumphant return to the UFC in 2017, dethroning Michael Bisping to become the new UFC Middleweight Champion. GSP would never get to defend the title, as he would relinquish it not long after due to concerns with ulcerative colitis. While GSP has remained inactive since, the whispers of a super-fight with reigning UFC Lightweight Champion Khabib Nurmagomedov remain present, and 2020 could possibly see that coming to fruition.   Grand Prix Greatness In 2019, ONE Championship introduced a new and exciting attraction, the ONE Lightweight and Flyweight World Grand Prix tournaments.  Eight of the best fighters from each division would battle it out in a tournament-style competition, and the winner would become the ONE World Grand Prix Champion and earn a title shot against the division's respective titleholder.  Making their debuts in the lightweight and flyweight tournaments were former UFC champs Eddie Alvarez and Demetrious Johnson respectively, and as it played out the two would have very different outcomes.  Alvarez saw himself get upset in the quarterfinals by Russian knockout artist Timofey Nastyukhin. The former UFC lightweight king would get another chance in the tournament after defeating Eduard Folayang in a last-minute semifinal matchup, but another injury would keep him out of the finale at ONE: Century in Tokyo. Reigning ONE Lightweight World Champion Christian Lee ended up stepping in on short notice to defeat tournament favorite Saygid Guseyn Arslanalieve and become a double-champion.  Johnson, meanwhile, breezed through his quarterfinals and semifinals bouts to set up a finale showdown with Filipino star Danny Kingad. In the Finale, Kingad fought valiantly but ultimately fell to Johnson via Unanimous Decision, setting up a must-see matchup between DJ and reigning ONE Flyweight World Champion Adriano Moraes in 2020.    Baddest Motherf**ker Jorge Masdival has long been a staple in the UFC’s lightweight ranks for years, but it wasn’t until 2019 that “Gamebred” made headlines. After a hiatus in 2018, Masvidal returned with a bang in 2019, knocking out former title challenger Darren Till, and then followed that up with a 5-second flying knee knockout over former ONE Welterweight king Ben Askren. The popularity and momentum that Masvidal had garnered was enough to bring a certain Stockton star out of retirement and that set up one of the most talked-about UFC title bouts in 2019: Masvidal vs. Nate Diaz for the title of Baddest Motherf**ker. Masvidal lived up to the name and pieced Diaz up with strikes in the early rounds, before eventually opening up a cut that was just too big for the fight to go on. Much to the dismay of Masvidal, Diaz, and the crowd in New York, the fight was stopped. Still, it was nothing short of a testament to just how dangerous the new and improved version of Jorge Masvidal is. Expect him to challenge for a title in 2020.   MMA stars shine in 2019 SEA Games A number of Pinoy mixed martial artists showcased their skills in different battlegrounds during the recently-concluded 2019 Southeast Asian Games, which was held in the Philippines. from November 30 to December 11. Reigning URCC champion Mark “Mugen” Striegl took home gold in Combat Sambo, while former ONE title challenger Rene Catalan settled for Silver after an injury dashed his dreams of getting gold. Another URCC veteran in Ariel Lee Lampacan also took home SEA Games gold, this time in the Muay Thai competition. ONE Super Series veteran Ryan Jakiri took home silver. The SEA Games kickboxing event saw three MMA stars from Team Lakay take home gold medals, as Gina Iniong, Jerry Olsim, and Jean Claude Saclag all reigned over their respective divisions. Iniong, of course, is a ONE Women’s Atomweight contender, while Olsim is a veteran of Rich Franklin’s ONE Warrior Series. Saclag, meanwhile, is one of Team Lakay’s representatives in the Japan-based promotion Shooto.       .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 24th, 2019

SEA Games champions captivate the nation with inspiring performances

Winning the hearts of Filipinos everywhere with their discipline, perseverance, and hard work, MILO Champions Carlos Yulo, Kiefer Ravena, Pauline Lopez, Mary Joy Tabal, and Alyssa Valdez brought pride and honor to the country during the recently concluded 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games. With an entire nation energized and rallying support for five of the brightest stars in Philippine sports, they reasserted our position in the regional arena and proved why the future is bright for the next generation of champions. MILO congratulates its sports ambassadors for their impressive medal finishes and hard-fought efforts in the SEA Games, of which the Philippines also earned the overall championship, besting the 10 other countries with a tally of 387 medals: 149 gold, 117 silver, and 121 bronze. “The 30th Southeast Asian Games marked another historic milestone for the advancement of Philippine sports,” says Nestlé Philippines-MILO Vice President Veronica Cruz. “As a longstanding partner and advocate, MILO is honored to be a part of the journeys of Caloy, Kiefer, Pauline, Mary Joy, and Alyssa while remaining steadfast in building a nation of champions, bannering our one Laban Pilipinas battlecry.”  Yulo has come a long way from playing in the streets with his friends and competing in the MILO Little Olympics. The first Filipino gymnastics world champion, and just the second countryman to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, continued his meteoric rise as he competed in front of a spirited home crowd for the first time, bagging two gold medals (all-around and floor exercise) and five silvers (pommel horse, steady rings, vaults, parallel bars, and horizontal bar). Before Lopez began reaping numerous awards here and abroad, she tested her mettle by winning the 2007 MILO-PTA (Philippine Taekwondo Association) tournament gold medal. As one of the brand’s newest ambassadors, she continues to empower other Filipinas to break barriers and overcome obstacles as seen in her women’s under 57kg gold medal victory. Securing his record fifth straight SEA Games gold medal in men’s basketball, Ravena proudly exemplified how comebacks are stronger than setbacks. The MILO BEST Center 2001 graduate and longtime ambassador proved doubters wrong with his unbreakable spirit and unquestionable dedication to the country, even as a late addition to the team’s lineup. A six-time regining National MILO Marathon Queen and first Filipino marathon Olympian, Tabal gave her all in an inspired showing, finishing with a silver in the women’s marathon. She is optimistic in her pursuit of other key tournaments next year as she competes in the Tokyo 2020 Marathon and looks to qualify in the 2020 Olympics. Valdez and company exceeded expectations, putting up a valiant effort with a fourth-place finish in front of their adoring fans at the 30th SEA Games. With a near-podium finish, the MILO sports ambassador and volleyball MVP remains determined to win a medal for the country. “We are one with the people in celebrating the Champions and all the athletes who represented the country in the 30th SEA Games, showcasing what it truly means to be a champion in sports and in life. More than the wins and recognition, MILO believes in the importance of  lifelong values learned in sports and remains committed to nourishing the ambitions of Filipinos,” adds MILO Sports Executive Lester P. Castillo.  As a gold partner of the 30th SEA Games, MILO helped energize a nation of champions with the first taste of the NEW MILO for tomorrow’s champions. Attendees of the games in select fan zones and venues were able to try the more delicious and nutritious Champion formula. ### About MILO MILO has been in the Philippines for over 50 years and is the country’s favorite chocolate malt powdered milk drink that can be prepared with hot or cold milk or water.  Every mug of MILO contains the goodness of Cocoa, Malt, Milk, and Activ-Go® - a special blend of Protomalt®, Vitamins, and Minerals. It is high in Vitamins B2, B3, B6, B12, C, and is a good source of Iron, for energy release from food.  About Nestlé Philippines Over a hundred years after it first started operations in the country, Nestlé Philippines, Inc. (NPI) today is a robust and stable organization, proud of its role in bringing the best food and beverage throughout the stages of the Filipino consumers’ lives. The Company employs more than 3,200 men and women nationwide, and is among the country’s Top 10 Corporations.  Driven by its purpose of enhancing quality of life and contributing to a healthier future, Nestlé today produces and markets products under some of the country’s trusted brands such as NESCAFE, NIDO, MILO, NESTEA, MAGGI, BEAR BRAND, NESTLÉ and PURINA, among others. Its product range has expanded to include coffee, milk, beverages, non-dairy creamer, food, infant nutrition, ice cream and chilled dairy, breakfast cereals, confectionery and pet care......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 17th, 2019

Avalanche of gold continues; swimmer shines

As Team Philippines doubled its medal haul, two Filipino-American bets broke two national records and contributed to the host country’s eight-gold tally on Day 4 of the 30th Southeast Asian Games......»»

Category: newsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsDec 5th, 2019

Filipinos still out for floorball bronze after putting up a fight vs Singapore

The Philippines drew first blood and then put up a fight all match long, Wednesday at UP CHK Gym in Quezon City, but ultimately bowed to powerhouse Singapore, 2-5, in the preliminary round of men’s floorball in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games. Ryan Hallder Cater fired the first shot in the Filipinos’ ambush as his completion of a Henrik Dahmen setup in the just the third minute put them ahead, 1-0. “I’m proud of the team,” he said post-match. “We really fought hard and dueled out there. Each guy deserves a medal.” The home team would hold the lead for 12 minutes before Suria equalized for the Singaporeans at the 15th minute. Syazni Ramlee (20’) and Jeremy Chia (22’) restored order for the visitors with back-to-back goals, but the Philippines just kept coming. With six minutes having gone in the second period, Christian Schoultze blasted one through for the Filipinos. Not long after, however, Suria made his presence felt anew, this time fresh off the bench, with an interception all the way to a conversion at the 33rd minute. Juen Jie Ng would be the last player to hit the mark after seven minutes in the third period, cementing Singapore’s margin of victory. Despite the defeat, their second straight following a tournament-opening win, the Filipinos proved they can hang with the squad that won gold the last time the competition was held in the regional meet back in 2015. Then, they just fell short of the podium. Now, while the hosts have been booted out of the gold medal match, they still have a shot to win bronze. To do so, the Philippines will have to find a way through Malaysia. The two teams, both with 1-2 records, will first meet on Friday still at the same venue to end the preliminary round. “We’re gonna go to that game with the same attitude as this one,” Cater said. “We’re gonna bring it home.” They will then go at it once more on Sunday, that time for third-place. On the other hand, the title defense continues for the Singaporeans who are now assured of a top two finish. —— Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsNov 28th, 2019

After 7th place finish, Team USA reflects on what went wrong, next steps

By John Schuhmann, NBA.com BEIJING -- The result of Saturday's seventh-place game didn't really matter. Once the United States Men's National Team beat Brazil in its final pool play game at the FIBA World Cup, it had qualified for the Olympics. Once it lost to France in the quarterfinals on Wednesday, its run of five straight major tournament titles had come to an end with no shot at a medal. And once it lost to Serbia on Thursday, it was doomed to the second worst tournament finish in USA Basketball history, with the only worse result coming when a team of junior college players went 0-4 at the 2001 FIBA Americas tournament. But the U.S. beat Poland 87-74 on Saturday to finish seventh at the World Cup and put an end to its first two-game losing streak since 2002. Only nine Americans played, with Kemba Walker (neck) joining Jayson Tatum and Marcus Smart on the sideline. Donovan Mitchell led the way with 16 points and 10 assists. Gregg Popovich said afterward that there's neither shame nor blame to be distributed following the Americans' worst finish in a tournament to which it sent NBA players. "Like we should be ashamed because we didn't win the gold medal?," Popovich said. "That's a ridiculous attitude. It's immature. It's arrogant, and it shows that whoever thinks that doesn't respect all the other teams in the world and doesn't respect that these guys did the best they could." Falling short of their gold-medal goal still comes with pain, something the Americans have had to deal with since losing to France in the quarterfinals on Wednesday, and something that won't go away when they arrive back in the States on Sunday. "That's something," Myles Turner admitted, "that's going to stick with us for the rest of our lives." The sting could ultimately be worse for the players who will never again have the chance to play for the national team. That could be a significant portion of this roster, with higher profile Americans expected to play at next year's Olympics in Tokyo, and with the next World Cup four years away. A lack of top-flight talent is the easy answer for why this was the first American team of NBA players to lose since the 2006 World Championship. And it's not a wrong answer. Stephen Curry, Anthony Davis and James Harden would obviously have made a difference. But when asked about his country's failure to win gold this year, Kobe Bryant insisted that, no matter who is wearing the red, white and blue, losses will happen. "It's not a matter of the rest of the world catching up to the U.S.," Bryant said at a FIBA press conference on Friday. "The rest of the world has been caught up for quite some time. It's to the point now where us in the U.S., we're going to win some and we're going to lose some. That's just how it goes." Bryant brought up the 2008 Olympics, when one of the most talented teams ever assembled led Spain by just two points early in the fourth quarter of the gold medal game. At the World Championship two years later, a U.S. Team with four future NBA MVPs escaped with a two-point win over Brazil in pool play. "Put the best players that you think are going to make the best team out there on the floor," Bryant said, "we are still going to have challenges. It's not going to be a cakewalk. The days of the '92 Barcelona Dream Team are gone. They're over." That doesn't mean that the United States couldn't have won this tournament with the players that it had, some of which had disappointing performances on the world stage. In each of the last five major international tournaments, the U.S. ranked No. 1 in offensive efficiency. Through its first six games in this tournament, it ranked ninth offensively. Before breaking with a 12-for-25 performance against Poland on Saturday, the Americans had shot just 33.3 percent from 3-point range, well below the NBA league average (35.5 percent), even though the 3-point distance is shorter on the FIBA floor. The general sentiment among the players was that the loss to France was an "anything can happen on any given night" situation, but Harrison Barnes said that it was "executing on the offensive end" where the team fell short in a general sense. "If you look at a lot of these teams and how they played," Barnes continued, "they're able to fall back on their system. They're able to fall back on things that they know, things that they've run, guys that have been playing together for five, six, seven years. For us, we had to put our hat on defense. That was what we kind of made our calling card. Offensively, we knew we weren't going to ever get to that place where, 'OK, here are two or three quick-hitters.' But we did the best that we could." Though the U.S. was one of the best defensive teams in the tournament, it couldn't turn enough stops into transition opportunities. In each of the five major tournaments that the U.S. won from 2008 to 2016, it ranked first or second in pace. Through its first six games, this U.S. team ranked 13th of 32 World Cup teams in pace (an estimated 75 possessions per 40 minutes). Fewer fast breaks led to more half-court offense, where the execution just wasn't there consistently enough. There's something to be said about ingrained teamwork and the difference between how American and international players are developed. But four weeks of preparation and five pool-play games isn't enough time to build the requisite chemistry when the Americans bring back an almost entirely new roster every time they compete in a major tournament. This team also had less practice time than previous editions of Team USA. From the day before its first game in China to the end of the tournament, the U.S. never practiced on days between games, choosing only to get in the gym for one-hour shootarounds in the morning on game days. Next year's Olympics are earlier in the summer, so that preparation time will likely be shorter than the four weeks that this team was together before the start of the World Cup. And without the same chemistry that their opponents have, more talent -- guys that can get buckets on cue -- is needed. That means more roster turnover. And if some of these players never put on the USA uniform again, they can at least hope that the work that they've put in over the last six weeks will propel them to strong NBA seasons as a silver lining. "Individually, across the board, everybody gets a lot better by playing and going through this entire process," Joe Harris said this week. "You spent 39-plus days with one of the best coaches in the world, one of the best coaches in the game in Pop. "Just being around them, learning their approach to the game, being around all these great players, competing with them night in and night out, whether it's practices or games, and competing at a high level every night against some of the best players in the world, this is the best offseason preparation you can have going into the season." There don't seem to be any misgivings among the players about spending the last four weeks on the other side of the world. "We made that pact that we were going to do whatever we could to win basketball games," Barnes said. "To go out there and try to win gold medals. On the flip side of that is that there's a chance that we may not win. And, I think there are no regrets from our group in terms of what we've given, what we sacrificed, the commitment that everyone has made away from their families, teams, organizations, all of that." They all have an NBA season to prepare for now, and at least some of them would love a shot at redemption next summer. "There's no telling," Walker said about possibly playing next year. "It's not up to me. I would love to. It was really fun to be a part of. I would love to do it again." Hopefully with better results. John Schuhmann is a senior stats analyst for NBA.com. 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 NewsSep 15th, 2019

2019 Monthly Memorable Sports Moments (Part 2)

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

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 30th, 2019

ABS-CBN S+A’S “THE SCORE” LOOKS BACK ON THE BEST OF 2019 IN PH SPORTS

ABS-CBN S+A wraps up a milestone year for Philippine sports with a two-part special of “The Score,” featuring champion athletes in basketball and volleyball, and medalists from the recent 30th Southeast Asian Games (SEAG). Joining veteran sports anchor Mico Halili on December 30 (Monday) to discuss the year in basketball are kings of the hardcourt Fran Yu and Jerrick Balanza from the NCAA Season 93 men’s basketball champion Letran Knights and John Wilson and Mike Ayonayon of MPBL Datu Cup champion San Juan Knights, and Southeast Asia women’s basketball queens Afril Bernardino and Janine Pontejos. Afril and Janine helped make 2019 one for the books for Philippine women’s basketball as members of the teams that clinched the gold medals in SEAG women’s basketball and women’s 3x3. Other SEAG heroes and heroines will also be part of the program as Mico shifts the discussion to Team Philippines’ 387-medal haul in the region’s biennial sporting event. To share their thoughts on the Filipinos’ historic feat are CJ Concepcion (Fencing), Carlo Peña (Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu), Kim Kilgroe (Triathlon), Jasmine Alkhaldi (Swimming), Christiana Means (Skateboarding), and Meggie Ochoa (Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu). On December 31 (Tuesday), former volleyball superstar and now multisport athlete and “Umagang Kay Ganda” anchor Gretchen Ho takes over the special to focus on the sensational year for Philippine volleyball. Premier Volleyball League (PVL) 2019 Open Conference champions Creamline Cool Smashers will be represented by national athletes Alyssa Valdez and Jia Morado with teammates Jema Galanza and Kyla Atienza, while 2019 Reinforced Conference champions Petro Gazz Angels will be represented by Cherry Nunag, Jonah Sabete, and Chie Saet. Joining them in the roundtable are UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball champion Ateneo Lady Eagles’ setter Deanna Wong and middle blocker Maddie Madayag, who also represented the country in the SEAG. As in previous years, ABS-CBN Sports has been delivering the inspiring stories of Filipino athletes through its coverage of tournaments in various local and international leagues on multiple media platforms including S+A on TV, S+A HD, LIGA, and LIGA HD on cable, and online on iWant, sports.abs-cbn.com, and the ABS-CBN Sports social media accounts and YouTube channel. In 2020, the sports arm of the country’s leading media and entertainment conglomerate will continue to highlight the greatness and positive values of Filipino sports idols and icons. Don’t miss “The Score: Best of 2019” two-part special on December 30 and 31, 6 pm on ABS-CBN S+A and S+A HD. Watch online on iWant. For sports news, follow @ABSCBNSports on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter or visit sports.abs-cbn.com. For updates, follow @ABSCBNPR on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter or visit www.abs-cbn.com/newsroom......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 30th, 2019

2019 Monthly Memorable Sports Moments (Part 1)

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

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 29th, 2019

Manny Pacquiao’s return to glory highlights Boxing in 2019

Apart from basketball and football, arguably no other sport dominates the global headlines quite like ‘The Sweet Science’. Such was the case once again in 2019, as the sport provided some pretty big stories, including a couple of returns to glory, some continued dominance, and even a pretty epic upset. Here are some of boxing’s biggest hits in 2019:   Manny’s Back! Well, okay, maybe it wouldn’t be right to say that he’s in his prime, but Manny Pacquiao definitely showed that in 2019, he can still hang with the best. The 41-year old eight-division world champion showed just that at the start of the year when he dominated Adrien Broner in Las Vegas to defend his WBA (Regular) Welterweight World Championship. Then, just six months later, Pacquiao did even better by dethroning the previously-undefeated Keith Thurman for the WBA (Super) Welterweight World Championship. With Pacquiao’s recent resurgence, so to speak, more and more possible big money bouts are being discussed, but the whispers that continue to be prevalent are those of a rematch with Floyd Mayweather Jr. While ‘Money’ remains retired, he’s done more than enough to continuously fan the flames of a potential rematch, and 2020 could finally be the year that it becomes a reality. As always, we’ll just have to wait and see.   Donnie Nietes vacates WBO title From one Filipino boxing great, we jump to another, as Donnie Nietes made headlines early in the year, and then was pretty much never heard from for the rest of 2019. After defeating Kazuto Ioka to become the WBO Super Flyweight World Champion in the very final day of 2018, Nietes was once again a world champion and seemed to be in for another dominant year as one of the division’s top dogs. In a surprise move however, Nietes decided to vacate the title in March, without even defending it, citing his desire for bouts against big-name opponents in the division. With Nietes vacating the title, it set up a title bout against then-mandatory challenger Aston Palicte and Kazuto Ioka, with Ioka ultimately winning and taking the WBO title. As for Nietes, the longest-reining Filipino boxing, who last fought on December 31, 2018, he will go more than a year without competing for the first time in his storied career. Hopefully, 2020 features the long-awaited return of “Ahas”.   The dominance continues for Lomachenko, Crawford, Canelo, and Ancajas Some won titles, others vacated, and others just remained on top. This was the case for the likes of Vasily Lomachenko, Terrence Crawford, Canelo Alvarez, and our very own Jerwin Ancajas. 2019 was a relatively quiet year for Loma, who only had two bouts to his name. The Ukrainian boxing machine KOd Anthony Crolla in April to retain the WBA super and WBO World Lightweight World Championships. In August, Lomachencko defeated Luke Campbell via Unanimous Decision to retain his titles and win the vacant WBC World Lightweight Championship. “Bud” Crawford also had himself a two-fight year in 2019. In April, Crawford faced Amir Khan in a highly-anticipated bout, and ended up scoring a sixth-round TKO to retain his WBO World Welterweight crown. In mid-December, Crawford scored another TKO win to defend his title, this time against Egidijus Kavaliauskas Canelo Alvarez meanwhile, became a four-division world champion in 2019 after going up to light heavyweight and dispatching Sergey Kovalev in 11 rounds to capture the WBO title. This was after he opened the year with an impressive 12-round win over Daniel Jacobs to retain the WBC, WBA super and IBF Middleweight World Championships. Our very own IBF Super Flyweight World Champion Jerwin “Pretty Boy” Ancajas also had a good year, defeating Ryuichi Funai and Miguel Gonzales en route to eight successful world title defenses.   Andy Ruiz Jr. shocks the world In recent years, boxing’s heavyweight division belonged to the likes of Tyson Fury, Deontay Wilder, and Anthony Joshua. That all changed when Joshua saw himself fall victim to the biggest boxing upset of the year. Following a failed drug test from his initial challenger Jared Miller, Joshua was matched up with Mexican heavyweight Andy Ruiz Jr, who many didn’t take seriously due to his less than impressive physique. Ruiz quickly silenced the naysayers by using his speed and power to drop Joshua four times, twice in what would be the final seventh round, to shock the world and capture the WBA, IBF, WBO, and IBO Heavyweight World Championships. Ruiz also became the first Mexican heavyweight world champion in boxing history. In the rematch however, Joshua bounced right back and dominated Ruiz across 12 rounds to reclaim the titles. Part 3 could be something to watch out for this 2020.   Nonito Doniare Jr. and Naoya Inoue put on a war Many expected it to be a quick affair, but the World Boxing Super Series Bantamweight Finale between Nonito Donaire Jr. and Naoya Inoue ended up becoming a 12-round classic, worth of Fight of the Year honors. Donaire Jr. and Inoue both earned their spots in the tournament finale, but judging from their prior performances, it looked like ‘The Monster’ Inoue was set to make quick work of an aging, presumed-to-be-past-his-prime Donaire Jr. “The Filipino Flash” instead gave Inoue the fight of his life, putting the pressure on the Japanese star like no one else before has been able to do. Unfortunately for Donaire, the younger Inoue simply had more in the tank left, as he was able to grind out a Unanimous Decision win, but it was clearly the hardest win he had ever had. For Donaire’s part, his impressive performance in the loss earned him a mandatory challenger spot against WBC Bantamweight World Champion Nordine Oubaali in 2020.   Amatuer stars Eumir Marcial and Nesthy Petecio shine on the world stage and in the SEA Games It wasn’t just the Pinoy pros that had their time in the spotlight, as a pair of amateur pugs also made headlines in 2019. Filipino middleweight Eumir Felix Marcial finished with silver in the 2019 AIBA World Boxing Championships in Russia and then finished the year with a dominant run in the 2019 SEA Games, stopping both his opponents en route to a gold medal. Nesthy Petecio meanwhile, became a world champion after capturing gold in the 2019 AIBA Women’s Boxing World Championships, also in Russia. Petecio’s win earned her a spot as the torchbearer in the 2019 SEA Games, lighting the cauldron alongside Pinoy boxing legend Manny Pacquiao. Petecio also captured gold in the SEA Games tournaments.   Quadro Alas becomes a three-division champion For a while, it looked like Johnriel “Quadro Alas” Casimero was done. After an uninspired loss to Jonas Sultan in a super flyweight title eliminator, Casimero steadily got back on track and picked up win after win until he was suddenly a titleholder again, winning the WBO Interim Bantamweight World Championship in April. After a successful defense of the interim belt, Casimero became the mandatory challenger to reigning WBO World Champion Zolani Tete. Tete was coming into that fight as the heavy favorite, riding a 12-fight winning streak which included three successful title defenses. Casimero halted the Tete hype train with a third-round TKO win to once again become a world champion, his third in as many weight divisions. With the win, Casimero now sets his sights on a possible super-fight against Naoya Inoue in 2020......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 27th, 2019

Simone Soars: Biles named 2019 AP Female Athlete of the Year

By Will Graves, Associated Press They’re called “Simone Things,” a catchall phrase for the casual ease with which Simone Biles seems to soar through her sport and her life. The irony, of course, is that there’s nothing casual or easy about it. Any of it. The greatest gymnast of all time and 2019 Associated Press Female Athlete of the Year only makes it seem that way. Those jaw-dropping routines that are rewriting her sport's code of points and redefining what can be done on the competition floor? Born from a mix of natural talent, hard work and a splash of ego. The 25 world championship medals, the most by any gymnast ever? The result of a promise the 22-year-old made to herself when she returned to competition in 2017 after taking time off following her golden run at the 2016 Olympics. The stoicism and grace she has shown in becoming an advocate for survivors — herself included — and an agent for change in the wake of the Larry Nassar sexual abuse scandal that’s shaken USA Gymnastics to its core? The byproduct of a conscious decision to embrace the immense clout she carries. “I realize now with the platform I have it will be powerful if I speak up and speak for what I believe in,” Biles told The Associated Press. “It’s an honor to speak for those that are less fortunate. So if I can be a voice for them in a positive manner, then of course I’m going to do whatever I can.” And it's that mission — combined with her otherworldly skill and boundless charisma — that's enabled Biles to keep gymnastics in the spotlight, a rarity for a sport that typically retreats into the background once the Olympic flame goes out. She is the first gymnast to be named AP Female Athlete of the Year twice and the first to do it in a non-Olympic year. Biles edged U.S. women's soccer star Megan Rapinoe in a vote by AP member sports editors and AP beat writers. Skiing star Mikaela Schiffrin placed third, with WNBA MVP Elena Delle Donne fourth. Biles captured the award in 2016 following a showstopping performance at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics, where she won five medals in all, four of them gold. She spent most of the following 12 months taking a break before returning to the gym in the fall of 2017, saying she owed it to herself to mine the depth of her talent. Check social media following one of her routines and you’ll find people -- from LeBron James to Michelle Obama to Chrissy Teigen -- struggling to distill what they’ve witnessed into 280 characters or fewer, with whatever they settle on typically followed by multiple exclamation points and a goat emoji, a nod to Biles being considered the Greatest Of All Time. Her triple-twisting double-flip (the “triple double”) at the end of her first tumbling pass on floor exercise is a wondrous blur. Her double-twisting double-flip beam dismount (the “double double”) is so tough the International Gymnastics Federation made the unusual decision to downplay its value in an effort to deter other gymnasts from even trying it. This is both the blessing and the curse of making the nearly impossible look tantalizingly attainable. When Biles learned about the FIG's decision, she vented on Twitter, her palpable frustration highlighting the realness she's maintained even as her first name has become synonymous with her sport's royalty. It can lead to a bit of a balancing act. In some ways, she's still the kid from Texas who just wants to hang out with her boyfriend and her dog and go to the grocery story without being bothered. In other ways, she's trying to be respectful of the world she's built. Take the GOAT thing. It’s a title she embraces — Biles wore a goat-themed leotard during training at the national championships in August — but also takes with a grain of salt, determined to stay grounded even as the hype around her grows. Yes, GOAT happens to be the acronym for her planned post-Olympic “Gold Over America Tour,” but ask her where the inspiration came from and she laughs and gives credit to a friend, Kevin, who came up with it in a group chat. It is both paying tribute to and winking at her status at the same time. Biles has become well aware over the last three years that her every word and action carries far greater weight than she ever imagined. Her most impactful moment of 2019 might not have come during a meet but sitting for an interview on the eve of winning her record sixth national title, when she fought back tears while talking about how USA Gymnastics, the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee and the FBI failed to protect athletes during an investigation into Nassar's abusive behavior. The moment went viral, as most things surrounding her tend to do these days. “I’m starting to realize it’s not just the gymternet anymore,” Biles said, using the term for her sport's dedicated fans. "It’s an overall thing. It’s weird to get that kind of attention, but at the end of the day, I feel gymnastics has been overlooked in non-Olympic years. Yeah, it puts pressure on me. But I’m not trying to think about all the attention from the outside world.” The attention figures to only grow in the run-up to Tokyo, where she will attempt to become the first female gymnast in more than half a century to repeat as Olympic champion. Her smiling face serves as the exclamation point at the end of every television promo for the Summer Games. Let it be known: The smile is real. That might not have always been the case, but is is now. Heading into the final months of a singular career, she is trying to revel in the journey while anxiously awaiting what's next. Add it to the list of Simone Things. “I feel like this is the beginning of my life and I don’t want gymnastics to be my whole entire life,” she said. “I’m definitely going to soak in the moment and enjoy it so 10 years from now I can look back and say ‘I had the time of my life out there’ ... rather than ‘I was good, but I was miserable.’”.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 26th, 2019

POC awards P33 M worth of cash incentives to SEA Games gold medalists

For the first time, the Philippine Olympic Committee gave away cash incentives to gold medalists in the recently concluded 30th Southeast Asian Games. POC president Abraham ‘Bambol’ Tolentino on Tuesday led the distribution of incentives to the athletes who delivered the country’s 149 golds in the biennial meet during the POC general assembly held at Conrad Hotel. “Noong nakaraang taon, sa pamumuno ni dating POC President Ricky Vargas, tayo po ay nakapagbigay ng mahigit P14M bilang incentives para sa mga nagwagi sa Asian Games at Youth Olympic Games,” said Tolentino in his speech during the GA, which also served as a thanksgiving event. “Ngayon po naman, for the first time in Philippine SEA Games history, ating ginagantimpalaan ang ating mga magigiting na atleta sa pamamagitan ng mga cash incentives,” he added. More than P33 million plus were given away to athletes as part of the POC’s efforts to reward those who have given honor to the country, which won the overall championship for the first time since ruling the regional sports meet back in 2005 edition of the Games also held in the Philippines.          Individual athletes received P200,000 for each gold medal won while athletes in team sports collected P50,000 to P75,000 depending on the number of members in each squad.   “Siyempre iba ‘yung formula ng team, if you're gold medal, like basketball players, you have 14 players, di naman P200k bawat isa. Ganoon rin naman yung sa PSC. May formula yun, 25% of the basic. So kung 25% of 300k, that's how much, 75k?” Tolentino explained. The cash incentives came from donations coming from the private sector including the San Miguel Corporation, MVP Sports Foundation and the Philippine Basketball Association collected by the POC.  “At ito po ay nangyari sapagkat ang POC ngayon ay nakakakalap ng mga donasyon galing sa pribadong sector,” said Tolentino. “Atin pong pinasasalamatan ng taos-puso ang ating mga private sponsors na mula noong panahon ni Pres Vargas at magpa hanggang ngayon ay nagtitiwala sa liderato ng Philippine Olympic Committee.” The POC head also bared that they are working on giving away cash incentives for the silver and bronze medalists. Team Philippines hauled in 117 silver and 121 bronze medals. “At ngayon, nang ang inyong lingkod po ay manawagan para mabuo natin ang pondo para mabigyan ang lahat ng medalist sa SEA Games, tumugon po ang Udenna/Phoenix ni Mr. Dennis Uy at ang akin pong mga kasamahang congressman sa Mababang Kapulungan,” said Tolentino. Silver and bronze medalists are expected to collect their incentives on Dec. 19 or 20......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 17th, 2019

POC welcomes six new regular members

Six sports were given regular membership by the Philippine Olympic Committee on Tuesday during its general assembly at the Conrad Hotel. POC president Abraham ‘Bambol’ Tolentino led the distribution of certificate of regular membership to representatives of surfing, modern pentathlon, bridge, kurash, jiu-jitsu and sambo after getting their approval in the general assembly. The six sports will join the 43 national sports associations as regular members of the POC, enjoying the privileges of accorded to members of the country’s Olympic body including casting their votes in the POC election. Some of the said sports delivered medals for Team Philippines’ cause during the 30th Southeast Asian Games held in the country recently, where the host delegation won the overall championship with 149 gold, 117 silver and 121 bronze medals. Surfing collected two gold medals, two silver and three bronze; modern pentathlon had two gold, one silver and two bronze; kurash got one gold, two silver and five bronze; jiu-jitsu accounted for five gold, three silver and three bronze while sambo bagged two gold, one silver and three bronze medals for Team Philippines......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 17th, 2019

BWW celebrates PMVT s SEA Games silver medal finish

After writing history in the 30th Southeast Asian Games, the Philippine men's volleyball team received a treat from Buffalo Wild Wings Capitol Commons recently. BWW prepared great food, including their best selling buffalo wings, and drinks to celebrate the team's silver medal finish in the biennial meet that was 42 years in the making. The Nationals, backed by the country's finest outside spikers in Marck Espejo and Bryan Bagunas, dethroned four-peat champion Thailand in a dramatic come-from-behind five-set victory that assured the country of a silver medal for the first time since its runner-up finish in the 1977 edition of the SEA Games. Although the Filipinos came up short in winning the gold against the mighty and well-experienced Indonesians, their journey and achievement put men's volleyball back on the spotlight. The Nationals went to BWW Capitol Commons right after receiving their silver medals that glittered like gold to celebrate their historic feat. A couple of days later, BWW again invited the squad for dinner. It was BWW's way to show its support and admiration to the brave men for their hard work, perseverance and discipline as they worked towards a common goal of bringing honor to the Philippines.  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 16th, 2019

After SEA Games gold medal, Jerry Olsim sets sights on ONE Championship contract

Pinoy mixed martial artist Jerry “The Bokodian Warrior” Olsim can now proudly call himself a Southeast Asian Games Gold Medalist.  The 24-year old Olsim, a member of the famed Filipino MMA stable Team Lakay, was a kickboxing bet in the recently-held 2019 SEA Games Kickboxing competitions at the Cuneta Astrodome in Manila, and he ended up being the first Pinoy to capture a gold medal, winning in the Men’s 65-KG Kick Light category, Monday evening.  “Sobrang saya ko po ngayon dahil ako yung pinaka-unang nag-medal sa sport ng kickboxing,” Olsim told ABS-CBN Sports. He was in attendance Tuesday evening to see his teammates Gina Iniong and Jean Claude Saclag also capture SEA Games Kickboxing gold medals as well.  For Olsim, the gold medal win is a testament of how far he’s come in martial arts.  “Noong una po, sa Muay Thai, natatalo-talo po ako, hanggang silver lang ako sa East Asian Championships,” said the former Muay Thai National Team member. “Dito po, naki-try out ako nung may try-out sa kickboxing noong July, and nakuha naman ako, sinuwerte, dahil ako yung nag-gold. Nag-training kami, training hard para makuha yung gintong medalya.” Olsim adds that his experiences both in MMA and in Muay Thai helped a great deal in his gold medal conquest in the 2019 iteration of the SEA Games.  “Sobrang laki nung experiences na nakuha ko sa mga laban ko tulad dun sa ONE Warrior Series, pati na din sa Muay Thai dahil pinaka-importante po talaga yung experience tsake exposure sa laban, mas lalo na sa mga international fights.”  Now, Olsim hopes that the momentum of his gold medal win can translate into even bigger things, like say, a contract with ONE Championship.  Olsim has fought five times on ONE Championship’s developmental arm, Rich Franklin’s ONE Warrior Series, the same route that has produced the likes of two-sport world champion Stamp Fairtex, as well as teammate and rising strawweight star Lito Adiwang, who won his contract earlier this year, and was able to make a successful main roster debut.  “The Bokodian Warrior” hopes to finally be able to join his fellow Team Lakay brothers and sister on the ONE main roster.  “Napaka-laking motivation nitong naging panalo ko sa SEA Games para makuha ko yung kontrata sa ONE Warrior Series papunta sa ONE Championship.” An impressive win in his next ONE Warrior Series outing could finally get him that coveted contract and spot on the main roster. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 11th, 2019

PHI ends SEA Games hosting in style

The Philippines celebrated the end of its successful hosting of the 30th Southeast Asian Games the same way it rolled out the red carpet for all participating nations. From a presentation of Filipino culture through performances from Aeta Festival Dancers and the Manila Concert Choir, to the dazzling aerial drone presentation to the colorful fireworks display and a concert featuring the Black Eyed Peas, the Philippines made the biennial meet’s closing ceremony Wednesday night at the New Clark City Stadium in Tarlac as memorable as its opening. After 10 days of competition on different fronts in 56 sports with 530 events, the Philippines emerged as overall champion once again after completing the feat 14 years ago when the country also hosted the Games. Philippine Sports Commission chairman and PHI SEA Games Chef De Mission William ‘Butch’ Ramirez and Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea accepted the overall championship recognition for Team Philippines, which collected 149 gold, 117 silver and 121 bronze medals. Heroic Filipino surfer Roger Casugay, who was also the PHI’s flag-bearer in the closing ceremony’s traditional parade of athletes, was feted the Fair Play Athlete for his selfless act of helping Indonesian competitor Arip Nurhidayat get out of dangerous waters during the semifinal of their surfing competition. Casugay eventually won the men’s longboard event gold. Also feted were swimmer Quah Zheng Wen of Singapore as Male Mega-Athlete for copping six gold and two silver medals while Nguyen Thi Anh Vien of Vietnam was named Female Mega-Athlete for her six gold and pair of silver medals in the pool. A tribute and a parade for the workforce and volunteers was also part of the program before Medialdea officially closed the PHI’s hosting as the fire in the P55 million cauldron was extinguished. Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee (Phisgoc) head and House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano and Philippine Olympic Committee president Cong. Bambol Tolentino handed over the SEA Games flag to 2021 host Vietnam in the turnover rites.     Vietnam prepared a presentation for their hosting two years from now.    .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 11th, 2019

Athletics team hits all targets

Capas, Tarlac—Athletics officials were right on track in their projection that the Philippines will have around 12 gold medals in the 30th Southeast Asian Games......»»

Category: sportsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsDec 11th, 2019

SEA Games: “Can’t go wrong with a gold medal,” says Coach Tim

MANILA — Tim Cone literally has nothing else to prove in PBA basketball, as the winningest head coach in PBA history and with two Grand Slams, he’s earned that right. However, the 2019 Southeast Asian Games proved to be a different challenge for Coach Tim and the shiny gold that came with winning the whole thing has Cone geeking out. The first gold medal he won might as well outrank his 21 PBA titles. “You can’t go wrong with a gold medal,” Coach Tim said after his Gilas Pilipinas beat Thailand to end the SEA Games Tuesday. “My gosh, it’s something you remember for a long time. Maybe if you have like 10 gold medals, like [US Olympic swimmer] Mark Spitz so maybe that’s something, but if you get one? That’s incredibly special. I’ve won a few championships in the PBA and this ranks right up there if not the top,” Cone added. This SEA Games gold medal likewise puts in perspective coach Tim’s initial national team assignment two decades ago. Cone coached the Centennial Team, arguably the greatest Philippine team ever assembled. Despite winning bronze in the 1998 Asian Games, that national team stint left a hole in Cone’s coaching career. Coach Tim prepared the Centennial team for gold, only to not even a proper chance to fight for one. Getting his gold medal two decades later, that bronze medal on a higher level seems like it’s not too bad as well. “The bronze in the Asian Games, looking back on it it was special as well,” he said. “Again, just the whole experience of being here, being with these guys, the support of everyone in the country, SBP, Al Panlilio, Al Francis Chua, I mean and the support of the players, they were phenomenal. It was a great experience all around so you will remember this gold just for the experience,” Coach Tim added.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 11th, 2019

SEA Games: Gilas women hope double gold leads to more support

MANILA — With two shiny gold medals from the 2019 Southeast Asian Games, everybody has no choice but to pay attention to Gilas Pilipinas women and women’s basketball in general in the Philippines. At least that’s the hope now. Gilas women made history in the SEA Games, first winning the 3x3 basketball tournament. A week later, the Philippine national women’s team won the country’s first ever gold medal in 5x5 basketball. In both Finals, Gilas women beat Thailand. “We’ve been dreaming of that since day 1 na we handled the national team, na sana we make it great for women,” head coach Pat Aquino said.  “Sana, lagi na lang puro kami sana. And now that we’re here. We achieved the goals that we were supposed to do,” he added. It’s been a struggle to get attention and support for women’s basketball in the Philippines. After the UAAP, Filipina players have nowhere else to go, aside from actually making the national team. Obviously, Gilas women can’t accomodate all the players coming up. Coach Pat is hoping that their double gold can pave the way for a proper women’s league here. “That’s the dream na gusto ko. Now that I’m the sports director or the program director for Women’s Basketball, I really wanted women’s basketball to grow,” he said. “Hopefully sponsors would come in next year and help us out to have a league of their own for the women’s basketball. And I think they’ll be proud of it. These girls really worked hard. Walang mga prima donna. And they’re gonna play as hard as they can,” Aquino added. For the meantime, Gilas Pilipinas women will take a short break before they set their sights on a bigger goal like FIBA Asia. The SEA Games double gold is certainly not going to be their peak, it’s just the start. “Let’s not just let this pass by. Everybody, pagtapos nito syempre wala na naman. We will focus with other things. But sana we could achieve more by you know, supporting us,” Aquino said. “Sana we continue more and improve. Next stop, FIBA Asia naman. So hopefully, yun naman yung target,” Coach Pat added.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 11th, 2019

SEA Games: Espejo, Bagunas off to international stints

Volleyball action continues for national team member Marck Espejo and Bryan Bagunas as the country’s top scoring duo are set to fly abroad for their respective clubs. A night after helping the Philippine men’s volleyball squad cop the silver medal in the 30th Southeast Asian Games, Bagunas will return to Japan to rejoin his Japan V. Premier League cub Oita Miyoshi Weiss Adler. “Babalik na agad ako bukas [Wednesday] ng umaga kasi important game namin this weekend kasi home game ‘yun,” said Bagunas on Tuesday following the PHI’s 21-25, 25-27, 17-25, loss to gold medalist Indonesia at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig City.   Bagunas will try to help the Weiss Adlerm hurdle FC Tokyo. “Makalalaban namin sila sa ranking doon sa home game namin kaya kailangan akong bumalik agad sa Japan para makasama sila at mag-training,” added Bagunas, who had already spent five months in Japan before flying back to Manila on Nov. 30 to fulfill his tour of duty.  Meanwhile, Espejo will spread his wings in Thailand as an import for Visakha Volleyball Club. #SEAGames2019 men's volleyball: Indonesia def. PHI to capture the gold medal pic.twitter.com/rTRei24pvX — Mark Escarlote (@fromtheriles) December 10, 2019 “Before nu’ng game, may pinasa sa aking article. Siguro Thailand na rin naglabas,” confirmed Espejo. “Maglalaro ako sa isang Thai club, Visakha. Aalis ako sa [Dec.] 15 hanggang April [next year].” This will be Espejo’s second international club stint since playing for Oita Miyoshi last year. The pair helped the National end a 28-year medal drought since finishing third in the 1991 edition of the biennial meet and duplicated the country's best finish since winning the silver medal in the 1977 SEA Games in Malaysia.    --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 10th, 2019