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Time for women to shine -- Imee

ILOCOS Norte Governor Maria Imelda Josefa “Imee” Marcos graced the opening of the Philippine Sports Commission-Women Sports Congress yesterday. “It’s about time we gave women a chance,” Marcos said in her speech in front of around 150 women leaders, athletes and national sports association officials from all over the country….....»»

Category: newsSource: journal journalJun 14th, 2018

Fajardo to receive fourth straight PSA Mr. Basketball award

June Mar Fajardo is expected to cast a giant shadow over next week’s staging of the SMC-PSA (Philippine Sportswriters Association) Awards Night at the Maynila Hall of the Manila Hotel. The San Miguel big man will be bestowed the Mighty Sports Mr. Basketball award during the Feb. 27 rites presented by MILO and Cignal TV for another dominant PBA season last year which saw the 6-foot-10 Cebuano pride romp off with an unprecedented fourth straight MVP trophy.  Fajardo became the first-ever player to win the league’s highest individual award four consecutive seasons - and only the third in history to emerge a four-time MVP after legends Ramon Fernandez and Alvin Patrimonio. This will also be the fourth straight time the oldest media organization in the country is honoring the 28-year-old center for excellence in basketball. Last year, Fajardo further established his claim as the biggest name in Philippine basketball today after steering the Beermen to a record-tying three straight Philippine Cup championships that allowed the fable franchise to become only the second team in PBA annals to bring home the June Bernardino Perpetual trophy after TnT Katropa.  The former no. 1 pick out of University of Cebu also proved his worth by leading Gilas Pilipinas to a sweep of the Southeast Asian Basketball Association (SEABA) Championship, and then suited up for the national team in its FIBA Asia Cup campaign despite suffering a strained calf muscle prior to the ballclub’s departure for Beirut, Lebanon. Previous players hailed as Mr. Basketball include Calvin Abueva and Terrence Romeo.  Volleyball players Dawn Macandili and Marck Espejo as well as well as golfer Clyde Mondilla are also recipients of special awards during the affair that has the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) as major sponsor and backers in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA), Mighty Sports, Globalport, Rain or Shine, and Smart.  Macandili, adjudged second Best Libero during the 2017 Asian Women’s Volleyball Championships here, will be handed the Ms. Volleyball title, while Espejo is Mr. Volleyball on account of him winning a fourth UAAP MVP trophy after steering Ateneo to a third straight championship.  For topping the Philippine Golf Tour Order of Merit (OOM), Mondilla is Mr. Golf of the year. The four special awardees are part of the total 105 personalities and entities which make up the season’s honor roll list, topped by PSA-Tapa King Athlete of the Year Jerwin Ancajas, Carlo Biado, and Krizziah Lyn Tabora. Agriculture Secretary Manny Pinol, a former sportswriter, columnist, and boxing analyst, will be the special guest of honor of this year’s event......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 21st, 2018

Grammys red carpet: White roses for equality

  After the "blackout" on the Golden Globes red carpet to draw attention to sexual harassment in showbiz, the music industry's hottest stars wore white roses to the Grammy Awards on Sunday in support of gender equality.   From Lady Gaga and Kelly Clarkson to Sting and Khalid, the women and men sported or carried the flowers.   "A white rose symbolizes respect, pays homage to new beginnings and expresses hope for the future," tweeted the Time's Up movement, launched by hundreds of prominent women in Tinseltown to shine a light on sexual misconduct.   "We like the sound of that. #TIMESUP at the #GRAMMYS."   Gaga, who will perform duri...Keep on reading: Grammys red carpet: White roses for equality.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJan 29th, 2018

Six standout local volleybelles of 2017

We’ve seen them shine this year whether in the collegiate stage, in the club leagues or even in the international scene. These six Pinay volleyball players took the sport’s limelight in the year that’s about to end.     DESIREE CHENG Desiree Cheng came into De La Salle University during the time bitter rival Ateneo de Manila University got the Lady Spikers’ number. From Seasons 76 to 77, Cheng saw her team fall prey to the might of the Lady Eagles in the UAAP Finals. Then redemption came in Season 78. Unfortunately, the 5-foot-8 spiker was forced to watch from the sidelines with an ACL tear as her crew reclaimed the crown. A year after, Cheng got her biggest break. DLSU lost most of its veteran core after Season 78 and needed another scoring option. Cheng heeded the call. Though Cheng struggled at the start of the eliminations, the hitter slowly got her groove back and delivered when DLSU needed offense in their sixth straight championship showdown against Ateneo. Cheng was the X-factor for the Ramil De Jesus-mentored squad during the series. Her contributions both on offense and floor defense played a huge part in the Lady Spikers’ series sweep of the Lady Eagles for the school’s 10th title. Cheng also helped F2 Logistics claim the Cargo Movers’ breakthrough Philippine Superliga Grand Prix title and a runner-up finish in the All-Filipino Conference.   ALYSSA VALDEZ Although Alyssa Valdez failed to claim a crown in the Premier Volleyball League this year and a continued title drought since 2016, the Phenom’s magic remains. She can still fill up game venues whenever she takes the court and 2017 proved as the former Queen Eagles’ biggest year in terms of her flourishing volleyball career. Valdez brought her talents abroad, landing a stint with 3BB Nakornnont in the Thai League and in the Thai-Denmark Superleague where her team finished third in both tournaments. After her appearance in Thailand, Valdez donned the Creamline jersey and led the Rebisco franchise to a bronze medal finish both in the PVL Reinforced and Open conferences. Valdez also had another tour of duty, playing for the national team in the AVC Asian Women’s Senior Volleyball Championship and the 29th Southeast Asian Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The 24-year old hitter got another international gig when she was tapped by Attack Line to play in the Chinese-Taipei Volleyball League.          Outside volleyball, Valdez has a blooming relationship with basketball star Kiefer Ravena. If she’s not busy with her volleyball and other commitments, Valdez also drew attention as one of the newest member of the so-called PBA players’ WAGS (wives and girlfriends) cheering for Ravena and the NLEX Road Warriors.      DAWN MACANDILI She may be only 5-foot tall but Dawn Macandili stood alongside Asia’s volleyball giants this year. The De La Salle University libero was the catalyst in the Lady Spikers’ back-to-back UAAP championship run. Her pesky floor defense frustrated DLSU’s rivals while giving her teammates a good first ball to operate their lethal offense.  But her biggest showing was when she landed a spot in the national team that competed in the AVC Asian Senior Women’s Volleyball Championship and in the Kuala Lumpur SEA Games. A first-timer donning the national colors, Macandili did not disappoint as she earned the respect and admiration of Japanese coaches and trainers during the Nationals’ training camp in Japan. She performed even better when the PHI hosted the AVC Asian Seniors. Ms. Everywhere gave teams like Asian powerhouse Vietnam, Kazakhstan, South Korea and Thailand a hard time with her floor defense. All her efforts caught the eyes of the AVC tournament officials and she was rewarded with the historic 2nd Best Libero award. She made the final list of in the national team that participated in the SEA Games. Back in the local scene, Macandili helped F2 Logistics to runner-up finish in the PSL All-Filipino Conference and a breakthrough crown in the Grand Prix.    JAJA SANTIAGO Tall, powerful and versatile, Jaja Santiago is a force to reckon with.  At 6-foot-5, Santiago dominated the Premier Volleyball League Collegiate Conference as she led the National University Lady Bulldogs to a perfect championship run. She also bagged the conference’s Most Valuable Player award. Though NU failed to make it in the Final Four of UAAP for the second straight year, Santiago’s effort for the Lady Bulldogs was rewarded with a third straight Best Attacker award to go with the Best Scorer and Best Blocker recognitions. In the PSL, Santiago was a consistent scorer for the Foton Tornadoes in the All-Filipino Conference and the Grand Prix. Under the tutelage of Serbian import Moro Branislav, Santiago became an even more dangerous and versatile player. Aside from her natural position as a middle blocker, she can now wreak havoc on both wings the puts her height advantage to good use. She made it into the national team that competed in the AVC Asian Seniors and SEA Games and was the Nationals’ scoring ace. Santiago received an offer from Thai powerhouse Bangkok Glass but declined the offer to play in her last year with the Lady Bulldogs.             KIM FAJARDO Setter Kim Fajardo left winning legacy when she played her swan song for DLSU. It took her a few months to decide to play her fifth year with the Lady Spikers. Leading a young crew after the departure of the core of the Season 78 championship squad, Fajardo faced a tough challenge in the Taft-based squad’s title-retention bid. But the Batanguena proved her worth as a leader and the skipper rallied the Lady Spikers back into the Finals in a sixth straight collision against bitter rival Ateneo. Fajardo’s composure carried DLSU in a tough Game 1 match and again in the five-set title-clincher to complete the Lady Spikers’ series sweep of the Lady Eagles. She earned a spot in the national team as a starting setter. Fajardo steered F2 Logistics to its first PSL Grand Prix crown bagged the conference’s Best Setter award. She helped the Cargo Movers to a runner-up finish in the All-Filipino Conference.     JOVIELYN PRADO Silent but deadly. Jovielyn Prado may not be the typical vocal leader but her presence inside the court is enough to rally the Arellano University Lady Chiefs to meet their goals. The outside hitter proved her worth to the Lady Chiefs when she led the Legarda-based squad back on the NCAA women’s volleyball throne. A year removed from the title, Arellano U turned to Prado to provide the spark the Lady Chiefs needed to make another shot at the crown. Consistent, efficient and effective, Prado delivered for the Obet Javier-mentored squad. Arellano U advanced in the stepladder semifinals and dethroned College of St. Benilde to set up a date with thrice-to-beat, three-time Most Valuable Player Grethcel Soltones-led San Sebastian College. Undaunted even with a great series disadvantage, Prado played her best three games of the season to power the Lady Chiefs to an impressive sweep of the Lady Stags. Prado continued her great performance in the PVL Reinforced and Open Conference playing for the Power Smashers. She then bannered the Lady Chiefs to a bronze medal finish in the Collegiate Conference at the expense of UAAP team Adamson University.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles   .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 28th, 2017

REINFORCEMENTS HAVE ARRIVED

Miss the PBA yet? Don't worry as there's more action coming your way starting Friday at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City. The 2018 PBA Governors' Cup will tip off this weekend and we have prolific imports in town, 12 of them to be exact. Get to know who they are before we start the third and final conference for this season.   Justin Brownlee --- Ginebra By now, Justin Brownlee needs no introduction but here goes anyway for the benefit of those who don't know him for some reason. Brownlee is a three-time PBA champion for the Gin Kings and a one-time Best Import. His first two titles came in the Governors' Cup. The first one was in 2016 when he hit "The Shot" in Game 6. The second one was last year when he led the barangay to a Game 7 win in front of more than 50,000 fans at the Philippine Arena. He's a Ginebra legend.   Allen Durham --- Meralco The reigning two-time Best Import is back for the Bolts and he's looking to complete some unfinished business. Durham has led Meralco to two Governors' Cup Finals in his previous two stints in the PBA but each time, the Bolts lost to Ginebra for the title. Is third time the charm for Allen Durham and Meralco?   AZ Reid --- San Miguel Arizona Reid won two Best Imports back when he was still with Rain or Shine and he won his first Governors' Cup title when he switched over to San Miguel. Now, the high-scoring import is back for the Beermen after a one-year hiatus. He has some business to finish here and at the top of the list is regaining his lost PBA championship.   Eugene Phelps --- Phoenix El Destructor first made a name for himself in the Governors' Cup. The Commissioner's Cup might not be his best cup of tea but when it comes to the season-ending conference, Eugene Phelps has proven before that he's a force to be reckoned with. With an upgraded local lineup and perhaps better durability this time around, El Destructor might just become extra destructive to the oppposition.   Henry Walker --- Blackwater The Elite made their second playoff appearance last year in the Governors' Cup with Henry Walker. As the no. 8 seed, they were a few minutes away from stunning no. 1 Meralco to go to the semis. Mr. Inspiration has provided nothing but positive stuff for Blackwater and with a longer build up, the Elite might be ready to take the next step in the Governors' Cup in order to salvage what has been a lost season.   Mike Harris --- Alaska The Aces are bringing in Mike Harris as reinforcement in the Governors' Cup. Harris has NBA experience with the Houston Rockets and the Utah Jazz. He has tremendous international experience and the PBA is only the latest in his long list of stops. He has a career average of 3.4 points in the NBA, playing a total of 54 games spread across five seasons.   Akeem Wright --- Columbian The Dyip will have 33-year-old Akeem Wright for the Governors' Cup. Wright was undrafted in the 2007 NBA Draft and since then, he's built an international career with stops in the Middle East and Europe.   Romeo Travis --- Magnolia A close buddy of LeBron James, Romeo Travis is back in the PBA. The first time, he played for Alaska and won Best Import but lost in the Finals to San Miguel Beer  back in 2015. Now, Travis will suit up for the Magnolia Hotshots. Travis of course is part of the LeBron's high school team at St. Vincent-St. Mary.   Olu Ashaolu --- NLEX We've seen Olu in the Commissioner's Cup as he played NLEX's last game of the conference as part of the team's prep for the Governors' Cup. Ashaolu played for Lousiana Tech and Oregon and college and went undrafted in the 2012 NBA Draft.   Rashad Woods --- Northport The Batang Pier will go with Rashad Woods for the Governors' Cup. Woods has had memorable stints in Mexico and in the Middle East, where he's known as the "Arab Ace."   J'Nathan Bullock --- Rain or Shine Bullock is back for a second stint with ROS. Last season, Bullock and the Elasto Painters were eliminated in the quarterfinals but not after erasing TNT's twice-to-beat advantage in the playoffs. Bullock will join a ROS team that will be coming off an Asian Games campaign in Indonesia.   Mike Glover --- TNT Glover was Globalport's replacement import for Globalport two years ago but now, he'll start for the KaTropa in the 2018 Governors' Cup. The hulking forward went for 25.6 points and 14.0 rebounds in his first PBA tour.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated News3 hr. 54 min. ago

ASIAN GAMES: I’m excited and I’m ready for the games -- Clarkson

NBA player Jordan Clarkson will finally get a chance to don the national colors. Although the Cleveland Cavaliers guard skipped the Philippines’ opening day assignment, Clarkson liked how the ragtag, hastily-formed Gilas Pilipinas played their hearts out against Kazakhstan in the Jakarta Palembang Asian Games. Clarkson, the country’s flag-bearer for the opening ceremonies on Saturday, arrived in Indonesia Thursday morning and went straight to GBK Basketball Hall to watch the game.      “I’m excited and I’m ready for the games. I’m very excited to know that I’m finally getting to do this, being able to play with my team and for the country, it’s definitely something I’ve been looking forward to,” said Clarkson. Despite missing a key piece, national team head coach Yeng Guiao steered the Rain or Shine core and PBA-reinforced Gilas to a convincing 96-59 drubbing of the Kazakhs to set a foot in the quarterfinals. Clarkson was impressed with what he saw. “(The team) is really good, fast, get up and down, shoot threes, fun style of play,” said Clarkson, who for the past three years was in the talks of playing for the national team. The Gilasto Painters, a portmanteau of Gilas and Rain or Shine’s PBA moniker, pounced on the hapless Kazakhs early and bullied their way to a dominating win, which saw all of Guiao’s 11 players contributing on offense.    Clarkson, whose eligibility for the Asiad was filled with drama, will debut on Tuesday against powerhouse team and gold medal favorite China.    “It’s a big game, every game is a big game,” he said. “We try to get the win every time we step on the floor so we just come here to compete and try to win.” Clarkson will now use the lull in action to familiarize with Guiao’s system and jell with the team.    “We got a few days of practice before the next game. I have to get used to how they do things here at least we have four days of practice so that I could get used to,” he said. Here is the full Clarkson interview:    .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated News15 hr. 54 min. ago

Philippine spikers to skip Asiad opening march

Members of the Philippine women's volleyball team will arrive Thursday night from training in Okagawa, Japan and will have very little time to rest before they fly to Jakarta for the 18th Asian Games......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated News18 hr. 7 min. ago

UE’s Alvin Pasaol headlines competition in first-ever UAAP 1-on-1

Alvin Pasaol is the brightest star set to take the stage in the first-ever UAAP Last One Standing 1-on-1 Hoop Challenge. University of the East’s main man, who famously scored 49 points a season ago, has all the tools to dominate the competition scheduled on Friday at the SM Mall of Asia Atrium. Challenging him will be Ateneo de Manila University’s QJ Banzon, De La Salle University’s Jordan Bartlett, Far Eastern University’s Cade Flores, National University’s Robert Minerva, University of the Philippines’ Joe Gomez de Liano, and University of Sto. Tomas’ Zachy Huang. Adamson University has yet to submit the name of its entry in the men's 1-on-1 tournament as of press time. The women’s 1-on-1 tournament will be comprised by Adamson’s Nathalia Prado, Ateneo’s Jhazmin Joson, La Salle’s Rossini Espinas, FEU’s Princess Jumuad, NU’s Ria Nabalan, UE’s Cristine Cortizano, UP’s Noella Cruz, and UST’s Elondra Rivera. As always, all of the action will be on livestream and on YouTube Live starting at 10:00 AM. The tournament will have a single round robin format with the top two players in each group advancing to the semifinals. The winners there will then move on to the Finals where the Last One Standing will be determined. “Last One Standing is going to be fun and exciting. 1-on-1 is the best showcase for a player’s skills and smarts,” event director Eric Altamirano said. Meanwhile, Adamson's top gun Jerrick Ahanmisi is the odds-on favorite for the Three-Point Shootout. Competing with him are Blue Eagle Jolo Mendoza, Green Archer Aaron Waban, Tamaraw Travis Mantua, Bulldog Daniel Atienza, Red Warrior Jason Varilla, Fighting Maroon Allan Madrigal, and Growling Tiger Ken Zamora. A Slam Dunk Contest will also be a highlight of the day with high-flying Tyrus Hill (La Salle) pitted against Ivan Maata (Adamson), Matthew Daves (Ateneo), Aaron Davis (FEU), Daniel Chatman (NU), Soulemane Chabi Yo (UST), and Joe GDL (UP). There will be no UE player in the contest. The Skills Challenge will then be disputed by Soaring Falcon Jerom Lastimosa, Blue Eagle Migs Fortuna, Green Archer Donn Lim, Tamaraw James Tempra, Bulldog Migs Oczon, Red Warrior Mark Maloles, Fighting Maroon Enzo Battad, and Growling Tiger Brent Paraiso. This is the first time that the league will have a preseason event of the sort courtesy of the efforts of host school NU in partnership with SM Supermalls. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 13th, 2018

Tim Cone: Yeng Guiao is the right guy for Asiad

Tim Cone called the shots the last time the Philippines earned a podium finish in the Asian Games. It was in 1998 and they went home with a bronze medal. Now with an outsider perspective, the winningest coach in the PBA validates Yeng Guiao as the 'right guy' to coach the 2018 Asian Games Philippine team. "It seems to me that they're doing all the right things. Coach Yeng, to me, is a really good coach to do this kind of thing where it's quick, and his system is simple in its beauty. And so he can teach it quickly, and I think guys can get into it." Pushing through with a Philippine bid this year went through a lot of ups and downs. From initially sending the Talk N' Text core, to replacing it with the Rain or Shine instead, to withdrawing the whole bid altogether, to taking it all back, to fighting for Jordan Clarkson's clearance, Cone sees all these detours as extra motivation for the Philippine team to press on. "I think it would actually be a positive one, because I think they'll feel that they have something to prove, you know?" His number one tip to make it back to the podium? Make sure to get the first game. "They must beat Kazakhstan in their first game. They can still beat China. But you don't want to rely on beating China. You need to beat Kazakhstan, just to get out of their group. They get out of their group, I think they'll medal. He mentioned guards Stanley Pringle and Paul Lee, plus big man Raymond Almazan when asked who he thinks will make it big in the quadrennial showpiece. "I don't think anybody is going to be able to handle Stanley Pringle. I think that he will shock everybody. I think that eventually they'll scheme him, China is very good at scheming and they'll scheme him. Maybe not in the first game but if they play in the medal round, they'll definitely scheme him," Cone said. "Paul Lee, they know Paul Lee a little bit, but Paul Lee is gonna be fantastic there. And I wouldn't be surprised if [Raymond] Almazan plays very well." Talking about the Asiad, Cone waxed poetic reminiscing about his 1998 experience. The Centennial Team was a highly competitive team that Cone felt disheartened going home with just bronze. However, the experience he gained there was something he will never forget. "Nothing is nicer than walking around that Athletes' Village, and seeing all the athletes and going to visit some of the events. I mean, it's a tremendous, tremendous experience, one that I'll never forget, one that I've never been able to repeat. And I've had the good fortune." Now, it's the 2018 team's turn to experience all that and more......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 12th, 2018

His fiancée’s sister is beautiful—and very flirtatious

Dear Emily, I am engaged to a woman seven years my senior. We met in a prayer meeting. She's soft-spoken, kind, helpful and a really nice human being. The eldest in a family of four women, she is the only unmarried sibling. The rest of her family is abroad, including their parents. She said she has no plan of following them as she's very settled here. I asked her to marry me recently, but she said there is plenty of time for that. A few months ago, her younger sister came to visit from abroad. She recently got divorced from her husband of 11 months, no children. Hers was a whirlwind marriage, discovered her new husband's womanizing, gambling and drug use too late. She came...Keep on reading: His fiancée’s sister is beautiful—and very flirtatious.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsAug 12th, 2018

Hindi nasayang ang (pagsama sa) practice -- Rivero

Despite missing the cut in the national men’s basketball team’s final roster for the Jakarta Palembang Asian Games, Ricci Rivero remains thankful for the opportunity to train under head coach Yeng Guiao. Guiao announced the final lineup Friday after the squad’s practice at the Meralco gym. Unfortunately, young talents Kobe Paras and Rivero didn’t make the lineup as well as Talk ‘N Text guard Don Trollano, who sacrificed his spot for Cleveland Cavaliers guard Jordan Clarkson despite the eligibility of the NBA player still in doubt pending the petition of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas to the Indonesian organizers to include him in the Asiad roster.        “Actually wala (sama ng loob), nothing against anyone sobrang thankful pa rin ako,” said Rivero. “I talked to coach Yeng sabi ko, “Sobrang thank you for this opportunity.” “Kasi sobrang dami kong natutunan. First, yung mga kuya and then next sina coach Yeng kasi sobrang hands on nila,” added Rivero. “Si coach Yeng kasi nakikita ko sobrang galing niyang mag-develop ng player, in a short time sobrang dami kong natutunan sa kanya. So yun sobrang thank you.” Rivero was present in all the five practice sessions of the Nationals, which started Monday. Rivero rushed into the Meralco gym Monday after landing in Manila following the University of the Philippines’ training in Serbia. In the end, Rivero was thankful for the rare chance to vie for a spot for the tricolors. For me hindi (nasayang ang pag-ensayo), sobrang thankful talaga ako na yun nga naging part ako nito,” he said. “Nu’ng una pa lang naman na narinig ko sobrang thankful na ako, gusto ko siyempreng makasama pero siyempre di ba PBA players na yan and hindi naman sila basta-basta. Sobrang thankful ako, hindi nasayang ang (pagsama sa) practice.” The Nationals that will try to surpass the seventh place finish of Gilas in the 2014 Incheon Asiad will be led by the core of Rain or Shine in Chris Tiu, Maverick Ahanmisi, Beau Belga, Raymond Almazan, James Yap, and Gabe Norwood. Completing the team are JP Erram, Christian Standhardinger, Paul Lee, Stanley Pringle, Asi Taulava and Clarkson.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 10th, 2018

Koreas extend conciliatory steps to Asian Games

By Kim Tong-Hyung, Associated Press SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — With the Koreas, there's no separating their sports from their politics. The war-separated rivals will take their reconciliation steps to the Asian Games in Jakarta and Palembang, Indonesia, where they will jointly march in the opening ceremony and field combined teams in basketball, rowing and canoeing. "Sports have played the role of peacemaker between the Koreas," said Kim Seong-jo, vice chairman of South Korea's Olympic committee and the country's chef de mission at the Asian Games. "If the combined teams put out good performances and win medals, that would be putting the cherry on the top." North and South Korea have used sports diplomacy this year in a bid to decrease animosity and initiate a new round of global diplomatic efforts to resolve the nuclear standoff with Pyongyang. South Korea leaders consider goodwill gestures as crucial to keep the positive atmosphere alive for what could become a long and difficult attempt to persuade the North to give up its nuclear and missile programs. There's not much Seoul can do beyond such gestures, though, as joint economic projects are out of the question when lifting sanctions against North Korea is far beyond the South's control. The more substantial discussions on the North's denuclearization — including what, when and how it would occur— are always going to be between Washington and Pyongyang. Here's a look at what the Koreas are planning for the Asian Games and their ebbs and flows in sports diplomacy: ___ BLUE FLAGS AND COMBINED TEAMS In the opening ceremony in Jakarta, athletes from North and South Korea will parade together under the flag featuring a blue map that symbolized a unified Korean Peninsula. It will be virtual repeat of the joint march during February's Winter Olympics in the South Korean ski resort of Pyeongchang, minus the gloves, parkas and fur hats. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un sent hundreds of athletes, artists and government officials to the Pyeongchang Olympics. The Koreas also fielded their first combined Olympic team in women's ice hockey, which drew passionate support from crowds despite losing all five of its games with a combined score of 28-2. At the Asian Games, the Koreas will be expected to deliver more than just feel-good stories. There's pressure for the investment to yield gold. A group of 34 North Korean athletes, coaches and officials have been in South Korea since last month for combined teams in women's basketball and the men's and women's events in rowing and canoeing. Coach Lee Moon-kyu, who has retained a core of South Korean players who won gold at the 2014 Asian Games at home in Incheon, got a first-hand look at North Korean players during exhibitions in Pyongyang in early July. Lee later picked three North Korean players for the Asian Games squad, including center Ro Suk Yong. Lee will also have a North Korean assistant coach on his bench. The Koreans will face Taiwan, Indonesia, Kazakhstan and India in their preliminary group. South Korean forward Lim Yung-hui said the chemistry between the players has been improving. "The Northern players share the same goal of the gold medal and we talk a lot about how we should be putting out a good performance there," Lim said. "We weren't given much time, but we are practicing hard in a positive atmosphere." The Koreas will field combined teams in dragon boat events in canoeing and the lightweight men's four, lightweight men's eight and lightweight women's double sculls in rowing. If a combined team wins gold, athletes on the podium will hear the traditional folk song of "Arirang,"used in both Koreas as an unofficial anthem for peace, instead of their respective national anthems. The Korean athletes are likely to become an attraction at the Asian Games, where the international media will follow closely. At the Pyeongchang Olympics, South Korean figure skater Kam Alex Kang-chan created a media frenzy by taking a selfie with North Korea's Kim Ju Sik and posting it on Instagram. The photo recalled a famous 2016 selfie taken by two North and South Korean gymnasts at the Rio Olympics which International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach described as a "great gesture." ___ THEY DON'T ALWAYS PLAY NICE The Koreas have a history of using sports to foster diplomacy since the end of the 1950-53 Korean War. The 1991 world table tennis championships in Japan were the first time the Koreas fielded a combined team at a major international event. The atmosphere wasn't always friendly, though. During the height of their Cold War rivalry and recurring periods of animosity since, sports often became an alternate political battlefield. North Korean athletes and coaches would reject handshakes with their South Korean competitors and berate South Korean reporters during news conferences. The sports detente of 1991 evaporated when a North Korean athlete who competed at the world judo championships in Barcelona defected and arrived in South Korea amid heavy media coverage. North Korea boycotted the 1986 Asian Games and the '88 Summer Olympics in Seoul, and relations dramatically worsened on the eve of the Seoul Olympics with the bombing of a South Korean passenger jet that killed all 115 aboard in December 1987. The inter-Korean warmth heading into this year's Asian Games contrasts with the awkwardness between the rivals surrounding the 2014 Asiad held in South Korea. Seoul's then-conservative government invited North Korean athletes to compete, but made it clear it had no interest in joint marches or combined teams. North Korean subsequently withdrew an offer to send its all-female cheering squad to Incheon after squabbling with the hosts over costs. North Korean leader Kim did send a senior government delegation to the closing ceremony, but they returned home without meeting then-South Korean President Park Geun-hye. The North was still seething over the Asian Game treatment years later as it gleefully observed Park's presidency crashing over a corruption scandal. "The Park Geun-hye group's mad confrontational racket is to blame for why (the North Korean) visit to Incheon did not result in improved relations," the North said in a statement in April last year. ___ WILL THE GOOD TIMES LAST? Kim has found a willing counterpart in Moon, a liberal who won the presidential by-elections to replace Park last year. Since the Pyeongchang Olympics, Kim has met Moon twice and leveraged the summits to get to U.S. President Donald Trump. After their June summit in Singapore, Kim and Trump issued a vague aspirational goal for a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula without describing specific plans. Sports exchanges and other goodwill gestures are important policy tools for Moon, who wants Seoul to be in the "driver's seat" in international efforts to deal with Pyongyang. The Koreas have also agreed to resume temporary reunions between relatives separated by the war and are holding military talks to reduce tensions across their heavily armed border. "Hopefully, (the Asian Games) will provide an opportunity to use sports to facilitate diplomacy and cooperation," Moon said while meeting Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi in Seoul last month. Seoul's presidential office hasn't announced yet whether Moon would attend the opening ceremony in Jakarta on Aug. 18. Whatever happens in Indonesia or with nuclear negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang, the Koreas will always have those heartening selfies posted by athletes. "Sports can be used to build momentum and trust, but they don't solve fundamental problems," said Koh Yu-hwan, a North Korea expert at Seoul's Dongguk University and a policy adviser to Moon. "There's not much South Korea can currently do, but at least it's trying to actively do the things it can to keep the positive atmosphere alive. ".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 10th, 2018

PBA Finals By the Numbers: Ginebra dynasty in the making?

They actually did it, the Gin Kings took down the Death Star to win the 2018 PBA Commissioner's Cup, dethroning San Miguel Beer. Ginebra completed a sensational 4-2 series win Wednesday, capping the performance with a masterful 93-77 victory in Game 6. The Gin Kings are starting to position themselves as a dynasty that rivals that of SMB but before we get way ahead of ourselves, let's take one final look at Ginebra's latest title run before we move on to the next one.   5 Number of losses for Ginebra in its first six games of the conference. Losing back-to-back games when they got Justin Brownlee back, the Gin Kings were in trouble with a 1-5 record. Then they won five straight to make it to the playoffs where they only lost one, to no. 1 Rain or Shine, before meeting the Beermen in the Final. The Gin Kings were down 1-2 following a 38-point loss in the championship series before they pulled off three straight wins to take the title from the Beermen.   3 Number of PBA titles for import Justin Brownlee. Brownlee has been around for four PBA conferences and he has won three titles in three Finals appearances. His only loss was last year in the 2017 Commissioner's Cup when the no. 1 seeded Gin Kings lost in the semis. Still, Brownlee's magic is still as effective as ever and the newly-crowned Best Import shows no signs of slowing down. Is he Ginebra's GOAT Import?   21 Total PBA Championships for head coach Tim Cone. #GOAT   1 Number of Finals losses for San Miguel head coach Leo Austria. His undefeated streak finally came to an end with this 4-2 loss to Ginebra. Coach Leo is now 6-of-7 in the Finals and this is also his first best-of-7 series loss with the Beermen. Ouch.   2 Number of seasons where San Miguel's Grand Slam bid ended at the hands of Ginebra. Last year, the Beermen got eliminated in the quarterfinals of the Governors' Cup. This year, San Miguel couldn't even win two titles in a row as they fall to the Gin Kings again, this time in the Commissioner's Cup.   11 Total combined points for Alex Cabagnot, Arwind Santos, Chris Ross, Marcio Lassiter, and Christian Standhardinger in Game 6. Ross, Lassiter, and Standhardinger went scoreless. In Game 5, the Death Star showed signs of crack and malfunctioned. In Game 6, San Miguel's vaunted weapon of mass destruction completely shut down.   31 Total points for Justin Brownlee in Game 6, 20 in the second half. Brownlee scored 10 points each in the third and fourth quarters of Game 6 and he led Ginebra's pivotal third-quarter run where they outscored San Miguel, 27-8. That was pretty much the game as the Beermen never recovered.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 9th, 2018

“Can Aby your boyfriend?”: How Robert Bolick won Aby Maraño’s heart

Aby Maraño is everything you want in an athlete. She’s strong, driven and passionate about her sport. So, when basketball player Robert Bolick saw her play volleyball for the first time…he saw himself. The only difference was she was a three-time champion, two-time MVP and team captain, while he was merely a rookie and a bench warmer. Robert was also three years younger than her. Aby was way out of his league, it seemed. But, this young man was no loser. He was determined to shoot his shot and find some way to win her heart. His first move was to ask for a little favor from his former teammate, LA Revilla, who was the starting point guard of the DLSU Men’s Basketball team at the time. Robert needed LA to find out whether Aby had a boyfriend. Like he usually does on the hardcourt, LA delivered an assist to Robert in form of good news - Aby was single. Now, that Robert knew that his target was open, all he had to do was take a shot. And he took it at the most unexpected of moments. They were inside the school bus on the way back to DLSU after a Green Archers game in the UAAP. Aby, who was undergoing her on-the-job training with ABS-CBN Sports, the official broadcast partner of the league, hitched a ride with the team. There was a lot of joking among his teammates, but all Robert could think of was the soothing smell of Aby’s hair as he was seated right behind her. It was at that moment when Robert decided to crack a joke of his own. “Oy, Pre! Makinig kayong lahat!” announced Robert before motioning towards Aby. “Aby ka ba? Can Aby your boyfriend?” The entire bus erupted. It was as if they were back inside the MOA Arena where fans where screaming their lungs out. Robert looked at Aby’s face and sensed a positive reaction to his sudden revelation. “Ay. Parang kinilig ah,” he thought. As soon as they got off the bus, Robert and Aby shared their first dinner. When it was time to go home, Robert reminded Aby to take care and that they should continue communicating. “Text, text na lang tayo! Text mo ako ha.” he told her. “Paano kita ite-text? Wala naman akong number mo,” she replied. Little did Aby know that Robert didn’t ask for her number directly to avoid getting “busted.” His game plan worked as they started talking and spending time with each other more often. Upon Aby’s advice, Robert even asked her coach, the multi-titled Ramil de Jesus for permission to court her. Although Robert admitted that he was intimidated at first, he knew that he had no choice but to ask for Coach Ramil’s blessing to ensure a smooth passage to Aby’s heart. “Para sa akin naman, wala namang dapat katakutan pag alam mo na gusto mo talaga. Gusto ko naman si Aby eh.” Today, August 8, 2018, Robert and Aby are celebrating their 5th year anniversary together. A lot has happened in their lives since then. Robert has transformed himself into an accomplished athlete like Aby, winning three championships (1 UAAP title with La Salle, 2 NCAA titles with San Beda), a PBA D-League championship and MVP award among many accolades. They both have also become national team athletes as Robert was included in the “23 for 23” Gilas Pilipinas roster for the 2023 FIBA World Cup while Aby was named Captain of the Philippine Women’s Volleyball Team. “Hindi niya ako minahal dahil magaling ako mag-basketball. Minahal nga niya ako na bangko pa lang ako,” said Robert as he reminisced about everything he has been through with Aby throughout the past five years. While watching their careers blossom, following their love story is equally entertaining. The two are very open with regards to how they feel about each other. Aby even proudly declared during an interview on “Down the Line” that she would agree to marry Robert is ever he proposed to her.   We throw it back to an episode of #DownTheLinePH when @MrPureBusiness and @denniselazaro asked about Robert popping the big question to Tyang Aby! pic.twitter.com/NFGitS4TKE — ABS-CBN Sports (@abscbnsports) August 8, 2018 Despite Robert and Aby being just 22 and 25 years old respectively, marriage has been a topic of conversation between the couple. “Sinasabi na nga niya sa akin na gusto niya na ‘Maraño-Bolick’ pag naglalaro siya,” revealed Robert. “Sabi ko naman sa kanya, ‘Take time lang. Total, five years na tayo magkasama. Di naman natin kailangan madaliin yan. Focus ka lang muna sa kung saan ka ngayon. Eventually, pag nag propose na ako, gusto ko yung ready ka na magka-anak.’” One of Robert’s biggest dreams in life is to be able to play with his future kids as a young father, preferably in his 20s. “Dream ko talaga na while naglalaro ako, makakalaro ko yung anak ko,” said Robert. “Kung magka-lalaki man lang ako, whatever na sport ang gusto niya, makakalaro ko man lang siya. Makaka-takbo-takbo man lang ako.” “Sabi ko kay Aby, ‘Tell me pag ready ka na.’” Only God knows what the future holds for these college sweethearts. But, right now, the King Lion and Tyang Aby are living their best lives. HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 8th, 2018

Chris Paul donates $2.5M to Wake Forest basketball program

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. --- NBA All-Star and former Wake Forest guard Chris Paul is donating $2.5 million in support of the Demon Deacons' basketball team. The donation announced Tuesday is the school's largest by a former Wake Forest basketball player. School officials say it will assist a project to expand and enhance the men's and women's locker rooms, and the men's locker room will be named for him. Paul says the locker room project "inspired me, because that's where players build relationships and create a unifying camaraderie." The Houston Rockets guard and Winston-Salem native led Wake Forest to its first No. 1 ranking in 2004-05 before becoming a nine-time All-Star...Keep on reading: Chris Paul donates $2.5M to Wake Forest basketball program.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsAug 8th, 2018

PVL: Lady Maroons go for rebound win

After absorbing its first defeat in the Premier Volleyball League Season 2 Collegiate Conference, University of the Philippines wants a mighty bounce back as the Lady Maroons face a struggling San Sebastian College Wednesday. The lone women’s action is set at 4:00 p.m. at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan. The game will air via livestream. UP sports a 1-1 win-loss record after bowing down to University of Sto. Tomas, 25-22, 20-25, 18-25, 24-26, last Sunday. Despite the loss, the Lady Maroons saw the rise of rookie Nicole Magsarile. The freshman scored 12 points to backup incoming fourth year Isa Molde, who had 13 markers and 21 digs. The duo are expected to display the same intensity and offensive firepower against the Lady Stags. SSC-R, composed of rookies with only one experienced player in Joyce Sta. Rita, is winless in three games tied with NCAA Season 93 runner-up San Beda University. The Lady Stags only won one set so far in the tournament. It came from SSC-R’s four-set loss to University of Perpetual Help the last time out.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 7th, 2018

Chris Tiu wastes no time for Asiad

In the middle of a mass, spending vacation with family, taking a short break from basketball. This was Rain-or-Shine point guard Chris Tiu's state when he got news that after all the fuss, he is still going to represent the Philippines in the 2018 Asian Games. "I was actually in mass when a friend texted me and asked me if it was true, I said 'I have no idea.' So I went online and checked Twitter and it looked like all the credible journalists were tweeting about it already and I figured, baka totoo na nga kasi nagka-press con na." Tiu, who donned the national jersey multiple times and was part of the original Smart Gilas team, was fresh from a lengthy family trip in Batangas when the news break out, Sunday evening. As a result of both excitement and panic, he immediately hit the gym just hours after the confirmation. "I’m not 23 years old anymore. I don’t want to push myself too much in a short time and get hurt. So I said, 'You know, we have to start now. I can’t wait until Monday and then start lifting and doing some cardio,” said the 33-year-old who posted a gym selfie on his Instagram Stories Sunday evening. After the Elasto Painters bowed in the semifinals of the ongoing PBA Commissioner's Cup, Tiu set his mind already on the Governor's Cup which will start on August 17. But now that he has the Asian Games to work for, he treats it as a welcome challenge. "I programmed my mind and my schedule in preparation for the coming PBA season, which starts in 3 weeks. So I know my body quite well after all these years, I know I should have three weeks to get ready and pace everything. When I found out about this and I checked when was the first game, “10 days? Oh my God.” After the first team practice, Monday evening in the Meralco Gym, Tiu reminisced with reporters his past experiences representing the country. From telling his own experiences in 2010 Asian Games to being back playing for Coach Yeng Guiao again, he beamed with excitement on the new international assignment at hand. "Lolo na ako eh," he quipped, "Well, it’s good to be back. It makes me feel at home and it's not much adjustment in terms of style of play. I think it's a sweet opportunity for me to be able to compete. This could be my last international tournament." With the team heading to Indonesia for their campaign on the prestigious quadrennial multi-sport tournament on August 14, Tiu has this to say for their rushed bid. "I’m excited and honored and I can guarantee that these next few weeks will be total sacrifice for the country and hopefully, God-willing, we can achieve our goal: finishing better than 7th." --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @cruzdanine.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 7th, 2018

3x3 star Stanley Pringle debuts on 5x5 PH Team

Stanley Pringle goes two for two for representing the Philippines this 2018, first in the FIBA 3x3 World Cup last June and now in the 2018 Asian Games this August. News came out Sunday evening that after Philippines' initial Asiad withdrawal, the SBP, with the Rain-or-Shine core plus coach Yeng Guiao's wishlist players, are taking it back and are officially still sending a team to the quadrennial sports competition. "I just thank God for His blessings, for a great opportunity to represent the country. And, you know, as soon as they called me, it was no question. I told them, yeah, I'm down to play," Pringle shared, Monday evening after the first team practice in the Meralco Gym. The 3x3 star braces for a new challenge now that he is representing the three stars and the sun once again, this time in a 5x5 setting. This Asiad stint will be his Philippine team debut on a 5x5 event where he is considered as a 'local,' credits to the Asian Games' more lenient rules.  "It's a blessing. I prayed on it, and I finally got to do it with the 3-on-3, and now, as soon as they gave me the call, our manager Bonnie Tan gave me the call, and like I said, I'm happy to play, and I'm gonna give it my all, and it should be interesting, especially with this team." The Fil-American guard from Globalport is one of the non-ROS players that received a Guiao stamp of approval for the national team. "Coach Yeng, he's a great guy, man, and he works hard. I played with him in the All-Star, he's my coach for the All-Star, so what we're doing today, I'm already acclimated to it," said Pringle. Pringle is expected to load and boost the team's backcourt with his playmaking and shifty set of moves. He, together with the whole team, is set to leave for Indonesia on August 14. -- Follow this writer on Twitter, @cruzdanine.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 7th, 2018

Almost perfect attendance for first ROS-Pilipinas practice

With time not on their side, Rain or Shine-Pilipinas starts its preparation for the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia. The national team got their first team practice down Monday at the Meralco Gym with head coach Yeng Guiao presiding over everything. Present in Monday's evening session were Rain or Shine's Gabe Norwood, Chris Tiu, Beau Belga, James Yap, Raymond Almazan, and Maverick Ahanmisi. Also in attendance were Asi Taulava, Paul Lee, Stanley Pringle, Don Trollano, and Kobe Paras. JP Erram was also present but didn't up while cadet Abu Tratter joined training despite not being in the lineup. Cadet Ricci Rivero managed to catch up after coming straight from the airport. Rivero was with the UP Fighting Maroons in a training camp at Serbia. The lone absentee was San Miguel Beer's Christian Standhardinger.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 6th, 2018

Ricci Rivero rushes straight from airport to attend first ROS-Pilipinas practice

From the airport straight to practice. The University of the Philippines' Ricci Rivero just arrived from a two-week training camp in Serbia with the rest of the Fighting Maroons, but the high-flying forward had little time to waste as he headed straight to Rain or Shine-Pilipinas' first Asian Games practice. Rivero, who endured a 13-hour flight from Serbia to Turkey and finally Manila, came 45 minutes after practice started, but made it just in time before the national team actually did court drills. Pressed for time, the national team went to work Monday at the Meralco Gym in preparation for the Asiad in Indonesia later this month. The entire team, led by the core of the Elasto Painters, was present with the exception of San Miguel's Christian Standhardinger. Standhardinger, who is in the middle of the Commissioner's Cup Finals with the Beermen, likely secured an excuse until the best-of-7 series against Ginebra. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 6th, 2018

Angara prods House on expanded maternity leave bill

Sen. Sonny Angara on Sunday prodded the House of Representatives to speed up the passage of the expanded maternity leave bill that would double the number of days women could take time off from wor.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philippinetimesRelated NewsAug 6th, 2018