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Team Philippines falls short of podium finish in Street Child World Cup

Team Philippines has nothing to be ashamed of despite falling short of winning a medal in the girls' division of the 2018 Street Child World Cup held in Moscow, Russia.........»»

Category: newsSource: philippinetimes philippinetimesMay 17th, 2018

PH-Payatas misses podium in Street Child World Cup

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines-Payatas team may have missed out on a podium finish in the 2018 Street Child World Cup in Moscow, Russia on Wednesday, May 16, but still emerged as winners off the field. The team – an all-girls football squad composed mostly of players from Payatas, Quezon ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsMay 16th, 2018

Azkals captain Phil Younghusband excited to learn from new coach

Thursday evening, as the 2018 FIFA World Cup commenced in Russia, there was also a new beginning back home in the Philippines, with the hopes of one day also qualifying for the biggest stage in football. With around five months to go before their next major tournament, the AFF Suzuki Cup, the Philippine Azkals announced a brand new coaching staff, led by former England captain and new Philippine National Team head coach Terry Butcher. Butcher, who will be replacing Thomas Dooley, donned England’s colors for a decade, which included 77 caps and three World Cup appearances. And as a new era begins in Philippine football, the Azkals’ own team captain was nothing short of excited to be able to play for a compatriot of sorts. “Very proud, I’m looking forward to learning, being educated by someone who’s played at such a high level.” the Fil-British star told the media at Thursday’s press launch. “Other than the England team in 1966, he was part of the team that got the furthest, making it into the semifinals, unfortunately losing to Germany on penalties, he’s played at the highest level against the best players in the world, he would know what to do when coming up against high level players.” For Younghusband, who was born and grew up in England, being able to learn from someone who he admired as a child is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. “More than anything I’m excited to learn from him and be educated, especially from someone who I grew up watching.” From a personal standpoint, impressing the new guy calling the shots is a must for Younghusband. Having seen a number of coaches come and go, the team captain admits that familiarity is the challenge everytime someone new takes over the reins of control. “I think it’s not knowing, you’re wondering what the coach is thinking about you. Obviously you want to impress him, you want to show him what a good player you are, but there’s always that doubt in your head, does he think I’m a good player? Does he know I’m a good player? Does he know about the things I’ve done well in the past?” “That little bit of doubt can creep in, but it can work the other way as well. It can be a fresh new start, I can show the new coach what a good player I am. I’m sure that would be the case for most of us.” Younghusband added. With roughly five months to go before the 2018 AFF Suzuki Cup and seven months to go before the 2019 AFC Asian Cup, it’ll be time for the Azkals to get back to work real soon. According to team manager Dan Palami, training camp begins in Bahrain this September. For Younghusband, chemistry shouldn’t be too much of an issue, especially with Coach Terry and Senior Football Adviser Scott Cooper coming in. “Pretty much most of the players are the same, obviously there will be a few new players coming in, but the chemistry within the team will be the same.” Younghusband said. “With the sort of level that Scott [Cooper] and Terry have coached at, they’re used to coming into teams  and making sure that the teams jell quickly and understand each other and understand their way of coaching.”.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 14th, 2018

PH-Payatas falters vs Brazil in Street Child World Cup semis

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines-Payatas team suffered the same fate it experienced 4 years ago after it absorbed a 0-1 loss to Brazil in the semifinals of the Street Child World Cup in Moscow, Russin on Monday, May 14. The all-girls football squad, which settled for silver in the tourney's 2014 ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsMay 14th, 2018

Hamilton: Australian GP could be start of competitive season

By Justin Bergman, Associated Press MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Lewis Hamilton won the Formula One driver's title in three of the last four years, but the Mercedes driver said Thursday on the eve of the season-opening Australian Grand Prix that he believes this year could be one of the most competitive yet in the sport. Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel, who pushed the British driver hard last season, performed well in testing a few weeks ago in Spain, along with teammate Kimi Raikkonen. And Hamilton said F1 fans will "be surprised just how competitive" Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen will be in Melbourne after putting a frustrating and inconsistent 2017 behind them. "There's a lot of hype around our team," Hamilton said. "I'm excited to see how we all fare up when we get to practice." For Mercedes, the hype at the start of each season is well-deserved: the team has dominated Formula One since 2014, winning four straight constructors' championships and 63 of 79 total races. But Ferrari demonstrated it could challenge Mercedes for a good portion of last season — Vettel actually led Hamilton through 12 races before the Mercedes driver took the lead for good at the Italian Grand Prix. Vettel said although he still believes Hamilton is the favorite to win the title again this year, his team has reason to be confident. "Our car is great . there's plenty to look forward to," he said. "Usually around this point, you don't know where the others are. That's why it's a bit pointless to come here and say you'll blow everyone away based on testing. I think we are in good shape. We could be in better shape, but it's always like that." Hamilton and Vettel have something else to vie for this year — a chance to pull even with former Argentine driver Juan Manuel Fangio for second place on the all-time championship list. Both drivers are tied with four titles, one short of Fangio's five. Michael Schumacher leads the list with seven titles. But for both Hamilton and Vettel, this statistic isn't top of mind. At least not at this early point of the season. "It's a long, long season," Hamilton said. "You don't really think about what could be, in the sense of matching others." And don't count out Red Bull. After a disastrous 2017 that saw the team struggle with engine problems and Ricciardo and Verstappen fail to finish 13 races combined, Red Bull is coming into the new season with hopes of challenging for victories again. "I think the car, compared to last year, definitely made good improvements," said the 20-year-old Verstappen, who finished last season strongly with two wins and a second-place finish in his last six races. "From my personal feeling, we have quite a strong car, but we have to wait and see how good our overall package is with the straights here (in Melbourne)." Ricciardo said anything will be better than last year's Australian GP, when he crashed in qualifying, started the race from pit lane due to a mechanical problem and then was forced to retire on the 28th lap. "Last year, we missed the anthem on the grid because I was in the garage trying to get the (car) going. I missed a lot of the Sunday build-up which was not fun," he said. "So, for sure this preparation is going to make more fun this weekend and we'll see where that fun takes us." It could take Red Bull all the way to the top of the podium — a result that couldn't come at a better time for Ricciardo, whose contract with the team expires at the end of 2018. "He's in a great place still with Red Bull," Hamilton said. "I think this year, he can really have a fighting chance to win the championship." Ricciardo, who's also facing a spirited challenge from his precocious teammate for the No. 1 position on Red Bull, said he's putting contract talks on hold to focus on starting the season strongly. "This is the year," he said. "Obviously, our prep's been good and I really, really hope Lewis is right and we will have a chance to fight for title and that will ultimately make me happy." Hamilton, though, isn't about to give an inch. He sounded a bit world-weary on Thursday, saying that after 12 seasons he's "not the most excited" about doing media conferences anymore, but he believes he still has as much passion for the sport as he did when he started out. "In my mind, I'm trying to break down new barriers, push the envelope," he said. "I'm seeing how far I can take the opportunity I have and obviously the ability I have to my full potential. I don't know what that is, and that's what I'm discovering.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 23rd, 2018

ONE Championship: Aung La N Sang stops Alexandre Machado to become two-divison champion

23 February 2018 – Yangon, Myanmar: The largest global sports media property in Asian history, ONE Championship™ (ONE), had another memorable and historic evening in Yangon as the capacity crowd at the Thuwunna Indoor Stadium witnessed an amazing display of heart-pounding martial arts action. ONE: QUEST FOR GOLD featured a series of compelling bouts, punctuated by an unforgettable championship clash that left fans on the edge of their seats. In the main event, hometown hero “The Burmese Python” Aung La N Sang scored a quick knockout victory over Alexandre Machado to win the vacant ONE Light Heavyweight World Championship and the GoDaddy Knockout of the Night. In the main event of ONE: QUEST FOR GOLD, “The Burmese Python” Aung La N Sang added yet another accolade to his glowing repertoire of awards as a global martial arts superstar, copping the vacant ONE Light Heavyweight World Championship with a knockout victory over Brazil’s Alexandre Machado. Aung La N Sang got the job done in just 56 seconds, knocking out Machado with a thunderous high kick. With his remarkable conquest of Machado, Aung La N Sang now has both the ONE Middleweight World Championship and ONE Light Heavyweight World Championship titles in his possession. Aung La N Sang, newly-minted ONE Light Heavyweight Champion, stated: “Life is short, we have to make it count. One thing is for sure Myanmar, when we’re united, nothing can stop us. That head kick is what we’ve been working on. I want to thank everyone that helped me out to get here. I’m in here by myself, but this is a team sport. If we’re united and we’re together, we can do anything. I want to be the best and I want to defend these two belts. I’m not just going to hold them and leave.” In the co-main event of the evening, former world title challenger Ev “E.T.” Ting turned in an outstanding performance by routing Costa Rican martial artist Ariel Sexton, solidifying his position once again as a top contender in ONE Championship’s stacked lightweight division. Opening up the three-round contest by taking the action right to Sexton, Ting connected on a series of fast and powerful strikes, pushing his opponent back up against the cage. In the second round, Ting continued to blast Sexton with serious firepower, featuring his best striking combinations. Sexton tried to change the complexion of the bout in the third round, fishing for a finish with a flying knee and a submission attempt. Ting did just enough to pull away slightly in the third after a gruelling match, and came out victorious via split decision. Local martial arts superstar Phoe “Bushido” Thaw turned in a spectacular performance, stopping Cambodian opponent Sor Sey with an emphatic push kick to the face in the very first round. Thaw, a lethwei practitioner, traded explosive strikes with Sor, a khun khmer specialist, right at the center of the cage. When a left hand staggered Sor along the fence, Thaw capitalized on the opening and abruptly ended matters with his next kick. The official finish came at 1:53 minutes of round one, sending the packed Yangon crowd at the Thuwunna Indoor Stadium into a frenzy. In a much-awaited encounter of ONE Championship’s highly-skilled knockout artists, Timofey Nastyukhin emerged triumphant, claiming a unanimous decision victory over Singaporean Muay Thai champion Amir Khan. Nastyukhin exhibited stellar form from the get-go, bombarding Khan with strong overhand rights while looking for the opening to deliver his lethal left hook. Leaning on his heavy hands to overwhelm Khan’s precision striking, Nastykuhin gallantly pushed forward as he threatened to end matters with a flying knee and stifled his opponent with harrowing punches. Nastyukhin punctuated the marquee match-up by outstriking Khan in the third frame, earning an undivided nod from all three judges at cageside. The highly-anticipated bantamweight contest between Japan’s Daichi Takenaka and South Korea’s Dae Hwan Kim ended in a disqualification. After Takenaka took Kim’s back in a standing body triangle, securing a rear naked choke, Kim reacted by spiking Takenaka on his head, which is a prohibited maneuver. The match resulted in a victory for Takenaka, who wins by disqualification. In an intense striking showcase, Myanmar’s Ye Thway Ne and Saw Min Min, two former lethwei practitioners, battled each other in a tremendous three-round war to the delight of a raucous crowd enjoying all the action. The two traded their best offense at the center of the ONE Championship cage for 15 minutes in one of the most exciting striking battles of the evening. In the end, it was two-time Gold Belt Champion Ye Thway Ne who scored the hard-earned victory, winning by split decision by keeping Saw Min Min on the defensive for the majority of the contest. Chinese martial arts ace Li Kai Wen placed himself back on the winning track in emphatic fashion, submitting promotional newcomer Roel Rosauro of the Philippines in just 43 seconds. In an impressive display of ferociousness, Li tagged Rosauro repeatedly with thudding strikes, which eventually sent Rosauro crashing to the canvas. As Rosauro struggled to return to his feet, Li quickly secured dominant top position to wrench his Filipino foe’s neck with a guillotine choke, snaring his first submission victory inside the ONE Championship cage. Indonesian wushu champion Priscilla Hertati Lumban Gaol impressed the crowd with a modified armbar submission of Krisna Limbaga in a female atomweight contest. After taking Limbaga down to the ground and keeping her opponent ineffective on the mat, Lumban Gaol used her legs to execute a straight armbar that forced the tap with less than a minute to go in the first round. Kicking off ONE: QUEST FOR GOLD were female atomweights from Myanmar. Former two-time Myanmar National Boxing Champion Bozhena Antoniyar made quick work of opponent Shwe Sin in a great performance to start her ONE Championship career. At the opening bell, Antoniyar wasted no time in bringing Sin down to the mat swiftly and finished things off with ground-and-pound to score the fastest knockout in ONE women’s atomweight history. Official results for ONE: QUEST FOR GOLD ONE Light Heavyweight World Championship bout: Aung La N Sang defeats Alexandre Machado by Knockout (KO) at 0:56 minutes of round 1 Lightweight bout: Ev Ting defeats Ariel Sexton by Split Decision (UD) after 3 rounds Featherweight bout: Phoe Thaw defeats Sor Sey by TKO (Strikes) at 1:53 minutes of round 1 Lightweight bout: Timofey Nastyukhin defeats Amir Khan by Unanimous Decision (UD) after 3 rounds Bantamweight bout: Daichi Takenaka defeats Dae Hwan Kim by Disqualification (DQ) Flyweight bout: Ye Thway Ne defeats Saw Min Min by Split Decision (SD) after 3 rounds Featherweight bout: Li Kai Wen defeats Roel Rosauro by Submission (Guillotine Choke) at 0:43 minutes of round 1 Women’s atomweight bout: Priscilla Hertati Lumban Gaol defeats Krisna Limbaga by Submission (Armbar) at 4:05 minutes of round 1 Women’s atomweight bout: Bozhena Antoniyar defeats Shwe Sin by TKO (Strikes) at 0:24 minutes of round 1.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 23rd, 2018

PHI begins 2017 Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games campaign

ASHGABAT, Turkmenistan – The Philippine begins its campaign as Filipino wrestlers and jiu-jitsu grapplers start their quest for gold medals in the 2017 Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games (AIMAG) at the Ashgabat Olympic Stadium here. Three-time International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation World Championship champion Margarita “Meggie” Ochoa leads the campaign of the Filipinos in this 5th edition of AIMAG. “Halos kilala ko lahat ng mga makaka-laban ko, mga nakalaban ko na din before,” said the 5-foot-1 Ochoa, who also won a gold medal in the Asian Beach Games a year back in Danang, Vietnam. “Ready naman tayo kasi last time I competed was in the Asian Jiu-Jitsu Championship, that was in August,” added Ochoa, 27, who will fight in her regular category of 45kg division. Also expected to deliver a medal for the Philippines is Annie Ramirez, a two–time gold medal winner in the Asian Beach Games. She recently won two gold medals in the Asian Jiu-Jitsu Championship in Hanoi, Vietnam. “I think maganda naman, may laban tayo and kaya nating makakuha ng gold. Sana maging ok ang lahat, walang injuries, and makapag-isip ng tama pag-dating sa araw ng laban,” Ramirez said. “During my last fight in Hanoi, I won two gold medals there, open category and sa 55kg division ko. At least may konting advantage na ako sa mga makakalaban kung sila pa din yung mga sasali dito,” added Ramirez. Eight other jiu-jitsu fighters will participate in the tournament. They are Hansel Terence Co (77kg), Gian Taylor Dee (56kg), Mark Alexander Lim (69kg), Golbert Ambao (94kg), Apryl Eppinger (62kg), Lou-Ann Jindani (55kg) and Carolina Pajaron (49kg). The drawing lots will be held Friday evening. The traditional wrestling will likewise start today, as five fighters will try to make a podium finish. These are Alvin Lobregito (freestyle 57kg), Jefferson Manato (classic style 57kg), Johnny Morte (freestyle 68kg), Grace Loberanes (freestyle 52kg) and Noemi Tenner (freestyle 58kg). In the flag raising ceremony at the Village Flag Plaza, national team Chef de Mission Monsour del Rosario said there is a strong chance for the team to capture medals in jujitsu and wrestling. “Everything is on track. Looks like the athletes are in good spirits last night I checked them,” said the former Olympian turned actor who is now a congressman representing the 1st district of Makati City. “ “Excited sila… ang pinagdadasal ko na lang ang draw lots ng mga fighters (I hope) hindi agad matapat sa mga World Champions at Asian Champions na malalakas na teams. Sana matapat muna medyo kaya nila tapos habang papunta ng quarterfinals, semifinals at finals doon na nila makakatapat yung mga World and Asian champions para may chance tayo mag-medalya,” he added. The national team will see action in 17 sports, including Electronic Sports. A total of 116 athletes will attend the opening ceremony scheduled Sunday at the 35,000-seater Ashgabat Olympic Stadium. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 15th, 2017

Martinez falls short of Olympic bid

MANILA, Philippines - Michael Christian Martinez struggled to finish at 24th overall in the 2017 ISU World Figure Skating Championships in Helsinki, Finland.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsApr 2nd, 2017

Batang Gilas nabs record-high World Cup finish

  MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine basketball youth team made up for a lackluster group-stage run by finishing the FIBA Under-17 World Cup on a high ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsJul 9th, 2018

Underprivileged kids from Marawi, Metro Manila, and Batangas participate in Real Madrid-sponsored camp

The two-day YKK Asia Group Kids Football Clinic came to a close last Sunday with 300 underprivileged kids getting the rare opportunity to learn football the Real Madrid way at the McKinley Hill Stadium in Taguig City. Two kids from previously war-torn Marawi City were among those who experienced the world-class football training from coaches of the most multi-titled La Liga team in history with 33 Championship titles to its name.  Children from Gawad Kalinga communities were first to undergo the clinics on Saturday, followed by children from lakeshore communities in Batangas on Sunday morning.  Homeless children who live and sleep on streets and places like Luneta and the Bonifacio Monument in Caloocan, and are cared for by Child Hope Asia Philippines had their own exhilarating football experience in the afternoon. Mohammed Faried Anganto and Alintor Bangote were brought by their coach, Espiridion Paran under the auspices of Gawad Kalinga. “Football was one way for the kids to cope and transcend the experience of the past,” said their coach.  “It was special for them to experience the YKK Football Clinic conducted by Real Madrid coaches because they learned new skills and trained with professional football gear. They’re used to playing with makeshift equipment, using tennis balls and playing barefoot,” he added. Real Madrid Foundation coaches Pablo Gomez Revenga, Santiago Sanchez Martin and Hector Vicente were assisted by 30 local coaches who shared and demonstrated world-class training methodologies and training techniques throughout the sessions. The Real Madrid Foundation coaches also promoted values through sports and education, teaching the kids about commitment, responsibility and teamwork, all while having fun.  All participants in the kids clinic received a full set of YKK/Real Madrid Foundation football kits, which include football boots, cap and socks. Everyone received a certificate at the end of the session. The Most Valuable Participants in the morning and afternoon sessions received Real Madrid t-shirts and bags......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 25th, 2018

Trackster Bautista bags silver in 2018 Korean Open

  MANILA, Philippines – Clinton Bautista picked up a silver medal in the 110-meter hurdles as two other Philippine team members missed the podium in the 2018 Korean Open on Sunday, June 17. Bautista clocked 14.29 seconds to finish behind Indonesian winner Rio Maholtra, who won in 14.22. The 25-year-old Bautista took ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsJun 18th, 2018

But PH win over Russia not enough

BOCAUE, BULACAN---Team Philippines made good on its promise to close out its Fiba 3x3 World Cup campaign with a victory after seeing its title hopes go up in smoke at Philippine Arena here Monday night. The Filipinos took out all their frustrations on the third-seeded Russians, 19-12, to finish third in Pool C with a 2-2 record. Still, it wasn't enough to push them to the knockout round. A stinging 20-19 defeat to an experienced Canada squad hours earlier snuffed out the Filipinos' chances of finishing in the top two of their bracket. Team PH coach Ronnie Magsanoc was apologetic after the defeat. "We will come back and try to give these people a win," said Magsanoc. Two...Keep on reading: But PH win over Russia not enough.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJun 11th, 2018

3x3WC: Standhardinger after early World Cup exit: 'I honestly felt that we were better'

BOCAUE, Bulacan --- While the last win against Russia was nice, Christian Standhardinger couldn't help but feel a little frustrated with the way Gilas Pilipinas fared in the 2018 FIBA 3x3 World Cup. After Monday's games, the Philippines just missed a spot in the quarterfinals, failing to advance after being one game short. Gilas finished with a 2-2 record in Pool C and the two teams that moved on were Canada (4-0) and Mongolia (3-1). Canada and Mongolia were the two teams that beat Gilas Pilipinas by a combined five points. And Standhardinger, regardless of the Philippines' seeding heading into the tournament, feels like his team was the better one compared to the two that actually advanced. "I think it’s a little bitter for me, it’s bitter. I’m happy that we won two games, but we should’ve won against Canada, and we should’ve won against Mongolia," Standhardinger said. "I felt like when you play the game you feel better or not better. I honestly felt that we were better but it was just the lack of experience and that’s why we didn’t win those games," he added. With less than a month of preparation, Gilas Pilipinas sure proved that they can compete with the best of them in the 3x3 game. Proof is the fact that the Philippines' two wins came at the expense of no. 3 Russia and no. 6 Brazil. Gilas was seeded 19th out of 20 teams in the World Cup. "As frustrating as how the loss against Mongolia is, let’s put it into perspective. If we beat the [6th]-ranked team in the world, which was against Brazil, I hope I’m not wrong, and we beat the 3rd-ranked team in the world and this is our first tournament. if this is not clear for everybody, how much promise we have as a team for the next tournaments, with more practices under our belt. We only had 11 practices," Standhardinger said. "It’s obvious to see how much promise there is practicing 11 times and competing unexperienced, we beat the number [6] ranked team in the world, beating the number 3 in the world by a high margin and Brazil could’ve been even higher. I’m just excited and pumped for the future to be honest with you as frustrating it is to have lost those two games, to not be able to show the Filipino fans the four victories in a row," he added. With all that promise, Standhardinger hopes that this current Gilas 3x3 team can stay together and continue playing. "Now that we have those experiences, I obviously hope that we stay together and we can make some history with these 3x3 games," he said. "I don’t know what else to say. Of course we’ll try to do our all but I hope that all of the organizations involved will give us the opportunity to stick together and I think we showed great promise. You saw what this guy [Roger Pogoy] did with the two-pointers. Amazing. He’s made for this physicality, he’s made for 3x3, Troy is made for 3x3 and nobody can stop Stanley. So i think we have a great team," Standhardinger added.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 11th, 2018

LeBron s free agency decision could swing NBA s balance of power

By Steve Aschburner, NBA.com CLEVELAND -- These combo coronation-funerals can be tricky. Imagine the crowning of a new monarch where the royal subjects couldn’t stop chattering about the freshly deposed or deceased predecessor. Where the traditional cry of continuity and succession, “The king is dead! Long live the king!” got flipped, with what was overshadowing what is. That’s pretty much how it went Friday night (Saturday, PHL time) at Quicken Loans Arena, with the Golden State Warriors’ latest NBA championship having to share the stage with speculation, instantly revved up, about LeBron James and the choice he’ll soon make about his next employer. The Warriors are the kings, claiming pro basketball’s throne yet again by completing a sweep of James’ Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2018 Finals. But of course, James is the King, and as so many of us learned in sophomore English – thanks, CliffsNotes! – “Uneasy lies the head (of those who fret and obsess about the future whereabouts of the NBA superstar) that wears a crown.” Long live the kings! The King is ... gone? There was so much energy before, during and after Game 4 Friday (Saturday, PHL time) poured into the last game/next game conjecture about James, the Cavaliers and seismic shifts in the league’s 2018-19 landscape that even the player’s surprise reveal near the end of the night – a bruised and bandaged right hand – couldn’t derail it. Turns out, as James ‘fessed up, the sore shooting paw was an injury he had been playing with ever since Game 1 in Oakland eight days earlier. He had “self-inflicted” it in a fit of pique when he smacked a whiteboard in the visitors’ dressing room at Oracle Arena after Cleveland’s overtime loss in the series-setter, an outcome driven at least in part by some teammates’ mistakes and an arcane wrinkle in the NBA’s replay rules regarding block/charge fouls. Despite the hordes of media people chronicling every waking detail of the Finals, James had kept the injury on the down-low (along with the possibility that J.R. Smith’s nickname amongst his Cavs teammates might be “whiteboard”). The cameras zoomed in and clicked in a paparazzi frenzy of motor drives every time James raised the hand, wrapped in black tape, above the table during his postgame podium remarks. Whether a legit Page-2-the-rest-of-the-story factor in the championship series or a too-late alibi, the contused hand wound up as a sidebar to where James plans to be using it when training camps open in a few months. As of Friday (Saturday, PHL time), it had been 95 months since “The Decision,” the 2010 announcement that James made in a tone-deaf vanity TV production that he was taking his talents from Cleveland to South Beach. Nearly 47 months had passed since he broke the news of his return in a Sports Illustrated ghost-written essay, envisioning much of what actually has unfolded in the four years since. Now savvy insiders and casual observers alike presume James will be on the move again, pushed to leave the franchise he has defined in an urgent search for more and better talent with which he can compete. As in, y’know, some horses, some horses, his kingdom for some horses. James’ free-agency process next month (he can opt out of a $35.6 million deal in the final season of his current contract) is expected to dictate the market of player movement this summer like an oversized domino. It easily could swing the balance of power, if not quite at Golden State’s lofty level then immediately below it. The monster he helped create Dr. Frankenstein eventually was done in by his macabre creation, and it can similarly be argued that James has no one but himself to blame for the predicament in which he again finds himself. He set in motion the machinery of the super team, after all, when he chose to join forces with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami eight years ago. Oh sure, the Boston Celtics in 2007-08 got there first by luring Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen to join Paul Pierce, but that was about knitting together three stars, all age 30 or older, for what would be their last best chance to win in an extremely limited run. That group won one title, went to two Finals in three seasons and was done, Allen leaving to join James & Co. with the Heat while Garnett and Pierce morphed into trade chips for Boston POBO Danny Ainge. When James, Wade and Bosh teamed up, they were in their basketball primes and their initial giddy boasts of “not four, not five, not six” championships turned off fans league-wide as much for its portent as its pretension. That crew went 4-for-4 in Finals, winning two rings before James, nudged by staleness and chafing as well as his grand plan for northeast Ohio, went home. From there, a line can be drawn through the ill-conceived 2012-13 L.A. Lakers of Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol all the way to this season’s Houston Rockets of James Harden and Chris Paul and the talent-gorged Golden State roster. James was the centerpiece as Cleveland replicated the Big Three concept around him with Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love, two younger, playoff-stymied All-Stars. The new-look Cavaliers went to the Finals in their first season together and clambered atop the basketball world to win the franchise’s first NBA title by the end of the second, becoming the first team in league history to do so after digging a 1-3 hole in the best-of-seven series. In that moment, regardless of the two Finals trips that followed, James’ bill was stamped: Paid In Full. Misguided fans might burn his jersey if he leaves again, but James burned the mortgage after that Game 7 in Oakland in 2016 as far as any remaining obligation to fulfill. “I came back because I felt like I had some unfinished business,” he said after elimination Friday (Saturday, PHL time). “To be able to be a part of a championship team two years ago with the team that we had and in the fashion that we had is something I will always remember. Honestly, I think we'll all remember that. It ended a drought for Cleveland of 50-plus years, so I think we'll all remember that in sports history.” James added: “When you have a goal and you're able to accomplish that goal, it actually – for me personally – made me even more hungry to continue to try to win championships. And I still want to be in championship mode. I think I've shown this year why I will still continue to be in championship mode.” In other words, James intends to sustain his high level of performance. He expects to win. And he presumably will do whatever – and go wherever – is necessary to achieve that. There’s no perfect fit So what does that mean for the NBA’s best player (never mind what the annual MVP balloting says in any given season)? It means this: compromise. There is no ideal situation, certainly no easy answer to the guesswork surrounding James’ looming free agency. He could transform any of the 30 teams, but not without some trade-offs for him, for them or for both. Most of them won’t be in play. Teams in markets such as Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Portland, Sacramento, the Twin Cities and so on can’t scratch James’ itches for either championship-worthy depth chart or spotlight. New York and Chicago, among the biggies, are out of synch with his timeline. Toronto? No way James is resettling his brand north of the border, and given his stated desire for teammates who have not just sufficient basketball skills but also mental toughness, well, the Raptors teams he and the Cavs have dominated do not qualify. The Boston club that stretched Cleveland to seven games in the Eastern Conference finals is built for the long haul and would have to surrender much of that to adjust to James’ career calendar. There’s a little Kyrie problem lurking there and, truth be told, the Celtics look to be on their way and are doing just fine without the 33-year-old heading, one of these years, toward decline. At some point in each of the 2018 Finals’ final three days, James spoke admiringly of the Warriors and the San Antonio Spurs title teams that blocked his path whether in Miami or Cleveland. He was at it again even as the Warriors were dousing the opponent’s locker room at The Q with Moet champagne. “I made the move in 2010 to be able to play with talented players, cerebral players that you could see things that happen before they happened on the floor,” James said. “When you feel like you're really good at your craft, I think it's always great to be able to be around other great minds as well and other great ballplayers. “That's never changed. Even when I came here in '14, I wanted to try to surround myself and surround this franchise with great minds and guys that actually think outside the box of the game and not just go out and play it.” Where might James find that now or recruit that swiftly? Hard to say. There are asterisks and “buts” everywhere: * If he were to sign with the Houston Rockets, James would be hitching his star to Chris Paul, a buddy with an injury history that’s about the mirror opposite of his own. He would be teaming up with an elite coach in Mike D’Antoni, something he’s never had (though Miami’s Erik Spoelstra was just young and unproven, on his way to big things). But it also would require another big ask of James Harden, who had to adapt last summer to Paul’s arrival and need for the ball. * If James chooses the Lakers, he has the chance to hit reset with the league’s glitziest franchise, in a market that can meet his every off-court wish and where he and his family already own one or more ultra-comfortable homes. The Lakers have young talent to help James transition into a lower-usage veteran’s role, favored status as a destination team for other top free agents and the salary-cap space to get it done this summer with the likes of Paul George or his pal Paul. But that roster might not be capable of insta-contending, which could burn a season or two when James’ clock most definitely is clicking. * If it’s San Antonio, James could link up with the elite coach in Gregg Popovich, where the winning culture is in the DNA rather than some acquired taste. The Spurs have talent, particularly if Kawhi Leonard finds happiness again there. But they might not have enough to rattle the Warriors’ cage. And for all their professed admiration, James and Popovich might both fare better by keeping their relationship long-distance vs. the 82-game grind. * If it’s Golden State? Perish the thought. The NBA might have to board up itself if competitive balance were capsized to that extent. And as Draymond Green shrewdly noted on Thursday (Friday, PHL time), if James climbed aboard, it likely would require him and several other Golden State teammates to be dispatched to parts unknown. * If James prefers to stay East, where the winning comes easier, he could pick Philadelphia. The Sixers have two foundational young stars at positions that matter most, center Joel Embiid and point guard Ben Simmons. But Simmons is a non-shooter at the moment, the antithesis of what makes a great complementary LeBron teammate. As for Embiid, James never has had to play off of and service a top center. And Philly might feel like a basketball-only move, with the hungriest and most demanding of any new fan base he would embrace. * If it’s Miami – wait, could it be Miami? Could he go second-home again? The Heat always strive to be competitive and offer a talent base deep enough for the East and lots of familiarity. But they also have players such as Hassan Whiteside and Dion Waiters whose mental approaches don’t seem to fit the model James was cooing about in Golden State and with the Tim Duncan-era Spurs. * That brings us to Cleveland, where it’s possible James might choose to remain. Staying with the Cavaliers, after leading them to four Finals and that heady 2016 title, would be the easiest choice as far as pressure to win. He owes these fans nothing anymore – in fact, had the bargain been offered to them in 2010 (“LeBron will leave and win elsewhere for four years, but will come back and deliver a championship and four Finals trips”), most would have grabbed it. Here, James and the fans who have watched him even through the interruption develop from ridiculously touted high schooler to one of the world’s most famous athletes could grow older together. Then he could partner up and buy the team from owner Dan Gilbert for a long-term future. Certainly, staying has a certain place in his and the rest of the James clan’s hearts. “The one thing that I've always done is considered, obviously, my family,” he said at series end Friday (Saturday, PHL time). “Understanding especially where my boys are at this point in their age. They were a lot younger the last time I made a decision like this four years ago. I've got a teenage boy, a pre-teen and a little girl that wasn't around as well. So sitting down and considering everything, my family is a huge part of whatever I'll decide to do in my career, and it will continue to be that.” It’s worth noting that as James contemplates his options as a modern pursuer of championship excellence, the prospect of him moving again qualifies at some level as a failure. Not just by the support system in Cleveland, where he and Gilbert have their friction and James gets snidely mentioned as the team’s unofficial GM and head coach, but by him too. He’s the one who went off to seek his “college education” in south Florida in what it takes to win, whether on the court, in the front office or in and around the seams 365 days a year, straight out of the Pat Riley handbook. The teams about which James talks so glowingly in Oakland now and in San Antonio then have cultures he covets, stability up and down the flowchart he craves. In Cleveland, for a variety of reasons, his team has been incapable of establishing and maintaining that to a lasting degree. He is part of that missed opportunity and he has to own it, no matter if he goes or stays. James is inseparable from the dynamic of the Cavaliers’ ever-changing and often melodramatic roster maneuvers. Spending big, swapping out draft picks to import current stars and supporting players, and overvaluing secondary guys like Smith and Tristan Thompson are risks the Warriors and the Spurs largely avoided thanks to shrew drafting and laudable continuity. The Cavs’ scrap heap, by contrast, is high with traded picks, scuttled plans, panic deals, short-term patches and folks such as former coach David Blatt and former GM David Griffin. And maybe James could have nurtured a little better relationship with All-Star point guard and 2016 title sidekick Kyrie Irving, enough to have kept Irving from bailing on them all with his trade demand last summer. Now he’s on the verge of casting about again, prioritizing what matters most for however long he continues to play. James is more at peace with it than he was before, particularly in 2010, and surely can enjoy the leverage he wields and the riches it delivers. But there is a burden there as well, one that could be seen as completing a circle. So many of the NBA’s greatest stars have been stuck playing and living in the Age of LeBron, right? Their paths to the Finals blocked, on one whole side of the league, by him and his? Well, LeBron James is stuck now in the Era of the Warriors, freshly swept and anxious to close the gap. What goes around comes around, though the key more pressing of the big W’s now is, where? Steve Aschburner has written about the NBA since 1980. You can e-mail him here, find his archive here and follow him on Twitter. The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 11th, 2018

Philippines out of FIBA women’s 3x3; Pontejos shines

Janine Pontejos emerged as the darling of the 2018 FIBA 3x3 World Cup with her consistent fiery performance but Team Phl came up short in each of its four games in pool play and failed to make the knockout round......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJun 11th, 2018

3x3WC: Perlas left emotional as crowd shows appreciation

BOCAUE, Bulacan --- As the Philippines displayed tremendous heart against Germany in the 2018 FIBA 3x3 World Cup, the crowd at the Philippine Arena here couldn't help but get behind the underdog home team. Perlas Pilipinas ultimately lost to the Germans, 10-12, but the rally that just fell short captured the attention of those in attendance. Most people in the Philippines don't exactly pay attention to women's hoops. On Friday, the Philippine national women's 3x3 team made sure the audience paid attention. And they couldn't help but get emotional after getting the support they truly deserved from fans. "Sobra. Yun yung first time. Ang sarap lang sa feeling na yung paghihirap namin, meron palang nakaka-appreciate," Jack Animam said, while in tears, after taking a question in the official post-game press conference following the Philippine-Germany clash. "Sana hinihiling ko sa lahat na mas suportahan pa kami. Kasi ito talaga yung kailangan nating lahat," she added. As the crowd got wild during Perlas' attempted comeback, Animam added that those are some of the moments athletes like her live for. Feeling that reaction in real time made the loss a little more manageable. "Grabe yung reaction nun crowd," she said. "That was the best part. We live for that," Animam added.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 8th, 2018

Tigers draft Auburn right-hander Casey Mize with No. 1 pick

By Dennis Waszak Jr., Associated Press SECAUCUS, N.J. (AP) — Casey Mize went from undrafted three years ago all the way to No. 1. The Detroit Tigers selected the Auburn right-hander with the top pick in the Major League Baseball draft Monday night. The announcement at MLB Network studios marked the second time the Tigers led off the draft, and first since they took Rice pitcher Matt Anderson in 1997. The 6-foot-3, 220-pound Mize had long been linked to the Tigers, and he pitched his way this season to the top spot on Detroit's list. Mize went undrafted out of high school three years ago, but developed into a potential big league ace while in college. "It means a ton," Mize said in an interview on MLB Network's broadcast. "I'm very thankful that the Tigers thought of me enough to take me with their first selection. I can't describe this feeling right now." Mize is 10-5 with a 2.95 ERA and 151 strikeouts with just 12 walks in 109 2/3 innings while helping the Tigers to the NCAA Tournament super regionals. Mize has solid command of four pitches, including a fastball that hovers in the mid-90s (mph). His outstanding command and wicked split changeup whip up lots of swings and misses. Mize became only the seventh player in draft history to go from undrafted in high school to the No. 1 pick since Stephen Strasburg went to the Washington Nationals in 2009. "All of us in the Tigers organization are thrilled to select Casey with this pick, and are confident that he will become a pillar in our player development system that's going to bring winning baseball to Detroit for seasons to come," Detroit general manager Al Avila said. "Being a college pitcher — especially coming from the Southeastern Conference — we know Casey has seen elite competition before." With the second selection, San Francisco took slugging Georgia Tech catcher Joey Bart, the Atlantic Coast Conference player of the year. Perhaps Buster Posey's replacement someday, Bart follows in the footsteps of big league backstops Matt Wieters and Jason Varitek, who also came out of Georgia Tech. Bart led the conference in hitting with a .359 average and topped the Yellow Jackets with a .632 slugging percentage, 79 hits, 16 home runs, 55 runs and a .471 on-base percentage. He's also one of the country's best defensive catchers, with a .992 fielding percentage on the season while throwing out 12 of 33 would-be base stealers. Wichita State third baseman Alec Bohm was the first of six players attending the draft to be selected, going third overall to Philadelphia. He had some trouble buttoning his white Phillies jersey before heading to the podium to shake hands with Commissioner Rob Manfred. "The holes are pretty tight. It was pretty tough," said the 6-foot-5 Bohm, later adding that his biggest strength is probably his maturity at the plate. "I'm just ready to go play ball." Bohm is one of the top offensive players in the draft, hitting .339 with 16 homers — the most by a Wichita State player since 2004 — and 55 RBIs with 14 doubles and 39 walks. He also showed a knack for hitting in the clutch by setting a school record with three grand slams this year, and led the team with 10 go-ahead RBIs. "Alec Bohm is a tremendous offensive player," Phillies director of amateur scouting Johnny Almaraz said in a statement. "He is a middle of the order bat, a big power-hitting third baseman who could be a .300 hitter and drive in 100-plus runs." Oregon State second baseman Nick Madrigal went fourth to the Chicago White Sox. Despite his short stature — 5-foot-7, 160 pounds — Madrigal is considered by many to be the best overall hitter in the draft. He rebounded nicely for the Beavers after missing half the season with a broken left wrist. He was hitting .406 with three homers, 32 RBIs and just five strikeouts in 133 at-bats while helping lead Oregon State to the NCAA Tournament super regionals. Rounding out the top five was Cincinnati, which took Florida third baseman Jonathan India. The Southeastern Conference player of the year has been an offensive force for the defending College World Series champions. He's the 12th player in school history to post 20 or more homers, 100 or more RBIs and 30 or more stolen bases in his career......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 5th, 2018

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

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

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 30th, 2018

Miscues push Warriors to brink of elimination

By Shaun Powell, NBA.com HOUSTON — The hefty equipment bag sitting next to the visitor’s locker room entrance after Game 5 of the Western Conference finals never had a chance. Whack! went Draymond Green’s fist against it as he walked by. Well, at least the Warriors hit something as the night grew late. Once again, the defending champions, the team with four All-Stars, the franchise with a pair of former MVPs still in their prime and two of the most efficient machines of this generation went flatter than Texas when it counted. Missed shots, failed stops and poor decisions all piled on their heads. That fourth quarter was mostly a 12-minute mess. It doomed them at the finish, for the second straight game, and now has them on the brink — really! — in the conference finals. The Warriors awaken today with a pair of potential saving graces: Game 6 is in Oakland and Chris Paul is gimpy, and might be done for good. That could be enough to push this series to seven games. Yet nothing is for certain anymore in the Warriors’ world, if only because of the weird and uncharacteristic — for them — developments in the clutch. Simply put, their lack of composure and smarts is the reason they’re in a bind. Imagine: The Rockets don’t score 100 and James Harden missed all 11 of his three-pointers and the Warriors still lose. It was a strange, empty night for the Warriors where nothing made sense for them. Yes, Paul went nuts in the fourth quarter and Houston’s defensive rotations and traps are catching the Warriors — and especially Kevin Durant — by surprise, and yet the Warriors are also doing a good job of stabbing themselves. Thursday's (Friday, PHL time) 98-94 loss was another blown opportunity, another one that got away, and for the first time since The Finals two summers ago the Warriors are staring at elimination. The face of the Warriors in these back-to-back losses belongs to Durant, and it wears the look of a man confused and dumbfounded. He is 1-for-9 shooting over the last two fourth quarters, reduced to a supporting actor, a backup singer, instead of a beast. He’s not the total reason for this, but a strong symptom nonetheless. Could they fall short of The Finals, a place where they were all but destined to go? It’s a reality, obviously, and their margin for error is toothpick-like. But that’s not what coach Steve Kerr’s gut tells him. “I feel great about where we are right now,” he said. “That may sound crazy, but I feel it. I know exactly what I’m seeing out there … we got everything we needed. Just too many turnovers, too many reaches. If we settle down a little bit we’re going to be in really good shape.” Maybe some of Kerr’s mood has something to do with Paul grabbing a hamstring in the final moments, perhaps stripping the Rockets of their best player in this series. Maybe it’s just hard to fathom the Warriors losing four times in a best-of-seven. All that talent and past success can make a man stubborn, almost refusing to ponder the possibility of defeat. Fine, but Kerr and crew must find a way to clean up the bad choices they’ve made with the game on the line, before it becomes habit-forming. Eighteen turnovers isn’t a recipe for winning. “We can learn from it,” said Durant, “and we’ve got another opportunity at home. We’ll be ready to play.” Trailing by a point with 49 seconds left, here’s what the Warriors coughed up: * Quinn Cook missed a three-pointer. The big surprise is that the ball found Cook and he actually took a shot at that stage of the game. * Curry missed a driving layup, and rather than grab the rebound, Green slapped it out toward the perimeter, hoping a teammate would grab it. Trevor Ariza scooped the lose ball instead. * Then: Down three points and seconds left, the play was designed for Curry to spring loose for a three, but Green fumbled a pass that hit him in both hands. Game over. “We were supposed to score,” said Green. “I lost the ball. Nothing more, nothing less.” Before these self-inflicted misadventures, the Warriors were repeatedly punished by Paul, who recovered from an 0-for-7 first half with 18 points in the second half — complete with a payback shimmy aimed at Curry — before pulling up lame with 22 seconds left. Also, Eric Gordon dropped 24 points and went to the line 10 times, thanks to reach-in fouls by beaten Warriors defenders. “What we can’t live with is reaching and jumping on Eric Gordon’s pump fakes,” said Kerr. “We reached on James and he shot nine free throws. We’ve got to be a little more disciplined.” Overall, the Warriors withstood a manic Toyota Center and were locked in a tight finish against a 65-win team, but never led after the eight-minute mark and weren't nearly sharp enough to capture the lead. They were without Andre Iguodala again, but he’s a defensive specialist and for much of the night defense wasn’t a big issue for the Warriors; the Rockets shot 37 percent and Harden didn’t hurt them. Their problems were mistakes and missed shots. Anyway, Golden State has four All-Stars to Houston’s two, and now with Paul’s status questionable, maybe just one. That means, although the Warriors trail 3-2, they’re in a reasonably good position to keep the series alive. They’re not worried. There’s another emotion running through their bodies. “I think they’re angry,” said Kerr. “As they should be. They’re competitors.” This is new territory in the Durant Era. Remember, the Warriors lost only once last season and until the West Finals didn’t perspire much. As expected, the Rockets are indeed the biggest threat they’ve faced. It’s the series that’s meeting the high expectations for drama and suspense and a chance to see the mighty Warriors ousted. Does Paul’s injury linger and ultimately bail out the Warriors? Can Durant rediscover his touch in the clutch? Will the Warriors wise up or once again wig out? There’s nothing at stake, really, except a dynasty that a loaded team was created to become. Curry plans to remain cool and confident, and the Warriors really don’t have any other choice but to adopt that mentality. “We’ve played the last two games good enough to win but just haven’t gotten the job done," he said. "The way we played tonight, if we can repeat that, take care of turnovers, just stay mentally locked on the details for 48 minutes, we know we can get a win. “Just the talent we have on this team and the resiliency, you know we can get the job done. We know we haven’t been in this position before, so it’s a chapter we need to figure out and finish the story.” Veteran NBA writer Shaun Powell has worked for newspapers and other publications for more than 25 years. You can e-mail him here or 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 NewsMay 25th, 2018

UAAP: Kailangan ibalik ang character ng Lady Eagles -- Almadro

Bringing back the confidence, intensity and heart that brought success to the Lady Eagles in the past are the first order of business for new Ateneo de Manila University women’s volleyball head coach Oliver Almadro.    Formally named as replacement for Tai Bundit on Thursday, Almadro is expected to buckle down to business in the first week of June. Almadro puts his focus in bringing back the same fire that fueled the Lady Eagles in their UAAP Season 76 and 77 title conquests. After their back-to-back reign behind ace hitter Alyssa Valdez, prized setter Jia Morado and top libero Denden Lazaro, the Lady Eagles seemed to have lost the magic that made them the most popular collegiate team in this generation and ultimately fell short of making it into Season 80 Finals after six straight championship appearances.       “Unang-una siguro kailangang ibalik ko muna ang confidence nila kasi coming from sa pinaka-last game nila, kahit kami talo rin kami ng Finals, yung confidence bababa yun eh,” said Almadro, who steered the Blue Eagles to three-straight titles from Season 77 to 79 before relinquishing the crown to archrival National University. “Pero yun ang una, ibalik ang confidence.” The Lady Eagles finished third in Season 80 and were booted out by Far Eastern University in the Final Four.  “(Kailangan) ibalik ang intensity, ibalik yung playing with heart, yun muna. Yun ang kailangang ibalik muna, yung character nila as Lady Eagles,” Almadro said. “Hindi naman sinasabi ko na pangit ang end nila (sa Season 80). They still ended up in a podium finish but siyempre alam mo naman na ang Ateneo binabantayan ng marami and they are expecting a lot from them.” “Sabi ko let’s put back muna yung confidence, let’s put back muna yung chemistry, yung trust with each other and saka natin tingnan kung anong character ang kailangan i-build ng team,” added Almadro, who was replaced by longtime assistant coach Timmy Sto. Tomas in the men’s team.   Bringing a DLSU twist in Lady Eagles’ new system Almadro has been coaching volleyball for two decades and calling the shots for a women’s team is not new to the passionate and vocal mentor. For 10 years, Almadro worked as a deputy for De La Salle University Lady Spikers head coach Ramil De Jesus.  After his stint with the Taft-based squad, Almadro became the chief tactician of the Ateneo men’s team before transferring to NU. He returned to the Katipunan-based squad half a decade ago, bringing with him a dangerous scorer and all-around player in Marck Espejo. Now working on a different challenge of handling the Lady Eagles, who took the spotlight before the start of Season 80 with their ‘internal issues’ that went public, Almadro will be adopting a different approach. A deviation from the ‘happy, happy and heartstrong mantra’ used by Bundit. A no-nonsense coach like his former mentor, Almadro is leaning on using the formula that brought success to Ateneo’s bitter rival – his own twist to the system of the reigning three-peat champion Lady Spikers.   “Ire-recall ko na lang ulit kung ano yung nangyari sa La Salle, noong humawak pa ako ng women’s,” said Almadro. De Jesus has been known to instill strict discipline and Spartan-like training to the Lady Spikers. Almadro will be doing the same with the Lady Eagles.  “Pero sabi ko nga ang Ateneo Lady Eagles mababait naman ang mga yan. They are good followers. They are great athletes. Ang great athlete mate-test kung gaano sila kabilis maga-adjust,” he continued. Almadro will try to work on the power and speed of the Lady Eagles, who will have the core of Season 80 Best Setter Deanna Wong, Kat Tolentino, Ponggay Gaston and seniors Maddie Madayag and Bea De Leon, who are yet to commit to playing their swan songs. “Sa women’s sana madala ko yung bilis at yung power ng men’s. Yun sana ang maidagdag ko sa kanila,” he said. “Pero iba pa rin ang women’s eh. More on defense, more on variation pero ang importante volleyball naman yan eh. Ang importante lang maka-cope up with the system.”   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles      .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 24th, 2018

Alyssa Valdez invites future champions to join Milo sports camps this summer

    Alyssa Valdez's volleyball journey all started with a risk, a leap of faith. As a scrawny kid from San Juan, Batangas, Valdez was initially prohibited by her father to try out sports, as an act of protecting his only daughter. But her mother, a teacher by profession, knew the kind of life lessons Alyssa can learn through sports.  It took some convincing, but Alyssa was eventually given the green light to pursue what she loved.  Now, she's one of the most iconic and beloved volleyball players in the country as a star from Ateneo de Manila and the Creamline Cool Smashers. With the help of her relentless drive, Alyssa Valdez became a testament to sports' power to transform lives. HUMBLE BEGINNINGS When she was younger, Alyssa says she was already active in different kinds of sports. But the young Phenom was held back by her shy nature.  "Isa sa mga nadevelop ko talaga, through playing volleyball is self-confidence," she bared. "I can imagine myself when I was a kid na, wala hindi talaga ako makakausap ng tao. I'm too shy to always interact with other people. So the challenge of pursuing her love for sports awakened something in Alyssa. "There was this turning point na, wala eh, it challenges me. If I don't push myself, paano pa 'yung ibang challenges?" Valdez reflected. Taking up volleyball gave her a sense of self-confidence and self-fulfillment that stemmed from the series of small victories she had garnered throughout her early playing days. By small victories, she meant gradually getting better, and slowly learning the value of hard work. But Alyssa wasn't always the superstar she is today. In her younger years, she says wasn't even part of her team's starting six.  "Noong bata ako, hindi ko talaga natutunan lahat in just a snap. You have to work hard, you have to sacrifice a lot of things," she said. "Per sa lahat ng sinasakripisyo natin, may babalik at babalik din diyan." True enough, with her dedication to help her team, and to continuously improve her play, she eventually got her break. ROUGH START It's hard to imagine Alyssa Valdez as anything short of a phenomenal volleyball player. But like anything great, it took some time for Alyssa to become an athlete of her stature.  As a bench player, she adapted a team-first identity, accepting a role that may not always call for her presence on the court, but was still important to the team's success. Alyssa had to learn to accept the small responsibilities she was entrusted with, like setting up the nets for practice, handing out water bottles for her teammates, as well as cheering from the bench to hype up her squad. Slowly, though, Alyssa was rewarded, not just with wins, but with different life lessons as well.   A LIFETIME'S WORTH OF LESSONS  Looking back now, Alyssa fondly remembers those memories as instrumental in helping her adjust to any situation, on and off the court. She gained confidence from accomplishing all those small tasks, and began trusting herself more.  Beyond accolades and fame, what keeps Alyssa's hunger in sports is its ability to teach lifelong wisdom. As she shares, "It's not about how you perform and be at your best, but, yung after na lessons na nabibigay sakin ng sport. The little things really matter." Alyssa has been carrying all those lessons, even after her success, like the friendships she has garnered through out her career. "In my experience, dahil sa sports, nakilala ko yung mga taong mag-s-stay kahit anong mangyari," Valdez shared. "Alam mo 'yung mga moments na patalo na kayo, 'yung mga moments na hindi mo na alam 'yung gagawin mo... Pero at the end of the day, iiyak at iiyak sila, tatawa at tatawa sila kasama mo."   INSPIRING THE CHAMPIONS OF TOMORROW Now a successful athlete, Alyssa hopes to inspire a new generation of youth to take up sports. Like the kid from San Juan, Batangas, Alyssa believes every child needs to take that risk, that leap of faith, for an opportunity to realize their potential to be someone great, as part of a nation of champions. That's why the Phenom has teamed up with Milo to invite kids of all ages to try any of the 18 different sports clinics the energy drink brand will offer summer, from April 2 to June 3, to get set for a lifetime's worth of lessons and values, on and off the court. "Parehas kami na really wanna pay it forward. Through camps, a lot of camps all over the Philippines," she said. "Ako, yun lang din yung gusto ko as an athlete, gusto ko ma-share 'yung knowledge ko." With Alyssa and her wealth of experience on board, indeed, this summer sounds like the perfect time for children to pursue sports......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 24th, 2018